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Comment Re:Not quite that simple (Score 1) 800

Your observation of the phenomenon is correct, but you're a tad naive when it comes to "why". This has less to do with the domain name, and more to do with what the domain owners pay Google.

Bullshit. I would gladly pay google for higher placement in their results, and I have the money to do it. Show me the form where I can sign up, please.

Comment Re:Not quite that simple (Score 1) 800

I don't believe that for one second. Google doesn't care about the domain name it the site sucks.

Yup, but if the content is the same as somebody else's, then google uses the domain name to tell the difference. For people who sell real products and services, there often just is not that much content to put on the site. Then, things like the domain name make a difference.

Comment It is not about the site (Score 2, Insightful) 800

Yet some of the most successful sites don't do that at all. Google, Yahoo and Amazon are fantastically successful, and both Slashdot and Digg are doing pretty well for themselves.

Those are all sites that are successful because they have regular readers/frequently repeating customers. If you sell widgets, and people only buy widgets once a year, people will go to your site once a year. Nobody links to widgets on their blogs. A lot of companies sell things that you buy once or twice in your life. Unless you want to get billions of dollars of capital together to build a company that immediately dominates your sector (it is spurious to claim that you could repeat google or amazon on a startup budget today) good SEO is really the only path.

Most of the sites that I visit that have descriptive names are using names that are descriptive of what company runs them rather than what they do (and that company name was already known/trademarked).

This is my point. In the case of the OP, the trademarked name is already registered. This is a serious problem.

I'm sure it helps you a little in search results, but it doesn't seem like it's that big of a deal.

When was the last time you purchased something from a company on the fifth page of Google? A small company I worked for paid thousands of euros to an SEO get first page google ranking. Our business (which was already pretty good) doubled immediately. Our main competitor had a position called Vice President of Search Engine Optimization, that is how important this is in a sector that has real, physical products (cheap consumer goods don't count).

Comment Not quite that simple (Score 4, Insightful) 800

In meatspace, if a business sets up in a poor location, it affects their traffic because it is a PHYSICAL business. More importantly, no land = no business. On the internet, very few people even type URLs anymore, they google everything. All that domain registration does is place a few letters in the address bar of people's browsers.

Of course, the name does enormous things for your placement in google. Just do a google search for "buy flowers": at least half the results have the search the search terms right in the domain name. This is not a coincidence. If the name describes what you do and is also your branded name, your success in google is almost guaranteed.

Having a domain name that describes your company is tremendously important for a variety of reasons, not least of which is google ranking. Further, with modern browsers, the address bar searches your history. If you have your name or your product in the domain, this helps people find you a second time. Google Chrome is even better: search and address bar are the same. While I despise these people who park pages, their price is usually worth it if you are a company and the name is good.

So, in the cyber-world, picking the name actually does make a big difference in the amount of traffic you get. Having "widgets.com" really is the equivalent of being off of the highway, while "example.com/widgets" is really miles down the road.

Also, giving up domain names means completely abdicating your surfing to search engines and people who know SEO. Not a good idea.

Comment It is called opportunity cost. (Score 2, Insightful) 93

I was going to reply and say the same thing, but then I saw the parent. Just to expand (for the benefit of the GP):

The concept is called opportunity cost. Basically, the if you do A, but B would have made more money, B-A= the amount of money you lost doing A = opportunity cost.

This is, incidentally, the reason that competition in free market economies pounds out inefficiencies. If a person is efficient at programming computers but inefficient at fixing cars, then he can fix his car in less time by trading his programming for car fixing. For the mechanic, it is the other way around: he can easily earn enough in a couple of hours to pay the programmer to do what would take him days. Money is, in this sense, just a medium to facilitate this kind of exchange.

Companies work the same way. If Cisco were to open a business supplying flying cars, they could probably scratch a profit. But they lack the experience, knowledge and brand to do that efficiently. However, they are very good at networking equipment, and for the same money that it would take to make cars, they could just branch off of what they now into, say, subspace communication. Meanwhile, toyota, who already understands the fundamentals of how to build nice vehicles that people want to drive, can build the flying cars.

Comment Promising? Yes. Usable? not really (Score 2, Interesting) 153

KDE 4.2 is perfectly usable.

You seem to have a different definition of usable than I do.

  1. (s)ftp is broken in kde file browsers (dolphin, konqueror). I can load the root directory listing, but not download any files or change directories. Have to use filezilla or something.
  2. Similarly, the integrated text editors will not save over an ftp connection. Very annoying.
  3. SMB shares: when you refresh on a passwordless windows share in Konqueror or Dolphin, you get an authentication failure that lasts for the session.
  4. The fish plugin for ssh in konqueror seems broken, although I did not take the time to investigate so it might be a simple config error.
  5. Network configuration does not work for wifi connections secured with WPA-EAP/TTLS encryption. You have to edit the config by hand.
  6. This is more of a gripe: klipper is truly black magic that I cannot for the life of me figure out. Copy-Paste should not be this complicated.

Except for number 3, this all works fine in KDE 3.5. It all works fine in Gnome (same machine).

I like KDE4.2, it has a lot of really promising concepts. I am a big fan of the plasma widget desktop. I use it whenever possible, which is why I can actually tell you some of the bugs. But interesting concepts are not enough. For a lot of my work, I simply have to log out and log into KDE 3.5 or Gnome. I am using KDE on two machines, one is debian and the other is kubuntu, so the problem might be in debian's packages.

Comment Re:this can only end.. (Score 2, Insightful) 185

I can't reproduce your border error. I bet it has to do with your iframe having width set in a way that causes it to run under another element that does not take the extra 2 pixel width of the iframe+margin into account.

You really should not be attaching events that way. This is bad for a number of reasons, the biggest of which is that you only get one event per element. Personally, I really like the observe method from prototype.js, but with what you are talking about MooTools might be better.

It is really pretty rare that you should have to pass variables that way. Just use objects and store your variables in that object.

They do however show that it IS possible for other browsers to support features that MS have invented, features that (many of them) actually make things better.

Yes, but a lot of them make life harder, and a lot of IE's quirks are just plain buggy. The point is that the web should be cross-platform: you have a standard and you code to it. Vendors should not have to implement features invented by a third party that may or may not be properly documented (ooxml anyone?). This is why we have the W3C to develop and innovate standards. Hell, MS helped write a lot of the standards that they don't implement.

Basically, whatever platform you're used to programming for, be it mozilla or ie, the other one IS going to seem alien to you, and stuff is frustratingly not gonna work on it.

A browser is not a platform. It should implement the standard so that we can code to it... "write once, run anywhere" should not be a paradigm reserved for Java.

But for you, the one you hate is IE rather than FF, which can only lead to the conclusion that IT'S SUBJECTIVE!

It is not subjective. There is a standard. While no browser implements it fully, IE is (still) the worst.

Comment Re:this can only end.. (Score 1, Informative) 185

Well, this thread is off topic, but I'll bite.

Quit letting your opinion be swayed by your bitterness over the fact that a browser from a company you don't like is widely used. If you really have trouble using a non-IE browser, that reflects only on your own abilities.

This polemic is not about the user. The trouble is not in using another browser, the trouble is writing websites for IE. It is a frustrating fucking nightmare. It is such a mess that anybody who has written a website in the last 5 or 6 years can not believe that people would choose IE of their own free will. Of course, the mess is transparent to the user who will blame the website if it does not look right in IE.

Now, I know that the IE situation has gotten better (but is still pretty bad) since IE7, but IE6 just won't die because its quirkiness caused a kind of lock in: corporate intranet sites are written for it and they are too expensive to correct. For these people, using another browser really has become impossible. Whether this corporate lock in was deliberate is debatable, but that is the reason the EU gets involved.

Comment Re:Not surprising (Score 2, Insightful) 247

And just how do you know what my diet is like? I literally have not had fast food in years. As a vegetarian, those places have very little to offer me.

And what is this mythical "Mediterranean diet" that you are referring to? I have lived in Italy, and Spain and Morocco. I have spent significant time in Greece, Croatia, Israel, southern France and Algeria. They all border the Med and the all have very different cuisine. Of them all, Italian is probably the worst for your health, despite what you seem to think (one big meal per day instead of several small ones, lots of cheese, high in sugar, etc). Oh, and they all have more overweight people and shorter lifespans than my current home, Belgium.

So how about instead of being an arrogant stereotyping prig, you go learn a little bit?

Comment Re:Not surprising (Score 1) 247

What do you want, The Fat Duck? You can get decent food in any of the dozen or so airports that I go to regularly, though apparently YMMV. You just have to look around a bit to find the places that are selling fresh food, and there always are some. I am a vegetarian and pretty picky even within that already limited range of food, yet I always find a place that caters to what I like.

If you pick the franchises like MacDonalds or just go to the first place you see, that is your own fault; realize that you are voting with your money.

Of course, the gp is absolutely right that airport food costs way too much. This has more to do with the airports than the restaurants, though, since they charge an arm and a leg for retail space. The exception in my experience is Barcelona: food costs the same in town as at the airport.

Comment Re:Not surprising (Score 5, Insightful) 247

I disagree. Airport food is usually pretty good, although it is way too expensive. Also, trying to get a nice meal (which, for me, usually includes drinks and sauces or yogurt) through security is not that easy.

I think this has more to do with a pyramid of needs. Once you have enough sleep, you think about water. Once you have enough water, you think about nutrition. Once you have enough nutrition, you think about the food tasting good, and so on.

What this survey means is that airports are meeting those basic needs well enough that people can think about things that are higher up on the pyramid but not adequately provided, not that those things lower on the pyramid are actually that important.

Imagine for a moment that airports suddenly removed all of the bathrooms. Where do you think Wifi would rank on the next survey?

Comment Re:Let me be the first to say: (Score 1) 341

As a researcher, I write a lot of long documents. If you were really writing long documents and saving time were really what mattered to you, you would be using LaTeX. Seriously, LaTeX effectively automates
  • citations and bibliography
  • tables of contents (don't even try to say that Office does this. The feature exists but it does not work right.)
  • indexes
  • reformatting the document quickly (MLA to Chicago? change one line. Journal to Book? change one line. different font, but only for text and not headlines? change two lines)

If, on the other hand, all you do is write little five page or less memos or letters, Office is clearly superior to LaTeX. But then, you would really need to convince me that MS Office saves you any time whatsoever over OpenOffice or KOffice.

Unless, of course, your argument is that Office is faster because you know it already, which really is not valid for the rest of us.

Unix

Maddog's New Hampshire "Unix" Plate Turns 20 212

An anonymous reader writes "Local newspaper talks to Linux International's Jon 'maddog' Hall, who lives in New Hampshire, and who since 1989 has had a 'Live Free or Die' UNIX license plate — a real one, not a conference hand-out — on his Jeep. From the story: 'The day he installed the UNIX plates, he went early to work at DEC's office on Spit Brook Road in Nashua, to be sure to get the parking space right next to the door used by all the Unix engineers. He watched them come in and, one after another, do a double take at seeing the real-world version of the famous fake plate. "People would race in and yell, 'Who is it? Whose plate is it?!?'" Hall said. It was his then and it is his now. After 20 years, one suspects you will have to pry it from his cold, dead fingers.'"

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