Archive for October, 2009

Safety Alert Gadgets For Seniors: Are They Necessary?

October 31, 2009 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 2 minutes

Living alone at your life’s peak can be difficult especially with the absence of highly reliable motor skills. Geriatric medicine provides care for all people who are in the last pace of their lives but is limited only in the four corners of a hospital.

Seniors who live by themselves are faced with daily challenges that they have to overcome on their own but in spite of these, choosing not to become a citizen of care homes makes them a lot happier.

The idea of Medical Alert gadgets for the elderly is a wise move that would benefit not only persons of their age but their families as well. These technological innovations are specially designed for providing security alerts when something wrong happens to the user. Among these Medical Alert gadgets include the Fall Alert Detector which primarily sends signals to inform the Emergency Response Center that the user has fallen and that no one is around to help while the other gadget, the GPS Tracking Bracelet with 2-way speakerphone that functions like a regular cell phone can be used to track the user’s location or the user can call for emergency assistance when lost.

If you don’t think that your folks need these things then why not share them your time, love, and make them feel your presence even at the last phase of their existence? I’m sure they’ll love it because they knew someone’s watching over them.

Reviving Old Blog Posts

October 31, 2009 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 1 – 2 minutes

One disadvantage of blogs is that older posts are often buried in oblivion because of its dynamism and chronological order. Although blogs are search engine friendly, it doesn’t generally mean that all published posts can appear in search results that’s why the necessity of exposing your blog’s content is important to increasing page views and reducing bounce rate.

There are many ways to showcase your older posts which include using plugins (that is if you’re using WordPress). Commonly used are Popularity Contest plus widget, Random Pages Widget and the Static Random Posts Widget which I use.

The latter that was recently released makes it possible to showcase your older posts based on your filtered category and refresh rate you’ve set in the admin panel.

These plugins though can help increase your blog’s page views; it’s not always a substitute for compelling content.

How Do You Make A Website Personable?

October 31, 2009 | By | 6 Replies More

Reading time: 2 – 2 minutes

Having a website particularly a blog which holds dynamic content naturally grabs attention simply because it brings content and drives audience. Not only that blogs are search engine friendly, nowadays, blogs are more than just a regular web journal where a person can write all about himself his daily grind.

Blogs had become popular and is continuously evolving with the aid of social media where bloggers can easily share their posts online to as many people in their circle with the use of microblogging platforms like Twitter and content sharing avenues through Tumblr and Yahoo Meme.

If you’re a blogger or a promising webmaster, would it be great if your name is your domain URL and not yourdomain.blogspot.com or yourdomain.wordpress.com?

Having your name as your domain name makes you more professional and recognizable. It’s like having your own home and in this case, your very own domain is your address that people can easily remember and attribute with especially if you’re trying to build your portfolio and web presence as a business.

There are many domain registrars out there that offer cheap and affordable domain names and if you’re planning to put up an e-commerce business, your Product URL is crucial to building your brand’s identity. It is the information that people will look up on the internet and if they found out that your business is created on a free domain, do you think they will buy from you to think that you don’t even have your own online identity? Think again, will you?

Avoid Web Forgery Using Firefox

October 30, 2009 | By | 10 Replies More

Reading time: 2 – 4 minutes

In addition to the many Internet security related measures I have written in the past, this succeeding post will provide another vital information that would benefit not just Firefox users but also those who were thinking about how your browser can help keep your personally identifiable information safe and secure whenever you surf the web.

I normally use Firefox as an alternative (among the other three well-known browsers) despite some performance issues I have with it because of its tight built-in Phishing and Malware Protection which I think is indispensable.

If you ever clicked on a link especially on IMs, chat rooms, social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, etc. while using Firefox then the image below popped up on your screen, it simply means that you are about to be a victim of Web Forgery. And what is Web Forgery?

Web Forgery on Firefox

Web Forgery on Firefox

Web Forgery, otherwise known as Phishing, is a form of identity theft that subjects a user to a fake website (that resembles the look and feel of a legitimate one) in order to steal sensitive information normally associated with financial matters such as credit card numbers, pin numbers, bank account details and other personally identifiable information.

A Paypal Phishing Attack that happened to me a few weeks ago is a concrete example on how Phishing Attacks operate (usually via email). Once you click on the link, it then brings you to the trap (which is the fake website) and the moment you give them your vital information, you’re screwed because they will scrape out all your money in the bank, in your credit card or in your Paypal account.

There are other instances wherein you’ll encounter that same message above especially when you run into Attack Sites. Attack Sites are websites that usually infect your computer with malware or it can turn a regular website into an Attack Site without the webmaster knowing it. Malware is normally passed on your computer if you download or install software from unknown sources or it can be simply be transferred if you come across such sites so if you’re browser can detect these types of threat, then I’d suggest that you don’t proceed.

More about phishing and malware protection via your favorite browser in my succeeding posts, stay tuned.

HOW TO: Revert Firefox to Older Version

October 26, 2009 | By | 10 Replies More

Reading time: 4 – 6 minutes

One of the many reasons why Firefox users tend to update to the latest version is their promise of providing a faster browser. Well, it could be fast as a clean install at first but based on experience, it slows down overtime as you continuously add extensions or add-ons as well as themes and even toolbars. In other words, the more accessories you put in, the slower it gets as a result.

The hype that Firefox 3.5 has gained over these past few months after it’s release have been massive but I didn’t joined the bandwagon, perhaps, I’ve joined the opposite side yet my observations are true. Why? Firefox 3.5 is not really that faster as they claim because like I said, the more accessories you put in, the slower it turns out but I was expecting that since they dubbed this newest release as the faster browser ever, then I assumed that it really was and can carry the weight of the additions from the previous version but I was wrong. However, on the lighter side, there’s a tool called Speedyfox that can turn around a slow loading Firefox browser.

In most Firefox updates, the most common setback has to make your extensions or add-on and themes compatible with the new version. Also, there are cases wherein users encounter the problem of losing all their bookmarks after an upgrade which can be a total nightmare for some. Who wouldn’t think of trying to revert back to the old version in hope of recovering your precious bookmarks and settings?

There are countless of discussion that could be found online on how to revert from a newer version of Firefox to the old version but it seems that most of it tackles the manual procedure of deleting your Firefox profiles when asked during the uninstall process and then deleting some file after the fresh install. It can be tedious and at the same time, confusing.

Isn’t it great if there’s a way to revert your current Firefox version to the older version while at the same time retaining all the extensions, themes and bookmarks in just a few clicks?

Well, there’s a way of doing it and that’s what I’m going to share with you on this post. If you’re not fond of using add-ons then better note this one that I’ll be suggesting as you may need it in the future.

In order to revert your latest Firefox installation to an older version, install FEBE (Firefox Environment Backup Extension) first.

FEBE is an add-on that allows quick and easy backup solutions for your Firefox extensions in just a few clicks. It individually rebuilds extensions into restorable .xpi files that can be used on freshly installed versions which makes it possible to synchronize Firefox installations on multiple computers using the same settings.

FEBE Backup Options 1

FEBE Backup Options 1

Currently this add-on supports Firefox version 3.0 and above. The best thing about this extension is saving you time and frustration from all the hassles of doing manual backups for your bookmarks, extensions, themes and customizations. You can even backup the browser’s cookies, history and form fill history. Also, you can set your download location for the files, schedule a backup while browsing, and host your files via Box.net

FEBE Backup Options 2

FEBE Backup Options 2

FEBE is a great backup add-on every Firefox user must have and it’s way better than OPIE (Ordered Preference Import/Export) although the latter functions the same, it cannot backup preferences and not all extensions.

Have you tried FEBE yet?

Weekend Blog Feature: Potpolitics

October 25, 2009 | By | 2 Replies More

Reading time: 1 – 2 minutes

Today’s blog spotlight features Potpolitics by John Sullivan. If you haven’t known yet, he’s the great guy behind every straight-forward post and thought-provoking ramblings at Potpolitics.com.

I once guest posted on his blog which was also my first time to do one. I was glad that he didn’t reject me although I haven’t really tried guest posting on other blogs other than his. John isn’t the normal kind of blogger that would make your feel small or intimidated despite his blogging successes because he doesn’t have that ego. He’s very vocal as he writes whatever’s on his mind from topics of just about anything. His unique writing style draws him a lot of following.

Messing up with this guy is not a good idea (so don’t ever attempt) but once you are allies with him, then you are sure that he has your support. I’ve made the switch to a do follow blog via his influence but he didn’t convince me at all.

So, what are you waiting for? Head on to Potpolitics.com and see for yourself or follow John on Twitter to check out what he has to say.

Secure Your Blogs: Upgrade to WordPress 2.8.5

October 23, 2009 | By | 4 Replies More

Reading time: 2 – 2 minutes

Just recently, the blogosphere had been targeted by malicious hackers that affected a lot of blogs and created so much hiatus that its effect was felt on Twitter.

I have experienced this scenario since 2.7 and for those who blogged earlier than I do, perhaps since WordPress came into the scene.

Software Critics was once hacked back in June. I didn’t upgrade the WordPress install then to the latest version. Perhaps it was one of the main reasons why this blog’s security was compromised.

Fight php script vulnerabilities and WordPress blog hacking by updating religiously to the latest release version. Now its 2.8.5 and it was announced a few days ago. Among the highlights of the hardening release for this version includes fix for the Trackback Denial-of-Service attack, Removal of some areas within the core code where some php codes had been evaluated, whitelisting of the file upload functionality for all users and admins, and removal of two tag importers from old plugins.

Prevent your WordPress blogs from being hacked by ensuring that you upgrade to the latest release. I’m sure most web hosts have one click upgrade options available for their customers. You may also get the service of WordPress Exploit Scanner plugin to check for suspicious files and unusual filenames on your website. You may also try to use AntiVirus for WordPress for scanning your templates to protect your blog against exploits and spam injections.

Is your blog already upgraded?

Choosing the Right Web Hosting Solution

October 19, 2009 | By | 11 Replies More

Reading time: 1 – 2 minutes

Choosing the most appropriate web hosting solution is crucial to your business and success. I would like to be more particular on choosing the most relevant web hosting service depending on your needs.

There are too many sprouting and fly-by-night web hosting providers lurking on the web so it’s very important that you know who to trust and do business with.

Part of the challenge is choosing the right web hosting package or solution that exactly fits your needs.

Among the types of web hosting include Shared Hosting, which was the most cost-effective and popular package for bloggers; Dedicated Hosting which was more suited for bigger sites and for those who want full control, more flexibility, and responsibility for their websites. VPS Hosting however offers greater power and performance. Managed Hosting is rather suited for those less technically inclined but it’s rather expensive. Reseller Hosting is good for those with the entrepreneurial spirit.

Making a wise decision can be overwhelming at times given these many options. If you are on the verge of indecisiveness, you can head on to web hosting review sites for added guidance. It always pays to be informed.

Have you ever tried consulting web hosting review sites for help?

Free Software to Check If Your Website Is Down

October 17, 2009 | By | 5 Replies More

Reading time: 2 – 3 minutes

Site uptime is very important. It’s a highly significant factor to check in dealing with web hosting companies—their ability to deliver at least a score close to a perfect one hundred.

Who would want to have his website down almost every second yet pay an ample amount? Nobody right?

Since I have had a bitter web hosting experience, I think I’m a better source for tips about things related to web hosting particularly in keeping an eye on your web hosting provider if they are really keeping what they’ve promised.

Without further a do, I would like you to know that you can use a tiny piece of software that will alert you on your desktop once your blog or website becomes unreachable.

SiteUp does the job of making sure you are alerted every time your site is down. This application runs on your system tray and checks your site depending on the monitoring options that you have set.

Alerts are in the form of a pop-up warning message, a balloon hint or through flashing the icon on the tray.

SiteUp is free unlike other website uptime checkers. Among the other information it provides include displaying a message when the site goes back online, a log file when the site become available which is something you can show to your host as a proof, it can be set to auto-start at Windows start-up and check for active Internet connection.

SiteUp Configuration Options

SiteUp Configuration Options

With SiteUp, you can be informed on how your web host is performing—real time. How about you? Do know any free software that does the same? How do you know if your blog/website is down?

End Your Holiday Worries with an Online Gift Cost Splitter

October 16, 2009 | By | 6 Replies More

Reading time: 1 – 2 minutes

Giving gifts for the upcoming holidays which were only a couple of months away can be tough especially in this economic downturn. How much more if you will shoulder the entire cost?

On my quest to find what’s latest, I came across a web service where you can split the cost of a gift you would want to give your special someone with a certain number of people. You can head on to the site for unique christmas gifts and corporate Christmas gifts for your boss and colleagues.

These trying times, you cannot just spend more than what you can earn but for your loved ones, there are brilliant ways where you can still give them the best and make them feel special.

So, head over to edivvy.com to get great ideas for Christmas gifts which will definitely pull off your holiday gift giving plans without sacrificing your budget.

The season of holidays is just around the corner. Why not plan ahead and make the most out of what you have now, who knows, you might find some people who’s willing to split the cost with you.

Have you tried splitting gift cost? What kind of gift did you split cost on?

WordPress 2.9 Beta Testers on Call

October 16, 2009 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 2 minutes

The WordPress Development blog recently posted a call for Beta testers for the 2.9 version of the World’s leading blogging platform.

There are two ways to get involved, first is by signing up to the wp-testers mailing list to keep abreast of the testing progress and to discuss issues with the rest of the testers. Secondly is through bug report submissions by heading over to the Trac ticketing system as well as conducting some searches for patches that needs some testing.

To further facilitate the testing process, WordPress Beta Tester plugin should be installed on a freshly installed WordPress blog and not on an existing installation or a live site.

WordPress 2.9’s first beta release is aimed around the end of October after some finishing touches on the new features of which includes the controversial image editor functionality added within the core when I raised this question to Beau Lebens of Automattic (makers of WordPress) during this year’s WordCamp Philippines.

According to Lebens, this added core feature will not affect the software’s performance in any way contrary to what some developers and power users’ suspect as bloatware since it was just a light addition he mentioned.

We may expect the final release 2.9 build to be available either late November or early December if all goes well in the process.

All members of the WordPress community should take part in this endeavor for everybody’s benefit. So, how are you going to participate? Tweeting this post is one simple gesture of support.

What Is A Virtual Receptionist?

October 15, 2009 | By | 1 Reply More

Reading time: 1 – 2 minutes

Most of you may not be aware that the person you’re talking over the phone is physically located on the other side of the globe. These professionals are often known as Virtual Receptionists.

A Virtual Receptionist normally answers telephone calls and serves as the company’s forerunner to its existing customers and prospective clients. Outsourcing businesses utilize their services for inbound calls management in order to create a good impression.
Call Centers provide extensive training for frontline agents to make sure they are capable of providing impeccable support once they begin taking calls. However, non-native English speakers become a liability instead of an asset when training and support is inadequate.

Businesses implementing this strategy enjoy the benefit of growing their revenue and focus on promoting their products and/or services through aggressive outbound campaigns plus other value-added services like voicemail and email support, and fax-to-email capabilities.

The biggest challenge for businesses here is finding the right company with the same set of values for mutual benefit.

The services provided by Virtual Receptionists can be indispensable for businesses struggling in this economy considering the savings in labor cost that they can get however, choosing the right provider is the key to any outsourcing initiative.

Yahoo Meme Releases API, Now What?

October 14, 2009 | By | 4 Replies More

Reading time: 1 – 2 minutes

This is definitely the moment everybody’s waiting for especially the developers who are eager to come up with apps that’ll make use of the Meme API.

Yahoo offers it Meme open API built on top of Yahoo! Query Language (YQL) platform which will provide the ability to show information related to Meme users—basically their content. Like other APIs, it utilizes OAuth as a mechanism for authorized access to the content they produce. The entire suite of Meme YQL tables allows you to perform actions such as read, publish, repost, follow, unfollow, comment and delete which was also offered on the Meme site.

It’s mobile version for smartphones according to Yahoo was built using Meme’s API. Though Meme is getting some attention in some selected countries including the Philippines, it seems that Yahoo hasn’t figure out which model works best.

The question now leads us to ask if there would be a lot of third party developers who are willing to jump into this Meme bandwagon. What do you think?

Keywordluv Abuse and No Follow Free on Do Follow Blogs

October 13, 2009 | By | 29 Replies More

Reading time: 4 – 7 minutes

When I started using Keywordluv on this dofollow blog, relevant improvements happened—increased number of comments, traffic, and page views. However, I have also noticed that my leniency has got into my limits and is now hunting me down.

Perhaps, I was just a little too unprepared on what exactly I am getting into when I decided to go this way but starting today, I’m making significant and a little tighter changes when approving comments so basically I’m putting up a Comment Policy.

Why do I have to come up with a comment policy when I don’t even plan of doing it ever when I started to blog?

Well, I’m forced to do so and I’m making it clear. Let me tell you what compelled me.

The benefit of getting backlinks through commenting on dofollow blogs is something that commentators should be thankful for especially to the blogger but if it has gone overboard via Keywordluv abuse that’s when you have to draw the line.

It came up to me that there were people abusing Keywordluv by dropping all their keywords as much as they can by using Name@YourKeywords on the name field for the same URL. It was very disrespectful and abusive to the fact that these guys are dragging my site as a link farm!

Another case was this guy using the URL field on the comments form to point to a specific article which was all about dating and that I’m sure his using this blog to get visits for that post. Not to mention people dragging different URLs using the same name and different keywords. Do your business somewhere else!

There was one guy that I’ve spared. He’s doing the same as above although he tried to keep his comments relevant, I just can’t stand the keyword dropping anymore so I just simply edited the name field and removed all the keywords after his name which I’ll do the same for the rest of these guys from the screenshot below:

Keywordluv abuse on blog comments

Keywordluv abuse on blog comments

From now on, I’m not going to tolerate this abuse. I’ve completely removed Keywordluv from this blog and I’ll be implementing a comment policy.

In line with these changes, I’ve also adopted the use of No Follow Free plugin for WordPress. This allows dofollow blogs to control dofollow within the comments only after a commentator has left significant number of comments on your blog.

I’ve had enough of this abuse and these guys need to get a grip of discipline. I’m not taking back dofollow but I’ll be implementing some guidelines that’s for sure will keep this blog free from abusive link dropping and from those people that had been paid to do these link dropping scheme on dofollow blogs who normally left lame and coined comments without getting the gist out of the post.

From now on, I’m placing a Comment Policy which will contain the following guidelines:

  1. No use of keywords on the name field. Strictly nicknames or humanly recognizable names only is allowed. Keywordluv is no longer used so keyword dropping is a no no. Break this or you’ll be mark as spam!
  2. I’m getting the service of an email verifier so I’ll be checking on the email addresses on the name fields for validity. If I find invalid email addresses, I’ll mark it as spam including the IP where it belongs. No Yahoo emails (all extensions) or AOL email addresses allowed in the comment email address field. Rest assured that all emails still remain 100 percent secured.
  3. Offenders caught in the act will have their comment marked spam and submitted to Spam Assassin including their IP address and will totally be banned from this blog including the website IP they represent will be castigated as I’ll report it to your web host for spamming.
  4. Do follow within the comments will only be lifted after 5 (five) approved comments. Five comment attempts within the same day are not allowed and is considered spamming so don’t game the rules!
  5. Spell check and/or grammar check your comments before submitting because I don’t have time to edit those otherwise I’ll delete it and you’ll be wasting your effort.
  6. Using several emails attached to different URLs or Names attached to different emails or any combination thereof will subject your IP to being banned for life.
  7. Stay relevant to the topic and offer your insights to add to the conversation otherwise you’ll end up in the spam together with those guys that are paid to leave comments on dofollow blogs. So clean up those acts!

Giving back to my readers some link love through dofollow and traffic to their sites via Commentluv is an act of appreciation but abusing a good deed has its limitations.

Bloggers who had been on this scenario knows that this has been going on and for once I’ll be holding on some boundaries which I’m sure is clearly understandable.

You can tell me your reactions, suggestions or related experiences on this issue in the comment’s section. Thank you.

Free Album to Manage Your Photos

October 12, 2009 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 1 – 2 minutes

If you’re looking at a very simply application to manage your photos on your computer, here’s one that I found which would definitely do the job—Free Album by PCSleek.

Free Album is an application designed to manage photos from your PC by displaying them into a virtual album format. Like most virtual photo albums, it can support a wide array of graphic formats however the saving function is limited to BMP, JPG, and GIF formats.

It also comes with a separate viewer that shows images and photos that are compiled on a single file.

If you are expecting so much about this small piece of software, then don’t. It’s pretty simple functionality wouldn’t really please you if you’re an intermediate to advanced level user.

And by the way, this app is free to use. You can check it out here.

Windows 7: Laptop Battery Test

October 10, 2009 | By | 11 Replies More

Reading time: 2 – 2 minutes

In 2006, Microsoft prematurely released Windows Vista into the world. The OS met strong criticism after being released with numerous software kinks and high hardware requirements which made it buggy for many older systems. Among laptop users, Windows Vista became infamous for sucking laptop battery power at an alarming rate.

Fast forward to 2009, Microsoft is looking to redeem its former operating system glory with the coming launch of Windows 7. In an effort to avoid a repeat of the Vista debacle, Microsoft has made claims of comprehensive testing and improved energy efficiency for the latest version of the Windows 7 operating system. By using a proprietary technique called coalescing Windows 7 is able to execute a number of regular tasks that require the CPU and allows a laptop to spend more time in low-power mode.

Initial testing of the Windows 7 battery life results have been good, but not great. According to testing performed by Microsoft, users should expect to see a 10 percent to 20 percent improvement in battery life when watching a DVD on Windows 7 instead of Vista. This adds an additional 10 – 20 minutes of movie watching on average.

What does this mean to the casual laptop owner?

If you decide to make the switch to Windows 7, expect to receive a few extra minutes of run time for your laptop. For most users the improved battery efficiency alone won’t warrant a purchase. But if you’re considering the purchase of Windows 7 for any of the other updates this enhancement will be a nice bonus.

Whether Microsoft is serious about energy efficiency or if this is mostly a public-relations move has yet to be seen. But by addressing Vistas’ blunders, Microsoft has at least shown they can learn from past mistakes. Windows 7 is available in stores October, 22nd 2009.

This article is a guest post by David Sterik. He is a fulltime blogger for Priority Electronics. You can contact him at david [dot] sterik [at] gmail [dot] com.

AVG 9.0 Now Out With Improved Features

October 9, 2009 | By | 16 Replies More

Reading time: 2 – 2 minutes

One of the world’s most popular free anti-virus software and its family of free and paid internet security products recently released AVG 9.0 in the market.

AVG promises to deliver significant enhancements in speed and levels of protection on its newest version which I believe is pretty important. In fact, it normally takes 2 hours and 45 minutes to complete a scan on my PC (free version). AVG 9.0 aims to provide ease of use without compromising user experience while consistently providing security protection to its users.

AVG 9.0 targets reduction of up to 50 percent in scan times and improvements of 10 to 15 percent in boot times and memory usage depending on the system’s configuration. By marking the files as safe or unsafe, during the first scan, users can now skip the safe files for future scans unless the file structure changes.

Resident Shield, firewall, and identity protection modules are all integrated in this version which will allow modules to share malware information to each other enabling AVG’s detection ability, malware, rootkits, and ID Theft threats removal accurately especially on computers where signatures have not yet been issued.

Also, AVG 9.0 is set to deliver improved anti-phishing detection through its LinkScanner enhancements which can quickly determine if a certain web page is a phishing site. Provided is the ability to detect whether a certain third-party product interferes or conflicts with your currently installed AVG antivirus.

The software company also introduced the AVG Identity Theft Recovery Unit (ITRU), a dedicated service to offer free support for AVG customers in the US who has been a victim of identity theft that is accessible through the AVG Security Toolbar.

These promising additions really make AVG unique from a plethora of antivirus softwares available and is something to look forward to as my computer was then saved by AVG from the Conficker virus.

Online Anonymity and Privacy Protection Offered By IP Privacy

October 7, 2009 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 4 minutes

Online security has always been the target of all unscrupulous entities no matter how we try to protect it but we always have the choice—fight them or be vulnerable.

There are enormous selections of tools available online that provides security protection and identity concealment through IP proxies. These IP proxies hides the user’s identifying tracks to prevent data collection from websites such as location, operating system , browsing habits and other identifiable information that a user wants to keep.

As proxy sites allow anonymous browsing over the Internet on a secured network where access to certain sites are not allowed, an IP concealment software however switches your machine’s local IP by routing its traffic to foreign proxies which IP Privacy software does best.

IP Privacy allows you to select an array of new proxies (foreign proxies) to test and browse anonymously. There are two main modes available—enable online anonymity and enable privacy modes.

Enabling the online anonymity mode will hide your real IP address while enabling privacy mode will block invasive codes like Java script and ActiveX on visited web pages plus the online privacy option within the IP Privacy settings offers time-framed online track erasures such as Internet History, Cookies, typed URL, Temporary Internet files, forms and online passwords.

I have tested the IP Privacy software on this blog which uses the Visitor Maps and View Who’s Online WordPress plugin (which tracks website visitors location, IP, and specific pages viewed) and it’s amazing that my local IP routes to a foreign country. It really does its purpose along side its user-friendly interface which makes it easy to maneuver.

Unfortunately, this is a shareware so it’s limited to a 3-day trial only use. Requires full license based on annual subscription. I was just lucky that they contacted me to try this nifty tool.

For further information about its features, you may visit IP Privacy Features page. Immediate download is available by clicking this link. Questions and comments on this program is much welcome.

Can Google Translate Replace WordPress Translation Plugins?

October 6, 2009 | By | 8 Replies More

Reading time: 3 – 5 minutes

Optimizing your site for a wider audience would definitely need translation gadgets or plugins to carry out the job. While this seems as a good idea, it cannot in any way replace human translations.

Although this can help increase your website traffic, this is generally not the total solution to a perfect translation. Gadgets such as Google Translate, Transposh Translation Filter, and N2H are just there to provide the gist on what a certain page has but could also make it seem gibberish unless the reader is a native speaker of the language.

When I came across this information, I can’t resist myself not to make a comparison of both translation apps and here are my findings.

Webpage Translation by Google Translate

Webpage Translation by Google Translate

The image above shows the page translation done by Google Translate. Notice that the top of the page shows a slider from Google with a drop down option of all 51 languages available for translation.

If you hover over the paragraphs, they become highlighted in light yellow and show a dialogue box of the actual translated text.

Based on my test, after translating the home page of this blog, I went ahead to my “contact” page and it was also translated successfully. One notable thing though is the permalink of the translated page which was not that very attractive like this one,
http://softwarecritics.info/contact-us/#googtrans(en|es).

Notice the translated texts compared to the succeeding plug-in’s translation with some slight differences.

Web page translation by Transposh Translation Filter Plugin for WordPress

Web page translation by Transposh Translation Filter Plugin for WordPress

With Transposh Translation Filter, translation is carried out by choosing from either the drop down option or small flag images on a page utilizing the plugin (which is configurable via the plugin’s settings in admin).

Transposh Translation filter does not have the hover effect unlike Google Translate but they clearly outwitted Google via this pretty permalink generated on a particular translated page like this, http://softwarecritics.info/es/contact-us/ via its rewrite URL functionality.

Note that Google Translate API was used to run the former with an added option to utilize Bing (MSN) Translation using a key since the service is still in Beta.

The advantage of Google Translate however, is that the codes are embeddable on web pages capable of javascript (see code below).

<div id=”google_translate_element”></div><script>
function googleTranslateElementInit() {
new google.translate.TranslateElement({
pageLanguage: ‘en’
}, ‘google_translate_element’);
}
</script><script src=”http://translate.google.com/translate_a/element.js?cb=googleTranslateElementInit”></script>

Translation-wise, Google Translate slightly wins over Transposh Translation Filter plugin for rendering the localized version of this blog’s pages at least in my own native language, the Filipino.

The latter however is not adaptive to WordPress.com and Blogspot.com blogs but like I said, the pretty permalink gives them the edge over the other.

If you were to choose between the two, which one to do you think is better? Would you go after an SEO-friendly translated URL or a well-translated page?

Moving Ahead After Webhosting Hassles

October 2, 2009 | By | 9 Replies More

Reading time: 4 – 6 minutes

Many things that have happened these past few days are unfavorable. While these things are something inevitable like the horrifying tropical depression Ondoy that submerged most parts of Metro Manila and its neighboring provinces thus taking away many lives and properties is an earthly ordeal completely out of our control.

On the other hand, if your web host simply cannot deliver the service that they promise even for an additional cost on your part is another story. Here, you can control the situation based on your choices. At the peak of the storm, we’ve had an electrical outage which lasted for days starting on the 26th. When I dropped by to a relative’s house to check things out—emails, website stats and performance and feed updates; I’ve noticed that this blog is down.

I immediately contacted my previous host (since I’ve already transferred hosting a couple of days at this time of writing) to check my site, the chat agent that I’ve worked on did something about it. The result however makes matters worse since it’s no longer showing up instead its home URL redirects to the WordPress installation page.

According to the agent and support emails, they can no longer restore the site backup on their end but that was the same chat agent that often screw up on all matters technically related and once and for all, numerically incompetent to do simple arithmetic when I upgraded my plan. The most annoying thing is they also downgraded my plan back to where it was considering that it has been paid. The downgrade has left my add-on site down as well!

My complete hopelessness for a resolution pushed me to ask a refund for the amount I paid to upgrade the hosting plan. That’s the time when they’ve deleted all my support tickets without even resolving each one. I’ve tried not to be rude but it didn’t work for me.

So, my last hope was to file a dispute with Paypal. My previous host counter offered a transfer of server but it’s not going to help. They kept my money for the upgrade but then downgraded my account after screwing up big time until I’ve reached the point to draw the line.

This isn’t good business and if they don’t need my business, I’d rather go somewhere else where my business is valued. It’s a good thing that through Paypal dispute, my money was refunded although they still owe me part of what I’ve paid for the entire year of hosting other than just the upgrade amount, but that’s fine. I hope that extra money will help them clean up their act or help them pack up because they will run out of business anytime soon.

To all web hosting businesses, screwing up your customers isn’t a good idea and keeping a bunch of idiots on your support and/or chat team wouldn’t help your case. It’s a good thing that I got refunded but may be that’s because I have dropped the Better Business Bureau’s name on my Paypal dispute that made it possible.

I’ve learned my lesson and had given up too many chances and so much time to prove themselves in the span of three months but unfortunately, they blew it.

I rarely even rant about stuff on this blog but this recent incident really triggered me to do so. It’s not that I’m trying to bring someone in bad sight, I’m just here sharing my experience and venting out my horrible ordeal in the hands of an unscrupulous web hosting provider.

For those of you who share the same sentiments or have experienced similar web hosting problems, do share your stories in the comments section and don’t hesitate to name drop those bad hosting providers so they would know where to pick up themselves.

I almost forgot, after getting my refund, they’ve completely removed access to my cPanel without notice which made this blog down for further hours almost three days total blackout.

I wasn’t really savvy at backing up (just being honest here) so I forgot to download the WordPress folders—wp-admin, wp-content, etc. Good thing is I have the XML file I’ve exported from my previous WordPress admin so I just simply uploaded it back here.

The bad thing is most of my images are stored in the previous host’s server so please spare me for all the broken images on this site, I’m doing a fresh upload from my computer and hosting the images outside my web server so it won’t happen again.