This week’s internet cruising:
- Christopher Hawkins – Necessary Rudeness and the Effective Use of Your Time – I love this: "I will go so far as to say that if you are not 100% unavailable for at least 2 hours a day, you probably aren't getting much done that's of any importance." I like the idea of saying, "5 minutes now or 30 minutes by appointment later," but unfortunately, everyone I work with thinks their stuff will only take 5 minutes. …I don't understand that.
- Christopher Hawkins – 11 Clients You Need To Fire Right Now – My favorite line: "We're white-collar professionals, not street thugs." Nuff said. Fo' sho.
- How to Detect a Toxic Customer | Software by Rob – Speak on it, brotha. "And while you (luckily) won’t encounter many toxic customers during your lifetime, after the first few you learn how to identify and gracefully step away when you see them coming. This is because toxic customers are not just a hassle, they can chew up support time, cost you money, damage your reputation by posting to Twitter/forums/review sites, and stress you to the point of wanting to commit an act of violence on yourself or others."
- Keyboard shortcuts interfering with Gmail — Ctrl Shift to Highlight – Firebug | Google Groups – Now I know why I can't select words in gmail or gdocs using my keyboard. Firebug shortcuts are interfering.
- DS9 D & D Alignments – Very nice 3×3 of the alignment of major DS9 characters.
- Podrunner: Intervals – Free Workout Music for 8K Training – This may become my next training program, if I opt to push for distance rather than speed. 8k is roughly 5 miles, which is about where I want to be.
This week’s internet cruising:
- Ottawa school board to ask students if they are gay – The Globe and Mail – This is a little weird. Ottawa is going to ask parents of elementary students and middle/high school students themselves about their sexual orientation. Toronto evidently did this already, and "students weren't bothered by it".
- How to Protest the TSA and Ruin Thanksgiving in One Easy Step — The Good Men Project Magazine – "Oh, and November 24 is the day before Thanksgiving—one of the busiest travel days of the year. That means anyone who chooses to dodge those full-body radiation sarcophagi of X-rated mayhem will gum up the security line quicker than an artery after a McRib sandwich."
- Importing existing visitor stats from Google Analytics to Piwik — jaymz.eu – A handy tutorial for extracting GA data and getting it into Piwik. Only covers unique daily visits, but is plenty for comparing rough values. As I commented there, I had to drop an additional set of tables than what jaymz suggests.
- Is Realistic UI Design Realistic? | Aaron Weyenberg – Very awesome look at the limits of "Realistic" UI design practices.
This week’s internet cruising:
- Living Like a Millionaire on Pennies a Day – "Now, I’m not talking about racking up thousands of dollars in consumer debt, or buying fancy cars and houses. I’m talking about something more valuable than that: having time. The only pre-requisite to living like a millionaire is being able to overcome your fear of uncertainty."
- Google: Google Street View Cars Sniffed Wi-Fi Networks | News & Opinion | PCMag.com – "Google Inc said its fleet of cars responsible for photographing streets around the world have for several years accidentally collected personal information that consumers send over wireless networks." Good job, Google. I'd completely slept on this until I saw this article about Canada ripping Google a new one.
- SEO for Bing Versus Google – Nice overview of differences. Unfortunately, of course, the differences are all described from an end-user perspective; I've love to see what's really under the hood of both Bing and Google.
- Apple Mac App Store Review Guidelines Hints “No Java” In Lion’s – Oh, boy. The potential for wrong-doing here is immense, if not managed properly. I'd also seen something about non-app store apps not getting full OS access, although I can't find a source for that anymore, so it was possibly (hopefully) just a rumor.
- The Keyboard Cult – For those who love their mechanical keyboards, here you go: an ode to keyboards. Plus, a good dig on developers who can't type (quickly). I know one full-day developer who doesn't type quickly or well. I take him "seriously", certainly, but I wonder at how much better and more productive he could be if he typed faster.
- Hawthorne Cottage – Chunky Yarns – Pretty…
- flash.utils.Proxy (ActionScript 3.0) – Um, this is really cool. Just sayin'.
If you want to exclude your own visits to your site from Google Analytics on a per-computer or per-session basis, searching will land you on Google’s help page: How do I exclude internal traffic from reports?. Problem is, the code there doesn’t work with Google’s new-ish asynchronous tracking code. There is no “pageTracker” object any longer, so that’ll throw a nice little error.
The replacement for “pageTracker” is to push the custom variable onto the _gaq object, per the new standards.
To get this working, make a new, simple HTML page, just including the basics to make the page validate. Include your standard-issue Google tracking code in the head, like so:
Continue reading Excluding Hits from Google Analytics
Last week, I started playing around with a project to create my own (Python) site search, including a crawler and Whoosh-based search. I’d seen the implementation of a Lucene search in Zend go fairly easy-peasy, and liked the idea of a self-hosted search.
Problem is–well, one of the problems is–the crawl time for a site with 1200 posts (most of which are low-priority) is a deal-breaker on a shared hosting provider. It takes far longer than 5 minutes just to collect the links, even with multiple threads. Add the parse time to get indexable content for 1200 pages, and I was stuck contemplating how to crawl and index the site in parts.
This sounds like a great, fun, project. …Except that it’s already been done and I have other things I’d rather be doing. Google did it; their index for my site updates surprisingly quickly and doesn’t make me afraid that Dreamhost will smite me. (I’ve been with Dreamhost for several years now, and while I’ve learned how to properly deploy a site since moving here from… Brinkster, was it?, I don’t relish the idea of learning a new environment for all the stuff I run here.)
So instead of the 4-5 hours I’d spent screwing with the Ikea-esque assembly of a site crawler and search, I spent two this week really making Google’s Custom Search Engine (CSE) work for me. Yes, there are ads. Yes, it’s not a solution that I own. (Then again, neither is my email, in that sense.)
Continue reading Search-building: custom or Google