Category Archives: Web

The incredible power of Google


Do you have any idea what Google could end up knowing about us?

They offer free web searching, free email, free calendars, free spreadsheets, free word processing, free mapping… and we use them! A lot! And soon, Google Payments.

So what does Google get for this? Ad revenues, to be sure. But what they really get is information. They can know what you email about, when you’ve got plans, where they are, if you know how to get there, and soon what you spend money on. This plus whatever they glean about you by scrounging the web in general.

I dunno… no news here, I guess… just strikes me as awesome, kinda in the old fashioned scary sense.


Not the dance; the CMS.

I am setting up some sites using it, and as I dug in, I found some of the generated html code to be – as I described to my client – hideous. (Sorry Mambo guys… just not my style.)

**But,** I hopped online and posted my woes to their forum, and got a really good answer back. What I would change is something core to the system, which would mean everytime my client would update their Mambo installlation, my changes would get wiped out. But they planned ahead, and allowed a way for me to keep such custom files safely tucked away in the template folder. Very cool. Nice work Mambo guys!

Google bans website? Probably not as evil as it seems.


There’s a little chatter out there concerning a site I’d never heard of called [The People’s Cube][2]. They appear to have been banned by Google. Since they are apparently a politically right-leaning site, conspiracy theories flew and the apparent banning [drew more attention][1]. But it seems most likely they simply got caught doing a sneaky little thing to boost their search engine rankings.

Search engines “read” web pages to see what’s in them. But, in general, they aren’t good readers, and can be fooled by putting words in the page and then “hiding” them using things like CSS. But those words may make the search less effective, so Google sometimes manually removes web sites that do that to help ensure reliable search results.

There’s a good description of what probably happened [here][3]. And a cached version at Yahoo! is [here][4], where my geek friends can look at the source code.

Note to self: No sneaky SEO tricks.

Google Pages – Free, web page building and hosting


I have this image of Google as a benevolent servant robot from 1940s science fiction that is ever-learning what its masters want and cheerfully providing it. Until, one day, its brilliant master plan becomes evident only via the repentant hindsight of mankind’s subjugation.

That said, hey, look at this [cool new thing Google’s built][1]! ([via][2]) Google Page Creator, which will allow you to build and host web pages for free. I’m sure there are other services like this, but there are other map services, too, and “Google Maps is the best!” “True that!” “[Double True!][3]”

It’s down momentarily right now, but I’m going to play with this later. Stay tuned, fellow Google-food.

Brilliant CSS application

[Xyle Scope][1] is pretty much everything I’ve ever wanted in a CSS app. Minus the little feature requests I’ve now already asked for. :)

A great tool for examination and troubleshooting, learning, and live editing and correcting. Exporting reformatted style sheets is sweet. I will finally be cracking open my legendarily tight wallet and ponying up for this one. Perhaps only my second shareware ever. The first? [CD Finder][2].

It beats Mozilla’s Web Developer because it shows pre-rendered CSS. It beats GoLive because it’s on live, post-PHP pages. Nice cascade display. Nice DOM views. It’s ginger peachy.

What is it about Germans and the great software? (I’m including [Adobe GoLive][3] in that, Jens, Lars, Veronika, et al.)