Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Coming soon.. Google announcing its first open source Mobile OS

This is considered as a big step in the software industry. This mobile OS will be OpenSource in order to allow developers to hook into specefic hardware features In exchange Google will put some specefic ads. Moreover, Google will integrate his web services in it as Gmail, YouTube and Google Maps.

The new OS will have impacts in the mobile OS market. Specially because of being Open source and that will attract most developers those who will work on add-ons and some creative applications. Second, the new OS will be compatible for most applications and will allow any code contrarely to other OS which block competing software and prevent it from running.

This OS is having great echoes arround the world, specially with handset markers and carriers. LG is working on a hardware that will suit the OS. Implementing the software in most hardware will take time.. Google won't rush to launch the full Software because the longer he waits the better the software will be. It has to suit ever kind of device so they will be sure that the OS will be a great success.

I think Google is taking the Open source / proprietary software war to the mobile front. My predictions for this software that it will follow the Firefox model. It will attract the attention of some creative developpers and they will make some astonishiing apps that will attract the crowd and make them install it on their phones. I guess that some constructers won't accept to buy their products with Google's software with it because of their attachements with giant mobile software developers ( such as Symbian) but that won't be a problem since hacks are made to make able to format and setup the software with out losing the hardware capabilities.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Facebook ..The solution for Microsoft Network losses

Microsoft Network is having great problems... msn.com was a great way for Microsoft to publish its products but.. Google is taking over now.. the msn search engine, the Hotmail all of them are left behind by most people.
Microsoft is very disappointed with its Online services which were marked by great losses , up to 264 million dollar despite of the sales rise by 25% and 33% of ads income. Here comes the role of Microsoft strategists. Microsoft made a deal with Facebook to provide advertising. Microsoft invested 240 million dollar, is it a good deal ? Will it get something back from that..?

Actually, Microsoft has already lost a deal with Myspace against Google for the same purpose. For the notice, Myspace is the number 1 social networking site ever. But MS didn't put hands down and looked for a deal with No.2. They don't want to see Google "The only man standing" in this field. I guess they're afraid of a potential Web monopoly from Google that could affect the future of Microsoft.

The duration of this deal is ti 2011. Facebook is counting over 50 million user and getting about 250 000 new subscribers every day. If Facebook keep these rates they will be having more than 300 million users by the end of this deal duration. Microsoft is counting of this deal for more targeted advertising.

Huge Pagerank updates..

I'm very happy to see my PageRank jauge coloured in Green !! My PR jumped from 0 to 4 after only two months of blogging.. Sounds wierd doesn't it ?
This huge change is caused by the changes in Google PR algorithm which is trying to fight paid links. There are many programs of selling links where you get paid to link to a certain website using some targeted keywords. This will increace the PageRank of the website so he can get a great deal of visitors from search engines. As a result, Links in first pages will be for those who pay more. Google is responsible of keeping his search results meaningful and ranked for their content not for their money power.
Blogs are a big links market, so google started to penalize bloggers for selling links. That meant a full blogs reviews by spiders. At the same time, good content bloggers were rewarded by some PR points.

Losing PR is bad for your blog, it affects your traffic because you will not hit the first pages of google search. At the same time Paid links make good revenue for bloggers. So we are between two choices. It's really confusing...!

Some ProBloggers see that we should forget about the PageRank and keep on improving our blog content. PR isn't everything and Google isn't the only source of traffic. We shouldn't make the PR enslave us. If it improves ok, if it doesn't keep on working and make your blog your piece of art where you can satisfy yourself and gain more readers to you thoughts.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Every Linux fan must have : Revolution OS

It's a documentary about the birth of GNU/linux, Free Software and the Open Source mouvment. It contains interviews with the most important actors fo the revolution in the software industry as Linus Torvalds, Richard Stallman, Bruce Perens, Eric Raymond, Brian Behlendorf, Michael Tiemann, Larry Augustin, Frank Hecker, and Rob Malda.

The film describes the whole stroy. From the first steps of Richard Stallman in Unix labs to the rise of the Open Source mouvment and its impact. It also explain the philosophy of the Free software mouvment and presents the Open Source definition.

The film illustre the war between both proprietary software partisants and opponents. Bill Gates's thoughts about free software and the impact of this philosophy on great firms like Netscape. As well as new type of firms of paid support and their great success.

I recommend this film to every fan of the Open Source mouvment. It's essential to understant the whole story. You can watch it in direct streaming or command a DVD.

October 2007 : busy month for Linux distributions

October 2007 was marked by a great activity of the linux distribution developers.. The release of new version of different distributions.

The beginning was with the OpenSUSE 10.3 released on Thursday 4th of October 2007.
The new OpenSUSE uses:

  • Linux 2.6.22
  • The updated KDE 3.5.7 with a preview of the KDE 4 BETA 2.
  • The newest GNOME 2.20 with the colors of SUSE.
  • Start up time optimized to 24 seconds.
  • The Compiz-Fusion Desktop design
  • GTK YaST : a control panel for hardware, connections, packages...
  • 1-Click Install, or YaST Metadata Package: the new innovation of Novell, which consists on simplifying the install process of packages from complexes codes to one click.
  • OpenOffice.org 2.3.

The announcement of the new OpenSUSE.

One week later :

Mandriva Linux 2008
An RPM distribution developed by the French Firm : Mandriva
The price of this new version is 39€ and the access to the Mandriva club is free.. That means you can get free support.
The new Mandriva contains :
  • Linux
  • Firefox 2.0
  • Thunderbird 2.0
  • Compiz Fusion 0.5.2
  • draknetcenter : to manage different networks and connections.
The official download page
The mandriva Club

We previously talked about the Ubuntu Gutsy gibbon 7.10 which is considered as new step to a Linux "that just works". The release was in the 18th of October 2007.

GG7.10 contains new features we already talked about them.. The most important ones are :

  • The mobile and embedded version : a new step to the mobile Linux
  • Linux 2.6.22
  • CompizFuzion
  • X.org 7.3
As a conclusion, we remark some common parts in these new versions which are the use of the new Linux 2.6.22. It's really essential for those distribution to update their Linux kernel in order to get most drivers installed which still a problem with all Linux distros. The popularity of Compiz Fusion made all distributions use it. The same thing with the new Gnome and KDE.
I think that what urges developers to release a new version is to improve compatibility with most hardware which is usually assured by the Linux and some other features like X.org.
Second, Desktop designers are making a great job to increase Linux users. There are many Linux newbies who started to explore the Linux world after watching a video about the power of Compiz or Beryl in Youtube for example. Developers are using this point to prouve that their distribution is compatible with the desktop designs and they install it for them in order to get the attention of Linux newbies.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Thoughts on the new Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon 7.10 : a revolutionary Ubuntu

"No summer vacations!" This is the least of what we can say about the work done by ubuntu developers, authors of the new Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon 7.10. The developers didn't wait so much after the great success of Ubuntu Feisty Fawn and its integration with some dell products. Ubuntu developers were so determined to put the Beta version download link in the same day of the last release of Feisty fawn..

Ubuntu 7.10 features overview :

The new ubuntu seems to be revolutionary in many ways:

The desktop revolution
Gutsy Gibbon will be the first Ubuntu that uses the Compiz fusion desktop : a merged Compiz and Beryl porject which will be installed by default.It will also ship with it the latest version of GNOME 2.12.0 : actually the Ubuntu 7.10 BetaRelease was one week after the release of the new GNOME. Moreover, Kubuntu will be using KDE 3.5.7 the latest KDE desktop with the possibility of installing the KDE 4.0 RC2 packages. It will also use the new GNOME 2.12.0 . Actually the GG betaRelease was one week after the new GNOME release.

Better Hardware support :

It will use the Xorg 7.3 for a better Graphic card integration.
the new Kernel 2.6.22

First steps in the mobile world :
Powered by Intel, Ubuntu is walking with strong steps in the Mobile OS battle. We all know that the Linux's part in the Mobile market place is too small compared to the giants Symbian and Palm. Even Windows Mobile edition had some credits. So it's time for linux to get forward in this field. Intel want Ubuntu Os in her future mobile computing devices so they're collaborating to make some improvements and the new Ubuntu Mobile and Embedded edition is a good step so far.

Ubuntu Server edition :
Servers are the shining point of almost all Linux distributions. The new GG7.10 will empower his server with the " Novel's AppArmor security framework".

The coperation with giant hardware constructors (Dell and Intel) gived Ubuntu a great push forward. I think the future is hiding a better future for Linux specially in the Mobile Software.

Pidgin : Multi-platform Instant messaging client

I was an MSN messenger user for years, I was very angry everytime they ask me for a new version. They did it very often and I was obliged to download the new version with my slow network connection. Actually, MSN messenger developers found many bugs to correct, there is no harm with that but what is so annoying is to publish the new version without taking all the time to explore more bugs and correct it. The worst is to oblige people to download the new version. What if they're using dial ups and they can't afford the dowload time ! When MSN messenger 8 beta was released it was a real mess. It was like almost every week a new version to download !!
So MSN was very buggy, bugs in instant messengers are fatal! Because any privacy intrusion could turn your life to a nightmare. ( hacked bank accounts, hacked email passwords etc..) So we should put our security in the first place.

How many popular Instant messnegers? let's count : Msn, Yahoo!, ICQ, Google Talk, AIM ... and more. Imagine if you got friends in all these and you want to load them all together in one contact list. Would it be possible with Yahoo messenger or MSN messenger ? NO, or at least let's say not yet. I think these guys are more thinking about competition than satisfying their clients. Ok, you'll say yahoo messenger is compatible with MSN messenger and yahoo seems so happy with it he keeps on announcing " Yahoo is compatible with your msn !!" But let me tell you this : They are not 100% compatible. They're just talking about importing your msn contacts to yahoo! (and the oppositec) the IM software showed many bugs. Like the emoticans sending : If you put an emotican with your MSN messenger to a yahoo messenger he will recieve nothing !
Ok, enough talking about these bugging IM. Let's find a solution for our needs. You want to load all your contacts for ICQ and GoogleTalk and so on in one list you should use GAIM : it's the former name of the Pidgin free software. It's a multi-platform instant messaging client using different messaging protocols. Chatting is more interesting with Pidgin. I recommend it to every body. It's free software under the GNU General public liscence. click here to download.

Supported protocols ( by Wikipedia) :

  • .NET Messenger Service (a.k.a. MSN)
  • OSCAR (AIM/ICQ/.Mac)
  • XMPP (Jabber, Google Talk)
  • Gadu-Gadu
  • Internet Relay Chat
  • MySpaceIM
  • Novell GroupWise
  • OpenNAP
  • SILC
  • Yahoo!
  • Zephyr
  • Lotus Sametime (previously supported by the third party gaim-meanwhile plugin)
  • QQ (previously supported by the third-party OpenQ plugin)
  • Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) (at the moment only with chat function)

Limits and criticisms:
Pidgin is almost perfect, it doesn't support Video and audio conversations. Actually it's planned by pidgin authors. We can imagine how difficult this task to accomplish with all messaging protocols but still as dark point of this software. It's also criticized for saving password in readable text files which could put the user privacy at risk but the authors are convinced that "they won't give a false illusion of security" by doing encrypted files ( because they can be broken too).


Related links:
Pidgin official website
Wikipedia Pidgin article

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Best Webmastering tools : Joomla! cms

Are you thinking about building a website but you don't have enough resources to hire a web developer and designer. You don't have to worry about anything anymore. Since Content managment systems are ever improving their features, everybody can manipulate cms and build his own website with magnificent designs ! One of the most powerful cms is "Joomla!" an Open Source and free cms, an award-winning (best Opensource cms 2006). Moreover Joomla have a lare helping community and easy tutorials.

What can this cms offer ?
It has many features. You can easily create your members accounts, manage uploaded files, nice gallery presentations. New extensions can be integrated to the cms allowing new functionalities such as the Wikibot : creates wikitags witch generate links to wikipedia articles. Not to mention that Joomla is coded in a friendly way with search engines.

Joomla! community
This is the first place where you should look if you have any problems. there are over 1,030,238 Posts in 204,419 Topics by 137,604 Members and counting !!It contains many topics in several languages.
Unofficilal sites offer affordable help bu buying ebooks and extentions. Joomla! has created arround her a huge community of paid and free assitance. The fact of being an OpenSource software made joomla improve rapidly and have over 1900 extentions !
Webhoster are offering new packs called " Joomla! packs" It's a dedicated webhosting service with free Joomla! assistance.

Joomla! book
let's be honest it's not free, but cheap. Among all ebooks this is the best one.

Related links:
Wikipedia article about Joomla!
Joomla! Forum

Joomla! homepage

Shopping cart software : what you should know before you pick one !

Nowadays, E-commerce is marking huge development thanks to the flexibility of the ever-improving ecommerce software. Before we propose some solutions this is what every e-merchant should wonder about to make his business work :

It's the most important thing to care about. We don't want to have our bank accounts hacked or our products sent without any money in return. So a good shopping cart Software is a secure one.

Flexibility :
Your Shopping cart software should be easy to set up and to manage. Nice looking designs in order to attract costumers. Before you choose your Software view its testimonials. Make sure that it's Search engine Friendly so you can get your products more potential visitors.

Tech support and customer service :
You have to make sure you get assistance whenever you need it because you don't want to lose a customer for a simple technical bug!

Integration with banks :
Make sure that your Shopping cart software is integrated with major banks and can easily manipulate paying process with Paypal, Visa and Master Card.

It has to be affordable !
You don't want to have a big monster that cuts almost all your money for allowing you to sell on the net! Hosting fees should be small.

Recommended solution :
So we have to find a software that fits all these criteria and we recommend Ashop : an award winner shopping cart software which provides you several features.
The pricing is between $69/Month to $349/Month with a ten days free trial.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Monetize your blog with Smorty :

Most of bloggers are trying so hard to make money through their blogs. They keep on writing and trying to gain more traffic to capture a click or two on their text ads. Then they feel depressed when all these hours spent on that blog didn't pay well..
Now all that is just an old story ! With Smorty every post you write worth money. Smorty pays bloggers to write about a product and link back to its URL. It offers 6$ as a minimum for an article and that makes blogging a more efficient activity ! You can improve your earning through it once you promote your blog and make it get a better PageRank. Having a better blog can get you a 100$ per opinion post. What makes Smorty intresting is that they pay you weekly through your paypal account.

How does it work :
first of all, a PayPal account is obligatory to get your earnings. Then you submit your blog, after less than 72 hours they will inform you if your blog is approuved. Then you can log in and pick some tasks and write about them then submit for approval, it can take to 5 days to accept your post.

Smorty is useful for advertisers too. blog advertising is effective since it has loyal readers and a huge audience. So you can get real visitors and custumors if you are linked by someone who have credibility and several readers. You gain also important linkbacks that can improve your Pagerank. To advertise on blogs you are requierd to pay a minimum of 10$ per post. They higher amount you pay the better blogs you get linking for you.

In conclusion, I feel that Smorty is a heaven for newbie who want to get paid to blog and an efficient tool for advertisers. I highly recommend it for both bloggers and adervtisers.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Blogspot .. advantages and Drawbacks

"Blogger" the newly customized blogging service made by google. Millions of bloggers around the world are using it. all google's blogs are under the "blogspot" domain. This free service is famous between bloggers but still have many limits and drawbacks.

Advantages :

  • The blog templates are coded in a way that they're well viewed by the Google's search engines. So we can consider this as an advantage since your blog will get much traffic from google if you're using his templates. In fact the blog is easily crawled by spiders and any new keywords you use will be rapidly saved.
  • Blogger is flexible with all kind of entries like the bookmarking tools in footers and RSS subscription like FeedBurner.
  • Easy comments moderation and posts edition.
  • Adsense blends better and easily with blogspot, you will just allow you're template to be connected to your adsense account then blend the ads will be blended automatically with the background. You can easily put ads after every post. You don't have to get the code from your adsense account.

Drawbacks :

  • The dot blogspot subdomain can affect the image of your blog when it comes to advertisers to choose where to advertise for their products. Actually, it's not only about Blogger but it's the drawback of having a free domain name..
  • Unlike other Blogging templates themes, blogspot's aren't really beautiful. You can do a better presentation with WordPress. Moreover, the columns are difficult to manipulate; you can hardly get three columns with blogspot while it's easy with wordpress..

So if you're hesitating whether use it or not , this is the whole story.
Or if you're a blogspot user let's share what you liked about it and what you disliked...

Monday, October 08, 2007

How to get dugg.. more diggs = more traffic

Digg.com is a huge bookmarking community where a great number of bloggers meet to read posts and "digg" their articles to get more visitors to their blogs. Digg dot com is becoming a very famous website and it maintains crediblity because it uses a certain "voting" process to best articles. The better the article is the most is it dugg !! If you're not member yet you should do it now !

If you're already a member of Digg you must have already met the problem.. It's how to get dugg and dugg to hit the homepage or at least be in first pages for a while.. I learned some tips about it and it's time to share it :

Integrate the digg button to your posts :
Try to make it easier for people to digg you. Integrate the digg button in every post you make. It's easier if you're using a blogger or a Wordpress cms. You have just to paste the code given by the "digg-tools" in every post footer. It's better if you put it next to the title because most surfers don't get to the end of your page.

Put attractive titles and descriptive texts :
Try to attract digg readers by attractive titles that showing like "how to ", "best 10 tips...". don't put classic and non informative titles. In the small descriptive text about your post try to be funny and controversial. Motivate readers to click and find out what is it all about.

Ask your friends to digg : That can't increace your points and make you rank better

Join digging Bloggers network and exchanges diggs. Ask them to digg your favourite articles and digg them back in return. I use the "stumle group" in BlogCatalog. I feel free to ask people to digg me and bookmark me.. It's a good place for a "shamless blog promotion".

Create a nice profile , put an avatar and don't hang arround with an unknown shadow. Make your pseudo and avater funny. Add friends they will get "suspecious" and add you back.. comment other posts .. Be active that will give you a better image to diggers.

Timing matters .. try to submit your posts early in the morning because it's when people are free to read...

Now would you be gentile and digg it for me :p

Friday, October 05, 2007

Alexa ranking : is it Important ? How to improve it ?

I was looking in seo forums about ways of improving my Alexa rank, I was stunned when I found seo people aren't interested in that rank. I read answers like "what would you need that for? It's not that accurate so it's just silly to do anything about it." but there are more than one reason to prove that Alexa rank is important.

Why is it important ?
I was frustrated to get kicked from Review me and Text ads links for lack of alexa rank!! May be I submitted my blog a bit too early in such affiliate programs. The moral of the story here is alexa rank is used to measure the value of advertising on your website. Look at this picture. Text ads link use alexa rank to sort blogs to the advertiser. So let us take it for granted now : you have to improve your Alexa rank !!

How does Alexa work ?
It's controversial. Everybody is criticizing alexa's way to rank websites. In fact, it's based on the number of visitors that surf on a certain domain using the alexa toolbar ! As we can see here, Website dealing with webmastering and have a great web savvy audience are more likely to get better ranking because most of their visitors use this bar. The main idea here is that alexa ranking can't be accurate, but as webmasters we have to deal with it.

How to improve my alexa rank ??
If you have one visitor per day. You have to make Alexa know abour him when he open your page!! So you have to :

Sensitize your audience about the importance of alexa rank by writing articles about its importance and ways of improving alexa rank.

Urge your visitors to setup alexa's toolbar: It's efficient , try to put a download link of the alexa's firefox add on you website. If you succeed to convince most of your readers to install this bar you'll see how your rank will grow up rapidly.

Put alexa rank widget in your website : don't be ashamed if your rank is way too far. putting this widget is important because everytime your page will load the widget will ping your domain into the alexa rank counter and that will make them feel that you have visitors.

Set up alexa navigation bar in every computer that comes on your hand. then bookmark your website as the home page. specially in cyber cafés . I know it sounds silly but it works. Maybe your URL will hang on as home page for days before somebody would change it.

Finally, be patient, as your traffic grows your alexa rank will boost rapidly in first millions but once you hit the top 100k the competition gets a bit more difficult. let's say it's an imperfect word, where such an inaccurate ranking tool would affect the monetizing of websites but we have to deal with that. The first step to take is to set up the navigation bar NOW !

Promote your blog with Blog carnivals

As bloggers, we deal with many challenges to promote our blog. It's all about making more traffic, backlinks and readers. Blog carnival is a community that provides you a way to make that happen. It's an efficient tool to keep you on the challenge. Many successfull bloggers, as Steve Pavlina and John Chow recommend it.

How does it work?
In this website you'll find a great number of bloggers. Once you create an account you'll find a huge number of "carnivals". A carnival is a room where you can submit a link to your post that deals with the same theme of the carnival. If you're a technlogy blogger you can find several blogs dealing with this subject. Once you submit your post, few days later the blogger will post an article where he puts all the links submitted. Few days later check you visitors source and you'll find new links directing to your blog. I checked my backlinks and I found some prestigious blogs with a good PageRank directing to my blog. That can help you to improve your PageRank and drive more traffic to your blog as well. Create your own Carnival and post some carnivals. You'll get credits from fellow bloggers as you. Nevertheless Carnival posts are provides a good and various content to your visitors. Why don't You start promoting your blog Now !

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

How to protect your Instant Messenger account from being hacked..?

The new trend of new hackers is to screw your hotmail or MSN account.. It's really frustrating when they get your email and connect to Instant Messenger and start to mess with your friends. Create fights and your whole life could turn into a nightmare. It happened to a friend of mine. One day I opened my IM and started a conversation with her. I noticed a huge change in her language! Filthy mouth, aggression!! I figured out that her account was hacked and used by somebody else who just wanted to make her life harder. I blocked it and called my friend to figure how can we fix the problem. We couldn't get the account back.. but we learned a lesson about how to secure our hotmail accounts.

How can they hack my account ?
It's very simple and stupid. The hacker get to the hotmail and claims that he forgot the password and answer the stupid questions asked to get the password back. These questions are stupid because they're very easy to guess the answer. "What is your mother's birth place" Imagine that!! If you're a Californian there is a 80% chance that your mother's Californian too. Most people pick the easiest question because they're in a rush but they didn't know that they maid a bad choice !

How to protect my IM account from being hacked ?
First of all make a strong password : a long one with different characters and punctuation marks. Make it meaningful just for you. Let's have an example. Pick your best car name or pet and break it into syllables and write every syllable with a number:
Then break the syllables with other characters like "; : | (" the result will be like : my1;best2:car3!name4(
This will make a good password. Don't give to anybody, don't save it down on your computer and never write it down !

Second, Never use these stupid questions to get your password . Use alternate email address , once you forget the password they'll email for you and make sure both email accounts are secure!!