Hey Google, Happy Now?

Dear Google,

Is this website to your liking now? Just to let you know, if you haven’t already noticed, I’ve decided to turn off Google Adwords on my website. That’s right. I’m breaking up with you. Nice knowing you. Have a nice life. I hope you feel better.

Do you want to know why I dumped you? I’m no longer participating in your dumb Google Adwords program because you have way too many rules and regulations. You can’t do this, you can’t do that. First, you demand “nofollow” on all links. But that really didn’t matter, because you manually altered and lowered my page ranking anyways. I could care less about page ranking. You can rank mine to negative 5 million if you want. I don’t give a hoot.

Finally, today was the final straw. Now, you want to dictate how and where I can place my ads. So that everyone here reading this knows, here’s the warning and alert message from Google.

LAYOUT ENCOURAGES ACCIDENTAL CLICKS: Publishers are not permitted to encourage users to click on Google ads in any way. This includes any implementation that may encourage accidental clicks, such as placing ads near flash games or navigation bars, or placing ads and site links extremely close together.

Please. I am done with you. Now that your dumb ads are gone from my website, I can finally have my freedom back. I can do anything to my site. I can use any layout, and any design that I want, without you telling me what to do. I don’t have to adhere to your stupid rules and regulations just to make you happy.

By the way, you can shove that worthless couple of dollars a month to where the sun don’t shine. You guys are cheap. Other advertisers pay more. I’m sorry I already found a replacement. And please, don’t bother explaining and rationalizing what you did, because I’m done listening to you. Comments are off.

Netflix Is Down

Tonight is one of those nights lots of families are staying home. Watching Netflix might be one of those favorite past times in between all the festive activities. The timing couldn’t have been worse for Netflix to go down tonight. Blame it all on AWS, Amazon Web Services, for the spotty web service, stemming from the its Northern Virginia data center. This is the third time AWS has gone down this year.

iPad Magic

Here’s some iPad magic by Simon Pierro, courtesy of Mashable. Here is Simon’s Youtube channel if you’re interested in seeing all his magic tricks. He is a decent magician, and he has put on a ton of work with the iPad. It’s refreshing to see a magician use and embrace technology, and incorporate it with something as old as magic.

Skewing Prices Based On Location

Gizmodo just ran a piece how some websites would skew their online prices depending on where you live. Of course, this is entirely possible based on info they already have about you, when you log in with your account info. Wireless providers have been doing this for years, presenting different types of phones and services based on the zip code provided. Shipping rates have also varied based on location. That’s understandable, but online prices being different based on where you live is bit discriminatory. I wonder if you can fool the system by logging into different web proxy servers with IP addresses that are registered in different parts of the country. Anyhow, interesting stuff.

Join Files Using Linux Sox

I was recording audio on Audacity the other day when Windows crashed unexpectedly. I never had a chance to save the recording. When Windows rebooted, the audio recording were all there, but they were all broken up in smaller files. As it turned out, they were over 100 .au files under the unsaved Audacity folder. The question is how do you piece the files together.

There’s a Linux sound utility called “SoX” that runs across multiple platforms, Windows, Linux, MacOS X, that converts various formats of computer audio files into other formats. SoX can play and record audio files as well. To recover the unsaved Audacity recording, I went to the Audacity folder and executed the following statement from the command line.

sox *.au combined.au

Essentially, the sox command you see above concatenates multiple files into one big file called combined.au. After that, I created a new Audacity project and imported the combined big file into the new project. I then saved the new project. Once saved, I can then export the project to a MP3 format.

If you ever need to recover from a crashed Audacity project, you can use the sox command to recover a project.

Droid Charger At A Discount

One item you can really get for a deep discount at eBay is a smart phone charger. A typical smart phone charger at any of the major wireless providers, will cost consumers anywhere from $20-30 dollars. You can find a similar one at eBay for about a third of the price, with no sales tax, and that includes shipping.

If you’re not pressed for time, you can also get one, for a slightly cheaper price, from a vendor from China. Typically, it takes 3-5 weeks for items to arrive from China. I prefer to buy items from U.S. vendors, since the items arrive sooner, and majority of the time, the quality is good.

There’s no guarantee, however, what type of quality product you’ll get from an international order. I typically pay just a bit more from vendors with good reputation, where product quality is not going to be a question. Anyways, a Droid charger at for under $9 bucks is a steal. It beats shelling out for $30 at any of the wireless stores.

iMac Mini or Mac 21.5

I bought a Mac Mini a month ago. I love it. The only gripe I have is I wished I had a better monitor. But, that’s not the Mac mini’s fault. Lately, I have been thinking about swapping my Mac Mini with the new, cool, sleek, 21 inch iMac. How is that possible? There’s a holiday promotional right now from October 27 until January 7. Any computers bought within this window can be returned or exchanged. Typically, it’s only a two week return policy.

So, I’m debating whether to swap units. The Mac mini that I bought actually has a faster processor than the low end iMac. The Mac mini has a 2.3GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor, while the iMac runs on the 2.7Ghz Intel Core i5 processor. As far as upgrades, the Mac Mini is a lot easier to mod. You can add easily more memory, a second hard drive or SSD to the unit without much of a hassle. The iMac is not so easy. Obviously, the best feature of the 2012 iMac is the screen and the skinny form factor. The only downside with my Mac mini setup is, I need a better monitor.

WordPress 3.5 Media Manager

I recently upgraded to WordPress 3.5. One thing about WordPress updates, they are super easy. One of the best features of WordPress 3.5 is the new Media Manager. Uploading images is a breeze. Just drag and drop a file, or manually choose file and click. Viewing previous uploaded images in the Media Library is a total experience now. Thumbnails of recent uploads are displayed in rows and columns, and they are scrollable. Selecting an image and inserting it to a post is way too easy. Kudos to the development team for a fantastic job with this upgrade, and especially with the work on the new Media Manager.

iPad Mini With Retina Display

It’s a good thing I didn’t get one of those most-sought-after iPad minis this fall. You guessed it. Apple already has plans to upgrade the iPad mini with a retina display sometime next fall. It’s a good thing I wasn’t in such a hurry. I think the Retina display is worth the wait. I wonder if the news/rumors today will dampen everyone’s enthusiasm to purchase them this year, or will people still buy them because they just couldn’t wait. I would wait. That’s what I would do. The only other question left is, will the iPad mini remain at $329.

SMS Text Messaging Turns 20

I can’t believe it. SMS text messaging is 20 years old. Although, it has been around for 20 years, a few people have not use it, or use it sparingly. A few have become billionaires because of SMS, wireless, and telecommunications in general. If you’re curious what the first text message ever was? Here’s an excerpt from CNN’s report.

The first-ever text message was sent December 3, 1992, by software engineer Neil Papworth, to Vodafone director Richard Jarvis, who received the message on his husky Orbitel 901 cell phone. It read simply, “Happy Christmas.”

Six billion SMS (short message service) messages are sent every day in the United States, according to Forrester Research, and over 2.2 trillion are sent a year. Globally, 8.6 trillion text messages are sent each year, according to Portio Research.

SMS messaging is expected to be a $150 billion-a-year industry in 2013, with carriers charging set monthly fees for unlimited texting, or as much as 20 cents per text. The actual cost to carriers for sending a text message is about 0.03 cents.