29 Jul 2008

Cuil - Search engine different from Google

There's a new search engine in town. It's called Cuil (pronounced cool) and calls itself the world’s biggest search engine. So far, that's not exactly true but they might give Google a run for their money soon, looking at the way things are going. According to their info page, they search as three times as many web pages as Google.

Unlike Google where search results are based on link popularity, Cuil bases it's results on content analysis. Another difference with Google is Cuil promishes complete privacy to the searchers - something that a lot of people will definitely find attractive. As for the design, it is similar to Google in the sense that it's rather simple without any clutter. However, it has a dark background as opposed to Google's white background.

Anna Patterson, part of the husband-and-wife team that founded the company, used to work with Google. She was the architect of Google’s large search index, TeraGoogle, which was launched in early 2006. She is also noted for having created the world's biggest search engine index (at that time) consisting of 30 billion pages using information from the Internet Archive at Archive.org. Her husband, Tom Costello is the CEO of the company.

Other related links:
- Former Googleers unveil Cuil, a new search engine
- Cuil Challenges Google With Privacy

Getting an IT certification

Have been quite frustrated the past few weeks. All my applications for jobs I really like, have all been unsuccessful. It looks like I am going to be stuck doing some part time teaching in the University and some odd jobs with lousy pay. Of course I am hoping that things would get better after I get my PhD but that's so far off and right now my financial status isn't that great.

The last job interview I had gone for was for the post of Search Engine Optimisation Specialist in a multinational company based here (Yes! that's an actual job position). I couldn't believe it when I didn't get the job as I was sure that I had convinced them that I could do the job. I am still not sure why I didn't get the job but I have a strong suspicion that the fact that I don't have a IT background had something to do with it. Almost everything I know about computers and IT are self taught apart from some short course I take from time to time.

Everyone tells me that the job market is not so good right now. However, looking at the various job ads I receive in my email inbox from the various job agencies, tells me that it is not exactly true for the IT sector. There are loads of jobs out there, especially those looking for networking professionals. A number of these jobs require some form of certification or the other. Among the most widely respected IT certification programs available is a Cisco certification. The quality of these programmes offered by Cisco means that the various certifications are highly valued by organisations Worldwide. This in turn translates to lucrative and rewarding jobs. I have to admit that I am seriously tempted. If it means that I will be getting a £25k- 30k per annum job, I might even put my studies on hold.

Sponsored by Cisco

24 Jul 2008

Scour search engine

Just found out about Scour a new search engine with a difference. You get results from Google, Yahoo! and MSN search on one page and you get to vote and comment on the results. Thus, you become part of a online social network. Best of all you are awarded points for your activity on the site, which can be redemmed later for Visa gift cards.

Scour originally started off as Aftervote.com, a search engine with an AJAX backbone. The new brand name - Scour, came about after it was was acquired by Internext media, owner and operator of the ABCSearch Network.

Right now it is still in Beta and I am looking forward to see how it does.

Now you can blog in Melayu

Good news for all my Malaysian friends- Blogger is now available in Bahasa Malaysia (BM). This is a sign of recognition for all the Malaysian bloggers out there.

I am not really sure how this works whether it makes any difference because BM also uses the normal Latin alphabet. A lot of people have been blogging in BM for a long time. However, this might make it easier for some newbies who are not really familiar with the Blogger interface.

22 Jul 2008

I am what?

If you live in the Uk, I am sure you must have seen the "I Am" ad on TV. The tag line is part of a multimillion global ad campaign launched by UK mobile operator Orange. I was driving to the city centre when I noticed the sentence below: search online for "I am".

Intrigued, I did search it in Google and found out that it was there on top of the results page but it was not # 1 in the actual results but rather a sponsored link with a light yellow background. I am not sure whether anybody searches for "I am" on search engine. Clearly they are not going for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). However, I guess the ad campaign is working because it got me to search for it and ultimately go to ther special site where I hung around for a while. I will bet that there are a few other geeky guys around doing the same thing as well.

BTW, according to the Gadget show, Orange' Dolphin 15 is the best mobile phone deal along with 3's Mix and Match.

I should point out that in another show, they pointed out that the Flext 35 (£27/month) was the best because it came with a free Nokia N95. I tried to find it on the T Mobile site but the offer is not there any more. However, they did have the Combi 30 (18 months) plan where you only pay £30 per month for FREE phone, 700 minutes and unlimited texts. That's even better.

Best that Orange.

19 Jul 2008

Apple iPhone 3G shortcomings

Updated: 24 July 2008

I was really blown away by the hype surrounding the launch of the new Apple iPhone and was even looking forward to getting one for myself. I was telling one of my friends about my plans to get one. However, according to him the new iPhone is still not good enough to beat the Nokia N95 he's using right now and he may be right.

No doubt the the new iPhone looks great and has loads of great new applications. However, it obviously has some shortcomings.

1. I guess the most obvious is that it does not have a camera on the front which means that proper video conferencing (where people on both ends can see wach other) is out of the question.

2. Another great new feature, the GPS capability apparently does work but using it for navigating your car around the city night be a problem. According to an article on Businessweek, the phone still does not allow "turn-by-turn, voice-enabled directions". This means that I still have to carry my TomTom sat nav around with me. I read on Engadget that TomTomwas working on a sat-nav version that works with the iPhone but am not sure whether it has.

3. I was also dismayed to find out that it is still not possible to copy and paste text on the new iPhone (source: Reuters). I would have thought that the Apple engineers would have added this simple functionality but they didn't.

4. Just found out that the iPhone doesn't record videos. I simply couldn't believe it. Even my 3 Skypephone can do that.

Clearly the iPhone 3G is not perfect but as a lady friend told me " who cares about all those functions, it's the sexiest phone in the market". I agree wholeheartedly.

16 Jul 2008

Faster boadband

I am so sick and tired of the broadband service provided by TalkTalk and the previous provider AOL, was no better. That's not surprising as a survey by price-comparison site uSwitch.com indicated that many broadband customers in the UK are dissatisfied with the service offered by their current provider. So I was really happy when I read about BT's plans to invest in super-fast broadband.

How fast you ask? Well they plan to have top speeds of up to 100 Mb/s with the potential for speeds of more than 1,000 Mb/s in the future.However, I realised that I might not be around in the UK to enjoy that kind of speed. Anyway, the £1.5 billion programme to give up to 10 million homes access to fibre by 2012.

People keep on asking me for recommendations for a good broadband provider. I don't really have any idea but according to the Moneysupermarket.com, O2 is the best broadband provider followed by Sky and TalkTalk.

I am not really sure about the third provider. However, what really surprised me was their finding that customers taking slow 2MB/s deals are actually receiving faster download speeds than those advertised. I am tempted to shift to Sky after reading this. I actually would have but I am tied down to TalkTalk by a contract for approximately another 10 months.

Check out the full news release by BT: "BT plans UK’s largest ever investment in Super-Fast Broadband".

15 Jul 2008

Keyboard failure

It's been less than a year since I bought my cheap Dell PC. I had hoped that cheap not equal to low quality and so far, I have been very happy with the performance. Just found out that the accessories that came with the

I have been using a BenQ wireless keyboard all the while. I never liked the keyboard that came with the PC. It is noisy and uncomfortable. However, yesterday I found out that keyboard has stopped working. My wife had wanted to use it with her laptop but it wouldn't start. Quite surprising because I had only used it a couple of times to type on my wife's laptop. I hate typing on the tiny keyboard.

Well it's truly dead and as my wife took my old BenQ keyboard, I had to look for a new one for my PC. Looked around on the net and found out that the best deal I could afford was the Microsoft Comfort Curve Keyboard 2000 costing £14.99 in Argos.


So I reserved it on the Argos website. All I had to do was drive down to the store at Gallagher park, go to the automated payment kiosk, type in the reservation number and pay. They had the new keyboard ready for me to take away in a few minutes.

I love my new keyboard. Took me a bit to get used to the curved ergonomic design but it's really comfortable. I wish I had bought it earlier. Also just ound out that it has spill resistant keys. I have had a few hot coffee accidents in the past and I may have a chance to find out if it is really "spill proof" one day.

5th edition of the Search Marketing Benchmark Guide out

MarketingSherpa's 2009 Search Marketing Benchmark Guide is out. This is the 5th edition. To come out with this books, they surveyed 1,928 search marketers. It also contains 170 charts and 45 tables along with 12 eyetracking heatmaps.

The executive summary points out that Google is indeed the biggest player in the search World but also points out the latest developments, such as "mobile search" that a lot of people miss out.

Some of the fresh data in the book includes:
- The impact of analytical tools on search budgeting strategies.
- How search advertising affects brand metrics?
- Impact of mobile search, geotargeting, and local search on local business markets.
- Effect of new analytics tools on the industry.
- What analytics are critical to follow to improve campaign performance?

If you are planning to come up with your company's online marketing budget, I suggest you get a hold of this book.

12 Jul 2008

Recent comments widget 2

I was not really happy with the "New recent comments widget" I got from Tigersyard.com. Just by chance, I came across the "How To Make a Recent Comments Widget on Blogger" on Seanjames Camello aka Shawn Cabacci's blog. It is so simple, I can't believe it.

Check out the list of recent comments on my sidebar. I guess the only disadvantage is that you can only list up to a maximum of five comments.

9 Jul 2008

iPhone 3G sold out

The new Apple iPhone 3G has already sold out on the O2 and Carphone warehouse sites here in the UK. However, you don't have to worry as both companies have assured that they have stock in their stores when it is launched on Friday (11 July, 2008).

In case you are wondering, the only significant difference between the old and the new model is that the new iPhone has 3G capabilitie, meaning faster internet browsing speeds. It also has GPS built in. Now you don't have to depend on static Google Maps anymore. I was thinking of getting the Nokia N95 but I may have to reconsider.

As for the physical characteristics, it will be slightly thinner on the edges and thicker in the middle as compared to the old model.

If you are just interested in the look and not concerned about the features, you don't have to upgrade to the new phone. I predict that eBay will soon be flooded with old iPhones and you might be able to get your hands on one for a few pounds.

Read the Reuter's report: "iPhone UK websites swamped before Friday launch".

4 Jul 2008

New recent comments widget

For quite sometime, I have been using the "recent comments" widget provided by Blogger templates. However, I noticed that they have stopped working. A number of Blogger users have been asking for a "recent comments" widget for quite sometime but the guys at Blogger don't seem to be listening. Going through all the gadgets you can add to your blog in Blogger in draft, I came across the Blogger comments gadget provided by Tigersyard.com. It shows the latest comments of any blogger blog. However you need to know your Blog ID. It's not perfect but it is the best working wigdet for this purpose. I am sure others will come and improve it further. I would prefer to have a few lines instead of the whole comment listed. Please tell me if you have a solution.

3 Jul 2008

Firefox breaks World record

Firefox, the popular open source web browser has set a set a new Guinness World Record for the most software downloads in 24 hours.

It was downloaded 8,002,530 times on "Firefox Download Day" June 17, 2008. However it may have been even more if you consider the fact that it was also downloaded from sites such as Download.com

Really proud that I helped set the record.

Firefox certificate


1 Jul 2008

High ranked for Cari Duit

Someone just emailed me saying that he had found my blog on Google using the key words "cari duit". In Malay, cari duit means "searching for money/ earning money". Being curious I did some research and I was pleasantly surprised when I found out that my old post "Cari duit - Make money" was #6 on Google and #5 on Yahoo! for the above mentioned key words.

On Google

On Yahoo!

It's even higher on their respective UK pages: #5 on Google UK and even higher, #3 on Yahoo UK.

End of google AdSense Referrals program

Just found out that Google's AdSense Referrals program ends during the last week of August. I used to a few referral ads on this blog but right now the only one is the Firefox with Google toolbar ad banner at the bottom.

The email from Google recommends joining the DoubleClick Performics Affiliate Network, which is now part of their empire.

Do remember to remove the referral codes from your site before the last
week of August.

For more information check out the Google help centre.