Posts tagged ‘website’


More signs of Bing’s tiny index

24.07.2022

Because I have OCD, one more round of stats.

It鈥檚 not just us: Bing seems to have a reduced index for everyone. Here are a handful of sites that I fed in at random for site: searches. The only site where it beats Mojeek in indexed pages is, you guessed it, Microsoft鈥檚. I guess since Google favours Google鈥檚 own results, Bing does a better job indexing Microsoft鈥檚鈥攁nd I doubt it鈥檚 because their own people conform to Bing鈥檚 applied-when-they-choose rules.
 
Die Zeit
Google: 2,600,000
Mojeek: 4,796 (0路18 per cent of Google鈥檚 total)
Bing: 3,770 (0路15 per cent of Google鈥檚 total)
 
Annabelle (Switzerland)
Google: 11,700
Mojeek: 405 (3路46%)
Bing: 105 (0路90%)
 
Holly Jahangiri
Google: 738
Mojeek: 222 (30路08%)
Bing: 49 (6路64%)
 
The Gloss (Ireland)
Google: 19,200
Mojeek: 1,968 (10路25%)
Bing: 71 (0路37%)
 
The New York Times
Google: 36,200,000
Mojeek: 2,823,329 (7路80%)
Bing: 1,190,000 (3路29%)
 
Lucire
Google: 6,050
Mojeek: 3,572 (59路04%)
Bing: 50 (0路83%)
 
The Rake
Google: 11,500
Mojeek: 1,443 (12路55%)
Bing: 49 (0路43%)
 
Travel & Leisure
Google: 28,100
Mojeek: 9,750 (34路70%)
Bing: 220 (0路78%)
 
Microsoft
Google: 122,000,000
Bing: 14,200,000 (11路64%)
Mojeek: 1,748,199 (1路43%)
 
Detective Marketing
Google: 998
Mojeek: 579 (58路02%)
Bing: 51 (5路11%)
 

In the earlier Microsoft thread I linked, the original poster found that after they joined Bing Webmaster Tools and imported their Google data, that鈥檚 when their site vanished from Bing. So, again, we鈥檙e not alone.

I’d seriously be rethinking my business model if I was running a search engine that was reliant on Bing.

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Posted in internet, media, publishing, technology, USA | No Comments »


Bing is definitely very broken, and it’s hurting Duck Duck Go

23.07.2022

The last few days have been about 鈥楬ow awesome is Mojeek?鈥 and 鈥楬ow shit is Bing?鈥

I鈥檓 finding great search results from Mojeek, and as a site search for Lucire, it鈥檚 absolutely brilliant. Blows Duck Duck Go (Bing with privacy) away, even back when DDG had a reasonably comprehensive index of our pages (before the HTTPS switch). I don鈥檛 have to subject anyone to Google tracking, and I didn鈥檛 have the hassle of installing an internal search ourselves.

Cisene, who I met via Mastodon, very helpfully suggested on that social network that I submit site maps for the Lucire website as that would take a reasonably short time to remedy Bing鈥檚 ills. I鈥檝e never had to do them for Google or Mojeek: their spiders work as they have always done since the dawn of search engines. For some reason, Bing needs its hand held if I want it to have thousands of pages again, as it did earlier this year.

One thing I found curious with Bing is its insistence, in a site search, to place a page that we have not linked to since 2005 at the very top. Of course I could delete the page or program in a forwarder, or make a 301, but I was also once told that dead links and forwarders were bad things for search engines. Our 鈥楢bout鈥 page also ranks highly in all search engines, despite not being linked to in anything we鈥檝e done in over 15 years as well.

But where鈥檚 the home page? Happily, after submitting site maps, Bing鈥檚 index of our pages went from 10 to a whopping 55, and the home page appeared for the first time in a site:lucire.com search:
 

 

鈥業t鈥檚 an improvement,鈥 I thought, though the search engine is still massively handicapped compared to where it was at the start of 2022.

Checking on Bing Webmaster Tools to see where things were, I was curious to see it claim that it could not crawl or index our home page though it was discovered in 2018:
 

 

But you just crawled and indexed it. Which is it?

The excuses this time (as Big Tech people love to make stuff that blames users) are that there are no <H1> tags (I鈥檝e got news for you, Bing: we don鈥檛 use them, and why should we? There was never any rule that stated that headlines must be between them, and no one else seems to care) and that the description is too long (again, it was fine for you before鈥攁nd actually you’ve just shown that it is fine).

They aren鈥檛 in the business of search though, as their explanations reveal. It’s seach:
 

 
Goodness knows how many years that鈥檚 been there, ignored.

It鈥檚 all so slap-dash and unprofessional, and as Duck Duck Go search results are based on Bing’s, I鈥檓 going to have to stop recommending it. Fortunately, I found Mojeek at the perfect time.

I鈥檓 also discovering that maybe Bing can no longer handle more than 50-odd pages per site anyway, which, of course, makes it useless as an engine that powers a site search. (Like I keep saying, the defunct Excite in the 1990s could do better. Any search engine from those days could spider and index more effectively.) It would be in line with other Microsoft products, such as Notepad, where the software giant now prevents us from typing or , except, presumably, people from the countries where those are the common, keyboard-accessible currency symbols. Want to write C忙sar drinks Nescaf茅? You can try, but the diphthong and will be missing.

Today I searched site:autocade.net on Bing. Now, we never switched Autocade to HTTPS. After how all our sites fell, would you risk it? This site is dependent on search-engine traffic.

And here are the number of pages each search engine brings up for a site search.
 
Google: 4,080
Mojeek: 3,348
Bing: 51
Duck Duck Go: 50
Brave: 17 (plus 4 underneath first entry)
 

So I can鈥檛 keep blaming the switch to HTTPS, though our troubles with all search engines I knew of then began around this time. Autocade still slipped in Bing despite no down time; we went to a newer Mediawiki version, but that was about it. Everything progressed as it always did.

Google eventually allowed things to recover (for the most part) with the exception of our company website (which rose up to 13th before dropping to 26th today), Mojeek never even had an issue to begin with, but Bing and Duck Duck Go don鈥檛 link to Jack Yan & Associates鈥 website till after the 40th position.

So where are we now with the sites I last looked at?
 
Number of results for site:lucire.com
Google: 6,250
Mojeek: 3,563
Bing: 53
Duck Duck Go: 53
Brave: 15 (plus 4 underneath first entry)
 
Number of results for site:jackyan.com
Google: 1,860
Mojeek: 438
Duck Duck Go: 54
Bing: 43
Brave: 13 (plus 4 underneath first entry)
 
Number of results for site:jyanet.com
Google: 743
Mojeek: 296
Bing: 49
Duck Duck Go: 49
Brave: 20
 

I honestly think Bing is broken.

Just as well no one I know uses it, but quite a number of people do opt for Duck Duck Go, because of the work it鈥檚 done in promoting privacy. I still admire them for this stance. But as many of you know, it sources its results from Bing, so if one is broken, both will be. And that鈥檚 a darned shame as I almost hit 12 years of having Duck Duck Go as my default (from August 2010 or thereabouts).

All the more reason to retain Mojeek as my default search engine.

Will I bother looking any more into Bing? Probably not, but how do I convince all those I recommended Duck Duck Go to to check out Mojeek?

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Posted in internet, marketing, publishing, technology, USA | 4 Comments »


Hopefully this week: farewell, Amazon Web Services

10.04.2022


 
Wow, we鈥檙e nearly there: the long journey to migrate our sites off AWS and on to a new box.

We began hosting there in 2012 but the server鈥攚hich appears to have had a single major update in 2016鈥攚as getting very old. In 2018 we began searching for someone who knew about migrations.

A second instance for Lucire Rouge was fired up in September 2020, thanks to a wonderful developer in the US. A New Zealand expert moved Medinge鈥檚 website on to there subsequently.

The work hadn鈥檛 been finished but both gentlemen wound up getting very occupied in their regular gigs, and it was another year before a good friend said he knew how to do it.

From that point, it was about finding a few hours here and there that worked with both our time zones.

I am deeply grateful to him because I know just how busy he got, both professionally and privately.

The sites are now all on to a new box, and not on AWS.

We were only on there to begin with because in 2012, we chose to host with a friend鈥檚 company. AWS was familiar turf for him, but I never understood it. It鈥檚 a mess of a website, with an incomprehensible interface. No wonder people have to do courses on it. You really need a professional computing qualification to understand it.

Whomever said computers would become easier to use in the future was dead wrong, as I have never seen such a maze of technobabble offered to consumers before. It鈥檚 not even that presentable.

My hosting friend soon was head-hunted and I was left to deal with AWS.

The fact is if AWS was even remotely comprehensible I might have been able to do the migration myself. I estimate that if it were anything like normal, each of the sites would have taken me about five hours to do. It would have all been over in a month in 2018. If I had a week off to just do this, I probably could have done it鈥攊f server software was how it was in 2005.

It鈥檚 little wonder, given the convoluted confusion that AWS is, that it took three years to find someone match-fit to tackle it. And even then it took several months.

A week in 2005, three years in 2022. I don鈥檛 call that progress.

I approached half a dozen techs who had experience in web hosting and serving environments, some of them with very major organizations. A few of them were even given the keys to SSH into the server. I think three of them were never heard from again. I can only surmise that they saw a Japanese girl with long hair in front of her face crawl out of a well when they Telnetted into the box.

Once my latest friend had set up the basics, I was even able to do a few migrations myself, and handled the static sites. I even got a couple of Wordpress ones done. He did the lion鈥檚 share, beginning with the most complex (Lucire and Autocade, plus the advertising server).

Tonight, he did the last two sites from the second AWS instance.

The first instance has been stopped. The second is still running in case DNS hasn鈥檛 updated for the last two sites. The database has also been stopped.

You probably wouldn’t ever hire me or this firm to deal with AWS and, as it turns out, there are quite a few techs out there, who do this as their full-time job, who also don’t know it.

I plan to terminate the instances and the database by mid-week and close my AWS account. Amazon can figure out what to do with the S3 boxes, VPC, Cloudwatch, Cloudfront, and all the other stuff which I have no idea about.

It鈥檚 going to be a good day, provided they haven鈥檛 made account closures as contemptible a process. Because it’s not the only thing contemptible about Amazon.
 
Speaking of technology, it looks like I’ll be sticking with Opera GX going forward. The bugs in Vivaldi persist, despite another bug-fixing update last week. Five years with one browser isn’t too bad, and probably one of the longer periods I’ve stuck with a single brand.

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Posted in business, internet, New Zealand, technology, USA | No Comments »


Fixing Wordpress’s problem of fake bolds and italics

11.06.2021

I haven鈥檛 been able to find anything on this bug online, but it鈥檚 very common.
   As far as I can recall, all of our online publications that use Wordpress have themes designed or modified by yours truly. However, Lucire Rouge has a mostly bought-in theme, where my changes have been limited to a couple of CSS rules. The theme developer actually came in and helped us with a few modifications, which shows the extent to which he does follow-up for paying customers.
   But there was one thing he was never able to crack, and I don鈥檛 think it鈥檚 his fault, since it happens on a lot of websites, including Medinge Group鈥檚 (also a theme I did not design, though I did earlier ones). On both these sites, there were no bolds and italics. There still aren鈥檛 on Medinge鈥檚.
   There are <strong> and <em> codes in there, but the bolding and obliquing are done by the browser. The font files actually aren鈥檛 loaded, so what we see are false bolds (the browser attempts to 鈥渙verprint鈥 the roman, duplicating the outline and shifting it marginally to give the illusion of a heavier typeface) and obliques, not italics (it鈥檚 the roman file pushed over 15 degrees or so). The former is particularly bad, as the outlines clash, and the result can be hollow glyphs, something that any font developer will know when one outline winds up accidentally on top of another in Fontographer or Fontlab.
   These Wordpress themes rely on Google Fonts (another sin, in my opinion) so I don鈥檛 know if the fault lies with Google or Wordpress, or the developer. If Wordpress does indeed power 70 per cent of websites, then I have to say the bug is awfully common, and I probably do see it on a very high percentage of visited sites.
   The themes allow us to select the font family, but the selection only calls a single font file from the family.


Above: A graphic clipping text from Lucire Rouge that I sent to the developer.

   The solution, as I discovered after months of toing and froing with Lucire Rouge鈥檚 theme dev, was to do your own font-linking rules in the CSS file and upload the fonts themselves to the relevant directory on the server. I must note publicly the 鈥榤onths鈥 were not his fault, but due to my own delay. I should not expect computer programmers to be typographers, either.
   It is something that one needs to watch out for, as the fake bolds and italics are horrible to look at, and must look amateur, even to the non-professional.



Above: Fixed at last by yours truly.

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Posted in design, internet, media, publishing, technology | No Comments »


When fashion magazine websites begin looking the same

08.02.2021


Above: Vogue Korea鈥檚 website follows the 忙sthetic of a big lead image and smaller subsidiary ones.

This started as a blog entry but took a tangent about 500 words in, and it was better as an op鈥揺d in Lucire. Some of the themes will be familiar to regular readers, especially about Big Tech, but here I discuss its influence on web design trends and standardization. The headline says it all: 鈥榃here have the fun fashion magazine websites gone?鈥. Browsing in the 1990s was fun, discovering how people coded to overcome the limitations of the medium, and, in my case, bringing in lessons from print that worked. Maybe it鈥檚 an age thing, or the fact I don鈥檛 surf as much for leisure, but in 2021 the sites I come across tend to look the same, especially the ones that were in Lucire鈥檚 鈥楴ewsstand鈥 section.
   I do know of great sites鈥my friend and colleague Charlie Ward has his one, which does everything you would expect from a great designer鈥檚 web presence. So many others look like they鈥檝e bought a template. As to those of us in magazines鈥擨鈥檇 love to see something that really inspired me again.

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Posted in design, internet, media, New Zealand, publishing, technology, Wellington | No Comments »


Is NewTumbl hiding posts critical of it?

16.12.2020

Postscript: Alex, who maintains three spaces on NewTumbl, can still see my “missing” five posts. In addition, NewTumbl has responded and it’s believed there was a bug. More on that here.

This is interesting: talking to Bii on Twitter, who is also a NewTumbl user, I discovered that he can鈥檛 see my last five posts on NewTumbl.
   I sent him a permalink (using the recommended NewTumbl method) to my last post there, but he gets a 404.
   In fact, the newest post he can see is my sixth-to-last. And it鈥檚 interesting to me that of the last five, three were critical of NewTumbl鈥檚 moderation system.

   This reminds me of Google Plus, which used to hide my posts that were regularly critical of Google.
   Bii would kindly prefer to give NewTumbl the benefit of the doubt though my thoughts jumped immediately to censorship. The last five posts are all public.



Top: The way my NewTumbl blog is supposed to look, in its top left-hand corner. Above: What Bii sees, with the last five posts hidden. Coincidentally three of them are critical of NewTumbl.

   Like I say, my blog posts here have a pretty good audience, and the first one on NewTumbl comes up very high when one searches for that site. You do not want to be playing these games.
   To think, I was so supportive of that place.
   For the sake of completeness, then, here are the three critical posts, which have been excerpted before.

November 27, 2020
Do the mods here know their own rules?
Had a couple of modelling shots marked M by the moderators here and I cannot understand why. I had them marked O.
   There鈥檚 no nudity (M) but they contain sexy or sultry imagery (O). Do the mods here know their own rules?
   See for yourself: this was the latest. As this is a US site, maybe I should use The Handmaid鈥檚 Tale for guidance? I hear it鈥檚 a big hit over there. This is after a post with the word w*nk (literally written like that, with an asterisk) got marked as M.

November 28, 2020
Simple rules
I have some pretty simple rules in life. If you are a professional and I am an amateur, I will defer to you in almost all cases in your specialist area, unless you make a call that is so outrageously stupid and beyond reason. And when it comes to the use of the English language, I am a professional, and can say with some authority over what is and isn鈥檛 permissible. If an amateur makes a call contrary to my expectations in areas I know about, then they had better back it up. I am referring to the moderation here.
   This is the problem with Wikipedia: a place where actual expertise is hated and seen as 茅litist. It鈥檚 why I tend not to use the site, where a few have scammed their way to the top, and, if you criticize them, you get five days of abuse from a senior editor directed at you. If this is the culture that is being instilled at NewTumbl by people not educated enough to make certain calls, then it鈥檚 a real shame. Read the guidelines.
   I was on Tumblr for over a decade before the censorship got crazy, and they supported the two-speed internet advocated by big firms. It would be a real shame if I were to cut my stay short here after only a couple of years. The difference is I own a lot of sites and have plenty of creative outlets. So, rather than help Dean and his friends make a few bob, I can happily put that same energy into my spaces.
   This seemed like a fun site but if a professional has to make his case in a post like this against the decision(s) of amateurs (which is the case with Wikipedia: look at the talk pages!), then that just gets tiresome: it鈥檚 not a great use of my time. If you don鈥檛 know the culture of the majority of countries in which the English language is used and somehow think 1950s white-bread America is the yardstick, then you鈥檙e already not on my level. It鈥檚 not terribly hard to put together an image-bank site where I share those 鈥榠rrelevant鈥 thoughts, as I call them here. I don鈥檛 have Dean鈥檚 skill in making it a site for all, but my aims are completely selfish, so I don鈥檛 have to.
   After all, Autocade began because I was fed up with how poor the quality was for motoring entries in Wikipedia (indeed, to the point of fiction) and sought to do something I wanted. Now it nets 1,000,000 page views every three months and Wikipedia links to it: there鈥檚 real satisfaction in that.
   There has to be a simple image plug-in out there for WordPress and I鈥檒l just add that to my blog. which runs that CMS. We all win: the holier-than-Mary-Whitehouse types who see their job as puritanically patrolling posts here won鈥檛 have me to deal with, and I get more hits to my own space, on which I will sell ads. We鈥檒l see. Hunting for that plug-in might be my task tonight. Or I might hang about here and post more stuff that by any measure is O, and gather up a few more examples from Angry Ward Cleaver out there.

November 29, 2020
See you at my blog gallery
That was pretty simple. I鈥檝e put the New Image Gallery plug-in from A WP Life on to my main blog. And since that blog gets an average of 700 views per post (and the viral ones getting six figures), I鈥檓 betting that whatever I put there will get more eyeballs than here. For those interested, it鈥檚 at jackyan.com/blog/2020/11/november-2020-miscellaneous-images/. [Postscript: the galleries can be found at jackyan.com/blog/category/gallery/.] New entries will be added on a monthly basis. It鈥檚 not as cool as NewTumbl but I鈥檓 going to be interested to see if it鈥檚 as enjoyable as what I鈥檝e been doing here.
   I wanted in all sincerity to see NewTumbl grow but as @alex99a-three and others have seen, some moderating decisions have been questionable. I know first-hand that Wikipedia is a place where true expertise, that of professionals, is not welcome鈥攆ounder Larry Sanger has said as much, which is why he left. The late Aaron Swartz echoed those comments. And here, if professionals are being overruled by people who are not at the same level, then I鈥檓 not sure what the point is. I feel Wikipedia has no point, and my own dissatisfaction with it led me to create Autocade, and there鈥檚 a sense that, in its very real wish to make sure it could keep up with its growth, NewTumbl is heading down the same path.
   I don鈥檛 begrudge this site鈥檚 founders for adopting the approach they did in post moderation. In fact, I think it was very clever and it鈥檚 a great way for NewTumbl to punch above its weight. However, in practice the absence of an appeals鈥 system doesn鈥檛 work for me any more. I totally get that they haven鈥檛 the resources. So maybe I will return when they do.
   As @constantpriaprism pointed out, Dean is not really present these days, either, so one big drawcard to NewTumbl鈥攊ts transparency鈥攊s now also missing.
   And it鈥檚 those of us in the F and O spaces鈥攑eople that NewTumbl said they wanted to encourage鈥攚ho seem to be bearing the brunt of puritanical moderating. I鈥檓 guessing we are being sidelined by people who don鈥檛 have the context (e.g. Alex has posted some really innocent stuff) or knowledge outside their countries. Both Alex and I (if I may be so bold as to guess his intent) have been marking as F or O things that were safe for us on prime-time TV when we were younger. I use the same standard with imagery and language.
   To confirm this lack of knowledge, I read one comment which absolutely highlighted that one moderator had no idea what they were doing, advancing what I felt was a particularly weak argument. In that case, a newspaper front page was taken down and marked as M. You have to ask yourself: if a word appears (censored) on a newspaper front page, then it鈥檚 probably not M; and if a word is used on prime-time television without bleeping, then it鈥檚 also probably not M. There are other words which may be adult in nature but are commonly used that even Mary Whitehouse would be fine with, but you just know that with the lack of knowledge that some display here, you鈥檙e going to have it taken off the site and marked out of range.
   I鈥檝e done my share of rating posts here and I like to think I鈥檝e taken an even-handed, free-speech approach based on decades of experience and life in different countries.
   If this is to be an adult site鈥攁nd I know the majority of posts lean that way鈥攖hen good luck to it. I will be back as @vergangene-automarken has some excellent stuff, as do the regulars whom I follow, but for now I really want to see what it鈥檚 like doing the same thing in my own space. See you there.

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Posted in internet, USA | 1 Comment »


Searching for Murray Smith

09.12.2020

Earlier today Strangers, the 1978 TV series created by Murray Smith, came to mind. Smith created and wrote many episodes of one of my favourite TV series, The Paradise Club (which to this day has no DVD release due to the music rights), and penned an entertaining miniseries Frederick Forsyth Presents (the first time that I noticed one Elizabeth Hurley) and a novel I bought when I first spotted it, The Devil鈥檚 Juggler. He also wrote one of my favourite Dempsey and Makepeace episodes, 鈥榃heel Man鈥, which had quite a few of the hallmarks of some of his other work, including fairly likeable underworld figures, which came into play with The Paradise Club.
   Yet there鈥檚 precious little about Smith online. His Wikipedia entry is essentially a version of his IMDB credits with some embellishments, for instance. It doesn鈥檛 even record his real name.
   Don鈥檛 worry, it鈥檚 not another dig at Wikipedia, but once again it鈥檚 a reflection of how things aren鈥檛 permanent on the web, a subject I鈥檝e touched on before after reading a blog entry from my friend Richard MacManus. And that we humans do have to rely on our own memories over what鈥檚 on the 鈥檔et still: the World Wide Web is not the solution to storing all human knowledge, or, at least, not the solution to accessing it.
   It鈥檚 easy to refer to the disappearance of Geocities and the like, and the Internet Archive can only save so much. And in this case, I remember clearly searching for Murray Smith on Altavista in the 1990s, because I was interested in what he was up to. (He died in 2003.) I came across a legal prospectus of something he was proposing to do, and because it was a legal document, it gave his actual name.
   Murray Smith was his screen name, and I gather from an article in The Independent quoting Smith and his friend Frederick Forsyth, he went by Murray, but the family name was definitely Murray-Smith. Back in those days, there was a good chance that if it was online, it was real: it took too much effort to make a website for anyone to bother doing fake news. My gut says it was George David Murray-Smith or something along those lines, but there鈥檚 no record of that prospectus online any more, or of the company that he and Forsyth set up together to make Frederick Forsyth Presents, which I assume from some online entries was IFS Productions Ltd. Some websites’ claim that his name was Charles Maurice Smith is incorrect.
   Looking today, there are a couple of UK gazette entries for George David Murray Smith (no hyphen) in the armed forces, including the SAS in the 1970s, which suggest I am right.
   Even in the age of the web, the advantage still lies with those of us who have good memories who can recall facts that are lost. I鈥檝e often suggested on this blog that we cannot fully trust technology, and that there鈥檚 no guarantee that even the official bodies, like the UK Companies鈥 Office, will have complete, accessible records. The computer is a leveller, but not a complete one.

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Posted in business, culture, interests, internet, TV, UK | 1 Comment »


COVID-19 per capita update, April 4

04.04.2020

Finally found a page where you can order COVID-19 cases by different criteria, including total cases per million. Saves a lot of time trying to figure out where things are. There鈥檚 also an entry for the entire planet, which is very useful, as is updating the day at GMT +0. As expected, many small places (at the top are Vatican City, San Marino, Andorra, Luxembourg) have a higher per capita case figure.
   Selected countries again:

Spain 2,549
Switzerland 2,276
Italy 1,982
France 1,259
Germany 1,088
USA 838
Sweden 607
UK 562
Australia 218
South Korea 198
New Zealand 197
Singapore 190
The world 143
Hong Kong 113
Saudi Arabia 59
Mainland China 57
Japan 23
Taiwan 15
India 2

   You can also examine the graphs by both linear and logarithmic scales. I hadn鈥檛 seen the latter for a while in the media.


   I don’t plan on blogging too many more of these updates. The Worldometers site has a pretty good table that doesn’t need me to extract the figures out. I think most of us are doing what we need to do to stay safe and there comes a point where the numbers cease to have as much meaning. Real lives are being lost and people aren’t numbers.
   I have one colleague who has recovered from COVID-19, thankfully, and I am grateful that, unlike my first cousin once removed in New Haven, Conn., I do not know people who have been taken by this virus.

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Posted in general, internet | No Comments »


One News is hard to miss on TV, but hidden on the internet

18.02.2020

I wanted to see what TV1 news (I can never remember its official name with all its rebrands over the years鈥攊s it One Network News, TVNZ1 News, One News, or something else?) had on GM’s decision to shut Holden, but I missed both the six o’clock and the Plus One screenings. I headed online with some trepidation because I recall that I could never find the most-watched programme on the channel on previous occasions. This time I decided to document my attempt.
   Usually I would get stumped by the log-in process that made me lose my place, so this time I decided to log in first.

Nowhere to be seen. Ah, but it’s a TV1 show, so what if I go to the TV1 page?

Nope. Under news and current affairs, we have Breakfast, Seven Sharp, Fair Go and Te Karere. There’s a 1 News link at the top, what if I go there?

No joy, at least not for the full six o’clock broadcast. I did spy a Kiwi category, and surely TV1 news is Kiwi-made. Let’s see 鈥

Apparently only the Tonight and Midday bulletins count as Kiwi-made.
   Despite my searching for it around 8 p.m., it wasn’t under ‘What’s new on TV’ either. Something that finished broadcasting an hour ago isn’t new.
   By this time what I do is go on Twitter to ask for help and eventually someone finds it for me, which isn’t the most efficient way of doing it, but in the past that’s how I’ve solved it.
   Tonight I put news into the search box and got it there after doing all the above, but why does TVNZ make it this hard? It’s their flagship news programme.
   And Conan Gorbey on Twitter found it for me tonight. Thanks, Conan!

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Replacing Po.st with Addtoany, outside of Wordpress

17.01.2020

Some of you will have noticed that Po.st went out of business, so all the Po.st sharing links disappeared from our websites.
   The replacement: addtoany.com offers a similar service without the hassle of header codes. Just customize at their website, grab the code, and insert it where you want it. It鈥檚 now on the main Lucire website, Autocade (at least on the desktop version), and this blog (desktop as well). Strangely, the plug-in for Wordpress didn’t work for us, and the HTML code with Javascript is far more practical.
   There are fewer customization options but it鈥檚 a remarkably quick and handy way to replace the old code.

Despite providing a sharing gadget, I wonder how much I鈥檒l use one. It鈥檚 been seven days since I last Instagrammed and I don鈥檛 miss it. Granted, something major happened in my life but organic sharing had been dwindling through 2019, and if their algorithms aren鈥檛 providing you with the dopamine hit that you seek, and you鈥檙e unlikely to pay for it like a junkie (which is what Facebook wants you to do), then you have to wonder what the point is. It might, like Facebook, just become one of those things one uses for work鈥攁nd that鈥檚 not something I could have predicted even a year ago.
   I see Twitter is introducing features where responses can be limited by the user. The logical outcome of this is Tweets that are directed at limited audience members only, maybe even one-to-one. That looks remarkably like email. And these days I seem to be more productive there than I am on any social network.

With a fresh browser to kick off the year, I surfed to the popular page listing at Autocade. Unsurprisingly, there is some grandfathering going on: the first pages added in 2008 have had more views than the latest pages. That much is logical.
   But if there鈥檚 a model line page in the top 10 that wasn鈥檛 first authored in 2008, that would be, at least to me, interesting. That honour goes to the 2010-authored page on the Opel Astra J, at over 21,000 views.
   Once upon a time, the Nissan Bluebird (910) page was top among the individual model lines, thanks to a link from Wikipedia. It鈥檚 since slipped to third, after the Ford Fiesta Mk VII and Nissan Sunny (B14). The Toyota Corolla (E100) page, once in second place, is now fourth, followed by the E120. The Ford Taunus TC, Taunus 80 and Cortina Mk III are sixth, seventh and ninth respectively鈥攁ll 2008 pages. The Opel Astra J, coming in at eighth, is an anomaly among the top 10. (The Renault M茅gane II finishes the top 10.)
   Something鈥檚 driving interest in this model, and I鈥檓 very happy it is.

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