Dec 17 2009

Searching Without Words

Category: PersonalChrisM @ 5:39 pm

I’m not sure, perhaps the rest of the world has already known about this site for ages, and I’m just slow to notice it? Anyway, if you have an image on your site that you suspect others have stolen and used without permission or credit, or if you have seen a picture that has been photoshopped, and want to find the original, try out TinEye. Also useful if you’re trying to find a higher resolution, or original creator of a photo. The index is still relatively small, so you can’t take a result of 0 matches as conclusive proof the image doesn’t exist elsewhere on the internet, but fun to play around with, anyway. Reverse image searching is the correct term apparently. If you would like to read a better phrased, official explanation, see the text below.

TinEye is a reverse image search engine. You can submit an image to TinEye to find out where it came from, how it is being used, if modified versions of the image exist, or to find higher resolution versions. TinEye is the first image search engine on the web to use image identification technology rather than keywords, metadata or watermarks. For some real TinEye search examples, check out our Cool Searches page.

btw, no $ involved with this post, just came across the site and thought others might find it interesting.

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Nov 29 2009

If You Are Waiting For A Reply, Sorry

Category: PersonalChrisM @ 12:04 am

I have let my inbox pile up once more, so to friends waiting for a reply, people who have left comments on this blog and are awaiting approval/replies, or to the couple of web directories that have asked for my participation/permission to use my Kazakhstan posts, apologies. I’ll try and get most of them sorted by the end of this coming week. It was quite a surprise to receive the request to use my information on this country, as I normally find that (less reputable) sites simply scrape my content. Even though they usually include a link back to the original post on this site, it is still a lot nicer to be noticed by a real human being, and in this case they want to summarize posts, to avoid any duplicate content penalty from the search engines.
I also hope to get around to posting some of the older videos shot here in Astana and a few from Dubai and Britain soon, as I re-uploaded them to my newer YouTube account (AstanaClydach), and some of this site’s newer visitors won’t have seen them before they were unceremoniously removed by the powers that be over at YouTube. I’ve learnt my lesson, and there’ll be no short clips of BBC shows I like with this new account.

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Aug 13 2009

Caffeine Hit On Bling?

Category: VideosChrisM @ 1:07 am

With Google claiming that the new back end workings for their search engine having been in the pipeline for a while, and Microsoft explaining it merely as a kneejerk reaction to their Bing search engine, who should we believe? Does it really matter?
Well first I would like to give you the opportunity to see Microsoft’s chosen viral ad for Bing. I’d recommend moving sharp objects, small children and pets from your immediate vicinity first.

Next we have the Onion’s take on Google and their privacy policies. This one might make you laugh, you might not, but you won’t be wanting to time travel and stop the conception of the video maker at least 🙂

So, back to the story, what changes can we expect from Caffeine? Well, searching for a term like “Kazakh Yurt Rental” would not simply just use the old Google algorithm where the site with the most (with weight for relevancy) links would be in first place, allowing for on and off page SEO obviously. When implemented, if the rumours are true, when two sites of roughly equal ‘value’ to the reader (as pre-determined by Google) contend for a search term, the site with the most recent article/post would nudge ahead, and therefore place higher in the search results.

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Jun 03 2009

Hey Google, Follow Me Please

Category: Friends,PersonalChrisM @ 9:40 pm

A friend here in Astana has created a web site for the Zhuldyz Centre (a centre for child development, based on the Montessori method). Currently, none of the major search engines have indexed the site, despite there being no apparent major issues preventing them from doing so. Knowing very little about the methods involved with this style of education/development, I took a while to read some of the pages, and also checked out Wiki’s entry on the Montessori method.
I would be interested to find out how progressive the methods used at the Zhuldyz centre are, as in whether they adhere to strictly earlier ‘pure’ Montessori, or whether they have followed other practitioners and modified the theories and approaches to take into account reviews and criticism. I could be wrong, but I think the last time I came across this method of teaching was a Newsround report, a good 20-odd years ago. (Newsround is (was?) a children’s news programme on BBC1, in case American readers have no idea what I’m on about.)

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Mar 31 2009

Amsterdam 2008 Photos #12

Category: Amsterdam,Personal,PicturesChrisM @ 1:28 pm

The Greenery In Holland

arrrrrrrrrrrrgh, lost all the text I originally entered for this post during the downtime my sites had. Will try and remember what I was thinking about roughly…

Two types of Greenery, the first are coming, the second are at the end of the post, click the Continue Reading or similar link…

1) Shot out the window of the bus to Keukenhof (having changed forms of transport at Leiden, with a stop off to Double A, a coffeeshop a little off the beaten track. Tulip fields abound in this area. May well do a separate post for Keukenhof itself, these photos are all from a collection I posted at a couple of Amsterdam Coffeeshop forums a while back.
Amsterdam Holland Chris Merriman Irina

Here we have a pretty water fountain/sculpture at the entrance to the gardens.
Amsterdam Holland Chris Merriman Irina
A shot of a man playing with his organ in Holland. Wonder if that will get me any search engine based traffic 😉
Amsterdam Chris Merriman Irina man playing with his organ in Holland
Continue reading “Amsterdam 2008 Photos #12”

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Mar 17 2009

Ethernet History

Category: In The MediaChrisM @ 2:04 am

I happily admit this first link is more for my more geeky friends than the average ChrisMerriman.com regular reader / search engine-source new visitor, but I found The Register’s article on the history of Ethernet quite interesting. Another tab that has been open a while in Firefox on this PC, so I wanted to post it before I forgot. Check it out here.
Oh, and while you’re on the site, if you don’t know whether your nice new shiny little computer is a laptop, subnotebook, ultraportable, ultrathin or a netbook, then check out this article. (Slightly NSFW due to the odd swear word).

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Jan 12 2009

Belated 2009 Greetings

Category: Friends,Personal,Weather,WiFi,Windows Mobile,WordPressChrisM @ 3:36 pm

Wow, no posts in almost 12 days. That has to be improved upon, sorry. The (somewhat predictable) reasons for my online muteness were recovering from Christmas, seeing in the New Year, travelling around meeting friends and family, some of whom we hadn’t crossed paths with in a couple of years, friends coming over to sunny Wales to see the house for the first time, oh and also maintaining, repairing and improving four different PCs. Getting used to Vista from a technical support point of view has taken time, but I at least no longer involuntarily shudder when I hear the OS’ name 😉
After flashing my TyTn II (Kaiser) to a custom WM6.1 ROM (it was working boringly reliably, something had to be tweaked/modded 😉 ) and getting TomTom, music and voice commands to work whilst in the car, I installed Ubuntu onto Ira’s laptop (dual-boot obviously, didn’t think the love of my life would appreciate me nuking her Windows install), finally got around to properly securing the wireless network at home in Clydach, got the PCs all happily working as far as UPnP was concerned. This needed to be sorted as the internet radio I recvd. for Xmas could also play files on the LAN, and I was having issues just using normal folder sharing on a couple of the Vista machines.
Ante natal classes have been an interesting and mostly informative process, it is hard to believe we are now probably less than a month away from seeing our daughter’s face for the first time 🙂 We now have a lot of the items new borns need, and even the pushchair/pram/car-seat optimus prime styled transforming thingy has turned up. Ira has done some more photo shoots with John, obviously centred around the theme of pregnancy/new life etc. See previous posts for the last published examples – though hopefully John will get around to adding new posts to his blog, and new photos to the gallery soon. Which reminds me, don’t forget to check out ConJoinery if you are in need of carpentry or joinery skills… when Con came over here for a few days, we got around to setting up a quick blog to promote his work, and showcase previous projects. It obviously still need more content, but the basic framework of WordPress 2.7 and useful plugins are in place.
After all that I finally noticed that this site is once again down to a PageRank of 0 (see many previous posts regarding Google and post links-for-money issues. Anyway, I now know why there is a lot less work around again. From n/a to a 2, then up to 4, spanked by google down to a 0, recovered to 2, then back once more to 0. As the only thing this alters for the worse is the potential income for this domain, I’m not crying into my cereal. The unique visitor numbers per day has been steadily bouncing between 250 and 600 a day, even when no fresh content has been added, so I know the search engine traffic, and regular repeat visitors have carried on regardless. It is a little strange to find out which of your posts are popular, and the search terms people googled to get there. If you’ve not already enabled AWStats on your site, it might be worth popping along to your CPanel interface and turning it on…

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Oct 30 2008

100K Almost!

Category: PersonalChrisM @ 3:53 pm

As I write this post, the blog is 332 people away from having received 100,000 unique visitors since it began (back in July 2006). In case the phrase ‘unique visitor’ is new to you, this is basically one person visiting the site. If they return within 24 hours, the repeat visit does not count towards unique visitor statistics (unlike a simple hit counter). Also, any visits from bots or spiders (from the search engines mostly) are not counted at all by both statistic packages I currently use (AWStats and FireStats).
So, if someone visits my site once a day all through October, my stats would show an extra 31 unique visitors. If they visited 31 times in one day, only ONE unique visitor is recorded. Anyway, thanks to those who know me and pop in occasionally to see what is new in our lives over here, thanks to those of you who come here from the search engines (I use a plugin that pings me each time I rank well for a google search) and especially those of you who come back again.
I’ve recently cut down on the adverts displayed on this site, especially those that were only shown for American visitors – the ads weren’t at all content-orientated, sometimes looked tacky, and to be completely honest were not generating anything like the income I had hoped for. You’ll also never find any sort of pop-up, pop-under, or full page sponsorship advert before you can access the site; each to their own, but I hate them when I’m randomly browsing around, so don’t want to inflict them on my visitors.

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Oct 08 2008

Don’t Want To Register?

Category: PersonalChrisM @ 2:54 am

Having just seen a section of a Ray Mears episode I’d already caught before, I wanted to check if he had done any filming in Kazakhstan. Simple enough, chuck in Ray Mears Kazakhstan to the search box in Firefox, and wait to see what gems Google returns. One of the entries looked interesting, so I opened it in a new tab, and checked to see what people had to say with ‘Bear Grylls or Ray Mears – who’d survive?” as the ecademy thread title. I was greeted with a “Join Now or Login to read all comments and to submit your own content, questions and comments.” message. Rather than register at every forum or knowledgebase that may or may not have useful information, I have two approaches to such occasions. The first is to return to the Google search results, and click on the Cached link at the bottom of most search results. This will then open up a page with what the Google bot originally found. This tends to effectively grant full access, as if the search engines can’t see the content, then search results aren’t likely to include the site.
Alternatively, if there is no cached version available, or if the site looks too garbled, I use the BugMeNot add in for Firefox. This checks their database for accounts that have been previously shared by other users, and if a match is found, you can log in without handing over your e-mail address to an organization you don’t know well.
If you use the second method, don’t forget that posting under that account is not a great idea, as anyone potentially has access to the same account, and may also alert the site owners to the fact that the account in question is not strictly genuine any more.

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Feb 13 2008

Randomness

Category: Personal,WordPressChrisM @ 9:33 am

As observant readers will have noticed, this blog has been missing a tagline§ since I moved hosts and reinstalled WordPress from scratch. Part of the problem was that I couldn’t decide which to use, having already cycled through a few on the old version of the blog. I am now trying out a new plugin (WP Random Tagline (I love plugin authors who name their code with a descriptive name, saves so much time when searching 🙂 )), and so each time someone visits a page on this site, they should see a new tagline at the top, just above where it says ChrisMerriman.com.
Now some people would say this does not help with search engine optimization, however 1) I’m mainly writing this blog for my own sanity, not necessarily to try and draw in a crowd of thousands 2) It is better than having none at all 😉
Anyway, the plugin automatically creates the required SQL table thingies, which is a relief, as this is one area I’m still a little hazy on.

§ – Thats the text you see next to many blog names (normally a short description/quote/explanation, as opposed to the site name itself)

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