Recently in Technology

Clicktale, In Page Analytics

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Clicktale is an interesting start up that provides insights into your website traffic, using what they call "In-Page Web Analytics". Some of what they claim to provide:

  • Watch Movies of your visitors' browsing sessions to analyze their behavior
  • Scrolling Heatmaps show where visitors look and how far down they scroll
  • Link Analytics shows every interaction, hover, hesitation time, and much more
  • Form Analytics reveals problem fields in online forms that cause visitors to leave
  • Has anyone tried this technology out? Would be interesting to hear from some real users -

    Facebook Connect demo Part 1

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    I recently set up a quick demo of Facebook Connect...Basically it gives you the ability to leverage Facebook data for use on your site.


    Facebook Connect is the next evolution of Facebook Platform - enabling you to integrate the power of Facebook Platform into your own site. Enable your users to...

    Seamlessly "connect" their Facebook account and information with your site
    Connect and find their friends who also use your site
    Share information and actions on your site with their friends on Facebook


    Here is a demo that will log users into Facebook on ibizdaily.com...additionally it lets you invite people in your network to use ibizdaily.

    ibizdaily Facebook Connect demo

    Is your data center this cool?

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    In my eight years at working for ibm.com, I never got a chance to see where our servers where hosted. But I can guarantee, it was probably not at as cool a facility as this one.

    Not that 'coolness' is a prerequisite for choosing a data center, but it sure is fun.

    More on Wolfram|Alpha....

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    The Wolfram|Alpha search engine launches on May 9th...Here is a nice article from h+ that breaks down how it all works:

    Despite his disclaimer, Wolfram|Alpha looks like a search engine, in that there's a one-line box where you type in a question. The output appears a second or two later, as a page of text and graphics below the box. What's happening behind the scenes? Rather than looking up the answer to your question, Wolfram|Alpha figures out what your question means, looks up the necessary data to answer your question, computes an answer, designs a page to present the answer in a pleasing way, and sends the page back to your computer.

    Let me give three random examples. If you enter the query, "3/26/2009 + 90 days" you'll get a page that gives a date ninety days later than the first date. If you enter "mt. everest height length of golden gate" you'll get a page expressing the height of Mount Everest as a multiple of the length of the Golden Gate Bridge. If you enter "temperature in los gatos," you'll get something like the current temperature, a graph of the temperatures over the last week with projections for the next few days, and a graph of the temperatures over the last year.

    There is also a podcast with Stephen Wolfram that gets a bit deeper into the science behind the new service.

    Excellent Article on the Digg Algorithm

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    If you are wondering how the Digg algorithm works, a good place to start is right here.

    Specifically I think these are the most salient facts to consider:


    • Voting is the dominant component.

    • Timing of the votes matter.

    • Who submitted the content by domain and submitter.

    Google Reveals Top Secret Server Designs

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    This is an interesting approach to data center architecture:

    Google's big surprise: each server has its own 12-volt battery to supply power if there's a problem with the main source of electricity. The company also revealed for the first time that since 2005, its data centers have been composed of standard shipping containers--each with 1,160 servers and a power consumption that can reach 250 kilowatts.

    10 skills developers will need in the next five years

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    Just came across this from techrepublic.com... basically its a list of skills developers will need in the next 5 years:

    With the recent changes in the economy, a lot of developers are focused on their short-term job prospects. At the same time, it's important to make sure that you get the most bang for your buck when it comes to taking the time and energy to learn new skills. Here is our list of 10 skills you should be learning right now to make sure that your resume is relevant for the next five years. The list is hardly exhaustive, and there are huge swaths of the industry it won't cover (mainframe developers, for example). Nonetheless, for average mainstream development, you can't go wrong learning at least seven of these skills -- not only to the point where you can talk convincingly about them at a job interview, but actually use them on the job.

    Here is the list

    1: One of the "Big Three" (.NET, Java, PHP)
    2: Rich Internet Applications (RIAs)
    3: Web development
    4: Web services
    5: Soft skills
    6: One dynamic and/or functional programming language
    7: Agile methodologies
    8: Domain knowledge
    10: Mobile development

    Check out the full post over at techrepublic.com.

    Google Chrome has a new beta

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    Google Chrome has a new beta. I have been using Chrome and have come to like many of the features..One of my favorites is the landing page with my most visited sites..Im lazy so it makes it easy for me to see my bookmarks. I plan on giving it a spin. This is what the official Chrome blog claims


    The best thing about this new beta is speed -- it's 25% faster on our V8 benchmark and 35% faster on the Sunspider benchmark than the current stable channel version and almost twice as fast when compared to our original beta version.

    Microsoft, FAST and Sharepoint

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    A few weeks ago, Fast held its annual user conference in Las Vegas with the big announcement that they where going to have a specific version of their ESP product for Sharepoint. A good overview has been written up by Jim Atkins at Personal Computing World. What I found interesting what this last bit:

    "Potentially there are quiet smiles in Autonomy right now, because Microsoft appears to be emphasising Fast for SharePoint rather than Fast as an enterprise tool," Byrne said. "From a marketing perspective it's almost as if they're taking it downmarket."

    Koenigsbauer was at pains to reassure existing Fast customers that Microsoft would continue to support Fast products. However, if Microsoft is intent on widening Fast ESP's appeal, and even making Fast ESP the de facto search tool for SharePoint as many commentators suggest, then some traditional Fast customers may be beginning to feel nervous.

    "Fast users of old have made big investments in the technology and use it on an enterprise scale. Many of them aren't going to be SharePoint houses, so where does this move leave them?" argued Richmond.

    I just don't get this bit. Fast also announced that they where going to have a product called Fast ESP for Internet Business. So why would people think they are moving downmarket? And why would traditional Fast customers feel nervous about it?

    Video hosting

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    I just got an email newsletter from Viddler.com and it reminded that I have been wanting to post about sites that host video that you can then use on your website or blog.

    I started using Viddler after I noticed that Wine Library TV was using it. Before that was using Brightcove - but my new favorite in this space is Vimeo.

    Of course the 800 lb. gorilla in web vidoe is YouTube - but I find YouTube both ugly (the interface) and too advertising dominated - and as great as Google is, it is nice to see them have some real competition in some areas. Vimeo especially has a very clean interface and all the controls disappear once the video starts playing (until you mouse over it again) which I like very much.

    So what can you do with pretty much all of the above sites? Basically you upload your videos from your computer (in several formats) and then these sites do their own encoding of that video and host it. People can watch it on the video hosting sites, or you grab some code and embed the video into your own site. It is pretty simple and straightforward, and probably easier than hosting your own video and embedding a flash player or messing with Quicktime, AVI files, etc. You also don't have the bandwith concerns of hosting and streaming large files.

    Additionally, many of these sites feature social tools where other people can rate and share your videos, etc. which gives the added benefit of getting your video more exposure (if that is what you want).

    Adding Twitter Feeds To Your Blog

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    I came across a nice tutorial on how to add your tweets to your blogs, by Remy Sharp

    Below is a working example of loading twitters after the page has completed, thus preventing the whole page from locking up.

    Twitter Plugin

    This was hacked together, so the next steps will be to clean it up and make it a stand alone module that can function as a badge and not just a blog post... stay tuned.

    So your hard drive crashed - now what?

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    This my first post to iBizDaily and it really is not about Internet Business, but the just the other day my main workstation, where it feels like I spend 50% of my life, crashed. When I finally got it to boot again, one of the hard drives was not visible to the operating system.

    The first thing I did was pull the hard drive out of the computer and put in and external enclosure. If you don't have one, you can buy one. After this experience I bought the Thermaltake Blacx because then you don't have to take apart the enclosure when you move the drive around. It also has an eSata interface for much faster data transfer speeds. It also handles notebook hard-drives as well. Perfect. Also with the price of hard drives getting cheaper and cheaper it makes for stellar backup system.

    After connecting the hard drive to the system, Windows could see the drive in the disk management utility, but it said there was no partitions on the drive. Oh swell. But don't panic. What you want to get is a utility called GetDataBack for NTFS. Pay the $79 dollars. There is lifetime update policy. What GetDataBack does is reads the hard drive natively and allows you to copy the files off of it that are recoverable. It is not fool proof, but it amazing. I was able to recover all the files on my hard drive, including 2 months of family photo's that were not backed-up.

    5 Great AJAX Dynamic List Solutions

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    They are called a number of things: dynamic lists, auto completer, or auto suggest. Basically this is the functionality like when you type a search into Google and the most relevant list of topics appear as you type:

    ajax.JPG

    Here are 5 solutions that will give you this functionality:

    1. Ajax Auto Suggest

    2. Ajax Dynamic List

    3. Ajax Auto Complete

    4. Ajax Auto

    5. Ajax Autocompleter

    Google Friend Connect

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    Im not sure what to make of this yet...Basically Google Friend Connect lets you add what they call "social features" to your website.

    With the social bar, your visitors will be able to see crucial info at a glance and engage with social features through convenient drop-down gadgets.
    • On the far left, visitors can join your site, see their identity, and edit their profiles and settings.

    • Your visitors can also delve into your site's activity stream to see what's happening throughout your site. It includes links to recent posts made anywhere on your site, helping other visitors quickly find where the hottest conversations are taking place.

    • The wall gadget can host a discussion for the whole site, a section of pages, or each individual page, letting your visitors easily read and leave comments.

    • Lastly, visitors can see the other members of your site, check out their profiles to see how like-minded they really are, and even become friends.

    Here is a quick overview:

    Happy 25th Birthday Macintosh

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    Cheers Anthony... Happy Birthday Apple Macintosh... I actually have one of these collecting dust somewhere...I should break it out and take it for a spin..

    Steve Jobs demos Apple Macintosh, 1984

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