Thursday, 09 December 2004 has perhaps the most useful PDF file of the year available to download…

Do you ever get tired of those idiot people who suck up all the ambient quiet while talking on their cell phones about things that they – well – should probably just keep quiet?

Take action now:

“After reading a story in the NYT, Jim's wife Heidi decided that maybe there was a way to fight back against the obnoxious cell phone users that we all have to deal with in stores, restaurants, trains and pretty much everywhere else. Can design ride to the rescue? Jim and the incomparable Aaron Draplin think it can. So, as a public service, we introduce the reasonably polite SHHH, the Society for HandHeld Hushing.”

Download this PDF, get out your exacto knife or scissors, and start fighting back (NOTE: The PDF contains a few choice profanities, so if you’re easilly offended, don’t click).

(via Engadget)

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Humor | Things that Suck
Thursday, 09 December 2004 14:49:13 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Wednesday, 08 December 2004

For the past few months now I have had Google AdSense ads (four of them in a vertical stack format) way down deep on the page in the right-side nav section of this weblog. You’d be safe to say they were buried, way “below the fold.” In other words, the worst possible place to stick ads that you want people to click on.

I put the ads there after Chris Pirillo pontificated on the wonders of AdSense - on his site, to me in person, to me in email, to me in instant messaging conversations. He groks the stuff.

Yesterday I got a “hey here’s some new info about your AdSense account” email from the AdSense people, which reminded me of that fact that I even had the ads on my site at all (yeah, they were that far down on the page). I’m a little lazy about that kind of stuff. In fact, I had not checked on the stats for my AdSense account in some time, and so I was a bit surprised to find I had almost $80 worth of ad revenues in my account. Hmmm…

So, being the smart guy I am, I decided maybe there actually was something to this AdSense stuff. Late last night I changed my ad layout design from four ads to just two, made it a horizontal layout, and moved them to the top of the page - into a much higher-profile placement.

The results? Well, just today, I had nearly $10 in click-through revenues – and today was a (relatively) slow traffic day on the site. In other words, by simply moving the ads and making them fit in a little better, in just one day I brought in about an eighth of the total ad revenue from the past four months. That’s hard to beat, no matter how you look at it:

    • Click-through Rate:   3.4% today     0.2% per day average
    • Click-though Count:   36 today       1 per day average
    • Daily Earnings:       $9.42 today    $0.43 per day average

Of course, I emailed Chris and told him about my little experiment in ad placement and the results, and his reply was what exactly I expected:

“Told ya so.”

Heh. Yeah, he sure did.

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Wednesday, 08 December 2004 23:32:27 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Eric’s feeling pretty smug ‘cuz he posted about the Zoomquilt before I did. Okay, Eric – you win. I didn’t get around to it. :-)

Zoomquilt is pretty cool. Let it load, follow the simple instructions.

Be visually amazed. Marvel at the detail. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Seriously - it’s hella-cool. Enjoy.

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Random Stuff
Wednesday, 08 December 2004 22:56:14 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Well, for those who have followed (for some reason) my back ailments here, an update: Surgery will happen on December 22nd.

So, Percutaneous Discectomy it is – removal of some of the material inside the disc at the L5/S1 space to relieve pressure on the nerve root there. The doctor will remove some of the material from inside, the bulge moves back toward the void left by the removal, and the pressure is reduced. Hopefully.

Nice thing is, it’s outpatient day surgery – I’ll walk out and go straight home within a few hours of arriving there. I’ll also be wearing a back brace for a while and will have to do several weeks of physical therapy (whoopee), but in the end I am hopeful it will all be worth it.

I’ve done pretty much everything I can in order to try to make things work without surgery, so this is pretty much it. While I am not big on the idea of surgery, I am very much looking forward to the possibility of some relief and maybe even getting back to where I can physically do the things I used to do.

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Kineflex Artificial Disc Surgery | Personal Stories
Wednesday, 08 December 2004 22:31:00 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Saturday, 04 December 2004

Most any blog that’s been Googled, Slashdotted, or Engadgeted – or for that matter pretty much anything that drives traffic to a site – has seen the effects of referral spam. It SUCKS. Porn and marketing sites create a fake link to your blog entry, which results in a link to their web site (usually and unpleasant and unwelcome one) showing up in your referral list for that entry. Your readers click a link and get porn tossed right in their faces. Ugh.

With dasBlog, the only way I had to effectively battle this (I am a victim of referral spam for sure) was to turn off referral displays on my blog. I don’t want that, but this is a family-friendly site for the most part, so keeping the nasty out was important.

But last night Scott Hanselman, a friend and co-worker, sent me a new little C# 2005 Express project ZIP file, told me to compile it, and to try it out. He just built it for himself, and passed it on for me to use.

No more referral spam!

UPDATE: While I was able to kill the nasty referrer links, I have again removed referral listings from the blog for a while, because I have one particular weblog entry that has so many hundreds of referrers, it will crash the browser when you try to load it with referrers showing… But that’s a whole different issue…

Since then, Scott has posted the project source file on his blog, too, so any dasBlog users that need it can take advantage. He plans to make it a little more elegant in the future, but this is a great start!

Scott Hanselman, YOU’RE MY HEEEROOOO. :-)

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Blogging | Tech | Things that Suck
Saturday, 04 December 2004 11:42:40 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Tariq’s new SharePoint Tools Galore list is a great resource for people who work with WSS and SharePoint Portal Server. He lists a ton of third party and other tools for use with SharePoint. Check it out:

Also – Joris Poelmans updates the list:

Not sure if or where this will actually “live,” but it’s a great start.

For my part – I can tell you that TeamPlate for .NET is very powerful and interesting when plugged into SharePoint and elsewhere, and they have a new version about to come out.

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Office 2003 | SharePoint | Tech
Saturday, 04 December 2004 11:05:05 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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