SEO tools and technologies - typical subject matter would include RSS and CMS systems

Linux version of Opera's Voice Enabled Beta out Now

Thread Title: Opera releases browser beta for Linux Thread Url: Thread Description:

Horray! Now if only i could get my mic to work!

This new 8.0 version of Opera features voice technology that allows users to browse the Web and check their e-mail using spoken commands. By using the appropriate command, people can scroll around a Web page, read highlighted text out loud and follow links.

A spokesman for Opera said the technology allows people to interact with their browser in a more natural way.

"Our vision is to improve human and computer communications," the spokesman said. "You should be able to communicate with technology in the same way as we communicate with each other."

Download page is here, wonder what kind of dependencies it has for this voice stuff...

Want Desktop Search for your Mac? - Blinkx has it...

Thread Title: Happy Day: Desktop Search for Mac Thread Url: Thread Description:

John Battelle has the standard duller than a month of sundays press release about Blinkx's new Smart Folders DTS at the post threadlinked above.

Advances in Image Retrieval - Looking *inside* the Image

Thread Title: Search Looks at the Big Picture Thread Url:,1282,66185,00.html Thread Description:

Wired have a great story threadlinked above on advances in image retrieval software and techniques - rather than looking at text based tags and other traditional ways of determining an images content this article looks at how a small research group are working out how to look inside an image:

A group of European researchers is developing technology that could vastly improve image searching by identifying the components of an image. The group, which includes the Xerox Research Centre Europe and universities in France, England, Sweden, Austria and Switzerland, has developed software that can recognize everyday objects in digital images, according to Christopher Dance, a senior research scientist at Xerox.

The image-processing software looks for "key patches" in an image to determine the relative positions of different shapes, such as tires and a car body, or a beach and ocean waves, to categorize the image's contents, Dance said. The software has learned hundreds of objects since development began in 2002, and "can be used to categorize images and automatically create image tags," Dance said.

The implications for search tech are HUGE..

Affiliate Alert - M$ Anti-Spyware Beta Now for Download

Thread Title: Download: Windows AntiSpyware (beta) Thread Url: Thread Description:

Neowin has the scoop on the new antispyware program from M$ being out in beta, now we need some tech-savvy affiliates to test it and see if it's eating affiliate cookies or not. If you do test it, please let us know about it here...

Late last year Threadwatch member 5StarAffilatePrograms rasied concerns that the new tool would eat affilate cookies..

BIll Gates' CES Keynote Now Online

Thread Title: Bill Gates at the 2005 Consumer Electronics Show Thread Url: Thread Description:

Im more than a little unhappy over this, my linux mplayer doesn't seem to want to play it as it "has no hostname part" - Sheesh....

thanks scoble

Q & A with Bill Gates - Interesting Stuff on Tech & Search

Thread Title: Bill Gates is coming to your living room, whether you like it or not. Thread Url: Thread Description:

Big Billy G has done a nice Q&A over at the CNet story threadlinked above, here are some of the hightlights:

On Convergence and Advertising:

Well, there's a lot of that going on. For us, the key convergence product is the Media Center PC, which is the idea of that single remote control giving you the best TV experience, music and photos but also the full power of the PC, and we've got lots of partners who keep signing on to Media Center and doing neat things.

even for people watching the same show, you can insert just in a perfect way an ad targeted to that individual.

And the value of targeted advertising is really twofold. First, it means that the person is less likely to want to skip the ad, and second of all, it means the chance that they'll actually do something--buy something.

On Blogging:

actually I think the biggest blogging statistic I know, which really blew me away, is that we've got close to a million people setting up blogs with the Spaces capability that's connected up to Messenger.

I've toyed with doing one myself, but I don't want to be one of those people who start and then don't finish it, and again I'm thinking maybe I could do one a month or one every six weeks--something like that. I'd kind of like to, but I've got to be sure I can keep going for at least a year to make it worth doing.

On the iPod

And in the same way that Macintosh helped get people exposed to the graphical user interface, the iPod is doing a great job getting people to think about digital music.

In the long run, there will be a lot of people making digital music players, and we think that there will be a very different market share with dozens and dozens of companies. And other than Apple, all those player makers are signing up to work inside the Windows PlaysForSure ecosystem.

GigaBlast Introduce XML Search Feed

Thread Title: GigaBlast XML Search Feed Thread Url: Thread Description:

There seems to be a lot of nice tools coming out of GigaBlast recently. Today we learn of the XML Search Feed threadlinked above, thanks to Gary

There's actually quite a lot of cool features that can be incorporated into your searches using this tool and you can get the full list and instructions at the threadlink.

Reports on the Vegas CES from around the Web

Thread Title: Doors open at biggest gadget fair Thread Url: Thread Description:

Gadget freaks all over the world will be wetting their pants with excitment over the Vegas CES that opened today. Rather than litter the recent posts list and RSS feed with dozens of CES related threads i thought i would put the ones i find interesting all in one place. Including Podcasts.

Please feel free to add reports you find interesting as comments, providing a link to the source and a relevant quote.

Kicking off at CES Vegas

We can start with this BBC report on the opening of CES. It's a nice all round intro to the whole deal.

The thrust of this year's show will be on technologies which put people in charge of multimedia content so they can store, listen to, and watch what they want on devices any time, anywhere.

About 120,000 people are expected to attend the trade show which stretches over more than 1.5 million square feet.

Highlights will include the latest trends in digital imaging, storage technologies, thinner flat screen and high-definition TVs, wireless and portable technologies, gaming, and broadband technologies.

The show also includes several speeches from key technology companies such as Intel, Microsoft, and Hewlett Packard among others.

List of Links to Good Coverage - Comments Contain Quotes and Details... PaidContent on Orb Networks Good overview from The Ledger USAToday launches a CES blog via MP

Desktop Searches Compared

Thread Title: Five new programs that let you search your hard drive without having a seizure Thread Url: Thread Description:

MSN's slate magazine summarizes the current state of play and compares the Ask Jeeves, HotBot, Google, MSN and Coppernic desktop searches.

Object Graph: A Dictionary that works like Google Suggest

Thread Title: It's Like Google Suggest, Only As A Dictionary Thread Url: Thread Description:

Now this is cool, type in words and have the text box suggest completions of your partial text based on dictionary terms. Copywriters may get a lot out of this and it's certainly going in the Nick W toolbox!

Try the Object Graph Dictionary Here

Web Monitoring Tools for Ego and Topic Notification

Thread Title: Tools for Online Tracking Thread Url: Thread Description:

Threadwatch member notepage aka Sharon Houseley of has posted a nice set of links to tools that can be used to ego surf or get notification of topics you follow - such as mentions of your company or bits and pieces of interest about competitors and so forth. The list inludes:

Google WebAlerts PubSub NetNewsTracker Google News RSS Ebay keyword RSS Amazon keyword RSS InternetSeer

and some useful resources for monitoring tools. The links are followed by nice concise descriptions so do check out the full details at the threadlink above.

A Question for Threadwatchers

How do you monitor those keywords and topics that matter to you, and what do you use to do that?

Personally i use G Alerts and that's about it. It's lame, and as a result of Sharons article i'm going to try to fix that :)

Smart Aggregation - The Next Big Step in Desktop Info Management?

Thread Title: Newsmap as a Model for Smart Aggregation Thread Url: Thread Description:

Mike Davidson who works in media product development for Disney initiates an interesting discussion on information overload and how a smart aggregator could be the answer to the enormous amounts of data we will (and some are already) be processing in the next few years.

The idea is that a desktop smart aggregator would filter your email, and learn from your habbits using adaptive learning technology as Mac does now but, also on your IM and news consumption. It's a purely speculative post, but an informed and quite plausable one - here's a snippet:

The key to our information gathering lives is all about smart aggregation. The days of media companies deciding what’s on your “front page” are numbered. Within five years, I believe customizable newsreader technology (whether client-side like Net News Wire, or server-side like Bloglines), will be as prevalent as the web is right now. The web will still be there for viewing entire bodies of content like full stories and video, but the web will not be the notification source that this content is available. Instead, it will be simple aggregators like we have today, and then eventually, creative ones like Newsmap… albeit in a much more effective form.

This follows on nicely from the conversations we recently had here on the excess effect and coping with infomation overload.

You can see from the discussion that there's a large amount of work to do just on the theory let alone an actual application but Mike speculates that one of the big players if not several are already working on it.

Do you think Google or M$ et al could pull such an app off and could it be the media app of the decade? I think they could, and it might...

SBC & 2WIre to Launch Set Top Box that Includes Web Content

Thread Title: 2Wire MediaPortal Thread Url: Thread Description:

Man i gotta move out of Denmark, i need to live in a place where kit like this could be useful to me! From the Engadget post threadlinked above:

Wouldn't it be hot to type "Law & Order" in the search field, then page through results that included PVR-recorded shows, ripped DVDs, live TV, on demand streaming media, and downloaded videos that live on your PC's networked storage? This MediaPortal box can't do all of that (the DVD ripping and the downloaded movies part might be trouble), but it can do everything else, plus stream your home content to a mobile device. Who knows how well it'll all work together, but it holds a lot of promise.

and from this eWeek post

The new service will center on a set-top box that integrates satellite television, digital video recording, video on demand and Web content such as Yahoo's photo-sharing and LaunchCast music services, SBC announced.

As part of the service, users can access and share online Yahoo Photos and listen to Yahoo's LaunchCast Internet radio through home stereos and entertainment systems, according to SBC. Inside CES 2005

The set-top box also will provide storage for digital photos and music, and users will be able to access photos and music and to program digital video recording remotely through the SBC Yahoo interface on the Web.

I'd say that Battelle's prediction that TV and Search will merge is getting just a little closer...

WordPress SpamAssassin Plugin

Thread Title: WordPress SpamAssassin Plugin Thread Url: Thread Description:

IOError threadlinked above have released a SpamAssassin plugin for WordPress - I use this tool for my spam filtering on email, which is it's primary use and it's not bad. Not great, but not bad.

Apparently it can do more than just email and WP users will enjoy playing with this to see if it's up to the job of fighting comment spam:

SpamAssassin is a nice program designed for ISP mail servers that immediately rejects incoming spam before it ever gets anywhere near your inbox. However, it also has its own wire protocol, so you can write custom programs to speak to it. And that’s exactly what I did. It’s far from perfect, I’m sure, but I’m also sure it’ll improve given time and feedback.

I shouldnt think that would bother some folks for 5mins but it will raise the bar a little when targeting WP installs im sure...

The GigaBlast Site Search - Anyone Tried it?

So i've been hearing a lot about the Gigablast site search since they launched it and just spotted a post by a recent aquaintance of mine, David Tebbutt, who has installed it on his site with the purpose of searching all his sites.

I tried a couple of queries and was not so impressed when one I was certain wouldn't return much actually returned plenty. Plenty of crap results but when i searched for his product, Brainstorm it seemed very good.

Has anyone tried it, and if so, what do you think?

Simple tweak for FireFox speed increase

Thread Title: Simple tweak for FireFox speed increase Thread Url: Thread Description:

Hi all,

Just come across this simple tweak to substantially increase the speed of FireFox.



WordPress Release Forum Software -

Thread Title: Thread Url: Thread Description:

The makers of WordPress blogging software now have bbPress - a 'light' forum software app.

bbPress is forum software with a twist. bbPress is focused on web standards, ease of use, ease of integration, and speed. Most software in this space is focused on features like avatars or file attachment and if that's what you're interested in, bbPress probably isn't for you. We're focused on keeping things as small and light as possible for the explicit purpose of creating a community around support.

I do like the bit about no avatars i must say. How it would hold up under the strain of critical mass remains to be seen and i've not done much more than read the homepage and take a look at it's showcase implementation - which leaves a lot to be desired in the looks department but as bbPress is focused on web standards is most likely very simple to prettify.

Search Marketing Paranoia - Removing Footprints and other Tracks

Thread Title: Removing Footprints Thread Url: Thread Description:

WmW's rogerd has an interesting discussion going in the threadlink above on seo paranoia. Specifically about the need (or not) to remove software footprints and kicks off by listing a few of the easier ones to spot:

Some of the most obvious steps: 1) Remove "powered by" and similar text. 2) Remove on-page "copyright" text or convert to image. 3) Change default installation directory and file names to foil both searches and brute-force attacks. 4) Remove/change other giveaways (ancient SEOs remember the infamous "blueline.gif" that undid many thousands of pages), i.e., anything that a hacker or other problem user could plug into a search engine to easily find sites using particular software.

The way i look at it is this: If you know you are employing high risk tactics, or you think that people using the same software might be, remove everything. In fact, dont stop there - change every conceivable bit about the scripts as you can including templates, urls structures, admin script names - the whole damn lot.

If you're not in that kind of area: Do it anyway.

So, taking it some steps further How paranoid should one be, or is there no need? Other than removing footprints from software, what else can one do to fly beneath the algorithmic radar? Classic pitfalls? Consequences and considerations apart from SE's?

Just how far do you need to go?

Operas New Browser is Voice Enabled!

Thread Title: Look who's talking now Thread Url: Thread Description:

Opera's new beta download, which will become the next major release is voice enabled. Meaning that you can have your web pages read to you and navigate by voice control - how cool is that?

You can Download it here Win only :(

"We were preparing for the 7.60 release, but as work progressed and we kept adding improvements and functionality, it became very evident that we now have a browser that is so powerful, secure, and easy to use that it exceeds the next logical version number and warrants a major release," says Jon S. von Tetzchner, CEO, Opera Software, and adds that all those who have licensed Opera 7 will, of course, receive free upgrades. "The new Opera version has dramatic improvements under the hood, in addition to some very helpful new features to welcome more and more users to take advantage of browsing the Internet in a fast, safe, and customizable way."

Opera is the first browser to prepare for a future of Web sites offering interactive, voice-enabled shopping and booking systems. You can also browse the Web using spoken commands, such as "Opera next link", "Opera back", or "Opera speak". The latter command will make Opera read Web page content and e-mail messages to you aloud, adding usability as either a screen reader or advanced dictionary.

There are a whole bunch of other improvements including improved RSS handling and more. If they manage to get a Linux version out I may well have to give it a whirl, it'd make my life a lot easier if it actually worked...

Someone go try it and tell us what it's like!

Sandbox: Can it be Detected by a Tool?

Thread Title: Sandbox Detection Tool by SOCEngine Thread Url: Thread Description:

Barry Schwartz over at seroundtable links to a tool that claims to detect whether or not a site has been "sandboxed" - see threadlink above for details.

Now, as far as i understand sandbox, it's pretty simple to see if your site is affected by it right? So, what is the point of a tool to do this for you?

I could be missing something, if so, please point out the obvious to me :-)