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

For the Graphically Competent: GIMP vs Paint.NET

Thread Title: Paint.NET v2.0 is ready for download! Thread Url: Thread Description:

I'd never heard of, the Washington State University's free graphics tool (threadlinked above) until today, but it's quite the app by all accounts. And could prove a worthy rival for GIMP, it's *nix based older brother.

Although Paint.NET does not sport a GNU license like the GIMP (graphical image manipulation program) it does grant permission for you to do pretty much the same stuff:

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

It's only been around since Spring this year, it started out as a senior design project at WSU but with v2.0 pronounced fit for download it's already causing a stir at Slashdot

The GIMP on the other hand has been around for ever, it started life as a similar project at Berkeley the mid 90's (the first full version was released in 1997) and has been used professionally by hollywood effects companies and more regular designers alike.

Bloglines, RSS, and Referrals - Competing with Search Engines

Thread Title: Mark Fletcher: Boing Boing, Bloglines and Google Thread Url: Thread Description:

This is a blog post with some interesting information about the impact Bloglines can have on referrals:

"Nutshell: Bloglines is the 3rd largest source of referring pageviews on BoingBoing, and the largest generator of referring hits to BoingBoing content, larger than Yahoo! and Google -- and all other search engines -- combined. Bloglines generates 30% of all referring hits to BoingBoing."

Interesting to see some real life referral figures about how RSS and and aggregator can cut the SE's out of the traffic loop.

Lots of interesting links and data in that blog post.

M$ Forced to Provide Windows-Media-Less version of WIndows

Thread Title: Microsoft to Offer a Media-Player-Free Version of Windows by January Thread Url:,1995,1744853,00.asp Thread Description:

Microsoft have been forced by a European court to provide a media player free version of Windows that will be available in Janurary according to Mary Jo Foley threadlinked above.

Talking of the Judge in question she said:

He denied Microsoft's request that the ordered remedies (including the unbundling of Windows Media Player from Windows) be postponed. Whether or not Microsoft appeals his denial, the Redmond software giant said it will deliver to European OEMs starting in January a Windows-Media-Player-free version of Windows. Microsoft also will publish communications protocols, including some heretofore-unpublished Windows Server ones, as part of the judge's order.

I'd like to know what protocols those are if anyone knows? And does this mean what i think it means, in that M$ are only required to have a version available that's playerless or that all versions should come without the player?

The former im sure, which is useless of course.

Pssst... Firefox just hit 12M downloads...

Not exactly news of the week but nice nonetheless :-)

Worm Defaces phpBB Forums via Google

Thread Title: Santy Worm Defaces Web Forums Thread Url:,1759,1744722,00.asp Thread Description:

If you're not running the very latest version of phpBB then you'd better get cracking. A worn called "Santy" is using Google to find phpBB sites and replace files on the server through a security hole in PHP.

By targeting the freely distributed phpBB, the defacement worm has become a major nightmare for some businesses that use the forum software to handle customer-service queries and other support issues.

In an advisory, security research outfit Kaspersky Lab said the Santy worm is "extra tricky" because it replaces several files on the server with its own code, meaning that other sites using the same host get infected.

Kaspersky Lab's advisory carries a "Red Alert" rating.

Anyone hit by this?

I don't get RSS Feeds & RSS Readers..

This is what I do know:

I understand that an RSS feed is basically data in an XML format. I know how to build and format XML pages, and even invent my own XML language. However, I always saw an RSS feed as a fast way to populate a database, or to dump data to a lot of other web pages.

What I don't understand is how an RSS reader fits into the whole thing. Why does one want to have a feed of stuff dumped into an RSS reader? Is it a standalone database? Is it really a lot faster to read lots of articles than just going to the site? It seems the same as subscribing to a lot of e-mail lists and reading all the e-mails. How does that make reading feeds faster?

What RSS readers are out there? What makes an RSS reader good? How does it work?

How does syndicating a site with the RSS feed help a web site if the code is dumped into a standalone reader? It seems like the code needs to be put on another web site in order for the 'syndication' to actually help the site which is syndicated.

Can some RSS veterans please clue me in?

Skypecasting - Create Podcast Interviews via Skype

Thread Title: Skype + Podcast Recorder = SkypeCasters Thread Url: Thread Description:

So, you know what Podcasting is by now right? When you record audio (soon video) and distribute it via RSS in mp3 format.

Well, imagine being able to conduct interviews or conference calls over skype and have that cast out in the same manner. Pretty neat huh? I can certainly think of a few things i'd like to do with that for this site...

The threadlink above contains full instructions on how to skypecast and looks like losts of fun aswell as potentially empowering many content sites to add real value to their offerings - can you tell im dead keen on this stuff?

Santa has been informed of my wishes...

Knoppix Development to Split - Lite vs Maximum

Thread Title: Knoppix To Split Into 'Light,' 'Maximum' Versions Thread Url: Thread Description:

Slashdot report in the threadlink above the news that Knoppix is to split into lite and maximum branches.

If you're not familiar with knoppix, let me get you up to speed fast: It's a Linux distrobution based on Debian that comes in the shape of a "live cd" - this means that you can burn a copy, pop it in your cd tray and reboot directly into a fully functional linux system - no messing with hard disks etc, it runs straight off the cd and is an excellent way to mess with Linux if your unsure of it.

Currently only one version of the Live CD is produced, on both CD and DVD. It is based on the Debian distribution and contains more than 2,000 executable applications and utilities. But Knoppix developer Klaus Knopper says that users will soon be able to choose between a fully featured version and a slimmed-down version of the CD.

"We will split the mainstream edition of Knoppix into two versions: a 'maximum' DVD edition with a complete Debian installation, and a 'light' edition on CD that contains the most popular desktop and server software only, for older computers or smaller systems that don't have a bootable DVD drive yet," said Knopper.

M$ Attacks Firefox over Security Issues - No, Really....

Thread Title: How can I trust Firefox? Thread Url: Thread Description:

Peter Torr of Microsoft attacks Firefox over, would you beleive, security issues...

In Peters blog post threadlinked above he talks mainly from a point of code signing - meaning that the way you download and install firefox is insecure and is open to maliciious exploits. It's a long post with screenshots, so here's just a small snippet to give you an idea of the tone. Check out the complete post for the real deal.

Not only does this software come from a completely random university server, but I have no way of checking if it is the authentic Firefox install or some maliciously altered copy. (I sure hope those 10 million people who have downloaded Firefox so far haven't all download backdoors into their system...). Since "You should only run software from publishers you trust" and since the publisher cannot be verified, I should click Don't Run (which is, thankfully, the default).

As Slashdot point out, some of this stuff could actually bear looking into...

Thoughts and opinions TW'ers? goes RSS

Thread Title: RSS Trial Thread Url: Thread Description:

Threadwatch member Anthony has added an RSS feed to his superb - you can grab the feed here.

If you want to keep up with the seemingly thousands of new directories that pop up on an almost daily basis then that's one tool you'll most likely enjoy. You can find a discussion of the RSS addition at the seozip post threadlinked above.

Security Flaw Found in Google's Desktop Search Tool

Thread Title: Rice University Computer Scientists Find a Flaw in Google's New Desktop Search Program Thread Url: Thread Description:

New York Times reports of a security flaw found in the Google Desktop Search tool which already has a fix.

The glitch, which could permit an attacker to secretly search the contents of a personal computer via the Internet

In a statement over the weekend, the company said that it had been notified of the flaw by the computer researchers in late November and had begun distributing a new version of the desktop search engine that repairs the potential security hole

Will news like this damage Google’s reputation like it has with MS and IE?

OpenOffice 2.0 preview released

Thread Title: OpenOffice 2.0 preview released Thread Url: Thread Description:

This version has a new database program that mimics Microsoft's Access

Running Through Proxy Servers

Thread Title: Running Through Proxy Servers Thread Url: Thread Description:

I've noticed that many tools like "GooSug scraper" pull data from Google by running through proxy servers. Although I understand the method conceptually, I would appreciate knowing more about what kind of specific resources are available. Can anyone suggest any proxy services (free or paid), software, on-line tutorials, etc.?

When buying a microphone...

So i need to buy a microphone for Voip/skype and maybe podcasting - I had a look on amazon and drew a blank.

Now, with my headphones, i didnt need special "computer headphones", i just bought some nice wireless ones that seemed up to the job and they work great. Is it the same with microphones? Am i barking up the wrong tree by looking under computers for these things?

If you use skype/voip and use a microphone, what are you using?

Finger trackball for power readers

Thread Title: Finger trackball for power readers Thread Url: Thread Description:

I have 2, just ordered another one for a gift.

It's different, but not too hard to become accustomed to the feel. Less of a curve than I expected.

Not top pricey, so you won't feel badly if you decide to toss it.

The Excess Effect

Thread Title: The Excess Effect Thread Url: Thread Description:

"My ability to produce and acquire has far outstripped my ability to consume."

I first put this under TW's Search & SEO/SEM section because I've been feeling the information overload in this sector lately. I moved it to Tools & Tech because maybe I'll get around to outlining my wish-list for a power-reader's RSS aggregator.

Google Suggest - Cracked!

Thread Title: Google Suggest Dissected Thread Url: Thread Description:

Want the Google Suggest Javascript uncompressed and fully commented?

Damn right you do! Check the threadlink above for the full source courtesy of chris justas

Six Apart Moves Against Blog Spammers

Thread Title: More on Comment Spamming Thread Url: Thread Description:

Expect to hear more on this from the creators of Movable Type within the next couple of days...

We're in the process of identifying all the separate issues involved, coming up with some concise and effective recommendations, and then outlining our plan going forward. We're also going to be reaching out to the weblog community as a whole with information we've learned from both our experience with Movable Type and our background in running the TypePad service. There are a variety of ways to deal with spam, ranging from technical to legal to social methods, and we'll discuss them all.

Looking at Blogging Software

Over the last few hours i've been having a little ponder about what software to run with for my daughters (still get a kick outa saying that heh..) site.

The criteria/wishlist would run something like this:

Reasonably mature with good chance of still being around in 5yrs+ Good docs and developer community Plenty of sensible add ons (plugins) Good to excellent spam protection - No, mtblacklist is NOT good enough Handles photos easily, preferably with gallery plugin also PHP/MySQL based Self hosted

A tall order right? So, some of the options i've thought about:

Movable Type Has most of it except it's perl/mysql based and has mt-blacklist which is shit

bBlog Has most of it, great spam protection and i know the developer personally, he's a very nice chap and is a member here. Only problem is that it's a young system and i worry that some years/months? down the line i'll be trying to hire someone to port it all over to some other sytem...

Grey Matter Again, has most of it but i haven't heard much from them lately, why has this stuff fallen out of favor? - i need to look at it but maybe someone here know's the score off-hand?

Word Press Excellent by all accounts though i had some trouble installing when i tried it some months back. This looks like a very likely candidate though, i can go through a little install hassle for the fact that it covers almost all of my needs including spam protection and longevity

So, what do Threadwatchers think?

We must have a few bloggers in here right? :) Please let me know what you think of my list and what you like to use and why...

MSN Desktop Search Beta - Now Live

Thread Title: Msn Desktop Search Live Thread Url: Thread Description:

Msn has got their sights directly targetting Google on this one. Havn't managed to give it a go yet because download seems down atm.

Find anything on your computer Documents, photos, music and more! Find email messages in seconds

From Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Express Try the new MSN Search

Search the web smarter and better Block those annoying pop-ups

Surf without interruptions Fill out forms online F

Fill out forms and web site passwords in one click

Added: Official Announcement David Dawson, the group program manager for MSN Desktop Search just blogged the official announcement.

Added: More.. blog coverage Charline Li and Gary Price have just put out reports including additional information and a link to the press release - Ok, that's it for updates, im sure the rest of the search blogs will follow shortly, but this is old news to Threadwatchers now :)