Posts in Tech

Why did Twitter Folded into X?

Bid farewell to the iconic bluebird and welcome X? The “maybe in the future” all-encompassing super-app poised to revolutionize the way we connect and interact. Elon Musk envisions X as the future of the all-inclusive-app, seamlessly integrating a plethora of features into a single platform.

Inspired by the success of WeChat (or PhonePe), a Chinese app that has conquered China, X aims to replicate that success on a global scale. From messaging and video calls to shopping and payments, X promises to be the one-stop shop for all your digital needs.

However, there are two sides to the super-app coin. On one hand, ditching the well-established Twitter brand might be a risky move. Why not launch X with Twitter built in, preserving the brand’s recognition while introducing the new app?

On the other hand, an all-in-one app has its undeniable charms. Imagine the ease of switching between tasks without having to jump between different apps. Shopping, paying, ordering food, or booking a flight, all within the X ecosystem.

But despite its potential benefits, super-apps face regulatory challenges in regions like Europe and the United States. Data privacy concerns, surveillance issues, and potential anti-competitive practices raise red flags among regulatory bodies.

X presents a tantalizing glimpse into a possible future, where convenience and functionality intertwine. While its success hinges on addressing regulatory concerns and ensuring user privacy, does X have the potential to revolutionize the way we interact with the digital world. I don’t think so, feels like X is a miss from the start, it ditches a famous brand for a non-brand, what does X mean? With a promise of an app that has very little chances in the West of ever getting out of the drawing board.

My Top 8 Best OpenSource Software

Hey im doing a top something post hehehe, well these are some of the opensource software i use to build websites, its not all i use, and i don’t use just opensource software, but as of now these are the ones i use more often, and most likely will use something else only if they don’t fit the bill, this of course excludes awesome stuff like Linux or , so here is my list:

1 – WordPress
The almighty god of all that is blogging, wordpress has grown a lot over the years, but unlike projects/software like firefox, openoffice/libreoffice, pidgin, gimp… they haven’t really had a bad run or started to deteriorate a bit, its been constant good improvements, and even quirky issues are normally resolved without much of a hitch, its most powerful feature is the way it is structured although now it has automatic updates, its core is completly independent from the design or the content, upgrading manually 99% of the time envolves just switching the code, the second best thing is the plugin system that is also independ from the core, turning a bad plugin off is just a question of renaming the plugin folder, these and the almost infinite range of functions you can add make wordpress the number 1.

2 – Zenphoto
Also known as the worst themed gallery software, i really can never get myself to use any of their themes, they seldom are updated and the ones that are officially supported are kinda lame-o, but who cares, their themes are remarkably simple to build, but the best feature of zenphoto is how automated it is, you dont need flash uploaders or running scripts to create thumbnails or do any kind of weird jumps and hoops to upload your photos, nope, you just upload them anywhere you want it to the album folders, and if its a new folder zenphoto will create a new album if its a new picture, the zenphoto will add it to the album, that simple, and guess what, thats what i want with a gallery!

3 – VestaCP
Ahh VestaCP you have a bit of a bad rep, but i tell you this, between all the opensource hosting panels software, i kinda have the impression that you are the only one that cares what the users want, maybe you and KloxoMR, don’t get me wrong webmin/virtualmin and the rest are all pretty good, but for some its just a secondary product or just a layer for a LAMP stack, but with VestaCP although i wouldnt say they are on the cutting edge, they do provide a nice clean easy product that at least is growing to a direction i approve, like apache with nginx proxy ^_^

4 – MyBB
Its what forum software should be, its light, its expandable its simple to use but still full featured! I wish i used more, now i dont have that much forum sites, but the only one i have was moved from SMF > PHPBB > BPRESS > MYBB and now i think it is in its rightfull home, great software.

5 – Tiny Tiny RSS
Awesome opensource alternative to the much dead Google Reader, its light fast and simple to use, its great if you want to manage your own stuff.

6 – Drupal
The ten pound mamoth of the bunch is drupal, although this somewhat popular CMS lacks in extensability/backwards compatibility/easyness it more than makes up for it with the ability to do anything! want a social network… BANG! done! want a voting site, oh wait no a voting site with flying eagles that shoot videos and then convert them to pictures of your reaction with your webcam, well im not sure… but if any CMS can Drupal can, so i normally use it when wordpress isn’t good enough or i want to create something really unique.

7 – Vanilla
I wanted to love it, but although its layout and features are excellent one thing or another have made me skip vanilla or quit on vanilla, still it doesn’t change the fact that its pretty good and works pretty good.

8 – Pydio
Its a file manager/file sync, I’ve been testing it out as an alternative to dropbox, its great and much lighter and faster than say owncloud, its a great piece of software and its not higher on the list cause i haven’t been using it for that long time to say its the best ever!

Best Security Practices for WordPress

Dont look surprised when your wordpress site is hacked, is wordpress security so weak?

No, not really, its just popular and as such there are more vectors to attack its security, still as a heavy wordpress user i can give you some good tips to keep your site secure, ill divide this into setup the site and securing the site, once you should only need to do once, the other its best to be ongoing, im also assuming that you have your server setup correctly and secured as well as your wordpress is up to date and your computer is secure as well, if those are good, then what i say bellow will keep you 99% safe!

Secure on Setup

On wp-config.php when you install on $table_prefix  = ‘whateveryouwant’ put a random string! – This will prevent mysql injections that might target the default wp_ table prefix (if already installed use something like phpadmin to go into the database and change the prefix there and then add it to the wp-config.php file)
On wp-config.php under define(‘WP_DEBUG’, false); put define(‘DISALLOW_FILE_EDIT’, true); – This prevents editing of php files under wordpress, most people dont edit them anyways (i just login with sftp and edit directly), so people trying to exploit will have more difficulty doing so
Use a strong password – I know its silly to say but a strong unique password with lots of letters, numbers and characters is always a good thing.

On First Login

Login with your default admin account, create a new account with admin privileges and then delete the old admin account – This prevents login requests or brute-force that would go directly to account number 1 or admin account
Disable user registration, go the options panel and disable user registration – If you dont intent for other users to post, there is no point in allowing registration.
Install only the Plugins you Need – Even if disabled, only have plugins and themes that you need, they could be used

Security Plugins to Install

BruteProtect or Login LockDown – To Prevent login attempts and brute force attacks (or in alternative find a Two-Step Authentication plugin).
Install a Clean Theme – Make sure you get a nice free theme from WordPress.org or a paid from a good provider and keep it up to date, the more complex the theme the more likely it will have code that might become insecure, so get a good one and keep it updated.
Advance Automatic Updates – Will keep your wordpress install and plugins up to date!
Akismet – It comes with WordPress for a reason, before it, wordpress comments were horrible and plagued with tons of spam.

Extra!

Please pleassseeee make backups, dont trust your webhost, make your own, thats the only true way of being 100% secure, use a plugin for it, i like BackUpWordpress and Keep Backup Daily, but any you like will do!
Use Cloudflare or Incapsula – These give pleanty of extra features, like cdn but they also filter and protect your traffic from a lot of nasty stuff on the web.
Wordfence or Better Wp Security – If you want more heavy security, its totally optional and in my opinion if you are well locked down they dont add anything!
Use htaccess to lock in wp-admin if you are the only user, search for this on Google pleanty of sites explaining.
Use WordPress Jetpack plugin it protect you from some security flaws and it will help on automatic plugin installs, plus a ton of other things
Use Mx Toolbox or Sucuri Site Check to check if your site has been exploited!

The best rule of all is to be prepared for the worst, have backups and check from time to time to see if your site is up to date and everything is running fine, most of these are automated but its best to always keep an eye and if everything breaks just clean everything and put back a backup 🙂

WP Super Cache Vs W3 Total Cache Vs WP Fastest Cache Vs Hyper Cache Vs Quick Cache Vs Wordfence Security

Yes i know plenty of wordpress cache plugins comparisons posts, but i went around checking those and most are just a matter of opinion and taste or had some good data on performance both on the frontend and the backend of wordpress, my sites tend to have some optimisations built in mostly on the server so even with plugin there is some cache going on both on php and mysql as well as using nginx as a reverse proxy for the static files.

So i went ahead and made a basic wordpress site with one of the official themes and some random content, good enough, then checked some of the memory consumption and speed inside wordpress with the P3 Plugin and used Gtmatrix and Google Pagespeed to check the performance on the page, i also checked server side but as far as i can tell all the plugins didn’t use enough resources to be negligible, so what are my findings:

Performance Comparison of WordPress Cache Plugins

Cache Plugin Memory (sec) Speed Size (KB) Requests Pagespeed
No Plugin 0 5.49 965 32 75/100
WP Super Cache 0.084 5.0 962 33 75/100
W3 Total Cache 3.6 11.33 965 33 75/100
WP Fastest Cache 0.083 4.7 757 30 90/100
Hyper Cache 0.008 5.0 961 32 75/100
Hyper Cache + Autoptimize 0.097 6.7 690 24 90/100
Quick Cache 0.04 4.93 961 32 75/100
Quick Cache + Autoptimize 0.1 5.44 696 24 91/100
Wordfence Basic 0.15 6.97 965 33 75/100
Wordfence Falcon Engine 0.14 5.63 762 34 90/100

Notes: I’ve added Autoptimize to the cache plugins that don’t have the ability to combine and minify code, to see if it helped. Also note that all of these results besides pagespeed are averages i did test 3 times to make sure, although gtmatrix does use random servers to check so the speed part can be a bit off, so dont take it literally its more important the size and requests as well as overall pagespeed ranking for true performance, yes i know i could have used a fixed server but i wanted a more normal usage scenario.

No Plugin

Like i said above by default my sites work and cache well enough to rate a standard 75/100 on Pagespeed, also enabling by default gzip and other small wordpress tweaks help too, still its only here as reference point, of course most wordpress sites would rate a bit lower.

WP Super Cache

I’ve used it a lot in the past, still i’ve moved on to other cache plugins because its a bit like W3 Total Cache, it has become with time less user-friendly, from all the plugins it was the most troublesome to turn on and to turn off (leaves a lot of stuff behind) also with default settings it didn’t cache much, also one of the reasons i left was that sometimes updates would kill my sites, its still a standard but i think its not good enough anymore.

W3 Total Cache

This one is WP Super Cache on steroids, im sure its awesome since it has everything and then some, and although a bit easier to setup than it used to be, its kinda one that need a lot, i mean A LOT of pampering, it should only be used on large sites and sites where you control the server side and can enable the caches that W3 will use, also on my test and with default settings on it clearly was the worst plugin of them all, probably cause i should have changed something somewhere.

WP Fastest Cache

Although this plugin kinda broke a part of the wordpress backend (probably a css out of place), it was one of the most complete and simple plugins and you can see that it did a pretty good job and i didn’t even enable all the functions, it incorporates pretty much everything you expect in a small package, however 2 things keep me from using it, first there is no control over the html/js/css minify, and from my experience most my sites would break if i cant tweak this (Autoptimize does give you that control) the second is that the panel tries to ping ipinfo.io i don’t like plugins that do stuff like that.

Hyper Cache

The one I’m currently using on most of my sites, its simple clean and to the point and as you can see it does its job, besides one nagging issue when the plugin or wordpress updates the plugin seems to stop working and you get the “You must save the options since some files must be updated.” still unlike WP Super Cache the site doesn’t stop working, so it a safe and good plugin with very low memory consumption.

Quick Cache

I like this one, its has a nice panel, its simple and it worked just fine, still some of its best features are hidden away for a premium package and well that makes it under perform, i would understand if these features were more high end stuff like using CDN’s or tweaks around server side, but things like minify should be part of the basic feature set and as such this plugin is comparable with Hyper Cache but with more resource usage.

Extras to Consider

Wordfence Security

Its mostly a security/firewall plugin for your site that also has a caching plugin built in, so why not try it out, it has 2 settings so i tried them both, the basic and their so called falcon engine, i did see a improvement and it worked fine, still its of course a much bigger plugin that does a lot of things besides the caching, but if you are looking for both a security plugin and a cache plugin, this might be good for you.

Autoptimize

Its a plugin that minifies html/css/js and combines it, it can do it both on the head or move those scripts to the end of the body to help the page load, its also very flexible and you can skip files or tweak so it doesn’t break your site, some of the other plugins had these features or part of it, but this plugin gives you complete control and as such is a nice combination with other caching plugins.

So what was my choice?

Ill keep using Hyper Cache, it works well, the feature set is good enough and it doesn’t break my site ever, when i need to give a bit more i add Autoptimize or if its on Cloudflare i just tweak the html/css/js from there, it was my choice about a year ago when i move away from WP Super Cache and as far as i can tell it still was the best choice.

Use Mega for Mega Backups

So Mega is not just for Sharing!

You know Mega! If you don’t, you probably don’t read much tech news, the very much hyped product of Megaupload founder, its basically (at least for now) a Megaupload clone, a filehost, just cleaner and easier to use with encryption built in, so why my glee of Mega?

Well i do backups of everything, from my android to my computers to my websites, backups is just part of everyday life, sure its mostly automated but its one of those things that are important especially when you invested so much time and money on your data, still there are times, especially with my websites that i need some long term storage, my backup box stores about 3 copies of all of my sites and that takes a lot of space, but these copies are rotating so if there is a slight issue, such as creeping corruption or some deleted file, those backups can become useless.

So besides my current setup, i have the need for less used/long term backup storage, but why dont I use amazon s3, amazon glacier or another alternative, thats true, but i want a simple system for backups something i can just, grab a couple of files and load it there just in case from time to time, also old dumps from my android or random files that im sure i wont need anytime soon, its not essential stuff, no need to run another system.

Mega boasts their encryption on the client side (while others like Dropbox and Google encrypt on their side, what that means is if Google or Dropbox wants they can see your files), still as with all these companies its a matter of trust, if you trust these companies to do what they say they do, however for this particular case all my site backups are encrypted and compressed so its a mute point although still a point for Mega.

Mega is just a plain better filehost, its super simple to use, the files are backed up (at least in 2 places), the uploads go without any problem (compared with Dropbox or Box or Gdrive web uploads that do hang up from time to time), the files stay forever (at least that’s the official policy), there is no filesize restrictions even though most backups are only 100Mb or so, there are some that are 1 or 2GB in size, no problem with Mega, and if i ever need to download, its blazing fast, enough said! Im sold and so should you!

Just as a broad comparison why Mega is better than most other filehosts:

General Filehost – No security, no reliability and a tendency to lose your file in a whim.

General Webhost – Better reliability but again no security, and they tend to not like you hosting big files.

Rapidshare – They change their policy constantly and its always for worst, i was their paid customer for 2 separate times and both i got screwed, never again.

Mediafire – They say they are a cloud hosting company, but well they dont guarantee that files are kept, only if a file is popular, unusable for any kind of reliable file hosting.

Dropbox – Great and reliable if you pay them, if you dont pay them you are a second class citizen, also their service only works great with their desktop client, no point.

Skydrive – They scan your files, that says it all, plus, can you trust Microsoft?

Google Drive – They want a perpetual license for all your files, plus, can you trust Google?

As a sidenote…

Box – Actually pretty good, my account with them is several years old and i never lost a file, still they have a pretty stiff filesize limit of 250Mb, so not ideal for what i need, but outstanding for small files backup!

PS: Cant wait for Mega Sync Application for Windows/Mac/Linux!

Google and Reader Demise

What can i say that hasn’t been said, Google decided to drop and kill Google Reader a not so mainstream Google product that was loved by pretty much every geek, developer and tech journalist, and for good reason even if RSS never went mainstream (its mainstream just by other means, apps like Flipboard use RSS) its still a very important part of the structure of the web, however the points i want to focus on is Google’s latest attempts at streamlining their product line and how that is putting Google’s of alienating the very people that support Google.

Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me

This isn’t the first time Google has dropped a popular or semi popular product, but on doing so its neglecting all the users that invested their time on that product, it created distrust and in this case by going after Google Reader it really doesn’t matter if they back-down, I’ve and most are moving on to greener pastures, the broken promises of Google App Engine and basically pushing everyone that had a free account to paid and overcharging on top of that, Google+ forced real name policy basically blocked me and most of my friends (that aren’t really tech savvy) and a large segment of the tech community to dismiss Google+ pretty much forever and now with the death of Google Reader I’m starting to move from distrusting Google (mostly for privacy concerns) to one of not trusting Google to keep their promises and doubting the longevity of their entire product line, why should i care about Google products if they can randomly be cut down? I wont be fooled again…

Google is a new social/media company

This new Google has good things, but they are starting to get too few and far between, i used to trust Google, now i get excited with stuff that moves me away from anything Google related, Firefox OS, secure chat and new search engines that give me privacy and protect my rights, i dream about a fully encrypted webmail to ditch gmail for good (the last Google product that i use daily, yep i rarely use Google search anymore… sorry Firefox >_< ), Google as changed from a product oriented company to one more interested in gaining users and providing media, they want to be Yahoo (and look how that turned out), by pissing users they go to competing products, why use blogger? when you can use better and more innovative services like Tumblr or WordPress that care for your privacy and rights that you can contact support and talk with real people when you have an issue, why risk with Google they already killed Picnik so Picasa in on the way, in a couple of years Google will be just Google+ but by that time the “influencers” have moved on and with them everyone else, sure there will be People that same way there are still people in Flickr or use Yahoo searc… coof coof Bing, but most wont be and wont care!

Readers Demise is Google’s Demise

Google Reader to me is pretty much the last drop, I’m tired of it really, so i will be slowly moving away from Google products, not because of Reader, but the accumulation of clear signals from Google, their moto “dont be evil” has already been distorted to the point of being meaningless, the safe bet nowadays is to hedge your bets and avoid Google’s Products you are probably using too many of them already and opening yourself to more problems and issues, the love affair with Google is over, i want a divorce! Sure this isn’t the end far from it, hell this blog is still written on blogger, but its for sure another step and i for one am glad i wont be so dependent on Google.

As a side-note and to not make this just a rant I’ve been trying some alternatives to Google Reader, ill probably post a more detailed review when i find something good, ohh and the new Dig team is making a feed reader hehehe yeah that was the best joke i got from this idiotic move from Google.

1kpl.us > still pulling feeds, interesting layout, pretty quick, i like the sparsness
netvibes.com > oldie but still good, the problem is that its just good enough, the layout/speed/features are meh
theoldreader.com > looks reasonable, but still pulling feeds, slow and i cant judge it yet (still they are overloaded, so its understandable)
newsblur.com > looks pretty good/speedy/original, but i dont like their fremium model, slow updates and low feeds (used to be 64 now its 12? make up your mind) if you dont pay up its a bellow any rss reader average, naaa ill give this one a skip, i prefer a fremium model where you get something sweet extra for paying not a crippled basic account

Review LibreOffice 3.6 Vs OpenOffice 3.4 Vs MsOffice Vs iWorks (on Win/Mac/Linux)

So there was a lot of confusion and some complaints about my previous faceoff OpenOffice vs LibreOffice, some stuff was deserved (not providing the test files was silly, but i did use office documents so i couldn’t without messing with them), making a strange graph with strange values, not including the other operating systems even though the results were close, so I’m fixing all of this on this review, it will be simple and similar in point (comparison of performance for a small business office), because im doing this review as much for me as anyone else, in an office setting, were performance is the most important thing followed by a responsive layout and good formatting (stuff like compatibility or features are not as important since all of the software here has the features we want and used for years!).

This is the setup i will be using (and yes i wont be using my ssd powered hardware, because i dont have any at the office):

  • Windows 7 – Intel T3200 2Ghz (2 Cores) – 3GB – HD 7200RPM.
  • Ubuntu 12.04 – (with gnome classic of course, unity?… please…) Same specs as Win7, its dual boot.
  • Mac OSX 10.6.8 – Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4Ghz (2 Cores) – 4GB – HD 7200RPM.

The files i will be using are (you can get them here):

  • Small Excel File – 44KB
  • Large Excel File – 3.3MB
  • Small Doc File – 80KB
  • Large Doc File – 22MB

Why no OpenDocument (.odf or .od) or Office Open XML (.docx or .xlsx)? Well cause 90% of our files are .xls or .doc and normally when we receive in any other format, we convert it to .xls or .doc (Office 2003 format), as well as LibreOffice 3.5 (what we are using now) can pretty much open any file-type, so i’m aiming to what we normally use.


For the software, all operating systems are up to date, i’ve disabled as much software as i can from all of them prior to the tests (that means, anti-virus, dropbox, etc), also on windows 7 im using Ms Office 2003 and on Mac im using Office 2008 and iWork 09, the reason being these are the only ones i own and its mostly for comparison purposes, all installations were on the typical settings and on Mac i did close the software every-time, so hot start was with the program fully closed.

Libreoffice and Openoffice need to do some tweaks on first run, so i did first runs with no files just to finish that, also for each cold start, the measurement is the time of the first run of the file (this time around, no averages!), time is as follows 1:15:30.45 (1 hour, 15 minutes, 30 seconds and 45 centiseconds), also only added the CPU on the large .doc because that was the only one that freaked out the Office’s, on all the other files CPU dropped to 0 or very near it after loading.

Windows 7

Small .xls Large .xls Small .doc Large .doc
cold hot mem cold hot mem cold hot mem cold hot mem CPU%
LibreOffice 3.6 21.0 5.12 46.3MB 7.38 6.30 50.7MB 6.67 3.85 44.6MB 1:18.88 1:18.71 124.7MB 50
OpenOffice 3.4 9.64 4.60 36.7MB 5.57 4.89 39.2MB 5.99 3.53 32.5MB 2:13.42 2:14.91 114.3MB 20/30
MsOffice 2003 1.83 0.72 3MB 1.71 1.05 8.6MB 2.40 0.79 9.9MB 6.36 5.45 25.2MB 15

Clear winner here is MsOffice 2003 blazes past LibreOffice 3.6 and OpenOffice 3.4, still its kinda weird that altough nitpicking, its OpenOffice that still nudges past LibreOffice and takes second place, and even on the large .doc where it took almost 1 more minute to load than LibreOffice it still was way more responsive after loading, while LibreOffice was hanging and lagging hard (using a full core) and it also crashed on shutting down.

Mac OSX 10.6.8

Small .xls Large .xls Small .doc Large .doc
cold hot mem cold hot mem cold hot mem cold hot mem CPU%
LibreOffice 3.6 14.11 10.94 124 11.94 11.58 133 12.71 10.83 131 39.71 39.44 222 100
OpenOffice 3.4 15.40 11.96 125 12.81 12.55 133 12.81 11.56 125 3:03.75 3:04.01 204 2
MsOffice 2008 40.60 15.38 151 19.55 18.80 171 19.90 17.31 177 18.57 17.76 183 6
iWork 09 1:55.53 10.1 199 15.61 15.63 188 8.66 6.21 171 4:31.28 3:28.0 479 45

First things first, the winner here is pretty much LibreOffice 3.6, still it seems to struggle hard on the large .doc, it hangs hard and has a hard time with it (although it opened the file surprisingly fast) the biggest loser here is iWork, since not only does it struggle to open files but between all the Office’s it was the only one that had bad formatting, MsOffice 2008 was good enough on everything.

Ubuntu 12.04

Small .xls Large .xls Small .doc Large .doc
cold hot mem cold hot mem cold hot mem cold hot mem CPU%
LibreOffice 3.5.6.2 5.16 2.82 36 5.03 4.04 42 5.06 3.11 30 1:13.32 1:14.02 46 6
LibreOffice 3.6 6.86 4.13 38 6.47 5.43 43 5.28 4.06 34 41.89 41.73 90 108
OpenOffice
3.4
10.19 4.37 35 6.11 5.82 44 5.16 4.29 27 2:58.73 2:53.53 80 110

WTF! All 3 Offices performed really great, the winner here is LibreOffice 3.5, but not by a wide margin, and on the large .doc all of them suffered on one thing or another, LibreOffice 3.5 had bad formatting on the large .doc, but was pretty responsive after loading, LibreOffice 3.6 and OpenOffice 3.4 were both lagging hard and made it almost impossible to view or edit the large .doc.

Conclusion

Here is a quick chart of best performance (with whatever operating system works best) for the small .xls and .doc, what we get here is that if you want best performance it depends a lot on the operating system, for Windows 7, MsOffice 2003 blows past the competition, its by far the best, i actually even enjoy the “lazy loading” that it does with the large .doc where it doesn’t load it all at once but opens pretty fast, besides that OpenOffice 3.4 kinda still works best than LibreOffice 3.6.
For Mac your choice is LibreOffice 3.6, it works like a charm, next up would probably be MSOffice 2008 just cause it has good compatibility and kinda treats all files equaly, but overall Mac OSX 10.6 is pretty disappointing for Office Performance with nothing loading faster than 10 seconds.
For Linux (Ubuntu 12.04), apparently LibreOffice 3.5 is freaking king, still OpenOffice 3.4 and LibreOffice 3.6 run pretty good too, they feel native and run almost like MSOffice 2003 on Windows 7, super fast and slick i barely see the annoying splash screen (ie any application that has a splash screen just means its going to be slow)!!!, i also like to point out that I’m using the same computer for Windows 7 and Ubuntu 12.04, so yeah great performance for all.
As a side note, in my office its all Win7 machines, mostly cause some of the software, like accounting software is windows only and there are no alternatives, so using another operating system would be troublesome even if doable (virtual machines and such), but this performance on Linux does give me pause, especially with how Linux nowadays does play fairly well with windows networks and windows computers, and with LibreOffice and OpenOffice seem to fairly stagnated in performance on Windows, going for Linux might just do the trick.

Should You Use Hotlink Protection?

This is a quick post about something that has troubled and intrigued me over the years, should you use hotlink protection?

What is a Hotlink?

First of all if you don’t know what im talking about, its pretty simple, when someone visits your site, their browser downloads all the pictures, text, code to make the page show up, but what happens if someone copies the url of one of your images and puts it on their page? then when someone goes to their page, it will show up your image on their site, so effectively you are giving away bandwidth to someone else.

Sounds bad, right? That is when hotlink protection comes up, there are different ways of doing it, but its basically just a couple of tweaks to the software/code/server to block anyone besides your site from using your content…

The Rise of Social and CDN’s

There was a time when bandwidth and hosting was expensive (like in Australia heheheh), where hosting a image or video was costly, but nowadays we live with a different set of rules, hosting and bandwidth is pretty cheap, not only that but a lot of the social websites depend and interconnect with the content on the web (facebook, twitter, pinterest, etc… are very popular because they provide a platform for sharing content, and sometimes that content is in your site).

I kinda think that whats important now is to have good content and popular content, so things like someone hot-linking are no longer a issue of cost, but one of opportunity, its also a type of problem that nowadays can be easily fixed with the use of CDN’s or cheap hosting.

Hotlink protection is also another form of a walled garden, and although suitable for some types of sites, most would gain more from being open and easily accessible, search engines will appreciate and users even more, so… should you use hotlink protection, im kinda inclined to say no! not anymore ^_^.

Why Am I Moving Away from Google Analytic’s

Oh Urchin how far have you fallen… the old Google Analytic’s interface is dead and now we are all forced into the new interface, not that i care that much and yeah the new interface as a huge bunch of new features, like real-time stats, multi-channel funnels, social stats, mobile stats and a bunch of other neet stuff, thats cool, but that’s not all…

So my reason to drop Google Analytic’s is simple, unlike what Google might want you to believe, the service is not free, Google gets a lot back from “offering” Google Analytic’s, it can increase its tracking of the internet, even if anonymous, its still more power to Google’s big brother machine, also its a way like Google Webmaster to find more about the web, who links to who and how, its also a way of pushing its Adwords business, still I’m not that paranoid and i did feel like what Google offered was a pretty simple and advance stats tool.

So yeah… my real reason to quit is their re-design, the new Google Analytic’s has lots of awesome features, but unfortunately it completely and absolutely sucks if you have more than 1 site, the new design didn’t just add stuff it removed a lot of old stuff and made the whole interface slower and clunkier, here are some of the stuff i hate on the new Google 
Analytic’s:

  1. The Whole Stats Engine is Slow – Maybe because of the real-time stuff, I’ve seen it drag down page load even with asynchronous loading (that just means it doesn’t block other page elements, it still takes some time to load).
  2. The Interface is Slow – Its kinda going a bit of the way of Gmail, you keep adding stuff and the beautiful Ajax becomes a dragged out process, if you see small yellow “loading” markers or full page “please wait loading”, then the ajax interface isn’t helping at all.
  3. The Interface is Confusing – Quoting the Google 
    Analytic’s team “We are particularly proud of the attention to detail that our user experience team has put into making the interface easy to use, understandable and beautiful”, hummm Google? hello! your user experience team sucks! beautiful… well maybe, it does conform better with Google’s now passion with grey and orange, but easy to use and understandable that’s just funny, now, to do the exact same things that you used to do, you have to click 3 times more, stuff is hidden or on different places, it also has a lot of stuff laying around and 1/3 is always junk (links to news and help and other Google products…).
  4. You Cant See Aggregation Stats – Ohh yeah have more than 1 site? you used to be able to know how your network was doing, now you cant… why? its not that hard to add it.
  5. You cant see Simplified Stats of every Site – There is no way to give a quick glance on all the sites you have, see like before 2 or 3 simple metrics, like visitors, pageviews and trend (if you your visitors are up or down), no you get white space for your trouble.

But don’t trust my word, here are some examples of what i’m talking….

Google Analytic’s Dashboard

What am i supposed todo with this? its a huge blank page starting at me, has no value, no data, just a bunch of junk… so anyone starting Google Analytic’s does so with at least 1 extra click!

Joking! you need 2 extra clicks to go anywhere, brilliant stuff here!

Domain Stats Page



What is this… madness!!!! Yep that’s the main page, filled with… lots of redundant junk, badly organized and slow as shit, yes i know you can customize, but come on!!!! i have 70+ sites and 100+ domains, am i going to customize every single page to make it bearable?

Ohh you wanna change the domain? its just a easy 4 step process!

So to sum it up, i call this one a FAIL! the new Google Analytic’s is new eye candy with new features, but for that they destroyed the usability and good old features, that coupled with slow speed and awkward interface kinda killed it for me, I’m moving to WordPress Stats and Statcounter, i know i wont be able to see aggregated stats but at least these ones are cleaner and quicker and i can always add later on a quick stat package for my entire network.

New ICANN Internet Extensions?

So the freaking “we rule the web” ICANN has decided to start launching custom TLD, encase you dont know what i mean, its simple, ICANN is the organization in charge of regulating the domain name space (like  most of the domains in the internet, .com .net ….), and they decided that anyone with money can have their very own .horny or .smartypants, so we can have a im.horny … gawd that beautiful!

So why do i think this another ICANN farce!

ICANN is a Bullshit Organization – When you sell the .com and .net business to Verisign without any kind of oversight, that says everything, ICANN is a business not a organization, they dont care about the internet, they care about their bottom line, the real cost of a domain registration is negligible, its cents, but they charge everyone 10$ for any domain!

Custom TLD’s are a basic Shake-Down – The same way when new TLDs launch or new TLDs are de-regulated there is always a landgrab from thousands of companies that simply want to protect their brand/identity by having every single domain, so any new TLD will always have a couple of thousands sales guaranteed.

The are already vanity TLDs – Opennic has .geek, .free, .bbs, .parody, .oss, .indy, .fur, .ing, .micro, .dyn, .neo for free? yeah fucking free! why? cause it doesnt cost anything to add a TLD despite what ICANN keeps saying! Go to your hosts file on the computer and change google.com to 127.0.0.1 and sudenly when your write google.com on your browser you get nothing (cause you are bypassing your DNS and telling your computer that google.com is in your computer instead of the web) thats what DNS is! poiting a number to a name, that is ALL.

There are pleanty of TLD’s already – Yes and un-used, there is plenty to choose (.info .us .eu .me .biz .xxx .asia .mobi …. besides all the country domains), adding more will just make everything even more confusing, whats the point? how will it help any internet user? it wont, nowadays we are already getting stuck on the… its confusing.com? nooo its confusing.org or maybe confusing.de, cant remember the site, but with these TLD’s you will have such gems as .lol or .youtube … so its www.youtube.com or www.youtube what? where?

What am i supossed to do with this – Cause only rich people and corporations can get their very own TLD’s what is everyone supposed to do about it? Go and buy domains under these idiotic TLD’s? Fuck that shit…

The End of User Generated Content

Expanding on my rant on the changes on Google App Engine and Google’s culture around exploiting developers (and don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of companies that do this, Google isn’t the only one), now i see this Howcast announcement that they decided to focus on their own productions and that the user generated videos were going to be deleted and that reminds me that its not just developers, also users are used and then left out, more and more i think if you want to do something awesome or want to share your pictures or videos or content you have to host it yourself, do it yourself, depending on third parties is a major flaw, one more and more people regret.

I do understand that business change and decisions have to be made, but there is a right way and a wrong way to do it, for users if you are changing or closing down, please provide backups or alternatives to the users owned content, make it as easy as the service was!

If you are making tools for developers, think hard about what are you giving and their expectations, don’t make a product and promote it as something and then change the rules later on, don’t provide API’s and then change your mind when there are thousands of products that depend on those API’s (yes Google but Twitter too).

Nowadays even though i still use a lot of products, i create less and less content for other companies, if i create i own the platform as well..