Archive for Random Stuff

Chromebooks … The future of laptops

large-1I got a Samsung Chromebook the other day and have to say … I am pretty impressed.

While it won’t replace my other laptop it’s perfect for using around the home for the casual web surfer.

I have decided to do a 30 day Chromebook challenge to use it as my primary laptop for a month.

A few days in and I am bold enough to put it out there that these types of laptops will be the way of the future. Gone will be the need for high performance, massive storage laptops as the world moves to online storage.

Faster internet has made this concept a reality and I have been an early adapter of online storage solutions such as Google Drive, Dropbox and Sky Drive (now OneDrive).

But from an entrepreneurial point of view it has given me a great idea! Future programs will be cloud based, so it is just a matter of figuring out what programs haven’t quite made their way to web based applications yet?

These could be potential gold mines as more people look to rid themselves of traditional programs and go to web-based ones that don’t require frequent updates or knowledge to install.

This has opened up a big gap in my view for any entrepreneurs looking to take a slice of the online pie. Time for Jeremy to get a move on and start developing some much needed web applications, rather than whingeing about what’s not available!

Internet Passwords 101

online security

One thing I am quite passionate about is security. With the amount of data I am entrusted with and the amount of online accounts I have to setup it is important to have a good system in place.

What I have found to be the best way to keep everything in order is to use a Google Spreadsheet to keep all passwords.

I have quite a lot of different spreadsheets for various groups of passwords e.g. FTP or Website credentials, social media accounts, personal websites etc.

The great thing about Google’s spreadsheets are that they are:

  • Perfect for collaboration with trusted team members.
  • Flexible as I can access them from anywhere with internet access.
  • Secure.

A hacker would have to be able to first determine which Google account these passwords were saved on, and possibly reset my password to be able to gain access. I would be notified if the password was changed.

Now my standard business spreadsheets consists of about 5 rows.

  • Client – To be able to find the info I need as quickly as possible.
  • Type of login – FTP, cPanel, WordPress etc.
  • URL – What the URL or IP is to gain access
  • Username.
  • Password
  • Additional Info – Notes that may help me remember things about this login.

I am starting to use a password generator to make the credentials as secure as possible when I create logins to avoid any simple passwords like qwerty123 etc.

Some would say it is quite foolish to publish this information online, but I am that confident of my methods that I will sleep tonight knowing my data is secure.

Hopefully this post will help someone else that is faced with a similar predicament. Using cloud based solutions such as Google Drive will help you in the event of a computer crash as your passwords will still be in the cloud, not just on a spreadsheet on your PC.

Dumb people, Natural selection & Social Media

220px-Charles_Darwin_aged_51[1]

Charles Darwin who’s works make up what “Natural Selection” means today.

I have always been a strong believer of natural selection – the concept that stupid people will kill themselves off in the most stupid ways leaving only the strong of body & mind.

Yes, this happens daily, however it seems as if the world is still getting stupider! Like the 2006 movie Idiocracy, it’s like the stupid gene is the more dominant gene being passed on.

The smart people people are holding off on having kids in a tough economical climate and the stupids are breeding like crazy!

You know the ones I am talking about. The people that had another kid to take advantage of the baby bonus to go out and get that new Playstation or Xbox.

But is the world actually getting dumber? Or is it just more in our faces due to the advancements in social media?

People do dumb things everyday, right? But nowadays it’s the norm to post it as a status update (Refer to image below)!

dumb-people-social-media

 

So back to natural selection, surely this poor girl would have starved to death on the escalator had the power not come back on?

In the cave man days only the strong survived. These days we have idiot-proofed virtually everything to the point that we have a seemingly everlasting supply of morons filling the streets.

You may not agree with my opinions, but I recommend you check out Idiocracy. It’s a funny movie about how the future could turn out!

The new Samsung Galaxy S4

samsung-galaxy-s4

Recently I got myself a new Samsung Galaxy S4 and thought I should definitely write up a post on some of the awesome features it has. It’s a massive step up from my old Samsung Galaxy S2.

I was also interested to know that my old phone still had some value through Bounce Mobile, who are a cash for old mobile phone service.

But back to the S4.

The S4 has a much improved operating system including Google Now. If privacy is your thing, then you will probably hate Google Now, but I love it! It creates cards based on the information it finds out about you (mainly from your search history). E.g. I was looking up a friends dog washing service website on my laptop and 10 minutes later I noticed a card on Google Now showing I was only 37 minutes away from the dog washing business. It also tells me the time to and from work, the weather and other day to day stuff. Talk about a smart smart phone!

One other feature I have found (and love) is the alarm widget. It actually wakes me up with relevant information from my Google Calendar and my favourite sports news.

The internet speed is awesome, an upgrade from 3G to 4G. To start with I didn’t notice much difference, but it seems there is much more 4G coverage lately.

If you are a fan of Dropbox, then you will be impressed with the 48GB storage upgrade you will get with your new phone. Unfortunately it is only free for 2 years which is kind of sneaky way to get you hooked on to one of their plans.

The other WOW factor app of the Galaxy S4 is an app called WatchOn. It allows you to use your phone to change the channel of your television. Funny to do at your mates house … not so funny to do in the dying minutes of a football match at your local pub 🙁

Anyway, do yourself a favour and upgrade to the best phone on the market – the Samsung Galaxy S4.

Fun with Vectors

Today, among other things, I have been playing around with some incredible new vector image software.

Getting some cool results. Here is some before and afters to show just how great some of them come up. Click to enlarge these images to see the difference.

star_trek_the_original_series[1]

Star Trek Original … Original

star-trek

Star Trek – Vector

Want to see more? Here are a few others vectors in SVG format on my business blog.

One week of holidays

I am having a week off my other job to focus on a few things I have had to put on the shelf due to time constrictions.

Mission one, will be to get my tax done. I have most of last financial year on a spreadsheet, but need to update it asap and get it to my accountant. It was a good year business wise, plus I have been paying tax quarterly, so shouldn’t get any nasty surprises this year.

Mission two is to get that sports memorabilia site with joint partner and serial ideas man Brent Loughrey. Not much to do on that one, just some tidy up work to the CSS and we can start to aggressively market this through social media.

Mission three is my joint venture with top content writer Fahim Aalam. We are going to set up a content marketplace which will be a community of freelance content writers. Good content is in high demand at the moment with massive changes made to Google’s search algorithm.

What’s on the cards this week?

This post is just a bit of an update of what I got up to this week. Did a couple of clients jobs but used the bulk of the weekend to update some of my keyword related websites.

I have added a few of these in portfolio format to get a bit of a domain name portfolio out there. All of these fantastic domain names could be for sale if the price was right, but for now I have monetized most of them.

I used to use Google Adwords, but have lost all faith in Google’s PPC affiliate program. As I have quite a lot of domains I used Adwords heavily to monetize my sites in the early days. However, their support is borderline pathetic as I got my account got banned for reasons unknown and I am also unsure of which website was the issue.

I think the problem was with a couple sites that used the Pligg content management system after Google added the penguin update. Overnight a few of my sites that were previously well received with Google became “bad neighborhoods”, due to my lack of moderating the sites.

Completely understandable, I have tried to fix the issue but Google seems to waging a war against bookmarking sites at the moment so I don’t think I will get a decent response back from them.

Anyway, I digress. The first Google Adsense alternative I started using was Chitika, which is very similar textual ads to Google with some styling options.

The other option I am trying out is Adbrite, which is closer to Google Adsense but has a few limitations with the adzones which has slowed my progress in rolling it out on most of my websites.

Another option which I have been using for years, but only started to better utilise this weekend is the Amazon Associate Program. I am really liking the “My Favorites Widget”! It is highly customisable and you can choose the exact Amazon products you would like to add and to any size you would like. Such as …

Hey! How did that inflatable doll get in there? Anywho, Amazon is a great affiliate program if you want to sell products without actually having any.

The other thing I am getting back into is targeted affiliate programs from top networks such as ClixGalore and DGM. These can be great if you like a bit more control over what is displayed on your website.

Flu sees rise in productivity

I have been a little lazy of late. I have a whole host of projects to do and somehow find plenty of time to stuff around and do anything but what I am suppose to do.

But this week I have the flu and while I didn’t get a hell of a lot done yesterday due to sleeping and catching up on the latest episode of Boardwalk Empire I have made massive steps today.

One project that has jumped to the top of the queue is to monetize my Australian domain names.

A little birdie told me that it is possible AuDA, the Australian Domain Authority is looking to introduce new rules that could see people lose Australian domain names if they do not relate to their business or are not monetized.

This has seen me work double-time to get a script that can setup domain names with keyword content and using sites such as Adwords, Chitika, Adbrite and Amazon to make revenue.

One example of this is Shop Australian. While it only gets around 110,000 local searches per month according to the Google keyword tool at the time of writing, it is a cool domain name that could have an awesome future e-commerce site on it.

Now I don’t want to lose any of my Australian domains and will take steps to ensure they are monetized to protect them.

But this gave me another idea!!! Other people will surely be in the same boat if this whole thing goes ahead, so I will look to setup a free and premium service on a dedicated server purely for Australians to monetize their domains.

The free plan will be for up to 5 domain names and the premium plan will be for unlimited domains for AUS $19.95 per year.

I will be looking into other commission based sites over the week and hope to have version one a little more polished. Watch this space!

Projects on the go

Been a bit lazy of late with doing any of my own projects as I have been busy with clients work.

Just finished a custom script that generates pages of content for a clients products for every suburb in Australia which is getting some fantastic results. Google has listed around 31,900 pages already and has got some awesome page one long tail keyword results.

But back to some of my own projects. I have been working on a website monitor. Nothing new, but this project is more geared for people with mobile devices as there doesn’t seem to be many options in this department.

Another project is more of a quick cash grab than any technological advancement.

A friend has access to plenty of signed & framed sporting memorabilia so we are setting up a couple of websites for auctioning these items.

These two projects head the top of my list as they are the easiest and most rewarding for little effort. But I also plan to setup my own DNS service and mobile search engine as long term projects.

Well, now that I have publicly voiced these ideas, I hope it will give me a bit more drive to follow through and not bench the ideas for others.