Google vs Microsoft Search

Is there really any doubt Google has Microsoft beat by 10 folds for search results?  Here is a search I did on a Microsoft Great Plains error: “No TaxScheduleKey, but TaxAmount  was passed in” Apparently Live.com doesn’t index Microsoft’s own newsgroups. Google does. Also Live.com the suggested alternative searches are based on the word “passed” which is a giant leap to assume my entire query revolves around 1 word.  Google suggested TaxAmount as two words.  I recently listened to Adam Bosworth MySQL speech in which he said how Google comes up with their “Did you mean” algorithm.  It has nothing to do with a dictionary lookup, but instead looks at the past queries and what suggestions users ended up clicking when presented with choices for “Did you mean”.  It really means Google is becoming a better search engine without any code changes, something Microsoft should take a qu from.

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xajax – PHP Notices/Warnings

Today we were playing with xajax trying to eliminate some redundant page reloads and also keeps some divs hidden based on user input without having to manage their state.  All was working as expected on our Linux box (Fedora) but when we tried to get it running on IIS it was dying.  It looked like no response or anything was coming back from some simple AJAX calls.  So we did as every good web developer should do – bust out FireBug.  Looking at the NET results we noticed we were in fact getting a response from our request but with an additional “PHP Notice undeclared variable message” (not show in the pic). It didn’t really dawn on us that this was the culprit until we opened IE 7 and it returned with a dialog box saying it could not parse the XML because of a space, pointing out the “Notice” message was returned before the XML response.  A closer look at our PHP.ini file resulted in use turning off Notices and turning on Errors only.  This was the issue.  Goes to show you having two browsers for debugging is a good thing :)

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Safari on Windows

Thanks to Scott for clueing me in on the Safari 3 for Windows Public Beta.  I must have been hiding in a hole, cause I did not see this coming at all.

First Impression

  • When I click on the top bar to expand the window, the dang thing disappears. Wait – Actually if I move it to my dual monitor and click the expand button the dang thing disappears.  Guess the dual monitor code hasn’t been put in.
  • It is fast, very fast.  Although reports are FF is faster then IE, I’ve found IE to render quicker (maybe because of the extensions I have going on FF), but this thing is really fast.
  • Finally, no more VNC to a MAC to make sure things are working correctly on Safari.  This is great.
  • Font rendering is nice – not clear type, but pretty close.
  • Hey the backspace keyboard doesn’t move you back in history – not cool.

I’m not switching from FF because of the extensive plugins I use but for some fast web browsing this might make take over my IE.

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Subdomain Cookies and Localhost

So I have a site – we’ll call www.site1.com that sets a client side cookie named CookieName1 and I need a subdomain test.site1.com to be able to read that value. Using php’s standard setcookie() method I set the cookie on www by using:

setcookie( “CookieName1″, $CookieName1Value, $CookieExpDate, “/”, “.site1.com” );

This works, no problem.  Now test.site1.com uses .NET to read in the value and do something.  Pretty standard stuff here:

  If Request.Cookies(“CookieName1″) IsNot Nothing Then

   ”DO SOMETHING

  End If

 

Build > Debug, set a breakpoint on the if block, skips right over it.  Huh?  I make sure IE has the cookie, try again.  Nope, Request.Cookies(“CookieName1″) is Nothing.  Can’t be an IE thing can it?  Run same scenerio in FireFox – same result.  Then it dawns on me, I’m not running this under test.site1.com, I’m running this under localhost.  Everything was working as expected, cookies can only be read by *.site1.com.  So how am I going to test this thing on my local machine? I do have a sandbox, test1sandbox.site1.com, but what if I didn’t?  A simple solution is to change the host file found at %SystemRoot%\system32\drivers\etc\ with:

127.0.0.1 localhost
127.0.0.1 test1.site1.com

Run another Debug, change the http://localhost to http://test1.site1.com and now I’m able to read cookies from *.site1.com. Nifty.

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Adobe Open sources Flex – Who Cares?

Yesterday, Adobe announced they are open sourcing Flex, their all wiz bang Flash based web application builder. This seems to stem from their concern about Microsoft Silverlight/WPF/WP or whatever they are calling it today. This looks to be a Adobe’s last ditch effort to save Flash aka to Sun open sourcing Java. There is a reason Flex has never taken off, Adobe sucks at writing tools & programming languages/API for developers. Macromedia was bad (see Actionscript), Adobe is worse. Some companies can compete with Microsoft in terms of IDE & programming languages (Borland does a decent job) but Adobe is not one of them. Not to mention their Eclipse based IDE is not part of the open source release.

Most Flex/Flash users are designers in nature that want to go further so they pick up action script for a programming language on the side. Now you want these people to tear into some Java code? This could get ugly real fast. I’m not saying Silverlight/WPF/WP is going to be the end all, but sorry Adobe who cares?


Trying to write your own Java or Flash code? It might be easier to start with custom PHP/Perl script writing. Writing code can be tricky if you’ve never attempted it before, so look at free PHP scripts online first. Custom web programming is great if you can pull it off.

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Remote Desktop Authentication Issue on Vista

I kept getting this annoying authentication method when trying to remote desktop from Vista into a Windows 2003 server machine at work today. By navigating to the “Advanced” tab I could change the Authetication option to : “Always connect, even if authentication fails”, but Scott Forsyth has a registry edit that works perfectly:

Add a DWORD registry entry called AuthenticationLevelOverride in the \\HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Terminal Server Client\ and set it to 0.

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Krugle – It won’t survive

Revised: Krugle – It might survive
Revised: Krugle – It will survive, their people in power get it

After reading Robert Scoble post on Krugle I ran over to krugle.com to see what type of advertising I could get (we write software development tools so it should be a nice fit), this is there business model right? Some red flags went off when it became a chore to find advertising info. Finally I came to their “Contact Us” page where I found Bill Daniher VP Finance & Corporate Development as the contact for advertising. More red flags – Why is a VP of Finance handling advertising? Maybe their VP actually do work, so I send him an email. He responds back that Krugle doesn’t have an automated way to do this yet, but he can manually add an ad to the site for a selection of keywords. I’m thinking this is going to be ugly to deal with, but still worth a try. I give him the word we want to proceed, what are the next steps? His response? Well, there is no response. So your a start up and someone wants to buy your service and you don’t respond? Not good. My email probably slipped thru the cracks, but that is why a VP shouldn’t be handling this. Then I read today that they partnered with Yahoo! to do their developer code search. I sure hope Yahoo! is paying them enough to survive, otherwise it won’t.

This is a big reason a lot of .com companies don’t survive. They put more stock into partnerships and VC funding then doing what they need to do—earn revenue and become profitable.

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A Wiki For Life?

I’m a big fan of using wikis in the workplace (In fact I was part of a team that got Proctor and Gamble to start using Wiki’s for their Metamucil team back in 2003 when no one had heard of Wikis). Mike Wilson pushed wikis on me back then and I have never looked back. Our IT team uses one with a passion. Today while I was going over my “to do” list I realized that a personal wiki for everything me, would be perfect. I know Scott Hanselman pimped TiddlyWiki so I am giving it a try. I have three sections – MyIT, MyMarketing, MyLife (I believe Tiddly uses camel case, which is old school wiki style I love). It’s set as my default page on my browser. I’ll report back on if this works out.

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Now Using Bloglines

For almost a two years I had been using RSS Popper. It integrated very nicely into Outlook, but recently I ran into some performace issues with Outlook and it turns out RSS Popper was the cause. I gave Google Reader a shot but it turned out to be way to slow. On the advice of The Nix Guy I turned to Bloglines. I’m loving it. It’s interface is very simple, the reader is fast and the way the post are rendered makes it for easy reading. My only wish would be some way to read internal blogs at work with it. Those blogs are behind the firewall so it would have to be some type of Grease Monkey script or Firefox Extension that plugged in.

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12 Truths about Google

This took longer then it should, but someone finally realized Google funds terrorist. Here is the truth about the Google corporation.

  1. They are an Advertisement company 100%

  2. They have no shame about selling ads on anyones site about anything, including terrorism, kiddie porn, and crack sites

  3. Google wants to decide what laws they want to help enforce, they are against slander against gays, but for kiddie porn

  4. Their site advertisement is a scam (yes, the Google ads on my site are worthless). Advertisers who pay for these must be idots

  5. Their Adwords (ads on google.com) are slowly following this trend, a few years ago ROI on these were acceptable, this is happening less and less

  6. Google only wants some fraud PPC, they make money on fraud clicks but they don’t want too much to drive away the advertisers

  7. People who do SEO are in cahoots with Google, Google helps them make a living and they keep hush about these truths

  8. Their search engine hasn’t gotten better in a few years, why? – See #1

  9. Google does good things for the Open Source community, but I bet they get sued real soon for not following the GPL. Most of the software uses GPL but where is the source code they are required to release to the public?

  10. They dislike in order: Microsoft, Ebay, Amazon

  11. They like in order: Yahoo!, Apple, AMD

  12. Google stock, Google Advertisements, and Google itself is a bubble that will burst. Google has a place but right now they are too big and going in the wrong direction.

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