Friday, 22 June 2007

Like Putting on a Ski Mask to Rob Google Blind

I've been eager to see who gets to advertise on my blog. At the moment for obvious reasons I don't get any visitors or anyone clicking my ads, so I guess Google is reaching into the dark corners of its advertisers' database in the rotation.

I have seen and felt Google Adwords guidelines on all sorts of advertising copy - spelling, punctuation, use of superlatives. I have also read extensively about the death of MFA.
Anyway, in true Andy Beal style, WELCOME NEW ADVERTISER, Project Black Mask:
For an incredible RRP of $97, promises to reveal Google's Dirty Little Secret to "wealthbuilders".

I did not click (so I do not have to email Google), I typed in the URL directly. And I learned the the Project Black Mask has nothing to do with affiliate marketing but everything to do with

...gaming the search engines for thousands of FREE clicks in a completely automated way. Black Mask is about milking a loophole in the Google algorithm that was open in 2006... is still open in 2007... but it might not be in 2008...

"Like Putting On A
Ski Mask To Rob
Google Blind!"

More Project Black Mask ads (and respectable organic exposure) can be found if you search Google: a Squidoo lense, Digg entry and 11 ads, all pretty targetted:

Black Mask Blindfold

Project Black Mask is outdated
Learn why here

Project Black Mask LAUNCH
Massive $50 Discount. Only Here.
_Everything_ will be revealed!

In fact, you can see a whole bunch here.

Whatever people say about Google and democracy in China, Google proves its democratic nature here: you can pooh-pooh Google and advertise here no problem! :)

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

A socialite's priorities unmasked

Fabiola Beracasa* is a socialite - I would be too if I were the daughter of banking magnate Alfredo Beracasa. She runs a business called Circa, buying jewelery of other socialites in distress - an uberdiscreet business according to a Gotham Magazine article on her busy daily schedule (hattip to Wealth Report).

I found one thing in Fabiola's schedule fascinating:
Meet my trainer, Reily, and go for a four- to five-mile run outside, followed by a half hour of weight training. (Next entry 9:15 a.m.)
4:30 p.m. Review the donation requests that have been sent to us and decide which events and charities Circa will commit to this year. (Next entry 5:30 p.m.)

This woman actually proudly admits to spending more time on her morning workout than her annual decision on charitable giving? ;)

* photo by's Sherly Rabbani and Josephine Solimene featuring the fabulous Fabiola with a Carlos Mota at a dance in February 2006

Sunday, 17 June 2007

Finally - Witricity puts us on our way to transmit electricity wirelessly...

I think everyone has some future inventions they are waiting for eagerly - something out of a science fiction but feasible with our current knowledge. Perhaps just a tad to costly to manufacture or simply not a priority.
For me, I've had a few such dreams and am proud to report that another one seems well on its way to fruition.
Specifically, I've often though about wireless transfer of electricity. My limited knowledge of physis did not allow me to gauge whether this is realistic, but apparently it is (via Virginia Postrel): MIT's team led by Professor Marin Soljacic (in an MIT-released photo via AP/Washington Post) transmitted electricity to light up a 60 w light-bulb about 2 m between the two coils, calling the result Witricity.
This is much cooler than the earlier attempts I had read about (pads, where you would place your mobile phone to recharge it).
What is my next goal you ask? The personal jet packs, of course (I imagine they will be attached to a chair to keep your legs from getting burnt by the flames...).

Friday, 15 June 2007

Where the hell is my ATM?

Me: There used to be an ATM here, now there is just some cable sticking out from a hole in the tiles. So I thought I would let you know. I mean maybe someone stole it or something?

Tatra Banka Dialog Call Center Lady: I don't thinks so [with a 'I am not really hired to deal with silly jokes tone].

Anyway, my Tatra Banka bankomat at the Bratislava Radisson (I don't live AT the Radisson, just near it) has disappeared. No sign, just a hole in the floor tiles with some cable sticking out. The call centre lady had no idea about the ATM, she was simply able to list where ATM's are available at present.

If the bank were to act somewhat sensibly they could:
1. mine the data for customers who were repeat users of that bankomat,
2. notify them of why this one is disappearing, whether and when it will be back and where the nearest one is,
3. put up a little note,
4. inform their call centre.

Now this would be too customer focused even for what in my view is Slovakia's most customer-focused bank.

UPDATE: Having blogged this, I decided to pursue it further, even at the risk of acting slightly ridiculous. I sent off a question through a contact form at Tatra Banka's website and received an automated reply promising that I will be contacted ASAP. As an interesting aside, the www address in the signature of the automated message pointed to an advertising feature of Tatra Banka's Bank+Coffee, rather than the bank's main website.

UPDATE 2: Not too many days later I have heard back from an ATM business specialista:
"With regrets we must inform you that the bankomat has been deinstalled permanently from these premises. At the same time we want to assure you that we plan to replace the deinstalled bankomat, in a nearby object. If we have caused you any problems please accept our apology."

Next time I will translate my response to the ATM business specialista.

Long Time no Blog - and not because I was enjoying Sunset on the Hokianga Harbour

Sunset on the Hokianga Harbour
I have not blogged for over two weeks now, not due to a lack of material but due to its abundance (at least in proportion to discretionary time usable for blogging). ;) I have a few topics to cover:
1. Bank usability
2. DaveN's new car and the mean looking 5.6l 7 seater (EUR 35,000 for export outside the EU only)
3. Optimising for image search (how do you imagine "Sunset on the Hokianga Harbour"?)*
4. Like DaveN I will try to do these posts in seven minutes each, or maybe 14

* No, sorry, This is definitely not a sunset at the Hokianga harbor, it is a sunset at an Irish Harnour from Webmink to investigate a point.