Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The great firewall of modern China

The latest set of internet regulations announced by the Chinese government are cause for deepening gloom about the prospects for free speech in the world's most populous country. Although the new rules governing online news reports are largely a codification of existing practice, they underline the determination of Communist leaders to stifle dissent and will further limit the facts and political opinions available to the country's 100m internet users. The rules threaten organisations that disobey with fines and closure, and call for the transmission of "healthy and civilised" news.

The announcement was the most recent of a series of moves over the past few months to tighten control of local and foreign media. Several journalists have been arrested, one with the help of the US internet portal Yahoo, which - like Microsoft - has been accused of undermining free speech to protect its interests in China. Earlier this month a frustrated Rupert Murdoch, chairman and chief executive of News Corp, said his company had hit a "brick wall" in China and accused Beijing of paranoia.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Autograph ban on Harry Potter star

The school friends of the Harry Potter star Rupert Grint have been banned from asking for his autograph.
According to Internet Movie Database, the 17-year-old Grint, who plays Ron Weasley, was mobbed by students at his Richard Hale School.
Students have been told they will be given detention if they ask for his autograph.
A source said: "All the other kids were really proud of him and were asking him about the movies. Senior staff held an assembly, warning pupils not to bother Rupert. Anybody flaunting the rules gets a lesson long detention."

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

How To Get Banned From Google Adsense In Just few hours

The darkest nightmare a hardworking affiliate webmaster fears is receiving a dreaded Google Adsense Warning, or even worse, a notice that Google Adsense has been disabled for the entire account.

The notice starts out like this:"It has come to our attention that invalid clicks have been generated on the ads on your web pages. We have therefore disabled your Google Adsense account. Please understand that this step was taken in an effort to protect the interest of the AdWords advertisers."

Some webmasters use Google Adsense to generate 100% of their website income and the account may hold many different websites. In that case, every website is disabled at one time. An automatic disqualification can be devastating, especially when Google has no obligation to explain its decision in detail.

Not only does the account become disabled, but also existing click-through earnings are refunded back to the advertisers.

Life gets tough, but is it that easy to get an account banned? Yes it is.The terms of service every Google Adsense Webmaster accepts, describes the easy do's and don'ts.

Do use the Adsense approved formats only

Do keep your click-through data and income private.

Don't display Adsense on registration or thank you pages.

Don't use Adsense code and a competitor's content-targeted advertisement on the same page.

Don't encourage anyone else to click on ads.

For a complete list, read the Adsense policies and terms

The easiest method an account can be banned is by a Webmaster clicking on the site's own ads.

Just how many click-throughs are needed to get a site banned isn't exposed, but Google Adsense watches for multiple clicks from the same domain. One person was banned who clicked twice from the same domain within a 24-hour period. That doesn't mean that is Adsense policy, because Adsense appears to place suspect sites on watch status until the action is duplicated.

Spikes in click-through percentages are hefty red flags. Those are the changes worth becoming proactive over by emailing Google Adsense. A site that rises from a consistent 1% click-through rate to a 10% click-through rate on one day could become suspect. The actual percentage that creates the flag isn't made public for obvious reasons.

What's the safest way to protect an account?

Don't click on the site's own ads ever.

Deceptive practices work for a short time, but they always come back to hurt the originator.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Yahoo IM users get more than they bargained for

If you're one of the tens of millions of Yahoo users asked to upgrade your instant-messaging software this week, be on your toes: The update can open the door to unwanted PC houseguests--and setting changes--by default.

The newest free version of Yahoo Instant Messenger (YIM) boasts advanced Internet phone calling in a upgrade that comes "highly recommended" by Yahoo. By clicking "yes" to the update, a user can expect to get a slicker YIM interface with buttons to quickly chat, blog, swap photos or call someone online. It even has new smiley icons.

Those changes are what many might expect. What they may not expect are all the other tools they get when not paying attention.

By accepting Yahoo's "typical" installation of YIM with Voice, it will also download Yahoo's Search Toolbar with anti-spyware and anti-pop-up software, desktop and system tray shortcuts, as well as Yahoo Extras, which will insert Yahoo links into the Internet Explorer browser. The IM client also contains "live words," which will automatically show an icon when the user highlights words online and then hyperlink to Yahoo search results, definitions or translation tools. Finally, the installation will alter the users' home page and auto-search functions to point to Yahoo by default.

To avoid these changes, users must actively choose the "custom" installation and uncheck five boxes.

Yahoo spokeswoman Terrell Karlsten said that for avid Yahoo users, the included services are valuable and highlight the integration among all its tools.

"By setting it that way we're giving people choices. For people who want to download software in one fell swoop, they have that option. If they don't want it we give them the ability to customize it," Karlsten said.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Google's digital gift for European Publisher's

Google opens digital library to European book publishers
Google Inc is asking European book publishers to submit non-English material to its Internet-leading search engine - a move that may ease worries about the company's digital library relying too heavily on Anglo-American content.

It marks the first time that Google has sought submissions from non-English publishers since it began to scan books into its search engine index last year.

The Google Print undertaking represents a major piece of Google's effort to convert printed material into a digital format so it can be called up from any computing device with an Internet connection. By indexing the material, Google hopes to attract more visitors to its website and spawn more searches that generate advertising revenue.

Google's database already includes books printed in about 100 different languages, but all that material came from US, Canadian and Australian publishers that submitted a handful of non-English books on their own.

By reaching out to European publishers, Google hopes to substantially increase the volume of non-English books in its database, said Jim Gerber, director of content partnership for Google's print programme.