Sunday, October 15, 2006

Meet my aquatic family

I feel as I've uploaded all the pictures of my new fish that the old ones should get a look in. Firstly there is Erkle my last remaining discus. One died in a nasty filter accident and another just seemed to waste away - he wasn't as agressive when eating and Erkle monopolised the food - he also chased him around the tank constantly. Erkle lives in relative peace with the Crazy Frog, three tetras and a plec called dave.

In my other tank I have two large plecs called Sharkey and George, three tiger barbs and an assortment of mollies and platies the largest of which is Nemo who was born in the tank 2 years ago.

My new yellow tang needs a name!

My Lionfish, Aslan and my new yellow tang have set aside their differences and are now happily co-existing. My new fish needs a name - and I'd like to hear your suggestions.

Actually Aslan still seems to be sulking about the new addition to the tank and hasnt lifted himself from the bottom corner of the tank. However, the new tang has got over its fear and actually seems curious about Aslan swimming over and through his spines. I know that Lionfish are poisonous - I t would seem that the new tang is not bothered at all about that - the guys in the pet shop said that it should be fine too. Apparently Alsan will only eat fish that will fit in his mouth in one go. I don't have any of them - but I have noticed a new starfish in the tank - its very thin and about 10cm in diameter. I didn't buy him - he must have hitched a ride on the living rock I purchased not too long ago - the only other thing Ive seen in the tank is a strange wormy centipede type thing that is about 2cm long. I am yet to identify what he is though. Does anybody know?

Neville the seahorse

Ive just invested in a second marine tank. I have moved aslan the volitan lionfish to his new home as he has grown too large for my hexagonal tank. Im told that he will get on ok with tangs - so I have bought a yellow tang which I am yet to name - and is currently too shy to be photographed.

Alsan has been behaving strangely since - but I he hasn't had a tank companion since he left the fish shop six months ago. He has chased the tang around a bit and scared it into hiding behind the filter - hopefully in time they will learn to tolerate each other.

The Neville the seahorse has taken quite well to his tank and is currently curled around a group of turbo snails that I bought. I have included a photo and will keep you posted on his progress.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Im no longer in Googles Search Index

I've noticed that my traffic has decreased on this site from a stream of about 30 to 40 hits per day to nothing. I am no longer having people contact me who have had unhappy experiences with such as I and my adsense earnings are virtually nil.

Was it the low quality and fragmented content of my blog that had caused this? Had Excite IT started offering a decent service and no one felt the need to complain? Both scenarios seemed unlikely so I started doing some investigating.

My first port of call was where the majority of my traffic came from. It took me only a few minutes to find out that my blog appears to have been removed from the index? So what appears to be the cause. I have written to google and will publish their response as soon as I get one, but until then the only way I can try and get an idea of what has happened is through third party websites.

They state that you can get banned from google or your ranking penalised for linking to "bad neighbourhoods." This means link farms - and other pages specifically designed to artificially enhance your search engine ranking. Well, I haven't done that the few links that are on here seem to all be legitimate to me.

I can however, only find two links to my site when I search google - I think this lack of links may well be the problem, I know I have a few more links than that - for example there is one on my main domain Hopefully in time, google will pick up on these extra links and re-include my site. In the meantime - Im going to try and place some more links on the net - mainly on forums about not being included in google, I don't condone spamming.

Finally Im also told that if my site was down when the google spider tried to crawl it then that may have caused my removal from the index. I find it unlikely however, that google could not index its own blogger site. I am on the beta version however, I wonder if this makes a difference. Has anyone had similar problems? Can anyone see a problem with this site and give me a better explanation as to why I'm no longer included? If so I'd like to hear from you.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Website revenue update

I've been using Adsense on my blogs and personal website for two months now and the progress has been ok. I have used it in conjunction with trade doubler and commission junction programs - but the majority of my revenue has been through adsense. My collective sites have just over 2000 page impressions and generate around $15 in revenue from these various sources. Not enough to retire on quite yet - but If I could get 200,000 impressions per month I might just be able to retire or at least realise my dream to sit on the beach all day - maybe with a laptop - blogging.

So how do I intend to do this. Well first of all, the more blog entries I have - the more likely people are to visit my site - so I intend to try to post at least 5 blog entries per blog per month. I have used the google webmaster tools to identify what search terms are bringing people to my site - which entries have been most popular. By far it has been my rant about a company called exciteit. On my personal site - the funny emails and games sections have been the most popular. Im going to experiment with some different media on my blog - maybe a video entry and some music. I'll keep you posted on my progress.

Faith Healers - Bollocks!

Today as part of my regular trawl of the nets news sites - I came accross an interesting article about Chris de Burg. Who on an interview with Gloria Hunniford has made the bold claim that he has the power to cure illness using only the power of touch!
The singer of Lady in Red claims to have healed a man in the West Indies who was unable to walk, a footballer from Guillain-BarrĂˆ syndrome and once used his psychic powers to predict his wife falling from her horse - and gave her invaluable advice preventing her from subequently paralysing herself.

He has only used his powers on rare occassions. I wonder why this is? If I had the power to heal - I would use my powers for the good of man kind instead of releasing second rate albums. The man hasn't had a decent hit in 20 years. I would also prove my abilities to the world through some sort of experiment or live performance.
What also shocks me is the amount of people who will blindly believe this mans claims - just look at the comments section of the article. I believe, as did Albert Einstein that not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted. But Chris de Burg the miracle worker? I just cant believe it. Is this a publicity stunt to promote his new album or is Chris delusional? I suspect he actually believes his claims.

Normally deluding yourself like this is pretty harmless and we all delude ourselves to a certain degree. Posh Spice, for example thinks she can sing. But when you claim you have powers to heal where ordinary medicine should be used - you could indirectly harm people by them choosing not to seek the correct treatment, favoring the healing hands approach instead.
Have you had any experience of faith healers? If so I'd like to hear from you - obviously I'm a sceptic so don't be offended if I don't believe / want to laugh at you.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Where have all the guitar tabs gone?

I have been playing the guitar for around 10 years now on and off and one of the greatest resources I have ever found to help me learn has been the internet - almost every piece of music I have ever wanted to learn has been available on the net.

However, recently I have noticed lots of my favorite guitar sites are being shut down. Or at least having all their tablatures removed from the site. Most have posted a statement saying that they have been threatened directly - or indirectly via their ISP with legal action and have been forced to close their archives. This is due apparently to copyright infringement. So now, I am forced to look that little bit harder for my tabs - or ask my guitar tutor to teach them to me.

This got me thinking at what point does showing someone else how to play a piece of music become copyright infringement? Surely my guitar teacher acts in very much the same way an Internet server works when it shows you how to play a song. Is it the act of showing someone? I'd like to think not or else every guitar teacher ever has broken the law. Is it when you commit it to paper? Again, doesn't this seem a little over the top - surely you can make notes for educational purposes? - is this not what they call in the trade "fair use" and is this not what tab sites are doing? They are not copying from tablature books - most of these tabs have been worked out by ear - or looking at what the artist does on the music video!
Its a shame that these sites many of which are run by enthusiasts, not for profit are being shut down, these people do not have the legal know how or financial might to put up a stand against the industry giants, who's sole concern is the maximising of profits.

It seems to me a new business model is needed for these companies- and some clearer copyright laws - more appropriate for the 21st century. As long as people enjoy the guitar they are going to share their knowledge - and as long as there is the internet people will find a way to do it online. Fighting it will be a loosing battle.
If you want to find a way - there are still some sites out there that haven't given in or are hosted in a country where there is little that can be done about it. A simple google search can still bring these up - alternatively - start looking for torrents and maybe download bearshare lite to look for tabs.