What chance do children have?

I was just in Asda (I know, if you go to Asda you’ve gotta expect to see scum) and I was stood in the queue next to a couple with two young boys. I do fear sometimes that some children don’t have a chance in life. The total of their shopping consisted of the following:

  • 2 bags of doughnuts
  • 1 crate of cheap lager
  • 2 cans of Asda’s own brand of Red Bull

That was it. Clearly that was the tea for the evening for the mum, the dad and the two kids. I you’d seen the utter uselessnes of the father you’d realise the dispair I’m feeling right now.

Where are social services when they should be doing something?

Paedophile of pop gets payout from Packard

You’d think that abusing children would spark an end to your career, especially when you’d been found guilty and sent to prison in Vietnam for it. No so though for Garry Glitter, as he’s getting £100,000 from Hewlett Packard for using his song ‘Do You Wanna Touch Me’ in a TV advert for one of their new ‘touch screen’ models.

How thick do you have to be to use something from Garry Glitter for a TV ad? His very name is cockney rhyming slang, surely anyone who’s ever watched the news will know to stay clear of him?

Not Hewlett Packard though. They’re forking out £100,000 to be associated with a child molester who sexually assaulted two children, aged nine and eleven.

What tossholes.

What next for Glitter? Will he get a spot hosting Blue Peter?

Auto Assembly 2009 is on my birthday!

What better way to spend your birthday than standing in a convention centre with a bunch of nerds talking about Transformers? I know, I can’t think of a better way. Luckily, I won’t have to, because next year the Transformers convention known as Auto Assembly that’s held in Birmingham is taking place over two days, and is on the weekend of my birthday, August 16th.

Oh yeah!

This convention will celebrate 25 years of Transformers, the new Transformers movie Revenge of the Fallen, and my birthday. What a weekend.

I went this year and managed to grab this photo from inside the women’s toilets, you’ll see why when you look at it – promise it’s not filthy.

Blackeye Lashes

I was just watching TV and a very short advert asked the viewer to Google ‘Blackeye Lashes’. I’ve never come across this type of advertising before, so naturally being in front of a computer at the time, I did. The top result was this YouTube video for Dido.

As the result was in the natural results, as opposed to PPC, it’s also very risky in case someone else manages to rank for it as well. It’s also very clever, using natural SEO to display a full length advert on YouTube, promoted via Google, showcased on TV.

Full credit to the marketing company for coming up with this one.

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

Computeach try to curb free speech

Last night I received an email from Karl Parkinson, the owner of Computeach, wanting to put up a post on my site about his company. He wanted to address comments on this site that exist for Computeach here, and here. I replied, saying it probably wouldn’t help them much as any obviously positive post would stand out as suspect.

I did ask if he had any other suggestions, but he never replied. Then today I received an email from Greg Hartigan, head of HR and Legal at Computeach. He sent me this email.

Dear Sir/Madam
Can I draw your attention to your statements on the following link: http://www.mrdaz.com/computeach-reviews/(entitled “Computeach Reviews?”, Posted on September 28th, 2008).

Your statements imply that Computeach is wrongly trying to pass off the positive reviews contained in www.computeach-reviews.co.uk as independent. In fact the opposite is true: the website is entitled “Welcome to the official Computeach Reviews website” and also states “We have a selection of Computeach reviews from students about their experiences with Computeach…All these reviews are from genuine students and clients”. It also includes Computeach’s logo and branding. So in our opinion any reasonable person would form the impression that the website in question was in fact owned by Computeach. Our website is therefore very clear about the source and purpose of the reviews.

Indeed the 2 responses to your posting (i.e. SirBigWig dated Sep 29, 2008 at 9:44am and JamesW dated Sep 30, 2008 at 7:50pm) make it very clear that the impression created by your posting is that Computeach has acted disingenuously (albeit unsuccessfully).

We think that your statements are unfair to our company. Therefore we respectfully request that you remove these statements from your website with immediate effect and we would appreciate confirmation that you have done so.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Yours faithfully

So Computeach are trying to say that they weren’t attempting to pass off their site as a reviews website? Why would any company setup a reviews website for their own company? It just doesn’t make any sense. The URL (computeach-reviews.co.uk) was obviously an attempt to rank for ‘computeach reviews‘ in Google, which is what anyone considering taking one of their courses would search for. When you do search for that in Google, you find 8 out of the 10 results on the first page feature hordes of negative comments, and the other two results are computeach.co.uk.

Doesn’t bode well for them does it? It looks very much like Computeach were trying to rank on that page for a search on ‘Computeach Reviews’, but as their computeach-reviews.co.uk website didn’t rank, they paid for it to rank using PPC.

So, what do you think, should I remove the posts or should I leave them as they are and allow people to have their own say on what they think?

Should I remove the Computeach post?

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Microsoft now paying people to search

Just what is it with Microsoft and their staggering inability to make a search engine that works? People use Google over Yahoo! and MSN (or Live.com, or whatever the hell it’s called today) because Google gives you the most relevant results to a query. If you’re looking something, you’ll find it by using Google. People don’t use MSN (Live.com) because it throws back completely useless, irrelevant, crap results.

It’s not rocket science, yet Microsoft, in an attempt to get people to use their search engine, are offering free gifts and points.

I just don’t get it. If Microsoft want people to use their search engine, make it work. Make it actually give you the information you’re looking for. Don’t pay people to search, or offer them prizes to use your crap search engine, just make the bloody thing work.

Sadly them seem completely unable to do that, much like so many other so called search engines.

Don’t bother with frills, prizes, paying people or fancy Ajax features, just offer a search engine that gives you results, devoid of spam. Then people will use it.

What is a cure for hiccups?

Saturday night I was out having a wee drink or two (and found myself the last in the pub again) when I developed a bout of hiccups. In my drunken state I thought I’d try the old drinking from the glass backwards, and nearly tipped Guinness down my shirt. So, some bright spark decided she try and shock me to get rid of the hiccups.

First off she suggested I imagine a work colleague, let’s call him ‘Adam’ for argument’s sake, wearing lingerie. I felt sick, perhaps, but no respite for my hiccups.

Then, as we arrived back home, she came out with “where’s your car?”…

My hiccups disappeared instantly, given the history with my car, it’s hardly surprising.

Incidentally my car was back at the cinema, not nicked, as it has been previously.

Great cure for hiccups though!

Google PageRank update kicks me again

If I cared about PR (which I don’t) I’d be annoyed that this site has once again received a mauling from Google in terms of PageRank and has been reduced to a PR2.

As I said, I don’t care about PageRank… but, it is bloody annoying considering this site should be a PR5, if it were not for the penalties received in the last 12 months for various activities.

But I don’t care about PageRank, so it’s all good.

Besides, traffic and PageRank are completely unrelated, as rankings within Google have remained unharmed (and in many cases improved) and thus traffic is also high, higher than it’s been for some time. PageRank is purely an ego thing where people like to brag about how much green is in their toolbar. As you know I’m a modest guy (shut it) so don’t care about PageRank.

Unfortunately some advertisers still do though (because they’re imbeciles) and only want PR4 or PR5 minimum sites to promote them.

That’s another story though, and one that revolves around education of online marketing. Plus, did I mention that I don’t care about PageRank?