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Topics - ergophobe

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Web Development / RewriteRule Tester
« on: June 18, 2018, 02:48:23 AM »
Sometimes RewriteRule and RewriteCond etc can drive me mad. I was having a problem with a rewrite rule and found this

Super handy

Water Cooler / Floating an anvil on mercury
« on: June 15, 2018, 05:19:55 AM »
This has multiple things I'd never seen, including two gallons of mercury poured into a tub in someone's backyard. I wonder what he did with it them

Marketing / Amazon Search and PPC - ranking factors and user behavior
« on: June 13, 2018, 11:42:14 PM »
Latest Sumo article might interest some of you

Traffic / GDPR settings just kicked in for GA
« on: June 13, 2018, 07:25:20 PM »
I was looking at a Google Analytics property for which I only have read-only access and was confused at first...

When I look at All Users, I can track revenue back as far as I want. When I segment by Direct/Organic/etc, it only goes back to 2016. At first I thought I was in a view that was created in 2016.... then I realized that the account admin or their legal advisor or someone had decided to set the data retention to two years (or perhaps decided nothing and let the default take effect).

Everything just goes off a cliff... no data more than two years old. And some data seems just gone entirely - zero "users" right up to today in some reports even when "new users" is 350,000.


Seriously? All routers? It would be helpful if they said which routers were targeted.

Anyway, we lose power often enough around here that my routers are almost guaranteed to get power cycled weekly at least


TL;DR - keyless entry "keys" are prone to hacking

Web Development / Wikipedia Link Previews
« on: May 22, 2018, 10:24:00 PM »
I completely missed these until just now when I noticed the link previews and did a bit of digging.

Launched April 17.

This seemingly cosmetic change may seem far from revolutionary, but has been built through careful and vigorous A/B testing; scaling APIs to Wikipedia levels of traffic and a change to how we build our code (blog post to follow). Our testing shows that the feature makes it easier and more efficient for Wikipedia readers to interact with our content and get more context about a topic on Wikipedia.
The goal of page previews was to decrease the cost of exploration for each blue link you come across, allowing readers to satisfy their curiosity or clarify a confusing or unknown topic without the burden of opening a new page and navigating back to the original.
And for three, the number of classical pageviews is slightly decreasing. That might seem like a strange thing to be happy about

That last sentence highlights the difference between and ad-driven publisher and a donation-driven publisher, between the need to be interruptive and the need to be useful.

And a bit more on design considerations and a few other strategy observations

Nearly ~28 percent of Wikipedia’s traffic comes from clicking on internal blue links. a.k.a going down the rabbit hole.
~2 million links get hovered per minute across all Wikipedias
Add value not pain
Modifying such frequent behavior is difficult. We began by using qualitative and quantitative insights to conclude the interaction timeline for showing a preview.
Given Wikipedia’s scale, a minor change in any of these variables could always result in a massive impact on the experiences of the end user as well as on our infrastructure

So then 62% of traffic comes from outside the site - search or referral traffic. That's higher than I would have guessed given how often I go down the rabbit hole

I remember years ago I had a tool that would let me find other sites using the AdSense or GA account (I think it was even free for a certain number of results).

Is there something like that for GA now? I do not need *all* the sites. Even if the account owner has a huge number of sites, I'd be happy to get just a small sample for what I need. Five would be enough I think.

Water Cooler / Don't get distracted
« on: May 15, 2018, 11:42:12 PM »
I’m going to tell you about how I took a job building software to kill people.

But don’t get distracted by that; I didn’t know at the time.


We got WiFi hotspots located! Great, does it find phones?

It’s taking seconds instead of minutes! Great, does it find phones?

We looked into it finding phones, it seems unlikely but maybe! Ok, we’ll come back to it.

We got moving targets working! Great, does it find phones?

I had been distracted.

Does it find phones.

A year and a day ago, a developer named Bill Sourour wrote a blog post. It opened with the line: “If you write code for a living, there’s a chance that at some point in your career, someone will ask you to code something a little deceitful – if not outright unethical.”

As his conclusion, Bill writes: "As developers, we are often one of the last lines of defense against potentially dangerous and unethical practices."

As someone who's household income depends 90% on tourism-related activities and as someone who thinks the climate problem is absolutely urgent... this is a sad and troubling study result

But don't worry. I plan to bury my head in the sand, seek contradictory studies and convince myself that I'm doing the right thing. HHH

Water Cooler / Social Media channels as Breakfast Club characters
« on: May 04, 2018, 04:05:15 PM »
Subject says it... but can't leave body empty apparently

Water Cooler / Public DNA database catches Golden State Killer
« on: April 29, 2018, 11:42:16 PM »
Police uploaded a DNA sample to a database that people upload their DNA to in order to find long lost relatives. Enough of the Golden State Killer's relatives had uploaded DNA that they were able to find him, or at least a very strong suspect.

Water Cooler / Rumbas: It takes a Viking
« on: April 24, 2018, 10:21:12 PM »
Spotted in the parking lot

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