Merry Christmas! Dobrego Bożego Narodzenia!

While I really do wish you merry holidays when you celebrate Christmas, I have to admit Google does hate our God big time.

For instance, I was trying to congratulate my Polish friend with Christmas, but I wasn’t quite sure how to write it in Polish, so I – you guessed it! – turned to Google Translate.

To my astonishment Google absolutely always suggested a translation which notoriously omits any mention of the name Christ in it.

I write “Merry Christmas” – Google suggests “Wesołych Świąt”, that is “Merry holidays”

Ok, I thought, maybe “Merry” is the root of all evil? Then I wrote in Russian simply “с Рождеством” – and Google once again replies with “wesołych świąt”, only this time in all lowercase. (As a sidenote, the Gboard – Google virtual keyboard – notoriously suggests to write the words God, Christmas, in English as well as in Russian, in all lowercase – always a nuisance to all Christian users of this virtually monopolistic piece of software.)

So after a few more futile attempts at constructing a proper congratulation in Google Translate, I had to come up with one by myself.

Dobrego Bożego Narodzenia!

STEREO.org.ua is PR4 now

[ru] PRSTEREO-blog вырос до PR4. Это был полный сюрприз после примерно двух лет в капкане PR3. Другой (довольно известный) сайт потерял PR с PR6 до PR3 за тот же период, имея в 60 раз больше посетителей. Вот и верь показателю Пейдж-Ранк после этого. Хотя для рекламодателей хороший ранк (или ранг?) бывает привлекателен.

It’s been long since I last checked Google PageRank for homepage ofSTEREO-blog and… a surprise here: it is PageRank 4 already!
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Обналичка чека AdSense: график во времени

[en] Google AdSense pays are difficult to receive in former USSR in terms of time. But that has nothing to do with pigeon post.

Самое большое недовольство “наших”, участников программы AdSense – длительность процедуры получения уже заработанных денег.
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AdSense: $100 с начала года

[en] Google AdSense has finally brought in $100 for couple of websites (incl. this one) participating in the program since the year's start. Most of the revenue came in during the last month or two, likely due to ad-space restructuring: removing AdSense for Search and reducing clutter a bit.
$100 is a minimum paid by Google via cheque.

Пришло время Гуглу выплатить мою первую зарплату: чек высылается после набора $100 за публикацию рекламы. Сегодня счётчик показал $100.25.

Довольно долго доход держался на уровне менее $10/месяц, основные деньги пошли в августе-сентябре.
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Тотальная слежка через мобильный больше не секрет

[en] Ukraine's Kyivstar GSM has been notorious in pushing to public a series of equivocal LBS services implying the possibility of tracking down a cell phone user.
The latest offer "Navigator" is bluntly marketed as nothing but surveillance tool hence ending all ambiguity - global tracking no more is a tale.

Всё началось в ноябре 2006 с “Мобильной карты” – первого Location Based Service от Киевстар GSM и первого LBS в Украине вообще. Там определение местоположения мобильного терминала средствами сети позволяло показать не просто карту города, а карту актуальной местности (как сейчас делает бесплатно Google Maps for mobile для некоторых моделей телефонов, даже без GPS).

Но так как то была новинка, и довольно дорогая, мало кто обратил внимание на LBS составляющую и её истинный потенциал, в т.ч. возможности использования без ведома абонента.
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End of Earth in Google

[en] The world has a defined end in Google. At least the civilized one.

Начинается дачный сезон и я решил перед поездкой посмотреть в мобильных картах Гугл всё ли в порядке, цела ли крыша на даче.

Нашёл райцентр, стал искать дорогу, а там как-то маловато деталей, даже ж.д. ветки не видно. Тогда я переместился на Киев, увеличил масштаб и стал медленно продвигаться по трассе E40 на запад.

Недалеко после посёлка Бузовая (Buzova) настал… конец.

Google's end of the world

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Авторские права и интернетизация

Попала в руки книга. Вроде ничего особенного, обычная книга доинтернетной эры. Но читаю, читаю и чувствую, что-то не так. Посмотрел внимательнее и понял – да это же прямо блог распечатанный!
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Why Linux is free? FireFox so decided

[en] FireFox, сам по себе являющийся "бесплатным" продуктом, оказывается, спонсирует "бесплатный" Линукс.

Linux LogoDid you ever wonder at the Linux “distros” sprouting wildly? They are countless already; nobody knows the exact number: Knoppix, CentOS, Ubuntu, Kubuntu… The most surprising part is they compete. Not with Microsoft – MS is and probably will for a looong time to come enjoy their monopoly – with each other! Every distro’s outlet boasts about its market share.

Now, which “market share”? If it’s free, where’s the market?

Well, it’s not really free, wonder it not, you – users – pay for “free” Linux. Here’s how.
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Google cripples traffic for reduced blog posting

After a week of non-writing at STEREO website statistics showed Google search’s contribution for traffic diminished somewhat noticeably – by as much as 20% (approx).

This was deduced from observing the proportions of contributions from two of the top 3 search engines topical for STEREOGoogle, Windows Live and Yandex.

Yandex is new here, yet it is perceived as important traffic supplier having provided 1/4 of the Google’s traffic during previous two months. This week the distance between the two was shrinking.

BTW “Add to bookmarks” figure in AWstats felt a bit too: from the whopping 36.6% in the beginning of the month to 34% for the 24 days of November. So you rather have a good reason to suspend writing like this.

Small wonder the traffic in general continued to grow as usual, 1% a day on average – this is the momentum at work.

Lifetime Phone Number – a reality?

I switch telephone providers every year or so. As MNP (and LNP for that matter) is not available here, I have to switch actual telephone numbers alongside. In spite of that, I try to keep all of my old numbers – gotta like to stay in touch.

Generally that is attainable (however cumbersome and sometimes expensive) by setting up all the “old” numbers to forward calls to my currently active one. In luckier parts of the world, MNP addresses most of the issues. In addition, a new trend – specialized companies providing an attractive service “one phone number for life” – has been put on rails.

On the face of it, the idea seems very alluring. Probably everybody has gone at least once in his or her life through the horrors of a telephone number change by force.
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Opera Mini gets aLL Google only dreams about

Google strives to acquire user data. All those services – Gmail, Earth, Maps, … you name ’em – are geared to harvest personal behavioral information to “better serve ads to the customers”. G doesn’t even hide its intentions and directly states them in ToS (Terms of Service) pages.
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