Archive for October, 2009

Snake Oil and Salesmen

I’ve been searching reviews for a natural dietary supplement to see what it does and if it’s any good. The process brings me face-to-face with the real nature of the internet, and a lesson in marketing, during the very week I’ve been planning my own internet marketing strategy.

Snake Oil Remedies
Image by inky

Upon searching for this particular supplement, I find that the reviews on the first couple of Google pages of links were all very positive. Nothing is so perfect. Perfection makes me suspicious. The reviews were similar in their wording. My guess is the marketing man (who shall remain nameless) from the company who make the supplement has entered into as many blog and review sites as he could find. SEO at its best … and worst. Manipulating search engines and saturating the bandwidth for those searching on the efficacy of a product is very shrewd marketing strategy, but I find it a little sad, because it erodes the internet’s usefulness as a resource for impartial, genuine, user reviews of a product.

Ah well, moral of the tale: if you want the genuine stuff, click straight to page 20 of the search results; if you want to sell stuff, get it into pages 1 and 2!

Add comment October 26th, 2009

Pimp my netbook

I heard good things about Windows 7 on netbooks. So I took advantage of my MSDN professional subscription to download it and install it on my Eee PC netbook. There were a few tweaks necessary to install it on the netbook, but hey, after thirty years doing this stuff, I’m used to that! Netbook specific install quirks aside, it installed fairly easily.


I must say, first hand, that Windows 7 has surprisingly good performance on a netbook. Microsoft got worried about loss of market share to Linux on netbooks and so took the netbook market very seriously in Windows 7, and it seems to have worked. It performs at least as fast as my old Linux installation, and faster in some ways. Running Google Chrome on Windows 7 responds faster than Firefox on Linux (Chrome has a very fast JavaScript engine – Google’s speciality). The new OpenOffice 3.1 boots up faster on it too. Writing should be a breeze – no excuses now. Lets see how fast it stays when I install the software development tools on it!

They have improved some of the problems Vista had. The annoying UAC pop-ups seem to have gone, now only asking me when it really needs to check access permissions (like the first time a new device driver is installed). The user interface feels a lot “smarter” – the result of lots of little tweaks to it. Cleaner too. Everything seems to be easy to find, where you need it, when you need it, and no clutter. The only downside so far is that shutdown takes a long, long time on my relatively slow SSD drive. But, I’ve set it to hibernate instead of shutdown all the time, which is quicker, and means it can start-up much faster too.

So overall, I’m happy with Windows 7 … so far!

2 comments October 8th, 2009

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