Stef’s Laptop Continues On The Slow Road

This is really vexing. I have no idea what’s going on, though it seems like something is leeching on normally occuring processes.

Though Stef’s laptop seemed stable for six or seven hours at some point this afternoon her problems came back. The CPU usage level shot to 100% with normal programs taking abnormal resources.

This is really vexing. I have no idea what’s going on, though it seems like something is leeching on normally occuring processes. I don’t even know a good search term to use on Google!

Helaine drove to Stef’s college this afternoon. I think (hope) she’s on her way back now. It was a computer swap with Stef’s modern Dell coming to me and an old PIII-800 laptop going to her.

“It’s as slow as the other one,” Stef told me on the phone after the tiny PIII was fired up.

That might be true, but the good news is, I’ll fix the other one and send it back. Or, possibly, I’ll just reformat and reload. Stef has few programs installed. Maybe the end’s in sight?

I’m Not Google… But If I Were

By now you’ve probably heard about Google’s capitulation to the Chinese. The Chinese government asked Google to limit (aka censor) certain search engine requests and Google said, “OK.”

If you’re in China, trying to find information that the government feels is inappropriate, too bad. Google won’t help.

I suppose it’s their prerogative as a commercial outfit. It’s the decision many company’s would make under similar circumstances. I’ve heard of media companies that provide ‘adult’ content here in the states, but tone it down in their Asian distributions.

In fact, Google has recently taken a stronger stand here in the United States, objecting to our government’s request for information on personal search requests. That’s laudable. It doesn’t take Google off the hook.

Companies often adapt their business practices to please the host country. And, there’s no getting around it, China is a huge host country with loads of profit potential.

Here’s why Google’s decision is so vexing to me. It has to do with their own corporate philosophy… their own declaration that they’re different. It’s number six of the “Ten things Google Has Found to be True.”

You can make money without doing evil.

Those are their words. I cut and pasted that right from Google’s corporate site.

Their site also used to ask:

Does Google censor search results?

Google does not censor results for any search term. The order and content of our results are completely automated; we do not manipulate our search results by hand. We believe strongly in allowing the democracy of the web to determine the inclusion and ranking of sites in our search results.

It doesn’t say that anymore. The page that held that info has been removed. I was able to retrieve a copy of what used to be there from Google’s own cache! I’m not sure how long that will be around before being revised, or deleted, which is why it’s a ‘picture’ of the page, rather than a link to what’s there at this moment.

This decision on Google’s part is evil. I can’t think of any other way to parse it. Google is subjugating their principles… my principles… in the pursuit of money. But it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if Google hadn’t have gone out of their way to claim they would never be ‘that’ kind of company.

There are many things, good and bad, this country can export. Freedom of information – the freedom to explore all ideas, is among our most precious and powerful. It’s so much better than exporting pop culture and fast food.

I have often heard an expression (which I will paraphrase here) that someone can be “F. U. Rich.” That means they’ve got enough money to do what they wish and not worry about the consequences. Isn’t Google in that position now? Don’t the Chinese need Google more than Google need the Chinese?

Where are Google’s principles?

Blogger’s note: Google provides the one source of income for this blog through its AdSense program. In essence, they pay my server costs. Google is also the largest source of traffic to this site.

Addendum – This entry was originally called “I’m Not Google… But If I Was.”

Who Came Here In 2004

Last year, on December 31, I posted a little summary of what happened on this website in the previous year. I just looked back and was amazed how things have changed. The number of people and unattended, researching, web crawling computers, has increased greatly.

The content hasn’t changed. It’s the same drivel I’ve posted here since day one. This blog is nothing but inconsequential, random, musings about what’s important to me. That’s why whenever anyone else buys into reading it, I am both astonished and flattered.

In 2003&#185 approximately 17,000 separate viewers came calling to this site. Collectively you visited 30,000 times, downloading 872,000 files. My page counter now sits just north of 60,000.

That was then, this is now. The page counter has moved from 60,000 to 355,554. This year you visited 256,409 times downloading about 5,000,000 files (each image within the blog, plus other insertions in a single page, counts as a file). My server, located in Chicago and maintained by has spit out 51.7 gb of data.

Though there was a huge spike after I wrote about Ashlee Simpson’s Saturday Night Live debacle a day before it hit the bigger websites, a smoothed traffic line shows my audience steadily building. I am averaging over 1,000 visits a day.

There are three ways I look at my traffic and all tell slightly different stories. On each web page is a counter which increments once any time someone reads a page. I don’t think it is triggered by web crawlers that sites like Google and Yahoo use, though I can’t be sure. There is also a control panel counter I can see in the web site’s “back office.” Finally there’s the counter from the company that I allow to place ads on the site.

They’re always different. Always.

Speaking of ads, since I added them as an unobtrusive experiment, they have paid for my web hosting. The aggregate total in $198.44, of which I’ve already received about $144. This site makes on average 89&#162 per day. As I write this, I have made 7&#162 today. Some days are better than others.

Before you poo poo that number, multiply it by 365. I was going to publish a blog anyway, why not put these few ads off in a corner?

The number one search term was “John Mayer,” though that’s misleading. Ashlee Simpson probably drew more traffic, but there were multiple search terms (and spellings) used. As with last year, I’m surprised that traffic has come here after searching for things like, “hot water pipe is frozen south korea” or “chuck woolery wives&#178” or the always popular “carrot top shirtless&#179.”

Google also sent a lot of traffic my way because of an entry I had which debunked a popular picture of a tanker sailing into a hurricane. If you search Google for “hurricane photo” my enticing picture is on the bottom right. This one link was clicked 55,599 times by Google’s users.

I have tried to write something every day. Sometimes that meant scraping the bottom of the barrel. My apologies. Other times my life was centered around things I couldn’t or wouldn’t write about publicly. Those days were the most difficult for blog writing.

There are now over 900 individual entries in this blog. There are also thousands of photos in my photo gallery. If you ask Google what they have archived on this site, the response is 11,400 pages!

Thanks for stopping by. Thanks for reading. Thanks for commenting and sending grammatical and spelling corrections. It’s all really appreciated.

My daughter says whenever I put something in a text box, that’s an immediate sign that’s it’s really boring.

Happy New Year Steffie

And Happy New Year to you too.

&#185 – This blog began in early July 2003, so last year’s numbers represent approximately half a year.

&#178 – After Jo Anne Pflug I am lost.

&#179 – This particular term was searched for 399 times. Some people need to get a life.