Thursday, December 17, 2009

Website content visibility by browser size for positioning from Google Labs

Google Labs has released a nice tool for evaluating what is visibile on the page at different browser sizes. The tool is useful for positioning of the key elements, such as logins, search boxes, forms etc.

Many have noted, at the Google Code Blog, that this tool doesn't work fully with liquid or centered layouts as well as requesting that similar features would be provided through browser extensions. These requests can already be answered with a multitude of browser extensions and hence I personally welcome this new tool as it is.


Google Contacts evolves with single button duplicate contact removal

There's a neat new feature in Gmail - Contacts, a "Find duplicates" -button. Pressing the button lists people that appear like duplicates, they can be un-selected, and offers to merge the information in each duplicate.

Upon testing the results were fast and accurate, as we've come to expect from Google. Excellent new feature.

News-source: Official Gmail Blog

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Weird layout breaks in high-volume sites, Google Chrome Ubuntu

Curiously the layout breaks only on Twitter Search page and Technorati main page, in the blog navigation.

The green horisontal list of blogs

Twitter Search, the repeating RT tags

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Google Chrome Extensions pave the way for Google OS

I love the new Google Chrome extensions for my Chrome on Ubuntu as it has been my favourite browser all along.

The even greater significance of this lies not with Google Chrome, which will gain market share and loyal users, but with Google Chrome OS.

My basis for this claim is the simple fact that the browser is the user interface for the operating system, you aren't allowed to install any programs, instead the system is aimed at the users of the web-services and pages. If you can't install programs, the significance of the browser's extensions is increased manifold, they are the mini-applications that you can install.

I'm still wondering how will I stream video without VLC player but I'm expecting that Google will have movie rentals available through YouTube by then.

Testing the new Google Chrome Extensions on Linux

Finally they were released! On a brief tour of the listings I already found 30 extensions that I'll take for a test-drive. These extensions installed successfully on Ubuntu 8.04 LTS, Google Chrome, unlike for example a Calendar extension developed by Google.

  • (shorten, share, and track your links) - Version: 0.8

    Shorten and share links with Preview the full URLs short urls point to.
  • Blog This! (by Google) - Version: 0.0.7
    Add a BlogThis! button to the browser toolbar, which lets you post to your Blogger blog from any webpage with just one click.
  • Chrome SEO - Version: 0.4
    The Google Chrome SEO Extension. Make you daily Search Engine Optimization tasks easier in Chrome.
  • Chromed Bird - Version: 1.0.1
    Chromed Bird is a Twitter extension that allows you to follow your timelines and interact with your Twitter account.
  • Chromepad - Version: 1.0.3
    A small extension that lets you to take quick notes and save them for later.
  • Chromey Calculator - Version: 2.1
    A scrolling calculator for Chrome. Results are generated using Google's calculator web search feature.
  • Chromium Delicious plugin - Version: 1.0.1
    Extension to work with
  • Docs PDF/PowerPoint Viewer (by Google) - Version: 1.5.2
    Automatically previews pdfs, powerpoint presentations, and other documents in Google Docs Viewer.
  • Expand - Version: 0.25
    Expands short links, such as those from
  • Facebook Chat for Google Chrome/Chromium - Version: 1.2
    Quick Facebook Chat functionality while browsing. Must be signed in to Facebook!
  • Facebook for Google Chrome - Version: 1.3
    Extension which lets you read your Facebook news feed and wall. You can also post status updates.
  • Force Feed - Version: 1.0
    Follow changes on any page, even if it doesn't have a feed
  • Google Apps Shortcuts - Version: 1.3
    A simple extension that allows you to quickly create a new Emails, Calendar Events, Document or Spreadsheet with a single click.
  • Google Bookmarks Label Clouds (hd mod) - Version: 1.2
    An extension to access the Google Bookmarks. Original by hippudesu.
  • Google Calendar Popout - Version: 1.5.3
    Adds a Calendar Gadget button to the menu bar. Supports both Google and Google Apps accounts
  • Google Reader Notifier (by Google) - Version: 1.0.1
    Displays the number of unread items in your Google Reader account. Clicking can show a preview popup or open your Reader account.
  • Google Sidewiki - Version: 1.1
    Contribute and read helpful information next to any webpage.
  • Google Similar Pages beta (by Google) - Version:
    Discover webpages similar to the page you're currently browsing.
  • Google Wave Notifier - Version: 2.2
    Displays number of unread Waves.
  • HTML5 markup detector - Version: 1.0
    This extention notices that the page you are seeing is marked up using HTML5
  • Mini Google Maps - Version: 1.0
    Google maps in a click away. Mini Google Maps let you browse Google maps from your browser toolbar
  • Password Generator - Version:
    Generates strong, recoverable SHA1 password hashes from a master password
  • RSS Subscription Extension - Version: 1.6.6
    Adds one-click subscription to your toolbar
  • Select To Get Maps - Version: 1.1.1
    Select addresses on any webpage to get useful maps links.
  • Send from Gmail (by Google) - Version: 1.0
    Makes Gmail your default email application and provides a button to compose a Gmail message to quickly share a link via email
  • Speed Tracer (by Google) - Version: 0.6
    Get insight into the performance of your web applications.
  • SSL Facebook - Version: 1.0
    Changes Facebook to use SSL protocols wherever possible
  • StumbleUpon - Version: 1.0.11208.1
    Discover the best of the web!
  • Web Developer Mini - Version: 0.34
    Easy Access Web Development Tools for Google Chrome.
  • WOT - Version: 0.9.4
    Web of trust.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Solution to Joomla editors freezing in editing mode, on pages with tables

Symptoms: browser freezes upon editing of a page with often modified tables on the backend or front-end of the site. The browser may finish saving the page very slowly or offer to "Kill the script" or "Wait" for the Javascript to finish.
Looking at the page in the Advanced code editor -button of JCE or HTML-button of TinyMCE reveals nothing out of the ordinary.

Cause: invisible Colgroup and Col tags in the page source, on one of our sites there were 100KB of of these tags on a single table, on a page with multiple tables.

Solution: change your preferred editor to no-editor in the user manager and remove the unrequested for html-code between the <colgroup> -tags, just below the <table> -tag and before the <tbody> -tag.

For a full explanation with more detailed step-by-step instructions and an example file of the removed code (100KB), please visit: Pages with tables freezing the browser with graphical editors at the website.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Joomla 1.5.x Read more ... -button not working

On two different Joomla 1.5.x websites that I manage I've encountered a curious problem with the JCE-editor (component version 157, plugin version 154), namely the fact that the "Read more ..." button is completely unresponsive.

After looking around for a little I tested that the problem is indeed with JCE, as TinyMCE inserts the code as expected. I tested switching my preferred editor to TinyMCE, used the button and voilá the code is neatly visible in JCE to when I reverted back to it.

To avoid this hassle, you can simply copy the code below for use with JCE via the Advanced Code Editor -button;
<hr id="system-readmore">

Monday, November 30, 2009

Rel="nofollow" links on Twitter tweets

Some time ago I posted about avoiding abbreviated urls (such as from for Tweets. The reasoning being that the links from won't receive any SE love due to the nature of the linking platform.

There was an oversight on my part as I didn't realize to check on the nature of the links on the Twitter homepage, they're all marked with rel="nofollow" -tag, which makes the whole point moot.

There are some nice tools for showing the rel="nofollow" -tag on the browser, for Google Chrome there's Nofollow Checker, for Firefox there's the DoNoFollow which both subtly indicate on screen which links have been marked up as no-follow links. Unfortunately, I've yet to come across a similar one for Internet Explorer

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Interesting as of today

Today's post is just a short one and not the second part to the mobile services that's still under work. I decided to share a few interesting news and articles;

Article links

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Making your mobile phone more useful with Google, part 1

While the following tips and tricks are old and tested, I still thought that I'd list some mobile services and applications that I find useful, since so many people that I talk to have powerful, Internet capable phones only used for work e-mail and calendar. These applications work on my Nokia N95 but I can't guarantee that they will work on all models, you have to try them yourselves.

Also, the cost of mobile Internet varies, in Finland it's relatively inexpensive and I'm quite confident that Google OS, referred to in the previous post, will gain substantial following among the tech-crowd.

The first post in the series of 2 posts covers:

Google Mobile Applications

While everyone uses Google search engine on their browser, surprisingly few use it on their mobile phones. The fast, very lightweight application opens up a search window at the press of a single button and displays the search results nearly instantly in a format readable even on the smaller phones. The search application is included in a pack that includes Search, Gmail (both the normal and the app's version), Google Maps and Picasa Web Albums. If you should need more than one Google Apps e-mail (like me), there's a way to circumvent the limitation by installing both an earlier version (version 1.*) of the Gmail for mobile application alongside the new Google Mobile Applications Pack, allowing you to have a single Gmail for Apps or personal account in addition to those allowed in the pack.

To obtain the application, head over to with your phone's mobile browser click on the link "Download Google Mobile App". There are some other useful applications at the same page, I'll cover those which I find useful later in this post. The availability of applications varies with your phone and language choice (e.g. Google Talk is not available on Nokia N95 and Tasks described below is not available in finnish).

Contents of the pack explained

  • Gmail: A fast and lightweight application that allows you to access your mailbox on your mobile phone. Included are Contacts, from which you can call your friends if their phone numbers have been saved in the contact information. Available for free/personal (Gmail) and Apps accounts simultaneously.
  • Calendar: Like Gmail, a lightweight calendar. Great for browsing and notifications (SMS reminders are my favourite, especially since they're included in the data plan for my phone so they're practically free) but adding new appointments is very limited (e.g. in US time formats and without many of the details). Works in personal and Apps editions simultaneously. I've sometimes played around with the thought of setting up repeating sms reminders for the elderly, e.g. for medication since the cost is only the SMS-message according to the user's plan.
  • Google Maps: I'm sure most are familiar with this free service, that includes GPS tracking on mobile phones, so I'm not blabbing about it. I use it alot.
  • Picasa Web Albums: a less known of the set but a great piece of software anyway. Mainly useful in browsing the stored photos on the mobile phone (I have about 6GB, which requires a small annual fee as it exceeds the 2GB free limit, and which would be quite unrealistic to carry around on a phone). An unfortunate limitation of the software is that you can't as yet upload photos directly from your phone, at least not on the Nokia 95.

Tasks, linked to your email account

At the same download page there's also a link to "Tasks", which is the to-do-list feature found in Gmail and Google Calendar. While it's not as agile as the built-in to-do-list on my Nokia N95, it is shared with the one in Gmail and Google calendar. There are two links for this service, both are web-pages instead of installable applications.

Google Sync

Available at the address (why didn't they link it directly, instead of writing out the address?). Funnily enough Nokia N95 isn't supported, so you can't synchronize your calendar (I'm a little skittish about this since there are commercial solutions to this).

If you want to synchronize your addressbook with Gmail contacts, it is however possible. Please note that the synchronization will create duplicate entries if you have the same person written in different forms on your phone and contacts, i.e. Niko Kotiniemi, and Kotiniemi Niko will create two addressbook entries and thusly I always keep the same format (lastname, first name).

Guide to: synchronizing Gmail Contacts with Nokia N95 addressbook (all Nokia S60 -series phones).


This is an interesting implementation as I'm an avid fan of the browser version. While it is more limited (e.g. single column only), it allows for collecting those most important gadgets into a single location, available through the mobile phone.


Another installed application which I rarely use but may be of use to those that use Orkut more extensively (I'm biased towards the Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter axis).


This implementation of Youtube for some mobile phones is actually pretty amazing, it's fast, usable and fun to use. I use it while waiting for transportation etc. I should warn you however, that it's bandwidth heavy and therefore should be considered only with those plans that contain unlimited bandwidth. This application is available in the aforementioned download menu.

Google Mobile Applications that aren't worth the time (my time at least).

On the listing there are numerous applications/links for mobile services that I won't vouch for.

  • Notebook: a nice service that I use, but discontinued for new users so unless you've used it previously.
  • Docs: Too slow and cumbersome at least on my Nokia N95, after many determined attempts to make use of it, I gave up.
  • SMS: possibly useful in the States but not in Finland
  • News: somewhat useful, especially if you use Google News but on the mobile phone it seems a little awkward, plenty of clicking and choices to get to those news that you're into. Personally I'm an RSS fan.
  • Reader: usable and useful, unfortunately at least in my experience the read feeds aren't marked as read on the actual browser servicel. Meaning I'd need to re-browse the already read feeds. Unforgivable.
  • Blogger: Why would I want to start a new blog with using the service? Rather I'll send email to the address provided in the existing blogs.
  • GOOG-411: Maybe useful in the States, but it isn't available in Finland and I really prefer the Search to calling anyone for search information

Dissatisfaction with Twitter and LinkedIn

I've considered making a petition to improve the password security of Twitter (unlimited attempts) and LinkedIn (12 characters max), since I feel these are unacceptable. With people choosing easy and short passwords, the risk is theirs to carry, but the fact that you cannot use safer passwords is simply unacceptable. Read the article on Wired the password security which was breached (with trivially easy means).

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

8.7.2009 - first post, the journey begins

News just in

The sticky rumours of Google OS became reality with the announcement at the Official Google Blog, dated yesterday, setting the blogosphere abuzz with discussions. Of course, planned for second half of 2010, it's still a year away and targeted solely at the netbook crowd that is constantly connected to the Internet. What I found surprising is that it's not Android but a completely separate project. Among the many Techmeme and Techcrunch deemed this front-page material.


For those who use Twitter for spreading SEO-love to sites and pages should considering using Tweetdeck or some similar tool for tweeting as the website (and TinyURL etc) always shorten the URLs. What this means that the Tweet link will point to a shortened url that doesn't exist as a separate, browseable page and that page points to the site, article or content. If you use full URLs, the link will be from your Twitter profile page and directly to the target, which receives the due link love.


It's been hectic, my personal life has been in turmoil for some months now and focusing on something new seemed like a good idea. Besides creating this bIog and the associated infrastructure and the every day work there are some noteworthy things happening.

On last friday I just received my reviewers copy of the book I did a pre-publishing technical review of Joomla! 1.5 Template Design, from Packt Publishing and yesterday I retuned the last reviewed chapter of the upcoming Joomla! SEO from the same publisher. I'm really anxious to see the final print of the book, but as some of the chapters had their first review made by me (there's usually 2 technical reviewers/book), it will probably still be a month or two.