Webconsuls Blog

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Remembering Memorial Day - History, Honor, and Humor

This post was originally published in 2009, but we thought it still a good way to learn about Memorial Day and share some personal stories. Happy Memorial Day Weekend 2012!
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This weekend, more particularly this coming Monday, May 25, 2009, Americans will "celebrate" Memorial Day. I thought today I would spend a few minutes remembering Memorial Day, with some history, honor and humor.

As a youngster I came to know Memorial Day as May 30th, celebrated really as a day to remember those who had given their life in service to our country. It didn't really matter what day of the week May 30th occurred, it was a Federal holiday, a day off from school and it meant we would proudly display the American Flag on our home and we would attend a parade. After all I grew up in a military town, just outside San Diego, CA, and my father was a retired Naval officer. These parades weren't always grand, but they were a nice tradition.

If you would like to learn more about the history of Memorial Day there is a very interesting Library of Congress web page with wonderful information. Two historical items of interest:

1. "In 1971, federal law changed the observance of the holiday to the last Monday in May and extended the honor to all soldiers who died in American wars."
2. "Protocol for flying the American flag on Memorial Day includes raising it quickly to the top of the pole at sunrise, immediately lowering it to half-staff until noon, and displaying it at full staff from noon until sunset."
Additionally, I came across a History Channel presentation of the history of Taps and the playing of Taps for our fallen military. Here is the YouTube video.



Memorial Day is to be a day to honor those of our armed services who died during an American War or as a result of an American war. But since my father's passing in 1979, I always like to honor him on days like Memorial Day and Veterans Day. I have talked about my father, Joseph Eagen, in other blog posts. He led a very interesting life, but what defined his adult life was his commitment to the US Navy. On December 30, 1935, at the age of 17 years 11 months, he completed his Navy enlistment application. He needed his mother's permission to enlist! Ten months later, on October 13, 1936, his enlistment was approved. For the next 17 years he served and was retired due to a service connected disability on June 30, 1953. The photo shown here is one that I have always loved. My father is the tall one on the right. I believe it was taken in China between July 9, 1937 and November 3, 1938, when he served aboard the U.S.S. Augusta. What I love about this photo is the sheer expression of joy in my father's sparkling eyes and smile. (By the way, the dark mark on his cheek is just a defect in a very old photo.)

Now you are probably wondering how I could ever remember Memorial Day with humor. Well, this story will take you to a day in my life at Cranmore Mountain Lodge, located in Carroll County, Town of Conway, Village of Kearsarge, New Hampshire. The year is 1987. Our country inn was situated on plus or minus seven acres and our property line went up a hill to abut the property line of the Kearsarge Cemetery. This cemetery is very, very old and it is the type of cemetery that people will often visit to do headstone rubbings.


On this Memorial Day 1987 a lady came to the inn. She introduced herself as a member of the Kearsarge Cemetery Association and she wanted to know if we were aware that our two young sons had been visiting the cemetery with her grandson, Eric. I told her I didn't know they had climbed the hill to the Cemetery and then she asked me if I noticed that my children were running around outside with many little American Flags in their hands. I told her I had noticed that and that is when she told me that Aaron (6.5 years), Dan (3 years)and Eric (4 years) had "raided" the cemetery and removed all of the Memorial Day flags that had been placed to honor the war dead!

As you celebrate Memorial Day take time out of your weekend to remember those who gave their lives for our country. And let me know how you remember Memorial Day.
P.S. I do not know the names of the other two young men in the photo with my father. Should anyone out there in the world wide web recognize them, please let me know.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Best Selling iPhone Apps 2008

This a list of the Best Selling iPhone Apps 2008 with a short description:


1. Koi Pond: Imagine gazing into a pond of crystal clear water.
Picture bright, playful koi swimming through its shallow depths.
So close... Can you touch them?



2. Texas Hold'em:Play like a pro against realistic opponents or with your friends over a Wi-Fi Network. Use all of the hints, tips, tells, and your mastery to gain access to exclusive rooms with higher-stakes and even bigger rewards!



3. Moto Chaser: Moto Chaser is an all-out pedal to the metal motorcycle race in the palm of your hand! With turns, jumps, and evil bikers lurking just around the bend.



4. Crash Bandicoot: Nitro Kart 3D: The richest 3D kart racing experience! Speed your way through 12 thrilling tracks and multiple environments! Race and battle against zany opponents and turn them to dust with 8 devastating weapons.



5. Super Monkey Ball: Let's Roll! Guide a cute little monkey encased in a transparent ball to victory by tilting and rolling him through a variety of slopes and turns.



6. Cro-Mag Rally: Cro-Mag Rally is the wildest racing 3D game since man invented the wheel! You are a speed-hungry caveman named Brog who races through the Stone, Bronze, and Iron Ages.


7. Enigmo: A 3D puzzle game where you direct animated streams of flowing liquid so that the droplets get to their destination.



8. PocketGuitar: Turns your iPhone or iPod touch into a virtual guitar. You can press and strum strings, just like a real guitar.



9. Recorder: Record memos, discussions, interviews and ideas on your iPhone. Use it as a voice recorder or a sound recorder. Record for seconds or hours. Extremely simple one button interface.



10. iBeer: Brew and drink beer on your iPhone and iPod touch. This hilarious sight-gag is fully interactive and behaves like a real glass of beer thanks to the iPhone sensors and our spare time.

itunes Update and the iTunes DJ


Apple released a new iTunes Update and the iTunes DJ. The iTunes Remote turns your iPhone or iPod touch into a dedicated, wireless remote control for any iTunes library on your local network, whether you're running iTunes on Windows or OS X. Take control of your music via iPhone! iTunes DJ allows your friends and family to have a say in whats being listened to. Setting up Remote is simple and safe. A unique passcode pairs your iPod touch or iPhone with your computer and Apple TV.

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Open Office 3 Will Stand Up to the Test

OpenOffice.org 3 is the leading open-source office software suite for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases and more. It is available in many languages and works on all common computers. It stores all your data in an international open standard format and can also read and write files from other common office software packages. It can be downloaded and used completely free of charge for any purpose.

I have been using Microsoft Office ever since I was a kid. It is very easy for a person to ignore the other amazing software available. I recently upgraded to Windows 7 which did not come with Microsoft Office; I decided I would try some of the open-source software out there. I downloaded OpenOffice.org 3 with a bit of skepticism, I had trouble believing that OpenOffice.org 3 will stands up to the test.

So far I have not come across anything that I could not accomplish with OpenOffice.org 3. On top of that, it was completely free, which is quite a bit less than Microsoft Office at $149.99. That being said, I think it will be hard for me to ever use Microsoft Office again. Give it a Try, I do not think you will find yourself disappointed.
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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Shazam or Midomi, Your Choice

Midomi is the ultimate music search tool because it is powered by your voice. Sing, hum, or whistle to instantly find your favorite music and connect with a community that shares your musical interests.

At midomi you can create your own profile, sing your favorite songs and share them with your friends and get discovered by other midomi users. You can listen to and rate others' musical performances, see their pictures, send them messages, buy original music, and more.


Back in 2002, Shazam launched a unique technology, enabling music lovers to identify tunes anywhere - using just their mobile phone. Now six years on, Shazam has been used by more than 20 million people in over 60 countries deployed by leading industry handset manufacturers and more than 75 carriers. Earlier this year it passed a key milestone of over 100 million iDs and continues to go from strength to strength.

Both Shazam and Midomi offer features like tagging music with artist name and song title, linking to music videos on YouTube, and sharing your tagged music with a friend via email. However, this is where similarities end and Midomi takes it to the next level. With the additional methods of tagging (Say, Sing, and Type) and a database of music samples, Midomi is more feature-rich. If you own a iPhone, I strongly suggest downloading both of these applications. Shazam or Midomi, Your Choice!

Where's Joel H Google Employee?

This week I have been researching reported problems with Google maps. I have read through many forums, blogs, and news articles; however, last night I came across a Google forum in "Maps help". The topic was Incorrect information in Google Maps / local business center and the poster opens her post with this statement "To the poor already-beaten-up soul at Google who looks at and responds to these issues..." I implore you to read through this forum. It starts on April 1, 2009, and on April 6th Joel H Google Employee joins the forum to aid these Google users. Before you know it people are posting from all over the world and Joel H is being besieged with questions and he is responsive through April 22. Others keep posting but no word from Joel H. Where's Joel H Google employee?

I googled this phrase {Joel H Google employee} and found mention of him in other blog posts and other Google maps forums. I will say this, Joel H seems to want to help and if you read these forums carefully you will see he even admits when he is wrong.

I am going to give you two examples of what I have witnessed in Google maps for two of our clients.
  • La Fuente Restaurant in Tucson, AZ: Their Google map listing under local results for Mexican Restaurants Tucson AZ suddenly displayed the wrong domain name (that of a locksmith) and the wrong phone number.
  • Kingsleigh Inn Southwest Harbor, ME: Suddenly their Google map listing under local results for lodging Southwest Harbor ME disappeared; however, the inn next door to them is listed - including 78 reviews of the Kingsleigh and a number of photos of the Kingsleigh Inn!
I can only assume that somewhere worlds have started to collide in Google maps. I don't know why...some talk about duplicate listings, scrapings, mergings, suppressions, conflating listings...the bottom line is this is a "free" service offered by Google. I could offer the old adage "it is worth what you paid for it"...but really if your listing is wrong through no fault of your own how much is this costing your business?

My advice to every business owner is to check your listing. Take the time to review and learn about Google's Local Business Center.

I hope Joel H Google Employee reappears in these forums and that Google can solve the "implosion" mystery. Let's remember these listings are the lifelines for many businesses, this is not a game of "Where's Waldo".

Glyder is the future of iPhone gaming!

I have had my iPhone now for almost a year and have had the opportunity to experience several great applications in the way of utilities and games. The utilities have all been useful in one way or another, but the games have been disappointments! Just recently I was turned on to a new game that is worth taking interest in.

Upon downloading this game I was skeptical, I thought that this game might be better than the other games I have installed on my iPhone; but I was not optimistic about this game being worth the dollar I was about to spend. I could not have been more wrong about Glyder, for Glyder is the future of iPhone gaming!

Fly through and engage in hard tests while piloting a futurist hang-glider. This is a game where a steady hand is of the up most importance, free flight is not something that is easy - one's depth perception, I found out quickly, is key to survival.



"Eryn has been sucked into a dimensional rift and is left in a world that is not her own. Take control of her glider and help her explore the magical surroundings.

Soar over the majestic and peaceful Rift Valley. Take a death-defying flight through the Dark Pinnacle. Unearth the Lost Kingdom. Explore the wonders of Ambrosia. Discover the secret that lies above The Mushrooms, and delve into the Hidden Depths. Perform fun gliding maneuvers like power dives and dolphining and fly into thermals to soar high into the sky. Collect crystals, take trips, earn achievements, and help Eryn unlock a portal home."

Download and install Glyder on your iPhone, I promise you will not be disappointed! iPhone gaming can only go uphill from here on out, the application companies have made a enough terrible apps that I think it's time for a change.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

GOOGLE's Penguin OPUS 1

Another famous penguin - OPUS (circa 1985)
There has been much written about GOOGLE's Penguin update which was released on April 24, 2012. This is one of the latest algorithm updates that GOOGLE has been working on - to improve search results. But let's try to remember: improvement, like beauty, is usually in the eye of the beholder. Indeed some businesses have seen their results improve, while others have witnessed a free fall.

The purpose of today's post is to share with our readers and our clients some good resources to understand GOOGLE's Penguin goals and take a little time to review your site. Here are a few things to consider:
  1. GOOGLE like every major player in search engines is making updates all of the time. Some updates gain more notoriety and some happen quietly. To appreciate how often GOOGLE updates their algorithms, take a peek at this algorithm change history
  2. GOOGLE is known for naming their updates. This is a common practice in the IT world or any project driven business. It makes discussing or recalling the project, that much easier.
  3. GOOGLE does share their best practices guidelines. They encourage webmasters to read and understand their Quality Guidelines. However, if you have a website for the purposes of promoting your business, be proactive and read the guidelines, most of it is written for the non-technical person. 
  4. A good rule to follow when creating and updating your site: "Say what you do and do what you say!" Create one great site, avoid duplicate content and mirrored sites. Or as GOOGLE says: "Create a useful, information-rich site, and write pages that clearly and accurately describe your content."
As promised, below we will provide links to a few interesting articles about Penguin. You might also like to watch these videos of GOOGLE's Matt Cutts discussing penalties and webspam.