I introduce to you, a new way to rant

It occurred to me that a lot of people have things to rant about. Your first option might be to rant on twitter or facebook, but you “sort of” know those people. Those sites aren’t anonymous and you sure as heck aren’t going to waste your time creating a blog. Enter NerdRANT.

NerdRANT is a bit different than a normal website.  Right off the bat you’ll notice that the box to post a rant is on the top of every page, kind of like Twitter.  It needs to be EASY and painless to complain, right?

Second, you’ll notice that there is no “sign up” button.  There is a sign in button.  Instead of wasting your time with yet another sign up box, NerdRANT authenticate’s users from other services such as Google and Twitter.  All you have to do is already be logged into these things and allow NerdRANT to populate some basic user info.

I know what your thinking.  If It’s grabbing your info, how the hell is posting anonymous?

Each user has the option of submitting a rant or comment with 3 different display names.  Yes, each user is essentially 3 users in one.  You can submit a post based on your userid #, location, or real credentials we collected.  By default, its based on number.  It’s up to you which display name you’d like to use.

If I see a decent amount of people using the site then I will be adding more features.  Until then, rant.

Change Google Chrome’s UserAgent

Many of us heard of the iPad’s new Gmail interface and want to check it out themselves.  The good news is that it’s extremely easy to change Chrome’s user agent for Windows users without an extension or anything too complicated.  Click properties on your chrome shortcut and add the following:

-user-agent="Mozilla/5.0(iPad; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/531.21.10 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.4 Mobile/7B314 Safari/531.21.10"

Please be aware that using the iPad version of Gmail on your PC doesn’t make much sense because you can’t scroll down your list of emails (your supposed to be using your finger). But for those curious, it’s worth a look.

X3DAudio1_7.dll is missing

You just started to play your game (possibly Metro 2033) and saw the error pop up about X3DAudio1_7.dll is missing.  This error is about Microsoft’s DirectX missing a few required files. All you need is a simple update, so let’s get straight to the fix.

Head over to Microsoft’s website to download DirectX End-User Runtime.  This file will update your DirectX, regardless of what version you have installed.  I had this issue on a Windows 7 machine and after the update was applied the error message was gone.  On previous versions of Windows, you may need to reboot.

SEO, To Hyphen or Underscore URLs Revisited

I’ve seen a lot of SEO Experts and many SEO tools recommend that you should be using hyphens in URLs rather than underscores, one example was Ann Smarty over at SearchEngineJournal.  For the disadvantages of the underscore in URLs she says:

Traditionally it isn’t seen by search engines as a word separator (this is slowly changing now)

Slowly changing?  It was reported in 2007 that Google and other search engines treat underscores like hyphens.  To say it’s slowly changing is like saying Facebook is finally catching on.  Three years on the web is an eternity.  She also says that there are no disadvantages to hyphens.  Though I’m not so sure about that. . .

Think about multiple ways that hyphens are used.  Hyphens are added in-between words and in people’s names.  For example, Maurice Jones-Drew of the Jaugars has a name with a hyphen.  Let me give you an example of a potential sentence that includes his name:

website.com/Maurice-Jones-Drew-has-all-star-week

Now if we use underscores it would look like this:

website.com/Maurice_Jones-Drew_has_all-star_week

Slightly different meaning in both of those URLs, wouldn’t you agree?  It is also much easier to read with underscores.  Therefore the BEST option is underscores because people rarely use them when it comes to typing names or phrases.  There is no way they will get in the way.

I know what your saying, I’m preaching to use underscores when this blog uses hyphens.  Wordpress uses them by default (though I’m not sure why and I never changed it)  Though I have used underscores on other projects….  Check out Jones-Drew’s page at FantasySP.com.

I don’t mean to single out Ann because she certainly knows her SEO, but this issue just keeps popping up every now and then and it truly annoys me.  It needs to be squashed once in for all.

UPDATE: In the comments below, Kieron Hughes provides a link to Matt Cutts suggesting to use hyphens.  I guess I stand corrected.

Do you guys agree with me or am I being too nit picky?


Speed Up Gmail’s POP Fetching

My previous post talked about how to switch from outlook to gmail because of speed and ease of use.  From my experience, I noticed that Gmail’s POP fetching for email accounts that I added were not as fast as I would have liked.

The solution is called GSpeed, which speeds up gmail pop fetching.  I have created GSpeed because I wanted Gmail to fetch my email faster.  To use it, simply enter your email address you wish to speed up and filter out emails from GSpeed.  It’s that simple!