I’ve just started some new medication, and it’s giving me some fairly impressive dizziness and nausea. It’ll most likely just be for a few days while my body is getting used to it, but it does mean that I’m less than eager to go running around in phase 5 of Rift’s Beta test. Hopefully we’ll pick up the liveblog in phase 6.

This post is far too short. Help me out, Mr Reeves!

Unbelievably, that’s really the only video of that performance I could find. Still awesome though!

Ark’s Ark Visitor Browser Usage Stats

Just for fun (or what counts as fun to web-based folks like myself) I thought it might be interesting to post this little bit of data regarding the browsers people used to visit this site. They’re a fair bit different to the ratios shown appearing in Steam’s newly released hardware survey, though of course they have a rather larger sample size! Compared with the Steam sample, we have rather less Firefox, and a lot more Chrome going on.

I’m impressed that 11 visits came from a Playstation 3. I don’t even know what Sea Monkey is, but it has a very cool name.

Arks Ark Visitor Browser Usage 550x192

Ark's Ark Visitor Browser Usage

In which I shill for my webhost.

I’ve brought this old post from April up from the depths, as just for Black Friday, Arvixe is offering 50% off for life for any of its shared hosting options, if you use the coupon code “Black Friday”, meaning that you can get hosting from just $2 a month. I’m always a little uncomfortable making posts like this, but it is a pretty good deal that might be of interest to some of my readers. Also, I like money.

Arvixe Webhosting Black Friday Deal

In a weird coincidence today, two of my favourite blogs have mentioned that they pay $20 a month for hosting. Both dear old Lum, and Gordon over at We Fly Spitfires. It made me wonder how many other bloggers out there are paying that sort of cash for their sites.

For most of my hosting I use Arvixe , who are vastly cheaper (I pay, I think, $30 for 6 months), and offer unlimited bandwidth. They’ve also displayed the unusual property of actually having someone I can talk to over there who understands what I’m saying, which is always handy.

Full disclosure: That is an affiliate link, meaning that I get money if someone did decide to sign up with them through it. That would be quite lovely, but there are, of course, plenty of other low cost hosts out there.

WordPress 3 is here

WordPress 3 came out today, and I’ve just backed up and upgraded the site. So far as I can tell, everything is working fine, but I apologise in advance for any weirdness that raises its head.

Flattry will get you everywhere

The observant amongst you may have noticed another button mysteriously appear in my overcrowded sidebar. It’s a Flattr button, and with any luck you’ll start seeing such buttons pop up all around the internet. It’s something of an experiment, but it is a rather innovative way for folks to reward content creators such as bloggers, musicians, and podcasters for their work without having to fiddle about with rewarding them individually. It also neatly avoids the creator feeling awkward or embarrassed about asking for donations. Invites to the beta version of Flattr just started going out, and I was lucky enough to be in the first few, so I figured I might as well give it a try and see how it goes. Here’s how it works:

To receive cake, you also have to be willing to share some cake with others. I’m looking forward to being able to give a little slice of cake to any of my fellow bloggers who makes me smile or think.

Trojan Reports from sites (like this one) using Adsense are false positives.

Ahoy, dear readers.

A couple of you have gotten in touch today telling me that your virus checkers have been going nuts this morning when visiting this site. As I hadn’t changed anything overnight, I had a bit of a panic attack.

What it is (as I discovered after about 30 minutes of terror) is that the Kaspersky anti-virus software did an update overnight, which had a teeny mistake in it that gives an alarm for any website that uses google adsense (which is an awful lot of us). This is described over on the Kaspersky forum.

It is a false positive, and will be getting fixed by them as soon as they can get around to it. I apologise for any fright Kaspersky users may have had on visiting my site.

The Best Way to Raise your Alexa Ranking. A Most Ingenious Paradox!

The Alexa Ranking theoretically determines how popular your website is, out of all the websites in the world. It does this by extrapolating from the behaviour of users who have the Alexa plug-in installed to their browsers. For instance, this humble stop along the internet superhighway is currently the 520,865th most popular by Alexa’s rating, though it fluctuates fairly wildly. That sounds pretty awful, but there are a heck of a lot of websites out there, so it actually ain’t bad. Because I am something of a numbers geek, I watch it leap about, seemingly independent of how many visitors I actually get, and have watched the ranking of some other sites I frequent, and I’ve reached a startling conclusion. Well, not literally startling. I just said that to make this sound more interesting. Alexa ratings aren’t exactly the sort of things that startle anyone, unless perhaps you are the sort of person that is shocked when a rather large yet unimportant number gets a little larger or smaller. I am not such a person, and I’ll wager neither are you.

It turns out that the best way to raise your Alexa ranking is simply to make a post telling people how to raise their Alexa ranking, and then thousands of people come in from the search engines to find out how. Because they all have the Alexa widget installed to raise their own page ranking, it also raises yours. (If you really want to go for broke, make a website all about SEO, Alexa, and Adsense. You’ll be in the top 10,000 before teatime.)

Now, some might suggest that this is a fatal flaw in how Alexa rankings are worked out. It means that the websites frequented most by people who care about such silly things as Alexa rating have inflated figures, rendering the ranking system mostly meaningless. In particular, websites dedicated to Search Engine Optimisation and such things frequently have ridiculously high rankings.

Some might even say that anyone who used such a method to raise their Alexa rank would be a terrible person. Or a very silly one, considering how little meaning the Alexa Rank actually has to 99.9% of web users. Possibly even both terrible AND silly. Some might also declare that it is good that I have warned of this danger, so that we might all be alert for such outrageous scampery.

Myself, I choose to break into a chorus of Gilbert and Sullivan’s “A Paradox”!

Let’s sing along! There are pirates in it too! Pirates make everything better.

Alright, it’s not really a paradox. It’s more an out of control positive feedback loop, but I don’t know any songs about that.