Are google really giving away ranking upgrades…

Google

GoogleAre google really giving away ranking upgrades for security savvy webmasters? In all honest, it is somewhat of an unknown. Although there has been recent articles on tech sites, suggesting that Google are looking at promoting sites which are https secure in search engine rankings.

Although this doesn’t automatically guarantee an improved search engine position for your sites keywords, it is rumored to contribute to your overall SEO score.

Matt Cutts, Google’s head of search spam, has long since been talking about this internet utopia, where all sites, no matter what their content may be would be secure.

Even if the site you are visiting is not handling sensitive information, there is still the possibility of the site being comprised an you being redirected if the site has not yet implemented an SSL certificate. In light of this Google are supposedly rewarding SSL secure sites with extra kudos.

This may sound like it’s favoring the “big sites” however in reality this is not actually the case. The cost of SSL certificates has plummeted in the last few years, meaning even ‘not for profit’ sites can bag one with little outlay.

There has been no official news release from Google to suggest this is in fact planned for the future.. But if you are conscious about your SEO rankings and your visitors security then its time to invest!

It’s also worth pointing out that the days of SSL slowing down a websites response time is a thing of the past. The overheads of processing an SSL nowadays is minimal.

I’ve already implemented an SSL certificate here at mikeswl.info and I’m now working on switching the other sites I manage over. Will you be switching?

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Have Apple reinvented the USB cable?

USB Cable

A recent tweet from Australian based Sonny Dickson is believed to contain a photo of an Apple listening cable with one major difference… Which is the fact it has no right or wrong way up on either side of the cable!

For many years, people have been baffled by a standard USB cables refusal to enter a USB port on what appears (on first glance) to be the correct way up. In something that only manifests its self in the IT world, the USB port phenomenon is well-known. No man has yet been able to insert a USB cable on first try (maybe?) – however, if the rumours are in fact to be believed, Apple will have quashed this issue once and for all.

The introduction of the ground breaking lighting cable saw Apple fans the world over rejoice, as fumbling round for that much-needed juice in the middle of the night in their dimly lit rooms was a thing of the past.. In a ground break move, Apple had finally brought out a charger which had no right and wrong way up.. At least at one end! For all intense and purposes this new cable, (should it in fact not be a figment of someones imagination) will mean that both ends can now easily be inserted in the dark without the need for the standard “Attempt one way, reverse plug, attempt second way, reverse plug again, insert USB with original side up without issue” method.

https://twitter.com/SonnyDickson/statuses/500837230491860992

Normally I would take prelaunch blog posts such as Sonny’s with a pinch of salt, however Sonny has somewhat of a proven track record for outing details of Apple hardware long before the official launch date. Personally I think it’s a cable improvement that is long overdue, and hope its true.. The next thing I would love to see, is a completely uniform design of charge cables. So no one manufacturer differs from the next. Which I know is a long way off, however – we can dream!

Whats your thoughts on the new cable? Do you think it will pavé the way for all future USB cables?

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Apple dropping support for the second Gen Apple TV?

20140618-130431-47071787.jpgWith the recent release to the developer community of the latest iteration in the Apple TV firmware (Apple TV 7) it would appear that Apple are almost confirming the second generation Apple TV end of support life.

The latest version of the popular media centres operating system is thought not to support the second generation Apple TV. Leaving owners on the soon to be outdated TV 6 Firmware.

This will be no great shakes to early adopters. Unless of course your wanting to take advantage of the iOS 8 peer-to-peer air play facility, said to allow streaming from iOS 8 devices direct to Apple TVs running firmware version 7.

Those wanting to take advantage of the peer-to-peer streaming will need to purchase a third generation Apple TV (MD199B/A in the UK) then upgrade to firmware version 7 on day of public release. Which is scheduled for sometime at the end of this year.

Apple TVs have been available since January 2009, and proved hugely popular due to their ‘budget’ price for their media streaming capabilities. The third generation unit was first unveiled on March the 7th 2012. With a “revision” to the unit arriving on the 28th of January 2013. So far there has been no rumours of a fourth generation unit. However, the second generation unit was released in September 2010, so perhaps this September will see an all new fourth generation.

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Amazon to unveil phone with 3D Holographic display today

Amazon

AmazonAmazon are shortly going to be releasing their very first entry in the mobile phone market, currently known as just the “Amazon Phone” rumours are starting to circulate that this phone may well have a killer feature.

The phone will predictably be running Amazon’s very own flavour of the popular Android operating system. The Amazon OS features tight integration into the Amazon services and stores.

Although it would be unbelievably cool, unfortunately content on the phone will not be ‘projected’ into the air like the holographic clips in the movies such as iRobot. The 3D Holographic display will give the illusion of depth of field of the onscreen content.

Its also said to be sporting eye tracking technology developed by a Japanese firm named Omron’s Okao Vision. This feature is also rumoured to be in the up and coming Samsung Galaxy S4.

Initial rumours suggest the the Amazon phone will sport a 4.7inch screen running at just 720p. Although this wont be as sharp a quality as some of the other devices on the market running at 1080p, this will aid the battery life of the device.

The device will have (what has rapidly become the norm’) 2 cameras, a forward facing camera capturing images at 12 mega pixels and a rear facing camera capturing images at 13 mega pixels. Its expected to be running the Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and have 2GB of ram built into the device.

Amazon recently released a ‘teaser’ video of the device which you can watch below

On day of release its thought that the device will only be available on the AT&T network, with no news as of yet of a worldwide launch.

The Amazon event in Seattle is due to start at 3.30am AEST (17:30 GMT), and will not be available to stream online. Presumably a keynote video will be released shortly afterwards.

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Apple to repurpose the Lightning socket

20140605-203851.jpg

Rumours are starting to surface around the Lightning socket on the new Apple hardware.. Starting with the iPhone 6 it’s been reported that the Lightning socket will be used as a headphone jack.

Its fair to say the recent acquisition of Beats Audio limited something hardware related was bound to be in the pipelines.. If these rumours come to fruition, then I wouldn’t be surprised to see some Beats headphones on the shelves in Apple stores sporting the all new lightning connector.

There’s lots going on in the news with regards to mini usb connectors being made almost mandatory with all phone manufacturers. However, it seems unlikely Apple would adopt this.

The most obvious downside of this would of course be the inability to charge whilst listening to music. Although there would undoubtidbly be a plethora of inline adapters to enable charger and audio at the same time hitting the shelves.

The biggest benefit if this did become reality would be the switch from analogue to digital music. The (soon to be extinct?) 3.5mm jack only supports analogue music streaming, whereas the lightning connector would almost certainly be digital.

At least there’d be one saving grace for us not rushing out to bag the iPhone 6+ on day of release. A simple firmware upgrade would probably bring the headphone functionality to the older models lightning ports.

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