The stats behind Pinterest [infographic]

Another Infographic; this time from Wishpond, a team which provides a platform for social contests.

As Pinterest continues to grow, more businesses are looking for an opportunity to share their users scrap-booking space. It seems to be a great platform for targeting women with children as 80% of the users of Pinterest are women and 50% have children.

Apparently people also prefer associations with brands more on Pinterest, with 43% versus 24% of Facebook.

Wishpond Infographic on Pinterest users

 

Your password is obsolete [infographic]

Staying safe online is becoming more and more difficult as hackers and online criminals become more sophisticated, so how is the average Internet user supposed to stay safe?

This infographic from BackgroundCheck.org has some helpful suggestions. As always a good dose of common sense is the best place to start.

Your Password is Obsolete

Via backgroundcheck.org 

Myntra.com appoints new strategy director

From Medianama.com

Kompalli will be setting up and leading Myntra’s Corporate Strategy and Business Analytics team, which will be responsible for developing Myntra’s overall strategy.

So basically, they had no strategy on doing business so far? This seems to be the unfortunate state of e-commerce startups in India today. Mind you, Myntra is doing some active consolidating recently.

Do caching plugins on WordPress really work?

wordpress-logo-simplified-rgbWordPress is one of the most popular CMS platforms in the world today. Many blogs ( including this one) and journalistic sites run on WordPress. WordPress works by dynamically pulling content from a MySQL database and presenting it to users in a theme.

This dynamic nature is one of WordPress’s greatest strength – as it separates the sites look from the dynamic elements driving the site. However it is also this greatest strength which can cause a popular site to struggle.

As more and more visitors come to a site, the server has to work more, establishing connections to the database for each page called, using up more server resources and generally slowing down the site for new users, thus becoming a problem.

A popular solution for this is the use of a caching plugin. Caching plugins work by creating a static (HTML) version of the page the first time it is called. By keeping this page available for future visitors you can, theoretically, reduce the load on the site. I say theoretically though, because in some load tests I ran last week, I saw that the caches may not work.

I am currently running a self hosted WordPress installation on a Media Temple Grid Server. I am running a light installation of WordPress with 5 plugins. One of these plugins is W3 Total Cache, which is one of the most popular plugins in the WordPress.org plugin repository.

Setting up the plugin however is not as simple as installing it from the WordPress repository. And it is here that I step back to question the necessity of the caching plugin. WordPress is known for its simple 2 minute install, this caching plugin had me spending almost an hour setting it up, and I still wasn’t sure it was done right.

The setup first involved me having to install a PHP caching extension to my server. This had to be compiled from source. Post which I setup the plugin, by reading through (thankfully) copious documentation provided by the plugin author. My first setup was woefully incorrect as it immediately started causing server errors on my site. My backup plugin started taking 15 minutes to zip a 100 mb directory.

Once I had corrected the issues and setup the caching plugin again, I did some tests using a service called Blitz.io. Surprisingly my results were better without the caching plugin activated than with.

Blitz tests called rushes work by rushing a test site with a number of concurrent users over a set of seconds. I ran tests with a rush of 1000 users over 120 seconds.

Without the caching plugin active, I had an average response time (time taken to load first page) of 635 milliseconds, with a 21.37% timeout and a 1.7% error rate. This timeout number had me worried and I was hopeful the cache would run better. However my first run with the cache activated had my response time go up to 913 milliseconds with a 21.7% timeout and a 1.77% error rate. I reset some setting on the cache plugin and my response time went down to 827 milliseconds but my timeout rose to 27%, while error rate was consistent at 7%. The caching plugin was not able to reduce my timeouts and I also saw that the period the caching plugin was enabled, my host was using more resources.

In my view (at least in this current situation) caching should be a function of the hosting provider more than the CMS platform. Hosts like Media Temple, WPEngine and even WordPress.com dedicate a lot of effort to building caching into their products.

For non-technical bloggers who have chosen to have their blogs outside of WordPress.com for access to more themes and plugins, having the host take the responsibility and pain of handling caches is a better idea.

Considering the important nature that caching plays in a content driven site, it may also be considered that the certain basic caching features be built into the WordPress core. By building it into the core as a feature, it would also be easier for non-technically inclined users to use the feature.

Link : 64-bit Firefox for Windows should be prioritized

The Mozilla foundation is de-prioritising the development work on 64bit version of Firefox for Windows. This is a good article which points out why not, while also explaining the benefits of 64bit browsers. It does make me think however – that browsers these days are fundamentally broken.

Source: Ars Technica. | 64-bit Firefox for Windows should be prioritized, not suspended

Link : Nokia’s ‘Here Maps’ is a buggy eyesore

The Nokia Here app on iOS is reminiscent of the Nokia maps I used on my N95. Not as polished as the current maps app on the Lumia or Symbian Belle devices.

The map data however is much better (for India anyway) than that of the iOS 6 Maps app, so that is a small plus.

Apple’s iOS 6 Maps app has received so many complaints and been the butt of so many jokes that you’d think Nokia could capitalize on Cupertino’s fail by releasing a stunning maps app to dominate the iOS space. No such luck. Nokia’s Here Maps is a mess.
wired.com

via Wired.com

Lost in translation

 

A short while ago a popular YouTube video showed how Google Translate allowed a couple of girls to call an Indian restaurant, order in hindi, and get the correct order absolutely as required.

I decided to play that game a little further and took a sentence in english and translated it across multiple languages using Google translate. Translations were done in a chain with the last translation back to english. Taking a hint from Google’s video, I decided to continue in the same vein and order the same menu.

[TBS_BLOCKQUOTE source=”Original English”] Hello, I want to order food to my home. I want two basmati rice, Two fish curry, very hot and spicy, three of the potato samosas. [/TBS_BLOCKQUOTE]

 

I first translated it to Hindi, and then immediately translated it back to English for the following results:

 

[TBS_BLOCKQUOTE source=”English to Hindi Translation”] नमस्ते, मैं अपने घर के लिए भोजन का ऑर्डर देना चाहता हूँ. मैं दो बासमती चावल, दो मछली करी, बहुत गर्म और मसालेदार आलू के समोसे की तीन चाहते. [/TBS_BLOCKQUOTE]

 

[TBS_BLOCKQUOTE source=”Hindi to English Translation”] Hi, I want to order food for your home. I basmati rice, the fish curry, very hot and spicy potato samosas to three. [/TBS_BLOCKQUOTE]

So the reverse translation broke the chain almost immediately, however I decided to continue with my experiment. I chose to do a few jumps, choosing every second language on the list from the beginning and ending with english as the final translation.

 

[TBS_BLOCKQUOTE source=”Hindi to Afrikaans”] Hi, ek wil om kos te koop vir jou huis. Ek basmatirys, die vis kerrie, baie warm en geurige aartappel samoesas tot drie. [/TBS_BLOCKQUOTE]

 

[TBS_BLOCKQUOTE source=”Afrikaans to Armenian”] Hi, Ես ցանկանում եմ գնել սնունդ ձեր տանը: Ես basmati բրինձ, ձուկ Curry, տաք եւ կծու կարտոֆիլի samosas երեք. [/TBS_BLOCKQUOTE]

 

[TBS_BLOCKQUOTE source=”Armenian to Basque”] Hi, etxean janaria erosi nahi dut. I basmatia arroza, arraina Curry, patata beroa eta pikantea samosas hiru. [/TBS_BLOCKQUOTE]

 

[TBS_BLOCKQUOTE source=”Basque to Bengali”] হাই, আমি বাড়ীতে খাদ্য কিনতে চাই. আমি basmati ভাত, মাছ কারি পাউডার, গরম মসলা ও আলু samosas তিনটি. [/TBS_BLOCKQUOTE]

 

[TBS_BLOCKQUOTE source=”Bengali to Catalan”] Hola, vull comprar aliments a la llar. L’arròs basmati, curri en pols de peix, la papa calenta i picant samoses tres. [/TBS_BLOCKQUOTE]

 

[TBS_BLOCKQUOTE source=”Catalan to Chinese”] 嗨,我在家裡買食物。香米,魚咖哩粉,辛辣的土豆咖哩角三。 [/TBS_BLOCKQUOTE]

 

[TBS_BLOCKQUOTE source=”Chinese to Czech”] Dobrý den, koupím jídlo doma. Rýže, ryby kari, pikantní bramborové kari tři. [/TBS_BLOCKQUOTE]

 

[TBS_BLOCKQUOTE source=”Czech to Dutch”] Hallo, Ik koop eten thuis. Rijst, vis curry, pittige aardappel curry drie. [/TBS_BLOCKQUOTE]

 

[TBS_BLOCKQUOTE source=”Dutch to English”] Hello, I buy food at home. Rice, fish curry, spicy potato curry three. [/TBS_BLOCKQUOTE]

 

So, even though key parts of the menu translated through (the rice and the fish curry) all context around it was lost. Not that I was expecting it to last, it is not fair to expect such clarity from machine translation, but it was fun to do.

Google Search is fixed

As of 8:52 pm IST — Its working again.. So Google What happened? Apparently you do know how to run websites. Scroll to the bottom of the article for this beautiful piece that Google knows plenty about running big Web sites, thank you very much. "Google runs Web services with many users and servers too and we launch changes weekly or faster," he said.

Google Malware warnings – Acting Up

It seems Google’s service wherein it protects you from suspicious site and malware generating site is acting up, As of 8:15pm India Time today all search results (Including Google.com, Microsoft.com, and Apple.com) are being highlighted as sites that way harm your computer. The safe browsing diagnostic page meanwhile does not seem to be working -¬† It seems like a gear fell out of the Googles :0. Initially¬† I thought this may have been a glitch with the Gmail Offline I had just installed, but then my brother and father complained that they probably had viruses on their machines, and the same problem, But my MacBook and Linux Machine had the same problem so there is something going on…

Wikipedia and donations

Wikipedia – the Community encyclopedia is looking for donations from the community again. And is fast approaching it’s target of 6 Million USD (currently sitting at 5.4 Million).

But.. would you give a donation to Wikipedia, to enable paychecks for its 23 Official members of staff. What about the rest of the Internet community (150000 strong) who is responsible for adding the content that makes wikipedia what it is.

I personally belive that wikipedia should run ads, like the rest of the blogging community and stop the funding drives every so often.

The bulk of the Open Source world acknoeledges the contributions of non-paying (cash) but givers of time.Wikipedia on the other hand, just finds it easier to ask for a dole out. Of that dole out less that 50% is going into technology to keep the encyclopedia running. Another 96K is going to the Wikimania conference. (A move which many in the corporate world would be avoiding right now, calling the travel to Beunos Aires a needless expenditure)

So I ask the question – would the donations (not tax free BTW) be handled correctly by the Wikipedia team?