.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Ontario Technoblog

Ontario Emperor technology blog.

This blog has been superseded by the mrontemp blog
Location: Ontario, California, United States

Sometime audio artist. Email comments on this blog to the gmail account mrontemp.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Different Screen Resolutions for Different Audiences

My Blogpatrol counter collects screen resolutions from the visitors to my Ontario Technoblog (which is, naturally, somewhat technically oriented) and my Ontario Empoblog (which is more general interest, provided you have some pretty strange interests). In comparing the data from the two blogs, it's interesting to note that screen resolutions skew a bit differently depending upon the audience.

First, here's the data from visitors to this blog:

1024x768 30
1280x1024 19
800x600 8
1400x1050 4
1280x800 4
1152x864 2
1680x1050 1
1366x768 1
1920x1200 1

Now, here the data from the Empoblog:

1024x768 942
800x600 246
1280x1024 206
1280x800 66
1152x864 56
1400x1050 29
1440x900 27
1280x768 20
1600x1200 17
1280x854 16

Despite the fact that the Technoblog has a lot of visitors interested in the iPAQ, resolutions tend to skew higher on the Technoblog - 1920x1200 visitors never read about Kiira Korpi, Tim Liotta, Christopher Nance, or Krystal Fernandez, and the Technolog has more 1280x1024 visitors than 800x600 visitors - on the Empoblog it's the other way around.

This is what one would expect, but it's interesting to see it confirmed (albeit only in a small sample).

Also interesting to know that the majority of visitors are 1024x768.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Thank YOU Take TWO

Remember how Advanced Imaging solicited by free magazine renewal, then denied it?

I just received this e-mail:

From: Advanced Imaging Pro [mailto:circulation_mailings@advancedimagingmag.com]
Sent: Wednesday, February 08, 2006 8:35 AM
To: [deleted]
Subject: Reminder to renew for 2006

To ensure future delivery of Cygnus - Advanced Imaging Pro e-mail promotions and newsletters to your inbox (not bulk or junk folders) please add our "From" address circulation_mailings@advancedimagingmag.com to your address book or e-mail whitelist.

Hello [deleted];

As the new year is off to a great start, it would be a good time to renew your subscription to Advanced Imaging for 2006.

If you renew today, you won't be asked to renew again until 2007!

You can renew your *free subscription just by clicking on the link below and completing the online form. It's that easy to
guarantee you don't miss a single issue for 2006.

[link deleted]

Thanks [deleted] for renewing your subscription to Advanced Imaging.

Audience Development Manager

*free to qualified subscribers in the industry

This email is being sent to [deleted].
Use this link to be deleted or to update your email address

You can choose to not receive further mailings by clicking on the link above. If you have trouble with this link, simply forward this message to [deleted] with [deleted] in the subject line. ReachMail does not tolerate spam. Please notify us via email at abuse@publishingdynamics.com regarding any spam issues. If you have trouble with any of these methods, you can reach us toll-free at 800-547-7377.

This message was sent by Cygnus - Advanced Imaging Pro using ReachMail. Read our Privacy Policy.

Cygnus Business Media
11720 Beltsville Drive
3rd Floor
Beltsville, Maryland 20705

So I filled out the form again, and still didn't find a marketing category, and therefore clicked the "other" category. And again I received this message:

We appreciate your interest in Advanced Imaging magazine. Unfortunately, due to strict qualification requirements and independent audit regulations, we are unable to add your name to our complimentary subscription list. You can, however, be part of a growing number of industry professionals who read Advanced Imaging on a regular basis. Your subscription can help you take advantage of our comprehensive coverage of video, photographic, and document-based imaging technologies, products, systems, and services.

At this point I clicked the back button on my browser and stretched my qualifications a bit. I recategorized myself as "Engineering Management (including VP of Engineering, Senior, Principal, Chief or Managing Engineer & related personnel)." I guess I'm related personnel, since I provide requirements to engineers.

That did the trick. And I don't get irritating e-mail from them for a year. I guess I'd better take those in-house SOA classes.

Incidentally, once I passed this hurdle, I got to the question about whether I buy, specify, or approve purchase of particular products. It turns out that I do - I just don't report to the engineering VP, I report to the marketing VP.

Perhaps Advanced Imaging will track me down and cancel my subscription, but I again remind them - look what happened to Interex after they dissed the marketers.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Stress Testing

In the process of helping my nephew diagnose a problem with running Rome: Total War on an Alienware computer, I've determined that I need to learn more about various computer diagnostic programs.

Alienware themselves recommended two programs:
  • Stress Prime 2004 by Johnny Lee. Based upon Prime 95 (which could use its own discussion, it appears), SP2004 provides various options for testing computer CPU and/or RAM.

  • 3DMark03 from Futuremark. "The high quality game tests, image quality tests, sound tests and others give you an extremely accurate overview of your system’s current gaming performance."

Freewarehome.com links to some other diagnostic programs (which I have not tested):
  • Microsoft's Windows Memory Diagnostic can be used "to determine whether the problems are caused by failing hardware, such as RAM or the memory system of your motherboard."

  • The Freestone Group's Video Card Stability Test can also be used as a screensaver.

  • Jam Software offers HeavyLoad 2.0, which "is inteded to stress all resources of a PC (like CPU, RAM, harddisk, network, operating system, etc.) in order to test, if it will run reliable under heavy load."

If you have any favorite computer diagnostic programs (freeware/shareware, professional, or whatever), please post them in the comments.

Friday, February 03, 2006

And Jimmy Johnson's Hair Will Be Covered By A Standard Also

Just to show how prevalent standards are becoming. Football great Emmitt Smith has worked with a national standards committee to promote standards for item authentication. This is over a year old, but still of interest. From the InterNational Committee for Information Technology Standards:

CONTACT: Patrick Morris
(202) 626-5742 or pmorris@itic.org
NFL Great Emmitt Smith Teams with INCITS to Develop Item Authentication Standards
Interested Parties Welcome at January 12-13, 2005 Meeting

Washington, DC, January 10, 2005 - The InterNational Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS) has established a new Technical Committee (INCITS/E22) - Item Authentication and announced the first meeting on January 12-13, 2005 at INCITS headquarters in Washington, DC. The proposal for a new technical committee was initiated by NFL star Emmitt Smith, whose work with Prova Group, Inc. on sports memorabilia authentication has led to his decision to pursue global item authentication standards.

As established by INCITS, the committee's work is intended to develop an international methodology and process for using RFID technology, multi-media technology and information technology to assist a wide variety of industries in the prevention of fraud. The goal of INCITS/E22's work is to develop standards to authenticate and validate a valued item, and establish an information technology recording and report structure for tracking and creating a valid chain of custody for each item entered into the IT structure.

Emmitt Smith commented on the positive response by INCITS and the initiation of a new Technical Committee: “Through my work with Prova, I have chosen RFID technology to guarantee that my authentic signature is protected from fraud and I have encouraged other athletes and celebrities to support the authentication of memorabilia. The next step in the process of significantly curbing the ever-growing gray market of fraudulent activity in sports memorabilia and other valuables and collectibles is to develop a formal information technology standard on item authentication. I thank INCITS for their willingness to coordinate this important work, encourage all interested parties to participate, and look forward to working with the INCITS technical committee.”...


The mission of the InterNational Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS) is to promote the effective use of Information and Communication Technology through standardization in a way that balances the interests of all stakeholders and increases the global competitiveness of the member organizations. INCITS serves as the U.S. Technical Advisory Group for ISO/IEC Joint Technical Committee 1, which is
responsible for international standardization in the field of information technology.

INCITS and the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) are jointly accredited by, and operate under rules approved by, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). These rules are designed to ensure that voluntary standards are developed by the consensus of directly and materially affected interests. For further information, please contact INCITS, 1250 Eye St. NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20005 (www.incits.org).


Here's some more about Prova Group:

Prova Group, Inc. is a leading provider of authentication and information services to dealers and merchandisers of autographed sports memorabilia and other collectibles. Prova also provides state of the art inventory control and asset management solutions. Our patent-pending autograph and memorabilia authentication process confirms an item has a permanent and a unique identity that is captured using Radio Frequency Identification.

We have developed a system that provides history and ownership information for the entire life of the collectible item. By using our proprietary technology, Prova expects to improve the credibility of the collectibles industry and prevent fraudulent replicas from deceiving buyers and collectors.

Prova protects, identifies, and provides a verifiable chain of custody for any chosen asset.

The company is headquartered in Irving, Texas and has an office in St Louis, Missouri.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

No, thank YOU

This probably sounds like a whiny complaint, but isn't this what blogs are all about?

Other than the local newspaper, I just realized that I don't pay for a subscription to ANYTHING. Yet, due to the nature of my position, I have qualified to subscriptions to several technical magazines. I'm sure that you've qualified for some subscriptions also. Therefore, it's a surprise when something like this happens.

I was offered a free subscription to Advanced Imaging some time ago. As is true with such things, you occasionally have to requalify. So I got this in the mail:



Only once - If you respond now!

Renew online at www.advancedimagingpro.com

So I dutifully went to the website to renew, entered my subscriber number, my last name, and the bold red PRIORITY CODE that they sent me. After confirming my information and providing information on my position, I got the following message:

We appreciate your interest in Advanced Imaging magazine. Unfortunately, due to strict qualification requirements and independent audit regulations, we are unable to add your name to our complimentary subscription list. You can, however, be part of a growing number of industry professionals who read Advanced Imaging on a regular basis. Your subscription can help you take advantage of our comprehensive coverage of video, photographic, and document-based imaging technologies, products, systems, and services.

So why, after even entering the oh-so-holy PRIORITY CODE, was I unable to renew my free subscription? Probably due to the job category that I entered - "Other."

Why did I choose this category? Because...shudder...I'm in marketing.

And Advanced Imaging, like Interex before it, markets to the techies rather than the marketers. But remember what happened to Interex.

It's a common belief that technical magazines should market services to technical personnel:

Leading technical magazines deliver solutions to the IT managers, architects and developers creating the next generation of business applications—the best way to market to these key influences.

The theory, of course, is that the technical folks will recommend, and the non-technical folks will immediately agree. Here's a fictionalized conversation between Albert Wozniak and Bob Kawasaki:

ALBERT (adjusting his pocket protector): Hey Bob!

BOB (putting down his "Visualizing E-Commerce Paradigms" book): Yes, Albert?

ALBERT: We need to buy an SOA-compliant E-Widget from Megacorp. They were interviewed by Interex Magazine and are highly recommended.

BOB: OK. Because I have been hired into a marketing position rather than an engineering position, I trust you completely and will not apply my critical thinking to this purchase.

What this means is that the marketing director at Interex Magazine would not qualify for a subscription to his/her own magazine, which is interesting....

[OE UPDATE 8 FEBRUARY - I got my subscription]