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Restaurant suing blogger Sixthseal and Google


OK this is a new one: a restaurant - Jothy's Fish Head Curry Banana Leaf Restaurant - in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, is suing, a well-known Malaysian blogger, for saying he did not like the food at the restaurant - in fact he said it was really awful. For some reason I can't access that blog right now, but here is a screenshot of the original post. I can't say that it's a good move by the restaurant, better just to make sure their food is good and it should sort itself out.

However, it's possible that the reason why they are so annoyed is that is was recommended in Lonely Planet, so they must have been making loads of money off the tourists, and with a prominent blog post coming sixth on the Google search first page, it could be affecting their business. On the other hand, the first result is a positive four star rating from

Anyway, it seems to me that Sixthseal has expressed a subjective opinion, and if you're going to start suing every food critic who doesn't like a restaurant (ditto for art critics, book reviewers, etc.) then there are going to be a lot of changes.

But the next bit is the strangest, and it may be a first. The restaurant is also suing Google - I suppose for providing the search engine that enables people to see the blog post.

Well - this one may be a world wide first, so Malaysia boleh! Again. But honestly it's got to be dead in the water. If the courts agreed to this, then every company will be wanting to be tell Google what to show and what not to show. Though there may be precedent in terms of Google returning searches on porn, terrorist related sites etc.


The 15-minute blog post.
I like to blog, but I can't afford to spend a lot of time on it. Solution: limit myself to 15 minutes per post.
One link, one picture maximum.
All comments, critiques and corrections are welcome. Thank you.

Woohoo! My page rank increased :)

OK well the title says it all really - now I have to think of how to fill a whole post :-P Maybe I should just have tweeted it - but it does seem more appropriate to blog about this...

Yesterday, I was looking at a blog and noticed that it had a page rank of 4, and I thought - 'Hey how come he has four when I only have three??'. So I checked my Page Rank (had to go to a website to do it, as the previous button had stopped working - and the result?

PageRank Checking Icon

Woohoo! Actually I remember once it went up to six for a short while, then dropped again. So maybe that will happen again... hopefully not :S

OK - gotta do some real work now...

Googlocalisation - Google, globalisation and localisation

You've all heard of 'globalisation' and 'localisation', and you've probably also heard of 'glocalisation'. It seems to have become something of a buzzword over the last couple of years, and used with abandon by politicians wishing to sound as if they are part of the paradigm shift that goes forward by synergising the global knowledge economy and the local cultural knowledge base in a win-win situation. It's an open door proactive repositioning of the e-, i- and bs-economy in a performance-based total quality management that vectors a short and long-term reward-oriented mindset.

OK, enough of the BS ;-) Actually, the first time I heard of 'glocalisation' was in a very good book by Miller & Slater - The Ethnography of the Internet - back in 2000. They were one of the first to argue convincingly against the 'virtual' vs. 'real' world ideas that were all the rage at the time - they refused to "treat the Internet independently of its embeddedness" (2000:8), and demonstrated how people in Trinidad used the internet in ways that related directly to their Trini culture. It's a good book, but I did think that sometimes they over-emphasised the local thing without acknowledging the international influences that were carried by the internet too.

So what the #@*! is Googlocalisation? Well, I just made that up for the title, but it's because I noticed that I get different results in Google in the two browsers I use - one has the cookies for Google enabled, and the other one doesn't; this means that on one I get the results from, and the other returns results from

I've done some screenshots, but I don't think you'll be able to read them properly. Out of the first ten results (searching 'tropical gardening', for my new blog, only three are the same:

• First on the 'international' (American?) Google site, third on the Malaysian site: Tropical Plants - GardenWeb
• Fourth on the 'international' Google site, ninth on the Malaysian site: Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden
• Eighth on the 'international' Google site, tenth on the Malaysian site: Tropical Punch - Gardening with Tropical Plants
Continue reading "Googlocalisation - Google, globalisation and localisation"

Inlinks to a new blog

Just a rapid one as I’m pretty stressed out and well behind on my work, argh! :-O

My new gardening blog has been online for about ten days now, and the first task is to make it visible to other blogs and bloggers. A blog with no readers is really no different from a diary stuck under the bed.

So, results so far: I submitted the site to Google, and the sitemap as well, so if I search for the url, it comes up

That took about four days to happen.

I have submitted the blog to various directories, including: Blotanical (which is a nice social network for gardeners, some very impressive gardeners in there!); Blog Explosion (they have a useful ping function – they took about 5-6 days to approve the blog); and Garden Blog Directory (which is a pretty basic directory).

So, today I tried to see if there are any incoming links to my blog. First I tried the classic ‘link:’

That got nothing. So I checked out the more advanced Google Webmaster tools

which gave the same result… It says i'm in the index, but not the sitemap. I'll give it a bit more time - for example, I know that there's at least one link in from this blog. I suppose Google still needs to do more indexing of other webistes, and all that

I’ll be giving updates on how it proceeds.

"Google AdSense code can not be used with Google Sites"??

I just started a new blog called Tropical Gardening as an experiment in different, more focused/hobby type blog – aka a ‘niche’ blog. Just to see what it’s like and to try out ways of attracting traffic to it. It should be quite fun – I’ll be concentrating on just using photos from my garden and brief commentaries, and it will also be a way of keeping track of changes in the garden. It’s always nice to see how things have grown over time :-) It means there'll be less gardening posts on this blog though - I want to concentrate more on my research here.

For this blog I use Serendipity - it’s an open source platform that I’d recommend to anyone out there, but actually most blogs I see are using Blogger – although Wordpress seems to be more popular with the dedicated ‘problogger’ types. For the new blog I’m using the typical Blogger platform, with a blogspot address; this has proven to be a good idea so far as I get to experience what most bloggers do. I hadn’t used it for a few years, and it’s got a lot more user friendly, with easy ways to change the layout, add blogrolls, etc.

Anyway, I put Adsense on it, but since it’s the same account as this blog I can’t tell if anyone is clicking on the other one. So, decided to separate them in ‘channels’, but when I indicated the url for the new blog I got an error message telling me “URL cannot contain a Google host”. I googled that and got confused with this
Google Sites Help
answer that said
“At the present time Google AdSense code can not be used with Google Sites. Any code that has been added through a gadget or iframe will be rejected by the AdSense team.”

WTF? Weird! Why does Blogger have an AdSense widget and all that if you’re not meant to use it?? Is it possible, as Debt Prison suggests, that they are going to pull all AdSense from all Blogger sites?? That would be a major move – there must be a massive amount of people who use the Blogger/blogspot platform for some AdSense revenue. If AdSense was not allowed on Blogger, they would surely all migrate elsewhere.

Then I found a forum where ‘farmboy’ says
“Just login to your adsense account as usual and create the code complete with channels, colors and whatever else you want. Copy the code.

Then go to your blogger account, click to add a HTML/Javascript feature and paste in the code.”

It worked for me! And now I have the two channels

So, in any case that's a good solution to that problem but I still wonder about this 'no AdSense on Google site thing'... Anybody got any idea?

**Update 14/10/08** See the comment below for an explanation. Also, I covered up more information on the screenshot because, according to ABC Blog Tips
"Do not disclose confidential information about your account like the CTR, CPM and income derived via individual ad units or any other confidential information they may reveal to you. However, you may reveal the total money you make as per recent updates to the TOS."

So in fact I was covering up the right thing, and showing the wrong thing! Argh! :-O There's a list of 18 of these 'Don'ts' on his blog if you're interested.

When Google fails…

Sometimes the wonders of the internet hit me again. Reading an article on BBC about Google I noticed a picture of the Android with a Pacman game on it…

I suddenly had a desire to play PacMan: so, I typed ‘play pacman’ into Google, and the top hit was just what I needed on online, free, Pacman! :-)

As a kid, I remember cycling across town to put a few saved coins in a Space Invaders machine. PacMan came a bit later, so I had a bit more money, so we would spend hours in a local ‘milk bar’. Now, I just type in a few words, and I’m sorted… I couldn’t have dreamed of that when I was a kid.

But what about when Google fails us? Yesterday, I searched for something and this came up:

at first I thought it was the terms I used, so I tried different ones to no result. Then I tried a different computer, same result. Browser? Also the same. So I guessed it had to be the network.

I had to turn to something else, so I tried Yahoo! which was OK but the Google interface is nicer. It reminded me of pre-Google days when I used to use a meta-crawler, or try different search sites to see the different results; I had settled on Copernic which was the best thing before Google came along. Maybe it’s still better, to be honest, but I didn’t try it ever since someone suggested Google to me in 2000.