Monday, November 22, 2010

Google News New Meta Tags Kill News Partnership Deals

You've seen it before, a news site like Bloomberg partners with the San Francisco Chronicle website called to share content. The result? The same blog post or article posted on both sites, and appearing on Google News.

No big deal, right? Good for both parties, right? Well, to the Google News team, that's a problem and they're working to change that via a new meta tag system.

This blogger thinks the new meta tags system is one Google News should have left on the shelf.

Last week, Google News unveiled this experimental system with two types of meta tags: "syndication-source" and "original-source." In the first, publishers can pick which one of two almost identical blog posts, columns, or articles can appear on Google News. In the second, Google wants news publishers to give credit to where the original story came from - the one that "broke the story."  But stop right there. It's in the first case where Google's mistake is.  

Where Google got the idea a publisher wanted to pick one of several identical posts that appear as the result of a content deal is not known. The idea of many content partnerships is to enjoy the traffic generating power of the content on more than one site, and with the assumption that both will appear on Google News.

If Google doesnt't want that, it will be the beginning of the end of Google' market share. In a tight economy, content sharing is more common than ever. To cause, say the SF Chronicle to lose revenue because of its relationship with Bloomberg, which is what could happen in this deal, is absurd. The end result is more akin to communism than capitalism.

Google must be careful not to try and control the market's behavior, but help it along. This blogger has the impression that Google feels it has to tinker in ways that make the overall web experience less enjoyable and less lucrative for small business in the media space.

If Google doesn't stop this course of action, it will see the growth of a competitor that will reduce its market share.   Too often Google responds to the wrong voices in media, the voices of fear.  These are the same voices that have not learned any of the New Media methods of writing for the Internet, and question the need to do so.

Some of those voices have also threatened to sue, or actually sued Google in the past, and unsuccessfully.  In the vast majority of cases, their claims against Google were wrong.  Google has to grow a pair and challenge these voices, not given in to them.

Which brings us to the second case.  Determining the URL for an "original story" is an issue that can cause fist-fights.  It's all too common for news sites representing established media organizations to take story ideas based on the work of bloggers, not source the blogger, but then want credit when the story is picked up elsewhere.

That has happened to a number of people, from myself with the creation of the term BeastWeek, to Richard Lieberman's local Bay Area media blog posts.  If a blog is small, Google's not there to protect it, but if another blogger happens to expand on the story the bigger media organization put out, but got from the other small blogger without note, guess who Google comes after?  The smaller blogger.

Google needs to rethink this idea.  No, Google needs to trash it.  It's too fraught with possibility for abuse.

Google must let the market work, not try to control it.

RockMelt Browser Review By Zennie62: A Facebook Gripe

The new RockMelt Browser has been the choice of this blogger since November 14th, which is when the first video review was posted. The cool aspect of RockMelt, it's neat presentation of your social network relationships, has turned out to have a flip side, especially where it involves Facebook.

When clicking to start the RockMelt Browser, you have to wait until it logs in to Facebook. And depending on the strength of your Internet connection that could take anywhere from seconds to minutes, to who knows how long?

Yes, there is a way to disable that function, but why have it serve as the gateway to the use of the entire RockMelt browser? It's massively annoying to see that animated period go across the white page, waiting for Facebook to get a clue, just to use the browser.

RockMelt Memory Issues

The other problem with RockMelt is that it fails to remember your bookmark settings. After a week of use, the bookmarks bar was wiped clean of the sites I selected. Then, it seemed to remember some of them, but not all of them, after a few days.

Those two issues mar the RockMelt user experience, at least for this blogger.  Correcting them will place it on the road to being the best browser yet.

O'hare Airport Bad Weather Soothed By "Obama Wars"

The Chicago Area was in the middle of an extremely bad weather storm, so much so this blogger wondered (for seven seconds) if the United Airlines 767-300 from San Francisco to Chicago was going to land in one piece.

UAL 906 departed SFO at 10:55 on the nose, and yours truly got and exit row seat 20 H. It was cramped, but the experience was made better by reading Bob Woodward's book Obama Wars. What an excellent read!  Obama Wars is one of Bob Woodward's best works.

Obama Wars Is Excellent

It paints a picture of a President Obama up against a "group think" of military operatives bent on maintaining a presence in Afghanistan and Iraq, particularly General Stanley McChrystal and General David Petraeus.

Obama Wars also portrays an Afghanistan such that one wonders what the hell America's doing over there, anyway? According to Woodward, that region has an active opium trade, a bribe-oriented culture, and is a terrorist hotbed. What we have tried to do is remedy all three aspects of their culture, rather than one.

That's a massive waste of time.

But the book wasn't.

We Landed Safely!

Back to the flight, the pilot, who's name I did not get, was responsible for the best landing ever.   Well, under the circumstances.  In the approach to O'Hare, the Boeing aircraft was shaking more than usual because of the wind and rain. Lightening was flashing by so often you could not  help but wonder if the plane was going to be hit.

It didn't happen.

Now, I'm eating dinner at The Hilton O'Hare Airport and watching ESPN Monday Night Football: Denver Broncos vs. San Diego Chargers.  Well, because both flights to Atlanta were cancelled, and the would-be connector to Dulles was delayed so repeatedly I figured I'd miss the Atlanta flight all over again, just in Washington.

I'm better off.

Fox News to Unemployed: Try Cannibalism to see you through...

Fox News tells Unemployed 99ers to: try Cannibalism to see you through ... like our forefathers did (if they did not freeze to death before - that is)

Charles Payne Fox Business Network contributor for the show Varney & Co. basically told the 99ers to tough it out, when responding to a question from 99ers Union Co-founder Gregg Rosen on todays show.

Gregg asked “So you’re telling me, people would rather go hungry and homeless than to get a job? Does that make sense?”

To which Payne responded: “Faced with going hungry or homeless they will find a job..they will create a job...they will create opportunities because..Guess what? cuz [sic] when the first Americans landed here...there was nothing. Some of them froze to death, some of them resorted to cannibalism ... but they made it...”

What an ignorant “Payne-in-the-a$$” this twit is. Mr. Payne, exactly how will those who have no money even to pay for the gas to get to an interview or to keep their internet for job searching - create opportunities? You are an idiot of epic proportions and logic never seems to sway you from your ignorant, useless Republican talking points - that actually got the US into this trouble to begin with.

Are you really saying that the 99ers should degrade themselves further than Congress has already and that we should result to the most horrendous act of depravity any human being can engage in? Perhaps you would volunteer yourself to the cause? (As your fat carcass could feed many)

Mostly I pray that when the violence of the “have nots” erupts against the “haves” in this country - that they do so specifically where you live so you can see first hand how your ignorant, ‘trickle-down,’ Republican talking points have been destroying this country for decades.

To see and hear for yourselves how pathetic and out of touch Charles Payne of Fox News is, view the full segment at the link below.

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Unemployment News: All I want for Christmas is a JOB!

Amid all the bad unemployment news today, one thing is clear: “All I want for Christmas is a JOB” - tops the list this holiday season for millions of Americans.

If there is a 99er on your list this “Black Friday” - they likely just want to survive until the New Year arrives. Eight months with zero income, facing eviction/foreclosure, experiencing hunger on a daily basis and the prospect of no help in sight to prevent them from facing the winter homeless - many unemployed will “opt out” this holiday.

The suicide rates always increase during the holidays - for those facing far less discouraging circumstances than the terminally unemployed, but this year they will likely explode.

Some 99er FACTS:

If all the 99ers joined hands, they would make a chain reaching from Bangor, ME to San Diego, CA.

If the 99ers were their own City, they’d be more than the combined populations of Los Angeles and Philadelphia - about half the population of NYC and more than half the population of London, England.

If the 99ers were a State, they’d be more than twice the population of the State of Nevada and more than the total population of 25 out of the 50 States in the USA.

If the 99ers were their own Country, they’d be about equal than the population of Scotland or Norway and bigger than over half the countries in the world.

This is a HUGE problem that our feeble and selfish government refuses to address. There is no sense of urgency or concern for over 5 million Americans who will have no Thanksgiving feast or Christmas joy this season, simply because Congress prefers to ignore the tragic consequences of the economic tsunami they (Congress) are responsible for creating.

I hear a ton of sound bites from the Tea Baggers and Republicans saying how “everyone is going to need to make difficult sacrifices to get America out of the hole we have dug for ourselves.” But the only ones who will not be sacrificing are those in Washington and the rich Americans who put them in office. Austerity measures only seem to hurt the poor.

In my next article I will provide a video clip from Fox News that seems to have them suggesting we (the 99ers) should resort to cannibalism to “get through these tough times” Really? WTF?

[The donation button below is for me, Paladinette. If you like what I write and can afford to do so - please donate to the cause. I thank you!]

Colts Patriots: Peyton Manning And Indy Lost 31-28

The Indianapolis Colts and Quarterback Peyton Manning (in photo by lost to the much-hated outside Boston New England Patriots and their QB Tom Brady, 31-28, in another classic NFL battle.

But, considering how banged-up the Colts are, it's a miracle they almost won it. To win, the Indy Colts must address its defensive scheme, which is leaving the Colts Offense consistently in a position of scoring to keep pace with the other team, rather than scoring to win the game.

Thanks to 168 yards rushing, the Patriots were up by as much as 17 points before Manning led a furious comeback. The one problem, other than the Colts Defense, was Manning's three interceptions, including the last one to seal the game for the Pats with just 22 seconds left.

Colts Defense Needs To Get Bigger

It's time for the Colts to junk the "small defensive line" concept in favor of large defensive tackles, along the scale of Halodi Ngaga of the Baltimore Ravens. The Colts Defensive Line is too easily pushed out of position, more often than not. Also, the schemes lack the level of aggression needed to stop many offensive schemes.

Rather than use bump-and-run and blitz, the Colts Defense plays zone and gives a large cushion for receivers. Offenses built around the idea of "yards after the catch," established by Bill Walsh, feast on that, and move the ball downfield.

If the Colts are going to beat teams like the Patriots, they have to alter their defensive approach.

1 in 5 US adults have mental illness- can Vitamin D help? by Dr. Christina Villarreal

Researchers of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration report that in 2009, Nearly 1 in 5 adult Americans, (45 million, or 20 percent) experienced some form of mental illness. The study defined mental illness as "a diagnosable mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder in the past year, regardless of their level of functional impairment." This annual survey is the largest of its kind undertaken by the US government. This article examines the relationship between vitamin D deficiency and mental illness amongst Americans.

Which age group and gender is most affected by mental illness?

The 18-25 age group was reported as having the most mental illness, and more women than men were afflicted, stated Peter Delany, a doctor who heads behavioral research at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. He adds "about one in 20 individuals, or around 4.8 percent of the population, met the criteria for having a serious mental illness" which was defined by the study as 'serious functional impairment, which substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.'

In my own clinical practice in the Bay Area, CA,
I am treating more and more individuals from this age group, as well as those in their 30's- many of whom are struggling with work related stress, relationship conflicts with their peers and families, understanding their sexuality and romantic relationships, and determining which career paths best suit their abilities and interests.

As a clinical psychologist, one of my first tasks in providing optimal mental health care to new patients is determining if they are in good physical health. Obtaining a primary care doctor and getting annual physical exams is an essential first step in figuring if any physical issues could be affecting your emotional health and well-being.

Is some mental illness related to a vitamin D deficiency?

One study led by Ganji V. and colleagues and reported in the Nov 2010 issue of International Archives of Medicine showed people with current depression were more likely to be vitamin D deficient than those who had higher levels of vitamin D. The study was based on data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Dr. John Cannell, an vitamin D expert and director of Vitamin D Council suggests that some forms of mental illness can be linked with reduced sun exposure, low 25-hydroxyvitamin D or 25(OH)D levels. Vitamin D research showed that this supplement may help improve some mental illnesses and encourage healthy immune functioning. In addition, emerging research shows a possible role for vitamin D in the prevention or treatment of type 1 diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, heart disease, reducing inflammation, some cancers, and autoimmune diseases including multiple sclerosis.

How can I find out if I am vitamin D deficient?

Click here
to read more on how Dr. John Cannell suggests you find out if you are Vitamin D deficient.

What dose is optimal for my physical & mental health?

Physican/Nutrition specialist Dr. Melina Jampolis
in San Francisco, CA states "The current tolerable upper limit of vitamin D intake is 50 mcg (2,000 IU) per day. Taking too much vitamin D can cause nausea, vomiting, decreased appetite, constipation, weakness, and can raise blood levels of calcium, which can lead to irregular heart rhythms. Click here to read more about Vitamin D uses, side effects, drug interactions and warnings.

Who is most at risk for being vitamin D deficient?

Groups at risk of vitamin D deficiency include breastfed infants, adults age 50 and older, people with limited sun exposure, people with milk allergy or lactose intolerance, people with fat malabsorption, people with dark skin, and people who are obese. (Because it is fat soluble, larger pools of body fat may act as a reservoir for vitamin D.)

Sources:, CNN Diet & Fitness, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

This article was written by Dr. Christina Villarreal, a clinical psychologist in private practice in Oakland, CA. Visit her website at or email her for professional referrals.