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Showing posts from January, 2013

Stop Estimating Wildlife Killed by Cats!

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We have another shocking report that has been hyped up in the press today (31st Jan 2012).  This time Nature Communications have published estimates animal kills by domestic and feral cats in the USA over a year. The figures come from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Photo by Kai Hendry They say that 3.7 billion birds and 20.7 billion small mammals are killed yearly by cats. However, they constantly refer to "estimates"or "thoughts"... "far exceeds all prior estimates..." "The researchers estimated..." "There are thought to be ....." We don't know how many feral cats there are the in the USA and by far the biggest "estimated" impact on wildlife comes from feral cats . How can scientists produce accurate figures if they really don't have any idea about the number of feral cats in the USA? No one has ever done a proper count of feral cat numbers. And wha

How Long Should an Internet Article Be?

Keep it short and to the point. I believe the Internet has changed because the world has changed; because of the Internet. People have developed speed reading skills. I sense that most people do their reading on the Internet and on the go; in caf├ęs, pubs and restaurants etc. They want information now and on target. It has to be without waffle. The tablet computer is the reason for this, and Wi Fi. All newspaper articles - the hard copy version - are embroidered with verbosity. Newspapers are far too big. There are far too many pages and far too many words written. You can often crystallise down a conventional newspaper article to about one tenth or less of its length. The reason: papers have to have some bulk in order to sell them. People are used to that, but years ago they were much thinner. Bring it back, please. On the Internet articles should be about half of their previous length. What length is that? Well, my experience tells me that about 300 - 750 words is the right area

How Important Are Facebook Likes?

Huge numbers of Facebook likes is no guarantee of getting more visitors to your website. I have seen sites with hundreds of thousands of Facebook (FB) likes and rather average visitor numbers. Conversely I have seen websites with absolutely no connection with FB with good unique visitor numbers. It is much more about how good your site is rather than FB likes. I don't like them because we are far too beholden to the big websites. Let's be more independent and stop leaning on FB. There was, and still is, an almost manic need to link up with FB because everyone else is and because FB indoctrinated people into believing that you had to put an FB like button on your site. There is something odd about FB likes as well. On my main site I had 1,500 likes (yes I have a like button on the home page but no where else) yet onvernight, recently, it lost about 150 likes. Weird. Do people unlike your site? And do they do it en masse overnight? You can't rely on FB to get traffic to

Catmoji, Cat Lovers Pinterest Must Fail

The people at Catmoji say "“Catmoji is on a mission to make the Internet a better and happier place with cats. Join and help us distrupt (this is verbatim but is not a word!) the Internet with cats and happiness,” Rubbish. You are on a mission to squeeze what the hell you can out of the internet while disregarding intellectual property rights. I really hope that this new, Catmoji. website fails. We have enough copyright violations with Pinterest. Catmoji pretty much copies Pinterest but the photos are of cats.  Boring. There are enough cat photos on the internet and enough people gawping at stupid cat photos and making stupid childish remarks. Yes, I have a website called Pictures-of-cats.org but there is hardly one silly cat photo. They are sensible and they support the article that makes a real point. But just to recirculate cat photos and to steal them from bona fide cat sites and put them on Catmoji seems a backward step to me. It is time to move forward and refine

Bizarre Pinterest Terms of Service?

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Pinterest's terms of service have recently changed (on November 14th 2012). The terms are a contract between Pinterest and the people who are account holders (members). I suspect the change is because a lot of disgruntled people were chatting in a critical way about the terms on blogs and social media sites. in this post, I am addressing the new and improved terms and they seem bizarre to me. It seems they are struggling to get the contract correct, which does not surprise me because the basic model upon which the website is built is flawed in my opinion. It does not respect intellectual property rights sufficiently or hardly at all. Pinterest depends on a certain amount of copyright violation. We know that a lot or most of the photos on Pinterest are pinned there - uploaded and posted - by people who neither created the photos nor have any rights in them. This activity is facilitated by Pinterest because it provides code that a website owner can use on his site which allows