Posts

I predicted a Google shop a year ago

About a year ago, a bit less, I suggested that Google should open a shop .  At that time I hadn't read a single bit of information about the possibility of a Google shop. Well, this is the purpose of this short post: to boast that I got it right. I don't know if I was the first to suggest a shop, but I believe I was. The new Google shops were announced in the Sunday Times today. The Times says that Google is "taking the fight to Apple" and plan to open a chain a shops across America. It is just a matter of time before they come to the UK. At one time Apple had no shops but was still a highly successful company. Their shops are now iconic and always packed out. It you see one on a British high street or in a shopping mall,  it is humming while all the other shops have dribs and drabs of customers meandering through. The contrast is stark. I presume that Google want a piece of that action. Google has become far more aggressive over the past year or so after they g

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

The Big Cat Scratching Post

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The more I think about it, the more I realise that a cat scratching post needs to be large and well sited. There are a lot on them on the market which are not large enough. They don't work because a cat won't use it or is reluctant to use it. This has ramifications. Kitten climbing a 'tree' - a large scratching post. One consequence that comes to mind is that people who have thought about declawing their cat but resisted and bought a cat scratching post instead might then decide to have their cat declawed thinking that it is impossible to get their cat to scratch in the right place. I hope people who have decided against declawing try again and purchase a large scratching post and put it where cats might mark territory as if they were wild cats. These places are normally in prominent locations within the cat's home range. An example might be near the back door if the cat is allowed to go out. When my cat goes outside he scratches trees. These are solid obje

Manx and Sphynx Cat Breeds Becoming More Popular?

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The Manx and Sphynx have entered the top ten of most popular cat breeds. This is interesting to people like me who get involved with the popularity of cat breeds. Perhaps they were always there but not on my reckoning. They are not one of the core mainstream cat breeds. But a survey by Vetstreet.com tells us that the Manx and Sphynx are the 8th and 10th most popular cat breeds for 2011. There are various ways to measure cat breed popularity. Each is likely to produce a different result. I cover that in more detail on this page which is a similar but extended article to this one. Vetstreet used the number of births on their database for 2011 to come to the conclusion that the Siamese was streets ahead for popularity. I can believe them but - there is always a but, isn't there - who are Vetstreet? They seem to be a general content website about pets. They have disclaimers about their advice. I don't know why they have a database of purebred cats especially one that cont

Ohio Restrictions on Private Captive Wildlife Programs

Ohian legislators have responded to the horrifying carnage of wild animals, including large wild cats, at Zanesville, Ohio. It is referred to as the Zanesville massacre . It occurred on October 19, 2011. It was the classic, private zoo disaster waiting to happen and it could happen again . Neither do I believe it was a freak event . The silver lining to come out of this very sad story is that legislation backed by HSUS was introduced into Ohio's state legislature and has been passed and become law. It was a speedy bit of law making prompted by the shock of the event. Of course keepers of exotic cats etc. were against it. It is one more piece of legislation that erodes the freedoms of Americans to indulge their passion for interacting with exotic animals. The trouble is that ultimately it is an indulgent hobby (it does not pay). And to be brutally honest I don't think it does anything or hardly anything for conservation although the benefits to conservation is the argument u

Pets Are Not Animals

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I have stolen the title from Craig McFarlane's site . I think he makes an interesting but very refined point. He also refers to an article from one of those Homes and Gardens type magazines. This one is called, ' Fresh Home Magazine". They had a page which was on the subject of "Decorating Mantras to Live By". That is a big statement for one of these magazines. The author lists five points to live by. One of them is: Every room needs something living, flowers, goldfish, a pet . Fair point. A good point. But, it is the way the point is made that indicates that pets are not animals. You can see what Craig is getting at. It is something I have mentioned before myself. It is unfashionable mind you; very unfashionable with a large section of society but it is true and therefore worth mentioning again. When you write about decorating your home and refer to 'a pet' - any pet (' a ' pet), as part of the decorating process you are on dangerous grou

Doctors are no more that specialist veterinarians

To those of us who love cats and are aware of our cat's needs and behavior I think we knew this all along . What do I mean? I mean that animals suffer from the same or similar psychological and physical health problems that we do. They are more like us than billions of people realize. This is gradually dawning on the human race, rather late in the day, and it may put some resistance into worldwide animal abuse and misuse . The title is a reference to the fact that doctors (General Practitioners let's say) treat the human animal, one species of animal amongst all animals on the planet and are, therefore, specialist vets because vets treat all animals. Vets should be funded better through a state subsidy perhaps. They are paid less than doctors. Although in America they call themselves doctors. Being paid less can create distortions and anomalies such as declawing cats, a highly profitable process for vets . Some never declaw . I would like, as well, to refer to the book,