Aug 30, 2005

Free Opera licenses - 10th year anniversary party

Act fast and you will have Opera registered and ad free. If you don't have it installed yet download Opera 8.02 and after that get your free Opera registration code by simply entering your email address. It seems there is a big party there and everybody is happy for getting a free license.

Opera 10th anniversary

After you enter your email address (you can choose to subscribe to their newsletter too if you are interested) a page will be displayed with your registration codes for different platforms:

opera registration code

It seems that Download.com is sponsoring this giveaway (?):
For one day only, you can get an ad-free version of Opera. Simply click here to get a free registration code. This offer is valid from 12 a.m. Tuesday, August 30 to 12 a.m. Wednesday, August 31 2005 (PDT).


Thank you Opera!

More links:
Opera 10-year online anniversary party
Get your free registration code!
Opera 8.02
Opera Turns 10, Offers Ad Free Browsing

Aug 26, 2005

GoogleTalk - New Instant Messenger tool from Google

It was about time (with all the rumors) for Google to release an instant messenger service - GoogleTalk.
I downloaded, installed and used it and I must say that I like it, mainly because it is very simple and it does what it is supposed to do - allows you to talk with your friends.

GoogleTalk

First of all you can use it only if you already have a Gmail account. This is invitation based so if you don't have one drop me an email to spuby2000@gmail.com (have about 50) and I will send one.
Once you have an account you can download the GoogleTalk setup (under 1Mb - the advantage of not being bloatware) and install it.

Of course you have to accept a license agreement and discover for yourself that once installed GoogleTalk will update automatically (just like the Google Toolbar does) - about the only annoying thing in this agreement (really!?).
11. Automatic Updates. The Google Talk Client may communicate with Google's servers to check for available updates to the software, including bug fixes, patches, enhanced functions, missing plug-ins and new versions (collectively, "Updates"). During this process, the Client sends Google a request for the latest version information. By installing Google Talk, you hereby agree to automatically request and receive Updates from Google's servers.

If you want to use it you must accept it of course:

GoogleTalk Agreement

One thing to appreciate is the fact that they sustain open source, as you can see the installer used is Nullsoft Install System v2.08 (site unavailable at this point).
After installation, you'll have to enter your Gmail username and password and log in:

GoogleTalk Main Window

At the first attempt, I got a "Cannot connect to server" error, so if you are using a proxy go to Settings->Connection and select "Use the following proxy" instead of "Detect proxy automatically" and enter your proxy address - this worked for me.

Just like Yahoo Messenger, once you are connected it will announce you when you receive new emails and display little from its content on a small window:

Google Talk email

You can use the "Add friend" link (at the bottom right corner) to invite your friends - you'll need to enter their Gmail address or send them an invitation to their existing email address (if you have that in your Gmail address book).

One interesting thing, if you right click the tray icon and select "About" there is a grayed row with the text "play 23 21 13 16 21 19 . 7 1 13 5".

About Google Talk

What does this mean? If you will use 1 = a 2 = b 3 = c ... it will translate as "play wumpus.game".
According to Wikipedia, this is an old computer game:
There is a version of Hunt the Wumpus found in Google Talk. Add wumpus.game@gmail.com to your buddy list, allow it to add you to its buddy list, and send it a text message (anything works). Instructions will be offered if you say 'y' when it asks.


To be honest even if I invited that person nothing happened, it still shows "Invited" message - maybe is just another viral marketing thing from big G.

Anyway, after you invite your friends you'll be able to use GoogleTalk and I'm sure that this will become one of the leaders in Instant Messaging. A small description of GoogleTalk from talk.google.com:
They say talk is cheap. Google thinks it should be free. Google Talk enables you to call or send instant messages to your friends for free–anytime, anywhere in the world. Google Talk offers you:

Choice: Get in touch over email, IM or a call

Quality: Talk through your computer but hear your friends as if they were in the same room

Convenience: Your Gmail contacts are pre-loaded into Google Talk so inviting or talking to your friends is just a click away

Google Talk is in beta and requires a Gmail username and password.
Don't have Gmail? Get an account using your mobile phone (US only).

Google talk

[update]
When you send an invitation to a person via GoogleTalk, this is what they get in the email:
I've been using Google Talk and thought you might like to try it out.
We can use it to call each other for free over the internet. Here's an invitation to download Google Talk. Give it a try!
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Claudiu Spulber has invited you to sign up for Google Talk so you can talk to each other for free over your computers.

To go to the Google Talk download page, visit: http://mail.google.com/mail/talk/download

Google Talk is a downloadable Windows application that offers:
- Free calls over your computer anytime, from anywhere, and for as long as you want
- A simple and intuitive user interface for sending instant messages or making calls - no clutter, pop-ups or ads
- Superior voice quality through just a microphone and computer speaker
- A shared Gmail contacts list that updates automatically with the people you communicate with most often

Once you download Google Talk, just sign in with your Gmail username and password. You can then begin inviting anyone you want to talk to for free. Google Talk lets you email your contacts directly using Gmail and you can even receive new Gmail message notifications.

Google Talk works with any computer speaker and microphone, such as the ones built-in to many PC laptops today, as well as with wired and wireless headsets and USB phones. Google Talk also works across all firewalls.

Google Talk is still in beta. Just like with Gmail, we're working hard to add features and make improvements, so we might also ask for your comments and suggestions periodically. We appreciate your help in making it even better!

Thanks,
The Google Talk Team

To learn more about Google Talk before signing up, visit:
http://www.google.com/talk/about.html

(If clicking the URLs in this message does not work, copy and paste
them into the address bar of your browser).

Other links:
Google Talk - official website
GoogleTalk - Terms of Use
Google Talk's very first secrets
Google Talk - Third Party Applications

Aug 20, 2005

Age of Empires III - simply amazing

I'm a big fan of Age of Empires II but seeing the latest screenshots for Age of Empires III I'm left speechless.

Age of Empires III


Age of Empires III shifts the series' focus to the colonial era, when European powers carved out their stakes in the New World. As such, you can play as the Spanish, English, French, Portuguese, Dutch, Prussians, Russians, and even the Ottomans, in the race to conquer the Americas by establishing colonies, monopolizing trade, and crushing the opposition by warfare. (Native American tribes, such as the Cherokee and the Aztecs, can be enlisted as allies during a game, and you can raise Native American armies, but they aren't really a playable faction like the European ones.) The game features five "ages" of history, and they are, in order: discovery, colonial, fortress, industrial, and imperial. This covers a good 200-300 years of world history, and at the beginning of the discovery age, you'll still see remnants of the medieval ages that have yet to die, such as crossbows and pikemen. On the other end of the spectrum, "iron horses" (trains) begin to make their appearance by the imperial age. [read more]


The game will be officially released on the 18th of October, so that's about 2 months away. I admit that this is one of the games I expect more and I'm impressed just by seeing some of the Age of Empires III screenshots:


[this is Moscow]



[incredible level of detail]



[the war zone]


grand canyon?
[is that the start of Grand Canyon?]


[update]
Age of Empires III demo will be released this month, according to Dave Pottinger from Ensemble Studios that announced this on an official Age of Empires III forum.

Other links:
Age of Empires III Hands-On
Official Age of Empires III website
Age of Empires III
IGN - Age of Empires III Preview
3D Gamers - Game screenshots for Age of Empires III

Aug 18, 2005

Google AdWords, it's all about paying more?

Google did some changes in the AdWords program, and since it did that the bidding expenses seem to have increased a lot. First of all, from the 50 keywords I had bids placed for, 49 of them became "Inactive" and the only way to make them active again was to double the bid for them. It's true, those instantly became active so this is an improvement, but I'm sure this change increased the expense for lots of AdWords bidders.

google love

How's "Goodle" explaining the new changes:

"New Keyword States and Quality-Based Minimum Bids
We've simplified our keyword status system and introduced quality-based minimum bids, giving you more control to run on keywords you find important.

Each keyword now has a minimum bid that is based on the quality (also called Quality Score) of your keyword specific to your account. If your keyword or Ad Group's maximum cost-per-click (CPC) meets the minimum bid, your keyword will be active and trigger ads. If it doesn't, your keyword will be inactive and not trigger ads.

Key changes:


  • The keyword statuses normal, in trial, on hold, and disabled have been replaced with active (triggering ads) or inactive (not triggering ads). In addition, accounts are no longer slowed.

  • New keywords are no longer disabled and don't have a minimum clickthrough rate (CTR) threshold. Instead, your keywords trigger ads as long as they have a high enough Quality Score (determined by your keyword's CTR, relevance of ad text, historical keyword performance, and other relevancy factors) and maximum CPC.

  • Ad Rank, or the position of your ad, is based on the maximum CPC and quality (also called the Quality Score).

  • Remember: The higher the Quality Score, the lower the CPC required to trigger ads, and vice versa.

  • You can move an inactive keyword to an active state and show ads by (1) improving its Quality Score through optimization, or (2) increasing its maximum CPC to the minimum bid recommended by the system."



It's not a real pain for me, but for someone that uses thousands of keywords daily for bids this sure hit them hard, because if the bidding expenses increased with at least 100% for some keywords, I'm pretty sure that the conversion rate didn't increase that much. Well let's see how this goes, to me it just seems Google wants to pull out more money from Adwords, not so "subtle" as their intent to sell $4 billion worth of shares.

Other links:
New Google AdWords Bidding System Live For All
The Google AdWords Performance Monitor
Strategies for taking advantage of new AdWords system
HP Says Google AdWords Better Buy Than Yahoo!

Aug 16, 2005

FireFox's first step back

FireFox seems to have lost market share in July in the advantage of Internet Explorer, dropping to "8.07 percent from 8.71 percent in June, while IE grew its market share to 87.20 percent in July from 86.56 percent last month".



Get Firefox!



Entire article:
FireFox lost market share in July to IE
Juan Carlos Perez, IDG News Service

15/08/2005 07:50:18

Microsoft's Internet Explorer halted the steady market share advance of The Mozilla Foundation's FireFox browser in July, a Web site monitoring company announced Friday.

Last month, IE, by far the most used browser, regained lost ground and pushed back the upstart Firefox for the first time since version 1.0 of the open source browser debuted late last year, according to NetApplications.com, a maker of applications for monitoring and measuring Web site usage.

Firefox's share shrunk to 8.07 percent from 8.71 percent in June, while IE grew its market slice to 87.20 percent in July from 86.56 percent last month.

Between January and June of this year, FireFox had posted monthly market share gains of between 0.5 percent and 1 percent at the expense of IE, according to NetApplications.com, which compiles its browser usage data from more than 40,000 Web sites monitored by its HitsLink.com service.

July's results surprised NetApplications.com's Chief Operating Officer, Dan Shapero. While he didn't expect Firefox to gain on IE forever, he did expect that Firefox's market share would slow down before it shrunk, he said.

However, Firefox's advances in the market against IE have been extremely impressive and at this point it's impossible to tell whether July's results are the beginning of downward trend for the open source market or a one-time anomaly, he said.

NetApplications.com has said in the past that reaching a 10 percent market share would be a milestone for FireFox which could help it win acceptance in the corporate market.

Apple Computer's Safari ranked third and grew its share slightly to 2.13 percent from 1.93 percent, while America Online's Netscape, which once ruled this market, slid a bit to 1.50 percent from 1.55 percent. Opera Software's Opera came in fifth with a 0.49 percent market share.


While 0.64 percent doesn't seem to be much, the decrease in its market share is about 7.4% and in only one month that's something. I guess my prediction will become true, once IE7 hits the market FireFox will never pass the 10% market share. In time all the sustainers from the SpreadFireFox community will diminish their promotion and that's how FireFox won't get more than 10%. Why would the community diminish their efforts? Well a couple more news like Mozilla goes corporate will reduce the energy of some members, since they will not see a good reason to spend their time in order to promote FireFox. Just a prediction, we'll see in about a year the actual facts.

Other links:
Get FireFox
Mozilla Firefox - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Firefox lost market share in July to IE
Mozilla Firefox Start Page

Aug 15, 2005

Access your PC anywhere, anytime and FREE of charge

I'm finally happy that I found a very good remote PC access program and best of all is free. It is called MyWebEx PC and it "gives you the ability to access your PC anywhere, anytime for FREE and conveniently access your files, programs and email whether you're at work, at home, on the road or on vacation".

They're also right when they state that they are the "only remote PC access provider to offer a free and secure remote PC work solution", since other solutions (like GoToMyPc for instance) only offer the possibility of a so-called "free trial", that still requires you to enter your credit card information.

MyWebEx PC is free to use for up to five computers and it doesn't require any credit card information for the free account. You can use this link to sign up and after you enter those few details you'll instantly receive an confirmation email. Activating that creates your account and you can log-in online to configure it.

First step is to set it up. A progress window will appear and in a couple of minutes (depending on your connection) the configuration wizard will start:

mywebex configuration

mywebex wizard

I've chosen Custom to see for myself what settings it has and I suggest doing the same:

custom for mywebex

Then you set up a password to be used when you will connect to your computer, you have another Options window (I would suggest leaving those on default, even if the Lock computer after session ends could be unmarked) and the final one where you choose if you give access to your desktop or certain applications only:









Also, be sure to give access to the Internet to MyWebEx processes (if you have a firewall enabled):

mywebex firewall access

Next a tray icon will appear and you'll receive a notification when you're computer is ready to be connected to. When you're traveling and want to access your computer, you just log-in to your web account and click on your computer name and then connect, you'll see a status window and after that when the connection is successful you'll see your desktop:



Why is this different from other similar programs? They answer that:

MediaTone Network - MyWebEx PC operates over the WebEx MediaTone
Technology, a global network designed specifically to deliver secure, reliable, high
quality real-time communications services ensuring that your remote access
experience is just like being there.

Phone Authentication - A unique option that provides extremely high security.
Once you attempt to access your remote computer, the WebEx network calls your
phone number*. You must then enter the correct access code, using your phone's
keypad, to obtain access to the computer.

* USA and Canada Numbers Only

It's easy, and you can access a computer remotely using any type of Internet
connection, including dial-up, cable modem, and local area networks.

It's Free! No Credit Card Required!



They also have a Professional Plan for $9.95/PC/month and you can see the feature comparison table between MyWebEx free edition and Professional.

Other useful links:
MyWebEx PC Intro - MyWebEx PC review - Remote Access - CNET Reviews
LogMeIn - another free alternative
MyWebEx PC - review by PC Magazine (rated as Fair)

[Update]
Well it seems that MyWebEx doesn't offer a free edition anymore. Instead they offer a 14 day trial. That really s****. Anyway, LogMeIn seems to be the replacement for it.
If anyone is interested in the MyWebEx trial, this is what you'll get for 14 days:
"Your Trial Includes*: Unlimited full-featured online meetings for 14 days, Up to 10 people in a meeting, Integrated Audio conferencing at no cost, Support and Training*"

Aug 13, 2005

Internet Explorer 7 gets new icon and logo

IE 7 is getting a new logo and honestly it doesn't look bad even if they could really do better, not that I don't like the orange-blue combination but the transparent yellow lighting does not really belong there (or it could be smoother, meaning starting with a smaller width and smoothly decreasing its width until it touches the orange item. Take a look for yourselves:

IE 7 new logo

This is the declaration from the IE 7 official blog:
Hopefully, by now you’ve seen from our posts that there are a lot of new features and work going into IE 7. As part of this update, we’re refreshing our icon and logotype. We considered more radical departures from our current logo, but blue “e” with the ring is very recognizable and familiar to users, so we elected instead to make more subtle changes.


As you can see, the new “e” has more modern look, and the edges are a bit darker so the icon stands out better against different backgrounds. We liked the gold ring too since it brings in new energy and helps the icon pop a bit more than the old one.

This icon and text treatment will be used on the versions of IE 7 for Windows XPSP2, Server 2003 SP1, and x64 versions. We’ll have a slightly different look for the Windows Vista™ version, one that’s more consistent with the icons there. We’re not quite ready with that one yet, but we’ll share it here once we do.

We’re happy with how this turned out; I hope you like the new look too.

Thanks,
Tony Chor


Anyway, if Internet Explorer 6 has already an 85-90% of the browser market, IE 7 will take back a part of what FireFox gained until now (about 8% if I'm not mistaken), because it will contain a lot of new features, as described on the Microsoft Internet Explorer Weblog.

Other interesting links:
Internet Explorer 7: Now in beta testing for developers
Neowin Reviews IE7 Beta 1
Slashdot | Internet Explorer 7 To Be XP Only

Aug 11, 2005

ASAP Utilities - Over 300 Free Excel Addins

This is truly an amazing collection of addins, and best of all is free. They have developed and included in the same package (ASAP Utilities) over 300 addins for Excel. After I've installed this I must say that I was amazed to see the list they offer. They are wrong when they say that it is "probably one of the world's
most popular FREE add-ins for MS Excel", because this really is the world's most popular utilities package.

ASAP Utilities is probably one of the world's most popular FREE add-ins for MS Excel 97/2000/2002/XP/2003.

ASAP Utilities contains over 300 useful and powerful utilities to fill the gaps in Excel, and automate frequently used tasks.
Guaranteed to save you many hours of time !

A few of ASAP's popular tools:


  • Deselect cells;

  • Apply formula to selected range;

  • Conditional select cells (i.e. cells > 12 or red cells);

  • Copy a worksheet's page and print settings;

  • Vision control, view workbooks, sheets and easily change their settings;

  • Print multiple sheets;

  • Color each n'th row or column;

  • File import and export (txt, csv, dbf, xls, gif, jpg, etc.);

  • Export selection as HTML table (including formats, colors etc.);



Trust me that you won't regret if you download and install ASAP utilities right now.
The installation runs smoothly and here are some things to consider when doing that:

1. First make sure that you close Excel when you start the installation; they warn you too in doing that:

ASAP utilities for excel

2. Next thing would be to leave the box "Make ASAP utilities a default addin in Excel" because it is a recommended setting:

Make ASAP utilities a default addin in Excel

3. After that Excel will be launched with a special ASAP Utilities setup-addin and the macros security warnings message displays, so you have to select Enable macros to start the configuration:

macros security warnings message

4. A small configuration wizard starts, you just have to hit Next to go through it; if ASAP utilities is marked as a default addin it will appear in all your Excel sheet:

ASAP utilities is marked as a default addin

5. That's it, the installation and configuration is finished after you will click the Close button; you can also already see the ASAP Utilities tab appearing in your Excel menu:

ASAP Utilities tab appearing

I will post from time to time descriptions of certain utilities I use, and I hope to finish using them all by the end of this year :). To just make a small idea on how many utilities they have, just take a look at this Favorites tab, the image speaks for itself:

ASAP Utilities Favorites tab

What more can I say, if you have problems installing or using it just visit their website, you'll find much more information in there:

Related links:
You'll wonder how you lived in Excel without it, I swear!
Tweak Excel

Aug 10, 2005

Win a Hummer from a spammer

AOL launched recently a contest where they are giving as prizes a fully loaded Hummer H2 and nearly $100,000 worth of gold bars and cash. Why? Well basically because of the Can-Spam Act.

AOL Spammer's Gold Sweepstakes

This law allows courts to seize any property that a convicted spammer obtained using money made through spamming techniques (that includes any equipment, software, or technology used to spam) and AOL "obtained the goods given as prizes as a result of a settlement earlier this year in the first lawsuit it filed under the Can-Spam Act, in a case involving a then-20-year-old New Hampshire resident", as CNET news states.

So, in order to participate to this contest you have to sign up online. Unfortunately, this is valid only for "legal residents of the 48 contiguous United States and the District of Columbia, 18 years of age and older as of entry (void in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico and where prohibited)" so no chance of winning the contest if you're European for instance :).

More information on the contest:
HOW TO ENTER: The AOL‚ Spammer’s Gold Sweepstakes (the “Sweepstakes”) begins at 12:00:01 a.m. Eastern Time (ET) on August 10, 2005 and ends 11:59:59 p.m. ET on August 19, 2005 (the “Entry Period”). A participant may only enter via the online method described below. There will be one (1) Grand Prize awarded at the end of the Entry Period and one (1) Daily Prize awarded each day throughout the Entry Period. To enter the Sweepstakes, go to AOL Keyword: Spam or Spamfighters or http://aolhummer.onlinepromo.com. Complete and submit the online entry form during the Entry Period to receive an entry in the Grand Prize Random Drawing. Once you have submitted your online entry form, you will be served a Thank You page that will include an AOL security trivia question that you can answer for a chance to win a Daily Prize. Trivia question need not be answered correctly in order to be entered in the Daily Random Drawing. There is a limit of one entry per person/per email address/per day. Entry must be received by 11:59:59 p.m. ET each day in order to be eligible for that daily drawing and must be received by 11:59:59 pm ET on August 19, 2005 in order to be eligible for the Grand Prize random drawing. Information collected from entrant is used only for the purpose of the prize drawing and to notify the winner and will not be re-used, sold or shared in any manner by America Online, Inc., (the “Sponsor”), Marden-Kane, Inc., or any third parties. Once the Sweepstakes has ended, all information supplied by entrants will be removed from the database.


Anyway, they seem to be pretty happy to have won this fought with spammers and it's nice they also thank to the AOL subscribers, which apparently helped them in fighting spam.

Thanks to our members' use of the "Report Spam" button, AOL has an unbroken record of success in dozens of lawsuits against some of the nation's most prolific spammers. Working together with our members, we've forced junk e-mailers to turn over their assets, including cash, gold bars and a 2003 Hummer H2 sport utility vehicle.

To show our appreciation for helping AOL fight spam, we're giving members the opportunity to take back these ill-gotten gains. You can also register for a chance to win $1,000 in daily Spammer Cash prizes by answering an online-security trivia question each day during the sweepstakes. Remember to come back every day until August 19 for another chance to win.


Related links:
AOL Spammer's Gold Sweepstakes Official Rules
Enter the AOL Spammer's Gold Sweepstakes
This spammer's stash could be yours

Aug 9, 2005

Macromedia dumps FreeHand - The Adobe Effect?

Today Macromedia announced Studio 8 and surprise - they didn't include FreeHand in the list and revealed their plans:

[...]Combining the latest releases of award-winning Macromedia Dreamweaver, Macromedia Flash Professional, and Macromedia Fireworks, and key productivity tools Macromedia Contribute and Macromedia FlashPaper, Studio 8 offers a new level of expressiveness, efficiency, and simplified workflow to create websites, interactive media, and mobile content.

Maybe it's not such a surprise if we consider that Adobe announced in April to buy Macromedia for 3.4 billion dollars, since Adobe Illustrator is already a leader in its market - why the trouble of supporting another illustrator software?

They say that:


"The new Studio 8 no longer includes Freehand. FreeHand was replaced by the addition of Contribute and FlashPaper to better fulfill the typical design-develop-maintain workflow needs of our customers. Note that owners of FreeHand can upgrade to Studio 8 and continue to use their existing FreeHand license."

According to CNET, a Macromedia representative said that "Macromedia does not disclose future product road map information". No matter what they officially say, I'm sure this is because of the fact that they'll be bought by Adobe and I'm also sure that FreeHand will die slowly. While I'm not a big fan of FreeHand, I'm one of FireWorks and DreamWeaver, and I would mind if the development for these would stop - let's hope they won't do that to FireWorks.

Aug 4, 2005

GoogleTestAd

What is GoogleTestAd? Well it is a word that appears to rank very well in keyword database sites (like WordTracker) and if there would be a "Strangest Non-Words" section in Google ZeitGeist list I wouldn't be surprised if GoogleTestAd would appear first.

From some rumors it is supposed to be this magical software that you can use to gain an instant ranking but I don't think we'll ever see something like this. You would better start doing some serious SEO (Search Engine Optimization) yourself and not hoping to find this holy grail.

So why the fuss for this? Because there are under 50,000 results on Google for GoogleTestAd thus being a very competitive keyword (the ratio between the number of searches and the number of sites that use it is very high). Unfortunately most of the results returned are link farms and crappy search engines (that search only through porn sites for a certain word).

I'm not sure if someone from the Google Labs "threw" GoogleTestAd in the game (maybe they were testing the Google AdWords program) but the certain thing is that in some days Wordtracker shows over 1000 searches for it, which is really something.

GoogleTestAd

[Update]
Wikipedia added a more accurate description for the GoogleTestAd phenomena (thanks Bjorn):
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Googletestad appears to stand for Google's Test Ad which is used for live testing of their AdWords and AdSense pay-per-click (PPC) advertising system.

At the moment there are no define: googletestad definitions in Google's database for this keyword.

The Google Test Ad
The following paid advertisement appears for a Google search on googletestad:

Popularity of googletestad as a Search Term
In June 2005, googletestad began appearing increasingly in the top search terms for search engines such as Overture_Services,_Inc.. and WordTracker.

In July 2005 this keyword was consistently in the top 30 searches as measured by WordTracker, and received over 100,000 searches according to Overture_Services,_Inc. thus:

72,161 searches - google googletestad monitor query
39,436 searches - googletestad
96 searches - foo google googletestad monitor query
The WordTracker Keywords Report dated August 9, 2005 (top 10 queries from the last 48 hours) reported:

1 jessica simpson (3377)
2 jessica alba (3314)
3 music lyrics (2679)
4 daniela hantuchova (1955)
5 paris hilton (1469)
6 playstation 2 cheats (1243)
7 xbox cheats (1231)
8 jokes (1069)
9 googletestad (1048)
10 google (1013)
Regarding the keyword's trend, back issues of that service's Top 200 long-term keyword report (for the last 110 days) showed gaining popularity:

(date - rank, and count)

August 9, 2005 - 55 (35,032)
August 2, 2005 - 64 (32,737)
July 26, 2005 - 94 (28,793)
July 19, 2005 - 105 (24,878)
As of August 13th 2005, there were 12,800 hits found for googletestad in Google's search engine.

Aug 3, 2005

DOOM is waiting ... until October

Seems like a DOOM movie will hit the big screens soon. Inspired from the successful game (currently at version 3 if I'm not mistaken) this is a story of a "Special Operations" team that goes on a science lab on Mars where they find that mutant creatures are invading the lab and killing everybody, so as normal they start hunting down the creatures. Lots of special effects involved and hopefully this will not disappoint the game fans.

Regarding the actors, well it's not a surprise that The Rock has the main role in this movie:
The film stars WWE wrestling star-turned-actor Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as Sarge, and there are a handful of other actors you may recognise from recent films. New Zealander Karl Urban (The Bourne Supremacy, Chronicles of Riddick, Lord of the Rings) plays the lead character of John Grimm, Bond-totty Rosamund Pike plays "Samantha", and North London's own Dexter Fletcher (Lock Stock, Band of Brother, Deadwood, Layer Cake) will play "Pinky".

The film will be Andrzej Bartkowiak's fourth as director, having previously directed Jet Li in Romeo Must Die and Cradle 2 the Grave, and Steven Seagal in Exit Wounds. If that doesn't sound like much of a resume, Bartkowiak's record as a Cinematographer has somewhat greater credibility. Thirty two films, from Terms of Endearment in 1983, the Michael Douglas classic Falling Down, and a string of Nineties action flicks: Speed, Species, US Marshals and Lethal Weapon 4. [read more]



the rock in doom

So how do the creatures look like? I got the latest trailer from IGN.com and I managed to see a little bit of a monster:

monster in DOOM

monster in DOM

Even if the trailer is a little bit over one minute, they still managed to include a small "joke" right at the end that I'll try reproducing below:

[flashlight reveals a creature looking at John]

creature looking at john

John Grimm: Sir, you okay?
[creature opens several other eyes and attacks]


several eyes

Anyway, it looks interesting. It will be released on the 21st of October (still a couple of months left) and I'm sure fans are eager to see the results.

Other links:
>DOOM (2005)
>Doom Movie Comic-Con Panel Report
>DOOM - interviews and details at IGN.com