Reading List for the Weekend [20th October 2013]

While the festive season of Diwali gets nearer, gadget companies are making a scramble to catch the attention span of busy shoppers. Google has Android stores opened in India, Apple will be unveiling a new iPad (worldwide) in a couple of days. The festive season got be thinking and searching about new gadgets expected and e-commerce retailers in general. So those thoughts have influenced my curated list of 4 articles you might enjoy reading over the weekend.

  1. Nexus 7 2013 – In-depth Review – While Nexus 7 (2013 version) is not available in India as yet, it probably should be released here soon. I am interested in this one and hence looked for the most indepth review of it online. AnandTech does a good job and also suggests that Google is moving from just innovative pricing to innovative excellence, a line often used to describe the products and service associated with Google.
  2. TED Talks is Lying to You – Though this article on Salon is not exactly critical of TED Talks but is critical of the familiar marketing and packaging of books, talks and conferences which not just sell the idea of “creativity” but also try to sell us tips and seemingly profound discussions on “how to become creative”. The whole point of the article being there seems more literature on understanding creativity than actual literature that is creative.
  3. Fasten Your Seatbelts: Google’s Driverless Car is Worth Trillions – Staying with the whole theme of Google being innovative, I looked up a good article that took a overall view of one of its most innovative experiments called driverless cars. This Forbes articles, reels of potential stats and theories on how millions of lives will be saved, better usage of land will be done, billions of dollars saved in accidents, insurance claims and fuel costs and billions of hours collectively saved on commuting if driverless cars became reality.
  4. I want it today! – While the Indian e-commerce retailer Flipkart faces interesting times ahead with Amazon India becoming its competitor, it is interesting to see how innovative Amazon is as a e-commerce retailer. They have a service that makes delivery on the same day in certain US cities. Amazon is buying companies that make picking robots to become more efficient with their deliveries.

Hope you enjoy reading these posts and drop in your comments any in-depth articles you want to read next week.

Reading List for the Weekend [06 October 2013]

This weekend we are kicking off a new feature called “Reading List”. Our staff often come across a lot of great articles online which we share across various our own social media profiles. I thought why not share links to these articles with our readers on a weekly basis. These are not small snippets of news but are long analytic posts which need to be read at leisure, hence sharing these on a Sunday.

  1. And then Steve said “Let there be an iPhone – on Steve Jobs death anniversary, this New York Times article gives us a behind the scenes look at Steve Jobs’ involvement with the iPhone leading upto it’s announcement. This is done through the experiences of a senior Apple engineer..
  2. They’re (Almost) All Dirty: The State of Cheating in Android Benchmarks – this article on AnandTech takes a in-depth look at Android phone benchmarks, where apparently cheating on benchmarks is rampant. Only Motorola seems to get a clean chit in this article.
  3. How Google Taught Itself Good Design – While Google has improved the design UI of its services across web and mobile apps is not really news. But this article takes a long detailed look at how Google went from a company that ignored design to a company that now puts design as a priority.
  4. IBM’s SAGE 1956 – At the height of the cold war between the US and the then USSR, the primary obsession for the US government was to scan the skies for Soviet bombers. This article takes us on a history tour of how the IBM SAGE came into existence.
  5. Awesome Virtual Reality of GTA V  (Timelapse Video) – This is not really a article but is a timelapse video. It is beautiful but the unique part of it is that the world it captures is entirely virtual. This timelapse video uses scenery from the best selling video game GTA V. It surely shows us how far virtual reality games have come.

Would you like this recommended list to be a regular feature? Do drop in your comments.

Naweed Chougle contributed to this post. If you want to suggest articles in next week’s reading list, send you recoomendations to aditya.kane@rtcamp.com

Our Journey with AdSense Ends!

Update: July 3, 2013

Our reader Rajat informed that the ban was lifted. AdSense team also confirmed the same with following reply:

Adserving has been enabled for your site. Please allow up to 48 hours for ads to start showing again. The site was taken down because the Policy team was undertaking an exercise to try & prevent old blacklisted sites from re-entering the network via new pubs who take over the sites.

Not sure, how to decrypt their message? Can you decrypt it?


This is first time I am writing a post this year (2013) on Devils’ Workshop. And I have some bad news!

It looks like our domain devilsworkshop.org is banned by Google AdSense. We did not get any email or any confirmation from Google AdSense as yet. But AdSense dashboard is showing zero earning for me and few guest bloggers since yesterday (June 25).

I thought it is better that I tell you about this myself, no matter how bad it may sound.

Banned (or not banned)

I talked with few blogger friends, and they are all very sure that Google AdSense team sends email when they ban domains/accounts.

Since we did not hear from Google AdSense about this we are clueless. We did not get any email or any warnings in our AdSense account about this. But I used Amit Agarwal’s AdSense Sanbox tool and also another tool bannedcheck.com. Both tools say AdSense ban is there!

So for now, we are assuming DW is banned!

What we don’t know is – if this ban is temporary or permanent.

How it might have happened?

It looks like a guest blogger on DW abused AdSense terms. May be he/she clicked on own ads on own article displayed on devilsworkshop.org.

It might be possible that Google AdSense contacted him/her about incident but the person did not reply hence AdSense team might have banned entire domain.

Google AdSense Fault

I believe before banning a domain, Google AdSense should contact domain owner. A single domain can have ads from multiple accounts. Its wrong thing to punish everybody for mistake of one miscreant.

I already wrote to Google AdSense but its highly unlikely that they will reply to a relatively small site like DW!

Possible Workaround

While working at rtCamp, I have encountered many cases, where blog owners changed their domain name because old one was blocked by AdSense. So a certain workaround is to change domain name for this site.

But this solution is not acceptable to us. Changing domain is a kind of decision which must come from inside and backed by some sane reasoning. This domain is part of our identity. We cannot change it for few bucks!

Also, what if Google AdSense bans new domain as well? We refuse to let Google detect how we run our affairs.

So we have decided to live with the ban rather than changing our domain just for the sake of Google AdSense.

How will this affect us?

This is the first question Aditya asked me. Well answer is bit long so let me divide it in sections.

About financial loss

As you may be aware, DW is run by rtCamp. In terms of revenue, DW’s contribution to rtCamp’s revenue is around 1%. So financially, rtCamp can afford to run DW without AdSense or even without ads.

In fact, sometime back we even thought about going ad-free. That is why we removed BuySellAds, Technorati, Kontera, etc. But AdSense stuck here as it was used by many guest bloggers under revenue-sharing program.

So financially it will not affect DW or its team – editors and pay-per-post authors. It might affect guest bloggers though.

About Revenue-Sharing Program

Back in 2008, when guest authors started contributing to DW regularly, we started “Your Posts. Your AdSense Ads.” program. In that program, guest bloggers were given opportunity to run their Google AdSense ads on their blog posts published on DW.

Before starting it, I discussed about risk-involved with Amit Agarwal through his forum, other users at AdSense forum and bloggers friends about possible risk. Getting banned was the number one risk we were considering back then.

As Google AdSense is no more here, “Your Posts. Your AdSense Ads.” program closes automatically. Of course, if Google AdSense rectifies their mistake, then our revenue-sharing program will be back.

To Old Guest Bloggers

First, I want to thank you for all contributions you have made to DW in last 6-years. Its a long time fellas! :-)

Next, I personally apologise to everyone whose AdSense ads were running on DW. It is beyond my control to reach AdSense team and get this issue rectified.

As your AdSense ads were showing directly on DW, I have no idea about how much monetary loss this will result on your side.

But, in case you have a feeling that DW let you down, we have thought about few ways to compensate your loss as listed below. Feel free to suggest your ideas using comment form below. I did not get enough time to think about this aspect in details.

Moving your posts to your blog

If you wish to move your articles to your own blog or any other blog of your choice, please let us know.

  1. We will generate WXR file of your posts & comments which you can import on other blog.
  2. After that, just send us list of old-DW URL’s and URL’s on new site.
  3. We will setup 301 redirection on our server. We will maintain these re-directions till DW exists.

One-time Compensation

If you are tracking AdSense revenue from DW Channel, then you already have idea how much you are earning from DW. If you do not have your own blog or do not want to go with above option, then we can compensate you in the form of rtCamp store coupons.

We are planning to offer $10 credit for every published post.

rtCamp Store is small as of now but within 6 months you will see nice premium WordPress themes & plugins. Good thing about coupons we will provide is:

  1. They will have NO expiry date.
  2. You can share them with anyone. In fact resell them at lower price to convert them for real bucks!
  3. You can use a coupon till its balance/credit lasts across multiple purchases.
  4. If your coupon value is high, you can request multiple coupons of smaller values.

Sticking Around…

I don’t know about copyright laws much, but whatever you have contributed should be owned by you. So your posts on DW will be yours.

There is no rush to make a choice. You can decide any-time.

Those who like to stick to DW, without AdSense, are more than welcome to do so. :-)

To AdSense

Its a bitter feeling to be honest. The part where you did not care to inform domain owner.

But I thank you for allowing us to run AdSense revenue-sharing program for almost 6 years. Had we got banned back in 2008, my life could have been made a lot more difficult.

So dear AdSense, I will always remember your critical role in shaping my life. Thank you for that! No hard feelings here.

Keeping in touch with Devils’ Workshop

Since Google has announced the closure of Google Reader, there has been a countdown to the the 1st July date. With 5 days to go, you can look up some of the alternatives to Google Reader we have reviewed here.

If you are this post on Google Reader, you can then subscribe to our RSS Feeds on published on Devils’ Workshop. You can directly subscribe using Feedly, Newsblur and The Old Reader.

There are some other alternatives like AOL Reader (review) but at the moment they are still heavily in beta and web only versions are available. You can still use our RSS Feed link to subscribe on any Feed Reader of your choice.

Check our Facebook, Twitter and Google+ updates if you want to stay in touch using social media platforms.

You can also subscribe to our email newsletter.

Link: Devils’ Workshop – Subscribe

Announcement: BloggertoWp.org has moved to rtCamp.com

As some of you might already know that the parent company of our blog Devils’ Workshop is rtCamp. The birth of the idea behind rtCamp can be traced back more or less to the time when DW migrated from being a Blogger.com to self-hosted WordPress blog. One of the first services we started offering was helping people migrate their blogs from Blogger to WordPress.

Back in 2010, we created a dedicated portal BloggerToWp.org for helping out bloggers in a streamlined manner. But as our company grew bigger, we ended up creating more portals dedicated for several new services and products. It became difficult to maintain so many portals and thus we launched a new project to merge all the different portals into a single website.

Today, we have merged BloggerToWp.org into our corporate website rtCamp.com/blogger-to-wordpress/.

Additional Resources:

Enjoy WordPress!

[Editorial] Aditya Kane Completes 3 Years with DW

Dear DW readers,

It seems like ages that I have posted an editorial here!

Aditya Kane completes 3 years!

Well, I feel ashamed to share this good news little late!

Aditya Kane, our Editor-in-Chief has completed 3 years with Devils Workshop 3 days back (on August 26)

Thanks Aditya for safeguarding DW against all spammers and greedy evils. I don’t care what Google Analytics, Alexa or AdSense stats tell about your performance.

Pride cannot be measured by any tool and I am proud to have you as Editor-in-Chief at DW… :-)

My Status Update!

From last few weeks, I am finding some time to purse my oldest hobby i.e. writing here on Devils Workshop. I posted few articles recently mostly on Ubuntu and server-administration stuff. Well these things are what I am doing these days mainly. I always find it hard to write about things that I am not involved in. So in future you may not read about windows, facebook, social-media, wordpress-coding from me.

I am heading a wordpress company but on daily basis I am not coding anything on WordPress since long. So no wordpress-coding articles from me! I spend my free time with Ubuntu, Nginx and sever administration stuff. Also, I am learning Ruby (and Rails). So my articles will be mostly related to this…

Things that are changing…

As I am finding some time to spend here on DW, we restored our support forum back. Feel free to use it – http://devilsworkshop.org/support/. I will try to personally answer any query related to my knowledge domain within 24-hours (except weekends!) I am married now, so weekends are sometimes reserved… ;-)

To reduce load on Aditya’s shoulders, our Editor-in-Chief, we have changed our contact page with new guidelines. Updated contact page is here – http://www.devilsworkshop.org/contact

We already removed most ads except Google AdSense. In our continued attempt to enhance reading experience on DW, we may remove few more stuff (ads, widgets, etc) in coming days.

Buy Domains and Hosting From Us Using Netbanking in India

Over the past couple of years we have been providing domain registration and hosting services to clients around the world. We launched a new portal (ILoveThisDomain.in) for our Indian customers along with our corporate blog for ILoveThisDomain.com (Read this to get more information).

Portal for Indian customers:

On multiple requests of Indian customers we have integrated an Indian payment gateway for more and better payment options. Now customers can buy domain and hosting by using their credit/debit card, cash cards and netbanking. :-)

We have a new year offer still running, you can avail this offer before it expires. (Read this to know more)

EBS Associate Partners:

Now we are the ‘Associate partners’ of EBS and we will also offer the EBS Payment gateway integration to clients. Additionally we would also offer technical consultancy or complete EBS-WordPress integration services. Interested companies can contact here.

Link: I Love This Domain (India)

 

Devils’ Workshop Is Now On Alltop

If you follow a lot of blogs, there is a good change you have come across Alltop. Alltop is a blog feed aggregator created by Guy Kawasaki. It has all the top blogs and website featuring in different varied categories like Tech, News, People, Health, Culture and more.

We had submitted our blog to Alltop.com under the Tech category quite some time ago. Last week we got confirmation that our Alltop submission was accepted. :-)

Dw_Alltop

If you visit tech.alltop.com and see the last blog featured or right-hand corner at the end of the page. It is our very own Devils’ Workshop.

If you have an account at my.alltop.com, then surely add our feed from Alltop’s Tech category.

In case you are not on Alltop, you can still follow our feeds on our Twitter and Facebook profiles.

Do drop in your comments.

Link: Alltop – Top Tech News

10 Most Popular Posts This Week! [05 – 11 Dec 2011]

This week was interesting for internet users in India. India’s telecom Minister came under immense criticism because he asked companies like Google and Facebook to remove and monitor content on social networks. This amounted to internet censorship and there was a lot of criticism against such ideas. Google+ circles also made into Gmail and Facebook has finally started rolling out Timelines on user profiles. Posts on these topics were the most popular. :-)

Top_10_DW_Dec_11_Graph

10 Most Popular Post This Week!

  1. Congress website hacked, Official content replaced by pornographic message
  2. Facebook to Release Subscribe Button for Websites
  3. Google+ Circles Gets Integrated into Gmail!
  4. Show only ‘Subscribe’ button on your Facebook profile [How-to]
  5. Download your Facebook Albums in ZIP file
  6. Indian Government Flip-flops on Internet Censorship!
  7. How to move photos from one album to another on Facebook
  8. Facebook’s top ten Global and Indian topics of 2011
  9. How to deal with useless/repetitive updates in Facebook News Feed
  10. Facebook Timelines Starts Rollout in New Zealand

Which post was your favourite of this week? Do drop in your comments and let me know.