Redditor outs astroturfer with 20 accounts

Published: March 31, 2011

“A pro linkspammer (“social networking specialist”) … was running up to 20 Reddit identities at once and using them to game the outcomes.”

New technologies solve old problems, while introducing new problems:

A Reddit user noticed an odd pattern of upvotes for stories related to G4 TechTV and various other game-related companies. After a little investigation, the firms in question came clean (or at least, accounts seeming to belong to them came clean), and admitted that they had a relationship with a pro linkspammer (“social networking specialist”) who was running up to 20 Reddit identities at once and using them to game the outcomes. The linkspammer (or at least, an account seeming to belong to the linkspammer) has admitted it ….

The comment threads in question are a fascinating glimpse into the corrosive effect of astroturfing on social relationships — a kind of social media reenactment of The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street — as Redditors rage against the house of mirrors and wonder who among them are simply sock-puppets for the wrongdoers.

… Meanwhile, the spammer’s account of his own actions is so far in denial, so wounded and broken, you get a picture of some kind of savant psychopath festering in his begrimed underwear in a basement somewhere, plaintively mourning the loss of his make-believe “friends” who always showed up to agree with everything he said.

Cory Doctorow @ Boing Boing


The browser war continues

Published: March 29, 2011

Those who forget the lessons of history are doomed to reload their browsers …

Internet explorer is a bit like Ghenkis Khan and the Mongol Empire. Perhaps not the most obvious comparison, but give me a chance. So, Internet Explorer was launched in 1995 and by 2003 had a market share of close to 95%. Between the year 1206 and 1280 the Mongol Empire grew to stretch from Korea to Moscow.

The rapid expansion of the Mongol Empire is much like Internet Explorers rapid growth in popularity. The development of Internet Explorer was also fairly rapid and progressive. The Mongols were also progressive and introduced new technology and new thinking into a medieval Eurasia.

However like all Empires, over time cracks begin to appear. For the Mongols, their days of power were numbered and to make matters worse the epic trade routes that were built up now helped spread the Black Death which decimated both Mongol and other populations.

Greg Jacobs

Mobile Web Design Strategy

Published: March 25, 2011
  • Define your need for a mobile site
  • Consider the business objective
  • Study the past
  • Practice responsive web design
  • Simplicity is golden, but …
  • Single-column layout best
  • Vertical hierarchy, think collapsible
  • From “clickable” to “tappable”
  • Provide interaction feedback
  • Test your mobile web site

10 Key Considerations for Your Mobile Web Design Strategy

Fundamentals & Best Practices of Logo Design

Published: March 24, 2011

From a series of articles on logo design:

We’ve consulted a panel of web design and logo experts about the basics and not-so-basics of creating a great logo for new and not-so-new web-based companies. In this three-part series, we’ll share their insights on trends, hiring designers, typography and more.

What is a logo?

A logo is a graphic mark or emblem commonly used by commercial enterprises, organizations and even individuals to aid and promote instant public recognition.

Logo @ Wikipedia

Deliver Email using PHP

Published: March 22, 2011

“This article describes the different ways to send e-mail in PHP and comments which one would be fastest depending on your circumstances.”
— Manuel Lemos

1. PHP mail() function
2. SMTP server relay
3. Sending urgent messages by doing direct delivery to the destination SMTP server
4. Sendmail program
5. Qmail, Postfix, Exim, etc..
6. Microsoft Exchange pickup folder
7. Putting all recipients in Bcc headers
8. External Web services
9. Caching message bodies

jQuery Mobile Alpha 3 Released


The jQuery team reports:

We’re pleased to announce the third alpha release of the jQuery Mobile project. This release includes a number of bug fixes and enhancements to the original jQuery Mobile Alpha 1 and jQuery Mobile Alpha 2 releases.

jQuery Mobile Alpha 3 Released

Via Ajaxian

Mobile commerce: 25 essential tips

Published: March 17, 2011

Tips for tapping the mobile market:

  • Start with a mobile site
  • If you do opt for an app, provide the wow factor
  • Redirect mobile searchers to the mobile version of your site

See Econsultancy for all twenty-five items and more details

Internet Explorer 9 Released

Published: March 15, 2011

From a recent post at Slashdot:

Yesterday Microsoft released IE9 and since then we’ve been getting tons of submissions about it: It’s hard to tell if it is a threat to web development or the fastest thing on the web or even a waste of time. You’ll just have to decide for yourself … if you are one of the 9% of Slashdot readers who actually uses IE.

IE 9 Released, Media Has Opinions @ Slashdot

From the comments:

I’m glad we’re at least finally able to have a discussion about IE’s competitive performance versus other browsers, instead of the number of rendering bugs, workarounds, and hacks required to support it. I don’t exactly pay a lot of attention to the latest browser benchmark news with regard to cheating, but it’s clear that the IE team has made enormous improvements. Look at the relative performance of IE8 versus the field, and IE9 versus the field. They’ve gone from orders of magnitude behind to being one third of the front-of-the-pack regarding performance. I never thought I’d see a performance battle between IE, Opera, and Chrome for the top spot, but here we are. Firefox will catch up I’m sure, but I’m still extremely impressed with the ground that the IE team has made up.

Slashdot comment

Create a Comic Book Themed Web Design


Here’s an excellent tutorial on Photoshop techniques — includes sample code, plenty of screenshots, and detailed step-by-step instructions:

In Part 1 we will create a very original design for all the comicbook fans out there. We will create this blog layout from scratch using several tricks in Photoshop to make it look awesome. Then in Part 2 we will learn how to slice it, code it, and get it ready to be converted into a blog CMS theme.

Alvaro Guzman @ Webdesigntuts+

Note that Part 2 is not yet published.

Diagramming for web development


Sound advice on diagramming, wireframing, prototyping, and related techniques: