Get your website on https and get ranked higher on Google

In a recent blog, Google has announced that TLS, SSL enabled websites(https://) will be getting added advantages in SEO ranking. In order to make the Internet more safe and secure, Google has started using HTTPS as a ranking signal, that means if you site is HTTPS enabled you will get ranked higher. However they have also cleared that this ranking signal weighs less than signals like high-quality content etc.HTTPS as Google's ranking signal

Even though, some may think it as hypocritical of Google who has products which doesn’t follow HTTPS( like the BlogSpot), but Google has made this a part of SEO and may increase the weight of this ranking signal in near future. The whole purpose of this initiative is to keep everyone safe on the web. Website owners !! its time to switch from http to https. Encryption is going to be the key to SEO !! So, Get your website on https and get ranked higher on Google.

For more details visit the official Google Webmaster Central blog: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.in/2014/08/https-as-ranking-signal.html

How to block the USSD notification/balance update messages on Android smart-phones ? [Solved]

Problem description:
In India, whatever internet plans you take for your smartphones, be it 3G, 2G Internet, GPRS etc. it always keeps randomly disconnecting. Sometimes it reconnects automatically, sometimes it takes a while. So, during this process we keep getting a remaining balance message or notification for the data usage which is nothing but a USSD.

What is USSD ?
USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) is a Global System for Mobile(GSM) communication technology that is used to send text between a mobile phone and an application program in the network. USSD is similar to Short Messaging Service (SMS), but,unlike SMS, USSD transactions occur during the session only. USSD is commonly used by prepaid GSM cellular phones to query the available balance.

These USSD messages for remaining balance and used balance are such that: these will asks the user to press the “OK” button and unless you press that, it stays like that on the screen and prevents you from performing any other task on the phone. It creates an overlay kind of screen which doesn’t allow the user to touch anything else unless you click ok button for each popup. Each time you send a sms, each time your internet gets disconnected etc. a notification popup will be displayed to be read by the user. These are so much in numbers that some one gets irritated.

There are times when you keep your smart-phone unused for more than one hour, and when you get a call, you have to press the “Ok” button 20-25 times on these popups to receive the call. Its really annoying !! Now, how to block those type of messages ? These frequent balance updates, data usage status are of no use/very less use.

Solution:
There is a nice app called Quiet Balance. Named as Balance Update / USSD blocker on Google Play. This app specializes in blocking USSD messages.

  • It provides ways you can block only specific type of messages. It has three types of matching methods for blocking USSD messages.
    1. Substring match: You may choose to block messages that contain a specific text.
    2. Keyword list: a list of keywords (comma separated keyword list)
    3. Regular expression: for advanced users by writing regular expression.
    When these conditions are matched, it triggers a block of that ussd message.
  • You can also choose to show the balance update message once per day (or week/month). This will cause the first balance update message to show up, and all other messages will be blocked for the rest of the day.
  • Last 25 messages are saved in the message log, along with indication if the message was blocked or allowed.

Go get the app and install on your Android phone and make it Smart 🙂 🙂
Get it on Google Play

 

 

Slide to see all the screen shots of the App:

Matt Mullenweg (the founder of WordPress) becomes the new CEO of Automattic

autmattic

Matt Mullenweg (the founder of  WordPress) becomes the new CEO of Automattic. 

Toni Schneider, a senior executive spearheading Yahoo’s Developer Network was on this position as CEO of Automattic (a company started by Matt Mullenweg of WordPressfor last eight years. 

After eight years, I’ve decided to hang up my CEO hat and ask Matt to take over the job.
— Toni

Find out more details here regarding the news “A new CEO for Automattic” : http://toni.org/2014/01/13/a-new-ceo-for-automattic/

 

Integrate PHP CodeSniffer with NetBeans IDE [Steps]

CodeSniffer, an essential development tool that ensures your code remains clean and consistent, should always be with you while writing code to check and fix the messy things. For those people who use NetBeans IDE to write PHP applications, here are the steps to integrate PHP CodeSniffer with NetBeans IDE.

Steps:
  • Open NetBeans IDE. ( Let me tell you, I am using NetBeans IDE 7.3 for this demo )
  • Install the NetBeans plugin ‘phpCS-MD’ by going to Tools -> Plugins screen.
    Click on the “Available Plugins” tab and search for ‘phpCS’ in the search box provided on top-right corner. Click and check the plugin and click on the “Install” button.
  • Once installed, lets configure it.
    Go to “Tools” -> “Options”.
  • Click on the tab “CodeSniffer”.
    Here you have to provide the path to phpcs.bat file present under your PHP installation directory. Do this by clicking the “Change” button there.
  • Click on the “Test Settings” button and if it shows the PHP CodeSniffer version details, then its configured successfully.

Now, click OK and go back to your code for checking against a particular coding standard. If you want to set a different coding standard definition, then setup that standard before hand on CodeSniffer. How to do that ? Follow my previous post to know how to install CodeSniffer and various Coding Standard definitions. Go to the CodeSniffer setting tab on NetBeans and set the Coding Standard definition name there in the input box named “Standard”.

On the code screen, you can see a new button with a single Blue Eye on the tool bar. This is to check any file for code issues. Click on that and you can see a new section comes below your code named “PHP CS/MD” and displays all the problems in the code row-wise. Now fix the messy code. Happy Coding 🙂

Here are the step by step screen shots to make it easier to follow.
subharanjan_codesniffer_neatbeans_1

subharanjan_codesniffer_neatbeans_2

subharanjan_codesniffer_neatbeans_3

subharanjan_codesniffer_neatbeans_4

subharanjan_codesniffer_neatbeans_5

How to reduce 404 errors created by ++liker.profile_URL++

Are you getting lots of 404 errors in the log because of some urls having patterns like ” ++liker.profile_URL++ ” ? How to reduce 404 errors created by ++liker.profile_URL++ ? Here is the solution to stop those 404 errors and convert those urls to result in 301 permanent redirects to your homepage.

Problem:
Some days back, when I saw the log created by Better WP Security plugin installed on my blog, there were a lot of 404 errors because of some weird URLs something like this:

  1. subharanjan.com/subharanjan.com/subharanjan.com/remove-or-override-functions-attached-to-a-specified-filter-hook/++liker.profile_URL++
  2. subharanjan.com/++liker.profile_URL++

I tried to find out about this and seems like this is a link dropping spambot. I am not sure what exactly it does but here is a solution to stop this.

Solution:

  • Open you .htaccess file.
  • Add these lines below into your .htaccess file which can be found at the root of your WordPress installation.
    Add these lines before the lines( url rewrites ) added by WordPress for permalink support. It should look like this:
  • Save the .htaccess file and check by accessing one of the urls having ++liker.profile_URL++ and see if it results in a 404 Page not found error OR simply redirects to your home page.

Explanation of the above htaccess code snippet:
RewriteCond will be looking for the pattern “++liker.profile_URL++” in the requested urls. Once it finds that piece of text in the requested url, it will redirect the request to home page in place of creating a 404 error as mentioned in the RewriteRule section.

RewriteRule defines a particular rule.
The first string of characters after RewriteRule defines what the original URL looks like.
The second string after RewriteRule defines the new URL. This is in relation to the document root (html) directory. / means the html directory itself, and subfolders can also be specified.

  • ^ begins the line to match.
  • . stands for “any non-whitespace character”
  • * means that the previous character can be matched zero or more times.
    So, ^uploads.*$ matches uploads2009, uploads2010, etc.
    ^.*$ means “match anything and everything.” This is useful if you don’t know what your users might type for the URL.
  • () designates which portion to preserve for use again in the $1 variable in the second string. This is useful for handling requests for particular files that should be the same in the old and new versions of the URL.
  • [NC] matches both upper- and lower-case versions of the URL.
  • [R=301,L] – this performs a 301 redirect and also stops any later rewrite rules from affecting this URL. It’s on the same line as RewriteRule, at the end.

Source: https://kb.mediatemple.net/questions/85/Using+.htaccess+rewrite+rules#gs

How to delete chat history of a particular user/contact in Skype [Solved]

Skype, one of the most used VOIP client software for communication inside organizations. One problem with this software is that: by default you can’t remove chat history for a specific contact. To delete chat history of a particular user/contact in your Skype, you have to use a DB browser software( sqlitebrowser ) to read the local DB files and make the changes. Follow the steps below to remove any history for a specific user from your system.

Note:
This removes the history form your local system; not from the other side of the Skype contact. So, he/she can see those from his/her computer.

Caution:
Take backup of main.db file before implementing anything from these steps.

Steps:

  • Download the DB Browser( SQLite Browser ). Its free and open source.
    You can get it from here: http://sourceforge.net/projects/sqlitebrowser/
  • Signout and Quit your Skype.
  • Go to the directory below and take a backup of the file main.db file. Just copy the directory itself or the file and keep it somewhere else for safety.

    Replace ‘skype_username’ with your skype user name in the above path.
  • Extract and run the sqlitebrowser software and open the Skype DB file(main.db) located here:
    C:Users’windows_username’AppDataRoamingSkype’skype_username’main.db
    Replace ‘skype_username’ with your skype user name in the above path.
  • — Click on the browse data tab. Here you can have all the tables that are being used to store history data in Skype.
    — Search the records by the particular user and delete those records. Mainly the chat related records reside inside ‘Chats’, ‘Messages. table.
    — Go to Browse data tab -> select table Messages -> click on find icon ->
    select author -> contains -> skype profile name of user you are searching for ->
    click on one of the last results in the list and you will see the row.
    — Select the records and click on ‘Delete Record’ button.
  • At last don’t forget to click on the save changes icon.

Open Skype and see the changes… Enjoy 🙂

sqlitebrowser[ Download sqlitebrowser: http://sourceforge.net/projects/sqlitebrowser/ ]

main_db_path

Update: There is one free & open source software available for achieving all of the above manual trick. Skyperious: Skyperious is a Skype database viewer and merger, written in Python. You can open local Skype SQLite databases and look at their contents:

  • search across all messages and contacts
  • browse chat history and export as HTML, see chat statistics
  • import contacts from a CSV file to your Skype contacts
  • view any database table and and export their data
  • change, add or delete data in any table
  • execute direct SQL queries

Samsung Series 5 Going Strong-Technology News

Samsung Series 5 (NP540uC – AO1IN) won’t feel very impressive if you consider its size. However, size matter won’t take away from its lovely features. Much affordable and more features-rich, that can be the best tagline for this touch-type launch. The device is touch-screen sensitive and will feel wonderful if you are using it with Windows 8. Let us first pinpoint the benefits that come with this notebook technology news.
Look Matters Not
Yes, the model does not score high on aesthetics and won’t feel more than a machine. However appeal lies elsewhere. The notepad has a robust construction. It weighs 1.8 kgs. The lid and keyboard area have got a brushed metal look. This notebook model is tapered sharply on the edges on the front part. This machine makes an ideal package for busy executives who prioritize functions over figure and like something that is well within their budget.
Display Factor
Though it is a mid-sized model of Samsung notebook, still display screen is surprisingly larger (13.5 inch). 1366×768 is the maximum resolution that makes a perfect match for its screen size. That much resolution guarantees crispy images and brilliant colours. The device is promptly responsive to touch and swing. This ‘touch’ sensitive device will feel great to use if Windows 8 is installed in the system.

What It Fees Inside
This Samsung model is powered by a Core i5 processor. This explains its being superfast. The device just takes 15 minutes to boot up. It means just switch on the notebook and blink your eyes a fewer times and you will see log in screen. The notebook handles all types of computing works that you may need daily.
Keyboard
Don’t worry; your finger will not get stuck into the groove. Keyboard is spacious thereby allowing you to slide your fingers over it without any difficulties. In a word, it will be a comfortable typing experience for you.
Sound
Sound is pretty good. And preloaded SoundAlive software makes this acoustic experience much better through a range of equalizer settings.
More on the List
The notebook allows the users to toggle on and off the touchpad and touchscreen with the help of Input option of Setting.
Flipside
Screen is glossy and that makes it prone to stains and fingerprints. The same feature is responsible for regular reflection which affects affect visibility adversely. Display does not look same from all angles. View it from other positions instead of standing right in the front of this notebook and images will look almost washed out.
The keyboard has not backlighting. Other downsides are the notepad includes only one USB 3.0 port and other two USBs are of 2.0 version. Going strong in the market and time can only tell if the show will go on.

How to display profile image in google search

May be you want to display your google profile image next to the search result for your blogs in Google search. If you google something, you can see some small images next to the search results. These are nothing but the google profile images of the blog authors. When you see that photo show up in your search results, it means Google are verifying that the blog post was written by that person. If you click on the name in the search results, it takes you to that blog author’s Google+ Profile. You can join me on Google+ here!

Thankfully its very easy to configure your site to be compatible with the new author photo snippets that show up on Google Search. However not guaranteed that your photo, or a photo of one of your authors, will appear in Google Search immediately. It is rumored that Google has enabled that feature only for selected blogs and sites based on some criterias.

How to do it ?

  1. Create an author page or “About Me” page on your blog site(same domain).
  2. Add link to this author page from your blogs.
  3. Add a link to your Google profile in the Author page.
  4. Linking Back from Google Profile to your Author page/About Page.Here we need to link back from the Google profile to the about page on the website. Open your Google Profile, click the Profile icon at the top and then the Edit Profile button at the top. Locate links on the right side and select the Add custom link option.

The idea is actually extremely simple. You link from your blog to your Google Profile – Then, from your Google Profile to your blog. This reciprocal linking verifies that the owner of that Google Profile is also the (or an) author on that blog. If you own a multi authored blog it works too. You just need your bloggers to link from their Google Profile, to their author page on your blog.

I’d like you to read the instructions from Google,Google: Adding author information in search results which I followed to add the profile image.

To summarize:
Option 1. Add your name and email to your content (recommended for sites with content by multiple authors)
Option 2. Link your content to your Google Profile, and vice versa

Testing with google’s Rich Snippets Tool:
Once you have followed the instructions, check that you have done it correctly using Google’s Rich Snippets Testing Tool. This tool will let you know if the code is working and show you what your blog will “look” like in Google’s search results, AFTER they have activated it. To use the Rich Snippets Testing Tool, simply paste the URL (address) of one of your blog posts into it and press the preview button .

Then, if everything looks OK and you see your photo in the preview, it’s a matter of waiting… I look forward to seeing your smiling faces when I’m next searching!