* Posts by Greg Kerr

23 publicly visible posts • joined 3 Oct 2008

Apple, Amazon and Google take lazy punters hostage

Greg Kerr

"it's Apple's easy iTunes experience that has consumers buying iHardware in droves"

I don't think this is true at all. It was definitely a factor when talking about the iPod but so was a nice UI on the device, smart industrial design and good marketing. Along with pretty decent pricing.

When it comes to iMacs or Macbooks I really don't think iTunes is a factor at all, you can download it for free for their (cheaper) PC competitors after all. If it is a part of iPhone buying decisions I'd say it's a relatively small part.

I'm far from a fanboi but I do occasionally buy their kit.

I switched to Android when I judged it had matured sufficiently and wouldn't change back but I used iPhones for a couple of years. Not because of iTunes or anything like that but because it was (in my opinion) the first smartphone to provide a truly usable web browser and nice touchscreen-only UI.

I use a Windows desktop (self-built) and my previous notebook was running Windows (a Dell). I bought a Macbook Air a few months ago because I wanted something light, fast and robust with a very good screen that looked nice for bringing to meetings with customers and wasn't a pain in the arse to carry around a lot. An ultrabook, in short. I bought the Macbook Air because it was the nicest one around by far and was the same price or cheaper than the competition at the time. MacOS wasn't a factor in my decision (although I quite like it now) and iTunes certainly wasn't, VLC was one of the first things I put on it.

Lots and lots of people buy Apple kit because they like the hardware or the UI. I know far more people with Apple kit who hate iTunes than like it and I don't think I know anyone who bought an Apple computer or phone BECAUSE of iTunes.

Laptop display pixel counts to quadruple in 2012

Greg Kerr

Not sure that's entirely right but it's close. I have a 13" Macbook Air with a 1440*900 display.

Nuance Flext9

Greg Kerr


The Swype beta was closed for a long time but is now open again so it can be got for free.



Ireland publishes proposed data breach notification rules

Greg Kerr


So technically speaking a typical phone loss would have to be reported?

Jesus Phone in shock Opera browser benediction

Greg Kerr

Just installed it

Was really looking forward to this and have to say I've found it disappointing so far (have only played with it for 10 mins).

Rendering seems iffy, speed doesn't seem better than Safari and interface seems quite clunky.

Fingers crossed this is pretty unfinished because they didn't think it would be approved yet. Hopefully it will get much better.

Google to mobile industry: ‘F*ck you very much!’

Greg Kerr


Have to say I think it's a good move. It's a nice device and the work done will result in better Android phones.

As someone else said "cry me a river for the phone companies". Agree totally.

The Google paranoia is getting a bit out of hand on El Reg. Like any other big corporation they do good things and bad things and should always be treated warily. I still think some more balance and perspective would be nice. Your business is partly supported by their ads and it's a rare Internet user who doesn't benefit from something they have done!

Robot nuclear windjammer to sail patio-gas oceans of Titan

Greg Kerr


@ Pirate Dave: I presume the issue would be a lack of oxygen for combustion. Bringing enough of it or equivalent ox agent to get a useful amount of power would result in a payload of rather over 20-odd kg.

@ Led Boot: My thoughts exactly. They have done similar before with LRO/LCROSS and Cassini/Huygens (sp?) but in both those cases the orbiter had another job too. It would seem a bit stupid just to send the sailing contraption as it sounds risky enough and orbiters are pretty proven at this stage. Maybe some Reg spacegeek can enlighten us.

F-22 may live on: Cheap secondhand Eurofighters on offer

Greg Kerr

Sporty runaround

I'll take one, sans weapons if necessary.

DARPA to try out goose v-formation trick with jets

Greg Kerr

Dastardly geese

If the geese won't talk they should be subjected to 'enhanced' interrogation until they give up their aerodynamic secrets.

'Soon soldiers will have 3 tiny choppers in their pocket'

Greg Kerr

Dear Santa

I want one too!

Google's email service goes down

Greg Kerr


This is affecting me as use Google Apps Mail for my business. Get yr shit together Google!

Quick tip, IMAP is still working, mail is coming through to my phone.

iPhone and iPod Touch dominate handheld web traffic race

Greg Kerr

Makes sense

I don't think this is particularly surprising, for all the Jesus Phone's flaws it offers the best mobile browsing experience. There are other handsets better for email, texting and, er, making phone calls but mobile Safari with multitouch is still the winner for surfing from where I'm standing.

Official Amazon Kindle 2 images leak out

Greg Kerr


Excuse my ignorance but why doesn't the screen take up more of the available space?

Google and the Great Wikipedia Feedback Loop

Greg Kerr

More tinfoil head conspiracy crap

Wikipedia ranks highly on Google searches because many people link to it. Many people link to it because they find it useful. Pretty simple.

I wouldn't want them penalising Wikipedia to knock it off page 1. If it is one of the most linked-to resources on the web (in terms of my search query), then it SHOULD be on the first page, that's how PageRank works. If you don't like it use Cuil, or add a -wiki to your search or set Google to return 100 results per search so the top 10 is not as important!

There is no conspiracy here. EB should realise that people not linking to them means a failure on their part. Even if Wikipedia is number 1 on the front page of results there are plenty of other pg 1 slots they could be working towards instead of moaning.

Google AdWords: 11 herbs and spices revealed

Greg Kerr

@ AC @ me, Phil

Position is a function of bid and quality score. Pretty straightforward. Ceteris paribus, the ads which receive more clicks than the others rise in position. This maximizes both ad relevancy and Google's revenue take. No secret, been like this for years. What's the issue?

Greg Kerr

return on investment

It's clear from the nature of the comments that a lot of the contributors here have never been at the business end of a well built online ad campaign. Sophisticated advertisers don't pour massive amounts of cash into channels that don't deliver a return and the idea that online advertising is somehow less of an exact science than sticking an ad in a newspaper and sitting by the phone is laughable.

Google take in over $5 billion a quarter with a profit margin of 35% or so and are sitting on a cash war chest of over $20 billion. Yes they are a powerful company but they got there because their core product, online ads, is very competitive and has been proven to work in many industries.

In light of their success and growth it is laughable to wonder if online advertising works or if they will go out of business, these are absurd questions to ask.


Greg Kerr


The number of impressions an ad gets is governed by 3 things:

1. The type of targeting and match type.

2. The inventory of search terms to display against given (1).

3. The daily budget of the campaign the ad is in. If Google 'gave' my small business ad as many impressions as an advertiser like Ebay gets, my bill for a single day would bankrupt me and my website would probably go down from all the traffic.

The budget part is the one you are missing. Google forecast the cost per click for a particular campaign and the average clickthrough rate. Once they have these numbers it's pretty easy for them to calculate the amount of impressions they need to serve so the customer spends their budget. If they went vastly over this number the customer would overspend.

The AdWords system does contain some opacity but not really around impressions. If you up your budget and you are advertising on keywords with a large inventory you can have more impressions. Obviously a larger company with more spend can buy more billboards, radio spots or newspaper ads, it's the same online. The difference with online advertising is that it is possible for the small advertiser to pay the same price as the large one for EACH spot.

And for those who all say they don't know anyone who clicks on an ad I can tell you that approximately 25% of searches on commercially interesting query terms result in an ad click.

Disclosure: I used to work for Google. I now run my own company which does search marketing for clients with Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! among other things.


Where has all the bad storage gone?

Greg Kerr
Paris Hilton

RAID, online

@ Cris Wilson

RAID 1 isn't really backup, it's more redundancy for continued operation in the event of a disk failure. It doesn't protect against file corruption, virus damage, accidental deletion and catastrophes like office fires, raptor attacks, black helicopters deploying EMP weapons, Paris Hilton messing with your RAID settings, magnetic hamster infestations, localised yoghurt tsunamis etc

@ Chris Mellor.

I back up onto an external hdd regularly but I also back up online (not using the C word!). I use Carbonite, have to say I am quite impressed. $49 per machine per yr for UNLIMITED online backup that's automatic. Appears in My Computer in Windows and all files targeted for backup are marked with a status dot in Windows Explorer so you can see what is backed up.

Web 2.0rhea hack mistaken for end of universe

Greg Kerr
Thumb Down

@ Ted

Glad to hear you're going back to HST.

This time, try noticing that he was a gifted writer as well as being 'edgy'. He usually had an interesting point too.

Google shares plummet past $300, reach three year low

Greg Kerr

@Solomon Grundy

You are an idiot if you believe that to be true. Your answer demonstrates you know absolutely nothing about investing and don't even understand the basic concept of a share.

I think it is you who needs to do some research.

Dell hit with $500m discrimination suit

Greg Kerr

Clue - HR

In my multinational experience (AOL, Google, Delll), HR tends to be a department where women are significantly over-represented. I am not offering theories as to why this is the case, I am just saying it seems to be so. I see all these execs were in HR. Is it not possible that their department was targeted for cuts, hence the gender skew in the figures?

If you are cutting senior execs you can't just cut a marketing or tech or strategy person and expect a HR person to take their place. And I know which department would get the axe if I was cutting costs.

Blackswift hypersonic plane cancelled

Greg Kerr
Thumb Up

@ LP

Tasty sentence

Facebook picks Dublin for international HQ

Greg Kerr

@ illiterate idiot Solomon Grundy

Your grasp of both spelling and grammar leave a lot to be desired, I would suggest improving your communication skills before addressing the imagined deficiencies of others.

Do you know what Heaney, Beckett, Shaw and Yeats have in common? Hint: they all won a little prize. For work in English.

Given that the UK's population is almost 15 times larger I think our return has been pretty good.

We also have one or two other successful and well-regarded authors, poets and playwrights.

You should try and read a book, it would be good for you. Start with something straightforward like Harry Potter. Or maybe something with pictures.