What is the most badass military operation in the history of humans?

7/29/2019 06:58:00 PM 0
What is the most badass military operation in the history of humans?

What is the most badass military operation in the history of humans?

Adolf Hitler puts Field Marshal Erwin Rommel in charge of the Atlantic Wall and as the commander of Army Group B, his order's are to defend German occupied Europe from an Allied invasion. Athough the D-day landings were a success in Normandy, the Allies continued to suffer heavy losses; this is in no doubt due to the leadership of Rommel.

On 25th July 1944, an six man SAS team parachuted into France with a mission: To kill or capture Field Marshal Erwin Rommel. The killing option… the most preferred outcome in Operation Gaff…

“Stand-up!” an RAF despatcher instructs six heavily armed SAS paratroopers to do so, they are now approaching their intended Drop-Zone. “Tell off for equipment check!” The RAF despatcher shouts above the noise.

“6, OK!”… “5, OK!”… 4, OK!”… “3, OK!”… “2, OK!”… And finally, Captain Jack William Raymond Lee who's in charge of the six man team of ‘cut-throats' shouts, “1, Portside stick-OK!”
The despatcher leads the stick towards the door, and the red light is indicated to Captain Jack Lee, resting his hand up on the fuselage, he waits for the light to to turn green. His mind goes back to the briefing they had on the 20th July 1944…

“Captain Jack Lee, back in March ’43, feasibility reports were made into how to kill Rommel.” The six man SAS team looked at each other with opened mouths. Brigadier McLeod was the man briefing the SAS team, and he was also the man assigning them for this mission, “Well, because of our continued and the mounting losses after D-day; this is partly, due to the Desert Foxes exceptional leadership and marshalling abilities… Monty has agreed for the plan for him to be removed from the picture.”

“Is that to kidnap him Brigadier?” Jake Lee asks.

“To kill Rommel would obviously be easier than to kidnap him and it's preferable to ensure the former rather than to attempt and fail the latter.”

The team briefing continued, they're told that the HQ of ‘Heeresgruppe ‘B' is at La-Roche-Guyron in the area of Rambouillet and that it'll be the place Rommel is HQ'd. Hiding up for two days, so they can conduct a close-target-recce of their objective until they are ready strike. The SAS team are also tasked with destroying petrol dumps and also target the transportation systems, this would severely damage the nazi war effort.

“OK gentleman, if there's no other questions, you'll be parachuted into La-Roche-Guyron, on Tuesday 25th July.”

“GREEN LIGHT ON!… GO!!!” And with that, the six man SAS team jump out of the aircraft. All six descended to earth like birds of prey, just like the sparrowhawk. Once all six landed safely, they collected their equipment and then they patrol off to find a suitable hide for their OP.

17th July 1944 - As Field Marshal Erwin Rommel was returning to his HQ after visiting a SS Panzer Corps; near Saint-Foy-de-Montgommery, there's two Hawker Typhoons on a sortie.

Fighter pilots Charley Fox of 412 Squadron RAF, along with his wing-man Ed Prizer are the ones at the controls, “Red One… this is Red Two, large black car travelling at high speed, on my left 11 o'clock!” Charley informed his wing-man, “Looks like someone important.” It was, no other than Rommel himself. The Typhoon went in to attack, and started firing at approximately 300 yards strafing the car, causing it to crash.

Rommel thrown from the car and suffered some very bad head injuries, he was immediately hospitalised and in such a critical condition they thought he was not going to make.

28 July 1944 - A young lady from the French Residence has managed to make contact with Captain Jack Lee, the meeting is at a prearranged rendezvous. “Bonjour, Capitine. I've information about Rommel.” she continued, “His car was attacked by the RAF’s fighter planes, he is now in hospital.” So, that plan was over before it even started.

“Set the fuse for a 30 minute delay.” Jack Lee said to one of his men, whom at the very moment was laying an explosive charge on a railway line for a train that'll be arriving in 30 minutes. Jack Lee continued going over the plan, “And once the Germans have all their resources here dealing with this, we'll be attacking their HQ in the town of Mantes.”

As planned the German forces were dealing with the derailed train and the carnage caused by the explosives. 

The SAS team then begins the assult, one of Jack Lee's men acts as fire support he has the Light-Machine-Gun and has started to fire a ‘hailstorm’ of bullets into the Germans HQ. Captain Jack Lee along with the other team members make a right-flanking attack into the back of the building, as soon as they ‘posted' the grenades through the doors and windows they then go in systematically clearing the building. This assult resulted in 12 German soldiers killed.

On the 12th August when they linked up with the advancing American forces and in doing so it ended Operation Gaff. The six man SAS team had (apart from the Germans HQ), had derailed several trains and destroyed a number of trucks.

I've tried to tell this story in a how-I-saw it way, when I'm able to; so… that, in my opinion is the most badass military operation in the history of humans.


7/29/2019 04:00:00 PM 0


Nefertiti, also called Neferneferuaten-Nefertiti, (flourished 14th century BCE), queen of Egypt and wife of King Akhenaton (formerly Amenhotep IV; reigned c. 1353–36 BCE), who played a prominent role in the cult of the sun god known as the Aton.

Nefertiti’s parentage is unrecorded, but, as her name translates as “A Beautiful Woman Has Come,” early Egyptologists believed that she must have been a princess from Mitanni (Syria). 

There is strong circumstantial evidence, however, to suggest that she was the Egyptian-born daughter of the courtier Ay, brother of Akhenaton’s mother, Tiy. Although nothing is known of Nefertiti’s parentage, she did have a younger sister, Mutnodjmet. Nefertiti bore six daughters within 10 years of her marriage, the elder three being born at Thebes, the younger three at Tell el-Amarna.

Two of her daughters became queens of Egypt.

The earliest images of Nefertiti come from the Theban tombs of the royal butler Parennefer and the vizier Ramose, where she is shown accompanying her husband. In the Theban temple known as Hwt-Benben (“Mansion of the Benben Stone”; the benben was a cult object associated with solar ritual), Nefertiti played a more prominent role, usurping kingly privileges in order to serve as a priest and offer to the Aton. 

A group of blocks recovered from Karnak(Luxor) and Hermopolis Magna (Al-Ashmunayn) shows Nefertiti participating in the ritual smiting of the female enemies of Egypt. She wears her own unique headdress—a tall, straight-edged, flat-topped blue crown

By the end of Akhenaton’s fifth regnal year, the Aton had become Egypt’s dominant national god. The old state temples were closed and the court transferred to a purpose-built capital city, Akhetaton (Amarna). Here Nefertiti continued to play an important religious role, worshipping alongside her husband and serving as the female element in the divine triad formed by the god Aton, the king Akhenaton, and his queen. 

Her sexuality, emphasized by her exaggeratedly feminine body shape and her fine linen garments, and her fertility, emphasized by the constant appearance of the six princesses, indicate that she was considered a living fertility goddess. 

Nefertiti and the royal family appeared on private devotional stelae and on the walls of nonroyal tombs, and images of Nefertiti stood at the four corners of her husband’s sarcophagus.

Some historians, having considered her reliefs and statuary, believe that Nefertiti may have acted as queen regnant—her husband’s coruler rather than his consort. However, the evidence is by no means conclusive, and there is no written evidence to confirm her political status.

Soon after Akhenaton’s 12th regnal year, one of the princesses died, three disappeared (and are also presumed to have died), and Nefertiti vanished. The simplest inference is that Nefertiti also died, but there is no record of her death and no evidence that she was ever buried in the Amarna royal tomb. 

Early Egyptologists, misunderstanding the textual evidence recovered from the Maru-Aten sun temple at Amarna, deduced that Nefertiti had separated from Akhenaton and had retired to live either in the north palace at Amarna or in Thebes. This theory is now discredited. Others have suggested that she outlived her husband, took the name Smenkhkare, and ruled alone as female king before handing the throne to Tutankhamen.

 There is good evidence for a King Smenkhkare, but the identification in the 20th century of a male body buried in the Valley of the Kings as Tutankhamen’s brother makes it unlikely that Nefertiti and Smenkhkare were the same person.

Nefertiti’s body has never been discovered. Had she died at Amarna, it seems inconceivable that she would not have been buried in the Amarna royal tomb. 

But the burial in the Valley of the Kings confirms that at least one of the Amarna burials was reinterred at Thebes during Tutankhamen’s reign. 

Egyptologists have therefore speculated that Nefertiti may be one of the unidentified bodies recovered from the caches of royal mummies in the Valley of the Kings. In the early 21st century attention has focused on the “Younger Lady” found in the tomb of Amenhotep II, although it is now accepted that this body is almost certainly too young to be Nefertiti.

Amarna was abandoned soon after Akhenaton’s death, and Nefertiti was forgotten until, in 1912, a German archaeological mission led by Ludwig Borchardt discovered a portrait bust of Nefertiti lying in the ruins of the Amarna workshop of the sculptor Thutmose.

 The bust went on display at a museum in Berlin in the 1920s and immediately attracted worldwide attention, causing Nefertiti to become one of the most recognizable and, despite a missing left eye, most beautiful female figures from the ancient world
  • Why is Nefertiti so famous?
Nefertiti was a queen of Egypt and wife of King Akhenaton, who played a prominent role in changing Egypt's traditional polytheistic religion to one that was monotheistic, worshipping the sun god known as Aton. An elegant portrait bust of Nefertiti now in Berlin is perhaps one of the most well-known ancient sculptures.

  • What was Nefertiti's reign like?
Some historians believe that Nefertiti may have acted as her husband’s coruler rather than his consort, but the evidence is not conclusive. Nonetheless, she played an important religious role, worshipping the god Aton alongside her husband. Representations of Nefertiti with her six daughters suggest that she was also considered a living fertility goddess.

  • What was Nefertiti's family like?
Nefertiti’s parentage is unrecorded, but there is strong circumstantial evidence to suggest that she was the Egyptian-born daughter of the courtier Ay, a maternal uncle of her husband, Akhenaton. She had a younger sister, Mutnodjmet. Nefertiti bore six daughters within 10 years of her marriage, two of whom became queens of Egypt.

  • How did Nefertiti die?
 Soon after Akhenaton’s 12th regnal year, one of the princesses died, three disappeared, and Nefertiti vanished. The simplest inference is that Nefertiti also died, but there is no record of her death and no evidence that she was ever buried in the Amarna royal tomb. Her body has never been found.


Gareth Bale’s proposed China move off after Real Madrid board block deal

7/28/2019 05:09:00 PM 0
Gareth Bale’s proposed China move off after Real Madrid board block deal

Gareth Bale’s proposed China move off after Real Madrid board block deal

Gareth Bale looks set to remain at Real Madrid, a club that does not want him, after the board blocked his lucrative transfer to China.

The Wales winger had been expected to join the Chinese Super League side Jiangsu Suning on a three-year deal. That move is now off after Real decided it did not represent good value.

With the Chinese transfer window to shut at the end of July and the English window not long afterwards, Bale looks set to spend another season in Madrid. This despite having effectively been frozen out of the team by Zinedine Zidane.

Bale joined Madrid from Tottenham in 2013 for a then world-record fee of £85m. He has won four Champions League titles with the club but has been sidelined by Zidane since he returned to Madrid this spring for a second spell as the manager.

After leaving Bale out of a pre-season game against Bayern Munich last week, which Madrid lost, Zidane said he hoped the player would be sold. “We hope he leaves soon,” Zidane said. “It would be best for everyone. We are working on his transfer to a new team. I have nothing personal against him but there comes a time where things are done because they must be done.”

Bale had expected a move to China and reportedly agreed a three-year deal with Jiangsu Suning worth £1m a week. But the Real board, led by the president, Florentino Pérez, decided the fee was insufficient.

Conan Doyle's Adventures of Gerard

7/28/2019 03:51:00 PM 0
Conan Doyle's Adventures of Gerard

Conan Doyle's Adventures of Gerard

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was during his own lifetime as celebrated for his historical fiction as for his detective stories. Among his most popular works in this genre are the two volumes of short stories concerning the life and the adventures of Etienne Gerard. The Exploits of Brigadier Gerard was published in 1896 while Adventures of Gerardfollowed in 1903 (these tales had started appearing in the Strand magazine in 1894 and the final Gerard story dates from 1911).

Etienne Gerard is a hussar officer in Napoleon’s army who has been described by no less a judge than the Emperor himself as having both the stoutest heart and the thickest head in La Grande Armée.

Conan Doyle took his historical fiction seriously. He considered his works in this genre to be his greatest achievements. On the other hand he was 

always a commercial writer and entertainment was the first priority. The best of his historical novels, the two Brigadier Gerard collections and the two novels about Sir Nigel Loring, The White Company and Sir Nigel, manage to be both serious historical fiction and amusing and outrageous yarns.

This ability to be amusing while taking his subject matter seriously is a rare accomplishment and one is tempted to make comparisons to George MacDonald Fraser’s Flashman novels (such as Flashman and the Mountain of Light). There are differences of course. Gerard is genuinely brave, even if he is at times a fool. Flashman is a coward. But there are definite affinities. Conan Doyle adopts a mock-heroic style, with Gerard (who narrates the tales) treating his own idiocies as acts of extraordinary martial skill and glory. They are both men whose fame as soldiers is not entirely deserved. Gerard is a brave and well-meaning but not very intelligent bungler who has occasionally managed to do heroic things mostly by luck, although he considers himself to be a brilliant officer. Flashman is a coward and a scoundrel who has occasionally managed to appear to have done heroic things mostly by luck. So in both cases the author is taking a rather sceptical view of military glory.

The Crime of Brigadier Gerard presents Colonel Gerard with a fine opportunity to win honour. His mission is to singlehandedly scout out the Lines of Torres Vedras, the formidable line of fortifications that Viscount Wellington had constructed to defend Lisbon. Marshal Masséna has personally selected Gerard for the mission. It does not work out quite as planned. Gerard finds himself in the midst of something far more important than mere military manoeuvres - he blunders into a fox hunt. The English of course cannot possibly do without their fox hunting even in Portugal so they have imported both foxes and hounds. 

Gerard however does not quite appreciate just what a solemn occasion this is.

It’s a typical Gerard story, with Gerard doing his best to be heroic whilst being blissfully (and amusingly) unaware of what is actually happening.

How Brigadier Gerard Lost His Ear takes place in Venice, which Napoleon’s army is energetically and efficiently looting. 

The Venetians are outraged and some are exacting private vengeance on the French invaders. Gerard almost finds himself a victim of such private vengeance, although in his case there is more involved. There is a lady involved. Gerard of course will do anything for a lady. In this instance what he has to do is rather surprising. Another fine story.

In How the Brigadier Saved the Army Gerard is given a very important mission. The French are on the retreat but are being harried by Spanish guerillas.

 A large detachment of French troops will be left behind, and will be doomed, unless Gerard can light a beacon fire to tell them to fall back on the main army. To light the beacon Gerard will have to travel miles through guerilla-infested countryside. In this story Gerard demonstrates the extraordinary and very genuine courage of which he is capable, and it demonstrate his unbelievable capacity for making a thorough mess of things but somehow muddling his way through. A very enjoyable tale.

Gerard is often heroic and often absurd and in Brigadier Gerard at Waterloo he manages to be both at the same time. It’s also a story in which Gerard’s delusions about his own importance reach ridiculous but rather touching extremes. He is entrusted by the Emperor with a vital mission which cold determine the outcome of the battle. Of course it doesn’t but it does give Gerard the opportunity to save the Emperor. 

The fact that this ends up being a futile lost cause adds a further touch of melancholy amusement (and if you think melancholy amusement isn’t possible you need to read this story).

The Brigadier in England covers the period Gerard spent in England after being captured. Much of this time was spent in congenial surroundings at the home of Lord Rufton. Gerard spends his time leaning to play cricket (a most bloodthirsty game, or at least it is the way Gerard plays it) and getting mixed up in a complicated romantic intrigue in which Gerard as always doesn’t quite understand what is going on although he thinks he does. An amusing little story.

How the Brigadier Joined the Hussars of Conflans tells us of Gerard’s first day with the regiment that was to be so important to him. Gerard immediately makes himself ridiculous with his outrageous boasting, and then proceeds to demonstrate that he really is as brave as he says he is, almost singlehandedly capturing the city of Saragossa. Some fine swashbuckling here.

How Etienne Gerard Said Good-Bye to his Master is a poignant and quixotic tale of an attempt to rescue Napoleon from St Helena. You have to admire Gerard for refusing to abandon his allegiance to the Emperor. All the Gerard stories are recounted by the elderly Gerard some time in the 1850s or thereabouts and he never wavers from his loyalty. 

How Etienne Gerard Said Good-Bye to his Master is a poignant and quixotic tale of an attempt to rescue Napoleon from St Helena. You have to admire Gerard for refusing to abandon his allegiance to the Emperor.

 All the Gerard stories are recounted by the elderly Gerard some time in the 1850s or thereabouts and he never wavers from his loyalty.

The Marriage of the Brigadier was the last of the Gerard tales to be written (in 1910, several years after the publication of The Adventures of Gerard) but chronologically it’s the first of the stories, taking place in 1802. In peacetime Gerard finds time for love, and he discovers true fear. He fears no man, but an enraged bull is another matter. And the bull acts as an unexpected match-maker. A slight but amusing story.

The Gerard stories are an absolute delight. Gerard is a buffoon but he is a brave buffoon. His belief in his heroic stature never wavers and is sublimely unaffected by reality. The Adventures of Gerard is highly recommended.

About the Murder of a Startled Lady

7/28/2019 03:34:00 PM 0
About the Murder of a Startled Lady

About the Murder of a Startled Lady

Between 1930 and 1932 Anthony Abbot wrote four detective novels, very much in the Van Dine mould, featuring New York Police Commissioner Thatcher Colt. He then took a break for a few years before writing four more Thatcher Colt novels heavily influenced by his growing interest in psychic phenomena. The first of these new-look Thatcher Colt mysteries was About the Murder of a Startled Lady, published in 1935.

Abbot’s new interests are immediately apparent in this novel. It begins with a young woman reporting her own murder six months earlier. She makes the report through a medium at a séance, and she also reports that her dismembered body was dumped in the sea at a certain place. Thatcher Colt doesn’t believe in any of this spiritualist nonsense. On the other hand a murder has been reported 

and Colt decides it would be just as well to send a diver down to have a look and sure enough the body of young woman is found right where the dead girl said it was.

It’s not so much a body as a collection of human bones. Of course there’s no hope of identifying the remains now, except that there’s a man whose services Colt has used in the past, a man who is referred to as a crime sculptor who has the uncanny ability to reconstruct facial features from nothing but a skill. So the dead girl can be identified after all.

Once she’s been identified the story doesn’t become any less odd. The girl and everyone connected with her seem to have been decidedly strange and not entirely what you would call normal. And there’s reason to suspect the girl herself may have been a bit on the strange side.

The psychic elements are just one of the odd features of this tale. Anthony Abbot was always fascinated by the use of science in criminal investigation (there’s some wonderfully esoteric forensic science stuff in About the Murder of the Clergyman’s Mistress.

In About the Murder of a Startled Lady some of the scientific methods used verge on the science fictional. The facial reconstruction also stretches credibility a bit, given the technology of the time. In fact the crime sculptor seems to rely a bit too much on inspiration rather than technique.

Despite the supernatural trappings this is essentially a traditional puzzle-plot mystery with some police procedural overtones. I’m not sure it’s entirely fair play - there is one important clue which in my opinion remains unexplained and the essence of the puzzle-plot mystery is that the solution should not leave any loose ends. Apart from that one false step it’s a decent enough plot.

And Abbot comes up with a very neat and very clever variation on the traditional ending in which the detective gathers together all the suspects to reveal the solution. The solution itself is reasonably satisfactory.

The psychic elements are interesting for several reasons. We never really believe there’s going to be a supernatural solution and Thatcher Colt clearly doesn’t believe so either, but at the same time Colt has to admit that the apparent revelation by the dead girl is difficult to explain. The tricks used by phoney spiritualists were well-known and he expects the trickery to be easily explained but it isn’t. And they’re not just supernatural trappings to add a bit of atmosphere - they are in fact vital plot elements.

Anthony Abbot himself is a character in the Thatcher Colt mysteries. He’s Colt’s secretary and confidant and he’s the narrator of the stories. In other words he’s Colt’s Dr Watson. This fictional version of Anthony Abbot contributes a short foreword in which he makes some rather disparaging remarks about genius amateur detectives with an inexhaustible store of arcane knowledge. It almost sounds like a disavowal of the Van Dine school. This book is somewhat less Van Dine-like than Abbot’s earlier books. At the same time Thatcher Colt is clearly an educated and cultivated man, able to recognise instantly quotations from Dante.

I suspect that fans of puzzle-plot mysteries might find the first batch of four Thatcher Colt mysteries, such as the excellent About the Murder of the Circus Queen, to be more satisfactory than the second batch. It’s worth noting however that About the Murder of the Circus Queen also has a few occultist touches.

About the Murder of a Startled Lady is an intriguing variation on the impossible crime sub-genre. There’s nothing remotely impossible about the murder itself. It’s the process by which the murder is revealed that seems impossible.

This book might not be a masterpiece but it’s worth a look and Abbot is definitely an unfairly neglected mystery writer. Recommended.

5 Ways To Improve Your Earnings With Adsense

7/28/2019 01:11:00 PM 0
  5 Ways To Improve Your Earnings  With Adsense

5 Ways To Improve Your Earnings 

With Adsense

If webmasters want to monetize their websites, the great way to do it is through Adsense. There are lots of webmasters struggling hard to earn some good money a day through their sites. But then some of the “geniuses” of them are enjoying hundreds of dollars a day from Adsense ads on their websites. What makes these webmasters different from the other kind is that they are different and they think out of the box.

The ones who have been there and done it have quite some useful tips to help those who would want to venture into this field. Some of these tips have boosted quite a lot of earnings in the past and is continuously doing so.

Here are some 5 proven ways on how best to improve your earnings.
1. Concentrating on one format of Adsense ad. The one format that worked well for the majority is the Large Rectangle (336X280). This same format have the tendency to result in higher CTR, or the click-through rates. Why choose this format out of the many you can use? Basically because the ads will look like normal web links, and people, being used to clicking on them, click these types of links. They may or may not know they are clicking on your Adsense but as long as there are clicks, then it will all be for your advantage.

2. Remove the Adsense from the bottom pages of your site and put them at the top. Do not try to hide your Adsense. Put them in the place where people can see them quickly. You will be amazed how the difference between Adsense locations can make when you see your earnings.

3. Create a custom palette for your ads. Choose a color that will go well with the background of your site. If your site has a white background, try to use white as the color of your ad border and background. The idea to patterning the colors is to make the Adsense look like it is part of the web pages. Again, This will result to more clicks from people visiting your site.

4. Try to automate the insertion of your Adsense code into the webpages using SSI (or server side included). Ask your web administrator if your server supports SSI or not. How do you do it? Just save your Adsense code in a text file, save it as “adsense text”, and upload it to the root directory of the web server. Then using SSI, call the code on other pages. This tip is a time saver especially for those who are using automatic page generators to generate pages on their website.

5. Maintain links to relevant websites. If you think some sites are better off than the others, put your ads there and try to maintaining and managing them. If there is already lots of Adsense put into that certain site, put yours on top of all of them. That way visitor will see your ads first upon browsing into that site.

These are some of the tips that have worked well for some who want to generate hundreds and even thousands on their websites. It is important to know though that ads are displayed because it fits the interest of the people viewing them. So focusing on a specific topic should be your primary purpose because the displays will be especially targeted on a topic that persons will be viewing already.

Note also that there are many other Adsense sharing the same topic as you. It is best to think of making a good ad that will be somewhat different and unique than the ones already done. Every clickthrough that visitors make is a point for you so make every click count by making your Adsense something that people will definitely click on.

Tips given by those who have boosted their earnings are just guidelines they want to share with others. If they have somehow worked wonders to some, maybe it can work wonders for you too. Try them out into your ads and see the result it will bring.

If others have done it, there is nothing wrong trying it out for yourself. Aslo, you will find out some Adsense Alternative network on Adswiki.Net.

Google Reportedly Tolerated Spam on Non-Search Products!

7/28/2019 01:10:00 PM 0
Google Reportedly Tolerated Spam on  Non-Search Products!

Google Reportedly Tolerated Spam on 

Non-Search Products!

An Ex-Googler who was the product manager of Blogger from 2003-2006 revealed that Google tolerated spam on its network. He said that resources were devoted to fight spam on the Search side but not for Adsense or Blogger spam.

According to tweets by the ex-Googler, spam was tolerated in order to grow engagement metrics at Blogger.com. The comments were tweeted in the context of criticism of Google’s handling of low quality obscene and violent content on YouTube.

Blogger Spam has Been a Problem for Publishers

Spam on Blogger gave rise to a variety of link schemes. Spammers on Blogger have used the profile to host stolen content. Blogger spam has been a problem for legitimate publishers. It’s shocking to hear that Google did not devote enough resources to fighting spam on it’s own blog network.

Google Has Been Rumored to Tolerate Spam

In the early days of AdSense, WebmasterWorld Forum members noted a lot of spam sites participated in the Google AdSense program. WebmasterWorld members called these spam sites MFAs, an acronym for Made for AdSense Sites.

Googlers are on record stating that there is a wall between AdWords and the Search team to prevent manipulation that would skew organic search results to favour the Pay Per Click side.

What I heard at the time was that there was no such wall between the AdSense and the Search departments. I don’t know if this is true. I’m just relating what I heard at the time.

Thus, the rumour went, Google could admit spam sites into the AdSense program while the Search side could take advantage of AdSense data to keep these spammers out of Google Search.

According to the rumours, the goal for admitting spam sites into the AdSense program was to increase engagement metrics but also to pollute Microsoft’s Bing search engine.

Again, I’m not saying this is true. I’m documenting what I heard because the tweet by the ex-Googler seems to partially confirm the rumour.

According to the ex-Googler, Google has a history of allowing spam on their network of sites for the purpose of increasing engagement while focusing their spam fighting resources on the search side.

YouTube Allegedly Allowed Low Quality Content

A Bloomberg article asserted that YouTube executives ignored warnings about troubles with YouTube content in order to pursue growth in engagement metrics.
That focus on growth on engagement metrics echoed what the ex-Googler tweeted.

According to Bloomberg:

“The company spent years chasing one business goal above others: “Engagement,” a measure of the views, time spent and interactions with online videos. Conversations with over twenty people who work at, or recently left, YouTube reveal a corporate leadership unable or unwilling to act on these internal alarms for fear of throttling engagement.”

What the Ex-Googler Tweeted

The ex-Googler tweeted within the context of a discussion of YouTube’s issues with problematic content. He affirmed that Google’s commitment was to grow the platforms:
“Platforms believe that more use of their products makes the world a better place. As a consequence abuse is under-resourced. Only in the financial world, like PayPal, did you see fraud prevention built in as a competitive advantage rather than a tax to be minimized.”

Google engineer Paul Haahr tweeted a counterargument based on his personal experience:

“I’d argue that web search engines have considered spam-fighting a core competency (and competitive advantage) since the early days.”
The ex-Googler agreed that Google devoted resources to the Search side.
Then he asserted that Google did not devote enough resources to the non-search platform side.
“This is a good point but if the difference between how Google dealt with off network Search spam and on network Blogger spam is also illustrative. In the case of Blogger the spam was allowed to flourish bc the fundamental goal was just to get more people to use the product.”

The Google engineer responded:

“I think my only knowledge of Blogger was from that first meeting we had after you folks were acquired, so I’ll defer to you on that. Does seem like a mistake. (We certainly cared about spam on Blogspot inside search.)”

To which the ex-Googler tweeted:

“Yah and that was the call – we can deal with it on the search side but let the pharma spam go on blogspot. To be clear I supported that call and it was embraced all the way up. But yah a mistake.”

Spam Embraced By Google Management

The shocking part of these tweets is that they revealed that the Blogger.com spam was known and approved by Google all the way up the chain of authority:
“it was embraced all the way up.”
These series of tweets appear to give more credence to the rumours that Google knew about spam in the AdSense program and tolerated it. The statement also gives a peek into the mindset at Google with regards to spam on the search side versus on its content platform site. It hints at possible motives for not adequately policing YouTube for fear of slowing engagement metrics.


College Student Finds a 65-Million-Year-Old Triceratops Skull During Paleontology Dig in North Dakota

7/26/2019 07:13:00 PM 0
College Student Finds a 65-Million-Year-Old Triceratops Skull During Paleontology Dig in North Dakota

College Student Finds a 65-Million-Year-Old Triceratops Skull During Paleontology Dig in North Dakota

Paleontology is often a game of luck, and an undergraduate student at the University of California, Merced recently hit the jackpot. 

As CBS News reports, Harrison Duran, a fifth-year biology student with an emphasis in ecology and evolutionary biology, was on a dig in the Badlands of North Dakota when he struck upon the partial skull of a 65-million-year-old Triceratops fossil.

Duran trekked out to the Badlands with "bone digger" and Mayville State University biology professor Michael Kjelland expecting to find plant fossils on their two-week dig. Among the fossilized wood and leaves, they discovered something else: the remains of a Triceratops, one of the most iconic dinosaurs of all time.

Duran, whose passion for dinosaurs predates his academic career, was ecstatic. “I can’t quite express my excitement in that moment when we uncovered the skull,” he told UC Merced. “I’ve been obsessed with dinosaurs since I was a kid, so it was a pretty big deal.”

The specimen was named Alice in honor of the owner of the land where it was found. After a week-long excavation, the partial skull was covered in foil and plaster and transported by truck to Kjelland's lab.

 Kjelland noted that such fossils are susceptible to theft (Triceratops skulls can be worth a quarter-million dollars), but he hopes to eventually make Alice viewable to the public. His ideal scenario would be touring the skull around various locations, but the fossil must be further analyzed and prepared for display before that can happen.

The Dakotas are famous for their dinosaur fossils. Triceratops are especially prevalent there—in South Dakota, the species is the official state fossil.