spiderwebwoman …

… step into my parlor

Are you ready for Mobile-geddon?

Filed under: Google,SEO — spiderwebwoman at 3:44 pm on Saturday, April 18, 2015

The closer it gets to April 21st, the more the term “Mobile-geddon” is showing up in my feeds, including Twitter.

“Mobilegeddon” Is Coming on April 21 – Are You Ready?

Google changes mobile search – Mobile-geddon!

The Google “Mobile-geddon” Update — Are You Prepared?

Last month I received an email from The Google Webmaster Tools Team, letting me know that “Google systems have tested 47 pages from your site and found that 100% of them have critical mobile usability errors. The errors on these 47 pages severely affect how mobile users are able to experience your website. These pages will not be seen as mobile-friendly by Google Search, and will therefore be displayed and ranked appropriately for smartphone users.” The email also said “Fix this now” and gave some suggestions on how to fix the issues.

When they said “Fix this now” they really meant it. On Thursday, April 16th, I received an email from Google AdSense that said beginning April 21, 2015, “Google Search will be expanding its use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal.” They provided a link for testing my site, using their Mobile-Friendly Testing Tool.

Not Mobile Friendly

Fortunately I had used a template from CSS Menu Maker that was pretty easy to tweak, and it also meant I could maintain the same web site structure, without having to change any page names. I uploaded the new version of the site and ran it through the Testing Tool again:

This page is mobile-friendly!

Obviously, I’ll be testing my site with other tools, but at least I’m ready for Mobile-geddon.



Windows 10 Primer: What to Expect from Microsoft’s New Operating System

Filed under: Microsoft,MVP Program,Windows 10 — spiderwebwoman at 12:09 pm on Tuesday, April 7, 2015

If you are waiting for Windows 10 to be officially released before you upgrade, but want to know what all the buzz is about, Mike Halsey, a Microsoft MVP for Windows, has written the perfect book for you. Windows 10 Primer: What to Expect from Microsoft’s New Operating System is now available at Amazon. Mike answers the questions you have and details hidden and improved features that can revolutionize your security, productivity and user experience. Whether you’re an IT professional considering or planning an upgrade to your company’s PCs or a Windows enthusiast eager to find out if Microsoft has finally built a truly modern Windows experience, Windows 10 Primer has the answers to all your most important questions.

You can read an excerpt from Chapter 2 – New and Improved Features in Windows 10 – Cortana – on the Microsoft MVP Program Blog.

Windows 10 Primer: What to Expect from Microsoft’s New Operating System is published by Apress and tech reviewed by yours truly.


Microsoft opens up access to Visual Studio and .NET

Filed under: .Net,Microsoft,Visual Studio — spiderwebwoman at 2:03 pm on Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Microsoft announced today that they are opening up access to .NET and Visual Studio to an even broader set of developers by beginning the process of open-sourcing the full .NET server core stack and introducing a new free and fully-featured edition of Visual Studio, Visual Studio Community 2013.  They are also releasing previews of the next generation of Visual Studio, .NET and Visual Studio Online.

On his blog, Scott Henselman says: “ There is a new FREE SKU for Visual Studio for open source developers and students called Visual Studio Community. It supports extensions and lots more all in one download. This is not Express. This is basically Pro.”

How to stop old (deleted) web pages from showing up in a Google Search using Google Custom Search Engine

Filed under: Expression Web,FrontPage,FrontPage Server Extensions,Google,SEO — spiderwebwoman at 12:44 pm on Monday, April 21, 2014

Using Microsoft Expression Web, I recently redesigned my web site to remove its reliance on the FrontPage Server Extensions and the FrontPage Search Component.

Removing the FrontPage Search Component meant finding a replacement – I chose Google’s Custom Search Engine – $100 gets you 20,000 search queries a year. It was very easy to implement on my site – create an account with Google, grab the code that verifies you own the site, and you’re good to go. I actually did this on the old site before I started the redesign.

Removing the dependence on the FrontPage Server Extensions meant, among other things, changing the filename extension on any .asp page to .htm. I did this as part of the site redesign.

Once the redesigned site was launched, however, I found that the renamed and/or deleted pages with the .asp extension were still showing up in the search results on my site. Fortunately, Google makes it very easy to fix that. Go to the "sites" link in the Control Panel of your Custom Search. On the "Basics" page, under Sites to search, click "Advanced" and under "Excluded Sites" add the URLs of the pages you want removed from the index. You can exclude individual pages, or exclude sites in bulk, one per line.

The great thing about this feature? It takes effect immediately.

If it looks like a phish, swims like a phish, and sounds like a phish, then it probably is a phish

Filed under: Phishing,Security,Twitter — spiderwebwoman at 8:51 am on Friday, February 7, 2014

What would you do if you got an email like this?


If you practice “safe-hex” you would know not to click on the link to confirm your email address – to anybody, any time. Not your bank, not the government, not any business, and not Network Solutions. But that’s who sent me this email – Network Solutions.

This email has all the characteristics of a “phishing” email – “Phishing is typically carried out by email spoofing or instant messaging, and it often directs users to enter details at a fake website whose look and feel are almost identical to the legitimate one.”

I’m sure if I had clicked on the Confirm button it would have taken me to a web site where I would have been asked to enter my Network Solutions Username and Password.

Sorry, Network Solutions, I’m not going to do that. Clicking that link would go against everything we’ve been trying to teach people about how to practice safe computing. 

If you want me to confirm my email address, send me an email that contains the instructions on how to do that.

I had a conversation on Twitter this morning with Network Solutions about this – they apologized for the “inconvenience” and pointed me to a post on their blog that says: “please rest assured that these are legitimate, and not a “phishing” scam.”

I’m still not going to click that link, Network Solutions. Sorry – you’ll have to find another way.

Android 4.4 KitKat Update coming soon to the HTC DROID DNA

Filed under: Android,HTC,HTC Droid DNA,KitKat,Verizon — spiderwebwoman at 8:29 am on Tuesday, January 28, 2014

According to the HTC Software Updates page, the Android KitKat 4.4 update for the DROID DNA is currently in the certification phase.

This is quite amazing, actually. I have owned quite a few smartphones and I’ve never had one that received two major upgrades – we just got 4.2.2 and Sense 5 in December. Most phones I’ve owned never even got one update.

Kudos HTC!


A couple of updates on the HTC DROID DNA "SIM Card not detected" error message

Filed under: Android,HTC,HTC Droid DNA,SIM Card not detected,Verizon — spiderwebwoman at 3:18 pm on Tuesday, January 14, 2014

So it’s been 2 1/2 weeks since I replaced the SIM Card in my DROID DNA, and the “SIM Card not detected” message has not returned. That’s the good great news.

The more interesting news, however, is from a conversation I had with a Verizon Tech Support guy this morning about an unrelated issue. He happens to have an HTC DROID DNA and also had the problem with the SIM card. He told me that the problem is not with the SIM card, it’s the SIM card tray. The SIM card tray is too small and that’s what causes the card to lose it’s connection to the phone.

I did some searching in various forums and found some threads that confirm that’s what Verizon is saying:


https://community.verizonwireless.com/thread/801377 (In this thread, there is a post from TamaraH_VZW where she says: “I also had the same concern with my DNA. It seems to be a hardware issue with the SIM card tray. HTC will replace the tray for you if you call them 866-449-8358.”)


So my takeaway from this is that if you get a new SIM card from Verizon and it doesn’t fix the problem, call HTC at 866-449-8358 and ask them to send you a new SIM card tray.

SIM Card not detected on your HTC DROID DNA? Try getting a new SIM card from Verizon

Filed under: Android,Gadgets,HTC,HTC Droid DNA,Security,SIM Card not detected,Verizon — spiderwebwoman at 9:46 am on Monday, January 6, 2014

Over the last year I’ve gotten the “SIM Card not detected” error message on my HTC DROID DNA a number of times. I would try one or more of the first 3 solutions I found on the Internet which I listed in my post in February 2013. Recently it started happening too often and those solutions did not work for too long.

So I decided to move down the list to item #5: Go to the nearest Verizon store and get a new SIM card. * I did this a week ago today and haven’t had the error message since then. The Verizon rep put in an NFC SE SIM card which adds an additional level of security that other SIM cards don’t have by helping protect your personal information (e.g., credit/debit card numbers, account numbers, access codes, etc.). It’s required to support apps and services, such as the Isis Mobile Wallet.

Here’s hoping this puts an end to the error message and keeps me connected to the Verizon network.


* I made a conscious decision to skip over item #4: Do a hard reset of the phone. It was much quicker to make the drive to my local Verizon store.

Software update available for Verizon HTC DROID DNA – adds support for the TalkBack feature

Filed under: Accessibility,Android,HTC Droid DNA,Verizon — spiderwebwoman at 11:54 am on Friday, October 4, 2013

On the Verizon web site it says: Key device enhancements include: Support for the TalkBack feature has been added – this enhancement makes Internet accessibility easier for the visually impaired. After the update, you should be at Version 2.07.605.1 710RD. During the install, it optimized all the apps on my phone – I’m guessing to take advantage of the features added with TalkBack.

At the Google Play Store, it says: TalkBack is an Accessibility Service that helps blind and vision-impaired users interact with their devices more easily. This application adds spoken, audible, and vibration feedback to your device. It is a system application that was pre-installed on most devices and is updated when the accessibility service is improved.

Verizon HTC DROID DNA getting Android 4.2.2 and Sense 5 "before end of year"

Filed under: Android,HTC,HTC Droid DNA,HTC Sense 5,Verizon — spiderwebwoman at 9:32 am on Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Jason Mackenzie, the President of HTC, has clarified what updates are coming for the DROID DNA, and when. Last night on Twitter, he posted that “Regarding Droid DNA. Update and clarification is that DNA customers will get new Sense experiences (w/ 4.2.2) before end of year.” While I’m happy for the update (I can stop checking for software updates for a while), I’m disappointed that it’s taking so long. But as a long-time developer, I totally understand that no software should be released until it’s ready.


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