Tuesday, January 29, 2013

404s and Google Webmaster Tools

Trying to fix all the things Google Webmaster Tools complains about would drive you insane. Case in point, it will warn you about soft 404s, which are URLs that don’t exist (or contain no useful content) but don’t return a 404 HTTP error code.

I had a few of these on my site where a rebuild of the postcode database meant a few old postcodes had gone missing (here’s one). Although they weren’t any links to them from anywhere, Google never forgets about pages it’s crawled. I guess I could ask Google to remove all these URLs from its index, but I have a life.

So I started returning 404 errors from these pages, hoping it would make Webmaster Tools happy and make the web a better place. Then a few days later I got a warning message from Google telling me there had been an increase in not found errors on my site. Duh, well yeh, because that’s what you told me to do.

So all I’ve managed to do is move my errors from the soft 404 bucket to the not found bucket. Ho hum. It seems like keeping Webmaster Tools happy is actually impossible.  

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The quickest way to charge a Nokia Lumia 800

I can’t say I’ve ever considered the differences between charging my Nokia Lumia 800 via USB and via the AC adaptor. If I had thought about, I would probably have assumed they charge at just the same rate. But this morning when I was thinking about going on a bike ride, I realised my phone was out of juice, so wanted to charge it ASAP. A little research showed using the AC adaptor would be much quicker than plugging into USB.

But in case you don’t believe me (And to be honest not believing random people on the internet is probably a good thing), you can check it out for yourself. From the phone dialler, type ##643# and the diagnostics tool will be installed. Run this app and look at the battery status section whilst charging. I found the AC adaptor was providing about twice as much power as the USB connection.

Friday, January 04, 2013

Post Office Recorded Signed For–Mmm, not so much

I needed to send my driving licence off to a company to prove I am who I say I am. Something to do with money laundering, although I’m not entirely convinced sending them my driving licence proves I’m not a criminal. Maybe I’m just a money launderer who can drive?

Anyway, wanting some peace of mind, I decided to use the Post Office’s ‘Recorded Signed For’ service which has “guaranteed signature on delivery” according to their website. That was on 17th December. Over 2 weeks later, when I try and track my package, the Post Office website tells me

Item BY260667256GB was posted at 46 Hawks Road KT1 3EG on 17/12/12 and is being progressed through our network for delivery.

The thing is I know this isn’t true, since the driving licence arrived back at my house a few days ago. So much for a guaranteed signature on delivery. I wonder if the status of my item will get updated to

Item BY260667256GB was posted at 46 Hawks Road KT1 3EG on 17/12/12 and we haven’t got an effing clue where it is.