Adsense Notifier extension finally fixed!

Adsense Notifier

Just when I have almost given up on the broken Adsense Notifier script, it got updated and fixed! You can download the latest version here: Adsense Notifier.

The current version is 0.9.6, and it once again shows all the Adsense earnings in the toolbar of my Firefox.

Adsense Notifier is one of the most useful extensions for me, because it saves me the effort of regularly checking the status of my Adsense account (which is a very bad habit – wastes a lot of time). Simply configure the settings to your likings, and all your vital Adsense stats will be automatically downloaded and delivered to your statusbar. Incredibly useful!

WordPress 2.3 is released!

WordPress

Finally, the new release of WordPress is here. WordPress 2.3, codenamed “Dexter”, brings many long-awaited features and fixes 350+ issues found in previous versions.

Most interesting features in WordPress 2.3

  • Tags – now with native support. Strangely enough, you’ll need to download separate plugins to manage the tags.
  • Canonical URLs – will allow you to change slugs of any post and have WordPress automatically redirect old slug URL to the new URL of your post. Brilliant idea, great for SEO! Mark Jaquith has a great post explaining how it all works: Canonical URLs in WordPress 2.3
  • Advanced editing options in WYSIWYG editor for posts and pages are finally accessible via a special button. The trusty Shift+Alt+V combination for doing the same still works, of course.
  • Update notification functionality will let you know when there’s a new version of the WordPress engine or any of the plugins you use. Must save us all tons of time we usually spend tracking the updates, downloading new versions and troubleshooting the upgrades of all the plugins.

If you want to learn more, there’s a traditional 10 Things You Need To Know About WordPress 2.3 review posted at Technosailor. As always, a highly recommended post!

Before you rush it to download the latest WordPress and get your upgrade started, please be sure to verify all your plugins are up to date and will be supported in the 2.3 release. I’ve done this for all the plugins on Perfect Blogger, and so my upgrade happened in a matter of seconds and without a single problem.

If you think you need help upgrading your WordPress – feel free to contact me and we’ll see what can be done.

A Chance to Win Great Prizes @ DavidAirey.com

I’ve just realised that some of you may have never heard about the great blog anniversary at David Airey’s blog, which is accompanied by a fantastic prize draw.

David Airey is a logo designer well known as the creator of some of the best logos on the web. To celebrate his blog’s anniversary, he’s got more than $4,000 worth in free prizes for all of us to win!

As always, there’s a number of ways to participate – subscribing to his RSS or email list is one option, and blogging about it (that’s right, just the way I’m doing now) is another.

There’s still 2 weeks left for you to make up your mind on participating, and the quality and number of prizes is so impressive that I think everyone should give it a try. Let me know if you win anything, and you’re always welcome to thank me for sharing the link to David’s website too :)

Proud Member of the Digital Folders Network

Digital Folders Network

I’d like to announce that as of this week, Perfect Blogger is a proud member of the Digital Folders Network.

Digital Folders is a very young project, and that’s part of the challenge that I like about it – being so close to the beginning of the network is always exciting as all the approaches and methods, changes and interactions are actively discussed and reworked to ensure the maximum usefulness of the participating blogs which keeping visitors and advertisers interested and happy.

If you’re interested in joining the network, please have a look at the current team. Both new bloggers (a new blog will be created and hosted for you) and established blogs are welcome.

For advertisement, read more on the advertise with us page.

Google Reader Finally Gets A Search Feature!

Great news! Google Reader – the best RSS reader ever, has finally got the long-awaited search functionality! This means that you can now search through all the feeds you’re subscribed to, either a particular folder or all of them.

For me, the most useful search would be finding the good articles among the ones you have starred in the past. If there was one feature I could add to Google Reader, this would be the one. So I’m really glad it’s finally arrived.

For the official announcement, go read the post on Google Reader blog, otherwise have a quick look at the screenshot, and go on – give it a try yourself!

Google Reader - Search

Microsoft Silverlight: a truly interactive web experience

Microsoft Silverlight

I’ve recently attended the Irish Microsoft Technology Conference, and was quite impressed by some of the tech talks presented. One of the presentations featured Microsoft Silverlight, and I just wanted to share with you some info about it.

Silverlight: an official definition

Microsoft® Silverlight™ is a cross-browser, cross-platform plug-in for delivering the next generation of .NET based media experiences and rich interactive applications for the Web. Silverlight offers a flexible programming model that supports AJAX, VB, C#, Python, and Ruby, and integrates with existing Web applications. Silverlight supports fast, cost-effective delivery of high-quality video to all major browsers running on the Mac OS or Windows.

How does it work?

You’ve got to download a Silverlight plugin for your browser, it’s a 1.3Mb which installs automatically on Internet Explorer and requires you to install it and restart the browser if you’re a Firefox or Safari user.

Just like with Flash, once you come across a Silverlight object on one of the pages, you will most likely see an icon inviting you to download the plugin.

Silverlight is a purely client-side technology, which means you can serve its pages from any webserver on any platform.

Currently, Silverlight is beta 1.0, with a lot promised to be improved and added in 1.1

What is it like?

I think that a typical Silverlight experience will look very similar to any advanced Flash, however, it’s a completely new technology and has a potential of taking over the interactive web. The main difference compared to Flash is that Silverlight pages are not using a proprietary binary format, but instead are presented by XAML source code.

Everything is done through scripting the XAML code, and that’s why there are no limitations or requirements for a specific web server platform which should be used for delivering such content.

The language itself is rather intuitive, especially for developers on Microsoft platform.

Here’s an example, please go to the Silverlight: Quickstarts page to see what it does:

<Canvas
xmlns=“http://schemas.microsoft.com/client/2007”
xmlns:x=“http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml”>

<Ellipse
Height=“200” Width=“200”
Stroke=“Black” StrokeThickness=“10” Fill=“SlateBlue” />
</Canvas>

More examples?

It’s probably a good idea to check the main Silverlight page from time to time, it’s meant to highlight all the recent news and changes to the project and has a relates blogs aggregate for easier exploration of other resources found on the web.

Silverlight Community page would be a great start for you to experience this new technology. It’s a gallery of the best examples of Silverlight applications written to the moment.

Here are just a few I really like (they also happen to be most popular on the community page, and for a good reason):


WordPress 2.2 released

WordPress

According to my blog’s administration dashboard, less that 20 hours ago the long-awaited next version of WordPress engine was released – WordPress 2.2, codenamed Getz.

I’ve just upgraded my main two blogs, and have already tried the two features I’ve been waiting for:

  • fully integrated widgets Starting with this release, widgets will be a standard part of the WordPress distribution, included in the core source code instead of being a separate plugin. Many recent WordPress themes support widgets already, and it is indeed a very easy way to manage sidebars of your blog. Since I’ve been doing my sidebars manually, it seems to be a perfect opportunity for me to migrate over and document the process in a form of a separate how-to post. Stay tuned!
  • safer activation for plugins: a sandbox approachIf you ever installed more than 10 plugins on a single blog, you’ve probably been there already: you download a plugin, place it in the right directory, click activate in your administration panel, and it breaks your whole blog – nothing works, not even the administration panel itself. The only way out of this is to either remove the plugin files through SSH/FTP or disable its activation in WordPress database manually (phpMyAdmin or something like this). Neither of these methods are simple enough to be used by someone who doesn’t know much about WordPress.

    This new release introduces a sandbox approach: all plugins are verified against fatal errors upon their activation, and unless they work safely enough (don’t break your whole blog), they are not activated. You get a nice error message explaining the situation should you come across a nasty plugin like this.

    It took me only a few minutes to set up a fatal error scenario, and I must say: this feature is a great time saver on top of being a great plugin installation safeguard.

There’s a many more changes apart from these two, like full Atom 1.0 support – I just don’t use them as much and perhaps need to do a bit of reading/learning myself since too many things have changed in this version.

If you want to learn more, it’s best for you to read the great 10 Things You Should Know About WordPress 2.2 post at Technosailor. As always, Aaron Brazell has provided a great review of the most juicy features to be found in this WordPress release.

That’s all I wanted to tell for the moment. If you haven’t done so yet, wait no more – just go download WordPress 2.2 and upgrade, it’s definitely worth it!

Copywriting Contest at Copyblogger: $10,000 in prizes

Exciting news! Brian Clark at Copyblogger has just launched a copywriting contest with $10,000 in prizes:

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to make an irresistible offer. That offer should be in the form of a landing page that catches the reader’s attention, barrels them down a slippery slide to your call to action, and results in that desired action. Hey, that’s what landing pages are all about, right?

With the three great judges: Seth Godin, Darren Rowse and Brian himself, I’m sure it will be challenging enough. And judging by the anticipation shown in previous week’s comments at Copyblogger, the competition is going to be tough.

Good luck to everyone who decides to participate!

Even if you don’t, be sure to stop by cause there will definitely be examples of really good copywriting submitted in the coming days (all entries to be submitted by May 21st, 2007).

Visit Brian’s announcement post for the full contest details.