Your Tax Dollars At Work: Laser Guided Bullets

Sandia labs Laser Guided Bullett
Sandia labs Laser Guided Bullett
The four-inch-long bullet has actuators that steer tiny fins that guide it to its target. Photo by Randy Montoya from Sandia Labs

Sandia Labs scientists had developed laser guided bullets. Really they are mini guided missals.

Sandia’s design for the four-inch-long bullet includes an optical sensor in the nose to detect a laser beam on a target. The sensor sends information to guidance and control electronics that use an algorithm in an eight-bit central processing unit to command electromagnetic actuators. These actuators steer tiny fins that guide the bullet to the target.

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Google Page Rank Update Kills Traffic

Google has apparently made a page rank algorithm update on about June 23rd 2011. I can tell because traffic at greginthedesert.net has dropped to about 1/100 of it’s normal traffic.

This is not the first time a Google PR update has affected traffic negatively and I’m hopeful this will be a temporary situation as it has been before.

What Google Takes Away, Google Gives Back

At the end of last year Google did something with its page rank algorithm that caused my site to loose most traffic from Google. I thought the problem was due to excessive load times on my site. I used Pingdom to narrow the load times to a javascirpt from a WordPress contact form plugin. The javascript took about 4 seconds to load and was loading on every page, including pages that did not have the contact form.

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Once disabled the load times were down to a more reasonable level, although they have crept back up according to Google Webmaster Tools. As far as I can tell it’s images causing the load times. It was a good exercise for me to understand load times but it was a change made completely on Google’s part that caused the loss in traffic. The site not only got the traffic back but it increased a little. Also, when the traffic did come back the site had a significant increase in comment spam, so much that I had to turn off comments for certain posts.

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Meanwhile, I took a much need break from the blog and completely ignored everything (except approving comments) and missed that TechCrunch linked to one of my pages. Causing a nice spike in traffic.

Google Puts My Site At The Top

Don’t ask me how or why it works like it does. But A post I made just about 1 days ago already shows as the first result on Google. Doing a Google search for Election Postponement shows my post as the very first result. Oh if only all those post spammer had whatever magic my site has.

The funny thing is there are probably on a dozen, if that, people linking to me. It’s not the first time it’s happened either, as many other post I’ve made have shown up as my page first on the list, things that I’m not neccissarily the expert on (like almost everything I post). Oh well, in a few days I expect it will drop in the rankings. For a while I had the top listing for the post I made about the FCCSong, now I show as about the 70th result.