Wednesday, November 21, 2012

iPhone FaceTime over cellular for AT&T now available for some, even without LTE?

iPhone FaceTime
iPhone FaceTime
AT&T's decision to let only its customers on shared and new data plans pick up FaceTime over cellular may have riled some, but at least it's been able to roll-out the functionality earlier than the two-month window suggested in early November. MacRumors' forums are abuzz with word that their iOS devices (mostly on the East Coast) are now able to make FaceTime calls without WiFi. Perhaps more importantly, according to these early reports, you might not have to wield an LTE iDevice to use it, with several non-4G devices running iOS 6 able to stream faces elsewhere. If you're still getting the pop-up of misery (seen above), forum users suggesting switching your phone off and on again.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

No Sound Fedora 16 or 17 with Geforce NVidia Video Card

GeForce Nvidia Video Card with HDMI output
GeForce Nvidia Video Card with HDMI output
One of the things I've noticed since I built my own home theater personal computer (HTPC) is that there are a lot of people who have a great genuine interest in helping others with electronic (hardware or software) issues. The reason we take the time to do that is because it makes us look more smart and intelligent and if you do exactly that on the Internet, you are showcasing your mental power to the world that you are for lack of better term, "Smart." So, what we have a lot of on the Internet today is a lot of "noises" about how to fix this or that or how they were able to work around an issue all in the hope of helping others or for other reasons. Sometimes there are a lot of "noises" about nothing than real information, which can hinder someone's progress in whatever they are doing. It took me months, before I found the information on the Internet I really needed to solve my computer problem. However, I am glad to know that people care about sharing information whether real or something about nothing. In this post, "How to enable sound on HDMI port on Fedora 16?," I hope to provide a real information all in the hope that it will help someone somewhere on this planet.

Since I built my HTPC, I have been running GeeXbox OS, Linux Media Center. It allowed me to play videos on the Internet and watch my favorite movies and TV Shows. Setting up Geexbox was very easy and it worked the first time just the way I wanted it - being able to watch my shows and program all through my video cards' output port HDMI - video and sound. However, I felt GeeXbox was somewhat limited in that you can only watch whatever is available through their Video Add-Ons only and they only had handful of good video add-on. I realized the Internet has to be much bigger than that. So, I decided it is time to test drive a different Linux Operating system or distrobution rather than just media center.

Having used Fedora OS for such a long time on my desktop, I felt I will give it a try first on my HTPC and see if it was any better. So, I downloaded their Fedora 16, latest stable distrobution. Even though Fedora 17 is out, it has its own issues which I think is currently being resolved.

My Fedora 16 OS test went well. I was able to install it successfully on my HTPC and use it like any other operating system, until I tested my hardware - one being High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) output on my video card. Although it was able to send video to my LCD TV, there was no sound of any kind that came through my TV speakers and I know HDMI output is capable of sending video and audio on the same output. So, I spend many days and nights reading, surfing the net for information and trying what people suggested online, but I still couldn't make it work or figure out why I simply can't tell Fedora 16 to send the audio signal to my video card HDMI output port, but I was able to gather information from several websites on "how to enable sound on video card HDMI output?" Finally, after all this time of banging my head against the wall and pulling my hair, I was able to make it work. Hopefully, it will work for you as well.

Here are the steps on "How to enable sound on video card HDMI output on Fedora 16?"

  1. Reboot your system, access your BIOS setting and under audio configuration disable all the audio devices on your motherboard. You really don't have to do this if you don't need to. I did it because it made it easier for me. If you do this step, your other sound devices may not work.
  2. Open your terminal program and execute the following command below. This command will update your whole Fedora system with any available updates. It is always a good idea to be up-to-date before you troubleshoot your system. This may take 5 to 10 minutes to complete.
    1. su yum update
  3. Once completed with the update, reboot your system and execute the following command below on your terminal.
    1. su gedit /etc/default/grub
  4. Your grub file should open up with text editor. Add the following line below in the grub file at the end of the kernel line and save it.
    1. rdblacklist=nouveau vga=0×318
  5. Run the following command just as you see it below on your terminal. Just copy it and paste it into your terminal and run. This will go out and look for the latest binary driver for your Geforce Nvidia Video Card. The reason you need the latest driver for your card is that the generic "nouveau free Xorg" driver that comes with your Fedora OS does not support HDMI output fully at all.
    1. su -c “rpm -Uvh 
  6. After downloading the binary driver, once again you have to update your system as you did before by executing the following command on your terminal as you see it below. This time it shouldn't take no more than a minute or two.
    1. su yum update
  7. For me, the above step is all I need to do to install the Nvidia propitiatory driver. However, I have found out that for some people, you actually have to install a specific driver based on your system. If so do the following.
    1.  For 64bit Users: “su yum install kmod-nvidia xorg-x11-drv-nvidia-libs.i686 xorg-x11-drv-nvidia-libs.x86_64"
      A.) For 32bit Users: “su yum install kmod-nvidia xorg-x11-drv-nvidia-libs.i686
      B.) For 32bit Users using the PAE kernel: “su yum install kmod-nvidia-PAE.i686 xorg-x11-drv-nvidia-libs.i686
  8. Once completed, you probably should reboot your system and then continue on to step 9.
  9. Then, execute "aplay -l" without the quotes on your terminal and it will give you a list of audio devices available. Make a note of the card number and device number you want to use from the list it displays.
  10. Run the following command as you see it below on your terminal. It will open a file with a lots of information in it including audio driver info.
    1. su gedit /etc/pulse/
  11. In the file you just opened, find a section that deals with audio driver. As the last line in the audio section, add the following line as you see it below but with one exception. You will have to replace 1 with your card number and 7 with your device number as you took note from the step 9. Then, save the file and close it.
    1. load-module module-alsa-sink device=hw:1,7
  12. Now, go to your sound settings in your Fedora system and select the audio device you want to use. Plus, you may also want to make sure that everything is enabled and nothing is muted on your alsamixer.
  13. Now, you are done! Just reboot your system.
 *Note: If this doesn’t seem to work for you, in step 4, instead of “rdblacklist=nouveau”, try “nouveau.modeset=0″

These steps worked for me right away. Thanks to everyone who posted self-help information on this perticular problem.

If you are still having problem and can't figure out what is going on or simply want to ask me question, then drop me a line at

UPDATE: This issue in Fedora 16 and/or 17 is fixed in Fedora 19 the latest distribution. However, I found out that once you make the move from Fedora 16 or 17 to 19, you will no longer be able to do the above steps to get your audio working if you want to go back to Fedora 17 or 16. I tried that I couldn't get the audio to work at all. I believe, that's because drivers and kernels or what not in your repository has been updated for Fedora 19. Good Luck.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Monday, November 12, 2012

How to Increase Google's Crawl Frequency

Google Crawl Bot
I was a part of a much anticipated website redesign and relaunch recently. I fervently monitored post launch metrics, page crawl rate, 404s, indexed pages, and so on as any other anxious SEO professional would do.
While reviewing the pages crawled per day in Google Webmaster Tools, I noticed that out of the gate we had an instant crawl of nearly all site pages.

I passed this on to the client for which I got the quick reply of, “Why is it crawling more pages now than it used to crawl?"

Seeing this reminded me yet again of all the reasons why sound SEO practices on-site can help aid in crawl frequency enhancement.

(Note: Ideal page count is around 500 pages, some duplicate pages were quickly indexed and then roboted.)
Pages crawled per day

Through the redesign, we enacted several SEO elements, which have helped to allow and some instance entice crawling bots to frequent the site more often…and more pages at that. Let's examine how those elements increased Google's crawl frequency.

Why You Should Care About Crawl Frequency

SEO, to many, hinges upon attaining enhanced visibility for highly searched terms as well as referring this traffic to their sites. Taking our blinders off for a moment, there are a few things we have to remember.
We want to rank many pages on a site, not just the homepage. Additionally, we're actively making changes to our sites and we want bots to see this as quickly as possible and as deep within the site as possible.


Redesign/Site Migration or Not, No Excuses

As mentioned above the redesign effort did a good job of lending to the opportunity to enhance crawl frequency as so many good SEO changes were taking place at once. Additionally, so much more new content and refreshed content drives the bots nuts giving them so much more to want to peruse on the site, thanks Google Caffeine!

For many out there, you can’t enjoy the opportunity of creating a full scale redesign, platform change, and SEO overhaul of a site all at once. If this is you, then the list below is a working order of all the standard SEO practices you can work on to improve crawl frequency on your site.


Get ’em on the Site

  • Run a DNS check, Ping and Traceroute check of the site to assess if there are any issues with site pages loading with regard to connectivity or any other server issues. Can the bots even access your pages?
  • Run a page load speed report of your 10 most important pages to review how fast your pages are loading. Crawlers lack patience. Are you asking too much of them?
  • Utilize parameter-free static/clean URLs on the site. Bots have long had issues with parameter crawling. Yes, they can often see their way through these now, but why not make it easier for them to crawl the site?


Hand Them the Keys to the Site

  • Review your robots.txt file as well as your usage of meta robots tags. What pages are holding from them?
  • Have an XML sitemap as well as HTML sitemap.
  • Enlist supplemental navigation on-site (i.e., footer navigation, breadcrumb navigation, and relevant internal linking in copy). Create pathways to make a site easy to crawl.
  • Fix internal links resulting in 404 errors as well as ensuring that external links open in new windows. You don’t want to stop the crawl and you don’t want to usher them away.


Entice & Lure Them

Generate fresh content! This may be the most important point in the checklist.

Give them a reason to feel they should come back on a regular basis. This doesn’t mean you need new content site-wide every month, but it does mean refreshing existing content on a quarterly basis and maintaining site sections – news, blog, etc. –that have continuously added content onto the domain.
Generate links and social citations to your site. This can be a large scale task in itself. Think of it this way: the more links you have out on the web, the greater your chances are of attracting crawling bots. Think of links as portals into your site.


As you can see, there are many components that aid in enhancing your bot crawl frequency and depth of crawl. These are also many of the foundational elements of SEO. This helps to reinforce that crawl frequency, is after all, a very important aspect of SEO itself.

Adhere to these recommendations and you will have a better optimized site and hopefully see an enhanced bot crawl rate.

Nintendo Hopes Its New Wii Will Appeal To U

The new Wii U console could let Nintendo shrug off its casual gamer image and enhance its appeal among core players.

The touchscreen is being used as the primary controller
Handheld device as primary device

The handheld device can be used as the primary controller
Nintendo's Wii U GamePad and console
Nintendo aims to recapture the core gamer market with its new Wii U console

Nintendo is gearing up to launch its new Wii U video games console - and aims to address the shortcomings of the original device.

The Wii U is the first entry in the eighth generation of video game home consoles and delivers HD graphics and a 6.2-inch touchscreen controller.

Nintendo deliberately targeted the casual market with its original Wii.

Game designer and producer Shigero Miyamoto, the man behind the Mario and Zelda games, admitted this decision meant the Wii was not seen as a direct competitor to its Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 rivals.
The Wii had inferior graphics, but the new Wii U pushes the resolution up to 1020p on high definition TVs and monitors which support this display.

But the most radical innovation is the tablet-style controller, an attempt to mix traditional console gaming with the ever-more-popular casual touchscreen gaming of iPads and other tablets.

Wii U GamePad
The Wii U can be used with a big HD screen - and its own inbuilt screen
The controller, which features its own screen, can be used either to enhance the big screen gaming experience or as a standalone handheld device.

"What we're layering on are all types of new unique experiences," said Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime.

"Sure you'll be able to use the touchpad just from a touch perspective, but there will be a lot more activity that we'll be able to bring.

"For example, this device has near-field communication technology. So that brings a whole new level of interaction and different things that can be done beyond what you can do today with a tablet.
"But really the key part of this is that it's all one integrated system. So what you can do on the big screen and what you can do on the smaller screen.

"It's all connected, versus right now those are very separate experiences that aren't talking to each other."
Over the summer at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, Nintendo illustrated how New Super Mario Bros. U could be played on either a TV or the touchscreen controller.

Wii U (Nintendo)

The Wii U lets up to five people play together (Nintendo)
The latest instalment in the brick-smashing, coin-collecting franchise lets up to four people play simultaneously with traditional controllers, while another can join in with the touchscreen controller to jab enemies and build platforms.

New Super Mario Bros. U and another title called NintendoLand demonstrate what Nintendo calls "asymmetric gameplay" - where a group of people playing together are having very different play experiences on a single game.

And after taking on board criticism of the original Wii's awkward online system, Nintendo has boosted the new console's connected capabilities.

"The system will know when you're playing with your user account - everything that you've played in the past, what your preferences are," said Mr Fils-Aime.

"So it will truly be an experience unique to you. Versus if your wife or your children want different experiences, they really are tailored for each particular consumer.

The Wii U is scheduled to be released on Saturday in North America, November 30 in Europe and Australia, and December 8 in Japan.