Google Maps Now With Malaysia Map

Yes I know I know… the title sounds weird. Remember the days when loading Google Maps you can only see the satellite images? Well, if you click on “Map” or “Hybrid”, no useful information was shown.

Those days are now over. I jumped up today at the office when I saw that the Map button now will bring you a much needed detail – road names. Behold! The following is a snapshot of Multimedia University in Cyberjaya where even the small roads inside the university compound are labeled.

Google Map MMU

Even the small street where my home is located has a label now (not shown). How cool is that!?

And if you miss that satellite image, you can always click on Hybrid and you’ll see the satellite image with the road maps on top. Following is a shot of the famous crossroad in the Center of Cyberjaya.

Google Maps Cyberjaya

My US readers… please bear with me while I enjoy this new feature that has just been made available in my country. You obviously had yours some time ago 😉

Turn Off Your Scooter Engine

A few days ago I received a video via email where a little girl was left on a scooter by the father. She accidentally turned the throttle and the scooter shot forward. I found the same video in YouTube:

I really feel sorry for the little girl. It must’ve hurt like hell and she must be traumatized. So if you ever take your children on a scooter remember not to left them alone, and it is better if you turn off the engine and remove the key. She was lucky the scooter did not end up on top of her. The video is not funny at all.

On a side note, please always use helmets! As you can see in the video they don’t have any helmets with/on them.

I promised myself that I will never bring my kid on a motorcycle, with or without helmets.

Checking Limits on OpenVZ / Virtuozzo

Do you use virtual server hosting for your websites? It’s commonly known as VPS. Most hosting companies now uses Virtuozzo, a proprietary operating system virtualization product produced by SWsoft, Inc.

The OpenVZ project is an open source community project supported by SWsoft and is intended to provide access to the code and ultimately for the open source community to test, develop and further the OS virtualization effort.

A couple of months ago when I have not tried OpenVZ, a friend asked me about a problem he is facing with his VPS which is hosting streaming videos and receiving millions of hits per day. He received errors such as:

  • cannot fork
  • Error running script: not enough memory
  • Fork failed

Now that I have deep knowledge in OpenVZ I know what causes the problem. The problem is that his running software and services were using resources more than allocated by the hosting company. If you are using such service, one good way to check is by executing this command:

# cat /proc/user_beancounters

The output would look like this:

   uid  resource           held    maxheld    barrier      limit    failcnt
  101:  kmemsize         473318     927071    2752512    2936012          0
        lockedpages           0          0         32         32          0
        privvmpages        1611      62436       4915       5357         40
        shmpages              1         31       8192       8192          0
        dummy                 0          0          0          0          0
        numproc               9         15         65         65          0
        physpages           887      32985          0 2147483647          0
        vmguarpages           0          0       6144 2147483647          0
        oomguarpages        888      32985       6144 2147483647          0
        numtcpsock            0          4         80         80          0
        numflock              1          3        100        110          0
        numpty                1          1         16         16          0
        numsiginfo            0          3        256        256          0
        tcpsndbuf             0       7856     319488     524288          0
        tcprcvbuf             0      95460     319488     524288          0
        othersockbuf       6660       8880     132096     336896          0
        dgramrcvbuf           0       8364     132096     132096          0
        numothersock          5          8         80         80          0
        dcachesize            0          0    1048576    1097728          0
        numfile             168        399       2048       2048          0
        dummy                 0          0          0          0          0
        dummy                 0          0          0          0          0
        dummy                 0          0          0          0          0
        numiptent            10         10        128        128          0

These info are important because it is most likely that you can’t see what configurations your VPS is running with.

Simple meanings of the columns:

  • resource – name of the resource
  • held – current usage
  • maxheld – max ever used
  • barrier – soft limit of the resource
  • limit – hard limit where the VPS will never use more
  • failcnt – fail count

The most important thing to see is the failcnt column, where in an ideal situation you should see only zeros. In this case, you see that privvmpages have failed 40 times because I on purposely lowered the memory allocated for the VPS and run some programs.

You will never be able to change the resource allocation from within the VPS but at least you know what your problem is and is a good point of discussion with the hosting company.

And oh yes, the values are in 4k blocks which means that if the setting is 4915 the actual value is 19660k (4915 * 4k). Of course this is only applicable for some, and not for countable values such as numpty.

Good luck!

Does PageRank Matter?

As many of us has experienced, Google has finally slapped everyone who has paid links on their site. PageRanks have been stripped off by as much as 2 on most sites. A good example would be this site which has been penalized from PR4 to PR2. I am not complaining, since I never have any good chance to analyze my site to abide by all of Google’s quality guidelines.

This event makes me think on how PageRank really matters for websites. It matters because all of us make it so, by acknowledging the authority of the scheme. Hell, I know I will be happy if my PageRank gets a certain boost.

Google has announced for quite some time now, that they don’t like paid links. This is understandable because this kind of link will effect the PageRank and search results. However this is a critical move for many bloggers who makes money via paid posts where they are not allowed to include the rel="nofollow" tags in the links inside the paid posts. And to make things worst – there is a cyclic dependency: PageRank will be lower for paid bloggers, and paid bloggers are ranked by PageRank.

Being an occasional paid post writer myself I realize that many paid post operators uses and acknowledge the authority of external ranking systems such as PageRank and Alexa. The higher their rank, the better chance they get to grab those high value posts. Alexa is still alright, since it is based purely on traffic but stricter schemes like PageRank is sure a pain for those who have been seriously blogging for money.

And do not forget: advertisers seeking to put paid links on your site will also look at your PageRank! 😉

Once obvious thing for this site is the occasional paid posts, and the sponsored links. For now, I shall only put links from advertisers who agrees to allow the rel="nofollow" tag on their links. This way they will benefit from clicks and not from search engines. When I have the time I think I’ll look into the guidelines and use the Google Webmaster tool to ask for reconsideration.

How about you? How much does PageRank matter to you?