How I removed a FinFisher FinSpy malware infection

I don’t like catching a virus or malware (in my Windows 7 PC) and neither do most people. I wasn’t thinking about an infection issue with my PC when I read about a new, free, open-source malware detection tool called Detekt. It is far more effective at detecting malware than my copy of Norton Internet Security. I downloaded it and let it run in Administrator mode after disconnecting from the internet. After two hours or longer, what it reported was scary.

Continue reading How I removed a FinFisher FinSpy malware infection

Has search marketing been devalued?

Several observations over the past year have led me to conclude that search marketing as a profession is in decline. Of course, some people will say that it’s never been better before – good luck to them.

Duane Forrester laid off at Bing

Duane ForresterDuane Forrester was a Senior Product Manager for Webmaster Outreach at Bing until 30 October 2014. His position was restructured out of existence, along with many other layoffs that day. I met him just once at Pubcon, when I confused him with Derrick Wheeler, an in-house SEO at Microsoft. :) I have since had the occasional interaction with him on Facebook and noted his birthplace as Nova Scotia, Canada (which I hope to explore in the next year or two for family genealogy purposes). Continue reading Has search marketing been devalued?

Using Chromecast with Netflix in Australia

Sometime in 2013 Amazon accidentally allowed people outside the US to order Google Chromecast. Without fully grasping what it did, I ordered mine and it arrived within days. Amazon realised its mistake and emailed me asking me to return it at their expense for a full refund, as it would not be supported outside the US. [Update: It is now sold in Australia.] Continue reading Using Chromecast with Netflix in Australia

Virgin, are you kidding?

Occasionally, I run the great backlink tool Majestic SEO across websites of major companies purely to see if they are likely to fall victim to one of Google’s Penguin updates. Being a quiet Friday night, I thought I would check out the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ), as it is a subsidiary of a former client, not forgetting that it was my first bank when I lived in Godzone.

So I let it rip. One of the first reports I run is the Referring Domains Report, which I sort by Trust Flow in ascending order. This lists the lowest value links first and it’s common to see a few with a value of zero. Continue reading Virgin, are you kidding?

Photos from 14-15 August 1947 – Indian Transfer of Power ceremonies

My uncle, Jayantilal B. Nallawalla was commissioned by Lord Mountbatten to be his private photographer a few months before and during the Indian independence day (“Transfer of Power”) ceremonies. For the first time, his photos are being released online. As a teenager, I was privileged to communicate with Lord Mountbatten for several years and his unsolicited kindness ultimately helped me to emigrate to New Zealand.

These photos were printed in B&W from a colour film roll, so some sharpness has been lost.

14 August 1947

Lord Mountbatten transferring power from Britain to India
Lord Mountbatten transferring power from Britain to India

Jawaharlal Nehru played a major role in the Indian independence struggle and became India’s first Prime Minister. Continue reading Photos from 14-15 August 1947 – Indian Transfer of Power ceremonies

Starbucks India doesn’t get social media

Armaan Kapur is a 21-yo writer in New Delhi who did something that many middle-class Indians do — try to go to Starbucks India (Link to Facebook page) in Connaught Place, New Delhi. In Australia, you don’t normally admit that you drink that brand of coffee, and most of their outlets were closed down (Link to an ABC article) in 2008. So what went wrong?

Continue reading Starbucks India doesn’t get social media

Upgrading an iPhone 3GS to iPhone 5

I have had an Apple iPhone 3GS for nearly three years and its chief annoyance to me was the camera. Any excuse to upgrade to the iPhone 5. I missed the earliest order date so I was happy to wait the estimated two weeks. As luck would have it, Optus sent me an SMS to say I could collect it on the launch date of 21 September 2012.

I got to the store around 5 pm and there were about four people ahead of me, including people who hadn’t pre-ordered. So, at least in this store there wasn’t a shortage of some models. By contrast, the Millenia Mall in Orlando had hundreds of people waiting to buy their iPhone 4 on its launch date. We just happened to be watching the spectacle, content with our 3GS.

Only four people were ahead of me at Optus World, Werribee Plaza on 21 September 2012.


Much longer queue for the Apple 4 at The Millenia Mall, Orlando, FL Apple store on 24 June 2010.


Continue reading Upgrading an iPhone 3GS to iPhone 5

SEO and what Kogan is doing right

If you haven’t heard of the Kogan brand or its founder, Ruslan Kogan, you will, sooner or later. Ruslan describes himself as coming from a Housing Commission flat in Melbourne (welfare housing scheme). He is totally street smart and has made a name for himself in Australia and UK as an online purveyor of  electronics (and a furniture brand). I have heard him speak at a journo junket and on TV — he is always entertaining.

At the Professional eBay Sellers Alliance (PeSA) conference that just ended at the Gold Coast Convention Centre on Friday, Ruslan entertained the 600+ audience on Wednesday with the story of his business journey and some valuable tips that he had learnt.

Ash Nallawalla
I presented two sessions at PeSA12

Ruslan also gave his views on SEO and CRO agencies, which were interpreted by the audience in a couple of ways. The people at my table and I took them to mean, “Don’t worry about SEO; get your online business right. Offer a differentiator and provide a value-add.” I can’t recall his exact words, but they left an impression on some that SEO wasn’t at all important and that Ruslan didn’t care much for SEO. Continue reading SEO and what Kogan is doing right