Lions ‘Ware-y’ of Cowboys’ defense

ALLEN PARK — If there’s a better NFL defenseman than Cowboys’ linebacker DeMarcus Ware, Scott Linehan could not name him.

“We know he’s going to be coming from the outside most of the time, they play both open side, closed side of the formation, they put him in the middle of the formation, our guys will know where he’s at, the hard part is blocking him,’’ the Lions offensive coordinator said.

“Is there a better player than that guy right now on defense? I don’t know, I have a hard time finding one who affects the game like he does, big challenge.’’

Ware is one reason the Dallas Cowboys’ defense is ranked No. 1 in the NFC. He could play a huge factor in Sunday’s game when the Lions visit Cowboys Stadium for the second time in 10 months.

In November the Cowboys beat the Lions who were still on that record-setting, ugly road-loss streak. The final score was 35-19, but it seemed closer. Dallas held a 21-19 lead heading into the fourth quarter when Jon Kitna (Tony Romo was injured) connected with Miles Austin for a 4-yard touchdown, then Kitna ran a 29-yard bootleg to score.

The one thing about that game is that the Lions were able to prevent Ware from having a big game, holding him to half a sack and four tackles.

“I think we did a pretty good job last year, but last year is last year, this year is a whole new story,’’ Linehan said who didn’t mention that the Lions’ offense is much more efficient this year than last.

Quarterback Matthew Stafford and his offensive teammates will know where Ware is on every snap.

“They do a good job of moving him around, that’s something we have to pay attention to,’’ Stafford said. “You’ve got to understand where he’s wanting to rush from and some of the stuff he does best. We have to try to get the ball out quick, he’s a great player, he’s leading the NFC in sacks, he’s got five sacks by now, he’s doing a great job upfront.’’

It’s another challenge for the Lions’ offensive line which struggled with the noise last week at the Metrodome in the Lions’ overtime win. They allowed five sacks after zero sacks in the first two games.

“They do have very good pass rush, first in the NFL in sacks with 13, DeMarcus Ware has five,’’ Schwartz said. “He’s definitely a guy we need to neutralize, whether it’s neutralize by running the ball, neutralize by throwing the ball quick, neutralize by protecting well — however you do it we need to account for him on every single play.’’

Of course the Cowboys defense isn’t a one-man show. Nose tackle Jay Ratliff and linebacker Sean Lee could be a handful too.

“This is a great defense, not a good defense,’’ Linehan said. “That’s a tough match-up for any offense or offensive line. It’s not like you can concentrate on one side or a certain interior player, you’re talking about having those speed guys on the outside and a guy that plays like Ratliff does in the middle, it’s tough duty.’’

And that defense is part of what stands in the way of the Lions running their win streak this season to 4-0.

Of course in Dallas this same conversation could be held about Ndamukong Suh and the Lions defense which is ranked second in the NFC overall and first in pass defense. Suh had eight tackles in the Lions’ loss in November along with half a sack, but that was last year. He and the Lions’ defense are a more complete unit this year.

It all sets up for a good one.

(Paula Pasche covers the Lions. Follow her on Twitter @PaulaPasche. Read her Lions Lowdown blog at Get Lions news delivered directly to your phone by texting the keyword “Lions” to 22700.)

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Connecting With Your Influencers

Social networks have become the primary source of new content for many professionals trying to stay current in their field or to discover the latest insights. This is especially true for Internet Marketing professionals: we must constantly seek new opportunities for improvement while maintaining a thorough understanding of current tools.

Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ can offer access to a great deal of content. However, one must understand how to navigate and curate the billions of available tweets, posts, and viewpoints. Identifying and following your own group of experts will get you started.

Twitter is a fantastic way to gain a deeper understanding of who is really listening to whom:

  1. Find Them: Finding topical experts is as easy as a keyword search on Twitter or Google (though, it tends to be more difficult on Facebook). Klout ( also features topic pages that provide access to leading influencers by area.
  2. Validate Them: A glance can provide you with a list of who you know that follows this expert. One more click can show you who that expert follows. The voices that influence them are certainly worthy of your attention as well.
  3. Organize Them: Building custom lists establishes your own content feeds, providing you with new insights every day: content you can trust and are more willing to share because it comes from your own hand-picked network of trusted sources.

However, do not rely on a single network to fulfill all your content needs. It is important to establish connections virtually (if not personally) with your trusted sources. Here are some ways you can build meaningful relationships with your online network of influencers:

  • Provide Constructive Comments: Content creators love feedback. Whether you provide support or challenge their viewpoint, generating substantive conversation around their content encourages others to join in.
  • Reach Out: Should the opportunity arise, email the expert personally and introduce yourself. Personal relationships are far more valuable than social media connections alone, and can lead to fruitful collaborations.
  • Meet Them: Social media tools like Lanyrd ( can show you events where your connections are speaking or attending. One of them may be in your area, or at the same conference as you. Make an effort to greet them in person, and bring business cards. They may only recognize your Twitter handle at first, but the real life connection is one that can resonate. (Side note: using your name as your Twitter handle can help to ease these introductions by reinforcing your personal brand online.)

Marketing Pilgrim’s Social Channel is proudly sponsored by Full Sail University, where you can earn your Masters of Science Degree in Internet Marketing in less than 2 years. Visit for more information.

In consultation with our colleagues in the Internet Marketing department at Full Sail University, we compiled a list of valuable online experts and resources. Endeavor to find your experts wherever they exist online. Build your own connections with them. You will find that many people you trust online will return that trust when they discover you share a common bond with them: the quest for knowledge.

Authors Dan Gorgone @dangorgone and Kerry Gorgone @kerrygorgone.

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20 tips for a rock-solid job interview

The $1.8 million dollar deal is the first under GSA’s governmentwide infrastructure-as-a-service contract. Under the three-year contract, CGI said it will provide DHS with public cloud web content management services, which includes hosting on,, and others.

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Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet review

When Lenovo announced a pair of Android tablets this summer, we didn’t even pretend it was the IdeaPad K1 we were most jazzed about. Sure, it was exciting to see Lenovo enter the Android tablet market on any terms, but it was the ThinkPad Tablet that set our curious minds rolling. There was the design, for one — an obvious homage to those black, red-nubbed laptops with the same name. It has personality, one that’s inextricably tied to Lenovo’s laptop know-how. It offers a full-sized USB port, an SD slot, 1080p output, a 3G SIM and a slew of accessories that includes a dock, pen and keyboard folio case. It’s the kind of tablet we don’t review all that often: one that might actually make for some painless productivity on the road.

As you can imagine, we’ve been waiting months to learn more, and if your tweets, comments and emails are any indication, so have you. Well, wait no more, friends. We’ve been spending almost a week with one and have oh-so much to say. So what are you waiting for? Meet us past the break, won’t you?

Look and feel

The first time we saw the ThinkPad Tablet, back in July, we were struck by its odd proportions. It wasn’t just that this thing was on the plump side (after all, most slates with a full-sized USB port are). No, this tablet was simply… outsized. At 10. 3 x 7.2 x 0.6 inches (260.4 x 181.7 x 14mm), it’s both taller and wider than the Galaxy Tab 10.1 (it measures 10.1 x 6.9 x .34 inches). On paper, that gulf might seem trivial, but the unusual shape was the first thing we noticed. Check the comparison above if you don’t believe us!

That, and its heft. At 1.58 pounds (715 grams), the ThinkPad Tablet feels like the serious productivity slate it claims to be. Because of the extra width, we found ourselves making an effort not to type in portrait mode, since the weight distribution felt particularly imbalanced. Fortunately, even though we felt some stretch in our thumbs while typing in landscape mode, we were still able to do so with relative ease, and discovered that holding the tablet that way made way more sense ergonomically.

This tablet’s heft is also offset, in part, by the fact that it’s generally a well made device. And if you’re the kind of person who already finds ThinkPads’ red nubs and boxy chassis endearing, you might even call it handsome. The back side has a nice, soft finish — one of many ways in which the ThinkPad Tablet borrows design elements from the laptops with the same name. The lid’s also stamped with not one, but two logos — metal Lenovo and ThinkPad insignias, placed catty-corner to each other. As an added flourish, the “i” in “ThinkPad” glows red when the tablet is powered on.

Yet another thing that makes this tablet visually striking: a row of four physical buttons, which line the bottom of the screen when you holding the tablet in portrait mode with the front-facing camera up top. These include one to lock the screen orientation, a browser launcher, a backward navigation key and your requisite home button. Alas, they’re stiff — very hard to press — and we eventually gave up on our efforts to get used to them and simply stuck with the touchscreen. It’s a shame, really, since that tactile experience could have been yet another way for Lenovo to hearken back to the experience of using a ThinkPad laptop.

Taking a tour around the device, you’ll also find a plethora of ports sitting just below that row of physical buttons. These include a door covering an SD reader and a 3G SIM card slot, along with an exposed docking connector, micro-USB port, mini-HDMI socket (1080p capable) and a headphone jack. On the opposite end (the other short edge), you’ll find a volume rocker, along with a slot for the optional pen (much more on that in a moment). Moving along to the long edges, you’ve got a lone USB 2.0 port on one side, hidden behind a neat little sliding door, with a power / lock button rounding out the opposite side.

Pen input

Like the HTC Flyer, the ThinkPad Tablet uses N-Trig’s DuoSense digitizer to allow for both pen and touch input. Also like the Flyer, the pen is sold separately, though in this case it comes for a slightly (keyword: slightly) less insulting price of $30. In a cute touch, Lenovo topped off the pen with a red cap — a loving throwback to the signature pointing stick you’ll find on any ThinkPad notebook. Inside the box, you’ll also find two replaceable tips, so tiny you could easily toss them out with the packaging if you’re not careful. It also includes a single AAAA battery, which you insert by screwing off the red top. Rounding out the lot, there’s a thin string you can use to tether it to the tablet.

Alas, there’s not much you can do with the pen beyond Lenovo’s own note-taking app, aptly named Notes Mobile. When you launch the app, the first thing you’ll see are a selection of different notebooks. One of them is merely a tutorial, but you can, if you wish, add books as you please, designating a new one for each client you meet, or conference call you have to take.

The display responds smoothly to pen input, so you won’t have to bear down as you’re writing. Keep in mind that it’s not a pressure-sensitive pen, either, so gripping the pen tightly and applying lots of pressure isn’t going to change your signature in the slightest. In many ways, too, the software works intuitively. You can circle passages to either delete them or export them as text or an image. (Alas, you can’t change the font or text color that way, though there are icons at the top of the screen that let you adjust these settings before you start writing new text.) You can erase words by scribbling through them, though you can also tap on an eraser icon at the top of the screen and just wipe that over the page. Helpfully, there are also undo and redo buttons up top, along with a new page button on the bottom.

The problem is, the OCR software just isn’t precise enough. Even when we printed large, carefully written letters, the app misconstrued our words. We wrote “Go Home,” it came back with “bottom.” Two attempts at “Stop it” resulted in “Stop tt” and “Siip lt.” To get the best results, we had to make a concerted effort to write legibly, either in printed letters or the kind of meticulous penmanship we honed back in elementary school — which, you know, is totally how our writing looks as we’re scrambling to keep up with speakers during meetings and lectures. Anyhow, hopefully this is something Lenovo can remedy through an update.

Display and sound

We’ve already established that the ThinkPad Tablet’s 10.1-inch (1280 x 800) IPS, Gorilla Glass display isn’t the most responsive in the land. But how does it look? Indeed, we enjoyed comfortable viewing angles from the sides and also with the tablet placed on a tablet in front of us — and this was with an overhead light shining above, mind you. Still, even with the brightness pumped to the max, we weren’t able to make out much while squinting at the screen outside on a cloudy day (not an unlikely scenario, especially if you hold out for one of the 3G-enabled versions). By the by, when it comes to media playback, you can play files off of SD cards and USB drives.

As for that lone speaker, the sound quality is pleasant, though expect it to sound faint even with the volume cranked to its top setting.


We know, we know. Tablet cameras are almost always disappointing and it feels like every time we review a new model, we proclaim its set of lenses to be the worst we’ve ever seen. So forgive us if we sound like a broken record, but the ThinkPad Tablet’s five megapixel rear-facing cam is particularly bad. It just can’t seem to do anything right. Even when we an our subjects were still and we chose relatively easy lighting conditions, our shots almost never looked sharp. Throughout our gallery, you’ll notice a softness in the image quality — not just in low light, but in pics taken on a slightly cloudy day. In some cases, the background is sharper than our intended subjects in the foreground. As for two megapixel camera tucked on the front side, we thought our shots were respectable, considering the lens’ low resolution, but thanks to clumsy ergonomics there’s no reason to use the front camera instead of your smartphone for stills.

When you flip from still photos to 720p video, it’s more of the same: not-exactly-sharp footage with some visible ghosting as cars and other fast-moving objects rumble on by.


If you recall, we ended our time with the IdeaPad K1 feeling underwhelmed. The performance courtesy of NVIDIA’s Tegra 2 SoC was poky and the display didn’t always respond to our taps and swipes (to say nothing of the bulky, toy-like design). We hoped that as a higher-end product — you know, the one carrying the storied ThinkPad name — this one would be different, more polished. In retrospect, that was a stretch: Either Lenovo knows how to make a tablet or it doesn’t. It might not surprise you, then, to know that we experienced similar issues this time around. Once again, the display screen wasn’t always responsive, and we often found ourselves tapping multiple times before anything happened. In general, too, the tablet felt slow to open and minimize apps, regardless of whether we tapped the screen or pressed the physical buttons lining the lower bezel. Other times, the tablet simply wouldn’t flip its screen orientation, even as we rotated the tablet in our hands. It’s glitches like these that make the tablet feel buggy, unfinished.

For the sake of consistency, we ran our usual raft of Android benchmarks, but alas, it’s near-impossible to draw a firm conclusion from these numbers alone. In general, we’re quick to point out that benchmarks don’t tell the whole story, but in this case, the numbers just aren’t consistent. Its score of 1,635 in Quadrant bests other Tegra 2-packing tablets such as the Toshiba Thrive and the Galaxy Tab 10.1, which notched scores of 1,584 and 1,546, respectively. On the other hand, its score of 948 in Vellamo, the mobile browsing test, was lower than what we’ve seen, while its Linpack and Nenamark results were either impressive or lackluster, depending on the comparison. Meanwhile, it took a full minute to cold boot — something that takes other Tegra 2 tabs such as the Thrive and 10.1 about 20 seconds (Lenovo says this normal, and not an aberration on the part of our test unit). However you parse these motley numbers, what we do know is that thanks to the unresponsive display and wonky accelorometer alone, the experience just isn’t as smooth as what you’ll enjoy on other slates.

Battery Life

The ThinkPad tablet packs a 3,250mAh battery promising up to 8.7 hours of juice on WiFi. Indeed, it lasted eight hours on the mark in our battery test (movie looping, WiFi on) before powering down. That’s on the lower end of average for a 10-incher, if you look at our chart above, though it’s at least a good hour and a half longer than the Toshiba Thrive. Particularly given that the Xoom, K1 and TouchPad all beat it by about half an hour or less, the ThinkPad Tablet’s runtime seems respectable, though not great.

Also! The ThinkPad Tablet charges via USB. Once we realized we could charge using a spare USB 2.0 port on our laptop, that immediately rose to become one of our singular favorite features about the tablet. The best part is that you can do it with a regular ‘ole micro-USB cable, unlike the Galaxy Tab 10.1, which requires a proprietary cable to charge via USB.


The software experience on the ThinkPad Tablet is exactly the same as on the IdeaPad K1 — meaning, it’s Android 3.1 with mild skinning and a not-so-modest collection of widgets. For starters, Lenovo took the back, home and open windows buttons in the lower left corner of the screen and painted them an opaque white. The effect is somewhat cartoonish but more importantly, it clashes with the stock Honeycomb clock in the lower right corner, which still glows blue. We still say it’s not something that needed fixing, but at least all of the other software tweaks you’ll see here are reversible.

Also, for what it’s worth, Lenovo tweaked that row of icons so that in addition to being able to tap to see what apps you have open, you can hit an “X” mark to close them. If most of the software tweaks you’ll see here are gimmicks, this built-in task killer, at least, is one we think even seasoned Honeycomb users have to appreciate.

From here on out, it’s widgets, widgets, widgets. Namely, the huge one taking up a good swath of the main home screen. This guy, dubbed Lenovo Launch Zone, has four so-called zones, better described as customizable shortcuts. By default, these zones include ones for watching, reading, listening and checking email, and there’s also a browser shortcut tucked there, too. From this widget, you can also jump to system settings, along with another settings menu governing the zones themselves. Here, you can change the color scheme of the widget, as well as change the shortcuts. In the case of “Read” and those other task-oriented ones, it means changing what app is tied to it, so you don’t have to go straight into Amazon Kindle if you don’t want to.

Want some more shortcuts with your shortcuts? Well, there’s also a carousel of six favorites at the bottom of the screen (this would be the icon that looks like a talk bubble). Once you open the carousel, it’ll pop up in the low right corner of the screen. These, too, are easy to customize — just tap the settings icon to start dragging and dropping your favorite apps into the list. To be honest, we prefer this to Launch Zone, just because it’s less obtrusive. It’s only in the way when we’re actively scrolling through favorites. When we’re not, it’s nothing more than an icon at the button of the screen. As it is, you’ll be greeted by both when you turn on the tablet for the first time. It’s a cluttered setup, to be sure, and we’re less forgiving of it now that we’re reviewing the ThinkPad Tablet — a slate for bona fide techies. Anyone buying this knows his or her way around Honeycomb, and will likely find this kind of hand-holding patronizing, unnecessary. It doesn’t work here, even though we can see why Lenovo decided to slap it on the K1, a tablet that’s decidedly more consumery. In any case, if you’re as annoyed as we are, you can just drag and drop the whole launcher into the trash bin and call it a day.

Moving along, Lenovo also included its SocialTouch app, which aggregates friends’ Facebook and Twitter updates, along with your email and calendar appointments. It’s a neat idea in theory, except that there’s no way to jump from day to day, so it’s essentially like reading your emails and meeting reminders in the form of a Twitter timeline. Expect the important stuff to get lost in the morass.


Like the K1 before it, the ThinkPad Tablet comes with a boatload of apps pre-installed — a list that includes Absolute, AccuWeather, Amazon Kindle, Angry Birds HD, ArcSync (along with 2GB of free storage), Docs to Go, the IM client eBuddy, five card games, a 30-day trial of McAfee Security, Movie Studio, Netflix, ooVoo, Places, PokeTalk, PrinterShare and. Sound Recorder.

As a treat for the beleaguered IT guy, Lenovo also threw in Citrix Receiver, allowing users to access virtualized desktops and company-required apps. Meanwhile, Lenovo’s own Mobility Manager app gives the IT department a fair amount of control, letting it remotely wipe the data, set up data encryption change the password and monitor failed log-in attempts. On top of all that, Lenovo included its own “USB File Copy” app for trading files among the internal flash storage, an external memory card or a PC or hard drive connected via USB. That file manager is welcome, and worked just fine to copy a movie from our SD card to the tablet’s internal memory. Intuitively, it’ll launch automatically when you insert a SB drive or SD card, or when you connect the keyboard folio case (more on that later), which saves you the trouble of digging through the app menu to open it.

In addition to the apps it bundled and the troves you’ll find in Android Market, Lenovo’s also pushing its own storefront, dubbed Lenovo App Shop. The selection hasn’t gotten much beefier since we reviewed the K1 almost two months ago but more importantly, there’s nothing here that you can’t also find in Android Market. For low-tech users considering the K1, perhaps, that kind of curated experience could be a relief. But again, anyone considering pulling the trigger on a ThinkPad Tablet can navigate Android Market just fine, and probably know what they’re looking for anyway. Still, IT managers can customize the store so that it only shows corporate-approved apps, so companies, at least, might appreciate a curated experience, even if end users don’t.

Configuration options and accessories

For the purposes of this review, we checked out the $569 32GB model, though you can also opt for a 16GB version ($499) or a 64GB number ($699). Lenovo’s also selling a $60 dock with USB 2.0, micro-USB, HDMI, headphone and line-out ports, along with that $30 pen we’ve been using to practice our cursive.

If you’ve been following along, though, you know the most intriguing add-on of them all is the $100 keyboard folio case. It is what it sounds like, folks, and it’s awesome. What you have is a fold-out case with a built-in, USB-powered keyboard. What can we say? The keys are just delicious to type on, and really do evoke the experience of tying on a ThinkPad (a ThinkPad Edge with a chiclet keyboard, perhaps, but a ThinkPad just the same). There’s also a red optical trackpad in the center designed to take the place of Lenovo’s signature nub, and it, too, is a pleasure to use. That feature alone transformed the way we interacted with the tablet; particularly since it’s so reliable and comfortable to use, it’s worlds better than combining some third-party keyboard with a standalone mouse. It wasn’t until we wanted to scroll down through webpages that the spell broke slightly, as we needed to take our finger off the trackpad and either use the down arrow key or reach up and touch the screen.

One last note before we stop gushing: as far as cases go, this one’s notably well made. It has three incline settings, and we love how the tablet locks into each with a satisfying click (ditto for the way you can fold the case’s latch underneath itself so that it doesn’t flop around in front of the screen). In a smart move, Lenovo left the ports exposed so that you can charge the tablet without removing it from the folio (the door covering the SD slot will be obscured, though). It’s ironic, really, what’s going on here: Lenovo managed to craft a nearly perfect accessory for a decidedly imperfect tablet. It just goes to show that Lenovo’s at its best when it makes traditional computers — or, at least, things that make for a computer-like experience. Whether you get the ThinkPad Tablet is a question you’ll have to answer for yourself, but if you do, we highly recommend ponying up for the case — it’ll add value in a way the pen doesn’t necessarily.

As for that SIM slot next to the SD card reader, Lenovo has yet to announce a subsidized version here in the states, though it assures us it’ll be announced next month for ATT, Verizon and Sprint. At some later date, you’ll also be able to buy a 3G-ready version with a Gobi radio and roll with whatever SIM cards you already happen to have. If you buy today, though, yours most certainly won’t have that inside, even though the SIM card slot will still be there, hanging out next to the SD reader.

The competition

If you’ve been feeling tempted by the ThinkPad Tablet, we’d assume at least one of the following two things about you: one, you’re a ThinkPad fanboy (or maybe even a fangirl). Secondly, you’re digging that full-sized USB port, SD slot and 1080p output. Further, we’re going to assume you don’t want an iPad 2 or even a Galaxy Tab 10.1. Why? Because they’ve been out for ages and you would have pulled the trigger by now if it were really right for you. We’re also betting you’re aware of the various Win 7 slates on the market, and already decided to pass. Oh, and one more point: if having full-sized ports weren’t so appealing, you might well have opted for a thinner, lighter tablet with longer battery life. With us so far? Alright.

And if it’s those full-sized ports you’re really after, you’ve once again got precious few options. There is, of course, the Transformer, which lacks the SD card slot (and the obnoxious software load), but does include a USB port. Of course, it too, has the keyboard thing covered, thanks to a dock that does triple duty, extending battery life by seven hours and adding an SD slot and two USB 2.0 sockets. Oh, and the 16GB tablet costs just $399, meaning even with the dock ($150 MSRP; $120 on Amazon) it costs little more than the bare-bones ThinkPad Tablet. All things considered, then, we’d rather have a Transformer, though we’d still recommend the ThinkPad Tablet to folks who see the pen as non-negotiable.

There’s also the Toshiba Thrive, which is aggressively priced with a starting price of $429 (that’s the 8GB version). It, too, has a full-sized USB port and SD slot, though it does the ThinkPad Tablet one better by adding a full-sized HDMI socket. It’s even decently fast and has a more responsive screen than the ThinkPad Tablet, which makes the choice not-so clear-cut. Then again, the ThinkPad Tablet offers superior build quality and almost two extra hours of runtime. It’s a tough call, though for what it’s worth, we’d sooner pick the Transformer over the Thrive, too.

Lastly, let’s not forget about the Acer Iconia Tab A500, which also packs a USB port, but not a full-sized SD slot. It’s arguably sleeker than the ThinkPad Tablet, but it’s hardly pinch-thin, and its battery life is lackluster. This wouldn’t be our first choice either.


Back when we reviewed the IdeaPad K1, we came away feeling disappointed. Our verdict, in a sentence, was that the tablet was okay, but we’d rather see what the geekier, more fully featured ThinkPad Tablet had to offer. If anything, though, reviewing it brought on a serious case of déjà vu. Again, we were confronted with a not-so-responsive display, sluggish performance and the same hit-or-miss software tweaks. After testing Lenovo’s first two Android tablets, it seems clear that the problem isn’t a saturated market, where decent Honeycomb slates can go unappreciated. No, the problem is that right now, at least, Lenovo just doesn’t make tablets with the same panache that it does computers.

That’s not to say the ThinkPad Tablet is a failure. It lasts through eight hours of video playback, offers full-sized ports, packs a high-quality IPS display and supports pen input (however imperfect the experience actually is) — all while paying homage to the ThinkPad line’s storied design. It also offers lots of options for IT managers and is offered with a pitch-perfect keyboard case — two ways in which the tablet makes good use of Lenovo’s ThinkPad know-how. Particularly if you’ve been looking for something with a stylus, it’s tough to argue with it, as the flawed writing experience still beats having none at all. And we can see where businesses might be willing to overlook the ho-hum performance in favor of those remote control features. But if it’s just the SD slot and USB port you’re after, you could easily get the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer and dock and spend about $50 less than you would on the ThinkPad Tablet-plus-keyboard-case combo. And if you don’t even care about the ports, well, there’s not enough reason to plunk your hard-earned greenbacks down on something this poky.

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Heroic Media using Google to divert abortion-seekers, violating the search …

Anti-abortion-rights media group Heroic Media recently launched a new online strategy that violates Google policy.

The Texas-based organization — best known for erecting controversial billboards with phrases such as, “The most dangerous place for an African American is in the womb” – re-designed its website in late July, launching a new method of deterring women from getting abortions.

Heroic Media’s latest strategy involves manipulating Google search results by buying ads and filling them with abortion-related keywords that direct abortion-seekers to Option Line, a crisis pregnancy hotline founded by Care Net and Heartbeat International, the nation’s two largest networks of crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs). In March, Majella Cares, which parents Heroic Media and sister organization Life Alwaysregistered the URL, which is a single-page site that essentially serves as what’s known as a “landing page” or “doorway page,” and what Google defines as “large sets of poor-quality pages where each page is optimized for a specific keyword or phrase … written to rank for a particular phrase and then funnel users to a single destination.”

At the top of the website is a prompt to enter a zip code; once entered, the user is taken to an Option Line page that lists crisis pregnancy centers located within that particular area. According to Option Line’s website, there are about 1,800 CPCs within the Option Line network.

The remainder of the FreePregHelp website consists of all-capped blue and green text, reading:

If you’re scared and worried… If your boyfriend freaked, if your parents are mad, then you’ve come to the right place[.] Love yourself. Forgive yourself. Then move on to the important stuff, like making a decision you can live with. One that can ultimately bring you peace and happiness. Now’s the time to talk it out. To know what your options are there are lots more than you might think [.] Listed above are people you can talk to and a website you can go to for more information, advice or direction. They’re confidential. No one will know. You don’t have to do this alone.

Heroic Media outlines its Internet Outreach strategy on its website:

Each month there are more than 2 MILLION Google searches for “abortion” nationwide. When a young woman turns to the internet for immediate, anonymous help, and she searches for abortion related terms, Heroic Media’s keyword advertisements are there to connect her with help and hope.

Internet keyword advertising is targeted and measureable. We can reach scared, abortion-vulnerable women with life-affirming messages and monitor effectiveness by the number of views, clicks, and visits to our site. We recently launched a new landing page at to optimize reporting on just how many women are connected with life-affirming resources.

Keyword advertising on Google is also extremely cost-effective because you only pay for clicks, which cost an average of less than three dollars. That’s three dollars to connect abortion-vulnerable women with life-affirming information and people who can help.

For every $100 we invest in keyword advertising, around 30 women are connected with Option Line where they find the help they and their babies need.

As stated, the intention of the landing page is to funnel Internet users searching for “abortion” to Option Line, but the new strategy appears to violate Google’s policy. The search engine’s webmaster guidelines explicitly state that doorway pages are a violation of policy because they are considered manipulative and deceptive.

From Google’s doorway-page policy:

Whether deployed across many domains or established within one domain, doorway pages tend to frustrate users, and are in violation of our Webmaster Guidelines.

Google’s aim is to give our users the most valuable and relevant search results. Therefore, we frown on practices that are designed to manipulate search engines and deceive users by directing them to sites other than the ones they selected, and that provide content solely for the benefit of search engines. Google may take action on doorway sites and other sites making use of these deceptive practice, including removing these sites from the Google index.

For Google, it’s not about ethics, but search quality, a spokesperson said, adding doorway pages like violate company policy.

“Sites sometimes violate Google’s webmaster guidelines in an attempt to game our algorithms and trick their way to the top of our results,” said Google spokesperson in an email. “If they succeed, this hurts the search experience for people coming to Google, because high-quality information gets buried by spammers and sites don’t get to compete on a level playing field. Our webmaster guidelines are designed to protect users, and when a site violates them, we reserve the right to take action to preserve a good user experience. This helps ensure that in the long run people can find the best possible search results on Google, and website owners can compete on a level playing field for traffic.”

Earlier this year, Google’s cloaking policy gained national attention following a New York Times investigation of JC Penney’s search engine optimization (SEO) strategy, which involved links to JC Penney from thousands of (often unrelated) websites, which in turn drove JC Penney to the top of Google searches for the most mundane items. As the Times, reported, Google found violation with the way in which the retail chain’s website was dominating the search results for everything from “casual dresses” to “horses.”

Article source:

Automated Domain Selling Fail

Make sure your system works so you don’t embarrass yourself.

If you’re going to use an automated or semi-automated system to reach out to potential buyers of your domain names, please make sure the system works. I’ve received several off base emails “I see you own this domain, would you be interested in also owning this (unrelated) domain?

This one today takes the cake:


I would like to know if you are interested in purchasing the domain name Based on your contact information I see that you own, correct? can provide an SEO boost in this market, sending new leads and new traffic to your existing site. Redirecting an exact match keyword domain is more cost effective than paying for CPC advertising (advertisers are paying $1.89 per click for these exact keywords). This domain can help improve, secure, and protect your web branding identity while bringing in relevant keyword searches that you would not have received otherwise.

The price for this domain is just $500. I am reaching out to other related businesses in the next few days, and this domain will go to the first company who replies. Please reply if you are interested.

Thank you,

If this domain is not of interest, simply reply to this email with your industry category and keywords and I can respond with available domains.

Further Reading:

  1. UDRP Panel Questions’s Automated Domain Registration Processes
  2. Helps You Find Unregistered Keyword Domain Names
  3. Some SEOs Understand the Value of Domain Names

Article source:

How to increase traffic volume without adding new keywords


Posted 29 September 2011 10:28am
by Ed Stevenson
with 3 comments

Many marketers still find themselves spending hours of time having to review raw query reports with the slight hope that keyword expansion tools might be able to help them identify those key terms that their campaigns are missing.

Adding new keywords and refining match types might be important for optimisation, but it’s not necessarily the fastest way to increase volume. Often, advertisers focused on growing their paid search programs pay too much attention to keyword expansion activities. 

This isn’t surprising, especially given the multitude of keyword tools out there such as Wordstream, Trellian, or Adgooroo, each promoting their own version of keyword data. 

However, once marketers have built out their core search programs, the process of adding long-tail terms can require a massive expansion and yet only return a slight impact on traffic volumes.

Before embarking on a long-tail keyword expansion effort, marketers therefore need to evaluate whether or not they have done everything they can to maximise the volume from their existing keywords.

As such, here are a few tricks outside of keyword expansion that we have seen have a great impact for search marketers:

Don’t let budgets constrain top performing keywords

You never know when a celebrity endorsement is going to increase traffic on a particular keyword four-fold overnight. Budget settings are important because they stop these situations using up a whole month’s worth of budget on poorly converting traffic.

However, on a regular basis, budgets shouldn’t be limiting volume for top performing campaigns. In general, if keywords are delivering positive margins, marketers should want to take advantage of all of the profitable traffic that is available. 

In order to maximise volume, they should be regularly reviewing top performing campaigns to ensure that impressions aren’t being limited by budgets. To identify campaigns that meet these criteria, they should pull a report that includes the previous month’s daily cost, budget, and margin. 

If campaign spend tends to be at or above the budget for strongly performing campaigns, increasing the campaign budget will most likely drive additional high performance traffic. 

Try out “Accelerated Delivery” for more volume

Many advertisers don’t realise that the Google delivery method setting can affect the rate of traffic that different campaigns receive, even if their budgets are significantly higher than expected traffic. 

With Google AdWords, we’ve noticed that selecting the “standard delivery” option instead of the “accelerated delivery” option results in fewer impressions – even when using the same budget.

So, after ensuring that top performing campaigns aren’t budget limited, turning campaign settings to “accelerated delivery” could provide incremental impressions and revenue.

Expand your reach with keywordless ads

Rather than trying to mine the long tail by adding keywords by hand, marketers should consider taking advantage of Google’s Keywordless Ads. 

While this feature is still in testing, we’ve worked with a number of retail advertisers who have opted into Keywordless Ads (now known as “Dynamic Search Ads”) and seen a lift in conversions and revenue. 

The feature basically turns Google loose on your website, allowing them to target your ads to those keywords they think match the content on your pages. Be careful when setting it up to apply negative placements to the non-commerce pages of your site such as support pages, careers and management pages, or ‘about us’ pages. 

Excluding these pages will help Google match your ads to the right queries, and save you some unwanted clicks.

Although continually adding keywords is important, marketers can’t forget to change the other settings and make tweaks that can impact volume on their SEM campaigns.

Taking some of the steps above could get marketers one step closer to unlocking the full potential of their campaigns. 

Learn more…

The Paid Search Agencies Buyer’s Guide focuses on the UK paid search (PPC) marketplace and profiles 35 leading agencies. The 200+ page report contains contains detailed information about the current trends and issues affecting this sector of digital marketing, as well as advice about how to find the right agency for your needs.

Article source:

OpenView Labs Releases New Ebook to Help Companies Win with Keyword Generation

Latest Ebook From OpenView Labs

Keyword research provides excellent insight into the language, needs, and pain points of your targets.

Boston, MA (PRWEB) September 29, 2011

Businesses these days simply can’t start a website, sit back, and watch the money roll in. The Internet has opened a lot of doors. Now every marketer can be a publisher, every customer has a voice, and every company has an opportunity to carve out its own share of a particular market. With this level of online competition, those that fail to take the proper steps risk being lost amidst the noise.

Today OpenView Labs, the strategic consulting group for OpenView Venture Partners, released “Better Keywords, Better Customers: A Complete Guide to Keyword Generation” to help startups and expansion stage companies implement keyword generation strategies.

“The Internet has created a world where everyone has a ‘voice.’ With so much competition, companies that don’t take the proper steps to be heard will never get noticed. That’s where keyword research becomes so important; amidst everything else on the Web, it allows you to make your business more visible to potential customers. But it’s not just about helping them find you. Keyword research also provides excellent insight into the language, needs, and pain points of your targets,” said Brendan Cournoyer, Marketing Associate for OpenView Labs.

The new ebook features tips and ideas from leading online marketing and SEO experts including Outspoken Media’s Lisa Barone, SEOMoz’s Cyrus Shepard, and SAP’s Michael Brenner. Contents include:

  •     A foreword from popular marketing consultant and blogger Kristi Hines
  •     An introduction to the basics of keyword generation
  •     Details on the goals and business benefits of keyword research
  •     Solutions to some of the most common keyword generation problems
  •     Additional process guides, checklists, and sample templates for customizing your project

“Keywords are where you connect with your target market. It’s pretty much equivalent to choosing which conferences to attend, where to advertise and how to start a dialogue with potential clients. Select the wrong keywords for your online marketing efforts, and you could miss large groups of prospects,” added Tom Johansmeyer, Group Marketing Director, Cross Border.

Visit the OpenView Labs to download your free copy of “Better Keywords, Better Customers” to start improving your keyword generation efforts and winning more customers today.

About OpenView Labs

OpenView Labs is the strategic and operational consulting arm of OpenView Venture Partners, a global Venture Capital fund that invests in expansion stage technology companies. The Labs was formed to assist the management of OpenView portfolio companies build great companies by gathering, creating, storing, and disseminating best practices across all functional areas. The dedicated full-time teams, Senior Advisors, and network at OpenView Labs spend the bulk of their time working on behalf of the OpenView Venture Partner’s Portfolio companies. This work includes incubating methodologies, testing approaches, performing research projects, developing and implementing forums and workshops, gathering the best network and ideas for building great companies, and coaching the management of the portfolio companies.

# # #


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PRESS DIGEST – New York Times business news

SymbolPriceChangeAAPL397.010.00Chart for Apple Inc.GM20.410.00Chart for General Motors Company Common SMSFT25.580.00Chart for Microsoft CorporationPG62.730.00Chart for Procter  Gamble Company (The) ^REURTRUSD1,606.750.00Chart for Russell Europe Total Return{“s” : “AAPL,GM,MSFT,PG,^REURTRUSD”,”k” : “a00,a50,b00,b60,c10,g00,h00,l10,p20,t10,v00″,”o” : “”,”j” : “”}

Sept 29 (Reuters) – The following were the top stories on
The New York Times business pages on Thursday. Reuters has not
verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

* A start-up takes on Procter Gamble (NYSE: PGnews) over a name:
The consumer products company claims that customers will confuse
Willa, a fledgling line of skin care products for young girls,
with Wella, its hair care line.

* Amazon’s tablet leads to its store: At $199, the
color Kindle Fire is less than half the price of the Apple (NasdaqGS: AAPLnews) iPad.

* Reebok to pay settlement over health claims: The Federal
Trade Commission said the sportswear maker agreed to pay $25
million to settle allegations of unfounded claims about the
health benefits of two lines of shoes.

* Some investors hope to make a fat profit on the
expectation that Greece will once again be bailed out.

* G.M. contract approved, with bonus for workers:
General Motors (NYSE: GMnews) said the deal would increase the company’s labor
costs by only 1 percent annually.

* Two men who worked without pay on “Black Swan” claim that
the studio violated labor laws.

* Costco urges stricter safety measures on
cantaloupes: The national retailer said it would consider
setting standards for how melons are grown and how they are
cleaned and handled after they are picked.

* Mets ruling may reduce pay to victims of Madoff: A lawyer
in the case said the trustee might have to delay an initial cash
payment to eligible victims, scheduled for later this week.

* Yale endowment posts 22 percent gain to end fiscal year at
$19.4 billion: After two years of unusual weakness, the
endowment posted a return of 21.9 percent for the fiscal year
ended June 30.

* Hearings over a $7 billion Canadian oil pipeline have
pitched supporters who crave jobs against critics who fear a
spill would be an environmental disaster.

* The Man Group , the largest publicly traded hedge
fund manager, suffered a rough summer, with assets dropping $6
billion amid redemptions and weak performance.

* A three-day winning streak in the stock market ended
Wednesday as investors worried about Europe (Chicago Options: ^REURTRUSDnews) ‘s ability to contain
its debt crisis.

* Reviving arguments that have dogged Microsoft (NasdaqGS: MSFTnews) in
Europe for nearly two decades, an Italian software maker is
asking European officials to block Microsoft’s $8.5 billion
purchase of Skype, the Internet phone service, unless it is
removed from Microsoft’s ubiquitous Windows Office platform.
(Compiled by Anirban Sen; Bangalore Equities Newsdesk +91 80
4135 5800; within U.S. +1 646 223 8780)

Article source:

Morning business news

IRELAND STILL HAS EDGE FOR US FIRMS – REPORT – The American Chamber of Commerce in Ireland is launching a massive report this morning – it’s called ‘Built To Last – The Irish-US Economic Relationship’.

Written by Wall Street economist and strategist Joseph Quinlan, it details US Irish links through foreign direct investment since the very beginning.

Mr Quinlan said Ford was the first US company to invest here more than 100 years ago.

He says US companies provide 25% of Ireland’s total economic output, creating jobs and exports.

Mr Quinlan said the key to multi-national exports from Ireland was value, rather than volume. Asked about wage levels at US firms, he said there would have to be adjustments, but firms were prepared to pay for highly-skilled labour.

Mr Quinlan also said China and India had “a lot of catching up to do” with Ireland in terms of attracting US companies. He said the ease of doing business was “head and shoulders” above India and China, while the protection of intellectual property was also a key issue.

He also said there was growing Irish investment in the US, with 120,000 employed there by Irish companies in a range of sectors, including financial, construction and food.


CURRENCIES – The euro is trading at $1.3617 and 87.11p sterling.

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