Daily Archives: October 25, 2007

Life after Text Link Ads

Hi, my name is Donncha and I used to have text-link-ads on my blog. They’re gone now but only after Google slapped me into submission and reduced my page rank to 4. Initially I felt angry and shocked that this happened but I have no excuse, I heard it from the horses mouth, I knew it was coming. I was one of those evil unscrupulous demons who manipulated the pagerank of other sites for money. My guilty conscience is somewhat alleviated by the fact that I refused to show a text link ad for a Viagra spammer yesterday morning. Oh well.
Google’s own advertising, Adsense, is still running here, as is Kontera, (leave a comment and you’ll never see them, isn’t that nice?) and the competitive ad filter advice I gave out a few days ago really makes a difference to your bottom line. Just ask Justin!

What’s in store for the future? Keep an eye on this blog. WordPress MU 1.3 is coming real soon now. There are going to be lots more free and GPLed WordPress plugins, including a pretty cool digg proof cache that also works in WordPress MU. Think of it as WP-Cache on afterburner! A couple of sites are already testing it with positive results. I’m watching the access_log roll by on a server as a digg is happening now. Load average is hovering around 1 and the page loads quickly. Sweet.

When is an Alfa Romeo really a Maserati?

When it’s the new Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione. This is the first rear wheel drive car from Alfa Romeo since 1992 and there are only going to be 500 made in the first production run, with 500 made in the second in 2009. Don’t bother going to your dealer, they’re all sold out! As you may know I’m a bit of a fan of the Alfa Romeo 147 having owned one a couple of years ago. Such beautiful cars, and just about within the reach of a single, non-mortgage-paying software developer like myself. Times change however, but I wonder if I’ll ever be able to afford the €159,000 asking price of the Competizione.

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Jeremy Clarkson has quite a breathless review of the car, although he does finish by saying the steering isn’t up to scratch. Who wants to let me drive theirs to find out for myself? :)

Climb aboard the new Alfa 8C and you’re immediately aware that it feels “just right”. It’s a fairly intangible quality, but it means the cabin makes a Porsche’s interior feel almost dowdy by comparison. And as your eyes rove around, they avidly consume acres of leather, plentiful carbon fibre and generous milled aluminium before settling on the slightly swollen front wings that are visible through the little windscreen. It has to be said that the aroma of leather with the 8C truly reeks of promise.

What makes it a Maserati?

The only real question is whether it’s an Alfa Romeo at all. It was designed by Fiat’s in-house styling centre, and uses a Maserati platform as its basis. The engine is a development of one already in use by Maserati, and just to make matters a little more complex, the whole is assembled by Ferrari.

The gearbox and suspension are also derived from systems used on the Maserati Quattroporte and the car is built, not by Alfa Romeo in Turin, but instead by Maserati in Modena. And when those lucky 41 British buyers need their beautiful new vehicles serviced, they will drive them to Maserati dealerships rather than to Alfa garages.

There are a few promo videos on Youtube, and a boring spy camera video too, but this promo seemed to be the best. Just turn down the volume please!