March 29, 2008

Earth Hour - Lights Out Everywhere!

If you visit Google today, then you'll notice that they made quite an interesting change to their homepage. It's black...

When I saw it, my first instinct, naturally, was to think there was something was wrong with with my computer - like a virus or a problem with my LCD monitor, but after taking a closer look, I realized that the blackened page was simply a neat reminder about Earth Hour.

What is Earth Hour?

Earth Hour is a worldwide event that invites people everywhere to turn off their lights and non-essential electrical appliances for just one hour in order to promote electricity conservation and lower carbon emissions.

Earth Hour takes place on Saturday, March 29th (today!) from 8:00pm until 9:00pm. So when 8 o'clock rolls around in your local timezone tonight, don't forget to turn off your lights, power down and do your part to conserve energy. Just see how much fun you can have in dark! :)

Cities all around the world are holding events to acknowledge their commitment to energy conservation, some of which include: Copenhagen, Toronto, Chicago, Atlanta, Phoenix, San Francisco, Melbourne, Brisbane, Dubai, and Tel Aviv.

To visit the official Earth Hour website go here. Note: It may take a couple of tries to get the Earth Hour site to load, as their servers are being bombarded with traffic right now.

Washington, D.C. Not Participating?!

What the?! After looking over the complete list of partner cities, I noticed that Washington, D.C. is not on it. Personally, I am quite disgusted by this. I think it sends a very clear message to the world (as if we needed yet another one) that many of those in the US government don't give a lick about anything that doesn't put money directly into their own crooked pockets.

And truthfully, I don't expect George Dumbya and his cronies to ever take an "honest" interest in anything dealing with conservation, anyway - at least not for "environmental" reasons. And if I did, I'd obviously have to be sniffing glue. And thankfully, I gave that up just last week. :P

Do Your Part - Please

While Earth Hour is a great idea, and does lower electricity consumption (for example: The 2007 Earth Hour is estimated to have cut electricity consumption in Sidney, Australia by between 2.1% and 10.2%, with approximately 2.2 million people taking part.), it is only one hour of one day of the year.

In order to really improve the environment we must make energy-saving practices a part of our daily routine. That means doing such things as:

• switching your light bulbs to energy efficient light bulbs
• turning off the lights when you're not in a room
• switching to cleaner electricity sources like "green power"
• driving less or as little as possible

These are some very easy things we can do to make a difference for the better, both for the short-term and for the long-term.

Are You Plugged In?

Also, don't forget to not only turn off appliances and such when they're not in use, but to unplug them as well! Cell phone chargers, televisions, stereos, computers, kitchen appliances, etc., all continue to draw and use up electricity when they're plugged in - even if they're completely turned off.

It's estimated that close to 75% of all electricity used to power electronics in the average home is consumed by products that are turned off, but still plugged into a wall socket. If you've ever noticed how your cell phone charger is warm to the touch, even when it's not attached to your cell phone, that's why.

So be sure to unplug chargers (cell phones, iPods, etc.) when they're not in use as they can eat up a lot of electricity - and a lot of your money! In fact, only 5% of the power drawn by a cell phone charger is actually used to recharge the cell phone. The other 95% is wasted when it's left plugged in.

Doing My Part

In addition to driving as little as possible, about two years ago I started unplugging things when they weren't in use (lamps, the coffee pot, the microwave, my stereos, my computer and printer, etc.) and I can definitely attest to the fact that it will lower your electric bill. So not only is it much better for the environment, it's also much better for your wallet. :)

Of course, if you use that saved money to go out and buy even more energy-hungry equipment, then you're defeating the entire purpose. But hey, it's a free country (at least for now), and that's entirely your choice.

The Earth Hour Video - Where It All Began

March 16, 2008

St. Patrick's Day Secrets Revealed

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone! Now before you go out and get all "three sheets to the wind" (schnockered, sozzled, tanked or toasted!) and such, be sure to be safe and have a designated driver at the ready!

Oh yeah, and be sure to enjoy this St. Paddy's Day video from the grumpy and bald Scotsman, himself - Mark Day. From green beer, to the VIP room at the Last Supper, he's got all the facts you need.

So here he is with some entertaining background information on the beer-drinkiest holiday on the calendar - Saint Patrick's Day!

St. Patrick's Day Secrets Revealed

And a special message from David Hasselhoff...

David Hasselhoff - Happy St. Patrick's Day!

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March 7, 2008

Monty Python And The Holy Grail In Lego

As the title suggests, this Internet classic depicts the famous "Camelot" dance number from Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), in Lego.

It was originally produced as a special feature for the Monty Python and the Holy Grail DVD, and has found new life on the Internet, where it still rides high in film charts everywhere - even after many years online. Enjoy!

Monty Python and the Holy Grail in Lego

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March 5, 2008

Midweek Link Love - Ten Tasty Tidings

I've been a really bad blogger lately, and proof of that is the fact that's it's been so long since I've actually done a link love post. Shame on me.

So I've moved my computer to the corner (where I'm quietly sitting with my dunce cap on) and put together this link love post, which will take the place of my usual Hump Day Humor post.

Midweek Link Love

12 CPM Alternatives to AdSense - Looking for a CPM alternative to AdSense? Then have no fear! There are twelve of them here from which you can choose.

Growing Your Blog the Right Way - Part 1: The Basics - Bobby from Revellian (that "psycho-linguistical" country inside of Mississippi) has written an excellent post covering some important things you should do (or not do) while on your quest to find the better blogger within.

Ask Blogging Gal - Got a burning question about blogging? Are you in need of some great advice about blogging? Then ask Blogging Gal! Each week she'll choose one reader-submitted question and answer it right on her blog. And not only will you get some great advice, but you'll also get 50 Entrecard credits if your question is chosen!

Fixing Up - Learn Stuff Online (Part 1) - If you're looking to learn stuff online (and who isn't these days!), then you'll want to check out this post by Bush Mackel. It's an introduction to one of his current website projects, Learn Stuff Online, which offers helpful information on computers, home theater, how to become a webmaster, etc. Excellent information, indeed.

Getting Back Your Blog Spark - Have you lost your blog spark? Have you run out of blogging gas? At one point or another, I think we all have. And this post by Mark offers some important tips to help you get it back.

50 Timeless Blogging Tips - Sue has put together a wonderful compilation of quotes made by some of the world's greatest thinkers, proving that these words of wisdom are not only timeless, but that they apply directly to blogging as well.

Waxed Beaver - Looking for some waxed beaver? LOL. OK, so you won't find any at Liza's blog (trust me, I looked :P), but you will find German police dogs that wear shoes. Yes, dogs that wear shoes. Believe me, this is fur real. I'm not pulling your tail :P

Link Love For Link Love

You know, when you always take the time to reward others with link love, you should be rewarded with a little link love as well. So here's some link love for a few of those who've given out link love this week. Btw, did someone mention link love? :P

A Little Link Love - Week 33 - Here's a link love post from Mike, my favorite web comic artist. This guy has talent out the wazoo! And for you gamers out there, be sure to check out his latest website Definitely looks like good fun.

Brown Batch #42: Sunday Link Love - Another excellent link love post from the Brown Baron himself. If you're looking for information on the latest gadgets and gear, gaming news and reviews, and news from around the Web, then Brown's site is definitely where it's at.

Link Love - Social Networking, Building Niche Stores, AdSense Rules And Much More - As Todd says, "It's been a good start to the week out there in the blogoshpere." And in his post he shares some of the best of what he's been reading. Good stuff for sure.

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Sample Website Privacy Policy You Can Use (AdSense-friendly)

A Sample Website Privacy Policy You Can Use

Howdy friends! As promised in my last blog post, New AdSense Policies - Are You Fully Compliant?, here's a sample website privacy policy that you are free to use on your own website or blog.

This free website privacy policy sample template is yours to use as you wish!

- All I ask is that you be kind and link back to this site if you decide to use it. ;)

Note: It doesn't matter how you link back. Adding me to your blogroll or whatever is totally fine. Also, feel free to make any changes to this sample website privacy policy that you feel are necessary for your own site or blog.

Also, if you think that I've left out anything important in this privacy policy sample, please leave a comment below to let me know about it!
Free Sample Website Privacy Policy

Here's a free sample privacy policy you can use for your own website or blog. Please be kind and link back to me if you decide to use it. Also, be sure to make changes wherever necessary!

IMPORTANT NOTE: Be sure that the link to your privacy policy is in a place where your readers can easily see it. Don't try to hide it anywhere! Your privacy policy link should be visible (and clickable) on all pages. But at the very least, make sure that it's easily seen (and clickable) somewhere on your home page.

Remember, your website privacy policy is there to protect YOU!

V2 Cigs is Smoking Version 2.0! No Tar, No Ash, No Smoke.


Our Privacy Policy

As a fellow Internet user myself, I totally respect your online privacy. So it goes without saying that I'm fully committed to safeguarding your online privacy while you're here at the (insert website URL here) website.

And that's precisely why I've decided to include the following, which discloses the information gathering and dissemination practices for this website.

Log Files

Like most standard websites, this website uses log files. These include: Internet Protocol addresses (IP addresses), browser type, Internet Service Provider (ISP), referring/exit pages, platform type, date/time stamp, and the number of clicks to analyze trends, administer the site, track user movement in the aggregate, and to gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses, etc., are not linked to personally identifiable information.

Web Cookies and Beacons

Web cookies (also known as HTTP cookies, or just cookies) are parcels of text that are sent by a server to a Web browser, and then sent back unchanged by the browser each time it accesses that server. In other words, a cookie is a piece of data stored on a user’s computer that is tied to information about the user.

Web beacons are objects that are embedded in a webpage or email that are invisible to the user, but allow checking that a user has viewed the page or email. Other names are web bug, tracking bug, tag or page tag.

This website does use cookies. Additionally, some of my business partners (for example, advertisers) may use cookies and web beacons as well. This site has no access to, or control of advertisers' web cookies or web beacons.

If you wish to disable cookies, you may do so through your individual browser options. Please check your browser's help section for instructions on how to do this.


This website contains links to other websites. Please be aware that I am not responsible for the privacy practices of other websites. I encourage you, when you leave this website, to read the privacy policy (or privacy statement) of each and every website you visit, as this particular privacy policy applies solely to this particular website.


I use outside advertising networks and companies in order to display ads on this site. These ads may contain cookies and/or web beacons in order to collect data in the ad serving process. These such cookies and/or web beacons are collected by the companies and/or advertising networks, themselves. I do not have any access to this information.

I currently work with several advertising networks and companies, such as: (list them here if you wish). If you have any questions, please check their websites for their respective privacy policies.

Webmaster Contact Information

If you have any questions or suggestions regarding the (insert website URL or website name here) privacy policy, please feel free to contact me at (insert proper contact info. here).


Anyway, I hope that's helpful! Having a good website privacy policy is very important. Be sure to be honest in everything that you do, and don't try to trick or fool your visitors, as it very well may come back to haunt you.

Like the old saying goes, "Honesty is best policy." And that's a fact, Jack.

Note: This is just a sample website privacy policy. You, as a website and/or blog owner, are solely responsible for your own website privacy policy. I've merely supplied this sample website privacy policy as an easy guide for you to use for free.While it should suffice for most sites, you should obviously make sure that all your own bases are covered properly in your privacy policy statement (privacy policy notice).

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March 2, 2008

New AdSense Policies - Are You Fully Compliant?

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes. Yes, indeedy doody! As some of you may already know, Google has recently updated the AdSense Terms and Conditions.

It's updating in a rolling release, so if you haven't seen it in your AdSense account just yet, don't worry; you will. It'll be the first page you see when you log in, and you definitely can't miss it!

New AdSense Terms and Conditions

At the very bottom of the Google AdSense™ Online Standard Terms and Conditions agreement you'll see three choices:

• Yes, I have read and accept the above Terms and Conditions.
• Remind the the next time I log in.
• No, I do not accept the above Terms and Conditions.

Obviously, you must accept the new AdSense Terms and Conditions in order to continue using AdSense on your blog or website, but for now you can just choose the second option in order to bypass the AdSense agreement page and view your AdSense earnings and account information - so long as you accept the new AdSense Terms and Conditions by March 25, 2008.

So...Beware the Ides of March! And then just add 10 days. :P

The AdSense Agreement Changes

So what's changed? Well, a lot of things. But probably the most significant change to the AdSense Terms and Conditions is that now you must:

"have and abide by an appropriate privacy policy that clearly discloses that third parties may be placing and reading cookies on your users’ browser, or using web beacons to collect information, in the course of ads being served on your website. Your privacy policy should also include information about user options for cookie management."

Yes, you read that correctly. The new AdSense Terms and Conditions now require you to have a privacy policy on your blog/website that discloses the placement and readerment (as George Bush might say :P) of HTTP cookies (also known as web cookies, or just cookies), the usage of web beacons, and what have you.

Now, if writing a such a privacy policy seems a bit daunting, or if you just plain old don't have time to do so, don't worry. I'll be posting a sample website privacy policy here soon that you'll be free to use and amend in any way you see fit.

UPDATE: Here's that sample website privacy policy.

As for the changes, themselves, most fall into two broad categories:

• Future products and features
• Privacy requirements

From the Google AdSense blog:

"Specifically, one of the main changes is that the terms anticipate future products that may become available in other advertising formats and mediums, for example Gadget Ads. As we look forward to monetizing more online and offline content, we've re-worded some portions of the terms to make them applicable across a broader array of media and formats -- anticipating, for example, that future products may be priced, paid, or managed differently than current ones."


"We've also added some specific requirements that make it necessary for publishers to post and abide by a transparent privacy policy that users see. According to this policy, publishers must notify their users of the use of cookies and/or web beacons to collect data in the ad serving process. This change relates to advertisers' use of innovative products and features like Gadget Ads and other offerings in the future."

Thou Shalt Not Badmouth Google

I can't for the life of me remember whether or not this was included in the previous AdSense Terms and Conditions agreement, though I'm quite sure that it must have been. I mean, I can't imagine a company of such magnitude forgetting to include such a thing, so at the risk of being an "ass" I'm just going assume that it was always there.

Nonetheless, I feel that it's quite important to highlight this portion of the agreement since many AdSense users are not in compliance with it...

Under the "Prohibited Uses" section it states that you shall not:

"engage in any action or practice that reflects poorly on Google or otherwise disparages or devalues Google’s reputation or goodwill."

Translation: Do not speak ill of Google. Do not badmouth all. Bottom line, if you have any issue or problem that is at all related to Google, then take it up with Google. Do not publish (blog about, post about, or comment about) any woes you may have regarding anything related to Google, for it is against the AdSense Terms and Conditions.

And that's a good policy, though some may not wholeheartedly agree with it. But every company has the right to require this of its users, and to take appropriate action if they don't follow it. It's called "information control." We live it every day. And whether or not you agree with it per se, is another matter entirely.

But the bottom line is this: If you agree to the new AdSense agreement, then you are agreeing not to engage in any action or practice that reflects poorly on Google, its reputation, or its goodwill.

So be fully aware that any and all Google badmouthing is not in accordance with the Google AdSense agreement, and could result in your AdSense account being banned indefinitely. Consider yourself warned. :P

What Else Has Changed With AdSense?

Quite a lot, actually. I had originally planned to write a lenghty blog post that would outline and dissect each and every change, omission and addition to the AdSense Terms and Conditions - that is, until I checked out Jennifer Slegg's blog, JenSense.

After carefully reading her post on the recent AdSense Terms and Conditions update, I concluded that there really isn't much of a need for me to construct such a blog post, for she's done quite a stellar job of it, herself. So a little link love here is in order. :)

In her post, Jennifer has carefully outlined and explained each of the AdSense agreement changes - and in great detail, I might add. So before you hurriedly click to accept the new AdSense Terms and Conditions agreement in order to "just get it over with," be absolutely sure that you know and understand everything to which you are agreeing.

See, I've been to many of the webmaster forums lately, and as silly as it sounds, that's exactly what many bloggers and website owners are doing. Unfortunately, they're the ones who may one day be alerted to the fact that their AdSense accounts have been banned for noncompliance. And that's never a good thing.

So be sure to check out Jennifer's post if you're at all in wonderment regarding Google's new AdSense Terms and Conditions update. It could be the difference between making money with AdSense, or not making any at all.

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