Dropping the dial-up and one cheer for MSN

I made the move yesterday: Told AT&T Worldnet to discontinue my dialup internet connection. That actually takes effect on October 14, because it’s already paid through then.

I haven’t used the account since we moved to SBC Yahoo! DSL (which includes some number of dial-up hours if needed), but I left it open for a while because of my web pages. Not that the personal web site gets used much, but still…

Meanwhile, it’s a redundant expense we don’t need.

“One cheer for MSN”? OK, I do vanity searches every couple of months–three of them, for “Walt Crawford,” “Walt at Random,” and “Cites & Insights” (all as phrases). It’s been interesting to track the frequently-ludicrous result sizes on various major search engines–but lately there’s also been another point in the first vanity search: will anyone ever find waltcrawford.name, my new website?

Here’s where things stand as of today:

  • AllTheWeb and Yahoo both have it as #6; not bad. (I don’t know about 84,500 results for “Cites & Insights” and 35,900 for “Walt at Random”–but that’s a different question. Those are Yahoo numbers; ATW numbers are a little lower.)
  • Google has it as #8, as does Alexa (using some subset of Google’s results). Again, the overall results are just bizarre, particularly since all three phrases yield roughly three times as many supposed results as they did a month ago. (70,200 for “Cites & Insights” and 14,500 for “Walt at Random”?) (The Alexa numbers are low enough to be plausible.)
  • Teoma, Gigablast, and Ask Jeeves just won’t get you there, at least not within the first 20.
  • And at MSN, the very first result for “Walt Crawford” is the new website! Somehow, their ranking algorithm appears to weight toward currency. (The numbers are a little more plausible: 10,099 for “Cites & Insights” and 2,120 for “Walt at Random.”

That’s it. Just a note that walt.crawford.home.att.net is going away soon (allthe content that was there is now at waltcrawford.name) and a note that MSN’s web search is the best at getting people to the real site. Which is not an endorsement of MSN; I vary between Yahoo!, MSN, and Google as my first web search engine, depending on moonphase and other scientific criteria.

2 Responses to “Dropping the dial-up and one cheer for MSN”

  1. james gadberry says:

    A question for you concerning a MP3 player with direct line-in for recording from CD. Is there any difference in quality with this type of input? I bought a I-River portable device with line in, and it was a little more expensive than without line in. Sound quality seem good to me. I left the Mini-Disc player to go to a smaller, easier to carry device for convenience and the MP3 stores more songs than the MD.
    Thanks for your opinion,

  2. walt says:

    I’m not sure how the comment relates to the post, but chose to approve it anyway. Recording line-in is still recording the audio stream (as opposed to ripping from CD to MP3, entirely in the digital domain, on a PC). Theoretically, there should be some loss in the process. Realistically, for a portable player, it may not make much difference (if you’re recording at 128K, the losses from MP3 probably exceed any losses from the digital:analog:digital roundtrip). Purely an opinion; I haven’t used the device in question.