State of the Browsers and ad blocking

In my last post about CSS layout and ads, a commenter brought up that the web site did not handle extensions like Ad Block very gracefully. To which I responded that I don't care. To which he responded with download counts. Well, the reason I don't care is that ad impressions when compared to page views on are within 2% of each other. So, at best, less than 2% of users are blocking ads. In reality, that is going to include some DNS failures, network issues, or something else. I would bet our logo graphic has about the same difference. The reality is that normal people don't block ads. In my opinion, if you make your money by working on the web, you shouldn't either. I should add that this site's (my geeky blog) ad views was about 16% lower than the recorded page views. So, geeks block ads more I guess. But, geeks have dominated the web for a long time.

This got me thinking that I had not look at the browser stats very much lately. dealnews has a very odd graph on browser statistics. We do not follow the industry averages. Our audience is dominantly tech savy (that does not mean geeks). Our users don't just use the stuff that is installed on the computer when they get it. This kind of proves my point about ad blocking even more. We have non-moron users and they still don't block ads.

Browser   % of Visits
Internet Explorer 42.34%
Firefox 36.94%
Safari 9.55%
Chrome 8.34%
Mozilla 1.46%
Opera 0.68%
Netscape 0.41%
Avant 0.08%
Camino 0.06%
IE Mobile 0.02%

As you can see, Firefox is very prevalent on our site. We generally test in IE7/8, Firefox 3, Safari and Chrome. I will occasionally test a major change in Opera. Typically, well formed HTML and CSS works fine in Opera so everything is all good.

As for operating systems, Windows still dominates, but we have more Macs than the average site I would guess.

OS   % of Visits
Windows 82.95%
Macintosh 11.27%
iPhone 3.80%
Linux 1.19%
Android 0.17%

Interesting that iPhone beats out Linux. That is just another sign to me that Linux is still not a real choice for real people. Be that a product issue from OEMs or user choice. That is debatable. It is notable that most of our company uses Macs. I don't think we make up a speck of that traffic though. If we did, our home state of Alabama would be our most dominant. It isn't. We are very typical in that regard, California is number one. We only have one employee there.

What is the problem? AT&T or Apple?

So, I told you how AT&T messed up my account when I ordered the new iPhone.  Well, I go the new one on Friday via FedEx.  I then left for Velocity in San Jose, CA on Sunday.  The phone was not activated when I left.  So, I had to take my old iPhone and my new iPhone 3GS with me.  Grrrr.  On top of that, I had to keep them both on me because afaik, as soon as the new one started working, the old one would not.  Double Grrrrrr.

I was blaming AT&T for this over and over.  I tried calling them on Saturday and the guy on the phone said he was instructed to tell me to go to an AT&T store or an Apple Store.  I did not have time to find an AT&T store.  I tried the Apple store as we were having dinner right near it.  But, the wait was an hour!!! Triple Grrrrrrr. 

So, on Sunday night, I got this email from Apple:
Dear Apple Customer,

Thank you for your recent Apple Store order. We appreciate your patience and apologize for the inconvenience caused by the delay in your iPhone activation.

We are still resolving the issue that was encountered while activating your iPhone with AT&T. Unfortunately, due to system issues and continued high activation volumes, this could take us up to an additional 48 hours to complete.

On Monday, you'll receive an email from Apple with an iTunes Store credit in the amount of $30. We hope you will enjoy this gift and accept our sincere apologies for the inconvenience this delay has caused.

Thank you for choosing Apple.

Apple Online Store Team
So, whose fault is this?  Is it Apple or AT&T?  I had been assuming AT&T all along.  But, Apple is giving me the credit.

On Monday morning, at about 11:30CDT, my phone was activated.  That is about 62 hours after I hooked it up to iTunes.  The phone is great. 

I guess I should listen to Louis CK says and just be happy that the future is here and quit bitching.

AT&T is a bleepity bleeping bleep

So, on June 19th, the new iPhone comes out. I have a first generation iPhone.  I have loved it.  My area is not well covered by 3G so I did not bother upgrading.  But, my two year contract is up next month and just the other day I dropped and cracked my iPhone screen.  So, this is a good time to upgrade.

I ordered my new phone via the Apple web site.  It took me through a wizard that checked my AT&T account and showed me the options for upgrading.  That all went smooth.  This all took place on Thursday, June 11, 2009.  Well, at 11AM on Saturday, June 13th, something happened to my account.  On my account are 4 phones.  Mine, my wifes and my two oldest kids.  My daughter says from the back seat (did I mention we are on our way to the beach for a week?) "That took them long enough.  I got a welcome text from AT&T."  She has had her phone since Christmas.  Later I noticed I had no data connection.  Just bars.  I was getting calls.  Then later my wife commented that no one was returning her SMS messages.  So, we tried sending some to each other.  Nothing. My son sees he got a welcome SMS too. OMG, wtf did AT&T do?!?!?!?

We are driving (I mentioned that I think) and have time on our hands, so my wife calls them about it all.  Sure enough, they claim that "someone" removed our family unlimited text message plan from the account.  Well, that someone would be AT&T.  See, I had reduced my iPhone to the lower plan a while back because I was getting the family unlimited text messaging plan when I added my kids phones.  But, the new iPhone only has one data plan available.  It's a $30/month unlimited data plan.  Apparently, me changing the data plan for the new iPhone that is not even shipped yet removed all text messaging for my whole family.  The lady claims to have it fixed so we hang up.

Time passes and I still don't have and EDGE connection.  My daughter tries to send a MMS picture and is blocked. We call back.  Apparently the brilliant person my wife talked to the first time added a pay per SMS feature and NO MMS OR DATA!  ARGHHH!!!!  We tell the lady, "Look, just put it back like it was on the last bill."  That worked, we were happy with that.  A few minutes later I had data and we could send pictures again.

So, you would think it is over.  But, apparently I don't have voice mail.  And now I am really wondering what will happen when I activate my new iPhone this week.  Be thinking about me as I am sure it will hose my account again.  And I leave town on Sunday to attend Velocity

Please, please, two years from now, when my contract is up, please let Verizon have the iPhone.  Our accounts payable people at dealnews don't like their billing practices, but I have never had a customer service issue with them and their network is the best ever.

Some interesting things to note:
  1. You can't buy or activate an iPhone without a data plan.  But, clearly they had mine working without one.
  2. They turned off SMS for my whole family, but, the first thing my kids got after they turned it off was an SMS that I bet they would have charged us for.
  3. We could not send MMS at all for our whole account after the new iPhone was purchased.  It is well known that AT&T is not allowing MMS on the new iPhone yet.  Guess they control this at the account level?

Sleeping with an iPhone

You know those NyQuil commercials where the guy tells his wife "You will sleep like you did before you had kids."  Well, that is so true.  Before I had kids I laid my head down, slept and then rose in the morning fresh.  I only needed about 5 hours sleep.  But, after I had kids and started worrying about them all night long, I could not do that.  I can still do it when I am away from home which is odd.

Now, after all this time with kids (I have 5 in case you don't know) they hardly ever wake in the middle of the night.  But, my mind is conditioned to wake on the slightest noise.  We moved out into a quieter (aka more rural) part of the state 3 years ago.  Hardly any traffic on the road late at night.  I find myself waking at the slightest noise: the icemaker, a dog barking, our dog getting up and stretching, or that very rare car.

So, after a restless night, I got the kids up and ready for school at 6AM like usual.  But, I was determined to get some more sleep.  So, I stuck in my ear buds and turned on my iPhone's iPod.  While it was not solid uninterrupted  sleep, it was better than what I had all night.  I need to find some soft music or soothing sounds that will run for several hours.  That may provide the best sleep.  That and some more comfortable earbuds for sleeping.  It is either that or take down our nice quiet Hunter ceiling fan and get the cheapest, loudest one I can find.  That always worked in our older houses.

Working out this year?

It is that time of year when folks promise themselves to get into better shape.  This is usually my time every year to do that.  The holidays always put some extra weight on me.

I know from going to conferences that there are some health conscious geeks out there.  Well, I found a geeky way to help with that.

Some guys here in Huntsville have started a fitness and health tracking site called Gyminee.  They are in the same business incubator that dealnews was in several years ago.  It is all Rails and MySQL.  It is quite convenient for me and some other guys at work since they built an iPhone interface.  Basic accounts are free and fairly full featured.  There are some advanced features that do require a small membership fee.  If I would just quit buying one latte a month it will pay for it.

For the record, I have no stake in this place.  I am just a user and I happen to have met the guys to give them some pointers on some things on their site.