Archive for August, 2008

WiFi with Wings

As someone who gets itchy feet if found without Internet access for more than a few hours, I’m happy to read that today will be a milestone in aviation and Internet history. An AA flight bound from NYC to LA marked the first commercial flight with WiFi access; providing full blown broadband access for a mere 13 bucks.

According to the technology vendor, the service operates by picking up a signal sent upwards from radio masks dotted around the continent – which all sounds very impressive, but will unfortunately rule out the prospect for connectivity on long-haul flights crossing the pond.

I’m just hoping that they consider blocking ports utilised by VoIP – for this technological wonder could be destroyed if it leads to a bunch of people (read Americans) shouting over each to make calls.

 Tags: Internet   Published: 20th August '08

Spotting A Foreigner, Part II

My prior post on common English errors made by foreigners raised sufficient controversy to warrant a second helping:

  • Asking if one has gossips, rather than just simply gossip.
  • Ordering a 12-inches pizza. Instead it should just be 12-inch.
  • Food could be flavoured with herbs, but something would have have a garlic and herb dressing – not garlic and herbs.
  • You have a party, you don’t make a party.
  • Sweets are confections – Skittles, Smarties and the like; not what you have after dinner (that’s a dessert or, at a push, a pudding). Candy has no real usage in British-English.
  • Incorrectly writing “an” infront of a word beginning with a vowel when it doesnt sound like one.
  • Chuckling with a “hihi” instead of “haha” or maybe even a “hehe”.

Remember – the British don’t actually have an accent, they just speak English properly.

Any others?

 Tags: Random   Published: 17th August '08

Super Simple Geo-Ad-Targeting

I’m upping the anti with figuring out how to best monetise and most notably begun to experiment with different ad networks and promoting specific products.

Ringtones have proved to be a natural fit, but despite the product being available to users from many countries, it’s became clear that it only generates strong RPMs for a few key markets; namely the UK, US, Ireland and Australia. Consequently, showing the ringtone ad to users outside of these countries presents a large opportunity cost (ie. this screen real estate would generate a higher RPM with a different ad).

Therefore, the ideal solution would be to only show the ringtone ad to select users and show an alternative ad to all other users. Without the desire to upkeep a large-scale and complex ad management solution; I dug around and put together a wee PHP snippet that utilises a free geo-API to lookup the users IP, figure out their geography and then serve up the appropriate ad.

In the wild, it looks something like this (with the actual ad tags removed):

$country = file_get_contents(‘’.$ip);
if ($country==”US”) {
echo “<American-English Ringtone Ad Tag>”; }
elseif ($country==”AU” OR $country==”UK” OR $country==”IE”) {
echo “<British-English Ringtone Ad Tag>”; }
else {
echo “<YPN Ad Tag>”; }

The snippet grabs the 2 letter ISO country identifier and dishes out an American-English ad for US visitors, a British-English ad for UK, Australian and Irish users, and then falls back to YPN for everybody else.

The end result is that you’re able to serve the ads that produce the highest monetisation for each individual page impression based upon the user’s physical location. I hope that this proves remotely helpful for others in the same boat.

 Tags: Internet   Published: 2nd August '08