A little comic based story about negative SEO

I just had the pleasure of speaking at MORCON 2015 on the subject of Google Manual Penalties, part of my presentation was a little bit of fun about how someone may go about running a negative SEO campaign on a competitor. Now arguments aside whether or not it is actually worth doing, I figured it might make a nice little web story if taken in the light hearted way it is meant to be.

Sit back and relax. Grab some Milk and Cookies, or a Whiskey and Coke (whatever takes your fancy) and let’s listen to a tale

It's Story Time

There once was a guy called Chewie. Chewie was a friendly chap and had a wonderful girlfriend by the name of Angelina, along with the bestest of friends named Jerico. They all hung around together and drank, and just generally had a great time.

Chewie had a dream, and that dream was to open a cupcake shop. For some reason he absolutely loved cupcakes and wanted to use his SEO and Internet knowledge to open up and promote the best cupcake shop in town.

However, Chewie got some bad news so he had to leave the country and fly back home :(

Comic 1

During the time that Chewie was away, Jerico and Angelina became closer and closer. After some time they fell in love and got married in a grand ceremony.

After becoming wed, Jerico and Angelina stole Chewie’s dream of opening a cupcake shop. Chewie hears of this and is extremely upset :(

Comic 2

Jerico’s cupcake shop, and the dream that he ruthlessly stole starts to really take off. People are talking about it all across town and he’s starting to dominate the SERPS for high traffic cupcake related terms.

Comic 3

Whilst Jerico and Angelina are living the high life off the back of their dream stealing escapades, Chewie returns!

Comic 4

And Chewie wants his revenge!

Comic 5

So how is Chewie going to get his revenge? With a Negative SEO campaign of course, let’s see what he has planned!

Comic 6

So he enacts his plan, but did it work?

Comic 7

Thanks for reading :)

The End

How to use an Apple (Mac) Remote with Plex running on Windows through Bootcamp


I recently acquired a new A/V receiver as I have been watching quite a few films lately. So I hooked the bad boy up and sat down to watch something or other only to find that OSX EL Capitan on a Mac Mini (mid 2011) would not work correctly (and it wouldn’t work when I rolled the Mini back to fresh install of Yosemite either). Basically the screen was flickering black every 5 seconds or so. I tried a different HDMI cable with no joy but connecting the Mini back to the TV directly fixed the issue… however there was little point in that as I wasn’t getting the surround sound that I bought the damn A/V receiver for.

After lots of searching I found that the 2012 mini had an issue with HDMI handshaking and CEC which resulted in this very same problem. Whilst Apple had released a firmware update to fix this in the 2012 models the problem was never corrected in the mid 2011 models. My only solution to fix this was to either buy a new Mini, or install Windows through Bootcamp and turn the Mini into a Windows box. I ended up being fine with the latter solution, as it would soon come to my attention that Apple do not allow Atmos Bitstream audio to be passed through the OSX operating system anyway, meaning that new movies with Atmos audio wouldn’t have worked whilst running under El Capitan… you can thank the late Steve Jobs for the “My way, or the high way” Apple method of thinking.

So I install Windows 7, it all works fine after taking about 6 hours to get setup in the way I want, and then I go to use Plex. Of course I am sat there clicking the remote and nothing is happening despite a) Bootcamp installing the remote IR drivers, and b) Plex natively support Mac remotes (but no go on Windows).

Just before I continue, I did submit a feature request to Plex to support for the Apple remote on Windows, since in my mind it should be fairly trivial. However, it would seem that not many people want to see the same thing as the post got no replies at all… which actually makes me wonder why I am even bothering to post this guide if nobody actually needs it :/

Whatever though, I needed it, so it might help someone.

Now, there is a forum post where people have done this for Kodi, and that is where I got my initial information to make this work. My method changes the key mapping to work with Plex Home Theatre and Plex Media Player, and also supports button presses from the Apple MC377 remote.

First things first, you are going to have to go and download EventGhost which has flavours for both X32/X64 versions of Windows. EventGhost is a nifty little program that takes the input from almost any peripheral you can think of and then executes actions on those inputs that you assign. So, I dunno, you can make the button press of a remote send an [Escape] key command to the operating system. You see where this is going?

I’m going to do the next part as a step by step how-to, follow along carefully now!

  1. After you have EventGhost installed, you need to change the way the Mac IR receiver is ‘seen’ by Windows. At the moment anything you do will be intercepted and the remote will only be able to control iTunes which is no good. You will actually have to go and change the drivers in Windows (you can easily change them back). Open up Control Panel, and go to System-> Device Manager. From there, expand the “Human Interface Devices” box, and right click on the Apple IR Receiver. Go to Properties->Driver->Update Driver. From here, choose “Browse…”, then “Let me choose…” Now, choose USB Input Device. You may, or may not have to restart Windows (I didn’t).
  2. You now need to open up EventGhost, fire that bad boy up!
  3. Now the general idea is that you need to capture each button press and assign it to the action, but Chewie’s got your back and I have Pastebinned the XML file which you can open in EventGhost to have this all done for you. So copy and paste that Pastebin into a new Notepad file, and save that file as PlexRemote.xml. Then open it in EventGhost.
  4. EventGhost will now look something like the image below…

    Click for Full View

    Credit to jhsrennie on the Kodi forum for the image

  5. With EventGhost open, go ahead and launch Plex Home Theatre or Plex Media Center. If you are using the same model remote as my good self then the remote should be working straight away and you can use Plex with your remote to your heart’s content.

“But Chewie” I hear your cry, “I don’t have the same model remote, what the hell is this?”.

Well my friend, in that case you will need to capture your remote buttons and assign them to each of the events.

  1. First of all, make sure that each ‘Folder’ in EventGhost is expanded.
  2. Find each instance of HID.1234546 . 123456 denotes the input from the remote. You will need to change these for your remote.
  3. Click the button on the remote that you want to assign, this will now be saved to the last input in EventGhost and appear in the left panel.
  4. You should then be able to ‘Configure’ the HID.123456 ID by right clicking on it which will then allow you to select the last remote input pressed.
  5. Go through each of the actions and assign your button, making sure that straight after you press the button on the remote you configure the HID element.
  6. There is one thing that is confusing. Both quick presses and long presses appear to have the same HID ID, but they are different by a single number, e.g…

    Thanks to perezbalen on the Kodi forum

    Thanks to perezbalen on the Kodi forum

  7. So if you find yourself assigning an input only to test it and have Plex jump up or down (or left or right) twice then it is because you have used the “Long Press” HID.

So yeah, there you go, it is pretty straight forward once you get the hang of it. There is a command which I have muted to launch Plex using the remote as it doesn’t work correctly with Plex Media Player due to the weird way it is doing full screen. You’ll be able to unmute this and test yourself by disabling the red X on the specific event HID.

If this helps you out, and you’d like to see Plex enable native Apple remote support on Windows then please comment on the Plex Feature Request and let me know how you got on in the comments.

Get free Wifi access in Thai (Suvarnabhumi) international airport

I’m sat in Suvarnabhumi airport in Thailand waiting for a delayed flight (don’t you just love air travel?) and I needed to get my internet fix. I tried a few access points before giving up and opting for the paid Wifi service which is available throughout the airport.

As i was signing up i noticed that the connection left the confines of the internal LAN and connected out to the internet for the whole verified by visa thing. Before completing the payment I open up another tab and sure enough I had free access to any website I wanted.

So if you are ever at Suvarnabhumi and want free wifi, connect to the WLANNET SSID, go through the signup process, and when you hit the screen below (before entering your credit card details) just open a new tab and browse away. The session only lasts about 10 mins, but all you have to do is open another tab and go through the process again :)

Get to this point and then you have free wifi

I would imagine that this method works in a few other places too 😉

Abusing the new Facebook profile layout

My love for blogging has pretty much all but disappeared hence the very limited updates on this blog, it just seems that each time I want to sit down and write something I have 10 other things that are more important. Anyway Esrun said I should blog about this, so here goes.

Recently Facebook gave users the option to switch to a new profile layout, at the time of writing this is entirely opt in so not everyone will see it. You need to visit a friends page who has switched to the new profile and then click the button and confirm that you also want to switch to the new profile. The jury is still out on whether this new profile is better than the old one, but it does have one major flaw at that is as follows.

At the top of each person’s profile are 5 pictures, there is no direct way to chose which pictures you want or the order that they appear in, basically Facebook thought it would be a great idea to just have the last 5 recently tagged photos of you appear in this line up. Aside from the fact that you may be smashed at a party and someone tags an unflattering photo of you, causing it to be right there at the top of the page, it is also open to some creative abuse.

As I said, it takes the last 5 tagged photo, so i decided to create a new album with some alphabet letters and then send some messages to my friends. You must remember to tag the last letter first, and then work backwards.

Here my good friend Mikey is reminded of what I think of him


So there is a message I came up with really quick, I am sure there are much more funny and creative ways of doing this but it seems a really stupid idea by the developers to just let the last 5 tagged photos appear at the top of the page. Of course the user has the choice to change the images, but its a long process where you click an [x] and FB cycles through your last tagged images. Here is what I would like to see to make the top 5 images better…

  1. Allow a privacy setting which stops third party tagged photos appear in the top 5
  2. Allow me to select which images i want in the top 5 from my albums
  3. Allow me to rearrange the order of the images

Maybe they will make some changes, but i doubt it, in the mean time, go have some fun, and post any good ones you make in the comments below 😉