Author Archives: Kudzu

ExtraTorrent Closing its Doors After 11 Years

Clearly torrent websites are going through a tough time. After KickassTorents (which has just been resurrected) and Torrentz.eu, it seems that it is time for ExtraTorrent to throw in the towel. So the entertainment industry has managed to make another victim.

The decision came overnight, simply removing all of the content hosted by the site and related mirrors. Visiting the extra.to homepage, users are welcomed with a short message confirming that the page has closed forever. ExtraTorrent will probably never return, administrators asking the community to avoid ExtraTorrent clones that may appear in the coming days, this happened when KickassTorents was closed.

ExtraTorrent was set up in November 2006 and proved to be more durable than many of the rest of the time. Over the past 11 years, gradually building a loyal community, ExtraTorrent become the second most popular torrent site after Pirate Bay. Dealing with big names in the field, such as Mininova or TorrentSpy, ExtraTorrent managed to overtake most of the giants.

So far, it is unclear why ExtraTorrent made this decision, but it is easy to assume that it may be related to pressures from the entertainment industry, this is usually the case for torrent sites deciding to step back. Just like other sites of its kind, ExtraTorrent has been for years in the viewpoint of the entertainment industry. Also blacklisted by the US government for massive violations of copyright and online piracy.

However, closing torrent sites does not necessarily mean the end of BitTorrent and the associated piracy. On the contrary. Even though the life of these sites has dropped dramatically, except the immortal Pirate Bay, the community is much more flexible than before. So when a torrent site falls, another takes its place.

A nice example is the relatively new SkyTorrents. No one knows how long a similar site will last – it may not be functional in a month, but it will serve up to thirteen million torrents in a clean web interface without a single advertisement.

Popcorn Time Promise a Fresh New Redesigned App

If you like to watch movies online using Popcorn Time but navigating through a rather messy interface spoils the whole experience, than the news that Popcorn Time comes with new updates can only make you happy. I know that Popcorn Time in some situations can be considered illegal, but if you don’t want to pay for the various streaming services, Popcorn Time is exactly what you are looking for.

Offering free streaming and downloading movies, Popcorn Times has quickly become one of the most popular online movie platforms, sparking many controversies amid its (i)legality. Whether it is legal or not, people still use it without any remorse, and certainly the future updates will bring a popularity boost.

The team behind the Popcorn Time project is going to bring hundreds of movie titles closer to you. How? With a brand new app that is almost ready to be released in June.

Acording to AndroidAuthority, the new Popcorn Time app has been redesigned from scratch and is known as version 3.0. The app will come with a completely new user interface which will make browsing through various movies much easier. And of course, in the background of the app there are multiple changes and new features in terms of functions, too.

The performance of the Popcorn Time app also improved, and with the help of a new “search” feature you can find online movies much easier.

Restaurant or Cafe: Busy People’s Dilemma

People today have such busy schedules that it’s become quite common for singles, couples, and even whole families to eat out. Thus, choosing the right restaurant or cafe it’s not something you should take lightly, especially when you’re hungry. After working long hours, of course, it’s always nice to eat out at a nice quiet cafe or a trendy restaurant simply because it makes a welcome change; plus, there are so many different varieties of food to choose from.




Because many cafes and restaurants are quite similar, it’s always difficult to tell the difference between the two. So I will do my best to highlight the differences between a cafe and a restaurant, and also how to choose one.

Cafe

Cafe or “café” ,if you’re French ;), it’s a form of restaurant with an enclosed serving place, but typically with an outdoor section to allow customers to enjoy their food and drinks outside. Interestingly, the word “cafe” comes from coffee, and it’s easy to see why: they serve many different varieties of coffee to their customers. By da way, I’m a big, big fan of cafes.
A cafe typically refers to an informal restaurant where casual meals such as sandwiches and burgers are served to the public. Small, homey, some times noisy (but in a good way ;)) and no “fancy” clothing is required.

Even though, tipping waiters in cafes is optional, whilst it’s very common, and sometimes expected, to pay tips in restaurants.

Restaurant

Restaurant, it’s a somehow luxurious place where food and drinks are served to dine-in customers in a more formal environment. Restaurant meals are typically not “ready-made” meals: they’re prepared and served to customers after customers order from a menu. Today, there is a trend for restaurants to offer home-delivery of their menus; however, most people prefer the “old school” way and sit inside a restaurant, order from a menu, then wait for their meals to be prepared and served by waitresses or waiters.

Restaurants have a wider range of foods than a cafe place and also serve alcoholic beverages.
Some restaurants in France are known as Bistros, and this is an indication of a level of trendiness, or casualness. Even though many bistros are quite stylish and formal in the clientele they attract and the food they serve.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Restaurant or Cafe

So how do you go about choosing a restaurant or cafe? What matters most to you when you say you like that new place?

To be honest, I didn’t think too much about these questions until recently, when I had a culinary disappointment. I went to a very hip place known for stylish food presentations and elegant atmosphere, who failed to impress me – and just for the record, I’m not so picky ;). Or maybe it was the expectations too high… I do not know. But it is clear that De gustibus non est disputandum.

I liked the building very much, an old house, very nice renovated, with a good interior design that highlights the high and spacious rooms. On the other hand, the served salad was modest and a little bit pricey, taking into account the quality. So I went back to my favorite place, a restaurant not so fancy but with good food and reasonable prices, and I was left with the dilemma: after what criteria do I evaluate, after all, a restaurant or cafe? Are there objective principles or everything boils down to own subjectivity? So I have come up with my own “reasonable” criteria that stand behind my options:

Clean air / Non-smoking area

Maybe you will be surprised, but I hate eating in places where smoking is still allowed and there is not even a non-smoking room… I’m unlikely to go in. I have no problem with smokers as long as they don’t puff cigarette smoke in my nose when I eat.

Menu

Of course, the menu is the essential part when it comes to a restaurant or cafe. I try to eat healthy, so I usually choose light stuff, but even so I want my food to look and taste appetizing, and even a little bit of creativity doesn’t hurt. I used to order dishes harder to cook at home, but also soups and salads.

I don’t need huge portions, but c’mon, two wilted leaves and a tomato it’s not a salad, especially if the price is rude. I noticed that places offering huge menus with full of complicated dishes are avoided.

Feeling

It’s a very subjective point of view that I find it hard to describe. I would say that it refers to how I resonate with the place. It is a mix of sensations, some random and purely subjective, yes, yes… I am aware. But I’m only human after all… it’s like that song 😉

Service

Rude waiters … I think everyone has the “luck” to encounter that “waiter from hell” at some point. Waiters dropping menus on your table, “forget” to bring your order and overcharged, making facial expressions as if you were disturbing him. On the other hand, a great host can make a weak meal good.

Design and Atmosphere

Of course a successful design give the restaurant one a good vibe and a pleasant atmosphere, but if I have to choose, I will prefer to go to a place where food is awesome. I hate to find very extravagant places serving very poor plates. Generally, I prefer cozy places with personality, with “something” personal, but I never refuse a place just because it doesn’t look like in magazines, especially if the food is good.

Price

Finally, the price. No matter how hungry I’m, I try to avoid places where the prices of simple meals are exaggerated. I pointed out simple meals. This category does not include fine dining restaurants, where ingredients and combinations are special. I am aware that good food costs, but often we not pay only for the meals, but their location, design or …. marketing.

Google Analytics Basics: Confronting Data Trust Issues

Time and again I hear clients say, that they don’t trust the data they’re seeing in Google Analytics. While most of the time it’s simply a matter of not knowing how to accurately read GA data, sometimes there really are problems that need to be solved before data is trustworthy. Now this isn’t to say that this happens to everyone, in fact the situations are often the exceptions and not the rules, but if you find that something just isn’t adding up, it may be one of these problems.

Symptom #1: You see a significant drop in traffic

Situation: Hypothetically, your traffic is trending as usual… then one day, for one page, there are no visits. Perhaps you think, well it’s an internal page, rarely do we send direct traffic there, so you let it slide. But then, a week later you revisit your GA data for this page’s traffic stats and you still have zero visitors.

The culprit: Chances are pretty good that the GA code got removed by accident or got stepped on in some way that deactivated tracking for that page. This is the most likely of the problems on this list to occur.

How to confirm: Thankfully, this problem is also the easiest problem to spot and fix. However, if you don’t tend to get a lot of traffic, this symptom might not be as obvious to spot, so check your GA regularly and be diligent when making changes on the back end. To confirm that removed or deactivated code is the problem, look at the GA code on the page.

Don’t freak out. Do this instead: Fix or re-place the GA code on that page.

Symptom #2: Your Conversion Rate is listed as something other than what you know it to be

Situation: Your online conversion rate is 1.5%. You know this to be true, but Google Analytics reports your conversion rate to be 1.67%. This makes you question the validity of all the other data in GA.

The culprit: Google Analytics help tells us, “In Analytics, the Conversion Rate indicates the percentage of visitors that convert on at least one of the goals you have defined for that profile.” That’s just an analytics-speak way of saying that GA is capable of tracking multiple goals, and if you set up multiple goals, your conversion rate is an average of the various conversion rates for each goal you have set up. When you’re setting up your account, remember this if you want to track the activity of more than one action on your site.

How to confirm: It’s not fun, but go into GA and calculate by hand the conversion rate for each goal you have set up. Chances are that GA is reporting the correct conversion rate for the compounded value of all the goals.

Don’t freak out. Do this instead: Knowledge is power. Once you know this, it should set your mind at ease. Set up at least one goal that is primary conversion goal for your site, and simply look at this metric when you want a direct answer to your conversion rate question.

Symptom #3: You suspect the data you see is not your own

This is a special case. It’s a much deeper and more pervasive issue than the other two. So, I’m going to hand it over to some experts, who wrote a great post on how to identify Rogue sites, and what to do if they’re influencing your data.

Now remember, these situations do not happen to all accounts. Tracking data properly is important, and plays a huge part in delivering the data trust you need to feel comfortable moving forward with conversion rate optimization plans. If you think that something doesn’t quite add up, start with these 3 common situations and hopefully you’ll find a resolution by the time you’ve made it through the list. Still think there’s a problem? ASK FOR HELP! There are great resources in the Google Analytics Help files, from Google Analytics partners to great website optimization firms.