Saturday, 30 June 2012

Nominative determinism 12

I've not done a nominative determinism post in ages, but here's another good one.

The author of a draft report on the proposal for a new EU directive on recreational crafts and personal watercrafts is called

Malcolm Harbour



Thursday, 28 June 2012

Powerpoint - how to close the notes pane at the bottom

In Powerpoint 2010, if you do a search and the text you're searching is inside any of the Notes to your slides, it will show the Note at the bottom of the slide in a separate pane.

The annoying thing is that there's no X to close that pane once you're done with it.

The simple solution? Move the mouse pointer over the divider tipbetween the slide, so that it becomes a double headed black arrow with vertical lines - as outlined in red in the pic below.


Then click and drag that divider down to the bottom of your window with your mouse.

That's it!

Monday, 25 June 2012

Powerpoint - how to get back the slides thumbnails list on the left

In Powerpoint 2010, on the left there's normally a vertical display or pane listing thumbnails of all your slides vertically, outlined in red below, so that you can select or edit particular slides quickly (and copy/paste etc individual slides too).


If you click the X to close that vertical pane on the left, how do you get that pane or view back?

It's not at all obvious. But there are two possible ways:

  • Click on the Normal button in the View menu (outlined in blue below), or
  • Move your mouse pointer to the left border of the window until it becomes a double-headed arrow (see the red outline) - that's actually the divider, and if you click and drag to the right you can get the pane back!


Monday, 18 June 2012

Sharing Google Analytics data with Google - & how to disable data sharing

The EU cookie law means all bloggers and websites have to be careful about cookies etc saved via their blogs or sites, even for personal rather than commerical blogs. I'll be blogging more about that soon, but that's the reason why I've got big Cookie and Privacy Policy links all over my blog now.

One issue that the cookie law doesn't specifically tackle, which I think is more important for privacy in practice, is one point about Google Analytics which, let's face it, is used by most or at least a vast number of blogs and sites.

The point is this. When a site adds Google Analytics code to its webpages, it's enabling Google to set cookies on the machines of the site's users, through which Google collects information about the users' browsing. Of course, the reason the site does this is so to enable it to view and analyse the metrics and statistics collected for it by Google, and Google provide some excellent analytics tools, reports and visualisations etc for that, all for free.

But the side effect of this is that Google gets the collected information too. It stores it on its own servers, and is able to use it - if you share it with Google. This data sharing is turned on by default. You have to take active steps to turn it off, if you don't want to share your Analytics data with Google (I'll explain how below).

Shouldn't whether a site shares analytics data with Google be more important than whether it uses cookies? Yes, we may all wonder that. For those who care more about controlling data usage than limting the mechanics of storing or retrieving, well, everything, here's the lowdown on Analytics data sharing.

Google Analytics data sharing

When you go to your Analytics settings there's a page (on which more below) all about "data sharing". The info on Google Analytics privacy is scattered around. Here are a few links (if anyone finds any I've missed please let me know):

What can Google do with your Analytics data?

The FAQs say:

What will Google do with my data?

Shared data will be used to improve the services we provide you and will help create more powerful features for you to choose from. As they become available, only those who share their data with Google will gain access to these services and features (e.g. benchmarking and an enhanced version of AdWords Conversion Optimizer). The DoubleClick Ad Planner Publisher Center will also offer greater insight to the customers who have opted in to share their data in Analytics and Ad Planner.

As for data sharing specifics:

What does it mean to share my Google Analytics data anonymously with Google and others?

If you only choose the anonymous data sharing option, Google will remove all identifiable information about your website, then combine that data with hundreds of other anonymous sites in comparable industries and report them in an aggregate form. Google will use this anonymous data to improve products and services and provide you with a benchmarking report.

What does it mean to share my Google Analytics data with Google products only?

If you choose to share your site's data, Google will use the data to improve the products and services we provide you. Additionally, only users who have opted to share their site's data with Google may use these new or improved services.

There's a bit more detail once you get to your Analytics settings data sharing page (on which more below). There are two types of sharing you can disable or enable:

1. With other Google products only optional

Enable enhanced ad features and an improved experience with AdWords, AdSense and other Google products by sharing your website's Google Analytics data with other Google services. Only Google services (no third parties) will be able to access your data.

Example Use:Google Conversion Optimizer

If you are an AdWords customer, selecting this option will allow you to use Conversion Optimizer once it is available, with the following key benefits:

- Meet your ROI objectives by automatically managing your bids according to maximum CPA goals.

- Minimize your conversion costs while saving your time.

2. Anonymously with Google and others optional

Enable benchmarking by sharing your website data in an anonymous form. Google will remove all identifiable information about your website, combine the data with hundreds of other anonymous sites in comparable industries and report aggregate trends in the benchmarking service.

Example Use: Google Analytics Industry Benchmarking

- Use Benchmarking to compare your site's performance with those of other websites in your industry.

- Pinpoint performance problems and estimate how much you can improve your site metrics.

How to disable Google Analytics data sharing

The data sharing overview says "Data sharing settings may be edited on the Account Settings page."

The trick is to get to that Account Settings page. After hours, OK certainly tens of minutes, of clicking around, I found it. It's the hardest settings page to find that I've ever had to deal with, I won't venture to suggest why…

So here's how to find the Account Settings page for data sharing (should work until Google changes it!).

  1. Log in to Google Analytics. You'll see something like this (but with your sites listed rather than mine, of course).

  2. UPDATE: there's an alternative, you can just click the Accounts tab on the right, then drill down on the page itself by clicking each account/sub-site etc if necessary, until you can see the Account Settings tab shown in step 7.
    Click the + against your site's name.

  3. Click the + against the "UA-whatever" link under that.
  4. Just keep going on the + signs till you've expanded it all, to find the site you want to change settings for.

  5. Click the site's name, under all that (in my case, it's ACE). You'll see something like what's below. On the right, click Admin.

  6. Now after "All Accounts >", along the top (ish), click the name of your site, the one where you want to disable sharing.

  7. Finally, click Account Settings.

  8. You're there at the Data Sharing settings page!

  9. Here you can UNtick either or both of the data sharing options. Then click Apply, and that's it.

The cynical might ask, how do you really know whether Google are in fact honouring that setting, if you disable sharing?

Well, you don't know, you'll just have to take on trust - but at least you've done the best you can, and hopefully that will make your use of Analytics more defensible from a cookie law viewpoint.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Internet Explorer 9 - how to open History, Favorites, Feeds on the left

When opening your History (Ctrl-h) in Internet Explorer 9, it opens the pane (or should I say "Explorer bar") on the right hand side. That's the way they made it - and it's a big annoyance.

To open the History bar on the left, you have to use another keyboard shortcut instead - Ctrl-Shift-h (ie hold down both the Ctrl and Shift keys, tap h, release them all).

And it's Ctrl-Shift-i to open Favorites on the left, Ctrl-Shift-g for the Feeds.

If you used the old hotkeys and it opens on the right, you can click the green arrow (top left of the pane) or use the Ctrl-Shift-h combo to move it over to the left. But if you close the Explorer bar, Ctrl-h will open it on the right, all over again. So it's best just to learn the "new" shortcut keys.

Prime example of if it ain't broke why fix it…?!!