From Loren Nelson, NelsonEcom
Internet Solutions | Visual Design
Web Sites, Podcasts, Multimedia, & Usability Engineering

December 28, 2007 – Vol. XI, No. 34


NetBits is the weekly newsletter keeping your informed of various chatter and other tidbits of potential relevance.


In This Issue:

Item One: Happy New Year
Item Two: Browser Usage Market Share
Item Three: Fitness Tip – Needle a Bum Knee
Item Four: Word of the Week
Item Five: What is a pingback?
Do you know…

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1. Happy New Year

From everyone at Nelsonecom, we hope you and your family have a safe and Happy New Year!

2. Browser Usage Market Share

Aliso Viejo, CA based Net Applications announces July 2007 world wide Browser Usage Market Share results. Firefox has done an outstanding job of putting the heat on Microsoft to get IE back up to speed with the other major browsers available. But Firefox had the meteoric run to over 15% market share – piquing to 15.42% in April 2007. So Firefox has gotten all the press of late.

But, here comes Opera. They’ve always been the real innovator in the browser world. Many of the most useful features in browsers have been developed by the Opera Engineers. Sure, they were a bit late to decide to give the browser away, otherwise they probably would have enjoyed the success and press that Firefox earned. So while you can question the timing of that decision, you can’t argue with their commitment to innovation or to serving the handheld and smartphone markets.

Opera Mini brings as close to a true browsing experience as is available today to smartphones. When browsing with Opera Mini, Opera will render and store the entire web page on their servers, and present you with a compressed version of the whole page. You can zoom into any part of the page, and access the parts you like without actually having to download the full page. This greatly reduces the size of the data transfers, and also makes accessing even large and complex web pages quick. You even get a virtual mouse with Opera Mini that you can control with your phone.

So, how has this affected browser market share, and what are the trends for the future?

Firefox has stopped growing its market share the last 3 months, and even started to recede a bit to 14.37% market share for July 2007.

Opera, meanwhile, is starting to see some significant growth lately, going from 0.64% market share in August 2006 to 1.13% (when you include Opera Mini) currently. Looking forward: Opera Mini is the best browser available for phones, and there are far more phones in the world than computers.

3. Fitness Tip – Needle a Bum Knee

Acupuncture may help reduce pain and improve joint function for those with knee osteoarthritis, according to a recent study of 300 people conducted at Charite University Medical Center in Berlin. At the end of the eight-week study, those receiving acupuncture reported short-term reduction in pain, better function, and less joint stiffness. While the effect has yet to be studied on other joints, conclusions were strong enough that German insurance companies now cover the treatment.

4. Word of the Week

opprobrium • \uh-PROH-bree-um\ • noun

1 : something that brings disgrace

2 a : public disgrace or ill fame that follows from conduct considered grossly wrong or vicious; b : contempt, reproach

Example Sentence:
The athlete’s admission of using steroids earned her much opprobrium from former fans.

Did you know?
"Opprobrium" was borrowed into English from Latin in the 17th century. It came from the Latin verb "opprobrare," which means "to reproach." That verb in turn came from the noun "probrum," meaning "disgraceful act" or "reproach." These gave us "opprobrium" as well as its adjective form "opprobrious," which means "scurrilous" or "infamous." One might commit an "opprobrious crime" or be berated with "opprobrious language." "Probrum" gave English another word too, but you might have a little trouble guessing it. It’s "exprobrate," an archaic synonym of "censure" or "upbraid."

5. What is a pingback?

A pingback is the same as a trackback, except it uses a different protocol. Pingbacks are being used more commonly in place of trackbacks as a means to reduce spam. TrackbackSpeed supports both trackbacks and pingbacks in a safe and search-engine friendly way.

6. Do You Know…
On this day:

  • Cyrano de Bergerac Premieres in Paris (1897)
    The title character in Cyrano de Bergerac, an 1897 play by Edmond Rostand, was based on a successful 17th c. writer with an exceptionally large nose. Rostand’s play, which is written entirely in rhymed couplets, is the tale of Cyrano, a soldier and poet, who falls in love with the beautiful Roxane. Rather than woo Roxane himself, the large-nosed Cyrano provides his handsome friend, Christian, with the dialogue to win her heart.
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