Unwanted Characters on Website Page

If you see any unwanted characters on any of your pages on your website, check the encoding of the page. If the encoding is not proper, it may add noisy characters to your pages in website. If the unwanted characters are like , which is called byte order mark (BOM) simply open the page in notepad. Go to menu File>>Save As. In the file save as dialog box select the encoding as ANSI And then save the file with the same name.

Also, if the characters are something else, save the file with the encoding as “iso-8859-1”. And it should work the way you wanted.

If you have some new unwanted characters please post them on this site through ‘Leave a suggestion’ section at bottom of any page.

Upload this modified page to the server or where ever your files are and then check the page again. Try deleting the browser’s cache and check again if it didn’t work for the first time.

Household Tips

Ant Control:
Spread some ground cinnamon where you think the ants are coming in to the house.
Basil repels flies and mosquitoes. To deter ants, use catnip. Sprinkle it in their paths.
Make a mixture of 2/3 cup water, 1/3 cup white vinegar, and 2-3 Tablespoons dish soap. Spray where the ants are marching.

Natural Mosquito Repellents:
Splashing plain rubbing alcohol on yourself and allowing it to dry will deter mosquitoes from biting you.
Rub Vick’s Vaporub® on your pants and legs to ward off ticks.
Use half vanilla (has to be pure vanilla) and half water and for a mosquito and tick repellent.
Dab lavender oil on your pulse points; it smells great on you but repels insects.

For Mouse Control:
Place USED kitty litter from a litter box in small tubs in several places around the garage. Mice think… “it smells like a cat–must be a cat – I’m outta here!”.
Buy a mesh/net laundry bag that you would use for washing nylons and 5 boxes of moth balls. Put the moth balls in the bag and hang it in your garage near the door to get rid of mice, birds, and bugs.
To prevent mice from gaining entry to your garage, stop up any openings with steel wood pads. Mice will not chew through these!
Sprinkle ground cayenne pepper around the garage (inside & out), and especially near entry holes. Pests don’t care for the smell of it.
Mice hate the scent of peppermint extract. Simply sprinkle *pure* peppermint extract on the items in your garage you don’t want the mice in or on.
Before you wear a new garment, put a little clear nail polish on the front and back of each button. Buttons will stay on longer when their threads are sealed.
Zippers won’t stick if you rub them with the edge of a bar of soap.
To remove a hem crease, sponge the material with white vinegar and press with a warm iron.
Nail polish remover removes tar and grease from white leather shoes.
White shoe polish will apply more evenly if you rub the shoes with a raw potato or rubbing alcohol before polishing.
White shoe polish won’t smear if you spray the shoe with hair spray after it is dry.
Vinegar and water will remove salt stains from shoes and boots.
New white canvas shoes will stay that way if you spray them heavily with starch.
Clean rope trimmed shoes with a toothbrush dipped in rug shampoo.
For longer lasting pantyhose, try freezing them before you wear them. Just wet, wring out and toss in a plastic bag to freeze. Thaw and hang to dry.
Fresh eggs are rough and chalky . They will sink and stay horizontal on the bottom of a glass of water. The egg-white is viscous and close around the plump yolk.
Old eggs are smooth and shiny. They will float in a glass of water. The egg-white is watery and the yolk is flat in an egg roughly 3 weeks old.
Dried Herbs and spices lose their potency quickly. Buy only a small amount at a time. When using fresh herbs an spices, use 3 times the amount of the dried.
Perk up soggy lettuce by soaking in cold water with some lemon juice. To store place in a zip lock bag with paper towel to absorb moisture.
Never, never pour water on flaming fat or oil you’ll spread the fire. If the fire’s inside a pan, slap on the lid. If outside, turn off the heat and douse the flames by tossing on a handful of baking soda or salt.
Wax paper is endlessly useful. Use it: To catch grated cheese, to place under seasoned flour for breading or spices for blackening, to tear into strips to slip under a cake you are icing, to cover a dish you are microwaving.
Collect a large assortment of Chinese wooden paddles and spoons. Use them to save wear and tear on your good stainless steel and copper pots.
Instead of using plastic wrap to cover bowls in the microwave, cover a round heatproof glass bowl with a round heatproof glass casserole cover or with an inverted heatproof glass bowl of the same size. A heat-resistant round glass pizza pan also works well, and the overhang makes removal and recovery both safe and easy.
Use a lightweight pot for boiling pasta; water will come to its initial boil faster and will return to the boil faster, too, saving time and preventing the pasta from clumping at the bottom of the pot.
Before heating a nonstick pan, always coat it with nonstick vegetable cooking spray and never heat the pan more than 3 minutes before adding food.
To remove pesky bottle tops and jar lids, don a pair of rubber gloves. Or twist a fat rubber band around the lid, then twist open. Works like a charm.
If you store your best silver in self-sealing plastic bags, it will tarnish much more slowly.
When your cookbook won’t lie flat when opened on the counter, place a glass baking dish on the pages (you can read through the glass) or secure each side with a rubber band.
Use top-quality typewriter correction fluid to cover nicks, chips, and scratches on enameled ranges and refrigerators, porcelain tiles, and sinks. Works like a charm and it comes in a variety of colors.
Never use disinfectants to clean the fridge, foods will pick up taste and odor.
When laundering clothes, add detergent to the washer first. Pouring detergent on clothing can cause fabrics to fade.
Apply spray starch to doors and to painted walls along hallways and stairways where fingerprints accumulate. The coating will resist marks better.
Place a piece of white chalk in your silver chest or jewel box to absorb moisture and help prevent tarnishing of silverware and jewelry.
Freezers run more efficiently when they’re three-quarters or more full. When provisions drop, fill milk cartons or jugs with water and put them in the freezer to take up empty space.
Wiping the inside of the fridge with vinegar helps prevent mildew because acid kills mildew fungus.
For a fresh smelling fridge, keep a box of baking soda, a can filled with charcoal or dried coffee grounds or a cotton ball soaked in vanilla extract inside of it.
Crumbled newspapers lining the vegetable compartments of a refrigerator will keep veggies crisp.
Those beds of pansies will bloom more prolifically if you take a few moments to pinch out early buds. This encourages plants to bush out and, in the end, produce more flowers.
To keep your extension cords from getting tangled, insert them into a empty toilet paper roll to store.
Drain de-clogger: 1/4 cup baking soda and 1/4 cup vinegar. Pour baking soda down drain first then follow with the vinegar. Close drain and let sit until bubbling has stopped then follow with a bucket of hot boiling water.
Store eggs with the large end up to keep the yolk centered.
For perfect hard-cooked eggs, cover the eggs with cold water and bring to a boil. Then turn off the heat and let the eggs sit on the burner for 10-15 minutes.
Refrigerate candles for several hours before lighting; it will cause fewer drips.
Have you ever peeled garlic or handled it and your hands smell to high heaven? The next time that happens, take any stainless steel bowl, pan or other stainless steel kitchen gadget and rub your hands on it. It will take away the smell of garlic.
Lemon extract will remove scuff marks from luggage.
Dry Mustard will remove onion odors from your hands or cutting board. Rub in, then rinse off.
Place bay leaves in kitchen drawers and in flour and sugar sacks to keep crawling insects away.

Submit Sitemap Search Engines

Sitemaps are an easy way for webmasters to inform search engines about pages on their site that may be crawled by the search engines’ robots. This Sitemaps are in xml formats.

A typical Sitemap file lists every URL, together with information about when it was last updated, how often it normally changes, and how important it is, relative to other pages in the site. This helps search engines to more intelligently crawl the website.

Creating sitemap

First of all, create the sitemap for your website, listing each url in it.

You may have a look, as an example, at the sitemap of this website that lists the url with other attributes: Sitemap

After you have created the sitemap for your website, its the time to submit or inform the search engines about it. Below are the methods to submit to various search engines.

Submitting the sitemap to Google

Google developed a schema for sitemap and has a portal for webmasters Google Webmaster Central.

First of all, after signing into Google accounts, you have to verify the ownership of the website. This is done by uploading an html or updating a page with the meta information that google.com/webmasters provide. The meta tag looks like –

<meta content="unique code provided by google" name="verify-v1" />

Submitting sitemap to MSN

MSN uses Moreover.com for Live search to get informed about the sitmaps for various sites from webmasters. The following URL would directly submit the sitemap to MSN:

http://api.moreover.com/ping?u=http://yourdomain.com/yoursitemap.xml

Submitting Sitemap to Yahoo

Yahoo provides this service through Yahoo Site Explorer. You can submit the sitemap through the following URL

http://siteexplorer.search.yahoo.com

As with Google, Yahoo too provides a verification HTML file or meta tag to verify ownership of the website. Once verified you can use the services provided by Yahoo Site Explorer. Submit the sitemap as a feed by providing your sitemap url on:

http://siteexplorer.search.yahoo.com/submit

Submitting Sitemap to Ask

Ask follows a similar approach. The following URL submits the sitemap to ask.com

http://submissions.ask.com/ping?sitemap=http://www.yourdomain.com/sitemap.xml

Happy Webmastering!!!

Automatically Submit Sites to Search Engines:

Just provide your site or individual page URL and other details and submit. Phone number is not mandatory. It’s free! No bluffing at all! I personally use this tool. It is provided by Free Web Submission

Sort XML Attribute using XSLT | Sort XML by Date using XSLT

This is an approach to solve the date sorting problem in XML and XSLT. This article gives an example to sort XML attribute using XSLT. The attribute is date here – so it XSLT sorts the XML by Date. The date is a simple string “dd.mm.yyyy”. The following example is a code snippet to solve this problem.

Code to sort XML attribute using XSLT

To check this, copy the xml below in data.xml, copy the xslt code in style.xslt. Store them in same directory and view the XML in Browser.

The XML

          <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<?xml-stylesheet type="text/xsl" href="style.xslt"?>
<birthdays>
<item>
<date>13.05.2005</date>
<title>John</title>
</item>
<item>
<date>06.02.2000</date>
<title>Steve</title>
</item>
<item>
<date>13.01.2007</date>
<title>Lisa</title>
</item>
<item>
<date>29.05.2010</date>
<title>Sarah</title>
</item>
</birthdays>

The XSLT

          <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<xsl:stylesheet version="1.0" xmlns:xsl="http://www.w3.org/1999/XSL/Transform">
<xsl:output method="html" encoding="utf-8"
 doctype-public="-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN"
 doctype-system="http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd"/>
<xsl:template match="birthdays">
<h1>Birthdays</h1>
<ul>
<xsl:for-each select="item">
<xsl:sort select="normalize-space(substring(date,7,4))" order="descending" />
<xsl:sort select="normalize-space(substring(date,4,2))" order="descending" />
<xsl:sort select="normalize-space(substring(date,0,2))" order="descending" />
<li>
<xsl:value-of select="date" />
<br />
<xsl:value-of select="title" />
</li>
</xsl:for-each>
</ul>
</xsl:template>
</xsl:stylesheet>

You’ll see the following output

The Output

Birthdays

  • 29.05.2010
    Sarah
  • 13.01.2007
    Lisa
  • 13.05.2005
    John
  • 06.02.2000
    Steve

The parameter order=”descending” sorts the date in descending order. To sort in ascending, change descending to ascending. Normalize space is used to ignore or trim the leading or trailing spaces to help perform the sort function correctly. Substring chooses the particular part of date from the date string. If your date is in a format other than dd.mm.yyyy, you’ll need to change the values in substring function call above.

Running into issues?! Discuss below.

Search Engine Optimisation – SEO

SEO – Search Engine Optimization

Make the site easy enough to find the useful information that a user would seek. Try it by yourself by navigating through the site contents. SEO is not a step-by-step method to follow. It’s an ongoing activity.
SEO - Search Engine Optimization

All the pages within your site, should be reachable by a static link. However, make sure that you don’t just put all the (100s of) links on pages for this reason.

Use simple and short keywords. Keep 2-3 phrases for keywords. Longer phrases are sometimes ignored by the crawlers. The phrases can be made simpler by deciding the common keywords that the users could put in the search string. The set of keywords on each page should be unique. DON’T use words like www, com, a, the, an, etc these keywords are ignored by the crawlers.

The elements like title and alt attributes for images should be used appropriately. They should be descriptive and properly phrased. The <title>, for example, summarises the content on your page. Similarly, the alt tag should have the proper image description. Put your main keywords in the title, hence making the room in the keywords list for other keywords.

Example –

<img src="search-engines.jpg" alt="search engines" />

Use the heading tags to put the headings on your page. The heading tags are emphasised by the crawlers more than other tags. If the heading is put in the div or span tags, the crawler would treat them as normal text. Imagine yourself reading a book, the first thing you do is you scan through headings rather than reading the text under it.

Clear all the broken links from the site. Create a permamnent redirect for these broken links. You may use htaccess to allow the crawlers understand this.

Make your pages valid. Make sure no tags are missing their end tags, in other words, make sure the tags are properly closed. Crawlers do not consider such pages even if browsers display them properly. Validate your website against w3c standards with the help of online tools such as http://validator.w3.org/.

Not all crawlers crawl dynamic pages. When your page has some parameters passed in it, it should be rewritten to some proper/sensible URL. For example, http://adityabajaj.com/weblog/buying-new-mobile should have been re-written to something like http://adityabajaj.com/pages/buying-new-mobile.html. This makes the crawler treat this a static page.

Keep the link names consistent throughout the site.

You may use the top-level domains for bilingual site content. The chances of finding your hindi language website would be easier by making it http://adityabajaj.in rather than http://adityabajaj.com/in/

Use robots.txt file to help or prevent the crawlers crawl your website. Major search engines use this text file as a guide while crawling the website.

Example:

Allow all crawlers crawl complete website:

User-agent: * 
Disallow:

Do not allow crawlers crawl / keep them away:

User-agent: * 
Disallow: /

Disallow select directories from your website:

User-agent: *
Disallow: /admin/ 
Disallow: /private/

To help crawlers get the links within your site easily, create a sitemap and submit it to search engines. Have a look at this sitemap:
http://adityabajaj.com/sitemap.xml

You may use the following link to generate the sitemap and make your job easy.
Google Sitemap Generator

Submitting your site to as many as possible search engines is a good idea. Alexa is another site that you must concentrate on. Check on how to increase alexa rank

There are various online sitemap generators, validators, etc. This helps in assuring that your sitemap is valid and would not be ignored by the search engines. Similarly, robots file can also be generated and validated. Get more information on how to increase organic traffic.

Avoid redirecting links in your website using Javascripts. Crawlers avoid javascripts. Hence it would not know the redirections in your website properly.

If you are rewriting URLs like http://adityabajaj.com/weblog/unwanted-characters-on-website-page.html to http://adityabajaj.com/weblog/unwanted-characters-on-website-page, Make sure that crawler is informed that this is a permanent or temporary redirect, otherwise it will be treated as duplicate URLs and you might loose the page ranking.

Avoid the duplicate content strictly. Crawlers and users are confused by this. Instead of making altogether a different page for the printer friendly version of your page, create a different CSS that may be applied when user would like to print the page. Another example is instead of putting the disclaimer text on the bottom of every page, create a different page and put a link to that page on the pages you would like the disclaimer to have. This would help avoid the duplicate content on your site.

Hosting companies can also affect your page ranking. If the same hosting server hosts some ‘bad hats’ also called as spammers, pornographers, etc, your site ranking may also be banned. The crawlers treat them as the same kind of site as they all share the IP address of your hosting server.

The IP address of your website should not continuously keep changing. Such websites are avoided by the search engines’ crawlers.

Try to make your site interactive. The more the site is interactive the more chances are that users or site visitors visit your site again and again. Keeping the forums, news, etc or such dynamic content will keep the users visiting site again and again. Give your users a reason to visit the page or website back again. You visit your email expecting that some new emails or new replies may have arrived. Same is the case with visitors visiting your site. They should expect something new, may it be reply or some answers to their questions or comments.

Google Netscape Alexa AOL Overture Ask Jeeves Excite Lycos Fast Look Smart Teoma MSN Yahoo All The Web Hot Bot Go Dmoz Alta Vista

Lower Blood Pressure

The high blood pressure or hypertension should be checked on a regular basis. High blood pressure results in kidney failure, heart attacks and other problems. Following are the tips to follow to avoid high blood pressure or hypertension.

Check your blood pressure atleast a month by a doctor. Don’t ignore visiting a doctor if you have frequent headaches or chest pain.

Follow the diet and medicine treatment given to you by your doctor. Inform your doctor in case the medicines are not working their way out.

Smoking or tobacco products results in contracting your blood vessels and results in high blood pressure.

Exercise regularly and try to maintain the normal weight according to your height and age.

Add fruits and green vegetables in each meal. Avoid fat containing and non-veg food.

Salt (sodium) results in high blood pressure. Have control over the intake of it.

Avoid alcohols and caffeine. These products affects the blood circulation in your body.

Pranayama facilitates the breathing. Follow it properly on a regular basis. Meditation in addition to pranayama, also helps in breaking stress.

How To Include Xsl in Xml

You can refer a css or a javascript file in an html page so whenever that html page is opened in a browser, it renders with the styles and the functionalities enabled. Similarly, this article teaches How To Include Xsl in Xml. There is a way to include or link a xslt stylesheet to display the xml with styles making it more readable.

how to Include Xsl in Xml

How To Include Xsl in Xml

The following xsl is a very basic code sample to demonstrate the xslt include in xml:

The XSL

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<xsl:stylesheet version="1.0" xmlns:xsl="http://www.w3.org/1999/XSL/Transform">
<xsl:output method="html" />
<xsl:template match="mytext">
<h1>
<xsl:value-of select="myhead" />
</h1>
<p>
<xsl:value-of select="mypara" />
</p>
</xsl:template>
</xsl:stylesheet>

The XML

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<?xml-stylesheet type="text/xsl" href="style.xslt"?>
<mytext>
<myhead>Demo: How To Include Xsl in Xml</myhead>
<mypara>This demonstrates the way to include the xslt so it
 renders in the browser with a readable format.</mypara>
</mytext>

Save the above XML as data.xml and the xsl code as style.xslt. And then see the following output in the browser.

To view in browser, select the data.xml file and right click then select Open with> Internet Explorer (or your favorite browser)

The Output

Demo: How To Include Xsl in Xml

This demonstrates the way to include the xslt so it renders
in the browser with a readable format.

Hacked Account Case

My friend Sam’s Gmail account was hacked, neither him nor me had any idea. One day the hacker was google-chatting with me through Sam’s accountPassword hacked :( and was asking me for my credit card information. I would have given the number and other information if I would have had the card that time as he is one of close friends who I can rely on and trust. Fortunately, my credit card was not with me so I referred him our other close friend John (this is his nick name) and hence I was saved from being cheated.

Hacker did not contact John!
John, who is the one I referred to hacker, was not contacted for either of the two reasons: He was not online. Or Hacker did not know who John was! John is my friend’s nick name and hence hacker did not find anything specific to John.

How could have the hacker got that I was his one of the best friends?

I am one of the regular chatters with Sam. Google saves all the chats in the chat history. For sure, hacker must have gone through the chat history to see our previous chats and from the content of our chat he guessed that we are close. Normally, when you ask your friend to do a favor, the friend if he is close won’t really think much and just do it. However, you should be alert all the time.

What may have caused the Account hacked?
All these companies like Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc cannot be blamed for this security smash. It’s the user responsibility for maintaining the security of the passwords and keeping them strong.

The reason that his password was hacked could be that he accessed it from some local cyber caf’. Hackers can read the sensitive information using some software installed on the users machine that reads every key which is fed through the keyboard. And hence he was able to crack it even when the password was strong. Sam had no way to change the password later this incident because all the account details were modified by the hacker.

It was a nightmare for me. Thankfully, neither me nor John were the hunts!

I hope these emailing companies find some better solutions like fingerprint authentication or alike to be used world wide on internet so that it would not just rely on the passwords.

Cheers,
Steve

Related Articles:

Creating Strong Passwords

Needless to say that passwords should be strong to keep your information safe and hence yourself! Everybody knows how important it is to keep the passwords safe and secured. While this should be mostly taken care of at the service provider side like emailing, etc., it is also users’ responsibility to create strong and well-built passwords and hence achieve the security together. It is strongly recommended that your passwords should contain all types of characters, this article would provide you the detailed version of creatingSecure password keyboard strong passwords. A password meeting the above requirement may not be secured all the time. For example, AAAaaa111! Is that a strong password? Not indeed. Following tips would help you create stronger passwords to keep your world safe.

Password Length:

The lengthy the passwords the stronger are they. Each character you add to the password increases its strength several times over. Minimum length should be 8 characters. 14 and above are considered strongest and ideal. Making length passwords and remembering them is comfortable when the systems allow you include the blank spaces in the passwords. This then becomes the pass phrase.

Letters, numbers and symbols:

Variety of characters would obviously make the passwords strong and harder to guess. Can’t remember complex passwords containing symbols? You may use just alphabets and numbers to create the passwords, however these passwords have to be longer. A 15-character long password composed of only characters and numbers is 1000s time stronger than a 8-character long password composed from the entire keyboard. If you really want to create no-symbols passwords, you have to make sure that the passwords are sufficiently longer. However, it is always recommended to include the symbols.

Make use of entire keyboard:

Instead of using the common symbols and characters, try making use of other symbols also. Passwords created holding the shift key and following a sequence on keyboard are not much stronger. Though any password strength checker would give it nice protection score, it would not be normally that secured and hacker might discover it after multiple attempts. Use words or phrases that are easier for you to remember but harder for others to guess.

Convert a pass phrase into a password:

If your system doesn’t allow you to use spaces, no worries, you can convert the pass phrase to a password by following the below steps:

  1. Think of a statement or a phrase that you can remember but others can’t guess. Example – I love my life like crazy
  2. Try to spell the words in the phrase into some non-sensible words like Love can be spelled as luv, life as lyef, like as lyk, etc. So you have – I luv my lyef lyk krazee
  3. Add complexity by finding the letters that can be converted into symbols or numbers and Capitalize the first character of the alternate words. Example – ! 1uv my Lyef lyk Kraz33
  4. Join the words (remove the spaces) Example – 1uvmyLyeflykKraz33
  5. Check your password’s strength using Microsoft Password Checker tool provided by Microsoft. Using the Microsoft Password Checker, the result for the above password is BEST!

Things to avoid while creating passwords:

  • Avoid sequences or repeated characters. Example – abcdefg, bbbbbbb, 123456 or adjacent characters on your keyboard.
  • Avoid using only look-alike (100k-a1!k3) substitutions of numbers or symbols. The hackers are sometimes smart enough to replace these common characters with corresponding numbers or symbols as done for "look-alike". However, they can be fooled by misspellings, length, case variations, etc.
  • Avoid using your login name, first or second name, birthdate, your city, etc in the passwords.
  • Avoid dictionary words in any language. The hackers can use software to generate the common misspellings, reversed sequence of the characters, common substitutions.
  • Avoid storing the passwords online.
  • Do not provide login information at non trusted sites. People may create user accounts while registering on some site providing the same username and password as that of the email account also providing the same email ID. Example – A user with email id xyz@abc.com with password xyz@123 creates account on some www.pqr.com with username xyz and password xyz@123 and providing xyz@abc.com as an email id for communication. This puts the user’s email account at a huge risk unless www.pqr.com is very much trusted.