Archive for December, 2007

Some Interesting Statistics

December 17th, 2007

Every so often I glance at my stats for and find something interesting. Not to long ago Google was sued for revising their ranking system. Google’s ranking system is how they determine what order websites are listed when you search.

Google is always tweaking the system so you get the most relevant search results. Unfortunately, when they change their algorithm, some web sites drop in their ranking, meaning Google sends fewer visitors their way. While Google certainly has the right to make changes as they see fit, I can somewhat empathize with those who drop in rank.

Case-in-point, below I have the list of search engines that sent visitors to in December. Notice how substantial Google’s referrals are. Google sent 223 visitors my way. While not a substantial number in itself, it dwarfs the other search engines, by a long shot.

If I depended on for a living I would probably be upset if that number dropped due to Google dropping my rank. What exactly is my rank? Well according to the last search I performed, Silvertriad is 10th, which means it is on the first page of search results when searching for “Nutrition Facts”.

Links from an Internet Search Engine

– Google 223
– Google (cache) 6
– Windows Live 6
– Unknown search engines 2
– Google (Groups) 2
– MSN Search 2
– Stumbleupon (Social Bookmark) 1
– AOL 1
– Blingo 1
– Yahoo! 1

Work Progressing on Custom RDAs

December 12th, 2007

Albeit slow, work is progressing on the next version of Nutrition Facts.  I am pouring through the USDA’s Recommended Daily Allowances and converting them to a format I can use.  Once done, Nutrition Facts will provide customized RDA’s based on your profile (a profile consisting of age, sex, etc).

I will keep everyone posted as I near completion.

My next project after Nutrition Facts 1.0 is released will be writing software to transfer files back and forth from Amazon’s S3 service.  Although this may have little appeal for most, S3 is an unlimited storage service that costs pennies a month.

I actually use it as a backup for family pictures and other important documents.  I also use it as storage for the Nutrition Facts install.  When you download Nutrition Facts, it is downloading from Amazon.  My bill for using this service was 23 cents last month and I am up to 25 cents so far this month.

The New York times uses it for their news archive as does numerous other companies.  Google is also rumored to have a similar service in the works.

If you have family photos and want to ensure they never get lost, back them up to Amazon S3.

The hardest part is finding good software to transfer files, hence I hope to improve that situation.  Currently, a plugin for the firefox browser called S3Fox works best.

Nutrition Facts released

December 7th, 2007

This release includes:

  • Improved the update check (prevents slow down during start up)
  • Added Fatty Acid data to nutrition label
  • Minor database improvements
  • Minor bug fixes

I would recommend upgrading for the first feature in the list.

Release Schedule

December 6th, 2007

I am about halfway finished with the update.

I have improved the update check, preventing slow downs during the start up of Nutrition Facts. I also corrected minor spelling errors and a bug or two. The next step will be to complete the Fatty acid/Amino acid tabs on the nutrition label.

Once i complete that feature I will release version

Barring defects or other pressing matters, the next version after will be 1.0. This will include user profiles, which will be something completely unique to any desktop software I know of. It has already eaten up hours of my time in research, mostly with USDA publications and charts.

As I have mentioned before, user profiles will customize the nutrition label to your nutritional needs.  The recommended daily allowances will be customized for you based on several factors including BMI and caloric demand.

After 1.0, I will take a small hiatus from Nutrition Facts to concentrate on another project that desparatly needs completion.

The post 1.0 features I am looking at are:

  1. The ability to add foods and submit them to Silvertriad for distributions
  2. Optional ingredients list for certain food items
  3. UPC codes for user entered foods
  4. Displaying additional information on each food item, such as source, etc
  5. Providing links to Wikipedia for many of the nutrients
  6. Providing other diets beyond the USDA’s.
  7. Collecting search stats (which will be voluntary and shared on the website)
  8. The ability to combine existing foods into new foods
  9. The ability to add new food sizes (such as cup, pound, ounces, etc)
  10. Customizable Nutrition Facts label, so you can remove the items you don’t care about
  11. Additional food items, including fast food restaurants
  12. Ability to bookmark food for quick pull up.
  13. Ability to create log of food eaten to track caloric and nutritional intake.

Did I miss anything? If there is a feature you are interested in, send me an email. I am always interested in new ideas.

Nutrition Facts released

December 2nd, 2007

Just uploaded the latest release of Nutrition Facts to the web server.  Here are the features added in the latest release:

  • Added compatibility with 800×600 screen resolution
  • More responsive searching (it’s now threaded!)
  • Improved searching with better accuracy (each word is anded together)
  • Update notification
  • Added Options dialog
  • Fixed minor issues with installer
  • Added Splash Screen