Blog Archive

20 September 2006

Weird Google Marketing Tools Errors

I mentioned last week that Google had added Google Marketing Tools as a service. Later that day, Google announced they were partnering with Intuit to offer Marketing Tools to users of their QuickBooks software.

Today, whilst having a look through the source code of the Google Accounts login page, I found references to the following pages:

Here’s what the pages say:

You are trying to access Google Marketing Tools with the following email address:

However, you were previously signed in with a different email address:

By signing in with a different email address, you may lose access to information you have entered.

And here’s a screenshot:

Google Marketing Tools for QuickBooks Error

(They’re practically the same page, except one says “signing in” and the other says “signing up” depending on which one the user is trying to do.)

Who’s and Looking at the code, those email addresses would probably get replaced by the user’s email addresses if these error pages were called for real – but why include random email addresses instead of just leaving them blank? Maybe ‘Dani’ and ‘Fat Matt’ just want some more mail to make them feel wanted...

Anyway, in case you’re interested, the code – which seems to have been added to all the service login pages around 16 September 2006 – tries to create a QuickBooks.CoLocator ActiveX object before calling these pages in a window.showModalDialog popup, meaning it’s obviously only meant for use with Internet Explorer.

Weird or what!?

Update: 21 September 2006 (08:51)
It seems someone must have made a boo-boo! The email addresses have now been removed from those pages. [Thanks bioego!]


Google's Internal Subdomains

As many of you will already know, I like to investigate new Google subdomains to try and guess what they might be working on next. Having already compiled a list of Google’s publicly accessible subdomains (which is no doubt still incomplete), I thought I’d see whether I could find out more about Google’s internally accessible subdomains.

Doing a quick Google search for [""] returns around 19,000 results where people have found references to some of these subdomains in their HTTP referrer logs, presumably leaked when Googlers click through from Google’s intranet, internal applications or test sites.

In addition to these, I recently obtained a long list of what seem to be internally accessible subdomains that don’t appear to be discussed anywhere else. Here are just a few of the more interesting ones...

Of course, there are some of the usual suspects...

Googlers also seem to like their cartoon characters and comic book heroes...

Sometimes opposites attract...

Given that Google’s subdomains usually provide clues as to what services they’ll release next, I wonder what the following seemingly random subdomains could mean:

And, finally, I’m sure that many would say Google is guilty of the seven deadly sins...

And there are plenty more where they came from! The definitive list of Google’s internal subdomains is available on my website.

With so many subdomains knocking around the Googleplex, does anyone want to try and guess what they’ll be up to next?

[Many thanks to Philipp Lenssen and Garett Rogers for their help with this! Image by Google Press.]

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14 September 2006

That Peter Kay Book

Whilst at the airport before going on holiday recently, I noticed WHSmith had That Peter Kay Book by Johnny Dee on display. Being a Peter Kay fan, I picked up the book and had a quick flick through. To my amazement, I immediately spotted that the list of Internet Sources towards the back of the book included the following:


“That’s my website,” I shouted to Suzy (despite her being stood right next to me). The author must have found my Max & Paddy’s Road To Nowhere Location Guide website whilst researching material for the book. Anyway, I called my mum and got her to order a copy from (just because it was £4 cheaper than WHSmith) so that I could read it when I got back.

I remember seeing Peter Kay on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross saying how he didn’t like the idea of someone else writing his biography, which is why he’s written his own (due to be released on 5 October 2006). I seem to remember him implying that all these people do is dig for dirt on a celebrity and publish it, making money off the back of their fame.

Having read Johnny Dee’s book, it’s obvious that he admires practically everything Peter Kay’s ever done. Of course, there are things in the book that Peter Kay won’t have included in his autobiography, but not because he wouldn’t necessarily want them to be published – more because he wouldn’t even know some of those things about himself! Contained in this book are some honest opinions from Peter’s school friends, teachers, other comedians, co-workers and various other people he’s come into contact with over the years, many of whom would never have divulged this information directly to him.

I thought I knew quite a lot about Peter Kay, especially coming from Bolton and reading many of the stories and articles that the Bolton Evening News printed about him, but reading this book made me realise that I knew practically nothing about him at all. Starting with his childhood, then the numerous part-time jobs he had before becoming a stand-up comedian, and eventually his slow rise to fame as a star of TV and film, Johnny Dee’s experience as a journalist has allowed him to speak to many of the key people in Peter Kay’s life – including Peter Kay himself – with each one providing amusing tales and anecdotes about his journey so far.

So where does my guide to locations used in Max and Paddy fit in? After reading the entire book, I’m pretty sure that content from my website was only used for a couple of items in the “The Little Book o Mis-Kay-Lany” at the back of the book:

I thoroughly recommend this book to all fans of Peter Kay. Even when his autobiography is released next month, I’m sure it will be worth reading both of these books.

(For a more detailed review of That Peter Kay Book – or The Story of How Peter Kay Became Bolton’s Biggest Export – see

For any of my readers that have never even heard of Peter Kay – you’ve either been living under a rock or don’t live in the UK – you can catch some of his work on Google Video, although it’s mainly just his John Smith’s adverts and short TV appearances.

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After being away from my computer on holiday for a week, I’ve finally read the 94 emails and 808 feed items that were waiting for me, uploaded 120 photos of the holiday and can now post about some of the things we learnt during our stay in Paphos, Cyprus...


We stayed in the self-catering apartments at the Mayfair Hotel. After reading a few mixed reviews on various websites, we weren’t expecting too much so we were pleasantly surprised with what we found!

For a start, the cleaners appeared to work around the clock, which is probably why this appeared to be the cleanest hotel we’ve ever stayed in. Both pool areas were also very well maintained. On the three occasions we had the breakfast buffet, we were impressed by the choice and quality of the food we got for CY£3 each too. (Whilst we didn’t take part in any of the daytime activities or see any of the evening entertainment, they did seem to have a good programme for all ages.)

The Mayfair is no five-star hotel, but it’s in a great location (just 15 minutes walk to either the harbour, the main town or the Tombs of the Kings Road area), has helpful friendly staff and offers all the facilities you would need.


All the restaurants we visited served good food and were very reasonably priced – between CY£30-38 (~GB£35-45) for three courses, a bottle of wine and bottled water – but the best restaurant was undoubtedly Chex Alex” Stefanos Fish Restaurant which is owned by a local fisherman and situated on Constantias Street, Kato Paphos. Their fish meze allows you to taste 10-11 different fish dishes (including prawns, mussels, octopus, cuttlefish, sardines, red mullet and sea bream) as well as the usual dips, salad and chips. Their menu says, “If you have not tried CHEZ ALEX FISH MEZE, you can not say that you have eaten meze yet!” And I’d be inclined to agree! If you don’t go for the meze, you can choose your own freshly caught fish from the fridge. (This is what was left of ours.)

A close second was deep Blue Seafood Restaurant, which is a more modern restaurant on Pafias Afrodites Street, near the church of Agia Kyriaki. (You can see it in the background of one of our photos.) Since many of the restaurants in Kato Paphos have been in business for up to 30 years, their tables, chairs, plates, cutlery, etc. have seen better days. Whilst this enhances their authenticity, it made a pleasant change to go somewhere that felt a bit more modern – and clean! Their fish meze was quite different to the one at Chez Alex but was equally enjoyable, including mini crabs, and swordfish and salmon skewers.

Other restaurants that deserve a mention are Thessaloniki and Othellos Tavern, both of which are on Constantias Street, Kato Paphos.


Most nights, we ended up around the corner from our hotel in the Full Moon Bar on Agapinoros Street. Their English staff serve reasonably priced local draught lagers (namely Keo and Leon), imported beers (i.e. cans of John Smith’s) and a variety of cocktails. But when in Cyprus, do as the Cypriots do and drink a few brandy sours!

They also seem to have a good range of entertainment, including quiz nights and karaoke. You’ll know that you weren’t too good at singing Don’t Stop Movin’ by S Club 7 when the DJ says, “That’s what karaoke’s all about ladies and gentlemen!”

Their full English breakfast is also pretty good and for CY£1.90 is great value for money!


On the Wednesday evening, we went to the cabaret night organised by Thomas Cook / JMC / Sunset. Since all proceeds from the night were going to the Variety Club children’s charity and our holiday rep was the compere, we could hardly refuse. They promised a ‘night to remember’ and that’s exactly what we got... although perhaps not for the reasons they intended. The ‘professional’ Thomas Cook entertainment team were certainly entertaining and a couple of them had excellent voices. (I think the others were just making up the numbers though.) Whilst we had an enjoyable evening, the highlight of the night was an X-Factor contestant from a couple of year ago being sat at the end of our table. (Sorry, I can’t remember his name or find it on the Internet, but I’m sure he sang something by Anastacia.)

Something else I noticed is that almost all the bars in Kato Paphos have chipped X-Box consoles to keep the kids entertained. With all the latest games copied to their hard drives, it costs 50 cents to play for 15 minutes, after which it effectively disconnects the controller to stop the game.

Places of Interest

The entire town of Paphos is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, which means there’s lots of interesting sites to visit. These include the Tombs of the Kings, churches, baths, catacombs, mosaics and various other ruins dotted around Paphos without any plaques to tell you what they are. (View our photos.)

We also went on a Jeep Safari (in a Land Rover rather than a Jeep) into the Troodos Mountains, visited the Kykkos monastery and went to the highest point possible on Mount Olympus.


And I think that’s just about everything. Any questions?

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13 September 2006

Google Marketing Tools

It appears another Google service has crept out of the sandbox. Previously listed as simply ‘New Service’ when I originally discovered it back in July, the service with the code gmt has now emerged as being Google Marketing Tools.

Here’s a screenshot of the login box:

Sign in to Google Marketing Tools with your Google Account

If you want to see this for yourselves, you can go to either of the following URLs:

Once again, that’s where the clues end though. Trying to create a new account currently returns a generic “The page you requested is invalid.” error.

So, other than AdWords and Analytics, what new marketing tools could Google have up its sleeve for us? As usual, only time will tell...