Lord Sugar and Donald Trump do battle on Twitter

It’s fair to say Twitter has provided plenty of entertainment this evening, with Lord Sugar & Donald Trump getting involved in a tit for tat Twitter spat!

Following the conversation was pretty tedious as Trump insisted on Tweeting to himself rather than using the “@” function. Presumably he assumes his followers are morons and don’t understand how Twitter works, thus feeling the need to Tweet in a way which “ensured” they could all see.

I’ve tried to piece together the conversation in chronological order…..

Donald Trump & Lord Alan Sugar go at it on Twitter (6th December 2012)
Donald Trump & Lord Alan Sugar go at it on Twitter (6th December 2012)

It all began with a Tweet (obviously).

Trump was about to go off on one of his Anti-Scot rants when Sugar went in with a cheap dig….

Alan Sugar tells Donald Trump the Scottish don't want him.

Which, as you can imagine, went down like a lead balloon. Trump responds with a few cheap digs of his own….

Donald Trump says Alan Sugar is a bad business man

Wait, he’s not quite finished….

Donald Trump tells Lord Sugar he shouldn't do The Apprentice

Sugar hits back at Trump and questions his real wealth

Trump and Sugar lock horns over The Apprentice

Sugar hits back at Trump with the classic pot, kettle, black

Trump says Lord Sugar is working for him and making him money

At this point, you may be wondering “how long until Piers Morgan sticks his beak in?” Well, not long at all, actually….

Piers Morgan wades into the Trump & Sugar dispute

Trump claims he could easily fire Alan Sugar from the UK Apprentice

Trump ups his game, pumping out one of the strangest Tweets I have ever seen….

Trump says Sugar should be grateful he created The Apprentice

Donald Trump tells Alan Sugar to get down on his knees!

What’s that? Time for Piers Morgan to pipe up again? You bet!

Piers Morgan gets a smackdown from Alan Sugar

Trump interrupts the little side battle with another bizarre Tweet.

Donald Trump tells Lord Alan Sugar "You Are Nothing"

Which reminds Lord Sugar…

Alan Sugar reminds Trump he failed to answer the borrowing question

At the time of posting (Midnight GMT) everything seems to have settled down, although something tells me Trump will come in with another cheap dig while Lord Sugar sleeps. If he does, no doubt everything will kick off again in the morning.

To be honest, I’m a little surprised that Trump hasn’t commented on the borrowing “thing”. Yes, Lord Sugar might own all of his properties outright but Trump has borrowed his way to a net worth in excess of 2 billion dollars… even if he did experience Chapter 11 bankruptcy a few times along the way.

And the winner is….

No-one. The whole thing was pretty pointless and just a battle of egos. That said, I’d have done exactly the same 🙂

Nolan Daniels: Powerball winnings “shared” via Facebook [NOV 2012 – FAKE]

I logged into Facebook this evening and noticed several people had shared an image posted by a Nolan Daniels, in which he appears to be holding up a winning Powerball ticket.

The comment below reads “Looks like I won’t be going to work EVER!!!! Share this photo and I will give a random person 1 million dollars!”.

At first glance, nothing seems unusual. A regular guy is over the moon with his share of the $587 million jackpot and wants to share the wealth. ..

Nolan Daniels - sharing his Powerball winnings on Facebook (FAKE)
Nolan Daniels – sharing his Powerball winnings on Facebook (or is he?)

Early reports suggest that there were two winning tickets. The first has been tracked back to a man & wife in Missouri but the other winner, who bought their ticket in Arizona, is yet to be identified.

Is it possible that Nolan Daniels (Facebook link) is this man?

Afraid not.

A quick look at the official Powerball website shows that winning numbers are printed in ascending order. However Nolan Daniel’s “winning Powerball ticket” shows numbers going from biggest to smallest.

So, if you are one of the 265,000 people who has already shared his photo, I regret to inform you there will be no $1m prize for doing so. Looks like we’re all in the office on Monday…..

Milltek Sport Performance Exhausts: “thank you”

This post is a public “thank you” to Steve Pound, Brand & Commercial Manager at Milltek Sport Performance Exhausts.

~~~

Earlier this month I went to see Will Pedley Racing, with the aim of resolving a rather hefty rattle on my ST170. We were pretty sure it was exhaust related as, in true Will Pedley style, he had been to my house to investigate when I told him the car was making funny noises.

Whilst I took a look around WPR’s swanky new unit, Will whipped off the old exhaust and confirmed his suspicion that it was shot to pieces. Thankfully, he had a Milltek stainless steel system waiting to go on.

Unfortunately there was an issue with my existing Milltek de-cat, which sits between the manifold and the about-to-be-fitted exhaust system. Rather than just cobble it back together Will took a good look and suggested a broken bracket had allowed the system to move around which, in turn, had resulted in damage to the “flexi” part of the de-cat.

Will made a few calls and located a replacement Milltek de-cat at Pumaspeed Performance Tuning, based in Wakefield. Within an hour we were back at WPR with the replacement unit….. and a some engine goodies (£300 worth of performance engine mounts).

Milltek Performance Exhausts: De-Cat System for Focus ST170
Milltek Performance Exhausts: De-Cat System for Focus ST170

To their credit, Pumaspeed spoke to Milltek and they agreed to take the faulty part and have it refurbished. Unfortunately that wasn’t an option as I’d driven the car up to Leeds and had to be back in Birmingham that evening, so I bought the replacement unit and the left the faulty part at Pumaspeed, who then had it shipped back to Milltek.

Will fitted the new flexi pipe and sent me on my way….. after I had treated him to the obligatory Burger King!

The next morning, I fired off an e-mail to Milltek explaining the above and Steve Pound was quick to respond, confirming that he had credited Pumaspeed and that if I got in touch they would refund the purchase of the replacement unit.

~~~

It’s safe to say Milltek will receive more of my custom in future. Thank you, Steve 🙂

A little happy dance (ref: Gaming-Headsets.co.uk)

Over the past month I have been working on Gaming-Headsets.co.uk: a website I created to improve awareness of surround sound and dolby digital headsets for PS3 and XBOX gamers. In an order to justify the time commitment, I am going monetise the website using Google Adsense alongside eBay Partner Network and Amazon Associate links.

The site is far from finished: to date I have only uploaded a single headset review, namely the 2013 Astro A40s; the theme is incomplete; I only have one Adsense block; and I am yet to decide on a slogan. However this isn’t of concern as my focus has been on uploading good content.

Getting your website noticed by Google

Some people have asked why I took the time to record a Black Ops: Road To Commander series (which has been uploaded to my gaming-only YouTube Channel).

For me, it was all about generating unique content and I have used the series to generate 61 separate blog posts. To save time, I created a little text template which went something like this:

[introduction to the Black Ops Road To Commander]
[image (with a file name referencing Call of Duty Black Ops)]
[a space for some custom text]
[a Black Ops RTC video taken from my YouTube channel]
[some FAQ, such as “what is an RTC”]

The format above is pretty powerful in SEO terms as it contains text, images and video, as well as internal links to other areas of the website. So that I didn’t have 61 copies of the same thing, I left room for some “custom” text near the top of the template. All I did here was quickly summarise the episode, covering the game type, the map and details of any other YouTubers that were with me at the time.

Gaming Headsets Google Analytics traffic
Gaming-Headsets.co.uk: Google Analytics traffic

In amongst the RTC posts  I have uploaded a couple of hints & tips, such as How to Record Call of Duty commentaries and a guide for rendering AVerMedia Game Capture HD clips in Sony Vegas.

As you can see, traffic is now at a fairly modest 35 unique daily visitors, however it does confirm that Google has found my content and deems it relevant enough to display in search results. I am aiming for 100/day by Christmas 2012 and 1000/day by next Spring.

Aside from the occasional link on this blog, all I have done to get the site indexed is submit my domain via Google Webmaster Tools. I’ll start the process of link building once I have uploaded at least 10 different gaming headsets.

Generating income from your affiliate website

I’ve taken a few ££’s via Google Adsense and made a solitary Amazon Associates sale:

Gaming-Headsets.co.uk: earnings from Amazon Associates
Gaming-Headsets.co.uk: earnings from Amazon Associates

Income from EPN is zero but that’s hardly surprising as I haven’t added any links yet!

Like my traffic, earnings to date are very modest indeed but they do show that a well written website can be used to generate income.

My next step is to upload at least 10 gaming headsets, at which point I will start my link building. I’ll report back so you can see the impact this has on traffic and affiliate earnings.

Maximuscle: a lesson in Customer Service

In the Maximuscle Experience I rambled on about a decision to try out their Lean Definition Range. In a nutshell, I’d consumed one too many pies (beers) and needed to trim down before I rendered the bulk of my wardrobe utterly useless.

I was pretty pleased with the results and went to order another batch in August, with the intention of using their 3 for £99 offer. As I was about to place my order a 30% off voucher was posted to the MaxiMuscle Facebook page, so I used that instead.

Maximuscle - Promax Diet Special Offer
Maximuscle – Promax Diet Special Offer

In an attempt to improve things further, I made some changes to my diet when the second lot arrived. Up until that point it looked something like this:

Breakfast – Promax Diet shake;
Lunch – chicken sandwich, chocolate bar;
Dinner – chicken & peppers or fish with vegetables; and
Post-gym – Promax Diet shake blended with berries.

I decided to completely remove bread from my diet which meant I needed to find a lunchtime alternative. This was a nightmare at first because (a) Bunters in Leamington Spa serve some brilliant grub and (b) whatever healthy option I chose to eat, I would be ravenous by 3 pm.

After a bit of Googling I found myself trying Ryvita with peanut butter. This sounds rather odd but it works: apparently this is because the type of fat in peanut butter makes you feel full for longer.

I’ve managed to stick with this for the past couple of months but it is pretty boring eating the same thing day in day out. Once a week (usually Sundays) I’ll treat myself to something from the local curry house. In an attempt to be semi-healthy I’ll go for a spicy chicken dish.  If I were under oath right now I’d also need to confess to a small fish & chips once week, leaving me with:

Breakfast – ProMAX diet shake;
Mid-morning – 1 Ryvita with peanut butter;
Lunch – Promax Diet shake;
Mid-afternoon – 1 Ryvita with peanut butter;
Dinner – Chicken & peppers or fish with vegetables [5 nights per week]; and
Post-gym: Promax Diet shake blended with berries.

No doubt this is slowing my progress but I’ve convinced myself when I get “there” I’ll be able to sustain it knowing I can still pig out twice per week.

Maximuscle - Pre & Post workout experiment (Maxipower & Recovermax)
Maximuscle – Pre & Post workout experiment (Maxipower & Recovermax)

Over the past month I have added more cardio to my routine and now try to box for 15-20 minutes before moving onto a Lolo EasyAbs session and finally my weights. I’ve found that I’m out of energy half way through the weights routine and as such struggle to lift as much. Obviously, I’m losing bulk as a result.

In addition, I now play 6-a-side once a week and feel battered the next morning.

With my supplies running low and both of the above facts in mind, I’ve switched the Promax Diet in favour of some other goodies.

First up, I’ve reverted to the regular Promax. As it’s Christmas soon I might as well focus on bulking up as opposed to cutting down so this seemed logical. In an attempt to keep up my energy levels during longer sessions I’ve ordered some Maxipower. And, finally, I’ve gone for a couple of tubs of Recovermax to help me feel a little less broken after football.

A little hiccup at the checkout means I’ve done a bit more shopping than originally intended. When I placed the above order it showed two discounts – one for ordering 4 items and one for redeeming some loyalty points, however the amount charged to my card only reflected the latter.

Now it turns out you can’t use loyalty points in conjunction with other offers, although that does seem logical when I think about it. That said, I placed the order at 11 pm on Friday and my brain had clearly signed out for the evening, so I fired off a quick e-mail to Customer Services. To their credit, Maximuscle didn’t call me an idiot and offered to credit the difference to my card***.

My response? Spend it straight away. Obviously. I’ve taken advantage of their Monday Night Club (which is valid for another 4 hours) and went for the Muscle and Power Stack, which cost £80 as opposed to the usual £158.56!

Maximuscle - Muscle and Power Stack via the Monday Night Club
Maximuscle – Muscle and Power Stack via the Monday Night Club

Order #1 is due to arrive tomorrow via DPD, who have been extremely efficient thus far. For every one of my Maximuscle orders I have received a text confirming which day my order will arrive, followed by another one on the day providing an hour window for delivery. So far, so good.

Order #2 will probably follow later this week. When it gets here, my diet will look something like this.

Breakfast – Promax shake;
Mid-morning – 1 Ryvita with peanut butter;
Lunch – Cyclone shake;
Mid-afternoon – 1 Ryvita with peanut butter;
Dinner – Chicken & peppers or fish with veg;
Pre-workout – Maxipower; and
Post-workout – Cyclone / Recovermax depending on the day.

No doubt I’ll play around with this and write a follow up post in due course!

*** – I should probably point out this isn’t the first time I’ve contacted Maximuscle Customer Services. A while back I placed an order via the Monday Night Club and it appeared (on time) minus the free shaker. I asked them to send it out with my next order but they chose to fire it out via DPD the very next day. Top marks!

It just goes to show how a little bit of effort in the Customer Service department  can result in instant returns. Especially when I am that customer!

Update: Maximuscle have moved things around slightly and their products are now available at MaxiShop.com. Sometimes this appears to be more expensive than the likes of Tesco & ASDA, I continue to shop directly. Read this blog post to find out why.

AVerMedia Game Capture HD: a usage guide

A subscriber to my dedicated gaming channel sent me a message seeking help with Sony Vegas. In particular, he was having trouble importing clips recorded with the AVerMedia Game Capture HD  & wanted to know my render settings.

Replying via YouTube messages wouldn’t have fully answered the question, so I decided to post this AVerMedia Game Capture HD: Sony Vegas set-up guide to the Gaming Headsets blog.

Whilst it is written with the PS3 in mind, 99.9% of the information will apply to XBOX users. Similarly, all of the project & render settings used in Sony Vegas will work whether you’re using the AVerMedia Game Capture HD or another recording device, such as the Elgato, Roxio or Hauppauge [click for a comparison].

I’ve also addressed an issue faced when trying to import footage recorded with the AVerMedia into Sony Vegas. At first, it may look as though the audio hasn’t captured properly but this is not the case and I detail a simple fix.

A quick review

I’ve had the AVerMedia for around  5 months now and I’m pretty impressed. My main reason for choosing it over other capture cards was the ability to record without having to connect my PS3 to a computer.

My only gripe is the fact it is limited to 720p so I can’t take full advantage of my TV’s HD capabilities. I’m planning to upgrade early in 2013 and, if I do, will no doubt give the AVerMedia to one of my subscribers.

For more detailed specs and information on where to buy one, check out JSHD’s AVerMedia Game Capture HD review. To get an idea of the quality of the recording, check out the video below.

Chances are you’ll need to click the little settings icon and select 720p. For some reason I can’t get it to embed in HD ….

Exonia: A YouTube Partnership opportunity

YouTube Partnership is the holy grail for many content creators. It doesn’t cost anything to join the Partner Program but you do need to meet certain criteria. If accepted you will notice more options for customising your channel; your videos will receive greater exposure; and you will have access to additional resources. Oh – you can also monetise your content.

What you can earn from being a YouTube Partner is shrouded in mystery, however it is safe to say the program provides greater earning potential than the option of placing adverts on videos, which is now available to anyone who uploads content.

YouTube Partner Networks

If you’re just starting out, your channel simply won’t meet the criteria for becoming a YouTube Partner. Whist you might be putting out great content, you won’t be getting the kind of exposure they’re looking for.

So do you wait whilst you grow your channel? Unless you catch a lucky break this can take a long, long time. I’ve been putting content onto my dedicated gaming channel for more than 6 months and I’ve only just gone past 150 subscribers. To me, having 150 ‘subs’ is an awesome feeling so I’ll stick at it but many people just give up.

Alternatively you might want to look at a YouTube Partnership Network. In essence you’re teaming up with other content creators who, on the whole, meet the eligibility criteria. There are many out there but I want to point you in the direction of one founded by a friend of mine…..

Exonia provide a unique YouTube Partnership Opportunity, for the simple reason they are partnered with YouTube directly. Consequently, Exonia offers higher earning potential than other networks.

The full list of benefits include:

Monetize: We give you the ability to generate revenue from your online content via advertising.
Features: You will get all the YouTube partnership features, including customizable banners and thumbnails.
Growth: We will help you supercharge your channel growth.
Ownership: You retain full ownership and control over your channel.
Transparency: Track your earnings with direct access to your analytics.
Support: We are here to help, if you ever have any problems we will be there to assist.

Interested? Apply to Exonia using this form.