Tuesday, June 27, 2006

HeaderName and PHP scripts execution problem

If you are using mod_autoindex to list your directory contents on the web, you may want to add header and footer using HeaderName and
ReadmeName directives.

However, if you refer to .php scripts in these directives, they are
either ignored or listed as plain text(php source).

In order to have HEADER.php really executed, you need to add in your httpd.conf some code like:
<Directory /dir>
AddType text/html .php
HeaderName /HEADER.php
<Files "*.php">
AddHandler application/x-httpd-php .php

Heroes Of Might and Magic 5 Artifacts

I've spent the last two weeks playing the Heroes of
Might and Magic V(HOMM5) campaigns, and i write this not
so much to share my thoughts on it,
but to try at least to help those who find the lack of
information or description on some particular items
as annoying as i do.
Of course, this is not the major issue in the game,
but if all the people who discover anything new about
such an item would contribute to this mini-database
it would be awesome. It would be useful, at least
until Nival&Co. decide to polish the oh-so-small (?)
details of the game.
So , here it goes:

Ring of Caution : +2 Hero Attack, +2 Hero Defense
Tunic of the Carved Flesh : +3 spellpower, -1 morale
Helm of Chaos : +3 knowledge, -1 Defense

Of course, i couldn't (oh well, i could have, but too
complicated in the middle of the game ) detect any
properties that could manifest during the battles,
like particular spell improvements,
enemy penalties or movement bonuses.But if anyone
knows more about these or other items similar to
these, he/she should feel free to add it/them here.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

The Moldavian Blackhat

First of all people should stop blaming Google, they are not perfect but still the best on removing spam sites.

If MSN and Yahoo have much fewer indexed pages from this guy's domains, it is only because their bots are lazier and their index space lower.

Some of his sites are already banned from Google, some not, of course you would probably expect G to act faster, but I think they want the banning process to be automatically to avoid further spam. If they ban manually, tomorrow 10 others will spam again.

Here is a quick explanation on how he did this whole madness:

1) He registered a couple of domains (t1ps2see.com, eiqz2q.org, etc)

2) He used some lame automatic page generator to make thousands of meaningless pages.

3) He setup his web server(probably mod_rewrite rules) and DNS to work with anysubdomain.domain.com, we can see this on a random query:
$ host worihqweoirhwqer.t1ps2see.com
worihqweoirhwqer.t1ps2see.com has address

4) A little programming on the site for interlinking pages and probably for querying some mysql databases where he stored the generated pages.

5) He setup some kind of cloaking, using body onLoad="document.f.submit()" and also giving a page to googlebot and another to visitor, creating confusion. He even denied page caching, but seems like he missed msn where cached pages still appear.

6) He used a couple of trusted(or ex-trusted) PR5 sites like
www.intermedia.md, www.chat.md, www.faces.md, etc. to get backlinks
Although we no longer see them now, in a cached page of these sites there are entries like:

a href="http://2333.water.eiqz2q.org"
img src=http://images.faces.md/images/0.gif border=0
a href="http://1272.manager.eiqz2q.org"
img src=http://images.faces.md/images/0.gif border=0
a href="http://307.pizza.eiqz2q.org"
img src=http://images.faces.md/images/0.gif border=0

7) He waited a few days for his pages to get indexed

Have you noticed anything spectacular? No! Any webmaster with a few programming knowledge can do this... but it will be totally unethical.

And you should also notice the BAD parts in this: he has nothing stable, he will get banned sooner or later and will have to start over and he had to sacrifice those PR5 sites: faces.md, welena.com, intermedia.md, etc. Another bad part for him is that he attracted too much the attention of webmasters, many forums talk about this now and sending abuse reports to Google.

Some of the white hats maybe now wants to try this? I don't know if it's illegal or not, probably not but you should "Know well what leads you forward and what holds you back".

black hats and massive indexed pages

It seems that a guy who owns domains t1ps2see.com, eiqz2q.org, etc managed to index in google a huge amount of webpages.

Results 1 - 10 of about 1,250,000,000 from t1ps2see.com

Pretty impressive, however the number is not real since google is doing some kind of estimations for site:domain queries, estimations which are not accurate at all.

Nothing new until now, since we know blackhats existed and will exist until google and other search engines would become perfect, but it's amazing how webmasters are so interested in this subject, threads like http://forums.digitalpoint.com/showthread.php?t=97090 are so visited.

I also have to mention that he runs adsense on some of his domains, so this is making a very bad image for Google, letting the impression that highest part of adsense income for google comes from black hats.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Enom put REGISTRAR-HOLD because of inaccurate whois info

Although the email was correct, one day I have found that one of my domain was not working(it had the REGISTRAR-HOLD flag). I wrote to my registrar which was actually an enom reseller and he told me to contact enom directly. Enom has only 12 working hours/day so I had to wait until next day. The next day I wrote about 3 emails which and got no reply in about 10 hours so I decided to call them. After 2 phone calls where they told me the problem is because of false whois information, I waited 10 more hours for the whois team to reply by e-mail and the domain was finally working again.
So if you are using Enom or one of their resellers, I suggest you to think twice before using fake whois info.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

PHPMyAdmin freezes on databases with too many tables

If you are using phpmyadmin on a database with more 1500 or more tables, you may experience problems. The page will not load at all so you will not be able to operate propery with phpmyadmin.

Of course you can still run commands from a terminal or console but it is not as confortable as using phpmyadmin.

After digging a lot in the config.default.php filesand trying diferent results and limits for various variables, I found out that problems comes from PHP itsels. So the first thing you should do, is to raise the memory_limit in php.ini . It worked for me.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Peakclick PPC program review

A few months ago I have discovered Peakclick.

I was very skeptical, because almost all PPC programs I tried before were not even making 30% of adsense. Once you login, one of the first thing you notice on Peakclick is the top webmaster section where you see that some guys are making $2000/day with the program. So you say "yes, it is possible" and give program a try. First you don't make so much, since after you join you have the "Not Approved" flag which prevents you from getting all ads. However, in a few weeks you get approved and income starts to raise.

One of the best part of this program is that you have a lot of freedom. You can use javascript codes, XML feeds, premade google doorways, etc. You can even create some kind of adsense codes by generating feeds automatically based on page keywords.

Another good thing about program is that you get paid twice a month, even more often if you make requests and many payment methods are supported such as: Epassporte, wire transfers, Webmoney, Western Union, check by mail, Fethard.

In my opinion this is the second program after adsense that you should use(I didn't check YPN yet).

Monday, June 05, 2006

Linux on SONY VAIO VGN FS315S/FS315M

In order to use your lappy in linux to it's maximum power, you need to recompile your kernel and to download and install some drivers. I've installed Debian, but it should be simillar for any distribution. If you have a good Internet connection, the whole installation & setup process should not take more than 2-3 hours.

Sony VAIO VGN-FS315S main specs
- Intel Pentium M 750 1.86 GHz, 2MB L2 Cache (Centrino) processor
- LCD X-Black 15,4 screen with 1280x800 resolution
- 1024 MB RAM
- 100 GB Hard drive
- DVD-/+RW optical drive
- NVIDIA GeForce Go 6400 with TurboCache technology (128 MB)
- Realtek High Definition Audio Soudcard
- Intel PRO/100 VE (wired network interface)
- Intel PRO/Wireless 2200BG (802.11b/g standards)

First of all, grab the latest 2.6 kernel from kernel.org.

Then enable ALSA as follows:

Device Drivers -> Sound
Device Drivers -> Sound -> Advanced Linux Sound Architecture
Device Drivers -> Sound -> Advanced Linux Sound Architecture -> PCI Devices

Now enalbe wireless:
Device Drivers -> Networking support -> Wireless LAN (non-hamradio)

But this is not enough, you will also need to get http://ipw2200.sourceforge.net and http://ieee80211.sf.net and follow the installation instructions for both. Reboot and you should see the wireless interfation on ifconfig -a, then you can play with iwconfig.

If you dont need 3D acceleration and 1280x800, you can use the standard vesa driver. But I am sure you wanna go for 1280x800 so you will need http://www.nvidia.com/object/unix.html. Follow installtion instructions, then add the next lines to your /etc/X11/XFree86-4:

Section "Monitor"
Identifier "Generic Monitor"
HorizSync 28.0 - 110.0
VertRefresh 43.0 - 90.0
Modeline "1280x800" 80.58 1280 1344 1480 1680 800 801 804 827
Option "DPMS"

Section "Screen"
Identifier "Default Screen"
Device "nvidia geforce go 6400"
Monitor "Generic Monitor"
DefaultDepth 24
SubSection "Display"
Modes "1280x800"
ViewPort0 0

Section "Device"
Identifier "nvidia geforce go 6400"
Driver "nvidia"

Now you can enjoy your notebook in Linux.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Article rewrite by rephrasing sentences

Many hire persons to rewrite certain articles and then to republish them in their own site, trying so to avoid duplicate content penalty. How legal is this? I am not very sure and I think all depends on the article author and I assume the more the article is changed, the more legal it gets.

However, if you cannot afford or you dont want to hire human rewriters, you can use this free tool.

I've seen other tools too, but most of them were commercial or hard to use so I could not really test them.

Emptying Yahoo Mail bulk folder is unsafe

It should be simple, you take a look in bulk folder, you don't notice anything which may not be spam and push the "Empty" button.
But what happens if you go to toilet and push the button only after you return? Some emails may have arrived meanwhile and you will lose them. Actually you could lose bulk folder emails in the miliseconds between taking a look at the folder and decide to Empty. Some non-spam email may have arrived into it exactly at this time. Solutions? The only that comes to my mind is to delete emails manually from bulk, without using Empty button.

We know that is common for the bulk folder to contain often non-spam emails. This is because spammers become creative and they always try to create new kind of headers and content for the email to avoid anti-spam triggers.

Automatic and reciprocal link exchange, good or bad?

In the last years, many sites and directories started to offer automatic link exchange programs. Some ask for money while others ask for reciprocal linking. It is pretty clear that such programs and the sites involved don't have a shiny future because Google didn't introduced the backlinking system for being abused.

I tested some of these programs: www.linkmachine.net, www.monsterlinkswap.com, www.gotlinks.com, etc. The result? Getting 100 backlinks from these programs is worse than getting 1 single backlink from a PR4+ site "not flagged". By "not flagged" I mean a site which is not involved in automatic/reciprocal link exchange programs. I believe that search engines and I mean specially Google, identify the sites involved in these programs and flag them somehow. They don't get banned(at least not all of them) but their backlinks get ignored and their outgoing links too. Let's take for example gotlinks.com. They claim to have about 10,000 sites in their network. Each of them backlinks to gotlinks.com. By now, they should be about PageRank8, considering they are also promoting their service by many other ways. But they are only PR6 and I have a feeling that they gained this Page Rank only from directories, forums and blogs where people talk about the program. The 10,000+ sites involved are flagged and they don't pass Pagerank.

So if you are looking for a long term result for your site, don't involve in these "easy to gain backlinks" programs. Remember that the most effective way of getting back links is to make a site actually useful, then people will backlink to it without any incentive.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Penalized or blacklisted by Google?

It is easy to check if a site is blacklisted. If it is older than 3 months, you can simply check the PR, and if it is 0, then either site owner is one of the worst webmaster or the site is black listed. Another method is to search if google has indexed any pages from the site doing a site:www.domain.com search.

About penalization it is much harder. A site can be penalized, but it can still have a good PR and it is still indexed. It just don't show good on SERP. And this does not mean it is not on top for an important keyword. It means it is on the bottom of the list even when you do a very particular search.

Blacklisting can happen on cloaking, hidden text, blog spam.

Penalization usually occurs when you are involved in link schemes, link exchange, duplicate content, stuff keywords, affiliate links.

World Of Warcraft tips and tricks

Although it's highly recommendable to complete any quest at low levels, as the experience gained is usually worth it ( u have to grind those mobs anyway, why not gain some extra experience while doing it?) there are some quests which either should be done at high levels or , for the patient ones, completed as any other quest with the sole remark that the reward is not to be used at low levels if the benefit is a percent of some kind and not an absolute value added. You will understand this by looking at the quests i selected:

1. The Alliance "Selling Fish" started by Dockmaster Baren in Redridge Mountains, available at level 16. The reward includes 5 x Fishliver Oil, which might be almost useless to a level 20 rogue, but very useful in certain situations (pvp, instances, world bosses etc.) for a higher level character.

2. The horde quest "A Solvent Spirit", obtained at level 5 in Durotar, from Master Vornal in Sen'Jin Village has the awesome reward which consists of 10 x Really Sticky Glue, excellent for the classes which can't trap a running foe. My rogue used it successfully in pvp either for catching a mounted enemy trying to run away either for escaping from one when the situation got out of hand. When the 10 charges where all used i even bought more from the low levels, but that was in the happy days before this item became BoP....:)

3. "Gold Dust Exchange" is a quest for Alliance only and it can be obtained at level 4 from Remy "Two Times" in Goldshire, Elwyn Forest. The reward is a Bag of Marbles with 10 charges. Imagine what this item would do against a opposite faction warrior or rogue :)

4. For the hordies willing to make a trip to Tirisfal Glades, Apothecary Johaan in Brill gives the quest "A New Plague" which rewards 5 x Slumber Sand, useful for those classes without any crowd control abilities or simply for those who can't use them against particular enemies ( for example, a mage fighting 2 demons might want one asleep, or when fighting a battle on the edge, the 20 seconds of sleep would be a nice chance to bandage if the frost nova failed etc.)

Some new and some old things about Google and SEO

Is SEO(Search Engine Optimizing) good?
Depends. If you join a webmaster forum, you may notice that some members there, have 30 or more sites about various topics(ringtones, mortages, pharmacy). Those sites contain no good content except some stolen/poor text and affiliate links. Such sites are definitely not good for internet for the simple reason that one person cannot maintain and keep up to date so many sites, so they are just junk, therefore one of the google's goal is to eliminate junk from their search results.
But if you already have a site, and you do SEO just to make it more friendly for spiders, so more people will be able to find your site, then SEO is good. So you should do SEO for your existing sites and not make new sites just to do SEO.

How does google sort search results?
Some say they use pigeons, others say they do it by PR(the famous green bar). But the correct answer is: all internet users that search using google, contribute to the results ranking. How is this possible? Simple, some use google toolbar, others simply help by clicking or not on a search result.
Of course, in order to get into google's attention, a site first needs a few backlinks and some good original content. Then google allows the users to transparently make the ranking.
Let's consider the next scenario with a user with google toolbar: He searches "free ringtones" and gets to a page(let's name it "site A") where there are ringtones but they are not free. He will close the page and continue the search. At some point he will find a "site B" who has indeed free ringtones so he will spend more time on it to search whatever he needs. He could also bookmark the page, or he will memorize the address. Later he will return to the page or even tell to a friend about it. Google will see that he either type-in the address or used it from bookmarks, so he will consider that site B is good to be on top for "free ringtones", google will also penalize site A. The idea is: the more type-ins/bookmarks a website has and the more time a users spend browsing it, the useful it is, so it should have a high rank. Google easily track user's behaviour if they have Google Toolbar installed. Even if they don't have it, on Javascript enabled browsers, Google can see which sites you click from SERPs.

So how can I get on top of the results?
Make a website thinking to your potential users and what they want to see. Make it SEO friendly but don't exaggerate with this, always put your visitors first. Use ethical promoting methods.

How about PR? Why aren't pages sorted strictly by PR anymore?
Because at some point, many webmasters were using unethical methods to get backlinks, such as link farms, blog spam, aquisition of existing websites with high PR, only for linking purposes (this was bad for the Internet because those sites were no longer developed, they were just abused).
The PR sort was also a little unfair for new sites, which had no change to get on top without getting tons of backlinks. With the new algo, if a site turn out to be useful and used(clicked+browsed), it can get on top positions.

What is sandbox ?
The sandbox applies to new websites, and is a kind of pending status. Google simply says: "Hey you are new, stay down and let the elders first, keep the good work and at some point you'll get into their club too".
This way google can first watch over the new sites to see how often are they updated, how they and where they get their backlinks from. If they get the backlinks at a high rate, they are probably spammers so they will never be ranked good. If their backlinks are up only for a short period, then they probably are buying links or again spam so at some point owners remove the spam or their paid links expire, so the site will be again penalized. Of course google watches to old websites too for such actions, but the elders are always considered more trusted for the simple reason that doorways and unethical sites don't live long.

What is google blacklist or exclusion ?
A site can be manually or automatically excluded from SERPs if it is found to be completely useless for the internet comunity. Such sites usually use spam to get backlinks, they have no content quality but some duplicate or stuffed keywords, and they are full of affiliate links or redirects.

Why META keywords and description are no longer important?
Because they are not seen directly by users, therefore in many cases they were unrelated to the page or outdated. A normal webmaster updates page title and content and often forgets about keywords or description. Meanwhile other webmasters obsessed by SEO, were giving much more attention to META optimization than to content itself. From the user side, the first kind of websites with outdated/missing/unrelated META was usually more useful. So google simply decided to almost ignore META keywords or description.

Is W3C Validation important for SEO?
No, take a look to www.yahoo.com, www.google.com and www.msn.com and you will see that all of them fail the validation tests with several errors. So if they dont care about their own pages, I doubt they care about others'.

Want more? Check http://www-db.stanford.edu/~backrub/google.html

The Dark Future Of RTS Games

Have you all played Dune 2? In 1992 that masterpiece started this genre called RTS. The game gives player an outstanding feeling, combining the events on the battlefield with some nice music which is calm when there are no gunshots and which become very aggressive on a big fight, raising your adrenaline.

Then, Blizzard came with Warcraft I (Orcs&Humans) which was a good alternative for all those who finished Dune 2. Unlike Dune 2, Warcraft had multiplayer support giving new perspectives in the RTS world.

Warcraft II came 2 years later, introducing Battle.net, where you could find many players to fight with. It had better graphic and map editor and much more campaigns.

Other Game companies were making RTS games like: Dark Reign, Total Annihilation, Age Of Empires, etc. But most of them were bad clones of those existing, one of the only with new elements was Age Of Empires, which introduced something from Civilization giving the game an unique feeling.

Z was good, came in with a new idea of territory control instead of buildings construction for getting units, but without multiplayer, the game did not live long.

And then the revolutionary Starcraft came out, many believe that even nowadays it is still the best game ever. One of the best AI ever, everything you need for multiplayer, supporting up to 8 players in the same time. But above all, the game had 3 completely different races to choose from. For the first time, they were completely different in both looking and administration/strategy. So now it was like 3 in 1 game, after you play with Zerg, you get the Protoss and you feel like you are in a new game.

Rise of Nations, Age of Wonders, Empire Earth, Earth 2140, War of the Worlds, etc etc.. All these were a complete waste of time from the developers.

However I should not miss Dungeon Keeper which came with new elements and new feeling but the games lack in units' AI, specially on multiplayer when you meet the opponent and things get too chaotic.

Settlers series is good, but has too many bugs and some problems in battle where you cannot control your soldiers well, giving you the feeling that you are not really in control of your army. Kinda frustrating.

After Warcraft III - Reign of Chaos which brought in some RPG elements into RTS making the game attractive, no other strategy game had success. Why? Because the developers are working only on graphics and only on bringing new units, 100 new units, 1000 new units, addons with even more units, maps but nothing new in the game engine or in the strategy.

They all are obsessed in introducing 3D in Real Time Strategies and even Turn Based ones. Hellooo!!! People who play such games are not very interested in the 3D elements, they want something new in the game, to make it attractive!!! Waste your 3D on shooters and RPGs where people might appreciate it, but not on strategies.

Some of you probably wonder why I did not mention Command&Conquer series. It's because they are not good, they are Dune2 clones bringing only new units, nothing new in the feeling part of the game. A good strategy game is tasted in 2 phases: 1) You explore the game and it's features playing single player scenarios or campaigns, unfortunately after some time you get bored. 2) You start making strategies and play with other players always improving your style and never getting bored because the games turns out into a sport like ping-pong or chess or even soccer from the coach side of view. The games which are poor at 2nd phase, die fast. Therefore I would make a top 3 of best RTS ever:

1) Starcraft
2) Warcraft III
3) Dune 2

Yea, yea, no multiplayer(at least not in the original version) on Dune 2, but it deserves it's place since it was the first of his type.

World Of Warcraft how to make cash tips

World Of Warcraft how to make cash tips

The only place where you can double your money in 2 days is Auction House, where you can make profit even without farming, only with a few silver to invest on cheap listed items which you will resell later for higher prices. You can also go for speculations between Gadgetzan AH and your usual AH. Farming such as Scarlet Monastery is only about (or mostly about) luck and waste of time, therefore is not recommended.

Here is a list with 7 easy ways of getting money:

1) Get Enchanting and Tailoring as professions. First go farm some linen, wool, silk, etc. Then make as many green items as possible. Disenchant them and put the essences and dusts on AH. It will take you no fee for listing, so you can list for high prices without losing money if they dont sell.

2) Farm elementals. If they are low level they will drop elemental fire, elemental earth, elemental water or elemental air which are used on many professions and will sell good on AH. Higher level elementals will drop heart of fire, core of earth, globe of water and breath of wind. All these also sell good on AH. And if you decide to go for the highest level elementals, you have chance to get essence of fire, essence of earth, essence of air or essence of water. A single such essence could sell around 10 gold or higher, depending on the server where you play.

3) Go to AH and buy cheap green items(without buyout, just bid on those listed for low) and you will eventually get a lot of them for a small amount of money. Disenchant then all and list the resulted materials back on AH.

4) Get Herbalism and Alchemy professions. Watch the AH on your server to see if herbs or potions sell better. Even low level herbs such as Briarthorn could sell for 40s a peace(not 1 stack). Always list the herbs in the quantity of 1 and not 20 stacks. If some potions are selling good(like frost oil) go gather as many herbs possible for those potions and make them.

5) Are you a herbalist? Do you know what Ghost Mushroom is? Do you know that on some servers you can sell a single piece for 1gold+ ? Go to the dungeon in The Hinterlands and gather as many as you can, this will be one of the quickest way to make money. While you wait for the herbs to respawn, go kill some trolls, they have chance to drop Wildvine, which also sells for 1 gold on most servers. Some of those troll camps also have treasures.

6) Planning to get a mount? Don't forget to get a seargent pvp rank first and honored state so you can get it much cheaper. Others which are not pvp rank or honored need mount? you can buy for them and also keep some cash for yourself since it will make it worth for both parties.

7) Get Skinning profession but always keep in mind that you must stay as much possible on areas where there are many beasts(The Barrens, Thousand Needles, Desolace, Swamp of Sorrows, Dustwallow Marsh, Ungoro Crater). Hunting the yellow turtles from Hinterlands would be very easy and you could get lots of turtle scales, which would sell good on AH.

Do you want more? Check Tips and Tricks or go to the forums at http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com