Thursday, December 13, 2007

How to be a scientist

Do you ever dream about being a scientist? Now you can be a scientist without any effort. You can attend to conferences and meetings.
I already am a scientist, check out one of my latest article here:
http://apps.pdos.lcs.mit.edu/scicache/666/scimakelatex.63814.Ana+Aman.html

Wanna know how much effort and time I spent? Just check my article and you'll figure out.

A few interesting resources


  • typingcertification.com - improve your typing skills

  • spambot trap - a good article on how to stop all kind of spam bots

  • IP geolocation - enter an IP and you will get some useful details about it including an accurate location on the map

  • slooh - control one of the most powerful world's telescope

  • dadadodo - generate random readable content


Spying on other websites stats

There are many web services who offer to track your websites stats such as: hits, referrers, geo tracking, browsers, keywords, etc. Some of them, like extremetracking.com make this information public. Searching google for "Unique Visitors"+site:extremetracking.com will pop some interesting results to look into. This can actually help with your SEO skills. You take a website which uses extremetracking, check how they optimized it, check backlinks and then check keywords and visitors and see how well is it doing. Have fun!

AI chatting bot

Wanna have some fun chatting with a bot? Yeah, may sound stupid, but can be funny, check this out: http://www.markconnell.com/mark/chat.asp.

Fonts looking like crap in Linux?

A big problem with Linux it's the font rendering. At some point I was convinced that no matter what I do, the Linux font's will never look as good as in Windows. I have tried switching from KDE to gnome, changing browsers, distributions, nothing seemed to help until I found this website: http://www.sharpfonts.com/. Then my fonts in Linux look the same as in Windows. Ah, almost forgot, on Firefox I have also done some little adjustments in about:config .

Thursday, December 06, 2007

UFO X-COM: Terror from the Deep is going to happen


Take a look at these creatures, they are recently discovered but it seems like the guys who made X-COM 2, foreseen them. You can see more here.

Which part of brain are you using?

Check this nice left/right brain test.

If the world falls and you remain alive, can you start rebuilding?

Let's say something catastrophically happens and only you and a few other people remain alive. How useful will you be? Take this nice quiz.

Linux exploits and security

Are you a Linux user or do you maintain a Linux server? As time goes by, your kernel or some services may get exploited because bugs are always present in software, it's just a matter of time until they get discovered.
In the last years, the most research on linux kernel security has been done by isec.pl. Check it out and make sure you are not vulnerable to any of those exploits and advisories. Alternatively you can use grsec patch for better protection.
For a more wide variety of advisories for services such as httpd, sshd, ftpd, etc you should check packetstormsecurity.
Setup a firewall, try to keep your services as updated as possible and don't run unneeded daemons and you should be quite safe.

Friday, November 23, 2007

live.com/msn.com refferal spam

I keep getting some traffic from live/msn with referrals such as: cars, house, etc. on pages which have nothing to do with such keywords. This is very strange, I have no idea who started this and what are the benefits.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Calculate your website value

It's always hard to tell how much is your site worth, because there are so many factors involved. You can calculate now automatically using these tools:

# http://www.websitevaluecalculator.com/
# http://www.dnscoop.com/

Of course don't expect something very accurate, but at least you can have some fun or you can feel rich for some moments.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Suspended WidgetBucks Account - Click Fraud

Today I got this email from Widgetbucks. I was never involved in any click frauds, but I think the real reason why they suspended my account and many other accounts it seems, is because of the conversion. They were paying good, an average of 30 cents for a click. But how many of those clicks actually convert? I guess they had to pay the advertisers much much more than the money they earned from amazon and their other sponsors, so they decided to start suspending accounts.

I knew from the start they will be in trouble because Widgetbucks' fancy ads attract clicks but not conversions.

Another clue for their inevitable failure is their motto "Ads suck. Ours don't." Come on!! A serious company would not use this.

And one more, their official blog in on blogger.com. Who is so dumb to host their site in the servers of competitors? Because when you want to sell ads like they do, google becomes your competitor.

And more: At some point they sent some email claiming that they have a new ad code which is much faster. Bull $#!+ !!! The reason for the new code was a hidden link which they were spreading, and this made their site and maybe some sites of the honest publishers to get penalized by Google.

There is only one conclusion in this story, STAY AWAY FROM WIDGETBUCKS!

Friday, November 09, 2007

phplinkdirectory "top hits" cheating

After analyzing the apache logs of my phplinkdirectory, I found some weird requests. After digging more into the problem, it seems like people click their own links or use automated software to do so, so in case you sort your directory listings by the number of visits/clicks they will get top positions in their category and also a top permanent spot in the "top hits" section. Basically they play with cl.php and use their id. And they do this from different IP addresses using proxies.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Announce your directory

Do you have a new web directory? You want people to know about it as soon as possible?

You should list it in the following forums:

# Iwebtool - Your Directory
# Vilesilencer - Directory Promotion & List Suggestions
# PhpLinkDirectory - Advertising and Exchanges
# IndexScript - Web Directory Announcements
# Best General Directory Forum - Directory Annoucements
# Talk Directories - Solicitations & Announcements
# Directories Forum - Advertise
# WebMaster Talk - Submit to My Directory
# WebMaster Desk - Directory Announcements
# Kahuki Forums - Directory Announcements
# V 7 N - Directory Announcements & Promotions
# Directory Owners - Directory Review

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Widgetbucks

Widgetbucks.com is a young program which seems to be a good alternative to Adsense. People are still very skeptical about this program, because it seems too good to be true. Some people already had some problems with their accounts being blocked or closed for invalid clicks or for abuses, but such things happen with adsense too.
I have tested Widgetbucks and they are doing pretty good compared to other programs but they were not doing better than adsense for me. Anyway, it all depends on your site niche I guess.

Here are some opinions about Widgetbucks I got so far:

+pluses:
1) their ads may look catchy for some people
2) they have good CPC
3) easy to signup, easy to install
4) they pay by both check and paypal

-minuses:
1) they are new and probably unexperienced in some aspects
2) you have to wait 45 days to get a payment
3) the ads are in flash and they are slow when loading
4) some people complain about blocked accounts

Anyway, you should try Widgetbucks yourself and see how it performs.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Keyboard without windows special keys

It's seems so hard to get a classic keyboard nowadays. Specially on USB. All keyboards are filled with useless multimedia buttons. And every keyboard has some special keys put differently. Whenever I switch computers I need time and concentration to avoid mistakes. I would love to have a keyboard like I used to have in 1995. No special windows keys, a simple 101/102 keyboard.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

qmail unable to read controls

Usually I am installing qmail from sources. But this time I was too lazy and on a debian box I simply apt-get install qmail. After fixing some dependencies issues, I finally managed to have qmail installed but I was getting 421 unable to read controls messages.

I added the following files defaultdelivery defaultdomain me rcpthosts in /var/qmail/control and it fixed the problem.

Friday, October 19, 2007

LinkWorth review

LinkWorth is a system where you can sell and buy all kinds of ads and text links. I tried them for a couple of months and I would not recommend them to anyone else. First of all their system is quite complicated and you rarely actually sell something although you spend a lot of time to list your sites.

The worst part of the program was their affiliate system which didn't trace any single referral! And I had like 800+ targeted webmasters who followed my links so it's almost impossible that none of them actually signed up.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Why Yahoo outranks Google in Alexa top traffic sites?

Is Yahoo really having more traffic than Google? NO! But according to alexa.com top 100, yes.




First of all, keep in mind that alexa uses the toolbar to make the rankings so it may not be very accurate considering that the toolbar is not spread equally on all types of Internet users.

Then, take a look at yahoo.co.uk and at google.co.uk and note that yahoo.co.uk will redirect you to uk.yahoo.com. So while uk.yahoo.com is seen by alexa the same as yahoo.com because it's a subdomain, the google.co.uk is seen as a totally different site. The same with .de, .fr, etc. So for Yahoo, Alexa adds all the traffic from regional sites while for google it doesn't. Then think about mail.yahoo.com and gmail. Again, for yahoo it all goes in the same domain while for google not.






The same with 360.yahoo.com and blogger.com or video.yahoo.com and youtube.com. So as long as Alexa will keep counting every subdomain as being the same with the master domain, it will be very hard for google.com to outrank yahoo.com since google has it's traffic spread all over other domains.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Include php file in smarty

I run a phplinkdirectory who uses smarty templates.
While I was modifying footer.tpl, I needed to include a .php file and I tried {include file="/path/to/somefile.php"} . This turned out to include it as text file, without executing it.
After some research, I found that it will execute it only if included with {include_php file="/path/to/somefile.php"}

Mediawiki spam and abuses

I am running a website using Mediawiki engine. All was going well, until I started to get my pages spammed with links about pills. They were not too many so I was removing them manually (using rollback) and then ban the IP. But after some weeks, I started to get too many to do this manually. They were probably some bots. I looked into config files and found $wgSpamRegex variable. I simply added some keywords into this and it prevented further spam from those bots. But later, some other bots came with other keywords. They had random like keywords so I could no longer use the $wgSpamRegex technique. Then I learned about Spam Blacklist Extension and I found this helpful forum http://www.mwusers.com/forums. I also found this: Blocking Spam in Meediawiki. With these resources, now it should be much easier to maintain a wiki site. Something I simply don't understand, it is why some of the spam bots were simply adding some random characters in my pages. No links, no advertising, nothing else. Just a few random characters like: coauier or afoilta. Are they some kind of probes and then after they finish the scanning the real spam will arrive?

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Why Amazon Associates Program Rocks

I was very skeptical when I first joined the Amazon affiliate program. The commissions seemed very low comparable to others programs that give 50% or even more. But there are some reasons which make the program very good:

1) Amazon gives XML feeds for a lot of products, more than anyone else in the market. They also have reviews and descriptions in the feeds so you can create user and search engine friendly pages using them.

2) In your Amazon pages you can run Kontera and Adsense increasing your revenue lot. Adsense+Amazon+Kontera is one of the best user friendly combo you can use.

3) Amazon is a serious company and they will always pay.

And what is bad about amazon:

1) They don't offer alternative payment methods such as paypal, egold or moneybookers

2) They pay quarterly

3) They should give higher commissions and better stats reports.

rc.local in Debian

Non Debian users are probably surprised when they see this message: /etc/rc.d/rc.local: No such file or directory . It happened to me and I was very disoriented.
But don't worry, here is a quick fix for this:

With your favorite text editor create the file /etc/rc.d/rc.local and add something like:

#!/bin/bash
# Add all the scripts to run after system startup
/usr/local/apache/bin/apachectl start

then chmod +x /etc/rc.d/rc.local

then update-rc.d -f rc.local start 99 2 3 4 5

Now you should have it working as on other distros.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Online IQ Tests

Are you looking to take some IQ test? Or a psychological test? Or just to have some fun training your brain? http://www.queendom.com has a nice collection of tests. My favorites are in the Mind Stretchers section.

Online Button Creator



To create small buttons easy, you can use this site: http://kalsey.com/tools/buttonmaker/

Ascii Text Generators

Terminals with fixed fonts are no longer used so much, but even where graphics are available, some ASCII texts look very cool.

Here is a test:


_____ _____
/ _ \ ____ _____ / _ \ _____ _____ ____
/ /_\ \ / \\__ \ / /_\ \ / \\__ \ / \
/ | \ | \/ __ \_ / | \ Y Y \/ __ \| | \
\____|__ /___| (____ / \____|__ /__|_| (____ /___| /
\/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/




You can use these sites to create such texts automatically:
http://www.network-science.de/ascii/
http://www.kammerl.de/ascii/AsciiSignature.php

Murloc Pet (World Of Warcraft)


More than a year ago, I wrote this post: wow murloc pet and it seems to be one of the most popular from my blog. I can't believe how many people are fascinated by these murloc pets. Some would actually pay a lot of money to get a secret code.

AI bots taking over the Internet

In science fiction AI is often seen as an upcoming power trying to overthrow human authority, usually in the form of humanoid robots. There might be a lot of time left until our world will look like in the Matrix, but let's take a look at what bots are already doing on the Internet (which can be for some people even more important than the real life).

Ingredients needed:

1) A programmer
2) Captcha recognition - A CAPTCHA is a program that can generate and
grade tests that:
* Most humans can pass, BUT
* Current computer programs can't pass


BUT


Some captchas are weak, can be easily passed by computer
programs, and the most important: EVEN THE MOST COMPLICATED CAPTCHAS CAN BE MASS RECOGNIZED USING CHINESE METHOD (which means simply hiring a couple of people to type in captchas all day long)





3) A couple of compromised computers or a list of open proxies/winsocks


...and you get this:


* mass forum spams
* blog comments spam
* contact forms spam
* email spam is too old to mention and it does not even require captcha recognition, however it can now extend to new levels because you will get spammed from yahoo/gmail/hotmail legitimate accounts, no longer just with fake headers

Basically any form of free registering account can now be abused.

You'll say that's why there are forum moderators. But what a moderator can do when you get 1000 new threads/hour from usernames made from different IP addresses? I guess all they can do is to turn off new user registration.

Registration price increased on domains

Today, most of the registrars where I have domains, notified me about increasing the price.
My inbox is now full with messages like "Old pricing $8.88, new pricing $9.29 per year".
It seems that the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)
approved certain domain registries to increase their prices.

Maybe it's a good idea since too many people(including myself) hold some domains without actually using them. They are parked or just in wait mode for good offers. I read somewhere that only about 10% of registered domains are currently used.

Monday, October 08, 2007

traffic analysis

Traffic analysis is the process of intercepting and examining messages or packets in order to deduce information from patterns in communication.

First used by military intelligence, but now it's use is more commercial-like in Internet surveillance. Big companies pay o lot to know when simple users surf the Internet, what they buy online and what sites are most visited. Basically your behavior and interests are tracked and recorded and are going to be used for economical or political purposes. While for the companies this means optimization and profit, for others this can be discrimination or interference in personal life.

Solution? There is no solution for the masses. Most people simply don't realize what's happening behind their Internet activities. They think nobody is able to track their activities. Others know it's possible but they think no one actually cares what you do online. But they are WRONG! As a consumer/buyer you are monitored because you need to be easy manipulated and in order to do that, they need to know as much as possible about you.

As an individual, you can start using VPN, SSH Tunnels or Tor.

New Mitsubishi Lancer



I have always considered to buy a Lancer. It's not an expensive car, but it's a high quality Japanese car. I think Mitsubishi is #1 in offroad cars and this is confirmed by the rallys where they are always on top. So Lancer would be a good combination of city car but strong enough to resist some tough roads like in my country. The reason I did not buy a Lancer was the 30% taxes, because it was made outside EU. Even with these taxes it was cheaper and with more options than european cars, but you just don't feel comfortable when you have to pay so much just for some stupid taxes. Another good reason to take it, was that it's actually made in Japan, unlike many Japanese cars which are made in Turkey or even Eastern Europe.

Now I'm waiting for the new model to get released in Europe and maybe I will consider again to get a Lancer. Now the taxes are also much lower, so I have all the reasons.

It looks so cool, I can hardly wait to have it in the showroom to see how the inside feels and maybe to take a test drive.

Top paying adsense keywords

I don't know exactly how people generate these lists, probably based on adwords estimations. However, it is hard for me to believe that you could get $30+ from a single click. And even if you try to optimize your page, it's impossible to predict which ads will google show on your website. With PPC programs, you can simply show the first bids ads, but on adsense the algo behind it's complicated and unpredictable and I think it's a bad idea to try to manipulate the adsense engine, you could get banned maybe.

Anyway, here are some sites which offer free lists:

ask.inwiki.org/Financial_top_paying_keywords

www.earnersblog.com/top-paying-adsense-keywords/

adsandsense.blogspot.com/2006/12/top-paying-google-adsense-keywords.html

Saturday, October 06, 2007

What users do on the Internet

According to a stanford.edu research, this is what users do on the Internet:



It was made around year 2000 I think, so it's quite old.
Something more recent(2006) says Internet is mostly used for p0rn: http://www.grupthink.com/topic/433.
More surveys and polls list emailing and shopping on top: http://www.pewinternet.org/trends/Daily_Internet_Activities_1.11.07.htm
dpolls.com


Some more stats like usage by continent/countries can be found here: http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm

Call to undefined function imagecreatefromjpeg()

I was trying to resize some jpeg file in a php script and got this error:

Fatal error: Call to undefined function imagecreatefromjpeg()

I have recompiled the PHP by adding the following parameters to the ./configure script: --with-gd --with-zlib --with-jpeg-dir and everything worked after.

Of course I had to fix some dependencies first, but it was easy under Debian using apt-get, I remember that I had to do something similar a few years ago under an old Red Hat and it was really painful to fix all those GD requirements.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

UFO2000 the only true XCOM remake



The first XCOM was released in 1993. It was one of the best game ever. Turn-based strategy game, with RPG elements. The game is divided into two parts. In one part you build base, make researches and general administration. In the second part you fight aliens on the battle field using researched technology and manufactured weapons and of course your soldiers.

The fight is quite realistic(an unarmored soldier dies at the first shot) and quite SCARY. Yes, the game can give you some feelings unexperienced with other games. Usually the hypnotic music goes in some repetitive mode while the enemy is hiddenly moving and then suddenly one of your men's life is taken and you hear some scary sounds. Everything the game is so realistic: fog of war, line of sight, night missions, civilians, etc. The mystery part makes you wanna play this game non-stop. At start, you basically don't know anything about the aliens or their technology and you start little by little to capture parts of their weapons, bodies, etc. After long days of hard playing you eventually discover all their technologies and you are ready to go to their main base on Mars and destroy their core mind.

The game continues with XCOM2: Terror From the Deep and XCOM3: Apocalypse. But the lack of new elements didn't make these games so successful as the first one.

There were many commercial remake attempts lately: UFO: Alien Invasion, UFO: Aftermath, UFO: Aftershock, UFO: Afterlight and UFO: Extraterrestrials. None of them can give you the feelings from XCOM. All the time and resources spent with these games are useless. Each was announced as masterpiece and hardly expected by the fans but they all make you bored and disapointed after one hour of playing.

But don't lose hope, there is one game which uses the elements from the original XCOM and comes with something new, something we could not even dream in 1993: MULTIPLAYER SUPPORT .
Yes, it's the UFO2000 project and it's open source. It runs well on both Windows and Linux and maybe other OS. Official page: ufo2000.sf.net.

The game is continuously updating and improving. Basically you have a number of points/money, the same as your opponent, and you use them to buy soldiers which can be human or aliens and weapons. You can also adjust your soldiers capabilities. You can design some to be scouts, some snipers, grenadiers, etc. If you like turn based strategies, you cannot miss this one. Although the game is free, you still need to download the original XCOM: Enemy Unknown and XCOM: Terror from the Deep if you want to play additional maps.

The game has an official server where they keep statistics of played online games at ufo2000.xcomufo.com.

If you are annoyed by the complicated 3D graphics of the new games and their lack of good ideas, you have to try UFO 2000, which has some old 2D graphics but can offer some magnificent gameplay.

Warning: the multitude of customization of your soldiers and high number of strategies you can use, make this game very addictive!

Will Google ever update PageRank again?

Definitely. But why these delays? It used to update every three months or so. As most webmasters noticed, when Pagerank updates, there is no big change in SERPs, so they assumed that Google updates the pageranks much often and they make the changes public every couple of months. It's called pagerank export.

But this time the delay is bigger than ever. This probably happens because too many webmasters started to manipulate the Pagerank by getting paid and reciprocal links. While reciprocal are easy to detect, the problem is with paid links. Paid links are not easy to detect manually and it is even harder to do this automatically. So while Google tests various algorithms for this, they probably decided to delay the pagerank export. This has a quite high impact, because many webmasters started to panic, they invested in links and cannot see the results in Pagerank or some SEO companies have contracts with customers where they promised higher pageranks.

There are many rumors that Google will change the PR to something else. But I disagree. I think it's either google exports the Pagerank in the next couple of weeks and they also come with a good detection system for paid links or they will just stop to make the pagerank public hoping to discourage link buyers and sellers.

A good explanation about how Pagerank works can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PageRank.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Blue Air

It's been a while since Blue Air started to operate flights in Romania and Europe, but I've only found out about it recently. I was planning a vacation in Greece, and the almost 1500 km that we'd have to drive to the destination (which was northern Greece, the southern part would have put some more hundreds kilometers on the route) didn't sound too good. So I looked for
some cheap plane tickets and found none, only the airport taxes were about 300€, not to mention the tickets themselves, so I gave up the whole trip, sadly. Now it's too late, the summer is gone and I've got a new job to think about, but at least for the next year I'll know that there are some options for the light-pocketed, Blue Air being one of them. Not for Greece, though, as for now they only operate routes in Romania, Spain, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Turkey and UK. They have some nice offers, 1€ per ticket and other such cheap offers, but still, the 2 problems for me remain: is it worth it to travel with low-cost companies, in terms of safety? and th eother one, well, they don't cover that many destinations...But this is constantly changing, as they grow, after all, 3 years is not such a long time in business world. Heh, I've seen that they're based in Bucharest, Baneasa airport, and not only do they offer cheap flights, but they offer free connection from Cluj- where I live - to Bucharest, thus making me the same offers as to the ones living in Bucharest, nice! I've surfed a bit for some customers' opinions, and just like in any other matter, there are pros and cons, of course the only pros are related only to the low prices...While the cons range from targeting the air hostesses' attitude to the more worrying problem of flights cancels, delays and lack of efficient communication.
Well, I'm still in doubt. It's not yet the time to make a decision in becoming their customer, but I think it's a good thing that the ancient Tarom has some competition in the local and international markets. And it hasn't been a whole year since Romania joined the EU, I'm sure things will improve in this area of air transportation too, I just hope it'd be sooner than later :)

Being anonymous with Tor

Tor is a tool which uses encrypted tunnels which can help you anonymize web browsing, instant messengers, IRC, and any applications that use the TCP protocol. It is based on volunteers who run servers.

Although, it was created to protect you against a common form of Internet surveillance known as "traffic analysis", it can also be used to reach websites or services that are blocked by your local Internet providers or even by local authorities(like in China), of course you do this on your own risk.


Tor is a free open source software, so anyone can use it without any charge, but beware, some even got arrested, you can read more about this here.

Site uptime monitor for your business

If you run sites or servers and want to be notified as soon as there is a problem with them, you can use siteuptime.com free service. They have various available monitoring options such as: http, pop3, smtp, ftp, dns, ping, ssl and custom tcp ports. They send tests at time intervals and if more than one location detects a connection failure, an email or SMS alert is sent to you.

Since this service has a public statistics page, you can use it to show your customers how stable your servers are, specially if you are in some kind of hosting business.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Why did so many web directories get penalized?

A month ago, directories like Alive, Aviva, Bigweblinks were considered in the top of web directories hierarchy. Now they don't even appear for their own domain searches. But they are still in google's index, so they were just penalized and not blacklisted.

I had a feeling this would happen, because on every webmaster web page around the Internet you could see either Alive or Aviva directory listed in the sponsored section. They were too aggressive in getting backlinks.

Many months before the penalization,I noticed they had so many backlinks, they should have been PR8, but they were only PR6. Have been PR7 for a short while then dropped to PR6 although the number in backlinks was highly increasing.

I've seen the owners on this directories on some forums and they seem nice guys, but I am somehow gladly because this penalization happened, it's like the price they had to pay for the abusive way of getting backlinks. But I strongly hope that Google did this automatically and it has nothing to do with human reviews, otherwise it would be totally unfair.

Webmaster forums are filled with opinions about these penalizations and about how alive and aviva and the other directories will regain shortly their rankings. But in my opinion I think they have been banned because of one or more of the following causes:

1) Interlinking schemes (sitewide links between some directories)
2) Duplicate content (submissions titles and descriptions)
3) Mass paid backlinks

And if they fix the problem, they may return but it will take probably some months.
For the rest of directory owners, it's bad because people lose trust in web directories because of these incidents.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

WOW Guides

First of all, I must admit I'm not a big fan of guides for playing games, as I'm quite reluctant to being told what to do and how to play, after all, let's not forget that we're supposed to have fun through the whole game, and not just after hitting a certain level or aquiring a certain item and so on. I like reading some of the guides, though, as now and then I do find some good tips or an interesting point of view. There are guides to power leveling, to making gold (most of them) from grinding or different professions and not least, guides to instances and their bosses. The thing that nobody's saying is that Blizzard is in fact continously trying to balance the whole game in respect to gold, experience and whatnot, so almost every activity you might end up doing in the game, except chatting and fishing, I suppose, leads your character ro getting gold and experience.

Oh, And dying makes a good exception too ;). Another important aspect, which concerns mostly the gold making guides, is the differences in servers' economies, if the guide advices taking skinning as a major source of profit and the server tour character's on is loaded with skinners, that wouldn't work so good, right? Or if Blackfathom Deeps is an instance that gets visited once in a full moon on your server and the guide advices creeping it for experience over and over again, it's most likely you's be doing it alone or at all. I guess the best thing to do is go with the game's flow until about level 20, concerning both exp. and money, just commplete

the quests, talk to the npcs - this usually leads to crossing the boundries between regions, make friends, enjoy the game :)

Then it might be a different story and depending on one's highlight -high experience? lots of gold? both medium? - the path to take can vary a little. A powerleveling approach demands skipping the quests that are demanding a lot of traveling or instances that you can't complete, because you don't have a guild, or enough friends online, or you simply hate it - like me with the above mentioned BFD. It's better in this case to just leave those be and stick with the quests bases mainly on grinding, the "get me x lions paws" type or "kill y mobs and return to me" - these are even better, they don't require a lot of space in the bags always too small. So this way it's not just grinding, but some money from the npc (either cash or an item that can be vendored) and bonus experience upon completion. Of course, the higher the level, the difficult it is to get to the next level or to the next region with more quests of this types. But if you find yourself with all easily doable quests done and still an experience gap to fill until the next thing, grind away if it doesn't bother you. I usually like shooting more rabbits with one bullet, but sometimes it just can't be done, or the time required would be just too long compared with that for the grinding, so then I go for that.

I'm finding myself giving advices just as a 'regular guide', but I'll say this one more time: don't do anything that takes away the pleasure to play. If you hate grinding, but think it's "better for the character", don't do it; it's supposed to be fun, remember? That's what games are for. That is, of course, if you're not a professional farmer... If you hate PUGs, don't team for instances, just leave those quests away. Or get into a nice guild. If you can't find anything to like, why play the game in the first place? Or if you only find it rewarding to hang out with friends, try the *free* chatting programs and don't pay a monthly fee just for that.
A good guide that spells out the basics od powerleveling is freewarcraftguides.com, as for the money part, there's just to much to say and too many strategies, but just like in real life, there's always the basic rule of market economy, the offer and demand are very important on the AH and usually just vendoring items is not going to bring a pile of gold.

The last thing to note would be the add-ons that many people use and are accepted - not the abusing ones that would eventually get your account banned. I haven't use any so far, mostly out of laziness I think, but because I don't enjoy using them either. But if you feel you could use some automated help for AH scanning, for fighting, for groups and so on, try them.

Have fun and remember that there's life after Wow ;)

Friday, September 21, 2007

Soccerproject review, tips and tricks

Are you bored? Do you like soccer? Then you should try Soccerproject.com. It's an online soccer manager game, with an unique simulation module and the classic features for a soccer manager: stadium maintenance, staff, players, training, advertising, transfers, league/cup and friendly games. Unlike other managers, there is an official game each day and 3-4 friendly games daily. Players train 5 times a day. The game comes in many languages, the game report contains repetitive generated comments and the tactics part, well it's just about some numbers. The game is totally unrealistic, I mean you almost always know which team is going to win, before the game takes part. You can even predict the score proportion. So there are no tactics at all, just optimization and management. The only online soccer game which had some advanced tactics and some replay of the games, it's sokker.org, but it's interface is not so friendly.

Anyway, the most important tip is to use SPMT (SoccerProject Management Tool) which is a tool that can help you learn more about your team and to use the best formation and players available. Also can help you use the best individual options for maximum performance. It takes count of all players properties (Experience, Aggression, Morale, Fitness, Stamina, Ballcontrol, Speed, Passing, etc) thing which could be hard to do manually.

It is very disappointing that in this stage of the game, it seems like every tactic is about taking max of your team and does not count on the opponent. Normally you should do all the best to counter his formation and tactics, but instead you just have to make your team get the maximum performance and eventually you win.

But the good part is they continue to develop the game engine so after some time, maybe we'll have better tactics engine.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Settlers 6

I just downloaded and played the demo. As an old fan of Serf City or Settlers 2, I was expecting a lot from this game. But instead I've got just another boring game. Nothing new, just bigger buildings and better graphics. But where is the creativity?? Where are the guys who invented Serfcity? I want some new ideas from these games, you cannot go just like that to settlers 8,9, 100 by only improving the graphics and adding AOE elements. Have all the ideas in strategy games been used? Are we doomed to play only boring games? Is it worth investing so much work in these new games if they don't stand in time?

Name Generator

Do you need a virtual name and you are in lack of imagination?
These sites can do the job for you:

http://www.behindthename.com/random/
http://www.seventhsanctum.com/index-name.php
http://www.namesdir.com

"Outstanding" on epassporte online statement

It happened to me twice. I went to the ATM with my epassporte card, entered PIN, selected amount, but instead of money I got some error like "temporary unavailable". I go home, login into my epassporte account and find that the amount I selected is missing from my balance. So I got no money from the ATM, but they are not in my balance, so where are they? I look better and notice something like "outstanding" near that transaction instead of "matched" like on other transactions. I contacted epassporte, they send me a form to complete and asked to fax it. I waited for about 1 month, then got my money back. But if they detected this(and they did since all good withdrawals were as matched, only this one as outstanding) then why did it take one month to return the money?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

online ecurrency exchange(e-gold,paypal,moneybookers,wmz)

Many need at some point to exchange one type of e-currency to another. Personally I had e-gold and wanted to get moneybookers because it was easier to withdraw. I couldn't find a trustable site, so I tried a forum. I found some guy who was very old on the forum(2+ years) and had good reviews in reputation from previous exchanges. I was new in the forum so I had to send first. Everything went well and within 10 minutes, he sent me back the money in my moneybookers account. But surprise, after a few days, my moneybookers account was locked. Why? because the person I traded with, was using a 3rd party. He did not sent me the money from his own account, but he put someone else to do it, someone who was probably using questionable ways of getting those money. So, if you ever do online ecurrency exchanges, beware not only of getting ripped, but beware about having your account blocked/closed. This specially applies to paypal and moneybookers. In order to be safe you have to take these steps:

1) Find a reputable trusted person to trade with. If you find a site, check everything from domain whois, to domain age, user reviews, etc.

2) Ask the person you trade with if he will make the payment from his own account, otherwise refuse to do the transaction(a 3rd party may not be as honest or trusted as he is).

3) If you need moneybookers or paypal, make sure you have first withdrawn all your money from the account so in case it will be blocked/locked/closed, you don't use even more e-money beside those traded.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Starcraft 2 release date


It was announced since May, but Blizzard has not yet gave a release
date for StarCraft 2. Starcraft II was played at Blizzcon, so this means
th realease date is near. I am hoping for some kind of beta this year
and then in January maybe the final version with battle.net support and
everything needed. There is an official blog about Starcraft 2 at www.sc2blog.com, an official forum www.sc2forums.com and of course the official website www.starcraft2.com The StarCraft 2 story takes place 4 years after the events of Brood War. But of course, many don't care much about the story, they want the multiplayer part the most.

6 reasons why pagerank(PR) matters

1) I think it's one of the reasons why Google is so accurate. While other
search engines were counting on the meta tags and eventually the number
of the links, Google started to show that quality of the backlinks is
what matters. So pagerank is important!

2) The higher your pagerank is, the deeper indexed you get.

3) PR is still used in SERPs, but it's not the most important factor
like it used to be some years ago.

4) It can give some kind of weight and authority to your site, because
not anyone can get a site to be PR6 and above.

5) You can use PR to compare your site with other sites.

6) The higher your pagerank is, the more subpages you can have indexed

Antworks


I recently read about Antworks and found some sites who sell them, so I
bought one. The idea seemed very interesting and maybe entertaining.
After I received the package, I was a little disappointed because it was
made of plastics. Then I went near a forest to pick up some ants. I
managed to get 5 big ones, but they started to fight so I dismissed them
and looked for smaller ones. I found small ants and surprisingly they
were escaping through the air holes, which I had to fill up. By the next
day, some of the little ants were dead and the rest were very lethargic.
I released them and looked for medium sized ants. I found a couple,
about 11. The next day, there was a little digging but the ants started
to fight, some died and the rest were weak. So the antworks was a total
failure, it is now sitting empty and I don't know if I should try
another type of ants or just give up.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Chromaggus Strategy (WoW)


Chromaggus is a dragonkin boss from World of Warcraft located in Blackwing Lair, right before Nefarian.

Things to know about Chromaggus:

1.Breath Attacks
In each new instance, Chromaggus will use two of five possible breaths, and they will only change when the instance is reset. These attacks affect everything in Chromaggus' LoS.Every 30 seconds one of the 2 chosen breaths is being cast, alternatively. The breaths are:

* Corrosive Acid- Deals 875 to 1125 Nature damage every 3 sec for 15 seconds. Armour reduced by 3938 to 5062.
* Frost Burn - Attack speed reduced by 80%. Does approximately 1400 Frost damage.
* Ignite Flesh - 657-843 Fire damage every three seconds for 60 seconds. This can stack if he casts it again within the 60 seconds the debuff lasts for.
* Incinerate - 3675-4275 Fire damage. Huge crits.
* Time Lapse - Stun for 6 seconds, reduces maximum health points to half. Erases the aggro list and heals the ones affected when it wears off. You will need 2 tanks when you get this one.

The most common thing to do is use an offtank to gain the aggro and move out of line of sight right before time lapse. The rest of your raid will be in the line of sight. This method will reset the aggro on everybody affected by Time Lapse, letting the offtank take the no.1 position in Chromaggus' hate list.A healer out of LoS could be necessary to heal the OT at this point. When the Time Lapse is wearinf off, the offtank should take Chroma back to the point where the MT is and continue to hold him until the MT regains the aggro.

2. Brood Afflictions
* Black (Curse) - Fire Damage increased by 100%
* Blue (Magic) - Movement slowed by 70%. Casting speed reduced by 50%. 50 mana drained per second.
* Bronze - 4 second stun at random intervals for 10 minutes. Can only be removed with Hourglass Sand.
* Green (Poison) - Healing reduced by 50%, 250 Nature damage every 5 seconds.
* Red (Disease) - 50 Fire damage/3s. Heals Chromaggus on death.

Only one is not removable, the bronze one, all of the others can be removed by druids, priests, mages, shamans, paladins, felhunters. All of the raid will get these and if they are pretty nasty by themselves, just wait to see what happens when all 5 of them are cast on the same player! Assign people to manage this, so that in any moment given, no raid member should have more than 3 afflictions.
MT (and OT, if it's the case), the hunters and MT's healers must have enough Hourglass Sand to last throughout the entire battle, if Chroma has the Time Lapse breath or to last long enough in order to be sure MT doesn't lose aggro. The other classes don't have to remove the bronze affliction, they just have to obey the "retreat rule" described further below, so they don't get stunned in LoS right before a breath attack.

3. Frenzy
It's a periodical ability that Chromaggus uses and must be kept under control by hunters' tranquilizing shots (create a predefined order in which the hunters tranquilize). This is the reason why the hunters must have Hourglass Sand, as a frenzy can kill the MT and this usually means a raid wipe.

4. Enrage
At 20% health, Chromaggus will enter a 'enraged' state that lasts the remaining of the fight (he can still frenzy).At this point, the healers who were taking the Time Lapse shouls stop and keep the MT alive, the OT with the one healer assigned wouldn't be enough.

5. Shimmer
Chromaggus' skin can "shimmer", event anounced by an emote. The vulnerability to a particular school of magic is changed when this happens, and it is mandatory to know to which one. If you have CTRA it will help you know when his vulnerability changes and identify it when it is found.If not, assign a mage for checking fire, one for frost, one for arcane, a warlock for shadow; if none identified, it must be the nature vulnerability. This must be detected very fast, as it's crucial for the dps. Pay attention, though, nou to overnuke and cause a loss of aggro off the MT.

The fight:
There are many places in BWL where Chromaggus can be successfully fought. The round ramp, the staircase between supression rooms, in the gate
to the octagonal room he originally stands are all good spots.As the breaths must be avoided by all, the place must have enough corners to allow movinf in and out of Chromaggus' LoS. MT - must know the spot Chromaggus is supposed to be most of the fight and keep him there, building aggro. Healers - should stay out of Chroma's LoS but in MT's LoS, healing him , excepting the Time Lapse; remove debuffs (must be agreed who removes what off whom). When a Time Lapse aproaches, get into LoS to reduce your aggro, then get back on your out of LoS place. DPS-ers - "Retreat Rule": set an add-on (or any other method is good as long as you receive the warning) to warn about an incoming breath 8 seconds before it is produced. When you get the warning, RETREAT out of LoS, let the attack pass and run back to do some more dps. DO NOT wait for the thing you were doing to be finished (casting a spell, shooting an aimed shot...), cancel it and run when you're being warned! This is because the bronze affliction combined with a breath attack can easily get you killed. The casters assigned to detect the current school of magic vulnerability should anounce it to the whole raid asap. The hunters assigned to control the frenzy must watch for their turn and , in case they are afflicted by the 4 seconds stun they must use a Hourglass Sand and quickly tranquilize Chromaggus.Every DPSer is expected to bandage when gets the chance, as the healers would be very busy healing the tank(s) and dispelling, decursing, you got the point.

As in any other fight, consumables are necessary and highly recommended - bring potions, bandages, Felwood's goodies etc.(hmm, i don't know about the engineering stuff, really :D)

proxyweb

A web proxy can be used for several purposes, including caching, censorware, malware filtering, reformatting or the well known proxy avoidance - this is a special subcase, the CGI proxy.

The caching webproxy is used for a more efficient access to remote resources - files, web pages which are otherway located on remote servers. A copy of these is locally stored and returned at every request that needs it, and there are specific algorithms to mantain the list of the copies both consistent and optimized.

The censorware proxy filters the offensive web content, restraining the access to specific resources "black listed".

The web proxied used to reformat the requested pages are mainly useful when those sites are requested by a phone, PDA etc. and they convert the otherwise computer-only browser understandable form into one that can be 'read' by the specified devices' browsers too.

Even their efficiency can't be mentained on a long-term basis, the proxies that act as a protective filter that retains the viruses and other hostile content are sometimes used by nwetwork administrators.

Finally, the CGI web proxies are the most searched for, especially the free ones. They allow access to a website through them, eluding the interdiction in visiting those sites (at school or office) and offering a certain degree of privacy, by hiding he users' IPs from the visited sites. However, the free CGI proxy can be a danger itself, as the data that passes through it can be accessed by the proxy's administrator; in the case of a insecure connection, this can lead to serious trouble, especially if the data we're talking about includes usernames, passwords, credit card numbers and so on.

proxy avoidance

Many people concerned about their privacy are searching for cgi
proxies, which hide the client's IP from the web site the client is accessing, as well as breaking the possible interdiction set in accessing the wanted site. All good, the problem is finding these proxies, especially finding the ones that can be trusted not to expose the users to any risk or inconvenience. What i'm talking about is the false security feeling the proxies offer, when one thinks he's hiding and his data are impossible to be revealed; in fact, some of the info passed to a proxy might not be encrypted, and if the info we're talking about is a login/password couple these may lead to big problems if the proxy's owner is not so well intended as you thought he was. And the rapid blocking of the sites offering proxy avoidance is not helping either, but that's not quite a risk, but more of a pain in the ass.

I found a nice site related to this : http://www.peacefire.org. Nice,
Ubuntu reference :P

messengerfx

Despite the fact that Meebo has already been around for a while with its MSN, AIM, Yahoo Messenger, Jabber, and GTalk support , not to mention the availability in more than fifty languages, it seems that a recent competitor has appeared. From Turkey, Europe, meet MessengerFX! It seems i'm not the only one curious about this big fuss, as the statistics clearly indicate an increase in number of web searches, most of them coming from Europe, and in the past six months the new, web-based MSN messenger has gained some users, but i highly doubt they come from the rabks of Meebo users, as it doesn't seem to be any reason to switch. My opinion is that it's a mouth-to-mouth like phenomenon, combined with the impulse to settle for the first thing found (not a bad thing in all cases, though). If it works -and it does, quite well-, it's simple to use, i understand the language it's in (or at least the minimum required) and my pal told me about it, why should i look any further? The language barrier is not a big problem for europeans and south-americans, either, as these 2 continets' languages are highly related with one another and represented well in messengerfx: Turkish, English, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Swedish. For those who only use the MSN messaging client anyway, it's a justified choice, besides, diversity and a competitive market can only benefit the users. As long as everything is clean, in terms of security, about Messengerfx, i can only be content of its existance.

PHProxy

As the name states it, a phproxy is a proxy written in PHP. Its uses are the same as those of any proxy, bypassing the restrictions in accessing one or more sites and gaining a certain degree of privacy. Those interested can find a source code here : PHProxy
For those looking just for a list of phproxies, here is a short one consisting of proxies that don't require cookies to be enabled:

* http://www.phproxy.us
* http://proxysystems.net/proxy
* http://proxyfree.org
* http://www.nightproxy.com

and some that do:
http://www.myspaceproxy.eu
http://proxy.stealgames.com/bobo/phproxy.php
http://radio-farda.com
http://erfanir.fbhosting.com/erfan
http://w3proxy.com
http://proxycircle.com/index.php
http://www.joeproxy.com/proxy.php
http://www.proxyzap.com
http://www.fmchat.net/vicks/proxy2
http://www.phproxy.org/proxy.html
http://www.bigcn.be/index.php
http://silkyportal.com
http://nima643.glwb.info
http://ezproxy.org/index.php
http://cngo.agpr.net/proxy
http://www.phproxy.org

WoW Farming (World of Warcraft)


I guess that few players of low levels (lower than 35, let's say) are desperate to put their hands on some more gold, as the completion of quests and instances assure the cash flow needed for training and repairments. The exceptions are made, however, by those who long to have a "always elite" character, equipped in all blues even at level 20, but if they can do that, i have nothing to help them
further with ;) .

The real gold crisis kicks in when the so-anticipated level 40 is very near, and suddenly the huge 90g required fro the mount and riding skill seem an impossible sum to get. And indeed is,at least before gaining another 2 or more levels, for the most of us. Of course, one may be part of a more generous kind of guild, but for the do-it-yourselves it's pretty hard to get al those money, plus the gold needed to train the skills available at lvl 40. I must note that i've been in this point with six of my characters, but the alts (3 of them) had an easier
time, as the sparable gold from the level 60 was reserved for this matter.

The 3 mains were the ones that got their mounts with a couple levels late, because of the above mentioned lack of gold. Among the 3 classes - rogue, driud, mage - the rogue was the first, tough, at merely level 41, due to the class skills and to the blind luck she got, nice droppings and all; but that was quite some time ago, and i'm sure things have changed for the rogues...All in all, the rogue was the one that i farmed alot with too, hence the "lucky" part, as the more you kill, the
more your chance of getting goodies increases ( which i don't necessarily find very appealing ), hence the good money flow. She had the skinning and tailoring trade skills back then, but the only useful one was the first and which, i must say, was quite a gold mine in STV, with all the beasts there. But that was before Stranglethorn became a non-stop combat zone on pvp servers (my case), so i wouldn't advise to try your luck there, unless it's a midweek morning, you have like 10 level 60 friends protecting you or you're a masochist. For the pve servers, tough, the place is very good for farming, especially if you're a skinner or herbalist (there are the so precious khadgar's whiskers and the rare steelbloom, but i guess you have to hunt a good deal too in order to sell these in a good profit; an alchemist would understand why i call them this way). If you don't have either skill, you might want to pick on the lower level pirates just outside Booty Bay (left), but , as i said before, if it isn't a low population time of the day, you won't get many chances.

Badlands is a fair good option for gold farming, too and it also has the advantage of not being highly crowded. The shadowforge dwarves near the angorforge keep (36-39) , the ogres or the troggs on the south side and center drop silk, mageweave and cash. However, my favs are the rock elementals, as on my server at that time the earth elemental was selling good and i could easily make a stack in a little over one hour. The core of earth, however, is nothing you could aim for, because of the low droprate, and you should consider yourself very lucky if you get this at under lvl 40. The vendor trash is quite good too, not to mention the solid stone, which you can auction (if the server AH allows a good price, if not, just vendor it too). Anyway, the elementals medium value is higher than the above humanoids' , so if you don't need the cloth they drop, you should kill the rocks. For me there also is the "boring" factor, which makes me change my "victims" from time to time, but for someone focused on getting gold and only gold, this is the ideal mob in Badlands. This is the moment to point out i'm only reffering to solo farming, the group part is obviously changing this completely, making it a lot easier and faster and if the group consists in one or more level 60, even bringing into discution instances with a 'fatter' loot.

Desolace is another , well, desolate place where you can get those coins. The centaurs, the satyrs in north and the skellys in Valley of Bones drop lots of silk, some mageweave, some silver and the respawn rate is high enough to keep you moving all the time.

The most important thing to remember, i think, is the total gain you get from farming a particular zone/mob. Not only the gold you get counts, but the quests completed there also (which equal gold again,one way or another, and some decent experience) , the specific mats you're after for your own benefit, maybe crafting a nice armor piece or weapon suitable for your level, even the reputation aspects counts at higher levels; the zone targeted might have some resources you could gather while farming, making this even more profit-making, so in the long run, even if the mobs aren't quite as good as others, the sum of gold you get is at least equal to that you could have got in another place, maybe an instance. Try to maximize the benefit from one kill, don't switch between the zones too often, as the time spent flying equals 0 gold, keep in mind that you are supposed to have fun in this game and if you're not, just stop what you're doing and do something else, even if it means logging off.

frases romanticas, frases de amor

El amor inspira las mas grandes hazañas y también impide realizarlas.
Eros es un poeta tan entendido que convierte en poeta al que quiere.
El amor es una bellísima flor pero hay que tener el coraje de ir a recogerla al borde del precipicio.
El amor no sólo debe ser una llama, sino una luz.
El amor no se mira por lo que el otro exige, sino por lo que ofrece.
Nunca podrás pecar de amor.
Ama y haz lo que quieras. Si callas, callarás con amor; si gritas, gritarás con amor; si corriges, corregirás con amor; si perdonas, perdonarás con amor. Si tienes el amor arraigado en ti, ninguna otra cosa sino amor serán tus frutos.

Amor es lo que queda en una relación cuando se ha prescindido de todo el egoísmo.
El amor es símbolo de la eternidad. Elimina todo sentido del tiempo, destruye todo recuerdo del principio, y anula todo temor de un final.

frases tristes

Guarda la tristeza para ti mismo, y comparte la felicidad con los demás.

"Me invade la tristeza al saber que no estás a mi lado para consolarme, para darme un beso y subirme el ánimo, para restablecer mi autoestima, si supieras la agonía que siento al despertar y ver que ya no estás a mi lado, es un dolor que al parecer nunca tendrá fin, pero aún así intento sólo recordar los buenos momentos compartidos y seguir mi vida, ya que no hay mal que dure cien años ni cuerpo que lo resista."

Sentirte hundida, no poder sonreir, querer desaparecer, soñar con un mundo mejor; eso es la tristeza.

El verdadero dolor es el que se sufre sin testigos. Que mal se siente uno cuando te enamoras de alguien y no eres correspondido ¿Quién me hizo así para sufrir? ¿No quería Dios igualdad para todos?
No hay mayor dolor que recordar los tiempos felices desde la miseria.
No sé yo que haya en el mundo palabras tan eficaces ni oradores tan elocuentes como las lágrimas...

Tristeza es saber que amas a alguien después de haberle perdido.
Las lágrimas fueron puestas por Dios en los ojos, para deshacer las penas del corazón.
Que triste se pueden tornar tus errores cuando ellos te dejan en la pena de la soledad.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Mantis VS Carnivorous Plant



Can you spot the Mantis? She is right in the middle, well camouflaged waiting for the prey but a carnivorous Venus Dionaea plant was a bad place for her to choose. Luckily she managed to move away after a few hours without getting trapped.

The end of social bookmarking near?

Lately, while browsing some webmasters forums I saw many threads with offers such as: "paying $1 per digg", "get 50 diggs for 20 cents each", "3000 delicious submissions", "100 stumble for $5", etc. It is clear that people started to mass manipulate the social bookmarking. Some even run bots on the services with poor captcha systems while others have services to sell captcha to string conversion where you can make your own automatic bookmarking scripts using proxies and then sending the captcha image to the service for conversion to a string(if they do the captcha recognition automatically or manually is not important from the buyer's side of view).
As long as traffic=money, it seems like people will always try to abuse the way of getting the traffic by using unethical but sometimes very creative methods.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Multiple browser tabs made me crazy

How many browser tabs do you have in this moment? Less than 10? I rarely have less. I usually start with the mail. But while the page loads I usually hit Ctrl+T and open some news site then maybe a forum. I start reading the email, and someone sends me a url, so I click open in a new tab, then in another email I need to check something with google so here comes another tab. I get back to the news site and find two or three news worth reading so there goes some more tabs. The same happens with the forum and then after I prepared around 15 tabs to read, I have to go somewhere. By the time I return, I have something else to do, so my 15 tabs remain unread. So what's so bad about this?

1) I start many things, I manage to finish very few.
2) Whenever I'm doing something else, like driving, there are moments when I feel bored about driving or whatever I do and I feel like I need a new tab, too bad the car or whatever I am doing does not have a Ctrl+T function.

So I think it's time to reprogram my way of operating a browser.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Online Payment Methods

A viable world wide online payment method is mandatory for any internet user who wants to do business. Credit cards are the first option when you do online shopping or buy services, but they are not a solution for b2b or user to user transactions. Checks are history due to posting delays and Western Union is just too pricy. I will list below some of the most used online payment methods:

1) Paypal. Although it may not be the best, it is the most popular so I decided to start with it.

Advantages: The biggest advantage is the high number of users who use it, specially from US and Europe. Pay pal is quite easy to use for both user2user transfers and shopping carts or payment buttons. You also can easily create donation buttons.
Disadvantages: It is still not available in many countries or it is only available for sending. Paypal is target #1 for scammers and fraud. Some accounts get frozen for no reason and it takes ages until they get back to function or they eventually remain frozen. Some blame the high fees, but I think they are reasonable.

2) Moneybookers.
Advantages: Very low fees. The system is quite secure. They move fast with the bank transfer when you decide to withdraw. Although they do lock accounts, if you are a legit user they will listen to you and do some verification and eventually you will regain the access to the account.
Disadvantages: Moneybookers delays non-European customers. For new customers the verifying process can take some days. When you have problems it may take weeks until they solve out, but they usually solve out.

3)E-gold
Advantages: It's backed up by gold, so it's like owning gold, therefore the balance in your account will always (almost) get higher without doing anything. It's very secure and they don't reverse transactions so once you get the money, it remain yours. It's worldwide available and you can create as many accounts as you like. Also it's completely anonymous.
Disadvantages: Sometimes hard to fund or hard to find trustable e-gold exchangers. The exchangers may have too high fees. The same when you have to withdraw.

4) Epassporte.
Advantages: You get a nice plastic ATM card which you can use to get your money out of your account very quickly. You can also do wire transfers. World-wide available.
Disadvantages: They don't actually have shopping cart options or payment buttons, making epassporte unusable for online shops like sites. It seem to be very popular among affiliate marketing, used to pay subaffiliates.

5) Payoneer.
Advantages: You get the ATM card the same as with epassporte. Available worldwide and you can use a variety of methods to fund your account: credit cards, paypal, wire.
Disadvantages: Can be used only for user to user or business to user payments. It's quite unpopular, few people know about or use payoneer.

6)Webmoney.
Advantages: Strong security with many options of preventing fraud. No reverse transactions, reasonable fees.
Disadvantages: Good support only for russians. Hard to withdraw for non-russians.

Online Investment Scams

Internet is a great tool for investors, allowing them to easily and quickly research investment opportunities. But the Internet is also a prolific place for fraudsters. This is why you have always to think twice before you invest any money in a site.

The Internet permits to anyone to communicate with a mass audience without spending too much time or money. Any individual can reach thousands of people by building a website, posting messages on discussion boards or chat rooms, by buying traffic or entering into traffic exchange schemes, by advertising with banners or pay per click sites or by sending mass spam emails.

It's easy for scammers to make their messages look credible. They often use basic manipulation techniques such as fake testimonials. But it is very hard for honest investors to make the difference between facts and fiction.

One of the first rule is to not trust anything you didn't ask for. If you got an email from someone you don't know about a great offer, then disclose it immediately. Honest companies don't use aggressive advertising methods. Many newsletters owners get money from companies to
spread false information or promote worthless stocks.

Those who are looking for quick and easy investments or money making opportunities can become a victim of pyramid plans or nigerian email scams.

Beware of the pyramid plans. You can find many banners or text ads about how you can double your money in a few days. People who run these sites usually use payment methods that don't support chargebacks such as e-gold. The sites work like this: you put your money there, let's say $100, then they claim you will get $10 daily for 30 days so you will totally have a 200% profit in just one month. After you have paid, you will eventually start getting $10 for a very few days and you will start to believe everything is true so will ask your friends to join or maybe you will invest yourself more money. Then suddenly the site gets closed you hear nothing about them, you cannot track them because they used anonymous servers, anonymous domains and anonymous accounts. They will start a new site and start over tricking other people.

Nigerian email scams are one of the top fraud phenomena on the Internet. Almost any Internet user who owns a mailbox have received at least once an email from someone claiming to be a very rich person who needs assistance to get a big amount of money out of some country or bank. System administrators or user support mailboxes sometimes get hundreds of such emails every day. They are written in a good english, overusing capitalization and making everything look official. Victim may get excited, would call them, then they will be asked to send a small amount of money for some arrangements in order for the nigerian to make the big transfer, then he asks for more and more money until you finally realize you got scammed.

Coin or roulette programs sometimes look very attractive. But the programs behind them are not honest and they will always generate the odds in a such way you will always lose.

Back to investments, you may start your verification about a company with the SEC's EDGAR Database.
The federal securities laws require many public companies to register with the SEC and file annual reports with audited financial statements. You can access and download these reports from the SEC database for free. Before you invest money in a company, check whether it's registered with the SEC and read the reports.

Always do more research by using other techniques than just reading on websites or newsletters. Check the company's domain whois data, make phone calls, try to contact other companies which worked with your targed. Make research about the people behind the company. Check if they are real and which is their history.

FC Nurnberg - Rapid Bucharest


This is going to be an interesting game because both teams are quite solid. Two years ago, Rapid smashed some German teams such as Hamburg and Hertha Berlin. But now with Cristiano Bergodi the team plays differently. I think we aren't going to see many goals on these games, it can even be 0-0 on both and everything will decide in extra time. The Germans have however now the chance to revenge with both club teams and national team. Germany national team will play a friendly game with Romania and will attempt to make the shameful 5-1 forgotten.


Rapid's Squad:

1 Dănuţ Coman
5 Ionuţ Cristian Stancu
6 Cesinha
8 Stefan Grigorie
9 Ionuţ Mazilu
10 Emil Dică
11 Pierre Boya
14 Dănuţ Perjă
15 Costin Lazăr
16 Ovidiu Herea
17 Marius Constantin Măldărăşanu (vice-captain)
18 Nicolae Grigore
19 Vladimir Božović
20 Lucian Burdujan
21 Cristian Săpunaru
23 Marius Constantin
24 Vasile Maftei (captain)
25 Romeo Stancu
27 Ionuţ Dobroiu
29 Mugurel Buga
30 Andrei Daniel Marinescu
32 Mihai Adrian Mincă
99 Elinton Andrade

Nurnberg's Squad:
1 Alexander Stephan
2 Lars Jacobsen
3 Michael Beauchamp
4 Gláuber
5 Andreas Wolf
6 Tomáš Galásek
7 Marek Nikl
9 Angelos Charisteas
10 Zvjezdan Misimović
11 Marek Mintál
13 Ivan Saenko
15 Jan Kristiansen
16 Ralf Schmidt
17 Nicky Adler
18 Daniel Klewer
20 Joshua Kennedy
21 Dario Vidosic
22 Marco Engelhardt
23 Matthew Spiranovic
24 Peer Kluge
25 Javier Horacio Pinola
26 Christoph Weber
28 Dominik Reinhardt
29 Jaromir Blazek
30 MIchael Kammermeyer
32 Leon Benko
33 Róbert Vittek
34 Lukas Kling
35 Chhunly Pagenburg
36 Jaouhar Mnari
37 Sebastian Szikal

Monday, September 03, 2007

Domain Renewal Scam

It is not the first time when I receive an email telling me that it is time to renew some domain. And surprisingly, the email does not come from my registrar. It contains some text like:

You may renew your domain with Domain Renewal. Click on the link in this e-mail to renew the domain for another year. You should renew your domain as soon as possible in order for it to continue to be registered in your name.

Of course it looked very fishy but I tried the link to see what's happening and they redirected me to some unsecure page with the message "Payment is done via MultiCards online secure payment partner." The price for the domain renew was $79. I continued and got redirected to a billing page from multicards.com, so the scammers were not trying to get my personal credit card informations but instead they were trying to bill me for a service they cannot offer because they are not my registrar and my domain was not even expiring.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

down load msn

Even though Mac and MSN messenger sound like a bad association to me, I came across this today while setting up my sister's brand new laptop. Love that mac, btw, but she insisted on me installing the msn messanger, which she was so used to. I got it from http://www.msgshit.com/downloads/612/Messenger-for-Mac-6.html and saw the custom emoticons thing, which I'm not sure that isn't available in all the existing messengers, but I must admit the check spelling functions is pretty useful. That's about it, the rest is as I know it and didn't convince me to switch to msn msg...even for Mac ;)

gimail

In the same "mistyping errors series", I was searching for some Gmail related info yesterday and mistakenly typed Gimail, so I got some interesting search results. Gimail is in fact another web based mail service, it stands for Global Internet Mail and is used by US military staff only. Gmail needs no further description, I don't think that anyone wouldn't recognize the famous Google Mail service...I wonder which one of these is more secure, as both need state of the art security for obvious reasons. No bad ideas here, I'm just curious :)

disney chanal

I really don't like that Disney Channel has stepped into the ads market, and i'm not reffering to the annoyance of the commercials as we all know them, but more to the demise of a tv channel mainly meant for kids to the mighty force of money. I know that adults and teens watch Disney too, see Zoog Disney, but I still don't like it. There is a clear difference between ads for kids and ads for adults, and while an adult is at least aware of the big picture, most of the kids aren't. I'm talking about the money's value and planning the budget and all the grown-ups stuff, the children are just too little to know all that and to adjust their desires to reality. Simply put, even if many adults don't know what's good for them, the kids surely don't and the commercials have a bigger impact on them. This is a long discussion and I'll stop here, but I just wanted to say that even if I still like Disney's programs and I won't quit watching ,airing those ads was a wrong move in my eyes. I'm sure that not in the accounts department's...

parkway drive lyrics

It saddens me that some people get so emotional distresses that they reach that point when they hurt themselves just for drawing attention, either pitty or some sick form of admiration ("you must be really tough to bare that kind of pain"). These Parkway Drive lyrics I've come across today depict his really good:

The incisions is your wrist were all for show.
Just like you.
He epitome of self indulgence.
Another farce.
A charade and another set of crocodile tears.
So serenade her with your last pathetic suicide love song."

Just as Garbage's "Bleed like me" lyrics:

"Doodle takes Dad's scissors to her skin
And when she does relief comes setting in
While she hides the scars she's making underneath her pretty clothes"

and I could go on... I met a girl some time ago, her thighs were all covered with scars clearly from many cuts...

Friday, August 24, 2007

Not a Photoshop effect, but a natural leaf



It's not a Photoshop special effect, it's just a natural leaf, picture taken with my Canon cam.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

BMW M6

bmw m6
Japanese cars are my favorite. And let's face it, even the germans voted Subaru, Toyota and Honda before their own cars. If I'd buy a small car right now, I'd take Honda Civic or maybe Toyota Prius. If I'd buy a larger one I'd pick Toyota Camry or Honda Accord. But if I would have a lot of money to spend, I would take a BMW M6 or a Lexus. Hmmm.. hard choice. The BMW M6 has a sweet V10 engine with 500 HP at 7750 RPM. Amazing! But the price is higher than 100k EUR. I could find a Mitsubishi EVO X at half price with the same specs. So the M6 is very powerful, very good looking but too pricey.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Obesity may be caused by a common virus

A study done by the romanian scientist Magdalena Pasarica claims that a common virus responsible for flu or eye infection, is also involved in some obesity cases. The study was presented at the
American Chemical Society from Boston.

According to the study coordinated by the scientist from Pennington Biomedical Research Center the virus determine the adult cells from the human body to transform into adipose cells.

There are now more studies undergoing for the making of a vaccine for this adenovirus-36 (Ad-36).

So according to this study, you may caught obesity the same as a common cold.

I have a feeling that soon people will rush to the blood testing centers that check for the presence of this virus.

Source: www.hotnews.ro

Carnivorous plant flower

My Venus Dionaea finally bloomed. After I decided to let the flower, unlike everyone said, it does not look weaker. At least not yet and I hope it will not be weak soon. The flowers don't last for long, 2-3 days. I tried to manually polenize and hopefully it will make good seeds.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Bred Pitt

There are about 5.5 million google results for 'Brad Pitt' search and only about 200 000 fro 'Bred Pitt'. Well, what can this tell you? Obviously, the majority is right on spelling the famous actor's name as Brad, and I'm glad that the net is still usable for this sort of checking (english not being my mother tongue, i often rapid check some words' spelling in this manner, even though a dictionary is the best) and the intentional mistakes, the ones made from ignorance or just plain mistypes aren't dominating. Most of the 200 000 still point to the actor, however, and someone searching for 'Bred' wouldn't be contradicted at all, thus never would he be made aware of his mistake. This particular example is just one instance of whatever might be searched on the internet, what i really mean is that one could be looking for something he doesn't know too much about and so, ending with some false results, he might never get to know what he was looking for in the first place. It's a bit tricky, and the Bred Pitt case illustrates this if we look that on the first page results, there's a site about dogs, particularly pitbulls, pure bred pitts :) See the relevance? Actually, this might be the true answer to the search, but it isn't on the first position just because Google uses a smart approach and when someone's clicking a result it's counted as having a greater relevance towards the search than another one that hasn't been clicked, I think. So that would be an explanation for the Bred Pitt results that still lead to Brad Pitt related sites. My point, I'd really hate to see something made for efficiency go wrong, and in some time form now, no difference be made on the net from the actual truth and the errors that came to be around it.

bullet for my valentine lyrics

I don't like most of Bullet for My Valentine's lyrics, as their thematic is connected to some twisted mind's criminal urges and often speak of revenge, hate, betrial, rage and I can't really connect to that. But this song's lyrics I do like, because it's about loss and sadness, and even though there's some childish way here and there of expressing these, it's still pretty good, and the music goes with them:

Ten years ago, I got a call that nearly killed me
Repeat yourself, my hands are shaking
When I was told, my friend was gone I felt so guilty
A thousand questions left unanswered

I'll bleed if you want me to!
I'll serenade before I do
I'll bleed if you want me, to!

On and on although you're gone, candles burn without a flame on
Our final call to you, I know you're listening
How could you leave us that way?
Where did you go? (ten years today!)

Ten years ago, I stood beside the wood that held you
I must sit down, my legs are shaking
We let you go, with gifts of plectrums for your journey
And melodies to help you on your way

I'll bleed if you want me to!
I'll serenade before I do
I'll bleed if you want me, to!

On and on although you're gone, candles burn without a flame on
Our final call to you, I know you're listening
How could you leave us that way?
Where did you go? (ten years today!)

Wh-oh-ah!
Wh-oh-ah!
Wh-oh-ah!

I'll bleed, if you want me to (I'll bleed if you want me to!)
I'll bleed if you want me, to!

On and on although you're gone, candles burn without a flame on
Our final call to you, I know you're listening
How could you leave us that way?
Where did you go? (ten years today!)
Where did you go? (ten years today!)
Where did you go?

How could you leave us that way?
Where did you go? (ten years today!)

The song's called "Ten Years Today" ...well, in my case there are 7...

Limewire

I was searching for a p2p file sharing client some time ago, but gave up when I saw that most of them don't have a guarantee for no adware, spyware or bundled software, plus the thing I needed some platform independent soft, as I don't like constantly changing them , one for my laptop, than runs Fedora, one for my desktop, with Windows, and my dad's Mac...So I finally got limewire, it's written in java, so it's ok in respect to this point, it works anywhere there's a JVM. I've already tried it and I must say it's really great to have a download preview, it really helps in avoiding getting something named as the thing you're looking for, but being in fact a completely different thing, usually adult movies or just some other pointless crap. There's a nice searching filter implementation too, and some more features I haven't got to know yet, as it's still fresh for me. Well, all good and such, I just hope the legal issues related to copyright won't bring it down, cause it's pretty nice. And what's up with limewire.com.au ?

Monday, August 20, 2007

Instructions for sudoku

I recently started playing this asian game that spread across the whole world in the last years and I understood why: it's catchy and simple to learn, the rules are very easy to follow and it's a logical and attention game. I've played it on paper, but there are electronic versions too, there are many sites on the net that offer boards for all skills, from beginner to expert, bref, it's quite available to try. The instructions for playing Sudoku are : "Fill in the grid so that every row, every column, and every 3x3 box contains the digits 1 through 9. " The grid is 9x9, so all digits appear only one time on every row, column and in every box of 3x3 (the grid is partitioned into 9 such boxes). Starting from this rule, one can build an exclusion logic algorithm, based on the digits offered in the initial grid and fill it entirely. Look at the following grid, for example: sudoku instructions if we check the 3 top boxes, we see that the top center and the top right ones already have a 6, so the free cells from the first row : sudoku instructions cannot contain the 6 they lack in the 2 boxes I've mentioned. The only cell that is in this top row and can hold a 6 that follows the rules is this one, marked in red: sudoku instructions
Not every cell can be deducted this straight forward, sometimes a choice must be made, when all the simpler cells are completed. Let's say 2 digits are the candidates for one particular cell, we choose one of them and remember it, then continue deducting just as shown above. If we reach a contradiction, and we are absolute positive no mistake has been made, then the choice we made was wrong and the other digit is the one corresponding to the cell we considered. Well, enough is enough, just wanted to share some tips in playing Sudoku, maybe it'll fill somebody else's hours in a plane or a train too :)

gilly messenger

A client for the MSN network, pretty used at some point, but it seems the project is not so much alive and kicking. The kit is still available for download on several lcoations (I got it from here: GillyMessenger and there's some old documentation from the GM's developer here: http://forums.fanatic.net.nz/lofiversion/index.php/t10152.html . I played with it a bit the last few days, but I think I'm gonna stick to YM on the long run. I'll see, maybe there's something to Gilly that could appeal to me more, some feature I'd like but I can't think of right now...