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, 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 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, 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?

"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 support and
everything needed. There is an official blog about Starcraft 2 at, an official forum and of course the official website 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


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)


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 : Nice,
Ubuntu reference :P


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.


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:


and some that do:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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, 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

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...