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Accelerated WordPress anyone. VPS.NET partners with W3 EDGE

VPS.NET has announced that they have partnership with W3 EDGE and will include their WordPress performance framework, WP Total Cache, inside its WordPress cloud application installation.

Hosted on their well-known cloud platform, VPS.NET has taken the reins for their WordPress hosting customers by integrating their WordPress hosting stack with WP Total Cache to make it one of the fastest and most reliable out-of-the-box solutions on the market today. Put simply, WordPress performance takes on a whole new meaning.

Rus Foster, the cloud product manager for VPS.NET states: 

Partnering with the expertise of W3 EDGE, and including WP Total Cache in our WordPress application stack will make WordPress performance typically known only to large enterprises a reality to everyone. WP Total Cache effectively reduces the amount of resources required for WordPress and increases performance substantially. Adding it to our optimized WordPress installation is a natural progression toward a faster and more reliable website experience.

Since 2003 W3 EDGE has consulted startups and well known brands including Yahoo!, Sony, Smashing Magazine, Mashable and many others. While their projects usually include WordPress configuration and optimization, one of their largest contributions to the Wordpress community has been the web performance optimization framework plugin W3 Total Cache.

W3 Total Cache is considered one of the fastest and most complete WordPress performance optimization framework. It improves website performance by more than ten times through caching every aspect of the sites with which it is installed.

Frederick Townes, the founder and CEO of W3 EDGE adds:

W3 EDGE has a singular goal to increase the competitive advantage of those with whom we work. Partnering with VPS.NET delivers a mutually beneficial opportunity for the entire WordPress community to innovate and accelerate the platform. I don’t know a developer or business who couldn’t use more time to do what they do best; VPS.NET’s optimized WordPress installation makes getting more time a reality.

ABOUT VPS.NET

VPS.NET operates one of the largest cloud hosting systems in the world. It offers affordable cloud hosting to everyday users, while giving enterprise users the flexibility they need to adequately scale, and handle their growing IT demands. VPS.NET is a division of the UK2 Group, which provides domain registration and Web hosting services to thousands of customers globally through its family of hosting brands - UK2.net, Midphase.com, WestHost.com, 100TB.com, ANHosting.com, Resell.biz, and VI.net. VPS.NET is committed to providing secure and reliable products and services underpinned with excellent support.

Clients of VPS.NET can review their experinces here.

 

Signetique JumpQ for Dedicated & Cloud Clients. What about everyone else?

Signetique Has Announced  JumpQ Priority Support for Dedicated and Cloud Hosting Customers

In a press release, Singapore web host Signetique has announced a new priority technical support service that is available free of charge to its dedicated and cloud hosting customers. Kenneth Tan, COO Signetique states “The service is believed to be a first in the Singapore web hosting scene”

Continuing, Tan states:  

JumpQ” is a red carpet technical support service where Signetique's premium hosting customers can expect to be served quickly and issues resolved up to 50 percent faster. 

JumpQ reflects Signetique's commitment to its growing and diversified global customer base. With JumpQ, Signetique's customers can choose to call in on a dedicated phone number, raise a support ticket on a dedicated queue or simply use its online web chat service 24/7. 

Through our frequent engagements with customers, we have noted that while the issues faced by our dedicated and cloud server customers are minimal, they expect a lot more from us and want to be served in the snap of a finger, so to speak, and rightly so too. After months of planning, we are pleased to launch JumpQ, the industry-leading hosting support service. We have created an exclusive team of engineers focused on the needs of our dedicated and cloud hosting customers. As the name suggests, with JumpQ, our customers can expect to be served quickly and have any issues addressed and resolved within a much shorter time frame. 

Recent industry studies have shown that hosting customers' needs have changed. Today's servers may be part of a virtualized or cloud environment, resulting in a greater level of complexity. Customers may also require a more streamlined support when issues arise,” said Raymond Tan, CEO Signetique. “JumpQ addresses that need as our engineers are qualified not only to resolve the server problems encountered, they are able to do so with greater insights as they are trained to offer personalized service to our customers.  

So just how does JumpQ work

A customer contacts Signetique via a dedicated JumpQ phone line, raise a JumpQ support ticket or simply write via the web chat client. Signetique's exclusive Priority Support Team will offer a suggestion and respond to the customer within 30 minutes. If the issues encountered by the customer is of a more severe nature, Signetique pledges to resolve the problem within 4 hours.

For web hosting clients everywhere, any announcement of improved services or faster resolution to issues that arise is always good news. Good news or not, the announcement raises some valid observations.

JumpQ is expected to resolve issues up to 50 percent faster.  The “Exclusive Priority Support Team” will respond to the customer within 30 minutes. Sorry but responding to a customer in 30 minutes is not exactly ground breaking. Numerous web hosting companies have built their reputations on minutes, not half hour increments.

The bigger question raised in the press release is the implications for client of Signetique not utilizing their dedicated servers or cloud hosting services. Allowing clients to jump the cue, runs a risk of coming at the expense of other clients submitting support tickets. A degradation of support responsiveness and/or longer wait times for customers utilizing VPS or shared hosting environments are distinct possibilities.

Comparision of Signetique shared hosting plans

As can be seen, (well it would be if there was a decent screenshot), the monthly costs with Signetique shared hosting plans are comparable, (if not higher), than many prices offered by other web hosting companies. Price are only one small factor to be considered though. Regardless of the industry, companies implement improvements to customer service either to:

- Quell criticism
- Remain competitive
- Retain customers
- Increase their market share.

The press release does suggests Signetique may be doing all four.. at least for their dedicated server and cloud hosting clients. Kudos on that. Only time will tell who pays the price for the improved service.

About Signetique

Signetique is one of the largest Singapore-based web hosting providers. It provides shared, virtual and dedicated hosting services and maintains facilities in Singapore, Malaysia, New Zealand, Taiwan, China and Japan. Customers requiring a one-stop Asia Pacific hosting solution can do so through their Singapore sales office. It pioneered the sub $100 dedicated hosting solution in Singapore and continues to provide cost-effective hosting solutions to its customers. Apart from providing standard dedicated server solutions, Signetique also allows complete customization of its servers that encompasses redundancy, high availability, disaster recovery and enterprise email hosting solutions. Signetique's customer profile ranges from small local businesses to multi-nationals and has been in the business for over 15 years.

Clients of Signetique can review their experinces here.

 

Reviewers are just disgruntled users. So who made them disgruntled?

Many a web host has placated themselves that the majority of web hosting review written fall into a couple of categories. The following statements are randomly copied from forums populated by owners of web hosting companies:

- positive reviews posted by the hosts themselves, under the guise of random users
- flames by disgruntled users (abusers) who have been terminated/canceled by the host. Very seldom is there any unique content actually added in honesty by real end users, positive or negative.
- disgruntled client are more likely to leave bad reviews than a satisfied client

or how about

- I don't trust these reviews sites at all. Full of nonsense. These "reviews" sites get more fake reviews than real ones. By fake I include negative reviews from customers who were suspended/terminated for abuse/violation of TOS.

While it may be certain that a vast majority of web hosting review sites are indeed “fake affiliate driven” enterprises, less true is the notion that reviews are only written by disgruntled terminated users...

Reviews of two firms

I managed to escape the semi frozen tundra of the northern wasteland for a week of sunny warm vitamin D rejuvenation therapy. An awesome trip that included a night out watching the best hockey game ever.. Florida Everblades and the Evansville Icemen. Seriously, an awesome, entertaining, and memorable game! Notice that I’m neither disgruntled, nor was I unceremoniously ejected from the venue! Then again my review is not about ice hockey.

Traveling north on I-95, a quick pit stop was required for an earlier coffee and a top up on fuel. I was just north of where Danica Patrick was preparing to be the first woman ever to start her Go-Daddy car from the NASCAR pole position. I eased out of traffic and onto Okeechobee Rd in Fort Pierce, Florida.

While those race enthusiasts types may be inclined to utilize a particular brand and octane of gasoline, ensuring maximum power and efficiency, my one step up from a minivan is less demanding. It only asks for a brand name fuel.. which brand exactly is motivated by proximity.

I seen the sign for BP, priced at $3.85 for regular gas. Outrageous enough but competitively priced. Pulling in, I hooked up the intravenous drip. Enjoying the warmth, I noticed a stretch limo fueling and felt a twinge of pity. Then I seen the sign. $4.09 per gallon. I looked at the pump. Sure enough it says $4.09 a gallon.

I looked at gas stations within my range of sight and they were priced substantially less.  Did I or did I not see a sign? Was there something to that statement “the internet is making us dumber”. The drip stopped at $40, and I investigated.

BP vs Mobil 

Ahh.. While the picture does not do the optical allusion justice, tucked behind that regular sized BP sign is the smallest Mobil gas station sign ever made... with prices 25 cents higher per gallon. Awesome marketing ploy Mobil. You scammed me for approximately $2.50 extra.. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice. Well you won’t cause We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together. Ever. I will never purchase anything again at a Mobil gas station.. Any Mobil gas station, ever!

 

Disgruntled client...  maybe, but I’m not done!

Rogers is the Canadian cable/wireless phone and Internet Service Provider (ISP) people love to hate on. Seriously, a quick search for “Rogers sucks” will provide Twitter feeds, Ihaterogers.ca , rogerssucks.com, Rogers sucks FB pages, its own listing in the Urban Dictionary, countless you tube videos and rants. Rogers is hated! Why do people use it.. we’re waiting on Google!

I've used Rogers for years because it worked. Not the cheapest but it worked. Then in the first part of January we got the email saying we have used 75% of our monthly allocation.. then another a day later saying we reached 100%. We use on average a couple of gigs a day. We have for years. In excess of 20 gigs in a day... never happened! Faced with 7 days before our monthly bandwidth usage reset and ridiculous overage fees, I called Rogers to cancel our service. After the typically long waiting cue, the Rogers retention person explained that our outdated modem needed to be upgraded to a newer model to take advantage of our full plan allowance. They even upgraded the plan to match the competitor I had lined up as a replacement. Placated, I picked up the new modem and resumed work.

Less than a week later I get another email reaching 75% of our usage allocation. Get serious.

Two more hours on the phone with Rogers Retention Agents brought a resolve. (I am being so nice now whereas I am sure I may have broke some laws that evening). As Rogers Terms of Service (ToS) requires a cancellation period, she would upgrade our allowance for the month but we had to return the modem prior to the 21st of February. After providing us the amount of the final bill, the call was concluded and a new service was ordered the following day.

Amicably resolved right...

The new service was installed but as I was paying for Rogers, I continued to use it. My co-horts utilized the new service. Prior to leaving for my road trip for a warmer locale, I took the modem back to the Rogers store (more than a week prior to the 21st). The nice girl behind the counter took the device and stated that she could not find a cancellation notice attached to the account..  

Her: “Would you like me to connect you with a customer service rep”

Me:  Hmm.. “No thank you”.

I called Rogers from home. They have this automated system that determines why you are calling. Oh you’re cancelling... prepare to wait. No, I mean prepare to wait with a week supply of nourishment!  

The first line of defense broke down.. the rep insisted on using the terminology "cancel", whereas I referred to myself as their former client. The matter was escalated to a manager.

Although he could see the call history, he insisted the rep I had spoken with a couple of weeks prior, wrote that I would call back and spend another 2 hours on the phone confirming that I hated Rogers to the very core of my being. As Rogers ToS says they need x amount of days to process a cancellation, I would need to pay for another month of service.

This is about the point when I know some laws were broken!

While neither of these two situations involve a web host, the reviews are real. It is not some negative reviews from customers who were suspended/terminated for abuse/violation of TOS. I was their client.. for years.  The Rogers manager hoped we would someday return... I’m hoping the complaint I’m writing to the CRTC (gov oversight agency for communications), when added to all the others that are filed, adds another nail to Rogers coffin. Rogers you suck!


Liquid Web Fully Managed Web Hosting

Real Deal or just hawking web hosting? A Hawk Host steal.

Hawk Host

The Hawk Host homepage states that they believe in one thing above all else: quality. It's the driving force behind the type of servers they utilize, the features offered in their control panel, and why their support team is available around the clock. Their prices are not so bad either. Hawk Host’s goal is to provide you a hosting experience second to none.

Is this the real deal or just hawking web hosting

Starting this coming Wednesday February 27th for 72 hours only, you will be able to get a 60% off one-time coupon / 35% recurring coupon for any of Hawk Host services in their Dallas data center. It’s not exactly the dog days of summer but that’s hot. 

Use coupon code hostjury35 / hostjury60 depending on your choice, when checking out. The coupons become active at Midnight (CST) on the 27th. But act fast because after 72 hours this deal is done!


Hawk Host Banner                                              click image to open link in new tab

The Disclaimer:

As always, HostJury recommend that while price may be a consideration when choosing a web host, it should only be one of the many factored into your research. Page load speeds, additional features, good communication, and a fast knowledgeable support team will always top saving a few cents per day... And as always, HostJury makes no recommendation or endorsement of providers. You are encouraged to practice due diligence.. and at some point leave a review of the services provided.

Despite the disclaimer, saving some greenbacks (or any other color of money)  is always cool.. or hot depending on your perspective!

Coupons, deals, and steals may also be found on review pages of many of the web hosts reviewed on HostJury. Look in the right column under the related blog post section.

Web hosts - Got a really great deal - Want to participate in HostJury Deals and Steals - Contact us by email: feedback@hostjury.com

 

Court Rules You Have the Right to Google a Lawyer

An interesting legal ruling out of Canada that has nothing in common with web hosts or the reviews of web hosting companies caught my attention. For the tech industry the ruling highlights how technology is permeating society to its core. Legal firms hedging their bets on the alphabetical placement of their names and law enforcement agencies may not breathe a similar collective sigh of relief.

Legaltech advocate Michael Geist wrote an excellent dispose of a legal case involving the individual charged with a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) offence in Alberta, Canada. At the hearing there was no dispute that Christopher McKay told police that he wanted to exercise his right to legal counsel. As the accused cellphone and other personal belongings were placed in a police locker when he arrived at the station, McKay was instructed there was a toll-free number available to contact a lawyer as well as White and Yellow pages that could be consulted.

McKay testified that the telephone call to the toll free number was abrupt and it appeared that the person on the other end of the telephone did not want to talk to him.  At the hearing, McKay when asked about his level of satisfaction with his toll free telephone call replied, “no satisfaction at all”.  Mr. McKay reiterated that at the time, he thought he could only have one telephone call and that his understanding arose from pop culture and Hollywood movies.  McKay did concede that he did not tell the arresting officer that he wasn’t satisfied with his telephone information and he reiterated that he did not know that he had any rights to further opportunities to get legal advice at the time.

Then it gets interesting!

Judge Heather Lamoureux of the Provincial Court of Alberta considered "whether Internet access should form part of police resources provided to detainees in order to facilitate a reasonable opportunity to exercise the constitutional right to counsel." Acknowledging that many teenagers view their smartphone, iPad and other devices as essential parts of their daily lives, she noted that Google is the primary source of information for everything from maps to medical care to access to lawyers.

The judge conducted a Google search for "Calgary criminal defense lawyer" and found that within seconds there was provided with a long list of potential local lawyers. Moreover, the judge noted that police routinely use the Internet for investigations and evidence gathering. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms grants anyone arrested or detained the right "to retain and instruct counsel without delay and to be informed of that right." For this judge, the failure to provide Internet access meant that the Charter rights had been violated, concluding:

"In the year 2013 it is the Court's view that all police stations must be equipped with Internet access and detainees must have the same opportunities to access the Internet to find a lawyer as they do to access the telephone book to find a lawyer."

Read Michael Geist take on the story and the court ruling.

 

Hot off the press. A Steaming Hot Deal from Energized I.T.

HostJury is getting fired up about some sizzling web hosting deals that won't burn a hole in your pocket!  Stop shopping around for a bargain. We're doing the legwork so you don’t have to! Unless you happen to be residing in one of those hot tropical kind of locales, the only thing hotter than today’s deal and steal would be a plane ticket to some exotic hotspot!

You better get cracking because like all HJ deals & steals, they are limited!

 

link to Energized IT. Click to open link in new tab 

click image to open link in new tab

 

Energized I.T. is offering 66% off on your first payment on any Web Hosting plan. Although the coupon code may be valid for any billing term, like winter its only going to last for a short while. This deal end on the last day of February.  Use Coupon code: HostJury at checkout.

 

As always, HostJury recommend that while price may be a consideration when choosing a web host, it should only be one of the many factored into your research. Page load speeds, additional features, good communication, and a fast knowledgeable support team will always top saving a few cents per day... And as always, HostJury makes no recommendation or endorsement of any listed providers. You are encouraged to practice due diligence.. and at some point leave a review of the services provided.

Despite the disclaimer, saving some greenbacks (or any other color of money)  is one great way to celebrate!

Coupons may also be found on review pages of many of the web hosts reviewed on HostJury. Look in the right column under the related blog post section. More coupons are added daily!

Web hosts - Got a really great deal - Want to participate in HostJury's deals and steals - Contact us by email: feedback@hostjury.com

 

Illinois Senator's Claim To Fame: Sponsoring Dumb Internet Bill

It would appear one of the few freedoms in the land of the free not under attack is the right to propose stupid laws. In what is being billed as an early candidate for Worst Illinois Senate Bill of 2013, Senator Ira Silversten has sponsored Illinois Senate Bill 1614 titled INTERNET POSTING REMOVAL ACT

The legislation to create the Internet Posting Removal Act would require that a website administrator shall, upon request, remove any posted comments posted by an anonymous poster unless the anonymous poster agrees to attach his or her name to the post and confirms that his or her IP address, legal name, and home address are accurate. It would take effect 90 days after becoming law.

While the bill has little likelihood of success, it does demonstrate either a gross ignorance, bordering on incompetence, of certain elected officials over how the Internet works, or their willingness to be openly ridiculed by the same to achieve a short moment of glory in the spotlight of shame.

As Illinois does not have jurisdiction over the entirety of the internet the only thing this bill could actually succeed in doing is driving internet-related business (both individual online businesses, as well as the infrastructure that supports them, ie, webhosting companies and datacenters) out of the state.

Luckily, the courts of Illinois continue to exhibit a common sense approach to civil liberties even if a certain elected official insists on leaving his at the polling station.

A decision handed down recently by the Appellate Court of Illinois, Brompton Bldg., LLC v. Yelp!, Inc., 2013 WL 416185 (Ill.App. 1 Dist. January 31, 2013),  affirmed a trial court’s dismissal of the petition that an aggrieved real estate owner filed to discover the identity of a tenant who was badmouthing the petitioner’s rent-collection practices. The decision was a win for First Amendment rights in anonymous online speech.

Ira I. Silverstein is about to become famous... for all the wrong reason. Great job representing your constituents Ira!

Michel in Guides. Sorry Michelin but there's no brand confusion

The French firm that produces the Michelin Guide claims its name is being hijacked — by a humorous website that has football legend Michel Platini’s face manipulated into every conceivable guide... except the Michelin Guide. Bosses at the French firm whose star ratings are allegedly sought by top chefs worldwide have sent Adam Mascall a stern legal letter warning that the Michelin name is trademarked. Adam insists michelinguides.com is actually MICHEL IN GUIDES and is dedicated to French soccer ace Platini.

Mascall creative use of Photoshop goes beyond superimposing Platini’s face into pictures featuring girl guides. Numerous images have Plantini featured in a garden guide, a university survival guide, a kit guide, as a guide dog (no I do mean as a guide dog), and many other humorous situations.

example of images on michel in guides website 

The michelinguides.com domain was registered only recently by Adam Mascall using domain registrar GoDaddy.com.  
Domain Name: MICHELINGUIDES.COM
Created on: 04-Dec-12
Expires on: 04-Dec-13

Mascall also uses GoDaddy for the webhosting of michelinguides.com 

But it wasn't the first registration for michelinguides.com. A search using DomainTools reveal that since it was first registered by Enom back in 2002, there have been 7 registrars  including Names.com and Tucows.  The nameserver history gets even more interesting with 42 changes  on 23 unique name servers over just the last 5 years alone. The nameserver record suggests that domain squatters have been parking this one all over the internet hoping to cash in.

While Michelin could spend a small fortune on legal black suits to try and gain control of the MICHEL IN GUIDES domain, it may be more cost effective to just pay the piper. For Adam Mascall, beside being ten clams well spent, this could pave the way to pay for some real Photoshop classes!

Get online with the world's Best - GoDaddy.com!

 

M.dot acquired by Go-Daddy

Recent start-up M.dot Inc, which produced a mobile app for small business website creation and management has been acquired by Go-Daddy. The addition of M.dot to Go Daddy’s product offerings will give Go Daddy’s 11 million customers an easy way to create and manage compelling mobile websites right from their smartphones.

Announcing the acquisition  Go Daddy’s new CEO Blake Irving stated:

We’re pleased to welcome M.dot to our growing Go Daddy family. M.dot’s global vision of a mobile future for small businesses fits beautifully with what our customers need right now. Go Daddy wants to help businesses connect with their customers wherever they are in the world, and that means providing killer mobile technology. It also means helping our customers manage their business from anywhere, anytime with the simplicity of their smartphone or tablet. With M.dot, small businesses can compete on a big-time level without spending big-time money. We’re completely stoked to have M.dot on board.

Over the last three years, mobile Internet traffic has grown more than 10 times from one percent to 13 percent of total Web usage . In that same time period, smartphone and tablet shipments surpassed PCs. Go Daddy customers are using their smartphones to manage their online presence more and more everyday as a means to find and acquire customers. The M.dot acquisition provides Go Daddy’s customers with an innovative platform to capitalize on these trends.

M.dot was founded by Dominik Balogh and Pavel Serbajlo in June 2012. They have the backing (700K at last count)of some of Silicon Valley leading investors including Floodgate, SV Angel and Archimedes Labs. M.dot has been featured by Apple in the iTunes App Store on multiple occasions.

M.dot co-founder Dominik Balogh pointed out the shared values of the two companies.

“Go Daddy is exactly the kind of technology company we wanted to join because they cater to and understand the small business customer,”

(Editor’s note.. what exactly did you expect him to say. Besides reportedly being paid between 5 and 25 mil, depending on how you do the math, for a company started only months ago, the founders and staff will be working for GoDaddy!)

Balogh continued:

We’ve always believed small business is essential for a healthy economy and Go Daddy has extensive experience as the industry’s leading platform for small enterprises. Joining Go Daddy means our mobile software will now be accessible through much larger distribution channels and will help even more small businesses achieve greater success. It also gives us the benefit of integrating with Go Daddy’s immense customer support foundation, which I believe is a significant competitive advantage in this segment.

M.dot co-founder Pavel Serbajlo added:

Go Daddy was built from scratch and is now a multi-billion dollar company – their industry expertise and achievements are inspiring, We're looking forward to taking mobile software for small businesses to the next level with Go Daddy. We share the same vision for mobile. We’re passionate about small businesses, start-ups and entrepreneurs … we all want to build software products that enable our customers to succeed online.

The M.dot app offers mobile website creation based on pre-loaded templates with easy-to-use custom features, such as store location, driving directions, tap-to-call, galleries, business hours and price lists, all in a user-interface designed for mobile device screens. It also includes a blog feature, which allows users to write and insert photos and video with rich text capabilities. It integrates with Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube and Dropbox.

M.dot is available in the iTunes App Store at: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/m.dot/id565017826?ls=1&mt=8

Last year GoDaddy launched a website-building product in partnership with DudaMobile which optimizes existing websites for a mobile presentation. M.dot conversely builds the site specifically for a mobile device.

The domain mdotapp.com was originally registered using GoDaddy in September of 2011. The domain utilized GoDaddy servers until it was acquired by M.dot Inc in November of 2012. Since then M.dot Inc has used a server at Microsoft and EasyDns nameservers. (editors note.. may want to refer to Dominik Balogh statement above!)

Create your own web store- Quick Shopping Cart!

 

Superb Internet: 3 Months FREE VPS coupon. Expires Feb 28

Get 3 Months FREE VPS with Superb Internet when you signup for a Year! Use coupon code 7453 at checkout.

Virtual Private Servers are virtual machines (your own slice of the processing power, memory and bandwidth of a very powerful Dual Xeon Quad Core server) that provide you with your choice of operating system and guaranteed resources making VPS a great choice when graduating from shared hosting. Choose Superb.net for VPS Hosting and we provide you with the robust resources of a dedicated server at an affordable price. Administrative access to your virtual private server allows you the freedom to run more resource intensive applications than shared hosting can handle, offers guaranteed performance for processing power, memory and bandwidth; and the convenience of reboots and OS reinstall right from your control panel. Also, the ability to upgrade your plan as your business grows gives you flexibility and is 100% scalable.

UNLIMITED ASSISTANCE

Superb offers 30 days of unlimited free assistance, help when you need it most, for all new VPS plans. This means we will be there to help with configuring your databases, websites, email and more. It is just our way of being ahead of the Rest!


VPS with Superb Internet when you signup for a Year! Use code
Click banner to open link. Use coupon code 7453 at checkout.

HostJury compiles discount web hosting coupons and special offerings by various hosts. As always we recommend that while price may be a consideration when choosing a web host, it should only be one of the many factored into your research. Page load speeds, additional features, good communication, and a fast knowledgeable support team will always top saving a few cents per day... And as always, HostJury makes no recommendation or endorsement of providers.  Coupons are available for many of the web hosts reviewed on HostJury. Look in the right column under the related blog post section of the web host review pages. 

Interserver has a 1 cent deal for web hosting coupon

Interserver.net is offering Unlimited Space and Domains Web Hosting. First month for only $.01. using Coupon Code: 1cent at checkout.

That's 1 cent for the first months Web hosting. VPS and Cloud: $.01 per VPS Slice. This promotions is for a limited time only.


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HostJury compiles discount web hosting coupons and special offerings by various hosts. As always we recommend that while price may be a consideration when choosing a web host, it should only be one of the many factored into your research. Page load speeds, additional features, good communication, and a fast knowledgeable support team will always top saving a few cents per day... And as always, HostJury makes no recommendation or endorsement of providers.   

BigRock Hosting Deal Expires Feb 28, 2013

This is THE BEST hosting coupon that is available for BigRock at the moment.
Applicable to both Linux and Windows web hosting plans.

Use Coupon Code: BR3002 at check out and get 30% off on Web Hosting plus an additional 11% off on Domain Names.

Expired 



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This promotions is limited and will end February 28th,  2013.

HostJury compiles discount web hosting coupons and special offerings by various hosts. As always we recommend that while price may be a consideration when choosing a web host, it should only be one of the many factored into your research. Page load speeds, additional features, good communication, and a fast knowledgeable support team will always top saving a few cents per day... And as always, HostJury makes no recommendation or endorsement of providers.  

 

Need a break. 1&1 USA discount coupons! Expires 3/31/13

Looking for a way to quickly create your own website?

Then 1&1 MyWebsite is meant for you: Your website is online in a few clicks, and no technical knowledge is required!  With hundreds of industries to choose from, all of which include flexible layouts, customizable images, content and applications relevant to your business. Order the 1&1 MyWebsite Plus package and receive a $20 credit. Credit will be displayed in your shopping cart during your order. Discount reflected on first invoice. Limited time offer. Order now and get your credit!



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1&1 Linux Business Hosting Package

Order the 1&1Linux Business Hosting Package and receive a $10 additional credit. Discount reflected on first invoice. Limited time offer. Order now for instant saving! Credit will be displayed in your shopping cart during your order.



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1&1 Business Hosting Windows Package

Order the 1&1 Business Hosting Windows Package and receive a $15 additional credit. Discount reflected on first invoice. Limited time offer. Order now for instant saving! Credit will be displayed in your shopping cart during your order.


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These promotions are for a limited time and will end March 31, 2013.

HostJury compiles discount web hosting coupons and special offerings by various hosts. As always we recommend that while price may be a consideration when choosing a web host, it should only be one of the many factored into your research. Page load speeds, additional features, good communication, and a fast knowledgeable support team will always top saving a few cents per day... And as always, HostJury makes no recommendation or endorsement of providers.  Still saving a few cents is really hot even if the weather in your neck of the woods isn't! 

 

Offshore hosting under increasing scrutiny

Super Bowl weekend is about to kick off and along with the pigskin frenzy, the Department of Homeland Security will be playing its own game. The work of replacing numerous website homepages with the now familiar DHS seizure notices, (some for legal reasons, and others for.. well because they can), is fast becoming synonymous with the sporting event. Many have countered these actions by utilizing offshore web hosting for their websites as well as boycotting top-level US domains (TLD) extensions.

Offshore web hosting has offered some protection to those concerned about prying eyes, but even it has seen a continual erosion and diminished benefit to its product offering. Kim Dotcom’s Mega, along with encryption, touted the exclusive use of offshore web hosting as a marketing carrot. Yet despite Dotcom’s flamboyant and flippant attitude towards Hollywood and it “agents”, Mega is now coming under increasing scrutiny from the interwebs for taking down links to legal content.. a move seen as caving into pressures from American interests.

A law being drafted by the Russian Ministry of Culture may now affect copyright takedowns in what has long been considered a offshore hosting meca. The proposed law would require websites and their web host to execute takedowns within 24 hours under penalty of cash fines, 90 day suspensions and even server confiscations for failure to meet the deadlines.

Under current laws, website operators and web hosts are required to remove allegedly infringing content once they receive a properly formatted “good faith” complaint, but enforcement has been seen as lax. The amendments to the current legislation will give website operators a day to remove or block content with web hosts given an extra day in the event they have to discuss the takedown request with the websites they host. Copies of the allegedly infringing files along with the uploader’s personal details will be required to be provided to authorities and/or copyright holders.

The government is suggesting fines of 3,000 rubles ($100) for individuals, increasing to a maximum of 500,000 rubles ($16,630) for businesses. Sanctions could also include business suspensions and confiscation of servers.

The law will come into effect in less than 90 days.

Password strength: the effectiveness of a p/w to resisting guessing

Password strength is measured by the effectiveness of a password in resisting guessing and brute-force attacks. In its usual form, it estimates how many trials an attacker who does not have direct access to the password would need, on average, to guess it correctly. The strength of a password is a function of length, complexity, and unpredictability.

While using strong passwords does lowers the overall risk of a security breach, strong passwords do not replace the need for other effective security controls. As has been seen with some notable breaches, impersonating the password owner using social engineers has also been an effective way to circumvent security.

Google's 2-step verification can also be effective as it requires you to have access to your phone, as well as your username and password, when you sign in. This means that if someone steals or guesses your password, the potential hijacker still can’t sign in to your account because they don’t have your phone. LastPass, WordPress, Dropbox, Amazon Web Services, Drupal, Stripe, and DreamHost can be set up using 2-step verification. 

comic demonstrating how to remember a strong password using four random yet common words 

 

Big Brain makes splash in the UK

Big Brain Global Networks, a privately owned division of Big Brain LLC, announced that it is now offering OpenVZ virtual machines in the United Kingdom (UK). Responding to the increasing client demand, earlier this year, Big Brain Global officially established a presence in a leading data center in London. Brian Smith, President of Big Brain Global Networks, explains that “the decision was made for the convenience of our clients. We have a good number of them located in the UK and the surrounding region that are now hosted in Herndon, Virginia, and in Dallas, Texas, so we decided to make our services more accessible to them.” This international expansion strategically aligns with Big Brain Global’s strategy, which centers on increasing their international footprint in the managed IT services field.

“The expansion helps us offer more geographically diverse locations, which translates into improved speeds and service to all clients,” said Mr. Smith. “The UK facility now offers another convenient site for our current and prospective clients, adding to our growing list of existing sites in North Carolina, Virginia, and Texas.” Smith also hinted at the potential of acquiring additional international and domestic locations in near the future, in addition to expanding the cloud infrastructure service offering. Services in the UK are available starting today. Read Big Brain reviews.

——————

About Big Brain Global. Big Brain Global is a privately owned division of Big Brain LLC, the industry’s premier provider of commercial and consumer managed IT services. A carefully assembled team of business and IT experts deliver top-quality services on seller, Managed and Un-managed Virtual Environments, Dedicated Servers, and Colocation opportunities. With over a decade of industry experience, Big Brain’s certified staff is equipped with the analytical expertise and practical knowledge necessary to deliver network stability and business continuity.

Deadwood Hosts land in HostJury dead pool

Tastes funny

At New Year, people are always pledging to try harder and do better. Yet for most the resolutions are short lived, and life soon returns to the drudgery of normal. Henry Ford knew many failures yet he said “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently”.  Many web hosting companies also resolve to try harder and do better. But success is not final, nor is failure fatal. Rather it is the courage to continue that counts.  New years is also a time to reflect and remember past acquaintances.  The HostJury dead pool is a memorial of sorts.. for those web hosts who pass!

 

Cheap Website Hosting


Screenshot of website from dufunct web hosting company Cheap Website Hosting 

Maybe it’s just the name of this web host, but an old adage comes to mind. You can have good, fast, or cheap. Pick two. The company described itself as Cheap Website Hosting website hosting plans designed with premium features at affordable prices.
Maybe fast wasn’t even an option. The privacy whois is enabled on the domain. Never a good sign with a web hosting company.

 

Barber-Hosting

Screenshot of website from web hosting company Barber-Hosting

This one is not technically dead. It’s merely “undergoing a lot of changes”. Like a caterpillar morphing into a butterfly, the reincarnated Barber-Hosting will be a new company sporting a new name. An amazing IT company dedicated.. to you. 

Stay tuned. Barber-hosting is expected to rebirth in 51 weeks, 23 hours, 50 minutes, and 33 seconds. (at the time of writing)

 

cPanelHosting

cPanelHosting team consisted of a well rounded group of individuals that shared the same passion for web hosting and always delivered quality services at the lowest possible price. Cpanelhosting.com was established more than a decade ago in Florida before moving to Ohio where cPanelHosting now reside...

Actually the the HostJury dead-pool is a virtual Hades that looks nothing like the State of Ohio although some argumentative types may feel otherwise.

 

DJ-Hosting

dj-hosting.co.uk should not be confused with D-J Hosting dot com or D-J Hosting dot net. How about DJ Hosting dot net.  Note to domain squatters everywhere: The domain dj-hosting.co.uk is now available to register

 

720Leap

Generic Domain parking page with pretty girl wearing a backpack

The people at 720Leap  were ready to launch out with a whole new 720Leap. The same great company, the same great people, a whole new look! Not sure the new look will attract the right clientele
 

C I Host

Screenshot of website from dufunct web hosting company C I Host

 

Where does one even start with C I Host...

A few years back, C I Host had their collocation facility situated in a less than ideal part of Chicago. After a period of extended downtime they finally came clean and admitted the servers were taken in a robbery... again! At the time, management argued that people were erroneously claiming that this was the fourth robbery at their facility. A spokesperson for the company used media sources to clarify that C I Host had only been robbed twice. The other two occasions had been break and enters. Splitting hairs some may say, and many clients did so with their feet. They sought solace with other web hosts.

In 2009, C I Host announced it had sold its shared web hosting business to X7 Hosting,  a web hosting provider operated by Hostopia.  According to the press release, the sale allowed CI Host and its sidekick Cassiopeia Internet to “focus on their managed, dedicated and collocation hosting for their mid and large market enterprise customers while ensuring improved services for the accounts to be acquired by X7 Hosting.”

Then in 2010 Cassiopeia Internet announced it was launching the Constellate brand to connect dedicated server, collocation and managed services customers in the Dallas region and beyond.

In 2013, C I Host, Cassiopeia Internet, and Constellate are no longer resolving. Many could argue this is a sign of progress.

 

dotNet-host

Screenshot of website from dufunct web hosting company dotNet-Host.com

 

HostJury wrote about this last May, but in summary, dotNet-Host got hacked, clients lost data, and the monies paid in advance for web hosting. Along with the anxiety, dotNet-host
clients faced a number of obstacles to regain control of their domain names.  While the dotNet-host domain does still resolve to a server error page, it is unlikely they will be back. The privacy who-is is enabled on the domain. Never a good sign with a web hosting company.

Those unfortunate enough to be clients, yearn for dotNet-host to have a special place in HostJury Hades.

 

Senta Hosting

Screenshot of website from dufunct web hosting company Senta Hosting

Senta Hosting first opened its doors in October 2011. Their objective, to provide cheap yet reliable hosting to users who do not want to, or cannot afford the cost of website hosting.

Not exactly a great business model unless you're independently wealthy.

 

Lush Technologies

Marketed as a green company promising “Lush's efficiency strategy helps customers lower their carbon footprints” ... to zero. Like Lush's rating on HostJury for uptime and support!

Lush Tech resolves to a parked page courtesy of GoDaddy.

 

Upscale Host

The Upscale dedicated server provider that offered economical servers with large bandwidth allotment along with great technical support from Canada no longer has a website. It’s never promising when a tech company takes down their website and enables the privacy whois on their domain.

 

TotalwebHQ

Resolving to a parked landing page is a pretty good indication that the web hosting company is in transition. Move along as there’s nothing left to see here.

 

Wicks Hosting

Another parked page for the domain!

 

Where you find yourself tomorrow is a function of the decisions and actions you take today. As the list of defunct web hosting companies attest: Choose wisely! 

Web Hosting

What type of web hosting does a $100M scam use?

A media report of a Chinese man pleading guilty to selling more than $100m (£62m) worth of pirated software raises the question "what type of web hosting would a person utilize for such a ploy"... 

Background

The more than 2,000 pirated software titles were stolen from 200 manufacturers and were sold between 2008-2011 for a fraction of their retail prices. Xiang Li was arrested in June 2011 in Saipan during an undercover sting operation. The software included Microsoft, Oracle, SAP and Rockwell Automation products and was sold to 325 buyers hailing from 28 US states and more than 60 countries. The buyers included a Nasa engineer as well as military contractors, students, inventors, and engineers.

The pirated programmes were allegedly transferred to customers via Gmail, and payment was collected through a various payment processors. The software was said to be sold for as little as $20 to up to $1,200. The retail value of the products were much higher, ranging from several hundred dollars to more than one million dollars apiece, according to US officials.

The indictment (PDF from Wired) identifies numerous instances of Li and co-defendant Chun Yan Li activities. Citations include selling a copy of "An soft Designer 3.5" , retail value $41,000 to a U.S. customer for $40.  Another, a US customer copped an even bigger bargain with a copy of "Agilent Advanced Design System 2008".  The product had an estimated retail value of $229,000... heavily discounted to $60!

The scam came to light after one US manufacturer discovered their software was being sold on Xiang Li website. Li has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit criminal copyright violations and wire fraud.

"I want to tell the court that what I did was wrong and illegal and I want to say I'm sorry," Mr Li told district judge Leonard Stark. It is said that Li disputed the retail value of the software he stole and sold. Li net was slightly in excess of $60,000 in sales revenue according to the indictment.

Not exactly a candidate for a business major!

The whois on the web hosting

Domain tools shows that "lixiang" owns about 2,428 other domains and there are 18 other domains associated with the email address no2design@sina.com

cached Screenshot of the crack99.com website  

Crack99.com  (now that’s a cool domain name!)

The domain was first registered in 2005 and lapsed in 2007. Crack99 was registered again in February of 2008 by Xiang Li using his own name. (edititor's thought.. Maybe it’s just certain web hosts that are inclined to use aliases!)

 

The ICANN Registrar: XIN NET TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION
During the relevant time period, February 11 2008 until June 12 2011, crack99.com resolved to a number of different ip’s but used only one company, Gzidc.com a.k.a. Guangdong Jin Wanbang Technology Investment Co., Ltd., as its web hosting provider.

 

Domain expires 2013-02-10

cad100.net

Li using his own name and email address registered cad100.net in November of 2007. The domain was registered using domain registrar Xin Net , and again Li chose not to enable privacy protection. The domain expired in November of 2012 (there’s one for the domain squatters!)

During the relevant time period, November 17, 2007 until taken down on June 12 2011, cad100.net used only one company, Gzidc.com a.k.a. Guangdong Jin Wanbang Technology Investment Co., Ltd., as a web hosting provider.

dongle-crack-download.com

The record is incomplete but looks to be much of the same.. registered in 2008 and Gzidc.com as the web hosting provider.

The transparency of Li’s actions stagger the imagination and begs the question of his naivety. Also shocking,.. during the course of this investigation the undercover agents "relied on the assistance of online translation tools”. Oh great!

Footnote:

The trial of the Nasa engineer who bought the software.. it's ongoing! 

Free Cloud Hosting Anyone

It would appear that the Canadian government is now funding business web hosting through a program that aims to improve Canada’s competitive position in the technology sector... by providing taxpayer subsidized cloud web hosting. 

The Digital Accelerator for Innovation and Research (DAIR) program is offered by CANARIE, operator of Canada’s Advanced Research and Innovation Network, in partnership with two other leading technology organizations, Compute Canada, and Cybera.

Jim Roche, President and CEO of CANARIE states in a media release:

Building or even paying for computing infrastructure can be a huge cost and time impediment for high-tech innovators. The DAIR program effectively removes that hurdle. All Canadian entrepreneurs should think about how this rapid access to low-cost cloud computing can help them improve their businesses.

The program is designed to help entrepreneurs develop and test new products without prohibitive product development costs, so that Canadian companies can get a competitive foothold in emerging technology markets. 

Some coerced web hosting reviews perhaps

Dr. Shahzad Khan, President of Gnowit Inc:

“A startup like ours is very sensitive to incurring costs, especially in high-risk R&D activities like moving to the cloud infrastructure. DAIR enabled us to experiment with the cloud infrastructure for a fraction of the cost (and at a much lower risk-profile) than if we had used one of the commercial offerings -- indeed, we may never have had the incentive to consider this without the DAIR program -- which would have limited our growth significantly.” 

Dr. David Poellhuber, COO of ZEROSPAM Security Inc., points out that it’s vitally important for tech entrepreneurs to keep pace with emerging technologies.

“There is an important shift in our market to cloud-based solution as organizations realize the hidden costs of software and appliance-based solutions. I wish I had known this program existed before.”

Also included on the list of users who started on the pilot and continue to use and benefit from DAIR was ProjectWhitecard.com. 

Count me in.. Not so fast 

Companies need to apply to the program through an online form, outlining the purpose and scope of the product they are developing, as well as the scale of resources being requested, such as data requirements and number of virtual machines.

The use of the DAIR program is limited to one year. Users may request up to four “cores” at no cost for that year. A core is an independent central processing unit (aka CPU)  that can read and execute program instructions. Additional cores are available at $100 each for the year.

CANARIE, along with Cybera and Compute Canada in the past have focused their energies strengthening the digital infrastructure of Canada’s research and education communities. Canarie majority of funding is provided by the Government of Canada. 

So the low down.. 

Canarie.ca resides on a dedicated server in Ottawa Canada. The GTmetrixs performance report for its very simple canarie.ca landing page (link will open in new window. Report shows less than 25 requests), found a very slow page load speed of over a second and half. Tests of the French, and English versions of the canarie.ca homepage returned similar results with even more painfully slow page load speeds. Three of the five ‘F’ shown in the report stemmed from server related issues.

The Cybera.ca domain is hosted on a dedicated server in Alberta Canada

GTmetric report for Cybera.ca

 

Computecanada.ca, hosted on a dedicated server in Quebec, churned out an error when tested using GTmetrix.

Analysis Error

We detected an issue when verifying this site's certificate.

Oh great. moving on.

Gnowit.com is on a dedicated server with iWeb in Montreal. While its website did return a rather mediocre performance report, of the seven fails, only one was related to the server.

It may be ironic that Canada has been trying unsuccessfully to pass anti-spam legislation for years. ZEROSPAM.ca .. the screenshot says it all.

screenshot of zerospam.ca GTmetric report 

Project Whitecard is listed as an advocate of DAIR discount web hosting but it website reside on A2 Hosting nameservers in Ann Arbor Michigan. Although projectwhitecard.com isn't breaking any records for speed, its shortcoming are not server related issues.

The Digital Accelerator for Innovation and Research program goal is to support hundreds of projects across Canada over the next three years. The moral of the story.. saving a few bucks on web hosting will cost you in the end, and certainly will not give your project a competitive edge in the technology sector!

linux hosting

 

Brand confusion: Giga-International transforms to Contabo

Munich based web hosting provider Giga-International has announced that the company has officially rebranded and will operate under the new company name Contabo GmbH. The name morph is just the first step for a global expansion that Contabo has in mind the announcement stated..

According to the hosting provider there are several reasons for this new company name change. Unlike its former name, the trademark Contabo is protected on an international level. Michael Bölke, CEO of Contabo GmbH states: 

The new name Contabo will represent us globally in the future. It fits to our business in many ways. For example, one possible interpretation of Contabo, standing for “content across borders”, could be the international orientation of our company which operates worldwide. 

The focus of Contabo does not change. The new company name is nothing but a continuance of our previous company name, Giga-International. Our customers can still rely on the quality and top service level they are used to. The company, the staff, the managing directors and owners, the data center, the technical features, the goals and the high level of service. Everything remains just the same.” 

It appears for clients, the only inconvience they can expect to experience is having to type the shorter URL Contabo.com as opposed to the longer giga-international.com

Brand Confusion or lack of imagination?

While the domain giga-international.com was created in September of 2005, a number of other web hosting firms also use dirivatives to identify their brand.  GigaPros out of Long Beach, California registered GigaPros.come in March of 2008.

Meanwhile, across the pond, GigaTux.com hailing from Milton Keynes in the UK was created in December of 2006.

Latecomer and new kid on the block Gigapulse is a web host from India that registered the domain in September of 2012. While their website is still under construction, they do claim "they will be up and running soon to fulfill all your hosting needs"

Prior to them all, Gigenet.com out of Arlington Heights, Illinos formed their web hosting enity in April of 2004.

The old Giga-International.com domain will redirect to the rebranded Contabo.com. Meanwhile on twitter, roberto contarini’s @contabo tweets about some pretty cool fringe bands looking to leave their mark on pop culture! 

 

Alternative of a properly vented review process-Anarchy

Legitimate web host review site like HostJury are constantly being accused of being too quick to delete reviews that in its sole discretion have been deemed questionable... aka ‘fake’.  While it may be true that legitimate reviews are inadvertently removed during the venting process, many web hosting companies have come to accept that the majority of the reviews on Hostjury are posted by legitimate users.  It has been revealed by Google what the alternative is to a properly vented review process and the mischief it can lead to!

Google slashed the cumulative view counts on the YouTube channels belonging to Universal Music Group, Sony/BMG, and RCA Records by more than 2 billion views Tuesday, a drastic winter cleanup. The decision apparently was made when YouTube found out that the companies were paying view building services to inflate the number of  video views.

Sony/BMG's was hit the hardest with views dropping from a total of more than 850 million to just 2.3 million. RCA declined by 159 million views to a total of 120 million. Universal lost more than 1 billion views and now stands below 6 billion.

In addition, each label's YouTube archives are now surprisingly thin. UMG now has only five videos on its YouTube archives channel, none of which are actual songs. Sony's channel is currently empty.

Google confirmed on their forums that the companies violated its terms of services, which prohibits users from artificially inflating video views. Google noted that the view stripping was "an enforcement of the company's view count policy".

Google uses YouTube view count as one of its metric in rating the popularity of a video. Like web hosting reviews, faking the numbers can lead to misinformation for the users of the site.

 

Facebook doesn't like F.B. Purity clean look

Not yet satisfied with their work screwing up Instagram’s Terms of Service, the Facebooks legal team have turned their attention to the developer of the F.B. Purity browser extension and issued a ban on his use of Facebook. While not yet in effect, it is likely that the F.B. Purity fan page will also be shut down.

F.B. (Fluff Busting) Purity is a browser addon / greasemonkey script / anti spam tool for Facebook, in the form of a browser extension that alters your view of facebook to show only the most relevant information to you, by filtering out the annoying and irrelevant junk in your news feed, such as application spam, ads, sponsored stories etc. It also gives you the option to hide the boxes you don't want to see on the right and left hand sides of the homepage, and also lets you hide many other Facebook annoyances.

FaceBook says their terms of service(ToS) specifically prohibit interference with the way Facebook is rendered to its users” and that the extension doesn’t connect via their “API”, which they say is the approved method for interacting with Facebook’s services.

Steve the developer of F.B. Purity says because it is a browser extension rather than an apt, F.B. Purity extends the browser's own functionality. So technically it is actually the web browser that is accessing Facebook, and web browsers do not need an API key or license to access Facebook’s services, as Facebook is designed to run in a web browser. (editor’s note.. If Steve gets tired of development, there may be a future for him as part of FaceBook’s legal team!)

This is not Steve’s first interaction with the suited types from FB. Back in 2010, Facebook threatened legal action saying his extension, then named Facebook Purity, infringed on their trademark. Steve says that FaceBook is trying to renege on an agreement reached during that interaction with Facebook’s Domain Manager, which allowed him to rebrand the product as “Fluff Busting Purity aka F.B. Purity”. FaceBook is now requesting  that Steve cease using FB in both the branding, and domain name for his product.

Speaking about domain names, fbpurity.com is registered using Namecheap. The F.B. Purity website has used both 000webhost.com and Myhostcenter.com for web hosting but in June of this year switched to web hosting provider Inmotion Hosting. 

 

Web Hosting at InMotion Hosting

 

Deleting your account. Alternatives to Instagram

Instagram has released an updated version of its privacy policy and terms of service  (ToS) with a major policy shift on how photographs uploaded by users may be used by Instagram and its parent company Facebook. Instagram ToS now stipulates that effective January 16, it has the perpetual right to sell users' photographs without payment or notification. Unless Instagram users delete their accounts before the January deadline, they cannot opt out.

Under the new policy, the user will retain ownership of the image but grant Facebook/Instagram the right to license all public Instagram photos to companies or any other organization, including for advertising purposes, without compensation to the owner.

The announcement was made in a deceptively benign blog post that stated:  

  • Nothing has changed about your photos’ ownership or who can see them. 
  • Our updated privacy policy helps Instagram function more easily as part of Facebook by being able to share info between the two groups. This means we can do things like fight spam more effectively, detect system and reliability problems more quickly, and build better features for everyone by understanding how Instagram is used. 
  • Our updated terms of service help protect you, and prevent spam and abuse as we grow.  

Editors note.. Seriously, they must have hired the same guy that writes the government bills that endeavour to limit freedom on the internet... it reeks of "Trust us.. we only want what's best for all of us)

A section of the new terms of service, titled “Rights” notes that Instagram will be able to use your photographs and identity in advertisements. Even someone who doesn’t use Instagram could end up in an advertisement if they have their photograph snapped and shared on the service by a friend.

Minors are not exempted. Instagram says people must be at least 13 years old to sign up for the service and the new terms note that if a teenager signs up, they are agreeing that a parent or guardian is aware that their image, username and photos can also be used in ads.

Another unusual addition to Instagram's new policy appears to immunize it from liability, such as class action lawsuits, if it makes supposedly private photos public. The language stresses, twice in the same paragraph, that "we will not be liable for any use or disclosure of content" and "Instagram will not be liable for any use or disclosure of any content you provide.

Instagram makes a plaintive case for why it needs the cash saying that some or all of the service may be supported by advertising revenue. By allowing them to sell your content, it will help them deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions ... maybe even your pictures in an ad! 

Want to opt out? Delete your account.

If Instagram users continue to upload photos after January 16, 2013, and subsequently delete their account after the deadline, they may have granted Facebook an irrevocable right to sell those images in perpetuity.

The only way to opt out of the new Instagram terms is to not use the service. If you log into Instagram in any way, including through the Web site, mobile applications or any other services offered by Instagram, you agree to have your content used in ads.

Instagram’s new terms of service says: 

“by accessing or using the Instagram website, the Instagram service, or any applications (including mobile applications) made available by Instagram (together, the “Service”), however accessed, you agree to be bound by these terms of use.”  

Photobucket.com... or maybe not!

2 gigs free.. pay to play for more space. From the Photobucket ToS: 

When you make your Content public, you grant us a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license (with the right to sublicense) to copy, distribute, stream, post publicly display (e.g. post it elsewhere), reproduce and create derivative works from it (meaning things based on it), anywhere, whether in print or any kind of electronic version that exists now or is later developed, for any purpose, including a commercial purpose.

By making your content public, you are also giving other Members on Photobucket the right to copy, distribute, publicly perform, publicly display, reproduce and create derivative works from it via the Site, third party websites or applications (for example, via services allowing Members to order prints of Content or t-shirts and similar items containing Content, and via social media websites), provided such use is not for a commercial purpose

But you do retain all rights to any content you submit, upload or display on or while using Photobucket... which means that you do own all the Content and are responsible for its settings... it means you get sued by the copyright cops!

How about TinyPic..  you will still own the pictures that they are sharing! Free ads splashed across a site is one thing... companies usng your data by virtue of implied agreement to some inoculate terms in the ToS deserves all the disdain the internet can muster!

 

Some Alternatives...  

 

Flickr  

Yahoo's service for Flickr is similar, stating the company can use the images "solely for the purpose for which such content was submitted or made available." 

 

ImageShack 

5 gigs of storage free but plans upgrade exponentially with a minimal monthly cost.

The content that you distribute through the ImageShack Network is owned by you, and you give ImageShack permission to display and distribute said content exclusively on the ImageShack Network.

You may revoke this permission at any time by requesting your content to be removed. Such requests will be processed within a maximum period of 24 hours (but usually as short as one hour). You may request deletion and/or mark your content private through our sites' user interfaces, or by contacting ImageShack directly. After your request is processed, ImageShack will cease distribution of your content within a maximum period of 24 hours (but usually as short as one hour) and will absolve itself of any ownership of said content, implied or otherwise.

ImageShack will not sell or distribute your content to third parties or affiliates without your permission. Third parties may exercise the following options regarding your content.

 

Google Picasa or Google+ 

Google's policy also is far narrower and does not permit the company to sell photographs uploaded through Picasa or Google+. The Google ToS states "The rights you grant in this license are for the limited purpose of operating, promoting, and improving our services." 

 

Shutterfly

Free online photo storage: Shutterfly makes it fun and easy to be thoughtful and creative with your memories.

Sure, they deliver "award-winning prints" from your digital camera right to your door. But delivering prints is just one thing they do. From start to finish, they make it easy to enhance, share and store your digital photos... Imagine that, a business model where the only photos they sell are the ones you buy! 

 

SmugMug

SmugMug feature rich plans start at $5/month but they offer something that many free photo storage sites don't:

  • No ads or promotions surrounding your photos.
  • Unlimited photo uploads and traffic.
  • Ability to retrieve your photos anytime.
  • No requirement for your visitors to register.
  • No threat of losing your photos if you don't buy prints.
  • No reducing resolution of your photos like at free sites.
  • No "free for a few photos, expensive for more" plans like Picasaweb's.
  • Ability to view big, clear photos.
  • Gorgeous themes to personalize your galleries.
  • Full-screen slideshows.
  • Real, knowledgeable & friendly humans to answer your emails quickly.
  • More safety for your photos. Pay sites rarely close; many free sites—even from Yahoo, HP, Canon and Microsoft—have closed.

 
Snapjoy
 

Building the smart photo library in the cloud. With Snapjoy, all of your photos are always organized, safe, and together in one place. Now with one click imports for Instagram, Picasa Web and Flickr!  Snapjoy is now part of Dropbox. 

 

1 TB Online Hard Drive! Sign up Today for a 15 day

 

Claranet Acquires French Web Host Typhon

European web hosting company Claranet aggressive year of acquisitions is continuing as the UK based managed service provider snaped up Paris based web host Typhon for £3.4 million (approx 5 million clams). This marks Claranet's third acquisition in 6 months as it seeks to broadens its service portfolio, increases its presence in France, boosts its total staff count to over 700 and its customers to more than 4,700 clients in six European markets.

The enlarged group will have over GBP 142 million in annual revenues. Claranet bought Portuguese host CGEST in July and Star Technology Services in November. Typhon is known for its commitment to the open-source community.

 

Wants to be top dog in Europe

In a statement Charles Nasser, CEO and founder of the Claranet Group stated:

This announcement confirms our ambition to become the clear leader for managed services across Europe, while the acquisition of Typhon also positions Claranet as the leading provider for web hosting and applications in France.


Claranet’s mission is to provide services that help its customers make the most of internet-enabled technology, and to achieve the benefits this can deliver for their business. The three acquisitions this year move Claranet a major step forward in terms of our growth and capabilities, which would otherwise have taken us many years to achieve organically.


Claranet is funding its acquisition through debt supported by the Royal Bank of Scotland, Ares Capital Europe and Abry Partners.

 

UK Libel law is a global disgrace. Concerns expressed over reforms

Plans to tackle internet trolling could have a "chilling effect" on online freedom of expression, a committee of MPs and peers has said.

English libel laws have long been criticised for inhibiting freedom of speech, and have become even more controversial in recent years. Because of so-called 'libel tourism', where foreign cases are heard in London, widely known as a 'town named sue', the effects of the law now reaches around the world. In response, laws have been passed making UK court judgements non-binding in the US, and American companies have threatened to cease offering their publications in the UK.

The coalition groups Index on Censorship and English PEN recently published a joint report on English libel law reform and launched the libelreform.org website to help promote their online petition campaign to change unjust British libel law. Laws they claim do not reflect the interests of a modern democratic society.

The group is warning that libel law reforms might cause website operators to delete statements that have not broken the law. There should be a higher threshold put in place before material has to be removed chairman Hywel Francis said.

Proposals in the Defamation Bill aim to protect website operators from claims against them when defamatory statements are published by their users, while making it easier to identify the people accused of making such statements. The government has accused the committee of over-complicating matters.

Announcing the reform plans in June, then Justice Secretary Ken Clarke said the measures would mean an end to "scurrilous rumour and allegation" being posted online without fear of adequate punishment.

 

'Serious harm'

Under the bill, a statement is regarded as defamatory if it "has caused or is likely to cause serious harm to the reputation" of a person or a company, but any claim for damages will fail if it can be shown, for example, that the defamatory statement is "substantially true".

To be entitled to this protection, the websites must either facilitate contact between the complainant and the author or remove the offending material when they cannot establish contact. However, complainants would not have to declare whether any such defence applied in their case.

The Index on Censorship and English PEN report concluded: 

there is a real risk that website operators will be forced to arbitrate on whether something is defamatory or lawful, and will too readily make decisions on commercial grounds to remove allegedly defamatory material rather than engage with the process." 

The bill therefore "risks removing material from the internet, which, although it may be defamatory, may be lawful if a relevant defence applies

 

Checklist

The committee also called on the government to abandon its "inflexible" approach to another part of the bill, which aims to strengthen legal protections for defamatory statements "on a matter of public interest" that are published "responsibly".

The bill is due to begin detailed scrutiny in the House of Lords on 17 December. A spokesman for the Ministry of Justice said the government would "give careful consideration" to the committee's recommendations.

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