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ServerBeach takes 1.45 million edublogs offline

Tue, 16th October 2012, 01:22

Edublogs is a blogging service that allows students and teachers to sign up for free, and then upgrade if they want extra storage, or features. The business model has allowed Edublogs to become the oldest, and second largest WordPress Multisite setup on the web, hosting the blogs for 1,451,943 teacher and student. Well they did until their web host ServerBeach decided to turn off their servers without notice less than 12 hours after issuing a DMCA takedown email.

The story all started back in 2007 when one of the teachers shared a copy of Beck’s Hopelessness Scale with his class. It’s a 20 question list that totals approximately 279 words. Published in 1974, it deals with clinical risk students - suicide and self harm material.  Pearson, a textbook publisher holds the copyright and sells the rights to use the material for $120.

Edublogs received the DMCA email from ServerBeach, and decided regardless of whether or not they liked it, Pearson were probably correct and as the material hadn’t been used in the last 5 years, set the content so it was no longer publicly available.  Edublogs informed ServerBeach of their decision and the action that was taken.

screenshot of ServerBeach DMCA Takedown notice to Edublogs

Despite the material no longer being “public facing”, Serverbeach detected that the file was still in the cache (nevermind that it was now inaccessible to anyone), and decided to shut Edublogs down without a word of warning... not just the offending material but the whole site... all 1,451,943 blogs!

As noted by James Farmer on WPMU DEV (they run Edublogs) 

So, technically, this can happen to any customer of ServerBeach who happen to host other people’s content. ie WordPress.com, without notice.

Here’s all that has to happen: 

  • Someone uploads something copyright infringing to, say, a wordpress.com blog
  • Someone sends a DMCA complaint to ServerBeach
  • Someone at ServerBeach judges that to be valid and immediately shuts down the entire service 

And then ServerBeach inform you, or maybe they’ll give you 12 hours notice.

Did I mention that Edublogs pays ServerBeach $75,000 per year for their web hosting services .. well it certainly isn't for the service! 

 

Ecommerce Same-day Delivery. Coming soon!

Mon, 15th October 2012, 20:17

The US Postal service has jumped into the fray and filed an application with the Postal Regulatory Commission for a new program called Metro Post which intends to partner with E-commerce retailers to deliver packages on the same day the orders are placed. The initial trial of the service is scheduled to begin on a limited basis in November.

The application provides some details including daily cut-off times between 2:00pm and 3:00pm for making purchases of items delivered via the Metro Post service. Package pick-up will be scheduled to take place at participating locations after 3:00pm, by Postal Service-uniformed delivery personnel.  The Metro Post packages may be exchanged between agents, and dynamic routing tools will be used, in order to ensure efficient delivery

The plan isn't without an occasional speedbump!  Same-day delivery will occur between approximately 4:00pm and  8:00 pm, as determined by the Postal Service, but no details of the logistics have been finalized.. The filing does not include USPS’s pricing plans for Metro Post as the public version of the document was redacted. The US Postal service also appears to have trademarked the Metro Post name despite the domains being owned by various entities since 2001.

Domain Name: METROPOST.COM
Registration Service Provided By:
SIBERNAME.COM
Registrant:    Estar Media Group Inc.
Creation Date: 05-Mar-2001
Expiration Date: 05-Mar-2022

MetroPost.net: (registered and active website)
MetroPost.org: (registered and active website)
MetroPost.info:(registered and active website)
MetroPost.biz: (registered and active website)
MetroPost.us: (registered and active website)

 

The Fray 

Deep pockets retailer Wal-Mart is not giving up market share easily and is also mulling the possibilities and pushing the concept of a same-day shipping option for this coming holiday season in 10 markets. Wal-Mart has said it plans to charge $10 for delivery.

Shutl,  a service out of the UK that bills itself as the world’s fastest and most convenient e-commerce delivery service has also announced that it has secured additional funding to drive its North American launch in early 2013.

Shutl’s point-to-point delivery model enables delivery of online purchases, either within minutes of purchase or a 1-hour window of the shoppers choice.  The service is already offered across the UK by a handful of major retailers. With the new funds, Shutl will launch across North America in a couple of phases starting in New York and San Francisco then rolling out the  service across 10 additional cities, including: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Philadelphia, Washington, Montreal, and Toronto.

Andreas Haug, Partner at e.ventures says “We are convinced that innovative logistics concepts that enable a faster, more comfortable and more reliable delivery will act as significant growth engines for ecommerce. In addition, offline retail will benefit from these solutions, which allows local retailers to acquire and retain customers online.

Earlier in the year, funds were infused into Shutl from the UPS Strategic Enterprise Fund,  Hummingbird Ventures and others. 

Amazon.com has downplayed reports of same-day shipping claiming that there doesn’t really appear to be a way to do same-day delivery on a broad-scale economically. Amazon has experimented with limited same-day delivery in the past and began offering the Amazon Lockers service last year. The locker model could possibly make one day delivery more feasible as it allows customers to pick up orders at designated locations, but it would seem that Amazon primary goal of the lockers is to streamline delivery for Amazon rather than convenience for customers.

For naysayers, one doesn’t have to look no further than Fred Smith, founder of FedEx. While attending Yale University in the mid-1960s, Smith wrote an economics term paper on the need for reliable overnight delivery in a computerized information age.

His professor was less than impressed and responded: "The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a 'C', the idea must be feasible."

"You absolutely, positively have to innovate-if only to survive."... Fred Smith

The busy holiday shopping season is only a month away and the National Retail Federation forecasts 12 percent growth in online sales over last year!

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No IT professionals included in that 72 staff members?

Mon, 15th October 2012, 15:21

The Western Australian government may want to explore new web hosting options as their new Community Protection Website, communityprotection.wa.gov.au, continues to endure technical issues. The website was slated to reveal the state's most dangerous sexual offenders.

It is the first such website of its kind in Australia and is divided into three tiers.

- Tier one is for sex offenders who have gone underground and do not comply with their reporting obligations. Information will include a photograph, date of birth, physical description, name and known aliases.

- Tier two is for repeat or highly dangerous sex offenders and people can make a request to be given the photograph of an offender living in their postcode and adjoining postcodes.

- Tier three will allow guardians to make a request regarding a specific person who has regular unsupervised contact with their child.

The Western Australian sex offender management team was boosted from 48 to 72 staff to help manage the Community Protection Website which will maintain a list of less than 60 individuals initially, although there are another 120 individuals who may possibly be added as they are released into the community. (I hope those figures are inaccurate!)

Obviously there are no competent IT professionals included in that 72 staff members!

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HJ Deals and Steals: LogicWeb

Sat, 13th October 2012, 14:37

Cheap Dedicated Servers Starting at $49

 

 

Click link in banner to open page in a new window 

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... or in this case, a few bucks! 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.


Coupons may also be found on review pages of many of the web hosts reviewed on HostJury. In the right column under the related blog post section. More coupons coming shortly!

Web hosts wishing to participate in HostJury's deals and steals are invited to contact us by email: feedback@hostjury.com    

 

Page not found, neither is this child” The NotFound Project

Fri, 12th October 2012, 10:21

HostJury has written before on the inclination of certain web hosts to annex and monetize client’s website pages. GoDaddy is one that is infamous for covering any available white space with enticements that upsell their offerings including jazzing up your control panel with adverts. HostGatorDoteasyBlueHost, and iPage are just a few of the others that have shown a similar propensity to take advantage of under utilized pages.

News that “certain” web hosts hijack their customers domain landing page, or customize web server error messages with slews of paid adverts is old hat. They’ve been doing it forever and a day. Web hosts can justify the practice with rhetoric that includes circular reasoning like “404 error pages are not really on your  site -- the server generated error message clearly states that the page you are looking for can’t be found so how could it be on your web site?”

If all reason fails, these host can always claim that the client agreed to allow the web host to manipulate and utilize various pages at their discretion...  Remember when you checked that box that you have read, and agreed to the Terms of Service...

From the IX Web Hosting ToS

IX Web Hosting reserves the right to supply content-enriched pages, including but not limited to search engines, advertisements, directory links, etc., for non-existent user pages that are served by IX Web Hosting to requesting sources. These pages include error pages (i.e. 404 Not Found), new account placeholder pages, unused domains and suspended user sites.

Yep that box!

Is there a better use for those error pages?

Missing Children Europe (MCE) in cooperation with Child Focus recently launched the NotFound project. The initiative hopes to turn 404 error pages into billboards for missing children messages. With close to a billion websites now on the web it’s easy to recognize  realizes how much space these error messages occupy.

Errors becoming opportunities

The 404 page is one of the most recognizable and most consulted pages on the web. It is also an inexhaustible source of frustration for those who just happen to land on one. Missing Children Europe (MCE), and Child Focus have decided to make this hitherto useless space meaningful through the NotFound project.

Francis Herbert, Secretary-General of MCE : "The idea of ‌‌integrating missing person messages into 404 pages immediately seemed very interesting to us. We are always looking for new communication channels to distribute missing children messages and increase the chances to bring them home. "

Laurent Dochy, Digital Conceptor at Famous and creator of the NotFound project: "The 404-page is a cornerstone of the internet culture. An increasing number of websites designs have customized error pages that limit frustrations for the user. With the NotFound-project we are however taking this one step further by giving these pages a reason to exist. The next step came easily:  Page not found, neither is this child”.

Call for solidarity

The aim of this project is to encourage as many people and businesses as possible to join this initiative. Maryse Roland, spokeswoman for Child Focus: " This project will allow us to once again concentrate the attention on children whom we haven't heard of for many years. These children risk falling into oblivion. The choice of the shown missing persons message on the 404 page will be at random: it could be a recent disappearance, or on the contrary, a child that has been missing for a long time. We already have a few major partners and invite every business or person with a website to join our project. No financial investment is required, just good will."

How does it work?

Technically, it is sufficient to download a file from the NotFound project and to integrate it into a website. The missing child message will then automatically invade the 404 page space of this website. After installation, which will only take a few minutes, everything happens automatically.

Visit the www.notfound.org website to download the module. You will also find a complete overview of the project and its technical specifications.

Did I mention that you can avoid these issue entirely by just making sure that your site doesn't have any error pages!

Little Oak web hosting

BarackObama.com vs MittRomney.com. The winner is..

Thu, 11th October 2012, 16:32

It’s not often that HostJury ventures into the political sphere (just kidding.. we do it every chance we get), but with the election less than a month away and the latest polls casting the two front runners in a virtual dead heat, HostJury decided that knowledge is power.  As with our web hosting reviews, HostJury doesn't want to give you our opinionated view of who should be president... but there was a consensus that undecided voters, teetering on the edge in either direction, could derive some beneficial purpose from a review of each camp’s use of technology in seeking this most coveted and distinguished office... from a neutral perspective of course!

The Candidates on Twitter 

@BarackObama has made 6676 Tweets - has 671,934 Following - 20,742,023 Followers

@MittRomney has made 1,229 tweets - has 273 Following - 1,342,621 Followers

 

Ouch.. onward to smart phones!

Barack Obama & Mitt Romney both have APPs for iPhone and Android.

poll published on Polititico found 49 percent of iPhone and Android owners plan to support President Barack compared with just 31 percent for Mitt.

Romney, however does overtake Obama 57 percent to 34 percent among retired iPhone and Android users.

Why were BlackBerry users not included in the survey? In further grim news for Research in Motion...  

Seriously, when first elected it was stated that that Barack could keep his beloved BlackBerry with him in the White House for personal use!

There is no word on Mitt’s preference in a phone. 

 

barackobama.com

screenshot of the Obama Biden website 

First registered in 2001 by Chris Rabb using Network Solutions as a registrar, the registered owner changed to Obama for Illinois in 2004.

BarackObama.com has transitioned through a number web hosting companies over the years including DreamHost, Carpathiahost, and GoDaddy. In August of this year, the domain was switched onto  Amazon Web Services (AWS)nameservers. 

BarackObama.com is presently renewed using GoDaddy, and is not up for renewal again until 28-Dec-15.

 

mittromney.com 

Screenshot of Mitt Romney & Ryan website 

First registered in 2002 by Edream Design out of Utah using GoDaddy, the domain's registered owner was changed to the Romney Committee (from Massachusetts) in late 2005. Although the domain continued to be renewed using GoDaddy, in 2011 the registered owner was privatized and the whois now shows Domains By Proxy. For all the domain squatters out there, this domain is set to expire on 08-Feb-13.

It’s purely speculative but...

Registered through: GoDaddy.com, LLC

Domain Name: PRESIDENTMITTROMNEY.COM
Created on: 14-Oct-08
Expires on: 14-Oct-13
Last Updated on: 15-Aug-11

Registrant:
Domains By Proxy, LLC

Mittromney.com web hosting is presently on Akamai Technologies.  Mittromney.com has been hosted on both RackSpace and GoDaddy servers in the past.

 

The Websites

HostJury ran a comparison report of the front runners websites using GTmetrix and Mitt could clearly have an edge...

BarackObama.com vs MittRomney.com: a comparison report using GTmetrix

(click image to view report in new window)

Then again, depending on a reader’s objectivity, some may conclude the foregoing site load speeds are evidence that Obama has more substance. Perhaps so. Many others would contend that the quantum of evidence to this point has remained quite balanced.

 

The accessibility factor

HostJury's final analysis produced a strikingly unforeseen riposte particularly when considered in the context of statements alluding to the exclusion of 47% of the American population that have been attributed to Mitt.

BarackObama.com:

First, using  the free web accessibility evaluation tool Wave provided by WebAIM, we detected six accessibility errors.

ACchecker is another tool that checks pages for conformance with accessibility standards and ensure the content can be accessed by everyone...

Source URL: http://www.barackobama.com/
Source Title: Barack Obama
Accessibility Review (Guidelines: WCAG 2.0 (Level AA))
Report on known problems (43 found)
Report on potential problems (582 found)

Mittromney.com:

WAVE did detect three accessibility errors.

Using ACchecker:
Source URL: http://www.mittromney.com/
Accessibility Review (Guidelines: WCAG 2.0 (Level AA))
Report on known problems (0 found):
Congratulations! No known problems.

There you have it. Regardless of your choice... Get out and vote!

The information provided by HostJury has been given so that you the user, has the  ability to recommend and review your choice for president based on the candidate's proper use of technology. The foregoing information should not be considered the ONLY source of information that you base your choice on!

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Why deleting old email may not be best practice

Tue, 9th October 2012, 15:45

Even for larger corporate types the requirements around email archiving and retention policies are muddled and unclear. For many smaller business owners the idea may never even have crossed their minds! The results of a small study released by  Mimecast suggest that many businesses may be leaving themselves exposed to potential litigation or compliance issues.

The research, which surveyed IT managers on their organizations’ email policies and archiving practices, found that just 20 percent of businesses (23 percent globally) retain archived email for three years or more, with one in four businesses (25 percent US; 26 percent globally) admitting that they do not have a clear policy on retaining email at all.

Key findings:

  • Email retention policies are often ad hoc or based on guesswork
  • Just one in four IT departments (30 percent; 26 percent globally) have an email retention policy designed to comply with industry regulations
    • 41 percent of businesses surveyed (43 percent globally) say their archiving policies are based on ‘internal best practice’ with no consideration given to industry or country specific regulations
    • Six percent of US and global businesses admit to deciding their email retention policy around a ‘random future date’ with ‘no basis’
  • eDiscovery for email is a major area of concern – Many businesses are not confident that they would be able to identify all emails relating to a specific customer in a timely manner:
    • On average, it would take a US business 15 working days to identify all emails relating to a potential litigation
    • Eighteen percent of US businesses do not think they would be able to comply with email eDiscovery request within a month
  • Concern around email compliance – IT departments are concerned that they are leaving their businesses exposed:
    • Just one in four (24 percent; 27 percent globally) IT teams are ‘completely confident’ that their email policies comply with all relevant regulations
    • 48 percent (46 percent globally) are ‘mostly confident’ with 34 percent (23 percent globally) ‘minimally confident’ or ‘not at all confident’

According to Wikipedia, Electronic discovery (or e-discovery, eDiscovery) refers to discovery in civil litigation which deals with the exchange of information inelectronic format (often referred to as electronically stored information or ESI). A wide array of people are involved in eDiscovery (for example, forensic investigators, lawyers, and IT managers), leading to problems with confusing terminology. Usually (but not always) a digital forensics analysis is performed to recover evidence....

Usually, but not always. Some external validity to the study perhaps!

Get Web hosting from Geek Storage

The CFO is away so 3essentials "deals and steals"

Thu, 4th October 2012, 18:00

HostJury deals and steals continues to attract some pretty good buzz.. as well as some awesome deals I might add!

While the CFO is on Vacation,  3essentials Hosting is giving away the shop!

For a limited time they have a limited number of surplus dedicated servers that they want to move, and at these monthly prices they are not likely to last long. Servers are customer managed and only while supplies last. Once they are gone, they are gone so act fast!


3essentials dedicated server specials


3essentials Window Server 2008 R2 for $110 per month

click image to open in new window 

  • Core i3-2130
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 500GB Hard Drive
  • 3000GB Monthly Transfer
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Web
  • Administrative RDP Access
  • Windows Firewall Included

3essentials CentOS 6 dedicated server for $100 per month 

click image to open in new window 

  • Core i3-2130
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 500GB Hard Drive
  • 3000GB Monthly Transfer
  • Linux CentOS 6
  • root ssh Access
  • ipTables Firewall Included

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... or in this case, a few bucks! 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.


Coupons may also be found on review pages of many of the web hosts reviewed on HostJury. In the right column under the related blog post section. More coupons coming shortly!

Web hosts wishing to participate in HostJury's deals and steals are invited to contact us by email: feedback@hostjury.com   

 

Yellow Media! GoDaddy Never Said "its killing the cloud"

Wed, 3rd October 2012, 17:08

Various media sources are regurgitating and giving spin to a GiGaom story that GoDaddy has quietly killed off its cloud computing web hosting plans less than a year after they were first introduced.  GoDaddy CIO Auguste Goldman has reputedly confirmed the decision in a statement saying: 

”We are focused on small and medium sized businesses (SMB) and SMBs don’t use this product the way we are offering it now. So, in the weeks ahead, it won’t be a stand-alone product in and of itself. However, we plan to continue developing cloud technology into our other hosted products. We will continue to support existing Cloud Server customers in a variety of ways.” 

TechRockies’s take on the story: 

It's unclear on why GoDaddy decided to move away from the cloud, however, the firm has traditionally served more small businesses rather than the enterprises who typically would use cloud computing offerings. 

GiGaom which did scoop the story goes on to provide commentary which borders on sensationalism: 

Perhaps web-hosting giant GoDaddy wasn't cut out to be a cloud computing provider after all. 

This type of decision is one of the classic risks of cloud computing, where a service might be here today and gone tomorrow. 

The WHIR speculation goes further and takes it to a whole new level ... 

For the hosting industry at large, the impact of Go Daddy’s decision to back out of the cloud server business could be interesting. The company’s lack of traction, and lack of success with that particular product could be taken as a sign that traditional shared hosting providers aren't equipped to compete in a cloud server market, where customers have different demands. 

Enough Already! Yellow media aside..

GoDaddy is a company with their ear very close to the ground. They have been very adept at pushing the limits without falling off the cliff.  Companies such as GoDaddy spend a lot of money on market research.

“We are focused on small and medium sized businesses (SMB) and SMBs don’t use this product the way we are offering it now.”

This latest news, rather than being a failure, may actually be an admission by GoDaddy of a miscalculation and mis-step in evaluating the direction the market was gravitating towards.

Minus all the bogus marketing hype, a cloud hosting platform, especially around scaling and load balancing, does have some real advantages over traditional shared hosting. But similar to an unmanaged Dedicated or Virtual Private Servers (VPS), cloud hosting requires a more technically savvy, adventurous type individual that is willing to expend the extra time and energy to achieve the intended results.

Most businesses could expect to experience no real benefit over traditional shared hosting. Not only would the technical aspects be daunting for some, but a possible distraction from running their actual business.

The GoDaddy statement appears to acknowledges this reality.

“it won’t be a stand-alone product in and of itself. However, we plan to continue developing cloud technology into our other hosted products”

Cloud does have some advantages. But in its present form, even with the numerous issues and concerns surrounding security, and data ownership resolved, it may not be a practical  solution for the average business owner on the internet.. 

So a more likely reason GoDaddy has modified their cloud hosting plans is the average John/Jane Doe doesn't want /need them!    

Or maybe the average entrepreneur thinks like Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple

Recently Woznizk lamented the shift away from hard disks towards uploading data into remote servers. (editor’s 2 bits.. yes cloud hosting uses physical servers just like shared!)

"I really worry about everything going to the cloud," he said. "I think it's going to be horrendous. I think there are going to be a lot of horrible problems in the next five years."

He added: "With the cloud, you don't own anything. You already signed it away" through the legalistic terms of service with a cloud provider that computer users must agree to.

"I want to feel that I own things," Wozniak said. "A lot of people feel, 'Oh, everything is really on my computer,' but I say the more we transfer everything onto the web, onto the cloud, the less we're going to have control over it." 

Maybe they do but that would just be me speculating!

A2 High Performance WebHosting

Tuesday Deals and Steals. - Flipper Host - 720Leap - BigRock

Tue, 2nd October 2012, 13:14

A recent report by BIA/Kelsey concluded that U.S. consumers will spend $3.6 billion this year for daily deals, up 87% from the prior year. The research firm estimates 23% growth for spending of deals in 2013, up to nearly $5.5 billion in 2016. The report analyzed and forecast the online deals space, with companies like Groupon and LivingSocial but excluded Ecommerce activity by companies offering daily deals.

How does a report about daily deals exclude Ecommerce activity by companies offering daily deals? Daily deals and steals like these offerings ...  

Flipper Host

Flipper Host Banner

Use Coupon Code : JURY20  and receive a further 20% Discount on Flipper Host’s already low prices!

Valid for all Plans including basic, standard, professional, premium, xpremium, xxpremium and includes all payment terms (monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, annually, bi-annually). This is Flipper Host’s first time ever direct discount of their VPS products.

 

720Leap 

720Leap Banner

Tylar over at 720Leap let us know that they has some great limited time offers for people to take advantage of while they’re revamping their website! 

Get the Lucky7 - Shared Hosting Plan for  a HostJury Deal and Steal Price of 9.00 per year using Coupon Code: Lucky7HJ

------------

LittleGuy - VPS Plan Priced at $25.00/year. Use Coupon Code: LittleGuyHJ at you'll get the package discounted to $20.00/year

 

BigRock

Use Coupon Code: OCTAFF to get .COM domains for $9.49 as well as 25% off on Web Hosting 

 

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... or in this case, a few bucks! As always, HostJury makes no recommendation or endorsement of any listed providers. Web hosts are presented in no particular order.  You are encouraged to practice due diligence.. and at some point leave a review of the services provided.


Coupons may also be found on review pages of many of the web hosts reviewed on HostJury. In the right column under the related blog post section. More coupons coming shortly!

Web hosts wishing to participate in HostJury's deals and steals are invited to contact us by email: feedback@hostjury.com   

Media tell how Peter Thompson died. Blogger tells how he lived!

Mon, 1st October 2012, 19:24

Every once in awhile there is a commentator somewhere (likely on a blog!), who states that blogging has reached its peak and is in a decline. Blogging will soon fade into history. People now embrace social media utilities like Twitter, Facebook, the new Myspace.. well maybe not Myspace just yet, but Justin is working on changing that!

The headline grabs your attention:

“Kayaker, 19, disappears after going over waterfall” 

Described as a well-loved and experienced kayaker, a 19-year-old from Canmore is missing and presumed dead after an accident on a Whistler, B.C. river. 

Peter Thompson was paddling with others on the Cheakamus River in Whistler Friday when he went over a four-meter waterfall (sixteen feet) but did not resurface, said his good friend and kayaking pal Chris McTaggart, 26, who is left devastated.  “It’s was really a straightforward waterfall and he had run it twice the day before”. 

If ever a story compels you to want to know more, this is it.  Because Peter Thompson told his stories on blogger, we can! He described himself in his profile: 

I am 19 years old and am an avid Kayaker and skier. Living in Canmore Alberta I am in the perfect spot to get my extreme on all the time. I have been kayaking for 9 years and skiing for as long as I can remember. 

Thompson last post shared his anxiety and exhilaration tackling the 30-meter (100-foot) drop at the Ram Falls near Nordegg 

“Once I got to a certain point I knew there was no turning back and I recall saying to myself ‘there is no turning back now better enjoy it,... The free fall was awesome, the impact was super soft. I had a good line and came out at the bottom smiling. The boys both had good lines and we were all stoked to have fired up a drop like that.” 

Media accounts broadcast how Peter Thompson is presumed to have died.. but a blog tells how he lived!  

Peter Thompson Kayak.. dropping over falls 

Contributions Program offers $50K for ideas that protect personal information

Mon, 1st October 2012, 10:20

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) is again seeking proposals for its Contributions Program 2013-14. The project is aimed at promoting privacy and the protection of personal information in the private sector. The Contributions Program promotes the advancement of privacy knowledge in Canada by funding independent privacy research and related knowledge translation initiatives. Since its inception, the Program has allocated approximately $3 million to nearly 90 initiatives in Canada, and is considered one of the foremost dedicated privacy-research funding programs in the world.

The OPC is inviting proposals that focus on its four priority areas: 1) identity integrity and privacy; 2) information technology and privacy; 3) genetic information and privacy; and 4) public safety and privacy.  However, the Office will also consider proposals in other areas related to privacy and protection of personal information in the private sector.

The Contributions Program places a strong emphasis on funding research that is meaningful for Canadians and that can be applied in concrete ways. Researchers are asked to integrate knowledge translation components into their project proposals, such as innovative approaches for engaging relevant stakeholders in the research process, disseminating research results and facilitating the application of results by potential end-users.

Some of the projects funded last year included:

  • An analysis of the scope of voluntary information sharing by private enterprises in law enforcement investigations into cybercrime;
  • The development of a series of in-depth news reports and other informational tools for French radio and web sites that provide practical information about protecting personal information;
  • An interactive mapping tool to help Canadians better understand cloud computing and its impact on their personal information;
  • An investigation of smartphone applications and the risks to end-user privacy.
  • A report on the positive and negative privacy implications of using information technology in situations involving domestic violence, sexual violence and stalking.

Organizations interested in generating new ideas, approaches and knowledge about privacy can learn more about and how to apply at OPC Contributions Program. All proposals will be evaluated on the basis of merit.  The maximum amount that can be awarded for any single project is $50,000 and a maximum of $100,000 can be awarded per organization. All proposals must be submitted by November 30, 2012. 

Chance to win a F1 Dream Vacation from VPS.net

Wed, 26th September 2012, 20:15

VPS.net has announced that they are giving away an F1 Dream Vacation for two including First Class airfare, four nights of 5 Star Hotel accommodations , limousine service and two VIP F1 Paddock Club passes to the United States Grand Prix. The winner will also gets $250 in cold hard cash!. Winner will be announced on November 1st. The mini dream vacation in Austin Texas is scheduled for November 16-18, 2012.

To enter the contest

VPS.net will give one entry for every dollar spent on any of their hosting products between September 1 and October 31, 2012. (Cloud Server, Cloud Hosting, Hosted Apps and elastic VPS product lines).

For those determined to gain some extra advantage, VPS.net clients or those wishing they were (non clients can participate and are eligible to win), can use Twitter and Facebook for score some additional extra entries: For each pre-written tweet, users will receive ten entries and for participating on Facebook, users will receive 20 entries.

Want more..

Mention in your tweets that you read about the contest on @HostJury and if you win we’ll throw in a extra $100 in cold hard cash!

Still more..

If you win and tweet a picture from Austin on race day holding a sign saying "HostJury.com", we’ll give you another $150.00

(editors note: the extra cash is strictly from HostJury and is not sanctioned by VPS.net.. but what do you care.. its cash!)

What are you waiting for... Start Tweeting!

ABOUT VPS.NET

VPS.NET is a division of the UK2Group, 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. 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. 

GoDaddy decides removing Java is best for clients!

Wed, 26th September 2012, 12:32

GoDaddy has announced that effective November 2, 2012, Java (not JavaScript) will no longer be available on servers. In a short statement posted in their support forums, GoDaddy states: 

“Quite frankly, customers using Java deserve more flexibility than what we offer in a shared hosting environment.  

Clients running JavaScript on their website will not have an issue. The change is most likely to affect developers who utilize a Java framework. GoDaddy recommends clients requiring Java should consider moving their site(s) to Virtual Private Server (VPS) or Dedicated Hosting, before November 2, 2012.

The ability to install Java (or any other script) on a Virtual Private Server or dedicated server does make them viable options. Still neither will offer the simplicity of use, or the cost effectiveness of a shared hosting environment. Unless a user opts for the more expensive managed plan, both VPS and Dedicated Servers require the client to install, update, and troubleshoot their own scripts,  as well as monitor security.

GoDaddy also states: 

“Shared hosting is not ideal for Java Enterprise hosting because multiple customers share the same services powering Java.” 

While true that using a dedicated server setup ensures you are not sharing the server resources with everyone else in the neighborhood, the same can not be said regarding Virtual Private Servers. VPS users may be better isolated from the other users on the server but they are still on the same server. Users are limited by the overall server resources similar to a shared hosting configuration.

And like shared hosting, many web hosting providers have chosen to maximize their returns by overselling their services!

For clients affected by GoDaddy decision on your behalf.. HostJury offers a few suggestions of providers continuing to offer Java shared hosting.

JavaPipe

JavaPipe Hosting

 

OnlineCares

link to Online Cares shared Java web hosting 

 

4Java

HostJury contacted 4Java and they have not responded. You may want to check the reviews on this one prior to making a plunge!   

For those willing to make the jump...

GoDaddy's Dedicated or VPS 

$1*/ mo WordPress hosting! Get going with GoDaddy!

 

As always, HostJury makes no recommendation or endorsement of any listed providers. Web hosts are presented in no particular order.  You are encouraged to practice due diligence.. and at some point leave a review of the services provided. 

 

Black Lotus spams competitor's clients

Tue, 25th September 2012, 06:16

Jeff Lyon, CEO of Black Lotus, puts the 'Low' in Black Lotus by spamming competitor's clients.
Inadvertently it seems many clients of the ddos mitigation service provider Staminus ended up on the maiing list of Black Lotus this past week. Jeff Lyon, CEO of Black Lotus responded publicly on the popular web hosting forum Webhostingtalk that he's "addressing the matter with our e-mail vendor who has launched and completed an investigation".

The thread is available for your perusal here: Black Lotus sending spam
In one private email to a complaint, Mr. Lyon responded that the user should "do the citizens of California a favor and remove the tin foil hat."

Perhaps next Black Lotus could offer a lucrative spam mitigation service in light of their newfound familiarity with sending unsolicited spam.

We've included an image capture from one user of part of the message:
black lotus spam

 

Get 25% off HostGator web hosting

Dear Tiny Post, please fix your website!

Thu, 20th September 2012, 15:21

A post written by Dave Lee, CEO & founder of GP Apps, caught my attention earlier today. Dave writes how he  signed up for Tiny Post about 10 months ago, created a few posts and then promptly forgot about the app as he “just never found a use for it.”

Dave then communicates in great detail how beginning on August 31 he began receiving emails from Tiny Post informing him how a number of individuals were either liking his posts or following him stalker style. (okay so he never used the word Stalker). Finding it a little incredulous that someone, never mind several someones would take a fancy to his Tiny Post creations, Dave Lee investigated further.

Lee posts screenshots along with some commentary: 

“So here are the profiles of the 5 people liking my posts.  These are definitely fake accounts set up by Tiny Post and is a flat out shady practice.  They’re tricking users into thinking these are real people, and that real people are liking and following them.  Not cool.  I even gave them the benefit of the doubt thinking maybe these 5 people are the founders, but they’re nowhere to be found on their team page.” 

David Lee does provide an update that softens his initial conjecture: 

There’s a lively discussion on Hacker News regarding this post.  A couple users pointed out that I shouldn’t jump to the conclusion that Tiny Post is orchestrating this themselves.  It could be a third party who’s set up a bot to follow users so they can gain more followers.  end

As I navigate to the Tiny Post website the adage “the only bad news is no news” crosses my mind.  Lee had commented on the difficulty experienced by startups getting off the ground as a social site. Without activity, users don’t find value.  But without users, you get no activity.  David Lee’s post was generating activity!

An initial thought on Tiny Post.. a great idea that should be continually gaining traction! My second thought "who are these people using for a web host". As I tried to scroll down, the site was “almost” frustrating. (I’m being nice.. I have zero patience!) .  The whois record shows GoDaddy as the domain register and the site running on Amazon Web Services nameservers.

I then ran a test using GTmetrix.

test TinyPost website using GTmetrix. 

Google was being proactive incorporating web site speed into the search ranking algorithm. Google understood the demands of users. Any attention for Tiny Post, good or otherwise will attract potential users.  My first reaction to Tiny Post.. good. The second thought should have been how do I sign up!

 

Little Oak Hosting

Forbes richest... is your web host strapped for cash!

Thu, 20th September 2012, 10:52

It seems that just about every day there is some webhost from somewhere tweeting or blogging about how they’ve just made some list profiling the best of the best..  like the INK 5000 list.. (bet you’re thinking thats a typo!).  Leaving the story about web hosts and their fake bling for another post/day, there is one list that is published annually that does come with a fair amount of acclaim. Forbes 400 Richest Americans.

This year's list has all the usual tech giants from MicroSoft, Google, Oracle, Amazon, Apple, Linkin, Aol, Yahoo, Netscape, and EBay, PayPal, and Facebook. It goes without saying that the tech industry is well represented on Forbes gazillionaire list!

A couple on the list in particular caught my eye. Their fortunes came from web hosting.

GoDaddy Founder Bob Parsons

Which Forbes Lists

#311 Forbes 400
#854 Forbes Billionaires

At a Glance

  • Age: 61
  • Source of Wealth: Web hosting, Self-made
  • Residence: Scottsdale, AZ
  • Country of Citizenship: United States
  • Education: Bachelor of Arts / Science, University of Baltimore
  • Marital Status: Married

 

Forbes profile of GoDaddy founder Bob Parsons states that he sold the majority of the web hosting provider in 2011 to private equity investors KKR, Silver Lake and TCV in a deal that valued the firm at more than $2 billion. Parsons, who received an estimated $930 million in cash, remains the largest individual shareholder and is executive chairman of the firm, which has more than 5 million hosting websites, 10.5 million customers and 53 million domain names.

Bob is also an avid motorcyclist, he also owns Go AZ Motorcycles, Arizona's largest motorcycle dealership, which is based in Scottsdale. He and his wife Renee created the Parsons Foundation in 2012, which is primarily focused on helping children in greater Phoenix area and in Haiti. They gave $5 million including a $1.5 million matching grant to the Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS, and $1 million to his alma mater, University of Baltimore, to establish a new professorship specializing in digital communication.

A Vietnam vet who received three medals during his tour including the Purple Heart, he graduated magna cum laude with an accounting degree and in 1984 started a software company in his basement, writing the computer programs himself. He sold that company, Parsons Technology, to Intuit for $64 million and used the proceeds to start Go Daddy.

Interesting stats. To most common folk Bob Parsons is better known for the racy Super Bowl ads (including the less sanitized versions of the ads that appear only online), sponsorship of Nascar's Danica Patrick, and his act of philanththropy with African farmers being bothered by elephants. Oh, and lets not forget cheap domain names!

 


RackSpace’s Graham Weston

Which Forbes Lists


At a Glance 

 

  • Age: 48
  • Source of Wealth: Web hosting, Self-made
  • Residence: New Braunfels, TX
  • Country of Citizenship: United States
  • Education: Bachelor of Arts / Science, Texas A&M University
  • Marital Status: Married
  • Children: 3

 

Born into a San Antonio-area ranching family, Graham Weston took photos at livestock shows in high school and sold them to contestants. During college at Texas A&M, he made money helping people appeal their property-tax bills. Later he built a mall.

Weston was successful enough that 3 local college students asked him in 1998 to invest in their Web-hosting business. Rackspace.com(editor's note: are there any web hosting companies not started by college kids!) He liked it so much he joined as CEO. He gave up that position in 2006 but is now chairman and still the largest shareholder in the $8 billion (market cap) outfit.

Weston supports various science and education projects in and around San Antonio, including a computer terminal at the public library where students can see the view from a ship exploring the ocean's floor.

That's pretty cool!

 

 

A2 High Performance WebHosting

Online Vote crashes Microsoft Azure Cloud. The favorite gets second place

Mon, 17th September 2012, 12:40

The Miss Hong Kong beauty pageant's attempt for online voting,  American Idol style, was thwarted after attackers yet to be revealed,  brought down the broadcaster's polling system. TVB has set up a team to investigate the alleged cyberattack, which forced a panel of judges to pick the winner.

In an ugly turn, Hong Kong’s netizens condemned the judges' first place choice and others complained to the Communications Authority. Tracy Chu Chin-suet, the public's hot favorite to become Miss Hong Kong, landed second runner-up while Carat Cheung Ming-nga, who was earlier named Miss International Goodwill, was chosen Miss Hong Kong. She will compete for the Miss World title next year.

Initial investigations revealed there were millions of page-hits during the pageant, suggesting a Denial of Service  attack said a spokesman of Microsoft, which provided technical support for TVB for the event.

Microsoft, whose Azure platform was used to power TVB's poll, released a statement claiming that although its cloudy product was not affected, there does appear to have been some foul play:

From the findings of the initial investigation, our engineers identified some unusual data traffic targeting the TVB fun application in the operating records of the related voting system. Within the 15-minute voting period, the system already recorded unusual data traffic which was many times higher than the original expectation. This was substantially higher than the total number of people watching the program and also the total population of Hong Kong.

We therefore have grounds to suspect that the application was attacked by malicious hackers, causing abnormal disruption in the operation of the application and thus the subsequent uploading of related data to the cloud system for further processing.

TVB's deputy director for external affairs Tsang Sing-ming apologized for the blunder. Tsang claimed that the station had expected half a million viewers to vote during the 10-minute slot from 10.45pm to 10.55pm on Sunday, but the traffic exceeded the server's capacity.

No one appears to be focusing on another possible scenario that may have factored into the crash... to attract viewers to vote on Sunday the organizers were giving away a Mini Cooper to one randomly selected voter.

"We will announce another contest related to the pageant for the viewers in a couple of days to give away the prize," Tsang said.  Microsoft may have a chance to redeem Azure yet.. I can hardly wait!

Need Free Web Hosting? HJ needs Secret Shopper!

Wed, 12th September 2012, 14:55

A while back, HostJury decided  that adopting the secret shopper model was a grand way to provide more indepth reviews of web hosting provider, while remaining true to the concept of "giving the users the ability to recommend and review their web hosting provider to other users and to share real hosting reviews".  So after a couple of false starts the concept appears to be catching on. HostJury will begin posting secret shopper reviews in the coming weeks.

HostJury is looking for more people to document their experiences getting online. The process is simple. Just let us know the type of website/blog you envision and we'll provide the names of 3 web hosts that meet the requirements to host your site. Not happy with your existing host.. you qualify as a secret shopper also and can have your website moved from the existing web host. Your review post would include a paragraph on why your former host just wasn't working for you!

As the secret shopper, you will document questions, responses, and speed of each web host's sales departments. Once you settle on which host has provided the best options, sign up for a year of service. Again document and rate the sign up process as well as the ease/ complexity of getting your website online, including the responsiveness of their support staff.

Write a short post (500-1000 words) detailing your foray into cyberspace, the shortcomings, the awesomeness.. and a conclusion that reviews the overall experience to HostJury readers.

Q) Does this have to be my first website?
A) Absolutely not. You can be a secret shopper for any number of websites. We do require the websites to be functional, developed, and being utilized at the end of the trial period.

Q) How long is the trial period?
A) 90 Days provides a sufficient period of time to reasonably rate and review the web host services. The trial period also provides adequate time to add content to your website, encounter issues such as downtime, initiate support inquires and requests, as well as generate traffic for your site.

Q) What if the web host I choose really sucks?
A) Well that would be a story in of itself ;)
We are not suckers for punishment and don't expect our secret shoppers to endure torture either. It will allow you to document in your post the refund process or lack there off.

Q) How much $ do I get paid?
A) The minimum is the cost paid by you for a year of web hosting. Well written, thorough, as well as entertaining reviews, will be paid a premium bonus amount equal to the amount paid for the year of web hosting.

Q) So how do I apply to be a HostJury secret shopper?
A) Send us an email : feedback@hostjury.com to begin shopping!

For those who like to write other type stuff:

"There was once a young man, in his youth, his desire was to become a great writer.

When asked to define great, he said, "I want to write stuff that the whole world will read, stuff that people will react to on a truly emotional level, stuff that will make them scream, cry, howl in pain and anger!"

He now works for Microsoft writing error messages..........

 

 

HJ Daily Deals and Steals: Go GoDaddy!

Tue, 11th September 2012, 14:05

Some may question why HostJury would include offerings from Go-Daddy in the daily deal and steal section. Isn’t GoDaddy always offering some form of special as part of their marketing strategy?

In a word “yes”

Yesterday numerous (likely millions) of Go Daddy clients, as well as clients of other web hosts (read peons, geeks, and nerds), that utilize Go Daddy’s DNS servers had their sites taken offline. We are not the paypals, or Hollywood, or the music industry, or governments. We are the individuals that make up the internet and transform it into what it has become. A part of our identity, and our culture. A force for change.

Yesterday one dude claims it was in his power to threaten “the internet”

And that can’t be right. With power comes responsibility. When “powers hungry types” have attempted to regain their control, the web fights back. We cheer, tweet, blog, march in the streets, get arrested.  September 11th.. how fitting!

Your website does not need to be hosted by GoDaddy to take advantage of these offers! 

SPECIAL OFFER! .COMs just C$5.99* per year up to 5 domains!

$.99* .COM Domain! Get going with GoDaddy!

click image to open link on new page

 

SPECIAL OFFER! SSL Certificates only $12.99 

$1*/ mo hosting! Get going with GoDaddy!

click image to open link on new page 

GoDaddy Vs Anonymous

Mon, 10th September 2012, 18:16

According to many customers, email and sites hosted by web host and domain registrar GoDaddy are down. According to the official GoDaddy Twitter account the company is aware of the issue and is working to resolve it.

GoDaddy tweets about outage 

                  VS

Anonymous is claiming responsibility for GoDaddy's woes 

It appears Anonymous is claiming responsibility on Twitter for GoDaddy's woes.

First Round by a unanimous decision.. Anonymous

On a serious note, many webbies secretly cheer Anonymous on when they are mucking with those sympathic to the government's mandate. But when you take millions of websites offline you risk alienating the peons doing the cheering!

Waiting for either an Anonymous pastebin update, or the GoDaddy status update!

Updates

GoDaddy:  “Services began to be restored for the bulk of affected customers at 2:43 pm PT.  At no time was any sensitive customer information, such as credit card data, passwords or names and addresses, compromised. We will provide an additional update within the next 24 hours.  We want to thank our customers for their patience and support. ” 

it's not Anonymous coletive the attack is coming just from me 

It is not Anonymous coletive it's only me don't use Anonymous coletive name on it , just my name 

Updated Again!

Go Daddy Site Outage Investigation Completed

Yesterday, GoDaddy.com and many of our customers experienced intermittent service outages starting shortly after 10 a.m. PDT. Service was fully restored by 4 p.m. PDT.  

The service outage was not caused by external influences. It was not a "hack" and it was not a denial of service attack (DDoS). We have determined the service outage was due to a series of internal network events that corrupted router data tables. Once the issues were identified, we took corrective actions to restore services for our customers and GoDaddy.com

We have implemented measures to prevent this from occurring again.   At no time was any customer data at risk or were any of our systems compromised.     Throughout our history, we have provided 99.999% uptime in our DNS infrastructure.

This is the level our customers expect from us and the level we expect of ourselves.

We have let our customers down and we know it.   We take our business and our customers' businesses very seriously. We apologize to our customers for these events and thank them for their patience.  

- Scott Wagner   Go Daddy Interim CEO

Round Two anyone? 

Unlike other web hosting review sites we don't want to give you our opinionated view of web hosting providers- we want to give you, the user, the ability to recommend and review your web hosting provider to other users and to share your real hosting reviews. Do you use GoDaddy.. leave your thoughts on this outage!

$1*/ mo WordPress hosting! Get going with GoDaddy!

Indian Cartoonist Aseem Trivedi provokes establishment again!

Mon, 10th September 2012, 16:15

The arrest of an anti-corruption cartoonist in India on charges of sedition has sparked criticism. Aseem Trivedi is being held in the city of Mumbai for his cartoons allegedly mocking the Indian constitution. He was also charged with insulting the national flag and remanded into police custody until 16 September.

India's media and prominent citizens have condemned Mr Trivedi's arrest, calling it a "wrongful act". Sedition is a non-bailable offence in India. Assad was also charged under the IT Act and the 1971 National Emblem Act. 

Update: The Bombay High Court says that Aseem Trivedi can be released on bail if he pays 5,000 rupees ($90; £67). Trivedi has said he will not hire a lawyer or apply for bail himself until the charges are dropped. ;)

Aseem Trivedi Cartoon depicting  

Earlier, the website carrying Aseem Trivedi's anti-corruption cartoons were banned by the police in Mumbai. Aseem Trivedi is a co- recipient of this year Courage in Editorial Cartooning Award, along with  Syrian cartoonist Ali Ferzat . HostJury wrote an earlier post about Syrian cartoonist Ali Ferzat, who was abducted and badly beaten in August, 2011

When Aseem Trivedi exhibited similar cartoons at an India Against Corruption rally in December 2011 at the MMRDA grounds it appears his website was immediately banned. CARTOONSAGAINSTCORRUPTION.COM was reportedly suspended after a complaint was filed by a Mumbai-based lawyer. The web host and domain registrar of CARTOONS AGAINST CORRUPTION, BigRock, reportedly suspended Assad’s website in reaction to the complaint.

At the time, The Times of India reported

That when cartoonist Aseem Trivedi's was told that his website could not be accessed anymore, he initially brushed it off as a connection issue. The Kanpur-based professional cartoonist was busy exhibiting his political cartoons in the anti-corruption protest at the MMRDA grounds in Mumbai. 

It was only on Dec 27th, the next day, when he received an email from BigRock, the domain name registrar with which his website was registered, that he realized what was wrong. "We have received a complaint from Crime Branch, Mumbai against domain name 'cartoonsagainstcorruption.com' for displaying objectionable pictures and texts related to flag and emblem of India. Hence we have suspended the domain name and its associated services," the mail read. 

In a later report TOI, BigRock general manager Shashank Mehrotra is quoted as saying: 

"We received a complaint from the Mumbai Crime Branch and acted on it after evaluating the website according to our own 'acceptable use policy'. We found the material on it to be lewd."  

The ban on the website initiated a hot debate over in India. Reporters Without Borders wrote in their report about India: 

The national security policy of the world’s largest democracy is undermining online freedom of expression and Internet users’ privacy. The authorities have already clamped down on several mainly file-sharing and streaming websites without any ruling on the illegality of such actions. Anti-corruption cartoonist Aseem Trivedi saw his website, “Cartoons Against Corruption,” which features humorous anti-corruption drawings suspended by his hosting company in late 2011. 

The Committee to Protect Journalists also stated in a report: 

The case of a cartoonist charged with treason and offending India's national sentiments reflects a growing debate over what constitutes freedom of expression in India." 

The cartoons which are grouped under the title, “cartoons against corruption” often feature derogatory depictions of politicians such as Digvijaya Singh and the Prime Minister. One cartoon depicts the national Ashoka emblem as three wolves dripping blood from their jaws, with the title, “wolves with the signs of danger”. Trivedi's cartoon have depicted Parliament as a commode and showed the national emblem with wolves instead of lions.

Aseem Trivedi Cartoons Against Corruption In India 

Aseem Trivedi is also a founding member of Save Your Voice, the movement against internet censorship in India. The website for this organization, saveyourvoice.in, is presently residing on web host BigRock servers.

HostJury requested a comment from BigRock management regarding the suspension of CARTOONS AGAINST CORRUPTION. An initial response came back minutes later that the questions had been forwarded to the responsible contact. A short time later HostJury received a follow up response from Shashank Mehrotra, the General Manager & Business Head, BigRock acknowledging receipt of  our request for information. 

I want to quickly acknowledge the note/set of questions you sent us about cartoonsagainstcorruption.com. Because of the time zones, it is very late here. I will send you a set of detailed responses explaining our actions, AUP, and position on this tomorrow. 

Impressive response timing BigRock .. indeed, we at HostJury are very impressive!

(Editor's note. The following response points out a number of questions or issues around legal responsibilties of web hosts. HostJury will address these bigger issue in a separate post and provide a link in the coming days)  

Big Rock Response

I’m sharing below some notes and background on this. 

  1. BigRock is a domain name registrar and hosting business which is a part of the Directi group of companies. Collectively our businesses make us one  the largest global registrar entities – powering over 7 million domains. We play an active role in detecting, managing, and mitigating abuse, spam, child pornography, pharmacy spam, and fraudulent activity on the Internet and have worked for many years with a number of cross border law enforcement agencies, industry groups working to mitigate abuse, and other interested parties in making the Internet safer and more secure. Our work has won us commendations from various agencies and working groups – including the FBI and the Mariposa Working Group to name a few.
  2. BigRock is the domain registrar for the domain: cartoonsagainstcorrpution.com. We were not the web hosting provider for this domain name. We are also not an ISP as suggested in previous media reports.
  3. BigRock received a government notice from the Cyber Police Station, Crime Branch, C.I.D, Mumbai on 27th December, 2011. This notice asked us to remove the website content pointed to by this domain name with immediate effect.
  4. We suspended the domain name, which is the action available to us as a domain registrar, as per our rights and obligations under our Domain Registrant Policy which forms part of our acceptable use policy which is quoted & highlighted below. The registrant was informed of our actions thereafter.
  5. Our Domain Registrant Policy references “applicable laws, government rules or regulations, requests of law enforcement”. We acted under the aegis of various laws including the Indian Information Technology Intermediaries Guidelines 2011, a link to which can be found here: www.mit.gov.in/sites/upload_files/dit/files/GSR314E_10511(1).pdf.
  6. BigRock is committed to the security and service of all its customers, its technology platform, and to obey the law of the land.  BigRock does not censor or moderate content. We are however committed to take necessary action where required to disable content in violation of our acceptable usage policy and local and/or international law which is a commonly accepted norm amongst Internet companies who serve, host, or facilitate the publishing of online content.
  7. I am pointing you to the following independent blog post which has a detailed analysis of this case. We have no nexus with this blogger and are not offering any comments on its contents but want to highlight this as an independent opinion on some of intricacies involved: http://www.iltb.net/2012/01/cartoons-against-corruption-how-the-law-aids-web-censorship/ 

BigRock Domain Registrant Policy (between the Customer (registrant) and BigRock (registrar)) 


URL - http://www.bigrock.in/support/legal.php?requestfor=registraragreement&from=agree_page

4 (1)(5). RIGHTS OF REGISTRAR, REGISTRY OPERATOR AND SERVICE PROVIDERS
(5) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary, Registrar, Registry Operator and Service Providers, in their sole discretion, expressly reserve the right to without notice or refund, delete, suspend, deny, cancel, modify, take ownership of or transfer the Order, or to modify, upgrade, suspend, freeze OrderBox, or to publish, transmit, share data in the OrderBox Database with any person or entity, or to contact any entity in the OrderBox Database, in order to recover any Payment from the Registrant, Customer or Resellers, for any service rendered by Registrar including services rendered outside the scope of this agreement for which the Registrant, Customer or Reseller has been notified and requested to remit payment, or to correct mistakes made by Registrar, Registry Operator or Service Providers in processing or executing the Order, or incase of any breach of this Agreement, or incase Registrar learns of a possibility of breach or violation of this Agreement which Registrar in its sole discretion determines to be appropriate, or incase of Termination of this agreement, or if Registrar learns of any such event which Registrar reasonably determines would lead to Termination of this Agreement or would constitute as Breach thereof, or to protect the integrity and stability of the Registrar Products, OrderBox, and the Registry or to comply with any applicable laws, government rules or requirements, requests of law enforcement, or in compliance with any dispute resolution process, or in accordance/compliance with any agreements executed by Registrar including but not limited to agreements with Service Providers, and/or Registry Operator, and/or Customers and/or Resellers, or to avoid any liability, civil or criminal, on the part of Registrar and/or Service Providers, and/or the Registry Operator, as well as their affiliates, subsidiaries, officers, directors and employees, or if the Registrant and/or Agents or any other authorized representatives of the Registrant violate any applicable laws/government rules/usage policies, including but not limited to, intellectual property, copyright, patent, anti-spam, Phishing (identity theft), Pharming (DNS hijacking), distribution of virus or malware, child pornography, using Fast Flux techniques, running Botnet command and control, Hacking (illegal access to another computer or network), network attacks, money laundering schemes (Ponzi, Pyramid, Money Mule, etc.), illegal pharmaceutical distribution, or Registrar learns of the possibility of any such violation or upon appropriate authorization (what constitutes appropriate authorization is at the sole discretion of Registrar) from the Registrant or Customer or Reseller or their authorized representatives, or if Registrar, Registry Operator or Service Providers in their sole discretion determine that the information associated with the Order is inaccurate, or has been tampered with, or has been modified without authorization, or if Registrar or Service Providers in their sole discretion determine that the ownership of the Order should belong to another entity, or if Reseller/Customer/Registrant does not comply with any applicable terms and conditions, standards, policies, procedures, and practices laid down by Registrar, Service Providers, ICANN, the Registrar, the Registry Operator or for any appropriate reason. Registrar or Registry Operator, also reserve the right to freeze the Order during resolution of a dispute. The Registrant agrees that Registrar, Registry Operator and Service Providers, and the contractors, employees, directors, officers, representatives, agents and affiliates, of Registrar, Registry Operator and Service Providers, are not liable for loss or damages that may result from any of the above.

I hope this gives you the answers you need. My team and I are here if you have more questions. Thanks for reaching out. 

Shashank Mehrotra

General Manager & Business Head, BigRock 

Lightning Base. Reliable Managed Wordpress Hosting

Scrutinizing SiteGround.. A few Q's and A's

Fri, 7th September 2012, 14:09

Web host SiteGround first made a brief appearance on HostJury’s top rated host list earlier this year, before dropping back off, then reappearing again. Since that time, SiteGround has steadily climbed higher through the ranking. As we've done in the past, HJ decided to take a closer look at some of the inner workings of this company.

As detailed in the SiteGround company blog, what began as “simply not wanting to waste a few tickets we had”, quickly turned into a project to increase the company’s support of the Open Source communities. SiteGround has sponsored, and supported (as well as attended) a number of events like JoomlaDays and WordCamps all over the world.

SiteGround also got some press in recent days for their new user area. The redeveloped portal is designed to helps customers carry out administration and get the most from their hosting, including exclusive features that are not available in a web hosting control panel.

HostJury contacted SiteGround and asked if they’d mind answering a few questions about where they’ve been, and maybe where they want to go.

Possibly Levan Apriashvili, SiteGround’s Customer Care Supervisor may have had a different notion of what constitutes “a few questions”,  but none the less he was a good sport and did fabulous!

HJ: Please tell us a little about SiteGround, historically speaking.

Levan: SiteGround was founded back in 2004, by a small team of a few people with some experience in web hosting and a few others with no experience whatsoever in the industry but with tons of enthusiasm. Today, 8 years later, we all have learned a lot and have become one of the most technologically advanced shared hosting companies. We employ more than 80 people and we serve more than 250000 domains.

HJ: Since SiteGround was launched, what are some of the biggest lessons that you have learned?

Levan: I would say there are two really important lessons we have learned. First, we learned to look for our own technological solutions where other hosting companies would never imagine such can be found. We are proud to have invented unique technologies like the account isolation on a shared server, or the multiple versions of PHP available on a single server.

The second lesson we learned is that the success on our company depends on the success of each of our customers. So we invest a lot in helping each person and our customer service goes well beyond what a standard hosting company support would ever do.

HJ: What would you consider as your accomplishments up to this point?

Levan: Accomplishment… we consider any happy customer as an achievement, any new project as an accomplishment, any positive customer feedback as a success.

One of the main things SiteGround has always stood for is bringing open source applications to the end users and showing them how easily they can both use those scripts and contribute to the community. Open source is freedom and that freedom should be shared by all of us on the web. It is amazing how easy it is to start a blog with WordPress and how much you can earn online with a e-store build with Magento.  

But maybe from all the open source applications Joomla has always been the biggest inspiration to us and we will keep on spreading the word and doing the best we can to sustain the optimal environment for it.

HJ: Any failures you’d like to tell us about?

Levan: As a company with more than 8 years of experience and one of the top webhost worldwide, sure we have failures :) That is how we grew and became stronger. We do not deny failure and we take responsibility for it, everyone fails at something. But what we cannot accept is not trying at all.

Our biggest failure was internally called “Terminator 2”, anyone in the office knows that story, thank god our customers don’t ;) It did not affected our end users, at least not all of them and not permanently.

It was a newly launched internal system for terminating inactive hosting accounts. It was supposed to free up space and automate manual work. Well… after the launch it turned out that it cannot be controlled quite well and it went ahead and terminated a few active accounts. After a manual restore and the whole staff working overtime, we were able to fix everything.

Then… on the next day, guess what? – at the crack of dawn ”Terminator 2” was back and did exactly the same thing once again :)

(editor's note: cute story Levan.. love that shameless little plug about " top webhost worldwide".. it's a big world but you're getting there!)

HJ: Maybe this will have the same response but If you had to go back and change anything, what would top your list?

Levan: I think the question #4 about covers it :) so we might skip this one if you don't mind.

HJ: Can you talk about how SiteGround has powered its marketing efforts? What role does has social media played?

Levan: The majority of our clients have always come from referrals. When people like something and are happy with it they tend to spread the word. The social media serves as a natural accelerator and broadcasts the word of mouth to a wider range of people.

The thing about social media is that it always finds a way to rule out the bad from the good. For us it has always been great to have a supportive and happy community.

HJ: How has growth been? Has it met your expectations? Do you oversell?

Levan: We have certainly grown quite a bit. The two new offices we launched are housing an expanding staff and we will keep on hiring more people whenever our clients need more hands on deck.

We are not a start up company anymore, so we have quite a good idea about our growth patterns and the hardware is always set up before it is actually needed.  So we are never in a situation to put more customers on one server, just because the next is not ready.

Otherwise, I do not think overselling has anything to do with the size of a company. You can have a single server with ten customers on it and still if you know that your server is actually good for 8 customers you will be overselling. Being such freaks about website speed, security and uptime, as we are, overselling is completely out of question. We would never make a compromise with the quality of our service.

HJ: Tell us about your control panel, is it based on cPanel?

Levan: We do provide cPanel, but it is actually a part of a larger customer postal: our User Area, which was recently completely redesigned. So  apart from the vast functionality for managing each single hosting account that the cPanel offers we add the freedom of managing multiple accounts and domain names, all billing and support issues from a single place.

HJ: Does SiteGround manage any other brands in its fold?

Levan: Not yet, but we do have some ambitions plans :)

HJ: How active is the SiteGround community and does your business benefit from it?

Levan: We are very happy with the way our community support us. People will forever remain the driving force of this industry and we never forgot that giving back is also important.

We have a lot of fun, and always share it with our followers and fans. There have been numerous gifts as well as specials on holidays where everyone can be part of the scene. The greatest benefit is that you can read, see and listen to the feedback of the people who you work for. When they are satisfied, we are as well.

HJ: In my work, I view the offerings from various web hosts on a daily basis. They all appear to offer similar services and claim the exact same features set them apart from their counterparts. Resisting the urge to say “service” or “price”, what sets SiteGround apart from its competition?

Levan: I would say heart. That’s what makes us different. Heart is needed to be really passionate about what we do, heart is needed to be patient and to understand the needs of the people and heart is needed to overcome difficulties that most of the others consider inherent for the industry.

That is exactly what drives us to seek perfection and ensures server security and reliability though hours and hours of hard work and determination as well as a level of customer service that can only be achieved when you truly care for your customers.

HJ: What’s next for SiteGround? Can you talk about any new features in the pipeline?

Levan: There are many :) We have been nothing but ambitious all the way through and will continue to innovate and define what a hosting company should be.

Now that we have redesigned the user areas for our clients, a brand new site design is coming along as well. We have also planned several technological innovations for the next few months that will redefine what speed means in the shared hosting industry. Stayed tuned there is always something cooking in SiteGround! :)

Levan may "escalate" any future inquiries from HostJury (it was only 12 Q's), but for the record, our inquiry to SiteGround received very prompt responses.


Clients of SiteGround can share and review their experiences here!

 

Siteground Web Hosting

 

HJ Daily Deals and Steals: fastSERV

Thu, 6th September 2012, 12:13

When HostJury floated the idea of having daily (or almost daily) specials offered from various hosts, we were not quite sure what the reaction would be from the web hosting community.  Arguably, web hosting is a pretty competitive marketplace with many companies already offering some pretty cut rate pricing.. could HostJury really succeed in its goal to have “real deals” let alone “steals”.

So when Randy from fastSERV offered us today “steal”, even we were impressed with the direction this is going!  Enjoy folks because these will not last long!

fastServ web hosting
click image to open link to this special offer in new window

fastSERV really ups the ante on todays deals and steals with some surplus X3450 servers for just $99 bucks per month!

CPU: X3450 - RAM: 8GB - DISK: 1 x 500GB HD - BW: 10TB - Managed Support

So just in case you missed that.. this special fastSERV deal is for managed servers!

Price = $99/mo Use Coupon Code: hostjury

Some conditions and limitations may apply but it is indeed limited... when they are gone, they are gone!

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... or in this case, a few bucks! As always, HostJury makes no recommendation or endorsement of any listed providers. Web hosts are presented in no particular order.  You are encouraged to practice due diligence.. and at some point leave a review of the services provided.

Coupons may also be found on review pages of many of the web hosts reviewed on HostJury. In the right column under the related blog post section. More coupons coming shortly!

Web hosts wishing to participate in HostJury's deals and steals are invited to contact us by email: feedback@hostjury.com   

HJ Daily Deals and Steals: OneProvider, RackMountain, and more

Wed, 5th September 2012, 12:38

HostJury posts daily (or almost daily) special offerings and deals from various hosts. You’ll have to act fast as all these deals will be very limited in their durations.

One Provider VPS offers
click image to open in new window

 

OneProvider/BSN Servers has released its completed OneCloud™ infrastructure which allows you to open/close VPS nodes in one of our 12 VPS locations (and growing) through your own OnePanel admin.

Use Promo code: JURY50

*Conditions and Limitations may apply.

 

Rack Mountain web hosting  

click image to open in new window

 

RackMountain B U S I N E S S package comes with plenty of perks to ensure your website runs efficiently
Monthly price $10.95 less $2.00 using “hostjury09” promo code.

Offer valid until September 10, 2012

Features like:
50GB disk space
300GB bandwidth
cPanel
Linux OS
SiteBuilder
Softaculous script installer and more.
Monthly price $10.95 less $2.00 using “hostjury09” promo code. Offer valid untill September 10, 2012

Conditions and Limitations may apply

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 the listed providers. The web hosts are presented in no particular order.  You are encourage to practice due diligence.. and at some point leave a review of the services provided.
But really.. saving some greenbacks (or any other color of money)  is a great way to celebrate humpday!

Coupons may also be found on review pages of many of the web hosts reviewed on HostJury. In the right column under the related blog post section. More coupons coming shortly!

Web hosts wishing to participate in HostJury's deals and steals are invited to contact us by email: feedback@hostjury.com