4.l.to is back, but now as l.f.nu

After the unexpected breaking of the l.to sudomains, 4.l.to went down, as I explained in this post. It’s been over ten days since that domain went down, so I decided to move 4.l.to to another domain, consequently renaming it (of course, duh!). After lots of searching of the FreeDNS domain catalog, I finally found another domain name that was just as long as 4.l.to, and happened to have a one-letter subdomain available.

So I registered l.f.nu. It’s my “new” URL shortener. All the 4.l.to shorten links work now, if you change the “4.l.to” part to “l.f.nu”. The official announcement about the change is here. While this isn’t as good as having all the 4.l.to links working again without changes, I guess it’s better than, for example, having a complete database or server crash and no backups, thus losing all the shorten URL<->long URL associations and click statistics.

l.f.nu allows for some interesting “acronym-sound-reading” results. It can be interpreted as “Linking For New Universes”, “Linking For New(s)” (if you read the “nu” as nee-yuu), or even “Linking For Nothing Useful” 🙂 . I’m sure you can come up with some new meanings too; if you happen to find an interesting one, don’t forget to post in a comment!

I also gave my URL shortener a new look. It no longer uses the default Bootstrap theme (it’s become too mainstream!), but rather the United theme from Bootswatch. And finally, I also fixed some bugs in functionality and looks (read: port the thing to the latest version of Bootstrap). There are still some things left to fix, and I plan on adding some new features one of these days.

Also, looks like the new domain l.f.nu is allowed on Twitter, while 4.l.to was not – it was marked as dangerous even though I don’t know why, perhaps it was something common to all the l.to subdomains. Looks like this domain change is better than I initially thought!

Don’t forget to comment on this relaunch of 4.l.to, which is the launch of l.f.nu!

4.l.to is down

My URL shortener, 4.l.to, is down because all the .l.to subdomains, managed through FreeDNS, are down too. There’s little information available and all I know is that the subdomain is broken since 19th March, as said on the FreeDNS subdomain management page.

There aren’t any planned times to have the service restored – as I hope you understand, this is completely out of my control. In the meantime, all the links shortened with 4.l.to, which were over 500, are broken.

If you have any information that can help find what’s the future for the l.to subdomains, don’t forget to write a comment in this post. And, if you happen to have a short URL which you don’t mind donating for URL shortening (I can share the advertisements profits), I will consider moving/renaming 4.l.to while preserving all links (since the server is up and with daily backups).

Website address changed, cya cz.cc!

First of all, sorry for posting nothing on this blog for more than a month. The truth is, school has started, I’ve got to study, after studying I have lots of other things to do, and, in general, posting on this blog has been the last of the priorities. It’s also true that during this month I didn’t come with something worth a blog post. However, in the last days some online events made me direct some attention to this blog and the server it is hosted in.

Some days ago, Pingdom started reporting that gbl08ma.cz.cc was down… and down… and down… not only gbl08ma.cz.cc, but also all the cz.cc domains were down for more than 48 hours – and continue to be, and will never come back up – I explain later. After more than 48 hours of consecutive downtime (and an email inbox full of Pingdom alters), I decided it was time to “wake up” and take some action.

So, I went searching. I knew that everything cz.cc was down, that was a fact. After no more than 30 seconds of Googling, I see the expressions “takes offline”, “cz.cc domains”, “Microsoft” and “Kelihos Botnet” on the same headline.

Before we continue, let me explain: I knew Microsoft and its “secure internet” partners had taken the Kelihos botnet down some days ago, I just didn’t know how that was related to cz.cc subdomains. So don’t take me for as so uninformed as you might think.

…turns out that Microsoft and its partners took the cz.cc domain service down along with the Kelihos botnet. OK, I had assumed this would happen anytime soon, the point is that it just happened before I thought it would be, and it happened before my eyes. So, cz.cc was taken down, after being considered as being a Kelihos partner and containing other multiple issues (we all know the lots of spam and scams operated from cz.cc domains, right?).

Well. Yesterday I was a bit angry with Microsoft, but now I think it was a great thing after all: they shut a bad thing off the internet, while forcing me not to use that horrible domain service anymore. For me, the biggest hassle is updating the URL of this blog on all places I left it. The ideal solution to this free domain problem was to buy a real top-level domain and get off with gbl08ma.com or gbl08ma.net, but as I don’t have enough money to buy a TLD yet, I just moved to the very-reliable and reputable freedns.afraid.org (unlike cz.cc, it isn’t associated with badware or spam).

Plus, afraid.org has some great points compared to cz.cc: since Google banned them from search results, this blog could not be listed on Google; now with afraid.org, I’m still not listed on Google by default, but I can bother Joshua Anderson, the FreeDNS admin, to whitelist this website and allow Google to index it, like he did with my 4.l.to URL shortener. (to Joshua Anderson: if you’re reading this, smile 🙂 ).

There’s even another great thing, apart from not being associated with the “dark side” of the ‘net. The FreeDNS domain I chose is even shorter than the previous one!

Conclusion: The URL for this blog is now http://gbl08ma.l.to. (not anymore, read last update)

I’m progressively updating all references to gbl08ma.cz.cc on the internet to gbl08ma.l.to, as long as it’s under my control; if you ever linked to this website, please update your links; remember to update your bookmarks too, if you had any. Starting now, forget gbl08ma.cz.cc and update your mind to use gbl08ma.l.to. I thank you for not associating this little blog with Kelihos, since it was never associated and never will.

See you!


EDIT: I was trying to configure WP to Twitter plugin to work with the new URL, and at the Twitter developers center, I just discovered that Twitter thinks that l.to domains are malware, too. Damn! What free domains aren’t considered as malware?! I need a TLD… please… oh damn, I can’t pay.

EDIT2: As you should be noticing, the blog is now on a .com domain. So the accurate URL is http://gbl08ma.com

Google banning free domain services – AKA a guide to free domain services and Google

Today I was going to add one of my new websites, http://webshuff.uni.cc , to Google webmaster tools and for my surprise, right after I verified the ownership of the website, it showed this message at the top of the dashboard:


[Image not available anymore due to data loss when forcibly changing servers on 1st December 2011]

Well, this exact same message is shown for this website gbl08ma.cz.cc I added some months ago. The message started appearing two or three weeks ago.

I thought immediately it was due to the fact that this website has a .cz.cc domain. I submitted a reconsideration request, after making sure this website was following all Google Webmaster guidelines, and some days ago Google said it had been processed, but so far this website, which previously appeared on Google search results, doesn’t appear anymore. Click for proof.

I didn’t bother much. nic.cz.cc started to give problems some time ago, when the first episodes of Google marking all the cz.cc domain and subdomains as containing malicious software or content. I thought: easy, just switch to another domain name like uni.cc. And I decided to myself: from on now, I will use uni.cc for new websites I create – even because uni.cc seems much stable and less abused than cz.cc.

So, for one of my new websites, Webshuff, I chose uni.cc network for my free domain service. From the part uni.cc is responsible for, I have no complaints… however, I only realized Google was also hiding uni.cc websites from Google searches when today I saw this warning on Webmaster Tools. I’m not even going for submitting a reconsideration request: all the uni.cc and cz.cc websites are being hidden from Google’s search results, and most likely any reconsideration request is being suppressed, because all these websites are just cz.cc or uni.cc subdomains and the rules not for showing these websites apply to all subdomains, and Google doesn’t seem to open exceptions.

Summing up, what’s the current state then?

  • cz.cc website and subdomains not listed in Google’s search results. None of them. Click for proof.
  • uni.cc website and subdomains not listed in Google’s search results. None of them. Click for proof.

Sure, there are many more free domain and DNS services. We have, for example, the old and very abused co.cc. But… Google is blocking co.cc since long ago (by long I mean, perhaps since the start of July this year). co.cc I perfectly understand because: a) when I used it for the first an last time, it sucked so hard… their website made it look like it all was a scam, not to talk about some of the websites the subdomains pointed to. From phishing websites to all the kinds of online scams and spams, they had of everything bad in great amounts, at that time… “at that time” was like two years ago. Things didn’t get better since that time (instead, the opposite happened), and Google kicked out co.cc of search results because 90% of the subdomains pointed to dangerous and not worthy websites.

Summing up again…

  • cz.cc website and subdomains not listed in Google’s search results. None of them. Click for proof.
  • uni.cc website and subdomains not listed in Google’s search results. None of them. Click for proof.
  • co.cc website and subdomains not listed in Google’s search results. None of them. Click for proof.

By other words, all free domain services are not listed by Google except two… dot.tk and co.nr. Click for proof. If Google lists any more, they don’t have enough PageRank to appear on the first page. So, let’s analyse dot.tk cz.cc and co.nr in greater detail…


I used them with the first websites I created. My experience with them was great until to turned horrible the day one of my domains got lots of hits – turns out Google had just indexed it, and as I offered unlimited cloud space on a online desktop powered by eyeOS, lots of people visited the website. The day that could be a change in the way of my webservice and of my online reputation (not that I spend all my life thinking about online reputation, but whatever) turned out to be the day dot.tk pointed the domain goonawebtop.tk to SedoParking (yep, that horrible website where dead domains are parked to). Following goonawebtop.tk, all my dot.tk domains were pointed to SedoParking in a few hours.

Although the domains were pointed to SedoParking, they were listed on my dot.tk account as being pointed to the correct IP. I’m sure I followed dot.tk TOS/AUP. I tried deleting my domains to add them again, but when I tried to add them, they weren’t available anymore.

Other people have reported this behavior on high-traffic domains by dot.tk.

Conclusion: dot.tk points domains with a great amount of traffic to SedoParking in order to make money out of them, and doesn’t allow people to point them back. cz.cc has also pointed my domains to SedoParking-like websites for multiple times, although the IP in the A record was explicitly changed and I could change it back (and the admin of .cz.cc also promised me multiple times it wouldn’t happen again).

I’m not going for dot.tk after my first experience with them. And personal experiences apart, I’m not going for a domain service that drives traffic away from my website once I get many visitors. Would you? If yes, sure, go with them, you might be lucky and they might not point your domain anywhere (like what happened with freevps.tk). But if they do… don’t say you were not warned.


I started using them when dot.tk failed. They have even more features than dot.tk, and they also have a way to pay for premium accounts and additions to domains internally, paying with “My Balance”. People could earn balance without spending money by doing paid2surf on cz.cc websites. I made more than “$30″ (with quotes) using this method, and bought myself a cz.cc VIP account.

cz.cc was great for some time, like four or five months, but after that, Google started marking all the subdomains as containing malicious content, without exceptions. Problem was solved some days later, and it was good for a month. But, in mid-June, Google was marking all websites as containing dangerous content – again. And more recently, cz.cc was kicked out of Google search results like what had happened with co.cc before.


I never used them, and I don’t think it’s worth a try now that Google is motivated kicking free subdomains out of search results. I think we only need to wait some time until more spammers/phishers/abusers start using it more, and it will also be kicked out of search results like what happened with co.cc, cz.cc and uni.cc. Note that I don’t think this last one, uni.cc, is very abused, but anyways, Google doesn’t think, it computes. And thinking is completely different from computing.

So what?

Google seem to want us to buy a former TLD (top level domain). The question is, where in Google do I fill a form applying to get a free domain? Yep, because not everybody has the money to pay for a TLD, or sometimes we have the money but no way to get it online. Or else, people younger than 16 or 18 years old are denied from publishing their content on the web on an independent website, on a independent server, using a free domain service.

But are you so sure nothing will save us? [people cry]

Well, there’s the free DNS service by freedns.afraid.org. Yay! But wait, weren’t these blocking Google bots? Yes. In this case, Google doesn’t block them but they block Google. No chance your afraid.org-created subdomains will ever appear on Google except… if you contact the owner of afraid.org, Joshua Anderson, with a working website that isn’t likely to get abused.

I contacted the admin of freedns.afraid.org using the email at the bottom of their page (yep, that one for reporting abuses) asking him if he could move my subdomain 4.l.to to the separate DNS set that allows Google access. After some email exchange, and after I made sure my new URL shortener (which is what is at 4.l.to) wouldn’t get abused and would stay around for some time, and also after explaining I couldn’t pay for a TLD (like I explained to so many people on the web…), I finally got that nice blue “G” near the 4.l.to domain on my list of subdomains!

But, this doesn’t mean you are so lucky. You might not get Google access to your afraid.org subdomains. Anyways, afraid.org still seems better than those abused co.cc and cz.cc.

Summing up for one last time…

  • cz.cc website and subdomains not listed in Google’s search results. None of them. Click for proof.
  • uni.cc website and subdomains not listed in Google’s search results. None of them. Click for proof.
  • co.cc website and subdomains not listed in Google’s search results. None of them. Click for proof.
  • co.nr is listed on Google, but I’m not sure it will be listed for much time until Google decides to kick them out too.
  • dot.tk is listed on Google, but a) I’m not sure for how much time that will remain that way; b) I have had a bad experience with them and c) they point some of the high-traffic domains to pages with sponsored links in order to make money from the visitors you gathered – not nice.
  • freedns.afraid.org is free, stable and has not much abusers (if any), but they block Google access and you must ask the admin personally to let Google go your website’s way.

I hope you have liked this giant blog post! Hopefully it will be of some use to those looking for free domain services. Now the only problem will be getting people to this blog post, because this website is (like all the other .cz.cc websites) kicked out of Google’s search results. (Editor’s note: not anymore since I got myself a .com domain)

Google marked this site as malware – Chapter 2

Nowadays, people who visit my (this) website will find that it is being marked as malware by no feasible reason, again – see the first chapter here.

I repeat, this website has no malware or other harmful content. Feel free to scan it as you can, with all the bots you can, I can even give you a read-only SFTP account for you to see there’s no malware in here. Only Ubuntu Server with Apache, PHP, MySQL, with this blog running on WordPress and some free (as in speech and as in beer) licensed fonts in Rockbox format for download.

I have just request Google another site review. This time, instead of writing a long letter explaining everything on the comments box, I sum up everything on a single sentence with the most important data in capital letters (not that I like using capital letters all the time, but having to way to format, I had to do it this way):

It’s the second time Google marks my website as malware, although I HAVE NO MALWARE ON THE SITE AND THERE NEVER HAVE BEEN any malware or harmful content there. Please make sure this DOESN’T HAPPEN AGAIN or I’ll start to think that there are enough reasons to blame Google with its malware advisor tools that mark a site as malware just because it uses a .CZ.CC DOMAIN!

Yes, because I still believe these malware traces Google bots find are due to malware found on other .cz.cc sites and servers. Please, but please, don’t make me switch to a uni.cc domain. I have no money to pay for a formal top level domain name (.com, .net, .org, etc.), even more if the site in quesion is this personal blog which has no (z-e-r-o) revenue.

Here’s a proof screenshot of Google’s classification of my site and review request:

[Image not available anymore due to data loss, when forcibly changing servers on 1st December 2011]

And the confirmation from Google:

[Image not available anymore due to data loss, when forcibly changing servers on 1st December 2011]

What do you think? Has this ever happened to you? Do you know of a solution, or at least something that can minimize the problem? Have your say on the comments!

EDIT (right after posting): Google also marked another site I have on another server as malware. This one is also a .cz.cc domain, s.cz.cc. I’ts my new URL shortener. I have a message for Google (and a rhetoric question):

Google, STOP! You are killing lots of .CZ.CC websites, many of them have NO malware! This is censuring inoffensive parts of the web! Or… is that your goal?

EDIT 17/6/2011: I’m not the only one suffering from this issue. Lots of people are too. Acoording to stats, this blog post is getting lots of hits from people searching for “cz cc malware”, “cz cc malware banned” and similar. There are people on “Google Help Center” forums complaining about this. How many hours, days, weeks, will it take for the issue to be solved?

EDIT 2 17/6/2011: Good news, at least for this domain, as “said” by Google Webmaster tools on this website:

[Image not available anymore due to data loss, when forcibly changing servers on 1st December 2011]

“A review for this site has finished. The site was found clean. The badware warnings from web search are being removed.” 🙂

Google marked this site as malware!

Following the problems I had with the domain “company” nic.cz.cc, which consisted of having this domain pointed to a site similar to SedoParking for several days (3 or 4, OK, perhaps not several), without my consent, Google decided to mark this site as malware.

Not that this server has malware: after this, I’m even inclined to show the tree of directories of all things under /var/www on this server just to show the world there’s nothing illegal or dangerous in it.  The problem is that the server nic.cz.cc (or whoever has control over the .cz.cc domains) decided to point this domain to had malware. Because I’m very lucky (ironic, obviously), Googlebot happened to look to the domain right when it was pointed to a malware site. And now, the site is marked as malware! Damn!

I’m not very angry with Google, but with nic.cz.cc. I have G. Webmasters Tools enabled for this website, and I already sent Google a request for revision of this site, along with a huge comment on the filed reserved for it. Let’s just see if they take a look at it – I can imagine the thousands of revision requests they have to handle every day.

I wonder, will the domain gbl08ma.cz.cc ever get out of all blacklists, or should I just send .cz.cc to the waste (which is where they are already, anyways) and use gbl08ma.uni.cc as the main domain?

I need some comments to make me happy… and make sure they are not against StopBadware’s recommendations! Google’s watching us… well, I think it needs glasses. But that’s another story.

EDIT 21/05/2011: The problem seems solved now… please help me confirm.

EDIT: The story continues…