New Virtual Private Server

I was having certain problems with the VPS luis123456 gave me… and after some personal conflicts with him related to the VPS he gave me (not this one, the other from Hostrail (HR)), I decided to swap it by a different one distributed by freevps.us. This decision was higly promoted by the fact that the other VPS got reloaded again yesterday.

The other, HostRail VPS I’m talking about was the one that hosted s.cz.cc and idoupload.cz.cc, so these services will be unavailable for a while (editor’s note: they won’t be available, for ever). As I got a up-to-date backup of the HR VPS, it will be easier to bring everything back to life.

Specifications for this new VPS:

  • 512MB RAM (1GB Burst/Swap) (higher than the HR one, which was 256MB guaranteed/512MB swap)
  • 20GB disk space (lower than the previous one, which was 30GB)
  • 1TB of Bandwidth (1000GB and not 1024, not that makes much difference), which is much more than the HR one, with just 300GB of BW.
  • SolusVM control panel (the same as the VPs that is hosting this website)
  • Provided by 123systems.net and located in Dallas, TX, USA – So, now I have a UK European VPS and another one located in USA.

I must thank 123systems.net for providing this VPS to freevps.us. In fact, a VPS with half of this specs costs $3.00/month according to their website, so my VPS is worth $6.00/month or more.

Hopefully, soon I’ll have s.cz.cc (URL shortener) and idoupload.cz.cc (image hosting) back to life soon (Editor’s note: not anymore), on another and hopefully more reliable server. Not that Hostrail is bad: it’s just that my VPs was inside luis123456′s VPS, and he rebuilt and shutdown my VPS as he wanted. Now things will be different, I hope.

Websites asking for full name, web security experts say don’t

Some time ago, I wrote on my other blog, written in Portuguese, that Facebook was wanting all users to provide their full name as the profile name – a position understandable in certain ways, but these people that keep on telling us the risks of the Internet tell us “don’t. providing your full name on the web is dangerous”. So, what should we do? Stop participating on the Internet’s biggest social network (as of 22/06/2011 DD/MM/YYYY), which by the way, I don’t like (hate), but it’s where all our “friends” and family are “connected”. Stop participating on many other websites of interest? Bah… better provide your full name and sacrifice the “security” the “web experts” say you have by not providing it.

(Noticed the quotes on the word “connected”?)

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

Oh, and by the way, that thing of  ”Alternate name” doesn’t allow me to put gbl08ma, it says it contains invalid characters (!).

Apart from Facebook, the web’s (and real life)  giant Google now also wants us to provide our full name on their mini-social-network +1, where you can recommend pages to other users. When I tried to provide my webname “gbl08ma” as my profile public name, that will be visible to everyone, see below:

 

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

Independently from being dangerous or not, providing our full name is not always necessary, so why should we? If we don’t, however, we aren’t exactly following the terms of Facebook, Google’s +1, and all those sites on the Internet (it’s not only Google and Facebook; I’m presenting those as an example because there are some of the biggest websites) that ask for your full name to be publicly visible – one thing is when your data is not going to be visible to nobody other than the site’s administrators and people of the same or more permissions as the admins, other is when it is asked to be part of your public profile that’s visible to everybody.

At least, on twitter I’m still able to put gbl08ma or just Gabriel as my screen name 🙂

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.” 🙂

Produce, produce, produce!

One of the important things I’m confirming with this blog is that the more content you produce, and the more variated that content is, and the more variated that content is, the most visits you get. Seems obvious, but yeah, like you’re saying, I’m retarded so this is news for me.

Furthermore, this website is not Search Engine Optimized and I only have 12 blog posts (13 with this one), but yet I get around 12 visits per day.

Now it seems the way is to continue writing great and relevant posts and I’ll see the stats growing 🙂

Right-click blocking

I was reading this thread on the FreeVPS forum and replied with my opinion about the websites that use the kind of scripts presented in that thread. For those who don’t bother about checking the thread, it is about a script (copied&pasted from some javascripts site) that warns people when they first right-click on the website the script is put on, and when people right-click again they will get hung.

I can’t tell you how much I hate the websites that use that kind of scripts. Most of the time I’m right-clicking to open a link in a new tab or to see the correction suggestions for an error on the text I’m writing at the page. When the right-click is simply disabled and doesn’t appear, it’s boring but not very bad when compared to those pages where you click and it tells you not to click… or better yet, not to copy and plagiarize content when all I’m trying to do is opening a link in another tab.

Worse: sometimes these scripts will just render the page black even if you just accidentally clicked the right button for the second or third time. I never come back to these sites, most of the times I quit once I see a stupid message saying I can’t right-click, even if the content is right what I’m looking for.

This is just a very small part of the websites I hate… others include the traditional websites with popups and lots of ads, the websites that will send a lot of javascript window.alert() when you try to go away from the page, those that no matter how much times you click on the Back button, they won’t you exit out to where you came from (e.g. Google search results). I’ll write about these later.

To finish, I’d like to present you with a new funny right I just remembered of:

Right-clicking webpages is a right of any website visitor, not respecting this right will get your website banned from your website visitor’s “Websites to visit” list and added to the “Websites to hate and stay away” list. 🙂

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…

The categories of free web hosting – revised edition

Inspired by a post of mine on freevps.us forum and the various posts that followed it. This blog post can be seen as an improvement over the previous post, and I hope it is less controversial than the first one! (more details on this soon)

Seriously, all the free shared and reseller hosting sucks. After careful thought about this subject of free web hosting, and after careful evaluation of my uncountable experiences with free web hosts in the past, I think we (yes, “we”, because this revised edition can be seen as a collaborative work) have got to the best free web hosting definition categories list ever made by us.

Almost all, if not all, free web hosts that are either more than three months old, or have already closed, can be classified into one of the following categories.

A – The host is good, gives you lots of things you wouldn’t get on many paid hosts: good CPanel, good support, fast speeds, support for lots of technologies (PHP, Perl, Ruby on Rails, etc. etc.), automated installers and all the state-of-the-art things. Now you’re thinking, it seems th best free hosting in the world? The answer is no, and here’s why: you start creating a website on that host and you’re successful with it, you get lots of visits, and you’re happy. But… some day, the host reduces the free plans, goes slow like hell, or worse, all the plans become paid and you must pay, or even worse, the host goes offline forever along with your site – and nobody explains you why!

B – The webhosting sucks completely from the first look: often their website makes it look like it’s a scam, and in fact it is. Slow speeds, overloaded servers, stupid FTP that doesn’t let you upload more than 1 file at once nor files bigger than few MBs, old PHP version with safe_mode on (that is, if you’re lucky enough to have PHP)… do I need to say anything else about this type of web hosts? The incredible is, that these hosts get lots and lots of new users every day, and most of them don’t seem to complain – either because they have never tried a real web hosting before, or because they think that they can’t get best for free.

C – The host offers you a limited plan (like 500MB HD space, 10GB bandwidth) usually as a complement to paid hosting plans and sometimes requires a linkback or some kind of advert on the site that must be put manually by you (under threat of loosing the hosting). These hosts tend to last a while because there are very few user sign ups and the amount of resources used is very little. There is still the chance that they stop free hosting or that they close their doors forever though. Thanks to user f8ll on FreeVPS forums for the idea of this category.

D – The DIY home-made free hosting: slow servers, usually hosted on a free domain like .tk or .cz.cc, or even, the afraid.org domains. Usually all they have as home page is a poorly managed THT (for those that don’t know, THT is an open source software to manage hosting clients), with few and poor plans available, that can range from things with 50MB space to 5GB (where these 5GB are often oversold). Usually, but not necessarily, these hosts are run by kids in the age of 12~16 years that don’t know what they are doing (but they think they made everything appear like so). I’m talking a bit against myself, as I’m 14 but at least I don’t run a free host (although I know who does).

E – The free web hosting that is run by the typical liar, often a teenager that lives in Philippines. More details follow: The free host looks nice, the staff (or at least a big part of it) know what they are doing, the plans look great and, although most of the times space and bandwidth are oversold, the promises are accomplished. Even the website of the host is on a .info domain. Also, the owner of the host tend to start a relationship with you through instant messaging services like MSN or Skype, if and when he discovers that you’re a teenager like him. There’s however a big problem in all this “hosting paradise”: money, money, money… where? Usually the servers for these hosts are obtained by the host owner through affiliate campaigns, where you get a free VPS in exchange for a linkback, or for a limited time (6 months, for example). I think there’s no problem in using these free VPSs to host personal things that you and only you depend of, such as this personal blog. But, installing a web hosting “company” in these servers is not a good idea, because if the VPS is shutdown (something very common as it is given for free), the hosting “company” disappears along with the users’ sites. Worse, usually the owners of these hosts go opening another host on another server, on a forum with new staff, scam another lots of users and make a bit of money out of advertising, then after a period of time their close again without giving explanations to the users. Over, and over, and over, again.

I have the MSN contact of one of those liars that own a type E host. If you’re really, but really interested in getting it, contact me personally and I’ll give it to you.

In my opinion, the types A and E are the worse: they make you create a good website, then after some months disappear leaving you without website and your visitors (or users) disappointed (or really mad). Also, in case of type E hosts, you may get nervous because you talked for months with a liar, through MSN, where he promised you that your sites would be secured forever and hosted for free with him. Then one day you realize at once that all was a lie.

About the type of hosts that annoys me the most, is also the type E, specially when the owner of the host promises you so many times that your sites are “safe” hosted with their “company” that you believe, then you get in a small depression mood when your sites go offline.

I have tried for sure more than 100 free web hosts, and on more than 15 of them I established successful sites and, in some of the cases, even a “relationship” with the owner of the host (which, I discovered later when I lost the hosting, was another liar). I can classify them all into one of these categories. The B type of free hosts is the most common, and they are also the ones which are online for more time (but that doesn’t mean good server uptime).

I’m looking forward to your suggestions of more types of web hosts.

It were the problems with hosts of type A, D and E that made me loose the interest in web development, web hosting world and free VPS world, at least for now. I prefer to work with more conscious (and mature) communities of other things that interest me more. By other words, I’m tired of hosting freebies and its “world”, and I think it all sucks and could all go to hell, except FreeVPS and maybe (I’m still yet to know) HostingMotive (I do have my bets about this one, but I don’t want to share them now).

And this is the end of a post with 1273 words, which certainly won’t tell nice things for certain people, but I hope that provides a useful lecture to others on how to not trust certain people.

The two categories of free web hosting

As seen on a post of mine on freevps.us forum. Edited to join various posts in a coherent blog post.

Seriously, all the free shared and reseller hosting sucks. For every free hosting, there are two categories, A and B:

A – the host is good, gives you lots of things you wouldn’t get on many paid hosts: good CPanel, good support, fast speeds, support for lots of technologies (PHP, Perl, Ruby on Rails, etc. etc.), automated installers and all the state-of-the-art things. You start creating a website and you’re successful with it, you get lots of visits, and you’re happy. But… some day, the host reduces the free plans, goes slow like hell, or worse, all the plans become paid and you must pay, or even worse, the host goes offline forever along with your site – and nobody explains you why!

B – The webhosting sucks completely from the first look: often their website makes it look like it’s a scam, and in fact it is. Slow speeds, overloaded servers, stupid FTP that doesn’t let you upload more than 1 file at once nor files bigger than few MBs, old PHP version with safe_mode on (that is, if you’re lucky enough to have PHP)… do I need to say anything else about this type of web hosts?

In my opinion, the type A is the worse: they make you create a good website, then after some months disappear leaving you without website and your visitors (or users) disappointed (or really mad).

I have tried for sure more than 50 free web hosts, and I can classify them all into one of these categories. The B type of free hosts is the most common, and they are also the ones which are online for more time (but that doesn’t mean good server uptime).

For a better classification of hosts in these two categories, the only hosts that can be classified as A or B must either have already died or have been around for more than two years. That means, for example, that you can’t use the A-B difference meter to classify HostingMotive, as it has been just created.

Soon, I’ll post a new classification scale that will also be able to classify free web hosts that have not already died and are not more than two years old, like recently created hosts and hosting project ideas (yes, because we can also classify the ideas). Stay tuned!