Google Wants to Be the Next God of the Universe

Posted by Nessa | Posted in uncategorized | Posted on 02-12-2007

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I thought this was too shocking to be true but the other system admins confirmed it – Google officially wants to be the next god of the universe. The datacenter that houses over a hundred of our servers also caters to some of Google’s servers, and apparently Google also owns part of the building or something like that. They decided that they don’t have enough power for their servers, so they are actually demanding that the entire datacenter be stripped of all power for about two hours while they install more power lines. No, not more power for the datacenter – but just for their little cage. So basically, all hundred or so of our servers housing thousands of sites (as well as the other hundreds of servers belonging to other occupants of the datacenter) are going to be powered down for two hours so Google can expand their empire and eventually take over the world. I hope Google is happy with the fact that we’re all going to lose customers and reputation over this, so happy that they all get gonorrhea and die.

Also, mozzy on over here and take a look at the mildly humorous pictures.

Sploggers Don’t Deserve to Get Laid

Posted by Nessa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 15-11-2007

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Have you ever read an article somewhere and realized that it looks too familiar?  That’s because you probably wrote it a year or so ago, or read it on someone else’s blog.  “Splogs” are usually fake (and some legitimate sites) blogs that harvest your blog’s content via script, then mirror it on their own sites in order to boost pagerank and ad revenue.

Honestly I was unfamiliar with this term until a few months ago when I started getting emails about my posts ending up in various places on the Internet.  Some people were accusing me of stealing, others were just looking out for a fellow blogger and letting me know that my boobs weren’t the only thing going around the web.  I think the act of someone’s website being duplicated around the Internet is like web herpes — it spreads around and you can find it all you want, but there’s no stopping it.

When it comes time that you find one of your posts lingering on an unfamiliar website, don’t just ignore it!  My first brush with splogging was back in April when a ton of my tutorials ended up on some web development site — no credentials, links, or anything.  When I tried to contact the author I pleasantly found out that the blog contained no contact information or even so much as a contact form or ‘about’ page.  So, I did a whois to find out who the guy was and he obviously denied stealing the content stating that he runs a feed site that wasn’t crediting articles properly.  A load of bullshit, but it brought up a good point.

So what can you do?

If you notice that some lowlife is stealing your posts, the first thing you should do is call them out on it.  I’ve gotten more in the habit of leaving comments on the blogs with a link back to my article, and by the time the site owner is able to remove it, the credibility of their site is already ruined.  If you’re not the blatant confrontational type and the idea of content stealing doesn’t horribly disgust you, try contacting the splogger privately. While most blogs will have some kind of contact page or obvious way to get ahold of whoever owns the site, splogs usually do not.  This is because splogs are usually not maintained by actual people, but rather scripts that spider around the internet and collect content.  If that is the case, you can try to contact them in other ways, or get the site shut down:

  • If the blog is hosted with a blog service like Blogger or WordPress.com, you can flag or report the blog as spam or questionable.  Most services will immediately remove splogs
  • You can do a whois on the domain name, which may contain the splog’s owner and contact information.   Since most registrars provide domain privacy and domain owners can easily fake information, the information you get may not be reliable.
  • Find out who hosts the site, and email their abuse or legal department.  You can find out who hosts almost any site by going to whoishostingthis.com .
  • If all else fails, run a whois on the IP address of the site, which will usually give you the collocation provider who owns the IP space so you can complain to them

Most all hosting providers (usually hosts in the U.S.)  have strict policies against copyrights and plagiarism, so don’t be worried that your complaint will not be taken seriously.  Since splogs are also considered as spam, most hosts will be happy to get rid of them as they are just a waste of space and bandwidth.

Which Programming Language is For You?

Posted by Nessa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 30-10-2007

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Working with a webhosting company I get asked all the time — which programming language is better? It’s obvious that I’m more bias towards PHP, but there are other great languages out there that may be more suitable for certain people creating certain sites. I’ve decided to write a nutshell comparison on the most common languages, so you can decide for yourself.

PHP

My preferred language, PHP, is the most popular and widely-used dynamic programming language on the Internet. As a result, it’s increasingly become easy to learn (I have 4 brain cells and even I could do it) and can be run on virtually any operating system. It’s popularity has resulted in the availability of thundreds of contributions, modules, and addons for PHP to increase its functionality and integration with other software. It’s also free to download and easy to install (for most people), and is the most common in CMS’s and prebundled website software.

The major downside to PHP is that it’s so popular that security holes are being found all the time. Its very nature requires some configuration changes and restrictions in order to boost security.

Perl

Perl is one of the oldest and most successful languages to date. With thousands of modules that can be added, it can pretty much do anything. While it’s currently not as popular as PHP, it’s more efficient for server management in its double use as a shell scripting language. It’s also open-source and compatible for most all OS’s. The only real downside is that it’s not as quick and easy to learn, and even the simplest tasks can take more programming and lines of code to accomplish. Also, the camel logo is fugly.

ASP/VBScript

I’ll try to be nice about this one. Really, I’m not an ASP fan mainly because it’s proprietary to Windows and IIS. That being said, I’m sure you can figure how secure and reliable it is. It’s not as actively maintained by its developers (Microsoft) so major bugs have been known to linger for months — unacceptable for busy webmasters trying to manage professional websites. While ASP, .net, and VBScript (aka the ASP family) are all “free”, if you want any of the fancy addons or modules for them you’ll be owing Microsoft a nice little licensing fee. On a positive note, Chilisoft has made is possible to port ASP over to Linux, so it’s no longer 100% platform dependent.

JSP

Java Server Pages (developed by Sun) is more similar to the ASP framework, but targeted towards Java fanatics. Out of all the programming languages I’ve studied in school, JSP is probably my least favorite. Not only is it hard to learn, but there’s no such thing as simplicity with it. However, it’s very powerful software and is platform-independent, as long as you have a Java Environment for it to run in. Tomcat (an Apache Project) is the most common servlet container for JSP. But, Java takes up a lot of memory and JSP servers are very difficult to maintain and administer for non-experts.

Ruby

Ruby is one of the newer programming language to hit the web developer market, and it’s actually quite close in concept to PHP except that it’s 100% object-oriented, and very clean because you don’t need as much punctuation. It’s also very beginner-friendly, and is growing in popularity. The main disadvantage to Ruby is that it’s difficult to troubleshoot runtime errors because its reluctance to declare variables before their use. And being that it’s a newer language, there are definitely less resources available and not as many applications currently employing Ruby as a framework. However, it is cross-platform compatible, easy to install, and even easier to learn.

Python

I really don’t know a whole lot about Python other than that expert programmers claim that it’s such a strong language. I personally think it’s crap…my one shot at Python and I find out that it’s very whitespace/tab sensitive, so one extra space can ruin your program. Coming from PHP I don’t find that very appealing…I personally think it’s a mistake, and that its developers just call it a ‘programming guideline’ since they can’t figure out how to fix it. Really, there’s no huge benefit in using Python other than for your Google sitemaps, so all I’m going to say is steer clear.

HTML

I put this at the bottom of the list because I don’t really consider it a programming language, but it is the more predominate and widely used language that all the others revolve around. I do think it’s important that every programmer become an expert in HTML before going dynamic with their coding. While other languages rely on HTML for output, it’s very common for sites to be purely HTML and nothing else. However, HTML is a static language with no dynamic capabilities in itself whatsoever, so it’s somewhat boring on its own

Client-side

In a category all its own, there are several client-side languages that augment the others. Client side languages no require any server-side software to be installed, just a browser capable of interpreting them. CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is a language primarily used in formatting and creating a uniform and repetitive style for use across multiple pages. JavaScript is a mini-java language used to create mild effects for a website, like popup windows and form validation. I also consider it to be very insecure, so it should be used sparingly. AJAX is a newer JavaScript framework that is more appealing to the eye and lets you create those special effects that you see on many web 2.0 sites…things like refresh-less page loading.

Domain Names that Make you Giggle

Posted by Nessa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 19-05-2007

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It’s been almost a year since I stumbled upon this article that outlines the top 10 URL flops on the internet.  If you haven’t been there, check it out dammit.