Keeping your wireless network unsecured can save you from a pirating lawsuit

The RIAA just lost a lawsuit recently against a woman for pirating music. They lost on the premise that she uses a wireless network at home the she never bothered to secure. Therefore, anyone could have gotten onto her network and shared pirated music through her IP address making it hard to prove that she was the one committing the felony.

Crawled by Google fastest with an old domain name

Test:

I did a comparison a month ago between starting a new site using a newly registered domain name and using a domain registered two years ago but never had content except for a Godaddy default parked domain page. All pages and content were the same across both sites. They were both submitted to Google in the same manner. The only difference was the domain names of the two sites.

Result:

The site using the pre-existing domain name got indexed after one month while the site using the newly registered domain is still not indexed by Google.

Explanation:

It could be that the default Godaddy page was indexed by Google therefore their crawlers are already scheduled to crawl the existing domain while the newly registered domain just get placed into a queue when it was submitted to Google. At any rate, if you are thinking about starting a new website, it would be worth your while to look through any of the existing domains you have registered before going to a registrar to get a new domain name.

Fatal error: Cannot use string offset as an array in …

PHP5 Error message that is caused by attempting to assign a value to an array element of a variable that is declared as a string.

Example that generates error:
$foo=’bar’;
$foo[0]=’bar’;
Get error message Fatal error: Cannot use string offset as an array in …

Explanation
$foo was declared as a string in $foo=’bar’.
$foo[0] is trying to append an element onto a string variable.

Example that does not generate error:
$foo[0]=’bar’;
$foo=’bar’;
Does NOT generate error.

Explanation
$foo[0]=’bar’ instantiates variable $foo as array since it has not been instantiated. Then assigns ‘bar’ to element $foo[0].
$foo=’bar’ implicitly re-declares $foo as a string and assigns ‘bar’ to it.

Example that does not generate error:
$foo=’bar’;
$foo=array();
$foo[0]=’bar’;

Explanation
$foo=’bar’ implicitly declares $foo as a string variable then assigns ‘bar’ as the value.
$foo=array() explicitly re-declares $foo as an array.
$foo[0]=’bar’ can now be executed as $foo is declared as an array.

Let me know if this helped you or if I am not clear on anything. Thanks.

Using shared hosting for email

Shared hosting has always been a popular choice for hosting a small website with POP email service. It is inexpensive and will usually provide everything you will need. However, one of my clients encountered some problems with their email shared hosting. The issue is with the proliferation of spam, ISPs are banning emails sent from known offenders based on their IP addresses. Since you are sharing a server with many other users, if they spam but your ISP does not catch on, the IP address used will be banned by other ISPs. This would render your email server ineffective as some emails will be filtered out as spam by other ISPs even though they are legitimate emails.

Therefore, it is very important to choose your ISP wisely. A good ISP should be on top of monitoring spam and resolve the problem quickly if they are on the blacklist.

Win an Ebay Auction: Get Paid

Millions of people have shopped Ebay in the past. In most cases, winning an auction on Ebay means shelling out some dough. Wouldn’t it be nice if you get paid for winning an auction instead?

The founder of Ebay is involved in launching a new website called Prosper.com. It is a person to person lending and borrowing service. In this case the seller would be the borrower who places an amount and the interest rate he is willing to pay. The bidders are the lenders who would bid on any portion of the loan with the interest rate they are willing to accept. Once the auction is closed, the lenders offering the lowest interest rates win. Prosper.com then handles all the monthly payment and collection services.

Here comes all the money under the mattresses. Watch out, Citibank and Chase!

Sun Microsystems

There has been talk lately that Sun Microsystems might begin to see the light at the end of it’s 4 year tunnel. It is hard to fathom how their market share could increase while other less expensive server hardware and software are out there. Is Solaris that much better than a Linux server on an AMD 64 chip? It remains to be seen.

WordPress trackback

What is trackback?

Trackback is a ping to a server notifying the author of a blog that you have written something that might be of interest. It allows you to comment on someone else’s blog post by posting to your own blog. The trackback mechanism will create a link back to your post on the other author’s blog post. It is a great method for open commenting across blogs.

How to trackback?

When you find a post on the web that you would like to comment on and link to from your blog, find the trackback URL. In your WordPress admin area, create a new post. Link to the URL of the post from within the text of your post. In the field that reads ” TrackBack a URI: (Separate multiple URIs with spaces.)”, type in the trackback URL to the post you are commenting.

NOTE: URL to the post and trackback URL are usually different. URL to the post if typed into a browser will bring up a page with the blog post. Trackback URL is only used for pinging a server. In WordPress, the default setup would generate trackback URLs as the http://www.domain.com/some_post/trackback/.

Phishing attacks on Yahoo Messenger

Hackers have used phishing techniques via email to obtain personal information from their victims. A new form of phishing attack surfaced. Attackers now use Instant Messaging (IM) to gain access to your personal information. This new attack on Yahoo IM delivers an IM message to the user that appears to be coming from someone they know. The message contains a link to a site that looks like Yahoo which requests the user to login. Once the user logs in, the login name and password are captured allowing the hacker to gain access to the user’s account.

This was written up in March 2005 by CNET and I just received one of these phishing messages recently.
Phishing Yahoo Messenger

Different ways to sell online

There are different methods of selling online and each comes with different levels of complexity. In general, the more control you want over your internet store front, the more complicated it would become. The most popular ways to sell online are the following; Ebay, Amazon, or your own site.

The simplest is using Ebay which is an auction site. All you need is an account with them then start posting auction listings. Ebay will charge you different fees for different features like photos on the listing, highlights, etc. They do have very good instructions on how to create your auction items.

You can also use Amazon to create your store front called the Z-store. Z-store more like a retail store where you set prices to your items and people browse and purchase your items. They will handle all the transactions and credit card processing for you. They charge a fairly high percentage per transaction for their services.

The most robust way to sell online is having your own site. However, this is the most complicated. But, it will give you control over your customer experience, look and feel, and integration of your customer data with other
systems. This method of selling online will require a merchant account and web hosting. Usually, the monthly cost for having your own site is around $60 consisting of web hosting, gateway cost, and merchant account. Then all you pay per transaction is around 2.3% to Visa and MasterCard, 3.5% to American Express, etc.

The best way to determine which method best suits your business is to determine what your needs are for your online store.