What’s A Faster Way To Get A Virus Than Browsing Porn? That’s Right: The New Facebook

Quit staring, it is just a thumb.
Quit staring, it’s just a thumb.

Facebook has never been known for it’s safety. It is a site designed so that the least Internet savvy people out there can sign up and network with millions of other people, both those they know and those they don’t, with only a minimal amount of technical know-how required (ie. how to sign up, and how to browse). It is a giant playground filled with games and people to talk to from all over the world, luring in droves of people who, when they come, know nothing about “scareware”, or “phishing scams”, or even how to clean a virus from their machine if they get one. Sure, they’ve been told that if they visit porn sites they could very well get a virus, but hey, this is Facebook, everyone is on Facebook… it must be safe. The result is a gigantic community of

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As It Turns Out, WordPress Itself Is Not 100% GPL Compliant After All (And They Violate The MIT License As Well)

Yesterday I stumbled upon a rather interesting tidbit of information. I opened Twitter in the middle of a conversation between between Chip Bennett and Ben Cook, and I saw this tweet:

 

@chip_bennett @mattonomics that thread is everything wrong with the WordPress project wrapped up nicely in one ignorant package. - @Skitzzo

 

Curiosity piqued, I dug back through the tweets until I found a link to the thread Ben was referring to. It turns out that it is

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How Matt Cutts Leveraged The Stack Overflow And Hacker News Communities In Redefining The Phrase “Content Farms”

A little over a week ago, on the Friday before last, Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s Web Spam Team, wrote a post on the Official Google Blog titled “Google search and search engine spam”. This post, and the upcoming changes it discussed, were most likely in response to a growing trend of dissatisfaction with Google’s results that have been cropping up around the blogosphere. In the post Matt talks about how Google feels that things are in fact not as bad as people are saying, and that “Google’s search quality is better than it has ever been in terms of relevance, freshness and comprehensiveness.” He does say that recently, due to increase in both “size and freshness” that of course some spam did get indexed, and also states that as the old, tired, run of the mill spam decreased in Google’s index that Google will now be shifting it’s focus on to content that just sucks:

As “pure webspam” has decreased over time, attention has shifted instead to “content farms,” which are sites with shallow or low-quality content. – Matt Cutts

Whoa. This, especially coming from Matt Cutts, is huge. For those who don’t know, “content farms” are

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Matt Cutts Criticizes Deceptive Ads, Doesn’t Realize Google Is The One Serving Them

Yesterday over on Daggle.com Danny Sullivan published a post titled, Of Misleading Acai Berry Ads & Fake Editorial Sites. In the article Danny discuses a rising trend of deceptive marketing practices involving fake news sites, the way they rip people off with products they are selling, and the fact that authority sites such as the LA Times are the ones carrying these ads, lending them some credibility in the public eye. Danny states in the post that the ads showing are being served by Zedo, and that he wishes the ad network should raise it’s standards and not allow such blatantly misleading advertising:

Personally, I’d like to see Zedo up its standards for the type of ads it will accept. This type of junk shouldn’t be allowed. – Danny Sullivan

He’s right, too, the ad networks should be policing this type of deception, by all means. Matt Cutts, Google’s head of the web spam team, agrees. He tweeted about the story, and also

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Google Censors Torrent Sites – Except For The Pirate Bay

Yesterday Search Engine Land reported about Google removing piracy-related terms from it’s Instant Search, which includes the word torrents, names of torrent sites, names of torrent clients, and other file sharing sites such as RapidShare and Megaupload. This does raise some concerns, seeing as how, as SELand’s Matt McGee mentions, torrents and file sharing sites in and of themselves are not inherently illegal. Of course, neither is porn, but Google seems to have seen fit to remove that genre from it’s Instant Search as well.

Does this mean that Google really hates torrent sites? Well, not all of them, apparently. The Pirate Bay, world’s largest bittorrent tracker,

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Evolution of a Book Meme

Books!Today I was tagged 3 different times in a Facebook meme targeted to “nerds”. The premise is that there is a list of 100 books, and “The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books listed here.”

Apparently, I really am a nerd. I know how these things go, and was fairly certain that this would turn out to not be the original list. For one thing, it included series of books and counted them as a single book, and then overlapped them with individual books in the series (ie. the list included both The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe individually as well as The Chronicles of Narnia), and there appeared to be no common theme whatsoever in the list (classics mixed with pop culture mixed with some rather obscure titles). Also, it was quite obvious that it wasn’t a list of “must reads”, since

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Hacked on GoDaddy? I’ll Migrate You To Hostgator For Free

Yet again, I am seeing a rising number of sites that are reporting getting hacked at GoDaddy. It is also no surprise to me that people are getting limited responses from them when they try and find out what is going on. The GoDaddy blog mentions nothing recently aside from when they were hacked 2 weeks ago on Halloween (an attack that looks like it stemmed from GoDaddy not acting on a security advisory for 11 days). The thing is, I know from personal experience that they are aware of it, because I have seen cases where they are cleaning clients sites now automatically as a form of damage control, before the clients even know they were hacked, in an attempt to keep the buzz down about it. So they obviously know it is happening yet they are still keeping tight lipped about it, and being reactive instead of proactive, which is of course par for the course when it comes to getting hacked on GoDaddy.

Since this is an established pattern with them as a web host, and even though I still highly recommend them as registrars for domain names,

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I Finally Figured Out Who Jason Calacanis Reminds Me Of

In all of the discussions and posts about Jason Calacanis, whenever and wherever he replied to people calling him on his bullshit, it always had the same tired familiar ring to it. His statements have that tone that all scam artists and con men have utilized throughout the ages, professing their innocence despite the preponderance of evidence against them. Finally it hit me who it is that he sounds like when he is trying to defend his spammy sites…

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