Inherently, Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) is a perfectly good business model; at least it started out that way. Companies such as Amway,  Avon, Pre-Paid Legal, Plexus and others still use it, legitimately and with much success.

Originally, MLM was designed so that companies would have a way to develop a distribution network for their products. When a person joins an MLM company as a distributor, they earn commissions in two ways. The first is by the sale of the actual products. The second income stream results by recruiting additional distributors and then earning a commission on their sales. There is nothing inherently wrong with this business model.

The problem is the original concept of MLM has come under heavy abuse by scam artists. The advent of the Internet has only exacerbated that situation. The abuses fall into two basic categories: pyramid schemes and Ponzi schemes. In both cases the emphasis has gone from the sale of a product to recruitment of additional members. Therein lies both the practical and legal problem.

Pyramid schemes have been around for centuries. Basically, they work like this: you pay into a program that, in theory, sells a particular product. You are also encouraged to recruit other members. In the case of most Internet MLM programs however, you don’t actually sell anything. The money you “invest” goes to the people at the top of the pyramid (the program originators). The people on the lower levels of the pyramid are promised huge profits, but in fact, they get very little or nothing.

Ponzi schemes are similar to pyramid schemes except there is no pretense of having a product to sell. You pay into the program and then recruit additional members to do the same. Chief among these types of scams on the Internet are the so-called “Randomizer” programs. The concept is similar to the old “chain letter” scams where you send $5 to the 5 people at the top of the list,  and then put your name on the bottom. Supposedly, in a few weeks as your name moves up the list, you will receive a small fortune in the U.S. mail. As WC Fields would say, “there’s a sucker born every minute”.

Besides the question of legality (and that is a serious issue), the problem is these programs are created to earn money for those at the top. As an example, let’s assume a pyramid/Ponzi where each person has to bring in 5 new members just to recoup his or her original investment in the program. For instance, if your “entry fee” into the program is $25, a “payback” of $5 for each person you recruit for the program requires 5 additional people for you just to break even.  Sound reasonable?  It isn’t. Let’s look at the reality.

It’s all about simple math and the power of 5 (5x5x5x5…).

The first level doesn’t require anything to recoup the original investment since he/she is the scheme originator. The 5 people in the second level need 25 new members in order for each of them to break even. Those in the third level then need 125 additional people to join the program. Those 125 in the fourth level require 625 new members. The fifth level requires 3,125 new members. Level six needs 15,625 new members. By the time you get to level 7, a total of 78,125 new people need to join in order for the suckers on level 7 to just break even. God help the people in the next level, who need 390,625 new members. Just keep multiplying by 5. Before long, the number of new members required would exceed the population of the planet. These schemes simply, and ALWAYS, implode by the weight of their own membership and the requirement for new “recruits”.

And in case you aren’t aware of it, Pyramid and Ponzi schemes are illegal.

Are all of the MLM-type companies on the Internet scams? No, they aren’t. There are numerous perfectly legitimate affiliate programs that use similar models. Some of these programs do make money for the hard working affiliate and are operated in a professional and ethical way. The operative word is some.

If you are contemplating this route you would be well advised to do your research. Join some of the many Internet Marketing forums and ask other people. Check the scam monitoring sites available on the Internet. If all else fails, ask an attorney.

But as a basic guideline, the formula is simple. If the primary focus of a particular program you are contemplating seems more focused on recruitment than sales (especially when there appears to be no actual product), and the claims of instant riches sound too good to be true, I would suggest you run for the hills. Once the program has reached its point of diminishing returns, the program owner will fold the tent and you will be left holding the (empty) bag. And for these reasons, we prohibit any kind of MLM activity on our network. Buyer beware.

It’s finally out… the demo of Final Fantasy XV, aptly called Episode Duscae. Many have been waiting for the release of this demo, bundled exclusively with Final Fantasy Type-0. While we’ve played EVERY Final Fantasy demo (and game) that’s ever been on the market, we can’t help but notice that the demo of the fifteenth iteration of Square-Enix’s headliner …lacks. We’d really like to focus on what we didn’t like about this game.

1) The music. The music, to us, is disappointing. We’ve attended Distant Worlds and we’ve met Uematsu… Disappointing. Yes, we know that Uematsu is not doing the music officially anymore. But, the branded music that we’ve all come to know, such as the opening theme, the level up/XP screen and the game over screen are now represented with pillowy piano music and zero semblance of their very well known ancestors. We’re reminding ourselves again, this is the demo so maybe it will be different at actual launch (whenever that may be…). As is, no bueno if they’re not going to play the right music — let alone the right THEMED music — for the right scenes to their core fanbase. We don’t care if you make an improv version of the Opening Sequence/Prelude. Just make it the actual Prelude and not fluff.

2) The environment. SquareEnix has had PLENTY of time to get zone creation right. If you’re avid fans of the series like we are, you know about Final Fantasy XIV and 1.0’s copy/paste failure. Lots of us were disappointed to find that we couldn’t go pet the huge thing in the lake because there was an apparent zone line restricting us from going farther. Or the fact that some of these boulders became absurdly similar as we started running around. No real place to hide or climb. Perhaps they will put a jump accessory in the game. And perhaps SquareEnix will actually use the knowledge they’ve learned from FFXII and FFXIV to make a truly open-world, Non-MMO, offline game again. There were some things that we really liked, but this article is about what we didn’t like.

3) The narrative. We felt disconnected with the story they were trying to tell. We’re not all Japanese-esq twinks who have a kingdom to inherit (see the game for reference of Noctis being a prince). At least in the Final Fantasy VIII Demo, there was an apparent story to connect to with a sense of urgency and understanding. We did not feel compelled to go fix a car, instead that very purpose of playing gave me more of a reason to want to go explore.

4) These supposed hints at “something coming soon.” The ending of the demo says so. Please: kill me now. Also, this. Are we supposed to be happy they’re going to put the summons they should put in any Final Fantasy into the game? Are we supposed to be happy they’re going to respect their beginnings of the series? Are we supposed to be happy that it’s apparently a big deal for SquareEnix to do right by the series and provide an experience that satisfies new AND old gamers? No. No, We’re not supposed to be happy because we EXPECT this already — otherwise, it’s not really a Final Fantasy game and only another X-plus-Z:A5C weird numbering story of Final Fantasy that we never wanted to really play.

5) The (seemingly) pointless item collection. We’re sure that picking the items up had something as a reward — and it would be unsurprising if there was not any reward — but the only thing we truly HAD to pick up was the Behemoth Horn. Anything beyond that was, we guess, for Potions and Antidotes to be restocked with.

What we’ve seen with all of the fanfare and social media hype, and based off of our own experience, the demo is truly not that promising. Right now, this is a rental title and not a midnight launch title. But, let’s be fair. It’s just a demo and the main title is only 60% completed. We’ll see…

Noctis_Broods

Heartbleed Bug

Here’s a scenario… you get a notice, you see it on social media or on the news, something else about changing your password. You put it off because it’s not a matter of national security in your life. A few weeks later, something worse happens — a major breach of a financial institution happens, maybe your bank or credit card, or a social network gets breached. Yet again, you don’t get a phone call or you know it doesn’t affect you so you just leave your password the same. You don’t have time to go change and memorize another password. It’s just too much. Then you hear of the worst vulnerability affecting the known Internet. It’s called Heartbleed, aka CVE-2014-0160. That’s a snappy name, you think to yourself. Not a big deal. Now it’s the “most dangerous security flaw on the web,” according to The Verge.

This scenario happens all…The…TIME. Major breach, no one cares. No one really cares until someone in Information Security makes you care. When all of the yelling and screaming at Tier 1 support is over because there’s really no one to blame except some “magic man in a cloud” that pushed a button (or forgot to), no layman really knows what happens next. This time, we have an even greater nightmare. Absolute panic should be occurring online right now, but no one cares. It’s not important because it’s just digital life that depends on it.

Panic, you say? Yes, PANIC for any decent Internet Service provider. The panic is based on the fact that just because you change your password, or get notice to change your password, that it doesn’t mean that the breach is fixed. In this particular incident with Heartbleed, it was only yesterday that SOPHOS updated UTM and SAV for vShield. COMODO, an SSL provider, is just now sending out word. It was two days ago that the media really took wind of it. Looking at this like a virus spreading, we’re still just over 72 hours from Zero Hour on April 7th (considering when it was announced and announcing it being the moment that people both use the vulnerability for good and to respond to the call-to-action). But that news media article or spot only made it worse. Panic. That’s not all even still. Heartbleed was affecting the Internet since December 2011. Even more panic. This makes my head hurt, you think to yourself.

The exact problem here is that while the vulnerability was exposed, only a handful of services and sites had time to respond to the threat. In the time that it takes to respond to a threat such as Heartbleed, a lot of things need to happen. SSL certificates, private keys, internal passwords and security procedures, not to mention the OpenSSL module and Apache, all of which have to be updated. But you got the news yesterday. The amazing power of the Internet told you that there was a problem and you went and updated your password because you were sick and tired of that next Target security breach they were talking about last Christmas. And now, NOW you need to go change your password all over again even after you spent two hours yesterday making sure that everything was “safe,” or so you thought. You give up — and you likely should — because a typed password that a human can use is no longer truly safe.

Passwords hurt my brain, you think. Well, that’s fine. Because this breach is bigger than just your password. It’s your phone, your tablet, your printer, your laptop, your wireless router, your Smart TV, and that Starbucks hotspot. It’s also the fact that when you use OAUTH to sign into Pinterest from your Twitter ID or save your favorite Epicurious recipe by logging into your Facebook account that the session can be hijacked. But you like to stay logged in to your favorite sites for hours on end even though you only stay online for about 20 minutes — tops. It’s just so darn handy to not have to log out. Well, that’s what it’s going to take. You need to log out and wait. BUT I CAN’T BE BOTHERED TO DO THAT… and the cycle continues.

Perhaps it wasn’t clear enough. Nearly everything that you use a password on is affected. Unless it doesn’t connect to the Internet, like your garage door opener from 1981, chances are it’s affected. But we can’t have our customer base freak out! Yep, I’ve heard that one too. So fix OpenSSL and reset their passwords for them. But wait, that’s not a good idea because all of those GMail addresses have the same password or XYZ provider is about 8 days behind Zero Hour and they’re just going to login to a unsecured secure server. Well, we can’t all rely on the media to tell us when to do things. Or maybe that other site I like… NO, because they’re affected too.

So how do you handle Heartbleed if you’re not some Information Security guru? You log out and you wait until EVERY SITE you use has something up about actually changing your password. Your password has been vulnerable for over two years now. That’s not some wise indication to not care and login anyway and people in Information Security would seriously frown on you doing that. Use a sticky note to remind you to go check the support section of your favorite websites to see what they’re saying. Log out. Give the Internet a break for a day or two. Heartbleed and all of the other nasty things that bother the Internet will still be here when you get back. Until then, here’s a list Mashable has put together of sites that are affected.

The PlayStation Vita

The PlayStation Vita

After watching the PlayStation UStream today and in much anticipation of the PlayStation Vita, we were very disappointed to find out that the PS Vita being sold as a console capable of playing PSOne Classics won’t play PSOne Classics on day one. We covered this as a potential leak, but now it’s much more. Now you may disagree with our position, but we’ve got plenty of proof that what the sales ad Amazon displays for the PlayStation Vita is false advertising:

Vita can play PSP titles, minis, PS one classics, video and comics from the PlayStation Store

As I understand it, and I’ve consulted legal aid about this, the Vita should be able to play PSOne Classics as advertised. And as you can correctly assume, we’ve invested quite a bit of money into purchasing Final Fantasy and other Squaresoft / Square Enix PSOne Classics to play. All of them except for Legend of Mana and Chrono Cross.

We decided that this wasn’t fair. And it isn’t fair. You should complain. We did. To the FTC. What did we say to the FTC? Glad you asked.

I purchased the PS Vita First Edition Bundle with the anticipation that the console would be able to use PlayStation One Classics as it is advertised on this link: http://www.amazon.com/PlayStation-Vita-3G-Wi-Fi-Launch-Bundle/dp/B0071NH8B8/

Today Sony announced on their webcast that the PlayStation One Classics feature was “coming soon”. This, as I understand it, is false advertising. As stated on the LA County Department of Consumer Affairs, “If they say it will do it, it should do it. If the advertisement says a product can do something, it must be able to do it. For example, if a manufacturer advertises that their product can cure cancer, then it must be able to cure cancer.” I have made a significant investment into PlayStation One Classics on the PlayStation network that meets or exceeds the amount of money that I am paying for the PlayStation Vita. I feel ripped off as I have traded in my PSPGo to Amazon in the trust that the PSVita would do what it said it would do on Amazon.

Want an FTC Complaint Number to go look up our complaint? Sure. 35014256. Want to make your own FTC Complaint? Go ahead, make our day. And you should too because IT’S FALSE ADVERTISING. Need to see why? Here’s a link to the Los Angeles Department of Consumer Affairs website in which they state:

If they say it will do it, it should do it. If the advertisement says a product can do something, it must be able to do it. For example, if a manufacturer advertises that their product can cure cancer, then it must be able to cure cancer. The next time you’re at the grocery store, look in their vitamins section. Most dietary supplements won’t tell you what the product does unless they can find evidence to support it.

Sure. Get mad at us, call us “Microsoft Fanboys” (that was a really funny tweet, thanks), don’t alter the Amazon site to make our claim even more legitimate. It just sucks that we relied on a retailer and Sony to say one thing and then they promise it as a soon “eventuality”. Yeah. Eventually the Mayan calendar may be right too. Guess we’ll have to wait and see what Amazon and Sony does because they have TWO DAYS to fix this before it turns into a legitimate legal claim.

This is in response to the most insane demonstration of parenting and what could be akin to a parent reading a child’s diary. So we decided to take matters into our own hands. Here’s your meme and the template to make your own “Angry IT Man”.

Angry IT Man Meme Template

Angry IT Man Meme Template

Daughter Doesn't Respect The Rules, Puts Bullets Through Laptop

Daughter Doesn't Respect The Rules, Puts Bullets Through Laptop

Here’s the original video on YouTube. Thank us later or leave a comment!

Google, Yahoo, Facebook and Amazon are considering a day of blackout to protest the “Stop Online Piracy Act” or SOPA. Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian discuss SOPA and what kind of impact this protest would have.

Most people are completely oblivious as to what SOPA is. We hope that a tech blackout DOES occur so you can whine and call and complain that your cat photos aren’t viewable on the Internet. The Young Turks, no affiliation (yet), explain it above pretty well, but we’ve added some additional information below. We’ve given several examples of who is supporting it in past blogs and highly encourage you to go take a look before you logon to the Internet one day and have a stroke because you can’t look at cat photos on Facebook.

More info about it states on this pastebin:

Stop Online Piracy Act(SOPA) is a bill that would create America’s first Internet censorship system. In a nutshell, its similar like the censorship in China, Iran, etc.

Time Magazine’s Graeme McMillan wrote this about it:

SOPA: What if Google, Facebook and Twitter Went Offline in Protest?

Can you imagine a world without Google or Facebook? If plans to protest the potential passing of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) come to fruition, you won’t need to; those sites, along with many other well-known online destinations, will go temporarily offline as a taste of what we could expect from a post-SOPA Internet.

Companies including Google, Facebook, Twitter, PayPal, Yahoo! and Wikipedia are said to be discussing a coordinated blackout of services to demonstrate the potential effect SOPA would have on the Internet, something already being called a “nuclear option” of protesting. The rumors surrounding the potential blackout were only strengthened by Markham Erickson, executive director of trade association NetCoalition, who told FoxNews that “a number of companies have had discussions about [blacking out services]” last week.

According to Erickson, the companies are well aware of how serious an act such a blackout would be:
“This type of thing doesn’t happen because companies typically don’t want to put their users in that position. The difference is that these bills so fundamentally change the way the Internet works. People need to understand the effect this special-interest legislation will have on those who use the Internet.”

The idea of an Internet blackout should seem familiar to anyone who’s been paying attention to the debate so far. In addition to a blackout already carried out by Mozilla, hacking group Anonymous proposed the same thing a couple of weeks ago, suggesting that sites replace their front pages with a statement protesting SOPA. That suggestion itself came a week after Jimmy Wales had asked Wikipedia users about the possibility of blacking out that site in protest of the bill.

As a way of drawing attention to the topic, it’s something that will definitely work. Just Google alone going dark would cause havoc online, but the idea of it happening at the same time as Facebook, Twitter et al. follow suit seems almost unimaginable.

The question then becomes how to translate the inevitable confusion and outrage from those who don’t know what SOPA is into activism. The key, I assume, lies in the execution of the blackout: Will the sites that voluntarily go down be entirely unavailable or will they follow the Anonymous-proposed model of replacing the front page with a statement explaining what is going on, why and how users can best become involved in the discussion? If the sites do go entirely dark, is the hope that the resulting outrage will be enough to fuel news stories about the reason behind the decision? And that users will not transfer their frustration to the sites themselves, as opposed to the bill they’re protesting?

The fact that Facebook and Twitter are both said to be considering taking part in the blackout is simultaneously heartening and worrying. The former because, well, they’re standing up for what they collectively believe in — and that’s a good thing. But the latter because the lack of availability for social media on the proposed blackout day feels like it’s giving up the best chance to harness the frustration and energy people will feel about the temporary loss of the Internet as they know it, and a great possibility to focus and direct that energy into productive activism against SOPA. Then again, it may take losing Facebook and Twitter to really drive home how dramatically SOPA could affect the Internet.

All of this may come to nothing, of course. The companies may decide not to black out their sites and find other ways to protest SOPA. That could be for the best; collectively closing down the most trafficked sites on the Internet to prove a point will certainly garner a lot of attention, but the effects it’ll have beyond that (and the reactions it’ll cause as a result) are difficult to predict and could easily end up causing a backlash against the sites responsible at a time when they least want it. But still … just try to imagine an Internet without Google, Facebook or Yahoo. Even for a day. Almost makes you want it to happen, just to make people realize how reliant we are on the Internet as we know it now, doesn’t it?

GoDaddy sucks. Period. If it isn’t obvious to you from the smutty campaigns with Danica Patrick, supposed President and former CEO “Bob Parsons” having ‘secrets’ like, “The SECRETS to finding and hiring GREAT employees. + 2 Smoking-Hot Go Daddy Girls!”, while being totally sexist and a general creeper, poor advertising in general or the absolutely crappy hosting plans they over-sell hosting nodes on, then we need to talk. This has been a long time coming from us as timing is everything. We wanted to make sure that we took proper precautions to protect ourselves, our intellectual property and free speech as what we’re pissed off about is far from acceptable and borders on near to criminal on Go Daddy, Inc.’s behalf. So to make it crystal clear, this is an account of our experience and not some random slanderous prose on who to hate.

GoDaddy

Might as well preface this with: A) It’s technical, B) It’s personal, and C) We gave them ample opportunity to make this problem right before we had to take the issue into our own hands. And in light of recent SOPA problems with GoDaddy, we hope this testimonial is even more of a reason that you don’t use their service. Speaking of, their real CEO, Warren Adelman, put out a statement about SOPA stating that because the Senate couldn’t come to a consensus that GoDaddy was no longer supporting SOPA. Read that again if you need to figure out why we’re astonished or read the whole article about SOPA and GoDaddy sucking. Now, on to the show!

We affiliated ourselves with GoDaddy, a.k.a. GoDaddy.com or Go Daddy, Inc., as an ICANN domain provider back in 2006 before we went public and as a reseller in 2008 to offer competitive pricing and an alternative storefront when we did begin offering public services. As a reseller, they take one of their other companies, Starfield Technologies as well as Wild West Domains (remember this name, it’s key to what went wrong) and have your WHOIS/Registration information pass through them. Since then, we’ve obviously learned that there are just as viable alternatives to domain acquisition and purchases than dealing with GoDaddy, often for pennies more or less. And our network continues to grow.

Looking for a way to keep costs the same or lower and provide the same if not better service, we looked at integrating what was called GoDaddy’s AnyCast DNS now called ‘Premium DNS’. We suspect that they stopped calling it ‘AnyCast DNS’ because you can’t serve DNS from one datacenter and honestly call it AnyCast… sort of a technical oxymoron. This was to be used as an extension of our services and as an alternative to running solely our own network of DNS servers. We didn’t jump in with both feet, but we were deep enough to start losing air before it was too late.

We called and spoke to a sales representative about their services a long time ago, long before our trust was broken and our issue ever occurred. At the time, we declined moving forward with their DNS service because there was no way to CNAME or create a hostname for the servers that matched a domain name of our own as we said a moment ago. When GoDaddy added the ‘vanity name servers’ bit to the DNS service, we were more interested. We called back several months later and spoke to a sales representative that we had make sure with her supervisor her statement was accurate and ordered the Premium DNS service because we were able to not hand out a string like a CDN does. At the time, we had been hosting our own servers and wanted at least one extension off of that for even more redundancy. Since we already had our .com at GoDaddy at the time with the core hostnames coming from GoDaddy, it was easy to say yes to testing out something for like $2.99 a month since we were paying much more than that per DNS server.

Before I get too far into this, a very important part of hosting relies on DNS. DNS to the layman is a server or network system which broadcasts the IP address or location of a server by converting the name of a top-level domain like turkreno.com into an IP address. DNS serves out usually every request that goes through a network and it also plays a very large part in the latency, or speed, in which content is found. There are times when a network is undiscoverable or slow just because of routing issues with backbone service providers. Those providers in the United States, such as AT&T, Global Crossing, Layer3 and others actually run the flow of the Internet and usually own the fiber optic cable on which it runs. So, when a DNS server does a query, the response or reply may tell your traffic to go to Washington first, because that’s where the first router is between you and the domain that resolved and the server you’re asking for, then further “hops” to other locations until your request reaches its destination. Having multiple servers, or an AnyCast-type network, that are within multiple datacenters around the world where those backbones are routed through provides what’s known as a Point-of-Presence (POP) and will decrease latency since the answer is locally cached to that router. In a worst cast scenario, the traffic where a network client requests a site that isn’t cached by the ISP, which is the usual case, the router may have to search or query the router ahead of it to search for a resolving DNS server, thus creating latency. Speed is of the essence and maybe that explains why this improvement is important for any network.

Digressing back to what happened is most likely easier if we just put it into a handy mind map and bullet out the entire issue here for those who don’t want to view a huge PDF. For months this issue was up on the whiteboard in the office and it took precisely that long to fix all of the screwed up issues that happened. We ended up making a mind map chart of what went wrong and we’ll go from there.

GoDaddy Network Failure Mind Map

GoDaddy Network Failure Mind Map

 

PDF of the Mind MapMP3 of the Voicemail

We spent hours on this with them. Hours we want back from our lives. Maybe we can save you some time. Switch hosting to us, we’re not on GoDaddy’s crappy 4GH Network or whatever they want to call it. Or maybe you want to contact the Office of the President for GoDaddy. No problem, here’s all of their contact info:

E-Mail: president@godaddy.com

Phone: 408-505-8828

CEO: Warren Adelman

Alt. Numbers to GoDaddy Corporate Offices: 408-505-8800

So, when you think of DNS hopefully GoDaddy won’t be the first that comes to mind. We’ve got an awesome platform setup to accommodate multiple types of needs, including those of web masters using Linux or WHM/cPanel. Contact us if you’re interested. It’s private for the time being, but will be live soon.

Don’t trust GoDaddy with your DNS, their SysAdmins know NOTHING of how to complete a ticket and they COULD be stealing your traffic, or worse, blocking it because their tech support knows NOTHING.

The great evil of the modern day Internet: SOPA. The Stop Online Piracy Act, or as it’s formally known H.R. 3261, which threatens Freedom of Speech and Expression on the Internet. The Bill titles itself with the very false objective – “To promote prosperity, creativity, entrepreneurship, and innovation by combating the theft of U.S. property, and for other purposes.” – and it’s the “Other purposes” as usual we’re all worried about. Blocking a site at the DNS level is one of the primary concerns. The other concerns that we’ve heard and see online are the linking of one site to a site that is infringing against Copyright laws. With SOPA marked as it is now, the whole site would be taken down rather than the offending content. What ever happened to the DMCA? Wasn’t that good enough? Apparently not.

This Act, when read in further detail, not only pressures Internet Service Providers like TurkReno to make rather extraneous measures to filter content and national providers of ICANN services to block a domain that they blacklist from search engine results and beyond. If they passes it to the US Senate then you can expect more than one derivative of its kind following SOPA. You see, it’s failed before. And, like a bad cold, this is another variant. Here’s the best summary from Wikipedia that shows what it was and how it’s moving:

The PROTECT IP Act is a re-write of the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA), which failed to pass in 2010. A similar House version of the bill, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) was introduced on October 26, 2011.

GoDaddy

What’s disgusting about this is that GoDaddy, one of the largest ICANN domain registrars was, and under speculation still is, supporting the writing of this Act. They crafted it themselves. And then they release a press release today stating they would not further support SOPA, but we don’t trust it and neither should you. If they knew what they were getting themselves into, then it’s clear that their Executives are bluffing their way into keeping business. What really matters here is that they see the big picture. GoDaddy isn’t the only registrar.

And, with as much content as GoDaddy hosts, and over-sells (see Caption 1), they’d shut down 5,000 to 6,000, yes – THOUSAND, customers at a time per ONE (1) SOPA takedown order.

And here’s what they had to say:

GoDaddy No Longer Supports SOPA

Looks to Internet Community & Fellow Tech Leaders to Develop Legislation We All Support

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (Dec. 23, 2011) – Go Daddy is no longer supporting SOPA, the “Stop Online Piracy Act” currently working its way through U.S. Congress.

“Fighting online piracy is of the utmost importance, which is why Go Daddy has been working to help craft revisions to this legislation – but we can clearly do better,” Warren Adelman, Go Daddy’s newly appointed CEO, said. “It’s very important that all Internet stakeholders work together on this. Getting it right is worth the wait. Go Daddy will support it when and if the Internet community supports it.”

Go Daddy and its General Counsel, Christine Jones, have worked with federal lawmakers for months to help craft revisions to legislation first introduced some three years ago. Jones has fought to express the concerns of the entire Internet community and to improve the bill by proposing changes to key defined terms, limitations on DNS filtering to ensure the integrity of the Internet, more significant consequences for frivolous claims, and specific provisions to protect free speech.

“As a company that is all about innovation, with our own technology and in support of our customers, Go Daddy is rooted in the idea of First Amendment Rights and believes 100 percent that the Internet is a key engine for our new economy,” said Adelman.

In changing its position, Go Daddy remains steadfast in its promise to support security and stability of the Internet. In an effort to eliminate any confusion about its reversal on SOPA though, Jones has removed blog postings that had outlined areas of the bill Go Daddy did support.

“Go Daddy has always fought to preserve the intellectual property rights of third parties, and will continue to do so in the future,” Jones said.

Here’s the great crux in this Press Release: SOPA has not been introduced to the US Senate. And it’s a reaction, not something they’ve done after hearing the SOPA proceedings. As celebrities threatened to leave GoDaddy, they pushed this out to stop the bail out. It’s a House of Representatives Bill. As stated on the US House of Representatives Website under “How Are Laws Made?” this answer can be found (We’re at the In Committee phase):

Laws begin as ideas. First, a representative sponsors a bill. The bill is then assigned to a committee for study. If released by the committee, the bill is put on a calendar to be voted on, debated or amended. If the bill passes by simple majority (218 of 435), the bill moves to the Senate. In the Senate, the bill is assigned to another committee and, if released, debated and voted on. Again, a simple majority (51 of 100) passes the bill. Finally, a conference committee made of House and Senate members works out any differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill. The resulting bill returns to the House and Senate for final approval. The Government Printing Office prints the revised bill in a process called enrolling. The President has 10 days to sign or veto the enrolled bill.

Anyone with half a brain can see this is just a PR stunt on GoDaddy’s behalf. Maybe even the protection of the recent additional DNSSEC properties which don’t totally jive with their product offerings. And admittedly DNSSEC doesn’t really jive with SOPA either, but it’s their main point of pressure to go after when attempting to take down a domain aside from seizing the name registration itself.

And the kicker to both Go Daddy and the rest of the world? DNSSEC is all controlled by IANA, Verisign, the gTLD (Generic Top-Level Domain) registrar for ALL .com and .net domains, acknowledging these Zone directives. ICANN and the U. S. Department of Commerce. Don’t believe me? http://www.root-dnssec.org.

Either way, this is part one of a few more that will outline why GoDaddy is failing as a company and why we believe that it’s not in your best interests to continue to do business with them.

Update 1/5/2012: GoDaddy, in all of it’s uncanny glory, has released a statement from CEO Warren Adleman. They don’t support SOPA because the representatives could not reach a consensus. I like one of the comments that state that “transparency should be a two-way street and not a one-way mirror”. Here’s the statement:

Go Daddy opposes SOPA because the legislation has not fulfilled its basic requirement to build a consensus among stake-holders in the technology and Internet communities. Our company regrets the loss of any of our customers, who remain our highest priority, and we hope to repair those relationships and win back their business over time.

Still don’t trust them. Part two coming soon.

As seen on Business Insider earlier today, some of the largest players in the gaming and entertainment community (namely Sony Electronics, Nintendo and Electronic Arts) have pulled their names from a list of supporters of the SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) Bill currently undergoing markup by the US Congress.

In the article, BI outlines that according to this list the companies could no longer be found. They state this about SOPA:

SOPA, along with the PROTECT IP act in the Senate, give content-producing companies the right to order a take down for a website that they believe is infringing on a copyright. If you even host links to content that infringes on a copyright, you have to take it down.

Our stance on SOPA is quite simple: In its current form, we do not support it. We believe that linking to pirated content is supporting piracy, ergo the mindset the Representatives have is a worthwhile one. It’s surprising that it’s taken this long since the DMCA – which is a US-based law and really only enforceable within the United States only – for those who pass legislature to catch on. And by catching on, we mean to the actual methods like linking that piracy continues to prevail using. As of right now, Safe Harbor is granted to those who simply link to a file sharing website like MediaFire or MegaUpload since it’s passing the infringing Intellectual Property on to the place where the files actually are. In all fairness this is simply skirting around what is right and wrong, evading a DMCA takedown notice to the infringing party and more cat-and-mouse games.

Honestly, we’re glad to see that the list has dwindled down. It’s now down to makeup companies, music and book publishers and a few Federal agencies to push this through. As more awareness is being brought to the table, and as corporations and private entities continue to read more than the title of the Bill and do some research, it seems that they’re also realizing just how harmful doing something like blocking someone at the DNS level can be. No one company, government or organization should have total power over the .com and .net registry. And no one company, government or organization should have the ability to censor free speech – the very thing this bill states that it will not do on line #1.

“Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it.” – William Pitt, Earl of Chatham and British Prime Minister, 1766 to 1778. 
Spotted from: Business Insider

Regions BankApparently we’ve all been getting screwed by banks lately. Fees upon fees upon fees. From “free” accounts turning into a “fee” accounts. Mainly consumers are upset with debit card usage fees from $3.00 to $7.50 per month for what seems like no reason at all. But there is a reason. It’s called the Durbin Amendment, a piece of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act that limited the fees banks could charge on debit card transactions. We’ve had our own mishap with the “bank” that’s supposed to be stellar lately so here it is.

Generally, we keep the blogs and all non-advertising on the PC side, not straying to step on toes or offend anyone even in the slightest way – except when we feel like we’ve been slighted. A topic we’re all familiar with is the expectation of service when the service is stated to be provided. You order something at a restaurant, an appetizer for example, you then have a reasonable expectation that the food will be there both before the entrees arrive and that the appetizer will be what you ordered. You purchase a subscription to a newspaper to be delivered, you then have a reasonable expectation that the paperboy will deliver it the mornings it should arrive. You go to the bank with a problem and they state point-blank they will fix an issue the next business day, you then have a reasonable expectation that the next business day wasn’t in fine print somewhere to actually imply two weeks and one business day before your problem is solved. Undeniably, service is key when reasonable expectations have been created by an exchange or request between consumer and client.

I’d like to share a recent experience that I feel like most people would have either left the company they chose to do business with, escalated the claim to the next level or manager or safeguarded themselves from potential harm by outright saying, “No”. I got a call on TurkReno’s Anniversary from an employee of a client was going through some hard times. I prefer not to see anyone, client or friend, suffer when there’s an event that could change their environment. Nevertheless, I loan this client some money and I do so by cashier’s check. I make a logical mistake in doing so, not by loaning money, but by not realizing that a cashier’s check would accomplish less than what I had anticipated it would. You see, I was under the presumption that using a cashier’s check would allow me to see who endorsed the instrument once it had been cashed – much like a check would be added as a digital image on most modern bank accounts. For example, I decide to pay rent. I can see the check and who endorsed or stamped the check, and if anyone were to have signed below the original endorsement, passing the check along to another party. I later found out that seeing the endorsement was not possible and defeated the original purpose of a cashier’s check altogether. A personal or corporate check would have been just as effective in creating a “paper trail” and I could have copied it and had the signature notarized on it as well if I was to go to that extreme.

I have to decide due to an unforeseen injury to a pet that the pet must go to the veterinary clinic. I told the client that I was sorry, that I couldn’t move forward with the loan and that I had events happen that demanded my fiduciary responsibilities. I had not heard from the client, so I contact Regions Bank with the information that they needed to find out if the check had been cashed. They told me on multiple occasions before I returned to the branch to invalidate the check that they could tell the status of the check and if it had been cashed. I spoke to a total of seven employees of Regions Bank, from the Branch “Team Lead”, to the original person who opened my account, to several different representatives for 1-800-REGIONS. Each of them assured me that the check had yet to be cashed because the network they were checking, the “teller network”, was able to track the status of a check, especially if was a check issued by the bank and if had been cashed at a Regions Bank. I sign a document that invalidates the check and the representative reassures me that I’ll have the money back in my account on the following business day because time after time the Regions Bank representatives check and show the check as continuing to be an “outstanding” item (not yet cashed). This was the second wrong presumption: It’s safe to trust the bank at face value…or trust the bank at all.

A weekend passes. It’s the next business day. I’ve yet to hear from the representative at Regions as to what’s happening, so I decide that I should stop by since I was given the expectation that the next business day the funds would be placed back into my account. Yet again, I was also under the expectation that because the cashier’s check had been stopped and, more importantly, was told that the check was still “outstanding” that I would surely be taken care of. I arrive to find that the same Regions Bank representative that assisted me in stopping the check had yet to do her procedure for the day. All she could me tell was that the stop payment on the check was still there and our money was going to be deposited soon. I explained to her that as a business owner that she created an expectation of service to both call me and rectify this issue by today. Immediately there was action that they took on their side. She called around, found out that the check had in fact been cashed and that it had been done on that Friday hours before I even arrived at the bank. Doublespeak.

Bottom line, the whole illusion of the “teller network” was a false one. It wasted our time and really, really got us mad. The fees that banks have imposed lately have lots of other people mad, too. But there’s hope in sight. Regions Bank announced that Tuesday it will refund all fees charged for Debit card usage as did Wells-Fargo and Suntrust banks. But, is that small amount of money enough for you to not switch to a credit union? You decide.