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Monetizing a web site

New article 15-01-2011
As it gets more difficult for web site owners to monetize their web sites, increasingly, they look towards alternative means of raising cash to fund or, profit from their on-line publications.
There are various means that they can employ to try and raise extra cash and nowadays, it's common to see a "Donate" button, especially on 'not-for-profit' web sites.
A good example of this is www.wikipedia.org, a free encyclopedia that anyone can edit. Nowadays, it appears in Google's top ten search results for 'almost' anything that you want to search for on the internet and recently, it's founder - Jimmy Wales, appealed to Wikipedia's users to make a donation to enable it to continue in it's current form which presumably, means free from advertising.
This is one example, but there are many others. Some web site owners join referral programs and earn money by placing links for products and services on their web sites. They receive a payment when one of their web site visitors clicks on one of the links or, buys something from a web site that they have linked to. The Google Adsense program is a good example of this.
Some on-line publications have introduced 'pay-walls' and restrict access to certain parts of their web sites to those visitors who are prepared to pay. A good example of this is the on-line version of The Times newspaper at www.thetimes.co.uk where visitors can access the front page of the web site, but when they click to read a linked story, they are promptly asked to pay £1 to continue reading.
Most people don't object to any of these 'common practices' because they can choose whether or, not to participate, by donating, clicking on a link or, paying the fee.
What people do object to in my experience, is being asked to register as a 'user' of a web site. The web site owners may put forward any number of reasons why you should and in most cases, it doesn't cost anything to do, but as you sit at your PC and complete the form, you just know that they are going to use your email address to bombard you with unwanted email.
They may even sell your email address to third parties who will also, bombard you with unwanted email. Are you going to spend 10 minutes reading their 'privacy policy' to see what they will do with your personal details ? I don't think so !
There are various ways of getting around this problem. Setting up an email address to be used specifically for this type of registration, is one method that some people use to reduce the possibility of spam clogging up their in-boxes.
This week, I want to introduce you to two web sites: www.pepbot.com and www.bugmenot.com
At www.pepbot.com you can register a free disposable email address that you can then, use to register as a user or, open an account with any web site. It takes ten seconds to register an email address and you can choose any address that you want as long as it's 'something'@pepbot.com
I recommend that you choose an unusual address that is 'password-like' - something containing both upper and lower case letters and numbers - say, Iw2al0t@pepbot.com - why? Well, here's the clever thing ! After registering and using an email address to register somewhere, if you want to, you can return to Pepbot's web site later and easily collect any email that you may receive, just by typing in the address. Simple and quick !
Plus: for those web sites that send out a confirmation email that requires you to click on a link before they will set up your account, just add "-a" to the end of your Pepbot email address and it will click on the link for you - automatically. It's all explained on their web site - give it a visit. No more spam - Hooray !
www.bugmenot is another type of service. Here, you can get a pre-registered username and password for most of the popular web sites on the internet that require you to login or, register using a username and password.
You can help www.bugmenot.com to expand their service by registering a username and password for a web site that you use (using fake details of course) and then, by posting the username and password on the Bugmenot web site, anyone can use the details that you have created to gain access to that site.
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PC problems
Film download problems

New article 08-01-2011
We sit in our comfortable chairs in nice, warm, 'spare' rooms, slippers on, sipping a cup of coffee, listening to the local 'night' sounds - the crickets, the frogs, the sound of a gentle breeze. Lulled into a false sense of security by the comfort of our surroundings, we mouse 'click' and keyboard 'tap' our way through the darkest evenings.
Inevitably, having visited all our usual 'internet' haunts or, our 'safe zone' - the web sites that we are familiar with - the one's that we regularly visit and use - we become bored and end up 'clicking-around.'
Out of our 'comfort zone', we click on links that we normally wouldn't, in fact, we have clicked on 'that' many links, we can't remember how we ended up in the place that we have, but we are intrigued by the offer that is being made on this particular web site - "Free Film Downloads"
The web site looks 'very' professional and they make it sound 'so' easy. Can it really be that simple and risk free ?
Before you decide, read this letter, sent to us just before Christmas. It is the result of one of the users on our network using freely available peer-to-peer software to download a free film from the internet.
Dear ****** Abuse Department:
RE: Unauthorized Distribution of the Copyrighted Motion Picture Entitled "******"
We are writing this letter on behalf of Columbia Pictures Industries Inc., ("Columbia Pictures") who owns certain rights under copyright law in the title Salt.
You are receiving this notice because your Internet account was identified as having been used recently to copy and/or distribute illegally the copyrighted motion pictures and/or television shows listed at the bottom of this notice. This notice provides you with the information you need in order to take immediate action that can prevent serious legal and other consequences. These actions include:
1. Stop downloading or uploading without authorization any motion pictures or TV shows owned or distributed by Columbia Pictures; and
2. Permanently delete from your computer(s) all unauthorized copies you may have already made of these movies and TV shows.
If this notice is being received by an Internet Service Provider (ISP), please forward the notice to the individual associated with the activities.
The unauthorized distribution or public performance of copyrighted works constitutes copyright infringement under the Copyright Act, Title 17 U.S Code Section 106(3)-(4). This conduct may also violate the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works and The Universal Copyright Convention, as well as bilateral treaties with other countries that allow for protection of Columbia Pictures copyrighted works even beyond U.S borders.
Copyright infringement also violates your ISP's terms of service and could lead to limitation or suspension of your Internet service. You should take immediate action to prevent your Internet account from being used for illegal activities.
An MPAA website, www.respectcopyrights.org, offers step-by-step instructions to ensure that your Internet account is not being used to violate the copyright laws. Also, the site can point you to an array of legal choices for enjoying movies and TV shows online. You can also learn there how theft of motion pictures and TV shows damages our economy and costs thousands of Americans their jobs.
Please contact us at the above listed address or by replying to this email should you have any questions.
We are providing this notice based on our good faith belief that the use of motion pictures and television programs owned by Columbia Pictures Industries Inc. in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owners, their agents, or the law. The information in this notification is accurate. Under penalty of perjury, we are authorized to act on behalf of the owners of the exclusive rights that are being infringed. This letter is without prejudice to the rights and remedies of Columbia Pictures, all of which are expressly reserved.
We appreciate your assistance and thank you for your cooperation in this matter. In your future correspondence with us, please refer to Case ID **********.
Respectfully,
Is it really worth the risk ?

PC problems
Google Adsense

New article 18-12-2010
Google's Adsense program is a system that web masters, bloggers, forum owners, in fact, anyone with a web presence, can apply to, and if they are approved by Google, they can adopt, that allows Google to serve third party advertisements to their web pages.
Approved Adsense merchants are supplied special javascript code by Google which they place within their web site code. The special code creates a space of a pre-defined size. The idea is that the merchant includes Google's code within their pages in a position that suits the design of their web page and then, Google's adserver technology delivers random advertisements to the web page that are relevant to the subject matter of the page.
The Google program delivers their third party advertisements to approved web pages, and if a visitor to a web site that is using the program, clicks on one of the advertisements, the merchant receives a small payment from Google.
The Google program is a good way for web site owners to monetize their web site and cover the cost of producing, owning, administering and maintaining their web sites.
There are expert Google Adsense merchants who have developed methods and techniques that they use to produce their web sites, that maximise their earnings from the Google Adsense program. They design their web sites so that the advertisements are positioned in the places that are most likely to attract a click from their visitors. They surround these advertising hot spots with text that is worded to attract a specific type of advertisement which is relevant to the text so that, there is a greater chance of their web site visitors clicking on the advertisement. In other words, they earn more money from the program by optimising their web pages for the Google Adsense program.
Some of these experts are so good that, they use the Google Adsense program as their main source of income and, depending upon the subject matter and popularity of their web site, they may earn many thousands of dollars per month from the program, but it's not easy and requires a lot of expertise and work so, if you are thinking about it, read up first !
There are many other similar schemes to the Google program, but along with Microsoft's adserving network, they are the two most popular adserving programs on the planet.
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AVG GTI - Global Threat Index

New Article 11-12-2010
Everyone has heard of AVG. They are one of the leading anti-virus companies supplying free and paid-for anti-virus software suites for PCs.
During the last week in July 2010, they collected data from more than a 100 million personal PCs world-wide and from the data, they produced their AVG Global Threat Index (AVG GTI).
Basically, any PCs that were using AVG's anti-virus software suite automatically reported back to AVG if they faced a security threat of any sort. AVG collected and analysed the data and produced their AVG GTi - a list of places in the world where you are most likely to be attacked by some form of malicious software.
Our readers may find the results quite worrying because according to AVG's GTI, the most dangerous place in the world to be operating a PC is in the Middle East !
Nearly all internet traffic from here has to travel through the Middle East and, the majority of our public IP addresses are from that area which means that, we are in the region of the world that faces the greatest risk. Apparently, in this region, during the week that the data was collected, one in ten PCs was attacked !
If that little snippet of news is not enough to grab your attention, what about this ?
In 2010, Symantec, another leading security company in this field, identified and blocked 340,000 different pieces of malicious malware in emails. This is over a hundred times more than they found in 2009. They also found, 43,000 web sites containing some form of malicious software/code and estimated that in 2010, 95 billion Phishing emails were in circulation !
Don't forget too, that Google, and many other leading search engine's results, are riddled with links to web sites containing various scams designed to take your money, but Google has promised to do better by taking down results that lead to malicious destinations within 24 hours of them being reported.
Users of Firefox web browser are also suffering if their PCs become infected with a piece of malware that allows their credit card and banking web site login details to be stolen and with the release of "Firesheep," a malicious piece of software that allows an attacker to hijack accounts over a wireless internet connection, users of Facebook, Twitter and various other social media web sites, are also facing a threat.
With the various threats facing PC users/internet surfers, especially in this region, it's time for everyone to be taking their PC security seriously. Security isn't something that we should think about last, it should be our primary concern.
In the old days, a criminal's most important tools were his torch, balaclava and a jemmy. Nowadays, your more likely to see him carrying a laptop computer, mobile telephone and USB stick, and with more criminals choosing to commit e-crime, it's becoming increasingly difficult to keep up with everything that is going on !
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