Monday, July 31, 2006

Things to consider when choosing a webhost (part 1)

Choosing a webhost is not a decision to be taken lightly as you will want a host which can grow alongside your site.
It is important to have a good line of communications with your host, so I would contact them and ask a few questions before buying anything from them.
Online IM support or phone support is best as it is in real time, unlike e-mail support or a 'ticket' system.
If a host can't be bothered to reply to an inquiry which could potentially gain them a new client, then they won't be bothered to look after you if you join.
The actual physical location of the host and servers does not really matter, as you have no need to see them - only to communicate with them.
Next work out the features you require for your site, then take a look at the packages on offer. If you do not see one which you like don't pick the biggest package there, you will be wasting money, instead contact the host and come to some agreement over a new package.

If you are not sure about what any of the features are, ask. Your host will be happy to help you, and unless you choose a dirt cheap host they will often help you with other problems regarding your website as well.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

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Thursday, July 27, 2006

Spambusting Tips

Here are two top spam-busting tips. Simple ways you can reduce the amount of spam you receive in your e-mail inbox.

1. Don't place your email address in plain text on your webpage.
Spammers send out 'spiders' to crawl the web looking for user@domain.tld addresses. When they find them, they'll send them a mail.

This may be hard as you want your customers to contact you. This can be done with the addition of a simple php or cgi script on your website, so your e-mail address is not displayed online.

You may also consider integrating a 'live help' or online support ticket system onto your website. This offers the functionality of e-mail in a more controlled environment.

2. Be careful who you give your address to.
Most of the time you will skip through the terms when you register at a website, but you could be agreeing to receive messages from the sites partners.

It is important to read what you are signing up to.

You may want to consider using a disposable e-mail address for registering at websites, for example an email address.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

What is a Ponzi Scheme?

A Ponzi scheme is an illegal investment opportuntiy. New investors are enticed by promises of high returns in a short period of time.

The most well-known example of a modern day Ponzi scheme was the autosurf site 12dailypro, which crashed in 2006 and has been investigated by the American government. This particular sites offered returns of 12% a day for 12 days, effecivley giving 44% profit in less than a fortnight.

The scheme worked by taking money from new investors to pay out the older investors. In effect no money was actually invested - the money just went up the queue to people who had already put money into the scheme.

Ponzi schemes always crash. As soon as the amount of money coming into the scheme drops, the program will not be able to pay out older investors.

Online Surveys

You have probably seen the ads. They claim you can earn money by taking part in Internet surveys for market research companies and get paid for doing it. This appeals to a lot of people since it sounds so simple.

Is this true? The simple answer is yes.

The data you provide is very valuable to market researchers. You may already get people phoning you up or coming around to your door asking you to participate in surveys. You may be unaware but these people are being paid for each 'lead' or completed survey they can get. The amounts they are paid can be in the region of £40 ($70) a front-door survey, less for phone surveys, probably about £10 a pop.

Your data is so valuable to market research companies because they sell it to big name companies who are interested in the latest consumer trends.

By setting up a website and dealing with the general public directly the market researchers cut out the middle-man. The money they offer you would normally just go to someone else in their company. Note: You will receive less money than the market researcher as the online market is bigger (more potential leads).

There are lots of these survey companies out there. You shouldn't expect to get rich from them and if you live outside of North America, Europe or the Australia area you may as well forget them unless you find a site specific to your area.

There are many sites that offer survey databases which list numerous survey sites. Do NOT pay for these details. Paid surveys are free to complete so why should you pay for information that is already in the public domain with a quick search of the net?

Put in a little time, locate some sites. Join 4 or 5 of them and off you go. You won't have an endless supply of surveys but you may recieve 3 or 4 a week. At the end of the month you could have earned yourself an extra $100 or so. Not much, but it all adds up!

What is Adware?

Adware is not to be confused with 'Ad-Aware' which is a popular spyware removal program.

Ad-ware is often bundled in with free-to-download programs. It is seen by the programmers as a way to make money to recoup their costs, and enables them to continue distributing free software.

Once installed adware programs display sponsored advertisements to the software user often in the form of popups or a browser toolbar.

Adware is not always spyware, however the sites you visit in your browser may be tracked and sent back to a central server so more targeted advertising can be displayed to you, thus maximising the distributor's revenue.

If you run anti-virus or anti-spyware programs (as you should) they may flag up some programs guilty of displaying sponsored messages, if so, and you feel your privacy is respected, and you use and are happy with the programs they support, it is likely they are safe to leave on your PC.

If you choose to remove adware elements, certain legitimate programs (i.e those supported by the adware) may not function anymore, so be careful what you remove.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Types of Web Host

A web host is required to put your website online. A webhost 'hosts' or stores your files on their servers so they can be accessed by people surfing on the Internet.

Small websites are often hosted with free hosts. Most of these are run by well-known sites such as Yahoo!, Lycos, FreeWebs or Bravenet. These companies receive their income from sponsored advertisements which they insert into your webpage. There are often strict traffic (bandwidth) and space limits with free hosts.

The next step up the hosting ladder is paid shared hosting, this means the website is hosted on the same server as many other websites. Benefits include low prices, but if your website gets too big or popular you will get chucked off.

Virtual private servers are physical servers split between more than one client, where each client receives their own 'dedicated' (virtual) server, taking part of the real servers resources.

A dedicated hosting service is where an entire server is leased to a single client - these are used for big and popular sites which have outgrown previous cheaper shared hosting.

Monday, July 17, 2006

e-Currency Exchange

e-Currencies are systems whereby funds are exchange electronically - often over the Internet. Some e-Currency programs, such as the popular eBay-owned PayPal allow the user to fund their account directly, whereas others, such as e-Gold require use of an exchange or transfer service to fund users accounts.

E-currency exchange services allow users to buy and sell e-currencies in exchange for other e-currencies or real currency.

Examples of electronic currency exchange services are:

All these services are not without risk, but by using reputable names you should have no problems. Many of these sites allow you to fund and withdraw your e-currency by wire direct to your bank account however the transfer may take anywhere from a few seconds to a couple of days, depending on your bank, e-currency and the payment transfer service you choose to use.

The payment transfer services make their profit by charging a percentage on all transfers completed.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

AceInvest claims to be a "Private Investment Club" offering returns of 'up to 2.5%' a day on a minimum investment for $150 (USD).

AI claims to be a legally registered entity in the tax haven of Panama, making them different from the vast majority of illegal HYIP or ponzi/pyramid schemes.

They offer a large number of funding and withdrawal methods including e-currencies as well as traditional methods.

Here is the full list of account funding options: AcePay, e-Gold, e-Bullion, WebMoney, MoneyBookers, Western Union, MoneyGram, Personal Check, AceXchange, Money Order, Traveler Check, Casher’s Check and Bank Wire.

It is important to note that investments made with AceInvest are not FDIC insured and have no guarantees attached to them.

GoldCoders HYIP Script

GoldCoders (or Gold Coders) are a script development company who specialise in making scripts which utilise the eGold payment processor. These scripts include High Yield Investment Programs (HYIPs) and doubler games - both of which have questionable legality if operated.

Despite a message on the official GoldCoders website ( which states that the only legal versions of their scripts can be brought directly at their site people are still buying pirated versions.

For example a legal copy of Goldcoders HYIP Manager Pro 2 from costs $145.00, however it is not hard to find sites offering the same software for $5. These scripts are, as GoldCoders state on their website, illegal pirated versions of older goldcoders scripts which contain many bugs and may have 'back doors' enabling hackers easy access.

However the online HYIP world is driven by greed, crime and corruption so many scammers will purchase these unlicensed scripts and set up fake HYIPs to steel money from those foolish enough to invest in them.

Why should you trust someone running a $5 script with your money?

You can check to see if a site is running a licensed version of a GoldCoders product

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Adblock (In FireFox)

Adblock is a free extension (browser plugin) available for the Mozilla FireFox web browser. It enables you to block online advertisements from the domains which you specify.

Installing and running Adblock, which is free, improves your surfing experience by decreasing page load times, and making webpages less cluttered.

You can also put a stop to layer ads (typically unblockable), and any popups which may find a way around the FireFox popup blocker, by using this extension.

However beware that free content on the web is only available to you for nothing because of the advertising revenue which the content publisher receives when ads are shown to users. If you block these ads you are harming the content providers as they are loosing revenue.

What is Spyware?

The term 'spyware' refers to a broad category of items of malicious software, designed to intercept or take partial control of a computers operation without the consent of the computer operator.

Taken literally, 'spyware' suggests that it is software that monitors or spies on the user, without their permission. However the term Spyware has also come to refer more broadly to any software that uses a computers resources for the benefit of a third-party.

Spyware does not usually self-replicate, unlike some viruses.

Spyware exploits infected computers for commercial gain. For example AdWare is the showing of popup (and/or or other) advertisments to the computer user as they surf the internet or use certain programs.

Spyware can steel your personal data, and monitor your every key stroke.

Keep Spyware OUT of your PC!

Recommended spyware removal tools: Ad-aware, SpyBot, Trojan remover

Tip: do not use antispyware unknown tools.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Using PayPal

PayPal is an Internet payment transfer or payment processor business which facilities the transfer of money between individuals e-mail address in over 40 different countries around the world. PayPal is owned by eBay, and for this reason is integrated into the auction site.
Money can be sent to anyone with an email address inside the countries where PayPal operates. There are several different types of accounts, - those suitable for individuals, eBay sellers and business or merchant accounts.
PayPal makes a charge on all payments received by Premier, Advanced or Merchant accounts - which is $0.30 + 2.9% for the smallest payments. Charges may vary internationally.
PayPal can be hooked up with credit cards and debit cards, so you can use these to shop online at sites which accept PayPal payments without revealing your card details to the merchant or online shop.
You can also link up your bank account to fund your PayPal account or to withdraw your 'virtual' money into money which can be withdrawn at ATMs.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

If Microsoft Built Cars

If Microsoft built cars,...

1. A particular model year of car wouldn't be available until AFTER that year, instead of before.

2. Every time they repainted the lines on the road, you'd have to buy a new car.

3. Occasionally your car would just die for no reason and you'd have to restart it. For some strange reason, you just accept this.

4. You could only have one person at a time in your car, unless you bought a car '95 or a car NT, but then you'd have to buy more seats.

5. Apple would make a car that was solar powered, twice as reliable, 5 times as fast, but only ran on 5% of the roads.

6. The oil, alternator, gas, and engine warning lights would be replaced with a single "General Car Fault" warning light.

7. People would get excited about the "new" features in Microsoft cars, forgetting completely that they had been available in other brands for years.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

419 Scam

419er scams are commonly found in most email inboxes. When you check your e-mail you may find a message from an anonymous person wishing to deposit large amounts of money into your bank account in return for you returning the money to them after taking a few (normally several hundred thousand dollars).

This scam is known as Advance Fee Fraud or more commonly as 419 Fraud (based on the Nigerian Law #).

At some point the victim is asked to pay an up front fee to the scammer who will then blast off e-mails to thousands more people.

It has been estimated that 419 scammers are the fourth-largest industry by value in Nigeria, however these scams are also run from other African countries.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Yahoo web hosting - review

Yahoo web hosting - small business package - review
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Business email addresses: 200, advanced virus and spam protection
Free domain name
Support third-party design tools: yes
Yahoo SiteBuilder + around 400 templates & 3000+ images FrontPage support, Macromedia Dreamweaver support
PHP support: PHP 4.3.11
Perl support: 5.8.7, with the standart library plus additional 12 modules
MySQL support: 4.1.1224-hour
toll-free phone support: yes
Exclusive marketing discounts: $100 Yahoo Marketing & $50 Google AdWordsUser
friendly control panel - Yahoo Control Panel
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Traffic: Very Good (2,000,000 page views)
User-Friendliness: Easy to useGeneral
Features: Very Good (Great Technical Support)
Marketing Bonuses: Very Good Free $150 Marketing Bonus!!!
Money-Back: 30 Day,
100% Risk-FreeExcellent support
Overal rating: 4,5/5 - Highly recommended. Highly useful webhosting package with $150 marketing bonus.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Turnkey Products

It would be great if you could generate an income with just a few clicks of your mouse or a flick of a switch. This is what Turnkey (or 'Turn Key') software claims to do.

The makers and affiliates promoting these products claim that once you have purchased these turnkey scripts or turnkey websites, you can earn a steady income off the results of doing, lets face it, not a lot.

Do turnkey programs work? Well the answer is similar to that of a pyramid or ponzi scheme. The people at the top win, the people at the bottom lose. Often turnkey products are promoted by affiliate or MLM, so money draws its way to the top of the chain.

Those at the bottom enter a market which is saturated by the thousands of other people who have exactly the same products to offer, from websites which are often identical apart from the payment id or a few minor adjustments.

Turnkey products can also be referred to as a 'cash cow' where people who buy into the idea can milk profits - however often these are few and far between.

Typical turnkey websites offered include auction, recipe, jokes, casino and website template sites. These sites are overvalued and unrealistic incomes are often posted alongside details of the products to push the sale - however sellers of turnkey products fail to mention that the average user will sell a lot less than in their example, and that the market is saturated with hundreds of clone sites.