Scriptbloggers

Blogging about scripts

LittleBigPlanet, the next generation of gaming industry

I know, it seems too off-topic for this blog to host posts about video games and it’s too strange for me to write them but with such masterpiece like Little Big Planet (or LBP) I can’t resist! But wait, it has something to do with topics in blog! If the concept “Making Money” sounds interesting keep reading!

If you’re not familiar with this “game”, the short description is a wicked PS3 game which everything is customizable by user, and the objects simply follow physics rules. There is no crazy complex built-in machine but you can use your creativity to make something useful out of simple tools and then publish it for public use!

I put the word game in double-quotes sometimes because I can’t really consider it only as a game! Let’s put it this way; Is “second life” a game? hmm, yes but for some people it’s much more than a game!

In LBP, you may be able to create custom levels with useful tools and cool prizes and even charge people interested for downloading them but first you have to get approved, which takes some time and work but it can totally worth the effort. 

Anyway I decided to create and dedicate another blog for it, so if you’re interested checkout my new LittleBigPlanet blog which follows news, updates, ideas and anything cool about this awesome game.

The game is not out yet and hopefully will be released Oct. 2008, so there’s still time to plan but sooner the better, considering its potentials.

5 comments

Possibility of a bug in WordPress 2.6

Well,

For a long time I was wondering why I’m not getting comments on my new posts on Scriptbloggers while I could see people submitting comments, by looking at my stats and today I found a terrible bug which I’m going to report, hopefully it will be fixed, but I apologize if I’ve deleted your comments due to this stupid bug!

Here is the situation:

How do you deal with pages of comments? It’s relatively easy, you just log in to your admin panel, go to the comments section and click on “Awaiting Moderation” tab, then it shows all the comments waiting for your approval with pagination and each page contains 20 (I repeat; 20) comments. In my case they were mostly spam, so what I used to do was to review the page to make sure all of them are spam and click on the check-box beside the word “comment” which will check-mark all the individual check-boxes for the comments in that page and I click on “Delete” because marking them as spam is waste of MySQL resources.

Here is an image showing what I used to do in sequence:

As you see there were 1,457comments and I check-marked 20 of them and clicked on Delete, now take a look at the next screenshot:

How many comments? 1,432! That means 25 comments were removed while 5 of them were in the next page which I haven’t got the chance to review them! So this way you’re actually deleting 20% of the comments without reviewing.

I tried checking all the boxes on a page manually and it worked as expected, causing exactly 20 comments to be removed.

Just wanted to give you guys a heads-up so that you won’t miss valuable comments.

Now I’m going to report the bug in wordpress.org and hopefully it will be fixed soon :)

5 comments

Dot ME domains overvalued

Like a lot of other domainers I’ve also placed my orders on a few dot ME (.me) domains in Pre-Registration period. None of them were successful but one which resulted in an auction which has been started July 28, 2008. On the third day I found the price way over my budget for that domain so I gave up on that.

Checking other auctions and recent sales (can be found on this page) I find the prices really odd comparing to most (if not all) other country code domain extensions.

Maybe I’m being too negative but I think these auctions with these ridiculous prices aren’t real and are only to show off the value of this extension and to warm the market up for higher prices for these domains in future.

Anyway that doesn’t matter to me anymore because I totally lost interest in it but apparently there is no simple way out!

When I first logged in to my account at auctions.domain.me, I found it really silly to see this note in the footer:

We will not be sending outbid notifications, so check back on the auction often.

But when I find myself outbidded by miles, I thought it in a good way of not getting hundreds of emails.
Well, I was wrong! Since then I received 28 emails with the subject:

Important: Your auction has been extended

With the following concept:

Dear Valued .ME Auction Customer,

The closing time for the auction of [the domain name.me] has been extended an additional 24 hours per our policy of accepting a bid during the last 24 hours of the auction. Please note the revised close date and current price below:

The auction hasn’t finished yet so I’m expecting to receive more emails till who knows when and there is NO WAY (at least not that I could find) I can Opt-out of these stupid emails!

Again I can’t say they (domain.me people) didn’t think about this feature(which is a really essential and basic one)! They obviously did and just want to everyone (even those who aren’t interested anymore) to know about these domains values for your future record.

These are only my own thoughts so let me know what’s yours :)

6 comments

Google AdSense for domains, Interesting but ….?!

Well, I finally decided to do something with all my unused domains till I either develop a website on them or sell them for the right price. They were mostly just registered and left pointed to the registrar’s default nameservers, forwarding visitors to a parking page which is in favor of the registrars more than anyone else.

So I just decided to park them somewhere to:

1- Have an idea of the estimated traffic they get.
2- Make them available to people interested to buy.
3- Earn something out of them. At least to pay their own renewal fees.

Park them on Sedo? Hmm, I don’t think so! After my terrible experience with them I can’t even think about doing it, specially with their ridiculous commission fees.

Park them at their own registrar? Unfortunately I don’t have all my domains in one single place so It’s not really possible, beside not all of their registrars offer cash parking.

So I started thinking about how Sedo shows ads from Google network on the parked domains, since I knew you’re not allowed to put the regular Adsense on pages without content so I did a quick search and found Google Adsense for domains.

Wow! Interesting but it’s not public and I had to fill out a contact form to see if I’ll get approved or not. It took me around an hour to fill out and submit the form and guess what? I got the following autoresponder:

Thank you for your interest in Google AdSense for domains.

Google is not currently accepting new partners for the AdSense for domains program. However, we’ll be sure to keep your contact information on file and will contact you if and when Google opens the program to new partnerships and/or new products become available.

In addition, please note that AdSense for domains is only for undeveloped domain portfolios. If you have any content on your web site(s), we recommend that you try Google AdSense for content, which you can learn more about at http://www.google.com/adsense .

Thank you again for your interest.

hmmm, stupid, isn’t it? It would be nice if they had this piece of text on the form page not after asking so much information!

Anyway I’ll have to come with another idea for parking my unused domains.

1 comment

Dreamhost SUCKS

Just searched Google for the term “Dreamhost sucks” and OMG! I couldn’t believe how many people really hated Dreamhost! Some of them brought really good points and had honest reasons and some where just trying to grab some attention but in general I believe every shared hosting plan suck by nature, including Dreamhost’s and if you don’t agree, you’ve just been lucky.

The fact is that, your experience from a shared hosting plan is more depending on your neighbours (websites hosted on the same server as yours) than your web hosting provider. It’s kinda comparable to sharing a house or better to say staying at a hostel. Your level of comfort mostly depends on your roommates, doesn’t it?

When in comes to Dedicated Servers or Virtual Private Servers the situation is different. You’re guaranteed to receive certain amount of server resources like RAM, CPU, etc. which makes you isolated and relatively independent from your neighbors (If any). In these cases your only concern is the web hosting provider company and how they maintain their service.

Anyway at the end of the day it all comes to your expectations and priorities. It’s obvious that shared hosting plans are way cheaper than virtual private servers and dedicated servers so they’re ideal only if your dealing with less sensitive type of websites and don’t mind having your website down for a few hours every month or two. (You should always consider the worst case scenario)

In my honest opinion Dreamhost wasn’t problem-free but they had the least problems over the past two years comparing to other ones I’ve experienced before including Hostgator, Valuehost, Bluehost, Host.ac, etc. So far I believe their customer service was really helpful and the response time was short to reasonable. The best thing I can say is that they honor their 97 day money-back guarantee so trying their service is gonna be totally risk-free specially if you use the coupon code “SCRIPTBLOGGERS” to get $50 discount or to wave your setup fee if paying monthly.

So at the end I would say “DREAMHOST DOES SUCK But not more than any other shared hosting provider I know.”

Cheers,

Soroush

P.S. There is a SEO lesson in this post, haven’t you got it yet? :D

11 comments

Spam comments are down to 12 a day!

OMG! I can’t describe how great it feels to log in to my admin panel and see only 12 comments waiting for approval! I’m not trying to blame my own faults on anything else but high volume of spam comments were one of the reasons I got frustrated and kinda slowed down working on the site and maintaining it which then resulted in the whole tragic story of getting hacked and its side effects.

When I compare my blog with some of my friends’ blogs, I see I’m getting 10 times more spam than most of them and I see the reason in not using “no follow” for the external links which I’ve already discussed here.

I still believe in not using it on Scriptbloggers to give more value and show some appreciation to valuable comment authors but if you are planning to do the same, you have to accept the spam flood as a result.

Cheers,
Soroush

No comments

Tired of spam, had to sacrifice the Pingbacks

It was so frustrating to review and moderate more than 300 comments a day containing 99.9% spam, only because of the possibility of losing a few real comments.
Since at least 95% of those spam comments were actually trackbacks and not comments, using CAPTCHA or other human confirmation methods didn’t help.
So the only way for me was to disable pingbacks and trackbacks in WordPress settings but it only works for the new posts and has no effect on the old ones which are the target of most attacks.
I had to edit all the posts, one by one and remove the check-mark beside “Allow Pings” which is just too much to do! So here is the tiny little MySQL query that does the magic:
UPDATE wp_posts SET `ping_status`='closed';
TADAAA! It disabled the ping_status for all the posts.

I know I won’t receive pingbacks but I think it worth an extra an hour a day I will save by not going through spam comments. Now I can spend more time doing something more creative on scriptbloggers.

Cheers,
Soroush

No comments

Congratulations! Scriptbloggers is back in Google index

Just a quick update: After around a month since it got removed from Google’s index, scriptbloggers is finally back in the results and apparently it is taking back its serp positions again (fingers crossed :D )

In order to gain back Google’s trust I’m going to update the blog more often with fresh and useful content. So keep in touch, I’m sure there will be something useful for everyone :D

After all, I still don’t have a real purpose for this blog and I still don’t know why I’m doing all this … :D

Cheers,
Soroush

No comments

Valuable lessons for webmasters

Passing more than 2 months since I got most of my sites hacked, I’m still dealing with its direct and indirect effects.
Anyway I’m not going to give up, instead I’m going to share my experiences with other webmasters, hope it prevents someone from being in such horrible situation.

Lesson 1: Keep all your scripts up-to-date and subscribe to receive security updates.
I don’t think it needs any more explaination! I love open-source free scripts like WordPress but there is also a huge disadvantage in them; When a bug or security hole is found, it becomes public in close to no time.

Lesson 2: When possible DON’T store all your sites under the same ftp account! Some web hosting providers like DreamHost let you create unlimited ftp usernames and host each domain under an individual ftp account. This way, in case someone break into one of your sites, the rest will be safe.

Lesson 3: Once a while, briefly check the log file reports. You may get surprised finding some hackers/spammers footprints, trying different methods to find their favorite backdoor. There is also worse situation which they’ve already sneaked in and uploaded their own script or modified yours for their purpose. Either way, checking log file report will show you all the requests served. Remember, tag based/Javascript based reports show only activities on the pages tagged with the tracking code and not all the pages.

I think that’s enough for now :)
There is a huge checklist to keep in mind but in my idea, these 3 are the most important ones.

Cheers,
Soroush

No comments

isimtescil.net a shameless SCAM!

Last year I bought some domains from someone on DP and unfortunately they were registered at isimtescil.net which is a Turkish registrar. I just asked him to open an account for me and transfer the domains to my account. I logged into my account, changed their name servers and turned all those domains to blogs and added them to my blog network (Allied Network Inc.) and they all gained good Pageranks over the year with a reasonable amount of traffic.

Everything was fine till the time for renewal came. I logged into my account, tried to renew all my domains but it simply didn’t accept my credit card, then I tried to get the authorization code to transfer them to another registrar but got another wiered error. The day after I tried to log in to my account and I found it suspended! Contacted their technical support by submitting a ticket and they replied asking for the copy of my passport, then I replied the same ticket asking “How should I send it to you?” and didn’t get any reply.

The next day when I logged in to their ticketing system, I found my ticket is deleted! Since I had all the ticket information I opened another ticket asking what happend to the ticket number blah blah and guess what! This ticket got removed within 2 hours. Tried it two more times, got no reply and got my ticket removed again and again. So I finally gave up and decided to let the domains expire and catch them when they are released but now I see they have been renewed, parked and showing ads while the registrant, tech and admin info hasn’t been changed on whois database.

Another lesson for me to stick to my trustworthy registrars even if they are a bit more expensive.

I’ll definitely follow up and will keep here updated.

Cheers,

Soroush

No comments

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