Cable TV Industry Losing Record Numbers of Subscribers

For years, the amount of time I spend watching tv has dramatically been decreased to practically nothing. Aside from a few number of shows that I still enjoy, there’s nothing really exciting on. However, this article is not about the quality of tv—it’s about the alternative choices.

In my current house, there are six televisions all set up with boxes from AT&T UVerse. I don’t get into the downsides of AT&T UVerse here, but let’s just say being able to only watch 4 different channels at any one time across all 6 boxes is an outright crime! The worst part about this is that when that 5th person wants to come on and view a different channel, he or she has the ability to either watch one of the 4 channels being viewed or kick off the newest person to turn on their tv! Sorry, I said I wasn’t going to get into it, so let’s move on!

According to the Associated Press, eight of the nine major subscription-TV providers have lost 195,700 subscribers between April and June of this year. This group provides TV services to about 70% of the country, so these numbers equate to 0.2 percent of their 83.2 million customers. This might not seem like a lot, but if this trend continues, who knows what may happen.

Actually I have some theories on that! First of all, why are people leaving their tv services? One major contributor to this downsizing is the economy. Naturally, when times are tough and unemployment rates are high, people begin to trim expenditures where they can afford to. “Afford” in this case means where people are willing to let go of some luxuries. For some reason, they’d rather eat than to watch tv.

In the last few years, Verizon, AT&T and DirecTv have all been ‘stealing’ customers away from the big cable companies like Time Warner and Cox which would explain for their continued losses year after year, but now all of these companies are starting to feel the burn. Another contributing factor in the losses is assumed to be Internet video sites. More and more younger people are getting their entertainment fix on sites like YouTube, Hulu and Netflix. In the case of Hulu, users are opting to wait a day or two before their favorite show appears on the site opting to watch it there instead of sitting in front of their tv.

Even for those wishing to watch Hulu on their tv, they can do so now with their Blu-ray player or Xbox system. YouTube and Hulu are free while Netflix charges $7.99 for the streaming of any available DVD they offer which includes feature films and plenty of television shows that have appeared on DVD discs. Hulu Plus offers customers the ability to watch shows online with less commercials and usually a lot sooner than the free users. No matter how you slice it, these online services can undercut tv subscriptions any day of the week.

However, as the paradigm shifts, we can surely expect an increase in fees that we pay to those online services because afterall, they have to pay for the content too and what do you think all the tv and movie studios are going to charge them if they can’t get their money from advertisers?

My two cents

There is no direct comparison between cable tv and Internet tv simply because with Internet tv, you have to find everything you’re looking for and constantly change videos as each of them end and that requires work. Part of the enjoyment of watching tv is having the never-ending flow of programming at your disposal without having to get up and do anything about it.

As for me, I spend most of time at a computer both for work and pleasure, so it’s a natural thing for me to watch tv and movies online. However, I don’t watch much of anything anymore due to my hectic schedule so I could do without the tv service and most of the online stuff, but I’ll never get rid of my Netflix!

Our New 'Online' Lives

For years, technology has been slowly replacing basic fundamentals of everyday life and in some cases, even jobs that humans once worked. Computers, phones, GPS devices, cameras and media players are all part of our everyday lives. Years ago, people would say that computers would never catch on or if they did, they’d only be used for games and other “un-important” tasks. Now, these people eat their words as everything from shopping to booking airfare has been transitioned onto complex computer systems.

Online Banking

Online Banking
The reason for writing about this topic today was because of the personal experience I’ve had with online banking. I opened my first bank account when I got my first job back in 2000 and I rarely had to go into a branch because mostly everything by this time was being managed online with the exception of using the ATM for check deposits and cash withdrawals.

Today, I use a different bank and I only recently set up my new accounts. I was surprised to learn that I never even had to step foot into the bank to open these accounts. I went online due to an offer I received and wanted to cash in, so I started the application to open a new checking and savings account. I figured I might be able to go as far as establishing the account information, but I was sure that I’d have to sign something, take it in for identity verification and then make some initial deposits.

This was not the case. I was able to open the accounts, set up a new credit card with cashback rewards, perform a balance transfer for a 0% APR, make two initial deposits directly from my previous bank, request an ATM card, setup personal ATM settings like default withdrawal amounts, create accounting alerts, disable overdraft protection, order checks, link all my accounts together, create a payment plan for my credit card and setup direct deposit all online.

I was floored! I’m always looking for ways to transition everything I do to the online world to minimize paper and clutter in and around my desk and this just set the bar. I was a brand new customer and I had never even stepped one foot inside a branch nor have I ever had to use the ATM. I rarely use cash and I can deposit checks simply by taking pictures of the front and back and submitting them directly from my phone.

Online Life

A lot of people feel that taking everything online causes you to stay home more and resign yourself to a computer screen 90% of the time. I find it to be the opposite. While you do spend some time in front of a computer setting things up or processing transactions, once you’re done, you have more time to take care of other things like chores or shopping.

Smartphones are quickly becoming more and more useful. You can now set your DVR to record your favorite shows from your phone. Or how about turning on lights and A/C or heating units just before you get home so you can arrive in comfort. Here are some other things you can do online to improve life:

  • Add movies to your Netflix queue
  • Opt-out of telemarketing calls
  • Open/close/cancel bank accounts and credit cards
  • Purchase houses, cars, boats, land and businesses
  • Pay bills
  • Buy and trade stocks
  • Order food
  • Buy groceries
  • Send money to friends and relatives
  • Buy medication
  • Apply for jobs and participate in virtual interviews
  • Book vacations with flights, hotels, cars and excursions
  • So much more…this list could go on forever

My two cents

I’ve been on the Internet since 1996, so I’ve been witness to the drastic changes that have occurred through the years and I’m happy about where the Internet is today. It still amazes me that it has taken this long for people to catch up, but I guess with anything new or different, people can tend to shy away from it all. One concern I’ve always had is that doing everything above online takes away the human element. While this can be bad because you no longer have that face-to-face interaction with other people, it can be good because it takes out a lot of potential for errors.

I still know some people that write checks when they buy stuff or pull out large sums of cash to sustain them through the week and it always makes me laugh because I can’t think of the last time I ever used cash and who would want to carry around a check book all the time? Besides the great in-convenience this poses, you have security to worry about. Take for example you get robbed and there goes all your cash and checks. Now the thief has your money and your account information. You can guess what happens next. On the flipside, if you get robbed with just your credit cards, all you do is call them in later to have them blocked and any fraudulent charges will disappear in short time.

My goal is to never step foot in the bank in which I do business. I would like to see how many years go by without ever doing so.

World IPv6 Day – June 8, 2011

As usual, I’m late to the game! It’s a good thing I don’t purport myself to be a newscaster of any form because sometimes I feel like I’m the last to know. Even after I discussed the death of IPv4 the other day, I still wasn’t aware of June 8, 2011. But as it stands, June 8 is the day where 243 huge Internet organizations will participate in a 24-hr “test flight” of IPv6 across their servers and networks.

World IPv6 Day

On this day, the likes of Google, Facebook, Yahoo! and Akamai will be offering their websites and services over the IPv6 protocol. The basic idea behind this plan is to motivate other industry leaders and hardware manufacturers to continue getting devices and services ready for the new protocol.

Fortunately, these changes will be transparent to end-users, so there will be nothing special you need to do in order to see your favorite websites. Computers and hardware have in one way or another supported IPv6 for some years now, but if you want to verify this, proceed to the test site that’s been setup to run a series of tests on your computer system. It will tell you your current IPv6 compatibility and what, if anything, you can do to fix problems.

I’ve been an active Internet user for many, many years and I’ve often wondered how long it would take to run out of IPv4 addresses and as of February 11, 2011, we no longer have to wonder because it’s happened! There will come a day when IPv4 is no longer supported and it’s important now to ensure that systems across the world are able to operate on the new protocol.

More information

The Internet Society ( is probably your best bet for obtaining more (and updated) information about this event, so I’ve posted some direct links here for you to get the information you need:

IPv4 is Dying

Last month, I ran into quite a snag when trying to install a second iteration of WordPress MU on my server. I currently run a copy for this site and some others I manage, but I also have a few other clients on my server and one of them would like to also run multiple sites. I quickly found out exactly why you can’t run multiple instances of WordPress MU without a few caveats.

The caveat to be explored here is one that affects many areas of the Internet and its users. IPv4 is the fourth revision of the Internet Protocol. In layman’s terms, it’s the protocol that provides you with the IP address allowing you to get on the Internet. You may have seen them on your computer or device: XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX

Each octet can have 255 bits in it, meaning the whole IP address range is to and after removing a few reserved address blocks, you end up with about 4.3 billion combinations. In the original concept of the Internet, reaching this ceiling was thought to be impossible since the Internet was never to be used by the mass public. In order for a device to be on the Internet, it needs to have its own IP address.

In the beginning of the public Internet, large blocks of IP addresses were given to the phone companies to issue out to their customers based on various needs. At this time, if a computer network contained a thousand computers, 1,000 unique IP addresses were needed. This caused a lot of corporations to lease very large amounts of IP addresses. All that changed when Network Address Translation (NAT) was created. NAT allowed a network to use one public IP address for the entire network and a device such as a router to issue out individual private IP addresses to each device connected to it.

Confused yet?! It’s ok…that’s about as deep as I want to get in the definition of IP. Where I’m going with this is that no more IP addresses are available because the last 5 blocks were allocated to the 5 regional Internet registries (RIRs) on February 3, 2011. This doesn’t mean that all are being used, but they are at least in the hands of those responsible for leasing them to customers.

With that said, IPv4 is essentially dying, if not already dead. Our only hope now is the release of IPv6 which would allow for 340 undecillion IP address, or about 5 x 1028 addresses for each of the 6.8 billion people alive on the earth today.

Tonido – Run your own personal cloud

Sometimes I might be away from my home, perhaps at a friend’s out or maybe even out of town. While I generally have my MacBook to keep me connected, there are many times when I go to do something and I can’t because I realize everything is stored on my desktop computer. Of course there are services out there that allow you to upload data to the “cloud”, but I don’t like them because they are either too limited or too costly.

For anyone who doesn’t already know, cloud computing is the new terminology used to describe how we interact with our computers and data on the Internet. In the simplest of terms, creating a cloud allows you to make all of your files available online so you can access them wherever you are.


Tonido is free software that allows you to turn your home computer into your own personal cloud! Now, you can run your own cloud services similar to that of Apple’s MobileMe and Google Docs with two major differences: it’s free and you don’t have to upload your files to any 3rd parties.

The top 10 reasons to run Tonido:

  1. Secure and private – Use an external DNS name such as to access your Tonidio-enabled computer from anywhere in the world.
  2. File management – You can have full access to all of your files.
  3. Tonido WebShare – Create specific file shares for specific users, allowing them to have access to only what you want them to while using easy-to-remember URLs. There is a $29.99 charge to purchase the Pro version of this which enables quite a few new features. See Tonido Webshare for more information.
  4. Stream videos – Ever wanted to take your movies and videos with you on vacation, but could never decided on which ones to bring because you didn’t want to fill up your hard drive? You can now stream any video file directly from your home computer through Tonido Explorer.
  5. Stream music – Just as you would imagine, you can also stream all of your music. No need to bring your entire music collection with you anymore!
  6. Manage torrents – I used to have to wait until I got home to start any torrent downloads I wanted to get, but Tonido allows you to create and manage all of your downloads remotely.
  7. Manage money – There’s an add-on feature that allows you to manage all your finances remotely too.
  8. Backups – Use Tonido to remotely backup your whole computer to another computer on the network or to any other computer on the Internet.
  9. Personal blog – If you’ve always wanted to run a personal blog, but didn’t want to deal with all of the hassle of webhosting, you can use Tonido’s “Thots” to do just that. Make it only available to you or the whole world; you decide.
  10. Cross platform – Tonido is available on Windows, Mac and Linux. Remote software is available for those as well as the latest smartphones.

My two cents

From the looks of things, everything is free except the WebShare Pro. Ironically, this is probably the piece of software that you’d use most, so all in all, setting up your own cloud would cost about $30. Of course, you also have to provide your own hardware and be willing to leave a computer on 24/7. After all is considered, you really can’t beat this configuration. Even if you went with MobileMe, you’d have to pay about $99 per year plus deal with storage limitations.

If you’re anything like me, then you probably prefer to do everything yourself because at least you’d have full control of your cloud plus you can un-limit yourself by providing as much hard drive space as needed. My weekend project is going to be setting up such a system. I’ll be posting my final reviews on Tonido once I’ve played around with it a bit.

Being Forgotten By Google

This is not the kind of talk that any successful webmaster (or aspiring one) would ever want to entertain! Imagine one day, everything you’ve put into creating your place in the Internet world was simply forgotten by Google—ceased to exist, gone, goodbye, no more. However, it would seem that the desire to be forgotten is not that uncommon for regular people out there.

In Spain, there’s a court case against Google that is requesting they remove information on 90 people found within its indexes. Spain’s Data Privacy Agency is ordering that this information be removed after it received complaints about the content being old and now considered to be embarrassing if not libelous to the individuals involved. I’m not here to report the news, so if you want to read the full article go check out Yahoo’s ‘Right to be Forgotten’ article.

What I do want to talk about is just how much information there is out there in regards to your personal information. As for myself, I’ve always been very careful about what I put online and when I’m on Facebook, I’m very vigilant about staying on top of who’s posting comments and pictures involving me and removing items I don’t “approve” of.

Google yourself

As a test, I Googled my full name and I’m happy to report that where most people might find the top links to be some type of people-finding service and reverse phone-number lookups, I’ve managed to secure the top 10 results with various profile pages of mine and web projects I’ve created or worked on. The reason I’m happy about this is because I control every single one of those links. If one day, I don’t like that I posted my email address online, I can remove it and it will cease to exist from that link forever.

How do you fare when Googling your name? None of this may matter right now, but think about your future. Maybe one day you become famous or run for office and because of this wonderful Internet we have, practically all of your personal information is left to the world forever! We’ve all heard stories about people getting fired from their jobs because of unscrupulous Facebook posts and raunchy pictures. In fact, one of my favorite examples of this is the following:

Employee gets fired on Facebook

Becoming forgotten

According to the aforementioned case, one of the individuals involved is running a plastic surgery business and when his practice is searched, the top link shows you his site and relevant information, but the next one shows off a lawsuit that the surgeon was involved in back in 1991. His argument is that this information is detrimental to his business. I should say so! In fact, I’m kind of thinking that maybe people should know this information before getting involved in plastic surgery. On the other hand, is it right (or fair) to judge someone based on extremely old data?

It goes without saying that Google receives tons of removal requests like this from all over the world, but Google doesn’t remove a single one because they don’t want to jeopardize the integrity of their indexes.

So how does one become forgotten online? There is no complete solution to this dilemma because the Internet just keeps collecting data, day after day, after day. The only true way to control information on yourself is to control the source. If you can’t do that, then always remember this one simple rule: if you put it on the Internet, assume everyone in the world has seen it. And if they haven’t, it’s only a matter of time.

Websites are stealing my content! What should I do?!

Often, bloggers are faced with the harsh reality that at some point, their website’s content is going to be copied (or stolen) by one or more websites. Not only can this hurt you emotionally, given the amount of time you probably spent writing a quality piece, but it can severely hurt your website as a whole. As anyone with basic web knowledge knows, search engine ranking is the game of the day. Without a good rank, your site is considered dead.


The reasons behind why other webmasters steal content can vary from person to person, but generally, these are the top three:

  • Domain rank – Whether you knew it or not, the words used to make up your domain name are considered in your search ranking. An example of this is if you write a blog all about your favorite comic books, but your domain doesn’t mention anything about comics at all. This can cause another site, like to be ranked higher even if they’re content isn’t that great. How this translates into stealing content is simple: a webmaster goes and finds a domain name that better describes your content and then copies everything you have onto their new site. If they get their way, they will soon outrank you.
  • Autoblogging – This practice is more common than not. If a webmaster wanted to create a new site relatively fast and begin competing for search rank, all they would need to do is start an autoblogging service that scours the web looking for content based on keywords they input and off they go. Your content is copied and placed on their new site. I strongly discourage using these practices because they don’t enhance the web experience in any way, but if you’d like to read more about autoblogging, you should do so at your own risk!
  • Higher search rank – Naturally, the main reason for stealing content is to increase your web presence, however they’re doing so at your expense. If you operate a site that only gets crawled once a day and another site gets crawled every hour, then it becomes very possible for the other site to steal your content before Google even knows you had it. At this point, Google now ranks the other site higher and your site looks like the copycat!

So what can you do about this? The short answer is nothing much. The laws of the Internet (and computers in general) dictate that any content found online can be copied and everyone can access it. It’s the inherent downside to such a cool piece of technology. However, all is not lost! Your goal should be to protect your content as much as possible and one major way to do this is to update your site frequently. If you become one of those sites that gets crawled every hour, then you won’t have to worry about looking like a copycat.

Reporting illegal activities

In case you didn’t know, Google offers a way in which you can report content thieves and other spammers. Here are some tips on how to do that:

  • Remove content from Google – Use Google’s own form available at to file a report against any content you find online that may be violating your copyright(s). With this tool, you can also report unlawful content and defamation/libel content.
  • Visit provides services regarding all sorts of copyright infringements including watermarking photos and filing takedown requests for serious violators. These services aren’t free, but if you’re providing very valuable information, you should consider how valuable it is in regards to your Google standings.
  • Contact violators – The old fashioned way of confronting your attacker! I’ve had luck with contacting webmasters directly and asking them to take down copyright-infringed content and surprisingly had more luck with them actually removing content. This approach can help new webmasters understand the “laws of the land” as well as give them a sporting chance to better themselves.

Running a website can be hard and some of us put a lot of our free time into our publications. There’s nothing more dis-heartening than finding out that someone else may be reaping benefits from something you created. I now know how musicians feel as they watch all of their music being freely distributed throughout the world!

More information

Review the provisions outlined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to become more proficient in dealing with copyright claims. You should also out everyone who uses the Internet by filing reports against spam-filled websites. Google doesn’t want junk sites in their indexes, so let’s all help them out by getting them removed!

You can also view my copyright information regarding this site to help you with creating your own set of rules for visitors who use your site.

Who is John Chow?

I’ll start off by saying I don’t know John Chow personally, nor have I ever met him or even communicated with him via email or any other means.

With that said, I’m writing this article because I wanted to explore what I do know about him, his website and the throngs of followers he’s amassed over the years. I also have to say that if it wasn’t for John Chow, I probably wouldn’t have done much with this website. However, take that statement with a grain of salt! I’m not here to promote his services or tout how great he is and blah blah blah.

What I am saying is that when I got into this whole blogging thing, I wasn’t sure what direction I was headed, so after doing some searches, I found his website, to be rather helpful. He sort of inspired me with his little video about how great life was–being able to blog online and not have a day job–in which he could then take his daughter out for walks in the park with nobody around because they were “all at work”. Normally, I don’t buy into such claims because while I do understand it’s possible to live a comfortable life doing hardly any work (that’s subjective by the way), I understand that it usually takes a LOT of work to get there. Whether John Chow’s video is he reality or not is not the point. The point is that I knew it could be done and I wanted to get there…for real.

His site title says, “I Make Money Online By Telling Other People How To Make Money Online”. If you read that and you’re instantly brough back to the days (or late, late nights) when you used to listen to Don Lapre talk about how he made $50k a week by putting “tiny little ads” in newspapers from his “one-bedroom apartment”, then we’re on the same page!

We’ve all seen the late night infomercials touting all sorts of plans and ideas of how to make lots of money in short time and/or without much work, but have you ever really investigated these ideas? What are they really selling you? I mean, I could say to you that I have a super secret plan to make $20,000 a day and I’m only going to charge you $1000 for me to tell you the secret. You get all excited, pay me the money and then I tell you the secret is to move to Hollywood, become and actor and land yourself a sitcom making $20,000 per episode. But is that really a secret? More importantly, did your thousand dollars really help you at all?

Now I’m not calling John Chow a scam artist, but I am trying to illustrate one thing: to make money, you have to work hard. What’s interesting about how John Chow operates is that his website is setup to perform 3 main functions (in this order):

  1. Present a newsletter – No matter where you look on his site, you’ll find a place to sign up to his newsletter. In reality, what he’s doing is collecting email addresses. I’ve personally signed up for the newsletter once and instantly realized that everything being sent was talking about nothing more than how to make money online and the different ways to do it.
  2. Sell a product – He’s not selling any actual products, but rather a multitude of things like ebooks, money-making videos, guides, self-help tutorials and other related digital items at various times on his site.
  3. Keep you coming back – This is where the previous two functions come into play. The more you come back to see the latest offers, the more likely you are to purchase something and trust me, these offers are enticing!

The Offers

The first thing you’ll notice about John Chow’s offers is that they are very similar to everyone else who offers an online product. This brings me to the one problem I have with his site; all these offers do is regurgitate the exact same content, tips and advice as every other site out there that promises you to make money online!

As an example, 90% of these “special” videos all claim you can make thousands of dollars a month by joining affiliate programs and purchasing Google AdWords to help drive traffic to some squeeze page that sells a product about how to sign up for affiliate programs and buy Google AdWords to help drive traffic…you can see where I’m going with this. It becomes a vicious circle.

By the way, the products you’re selling to people are aimed at affiliate/Internet marketers just like you, so all you’re really doing is flooding your own market with new competition! That’s like your local 7-Eleven only selling their products to other liquor stores who are then selling to more liquor stores and so on. In time, your city is flooded with too many sources where you can buy the exact same products. Any basic knowledge of economics would tell you that this setup will eventually collapse.

I like to think of these sites as nothing more than pyramid schemes poised to earn untold amounts of profit for the person/website at the top while the bottom support earns crumbs.

How to really make money online

Of course, you can make money online using all of the available tips and tricks on the Internet, including sites like, but the reality is that you have to be good enough to beat out all the competition…or just get really lucky.

I’ve been able to make money online from my own network of websites because I provide fresh, original content and people recognize me for that. I don’t take one person’s program, put a spin on it and then mask it off as my own. I don’t partake in shady practices in regards to Google search rankings. I don’t accept payments as bribes from people wishing to be named in a blog post.

I’m not accusing anyone of doing these aforementioned practices, but we all know that some people do. My advice is that if you want to make money online today and a long time from now, stay focused on your vision, provide something valuable to the Internet and keep it real. You’d be surprised just how fast your website will start making money.

If along the way, you can add some extra income using affiliate marketing, then by all means, do it! All I’m saying is that you will not become a millionaire overnight and it takes hard work and dedication to run a profitable website.

So the next time you’re on a site like, get as much free information as you can, but be weary of purchasing a money-making program.

How to protect yourself from being phished

Phishing is the number one reason why people lose access to their email, banking and even social networking accounts. Anytime you or your friend say your “account got hacked”, this is what happened. In reality, your account didn’t get hacked! If it did, then you’re saying that someone out there was able to break into the servers that hold your account and somehow retrieve access to your account. If that had happened, I can guarantee that I would never do business with a site like that again!

In fact, what did happen was that someone duped you into giving up your login information and this is far from a hack–it’s simply an ingenius way to fool the unsuspecting.

How does phishing work?

It’s the ultimate form of deception in the online world. Here’s the basic scam:

  1. The attacker sets up a website that looks identical to the site he/she is trying to gain access to.
  2. You receive an email that tells you that you have to sign into your account for some reason.
  3. The message contains a link that looks legitimate, but then takes you to the fake site instead.
  4. Once on the site, you ‘login’, but nothing happens.
  5. By clicking the login button, you’ve just sent your username and password to the attacker.

I’m always surprised when I hear that people have fallen for these scams–especially because today’s antivirus software and even web browsers all generally have automated protections against known phishing threats.

So how do you keep from getting phished?

The number one rule to remember is always check the link you’re clicking on. Just because it says doesn’t mean it’s actually going there. Here are the best ways to keep your account information safe:

  • Always check the URL once you click on a link. This cannot be faked! If you click on a link that’s supposed to go to Facebook, make sure that the URL in the address bar says
    URL address bar
  • Don’t click on links in emails. If you really want to be safe, just don’t click on the link. You can always go to the site manually and login. A lot of these scam emails will say that you need to login to update something in your account. Ok, so maybe you want to be sure. Just go to your browse and manually type in and login to see what’s going on in your account.
  • Login with fake information. If you’re still not sure about the site you’re on, try to login with an obviously wrong username/password combination. If the site is real, you’ll get an error message saying your login information is wrong. If the site is fake, you won’t see anything happen.
  • Pay attention. A legitimate site will never ask you for your username and password and therefore would never ask you to login to your account to change some mundane details. If the site has a legitimate purpose for having you log into your account, they will usually tell you to login first to see an important message rather than sending it in an email.

What can I do if I got phished?

This depends on when you find out what happened. If you sent your login info and you realized right away that it was a scam, go log into the real site and quickly change your password. These scammers will usually send out the fake email to thousands of users at one time in hopes to get a few bites and they may not have sorted through all the login info they received by the time you found out, so you may still have a chance to save your account.

If you were already scammed and you lost access to your account, you need to contact the company that runs the site to explain what happened. They usually won’t turn over accounts based on a simple request, but they can monitor the account for suspicious activity and/or shut it down. However, don’t expect to get your account back. This rarely happens as it’s almost impossible for you to prove that you’re the rightful owner.

Help others in the community when you come across a known scam or specific person involved by alerting your friends not to respond to their requests. You should also report this information to the website they are attacking.

Final thought

Phishing will never disappear just like viruses, spam, black-hat hackers and other threats out there. There’s an old saying that says “Never let a sucker keep his money.” Don’t be the sucker. Don’t rely 100% on your antivirus software for for big name website to shut these scammers down. You need to rely on your knowledge to help you wade through these types of threats when using a computer.

Lastly, if you’re not to sure about a specific website or link, don’t enter any personal information on it!

International Domain Speculation

As any domain owner will tell you, domain speculation is a rough game. In fact, it’s very similar to the stock market in some sense. No, the value of a domain doesn’t fluctuate with rising and falling markets, per se, but the risk of “guessing” which domains will have resell value now or later is just as high as it is on Wall Street.

When thinking about this topic, I was browsing around the Internet and came across a few articles about International domains and with the few new TLDs that have been launching auctions for previously reserved domains, it’s hard not to want to dive in head first and buy all the good domains available.

The problem? Nobody can accurately predict the value of such names and the reason for this is because there are so many factors that play into what they might actually be worth with the worst part being that these factors vary depending on who you talk to!

International Domains (ccTLD)

ccTLD is short for Country Code Top-Level Domain. These are the 2-character TLDs that were assigned to each country in the world. There were a few reasons to do this, one of which was to increase the amount of domains available for registration and also to provide each country with a domain that pertains specifically to them.

However, what this also did was allow domain speculators and other individuals who felt they missed out on the booming domain industry to start registering the same domain names that were selling for hundreds of thousands, but in a new TLD. While this sounds like a master plan, one must be reminded that every TLD is valued differently and in an industry where value is extremely subjective, this is troubling to hear.

So how does one value an International TLD?

Digital Gold Rush

The best domains aren’t always the obvious ones. For example, you might be tempted to register because sold for $7 million at one point, but you might be better off registering Geschä (business in German).

Other valuable domains might be really short ones that can be used for URL shortening services like the one I got, for example. You might even be considering a “domain hack” like,, or Whatever the case may be, you could be sitting on a gold mine or bust out like so many others who jumped on a bandwagon.

No matter the case, every time a new TLD is launched, a frenzy ensues and all over the Internet, you can see articles and postings about launch dates, sunrise periods, pre-registrations, trademark reservations, general registration, premium auctions and domain valuations. It seems that the latest trend is the premium auction feature. This is where the country or (registrar acting on behalf of the country) has decided to place a series of “premium” domains on reserved lists, generate some buzz and then release them in specialized blocks in hopes to squeeze the most value out of a domain.

No other TLD was more successful at this process than dotME.

dotME Domains

The dotME TLD comes from the country of Montenegro. Their site, will have you believe (in short time) that dotME domains are the greatest thing since sliced bread! Their ability to promote and market their cause is unparalleled in the business.

The first thing they did was reserve thousands of domain names, marked them as premium and put them up for auction. Back in April, they auctioned off a ton of first names like,, and so on. I was able to acquire and that’s all I needed.

On November 17th, Sedo auctioned off another large block that netted about $400,000. posted a list of the top selling dotME domains if you want to check it out. While you’re at it, head on over to and check out some of their upcoming premium auctions.

Here’s the top five from that list:

  1. $26,500
  2. $15,600
  3. $13,100
  4. $12,099
  5. $10,099

What’s interesting about this list is that the domain was far down it having sold for $4010. This goes to show that not only is dotME simply not dotCOM and never will be. But another interesting point is that doesn’t seem to make sense in the dotME spectrum. The reason for this is because dotME forces the word “me” when you see it. This makes dotME perfectly suitable for personal blogs and other domains that use words that work with the word “me”.

My Two Cents

The point to this post was that International domains can be great additions to any portfolio and they might hold some value to someone somewhere, but generally speaking, the TLD will make a huge difference in the value of a domain. So when you’re out there speculating your next purchase, make note of how others might relate to your domain choices.