Tag Archive: Cache

Akismet and Jetpack Issues, Stop Spammers and CloudFlare Save the Day

My Web Host Penalised Me Yet Helped Speed Up My Site

Introduction

shared web hosting

shared web hosting

This site used to be hosted on Site5, in Texas.  I had a shared web host account, about the cheapest there is on Site5 though by no means the cheapest around (I’ve had experience of really cheap hosts….).  It worked alright, site management was good.  Then, I got hit by spammers.  Twice.  Big time.

Each time, this slowed the site down, made life hell for other shared accounts, especially when I introduced WordPress plugins to counter this.

Naturally, Site5 advised me to stop the hits or they’d pull my account (they’d already temporarily disabled it).  They advised me to cut the plugins, using GoDaddy’s plugin testing tool, WordPress Plugin Performance Profiler (P3).  So I did this, and after some trial and error, got the running processes down.  Of course, I lost a bit of neat functionality.

Testing Times

Apart from internal WordPress testing, it pays to test your site as if you are someone else somewhere else.  Pingdom have a set of tools that does just this, testing from various global locations and I can recommend it.

Result!

I used an iterative approach, testing various combinations of plugins and systems to end up as being in the top 8% sites for speed in the world!  Not bad for free is all I can say!   You’ll see in the screenshot above, that 92% of websites are slower than mine….   So is it really free?  Here goes…..

Paid For:
  • Web Hosting.  Shared.
  • My domain registration.
Free:
  • WordPress and all the LAMP functionality
  • WordPress plugins
  • CloudFlare
Pingdom Says

Pingdom Says

Automattic Issues

WordPress (which this site uses) is built by the Automattic team and naturally have expanded over time.  I’ve used their plugins for many years, Akismet from the off, which is a comment spam blocking system.  Latterly, they came out with Jetpack, where they say,

Supercharge your WordPress site with powerful features previously only available to WordPress.com users.

Jetpack is a WordPress plugin that supercharges your self-hosted WordPress site with the awesome cloud power of WordPress.com.

P3 Selected Output

P3 Selected Output

This is all well and good, except when I tested it using the P3 plugin profiler, Jetpack was the biggest drag on everything!   The worst part of it, was that actually, I was only using a small part of its features and it was still the biggest suck on performance.

  • I didn’t use Carousel for photos since I had an old solution, NextGen Gallery, that I’m loathe to change.
  • The comments system mucked up all other comment plugins, grabbing all for itself (a bit like Microsoft here!)
  • I used the stats, and that was about all, yet they were very slow and not that informative, actually.
  • Nearly all the other stuff I looked at, tried and ditched for similar reasons.

So much for the awesome cloud power.  On top of this, you’re now supposed to pay for parts of Automattic’s offerings, like Akismet, the comment spam blocker while a major offering of theirs was actually slowing my site right up!

What Did I do?

Change host!

Well not initially, actually, though the heavy-handed Site5 approach got my ire a bit I must admit.  I did do loads of tests with a host of caching, anti-spam and page load improvement plugins first…

Vidahost

Vidahost

I now use Vidahost in the UK.  The site is faster to manage (along with my others) since the servers are in the UK with me, and it’s cheaper, providing almost the same functionality and tools as Site 5.  I took the opportunity to clean out a few dead files in the process, but essentially, all was moved, database and files.  The lot.  Just twiddled config.php and the .htaccess file a bit.

did worry that my American visitors, who are actually in the majority, would  suffer slower speed and thus I’d get hit in Google rankings, but hey, wait for later…!

I got it all working and as part of the whole “thinking” process since the very first warnings from Site 5, I’d been looking for better things.

Looking at Things Closely

  • I like Related Posts.   Related Posts plugins do just that.  I love the idea of pulling out meta-data relevant stuff from a website.  Site 5 had said, as have others on the web, that this sort of plugin makes big hits on a site.  Some of them really do!  I use  YARPP, with a limited subset of features enabled which cuts down processing.
  • I also like Andrew Ozz’s Shutter Reloaded which shows images nicely.   I also like his post editor, TinyMCE Advanced, it being the best of many I’ve tested over the years.
  • I like NextGEN Gallery having used it since before WordPress got all image fancy.  I haven’t got time to fiddle with thousands of photos now…
  • I’d like some statistics within WordPress.
  • I’m not that interested, any-more (though I was) in Social Networking sharing features.  Truth be told, if someone wants to share, they will.
  • I’ve read a lot on image improvements.  I’ve always shrunk images manually before uploading using the excellent IrfanView application.  But during this enforced research, other things like sprites and delayed image loading popped into the equation.

So I like certain plugins or functionality.  I try and use the one that works best for me.  Too many plugins make a big hit on the server and thus website loading.

Caching

A way round this is caching.  e.g. If a post is created and has related posts clagged on the bottom using YARPP, then the post is cached and YARRP is only running once.  How and where the caching is done is the crux of the issue…

Site 5 suggested W3 Total Cache as a better alternative to Wp Super Cache,  which I’ve used for years.    Naturally, I’ve tested this and my conclusion was that it could be fast, and it was fast for a while, but over time on each of my sites I got issues around lock-ups and the huge and complex caching system around files, databases and sprites.  This list is long.

I’ve also tested various database query caching plugins likewise over the years.  W3 Total Cache incorporates this method too, but ultimately, it made too much work for not a lot of difference IMHO, since I’m lazy.

However, it did point me to one thing!  CloudFlare.

CloudFlare

CloudFlare Admin1

CloudFlare Admin1

Ah.  The power of the cloud is back!

Not only that – it works!

CloudFlare Admin2

CloudFlare Admin2

You re-direct your DNS at your domain registrar (joker.com in my case) to CloudFlare’s DNS servers, set up the site malware protection level you want – then after a few hours your whole site is cached and protected.  Best of all, it’s free for a little site like this!

In fact, using CloudFlare speeded everything up even before I got caching going again…

Further Plugin Work

Now, I went back to Wp Super Cache from Doncha and it all works fine.  Site speed good.  I then ditched Jetpack after testing it again.  It really does interfere with all comment plugins, and I really like this comment one as do people who comment here:

  • U Extended Comment

It works great and does everything I want.  So Jetpack, it’s bye bye.  Take all your fancy commenting system, your stats, your social media and fancy image handling.

But What About Comment Spam?

Stop Spammer Results2

Stop Spammer Results2

Stop Spammer Results1

Stop Spammer Results1

I’ve found the best solution is a plugin called Stop Spammer Registrations Plugin.  It needed a bit of fine tuning and a re-activation of Akismet to whip out a few wisps of spammer, but it works and seems to trap and report more spammers than ever Akismet did alone.  Akismet, by itself, does the commenting bit in tandem with the plugin, rather well.

Registration Spam

SABRE Results

SABRE Results

Unfortunately, during testing, a few unwanted visitors managed to register on the website.  They can’t do real harm since I use the lowest role level at registration time.  So I re-enabled SABRE and since then, no more unwanted visitors.  I’ve tested SABRE as a visitor and the settings I’ve chosen are just about right – I’ve had issues with it previously when it blocked registration!  But reducing the feature set and re-uploading a clean plugin fixes that.

CloudFlare and the CDN Issue

I toyed around getting a CDN to host images.  But they (can) cost and anyway, I’ve gone off Amazon and others because of their anti-Wikileaks actions plus they don’t pay UK tax…

Delayed Image Loading

However, in the course of my reading, I found that images can be loaded just as the page comes into view, which speeds up page loading, and as a consequence the perceived nippiness of a site.  The plugin BJ Lazy Load does this for me and works brilliantly.  Check this last post about Australia which has a lot of medium sized images to see them pop into view!

Delayed Javascript Loading

I use two plugins that handle this end of the issue around JavaScript.

Statistics

WP SlimStat1

WP SlimStat1

Well, Jetpack is gone.  I won’t be using it unless some serious improvements are made, it being the prime reason for the server load that brought me to this position in  the first place.  As soon as I disabled it (and simultaneously blocked all comments to the site, which isn’t the best thing, this being a blog after all), all server loads went away.

I now use SlimStat and it works very well.  I’ve tried many over time, including Google’s analysis tools, my webhost’s stats tools, Wassup and more, but for now, this is it.

Conclusion

My site works pretty fast and is pretty protected from the bad guys.  I actually still use more plugins than what is usually recommended – 50 is a huge lot according to web gurus and sages.  Currently there are 31 in active operation with 8 inactivated.  I love trying new ones, it’s like that, that’s just the way it is.

The delayed image loading is particularly apparent on a post with a lot of images, say this recent one.  The post loads fast and you see the first images load, and as you scroll down you’ll see other images appear with a slight delay.

All the other stuff is incremental improvement, with the biggest, by far, being the free CloudFlare service which I cannot recommend highly enough.  It’s a no-brainer, go and do it?

My Full List?

These are the plugins currently running that help my site work.  Many are for security, which demonstrates the state of play versus the bad internet guys full well.

Related Posts:

Boundless Hypocrisy Over Kate’s Tits

Public Breast-beating Over Middleton Paparazzi Photos

You must understand that there is no news today.
Everything is celebrity, sport and royal in the UK.
Everyone has a media correspondent, a sports correspondent and a royal correspondent.
Reporters just report on the latest twitter feed.  No-one searches.

There are several aspects to this boob photos media blizzard.

  • There’s the mass media  almost to a man, fawning and groping at half truths.
  • There are many ordinary people wondering what’s going on.

So I’ll explain.                                  (As I see it, natch)

If you want the tit and bum shots, check at the end.  If you can’t wait, click here for the latest information on modified sweat glands.


Private Pictures, Public Place?

We now have several (mainly establishment types) people making exaggerated claims about the camera location.  Well, I’ve checked.

The photos were NOT taken “over a mile and a half away”, nor “well over a mile” away, nor “about a mile away”, nor “from a long way off, in private woods”, but about half a mile away.  The house is clearly visible, along with the windows, railings and garden stuff that appear in the photos on Google Maps Streetview.

I’ve chosen a point ~ 900m from the building as one of many good vantage points.  Go down now to see it.

If I used my hand-held camera taking a shot, I could see the whites of the eyes….  Yes really!  To demonstrate — here are two pictures that show the capability of my hand-held Panasonic Lumix, DMC-TZ30. 

Be careful when clicking as I’ve uploaded the shots at full resolution.  Once loaded, click the little green arrow to see the pictures in all their full-size glory – you will need to scroll both vertically and horizontally to find the yacht when on full-size.

They are hand-held, on a normal day, just like many of my recent shots from my recent French vacation.  I have many high-res scenic shots – I’ll have to check them through – who knows what I’ll find LOL.

No Zoom of Yacht - Can you see it?

No Zoom:  There’s a Yacht here – Can you see it?
Click to see just how really small it is.

20x Optical Zoom of Yacht

20x Optical Zoom of Yacht – Now can you see it?
Click and you’ll see a tanker in the background which I couldn’t see at all with the naked eye.
These two shots and more are visible at lower resolution here on Christine’s Beach Hut.

If someone was on the yacht, I could see them.  The boat is several miles offshore – nearly on the horizon actually!   So don’t let the Streetview shot below fool you – the house is a lot closer than it looks, even from the position I’ve chosen here.  It is only 900 metres away!

The house is dead centre in this link.   So it is a private house visible in public, much like me in my bedroom at night with the curtains open, okay?  My camera could have easily shown them doing anything. Easily.  Yet if I can be easily seen in my bedroom at night (i.e. clearly a private place as they keep repeating) I can get done for indecent exposure?  Right?

Hopefully, by seeing the capability of my own camera in conjunction with a normal Streetview of the area, you can now see how incongruous the claims that this is a private place actually are?

(p.s. pan left – it’s a lovely view!)

View Larger Map


But surely, 900m is a Long Way, isn’t it?

The firstworldwar.com website shows the standard issue British rifle  in WW1 as having guaranteed accuracy up to 600m.  This had no optical scope, just sights to be used by a normal man.  This means a kill shot at 600m, not just wounding, which shows the hand/eye/gun precision easily possible from anyone.  900 metres doesn’t look so far now, eh?
I also remember reading in “With a Machine Gun to Cambrai”, the author George Coppard saying that he picked off men at a similar range with just one or two rounds from his heavy machine gun.  This is despite the juddery nature of a heavy machine gun.

Again, 900 metres doesn’t look so far now, eh?


A Right to Privacy?

Well almost.

The royals have done very well over the last few years with Elizabeth II’s annus horribalis being mostly forgotten.  But let’s cast our minds back, shall we?

At that time, Diana and Fergie had caused much embarrassment with their girlie antics.  Charlie’s behaviour outside the public face of marital fidelity was well known and became ever-more detailed as time passed.  Phil the Greek was his usual self and scandal after scandal built up until the Castle burnt down.  So that was that – then.

Now we have Harry getting his kit off to the amusement of the world (in a €6000 a night hotel suite on a serviceman’s salary, note),  but being dismissed as “just letting off steam but must be more careful in future”.  And almost synchronously in time with Harry, it now appears, Kate & Wills feel so assured in their new-found popularity that they can do anything.  They certainly have the money for it.

But you know – they can’t.

If they want the esteemed position that they publicly project and behind which the combined forces of a fawning mass media enforce, then they must behave like it.  They cannot behave like normal holidaymakers and not expect a come-back no matter how “ordinary” Kate was supposed to have been.  You can’t be a “highness” and not expect attention?   They cannot say and do anything – for one thing, our constitution forbids it!

For another, the public will hate it and they need the public much more than we need them.

Why don’t they all just go away?  I won’t mind a bit.  Maybe this’ll be a turning point as the penny drops?

Privacy – What Privacy? – added 18/9/2012

The BBC has now leapt onto my referencing Google Streetview as an aid to showing relative privacy.  Of course, the devil-in-the-detail of this is not mentioned as I’ve done above.

BBC Copies Me - Chateau d'Autet

BBC Copies Me – Chateau d’Autet
Click image for BBC webpage

But that’s not my point here, is it?  Neither is my point that criminal proceedings are now starting.   My point is that for all of us….

Our Own Privacy is Zilch.

We are (or will be):

  • Subjected to full intimate  body scans at airports by faceless private “agencies”
  • Have our emails and web activity saved and analysed at leisure by faceless private “agencies”
  • Followed down every street, across every junction, inside every shop by CCTV “security” cameras run by faceless private “agencies”
  • Have our phones tapped by faceless private “agencies”
  • Have our shopping habits monitored by faceless private “businesses”
  • Have our finances, credit cards, driving licences all cross-referenced ad infinitum with our passports, our insurances, our taxes and more – by faceless private “agencies”

…and all of this is done to us while the few that own these “agencies” and “businesses” flaunt their wealth, hide their money, holiday in their tax havens, pay no taxes, are as secret and private as they choose to be, collude to manage information and the law, and then have the audacity to tell us how to behave.  Royalty is just the icing on top of a very rich cake…..

Charles & Camilla recently visited the notable tax haven of Jersey on the of 18th July for a day – it cost us £60,000 which we paid to Jersey!   The current SE Asia visit will cost on a par with the last Canadian tour which cost the Canadians alone nearly $2m in security.

  • Why do we let them get away with it?
  • What use are they?
  • Where is our privacy?
  • Where is our return on investment?  I see none.

Reverting to Type?

I’ve just been to a “do” at the Lily Langtry in Bournemouth.  This is the former house, bought by Edward VII as Prince of Wales for his actress mistress , Lily Langtry, the first face of Pears Soap..

And here’s where more hypocrisy creeps in as those reversions to type are conveniently forgotten.

As we all know, Charles, William’s dad, was knocking off Camilla his mistress both before and during his marriage to Diana, Wills’ mother.  Much like Edward VII & Langtry.  All of the UK knows this.  Now Camilla is supposed to be “accepted”, according to our fawning press.  A few grannies during the jubilee said she looked nice….well that’s it then!

Yet in France, for years the hobbled press kept secret the facts of former President Mitterrand’s mistress and his second family….a bit like secret polygamy, but in a Catholic country….?   Yet millions get their kit off in summer all over France?

Ye-es, as Paxman would say….

The French press hid also the fact that 200 Algerians were slaughtered and chucked in the Seine in 1961 by the police.  Now that’s privacy!   Obviously, this is sarcasm, but the royals are using this weird French cultural mish-mash  and press/law combo for their own advantage……. They think!  They should hope!

Clearly, French privacy is wholly different to the British version.  I can get done for undressing while forgetting to shut the curtains, but in France my privacy to do this is upheld?

Ye-es I hear Paxman saying again.


Media Guff and Fawn

So how can we accept protestations about “rightness” from these people when nothing is said about actions and happenings either then or now which go clearly against their public statements and media view of their lifestyle?

If the next likely Prince of Wales, Wills, turns out like other former Princes of Wales’, do we wash it away but say that sensationalistic reporting of public/private sunbathing “hotties” is wrong?

Because a “hottie” is what Kate is – she’s smart, apparently intelligent, elegant and (most importantly for the press), hot in a swimsuit  – as earlier photos revealed. (Remember the debate in all the papers about who was hotter, Kate or Pippa?  Of course you do, but you’d forgotten, hadn’t you?).

The success of the Daily Mail website hangs on her and other sensationalist voyeuristic shots of hundreds of “hotties” – here’s today’s Kate article; note the HUGE list down the right for articles, near half of which are for scantily clad women.    n.b. Checking the Mail On-line now shows a huge dearth of the usual skin revealing links.

The comments at the bottom, like I said, for the most part, go totally against the fawning theme of the piece.  One repeats the mile and a half lie so that mud has stuck again.

Indeed, for those with long memories, the video at the bottom harps on about Berlesconi’s ownership of the magazines and his publication of Diana’s car photos  “minutes after the accident”.

Now, maybe you remember that  following Diana’s crash, The Daily Mail solemnly pledged never to use paparazzi photos again?

Yet virtually all the links down the right of any Mail page are paparazzi pictures!  They have to be – they’ve sacked nearly everyone and the paper would fold without them.

Porn Baron Protests and Threatens to Close Magazine!

Yes.  It’s true.  Here’s the chronology.

  1. French magazine publishes photos taken during the summer. – 14 Sep – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-19595221
  2. Irish paper does the same on Saturday. – 15 Sep – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-19611407
  3. Italian magazine follows suit. – 17 Sep (today) – http://www.metro.co.uk/news/912183-topless-photos-of-duchess-published-in-italian-magazine-chi

It’s the Irish one that’s interesting!  It’s co-owned by Richard (Dirty) Desmond, who besides running UK TV’s Channel 5 and  publishing the Daily Express and tit paper The Daily Star, also runs porn channels Red Hot TV and Television X.  This growth was part financed by selling off his earlier publishing business which included such salubrious titles as Asian Babes and Readers Wives.  Notably, his celebrity magazines of OK! and New! are full of paparazzi photos…….  like, dah?

Now, to top it all, Desmond has said he wants the Irish paper closed….. – 17 Sep – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-19621188     He must be after a knighthood or something because his history shows that prurient disapproval is not one of his strong-points.  It’s laughable.

The lady (and Desmond) doth protest too much, methinks. – Hamlet

Mass Media Princely Support, Public Split

Checking the comments following news reporting, I note a two-thirds majority telling Kate to keep her kit on if she doesn’t want to be rumbled.  This is despite the media claiming “over-whelming condemnation” or whatever.

It’s just simply not there.  Most of the public aren’t swallowing it.

Sooner or later there will be a backlash against the Royals if they keep this up.  Let well alone, it’d have blown over, much like Harry’s knob-tastic exposures.  But keeping it going, on and on, using their inherited and publicly provided wealth to pursue legal redress shows them seriously out of touch with the common mood, no matter how much the mass media are beefing them up.

The recent Hilsborough revelations show that media collusion is not a new thing.


Tits and Bums

A lot of people are behaving like bums or making a tit of themselves.

Those in “the establishment” are doing what those in the establishment normally do, which is to fawn and whine, pontificate and lie, all to keep ranks under the firm expectation of a gong at some point.

Then there are the “granny types” who all think she’s lovely and that the queen does a marvellous job.

There’s a few who see it as an attack on women, part of the objectification of women that’s happened for millenia and has now gone past saucy postcards, through Page 3 and porn mags (like Dirty Desmond’s) to full on ubiquitous internet porn and the gyrating phone girls on Freeview.  (All very valid, but not my gist)

Then there’s everyone else!

These are in two camps, I think;

  • those that don’t care either way but think the royals should think themselves lucky to get free holidays and trips and well looked after for the whole of their lives
  • those that just want to see the tits

Well, thanks to Kate & Wills’ explosive reaction, Kate’s bits are everywhere now.

For instance, here’s an enterprising guy (Oliver James) in Bath, UK, who’s got a domain up and running in record time!  See http://www.katemiddletontopless.co.uk/ for all the shots you’ll need.  A WHOIS puts the owner, Bee Digital Media Ltd,  in California.  But a company search places it here in the UK!  (better watch out Oliver…..perhaps….?)

BEE DIGITAL MEDIA LIMITED  (also has website bee-digital.co.uk)

Address removed since it’s been reported as changed, thanks Dan

Kate Middleton Topless Photos – Prince William and Kate Suing Publication

Kate Middleton Topless Photos – Prince William and Kate Suing Publication

Apart from that, there are loads of others.  One that caught my eye was a website called Divided States, a US political site.  They had a web-page here, http://www.dividedstates.com/kate-middleton-topless-photos-prince-william-and-kate-suing-publication/ which they’ve now pulled.  How coy.

Fortunately, the Google Cache shows us this – the full copy of their original posting – click here or the screenshot for the cache. (full image available on request)

  • So am I a tit or a bum?
  • Is Oliver above?
  • Is Berlesconi?  Berlesconi certainly has gripes with the UK following his latin faux-pas with the queen and others….?  Maybe he’s publishing just for revenge?

Conclusion

Wills, with his experience, has behaved like a knob.  He should have known better.  He slipped up, which is a possible explanation for the rapid response unit being thrown into action.  It was notably absent following the Harry incident.

But really, what everyone has totally forgotten, is the old adage:

Don’t throw stones when you live in a greenhouse.

The lady doth protest too much, methinks. – Hamlet


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Related Posts:

From Google Treasure Chest to Sun Tan Scam in Nevis on the BBC?

From Google Treasure Chest to Ubertan Sun Tan Scam in Nevis on the BBC?

A.  yes it’s true!

Ubertan On BBC

Ubertan On BBC

An article on the BBC website today highlighted the dangers of a tanning products called Ubertan.  On reading it, and following up with a simple Google search, the way it is portrayed in forums immediately set off warning bells because of its similarity to other scams I’ve seen.

Ubertan

Ubertan Search

Ubertan Search

A simple Google search showed that warnings about Ubertan have been going on for some time.  This website warned way back in April 2011 and here we have a Mens’s Health forum being shilled by Ubertanners with a post starting in Jan 2011…  The first even shows that the Ubertan website changed it’s copy when folks started complaining.

The Ubertan website is currently ‘live’ however, it is showing no content!  At all!  The Google cache is interesting though (more on that later)…

WHOIS Ubertan

Ubertan WHOIS

Ubertan WHOIS

Who is Ubertan indeed?  !!

WarningBell

Warning Bell

What we see is that “Manufacturers Direct” owns several domains and one Vernon Veira is the contact on the dual island nation of Kitts-Nevis.

10 Solomons Arcade
Charlestown,  00000
KN
+1.3057484919

This is when the warning bells started ringing….

Doing The Charlestown in Nevis

It’s two years ago that I started looking at the now seriously-discredited Google Treasure Chest scam (see http://strangelyperfect.tv/3099/google-treasure-chest-its-a-scam-and-a-half/).  the amount of information I had, meant I had to post over several different postings, and it was during these later investigations that a Post Office address (P.O. Box) came up on Nevis.  In Charlestown.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t remember exactly what address it was.  But it’s easily found here a comment from @NotKevin.  I think it’s the first time we saw the address, although it has since popped up many times when checking out folks that would be preferred to be known as “online marketeers” but we like to call scammers.  This is on the posting,

This is the address.

New Online Systems Ltd.
P.O. Box 642, Main Street
Charlestown, Nevis, West Indies

Google Cache

Ubertan Google Cache

Ubertan Google Cache

Ubertan may be silent, but the Google Cache is active and shows this address down at the bottom of the first cached page:

Ubertan.com +44 161 408 5816
Subertan Ltd 642 Main Street, Charlestown, Nevis

 

Uber morphs into Suber, and because the Post Office on Charlestown is one of the few buildings on Main  Street, Charlestown; a whole host of P.O. Boxes exist inside.

P.O. Box 642 means 642 Main Street!

Who are these people using 642?  I don’t know.

What I do know is that the domains listed by @NotKevin, although not exactly the same,  bear a shocking similarity to those domains used by people like Jesse Willms (say) before he decided to turn into a saint-like activist and Pacific WebWorks (say) before they got their pants sued off them.  This is what @NotKevin said:

That West Indies address is also linked with porn:
http://www.highdefriches.com/contact.php
http://www.eshspt.com/
(another Co Durham address on that one too!)
“health products”:
http://hiltonhg.com/
Colon cleansing:
http://www.colocleansemax.com/contact-us.php
Acai:
http://acaidetoxmaxx.com/
and Govt Grants:
http://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/government-grants-avaliable-cd-c116063.html

Now compare and contrast those domains and businesses with the very large list to be found here on WebCops – the plethora of time-limited similarly-named domains means tracking them is an onerous task, well beyond my spare time.

However, yet again, we have seen the same address appear when dealing with dodgy ego-massaging products.

Phoenix-Like TryUbertan

Ubertan may be dead, but it doesn’t take long to find son-of-Ubertan when looking at the decidedly un-Caribbean telephone number for Ubertan.

+44 161 408 5816 is actually a Manchester, UK number!!

TryUbertan Contact Page

TryUbertan Contact Page

A quick search pulls out…..

Beginnings

Now I know they’re trying to hide!!!

TryUbertan.net on the T&C page now shows the address of Ubertan to be:

Ubertan Sunless Tanning System
c/o Toocoo Media Inc.
39555 Orchard Hill Place
Suite 600
Novi, Michigan
48375

Although it’s supposed to be available from ” high end salons in the U.K, France, Germany, Spain and North America” from their FAQ page, these stores will be doing so ILLEGALLY!  The UK government has officially banned it (as per the UK news item) and is EXPLICITLY ISSUING DANGER WARNINGS about its usage!

Still, TryUbertan (WHOIS is Pennsylvania USA) don’t care.  They’ll just grab the cash and morph into something else.

TooCoo Media CEO

TooCoo Media CEO

The decidedly minimalist website of Toocoo Media Inc, http://www.toocoomedia.com, throws up some interesting conundrums, if that really is their mailing address.  There are two LinkedIn links:

  • http://www.linkedin.com/company/toocoo-media-inc.
  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/jumanok

The latter is for the CEO, a Peter B. Lee whose 3 website links at the bottom of his profile point to the totally and bizarrely un-related websites of:

  • http://www.viafoura.com/
  • https://www.netiq.com/products/migrate/ which then redirects to novell.com as Novell has bought them out
  • http://www.oracle.com/index.html

Mr Lee, who claims to be Canadian from the LinkedIn profile, also has a poetry blog on blogger assuming the same quite distinct user name is being re-used, which is for invited guests only!!!  See The Poetry of Peter B. Lee with the url of http://jumanok.blogspot.com/  I’ve highlighted his key username as it matches the LinkedIn profile.  I don’t think that this Peter Lee (interestingly, a place name in County Durham of all places!) is the same who’s name is used in some recent versions of the classic 419 scam.  Try these examples for a start:

To add to the surreal mix that I’m uncovering, there are also two videos on YouTube uploaded by a “jumanok”!!  One of half a minute looks very much like Mr Lee, doing  some testing thing in Nov 2008 here:

This is a screenshot in case it’s pulled:

Jumanok YouTube

Jumanok YouTube

This is Jumanok from LinkedIn:

Jumanok LinkedIn LargePic

Jumanok LinkedIn LargePic

And here is “Crystal” telling us how her life state has improved after seeing something on OPRAH (down below she says) – except there’s nothing below!!  It appears to be a video plug for something intended to include Oprah in the spiel, except it never happened as there’s nowt to see.  This was uploaded in May, 2009.  The termination of Oprah-related plans may or may not have had something to do with the legal action, taken in May 2009, by Oprah, and reported here on her website;

http://www.oprah.com/health/The-Truth-About-Oprah-Dr-Oz-Acai-Resveratrol-and-Colon-Cleanse

Of course, Oprah sued and won damages against a host of scammers, one of which was Jesse Willms.

Conclusion

  • Time and again we come across scams that are based on a business with a very flakey base (here it’s a banned tanning product with government issued health warnings).  Usually, they are about improving one’s body or finances via unproven “new” medicines or foodstuffs, or get-rich-quick schemes.
  • Time and again we find a myriad of international contact phone numbers & addresses, for businesses that are very minor and specialist yet feel the need to spread themselves to the far corners of the globe.  Q. Why?  A.  Avoidance of easy scrutiny.
  • Time and again, we trace these businesses via LinkedIn (a bit like Jonathon Eborn, say) and other social networks high and wide.  They all start off appearing very legitimate.   As an aside, the Eborn results show a consulting website of http://www.jonathanebornconsulting.com/ and another of http://www.jonathandeborn.com/ which have both been hacked and defaced!  Made my day that!
  • Many businesses have a very public website, of minimalist design and content.  It’s very hard to discern exactly what they’re doing.  Compare these “online marketeers” to the website of Ford or Esso, say?  Now can you tell the difference?

Finally, (and very importantly for your health).  Don’t shove dodgy untested stuff of unknown provender up your nose.  Simple eh?

Related Posts:

Jesse Willms Settles in Court with Google – a Google Win against the Scammers?

Just Think Media Settles With Google Over Trademark Infringement

Last year Jesse Willms threw the lawyer dogs at me which forced me to pull some posts.  I’d been calling him a scammer which was obviously in clear contradiction of his (now public) self-vision as a charitable philanthropist.

Just Think Media Google Judgement

Just Think Media Google Judgement

Statue of JusticeHowever yesterday, Google, who had originally sued 50 unknown John Does reached a settlement with some of the defendants in a case originally brought on 17 May, 2010.  prominent among these is Just Think Media, latterly a vehicle for Jesse Willms’ internet enterprises.  See final judgement here.

Apparently, all defendants are saying that the Google claims are false, yet are paying up.  Whether they have or not, I don’t know.  Google still won.

You’ll notice in the above screenshot that it includes as many of Willms’ businesses and associates that they can discover – Farend Services on Cyprus, 1016363 Alberta, 1524948 Alberta and his current vehicle, Terra Marketing Group (This is him on the “about” page).

Farend Services popped up a lot in our investigations.  This is Willms take on networks and affiliates and how his business worked in a now hard-to-find interview from around New year, 2011:

It‟s a commission type arrangement in which we hire networks to manage our advertising and we pay them a certain amount of money per product sold. Those networks hire affiliates to place the ads and most of them are very good – but we occasionally run into problems with affiliates making false claims.

Blaming all the failures on the folks who fed him customers which he did in his interview did not save him from folding under the weight of evidence that Google presented to the Utah court.

Noticeable by its absence in the interview is any mention of the Google case although mention is made of his cases against CTV and others!  In actual fact, from our and others investigations,  the statement “…affiliates to place the ads and most of them are very good” is so far from the truth as to be laughable.

This is because time and again we saw the same adverts all served from the same few servers (like Bloosky say) and all the affiliates all quoting the same copyright infringing stuff in their webpages that have been used and proved in this case  by Google, almost continuously.

This is not a few affiliates- it’s almost all affiliates!  Almost all the time!  The web was full of it!

Oprah

So to be absolutely clear, Willms blamed almost everything on his affiliates in the Oprah Winfrey case, which he also lost.  Quote:

Affiliates broke our rules and used their unauthorized images, and made claims that she had endorsed our products. Even though we didn‟t use the unauthorized images ourselves, this case has been settled and there are measures in place so this doesn’t happen again.


Software

The thing is, he had an excuse for his million dollar fine for flogging counterfeit Microsoft and Symantech software as well, which given that they’d want at least their lost sales back does not equate with his statement of:

Only a small percentage, less than one per cent, was counterfeit.

So far, without any other corroborative information, it is only Jesse saying this.  He blamed everything on his supply chain.   To be fair, Microsoft’s authentication system was poorer some years ago than it is now.

Willms also says that he has learned from his mistakes in his interview.  Let’s hope he has.

This case goes back to his business efforts for 2009 and earlier.

Since then he has apparently folded on the-next-big-thing which was penny auctions and has gone to great pains to shift website ownership of his earlier websites (as detailed in posts and comments passim).  His Terra Marketing outfit are noticeable for their absence of any business activity (at least compared to the past) and appear to exist purely for charitable works and a promotional vehicle for Willms himself.  Their website mentions “partners” and is big on saying, well, er, not a lot actually.  It’s not clear what they do but apparently 250 people are doing it!

And there’s the nagging questions again;

  • If this interview is so wonderful, how come it has now been pulled and is only available via the Google cache?  Originally he was very proud of it and went to great pains to promote it…!  I have enough news log references to it to fill a (….insert your own big thing here….)
  • And why are the Willms businesses and domain names being shuffled off this mortal coil so quickly?
  • And Farend Services in Cyprus, the companies in Pasig City, Nevis, County Durham and Gibralter plus Pacific WebWorks and Willms’ former enterprises…  – Is the fact that the same names and addresses, phone numbers and call centres all kept popping up a valid causal link or is it really just several businesses all using the same business services with or without considering the ethics of their business decisions?

I guess there’s still time to find out.

Where is The Jesse Willms Interview?

Interestingly, despite all the web puffs for it when it first came out, it has disappeared!  He – mentioned it here on his main personal blog and http://www.gettingtheinterview.ca/ – it used to be here.  Sadly, and ironically, the Google cache (how coolly ironic is that?) provides us the answers:

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:t8cCRQchBSkJ:jessewillms.com/giving-my-first-interview/+jesse+willms+interview&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk&source=www.google.co.uk

…is for his self-promotion of the interview and below is the actual interview, which had also gone!  (I’m not making this stuff up you know, but it shows the lengths to which some folks will go to rig Google search ranking…)

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:E5uCb8xgIYYJ:www.gettingtheinterview.ca/+http://www.gettingtheinterview.ca/&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk&source=www.google.co.uk

If the cache changes, these are copies I made of their state today, in doc and pdf format.

 

Conclusion

Gandulf Decides

Gandulf Decides

So.  Scammer or philanthropist?  You decide.  The settlement in court says one thing.

Google won $1.6m between the defendants, which in my opinion is a fraction of the money that the scammers duped from their “customers” over the years.

Reading the Google case shows that Google only started to react when they themselves were asked to answer court summonses by folks that had been scammed  – by Willms, Pacific WebWorks and the rest under the mistaken impression that it was Google taking the cash from them!

During the time of the scams in question, Google made heaps of money from the advert placers (the affiliates). Perhaps they’d like to dip into their pockets and help the thousands who’ve been scammed by financing a proper damages case?

Probably not.  Gotta think of the shareholders.

As always, it’s the little folks that suffer.

And Google, with its “do no harm” mantra, has actually not done much good at all!  The case has provided a case law example for any folks willing to take up the reins against the defendants for monies lost, though.

Or the FTC could take up the baton and recover the millions for people should they wish to do it.  Let’s see.

 

Further Reading:

Related Posts:

Is There Really a SwipeAuctions to SellOffAuctions Link?

Introduction

I’ve been reading this post on Penny Auction Watch:

http://www.pennyauctionwatch.com/2010/11/have-you-bid-on-selloffauctions-com-reviews/

..and can agree with Amanda that many of the search results are “very interesting“, as she says.

The claims from “anonymous” and others really should be chucked out for believability because they are unsubstantiated.  But there still lie many interesting things.  Things like the Google screen-shots which demonstrate links over long periods of time between a clutch of business entities, most of which include substantial volumes of complaints and dissatisfaction summarised by the word “scam”.

This linkage is there in the internet record, no matter how much business entities chop and change their identity, on-line or off-line.

Blog Posting

Of particular interest is Amanda’s mention of a SellOffAuctions blog.  I remember this when it started, but it’s no longer extant although this huge web comment stream gives a description of its genesis.  However, a quick Google search on the first line of the text pulls out the two blogs in Amanda’s narrative.

BlogSimilaritySearch

Blog Similarity Search

 

TerraMarketing’s output is in this shot below, but the SellOffAuctions blog is now unavailable:

Spam The Wrong Way To Market Your Business

Spam The Wrong Way To Market Your Business

Yet the SellOffAuctions basic blog contents at start-up show up clearly in the Google cache of the web-page:

SellOffAuctions Blog

SellOffAuctions Blog – webcache

…and the original “Why Free Isn’t Better?” post from the old blog  is here on yet another Willms blog:

JesseWillmsMarketing

JesseWillmsMarketing

What Does this Mean?

Well the thread at PAW makes plain that a high degree of website copying has been going on.  A guy claiming to be from SellOffAuctions makes this point as an excuse to speed up the site set-up.  Others have pointed out that if this is the case and there has been no collusion with SwipeAuctions, then the brief happy Willms’ outfit would have a very good case for copyright infringement.

Bid Auction Software

Bid Auction Software – a Google Search

One extra spanner in the works that may block any suing is that on-line templates exist for the express purpose of setting up “Bid Auction” type websites!  So of course they’d be similar! (That is a screendump of a Google search for Bid Auction software on the right!)  This does not explain the similarity in the blog postings mentioned below, though.

Another extra spanner that might possibly confuse people over intra-website or intra-business linkages is the addition of the SellOffAuction.com domain (n.b. no trailing s).  This was pointed out here.

It Is Very Interesting

It’s also very interesting that two blog posts from the Willms’ website stable found their way into the Google cache of a direct competitors blog, is it not?  We now know that the blog was pulled, but in its entirety?  Maybe after all, there was copying and the blog was simply pulled as being past its purpose.  This happens all the time, not least with Willms’ myriad of blogs such as described here.

The WHOIS records for all websites above follow the usual patterns with the notable introduction of “Internet Holdings” into the mix (what happened to TerraMarketting?) and also the movement of some Willms domains to the Ashton Manning registrant noted a while back:

One Last Twist!

SellOffAuctions.Net

There is of course potentially, a plethora of SellOffAuction domains.  the dot net one, is one and a full screenshot is on the left complete with a the biggest footer of exclusion clauses that I’ve ever seen!.  Here’s what the top of the page looks like:

You’ll see that it contains a video, the very same video used by SwipeAuctions.com on their website and affiliate promotions.  Also, it’s on selloffauctions.com too!

Even more interestingly, all the links supposedly go to SellOffAuctions.com if you look carefully – except they don’t!!  They actually point to:

http://selloffauctions.net/auctions

…which then redirects to:

https://www.vigrxplus.com/?a=InterMark&t=2656

This is a site to flogging big knob stuff, a whois puts them as follows below with 45 similar big knob sites listed here.

Registrant:

Leading Edge Marketing Inc.

c/o DM Contact Management Ltd.

Suite 100 – 645 Tyee Road

Victoria, British Columbia V9A 6X5

CA

250-383-8267×452

Fax:250-383-0896

Leading Edge Marketing’s T&C contain the USA phone number  1-866-621-6886 which throw up a few complaints mainly from folks who don’t like porn.  Personally, I can take it or leave it.  I just don’t like thieving scammy bastards.

In this case, it’s an affiliate fuck up either by design or accident.

Conclusion.

That’s about it.  I can’t find direct linkages for now.  There’s too much supposition and too little actual proof.  Sechrists pop up and go.  Blogs pop up and go.  Websites pop up and go.  So for now, that’s it.  Inconclusive is my take on any connection.

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