Tag Archive: Development

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:

Assange Given Ecuadorian Asylum

Assange Given Ecuadorian Asylum – but what next?

Ecuador Assange Statement

Ecuador Assange Statement

This is the full text released by Ecuador for their reasons for Assange’s successful application.  See original text at the end.

But What is to Happen Now?

For now, Assange will have to stay in the Embassy.  Ecuador has asked for assurances about his safe passage, but as it stands, Hague and Cameron look the foolish chumps for what they are and won’t back down.

My guesses, are:

  1. That Assange will have a “mysterious” accident or similar and the nasty people in the world will breathe a sigh of relief – the embassy is no doubt bugged and all communications in and out religiously monitored.  His undetected escape looks unlikely.   Food, drink or water could be tampered with; holes could be drilled, hypodermics, germs or gas through the walls – who knows?   Like a Sherlock Holmes/locked room mystery,  try the poisoned ice dart through the keyhole?   See http://wramsite.com/forum/topics/breitbart-murder-by-heart-attack-the-cost-of-exposing-our-corrupt  and http://youtu.be/tzIw44w00ow CIA Whistleblower talks about Heart Attack gun
  2. Assange will have to wait for a change in UK government.  Even so,
    • should he get a plane to Ecuador it can be shot down (remember the start of the Rwandan genocide?).
    • Should he get a boat, it can “disappear” in a storm…
    • Should he arrive safely he can be either murdered in secret or by a public presidential decree – remember Trotsky in Mexico, Allende in Chile, Che Guevara in Bolivia, Bin Laden in Pakistan, Rudolf Diesel on the English Channel?
  3. At  low level of current probability, those in charge of the USA and UK must fundamentally change their attitude towards freedom of information and accountability in public office.
    • The emails etc. which are at the real centre of Assange’s troubles show elected and non-elected officials behaving with scant regard to either their own laws, international laws or natural law.
    • It is for them to recognise this which will allow Assange back into normal society and thus face the law courts in Sweden.
    • As I said, a very, very low probability in the current climate since those in power, those in the emails, those on the tapes, those on the videos (like the machine gunning of innocent civilians), all of those need to recognise their culpability at worse, or at least that they’ve been shown to have acted like idiots and now have egg on their face.

Reminder:  The Initial Swedish Set-up

Forgetting the secret US indictment from over a year ago revealed in the Stratfor secrecy emails,  Sweden issued an arrest warrant, then dropped it, then “sort-of” reopened the investigation before barring Assange from Sweden?  I know.  You work it out.  It’s all detailed succinctly in this Telegraph page from June 2012.

Bizarrely though, this Foxnews rant/explanation from Glenn Beck (both not noted for their liberal stance…!) is even better at describing the events for which Assange was arrest warranted with in Sweden.  Pay close attention and you’ll see how what we are now being fed by Hague and the Obama administration is seriously at odds with this very precise investigation and summary made soon after the events in question…  http://youtu.be/npBvNJl6X9w

Ecuador’s Key Points

An English translation of the eleven key points, derived from The Dissenter, is here:

  1. Julian Assange is an award-winning communications professional internationally for his struggle for freedom of expression, press freedom and human rights in general;
  2. That Mr. Assange shared with the global audience was privileged documentary information generated by various sources, and affected employees, countries and organizations;
  3. That there is strong evidence of retaliation by the country or countries that produced the information disclosed by Mr. Assange, retaliation that may endanger their safety, integrity, and even his life;
  4. That, despite diplomatic efforts by Ecuador, countries which have required adequate safeguards to protect the safety and life of Mr. Assange, have refused to facilitate them;
  5. That is certain Ecuadorian authorities that it is possible the extradition of Mr. Assange to a third country outside the European Union without proper guarantees for their safety and personal integrity;
  6. That legal evidence clearly shows that, given an extradition to the United States of America, Mr. Assange would not have a fair trial, could be tried by special courts or military, and it is unlikely that is applied to cruel and degrading , and was sentenced to life imprisonment or capital punishment, which would not respect their human rights;
  7. That while Mr. Assange must answer for the investigation in Sweden, Ecuador is aware that the Swedish prosecutor has had a contradictory attitude that prevented Mr. Assange the full exercise of the legitimate right of defence;
  8. Ecuador is convinced that they have undermined the procedural rights of Mr. Assange during the investigation;
  9. Ecuador has found that Mr. Assange is without protection and assistance to be received from the State which is a citizen;
  10. That, following several public statements and diplomatic communications by officials from Britain, Sweden and USA, it is inferred that these governments would not respect the conventions and treaties, and give priority to domestic law school hierarchy, in violation of rules express universal application and,
  11. That, if Mr. Assange is reduced to custody in Sweden (as is customary in this country), would start a chain of events that would prevent the further protective measures taken to avoid possible extradition to a third country.

What’s clear is that Ecuador is actually in a win-win situation here.

  • LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 22:  A protester wearin...

    LONDON, ENGLAND – JUNE 22: outside the Ecuadorian embassy.(Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

    They recognised the sabre rattling of William Hague and David Cameron for what it is – that the UK cannot pick and choose which international treaties to abide by without acquiring the severest opprobrium of its own people and parliament.

    •  Of course, there’s the “sticks and stones” argument which the government may ignore by barging in, armed to the teeth, anyway, but also the long-lasting risks to the whole British diplomatic force who will be placed in the severest of danger.  This latter they cannot ignore.
    • The memory of the US embassy in Iran lies still, as does the death of WPC Yvonne Fletcher outside the Libyan embassy.
    • How can the UK pontificate on others when behaving worse than a bull in a china shop?
  • Ecuador has its own internal problems and this crisis will strengthen the hand of its President Correa, but also its standing in the eyes of all the little countries of the world, especially those in South America, historically in the thrall of US might.
  • They point out that Assange is only wanted for questioning in Sweden and that Sweden has refused to question Assange on Ecuadorian “land”, the embassy.
  • They point out the red herring issue of Sweden in its entirety, in that several public and private threats have been made or allured to against Assange by the governments of Sweden, USA, UK and that his own country hasn’t offered any protection (of course, we all know that the Aussie government is following the UK & USA like sheep).
  • So Assange is in dire and immediate threat of kidnap, torture, summary trial by a military court, execution or imprisonment in inhumane conditions.  We all know the USA is guilty of this having been caught red handed several times as has the UK in its collusion.
  • So the UK & USA are not havens of justice, guardians of the rights of Man, protectors from dictatorships nor international peacemakers.
    • Their actions from Vietnam through to Chile, from Egypt through to Bahrain, from corrupt banking to multinational deforestation programs, from Stratfor and the secret surveillance society to drone bombings of civilians shows them to be pariah states on the same footing as Zimbabwe or North Korea, say.
    • Ecuador has rightly recognised all of this, and more.

As part of their statement, they stood on the following points  (derived from Google translate!):

a) The asylum, in all its forms, is a fundamental human right which creates obligations erga omnes, that is, “for all” states.

b) The diplomatic asylum, shelter (or territorial asylum), and the right not to be extradited, expelled, delivered or transferred, human rights are comparable, since they are based on the same principles of human protection: no return and no discrimination without any adverse distinction based on race, colour, sex, language, religion or belief, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status, or any other similar criteria.

c) All these forms of protection are governed by the principles pro person (i.e., more favourable to the individual), equality, universality, indivisibility, interrelatedness and interdependence.

d) The protection occurs when the state of asylum, refugee or required, or the protecting power, consider the risk or the fear that the protected person may be a victim of political persecution or political offences against him.

e) The State granting asylum seekers qualify causes, and in case of extradition, assess evidence.

f) No matter which of its forms or forms are present, the seeker is always the same cause and the same legal order, ie, political persecution, which causes it lawful, and safeguard the life, personal safety and freedom of protected person, which is the lawful purpose.

g) The right to asylum is a fundamental human right, therefore, belongs to jus cogens, ie the system of mandatory rules of law recognized by the international community as a whole, do not support a contrary agreement, being null treaties and provisions of international law they oppose.

h) In cases not covered by the law in force, the human person remains under the protection of the principles of humanity and the dictates of public conscience, or are under the protection and authority of the principles of international law derived from established custom, from the principles of humanity and from the dictates of public conscience.

i) Lack of international agreement or domestic legislation of States can not legitimately claim to limit, impair or deny the right to asylum.

j) The rules and principles governing the rights to asylum, extradition no, no delivery, no expulsion and transfer are not converging, as far as is necessary to improve the protection and provide it with maximum efficiency. In this sense they are complementary international law of human rights, the right to asylum and refugee law, and humanitarian law.

k) The rights of protection of the human person are based on ethical principles and values universally accepted and therefore have a humanistic, social, solidarity, welfare, peaceful and humanitarian.

l) All States have the duty to promote the progressive development of international law of human rights through effective national and international action.

  • Here they kick down the quasi-judicious use by the UK of the 1987 Act regarding Embassies and the like in the UK.
  • They state the various rights of Man as defined in the United Nations and elsewhere (in case the UK has forgotten them!!!)
  • They point out the various ethical issues.

Ecuador has produced a clear and unambiguous statement, totally unlike the shadowy cloak and daggers stuff from Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

United pops up a lot in the state’s names.  They’re united, but only united in shame and devilishness corruption.  This is the reason for their stance – it’s nothing to do with national security and everything to do with covering their own backs.

The truth is really out now.  Notably, bonkers Boris has been quiet on the issue so far – he never thought much of Cameron and I guess it’s even less now!

 


Ecuador Statement

Declaración del Gobierno de la República del Ecuador sobre la solicitud de asilo de Julian Assange

Read the rest of this entry >>

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Paul Myhill Publishes Joe McCord Letter on Facebook

Paul Myhill Puts Future in Hands of God

McCord Letter To Bill Driscoll re:Paul Myhill 2005

McCord Letter To Bill Driscoll re:Paul Myhill 2005

The Letter from Joe McCord to Bill Driscoll

Bill Driscoll and Paul Myhill:  co-inventors of the Protandim Recipe

Paul Myhill, one of Protandim‘s creators has this past hour published a letter which reveals certain facts that Lifevantage wish to smokescreen.

58 minutes ago, Paul Myhill said, as a way of admission, his future is in the hands of god….

For those that haven’t heard of it, Protandim is a plant based tablet that has unproven effects, but for which the MLM company Lifevantage make innuendo-based fantastic claims.

LazyMan and Money has a fantastic take on the whole scam.

Myhill In Hands Of God, says, My reputation, integrity, credibility and character - All are in God's hands.

My reputation, integrity, credibility and character – All are in God’s hands. – Myhill

In short, it’s snake oil, and a scam, just like many others from that cesspit of free market capitalism, Utah.

  • We’ve seen Google Treasure Chest for which Pacific Webworks and their promoters have been doubly hammered by Google and the FTC.
  • We’ve Canadian seen Jesse Willms who has been hammered by Google, Oprah and the FTC yet ran many affiliates through Utah.
  • We’ve seen near neighbours Monavie.  Same crap, just waiting to get the FTC knock on the door.  This is LazyMan’s take on them.  It’s scary stuff.

Roll on the FTC.  They’ve got to weigh in on these sharks soon.


 

Paul Myhill's Open Letter On Facebook

Paul Myhill’s Open Letter On Facebook

Rather than a comment, (which isn’t so taggable and relevant within search engines), here’s Myhill’s open letter (open – geddit?  – in the fullest meaning of the word).  Text follows below.

OPEN LETTER TO MY DEAR LIFEVANTAGE FAMILY

 

Needless to say, the company and I are not on good terms right now. Quite frankly, Doug Robinson’s email to the LifeVantage distributors is fraught with error and misrepresentation. In fact, he gave very little attention to me personally on this matter, hardly exchanging a word with me concerning it. He simply didn’t have the time for me.

 

It is very well documented that the company was founded on a pledge to give shares, and a percentage of profits, to the charitable cause that it helped to start – rescuing orphaned and abandoned children from being abused, exploited, trafficked and enslaved. This was my “Why?” for joining Bill Driscoll in starting LifeVantage in the first place . . . and it is a cause that he graciously took on as his own and championed also. I’m sure he’s getting many hugs in Heaven as a result of the 15,000 children who are free from slavery today because of our work together.

 

I will be more-than-willing to make public all that documentation, especially since it was all public information to begin with. This charitable pledge was also the basis for which I assigned my invention (not Dr. McCord’s invention!) to LifeVantage. As soon as Bill and I assigned the patent to LifeVantage the pledge was sadly taken out of company materials, almost immediately. I naturally felt quite betrayed. Again, I can provide full documentation supporting this and it can be easily verified in the public record – through company press releases, investor presentation materials, SEC filings, etc. My resignation letter was also a matter of public record and alludes to the fact that this pledge – which was foundational to the company and my very involvement in it – needed to be kept, otherwise it would represent a promise broken to the original founders and all of LifeVantage’s stakeholders. The erasing of the pledge from company materials was the main reason for my departure, which the original Board and transition management team can certainly attest to. I was quite the thorn in their sides, constantly verbalizing the need to keep the pledge. As such, there is no disputing the existence of the original commitment. It’s simply undeniable.

 

I have been quite clear in my communications with LifeVantage management that the company still owes the charity now known as Traffic Jam 100,000 shares as part of its original pledge to match the Founders’ donation of shares to that same charitable vehicle. This amount was supposed to match Bill Driscoll’s gracious donation of 100,000 shares that came in a couple of months late. I’m sure if he were alive today he’d be greatly disappointed that the company never followed through on that commitment . . . and other commitments. Bill and I had our differences, but I also owe it to him as my brother-in-arms to get his shares matched, as he fully expected would be done when he made his generous gift in the first place. I owe it to his memory and legacy. And I owe it to his family – to see more children rescued because of his gift and defense of the pledge.

 

Despite the implication made in Doug’s letter, I never approached the company to ask anything for myself. In fact, it was David Brown who suggested that I become a “Goodwill Ambassador” for the company with a job role that would give me a greater platform to share the “correct” company history and bring attention to the fine work of the Traffic Jam Campaign. It was through that process that compensation (as with any job) was sought to channel to Traffic Jam. I have quite a few emails that show that this compensation was for the purpose of supporting the work of Traffic Jam. I’m on record multiple times stating that I gave everything away . . . and would give it away again.

 

It is with great sadness that I write this on the eve of my Birthday – not exactly the “gift” I was hoping for . . . or hoping to give. Since 2008, I have been pleading with the company to correct its marketing materials – to reflect that Joe is not the “Inventor” or “Creator” or “Scientist behind” Protandim; that Protandim wasn’t “developed after 40 years of research;” and that it didn’t consist of a “laundry list” of 40 ingredients that Joe whittled down to the current formula. This is all simply untrue. I’m sure the company will try to put some sort of further spin on this now and try to convince people otherwise, but the truth is the truth and will always come out in the end. Darkness can’t hide from the light.

 

The CORE botanical formula I forwarded to Joe included the current five botanicals, plus one additional one – all in the EXACT same proportions/weights as the current formula (all 1/3 of the original to get it into one pill), but with Milk Thistle subsequently bumped up at my suggestion. The other ingredients were part of an “all-in-one” (multi-formula) addition to that CORE botanical formula that I developed. Given such indisputable facts (and that the initial patent was filed one month before we even met Joe), how am I NOT the creator? How is Joe THE creator? The simple email record, and even a letter from Joe himself, clearly show that the current company communications are downright false and misleading . . . and, in the eyes of many, perpetuate an ongoing fraud – one that the SEC and FTC should be made aware of.

 

I initially stated that “nobody lied,” desiring to give this current management team the benefit of the doubt and chalking it to human error and the discontinuity of company management in general. But then, month after month went by with the same erroneous materials still being widely distributed by the company, despite their own admission to me that Joe isn’t the creator. These same materials are on the company website TODAY. I just don’t get how a company can keep doing that, with full knowledge that the materials are sending the wrong message to current and new distributors. Many times I wrote emails (which I’d be happy to share with you) and each time nothing was done to take down the offending materials.

 

I’ll be glad to once again share that whole “Protandim Development History” with you, which is backed up by meticulous documentation, the full email record, plus personal notes and commentaries. It spanned over 20 blog entries. I’m an “open book.” I had nothing to hide. I shared it all.

 

I’m sure, though, that if I were to re-post Protandim’s development history, the company would claim that I was then “giving away company secrets” and would once again try to silence the true history of the product’s creation – MY creation of Protandim – that occurred for almost ten months before I even met Joe. The reality is that the company misrepresentations have gone on for so long now that they have no choice but to try to silence the truth. Just you wait and see. I can almost hear the “cease and desist” letter being typed up right now. And I can almost picture the new “watered-down” version of the history that the company will now come up with.

 

Doug mentioned in his letter that I found the company response unacceptable. Well, one of those unacceptable conditions was that I sign a new set of releases (to silence me telling the true Protandim story again) and that I pull down my “LifeVantage / Protandim Founder’s Page” on Facebook which, of course, would be in addition to my blog that was already pulled down. Do you see the common theme here? Silence. Silence. And more Silence. I’m a high-justice person who stands for truth and integrity and, despite the company trying to buy that silence by offering for Traffic Jam to be featured at convention, I told them that I couldn’t in good conscience do that. I’m not signing away my voice. My “Founder’s Page” stays. My voice stays. And my appeal to get the company to meet its commitments . . . stays.

 

Do you want a company of integrity? Well, then, don’t let them silence the truth any more. Protandim wasn’t an “idea” that Bill and I took to Joe. It was a full formula that even Joe stated in a letter was almost at its “final embodiment.” And the company’s charitable pledges to Traffic Jam wasn’t an “idea” that I just came up with. It was represented in multiple press releases and SEC filings and collateral materials. If you don’t believe me, go to EDGAR and check yourself for at least the SEC part of it.

 

Ever wonder why the company took down all the archived press releases? Because it backs up what I’m saying and what I’ve been asking, not for myself, but on behalf of trafficked and enslaved children.

 

Given the erroneous wording in Doug’s email, I can only assume now that the company has chosen the issue of the 100,000 shares to try to discredit me – making it sound like I’ve been making selfish and unreasonable demands of the company – while at the same time trying to discredit the true history of Protandim’s development. Doug, of course, fails to mention in his email that the “great deal of material” that I posted on the Internet concerning “my view” of that development was 1.) Taken down by me as a sign of “good faith” and 2.) Was only posted in the first place after I reached out to the company multiple times beforehand – with no response.

 

I’m not sure how Doug can call it “my view” of Protandim’s development anyway, considering that it included hundreds of emails (that were copied or sent to dozens upon dozens of people) as well as a number of other source documents that were widely circulated. It’s not just “my view,” as demonstrated by the substantiated, well-documented evidence. Of course, if the company has its way, you probably won’t see any of that document and you’ll just have to accept Doug’s words that it was simply “my view” of events. Where was Doug during the development of Protandim? Who is he to challenge the clear evidence? Can he not see the patent was initially filed a full month before Joe even came into the picture? Does he not see whose name is on the patent?

 

For months, I’ve taken steps of “good faith” and have expected the company to do the same – to act in “good faith” to take down the erroneous marketing materials that were propagating that Joe was the inventor/creator of Protandim. Sadly, the company never reciprocated. The 100,000 share issue, unfortunately, has now become the easy point of contention that allows LifeVantage to not have to give credit to me for my invention. By making it so public and contentious, LifeVantage now has a convenient excuse to not have to include Bill and me in our rightful place in the company history. Something that should have been celebrated can now be easily swept under the rug because I’m the “bad guy” with “unreasonable” expectations who asked the company to honor its commitments. It now allows them to feel better about themselves somehow – for so long being negligent in getting the real story about Protandim’s development out there; for so long casting me in a “false light” by commission and omission; for so long keeping up the erroneous materials to the point of malice and great hurt.

 

Company of integrity, Doug says? How about keeping its original promises to match the founders’ shares to rescue children? How about keeping its original promises to give 10% of pre-tax net profits away for children and related humanitarian causes? How about filing an 8-K correction notice with the SEC every time the erroneous message of Joe being the “creator” went out? How about the promise to correct the development history while at the same time keeping up the offending materials that lead people to believe Joe was the inventor? How about David’s promise to “make it happen” for me to have a “Goodwill Ambassador” role with the company, to help further the purposes of Traffic Jam? How about the company’s constant encouragement for distributors to use the copyrighted material of ABC News for commercial purposes? How about all those big distributors who came over with down-lines allegedly “stolen” from Zrii? How about ALL the mentions of diseases when it’s clearly not permitted in the marketing of a supplement?

 

Integrity? Company of integrity? Actions speak louder than words.

 

This is a very sad day for me folks. The “petition” that Doug mentioned in his letter was merely me throwing up my arms in bewilderment and wondering why on earth the Board wasn’t fulfilling the matching pledge with a measly 100,000 shares when the evidence was so clear that 100,000 shares were missing (Believe me, I was asking for these shares long before the recent run-up in price). Even a math flunkey could see that the numbers didn’t add up and 100,000 shares were still owed. Instead of bringing the match to completion, with an amount of shares that pales in comparison to the fat stock options the executives are getting, they chose to make this big issue out of it. It could have been a cause for celebration. Instead, the company has chosen to create yet another public relations nightmare. I didn’t ask for that. They did it. And I’m baffled by it.

 

I started off with 5 million shares. Why on earth would I make all this fuss about 100,000 shares if it were not true? I’m a man of principle and the principle-of-the-matter is the shares are still owed. Gosh, by their reaction, you’d think I asked for the moon.

 

I merely responded by saying that I would put out the public information and ask distributors to let their voices be heard – for integrity and common sense. But somehow that’s now something portrayed as me being devious and destructive. Hello? Why would I try to destroy the stock of the company I’m trying to get shares from? Hello?

 

Conversely, I don’t believe the LifeVantage Board has acted in its fiduciary duty in this matter. I believe they are acting in a destructive manner. Why on earth would they bring about such a disruptive episode in the midst of such growth and promise? The missing shares are soooooooo obvious that they are missing from the match. I gave 200,000 shares. Bill gave 100,000 shares. the company gave 200,000 (matching mine) and, hello again, Bill’s shares didn’t get matched. 100,000 shares missing. You don’t need a mathematics degree to figure that one out. Why would the Board put so much at risk – the airing out of this laundry – instead of just issuing the shares to help rescue kids?! And celebrating it!

 

. . . Unless, of course, they were needing something to make me look “bad” or “unreasonable” so they don’t feel so bad about the incorrect company communications about who invented the product. And to release themselves from an obligation to correct that history in a way that celebrates Bill’s and my involvement.

 

. . . Now they can just quietly remove the “creator” tag from Joe and hope that nobody notices. Just like they did when they removed the “inventor” tag from him.

 

Doug’s letter concludes by asking distributors to not get involved in anything that “disparages” the company. Wow. I asked the company to honor its commitment with a measly 100,000 shares to stop 11 year-olds from getting raped 20 times per day; to stop 7 year-olds from having to shoot their parents before being forcibly conscripted into a child militia. Now, if any distributor goes along with supporting what is clearly in the public record, and honoring their own conscience to see the pledge fulfilled for children such as these, they are in violation of their distributor’s agreement. Seriously?

 

Looks like the strong arm of silence rearing up again.

 

My apologies for rambling on in this open letter. Obviously I’m a passionate person – the same passion that brought Protandim into being in the first place. And, obviously, I’m quite upset right now – not just by these events, but how they’ve now been represented in Doug’s email.

 

Unfortunately, it’s the distributors and the children who lose out because of the Board’s baffling conclusion and Doug’s irrational choice to send out his email. Quite wreckless, if you ask me. Certainly not acting in the best interests of the shareholders. They turned a public relations celebration into a public relations nightmare.

 

I apologize to all of you that it has come to this. It certainly wasn’t my intention.

 

I want you all to know that I love you all and do indeed wish you the best. I will STILL use my “Founder’s Page” on Facebook as a place of encouragement and, given this recent turn of events, as a place of clarity and truth.

 

Blessings,

Paul

 


So there you have it.  Since this time, Myhill has been sat on by Lifevantage (as it turns out a kind of double-blackmail) and then stated that the shares were the thing to buy.  Following this, Lifevantage have made public pronouncements about their charitable donations to Myhill’s charitable organisation(s) and there’s now, apparently,  a kind of Machiavellian sweetness and light between them.

But whatever:   the business is still a snake-oil pyramid scheme founded on flawed and discredited “science” and promoted by MLM-hopping get-rich-quick wide-boys.  For more on these recent developments and a fuller history of investigations into the topic, see a few of LazyMan’s postings here:

…….I won’t steal any more of Lazyman’s thunder and there much, much more on his site.  But from top to bottom, the volunteers and employees of all the charities financed by Myhill and/or Lifevantage should examine their hearts and ask themselves;

What value is there to a charity when it’s financed from deception?

So what if Myhill has had his photo taken with Elton John or whoever.

So what if Myhill plugs;

Paul Myhill Entertainer Plugs

Paul Myhill Entertainer Plugs

“Meetings getting scheduled with Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, Justin Bieber, Slash, Myles Kennedy, and many more. The TRAFFIC JAM Campaign (Stop Child Trafficking & Slavery) will be rocking this summer!”

Our Prime Ministers and Presidents are often photographed with the pariahs of the world.  Elton is one of the world’s biggest self-publicists and spend-thrifts.  So is Gaga.  So, so what?  There is no validation there.

It’s still a charity founded on deception.  It may have good aims.  It may be correctly financed and regulated –  though Vogel has shed great doubts over this (See here, here, here, here and here).  But it is financed by a pyramid scheme based MLM using a product with no proven benefit as the bait on the hook.

When the PR folk at Lady Gaga, Timberlake’s et al label’s get wind of the deceptions surrounding Myhill, will the charity campaign still be a-rockin’?  Will all of Zoe Hamilton’s (a loyal Myhill fan/worker/volunteer?) networking work be for naught?  Let’s see.


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Testing Windows 8 Developer Preview Version

Windows 8 Developer Preview

Win8 Dev Logon Screen

Win8 Dev Logon Screen

I’ve finally decided to test the next Windows edition, probably to be called Windows 8, although things like that are never certain in Microsoft-land.

Virtual Box

Win8 Dev VirtualBox Installation

Win8 Dev VirtualBox Installation

I did a Virtual Box install, which is fairly straightforward.  There are many tutorials on-line now which show how to do this, so I won’t do a walk-through. I installed the 64-bit version which I downloaded from MSDN using my licence.  You can get the installs from the Microsoft Website here, which come in ISO format.  You can also find out more from the horse’s mouth here.

You can also set aside a partition on your hard-drive and install to that.  However, Virtual Box is the safe way to go should the partition install fail and corrupt your current installation somehow.

What I will say, is to use more memory allocation to the virtual installation than recommended elsewhere or as the default,  and to use as many virtual processors as your host machine has.….. My machine is an AMD 955BE, which is quad-core running at around 3GHz.  In other words, if you don’t want it to run like treacle, give it plenty processor and memory room;  at least the recommended values for Windows 7.  You can see all of this in the VirtualBox settings screenshot above.

Fast Install (added 24/11/11))

Windows 7 vs. Windows 8 time to upgrade

Windows 7 vs. Windows 8 time to upgrade

Microsoft, on their MSDN blog, have made a big thing about the rapid installation for Windows 8, particularly for the upgrade route.  See Improving the setup experience.  I can say now that the clean install into the VirtualBox environment was very fast….

Briefly:

  1. You make a virtual machine in Virtual Box
  2. You set it’s parameters – processors, memory size, footprint size, IDE/SATA storage etc
  3. You set the downloaded ISO image to boot from in the settings.
  4. You boot by “Starting” the virtual machine.
  5. You install Windows into the filespace that you’ve previously set aside for it – I gave it a dynamic sized 50Gb.
  6. After that, let windows do it’s thing.  It took 10 minutes or so.
  7. Let it reboot.
Win8 Dev Loggged On Screen

Win8 Dev Loggged On Screen

Following this, you get a green screen from which country specifics are added, a username and finally, you enter your Live.com identity, if you have one, and if you want to!

Appearance

It’s a big green screen.  I don’t have a touchscreen, but it’s obviously designed for one.  It has massive buttons to a host of online services like weather & stocks, plus a few to your computer’s functions.

Win8 Dev Logon Screen

Win8 Dev Logon Screen

If you log off, you get presented with an American Rockies vista of a lonely winding road.  Essentially, the entry into Windows 8 is like a smartphone.  But what’s it like beneath the surface?

Windows 7 Legacy, and Vista Too!

Win8 Dev Double Click Control Panel Screen

Win8 Dev Double Click Control Panel Screen

Obviously, this is a development preview release, and we can expect more of the same to come.

Win8 Dev Double Click Explorer Screen

Win8 Dev Double Click Explorer Screen

But most work has gone onto the main intro screen because beneath the surface, all the various apps and settings controls are the old (current) Windows 7 interface.

Bizarrely, some screens even have vestiges of the green Vista, notably the main screen itself.

Personally, I think it’s very, very dour.  I can’t believe that two years of effort has gone into doing something that Android does on a more than twice-annual cycle….

Win8 Dev Left Corner Hover Screen

Win8 Dev Left Corner Hover Screen

Accessing the menus is the most unintuitive thing I’ve seen for ages!  Following on from the impressive Windows 7, it’s truly not just a user let-down, but somewhat infuriating as well…….    Whereas previously I just typed into the run bar to do almost anything, now I can’t even find programs or files!   No doubt there’s a way – but after Win7, it’s not intuitive and not helpful either.

I hope that’s not the end of the run box, because that feature in Windows 7 is awesome.

Control Panel

Win8 Dev Double Click Control Panel Screen

Win8 Dev Double Click Control Panel Screen

I haven’t checked through many apps (except a few desktop ones like the weird child-like paint thing and the weather which won’t do anywhere except California) but this is the control panel.

Win8 Dev Control Panel More Settings Screen

Win8 Dev Control Panel More Settings Screen

You then drill-down to get the old Win7 control panel on “More Settings”.

Initial Investigation Ends

Well that’s it for now.   To say I’m un-impressed by the big green monstrous front doesn’t give my opinion justice.  There doesn’t appear to be an easy way out of the front-screen apps and to have an app made for a  3-inch screen sat on a 23 inch desktop monitor really demonstrates the infantile  apps for what they are.

Way back in the nineties Microsoft tried their in-house Microsoft Network (MSN) which was a disc install that gave you a black desktop that gave dial-up access to features giving almost the same as this big green toy-town monster.

Not happy.

Watch this space as I delve more….

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Pacific Webworks, Lawyers and Social Networking

Introduction

The last thing we need is more scummy scammers and following on from Google’s legal action against Pacific Webworks (PWW) one would naively have thought that the “business” folk would be more circumspect.  (See previous article and comments, http://strangelyperfect.tv/5146/more-on-google-profits-and-pacific-webworks/ )

At the beginning of June, it appeared that the Google case against PWW had fallen flat and that PWW had gotten away with it.  This certainly appears so from yesterday’s press announcement by the odious PWW management, such as here.  It says,

SALT LAKE CITY, Jun 28, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Pacific WebWorks, Inc.  today announced that a Stipulated Final Judgment and Order for Permanent Injunction was entered in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah in the Google, Inc. vs. Pacific WebWorks, Inc. matter.

CEO Ken Bell commented, “We are very pleased to have this behind us. We have devoted a great deal of time and energy to resolving this situation and are anxious to return to the business of growing our company responsibly and profitably through our new marketing program. We appreciate our shareholders’ patience and understanding as we deal with the many details involved in the development and marketing of our products to small business users.”

Quite Bad

This looks quite bad until you realise that the PWW share price and dealing volumes have both fallen!

So what does the market know about the “settlement” that we don’t, eh?

Bloosky.com and The lawyer

PWW and Bloosky, were both named by Google, and Bloosky were (and still are) represented by Blair Jackson, who is a lawyer and on the company payroll of Bloosky in various positions.  (See at the bottom of here).

On checking out Mr Jackson, he’s part of:

CHRISTIANSEN & JACKSON, P.C.
10421 S. Jordan Gateway, Suite 600
South Jordan, Utah 84095
Telephone 801.576.2662
Facsimile 801.415.9340
Attorneys for Defendant Bloosky Interactive, LLC

You can see this on some delaying action in the Google case by Jackson for Bloosky, documents here and here.  But it gets better…   In this document, you’ll see that Bloosky are suing someone called Daniel L. Balsam for not adhering to an earlier agreement not to disclose what was said… or something. (I’ve yet to check this through!  But it looks a bit like pot-kettle-black to me…)

Whatever.

socialtoolkit.com

Yes. Whatever.  A bit more fishing on Jackson took me to the website(s) of one Vernon Howard.

He was scammed by socialtoolkit.com, in  exactly the same way as thousands of others were by Google Treasure Chest – promoted, run, designed and financed by Pacific Webworks.  It’s a scammers paradise with copious bad-web references and complaints.   The “business” says on it’s website,

Each day, more and more individuals, small business owners and Fortune 500 companies across the globe are realizing the value of SocialToolKit.com and choosing to increase their Social Networking efficiency, productivity and profits.   (Note to self:  “I must increase my Social Networking efficiency” – SP)

Here’s Vernon’s extremely well written story:

It’s an incredibly detailed tale, complete with copious screenshots, of his dealings with the various parties involved.  And he’s no shrinking violet.  He’s taking the buggers on!

There’s only one trouble.

He’s using Blair Jackson of Christiansen & Jackson, PC – Attorneys at Law, to take on socialtoolkit.com !!

How is this Weird?

Weird?  It’s positively scary!

Because if you read Vernon Howard’s account, you’ll see that he was billed by  YourProfitGateway.com

YourProfitGateway.com, when you check it’s (now freely accessible) WHOIS, unsurprisingly redirects to http://www.visualwebtools.com/site/

visualwebtools.com

If you’ve been following this, you’ll know from a while back that Visual WebTools is owned and run by…….. (trumpet fanfare)

Pacific WebWorks!

Latest News from The Visual WebTools Camp

Pacific WebWorks Updates Marketing Efforts

Thursday June 24, 2010 11:52:01 EDT SALT LAKE CITY, Jun 24, 2010

Last Thursday, this is what the odious CEO Ken Bell of PWW said about his company, their marketing and their product, Visual WebTools.

Pacific WebWorks, Inc., www.pacificwebworks.com, (OTCBB:PWEB) announced today that the company continues to perfect their new marketing program which offers prospective customers the opportunity to receive a tutorial on the product and interact with the company during the buying process.

CEO Ken Bell stated,

“Visual WebTools continues to be one of the premier online software products for small businesses in the marketplace. We expect our new, more interactive marketing approach to result in a more informed buyer who will be better equipped to employ our technologies into their online business. As a result, we expect future revenues to be more stable. We anticipate revenues to accelerate during the second half of the year with continued profitability.”

Bell continued,

“During the first six months of 2010 (i.e. since Google sued them – SP the company has focused on stabilizing profitability, servicing current customers and developing our new multi-tiered marketing program. We expect new customer acquisition in the future to be derived largely from our new direct contact marketing program. With our strong balance sheet, a current ratio in excess of 10x, tangible book value of nearly double our current market capitalization and strong historical earnings, we are positioned to continue to take advantage of opportunities in the marketplace.”

What are Google Doing?

The emphasis above, is mine.  From it, you can clearly see that Bell claims that his company is responsible for all the things that lead up to the nefarious practices that then lead to people being scammed.

So is the Google thing over with yet?  Why haven’t the Salt Lake Tribune said anything about it yet?

I still think there’s more to come out with this.  Remember the falling share price of PWW?  The markets know, you know.

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