Tag Archive: RESEARCH

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:

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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Jeff Crowe: Not In This Funny Old World

It’s a funny old world.

Jeff and myself hardly spoke for over 20 years yet I find I miss his presence on the planet more than I’d have thought possible.

I think that at the root of it all is the unrequited wish by myself that somehow things would be alright between us, that in the end, maybe we’d collaborate again, but of course, there’s no chance of that, certainly in this lifetime.

All that I can say, on this day (is it really two years), is that I hope that wherever your spirit is, it fares well.

In Buddhism, there’s a saying that Buddhas meet time and again, lifetime after lifetime, which I hope (although I believe ) that this is so.

Jeff’s interests, when I knew him and when we lived in each other’s boots, were wide, and included pure physics, astrophysics, metaphysics, much research into the paranormal, out of body experiences and the like.  On top of this were ancient civilisations, their habits, myths and religious activities, plus literature & music (e.g. The Crawling Chaos) of which he had broad eclectic tastes, not always, but more often than not,  keyed to my own.



So what’s to be said, what’s to do?  How I wish you were here.

I know!  Play some music where Jeff and myself had some connection.


 

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Whales and Space Demonstrate Contrasts In Humanity

Introduction

Two items on today’s news demonstrated the vast contrasts in our humanity. Stardust probe finds ‘subdued’ comet crater & Japan halts whale hunt after chase by protesters.

Our Absolute Ingenuity and Progress

Four views of comet Tempel 1 as the Stardust spacecraft swept past.

Four views of comet Tempel 1 as the Stardust spacecraft swept past.

The absolute ingenuity of us humans and how far we have come since our cave-dwelling days is supremely demonstrated by the return of pictures by the spacecraft, Stardust.

In this case, 12 years ago, Stardust was launched to look at an asteroid then collect samples from the dust of a comet, Wild 2It did all of this wonderfully.

Then, in the meantime, another spacecraft, Deep Impact, had been launched which crashed a small craft into another comet, Tempel, back in 2005, creating a crater.

The fantastic demonstration of our technical expertise is that almost on a whim, it was decided to get the first craft, Stardust, to have a look at this crater and beam the picture back to us – and it did all of this automatically, 336 million km from Earth, which a radio signal takes 18 minutes to travel!

Evidence of the crater: Left shows a Deep Impact photo from 2005; Right shows Stardust's image with a small extra crater.

Evidence of the crater: Left shows a Deep Impact photo from 2005; Right shows Stardust’s image with a small extra crater.

Our Reluctance to Depart from our Hunter-gatherer Past

Dead Minke Whales On the Nisshin Maru research factory ship

Dead Minke On the Nisshin Maru “research factory ship”

Some people still hunt for sport.  Some nations dress hunting up with weasel words and hide their blood-lust behind the veil of science.  Such a nation is Japan which kills whales for “scientific research” (900-odd this year) yet openly reveals this research as a fraud with with the real goals of short-term monetary gain and blood lust .

Whale for Sale: Sales of whalemeat have fallen, despite promotion

Whale for Sale: Sales of whalemeat have fallen, despite promotion

Here we see an advert for the “research” results.

mmm yummy.

It’s a desperate thing to see this because the Japanese claim that there lots of whales to eat – which was exactly what was said about the blue whale, right whale etc, all of which are now rarities of the ocean when once, they were plentiful.

It’s now being revealed by real research, that the more diverse an ecosystem is (and we live in one, you know), the more chance we will have of surviving all manner of disasters – disease, drought, climate change etc.

Thank Goodness For Bravery

Whalers clash with Conservationists

Whalers clash with Conservationists

So we should all thank the people from the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society who have peacefully risked their lives “for the bigger picture”.

It’s another aspect of humanity revealed to me today, in the news.

Bravery & Courage.

Ady Gil and Shonan Maru 2 confrontation

Ady Gil and Shonan Maru 2 confrontation

The whalers say constant harassment has forced them to suspend operations – well dah!

That’s the definition of bravery, as seen in these dramatic shots.

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Fair Play: Jesse Willms Pulls My Posts

The few readers of these pages may have noticed some diminishment in content recently; specifically:

http://strangelyperfect.tv/7955/facebook-msnbc-jesse-willms-swipe-auctions-and-doctored-photos/
http://strangelyperfect.tv/8860/jesse-willms-favourite-tv-clips/
http://strangelyperfect.tv/8740/the-three-rules-of-trust-using-swipeauctionsbids-as-anexample/comment-page-1/#comment-3066

You’ll now find that these links no longer work.

Cause and Effect

The cause of all of this was a cease and desist request to me via email by a lawyer, Matt Thomson working at Kronenberger Burgoyne.  They found me by the simple expedient of checking my WHOIS for this website.  This public visibility is something that in his earlier business of Just Think Media and many of the websites run by him, Jesse Willms obviously failed to do – it being very well documented on-line in such places as the legal settlements with the various organisations and persons that he offended, say. Currently, his WHOIS is visible, and I’ve now discontinued those postings or comments and/or their threads above, as requested.

The cause of my postings was my observance of the extremely high level of complaints by users of Mr Willms services at his websites, and reported as such on a host of consumer-focussed websites and organisations, which I won’t list here for brevity, but are widely available.  This is what attracted my attention and I would not have published anything without this high level of consumer complaint. (Obviously, why would I suddenly start spouting on a personal blog site about a Canadian about whom I knew nothing?  Like der!)

The effect of the wide complaints, was that users of Mr Willms services complained to their finance organisation using such terms as “deceptive practices” and “unlawful withdrawals” from their bank or credit accounts. (n.b. this is the recommended procedure as reported here with a concert ticket selling scam – Added 12/11/10)

Whether we think that all these people were under the mass delusion that they all had the same experience, or not, the effect of this was that credit processing was limited to Mr Willms businesses which made transactional business difficult for him.

Mr Willms therefore sought to apportion blame to his customers and any organisation reporting their complaints for his downturn in business. ( His earlier businesses for which he reached a legal settlement with Oprah Winfrey et al he appears to have terminated.)

This, for all the above in this paragraph above entitled “Cause and Effect”, is my opinion of the history surrounding Jesse Willms and his businesses over the last few years.  How he now conducts business is a different issue entirely, which is why I’m stating the fact here.

This “Cause and Effect” paragraph now ends.

Fair Use

I’ve published the full message to myself below, and it makes interesting reading for those interesting in such things.

A very interesting part of the threatening letter to myself from Matt, was the limits to my free speech on something that only they deem confidential and that may or may not be subject to copyright laws!  Matt says:

This letter is without prejudice to the assertion of any and all rights and remedies of Mr.Willms, all of which are expressly reserved. This is a confidential legal communication and is not intended for publication, including publication on a website or via email distribution. Any republication of dissemination of any part of this letter will constitute infringement of copyright and a breach of confidentiality.

Remember, the letter was sent to me without my request.  Now as far as I’m concerned, and as a subject of the United Kingdom of Great Britain etc,  anything I receive, except something from HM Government in the UK that is subject to the Official Secrets Act, I can publish or copy as I see fit if I have a copyright.  Is this letter copyrighted?  Even if it is, and I profoundly disagree that it is…..I can still publish.  How so?

Being a published musician with my copyright works being plundered on-line, I’m not unfamiliar with copyright law.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

This is some Crawling Chaos music for you to enjoy and has Jeff Crowe at his finest and for which I have a Copyright that allows me to play it here etc.

A clause in the US version, which almost exactly follows that in the UK and elsewhere through international treaty and general agreements, is that it’s not illegal to reproduce copyright work under the “Fair use” clause for a host of reasons.  This is the clause below, taken from the Cornell Uni. Law School website which is copied from the required US law.  (They state: Title 17 of the US Code as currently published by the US Government reflects the laws passed by Congress as of Feb.1, 2010, and it is this version that is published here.)

§ 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use

The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.

Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include—
(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
(2) the nature of the copyrighted work;
(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

Cease and Desist

And here’s the cease and desist to myself Link, to which I’ve complied with all listed terms and by the removal of listed exhibits.
I’ve complied in that all of what I’ve said previously about Willms and a host of other on-line businesses and services, (don’t forget), is either

  • fair comment
  • opinion
  • prior art
  • repetition of opinion, fair comment and prior art from other sources when I consider them as such.  My website history shows that I’ve blocked commentary or linkage that is tortious, slanderous, insults appearance, race or sexual orientation of a person, is bigotted etc.

Now back to checking the internet to ensure that businesses are run fairly and that consumers (i.e. me, you and everyone else) do not suffer.  This website, and all its contributors, will continue in this vein. All documentation and IP Addresses is available to any legal process, especially those that seek to protect the common man from the bad people and iniquities that exist in our fast-changing world.
After all, it’s always the common man that suffers from the actions and decisions of the creative types… Mostly, they just want to get on and live their lives free from harassment.
Here ends my bit for now.

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