A week ago I wrote about a bold theft of my blog content. A couple of days later it looked like the thieves had taken down their page http://dogstrike.net/view.php?id=102481 but it was up again as I checked a moment ago. It very much looks to me like all of the site dogstrike.net consists of stolen posts from diffferent blogs in WordPress.com.
Looking at the WHOIS records of that site reveals that it very much looks like the domain has been registered with fake information. As far as I know, there is no Lenin Street in Istanbul and the phone number of the alleged registrant, who is supposed to be based in a non existing address in Istanbul, is Russian. The same goes for administrative, technical and billing contacts.
Interestingly, the same WHOIS lookup shows that the domain has been registered by KLIK MEDIA GMBH, a Berlin based business that Spamhuntress delivers interesting information about. They have been known to register regular spam sites but it now looks like they have also entered the business of stealing blog contents from bloggers like you and me.
Registering a web domain under so obviously fake coordinates as is the case with dogstrike.net is difficult unless the registrar plays along in the game. An honest registrar would have the interest of having the correct details. How else can they be sure that they are going to get their bills paid? The obvious answer is that they can not unless they are behind the site with fake initials themselves.
I know that there is no 100 % working way to get this sort of thieves out of business but I also know that their life can be made a bit more difficult. Therefore, my suggestion to the WordPress.com team is to have a look at the traffic from certain domains and IP’s and put up some blocks to make it that much more difficult to steal the contents of blogs hosted by WordPress.com.
And my suggestion to Staatsanwaltschaft Berlin is to investigate the background and business practice of this KLIK Media GmbH, Alt-Karow 3, 13125 Berlin, tel +49 30 9441 3291. I bet a thorough investigation would uncover interesting details for the prosecutors to work upon.
Tags: new year
It is good that I did not make any new year’s resolutions or promises, such as avoiding making errors. I managed to make my first mistake of 2007 in less than half an hour. Now I can fumble all I feel like throughout the year.
I was planning to bring my Finnish blog to WordPress.com as I am not happy with the engine of the old blog. I wanted to make the switch after midnight so all posts in the new blog would be dated to 2007. Unfortunately, I made the first post before changing the time from UTC to UTC + 2. Which resulted in the first post being dated to the last hours of 2006 rather than the first hour of 2007.
This is naturally not a major disaster but a healthy reminder of what I knew before and what we should always remember: errare humanum est!
I have written on several occasions (too many to put up all the links, just take a look at my posts under the Germany tag) about the absurd legal situation in Germany regarding freedom of speech, especially in context of blogging. Even German Cabinet Minister’s seem to be under the impression that suing a blogger is the cleaverest way of addressing issues raised in the blogosphere. All of that is crazy but what I am going to tell you here is the goofeyest I have ever heard.
Would you believe that a German business man Ramon Tissler is actually threatening to sue the ass off a US based blogger whose blog is hosted by WordPress.com? It is not a Maxwell Smart joke, just look at this comment added to this post. Mr Tissler writes:
Wenn Sie diesen Artikel nicht aus Ihrem Blog nehmen, werden wir rechtlich aufs härteste gegen Sie vorgehen!
The common courtesy rules when commenting somebody else’s blog posts would be to address the issue rather than threaten the blogger with the hardest possible legal action unless the post will be removed. If I were running a business and somebody posted critical opinions of it in their blog, I would definetly not start my interaction with them by posting intimidating suggestions to remove the post or face lawsuit.
I am going to return to the subject of making money by immediating students from Europe to US universities because I think it needs some scrutany. What I am wondering right here and now is what the hell a German based business man is thinking as he intimidates a US based albeit German blogger that way. While there may not be freedom of speech worth mentioning in Germany, imposing that concept wide beyond German jurisdiction is what Germans would call Unverschämt.
I call all of us half a million plus bloggers in WordPress.com to stand up and say: enough is enough! Fellow bloggers under German jurisdiction may want to address the issue with more cautious expressions.
Tags: bloglines, freedbacking
Chris Pirillo recently introduced the term “freedbacking” to stand for free feedback from users to developers. Freedback has so far not spread widely neither in WordPress tags nor Technorati tags. But the first posts have seen the cyberlight so this great idea is sure to catch on eventually.
The Bloglines were not slow to announce that they expect to receive freedback from their users. At this moment I have little to provide them with. Apart from one of my own blog posts appearing to have been updated while I was sleeping yesterday, I have nothing of significance to report back.
But let us just test if this freedbacking concept would work within WordPress. I have noticed yesterday and today that automatic pingbacks to my posts work in a funny way. The pingback link points to the pinging post but the author is being displayed as anonymous and the comment field is empty. Manual trackbacks work as they are supposed to.
This is just a minor inconvenience but it gives me a good chance to test the new way of freedbacking.
Update (3rd July, 2006): The pingback feature seems to be working normally again.
WordPress was totally offline most of Sunday but now seems to be back again. As far as I can see, everything has been restored, including the post that I managed to make just before the server ate up everything. And I mean everything, not just my blog but everybody else's and the user interface as well.
It is of course understandable that these things happen but this does not make it any less annoying. I was preparing to make another post and had just about collected most of the material for it. However, it is now too late (i.e. too early in the morning) to start writing it. I hope I'll still have the inspiration for it after a good sleep.
Murphy's laws seem to work perfectly with these server mishaps. They always tend to take place at the worse possible time. It almost always happens on a weekend when it hurts most users and, on the other hand, it is the most difficult to fix the problems. A long weekend like this one almost never passes without one or more mishaps. Even Technorati seemed to be coughing a bit on Sunday, by the way.
This incident made me think about the question of back up copies. Naturally I was sure that WordPress had back ups of the blogs but I somehow would feel a lot better if I also had my own back up copy of the whole blog. I read somewhere in the forums that there is a way to use RSS to get a back up of the posts but the comments and settings are just as important. Other people as well as I have made an effort for them. An easy and comprehensive backing up tool would be more than appreciated. It would make this great blogging tool even greater.
When I started this blog for three months ago, I did not feel like categorizing my posts. It is so hard to put labels on things and personally, I feel that putting a post under a standard label is violating the contents of the post. I decided to post everything under "uncategorized".
A couple of weeks ago, however, I noticed that some people may actually be reading this blog. I thought that those brave souls may be interested in being able to choose topics of their interest without having to crawl through all of the blog. So I started to categorize my posts.
When you are doing that for all the posts of three months at once and you have no categories set up yet, it is bound to be quite a job. As I was expecting, I just could not put any of my posts under one single tag. That is why there are several of them at each post which I think is a fair compromise between forcing them under one category and not bothering to categorize at all.
There should not be anything under "uncategorized" at this moment. Some of my future posts may, however, temporarily appear uncategorized if I fail to put them under existing categories and invent new ones. The WordPress tagging tool seems to work just fine. One modest remark, though: I tagged this post also under "Denmark" which shows under the post itself but the tag "Denmark " does not appear in my template at all. A possible bug, perhaps?
Edit: The age of wonders is not over: the tag "Denmark" appeared in the template while I was typing this post. Alas, please disregard the last remark about a possible bug.