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Archive for April, 2006

Assertivenet Spider is Gigablast Spider

Sunday, April 30th, 2006

Introduction and Purpose

The purpose of this article is to provide evidence and information to counteract the suggestion that Assertivenet is potentially used for malicious purposes.

Initial Research

On Saturday, March 11, 2006, I received a somewhat urgent telephone call from a client of mine, Hibiscus Florals. The owner, Mark Morkowski, was concerned because he had been reviewing his website traffic statistics and had noticed that at numerous points throughout the day, a user or spider from "ASSERTIVENET" (IP 66.154.103.125) had visited the Hibiscus website.

Since this was rather unusual, Mark elected to investigate further by searching for more information "Assertivenet" via the Google search engine. The first three results that he found appear below:

From this information, Mark and I gathered that the owner of the spider in question appears to be a company called Assertive Networks, and hosted through a company called "BC Hosting." More information wass not immediately available.

It is this lack of information that likely led some of the members of the PowerBASIC forums to block the IP range 66.154.* from accessing their various websites, and justifiably so. But this same lack of information led to additional questions:

  1. What files was the Assertivenet spider accessing/trying to access? Was the spider crawling pages or, like some bots, was it looking for specific files that could be used for malicious purposes (e.g. files and scripts that could be manipulated for website attacks?)
  2. Why is the apparent owner of the Assertivenet spider a web hosting company (BC Hosting)?
  3. What is the intended purpose of the Assertivenet spider?

Additional Research - All Is Not As It Appears

At this point, I decided to look beyond what the website traffic statistics revealed, as well as the information that Mark’s initial search revealed. I needed to start by answering the questions I posed earlier, and in order to do so, I needed to access the raw log files for the Hibiscus website.

I opened up the log files, searched for the particular IPs in question, and found a series of entries such as these:

2006-03-11 03:47:34 66.154.103.125 - 216.89.218.168 80 GET /robots.txt - 200 0 400 285 78 HTTP/1.0 www.hibiscusflorals.com Gigabot/2.0/gigablast.com/spider.html -
2006-03-11 03:47:34 66.154.103.119 - 216.89.218.168 80 GET /larger_image.asp PID=215 200 0 0 299 125 HTTP/1.0 www.hibiscusflorals.com Gigabot/2.0/gigablast.com/spider.html -
2006-03-11 03:50:37 66.154.103.119 - 216.89.218.168 80 GET /larger_image.asp PID=195 200 0 0 299 31 HTTP/1.0 www.hibiscusflorals.com Gigabot/2.0/gigablast.com/spider.html -
2006-03-11 07:47:05 66.154.103.125 - 216.89.218.168 80 GET /robots.txt - 200 0 400 285 78 HTTP/1.0 www.hibiscusflorals.com Gigabot/2.0/gigablast.com/spider.html -
2006-03-11 07:47:05 66.154.103.119 - 216.89.218.168 80 GET /larger_image.asp PID=219 200 0 0 299 109 HTTP/1.0 www.hibiscusflorals.com Gigabot/2.0/gigablast.com/spider.html -

The spider in this case actually belongs to a search engine called Gigablast, and is appropriately named the Gigabot. The Gigabot only crawled pages and files as other search engines have, and made no attempts whatsoever to access files and scripts of a known malicious nature.

Gigablast is a "Tier 2" search engine that has over 1,000,000,000 pages indexed as of the date of this article (March 13, 2006.) While it is not on the same level in terms of popularity as the Big 3 of Yahoo!, MSN, and Google, it has indexed a significantly large portion of the web, and can be useful for some searches. In particular, Gigablast has implemented a "Giga bits" feature whereby alternate searches are suggested based on the user’s original query in order to help narrow the query down and provide greater relevancy.

I conducted additional research and discovered that some IP addresses from the 66.154.* IP block do resolve to gigablast.com e.g.:

  • 66.154.102.46
  • 66.154.102.10
  • 66.154.103.50

Conclusion - The Gigabot is Safe

As you may well have gathered by now, the Gigabot is a perfectly safe spider that acts and operates in the same manner as other search engine spiders operate. There is no reason at this time to block the 66.154.* IP range that the bot uses; if anything, webmasters would gain from the potential free traffic that Gigablast would generate for their websites as the result of the Gigabot’s efforts.

Purchasing Process Manufacturing Software

Sunday, April 30th, 2006

Deciding on the right application is a matter of not only considering your manufacturing needs, but your overall business needs as well. Will the software you choose be able to handle inventory tracking while maintaining compatibility with your current business software? Will the software you choose meet all the needs of your business, including the structuring of MSDS regulatory compliance? How navigable and user friendly is the software’s interface? Will you need products other than process manufacturing software, such as financial, operations or distribution software?
All these considerations are important, as is the choice of software supplier. Good customer service is necessary for the success of any service oriented business, but is essential for process manufacturing software distributors. In order to effectively implement and deploy the software applications that you choose, software suppliers should be available to make sure all is running smoothly. More importantly, they should incorporate your company’s IT specialist from the onset and offer comprehensive training to everyone who will be using the software. Choosing a supplier with a regional presence in your area is often the best choice as proximity is likely to produce superior customer service and availability.
Choosing the right software and software provider for your business requires research, planning and knowledge of your overall needs. Taking the time to familiarize yourself with the current slate of available products and the service that stands behind them will undoubtedly yield great benefits to your process manufacturing operations.]]>

At last! A Fast & Easy Way to Increase Traffic!

Saturday, April 29th, 2006

Now, five years later, this has all changed back into the advantage of content marketing. Especially since the arrival of Google Adsense, it’s become fashionable and most importantly profitable again to build content rich websites.
Okay, then the big question becomes: how do I get this content?
There are several options to do this. Writing material yourself is probably the best solution BUT …
“But wait a minute, I don’t have time to site back and write so much; this will take me weeks, no even months! And I’m already a very busy person right now!”
There are a few possibilities to overcome this problem. I believe the second best option is to join a membership site that offers content you can use and/or public domain material for a specified membership fee.
You can either publish the material right away ‘as is’, or alter and ‘personalize’ to your needs. Now, before you start complaining about the fee, still consider this:
There are indeed also some sites out there that offer content for free. “Wow , that’s great!” Yes indeed, at first sight, this seems like the perfect solution: Problem solved and not paid a dime! It sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Well, unfortunately, that’s because it is: you can be sure that you will not be the only one who has downloaded this content. There will be about tens of thousands other ambitious website owners that want to make it online, who also enthusiastically accepted this ‘irresistible offer’. That’s quite a lot of competition. Furthermore, you can only use this material if you also put the author’s resource box, with a link to his website off course. In other words: instead of your own, you are in fact practically promoting this guy’s website… Or, as the old axiom goes, “You get what you pay for.” Not only are you competing against hordes of other people, but you’re also using a product that is certainly NOT unique or original. Don’t think that the search engines will rewards you for this. Furthermore, the author is practically stealing your traffic through the resource box link. Do I need to say that all this doesn’t add to the perceived value of the product that you are trying to sell?
Besides the fact that the content that you receive, clearly is of better quality, the sheer fact that you are working with a membership site also means that the chances of success are much higher (as opposed to trying to compete with an overrun market). The reason of this lies within the way most of these membership sites are set up. Only a select number of individuals are accepted to join and reap the benefits of the offers through the membership. That’s the best way they can secure a market edge for their members.
Since the number of subscribers to the membership is limited and because not all those subscribers will be using the material for the same objectives, you can rest assured that you don’t have to compete with the rest of the world.
Apart from that, it is amazing but true that only a few of these members actually really use the material that is offered to them. It always surprises me how many people never do anything at all with the content to which they have access.
The big advantage of such membership sites is that normally you have the guarantee that you can start using or publishing the material right away. It means that the producer has either purchased the rights to the material or has taken care of all the research to verify that the work indeed belongs to the public domain and that you can therefore use it without copyright restrictions or other problems. Don’t take this lightly, it means you don’t have to worry about:
- Researching the copyright
- Scanning the material
- Editing it to get it ready
- Writing a sales letter and other marketing materials
- Locating target markets and optimizing your site
Instead of doing all this hard work yourself, you can now concentrate on promoting your site.

Recent studies show that 9 out of 10 PCs are infected with Spyware

Saturday, April 29th, 2006

The very best AntiSpy program on the market -

Webroot Spy Sweeper. Webroot Spy Sweeper was named best spyware remover 2004 by PC magazine and praised for it’s efficiency, speed and userfriendlyness.

Spyware and malware are large problems for Internet users today and can be both annoying and a real threat to you and your computer. There exist a number of different spy and malware of which some are relatively friendly and only spies on your surfing habits, while others like the Trojans can be used to corrupt your hard drive or steal your usernames and passwords. A Trojan can even be used to steal your identity by extracting all necessary information from your computer.

You may think that ad ware might not be that bad, that it is good if the ads are chosen to fit your interests. This might be true if the spy ware didn’t have a number of other negative effects, such as an increased amount of pop up ads, unexplained home page changes, strange results when searching the web and the fact that your computer are being slowed down by the spy wares. These are all very common results and symptoms of spyware and ad ware. More unusual problems connected with spyware and Trojans are the corruption of the hard drive, the loss and exposure of private information and login information and in a worst case scenario, the theft of the identity of the owner of an infected computer.

Spyware is a large treat to the security of your online privacy.

There are however steps that you can take to avoid suffering the negative effects that spy- and ad ware can bring, and start protecting you computer and building an Identity Theft Protection. The first of these steps are to get a good antispyware and antiadware program able to remove spyware. There are a number of different spyware removers available and two of the most well known might be Ad Aware and Spybot which are both good programs. The best available program that is designed to remove spyware and adware is however at the moment SpySweeper which was chosen as the best spyware remover 2004 by PC magazine.

Spy Sweeper can scan your computer 30% faster then other available products and successfully remove spyware like CoolWebSearch. Spy Sweeper also uses a system monitor that automatically discovers spy ware and prevents installation of spyware on our computer. Spy sweeper is effective for spyware and adware removal.

The active shield uses System Monitoring to in real time prevent new spy- and adware programs from being installed on your computer. This fact combined with the fact that Spy Sweepers uses a constantly updated database of all available spy- and ad wares means that this adware remover can clean your computer, ridding it of any and all spy- and ad ware. Once it has cleaned your computer it can keep it clean and assure that your computer stays clean from ad- and spy ware.

By keeping your computer free from spyware and adware Spy Sweepers also protects your information and keeps your identity safe. Spy Sweepers prompts you to update it if it has been to long since it was last updated.

If spy sweeper finds a spyware it will immediately quarantine the spyware and disable the spy wares functionality until you can decide whether to delete the file or try to clean the file from spyware elements and return the file to its original place on your hard drive.

If you have a problem with Spy Sweeper despite its highly user friendly and automated design you will have access to an excellent customer support where experts answers any question you might have.

Spy Sweepers deserved the title PC Magazine’s Best of the Year 2004 since it can do everything the alternatives can do, but better as well as faster then the alternatives.]]>

Rent A Coder & other service auctions

Friday, April 28th, 2006

http://www.sitetube.com

You may be in the market for a new website. Perhaps you may be looking for a new logo or a database constructed for yourself or a small business. There are plenty of freelancers out there that are just itching to help you out. These freelancers canvas eBay-like environments and bid on your job. Of course there will be those who will bid relatively low, just trying to get the job, as well as at a relatively higher price. There are several good websites you can find these coders and at a substantially reduced price. You can save up to 75% without batting an eyelash.

Rent-a-coder or rentacoder.com is one of the best freelance sites on the web today. If you are a buyer looking for quality technical support, Rent-a-coder or RAC is a great place to start. You post an online auction by selecting the field that your project relates too and set a maximum bidder on your project. Upon approval from a reviewer, your auction is begun and will run the duration you set it too. Once you are notified that the auction begins, your mail inbox will start to receive emails from various professionals and gurus who are more than qualified to get the job done.

Like eBay, these professionals have a feedback rating that tells the world at large that they can meet deadlines and perform quality work. Your decision is based in two parts; one the rating that the coder has as well as the bid price. Should both of these meet your criteria, you can select the coder to begin the project for you. You will escrow funds for the coder via credit card or paypal and wait for the confirmation letter for the coder to begin work.

Once your contact information has been established, the coder will work until the job is completed to your liking. Once you approve, you can accept the job as 100% and your project is complete. If you are not happy you can have the coder continue to rework the project until you are satisfied. Once you are satisfied with the quality of work. You can exchange feedback with the coder. The coder’s feedback should commensurate with the quality and timeliness. You can expect a good reference to the coder will garnish a positive reference for yourself. People will want to work with buyers who can describe the project and let them get to work. There are over 80,000 coders on Rent-A-Coder today.

If you are a freelancer looking for work, this place is for you. You can earn up to 85% of the auction fee by doing simple to complex assignment for various businesses and people around the world. You can gain a positive reputation as well as steady repeat business by performing the work as efficiently and quickly as humanly possible. As you receive more feedback ratings your rank will shoot up higher depending on the point system. Rent-a-coder, provides a unique experience that does not cost the coder a dime to join. They will pay a percentage of the completed job at the end of the transaction. The coder can also be paid by Paypal or check every 15th and 30th of each month.

Another popular site which mirrors Rent-a-coder is E-Lance.com. E-lance provides a wide range of services in the market place today. However the only major difference between E-Lance and Rent-a-coder is that Rent-a-coder does not charge a quarterly service fee depending on your specialty.

The pro of joining Rent-a-coder is getting quality work done at rock bottom prices and the cons are some people cannot complete assignments awarded to them. You will need to ask as many questions possible when it comes to selecting the right coder. Their ability to get the job done is your primary concern!]]>

Research Steps For Your Niche Business

Thursday, April 27th, 2006

You may want to begin with some informal research. Check out on-line forums and other websites that feature similar products or information. How well promoted are they? How is their copy? Is their information appealing and easy to find? Are sites on your topic abundant, or hard to find?

Next, use the Overture search area at http://uv.bidtool.overture.com/d/search/tools/bidtool
to see if others are paying for your keywords. Enter the keyword and sit back. You will be taken to a page with some of the top advertisers links. Click on “View Advertisers Max Bid” and review the results. This page shows what the advertisers are paying for a person to access their page. These vendors would only pay if the niche market were active enough to get them traffic, so a decent per click rate (say about $1) is a good sign.

Next, examine how many searches were done on your keyword for the previous month. You can do this at http://www.inventory.overture.com. Type in your keyword and note the results. Sum up all the searches for all the keyword phrases and combinations.

Next, take a look at how many listings there are for your keywords on Google. Do a google search by keywords searches and note the number of sites listed for each keyword phrase. Add up all the sites for all the relevant keyword phrases.

The ratio of the searches divided by the number of sites is an indicator of the competition. The lower the ratio, the less competition on that keyword phrase.

After comparing several different keyword phrases, you should be able to choose the phrase that will get you into a good niche market. Optimize those keywords and good luck!]]>

Autoresponders Equal Automatic Internet Marketing Success

Wednesday, April 26th, 2006

What if you could send out all the information that your potential customers have requested without checking your email or answering a phone? While this
may seem impossible, it is becoming more and more popular among the most successful Internet marketing gurus. This is all due to what is called an autoresponder.

An autoresponder is an automatic method of responding to emails sent by existing or potential customers and is a must for any Internet business. Time is money and
answering emails personally take a lot of valuable time for both you and the customer. Not only do autoresponders
allow you to spend time elsewhere in your business, but it gives the customer access to the information almost immediately.

Since there are so many different uses for autoresponders, they can be of value to virtually any type of business. Some choose to use the autoresponders to answer frequently asked questions about a product or service. Others use them to provide information about pricing or product
information. Autoresponders are also a nice way to welcome new members to a website or group as well as thank them after a visit.

One might ask what would be the advantage of using autoresponders as opposed to simply listing the information on the site. An important feature of autoresponders is that they send you an email notification each time a response is requested. This
allows you to track the success of your promotions as well as have the email addresses of potential customers at your fingertips so that you can easily
send out updated and new information to them.

A good autoresponder also allow you to perform unlimited followups with your prospects or customers. It is of the utmost importance to choose an effective
autoresponder. An autoresponder should be as personal as possible and send out follow-ups to potential customers since it has been proven that persistence pays off. It
could take up to seven contacts before a final sale is conducted.

Generally speaking an advertisement should be short and to the point. However, in this case, the customer has asked to see this specific information and therefore an effective autoresponder should allow you to place as much text on the page as you desire. The autoresponder that you choose should provide automatic updates to
customers free of charge.

The autoresponder is one Internet marketing tool that will not cost you an arm and a leg. You can get free autoresponders online from several sources.

The automatic responses will be a welcome addition to your marketing strategy and will help to automatically increase traffic to your site all while you do nothing.

Be sure that the autoresponder you choose includes all the extras that will send you site to the top and your profits through the roof.

Submit Articles and get Free traffic, content and backlinks!

Wednesday, April 26th, 2006

Dramatically boost your website traffic, sales, and newsletter optins - When you submit articles to Free Article Search, your articles are picked up by other websites, featured in newsletters, and sent out in ezines. This will create additional traffic and result in more exposure!

Gain “expert” status and become recognized as an authority in your field - By publishing information packed articles, you’ll soon enjoy the status of being seen as an authority on your topic. This can lead to joint ventures and many other exciting opportunities that you would have never enjoyed otherwise!

Enjoy a flood of 100% free, targeted traffic for years to come - Once you submit your articles and others begin using them, you’ll enjoy a flood of free traffic that will come rolling in and it won’t cost you a dime. You’ll never have to rely on search engines for this free traffic and you won’t be able to stop it even if you try!

If you are a website owner or a newsletter/ezine publisher, Free Article Search provides you with a dynamic resource of relevant, on topic content that you can use free of charge. Just grab the articles you want to use, leave them in their original state complete with the resource box providing credit to the author, and use as you wish!

Free Article Search.com has many different categories of content just waiting for you to uncover! Here are some ideas for using the content in our directory to benefit you:

Use the articles in our directory on your website to provide your visitors with more useful content and keep them coming back for more.
Use our articles on your blog to keep it fresh and updated daily with great information.

Send our articles out to your newsletter or ezine subscribers and provide them with fresh insights on the most popular of today’s topics.

No matter how you end up using Free Article Search, we’re sure that you’ll benefit greatly and we hope that you continue using our directory for years and years to come as we continue to grow. We’re always looking for ways to improve so if you have a suggestion, don’t hesitate to let us know!

Regards,

Mike Baker]]>

Avoid a Summer Sales Slump

Tuesday, April 25th, 2006

HereNextYear.com

Did you ever see the movie “Terminator 3″ by Arnold Schwarzenegger? Remember when the machines took over the controls and began to terminate society as we know it?

This is exactly how it feels every Summer for many business owners.

As if your computer somehow sneaks in during the middle of the night and takes over by putting a “Closed for the Summer”
sign on your business.

You wake up on July 1 wondering where all the customers are.

My business is no different.

I’ve just learned to expect it every year and I do something about it before I can be sabotaged.

So, when the beginning of June comes around, I start ramping up for the Summer months to keep business steady and even on the increase.

And, here’s what I do:

1) Find something in your industry that’s timely and write an article about it. I’m doing just that with this article as an example. The fact that sales slump for more small business owners in the Summer than any other 2-month time of the year is timely since July is right around the corner.

The article doesn’t need to be extensive, maybe 600-800 words, and write as if you’re just talking to a friend sitting next to you.

2) Create a signature line at the end of your article that invites readers to visit your web site. Use mine below as an example to write your own.

3) Send your article to your clients or customers by e-mail or even regular USPS. They will appreciate hearing from you
and they will be thankful for the timely courtesy.

Plus, any time you can get your name in front of an existing customer, you stand a chance of getting additional business
just by simply reminding them you’re still around.

4) Get your article posted on other peoples’ web sites and in their on-line newsletters. This might sound like “old hat” if you’ve been doing business on-line for a while, but the fact is that people still turn to the Internet to find information.

5) Submit your article to other peoples’ BLOGs. BLOGs are easy to find because web site owners are always adding them to the front page of their sites so that you can’t miss them.

The challenge of owning a BLOG is contributing to it every day. It’s easy to do for the first couple of weeks but then that dedication slips.

So, approach a BLOGger with your article and suggest they include it to their BLOG if they ever get in a bind and can’t make a posting of their own one day. Chances are, you’ll see your article posted within the week!

6) Submit your article to RSS feeds. RSS stands for “Real Simple Syndication,” which essentially means you add your article to the list once and it will appear on potentially hundreds of other peoples’ web sites. Search Google or “rss articles submission” to get you started.

7) Have something ready on your web site to inspire any new visitors to get more involved with your business. I’m not saying put the hard sell on them. Just offer some way for them to discover more about how you can help them.

Provide more articles for them to read. Maybe add a sound file or two. Have a newsletter subscription area. Offer a free tele-seminar or webinar. Be creative but captivating. Have a definite answer to the question, “How can my new web site visitors benefit from being on my web site for another
couple of minutes?”

Follow these seven steps and there’s a good chance you will not only increase your web site visitors with targeted traffic, but that visitation could happen more quickly than you might
expect.

So, don’t allow your potential sales for this year’s Summer months to be “terminated” before they even have a chance to happen.

Take action this week and July and August could turn out to be two of your best sales months yet.

Search Engine Submissions That Boost Link Popularity!

Tuesday, April 25th, 2006

Which Search Engines count?

Only a few of the many search engines really count! 99,9 f all those who go on-line to find something use one of the 18 top search engines. Scrub The Web provides this information in it’s member area. Yahoo, MSN Search and Google are the top three search engines according to Alexa Ranking. Alta Vista and AllTheWeb – also famous search engines - belong to Yahoo and are supplied by Yahoo.

If Link Popularity of a website is measured by the services that provide this information, only the Link Popularity of a website at Google, MSN, Yahoo, AllTheWeb, Alta Vista or Hot Bot is displayed. This shows that only a few search engines really count for Link Popularity. It is not necessary to submit to thousands of search engines, but to the few important search engines in the right way.

Manual work instead of automated submissions

Yahoo search demands that a submitter of websites has to be logged in a Yahoo email address before the submission can start. Submitting to MSN is only possible after typing of a code that is presented in a window. Google says that it is not necessary to submit a site to their search engines. Their spiders crawl the web and can find the websites. Google offers anyway an Add URL page and does not penalize repeated submissions. It seems that Google Sitemaps is a recommendable tool for webmasters to improve the chance that websites get indexed.

Submissions to directories

Submissions to directories result in good quality links to the website. The Open Directory Project is the most important of all directories. It is very difficult to get a site listed in this Number 1 directory. Repeated submissions are necessary. Google favours websites that are listed in The Open Directory Project. The Yahoo Directory comes next but it is expensive. The websites of vilesilencer and trendmetrix list hundreds of good directories. A lot of them are free and of high quality. They are spidered by the major search engines. This high quality links are not only good for boosting the Link Popularity, but of the Google PageRank.

Quality counts

The conclusion is that only the quality of the links counts that can be gained from search engines and directories to the website. Submissions to thousands of search engines are a loss of time and resources. Most of the work has to be done manually. Good results can be achieved, but it is a question of time, rather in months than in a days.]]>



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