GoDaddy kicks white supremacist site in the URLs

After white supremacist site The Daily Stormer published a nasty article about the woman killed by a Nazi in Charlottesville, domain registrar GoDaddy finally decided to boot them from its service. Read the rest

If websites were people

The good news is it is funny. The bad news is it is a GoDaddy ad. Read the rest

Carly Fiorina forgot to register her domain name and now it belongs to someone else

The former CEO of HP announced her candidacy for president today, but the republican's tenure at the tech company has already come back to haunt her., rather than displaying the beatific imagery of her campaign, instead shows a grim message recounting how many workers she laid off while in charge of HP.

“Fiorina failed to register this domain. So I’m using it to tell you how many people she laid off at Hewlett-Packard. It was this many,” the site's author wrote, following it with an excruciatingly long list of 30,000 frowning emoticons. redirects to her official campaign site. .org, however, is a traditionally 'essential' top-level domain that carries a veneer of association and credibility not found in, say,

She also neglected to secure, another of the most desirable TLDs.

It's a telling mistake for someone whose credibility rests upon technocratic experience and capability.

"Whois" domain records list "Contact Privacy Inc. Customer 01390" as the registrant of the .org domain, suggesting that whoever bought it wishes to remain anonymous.

The site's source markup, however, shows an ASCII sheep, credits DEMONSHEEP—a reference to a notorious campaign ad from her ill-fated 2010 Senate run—and suggests "more fun" at bonus-page.html. At that location is a cute picture of a sheep whose eyes glow an adorably menacing red when hovered over with the pointer.

This in turn is credited to a Codepen snippet created by one Leonard Meagher, though it is not clear if Meagher posted the depressing reminder of Fiorina's corporate incompetence or merely the cute sheep code publicly available at Codepen. Read the rest

Survey of women who left tech: "it's the culture"

Fortune's Kieran Snyder surveyed women who left tech, and finds that "the industry’s culture is the primary culprit, not any issues related to science education." Read the rest

Smut Peddler, the Money Gun, and home-made ant poison

Our guest for this episode of Gweek is Veronica Belmont, new media / TV host and writer.

Gweek 162 - Jason Snell & Joshua Glenn

Guests for this episode of Boing Boing's pop culture podcast are IDG editorial director Jason Snell and Joshua Glenn, publisher of HiLoBrow.

We discuss the following:

Jason's podcasts: The Incomparable and TeeVee

The new season of Doctor Who

Book three of The Expanse Series: Abbadon’s Gate

Robert Kirkman’s long-running superhero series: Invincible

Kern Your Enthusiasm: a series of posts at about 25 typefaces, by 25 contributors

Save the Adventure: Singularity & Co.’s digital book club, dedicated to rescuing great adventure novels from obscurity

Deceptive Practice: A documentary about Ricky Jay’s career as a magician.

Gweek is brought to you by GoDaddy. Visit and enter promo code GWEEK30 to save 30% on your order. And by Sharefile. Get started today with a 30-day free trial. Go to, click on the microphone at the top of the homepage and enter GWEEK

GET GWEEK: RSS | On iTunes | Download episode | Stitcher Read the rest

LISTEN: A conversation with cartoonists Gabrielle Bell and Ruben Bolling

Mark caught up with two of his favorite cartoonists, Gabrielle Bell, who has a new autobiographical book out, called Truth is Fragmentary, and Ruben Bolling, who announced his upcoming series of illustrated kids' books, called Emu Club Adventures.

Wear a giant papier-mache head and eliminate your social anxiety

In the 1980s author Jon Ronson played in a band with Frank Sidebottom, a man who wore a large fake head onstage (and often, offstage). We talked to Jon about the book and movie (called Frank and which opens in NY on Friday) he wrote based on his experience.

US Embassy and Godaddy conspire to censor dissenting Mexican political site

Godaddy has censored a prominent Mexican political site that was critical of the government and a proposed law to suppress public protests. Godaddy says that it suspended after a request from a "Special Agent Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Embassy, Mexico City." A lawyer for the site believes that the someone in the Mexican government asked the US embassy to arrange for the censorship, and is suing the Mexican government to discover the identity of the official who made the request.

Leaving aside the Mexican government corruption implied by this action, Americans should be outraged about the participation of the US Embassy in the suppression of political dissent. And, as always, Godaddy customers should be on notice that Godaddy is pretty much the worst domain registrar/hosting company in the world, with a long history of meekly knuckling under to absurd, legally dubious censorship claims from random law-enforcement and government agencies, and never, ever going to bat for its customers (I prefer Hover, one of Godaddy's major competitors). Read the rest

Twitter restores @N to Naoki Hiroshima

A long-overdue, happy ending to the saga of @N, the $50,000 username that was extorted out of Naoki Hiroshima by a hacker who tricked Paypal and Godaddy into compromising control over Hiroshima's domains, and threatened to trash Hiroshima's sites unless the @N handle was given over.

Twitter has restored @N to Hiroshima. It's not clear what took so long, nor what it was that turned the tide for Twitter and resulted in the hand-back.

Happy ending: @N has been restored to its rightful owner [Josh Ong/Next Web] Read the rest

Man charged with running revenge porn site 'WinByState' and extortion operation arrested in Oklahoma

From the home page.

A statement from the office of California state Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced the arrest of the accused owner/operator of revenge porn website

Casey E. Meyering, 28, of Tulsa is charged with having "facilitated the posting of more than 400 sexually explicit photos of Californians and extorted victims for as much as $250 each to remove the illicit content." He was was arrested yesterday in Tulsa by a group of law enforcement agents including local police and California Attorney General eCrime Unit agents. Meyering has been charged with 5 felony extortion counts.

What seems particularly heinous about, which is still a fully operational service at the time of this blog post: it was promoted as “a user supported website where you can trade your ex-girlfriend, your current girlfriend, or any other girl that you might know.” The site asked uploaders to identify their “wins” by city and state, and when possible, the victim’s name.

Read the rest

Extorted out of a one-character Twitter ID by a hacker who seized control of Godaddy domains

Naoki Hiroshima was lucky enough to snag a one-character Twitter username: @N. Over the years, he'd been offered large sums -- as much as $50,000 -- for the name, but he kept it. Then, according to a horrifying first-person account, a hacker socially engineered the last four digits of his credit-card out of Paypal, used that information to seize control of his Godaddy account, and threated to trash all of Hiroshima's websites unless Hiroshima transferred @N to the hacker. The hacker also seized control of Hiroshima's Facebook account. The attack took place over the Martin Luther King, Jr day holiday, and Hiroshima couldn't get his case escalated to anyone at Twitter, Godaddy or Paypal while it was taking place, and so he lost his domain. All three companies now say that they're looking into his story. Hiroshima offers some helpful advice on avoiding his fate (use two-factor authentication, mostly).

I'd add that it's generally good practice to avoid Godaddy, because they're SOPA-supporting sellout scum, and they suck. Read the rest

Man loses rare Twitter handle after PayPal and GoDaddy inadvertently help scammer (Update: PayPal response)

Naoki Hiroshima had (i.e. squatted) a rare and valuable Twitter handle, @N. It was extorted from him, he claims, by a scammer who figured out that PayPal reveals part of one's credit card number during security verification—and that GoDaddy accepts the same part of the number during security verification.

I asked the attacker how my GoDaddy account was compromised and received this response:

From: SOCIAL MEDIA KING To: Naoki Hiroshima Date: Mon, 20 Jan 2014 19:53:52 -0800 Subject: RE: …hello - I called paypal and used some very simple engineering tactics to obtain the last four of your card (avoid this by calling paypal and asking the agent to add a note to your account to not release any details via phone) - I called godaddy and told them I had lost the card but I remembered the last four, the agent then allowed me to try a range of numbers (00-09 in your case) I have not found a way to heighten godaddy account security, however if you’d like me to recommend a more secure registrar i recommend: NameCheap or eNom (not network solutions but

GoDaddy outright refused to help him at first, too. It's shocking how weak account security is there, and at PayPal: "Don’t let companies such as PayPal and GoDaddy store your credit card information," Hiroshima writes.

UPDATE: On its Twitter account, PayPal denies that it gave out "any credit card details". Read the rest

The horrible world of web hosting

In web hosting, service and product quality are sliced so thin that much of the business is built around $5 deals and the low standards that come with them. This pushes savvy but non-technical customers to expensive overkill such as managed hosting, or to complicated alternatives such as virtualization. Anyone who has ever gone through this whole rigmarole will understand what Marco Arment means when he writes that "Web hosting is a horrible business."

Web hosting customers are nomads. If your host hasn’t been ruined yet, just wait. Today, news broke that GoDaddy bought Media Temple. GoDaddy is a horrible company run by horrible people selling horrible products. ... If you’re a Media Temple customer wondering whether you should prepare for the worst, the short answer is: probably.
Read the rest

Pirate Bay outs porno copyright trolls: they're the ones pirating their own files

Yesterday, I wrote about an expert witness's report on Prenda Law (previously), the notorious porno copyright trolls (they send you letters accusing you of downloading porn and demand money on pain of being sued and forever having your name linked with embarrassing pornography). The witness said that he believed that Prenda -- and its principal, John Steele -- had been responsible for seeding and sharing the files they accused others of pirating.

After hearing about this, the administrators for The Pirate Bay dug through their logs and published a damning selection of log entries showing that many of the files that Steele and his firm accused others of pirating were uploaded by Steele himself, or someone with access to his home PC.

The Pirate Bay logs not only link Prenda to the sharing of their own files on BitTorrent, but also tie them directly to the Sharkmp4 user and the uploads of the actual torrent files.

The IP-address was previously used by someone with access to John Steele’s GoDaddy account and was also used by Sharkmp4 to upload various torrents. Several of the other IP-addresses in the log resolve to the Mullvad VPN and are associated with Prenda-related comments on the previously mentioned anti-copyright troll blogs.

The logs provided by The Pirate Bay can be seen as the missing link in the evidence chain, undoubtedly linking Sharkmp4 to Prenda and John Steele. Needless to say, considering the stack of evidence above it’s not outrageous to conclude that the honeypot theory is viable.

Read the rest

Porno copyright trolls Prenda: expert says they pirated their own movies to get victims to download

The saga of porno-copyright-trolls Prenda Law (previously) just keeps getting more tawdry. Prenda is a mysterious extortionate lawsuit-threat-factory that claimed to represent pornographers when it sent thousands (and thousands!) of legal threats to people, telling them they'd get embroiled in ugly litigation that would forever tie their names to embarrassing pornography titles unless they paid hush money.

Their con has unraveled in a series of legal losses. Now, one of their victims has had an expert witness file an affidavit in First Time Videos vs. Paul Oppold, a case in Florida. The expert fields an astonishing accusation: Prenda Law's principle, John Steele, is the person who uploaded the infringing pornography in the first place, listing it on BitTorrent index sites with information inviting people to download it -- people whom he then sent legal threats to for downloading those selfsame movies.

Among other things, sharkmp4 seemed to be able to post these works on The Pirate Bay before the works were even mentioned anywhere else, and in at least one case, "sharkmp4" put a video up on The Pirate Bay three days before Prenda shell company Ingenuity 13 had even filed for the copyright. On top of that, the "forensics" company that Prenda uses -- which is supposedly run by Paul Hansmeier's brother Peter, but which had its domain registered and controlled by (you guessed it) John Steele -- apparently identified "infringements" almost immediately after the videos were placed on The Pirate Bay -- meaning they were likely looking for such infringement in conjunction with the upload.

Read the rest

Man claims GoDaddy canceled domains after transfer unlock

Asif Ali is the latest to find fault with shifty domain registrar GoDaddy.

Me: “Why did you release a domain that belonged to me..the registration was still active. And two days before the domain expired, I renewed the .co domain at $30 for a year”. Agent: “Since the domain was close to expiry so we released it”.

Read the rest

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