Hacks that never happened

Yesterday, GoDaddy went down, taking with it countless hosted sites. A hacker claimed credit, gaining the attention of the entire tech press. But his story was soon debunked: a DNS configuration mistake was the real cause. At Threat Level, Robert McMillan recounts the greatest hacks that never were. Read the rest

GoDaddy's DNS servers experiencing extended outage

If you manage your domains through GoDaddy or are hosting a website with them, it's probably down right now and has been for about an hour. Take advantage of this time to find out which ones of your friends use GoDaddy in order to ridicule them. You can start with ridiculing me. GoDaddy's management tools are down too, so you can't really do anything yet if you're affected, but there's more information about what you could do to move away from GoDaddy in this thread on Hacker News. Read the rest

Reddit PAC aims to kick SOPA's daddy Lamar Smith out of Congress

Mike sez, "With the Texas Primaries coming up in May, I thought you would be interested to know that some of the Redditors that were involved in the boycott on and 'Operation Pull Ryan' (where Reddit raised money for Rep. Paul Ryan's opponent), have started TestPAC, a non-connected, registered PAC, with the goal of defeating Lamar Smith in the Republican Primaries."

You'll remember Lamar Smith from such stupid Internet laws as SOPA and the Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act of 2011 (AKA "the Spy on Everyone Always Act"). He's a 25-year incumbent and a powerful committee chairman. And he's kind of a tool.

What we aim to do is a bit unorthodox: use Texas’ semi-open primary system to edge Smith out in favor of another Republican candidate. When voters identify themselves to the election officials, they must request a party’s specific ballot. As explained on Wikipedia:

Only one ballot is cast by each voter. In many states with semi-open primaries, election officials or poll workers from their respective parties record each voter’s choice of party and provide access to this information. The primary difference between a semi-open and open primary system is the use of a party-specific ballot. In a semi-open primary, a public declaration in front of the election judges is made and a party-specific ballot given to the voter to cast.

This means that Republicans, Independents and Democrats can participate in the choosing of either party’s candidate in the primary election. While Democrats who choose to participate in the Republican primaries are exempt from also voting for their own party’s candidate, it is important to note that their actions would speak volumes in regards to changing the political landscape in their district.

Read the rest

Oh my God, entertainment industry people are still pitching for SOPA

You'd think that the proponents of SOPA[1] would give up that legislative dead parrot's ghost. But they're still doing the rounds on radio and in print, claiming that millions of Americans were 'duped' into opposing their harmless little internet censorship law.

The fresh (!) talking points go like this: Wikipedia, Reddit, Boing Boing and others 'lied' to the public about what SOPA was in the crucial final moments, 'abused our power' by going dark for a day, and thereby tricked legislators and the public into turning on a much-needed new law.

What rot. Read the rest

HOWTO ditch GoDaddy

Domain registrar GoDaddy drew a lot of bad publicity for supporting SOPA, resulting in a large loss of business and a reversal on its public position. But wherever GoDaddy stands on SOPA, it remains one of the worst places in the world to host a domain. The company's terrible behavior and rotten customer service, combined with its awful, stupid, sexist ads make it a great candidate for "that company I'm so glad I'm no longer hosting my domains with."

Wired has a great HOWTO for switching away from GoDaddy to a variety of its better competitors (I use Hover).

First of all, choose your new domain name registrar and management service. There are plenty of services out there, including Hover, Ghandi, DNSimple, Namecheap and many others. Some mention a transfer fee of as much as $10 (Hover) and as little as nothing (Namecheap). In most cases that fee isn’t for the transfer itself, but for a one-year extension of the domain registration at the new service. (In Namecheap’s case, you’ll pay $4.99 for your first year of registration.) DNSimple even courts frustrated GoDaddy users with their “Goodbye GoDaddy” promotion, which offers transfer “at cost.” That means you’ll pay whatever GoDaddy was charging you, starting at $8.50 per year.

Most of these companies have their own articles that explain how transfer domains to their service. The directions are essentially the same, but each site presents them differently. Some have short directions without screen shots, others get into more detail and provide images for every step.

Read the rest

Now more than ever, it's time to pull your domains from GoDaddy

Todd Wasserman of Mashable says "It's time to cut GoDaddy a Break." Marco Arment (creator of the fabulous Instapaper) disagrees:
Even if you’re OK with their support of SOPA, their sexist and tasteless commercials, and their elephant-killing CEO, they’re still a terrible registrar: their upselling is misleading, sneaky, and sleazy, their control panel is horrendously confusing, slow, and buggy (like the rest of their site), their DNS servers are unreliable and randomly ignore changes you make, their support is terrible, and they often block outbound transfers for no apparent reason. They don’t deserve “a break”.
Now more than ever, it's time to pull your domains from GoDaddy Read the rest

Who needs SOPA when you have GoDaddy's shutdown policy?

David Rusenko, co-founder of website hosting service, describes how GoDaddy wiped his domain name records, only restoring them after a phone call. All it took was a single complaint against a single user.

"They had received a complaint about the content of a site, and that they were removing the DNS entries for because of it. I asked him if they had contacted us previously -- he responded that they hadn't. The site in question featured a bad review of a local business, and that business had complained."

Rusenko immediately transferred the domain away from GoDaddy to prevent it from happening again. Just think: if a complaint is all it takes to get GoDaddy to shutter domains now, imagine how tempting it will be to complain should its policies become the law of the land. Read the rest

How to transfer your domain name

GoDaddy may have dropped its support for SOPA, but Jason Kottke points out that there are many other reasons to give it a wide berth. At Macworld, Glenn Fleishman (previously) posts a fat guide to the technical ins and outs of transferring domains, with special attention given to getting them out of one particular registrar. Do the shame walk while it's hot! Read the rest

GoDaddy withdraws support for SOPA

GoDaddy just released a statement withdrawing its support for SOPA.

Go Daddy is no longer supporting SOPA, the "Stop Online Piracy Act" currently working its way through U.S. Congress.

"Fighting online piracy is of the utmost importance, which is why Go Daddy has been working to help craft revisions to this legislation - but we can clearly do better," Warren Adelman, Go Daddy's newly appointed CEO, said. "It's very important that all Internet stakeholders work together on this. Getting it right is worth the wait. Go Daddy will support it when and if the Internet community supports it."

Go Daddy and its General Counsel, Christine Jones, have worked with federal lawmakers for months to help craft revisions to legislation first introduced some three years ago. Jones has fought to express the concerns of the entire Internet community and to improve the bill by proposing changes to key defined terms, limitations on DNS filtering to ensure the integrity of the Internet, more significant consequences for frivolous claims, and specific provisions to protect free speech.

"As a company that is all about innovation, with our own technology and in support of our customers, Go Daddy is rooted in the idea of First Amendment Rights and believes 100 percent that the Internet is a key engine for our new economy," said Adelman.

In changing its position, Go Daddy remains steadfast in its promise to support security and stability of the Internet. In an effort to eliminate any confusion about its reversal on SOPA though, Jones has removed blog postings that had outlined areas of the bill Go Daddy did support.

Read the rest

Anti-SOPA registrar will help you leave GoDaddy for anywhere, even the competition

Nick sez, "I wrote a post on my company's blog (The Positive Internet Company) explaining why SOPA is a big deal not just in the US, but for the Internet as a whole. We have rescued a number of sites from malign censorship (like Dr Ben Goldacre's 'Bad Science' blog), so we know exactly how such laws will be abused. The SOPA-quislings GoDaddy have attempted recently to increase their market-share in the United Kingdom by advertising on the London Underground with posters of semi-nude women. We respect many of our competitors; but GoDaddy are tainting the reputation of our industry. As such, we will help people to migrate domains away from them, even if to other competitors of ours." Speaking of which, let me reiterate my personal satisfaction with Hover for domain registration and DNS. Read the rest

GoDaddy supports SOPA, customers take business elsewhere

Maxwell sez, "Following GoDaddy's announcement backing the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act, many customers have started to move their domains to other hosts. I guess that throwing your customers to the wolves isn't a good business tactic." For the record, I use Hover for all my domains and swear by 'em. Read the rest

The case of the stolen domain names

Numerous web design advice sites report that their domain names were mysteriously transferred from GoDaddy to another registrar. Though now registered in someone else's name, the DNS records and websites themselves have generally not been interfered with, suggesting a more cunning plan than usual. At fault seem to be poor account passwords, email-based transfer verifications, the GoDaddyness of GoDaddy, and PlanetDomain's indifference to complaints until sites go offline. Read the rest

Righthaven copyright troll loses domain

Righthaven is the copyright trolling outfit created by the Las Vegas Review Journal to blackmail alleged newspaper copyright infringers with baseless threats of domain seizure and huge cash judgements. When they created as a home for information related to their indiscriminate bulk-litigation campaign, they neglected to supply the registration information required of them, and it appears that they declined to provide the info when requested to do so by their registrar, GoDaddy. So GoDaddy's taken away their domain:
Now it appears that GoDaddy, the domain registrar for the domain, has taken down their domain for an invalid whois. According to ICANN rules domain owners are required to maintain valid whois information. Anyone can report an invalid whois record via the WDPRS system, which then passes on the complaint to the sponsoring registrar of the domain. The registrar would then attempt to contact the domain owner and ask them to verify/update their contact information. Should they not do so, the domain can be suspended or even deleted. Taken Down for Invalid Whois (Thanks, Clifton!) Read the rest

UK Music Publishers file copyright complaint over public domain sheet music, GoDaddy nukes major music site

The UK Music Publishers' Association filed a seemingly groundless copyright claim against the International Music Score Library Portal, a repository of out-of-copyright sheet-music, over the score for Rachmaninoff's The Bells. The MPA sent the complaint to GoDaddy, the IMSLP's domain registrar, who took down the entire IMSLP site without further notice. Subsequently, the MPA sought to have its takedown notice removed from the Internet; this may have something to do with the fact that if baseless, its filing has opened it up to legal liability and the IMSLP people are furious and raising money for a punitive lawsuit against the publishers.
Needless to say, we've already responded to Go-Daddy's arbitrary action with a request to reconsider their response. We are also looking into the pursuit of legal action of our own against the Music Publishers Association of the UK for their malicious attempt to shut this site down. Sad to say, the Evil Empire Strikes Back - all too soon. Too bad that a gang of dying companies running on a failed business model can't find anything more productive to do with their time (like maybe promoting the works of living composers, instead of playing lawyer over ones dead since 1943).
IMSLP Under Attack (Thanks, Dan!) Read the rest

GoDaddy CEO: Elephants are "a valuable source of protein"

[Video Link: GoDaddy chief executive Bob Parsons kills an elephant in Zimbabwe. Graphic content.]

Just now on CNN, blathering idiot GoDaddy CEO Bob Parsons phoned in, Charlie-Sheen-style, to dig an even bigger hole for himself after the Zimbabwe Elephant Killing Debacle. The poor, starving African villagers he left the carcass to should be grateful, according to the CEO, because elephants are "a valuable source of protein." Well, by that logic, so are CEOs.

Read the rest

GoDaddy CEO draws fire for killing an elephant, posing with carcass

GoDaddy CEO Bob Parsons: Christ, what an asshole. (via @tara) Read the rest

Death threat domain names

Registering death threats as domain names is the hot new thing in psychopathic anti-Wikileaks action! GoDaddy's Domains by Proxy service is apparently the go-to registrar if you've got a public figure of your own in mind. [Vivant leakers via Artificial Eyes] Read the rest

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