How to make sure Godaddy can’t take your site down again

You’re website is your livelihood.  You paid for extra backups, redundant servers, your techs made you pay hundreds of dollars per month going from a Shared hosting to a Virtual Private Server (VPS) or dedicated machine.  All of a sudden, nobody can access your site!  Everything is completely down!  How can this be?  You are not even hosting with godaddy! For those who want a brief explanation, you are probably hosting your DNS or website with Godaddy, which got hacked today.   When you type in a domain name like, your browser checks with a DNS server to find the IP address of the computer you want to reach.  The DNS server, in turn, looks up the DNS record from an Authoritative name server like Godaddy.    When you buy a domain name from Godaddy, it sets itself up as the name server.  If you host your website somewhere ... Read more »

If Knowledge is Power Watch out for Google

Google is launching a powerful update to it’s search engine which uses semantic knowledge to understand entities and provide disambiguation. Google’s been developing it’s semantic capabilities under the hood over the last decade but with this upcoming search release it will become far more apparent to the end-user. The idea behind semantics is quite simple – rather than search for only keywords, the search engine actually understand some words so it can create context. If you search for “companies with many employees” you may find a published list which is titled “companies with over 10,000 employees”, “World’s 10 Biggest Employers ” or some variation of that. But if the search engine could understand that Microsoft, General Electric and Boing are companies then it could look for, and possibly aggregate, quotes like “Microsoft has 93,000 employees” and understand that Microsoft is a company. In fact, it may not even be necessary ... Read more »

Don’t Dismiss Google Drive as Just Another DropBox!

The Google rumor mill is speculating that “Google Drive” will launch shortly. Anticipation has been mounting for years that Google will provide a virtual cloud  drive that can synchronize transparently with your local file system. Many have referred to it as a “DropBox killer” or Google needing to offer parity with Microsoft’s SkyDrive, however I believe this is much larger eco-system play with important but subtle differences. Since the launch of the Chrome browser, Google has made its goal clear:  Neutralize the importance of traditional operating systems like Microsoft Windows or Apple OS. Google’s vision is that the “office” belongs in the cloud (Microsoft is playing catch-up here with Office 360), and recent product enhancements such as the ChromeBook/chrome OS, Google docs, Google TV and Google Apps have been closely aligned with this strategy. By using sophisticated algorithms to mine content, interactions, relationships, etc. all these services are high-value in ... Read more »

Why Amazon Shares Will be Penalized for Record 2011 Sales

Since mid-December, retail stocks have declined as a result of weaker than expected sales. Target, Wal-Mart, BestBuy and many others failed to achieve investor hopes of a consumer adrenaline shot into an otherwise slow economic recovery. Many retailers are blaming Amazon for cutthroat pricing, economies of scale and tax free advantageous the likes of which pushed Circuit City and Borders Booksellers out of business. Retailers claimed fowl when Amazon heavily promoted a mobile app that lets consumers scan goods inside retail stores and compare prices or instantly place order on Yet Amazon is viewed as a retailer and its share price has been punished along with other retailers in the segment. There are certainly other factors, such as the mixed reviews of the no-margin Kindle Fire, Amazon's heavy investment in media streaming, and the poor earnings per share in the most recent financial quarter. Investors don't see much upside ... Read more »

Mobile Carriers Show Lack of IQ

Mobile Carriers recently found themselves in hot water with a report that Carrier IQ violates user privacy. In case you haven’t heard Carrier IQ is a hidden diagnostic program embedded in 40M+ mobile devices. It monitors usage, location, signal strength, etc. and regularly sends data it to the Carrier. Mobile Carriers claim it is used to improve their network but critics argue it’s yet another privacy gaff. The major Carriers have given a perspective on how innocuous it is and in a rare response, Apple said it was deactivated in current devices and will soon be removed from IOS 5. Apple’s rapid apologetics is a testament that this is a controversial topic. Privacy concerns have escalated this issue to an FTC and Congressional inquiry. Is it appropriate for Carriers to collect this data at the expense of user privacy? Are Carriers being responsible in managing it? The answer depends on ... Read more »

Google+ May Make the URL Irrelevant

Google just released Google+ pages for businesses, non-profits, and other entities to join the Google+ social explosion.  This was an expected feature and personally it looks like a good first step to compete with Facebook Pages.  When I created a page , I noticed something at the very bottom of the getting started screen: Google+ Direct Connect.  Basically Google+ will analyze your page for relevance, popularity, etc. and if your page is deemed worthy (+1, followers, views, etc.), you will get your very own +keyword.  +McDonald's +Nike,+AMA … you get the idea.  Google can leverage it’s dominance as a search engine to re-invent the URL using keywords that tie to a brand’s reputation in Google+.  Since people search with those keywords without the “+” already, it will be a simple thing for Google to encourage its use and thereby reinforce  the Google+ ecosystem while making the traditional URL and all ... Read more »

Google FTC Probe Is Not About Search

I keep hearing how users have a choice in search engines, Google is making a great search engine and shouldn’t be punished by the FTC for being so good.  I keep reading that this is like the Microsoft/OEM Anti-trust case.  That argument is backwards. Google's search dominance is not the problem it is their advertising dominance.  Google can give preference to their properties,  increase the price of a keyword and put their own ad up for free.  Type "Image Search" or "find images" in chrome and "Google Search" is an ad.Type a product name and Google's comparison shopping engine appears.  Since they are a publisher and an advertiser, they can bid up keywords and advertise for free.  This is not about consumer choice but advertiser choice.  An advertiser sees Google as a monopoly.  If you want to advertise a keyword there is finite inventory and 80%+ is on Google.  Google ... Read more »

Five ways Apple Convinced the Music Industry to Overlook Piracy

For over a decade a battle ensued between the Netizens who want unencumbered access to purchased music streamed to the device of their choice and the stalwart music industry who protect against piracy and profits. At times, this battle has gone extreme with billion dollar lawsuits targeting file sharing tools and teenagers having to hire lawyers. Apple has made a remarkable dent in what seemed to be an impossible impasse. Google, Amazon, and others have tried – How did Apple succeed? I have a theory. First the timing is very important. Google and Amazon threatening to bypass the Music Industry entirely. Despite trying to negotiate for years they are arguing that music files can be seen as “just bits” so they really don’t need permission. This is a huge threat to the industry who want music to be seen as a license independent of the bits. Piracy is rampant. The ... Read more »

Google ChromeBook at $20 to $28 per Month

Just announced by Google are the new ChromeBooks ; Availability, pricing / specs and an innovative business model.  Mobile carriers have been incredibly successful at creating an annuity by tying hardware, software and data together in a subsidized monthly package.  Google appears to be replicating their success with this new offering.  Available at $20 / month for students and $28 for businesses (also available for purchase) they are creating a web centric device with applications and storage living in the cloud.  3G data is optional, and if it is similar to the Cr-48 it will be a pay-as-you-go plan for $35/month 1G, $50/month 5G and $9.99 unlimited day pass. I’ve always believed that application rentals would become a growing trend – why not throw in the laptop – and eventually the dataplan.  It has worked in the Ipad/Android Tablet market, let’s see how it works for netbooks.  Related articles: Would ... Read more »

Pitz: Amazon Instant Video is Just Another Experiment

Amazon recently announced a video streaming program with unlimited access to over 5,000 titles for $79 per year which replicates and undercuts the Netflix instant streaming model. This is in addition to a 90,000 title content arsenal already available for rental or purchase. UBS analyst Brian Pitz recently downgraded the stock to neutral with a $180 price target (down from $195) on concerns that the streaming service will raise costs, and hit margins. Pitz is concerned that Free Streaming wasn't part of the original guidance and content, distribution and technology costs will have material impact on margins. Since that report, Amazon stock has dropped nearly 10%. Pitz is ignoring that Amazon is an expert at low investment market experiments. For example, they competed with Ebay allowing 3rd party merchants to auction, later they created Z-shops as a separate 3rd party merchant center and now they completely integrate 3rd party merchants. ... Read more »