Blog Archives

Few Updates Recently

Few Updates for Several Months

Regular readers of this blog may be wondering why there’s been so few new posts in the past several months…

The reasons for our tardiness are two-fold: First of all I’ve been relocating my home and business to Aston Bay in the Eastern Cape. Secondly – blame the latest versions of WordPress, and above all the new text editor (TinyMCE 4.*).

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No Link in Spam Comments

Where are the Spam Comment Links?

I have recently come across a trend that makes no sense whatsoever. Spam comments on WordPress.com with a non-existent backlink. We all know moronic spammers try to post comments on WordPress.com for backlinks to their trash websites, so why are they posting bad links?

Take a typical spam comment, a line or two of badly written English, an email address if required – useful to check if an apparent borderline comment is spam. At least one outgoing link, even if only in the ‘website’ field. It looks like spammers have finally realised many blog authors activate the “mark 2 or more links as spam” setting.

Checking another blog’s spam folder  today six of these were found (out of a total of 16 spam comments; a high percentage. I could see from site visits on the days the so-called comments were posted these were almost certainly spambot generated; comments on posts that had not been viewed for several days before and after. (more…)

Security Alert | Mijnics Hoax

Credit Card Security WarningWarning of phishing scam: Mijnics Hoax

In the ongoing war against online threats to financial security, this scam e-mail notification warns our readers of a recent threat. An e-mail received this morning masquerading as an offical notification from International Card Services (ICS) (Netherlands) claiming their server had been attacked by cyber-criminals

The mail requests all account holders to update their credit card information.

Do Not click on the links contained in this e-mail

Do not submit your details to this scamming site

The text contained in the mail received reads (in Dutch)

“Afgelopen donderdag is onze server MijnICS aangevallen door internetcriminelen. Wij zijn bezig met ons onderzoek dat onlangs is ingesteld en hopen binnenkort deze internetcriminelen te ontmaskeren.
Tijdelijk is het noodzakelijk dat alle klanten die gebruik maken van MijnICS nu momenteel op de onderstaande website inloggen en hun opnieuw verIfieren. Na het volledig invoeren is ons beveiligingsprocedure voltooid en verschijnt er een scherm waarop zichtbaar is dat uw MijnICS volledig is beveiligd is. U krijgt hier over ook een e/mail toegestuurd. Na dat u onze e-mail hebt ontvangen, kunt u weer inloggen op de officiele website van ICS.
Opgelet! Dit moet binnen 48 uur uur gedaan worden, anders verdenken wij dat er een internetcrimineel achter uw MijnICS zit.
Opgelet! Log pas weer in op de officiele website als u de beveiligde website succesvol hebt voltooid. Logt u toch eerst in op de officiele website, is er kans dat wij deze actie verdacht vinden en uw MijnICS tijdelijk op hold zetten.

Klik hier! Voor de beveiligde website!
(Het kan zijn dat sommige computers het moeilijk hebben met de capaciteit van de  en niet alles meer zichtbaar is)

Opgelet!
Bewaar deze brief/e-mail bij uw andere brieven.

The english translation reads (translation by Google Translate)

“Last Thursday our server MijnICS was attacked by cybercriminals. We’re doing our research that has recently been installed and we hope to expose these cybercriminals.
Temporarily, it is imperative that all customers who use MijnICS now available on the website below and log them again verify. After fully implementing our security procedure is completed and a screen that is visible to your MijnICS completely secure. You will get about an e / mail. After you have received our email, you can log back in to the official website of ICS.
Attention! This must be done within 48 hours hours, otherwise we suspect that an Internet criminals behind your MijnICS it.
Attention! Only log in on the official website if you have successfully completed the secure website. Please log but only on the official website, chances are we suspicious of this action and your MijnICS temporarily hold up. Click here! For the secure website!
(It may be that some computers have difficulty with the capacity and not everything is visible) Attention!
Keep this letter / e-mail with your other letters.”

THIS IS A PHISHING SCAM:

No security card company will ever notify account holders using this type of e-mail notification.
If you are uncertain about the security of your credit card or bank accounts – CONTACT YOUR BANK only. Never use any link contained in an e-mail to access your bank account or your card account.

Changing the Guard

The changing face of GraphiclineWeb

Readers may have noticed some changes to the way material is presented in this blog.

Perhaps most significantly, posts are being written in a more personal way, using first person case (I) instead of the impersonal business third person case (we).  This is due to a change of purpose for the blog. It is no longer the primary source for business news from graphicline.co.za, instead it is now more of a personal blog.

Read More:

The type of content will remain the same, albeit presented in a more friendly manner which (I hope) will be well received. I enjoy technology, and enjoy writing for this blog. So the posts will keep coming, perhaps in greater quantity than before (as and when time allows).

My thanks to the increasing number of readers who follow this blog. I hope I can continue to provide material you will enjoy and keep you coming back for more

Mike

Advert Free Zone

With Few Exceptions Graphicline Web Sites are Advert Free:Ad free zone billboard

Graphicline does not allow advertising from 3rd parties on our company website or on this blog.

Exceptions are made where we benefit from such advertising, e.g the occasional ads WordPress places on some posts and pages:

READ THE FULL DETAILS OF OUR POLICY

 

Mike Otgaar

Does Technorati Sell it’s Subscriber E-Mail List?

Does Technorati Sell it’s Subscriber E-Mail List?technorati_button

While working on the custom buttons just released (see post) I had to create a Technorati account: Since then (4 days ago) the number of spam mail received at the e-mail addressed used to create the account has increased by 800% (8 times) Not too much of a problem, as this mail is only used for such things.

However, is it just co-incidence, or does this site sell or otherwise make available the e-mails of account holders?

In any case, I decided not to include the site in the range of buttons offered. I intensely dislike websites covered in flashing adverts that demand attention, pop-ups that won’t go away, and which open numerous further pop-up windows if clicked…. And there appears no EASY way to delete the account…  Also not a problem, I’ll just change the testing mail account I use – (nice when we admin our own mail servers and faster than trying to sort out t-rati)

TECHNORATI: = HIGHLY UN-RECOMMENDED

 

Server Maintenance

Web Sites Off-line Today (2011/06/15):server down

Our website www.graphicline.co.za was off-line for a few hours today while the server received routine maintenance.

This affected a number of our clients, and other sites hosted on Afrihost Linux servers.

Also affected were e-mail accounts hosted on these servers.

Our website and those of our clients are at this time (18hoo)  BACK ON-LINE, and all services are back to normal.

It is the nature of the technology that such interruptions will occur from time to time, as not all updates and maintenance can be performed while keeping the servers fully online.

Any company requiring a higher level of guaranteed up-time, should contact us  for high level hosting options.

 Mike Otgaar

Nice WordPress Feature

I just noticed the comment box when viewing a recent post; a smart row of login buttons at the bottom.

As I hadn’t seen this feature before, I’m wondering if it’s a new idea from WordPress, or from the Theme Designer. Whichever, It fits the theme as well as the overall impression I’m trying to create throughout my online presence.

Good One!

Comment Box Image

Support for Corel Draw to end

Graphicline DTP will cease all support for Corel Draw.

Since our inception in 2007 (see article; Graphiline turns 2), Graphicline has provided support for Corel end of the road image“.CDR” format files.

9 months ago we undertook to begin a rationalisation programme, and have been examining our operation to identify unprofitable areas of service. Providing finished work in CDR format was quickly noted as a loss making service. In brief, after 2 version upgrades from 12 to X3 to X4, it was apparent the purchase of  X3 had not yet paid for itself.

In total the amount of work output in CDR format was less than 0.1% of all production. Also of note are the following; typically a job for cdr output was found to be taking longer to prepare than one undertaken using our standard all Adobe workflow. Continual problems with PDFs (especially from work containing vector graphics) created from these applications were also of concern, and required additional time to bring up to our high standard.

In January this year, as an interim measure aimed at continuing to offer this file format to the very few clients requiring this, we introduced a substantial premium on our rates (of 50%).

However, this was strictly a short-term measure, and with version X5 now being required to stay current, we took the decision to end all work created in Corel Draw, and to dispose of the software while it still had a residual market value.

At least for now, and until our customers have made provision to locate an alternative service provider, we will continue to accept material in CDR format (version 12 or earlier only), provided it can be readily and successfully converted to Adobe Illustrator.

We have also placed a limit on accepting PDF files created in Corel. Any PDF containing OPI information will no longer be accepted under any circumstances. We will only accept PDFs created in this application that fully meet the X1a or X3a standard as pre-flighted in Adobe Acrobat Pro CS2 or later, or a similar printing industry standard pre-flight application e.g. Flight Pro.

Mike Otgaar

Do We Always Want More Traffic?

Sometimes more web traffic is not wanted

Some sites may not need or desire a lot of visits: It may be a samll community site with a limited capture area. The site may be hosted on a low capacity server. It may be a private member sonly site, or a small business site serving a very small area. This article suggests several possible situations when low traffic may be better – INCREASING WEBSITE TRAFFIC – NOT ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA