The Pirate Bay’s New Hosting Plan

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pirates flagThe Pirate Bay is the piracy site that many groups of anti-piracy protestors love to hate. But, the website’s owners plan to make the site a lot harder to take down in the near future. The minds behind the Pirate Bay plan to turn user PCs into web hosts while also setting up a fake domain name system.

Here’s how it’s all shaping up.

The New Pirate Bay Web Host Plan

The Pirate Bay wants users to host the site instead of using the company’s own servers and domains. This is all going to happen through a browser-type client that shares all of the site’s information in the form of small bundles. Site users can then host the Pirate Bay in fractured pieces.

In addition to the new web hosting plan, the Pirate Bay has also recently released the PirateBrowser, which is a software package that integrates a browser and a proxy add-on. The point of this package is to make it impossible for site blockers to block the Pirate Bay from various users. All of this is a massive effort to keep the Pirate Bay online and thwart anti-piracy groups.

Will It Work?

The Pirate Bay is being very secretive about complete plans to ask users to host the site. But, it does seem like all of the site’s ducks are in a perfect row. Everything seems to be set up nicely, and the Pirate Bay seems to have a solid plan. Whether or not it will all work remains to be seen, but developers behind the Pirate Bay are trying at all costs to remain invisible.

Invisibility is essential to the life of the Pirate Bay. Should the company remain highly visible, site blockers will simply prevent users from visiting the site, and that wouldn’t be useful at all. Splitting up hosting duties amongst users is another way for the Pirate Bay to go incognito.

Coders Needed

If you have some coding talent, check out what the Pirate Bay is working on. The site is still looking for coders to help out with the project, so you may just find your calling there. If you know a lot about web hosting and you’re into coding, it’s a noble cause to fight – don’t you think? Or, do you think that the Pirate Bay is a site that should be taken down?

It will be interesting to see whether or not the Pirate Bay pulls off the hosting sharing idea. If this company can make it happen, maybe you can too? Who knows, anything is possible, right? In the meantime (or until it’s all figured out), take a look at the hosting sites that have been reviewed here. You’ll find that many of the sites on our blog are worth your time and money if you’re looking for a great hosting option.

What are your thoughts about the new Pirate Bay hosting model? Is this a good or bad plan? Let us know what you’d like to tell the world below!

Leaked Documents Show Little Changes to NSA Tactics

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NSAThe CIA has recently reviewed the NSA’s activities that largely relate to the concern the public now has for its privacy. The review committee was headed up by Michael Morrell, former deputy director. Leaked documents today indicate that while, indeed, reviewed, the practices of the NSA are to remain largely unchanged.

What Happened?

Simply put, the review committee didn’t see much point in revising all of the NSA’s tactics. The review panel has made some minor adjustments, but they are not the kinds of adjustments that the American public (or the watching world, for that matter) want to see.

The fact that the NSA’s tactics aren’t changing much (or at all, really) simply proves the point that these programs are seen as essential by the U.S. government. The news that the committee was not going to be making any major revision recommendations was lead to the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal through anonymous sources.

Why ‘leaked’ news and not outright fact? Because the review documents haven’t been handed over to Obama yet. That’s also why the committee refuses to comment on the leaked news. Once the president has reviewed what the committee has found out, he will then decide whether or not to make any necessary changes.

How This Will Impact Site Spying

Many website owners have been worried about information leakage and the NSA’s gathering of details prior to the new review panel discussion or leaks. This is with just cause, since the NSA does, in fact, collect user data across the board from all kinds of companies like Microsoft and Apple and Google.

This does mean, too, that certain website owners are not safe when working with hosting companies. If the NSA knocks on the door of a hosting company and asks for information about a site owner, those details are to be given over without much say by the owner of the hosting company. So, you see, not making any changes to the way the NSA operates is not a good thing in the eyes of most citizens.

Why It Won’t Change

The NSA has stated from the start that the information gathering tactics used by this government organization are vital to the safety of the United States. It has been stated that without these measures, the government would not have a really great way of collecting data and figuring out if something is going awry within the borders of the country. While some people don’t buy this argument, it is the main reason why you won’t be seeing any real changes in the way that the NSA operates any time soon.

Will Obama make edits once he gets the review paperwork? Maybe a few, but the likelihood of the NSA being completely wiped out is zero to none. How does this impact you? The NSA will continue collecting data as it has always done without little stopping it now that a review has been formally filed.

What are your thoughts? Should the NSA be completely stopped?

Could an iPhone Have Prevented the Healthcare.gov Mess?

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iphone5s goldWhen President Obama entered the White House in 2009, he refused to give up his smartphone. The phone was a BlackBerry device, and it was something that he wasn’t about to live without. Today, a youth group that Obama was speaking to asked the President why he didn’t have an iPhone.

His response? Obama can’t have an iPhone for “security reasons.”

This comment has made a lot of people wonder two very important things. First, if Obama can’t have an iPhone because it’s not secure enough, is your iPhone safe? Second, would the healthcare .gov site not have crashed if the President knew more about technology by using an iPhone?

Let’s look.

Is Your iPhone Safe?

That’s a tough question to answer, but I’m going to try to answer the question anyway. It comes down to what you do and who owns your phone.

If you have a company phone, your boss can look at what you do – it’s really that simple. If you own your own phone, chances are that you aren’t on the NSA’s ‘Most Wanted’ list. If you are on that list, make sure that your phone is secure, and that everything you send is encrypted – that’s a joke, but encryption is vital all the same.

Obama can’t have an iPhone because if any of his information leaked, that would be a big problem. But, wait, isn’t that what his security team is for? Well, yes, but they couldn’t figure out how to keep the iPhone safe, it seems. Or, maybe Obama just wants to keep his BlackBerry because he likes it – that might be the point of this whole thing too.

The Healthcare .gov Argument

Some critics of Obama’s latest iPhone statement are saying that the Healthcare .gov site would not be such a mess if Obama had an iPhone. That’s debatable. But, let’s debate it with the stance that the iPhone’s technology is superior to what BlackBerry offers.

With that in mind, Obama might have been more tech-savvy when it came to the Healthcare site disaster. If he had kept his eyes on what was happening with the site, that is – his V.P. did, in fact, tell press that he ‘assumed’ everything was running smoothly, after all. Were Obama to have an iPhone, he might have had a better grip on the mess that the Healthcare .gov site was bound to make.

That’s a giant leap in logic, but it’s one argument that’s going around today.

What to Take Away

Basically, use the device that you’re used to. Your iPhone is safe, disasters like the Healthcare .gov one can’t really be avoided all the time, and Obama likes his BlackBerry. Did I miss anything?

Incidentally, the Healthcare .gov site is still not fixed – just thought I’d throw that one in there too. Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions? Hate iPhone? Love it? Speak up!

Lessons to be Learned from Healthcare .gov

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WHO SymbolAre we really going to revisit the Healthcare . gov fiasco? We are. Why? Because there are fundamental lessons to be learned from this mess, and lessons to be learned from all possible angles.

Assuming Is Never A Good Thing

The tech blog, The Verge, quotes Vice President Joe Biden as stating to press: “we assumed that it was up and ready to run.” Biden was, of course, referring to the majorly failed Healthcare .gov site.

Let’s break this down more.

The Vice President assumed that the site — which was set to attract thousands of hits – was ready to go. Yeah. That’s a big mistake. One that you shouldn’t make.

Lesson: even if you hire the best engineering or development team in the world, always make sure that things are ready to go – by checking on that site yourself.

Running Through Things

If any of the White House’s many staff members working on the healthcare project had actually taken the time to go through the sign up or information process (you know, actually used the site), they would have found a number of really quirky glitches.

Stuff like the prison glitch. Did you hear about that one?

Some people attempting to use the site came across a message asking how long they had been in prison – even if those people had never been incarcerated.

Lesson: always go through your demo site before you release that site to the public. Find glitches, report those glitches, and fix those glitches. It’s that simple.

Costs Rise

Make no mistake about it: the U.S. government can’t afford to spend or lose any more dollars. Unfortunately, a problem like the healthcare. gov site issue cost the government tons and tons of dollars.

How many dollars? Around $150 million.

Lesson: fixing problems before you launch a site will cost you far less than fixing those problems after a site has been launched. It never pays to do things half-way.

Additional Lessons To Be Learned

Deadlines: don’t announce a deadline to the world (like the November 30th deadline that was originally set) if you can’t stick to it. Or, let everyone know that you aren’t going to make that deadline.

Buying Doesn’t Help: hiring new people and buying more things isn’t the way to go when it comes to fixing issues. Fix the problems that you have right now, work with what you have, and don’t place blame anywhere specifically.

Blame doesn’t matter. What matters is that a major mess up like the healthcare mistake gets fixed. That’s the bottom line, and it can be applied to any business at any time or in any situation. In short: make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Questions? Comments? Leave your info below!

The U.S. Government Changes Web Hosts

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US government change web host Did you ever wonder what company was behind the U.S. Government’s health care website disaster? What company does the government use to host this healthcare site? Well, that information has been leaked.

Today, the U.S. Government signed a deal with Hewlett-Packard to replace Verizon. That’s right, the current company the government uses to host sites is Verizon. Surprisingly, though, the government isn’t ditching Verizon as a result of the healthcare website mess. The decision was made prior to the release of that site.

Goodbye, Verizon

According to the Wall Street Journal, the government began moving some of its hosted sites to Verizon’s ‘Terremark’ division in 2010. When that happened, numerous websites that were moved were locked out, shut down, or faced blackouts because Terremark wasn’t up to par.

That’s when the government decided that Verizon’s Terremark wouldn’t do, and the decision to move to HP was made. In short: the government knew back in 2010 that Verizon wasn’t the more reliable host available. But, nothing really happened until today. That’s nearly two years later – and switching hosting providers earlier may have meant avoiding the whole healthcare.gov mess.

What Now?

HP won’t be taking over the government’s hosting charges quite yet. The company will start hosting sites in 2013, but that won’t happen right away. As for the healthcare.gov site that’s still not working right for most Americans, that site will be up and running smoothly by the end of December – that’s the promise, at least.

A number of Americans still can’t use the site, so that’s not such a great thing. Hopefully, moving to HP’s hosting instead of Verizon’s will be a move in the right direction for a government that can’t stand to lose any more website battles with its citizens. So far, numerous outages with Verizon’s hosting centers have caused a lot of citizens to seek other ways of finding and signing up for healthcare.

Moving the Site

Moving any site to a new hosting provider is a big deal. Moving a site as large as the U.S. healthcare site is an even bigger deal. In order to ensure that the whole thing goes off without a hitch, hiring experts in all fields will be necessary. The goal is to move the site without causing any additional problems, and this means spending more money to hire more experts to make sure everything happens without incident.

How long will it all take? We’re looking at a few months before the site is moved to HP’s services completely. In the interim, everyone working on the project will spend time trying to figure out how to make sure that the transition happens smoothly. Will it succeed? It’s really hard to say right now, but it looks like the whole thing will be an exercise in patience – not the the majority of Americans have any left when it comes to government-run healthcare websites.

Black Friday Web Hosting Deals

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bluehost dealsGuess what day it is? That’s right, it’s Black Friday! That means that you’re probably gearing up to spend some cash on certain items, and that you’re looking for some serious deals. Well, the cheap web hosting world wants in on Black Friday too. In fact, there are lots of hosting deals out there this Black Friday.

Deals like these:

BlueHost: we love BlueHost around these parts because this company really has everything in order. You can check out plenty of BlueHost reviews and updates on this site too. In addition to being a great company, BlueHost is also offering a great Black Friday deals to new users: a 44% discount when you sign up for a shared web hosting plan. You can also get 50% off of any hosting feature add-on – so make sure to check out the BlueHost site today before you buy.

A2 Hosting: ready for another great deal? Get 25% off of hosting with this company today. That’s a really good deal if you are going to sign up with A2 hosting already, but this deal ends on December 2nd, so make sure to jump on it while you can.

Arvixe: you can snag a $2 per month hosting deals right now from Arvixe (another company we love here at Ananova.com).

GoDaddy: what? you didn’t didn’t think GoDaddy would miss out, did you? Not a chance! Get 35% off of new products with GoDaddy this month!

If You Own a Hosting Company…

You seriously can’t afford not to jump on the Black Friday bandwagon. It might be the day of the sales, but it’s never too late to let your valued customers get something at a discount. If you own a cheap hosting site, now’s the time to make sure that you offer anyone searching for what you sell a deal.

If you can’t do the Black Friday thing, at least you can offer some kind of a holiday discount – that would be a good idea too, right? So, there you have it – here are the best Black Friday web hosting deals online. Which one will you choose?