SOPA: What Is It & Why It’s Important

By - Posted under: News, Web on December 28, 2011

Have you heard of SOPA before? If you haven’t, then its time to sit up and pay attention.

This is important, not only for companies with businesses online or web developers, but also for consumers and regular internet users alike. In this article we will explain what is SOPA and the impact it can cause in a long term basis.

SOPA, which stands for Stop Online Piracy Act, is a bill tabled by US Senate together with PIPA, Protect IP Act.

Here’s what the government can do to foreign websites under even the most narrow reading of SOPA section 102 and PIPA section 3:

  1. Order internet service providers to alter their DNS servers from resolving the domain names of websites in foreign countries that host illegal copies of videos, songs, and photos.
  2. Order search engines like Google to modify search results to exclude foreign websites that host illegally copied material.
  3. Order payment providers like PayPal to shut down the payment accounts of foreign websites that host illegally copied material.
  4. Order ad services like Google’s AdSense to refuse any ads or payment from foreign sites that host illegally copied content.

Under SOPA, IP rights holders can proceed vigilante-style against allegedly offending sites, without any court hearing or any judicial intervention or oversight whatsoever. For example, SOPA establishes a scheme under which an IP rights holder need only notify credit card companies of the facts supporting its “good faith belief” that an identified Internet site is “primarily designed or operated for the purpose of” infringement. The recipients of that notice will then have five days to cease doing business with the specified site by taking “technically feasible and reasonable” steps to prevent it “from completing payment transactions” with customers. And all of this occurs based upon a notice delivered by the rights holder, which no neutral third party has even looked at, let alone adjudicated on the merits. If they get the assistance of a court, IP owners can also prevent other companies from “making available advertisements” to the site, and the government can prevent search engines from pointing to that site.

So how does a website get blocked under SOPA? The answer is a frightening “if your website has a few links that link to infringing websites, you are subject to the law and you will be blocked”. What’s more scarier than that is once they found out you are providing even just ONE infringing links, and you won’t be aware even if a complaint has been made. One comment from an unknown user is enough to get your website blocked, or even the whole domain. If you use any online services for backup or work related issues, you don’t even have to infringe any copyright material because if someone else do, the whole website will be shutdown.

The SOPA is an American law, but China, Syria and Iran has started long ago on Internet censorship. But once it is passed in USA, very soon other countries will follow suit and adopt it as the new Internet standard.

In summary, let me explain SOPA in a metaphoric manner: there is a DVD shop selling pirated movies in Tokyo city. The U.S government wants to destroy the roads, walkway, tunnels, and pedestrian crossing surrounding the DVD shop (but left the DVD shop untouched) to prevent American citizens from visiting the DVD shop.

Internet has been booming for many years, and many businesses, including many start-ups, manage to stay afloat or make an in-road to their demographic because of the freedom in Internet. Once this freedom is removed, Internet will not become what we know it because censorship will be happening all around the world.

We believe that SOPA should not even exist. Yes, the infringement on copyright material is a serious issue, and we do not encourage it. What we want is something to be done that won’t censor the Internet.


5 Tips on Managing Your Facebook Timeline

By - Posted under: Social Media on December 21, 2011

Facebook revealed a new feature called Timeline back in September 2011. Now, Facebook is revealing more information and launching this service slowly. [Find out more here].

Honestly, we think people who doesn’t know how to configure the Timeline will be exposing themselves to the world, and their privacy will be severely violated. We at Zymora was planning to write a guide on how to control and manage your Facebook Timeline feature, but we went for coffee instead after we found this useful article.

Enjoy the article below.

(WIRED) — Facebook has rolled out its new Timeline feature to the masses.

This ultra-illustrative, chronological listing of posts, photos, shared links, check-ins, and more is a radically different arrangement than the Facebook profile you’ve been used to.

And now that your life can be exposed for everyone to see — and scrutinize — you may be interested in curating the new interface. Once you’ve activated Facebook Timeline, you’ve got seven days to tweak it to make sure it’s just how you like before it goes live for everyone to see.

Below are five quick tips on how to personalize, privatize, and generally get the most out of Facebook’s newest feature. It doesn’t take long to master the new interface, and it’s an important exercise for anyone interested in, well, reputation management.

1. Privacy 101: How to hide things
You probably already know that Facebook has controversial positions on privacy. So you may now find that some things included on your Timeline are best kept from curious eyes. This could be anything from an embarrassing status message you posted in simpler social media times, to a rant your ex left on your wall a few months ago.

To hide a Timeline element, click the pencil icon at the top of the offending post, then choose “Hide from Timeline.” Easy.

And please note: Any privacy settings you’ve already set still apply to the Timeline interface. So the photos of you getting wild at last weekend’s kegger are still safe from Mom.

If you prefer to keep your profile public, but don’t want everyone to see what you posted back in high school, for example, you can also tweak your Timeline settings more generally. Click the arrow next to your Home button at the top of the screen to access your Privacy Settings. Scroll down to “Limit the Audience for Past Posts,” then choose “Manage Past Post Visibility.” Now click “Limit Old Posts” — all

2. Tell your life story: How to add past events
Privacy, schmivacy! Perhaps, you want the whole world to know the day you were born, the first time you rode a bike, and that debate club award you got in high school. These events aren’t listed on your Timeline, but they can be.

To add a status update, photo, place check-in, or life event to your Timeline, simply hover the mouse over the line in the center of the page until it turns into a plus sign, and reveals the option to add one of those four types of posts.

Now, Facebook can accurately reflect your entire life — and not just the events that occurred after you first signed on.

3. Add some individuality: How to customize your Timeline
There are a number of ways you can personalize your Timeline so it highlights the posts, pictures and events you cherish most.

First, you can add a cover to your Timeline. Toward the top of your profile, above the buttons where it says “Update Info,” you should see “Add a Cover.” Once you click that, you can select an image from your photos, or opt to upload a new image. Once it loads, you can adjust the positioning of your cover image.

If you set a cover photo and then decide it’s not as great as you first thought, just hover your mouse over the image, and a “Change Cover” option menu will pop up, letting you reposition the image or select a new one.

For photo albums you’ve created, you can change the primary photo that displays (you could do this before, but now the process is different). Simply click the pencil icon in the upper corner of the album post, and select “Change Primary Photo.”

You can also choose to highlight a post — expanding it from a small, half-page-size post to a wide-screen version — by selecting the star icon in the post’s upper-right corner. Conversely, you can click the star on a maximized featured post to make it normal again.

4. Appearances matter: How to check out your Timeline from different angles

If you decide to make a number of posts and photos private or hidden from your Timeline, you can still get the full, complete view of your Facebook action history.

On your Timeline, click “Activity Log.” There you’ll find posts and information you need to review before it publishes to your profile, as well as a complete look at your interactions on Facebook. This is log completely private to you.

You can choose to filter what you see by clicking the “All” dropdown menu at the top. You can choose to see only your posts, posts by others, posts from specific Facebook apps (“Hmm, let’s look at my past Farmville accomplishments”), photos and more.

Like before, you can also check how others view your profile. Next to “Activity Log” is a cog icon. Click that, and you can choose “View As…” and either enter a friend’s name or click the “public” link to see how your profile looks to strangers.

5. Information overload: How to organize friends and filter updates
Now that your Timeline is all straightened out, you might as well do some house cleaning on what shows up in your Newsfeed.

When you add a friend or follow someone’s public updates, Facebook automatically sets the level of posts you see to “Most Updates.” You can change this by going to that profile, and clicking the “Subscribed” button. You can change it to “Only Important” updates or “All updates,” and you can also filter what types of posts you’re interested in seeing: things like life events, status updates, or photos.

And if you haven’t done so already, you can organize friends into lists, a la the Google+ Circles feature. Facebook Lists rolled out in September.

Just go to the left-hand side of your Newsfeed page, click “More,” and toward the bottom you’ll see “Lists.” You can add friends individually to lists like Close Friends, Family, or Co-workers. You can click “More” next to Lists to add other lists of your choosing — “Acquaintances,” “Poker Club Members,” you get the picture.

The average Facebook user has 130 friends, but I’d venture to say that most of you reading this have far more than that, so this will help streamline your Facebooking experience.

One last thing: If you’re one of those people who’s still into “poking” your friends, you can still do that. Go to your friend’s profile, and the Poke option is listed under a gear cog dropdown menu next to “Message.”

[Source from CNN]

XXX Domain: Destined for Failure

By - Posted under: News, Web on December 14, 2011

Just last week ICANN (International Corporations for Assigned Names and Numbers), who controlled the World Wide Web’s domain, started selling the .XXX domain names.

Some histories about the .XXX domain first.

ICANN wanted a special domain to differentiate the pornographic websites than regular websites so that regular users won’t stumble onto a pornographic website by accident, and parents, IT managers, and etc can filter these websites with .XXX domains easily to prevent the teenage child, workers and regular people can and will be blocked easily from these pornographic websites.

Very good intention. But seriously?

The AP reports that 80,000 XXX domains were sold in pre­sale and many com­pa­nies like Pepsi and Nike lined up to pur­chase adult domains. The Uni­ver­si­ty of Kansas report­ed­ly just paid $3,000 for a vari­ety of XXX URLs.

Nike will not want the domain Nike.XXX to be registered by some dubious companies and turn Nike into pornographic brand with a Nike porn site. Furthermore, universities will not want to allow pornographic websites to use their names, such as MSU.XXX or MSUGirls.XXX. So most of these 80,000 XXX domains were sold to legitimate corporations seeking to protect their names, brands and corporate images.

How about the real pornographic websites? From the information that we gather, there were just a few real pornographic companies registering them. A lot of these pornographic websites make their fortune when users stumble onto their websites, so the good intention of ICANN on preventing innocent people from stumbling onto a pornographic website is a moot point. Furthermore, with the .XXX domain, they can be blocked easily (just a simple *.xxx will do) so it is not a surprise anyone with half a brain that real pornographic websites will not take up the triple X domain.

A quick tour to GoDaddy website, one of the largest web hosting companies and domain registration companies in the world, showed that a .XXX domain is USD99 per year, while regular domain ranges from USD 11.99 to 19.99 per year.

Accord­ing to the web­site, if I want­ed to launch an adult web­site under that URL, I actu­al­ly have to become an “Inter­net Com­mu­ni­ty Mem­ber” and then con­firm my sta­tus of “the spon­sored adult enter­tain­ment com­mu­ni­ty”. My guess is that this is how the ICANN polices the URLs, to ensure that some­one isn’t reg­is­ter­ing some­one else’s brand as a porn site. I have no plans to do so, which con­ve­nient­ly means I do not have to become a part of the “Community.” GoDad­dy tells me this too, and is — for­tu­nate­ly, I guess — only too happy to help me park my URL for the same exor­bi­tant fee.

Atop GoDad­dy’s XXX domain reg­is­tra­tion page is this: “Let’s be adult about it. Cre­ate an adult Web pres­ence or pro­tect your brand.” This is fol­lowed by an expla­na­tion of why you’d want to reg­is­ter an XXX domain. Note what it starts with:

Secure your brand. Pro­tect your rep­u­ta­tion.

Per­haps you’d like to cre­ate an adult enter­tain­ment web­site. Or maybe you’re here to keep your brand from being reg­is­tered as a .XXX by some­one else. What­ev­er your rea­sons for want­i­ng a .XXX domain, you’ve come to the right place. To check the avail­abil­i­ty of your domain, type the name you want into the search box above.

The mes­sage is clear: If you don’t want some­one launch­ing a porn XXX domain with your name or brand, you’d bet­ter let GoDad­dy take your money and reg­is­ter it for you.

This scene was like during the early days of the web where companies and person rushing to snap up domain names to protect their own interest or making some quick money by selling the legitimate domain back to the companies. But this time there is a dif­fer­ce in one fun­da­men­tal way: Those snap­ping up the domains for pro­tec­tion will never use them. No one out­side the porn indus­try wants to run a live XXX domain web­site. These busi­ness­es and uni­ver­si­ties are sim­ply buy­ing them in what GoDad­dy actu­al­ly calls “Defen­sive Reg­is­tra­tions” to hide them from view for­ev­er (and they’ll pay GoDad­dy year­ly fees to do so).

I think GoDaddy should send ICANN a flower, a box of chocolate with a Thank-You note while laughing all the way to the bank.

Google Adwords – Explained

By - Posted under: Online Marketing, SEO, Web on November 20, 2011

A lot of times for those of us in online marketing and online advertising, we had a hard time explaining to our clients how does Google Adwords work. Sometimes the whole thing can be quite confusing to them and after a much detailed explanation, the clients normally (we hope) will get it.

Today we stumbled onto an interesting articles from Word Stream and they explained how Google Adwords work, in an infographic. It’s easy to understand, and taking a subject of complexity making it super easy to understand.

What is Google Adwords?

What is Google Adwords?

Source from: Word Stream

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