Nuffnang Vs Advertlets At Its Ugliest Battle

The objective of this post is to answer these questions:

  1. How low, dirty, unethical, and childish the battle between Nuffnang and Advertlets has become?
  2. Who are DevilsAdvocate, Amateur, Reaymond and ENUFFisENUFF?
  3. How are they connected to Josh Lim from Advertlets?

A trip down memory lane… (skip this section if you know the story)

I caught 3 commenters who I suspect and have evidence that are linked to Josh Lim (or someone within Advertlets) who have either attacked Nuffnang or defended Advertlets anonymously in my blog.

Suspect #1 — DevilsAdvocate:

  • Left a comment attacking Nuffnang that I have edited
  • Claims he’s just a poor IT student with an opinion
  • Used the excuse of being in PJ (same area as Josh Lim) and on TMNET, thus the same IP range as Josh Lim
  • After I posted up a video evidence with proof of how he is connected with Josh Lim, he vanished and never returned (with the same nickname/character at least)

Suspect #2 — Amateur:

  • When I questioned Advertlets’ password security issue, he defended Advertlets and shifted the blame onto the users if their password were vulnerable
  • Claims he has a blog at http://asrulhadi.blogs.friendster.com/hmmm/ but I received no response from the owner of the blog when I messaged him on friendster
  • His second comment stated he was contacted by Advertlets. That means he is their publisher. However, there is no trace of an Advertlets banner on “his” blog
  • Vanished after people questioned why he doesn’t even have an Advertlets banner in “his” blog

Suspect #3 — Reaymond:

Summary:

I’ve posted some stronger evidence (subjective — depends on individual) connecting Amateur and Reaymond to Josh Lim. After that expose, no one from Advertlets or any other anonymous commenters (like the 3 suspects above) have left comments in my blog.

Back to the present time…

So, who the hell is ENUFFisENUFF? Sloppy Chic posted up her thoughts on Nuffnang’s management of the CPC ads here, here and here. While others (including another anonymous commenter — NoNN) are discussing the matter with intelligence, ENUFFisENUFF jumped in and showed his “lack of intelligence” with the comment below:

sad la. tim and ming got no balls. got to get pretty girls to comment to garner sympathy to hide the fact they are doing a bad job. sigh. who cares where the rum has gone. where are their balls? and most importantly, where is the money?

I can accept anonymous commenters who do not want to disclose their identity but are discussing a problem with intelligence. However, ENUFFisENUFF’s comment shows how much he lacks and are geared towards personal attacks.

His next comment gave away a hint of his possible real identity. I am not the only one who wanted to greet ENUFFisENUFF with a “hello josh” message.

Immediately, the “detective” mode in me kicked in. I wanted to know ENUFFisENUFF’s IP address and if they matches Josh Lim (and the 3 suspects) IP addresses. Instead of asking Sloppy Chic for the IP and confirming it afterwards, I posted up a few sets of IP addresses and asked her to confirm it. That way, there is no “dirty tricks” from me, true?

The sets of IP addresses were used by Josh Lim and his team members (that matches the 3 suspects) in my blog in the past. They are:

  • 124.82.X.Y
  • 60.48.(168-174).Y
  • 60.51.(94-96).Y
  • 60.52.(34-36).Y
  • 60.50.199.Y
  • 60.199.X.Y

It didn’t surprise me when Sloppy Chic replied my email with the following details:

ENUFFisENUFF’s first comment dated 15/6/2007 6:39pm logged the IP 60.48.173.142.

ENUFFisENUFF’s last comment dated 16/6/2007 12:10pm logged the IP 124.82.60.43.

Conclussion to these childish acts…

Just like DevilsAdvocate, Amateur and Reaymond, ENUFFisENUFF uses the same group of IP addresses that Josh Lim does. Is it just pure coincidence or are there more to it? ENUFFisENUFF has gone into hiding (together with the other 3 suspects) and will never return, at least not with the same nickname.

Competition is good. Healthy competition is better. Why compete in a “limbo dance” competition? There is no advantage to prove that one can “go to the lowest” point, especially when it comes to ethics.

Just concentrate in building your company. There is no point in comparing with anyone else but yourself. If you are good, people will know. The act of going “undercover” with an anonymous nick while attacking your opponent is plain cheap. Enough said, this is so shameful.

Will this bullcrap ever end? A limbo dance focuses on how low can you go. In life, it’s how low you want to go. I suggest standing straight up while walking through it. I can’t force you not to stoop so low. The choice is yours.


How Does Malaysian ISP Allocate IP Addresses

Firstly, this is not an official guide or any official explanation on how Malaysian ISP allocate IP addresses to its users. This explanation is made purely based on my personal observation. It may not be 100% accurate but it does work to a certain extend.

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Every time an Internet user logs into the Internet, they will be allocated with an IP address. There are two types of IP addresses — static and dynamic. “A Static IP address is where a computer uses the same address every time a user logs on to a network, for example the Internet”. On the other hand, a dynamic IP address “may change depending on the addresses available in the set scope”. (source)

In most cases, a general Internet user will be allocated with a dynamic IP address. You can check your IP address using web services such as CheckMyIP and WhatIsMyIP every time you log into the Internet. If your IP address changes each time, you are using a dynamic IP.

Typically, an IP address consists of 4 sets of numbers (0 to 255) separated by a dot (.) in between each set.

A . B . C . D

Example: 124.56.32.86, 60.49.123.56, 219.111.56.102, etc.

I’ll try to explain what wikipedia meant by stating a dynamic IP address changes according to the available address in the set scope. Take for example a scenario where a user is allocated the IP address 218.111.56.237. From my observation, each time the user connects to the Internet from the same area (how wide an area, I have no clue), he might[1] be allocated with an IP address that starts with 218.111.C.D. The number C can be any number +/- 5 of 56 such as 53, 54, 55, 56, 58, and 59. The number D is any number between 0 to 255.

I said might[1] above because apart from IP addresses that starts with 218.111.C.D, that user might be allocated with IP addresses from a different group such as 60.50.C.D as well.

One thing I notice with the sets of IP addresses that starts with 60.50.C.D is that the same user might be allocated with IP addresses where the B (50) can be a number +/- 2 (or more) as well such as 48, 49, 51 and 52.

As a summary, a user that is using a dynamic IP address may have different IP addresses each time he connects to the Internet such as the list below. (D = any number between 0 to 255)

218.111.54.D 60.49.21.D 60.50.82.D 60.52.168.D
218.111.56.D 60.49.22.D 60.50.84.D 60.52.170.D
218.111.57.D 60.49.24.D 60.50.85.D 60.52.172.D
218.111.59.D 60.49.27.D 60.50.87.D 60.52.175.D

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UP NEXT:

“How Low Can You Go?”

An expose on how the battle between Malaysia’s two blog ad aggregators (Nuffnang and Advertlets) which is turning into a Limbo Dance competition. A (dance) competition that the former seems to be losing out. To be fair, it seems like only the latter is interested in playing with fire while the other is concentrating on growing.

Stay tuned!

Possible Solution To Nuffnang’s Occasional Slow Loading Banner Ads

Before I begin, I would like to make it clear that this is not an official solution to the given problem. It has its pros and cons. It should not affect the banner click counts but it might, depending on how Nuffnang’s system identifies the clicks.

However, the biggest question is whether these modified codes adhere to the terms and condition and the program policies set by Nuffnang. I made a mistake by not reading through their rules before attempting such modifications. I’ve read it now and noticed that there are possibly at least two mentioning against such modification. They are:

6. Abuse of Services You shall not and shall not authorize or encourage any third party to:
* Edit, modify, filter or change the order of the information contained in any Ad or remove, obscure or minimize any Ad

and

Code Modification

The Nuffnang ad code that we provide you must be pasted directly into Web pages without any modification. Nuffnang participants are not allowed to alter any portion of the ad code or change the layout, behavior, targeting, or delivery of ads for any reason.

We will need to have the guys from Nuffnang to take a look at these modifications and give us the green light before we do it. Therefore, refrain yourself from trying it out first. I have reverted the changes made over at my personal blog as well. If you decide to use these modified codes, you need to agree to the terms below:

  1. Obey the terms of use set by the owner of the codes here.
  2. Obey the terms and conditions and program policies set by Nuffnang.
  3. Don’t flame me if it affects your earnings or get you banned by Nuffnang. ;-)

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The codes used are from this example. The idea is to wrap Nuffnang’s banner into the iframe in the example. That way, Nuffnang’s banner is allowed to load in the background while the rest of the blog is loaded. However, the downside of this script is that the banner will only be displayed after the rest of the blog has finish loading.

Step 1:
Copy and paste this javascript into the head of your HTML (right before the </head> is located)

Step 2:
Create the file “NN.html” that can be accessed from the root of your blog (eg. http://www.chankelwin.com/NN.html). The content of this file is the javascript for the banner ad that was given by Nuffnang. This is how my file looks like. You will need to paste your codes into the file.

Step 3:
Place this iframe code to the location where you want your Nuffnang banner to appear. Remember to change the src=”http://www.chankelwin.com/NN.html” to the location where your NN.html file is located (as in Step 2).

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That’s it! I do not know if these modifications will affect anything. I don’t even know if they will affect how the websites load when users click on the banner. Therefore, remember to wait for the “green light” from Nuffnang before using these modified codes. I do not hold responsibility if you get booted from their system.

Since I have reverted my changes to the original codes, I will show you how the modified codes would work in the video below.

Change Your Password ASAP If You Used Blockoo.com

After my review on blockoo.com, I received a feedback that suggests blockoo.com is indeed “not as safe as it should be”. Even the co-founder of the company mentioned that they were approached by two antivirus firms to reveal their source code or risk blacklisted.

It doesn’t matter if they are able to prove (using their source codes) that they do not store user’s passwords in their database. I raised a question to the founder of blockoo.com as to why did they store the user’s email and password in a cookie. That question is left unanswered up to this point.

So far, their arguments are based on trust. They bought an SSL certificate, reveal their source code to the public, boast over their “more than 350,000 users” and proudly declare that “no one saying that their password was stolen”.

I don’t buy it because of two reasons. Firstly, even though they have purchased the SSL certificate, it is not utilized at all. Traffic to their website is not automatically redirected to https://www.blockoo.com. Data transmitted is only encrypted if the user goes through the https part of the website. Therefore, their purpose of buying an SSL certificate but not fully utilizing it at all is a perfect example of Lanpah-pahlan.

Secondly, why do they need to store the user’s password in a cookie? That is simply bad practice. The password in the cookie is not encrypted at all. Therefore, it is vulnerable to outside attacks. Storing the password in the cookie is totally unnecessary. If the user wants to recheck the block list, they can easily re-enter their password.

Based on the reasons above, I join Azmeen and PsyCHZZZ’s call to urge those who have used blockoo.com’s service to change their passwords IMMEDIATELY! I am not saying that they stole your passwords but the way they handled your passwords (ie. storing your password in a cookie) means that it is possible that your password has been stolen by a third party, with or without their knowledge.

Once again I would like to add, blockoo.com is a nice service to have (for some), but has started off on the wrong foot. They should have concentrated more in building a system where user’s vital information (eg. passwords) are safely guarded.

This is not the first system that I reviewed that posses a threat to user’s password security. Well, it ain’t my password that is vulnerable. To change, or not to change, is totally up to you.