2014 Recap and Recent Downtime
We are BACK!
My, how the scene has changed in only a few short months. Where to begin…
2014 was full of drama in the Usenet and VPN universe. To make matters worse, our website took a huge dump in the Summer. No thanks to the hosting company, the spammers, hackers, and apparently even other similar websites. In 2014 this site was spammed, targeted by hackers, and even copied and re-hosted under a similar URL by competing similar websites…all apparently in an attempt to shut us down. Why? We have no clue. This site barely turns enough advertisement money to pay for the annual hosting fee and Akismet spam-blocker costs. Perhaps we pissed someone off, who knows. Here’s a short list of our personal drama from 2014:
- Contacted consultant developer for PHP/MySQL assistance, resulting in 2 months spent cleaning malware that was not present before he showed up.
- Transferred from GoDaddy to HostGator, all went well initially, until the site went entirely offline for almost 4 weeks.
- Received thousands of spam reviews and comments from both Usenet and VPN services, some easy to spot or easily blocked by Akismet. Others were smarter, or employed smarter spammers.
- Ripped off by 2 vendors for unpaid bills/invoices for approximately $500 total.
- WordPress Plugin developer we worked with inexplicably disappeared, plugin now appears be hacked and was subsequently removed.
But enough about little old us. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights from 2014 in the Usenet and VPN universe:
- Heartbleed vulnerability grabs attention worldwide when SSL libraries are revealed to be vulnerable, and have been for some time. The internet and world reacts, and ripples flow into personal VPN services.
- Usenet DMCA takedown notices are now at all time highs, with some content being removed only hours after being posted. Customers flock to block accounts, new Usenet services, and other alternatives to fill binaries.
- TorrentFreak starts becoming more popular and is now cited in major news publications! (Congrats TF guys!)
- The 2014 Olympics broadcast in the US is rated terrible by consumers, and they flock to VPN and DNS services to view the Olympics in Russia via other broadcast feeds.
- US households continue to “cut the cord” at increased rates. More and more homes are foregoing expensive Cable TV subscriptions for online offerings like Netflix and Hulu, or Over-the-Air HD feeds. Increasing numbers of US consumers are getting their media, TV, and movies from the internet rather than TV.
- Many popular Usenet vendors decide to start bundling VPN and other similar services, like personal online storage. Most vendors follow suit and consumers seem happy with the new offerings.
- Mobile use of VPN on phones, tablets, and other devices is growing at an extremely fast pace. VPN apps begin to appear all over the App Store and Play Store. Many VPN vendors aggressively move to develop free mobile VPN apps for their customers.
- Giganews scores a sweet victory over Perfect 10, finally. Federal Court in CA finds against the Plaintiff, Perfect 10, and rules that Giganews is not guilty of copyright infringement, and can’t be held liable for customers infringement.
Wow, now that’s a list of drama. And I’m sure it’s missing a few items as well…but there just isn’t enough time or space to cover it all. We’re still leaving out the 2014 Snowden reveals, the Sony hacking and “The Interview” movie fiasco, Target/HD/Staples mass credit card thefts, and oh about a dozen other related events. 2014 seems like a long year…
So where do we go for 2015? Well, we’ve decided to continue marching, despite the setbacks and challenges.
You should see some more updates from VPNandUsenetReviews.com in the near future. Look for us to renew the No Logs! analysis of the VPN providers, and also look fore more discussion on whats happening with Usenet. Even after all these years, Usenet is still changing and adapting. Let’s hope we can too! Good luck to all in 2015, stay safe out there and always remember what goes together like Peanut Butter and Jelly…VPN and Usenet!