Avoid “Hotlink Protection” feature in cPanel 11.25, 11.26

In cPanel 11.25 and 11.26 (not tested earlier versions) when you add “Hotlink Protection” in cPanel it will add the appropriate mod_rewrite code to all domains, subdomains, add-on domains. It looks similar to this:

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://test-cpanel.com/.*$      [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://test-cpanel.com$      [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://www.test-cpanel.com/.*$      [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://www.test-cpanel.com$      [NC]
RewriteRule .*\.(jpg|jpeg|gif|png|bmp)$ - [F,NC]

It actually checks for the line “RewriteEngine on” and does not add it a second time into the .htaccess which is smart… The problem comes when you remove hotlink protection.

cPanel goes through all domains, subdomains, add-on domains once again this time and removes the code but it removes all instances of “RewriteEngine On” in every .htaccess. The problem that comes with this is that if you’re running something such as WordPress, vBulletin, IPB, or any other script that uses mod_rewrite, as most do, suddenly all of your rewrite rules no longer work. Continue reading


Extreme Disappointment with AT&T Customer Service (lack there of).

Update 2: I called the next day and escalated myself to another supervisor.  This supervisor looked at the history of the call from the night before and said that he would verify that Amazon.com did indeed have this offer going and if they did he would apply the credits.  He made it clear to me that he was doing this not only due to how long I’ve been with AT&T but also due to the fact that if I’m willing to write an email, a blog post, and call more than once – that I was eventually get what I wanted.  The supervisor also acknowledged that AT&T doesn’t make money off of the handsets themselves (they pay $699 each for the Torch) but that they instead make money off of the contract for service.  It simply didn’t make sense to him for him to block my request when ultimately I was considering switching to another provider over the incident.  AT&T stood to lose much more of my money by not giving me the credit than by doing so.

If you try to get such a credit applied to your account I do wish you luck as even this email to the executives got responded to with essentially “We won’t price match, sorry.”  Good luck!

This post will consist entirely of a letter sent to AT&T concerning my recent experiences with their customer service department.  I give anybody and everybody full rights to reproduce this email in it’s entirety in any way, shape, or form.

To: AT&T Executives
Subject: Extreme Disappointment with AT&T Customer Service (lack there of). Continue reading


Day of the surgery

So today at 6 AM I am driving my mother down to Columbus Regional Hospital for brain surgery. I know this site doesn’t get much traffic but if you can keep my mother in mind today I would appreciate it.


Update 1
Sitting in the waiting room.

Update 2
2.5 hours into surgery and they came out and told us she’s doing well but it’s going to be about another hour.


Would a reasonable individual believe that everything I post is fact and none of it is my personal opinion?

So it seems that on my own personal blog I’m not allowed to voice my opinions should somebody else disagree with them.  While I find it odd that somebody would think that a large portion of what I write on my personal blog is not merely my personal opinion on whatever I’m writing about…. I’d really like to hear from you!

Do look over some of my posts here (there’s what? 22 of them as of this writing) and let me know what you think!  Do you think that a large portion of what I’ve written and posted is my opinion?  Oh, and I know I get a lot of traffic [lol] so I do expect at least a few thousand comments!

MikeDVB.com - Amazing Traffic (lol)
Yes, that's a peak of 81 and an average of 8.296 visitors per day...

Jonathan Burdon – Apparently posting facts is a “Smear Campaign”

Jonathan Burdon of AlreadyHosting.com
Jonathan Burdon

I have written a pretty in-depth review of Jonathan Burdon and AlreadyHosting.com concerning their affiliate fraud campaigns here. I even discovered that Jonathan Burdon is directly using cookie stuffing to obtain fraudulent affiliate commissions.  You can watch a short video demonstrating the cookie stuffing for MDDHosting, BlueHost, HostMonster, and WebHostingPad in this video.  If you’re not very familiar with how affiliate systems work, the basic premise is that sites will use outbound links to the provider that place a cookie on the user’s computer to identify the referral so that the affiliate can be paid.

In an article about Jonathan Burdon [which is likely written by Jonathan] it is claimed that “There is one *unnamed* company on the web that refuses to pay Jonathan for his contract so they have launched a smear campaign against him, please ignore their comments,” and the article goes on to say “If users will take a few moments to visit Jonathan’s sites they will soon realize that his site is a great resource and that the individuals writing the slanderous posts about him are simply incorrect.” Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/branding-articles/jonathan-burdon-webmaster-2848333.html

It seems that Jonathan Burdon believes that I’m personally launching a smear campaign about him and goes so far as to claim my posts are slanderous.  What I find particularly interesting, is that I have only posted verifiable, factual information and even the email communications with Jonathan Burdon.  I’ve not posted or said anything that wasn’t simply true and verifiable.  To be entirely honest, I don’t care about Jonathan Burdon or his reputation but only that he doesn’t continue committing affiliate fraud and, as such, stealing money from other hosting providers.  I publicly challenge Jonathan Burdon to disprove any of the information I’ve posted about him or AlreadyHosting.com.

Continue reading


Starcraft2 – Beta

SC2Well… I got my hands on a copy of the SC2 beta and played it for a few hours and the only real thing that I can say I’m disappointed in is the inability to zoom out.  You can zoom in and see the intricate details of a battle but when push comes to shove your ability to multitask and micro-manage are going to be what decides whether you win or lose.  I personally would prefer having a larger viewing area available or at the least an option to allow the camera to zoom out further.

During a larger battle I find myself constantly scrolling around (even when it’s a battle in only one location) to see what is going on in all locations where as if I could zoom out a bit more, I wouldn’t have to do that.

I guess I just wanted to complain about something, so here it is.


SolusVM VPS Control Panel Good *and* Bad?

The Beginning

At the hosting provider I own we originally started offering Virtual Private Servers late 2008 to address the needs of our clients who were outgrowing shared but didn’t yet want to move to a full-blown dedicated environment.  We did offer VPSs for about 6 months before the HyperVM scare at FsckVPS happened where dozens of VPS nodes were wiped clean and data lost.  We then decided to discontinue HyperVM and worked on migrating our existing VPS clients to other providers we worked with and trusted to be reliable.

The Good

Fast forward to late 2009 when we brought our first new SolusVM VPS server node online.  SolusVM has been an exceptional control panel with a good list of features and while it is missing some basic features such as bandwidth reports, cpu graphs, and memory graphs SolusVM has been working on improving their software over time.  We can handle a few missing “features” as long as we know that those features are in development and will be added.

The administration control panel and the user side of the control panel are very clean and concise while still being very powerful.  The only gripes we originally had with SolusVM was the inability to customize the client side templates and re-brand the solution however they did enable this ability and so far we love the control panel in this aspect.

SolusVM does offer a forum where you can post your questions and issues and receive support from others using the software as well and fairly regularly a SolusVM staff member will also stop by and help out as well.  There is also a support ticket system should you have an issue that is urgent or that does require some privacy.  Our general experiences with SolusVM support over both methods has been fairly good – I wouldn’t go so far as to say great but the support definitely has not been bad.

The Bad Continue reading


Tynt Insight – Very Interesting!

TyntWell a friend of mine sent me over to tynt.com to check out Tynt Insight.  I watched the video on their front page and then decided I would go ahead and give it a shot here on MikeDVB.com.  What is really neat about it is that you can select an excerpt from any of the posts or content on the site and when you copy it and then paste it somewhere (like an email or IM) it will include a link to read the rest of the page automatically.

Edit: I did find that there is no way to selectively disable this feature which makes copying shell commands out of a blog post difficult as you have to edit each copy before pasting it into a shell session.  I’ve disabled Tynt until I find a way to disable it per-page but I am open to suggestions 🙂


Disappointed in Sony – LCD TV Servere HDMI Sound Issues (KDL-52V5100)

So the wife and I love to play Xbox 360 together and up until recently we only had a single 32″ LCD TV (Sony) that we’ve had for nearly 4 years and it has been an amazing problem-free TV. We decided to pick up a second Xbox 360 and a new TV and we figured if we were going to get a new TV we might as well get something we really like and ended up choosing a Sony 52″ LCD TV because it’s a beautiful TV, has a wonderful picture, and we’ve had amazing performance out of our current Sony LCD TV. As it turns out our decision to choose the Sony TV was a mistake.

I’ll admit that I didn’t do the appropriate research before choosing this TV and had I done so I likely would have avoided this model but at this point it’s too late to do anything about it. Almost daily the TV will begin having HDMI sound issues where the sound signal loses it’s continuity – it sounds almost as though somebody is muting and then unmuting the sound very quickly once every second or so which is at the least very annoying and it doesn’t stop there. About 5 minutes after the sound begins having issues it will start to cut out for extended periods of time of up to 15 or 20 seconds and then go back to cutting in and out quickly. Sometimes the sound simply drops out all together and doesn’t come back – the solution to all of these problems is to unplug the TV and to plug it back in. We’ve tried simply powering off the TV, switching HDMI ports, switching Xbox 360s, trying other HD input sources, trying different HDMI cables and the result is that the TV has issues.

I hope that this article will come up in a search and help anybody considering this model to choose another less problematic TV. I’m not trying to bash Sony here (they do make some good products) but they obviously didn’t test this TV thoroughly and once the issue was reported they did release a software update that hasn’t fixed the issue. When I called Sony about this they told me that I had the latest software on the TV (which I had already verified on my own) and that there was no solution to the issue.

I uploaded a clip of the TV acting up – it’s fairly long and I do discuss the issues with my wife a little in the background. I was holding an Xbox 360 controller as well as the TV remote during most of the video. I did hit Mute a couple of times during the video to demonstrate that we’re not just muting the sound (it would show up in the bottom left hand corner) and to illustrate that it’s an issue with the TV.

Update – 04/23/2010

So after doing a lot of research and reading I managed to get my hands on a “secret” copy of the firmware for this TV with a release date of 12/04/2009 which is 4 months newer than the latest version on the site and that was previously on the TV.  This came directly from a Sony engineer here in the US and due to the nature of the firmware it wipes out all existing settings on the TV (any customizations made to picture, etc) which is why it’s not posted on the site or so that is what I was told.

I’ve installed the new software, tweaked all of my settings back and so far so good.  We played about 5 hours of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 without any HDMI audio issues and personally I think the picture looks brighter/better than it did previously but that could just be me looking closer than I did before.  I’ll definitely update this post in a couple of weeks after I’ve had enough time to conclusively say that it’s resolved the HDMI sound issues and if that’s the case I’ll make a download of the firmware available.  If you have this TV and want to try the firmware drop me a comment and I’ll get it over to you via email.


Sales Ticket with an [Interesting Character]

At MDDHosting today we received an order which our sales department reviewed and determined was likely fraud and marked the order as such.  We shortly there after received an email from the individual who will hence forth be known as “Interesting Character” to protect their identity.  While they may not actually be a fraudster – their order details and actions all indicated that they most likely were.

The individual signed up using a first name and last initial only, their mailing address was a mail forwarding address, and many other red flags were sent up when this individual attempted to order services.

Here is a complete view of the email conversation with all personally identifying information redacted and by all means read it over and let me know what you think in the comments.

Interesting Character
Potential Client
03/31/2010 20:39
it seems like there is an issue with my order. can you please review it and approve it?
thank you
[Interesting Character]

Continue reading