Anchor and the SearchSpring Caper

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The dame introduced herself as Chantele Gibson, Director of Sales for a company called SearchSpring. How she got in my office I didn’t know. But she wasn’t pointing a .45 at me, which made a change. Chantele—even the name told me she was in the wrong end of town—spilled the facts on SearchSpring. Turns out two brainiacs called Gareth Dismore and Scott Zielinski founded the business in 2007. Today they supply intelligent on-site search services for over 600 online retailers around the world. Better on-site search results means guys like me can find what we want faster. And that means more customers. Smart. The kind of smart that doesn’t normally seek me out. I knew search engines were putting private detectives like me out of business. I poured a bourbon from…

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Important: Tucows Domains — Phishing Attacks

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Important: Tucows Domains — Phishing Attacks Recently we became aware of a number of bulk email phishing attacks made to owners of domains registered through Tucows. (What’s a phishing attack? See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phishing) The offending emails come from the email addresses: domainabuse@tucows.com.org; domainabuse@tucows.com.info; legal@tucows.com.em; and domainabuse@tucows.com.net. The emails claim that the recipient’s domain name has been suspended and includes a link. Do not click any of the links within the email Do not reply to the email Do not call the phone numbers listed within the email If you have received one of these emails and wish to clarify the status of your domain name, please contact us. An example of one of the phishing emails is below: ======================== Domain Name: “YOUR DOMAIN” Registrar: TUCOWS, INC. (or other) Registrant Name: “from…

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Online retail growth in Australia and FOMO

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Australians are famous for their love of sunshine, surf, a beer and a good BBQ. But current stats show Aussies to be just as passionate about shopping, the Internet and smartphones. Half of Australians also jump on social media every day, to drown the world in pictures of food, outfits, new cars, weddings, current mood, ‘no make up selfies’ and provide updates as to their every move up until the time they go to bed. Even after lights out, they lie in bed for hours staring at a small screen, increasing their sleep debt as they experience the Gen Y phenomenon of FOMO (‘Fear of missing out’). Now for the statistics overload: Out of nearly 24m people, only 15% of the population is over 65, with 86.9% of the country…

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E-commerce site search – understanding customer behaviour

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As someone who dabbles in online shopping more often than I should, I can say first hand that a pleasant user experience can easily turn a one time buyer into a regular, cart-filling devotee. An important part of this experience is being able to find what you’re looking for quickly and easily. With major online retail events like Click Frenzy around the corner, you don’t want to have shoppers logging on to your site to make a purchase, only to be frustrated when they can’t find what they want. From experience, I can assure you the next tab opened will be one of your competitors. Most of us associate online search with Google, which sets the bar pretty high for online retailers. Thanks Google! Regardless of your ecommerce platform—whether it’s Magento, WooCommerce or any of…

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5 steps to prevent your website getting hacked

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I want to clear this up right from the start. No matter how security conscious you are, your website can always be hacked. In fact, if security isn’t really on your radar and you’re not already taking steps to keep your website (and the underlying application stack) patched and up to date, then it is almost certain that your site will get hacked—and soon. The thing is, it’s not just your data at risk if your site is hacked. You also run the risk of Google dropping it like a hot potato (meaning you’ll be removed from Google’s search index) if the hackers use it to distribute malware; a common tactic the bad guys will use to harvest credit card and personal data from people. In today’s digital world, getting…

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Is Your Website Ready for Click Frenzy 2015?

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With Click Frenzy happening again on November 17th, and online sales trends continuing to climb, it is once more predicted to break online sales records—as well as any participating websites that aren’t prepared. Last year’s Click Frenzy event saw a 27.7% rise in online sales over the previous year, with the average customer order increasing 15.2% to $151.021. Any sudden rise in online activity, particularly when compressed into a single 24-hour period, can trigger a frenzy of technical issues for some retailers. According to IBM research, the first Click Frenzy in November 2012 saw 37% more online sales than even the Boxing Day sales. This unprecedented flurry of online transactions in such a short period of time saw many retailers crash under the pressure, losing sales and frustrating customers2. That…

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Secrets from Leading Magento Experts: 5 Tips for Choosing the Right Magento Agency

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Choosing an agency for your ecommerce store is an important process that deserves a well thought-out approach. Remember, the right Magento agency for your site may not be the same for another company and its specific personality and needs. Choosing the perfect agency has to do with aligning your company’s unique qualities and objectives with the agency’s qualifications and capabilities. Making a calculated, informed decision when choosing an agency to work with is of paramount importance. This is why we’ve collaborated with leading Magento agencies to compile this guide to walk you through the process! Read more.  

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Putting OpenBSD in the cloud

By | Technical | 3 Comments

One of my recent personal interest projects was to get OpenBSD cloud images running on our OpenStack cluster. I used and extended the same pcib software we use for building our Linux images. In doing so, I learned some cool new things about OpenBSD and learned more about its limitations. Overall, I found adapting OpenBSD to the cloud to be a surprisingly straightforward experience, given that the OpenBSD developers eschew the complexity of x86 virtualisation. I credit this to the OpenBSD project’s approach of emphasising simplicity, correctness and portability in its design choices. Bootstrapping OpenBSD We begin with the tedious, yet rewarding task of putting all the bits into place which extract an OpenBSD filesystem tree into a chroot and make it bootable. The bulk of this work happened in…

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Rebuilding An OpenStack Instance and Keeping the Same Fixed IP

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OpenStack and in particular the compute service, Nova, has a useful rebuild function that allows you to rebuild an instance from a fresh image while maintaining the same fixed and floating IP addresses, amongst other metadata. However if you have a shared storage back end, such as Ceph, you’re out of luck as this function is not for you. Fortunately, there is another way. Prepare for the Rebuild: Note the fixed IP address of the instance that you wish to rebuild and the network ID: $ nova show demoinstance0 | grep network | DemoTutorial network | 192.168.24.14, 216.58.220.133 | $ export FIXED_IP=192.168.24.14 $ neutron floatingip-list | grep 216.58.220.133 | ee7ecd21-bd93-4f89-a220-b00b04ef6753 | | 216.58.220.133 | $ export FLOATIP_ID=ee7ecd21-bd93-4f89-a220-b00b04ef6753 $ neutron net-show DemoTutorial | grep ” id ” | id | 9068dff2-9f7e-4a72-9607-0e1421a78d0d…

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Round ’em up with Jessie

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A new version of the Debian operating system, version 8 (codename “Jessie”) was released over the weekend. Just as we did two years ago with Wheezy, we are now immediately offering Debian Jessie as an option for new customers. This includes our new OpenStack infrastructure, where Jessie is our recommended option for Managed Operations and Unmanaged instances. If you already have a Debian server with us and would like to upgrade, drop us a line and we’ll be able to advise as to what’s involved to support your stack on Jessie. To find out more about the services we can offer, visit http://www.anchor.com.au/.

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