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January 28th, 2012

Published by: Web Phenomena

Web phenomena How to Tell if Someone Is Spying on Your Computer January 28th, 2012

We are all concerned about computer privacy, especially with online banking, emails and other private communication we do online. There are two basic categories of computer spying. First, there are outside sources, such as web sites installing malicious software and hackers, which are the easiest computer spies to deal with. The second category is when someone has obtained physical access to your computer, such as an ex-partner or someone residing in your home. This type of spying can be more difficult to detect. The first thing you want to do in either case is to check your firewall and run an antispyware program on your computer.

Instructions 1.

• Click "Start," then "Control Panel." • Click "Security Center." • Click "Windows Firewall." • Click the "Exceptions" tab. • Uncheck programs that you do not want to have access to the Internet. If a blank listing appears, you should immediately be suspicious; click "Edit" to see the location of the program, which should give you an indication of what the program is. • Click "OK" after you have deselected the programs you do not want to have access to the Internet. • Click the red "X" in the upper-right corner to close the Security Center. • Click the red "X" in the upper-right corner to close the Control Panel. • Download, install and run a complete computer scan with the free spyware detection software Spyware Terminator (see Resources) and schedule it to run a daily scan.

Tips & Warnings • If you suspect someone has obtained physical access to your computer with the intent to spy on you, you should take your computer and keyboard to someone who is a specialist in computer forensics and have it checked; there are hardware devices that can be affixed to your keyboard and inside your computer that can monitor your activities. • When deciding which programs should have access to the Internet, in Step 5 above, make sure you know what a program does before restricting access, as you could

completely lose Internet access or prohibit programs that you need. Read Next: Follow eHow Follow @eHow

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The Million Dollar Homepage January 28th, 2012

The Million Dollar Homepage (As of 8 February 2009) Commercial? Yes Type of site Registration none Owner Alex Tew Created by Alex Tew Launched 26 August 2005 Current status Active The Million Dollar Homepage is a website conceived in 2005 by Alex Tew, a student from Wiltshire, England, to raise money

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January 28th, 2012

Published by: Web Phenomena

for his university education. The home page consists of a millionpixels arranged in a 1000 × 1000 pixel grid; the imagebased links on it were sold for $1 per pixel in 10 × 10 blocks. The purchasers of these pixel blocks provided tiny images to be displayed on them, a URL to which the images were linked, and a slogan to be displayed when hovering a cursor over the link. The aim of the website was to sell all of the pixels in the image, thus generating a million dollars of income for the creator. The Wall Street Journal has commented that the site inspired other websites that sell pixels.23 Launched on 26 August 2005, the website became an Internet phenomenon. The Alexa ranking of web traffic peaked at around 127; as of 18 December 2009, it is 35,983.4 On 1 January 2006, the final 1,000 pixels were put up for auction on eBay. The auction closed on 11 January with a winning bid of $38,100 that brought the final tally to $1,037,100 in gross income.His website was also featured in the book "Cool Tech Gadgets, Games, Robots, and the Digital World". During the January 2006 auction, the website was subject to a distributed denial-of-service attack and ransom demand, which left it inaccessible to visitors for a week while its security system was upgraded. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Wiltshire Constabulary investigated the attack and extortion attempt.

Development Alex Tew, a student from Cricklade in Wiltshire, England, conceived The Million Dollar Homepage in August 2005 when he was 21 years old.6 He was about to begin a three-year Business Management course at the University of Nottingham, and was concerned that he would be left with a student loan that could take years to repay.6 As a money-raising idea, Tew decided to sell a million pixels on a website for $1 each; purchasers would add their own image, logo or advertisement, and have the option of including a hyperlink to their website. Pixels were sold for US dollars rather than UK pounds; the US has a larger online population than the UK, and Tew believed more people would relate to the concept if the pixels were sold

after the site began operating, was to an online music website operated by a friend of Tew's. He bought 400 pixels in a 20 × 20 block. After two weeks, Tew's friends and family members had purchased a total of 4,700 pixels.615 The site was initially marketed only through word of mouth;3 however, after the site had made $1,000, a press release was sent out that was picked up by the BBC.615 The technology news website The Register featured two articles on The Million Dollar Homepage in September.1617 By the end of the month, The Million Dollar Homepage had received $250,000 and was ranked Number 3 on Alexa Internet's list of "Movers and Shakers" behind the websites for Britney Spears and Photo District News.18 On 6 October, Tew reported the site received 65,000 unique visitors; it received 1465 Diggs, becoming one of the most Dugg links that week.19 Eleven days later, the number had increased to 100,000 unique visitors. On 26 October, two months after the Million Dollar Homepage was launched, more than 500,900 pixels had been sold to 1,400 customers.20 By New Year's Eve, Tew reported that the site was receiving hits from 25,000 unique visitors every hour and had an Alexa Rank of 127,20 and that 999,000 of the 1,000,000 pixels had been sold.3 On 1 January 2006, Tew announced that because the demand was so great for the last 1,000 pixels, "the most fair and logical thing" to do was auction them on eBay rather than lose "the integrity and degree of exclusivity intrinsic to the million-pixel concept" by launching a second Million Dollar Homepage.20 The auction lasted ten days and received 99 legitimate bids. Although bids were received for amounts as high as $160,109.99, many were either retracted by the bidders or cancelled as hoaxes.2122 "I actually contacted the people by phone and turns out they weren't serious, which is fairly frustrating, so I removed those bidders at the last minute", said Tew.21 The winning bid was $38,100,2324 placed by MillionDollarWeightLoss.com, an online store selling dietrelated products.25 Tew remarked that he had expected the

dollar: £1 was worth approximately $1.80,8 and that cost per

final bid amount to be higher due to the media attention.21 The Million Dollar Homepage made a gross total of $1,037,100

pixel may have been too expensive for many potential buyers.7 Tew's setup costs were €50, which paid for the registration of the domain name and a basic web-hosting package. The

in five months.2226 After costs, taxes and a donation to The Prince's Trust, a charity for young people, Tew expected his net income to be $650,000–$700,000.3

website went live on 26 August 2005.9

Media attention

in US currency.7 In 2005, the pound was strong against the

The homepage featured a Web banner with the site's name and a pixel counter displaying the number of pixels sold, a navigation bar containing nine small links to the site's internal web pages, and an empty square grid of 1,000,000 pixels divided into 10,000 100-pixel blocks.10 Tew promised customers that the site would remain online for at least five 1112

years – that is, until at least 26 August 2010.

Pixel sales Because individual pixels are too small to be seen easily, Pixels were sold in 100-pixel "blocks" measuring 10 × 10 pixels; the minimum price was thus $100.

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The first sale, three days

By November the website was becoming popular around the world, receiving attention from Financial Times Deutschland in Germany,32TVNZ in New Zealand,33Terra Networks in Latin America,34 the China Daily,35 and especially in the United States where it was covered in Adweek,36Florida Today,37 and Wall Street Journal.2 Tew hired a US-based publicist to help with the attention from the American media and made a week-long trip to the US, where he was interviewed on ABC News Radio,38 the Fox News Channel,39Attack of the Show!,40 and local news programmes.4142

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January 28th, 2012

Published by: Web Phenomena

The concept was described as "simple and brilliant",37 "clever",

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"ingenious",

and "a unique platform [for

advertising] which is also a bit of fun".28 Professor Martin Binks, director of the Nottingham University Institute for Entrepreneurial Innovation, said, "It is brilliant in its simplicity ... advertisers have been attracted to it by its novelty ... the site has become a phenomenon."15Popular Mechanics said, "There's no content. No cool graphics, giveaways or steamy Paris Hilton videos for viewers to salivate over. Imagine a TV channel that shows nothing but commercials, a magazine with nothing but ads. That's The Million Dollar Homepage. An astonishing example of the power of viral marketing".44 Don Oldenburg of the Washington Post was one of the few without praise for the site, calling it a "cheap, mind-bogglingly lucrative marketing monstrosity, an advertising badlands of spam, banner ads and pop-ups."14 Oldenburg continues, "it looks like a bulletin board on designer steroids, an advertising train wreck you can't not look at. It's like getting every pop-up ad you ever got in your life, at once. It's the Internet equivalent of suddenly feeling like you want to take a shower."

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As the final pixels were being auctioned, Tew was interviewed

Similar websites Many other sites sell advertising by pixels.314 Tew said of the sites, "[they] popped up almost immediately; now there are hundreds of Web sites selling pixels. The copycats are all competing with each other."2...they have very little ads, therefore I guess it’s not going too well for them. The idea only works once and relies on novelty ... any copy-cat sites will only have pure comedy value, whereas mine possibly has a bit of comedy PLUS some actual pull in advertising dollars ... so I say good luck to the imitators! I realize it was not an original idea, but I am the only one who was lucky enough to make money from the idea."5354 Nonprofit organisationThe Pixel Projects director Regina Yau cited The Million Dollar Homepage as a model for their own site.55The Pixel Projects site is a global awareness and fund raising organisation led by volunteers working to end violence against women.56

See also References

on Richard & Judy,45 and profiled in the online BBC News

External links

Magazine.9The Wall Street Journal wrote about The Million Dollar Homepage and its impact on the Internet community. "Mr. Tew himself has taken on celebrity status in the Internet community ... the creative juice ... paints an interesting picture

Four web phenomena you should know about - iCrossing

of online entrepreneurship".3 Tew dropped out of the business degree the site was set up to fund after one term.46 In 2008, Tew founded Popjam, an Internet aggregation and social networking business.4748

DDoS attack On 7 January 2006, three days before the auction of the final 1,000 pixels was due to end, Tew received an e-mail from an organization called "The Dark Group", and was told The Million Dollar Homepage would become the victim of a distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS) if a ransom of $5,000 was not paid by 10 January.4950 Believing the threat to be a hoax, he ignored it, but a week later received a second e-mail threat: "Hello u website is under us atack to stop the DDoS send us 50000$."49 Again, he ignored the threat, and the website was flooded with extra traffic and e-mails, causing it to crash. "I haven't replied to any of them as I don't want to give them the satisfaction and I certainly don't intend to pay them any money. What is happening to my website is like 51

terrorism. If you pay them, new attacks will start," Tew said.

The website was inaccessible to visitors for a week until the host server upgraded the security system, and filtered traffic through anti-DDoS software.5051Wiltshire Constabulary's HiTech Crime Unit and the Federal Bureau of Investigation were called to investigate the extortion and attack; they believed it originated in Russia.

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January 28th, 2012

Fascinating Friday: four web stunts that worked and fired the imaginations of millions. If you have a few minutes this Friday, perhaps before the end of the day, take a look at this great post from the Bivings Report blog headlined “Four Great Internet Phenomena”. It lists four of the most diverting web publicity / business ploys of recent times: As well as being fun, these are ploys which made money and garnered significant attention: first online and then in traditional media. They are effectively one-offs – ideas too similar or indeed identical have been launched in their wake and enjoyed far more limited success, if any success at all. But the principles behind each are worth further thought – they are all: • Unique and original: they managed to be firsts that caught people’s imaginations making them… • Inspiring: their simplicity is delightful and the way they use the new global communications power of the web to spread their message fast opens one’s mind to the possibilities of networks. But above all they are… • Entertaining: people enjoyed hearing about them, talking about them, which made them… • Viral: such good stories that people wanted to tell more people about them.

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