Friday, November 16, 2012

Co.CC Shuts Down with Millions of Users Locked out of their Site

Update: If you're looking for a Co.cc alternative, try Cu.CC.

Co.CC, a South Korean web company offering free and short subdomains to personal bloggers and webmasters, has been having a lot of issues recently. First Google de-indexed the entire domain and nearly 5 million subdomains based on the root co.cc domain. Facebook subsequently banned the subdomain due to increased spam/phishing complaints. And most recently, the entire domain appears to have been shutdown with users confused as to the status of their domains and whether the company has gone completely under.

With no official communications from the company and the site completely inaccessible, users have taken to the company's Facebook page to voice their anger and conclusions on what happened.

But what really happened to Co.CC?

Looking at the domain provides the best clues as to what happened. A whois search results in the following:
Domain Name : co.cc
:: Registrant, Administrative Contact, Technical Contact ::
Name : JONG SUNG, KIM
Email :
Address : 864-2, JANGHANGDONG, ILSAN, GOYANG,GYEOUNGGI
Zipcode : 410837
Nation :
Tel : +82.319196171
Fax : +82.319196150

::Name Servers::

::Dates & Status::
Created Date : 1997/10/13 00:00:00 EST
Updated Date : 2012/11/13 10:17:38 EST
Valid Date : 2020/08/18 13:15:07 EST
Status clientHold

Note the last part (Status clientHold), this is a code often used by domain registrars when they have suspended a domain for non-payment or legal reasons. Based on this, the most likely possibility is that Co.CC's growing popularity with scam artists and phishers likely did them in. With one too many reports, their registrar likely terminated their account locking Co.CC out of it's own domain.

Another possibility could be that one of the subdomains are under investigation due to an illegal act, such as copyright infringement, child pornography, hacking or hate speech/terrorism.

A more outlandish claim could be that they had failed to make payment, but the domain appears to be registered until 2020 - so it's high unlikely that the domain was suspended as a result of non-payment. The removal of the DNS servers is also a good indication that the fate of Co.cc lies in the hands of it's registrar, not Co.cc!

Co.CC Alternative:

Asides from buying a domain, there are a few other services out there that are offering free subdomains for webmasters and bloggers alike. Try the cu.cc subdomain, which like Co.cc was recently blocked on Facebook and managed to get re-indexed by Google:

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Local TV Stations Struggles Despite Boom in Online Television Viewership

The Washington Post recently reported on how major local TV stations are struggling to survive as online video increasingly attracts more eyeballs and attention from consumers. With major advertisers turning more dollars towards online video sites like NBC backed Hulu and CBS controlled InnerTube, local stations that were once established to unite communities are now finding themselves in a race to see who can provide the most engaging content.

Some interesting stats from the article:
Americans watch about 147 hours of cable, satellite and broadcast television a month
That's nearly an entire week's worth of television watching - an alarming stat considering that this only includes the time being spent on a conventional television box, and does not include time spent online, which could easily dwarf this number. 
Those who only watch free broadcast television comprise a niche audience. In the third quarter of 2011, they totalled 5.8 million homes, down from 6.25 million homes in the third quarter of 2010.
There's a growing trend towards premium cable, rather than free over the air broadcast television. And a large part of this could be due to the conversion from analog to digital television transmission that happened nearly three years back.

The stats are surprising, but even though online video and television continues to rise, there's still a majority group of consumers that feel apprehensive about terminating their cable subscriptions altogether.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A Better Life Through a Healthy Vegetarian Diet

Hamburger DevilDid you know: Every 30 seconds a TV or radio commercial plays for one of the three biggest fast food restaurants!

Based on that, it's no wonder that we live such sedentary lives when we're constantly blasted with messages to eat fried, fatty and sugary foods. The food always looks perfect, and worst of all - the food is shown as healthy and tasty, when it's far from it. Enter the rise and emergence of healthy eating and living with a vegetarian diet.

With the Burger Barons (McDonalds / Burger Kings) spending vast fortunes to keep children, teens and adults consuming fatty foods against their better judgement, the movement to stay fit and improve your overall health has ramped up. Now the major fast food joints are trying to offer up healthier options, although the amount of salt is still at questionable levels. There's a number of veggie restaurants springing up, but with the recession the way it is - it seems cheaper to eat out at a fast food or greasy spoon than to eat healthy. And don't get me started on buying vegetables or healthy options at the supermarket which can often cost double or triple the price of  pre-made and fatty foods.

However, the future isn't as bleak as it would seem. There are a good deal of vegetarian recipe sites that can help you manage the budget while also ensuring healthier food options make it in to your life. Altering your lifestyle isn't as tricky as it might seem and by introducing a mix of frugal grocery shopping and veggie meal options to your lifestyle choices might be all the more helpful to tuning your life to a happier and better one!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

ZShare Closes and Shuts Down

It appears that one of the last major video and file sharing services, ZShare, has closed down in light of increased pressure over copyright and piracy allegations. The site best known for allowing video streaming of TV shows and other assorted clips, and also allowing users to download the files through a Rapidshare type service, has been inaccessible for approximately three weeks with no sign of coming back online.

Many within the community have started turning to alternative hosting services, but no official word has been released from anti-piracy organizations on whether this was part of a targeted attack against the file hosting service.

With the recent lawsuits and claims takedown of MegaUpload, numerous file hosts have taken action - with some (FileSonic and FileServe) even taking measures to close down their services in advance of any lawsuits. Of the services that have limited the ability for users to share files with others, few believe that the tactic of laying low will work.

Regardless, numerous file hosting and video sharing services have risen to take the place of MegaUpload and it's only a matter of time before more arrests and close & seizures takes place. My guess is that it's closer than it would appear.