Thursday, August 20, 2009

Short URL Redirection - Part 2

Shortened URL's are getting increasingly popular everyday. Some services such as actually offer traffic statistics on how many people click each URL, and from what location they're located. It's really great to see that there are multiple URL shortening service choices for users around the world.

In the past, we did use for all of our URL shortening needs, but for the time being we've decided to choose another service with more features. At first, I was a little wary about, because I didn't know much about it. However, now I'm feeling a bit better about it because it is the shortest URL for a URL shortening service out there.

Unfortunately, these services are difficult to monetize and these can be expensive to run.... especially a service as big as which doesn't have the support that has gotten from twitter. A week ago The Nambu Network Inc. announced that they were shutting down completely. Luckily, was been brought back to life by almost immediately after it's announcement of being shut down. There was so much popular demand that Eric Woodard from The Nambu Network Inc. has agreed to handle the shortfall in’s operating expenses, in the blog indefinitely. He's also agreed to make it community owned and operated from donations, and release the code as open source. In my opinion, this is absolutely brilliant! I'm really glad is sticking around and that it is going open source.

Well, I don't particularly care for the fact that at the present time twitter has integrated into their services. I liked it the way it was before they integrated everything together. The service also doesn't always shorten URLs so I'll be posting something on our twitter, from nullshells, and then it won't shorten it. Really frustrating... so I think I'll just use to setup the URLs I want to shorten.

Going forward, as stated in their blog, " will add the capability for anyone to use their own domain name on’s platform, also free of charge, on a donation basis." I'm waiting for this capability, this is something I'm eagerly anticipating.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

SSL Encryption is in at Nullshells Networks - Part 2

We offer 256-bit SSL Encryption when accessing our page. You'll find that this is the same level of encryption offered in the banking industry and the highest standard supported by browsers today.

We've also recently decided to try one of the 90 day free Comodo SSL certificates. Our users have been asking for a certificate to get rid of those annoying browser nags that come with an "untrusted" certificate, and since it is free for 90 days we figured we'd try it out. We're hoping this will boost sales and customer satisfaction enough to warrant to purchasing one of these exorbitantly priced certificates (they run around $100). However, if we don't see any significant benefits, we're going to ask you please deal with the nags when move back to self-signed certificates in the future. I'm sure you all would rather have service upgrades than a fancy certificate with someone else's name on it than ours. We'd hope you have enough faith in NullShells Networks to properly create our own certificates.

Unfortunately, some people don't realize that "trusted" only means that someone gave some cash to one of the organizations that have made shady deals with the browser companies. If you do your research you'll find these certificates are not any more secure at all. These "trusted" certificates are about making money, and there are obvious drawbacks to really trusting a "trusted" certificate. Many people trust sites simply because the certificates are "trusted", when they actually don't pay attention to the address bar and see that the site address is actually different from the one they intended to visit, e.g.; this is called phishing - don't enter your information on these sites. In addition to phishing, having "untrusted" warnings on legitimate websites discourages people from visiting a secure site and even people from using SSL encryption altogether.

I believe browsers need to recognize self-signed certificates the same as other certificates; without fear mongering people into purchasing certificates from some major corporation. I've never seen an illegitimate business that uses a self-signed certificate, and it's not fair to punish legitimate companies that are offering encryption because they don't want to shell out the cash to some "trusted" certificate authority (CA).

If you have web hosting, and want your own SSL Certificate with NullShells Networks, we don't charge you at all. Our control panel automatically will generate you a self-signed certificate that offers 256-Bit SSL encryption when you check the box to enable SSL on your website. If you want to generate your own self-signed certificate you can find directions for this here.