Editorial images: spring flea market

Spring in Bavaria is the best time to visit flea markets.
The season begins with the biggest of all, the Riesenflomarkt in Munich at the same location of the Oktoberfest in autumn.
A big flea festival reserved only to private sellers, about 2000 stands just for one day of bargains.

Munich, collectible objects, home decorations, dishware and lamps on sell at the open air giant flea market
Munich, vintage movie posters and clothing on sell at the open air giant flea market
Munich, great choice of classical and modern guitars on sell at  open air giant flea market

Fancy a cowbell? Great choice here!

Riesenflomarkt in Munich, spring flea market

… or a trophy for your drawing room?

Munich, ibex head with horns as taxidermic trophy on sell at the open air giant flea market

I always find something to buy: ancient books, coffee cups and absolute useless trinkets that I cannot leave there, because they are telling me a story.
After this shopping ordeal, you can have a beer and a merry-go-round at the nearby spring Festival!

Munich, spring festival

Editorial images: the march of Science, Munich April 22

The calendar read spring but the weather in Munich seemed to differ, thus I feared that a lot of people would desert the march and look for something cozier to do. But I was wrong: Karlplatz was full of merry people, who turned this meeting in a sort of civil festival.

All signs were clever, funny and appropriate:

why science? because it works, bitches
make science great again!
don't mess with science, we have laser
the best, typical Bavarian: NO SCIENCE, NO BEER !
NO SCIENCE, NO BEER !

the participants spoke in a calm and cool matter-of-factly tone to an utterly attentive audience. Then the march: first time in my life I see such a march stop on red traffic lights – apparently science and civilization walk hand-in-hand!

stop at traffic light

The gloomy side:

is it really worth the while to demonstrate against “alternative sciences” (alas, nowadays calling them “superstitions” wouldn’t be politically correct), or against “alternative facts” ( calling them “blatant lies” would be risky)?
Yes, I definitely believe it’s worth the while.

If we don’t, tomorrow we might have to demonstrate against “alternative honesty” or “alternative democracy”, and end up in a jail if we call them with their true names.

fakt not fake

I’m persuaded that we must remember constantly that the independence of science from politics, superstition and bigotry is an essential factor to the welfare of society and humankind, and that the survival of a millennial culture depends entirely on it.

Feel like buying a lake?

Yes, nothing wrong with your eyes: a LAKE! And a damn beautiful one too, with a wonderful view on the Bavarian Alps, a complete immersion into unpolluted nature, clear waters, plenty of fishes, and as a topping an antique though entirely restored inn right on the bank, enjoyed for holiday and relax (among so many others) also by Sigmund Freud.
All included in the package (well, except for the Alps…)

Thumsee lake

Such an opportunity doesn’t really occur every century, nor does it having to design a website for it.
Et voilĂ : the Thumsee lake in Germany, near the Austrian border and 20 minutes away from Salzburg (does the name “Mozart” ring a bell?).

Thumsee Wewbsite
Fotos by Kurverwaltung Bad Reichenhall

The adventures of a security plugin wanderer

Okay, after my malware misadventures and the absolute uselessness of my Sitelock donation, I decided to:

1 – face the reality: today brute force attack, backdoors and wanton malware spreading have become an annoying habit. Not unlike mosquitoes and bureaucracy, they cannot be avoided. But they can be fought – they must be fought!

2 – cover my back: look for an efficient security plugin to protect my websites and my customers’.

3 – easy restore: in case of malware infection, develop a strategy to rebuild a safe and sound website in no time, before Google & C start to ban it.

I installed a number of WordPress plugins and tested them together under several brute force attacks and hack attempts (courtesy of plenty of nameless mostly Russian and Chinese hackers), and the outcoming surprised me: they all failed (with a few exceptions for Sucuri) except for WordFence.
Wordfence proved to be a real gem tough: a clever and intelligent plugin that succeded where all the others failed! Have look at Wordfence Website and especially at the blog where you can learn in an easy and pleasant way about attack techniques and goals.
The plugin and the website suggest an enthusiastic, passionate and competent team. I learned a lot and liked them a lot.

Now I have piled up an extensive experience on this topic, as several customers of mine have suffered my same misfortune, and such an outrage to your intellectual property is becoming a nasty commonplace.
What I most appreciate of Wordfence is its smooth and reassuring attitude – “keep calm, we can help”: in a matter of minutes the plugin not only identifies the malware infections, but helps cleaning up and repairing your website, thus sparing you even the nuisance of resorting to your last backup. That’s just great !

The adventures of a web hosting wanderer

After my massive malware attacks at HostGator (see my previous post) I decided to change host provider.

The first condition to do it freely is:
always register your domain names by a registar indipendent of the host.
This way, when you want to change host, you have simply to point your domain to the new DNS severs and it is done, no permission to ask.
Several hosts offer you to register your name for free but then, when you want to change host, they keep it as hostage (bad pun, huh?) and make all sorts of trouble before releasing it. Beware…

Since many years I use directdn.com: I appreciate their fair prices, their smooth service and the easy way to manage my account.

After a look at one of the countless web pages “2017 Most Wonderful Web Hosting Services” (most of them quoting for some reason HostGator at the top) I landed on IPage, attracted by their low prices – though most hosting providers offer impressive discounts at the beginning and then double or triple the price the following years.

Alas! soon after paying my invoice I found out that it was impossible to set an email of the kind me@mywebsite.com (only me.mywebsite@ipage.com was allowed). In order to get a service provided for free by any other host I would have to pay a considerable monthly external fee to Google – once for every one of my 10 email boxes, of course… okay, IPage was definitely not my host of choice: money back, run away and try elsewhere.

My second landing was at InMotion, and here I hope to stay: the customer service looks helpful and nice and they offer a lot of useful literature about all the ghastly things that could happen to your website, their causes and the possible remedies. In case I need something to read before sleeping…

It’s about time for restyling

I just spent two hellish weeks on my 5 websites, which suffered a massive and repetitive attack of malware at Hostgator.

Repetitive I said: it had to be a backdoor on my hosting place – or, as I suspect, on the whole server – because a few hours after a complete cleanup all sites were infected again. And again. And again.

I decided to:

1) change host

2) dismiss completely SiteLock, which proved absolutely useless (no alert, no communication whatsoever). Only after the disaster, as I was seeking help by Hostgator, I was put in touch with their people instead, and all they did was try to sell me a manual cleanup (! ! !) for $99/month. Some help!
So please think twice before donating your money to them, there are better and fairer alternatives.

3) park my stock images websites elsewhere at the moment, for further consideration

As I’ve been changing so many things, I decided to start from scratch with this blog.
I was looking for something funny and nice for the home page and I run into this lovely movie clip by Jeffrey Wilson. I couldn’t resist, I bought him a coffee and grabbed it 🙂