Jul 11, 2017

Did the cryptocoin bubble burst?

I mentioned a little while back that you can still get into cryptocoin/cryptocurrency mining by using MinerGate, and mining alternative coins. The question now is, should you hold off on mining for a while?

Back when I wrote that, Bitcoin and Ethereum, two of the biggest cryptocoins available were at all time highs! People who got in at the ground level, and left their money in saw incredible returns and probably ended up as millionaires! It now looks like that bubble might be bursting.

I'm no expert of course, but looking at these charts from Coinbase, certainly doesn't look good to me!

This is Bitcoin's loss since last month:

This is Ethereum's loss since last month:

Litecoin has gone up a little since last month:

However, Litecoin has dropped since last week:

Again, I'm no expert, but it seems that if you haven't already been on the cryptocoin boom boat, chances are you've missed it. If you are looking to get into cryptocoin investing, you may want to wait until after the market bottoms out first, and buy when it's really cheap.

What do you think about this? Are you a financial expert? Do you agree? Do you think that these numbers are nothing to be concerned about? Let us know in the comments.

Jul 9, 2017

Goodbye Photobucket! Hello Imgur!

Some of you may not have realized it. I mean, I just learned of it myself a few days ago, but if you host any of your images on the legendary image hosting site, Photobucket, chances are your web pages are all messed up right now! That is because Photobucket is no longer allowing free accounts to embed images on third party websites!

From The Register:
Photobucket is cracking down on people embedding on third-party websites images it hosts, until now, for free. 
The photo-slinging internet elder now says that anyone who wants to use its service to display photos it hosts on other pages – such as signature banners in forum posts – will now need to open up their wallets and plop down $399.99 a year for a subscription plan. 
The new policy will be particularly annoying to longtime users who have relied on Photobucket's 14-year-old service to host the images they use to place images on forums or in blog posts. 
Cheaper plans, including the free account option, will no longer have an option to allow third-party hosting.

If you have visited Bauer-Power, or my other blog Bauer vs Wild in the past view days, you have seen this annoying image plastered all over the place!

Of course the image above doesn't tell you that in order to get third party image hosting working again, you need to fork over $400! That is completely ridiculous, especially for private bloggers like me. I don't even make $400 a year with this little hobby. There is no way I'm going to pay that just to host images.

If they had said they wanted $20 per year, I might have considered it, but $400? They can shove their service up their ass! I'm not going to pay that!

I've decided to move the small amount of pictures I was hotlinking from Photobucket over to Imgur. Now my site doesn't look like complete shit! If you are looking for an alternative to Photobucket, you should check out Imgur too. You can even login with your Facebook, Twitter, Google or Yahoo accounts!

Besides just having really cool free image hosting, Imgur is also a pretty fun community to be a part of, where people share news stories, memes, jokes and all sorts of stuff. Here is a little history on Imgur from their About Page:
Imgur was founded in 2009 by Alan Schaaf in his Ohio University dorm room as a simple, no-limits platform to share images online. 
With the launch of the homepage gallery, Imgur gave its community the power to refine its many images into a showcase of the freshest, most interesting and popular images on the web. These images can be hilarious, cute, inspiring and informative. From stories of personal transformation to current events, pop culture, memes and more, Imgur has an image for everyone. Of course, there are plenty of cute puppies, too. 
Each month, images on Imgur are viewed across the Internet billions of times. It is currently ranked one of the top 50 largest websites worldwide.
Some people have complained about not being able to get their images off of Photobucket. I didn't have an issue myself. When I clicked on my images within Photobucket, it was replaced with the above disabled 3rd party hosting image. However, when I pasted the direct link URL for the image in the browser, the original picture shows up, and I was able to right click on it and download it. From there I could upload it to Imgur.

Suck it Photobucket!

Did you get screwed over by Photobucket's business decision too? Did you switch to a new image hosting service? If so, which one? Let us know in the comments!

Jul 7, 2017

Coming Soon: FREE Wildcard SSL Certificates!

I was just made aware of some really awesome news for those of you that value your online privacy! I wrote in the past about free named SSL certificates from StartCom. That was pretty cool, and I have used plenty of their free SSL certificates, but another group is about to "one up" them!

Let's Encrypt announced that they will begin offering FREE wildcard SSL certificates starting in January of 2018!

From their press release:
Let’s Encrypt will begin issuing wildcard certificates in January of 2018. Wildcard certificates are a commonly requested feature and we understand that there are some use cases where they make HTTPS deployment easier. Our hope is that offering wildcards will help to accelerate the Web’s progress towards 100% HTTPS. 
Let’s Encrypt is currently securing 47 million domains via our fully automated DV certificate issuance and management API. This has contributed heavily to the Web going from 40% to 58% encrypted page loads since Let’s Encrypt’s service became available in December 2015. If you’re excited about wildcard availability and our mission to get to a 100% encrypted Web, we ask that you contribute to our summer fundraising campaign
A wildcard certificate can secure any number of subdomains of a base domain (e.g. *.example.com). This allows administrators to use a single certificate and key pair for a domain and all of its subdomains, which can make HTTPS deployment significantly easier.

This is kind of a big deal. If you want to secure more than one website or service with TLS/SSL then getting a bunch of named certificates can be a pain to manage. Plus, many certificate authorities charge a pretty penny for wildcard certificates, so it prices many small businesses and groups out of the encryption market!

Having a non-profit group, like Let's Encrypt, issuing free wildcard SSL certificates encourages more people to use encryption, and makes it easy!

What do you think about this? Are you going to give Let's Encrypt a shot? Let us know in the comments!

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