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Fraud warning: “Domain Notification” email

Fraud warning: “Domain Notification” email

Over the weekend, I received two emails allegedly from stating that my domain,, needed to be submitted to search engines. If you read the email quickly, it sounds like the domain needs to be renewed and I should fill out the form and fax it to the phone number provided before the offer expires.

Um. No.

I had all kinds of alarms going off. First off, what hosting company in their right mind would set up a fax number instead of a web form? Also, my domain wasn’t set to expire until May (it’s renewed now, so no problem). I certainly wasn’t going to send someone $75 for search engine submission when I can do that myself.


How did the email have my name and address? The information was publicly available as part of my domain registration: anyone could find it using nslookup. The people sending this email probably scraped email addresses from the domain registrations. (This is a very good reason to use a service that protects your personal information and instead only displays the domain registrar. I activated this service on my domain yesterday.)

Searching on the fax number turned up a bulletin on where other people have received the same warning and reported it as a fraud.

According to a Codero sales representative, Codero is aware of the spoof and is working with the FBI to track down the individual or parties involved in this scam. Codero’s COO has posted about the email and the steps the company is taking.

What should you do?

  • Do not reply to the Domain Notification email. Do not send or fax any information.
  • Read the Codero blog post and follow the recommendations in their post.

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CSS Resources

CSS Resources

A friend of mine asked for tutorials and resources for CSS, so I complied the following list of sites. The cascading style sheet (CSS) spec (current version is 2.1) is published and maintained by the World Wide Web Consorium (W3C). The W3C also has a tutorial on CSS.

W3Schools is a good site with excellent tutorials for HTML, CSS, XHTML, among others. I learned HTML/CSS there — and then had to unlearn some things when I encountered problems in IE versus other browsers that more closely implement the W3C specs.

An easy way to play with CSS is to start with standards-compliant templates that work in a wide range of browsers.

Get a good CSS editor like TopStyle from Bradsoft ( that has a list of selectors as drop-down boxes — that way you don’t have to memorize things. There used to be a freeware version, TopStyle Lite, that provides a good starting point.

Western Civ, creators of Style Master CSS editor, has an excellent tutorial for CSS.

A List Apart is probably the best place to find information on best design practices and how to work around common problems. Cutting edge stuff by some of the best in the industry.

Eric Meyer’s home page has a great set of links for CSS references and related items.

Want to see what CSS can really do? Take a look at CSS Zengarden and CSS Vault. Some excellent examples of how CSS can completely change the appearance of a page by swapping the CSS without touching the page’s code.

CSS Layout for Fun and Profit ( also has great articles and information.

Once you have a CSS sheet created, it should be validated against the spec (this is also a great troubleshooting tool) by using the W3C CSS Validator.

If you really can’t find something, chances are that “Holy CSS, Zeldman!” has a link to it.

That should get you started… 🙂 Let me know if you choose to tackle inline CSS menus. That’s a whole separate post…

Ugly Web Sites That Work

Ugly Web Sites That Work

At my day job, we are currently redesigning the corporate Web site. I am responsible for doing most of the coding for the site. During lunch, I have been reading articles on CSS, XHTML, site design, structure, management, etc. Today, Slashdot had a link to an article at Site Reference called
The Surprising Truth About Ugly Websites,” by Mark Daoust.

One interesting point that the article makes is that quite a few users are still afraid of the Internet. They don’t like the impersonal feel of a professional site. If a site is “ugly,” or looks less polished, a visitor might think that a person (instead of a company) did the site, which creates a connection with the user. Maybe it makes them feel comforted, like he or she can trust the author of the site. It is an interesting read.