Americoob Attempting to Siphon Traffic from USA Kubb

I recently went to usakubb.com forgetting to use .org to go to usakubb.org, the website for the US National Kubb Championship. USA Kubb got this site registered and setup this winter. The domain information shows it was registered on Feb. 26, 2012.

Domain ID:D164823449-LROR
Domain Name:USAKUBB.ORG
Created On:26-Feb-2012 01:23:56 UTC
Last Updated On:26-Apr-2012 03:50:06 UTC
Expiration Date:26-Feb-2014 01:23:56 UTC

When I put in usakubb.com though I was surprised that I got redirected to Americoob!

% curl --head http://usakubb.com/
HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently
Date: Sun, 22 Jul 2012 19:11:49 GMT
Server: Apache/2.2.21 (Unix) mod_ssl/2.2.21 OpenSSL/0.9.7a mod_auth_passthrough/2.1 mod_bwlimited/1.4 FrontPage/5.0.2.2635 mod_fcgid/2.3.5
Location: http://www.americoob.com
Content-Type: text/html; charset=iso-8859-1

The same happens for usakubb.net.

% curl --head http://usakubb.net/
HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently
Date: Sun, 22 Jul 2012 19:12:18 GMT
Server: Apache/2.2.21 (Unix) mod_ssl/2.2.21 OpenSSL/0.9.7a mod_auth_passthrough/2.1 mod_bwlimited/1.4 FrontPage/5.0.2.2635 mod_fcgid/2.3.5
Location: http://www.americoob.com
Content-Type: text/html; charset=iso-8859-1

That seemed super lame. I knew USA Kubb wasn’t sending traffic to Americoob. So I looked up the registration information for usakubb.com:

Domain Name: USAKUBB.COM
Registrar: GODADDY.COM, LLC
Whois Server: whois.godaddy.com
Referral URL: http://registrar.godaddy.com
Updated Date: 31-mar-2012
Creation Date: 31-mar-2012
Expiration Date: 31-mar-2014

…and usakubb.net:

Domain Name: USAKUBB.NET
Registrar: GODADDY.COM, LLC
Whois Server: whois.godaddy.com
Referral URL: http://registrar.godaddy.com
Updated Date: 31-mar-2012
Creation Date: 31-mar-2012
Expiration Date: 31-mar-2013

Americoob registered these domains about a month after USA Kubb registered the proper .org domain name. So Americoob bought these two domains that are completely unrelated to them so that they could siphon traffic away from people who think they are going to the USA Kubb website. Now people that forget to type the domain all the way will be sent to Americoob, the manufacturer of a plastic game similar to Kubb, but isn’t even Kubb! 5 batons and 4 baseline Kubbs? Made of plastic?

This is incredibly lame on Americoob’s part. I think people should clearly communicate to Americoob that they should hand these domains over to USA Kubb as soon as possible. Americoob is owned by Short Productions and can be reached at (215) 699-2328 and you can email them at info@americoob.com.

To make it easier, here is an email you can copy and paste to them:

Americoob,

Your organization recently registered the domains usakubb.com and usakubb.net and are redirecting visitors to those domains to your website at www.americoob.com. I would like to request that you turn these domains over to USA Kubb, the owners of usakubb.org and the organization behind the US National Kubb Championship.

Your attempt to siphon visitors to USA Kubb that do not put in the full domain is bad for the very sport that you are  attempting to be part of and profit in. Please do the right thing and turn the usakubb.com and usakubb.net domains over to USA Kubb.

Thank you,

[name]

Please note, I’m purposefully not adding any hyperlinks to Americoob so I don’t send any traffic to them.

Photos from 2012 US National Kubb Championship

This last weekend the Kubbchucks, our Kubb team, traveled to Eau Claire for the US National Kubb Championship. It was an awesome time. Here are some pictures I took from the weekend.

Bookmarking with Semantic MediaWiki

I have been doing a lot of exploration using MediaWiki and the Semantic Mediawiki suite of extensions. I’ve deployed a number of wikis doing a wide variety of things. For a few months I had been pondering the idea of hosting my own bookmarking site using Semantic MediaWiki. I decided to give it a try and put together links_thing.

First a quick primer. Semantic MediaWiki is an extension that lets you store and query data in wiki pages. Wikis have been awesome at dealing with documents and text for a long time. But if you wanted to put a table of data in a wiki that didn’t work very well. And if you wanted to query that table of data? Well, that was just crazy. Semantic MediaWiki gives you the ability to associate properties with pages and then query them. So, for my bookmarks each wiki page in the category bookmark is a bookmark and has a number of properties, including things like Has URL, Created at, Has excerpt. You get the idea. You put all this logic into the Templates that the wiki uses, making them into Semantic Templates and even the data entry can be made user friendly using Semantic Forms to create fancy forms with a variety of standard controls.

Making it

Building this wiki was pretty easy. I mostly just thought for a while about the properties that a bookmark has. I wanted to get it right since I could use the scaffolding that Semantic MediaWiki has to create a “class” and template out all the basic stuff. It’s easy enough to add after the fact too. After making the class for Bookmarks there was only one real thing I needed to prove. I had to be able to have a Bookmarklet that would automatically populate the URL, Title and Excerpt for a bookmark. Of course the timestamp needed to be done to but I knew how to do that.

After some digging I figured out how to pass parameters into the Forms to pre-populate fields and also how to tell Semantic Forms to name the page based on a field in the form (namely, the TItle of the bookmark). After proving that out I was ready to go.

Importing

I wasn’t willing to lose any data, and I knew it was just a matter of shoveling. I used Pinboard’s JSON export and then whipped up a little Python program to turn that into a CSV that could be imported using the Data Transfer extension. I easily imported just under 4,000 links and had all my data there.

Fun Stuff

I’ve been using my new Bookmark wiki exclusively for the last few weeks and I’m absolutely loving it. Here are just some of the reasons why:

  1. It is mine. Put simply, I don’t need to rely on anyone else to keep it working of me. For an archive, this feels reassuring.
  2. This seems simple, but it’s so helpful to be able to do regular expression driven find and replace through all my bookmarks. I’ve probably done 50 of these cleaning things up. For example, I didn’t like that a lot of bookmarks had a title that ended in ” – Home” or ” – My Super Cool Blog”. A quick search and replace and they are gone.
  3. I thought it would be interesting to see my bookmarks on a calendar. Seems like a simple thing but I don’t think any bookmarking service does it. So I made a calendar view.
  4. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to see YouTube and Vimeo videos I bookmark without having to go to the video pages one at a time? I made a video view.
  5. I really want my bookmarking tool to have URL Checking. I hate short URL’s because I suspect they will go away. I also don’t like analytics tags being bugged into my URLs. I have a Check URL Template that checks for these in my wiki, and a bot that cleans them up.
  6. I thought it would be cool to see statistics on my bookmarks so I created a Bookmark Statistics view.

This is just the beginning. I’m sure I’ll be adding a lot of other tweaks over time.

What’s next?

I’ve now building a little Python application called LinkBot. LinkBot runs on a schedule and validates URL’s for me. I’ll write up about that application separately.

I would love to share this suite of templates and properties with anyone else. It’s easy to export the pages off of my wiki and import them into your own. If you are interested in doing I have cloning information and feel free to comment here and we’ll connect.

2% Real Maple Syrup

I’ve been using only real maple syrup at home for a while. I kind of take it as a given that people know that most syrup in the store is just various corn syrups with maple flavoring. I ran into this syrup on a recent trip back home though. Doesn’t that label just make you ask what the other 98% is?

Website for my Photography

I’ve got a new website where I am highlighting my photography, Thingelstad Photography!

My photography hobby has grown over time and I wanted a place where I could share some of my favorite shots. I found that my main blog was a place for writing mostly and didn’t highlight images really well. My new photography site is also built with WordPress but uses the excellent AutoFocus 2.0 Pro theme by Allan Cole. I really like how this theme puts the image front and center.

My plan with this site is to post an image a week, or more. The photos are not always current, I go back in my Lightroom archive as I wish for images. Sometimes revisiting a shot from a few years ago with fresh eyes is even more rewarding for me.

I invite you to check it out and feel free to leave some comments if the image moves you. You can also subscribe to get notified of updates.