Following the big boy's steps

You've probably all seen the famous John Chow AdWords campaign "Your Blog's a Money Maker: Do you have a blog? I'll show you how to make money from it 100% free". I know I've seen it so many times I'm sick of it. It's true there's something catchy about it. I mean, who wouldn't dream of quiting their 9 to 5 job and make and income from the comfort of their own home?

John Chow is really one of the big rollers in the business of making money online. His web page has formed a real community around it. And I don't think that there is someone out there, that tries to make money from a blog or web page, that is not subscriber to his feed, either by email or RSS. As one of the "big boys", he has a lot of people that try to mimic or to use the things found on his blog. One of these actions is the subject of this post. As I said, you probably know the campaign. Today I've come across something very similar. I fact it's exactly the same thing. Here's a screenshot I took right here on The Yoboo just a few minutes ago:

Notice anything strange? I wonder if you can have a copyright on AdWords campaigns? Oh well, I decided to go to that web site (I didn't click the ad as that would have been against AdSense rules) and see what it's all about. And yes, as I expected it's another money making tips web site. I didn't have the chance to browse through it as I absolutely had to come back and tell you about it. And about something else that I found truly hilarious. This is a screenshot of the homepage:

That's pretty funny, isn't it?. Anyway, no harm intended.

FeedBurner doesn't always count right

I planned to write about this early this week, but I honestly forgot about it. It's related to a post I've read on one of Martin's blogs just last week I think. The post in question gives a link to a list of feed directories that you can use to submit your RSS feed to.

RSSSo I've done that and the very next day I watched the stats on FeedBurner. I noticed right away that an increase in subscribers took place the day before, but when you look at the agents that grabbed the feed, thing tend to fall into place. You probably already now that if you click the link right under your subscribers count, the one that says, "See more about your subscribers", you get more information about what agents have accessed your feed. For example, in my case, the subscribers count was 21. What can I say, I'm not a very popular guy. If you add up numbers in the "Feed Readers and Aggregators" table you get that total. But that is not the number of real persons that have grabbed your feed, because if you look lower, there is another table that shows the "Web Browsers". In my case the total of the browsers was 8: 7 with Internet Explorer and only one Firefox. In my opinion, even that number is wrong, As certain bots might disguise themselves as browsers. But I could be wrong. And speaking of bots, the last table on the page shows the bots that have accessed your feed. So if you add these with the number of browsers that have been registered, you get the exact number of subscribers that FeedBurner states you have. Witch is wrong from my point of view. It's like saying that Google Bot is my number one reader.

I was at the peek of exaltation thinking that I've found a huge gap in the way FeedBurner shows stats. But before shouting my knowledge to the world, I decided to do another comparison, using another day as example. I numbered the total of web browsers and the number of bots and then added them together and then ... my whole theory collapsed. I got a number larger that the one that FeedBurner showed to me. So what's up with that? Seeing as I can get no real facts out of this I decided to read the official help pages. Maybe I should have done that earlier.

Here's what I got from the first shot: "Subscribers is an approximate measure of the number of individuals currently subscribed to your feed." Ohhh, why didn't you say that it's approximate. That makes a lot more sense. Reading on: "Subscribers is not computed for browsers and bots that access your feed." There goes all my mathematical operations. And the last but not least: "Subscribers counts are calculated by matching IP address and feed reader combinations."

So that's how I managed to waste a whole hour of my day. The lesson to be learned here? There's a reason for those question mark icons: if you don't know something, all you have to do is click them.

Time to write about something, anything

I planned to write a post all day but never had the time to do it. I had a lot of work to do today. One of the main things that took up my time was to find a Adobe Flash application that replicates those cool Apple / Mac image slide shows. You know, the ones with the gloss and the mirror effect. I needed one to implement it on a website, but none would provide me with that cool effect. Actually there were a few, but I needed a freeware or open source application. I eventually found one that uses AJAX instead and a lot of images. Although it was nice and had a nice transition effect, it was very slow on the computer I've tried it on. So I'm still on the lookout for a cool free nice looking slideshow thingy. If anyone knows one that meets these requirements, please drop a link.

After I was done with searching the web I decided to check my RSS feed reader just to see what others have been up to. I've recently decided to switch to Google Reader just to have all my feeds in one place and online . This way I won't lose any of them if I happen to reinstall my operating system. I took that decision because of something that happened to me a few days ago. I had to reinstall my Windows XP because it was too old I guess and was beginning to choke on simple tasks like booting. And in the process I forgot to save or backup my Firefox bookmarks. It isn't the first time this is happening to me. And this really frustrates me. On the same note, my bookmarks are now managed by Google Bookmarks. So adding things up, I'm using several products from Google: the Blogger blog, the bookmarking service, the Gmail email, the Google Reader, iGoogle as homepage of course, Google Analytics, Webmaster Tools, Google AdSense and FeedBurner. Oh and let's not forget Google Earth, Maps and YouTube. All in all, I have to say I'm a pretty good fan of the things these guys have released or purchased and promoted. One of the things I'm trying to quit that's related to them is Firefox. Don't get me wrong. I love that browser. Since it was released it has become my number one software favorite. But as all good thing, it has a few bad habits as well. Some of which have forced me to switch to Flock. The good thing about Flock is the fact that it's based on Firefox and supports several of it's add-ons. But the best thing about it is that, from what I've learned or heard on the Internet, they have solved that infamous CPU hogging that Firefox had. I'm still not sure yet. I haven't had any problems so far, but who knows.

Anyways, I was saying about the fact that I went on reading the RSS feeds I'm subscribed to. One thing popped up right away: I need to subscribe to some feeds that are not in the too(?) crowded niche of "make money online". I guess I've read today about two dozen posts on how to increase your feed subscribers, how to make money with different programs, how to optimize your layout and who knows what other things. I normally don't mind that as it interests me, but today I wasn't in the mood. I started reading quite a few just so I won't miss anything. But then I got bored and I marked them all as read. These are some days when you have the need to do something different. I'm not sure what I'll be doing today as it's almost 10 PM, but I'm sure I won't be reading any more blog posts.

On another plane of thought (I'm not even sure what that means, if it means anything at all) I took another design decision. I decided to add more media to my posts, just to add a little bit of color to the overall look of The Yoboo. I noticed that people are doing it very often and it does indeed make things look a lot nicer than a page full of text. I don't know why I didn't do that earlier. I guess I'll start with this post and I hope I'll keep on doing it in the future. With that in mind, now I need to find a few nice and free image collections. Do you know any?

The new and hopefully the final layout

As I said in a previous post, I plan to re-organize things, one of the things I wanted to change was the layout or design of the blog. Although it's a free blog hosted by Blogger, it doesn't have to look like all the others. I wanted it to stand out, if not by anything else, at least by the way it looks. So here it is. The new and improved Yoboo. How do you like it?

Please take into consideration that this is far from finished. I still haven't tweaked all the HTML elements and many of them are just looking the way they do just by chance. If you see anything that looks absolutely awkward, please let me now. I'm too tired to scan for errors. Also, if you use Internet Explorer and things look horrible, get used to it. I won't even bother to fix things to look pretty for IE. If you plan to use a crappy browser, get used to a crappy web experience. If you want to learn more things about my opinion regarding IE, take a look at one of my older posts: Browser stuff - compatibility.

I hope that this design will satisfy me so I won't have to change thing again. A good thing about this experience is that I learned a few more things about how a XML Blogger template is structured. I suppose the next time I'll try to create a template thing will be a lot easier but I'm not looking forward to do it any time soon. Some of the major changes to the theme is the fact that the main column is now fluid and the two sidebar columns are 200px in width, aligned to the right. I've removed the default pager that showed links for older and newer posts at the bottom and the "status" notification that appeared on top when you were only viewing the posts with a certain label. I have also removed a few of the default wrappers that were in the layout. I guess they're not required any more. If anyone thinks that there's something missing that a blog should have, please leave a comment. Another thing I did was remove a few of the Adsense ads. I just kept one big one on one side and one from Bidvertiser.

And that's about it I think. If I see anything that still needs to be changed it will be just a small fix. The rest I'll just do it as I go.

Entrecard: let's see what's all the fuss about

I probably would have never heard about this if so many blogs wouldn't have posted about it. I've probably seen it before in the sidebars, but haven't paid too much attention to it. It was just one of the many other plug-ins that help you build a network and "bring in thousands of visitors". So I decided to give it try.

I could tell right away that there's a lot of activity there. One minute after I've signed up and placed the code for the widget on the blog, I already had a few cards dropped in. It's like it's an ants nest over there, everyone just waiting for the next victim :). I also approved a few advertisers that appeared soon after. Not more than 30 seconds later I think. But I never had the chance to learn what it's all about. So I read the informations that were on the website, but I got bored pretty fast. And then I went back over the posts of the bloggers that made me join. I've seen a lot of contests out there that give away EC (Entrecard currency) if you perform certain tasks like linking to their website/blog, write a short post about it, subscribe via email, write comments or other stuff like that. And the prizes are somewhere between 500 and 1000 EC. To buy ad space on one of the higher blogs enrolled in Entrecard costs you around 200-300 and some might reach 400EC or more. The ad (which is actually a picture of your choice) is placed on the website where you where approved for 24 hours. If it's a web site with many visitors per day, then you can get quite a lot of hits if your add sparks interest. Apparently the easiest way to get EC is to drop your card on other peoples widget. You get one EC and they get one in turn. That would explain why people hold that sort of contests. If you have a lot of people that drop their card on your blog daily then that sums up to a lot of EC. Instead of a one day box on another website, why not encourage people to link to you? Those links are of a more permanent nature and they're backed up by a free review. That looks like a good deal to me.

The problem with people earning EC just by dropping their card on your site is you don't get a real visitor out of this. They just come in, drop it, and leave fast so they can drop it somewhere else. In my opinion that translates most always to a 100% bounce rate, thus making this system useless. I'm not saying that it doesn't get the job done, it just doesn't do it the it planned for it. You can still create a network through Entrecard because you find very easily people/blogs from your niche and that way you can discover new things, find out about new programs or who knows what other stuff you would normally find the traditional way. So it's still good for something. As I said, I haven't had the chance to study it more so I don't know everything it's capable of. But so far, thing look pretty nice. If not for anything else, you can use it to waste a few minutes of your day browsing in a different manner.

As I was writing this a thought came to my head on how to prevent the 100% bounce rate. People just come in, drop the card and leave. That's not nice of them. How could we keep them for longer? Well for them to leave as fast as possible, they need to drop their card, so they need to find the widget. What if you placed a display:hidden attribute on it? I mean enclose it in a hidden div or something like that. Would the widget disappear? Just imagine the people in a hurry to drop you their card and wander mindlessly on your site to find the widget :). Of course this way you would lose the EC that you would normally win, but I guess it's worth it for a good laugh. It was just a thought anyway.

I plan to re-organize things

There's something I just don't like about this blog. It's too impersonal, I don't like the colors, the layout or something else. I just can't put my finger on it. So I'll try to change thing around until I'm happy with the outcome. Or until I get bored and leave it just the way it is, which ever comes first.

The things I decided to change first is the labels that I've given each post. It's a complete chaos and I thing I'd better take care of it now that later when there will be more (or too many) posts. I was thinking through this to try to focus my attention on certain areas of interest and just keep a category of ramblings just in care some things don't fit anywhere else. So the labels that I was thinking about are as follows:

  • Personal favorites - stuff like hobbies, things I've been up to, personal opinions, all the other boring things you wouldn't like to read about
  • Monetization - will include everything that's related to the infamous "make money on line" topic. What I tried and what I'll try next, what others have to say and anything that's related to this
  • Off the Web - all sort of things that I might have found interesting at some point and decided to write about them. There won't be necessarily new thing
  • Yoboo related - the things that this wonderful blog is going through and the changes in it's beautiful life
  • Random Ramblings - I think this is a pleonasm, but I'll keep it that way. As I said, this is where anything that doesn't fit anywhere else will go. Simple, no?

That's pretty much everything I summed up so far. If I see that there are things that need a label of there own, I'll add it later of course. Another thing I was planning to do was to change the layout of the blog (yet again). I'm not happy with it this way and I'll do something about it. I just don't know what or when. That XML code scares me pretty good, but I'll do it sooner or later.

As I said, I won't have rest until I'm happy with the way this blog will look and feel. OK now, back to work. Labels first and then I'll be able to organize things a little bit easier.

Let's get back to business

That's just one way of saying that I decided to return to my monotonous life. I've been quite busy these last two weeks and I expect I'm not done yet.

I had a little spare time today at work and I read a few of the feeds that I'm subscribed to. One thing popped right up. It was from the Yahoo! News: Technology News feed and the headline was like this: "China shuts down pornographic Web sites". Damn! Of course they must have a good reason to do that. They claim that it has"perverted China's young minds". Well of course that's a bad thing, but my question is as follows: how did those children managed to enter the damn web site? I'm not willing to pay for something like that when I can get it for free from other websites. And those aren't Chinese from what I know. Somebody must have given them access to a credit card in order for them to purchase a membership. Parents maybe? Or were those web sites with free access? And I didn't know about it? Damn again!

Anyway, China is well known for it's censorship and strict rules regarding not only pornography, but also political and religious areas, freedom of speech and who knows what other things. But that's not any of my business. I'm just surprised how did such a political regime survive for so long. From what I can remember there were revolutions all across the world at the beginning of the 90's, all directed at the abolishment of more or less tyrannic regimes. And that was almost 20 years ago. Hmmm ...

Now we're getting somewhere

This Friday was the last day I worked on the ASUS WL-500g Premium Routers, but I've been out of town for the weekend and never got a chance to write about it. Not that there is much to brag about. With the DD-WRT firmware it was pretty easy to configure the routers to work in WDS (Wireless Distribution System). They all talked one to the other, everything was all fine. Until...

It all got turned upside down when I've tried to implement a measure of protection. You see, in WDS, you have the option of selection which type of network you want to use: B-only, G-only or mixed from what I can remember. The first type I saw this I was like "What the hell are these?" Even now I'm somewhat confused. I've found a pretty good explanation about it here: Everything was fine up to this point. Only the problem is WDS can't accept WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) except if it's set to use a G-only network. That shouldn't be a problem if you use a laptop to access the Internet. But since this guy wants to have access on his mobile phone, we have a problem. The phone doesn't work in G-only WDS. It manages to connect to the first router, the one that's closest to it or has the stronger signal. But after that it can't go any further. WDS is not working. So we were forced to switch to a mixed network type in the settings. It started to work again. We were on the right path. Until we remembered that we need to implement at least a method of protection. So this guy, although I told him that WPA will work only if the network is set as G-only, went ahead and placed a WPA pre-shared key protection. And guess what? It didn't work. The WDS stopped functioning so I guess we're stuck with a WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy). An older and less secure method of protecting your network, but I guess it's better that nothing.

I'll get back to those routers as soon as the guy that has them returns to the country. He'll be gone for two weeks. Until then, I'll try to find out how to implement a VPN (Virtual Private Network) server and what else we can do with there cute little toys.

Damn Asus router

I said before that I can't wait to see what we can do with those routers. Well, we managed to do something: we locked ourselves out. Great, huh? But luckily that problem was solved by flashing a new firmware. And another one. And then another one and the whole problem was solved. The good thing is, now there is a firmware, DD-WRT, that allows great access to the settings required for the WDS (Wireless Distribution System) part of the router. This was the main thing that interested the person that has the routers. What he wants to do is to set them up in such a way that he can have access to the Internet from anywhere inside the building. So that shouldn't be a problem. These routers have a pretty good range and the area is not that large.

But here's the catch: he wants to have wireless Internet access on his mobile phone. You're probably saying now: "Of course wireless, you moron! That's why it's called «mobile»". OK, so I could have said just Internet access, but what I meant is he wants to have it while he walks through the building. Still everything clear? Fine! His phone has a crappy antenna and only works around 6 to 7 meters from a router. Oh, things start to make sense now?

What I need to do is to figure out how we can set the routers in such a way that it will cover the entire surface of the building. I hate it when people give me tasks. It puts the responsibility on me, and I'm not very responsible in my nature. Anyway, the best way, and the recommended way from what I understood, that I can set up these routers is to use a "star topology" and to place the routers in such a way that I have a complete coverage on the building. I see a lot of walking around with a phone in my hand in the near future. To test the connection of course. The reason for a star topology is that with WDS, at every hop you lose half of the bandwidth because of the communication with the master router. So if you would have to use two hops (I presume it's possible) you would just have a quarter of the bandwidth, with three hops just an eighth and so on. I found the formula on Wikipedia when I did a search for WDS. Here it is: T=1/2^h, where T is the throughput or available bandwidth and h is the number of hops a client has to take before it reaches the server or the master router or whatever. So "star topology" it is.

The funny thing is he said at some point that it would be great if he could have access from a pub near by. I felt like chocking him to death. Maybe it would be easier if he would buy himself a better phone.

Another day, another post

Today is a day not different from all the other ones. I get up, I go to work, I waste my time and I go home. Talk about monotony. Or so I thought. Today is one of those days in which I have the chance to do something different. Like what, you ask? But please, let me tell you.

I met some guy that needs a certain job done, but doesn't have the required technical know-how. Neither do I, but that didn't stop me to give it a try. You see, he has purchased several ASUS WL-500g Premium wireless routers. And what he wants to do is this: he plans to spread them all over his office building creating something like a hot-spot that he can have access at any time. And he doesn't need just that. He wants the standard firmware that they have installed on them replaced with a modified one. For this we might choose either Oleg's firmware or FreeWRT or OpenWRT. We'll see. The advantage with these is that you can practically create a miniature Linux server that can incorporate a Samba server, a small web server, a FTP server, it can act as a firewall and many others. The possibilities are limited only by the small amount of flash memory that these routers posses (although 8MB is fairly enough for these minimalistic distributions). The cool part about them is that you can attach an USB hard-drive and thus the storage space increases greatly, or you can install the operating system directly on an USB memory stick. I can't wait to see what we can do with these. The fact that you can have a fully functioning Linux server that can sit on your desk, it doesn't have a fan or a hard-drive to make the noise a non-stopping server would, small and with a possibility for wireless connection, is absolutely great.

After work I'll be on my way to see what we can do with them. If anyone has any good suggestions or knows of a great walk-through relating these devices, please drop a link. I've already found all sorts of information relating to them on and other great discussion boards.

Face lifting for Live Search

I'm not using Microsoft's Live Search too often. In fact you could say I try not to use it at all. I don't like it and I can't give a certain reason why. I just don't. This is just to make things clear so you don't get an weird idea like I'm trying to promote something that Microsoft created. Cause I'm not. OK.

Today I came across Tafiti, a project that describes itself as an "experimental search front-end from Microsoft, designed to help people use the Web for research projects that span multiple search queries and sessions by helping visualize, store, and share research results". And I was like "Hmmm ... Useless!" For me anyway. I can't find any use for it right now. But the reason I'm telling you about it is it's nice interface developed using Microsoft Silverlight, a cross-browser, cross-platform plug-in for delivering the next generation of .NET applications for the Web. Silverlight offers a flexible programming model that supports AJAX, VB, C#, Python, and Ruby, and integrates with existing Web applications. At least that's the official description I've found on their website. The front-end is cute, quite Web 2.0, but it reminds me of those "all flash" websites. Those really pissed me off. They would take forever to load and would slow your system to a stop. Of course it's not entirely true in this case, but it's close enough. On my system anyway. The animations are nice and the way you can arrange the search results in a tree view is original. I like that one. Not very user friendly, but interesting. One annoying thing is that you have to install the Silverlight plug-in. I expect we'll be seeing a lot of websites incorporating this technology in the future, seeing as it's main purpose is video streaming.

All in all, Tafiti left a good impression on me from a graphical point of view. Maybe one of it's main disadvantages is that it uses Microsoft's search engine :-) .

Cheating an auto-surf

This is the follow-up of what I was saying in the last post. Since I first saw an auto-surf or paid-to program, I've always tried to cheat them. Shame on me. I actually managed to trick quite a few, but with no real financial income. This is just one of the: It's a nice auto-surf, cute graphical interface and interesting crediting mechanism. You can find more information on their website. So let's get on with it.

First of all, I have a XAMPP package installed on my computer, but you can use any Apache installation and PHP. This one is just easy to use and provides me with everything I need. The cheating script is comprised of 2 files in my case. One is the html file "hack.html" and the other is "hold.php". I don't know why I've named them this way. You can use whatever names you like. Both of them need to be placed in the same folder in your "htdocs" folder and will be accessed like this in your browser "http://localhost/foldername/hack.html". The source was not originally commented, so I did that in a hurry. What you really have to do is replace "your_user_name_here" with, you guessed it, your LinkCrews user name. And it should work. If it doesn't, don't expect any support. Cheating is wrong (damn conscience!). I might tell their support team about this simple method of cheating their system. And one last thought: this works because they don't really have a good anti-cheat system. I don't even know if they have any. So let's get on with it already. The first file is "hack.html" and the source code is:

<!-- refresh page every 15 seconds -->
<META HTTP-EQUIV="refresh" CONTENT="15;URL=http://localhost/hack.html">
<script type="text/javascript">
/*- function that creates a new "special" variable
- if you want more info, do a Google search for AJAX
- I won't comment this one*/
function newXMLHTTP(){
    request = new XMLHttpRequest();
    // Firefox, Opera 8.0+, Safari
    return request;
  catch (e){
   // Internet Explorer
     request = new ActiveXObject("Msxml2.XMLHTTP");
     return request;
   catch (e){
       request = new ActiveXObject("Microsoft.XMLHTTP");
       return request;
     catch (e){
       alert("Your browser does not support AJAX!");
       return false;

// the main function of the script
function fetch_new_link(){
   var XMLHttpRequestObject = newXMLHTTP(); 
   //create that special variable
      XMLHttpRequestObject.async = false;"GET", "hold.php");
      XMLHttpRequestObject.onreadystatechange = function() {
        // if our variable is ok
        // let's get the job done
        if (XMLHttpRequestObject.readyState == 4){
           var linktxt = XMLHttpRequestObject.responseText; 
           // what our php file gave us
           newlink = "" + linktxt + ""; 
           //create the new link; replace your username here
           frames['container'].location.href = newlink; 
           // point the frame to the next link
    // end all the circus
<body onLoad="javascript:fetch_new_link()">
<!-- start the script on the spot -->
<!-- this will hold the new links -->
<iframe name="container" id="container" width="100%"></iframe>
<!-- and that's about it -->

And the second file, "hold.php", is:

// print out errors if any
function print_error(){
global $parser;
die(sprintf("XML Error: %s at line %d",

// use the default xml parsing methods
$parser = xml_parser_create();

// I can't really remember what this does
$data = implode("", file("")); 
// remember put your username here

xml_parse_into_struct($parser,$data,&$d_ar,&$i_ar) or print_error();

// get the availabe links
$values = array();
foreach($d_ar as $key){
if($key['tag'] == 'id'){
$values[] = $key['value'];

xml_parser_free($parser); // destroy the xml parser

$i = rand(0,2); // pick one of the links
echo $values[$i]; // send it to the html file "special" variable

And that's about it. There might be certain errors in the code due to the transcription of the html special characters. If you can't make it work, oh well, maybe it's better this way. I've stopped using it anyway. It's just not worth it for me.

Boy, I'm tired. And now I'm all out of ideas and beer. So I'll come back when everything stops spinning. See ya.

LE: I just noticed that certain longer lines of the code are not visible because the posting area has overflow:hidden. Sorry about that. But if you select from top to bottom and paste them in a text editor it should be OK

Back from the holidays

It's a new year and a whole new beginning. Yet again. I thought about what I am going to do this year. Mostly because I don't like to do a retrospective of the year that just passed. I might come out empty :) But I still have a few loose ends that I planned to tie up and I didn't have the time.

One of them is the stopping of using auto-surf programs. The reason for doing this is an email I received from Google AdSense. It was more of an warning. Here it is.

It has come to our attention that invalid clicks or impressions have been generated on your Google ads, posing a financial risk to our AdWords advertisers. We've found that users of third-party programs have been paid or provided with other incentives to visit your site. Such programs include, but are not limited to, auto-surf, pay-to-surf, pay-to-read, or pay-to-click sites. Please note that any method that artificially generates click or impressions on Google ads is strictly prohibited by our program policies, as such activity may artificially inflate an advertiser's costs or a publisher's earnings. We understand that you may want more information about the activity we detected. However, because we have a need to protect our proprietary detection systems, we're unable to provide our publishers with any details about their account activity, including any web pages, users, or third-party services that may have been involved. Thank you for your understanding. We recommend reviewing these references to learn more about invalid click activity and other activities that could endanger your account standing: If you need help logging the traffic on your site to determine the source of your visitors, we recommend trying these Google search terms: Webmaster resources Website tracking and logging Site traffic analysis In addition, because we credit advertisers for any invalid activity we detect, we may adjust your account earnings for any days during which such activity occurred. Lastly, please note that if we continue to detect invalid activity from these services on your Google ads, we may take further action on your account in order to protect our advertisers' interests, and payment may be withheld. Thank you for your understanding. Sincerely, The Google AdSense Team

Thank you very much. I have a pretty good idea what caused this email. It was an error in one of the auto-surfs that gave me a huge increase in (worthless) hits in one day. They've also sent me an email saying something like this: "unfortunately for us ... but good news for you ...". Some good news. Anyway, this has convinced me to stop using this kind of programs and the rest is, as they say, history. That's one of the loose ends. Another will be presented in the next post.