.AL Domain Hack Sales – VOK.AL to be the new domain for Startup GetVokAl

Host.al, an accredited registrar for .al domains informed that the domain VOK.AL was sold for 1000 US$.

Although the name of the buyer was not been made public initially, the domain seems to be the main brand for the Start-up GETVOKAL. (GET)VOK.AL is an audio social network for creating, sharing and discovering entertaining, hilarious Vokes (audio clips). Normally the users can signup to create “vokes” of up to 1 minute in length
edit, add special effects in real time. The vokes can be posted privately or publicly.

VOK.AL has headquarters in Bengaluru, Karnataka India. Their crunchbase page indicates that they have raised funds from some prominent investors such as Accel Partners or Blume Partners.

The sale indicates that .al domain hacks still have traction.
What are domain hacks!?.
The similar VOC.AL domain was sold for 5000 US$ few years back. Also related DIGIT.AL sold for 5500€

Skype for Linux behind a proxy server

Can I connect to Skype through a proxy server?

This might seem as a question with a simple answer, but in the Skype For Linux (ß-version), there seems to be no Network menu. I spent some time trying to understand why and how to alter the network configurations in the Skype for Linux (in my case tried with Ubuntu 16.4) and apparently nothing worked.
I had all the environment variables set correctly but Skype was not fetching them.
If you need to run Skype behind a corporate proxy, there you need to alter the script which invokes Skype and inject your proxy info in there.
By typing a $which skypeforlinux in your command line, you may find out something like: /usr/bin/skypeforlinux
If this does not exist, you may create it.

This is a bash script that calls the compiled ‘skypeforlinux’ program.
Just before the invocation of the executable program, you need to add an export and a proxy reference for http & https:


SCRIPT=$(readlink -f "$0")
USR_DIRECTORY=$(readlink -f $(dirname $SCRIPT)/..)


mkdir -p $SKYPE_LOGS
export http_proxy='proxy.server:8888' &&
export https_proxy='proxy.server:8888' &&
nohup "$SKYPE_PATH" --executed-from="$(pwd)" --pid=$$ "[email protected]" > "$SKYPE_LOGS/skype-startup.log" 2>&1 &

How to remove stop words from a document or a bundle of documents

Although there are different ways of removing stop words from a document (or a bundle of documents), an easy way is to do so with the NLTK (Natural Language Toolkit) on Python.
You can use the stopwords lists from NLTK and the build in functionality to do the work.
A simple example would be:
>>> from nltk import word_tokenize
>>> from nltk.corpus import stopwords
>>> import string
>>> sent = "this is a message containing stopwords."
>>> stop = stopwords.words('english') + string.punctuation
>>> [i for i in word_tokenize(sent.lower()) if i not in stop]
['message', 'containing', 'stopwords']

In case you have specific stopwords that you would like to omit, you can always create a set and exclude it from the stopword list.
operators= set(('and','not'))
stop = set(stopwords.('english'))- operators

The condition would be as above:
if i not in stop :
# use word

Grails 2 End of Life (EOL)

There is no information Grails End of Life or even End of Support for the matter. While Grails 2 (and 1) were developed with the support of Pivotal, Grails is being further developed in Branch 3.

Considering that the switch from Grails 2 to Grails 3 is not trivial, we were wondering if one should take the burden of the upgrade, or leave projects in 2.x branch for some more years.

It all depends on the commitment and the plans of the Grails team. Reading through the documents of Grails, you cannot find any foreseen EOL information for any of the projects.

In Tweeter thought, there was this conversation with the Grails Framework.

The answer of Grails team indicates that Grails 2.x will continue to be support for critical issues (such as security flaws). There is no ETA or deadline for the End of Life Support and that is a pitty.

After reviewing the tweet, we decided that projects that we have on 2.5.x branch will not be upgraded in the near future. Seems Grails Team will support on the long run security concerns. Grails 3 offers some nice features, therefore if a project is relatively with not so many plugins, an upgrade might be worth the trouble.

DATALHUB a digital data repository and an alternative to CKAN

This user guide covers using DATALHUB’s web interface to organize, publish and find datasets and digital assets.

Datasets and resources

The DATALHUB is oriented toward the concept of a Dataset *and a *Datum.
A Dataset is a (digital) Data Container. This may be a structure that describes and provides some metadata on digital assets. As an example, the dataset of the budget of a country is contained in a Dataset. The dataset provides general information (metadata) on the provenance of the information, licencing and authorship. Digital assets (datum) such as factual budget, approved budget are related to the Dataset and made available for download. Each digital asset has additionl technical metadata.
A Datum entity is a digital asset, or in a simple language, a file.
Datum or a Digital Asset in DATALHUB


Please refer to the Installation guide for the creation of the first user in Datalhub

Administration Section

Upon succesful login on the page, a mini-flyout administration section will be shown behind a Gear Icon on the right side of the screen.

Datalhub - Administration menu behind the Gear Icon

Clicking the Gear Icon will bring a simple menu that points to the group of elements that you are able to alter with the permissions you are granted.

Generally these elements are:

  • Dataset
  • Organisation
  • Category
  • License
  • Partners
  • (User) Profile

Adding a new dataset

Clicking on Dataset from the Administration menu, will lead to a page showing a list of all the existing datasets. From the list of the datasets, one can select a dataset to be shown a form for the editing of the selected dataset.

The form is also the same and self-explanatory. Important is the ability to ingest digital assets in parallell. Through the same form, the users of the website can upload a large number of digital assets in parallel. Technical metadata for these assets are created on the fly.

DATALHUB will ask for the following information about each dataset.

  • Title – A title describing the dataset.
  • Description – A free form section describing the dataset.
  • Organization – Relates a dataset to an organization. Normally this will point to the organisation that issued or contributed to the creation of the digital dataset.
  • Author – Indicates the creator of the dataset in the DATALHUB.
  • Maintainer – Refers to a person or organisation that maintains and takes care of the dataset. This is a free text field.
  • Created & Revision – Are date references that point each operation to a specific timeline
  • Lineage – is a free text field that should be used to point to prior datasets that are extended in the current dataset. This is a classical provenance reference.
  • Category – pins the current dataset to a specific category, or topic of interest. The category has to be selected from a drop down which is populated by categories defined in the Categories Section.
  • Update Frequency – Will probably be never used, or filled with never in most of the cases
  • Tags – Are yet another word for keywords that best describe the dataset being uploaded. Examples could be “health”, “North Albania” etc.
  • License – it is important to include license information so that people know how they can use the data. This field is a drop-down box.

Adding Organisations, Categories, Licenses

A Dataset contains references to list of predefined entities in the groups of organisations, categories and licences. The predefined entities can be ammended at any time through a similar modification menu. Clicking on the link for each of these entites in the Administration Fly-out menu will lead to respective sections where you can create, edit or remove (if not referenced) instances of each of these entities.


Search is based on a AngularJS faceted search. This will behave well up to a dozen thousands of dataset records. A faceted search, that will have no problem of handling millions of records based on a document index is planned, although work has not started.


This section documents DATALHUB’s API, for developers who want to write code that interacts with DATALHUB sites and their data. The following are a set of operations you can handle through the API
Get JSON-formatted lists of a site’s datasets:


GET JSON/XML formatted list of a specific dataset


The default response is JSON, but you can easily switch to XML by appending .xml by the end of the call.


GET JSON/XML formatted metadata for a specific digital asset


The list of the digital assets is provided in the retrieval of a dataset. The get datum call returns the metadata for a digital data. The download path for a specific digital asset is: http://$DOMAIN/download/download?datumId=$datumID&datasetId=$datasetID

API calls for creation, upload, update of Datasets and Digital Assets is not active at this stage. If you would like to use this application and need these calls, drop me a line.

Drupal is Horrible – Drupal REVIEW and Criticism

These are a few points written in frustration, so please understand why I feel like screaming Drupal SUCKS! Take these criticism and drupal review with a slight smile.

(This is all based on the experience with Drupal 8)

I am forced to work on Drupal on some systems here at work and first impression is: DRUPAL IS HORRIBLE, and here a list of what is wrong:

  1. Drupal is sold as a CMS, but in fact is a framework with a CMS-demo!
    Yes, it provides basic functionality that make you believe it is a CMS, but soon enough you will find out you that you cannot do much without extending it. Extending it means to reuse a. Plugins and b. Rely on Documentation on the website.
  2. Documentation is almost incomplete, inaccurate, always outdated and confusing
    Yes, you believe you found something and then jump to find out that is outdated and superseded in the current version. Or the developer of the module wrote something even he would not understand in a few minutes. More like a Perl programm that makes sense only in the 5 first seconds you wrote it.
  3. Plugins are always on beta.
    Or sometime even Alpha. And guess what, people use them! and force you to use them. By the time you need to security upgrade, the plugin is stilling degrading beta and you end up with nonfunctional websites.
  4. Modularity!? More like a sledge hammer.
    Modules are great! But use a module when there a logic to use a module. In Drupal modules are abused! Take the Migration(_plus) module for example.
    It is a module that you install once and you should use to migrate data. Logically you need to provide a mapping and invoke/trigger a migration process! In this module, illogically you need to create a new plugin for each migration and you trigger migration once you install it. If the installation goes wrong, there is no much information you can get if you screwed the mapping or if Drupal was doing something strange. And if you change the mappings, you will have to uninstall/reinstall the module again. And the process is a black-magic-box that requires a lot of effort….
  5. You want to work directly with the database!?
    Good luck with that! Assuming you might want to complete a migration process by mapping a file to database tables, you are hopeless. Drupal database is something that makes sense only through the Drupal Internal API.
  6. Server abuse!
    I turned debug on in some old Drupal 6. I was shocked to see the number of queries Drupal was sending to the database on every page view. We all agree that computing power is something cheap these days, but I have never seen a system that abuses memory and computer processing like a drupal page. There is no perception of optimization in the database interaction logic of Drupal, and most queries are expensive joint queries.

End point, I am terrified of people wanting to use Drupal! But still, there is demand and developers need to provide…


What is a domain hack!?

There are continously question on what a domain hack is, or if a domain is a domain hack or not.
Below is a set of categories that constitute domain hacks. If you domain fits into any of the following categories, then you have a domain hack:

Word Hack

A domain where both sides of the dot combine to form a word,

i.e. DE.AL

Dual hack

A 1-word domain that can also form another word using its extension,

i.e. Box.es (Box and Boxes)

Subdomain hack

A subdomain that forms a word across itself, the name and the extension,

i.e. my.ide.al

Subdirectory hack

A subdirectory that forms a word across the name, the extension and itself,

i.e. digit.al/library

Phrase hack

A domain where both sides of the dot are each a word and form a phrase,

i.e. Help.me

Brandable hack

A domain where both sites of the dot form a short brandable “made up” word,

i.e. Bit.ly (commonly referred to as “Bitly”)

Partial subdomain hack

A subdomain that uses the subdomain and name only to work a word,

i.e. Ma.gnolia.com

Split phrase hack

A domain where the last word in the hack is split across the dot,

i.e. CreditCa.rd

*Note: Many do not consider this a domain hack so they aren’t very highly sought.


.al domains are well known for a large number of domain hack combinations. These domains are usually cheaper than other tlds.

LLLL.Com Domains – Who is buying them!?

A few months ago, these domains where priced to about 40-50$. Now the price is around 300$ with a median of 800$. Why is that?

1. Who is buying!?
Check latest players involved in transactions from llllsales.com
My stats:
I checked 566 transactions of domains sold for more than 1000$

  • There are only 294 unique users (emails) involved. (Unique Users who bought one domain for 1000$)
  • There are 349 domains sold to domainers who bought more than 1 domain.
  • There are 142 domain sold to domainers who bought more than 10 domains.

(There is a margin of error, but spend a few hours and do your own check to prove me wrong)

hat happens in domaining is all about trends. Someone dictates the game, and domainers follow. You become a domainer when you learn that you are not someone special, you are part of a flock that is lead to “trends”. You are smart if you study these trends! Few can predict the trend; in domaining the trend is always crafted.

Dictionary domains, domain hacks, generic domains, chinese chips… these are all trends. Majority of domains is owned by someone already.

Again Stats!?
There is a total of 456,976 LLLL.COM out there.
More (way more) than 110,647 LLLL.COM domains are registered to users who own more than *100* of this specific type of domain. (This is a very very minimalistic number, my data have limited GoDaddy numbers, and also missing references from many smaller registries).
Only about 50000 domains are owned by those with more than 6 (4L) domains. I am not even considering as “domainers” those who do not have 5 LLLL.Com (no disrespect, only for the sake of argument).

So is domaining a pyramid?
Here is a challenging question for you who say it is not! How many 4L domains are traded every day (easy to find)!? and what happens if one of those guys who ownes 8980 domains decides to sell them for “the profit” he is expecting/preparing one day ?
-Hint! None will sell all in one day, it will be a slow process of hopess and demand 🙂

SEDO Fees – What are the real costs to sell a domain through Sedo?

Sold today a domain at SEDO, to notice that I will get not more than 56% of the listed price! That is right, the fees SEDO is chargin for my domain go up to 43% and this is why.


SEDO is still an important marketplace when it comes to domain sales, but I never realized how unfair it can be when it comes to commision fees. As one can see from the image, SEDO is chargin a plain fee of 200€ for a ccTLD domain. With a sale value of 549€, the percentage of SEDO goes up to 36.43%. This is way beyond what I was expecting, a comission of 20% as noticed at the moment of signup. Seems SEDO has introduced a discriminating 200€ flat fee for certain TLDs and if you are not aware, you will end up in that list.

Will SSL Implementation, HTTPS improve the ranking of my website?!

This is a question I have been asked lately a lot. While Google says: HTTPS (SSL) is a Ranking Signal, the practice has shown this claim to be incomplete.

In fact, many SEO Researchers say that HTTPS has no real impact at the moment.

Considering the lower prices of SSL Certificates, it does not hurt to have it implemented. It costs about 18$ to buy a cheap SSL certificate. You will need an additional dedicated IP (about 12-24$year depending on your data-center), but totally worth it, considering you will have a secure communcation to your webserver/mailserver.
Usually Google does not penalize at the first years of notifying new ranking signals. The ranking signal of SSL implementations might be more advantageous on future google-algorithm changes.