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Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 10:55 am

For the first five years of The Batavian, here are the most viewed posts

post by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian, top posts

Yesterday, May 1, was The Batavian's fifth anniversary. Over the first five years of The Batavian, here are the 10 most viewed posts:

Falling just outside of the top 10 was a post by Brian Hillabush, Christmas lights 12-13-08: DiSalvo's always best in show.

And to catch you up on the monthly most viewed posts ...

Most viewed posts for February:

Most viewed posts for March:

Most viewed posts for April:

April -- even with the ad server trouble -- set traffic records with 128,425 unique visitors, 512,095 visits and 852,965 page views.

The previous records were set the month before, with 108,490 unique visitors (the first time had more than 100K unique visitors), 493,303 visits and 834,797 page views.

On May 1, 2008, we received 125 visits to the site.

Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 2:58 pm

T-shirt offer for new members extended, and buy your T-shirt here

I meet a lot of people around the county who tell me they intend to join The Batavian Club but haven't yet.

Now would be a great time to do it. 

We're extending the free T-shirt offer for new Members through the end of the May 1 (The Batavian's fifth anniversary).

If you use one of the PayPal buttons below, e-mail me ([email protected]) your T-shirt size.

Or click here for the new member form to pay by credit card or check.

As always, members receive a membership card and $325 in gift certificates to local businesses.

Readers who aren't members can purchase the T-shirt for $16 each. Use the PayPal buttons below or to order by check or credit card, download this form.

Sizes

Annual Single Membership - $50 per year
Includes membership card, bumper sticker, package of gift certificates to local businesses.

 

Annual membership, one payment of $60

Includes membership card, bumper sticker, package of gift certificates to local businesses.

 

Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 8:23 am

Update on The Batavian and our ad server

post by Howard B. Owens in advertisement, Sponsored Post, thebatavian

We are pretty close to getting the new ad server running properly. There are some details to clear up today to make sure all the ads are displaying properly, but the main work is done.

This virus crisis was very stressful and I want to thank all of the readers and local business owners who were so patient and understanding over the past week. We didn't get a single angry phone call or e-mail; nobody accosted me in the street. Everywhere I went people were more curious than upset with the situation. Billie and Lisa and I are very thankful for that understanding response.

Added bonus: We now know we are using a more secure ad server, but here's a benefit I didn't anticipate -- the new ad server seems to be much, much faster. At least for me, even on my iPhone, the site seems to download much faster than it did with the previous ad server. I hope you're noticing a difference, too.

The other thing Billie and Lisa and I are very thankful for is the "Spirit of Downtown" award we received yesterday from the Downtown Improvement District. We're feeling very honored to be recognized by the BID for our work with The Batavian.

And thank you to Dan Fischer of WBTA for his kind words during yesterday's presentation.

As I said yesterday, we feel very fortunate to have been so warmly accepted by the people of Genesee County in just a few short years (The Batavian's fifth-year anniversary is Wednesday). Thank you all -- readers and local business owners -- for your support of The Batavian.

Thursday, April 25, 2013 at 1:17 pm

Status update on our ad server

post by Howard B. Owens in advertisement, Sponsored Post, thebatavian

From the reports I'm getting from the people doing the work, we remain on track to have the new ad server up and running tomorrow.

Thank you to everybody for your patience and understanding during the past few days.

For readers, this is a great time for you to patronize our sponsors and let them know why you're there. I posted a list yesterday and there is a list on the left side of the page.

Here's a hint for sponsors of what's coming with the new server: If you choose the feature, you'll be able to modify your ad with your special deals in real time from your own computer and have the changes appear immediately on The Batavian.

So, we'll have not only a more secure ad server, but one that offers more services.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 3:38 pm

Please support the local businesses that support The Batavian

post by Howard B. Owens in advertisement, Sponsored Post, thebatavian

As it stands, we're still looking at Friday morning before we have our new ad server operational.  If you missed the previous post about our old server being hacked, click here.

Below is a list of all our current sponsors. They are all being incredibily understanding of the situation. These are the local businesses that make The Batavian possible. If you enjoy The Batavian, please patronize these businesses and let them know you saw them mentioned on The Batavian.

Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle
Agri-Business Child Development 
Alabama Hotel
Alberty Drug Store
Alex's Place
Alli's Cones & Dogs
Arctic Wholesale Refrigeration & Appliance
Baker's Frontier Kitchens
Barrett's Batavia Marine and Sporting Supplies
Batavia Downs
Batavia Gold Rush
Batavia Massage Therapy
Batavia Tailors & Cleaners
Bill Fox and Son Construction & Remodeling
Beds 'n' Bones Pet Lodge
Belhaven Kennels
Blue Pearl Yoga
Bob Adams Automotive
Bohn's Restaurant
Bontrager's Real Estate
Bourbon & Burger Co.
B-Town Yellow Taxi
CB Beach Mortuary
Cedar St. Sales and Rentals
Center Street Smokehouse
Charles Men's Shop
Chesley's Auto
The Color Salon
Concreations, LLC
Continental School of Beauty
Council Opticians
Crazy Cheap Cars
D'Tangles
D&R Depot Restaurant
Dan's Tire
Daphne's Restaurant & Lounge
Darien Auto Parts
Dave's Ice Cream
Deep Blue Pool & Spa
Derrick Monument Company
Detail Shop (Pellegrino's)
The Detail Shop
Don Carroll Toys for Kids Run & Fun Walk
Empire Tractor
The Enchanted Florist
Falcone Family Funeral & Cremation Service, Inc.
Fastec Automotive
Ficarella's Pizzeria
Ficarella's Backflow Testing
Fisher Sports
Foxprowl Collectibles
Floral Fantasies
Frankly Design
Gamzilla
Genesee Community College
Genesee County Emergency Services
Genesee Dental Group
Genesee Graphics
Genesee Orthopaedics
Gilmartin
Godfrey's Pond
Greenbaum Painting, Inc.
Greens of LeRoy
Greg'ry's Bakery
H.E. Turner & Co.
Hair Studio 25
Hardcor Audio
Haul-4-Less
High Voltage Tattoo
Hot Heads
I.R. Systems
The Insurance Center
JB Custom Interiors
J. Leonard McAndrew
Jagged Edges Salon
Jeremy Yasses
John's Service Station
Karen's Yarn Paper Scissors
Ken Barrett
KleenAll
Kreative Design Kitchen & Bath
L&L Transmission, Inc.
L.C. Mosman
Lamb Family Medicine
Lambert's Design Jewelers
Lathan Tree Service
LeRoy Counseling
Le Roy Country Club
Main St. Pizza Company
Making Memories of Travel
The Mane Attraction
The Manor House
Matteo & Mullen, CPA
Max Pies
Michael Tomaszewski
Millennium Computer
Next Level Fitness
Nothnagle - Nathan Shirk
Oakfield Fitness
O'Lacy's Irish Pub
Oliver's Candies
Optique
Paige's Bounce Houses
Palm Island Indoor Water Park
Pellegrino Auto Sales
Pembroke Family Medicine
Penny's Family Hair Care
Present Tense Books
R&D Outlet
RW Vapors
Sallome Heating & Cooling
Salsa & Curry
Santino's Pizza
Scofield Transfer & Recycling
Select Collision
Settler's Restaurant
Short Notice Handyman Services
Sloat's Tire
Southside Deli
Smokin' Eagle Brew & BBQ
Snowbirds & Vacationers
Spirits
Stafford Painters
Sweet Ecstasy Bakery
Terry Hills
T.F. Brown's
The Finishing Line
TIm Kabel Builders
Tomaszewski Funeral & Cremation Chapel
Trash Away
Turnbull Heating, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration
Valle Jewelers
Viking Valhalla/Rose Garden Bowl
West Main Wine & Spirits
Western Regional Off Track
William Kent, Inc.
WNY Fireplace Outlet
Woody's Deli
Yasses Construction
Yngodess Shop
YWCA
Zoom N Groom Dog Grooming

Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 1:37 pm

Why there are no ads on the The Batavian right now

post by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian

For the past several days we've been battling against a hacker (or more likely "hackers") who managed to compromise our ad server. The attack is part of a sophisticated series of attacks that have compromised Web sites all over the world.

What we know about the attack on our server: The hacker inserts code that piggybacks on ads being delivered through the site that asks some users to install Java.

We've received several complaints from people who either avoided installing the virus or clicked the wrong button and had the virus installed on their system.

Nearly every day since last Thursday, we've been deleting malicious code from the ad server only to have it reappear overnight, until today, when it would reappear as soon as we removed it. It was at that point we shut down the ad server.

We expect to have a new ad server up and running by this time tomorrow (knock on wood).

The only computer systems at risk were those running Internet Explorer on Windows. Mac users have not been attacked. Windows users running Chrome or Firefox for their Web browser have not been affected. People using mobile devices -- iPhones, iPads, Droid phones and tablets -- were not at risk from this exploit.

And even then, not all Internet Explorer users on Windows have been attacked. I've been to one office where only one out of six machines have been seen the Java install pop-up. I've been to another office where more than half of the computer users saw the install popup and either clicked the "OK" or "Cancel" button and were infected (if you see any kind of pop-up while visiting any Web site, do not click any buttons. Click the little red X in the upper right corner). (NOTE:  The process I describe here is how I've closed the pop up on a Windows laptop I own. It has not been infected. A local IT person suggests this is bad advice and said it's better to use Task Manager to kill the process rather, as TP Hunt describes in comments.)

I spoke with one person today who hadn't visited The Batavian but still was infected by a malicious virus.

This is a very sophisticated attack on ad servers that has affected as many as 20,000 Web sites, including the Los Angeles Times, according to this article

The article above says experts have been unable to determine how servers are being compromised. We've patched at least four discovered vulnerabilities but none have proven to be the ultimate solution.

For a couple of months, we've been planning to change ad servers anyway. There's a company that offers great ad hosting service with additional functionality for advertisers and I've wanted to make the switch. The events of the past several days are forcing us to do it now rather than later and in a less orderly fashion than I would like, but hopefully by this time tomorrow, we will have the ads back on the site in a safe environment.

Some advice for your Web surfing:

  • Never click on a pop-up button on a Web site that you are not 100 percent sure is a legitimate pop-up from that Web site.
  • All browsers and operating systems are subject potential viruses, but if you must use Windows, download, install and regularly use Chrome or Firefox. These browsers are less likely to be targeted and are not as directly linked to your operating system as Internet Explorer.
  • On Windows especially, keep your anti-virus software up to date (some cynics believe it's the anti-virus companies who write viruses so that people will buy their software).
  • Keep your system software up to date with the latest patches.
  • If you believe your computer has been compromised, visit a local computer shop and have your system checked. 
  • Regarding e-mail: never click a link that looks suspicious. Often times people get e-mails from somebody they know that says something like, "check this out," but that person you're getting the e-mail from has been hacked and that link in that e-mail will deliver a virus to your computer.

Glossary:

Hacker: The common layperson's term for somebody who breaks into computers and Web servers. The more precise term is "cracker," because the correct definition of hacker is anybody who writes computer code.

Java: A computer programming language used on all computers to help some pieces of software run. If you run your regular system updates on Windows or Mac, you will receive these updates from Microsoft or Apple and any other request for updates should be viewed as malicious.

Web browser: What you used to look at a Web page. Common ones are Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and Opera. We recommend either Chrome or Firefox.

Server: A computer sitting at a remote location that contains all of the data and files that make up Web site.

Ad server: A server with the specific task of managing ad inventory and ensuring the correct ads are delivered to the proper location on a Web page.

Advertisers who have questions can contact me at (585) 250-4118.

UPDATE: Upon further examination by the IT department of the new ad server company, it appears we will be without ad serving capability until Friday morning.

Sunday, April 21, 2013 at 3:18 pm

Limited Edition T-shirt now available until May 1

post by Howard B. Owens in advertisement, Sponsored Post, thebatavian

As we announced previously, we have a special limited edition T-shirt coming out that was designed by Brian and Beth Kemp at T-Shirts Etc.

Existing members should have received an e-mail with a link where you can buy the shirt for $9 each. If you didn't get the e-mail, write to me at [email protected] and I'll forward the link to you.

Readers who aren't members can purchase the T-shirt for $16 each. Use the PayPal buttons below or to order by check or credit card, download this form.

 

Sizes

Join The Batavian Club before the end of the month and I'll send you the link to purchase shirts for just $9. The next three people to join will also receive a $20 gift card from Smokin' Eagle BBQ & Brew. Use the PayPal buttons below or click here to download the membership form.

Annual Single Membership - $50 per year
Includes membership card, bumper sticker, package of gift certificates to local businesses.

 

Annual membership, one payment of $60

Includes membership card, bumper sticker, package of gift certificates to local businesses.

 

Monday, April 1, 2013 at 6:07 pm

Join The Batavian Club before April 3 and receive a free T-shirt

There've always been two great reasons to join The Batavian Club:

  • You're helping to support local journalism that serves your local community;
  • You'll receive more than $300 in money-saving gift certificates to help you support local businesses.

For a limited time, there's another good reason: You will receive a free, limited edition T-shirt from your favorite local news site. The shirt was custom designed exclusively for The Batavian by Brian and Beth Kemp of T-Shirts Etc., 111 Main St., Batavia.

We're going to offer these shirts in two stages: a free T-shirt for new members who join before 5 p.m., April 3; and, later, at a discounted rate for existing members.

Why the delay for existing members? Because technically, we need a "certificate of authority" to collect sales tax on the shirts, and it will be at least 20 days before we receive that from NYS. When The Batavian has the certificate, members will be able to buy shirts (as many as they like) for $9 each (plus tax and $5 for shipping (or avoid the shipping cost and pick up your shirts at T-Shirts Etc.). Non-members will be able to buy the shirts at that time for $20 each (plus tax and shipping).

For new members, shirts will be available for pick up (pick up only, no shipping) on or about April 17.

Once all members have had a chance to buy shirts, the offer will be discontinued and this particular shirt will no longer be available for purchase.

Use the PayPal buttons below.

Or, you can phone in your credit card number and details to (585) 250-4118 during normal business hours, Monday thru Thursday.

Or, you can mail your name, address, phone and T-shirt(s) sizes to The Batavian, 200 E. Main St., Batavia, NY 14020.

To join the club and get a T-shirt and pay by check or credit card, download this form and mail it to us. Be sure to write your shirt-size information on the form.

To learn about the club, visit the club's new Web site.

Annual membership, no recurring payment, $60


Sizes:

Annual membership with automatic recurring payment of $50 per year

Sizes

 

Monday, March 25, 2013 at 2:06 pm

Announcing the new, custom-designed T-shirt for The Batavian

Brian and Beth Kemp, of T-Shirts Etc., 111 Main St., Batavia, have designed a brand-new, exclusive, limited edition T-shirt for The Batavian.

We're going to offer these shirts in two stages: a free T-shirt for new members who join before 5 p.m., April 3; and, later, at a discounted rate for existing members.

Why the delay for existing members? Because technically, I need a "certificate of authority" to collect sales tax on the shirts, and it will be at least 20 days before I receive that from NYS. When The Batavian has the certificate, members will be able to buy shirts (as many as they like) for $9 each (plus tax and $5 for shipping (or avoid the shipping cost and pick up your shirts at T-Shirts Etc.). Non-members will be able to buy the shirts at that time for $20 each (plus tax and shipping).

For new members, shirts will be available for pick up (pick up only, no shipping) on or about April 17.

Once all members have had a chance to buy shirts, the offer will be discontinued and this particular shirt will no longer be available for purchase.

Use the PayPal buttons below.

Or, you can phone in your credit card number and details to (585) 250-4118 during normal business hours, Monday thru Thursday.

Or, you can mail your name, address, phone and T-shirt(s) sizes to The Batavian, 200 E. Main St., Batavia, NY 14020.

To join the club and get a T-shirt and pay by check or credit card, download this form and mail it to us. Be sure to write your shirt-size information on the form.

To learn about the club, visit the club's new Web site.

Annual membership, no recurring payment, $60


Sizes:

Annual membership with automatic recurring payment of $50 per year

Sizes

 

Thursday, March 14, 2013 at 11:54 pm

Become a member of The Batavian Club and help support our state championship basketball coverage

NOTE: This is the same offer I posted earlier in the week. We had a good response. We have two sponsors for our basketball coverage, two; but, it would be helpful if a couple of more new members joined. Thanks to those who have stepped forward to support The Batavian.

Part of the premise of The Batavian Club is your membership helps support what we do. Well, here's a chance to directly help what we do in a way that will have immediate benefit.

Both Batavia and Notre Dame are playing state championship games this coming weekend. I plan on trying to do the impossible and cover both teams (the games don't overlap, which helps).

I estimate the cost of coverage will be about $400. You can help us cover that expense by joining at an annual membership level.

Each new member who joins at an annual level while this post is on the home page will receive a free 13x19 inch print on matte paper of the basketball photo of their choice from the 2012-2013 season. The retail value of the unframed photo is $35 and you'll receive it for free along with more than $300 in gift certificates to local businesses.

After joining via PayPal, e-mail me, [email protected], and let me know what picture you would like me to print for you. Or if you use the downloadable form and send in a check or credit card number (or phone your membership in), write down (or tell us), which picture you would like.

This offer applies only to pictures that I've taken. We'll need to receive your request in one way or another in order to fulfill this offer.

TO JOIN: Use PayPal buttons below, or to pay by check (annual only) or credit card, click here to download form. Or call (585) 250-4118 to pay by credit card.

Monthly Single Membership - $5 per month
Includes membership card and bumper sticker, package of gift certificates to local businesses.

 

Monthly Household Membership - $10 per month
Includes two membership cards and two bumper stickers, one package of gift certificates to local businesses.

 

Annual Single Membership - $50 per year
Includes membership card, bumper sticker, package of gift certificates to local businesses.

 

Annual Household Membership - $100 per year
Includes two membership cards and two bumper stickers, one package of gift certificates to local businesses.

 

Annual membership, one payment of $60
Includes membership card, bumper sticker, package of gift certificates to local businesses.

Annual household membership, one payment of $120
Includes two membership cards, bumper sticker, one package of gift certificates to local businesses.

 

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