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Roadfly Corporate Blog

Login Bug on Google this morning “Computer bot trying to login”


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Written by Charlie Romero      January 31, 2009 , 11:20 am

In addition to the “This site may harm your computer” warnings we’re seeing this morning on Google you may have experienced the login bug.

After seeing the “harm your computer” bug this morning I tried to login to my Google account. Google’s login page wouldn’t let me login because it thought I was a computer bot trying to hack their system. After typing in the verification code I was allowed to login to my account. Be persistent and the system will let you login this morning

Google has a major problem this morning “This site may harm your computer.”


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Written by Charlie Romero      January 31, 2009 , 11:16 am

“This site may harm your computer.”

That’s the message appearing under every web search result on Google as of about 10:00 AM EDT.

Roadfly.com has malware on it’s servers. This is a problem at Google. As of a few minutes ago I have confirmed with other people around the world and around the United States that they are seeing the same problem.

I do have a few contacts at Google and I’ve emailed one and have an engineer on IM right this minute.

Let’s hope Google solves this problem very quickly this morning.

–Update–

It looks like others are starting to notice the problem. TechCrunch just posted about the bug.

http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/01/31/google-flags-whole-internet-as-malware/

More Auto Manufacturers Slash Print Media Advertising Budgets


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Written by Laura Burkholder      September 29, 2006 , 3:47 pm

DaimlerChrysler has just backed up what we here at Roadfly.com have been saying for years: Cut out the middle man (print media) and go straight to the people (via Internet). “We don’t have the luxury any more of running print ads and waiting six months to see if they work for us,” said John Lisko of Saatchi & Saatchi, the group that handles Toyota’s account. Chrysler, General Motors and Volkswagen all cut their print media budgets in this year’s round of marketing budgets.

With the Internet being at the fingertips of a ten year old to a one hundred year old, this transition has been a long time coming. In August 2000, the US Census Bureau showed that 51% of all American households have one or more computers, which was a 42% increase from 1998 which also affects the change from print to electronic media. The Brandwear article notes that part of the change is linked to what marketers like Lisko believe: “Print’s lack of accountability is a major reason why auto firms are cutting back.” With the information being one-click away on the Internet, companies can also track the hits per page and the amount of times their pages were viewed, something that print media could not tell you.

VW’s newest media campaign for the Rabbit and GTI relied on TV for the launch, since they cut their budget for print materials by 76.4%. Within the auto industry, print media buys are down by 24% while online buys are up by 51.6%.

Steve Parr, whose corporation Primedia publishes magazines such as Motor Trend confirms this belief, “Automakers are realizing that it’s all about targeted media now…for general publications that’s not so good. Almost all of the [automakers] have reduced print spend in generalist publications.”

References: BrandWeek

The Roadfly Crew Partying at Pocono Raceway


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Written by Laura Burkholder      September 29, 2006 , 3:44 pm

Roadfly Group Photo

(From left to right: Laura Burkholder, Roadfly; Mark Solheim, Kiplinger’s; Janis Little, Mitsubishi; Fred Staab, Cruise Control Radio; Les Jackson, Roadfly Road Test Editor; Max Farrow, Roadfly Road Test Editor)

Dodge Police Charger

(Charlie Romero, Roadfly Publisher, test driving the new Dodge Charger Police Package edition around Pocono Raceway)

I had the fantastic opportunity to attend the International Motor Press Association (IMPA) annual track days event this year held in Pocono, PA. I was ecstatic to hear that all of the automakers brought the best and the brightest of their current lines, and we, the journalists had the opportunity to test them on various conditions, from the open road to the Pocono Speedway.

The first day’s festivities started with an off-road course put on by the generous folks of Land Rover. Land Rover was nice enough to bring three of their vehicles, a Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, and an LR3, as well as instructors on how to handle the course and the obstacles. You were then free to hop into any of the 20 or so SUVs or trucks that were provided by manufacturers like Jeep, Toyota, Suzuki, Kia, Nissan, Audi, BMW, and Ford.

Down hill from the off-road course, were two to three cars from all of the auto manufacturers which they graciously allowed us to take for a spin around the resort and the local roads. A nice cocktail hour and dinner followed the day’s events.

The next day, everyone a bit exhausted, swarmed the Pocono Speedway for a day of pushing the cars and trucks on the racetrack. Pit row had been taken over by many of the cars from the previous day, and once again, you could hop in any car and wait for your turn to get on the track. MINI and Tire Rack also teamed up for an autocross course where the winner took home a new set of tires.

Overall, it was a fantastic first event to attend, much more relaxed than the auto shows where everyone is focused on the day running smoothly. This gave the journalists and automakers a chance to relax with each other and enjoy the fine engineering and perfect weather. It was a great chance to finally meet all of the people that you communicate with weekly via the web. We also got very nice GM swag bags filled with things like travel mugs from BMW, cd visor holders from MINI, t-shirts, pens, key chains, and calculators.

Roadfly Launches Long-Term Road Tests Editorial Section


Filed under: Press Releases & Roadfly News
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Written by Alan Riley      August 15, 2006 , 7:05 pm

Roadfly Long-Term Road Tests Announcement

We here at Roadfly are happy to announce our new long term road test section. We’ve been entertaining you with our short term tests and reviews for years now, but a week-long impression of a vehicle can’t really give you the full story on it.

Now we’re going to tell you what it is like to live with selected car and truck models for a full year. We’ll give you the good, the bad, and everything inbetween. We’ll tell you the kinds of things you only discover after living with a vehicle day in and day out.

Our first long term test vehicle is the Nissan Titan Crew Cab pickup. This Japanese entry into the full-size crew cab market is taking on Detroit’s “Big 3″, and we’re going to tell you how it stacks up.

Rather than traditional print media long term updates which you might only see twice in a year of magazines, you’re going to see updates to our long term tests whenever we have something significant or interesting to share with you. You’ll get to experience each car and truck as we experience it, day in and day out, in Roadfly’s new long term road test section.

To read the full press release go here: Roadfly Launches Long-Term Road Tests Editorial Section.

Here’s the link to our logbook of Long-Term Road Test Vehicles.


Veteran Journalist Joins Roadfly.com Team


Filed under: Press Releases & Roadfly News
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Written by Charlie Romero      July 26, 2006 , 1:40 pm

We’re very proud to announce that Brian Armstead, a seasonsed journalist with more than 30 years of experience in radio, television, and print, has joined Roadfly as a Road Test Editor and Public Relations Director.

Click here to read the full press release about Brian Armstead joining Roadfly.

New Community Events Calendar


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Written by Charlie Romero      June 11, 2006 , 1:36 pm

Roadfly has offered a community events calendar since late 1999. Unfortunately, we have not updated our event calendar software since its initial release. Ouch! The feature was very much in need of an overhaul. Over the years members have made a number of excellent suggestions for improvements we should incorporate into our next software release. We are proud to announce our new community events calendar. Thanks for your patience.

The new events calendar is vastly better than the old system. Here are just some of the key features:

• No login or registration required to post your event;

• Events can now be edited;

• Delete your own event;

• Easily upload an image with your event post;

• Easily link to your event website;

• Anyone can add comments to your event post;

• And many more features and improvements.

Roadfly’s Automotive Community Events Calendar

Roadfly Community Events Calendar

New Solutions for Small Business Advertisers


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Written by Charlie Romero      April 25, 2006 , 10:28 am

The job of attracting new customers and retaining old ones just got a little easier for Roadfly small busines advertisers. In the past, Roadfly only offered one advertising option for direct mail and small business advertisers. The option was banner ads. This was the same advertising option offered to auto manufacturers and their agencies and therefore was too costly for small direct mail businesses.

We knew we needed to develop a more feature rich yet affordable advertising solution. One which would allow for text only ads, flash video ads, HTML ads or any combination of the above, all within the same easy to use web interface. A primary goal of ours was to have a simple system which didn’t take hours for the small business owner to administer. We knew that small business owners had very little time to spend administering advertising campaigns. Roadfly AdMarket was designed to meet their needs.

Roadfly AdMarket was designed specifically to allow small business advertisers, direct mail advertisers and others to reach the Roadfly Community. Advertisers can place text or banner ads directly in front of the largest automotive community in the world, the Roadfly Automotive Forums.

The advertisers can target ads when, where and how they want to. They can send visitors to their website home page, or directly to sale items. Because AdMarket easily allows text in addition to graphics the advertiser can even display their toll free telephone number directly in front of visitors to the forums. The key is total flexibility of the campaign at an advertising rate small businesses can afford.

Roadfly AdMarket is the solution. The advertising solution for small businesses, direct mail advertisers and others looking to directly target the automotive community.

Advertisers can start advertising immediately with a few clicks of their mouse. Roadfly AdMarket

Roadfly AdMarket Advertising

Scraping, the new buzz word. What’s with all this blatant stealing?


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Written by Charlie Romero      April 6, 2006 , 12:06 pm

First it was mp3 music, then it was Hollywood movies and now it’s editorial content. Editorial content which is blatantly stolen via RSS/XML feeds. What’s with all this stealing? Just because it’s there doesn’t mean it’s free to be stolen.

We recently modified the Roadfly Terms of Service to more clearly explain that commercial businesses can’t take our RSS/XML feeds, automatically scrape out the content they like and then republish or distribute it as their own.

The wild, wild west Internet along with Google’s AdSense program has spawned a cottage industry which builds web sites using other people’s copyrighted content and then republishes it as thir own. These unscrupulous webmasters publish their website and then generate AdSense ad revenue from Google. The Google AdSense example is most typical and most talked about but there are also big businesses that do it. Big businesses that use robot technology to harvest or scrape copyrighted information from our pages. Companies that build entire business models around stealing via RSS or web crawlers. We are working to put a stop to it and so far it looks like our efforts are working.

You’re probably wondering why this topic made it onto the Roadfly Corporate Blog in the first place. Well there are two reasons, one is that it gave me the chance to rant and the other is to help bring the illegal practice more negative attention.

Our software developers (headed by the uber-genius himself Alan Riley) are in the process of enabling RSS/XML feeds for all the content on Roadfly. We first RSS enabled our car classifieds about a year and a half ago. A few months ago we enabled RSS on our car reviews, feature articles and other editorial content. We’ve also RSS enabled our car picture galleries which we include in our car reviews, etc. Over the course of the next few months we’re going to gradually enable RSS/XML feeds of our forums and all of our other content.

Knowing that we are syndicating nearly all the valuable content on Roadfly didn’t sit well with Alan and me. And, you know what our copyright lawyer the famous Steve Trattner had to say. So in addition to RSS enabling all of our content we are building monitoring tools to keep an eye on the content thieves.

The scrapers have been noticed all over the net because they’re doing some pretty bad things. In plain English they’re stealing copyrighted work. They know what they are doing and most of their legal deptartments turn a blind eye. They tell the boss “let’s see how long we can get away with it.”

Well Roadfly for one isn’t going to sit on the sidelines and be a victim. We’re watching the thieves and building walls. Stay tuned for more.

Playing in the Mud with Nissan Trucks


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Written by Charlie Romero      April 3, 2006 , 10:27 pm

The Roadfly editorial staff gets invited by auto manufacturers to various driving events around the world. Sometimes they’re exotic locations like South Africa or maybe the mountains of Hawaii and other times they’re right here in the good ole US of A. Bein’ as how we’re all just a bunch of good ole boys there’s nothin’ that gets us as excited as playing with Nissan Trucks in the dirt and mud of the Texas plains.

Click the link to read the article Max Farrow wrote about The Nissan Truck Off-Road Experience

Nissan Trucks Off-Road

Charlie Romero and Max Farrow with Nissan Trucks Off-Road

(Left: Max Farrow, Right: Charlie Romero)

Roadfly Community Forums Reach 10 Million Posts


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Written by Charlie Romero      February 2, 2006 , 10:40 am

This is quite a milestone! We reached 10 million message forum posts earlier in the month. We’ve had this incredible milestone on our radar for a few months. Of course, as things go, we were actually heading to Detroit to cover the 2006 North American International Auto Show when the message post was made.

Thank you very much to all our loyal readers, contributors, and fans. Over the past 9 years you’ve made Roadfly the absolute best automotive community in the world. Cheers!

Roadfly Automotive Community

Here’s a link to the official press release:
Roadfly.com Community Forums Reach 10 Million Message Posts

2006 North American International Auto Show Awards


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Written by Charlie Romero      January 24, 2006 , 10:26 am

Roadfly Auto Show AwardsWe annually award the best of the North American International Auto Show (a/k/a the Detroit Auto Show). We award the auto manufacturers for their styling and innovation. Some years it’s easier to come up with the winners than others.

Here’s a quick list of this years winners:

• Best Value – Honda Fit
• Most Innovative – Mercedes-Benz E320 CDI BLUETEC
• Best New Vehicle for 2006 – Lexus LS 460
• Best Concept – Chevrolet Camaro
• Best of Show – Dodge Challenger Concept

    To read the full press release follow this link: 2006 Detroit Auto Show Awards

    New Roadfly Photo Gallery Serves up 1 Millionth Picture


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    Written by Charlie Romero      January 7, 2006 , 12:56 pm

    Managing the 500+ images we take at a major auto show is no easy task. This year we made our life a little easier while providing the users a much better picture viewing experience.

    We launched our new photo gallery system before the Detroit Auto Show. It didn’t take long for us to reach the “1 millionth picture served” mark with the new system. The more popular new car pictures can generate more than 20,000 unique views. Add it all up and we’re displaying millions of images per month from the photo gallery.

    Click to visit the new editorial photo gallery.

    Welcome to the Roadfly Corporate Blog


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    Written by Charlie Romero      January 5, 2006 , 2:06 pm

    We’re often asked “What’s new at Roadfly?” or “What have you guys been up to?” To answer the questions and to keep all of our fans informed, we launched the Roadfly Corporate Blog.

    Welcome to our blogging space! In the future you’ll see posts made by Roadfly founders Alan Riley and Charlie Romero (me) as well as senior staff members. For now, I’m not going to bore you and make this a long introduction. If you’re here reading you’re most likely familiar with Roadfly, what we do and our history. Founded in 1997, Roadfly is one of the oldest and largest automotive portals on the net. We reach more than a million unique visitors each month and deliver more than 30 million page views to new and used car buyers and car owners every month. Our most popular features are our Car Reviews, Car Classifieds and our Forums.

    In the coming months we’ll use these pages to keep you, our readers informed of site improvements, new features and general happenings around the Roadfly HQ. We’re constantly improving our software and implementing new features so the most common posts will probably reference Roadfly features and the software that powers them. You may notice that we made a blog category for “Fun at Work.” Since we’re true car guys (and gals) in addition to computer geeks we’ll use this forum to keep you updated on our car guy adventures.

    You can subscribe to our blog via RSS to stay up-to-date automatically or check back from time-to-time. That’s about it for now.