Two weeks ago our main website, www.MagicUnlimited.com, was hacked. Within an hour or so Brendan had fixed the site and we were back in business.
A few days later or webhost, BlueHost, cancelled our account and gave us 15 days to pack up our site and get out of town. A sort of electronic eviction because we'd been hacked.
The same thing happened earlier this year to our Australian Institute of Magic site. A quick google will reveal a lot of sites get hacked on BlueHost then asked to leave. It's not unreasonable to assume that perhaps the weak link making them vulnerable to attack is actually the host... but that's another story.
Anyway, we signed up with another host, Astang, who advertised 24/7 support, live chat support, all seemed good and the transfer began. Unfortunately, there were some hiccups and we contacted the 24/7 support - repeatedly. We all tried the live chat support, which seemed to be offline... a lot! So, Friday through Monday was a constant stream of one way communication with me emailing them and getting no reply.
On Monday morning I'd had enough and signed with InteractiveOnline, who not only answered all of my tech support questions, but offered to migrate our entire site for us. A few hours later it was all done.
Meanwhile Astang emailed me wanting to let me know that they'd sorted out our problems by deleting and re-establishing our account and all we had to do was to reupload our site on their server. I explained that because of their lack of communication I'd signed with another server, our site was already up with them, and I'd like a refund. He apologised for the lack of response to my emails saying he was sorry for the delay but it was the weekend and they normally have few support people on weekends...
To Astang's credit, a refund was promptly issued.
And then today, Wednesday, I got this reply to one of the emails I sent on Friday.
Are you still encountering this issue? We are unable to duplicate this issue on our
Please do get back to us if we can be of further
The last half of page three will be of interest to Australian viewers as Australian Society of Magicians President Nick Morton addresses the issue of him banning me from the club and all of its affiliated events. (Still waiting on Nick's reply to my email as to whether Sue-Anne is banned as well).
The most recent twist in the saga is that comments made by Paul Daniels in this thread about staging FISM at Blackpool were picked up by the mainstream media in the UK and Derek Lever, who had remained silent on the banning issue, chose to respond to the press calling Paul a 'c-list celebrity' and, while pointing out that no-one is banned from Blackpool FISM, said Paul is not invited to attend.
The site looks legit, but none of the "faculty" listed know anything about it.
It appears that the domain owners (who seem to own a lot of other questionable domains) have simply lifted the contents of American magician Tim David's site www.themagiccollege.com - just open both sites in separate browsers and compare the two - and added the faculty list from McBride's Mystery School.
The worst part for Tim David is that they've left his contact details on the site so, unless you do a WHOIS lookup on the domain owner, you'd assume that he is the one responsible for Magical University.
The aim of the site, as it appears, is to get your credit card details and continually rebill you without providing you with a service of any kind.
Please tell all magicians you know to avoid this site.
Tim David wrote to me saying:
"Thanks for the heads up on this Tim. I’m in a bit of a panic right now, because I’m getting angry emails from some magicians I respect very much. I have NO affiliation with magicuniversity.com or The Magical University. My real (and legitimate) site is TheMagicCollege.com They have copied my entire site and used it for apparently fraudulent purposes. I’ll be posting more at the forum. Again, thanks for looking into this and not jumping to conclusions…
After a big weekend rennovation The Australian Institute of Magic website has been freshened up with a new look and more user-friendly design. Take a look at it here, and feel free to add weblinks and upcoming Australian magic events.
(Thanks to Brendan Croft for donating hours and hours of work!)
By simply uploading two pictures of your face they'll create a 3D rendering of it that you can play with online. See what your face looked or will look like at different ages, or how you'd look as a different nationality.
You can even buy 3D sculptures of your face and, most importantly, lifesize face masks.
First of all I'd like to thank all of our regular blog readers and commenters, our stats just keep getting higher and higher which means (for whatever bizarre reason) you're enjoying the little snippets, oddities and prattle presented here.
The other thing I can see from our stats is just where some of our readers come from. Of course, we get many from different parts of the world, after all, magic is a universal language, but we also have three local lurkers who visit very frequently! They know who they are, and the very fact they visit this blog more often than any other readers means at least in cyberspace - to quote Sally Field - "You like me, you really like me!"
I just wish they didn't put on such gruff fronts in 'the real world'. Mellow out and say "Hi" next time we meet, or I'll have to have Sue-Anne lock you all in the cupboard! *g*
If you missed the piece about 'The Melbourne Magic Festival' in Australia's 'Herald Sun', just go to page 31 on Sep 8 and you can read it online or print it out! It will cost you $2.75 per newspaper, but it's a lot easier than any other way of trying to track it down!