The Balancing Act: AI Web Scraping for Training Purposes

In the rapidly evolving digital landscape, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become a cornerstone of innovation, driving advancements across various sectors. One of the critical components in developing robust AI systems is training data, which is often sourced through web scraping. As we consider the practice of allowing AI to scrape customer websites for training data, it’s essential to weigh the benefits against the potential drawbacks.

The Case for AI Web Scraping

Web scraping is a technique used to extract large amounts of data from websites, which can then be utilized to train AI models. This process is pivotal for the development of generative AI models that require vast and varied datasets to learn and evolve. The benefits of web scraping for AI training are manifold:

  • Data Abundance: AI models thrive on data. Web scraping provides access to a treasure trove of information that can significantly enhance the learning capabilities of AI systems.
  • Real-time Updates: By automating data collection, AI can keep its training materials up-to-date, reflecting the latest trends and consumer behaviors.
  • Efficiency: Scraping can streamline the data collection process, making it faster and more cost-effective compared to manual methods.
  • Customization: AI can cherry-pick data from trusted sources, ensuring the relevance and quality of the training material.

The Flip Side: Ethical and Legal Considerations

While the advantages are clear, the practice of web scraping for AI training is not without its controversies. The ethical and legal implications of web scraping must be carefully considered:

  • Privacy Concerns: The automated collection of data can inadvertently include personal information, raising significant privacy issues.
  • Legal Ambiguity: The legality of web scraping varies by jurisdiction and often hinges on the terms of service of the websites being scraped. In the UK, for instance, the legality of web scraping depends on how the data is used and whether it violates any laws or terms of service.
  • Intellectual Property: There is a risk of infringing on intellectual property rights when scraping content that is not explicitly in the public domain.
  • User Consent: Ethical web scraping practices demand transparency and user consent, ensuring that individuals are aware of and agree to the use of their data.

Enhancing Visibility and Genuine Traffic Through AI Scraping

Web scraping can have both positive and negative impacts on website traffic. On one hand, if the data collected through scraping is used by legitimate services like search engines or AI chatbots, it could potentially increase visibility and drive genuine human traffic to the website. These services could index the content, making it more likely to appear in search results or recommendations, which in turn could lead to increased visits by real users.

However, it’s important to note that not all web scraping is beneficial. Malicious scraping can lead to issues such as content duplication, which might harm a website’s search engine rankings. Additionally, excessive scraping activities can slow down a website’s performance, negatively affect user experience, and distort analytics data, such as bounce rate and page views. This could potentially reduce the chances of genuine human traffic, as users may become frustrated with slow loading times and leave the site.

Moreover, bots that scrape content account for a significant portion of website traffic in some industries, which can overload infrastructure, skew analytics data, and diminish the value of marketing and SEO investments.

In conclusion, while web scraping has the potential to improve a website’s visibility and attract genuine human traffic, it must be managed carefully to prevent negative consequences. It’s crucial for website owners to implement measures to distinguish between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ scrapers and to protect their sites from malicious activities.

Striking a Balance

To navigate the complexities of AI web scraping, a balanced approach is necessary. Here are some considerations for and its customers:

  • Transparency: Clearly communicate the purpose and scope of data collection to users, providing them with the option to opt-out if desired.
  • Compliance: Adhere to legal standards and best practices, respecting copyright laws, terms of service, and privacy regulations.
  • Security: Implement robust security measures to protect the scraped data from unauthorized access or breaches.
  • Ethical Framework: Develop an ethical framework that guides the scraping process, ensuring fairness and respect for user rights.

The decision to allow AI to scrape customer websites for training data is not one to be taken lightly. While it presents an opportunity to enhance AI capabilities, it also poses ethical and legal challenges that must be addressed. By adopting a balanced and responsible approach and giving customers the choice, can harness the power of web scraping while upholding the trust of its customers and complying with regulatory standards.

2020Media offers customers the choice to block or allow bots from scraping your content for AI applications like model training. Please get in touch to find out more.


Understanding Nominet UK Domain Deletion Process and Drop Date

This is a short post from UK Domain Registrar,  to help domain owners understand how to tell if they can still renew a .uk domain name or whether it has gone into the final deletion state. We end by suggesting ways to help re-register a domain it is too late to renew.

UK Domain Lifecyle

Lifecycle at expiry for .UK
Lifecycle at expiry for .UK


The diagram shows that after a UK domain name expires there is a 90 day period in which it can still be renewed. However after 90 days, there is a 5 day period in which is still registered, but cannot be renewed. This change to the previous system was introduced in 2022 and brings .uk more into alignment with gTLD domains.

Domain Owner Concerns about Failed Renewals

What 2020Media has seen as an Accredited Nominet Registrar is that domain name appear as still registered and with a status of “renewal required” even when they are in the final 5 day period. And according to Nominet rules, they cannot be renewed in this period. They are scheduled for deletion at the end of the 5 day period, and nothing can change that.

How to Check if a UK Domain can be Renewed or Not

There are two ways to check if an expired domain name can still be renewed or not.

Option 1 – Calculator

A straightforward way is to look at the expiry date of a UK domain and calculate 90 days from that date – if it’s more than 90 days, then unfortunately that domain is now in the final 5 day deletion process and cannot be renewed any longer. Here is a link to a general date calculation tool, and you do not need to enter the domain name.

Option 2 – RDAP

The only problem with the Calculator method is that it does not take account of the time of day. The RDAP option provides an 100% accurate report of the domain’s status. RDAP is a replacement for WHOIS, providing more information and in a machine-readable format.  Here are a couple of public RDAP lookup tools:

Nominet Lookup


Here are results from 2 domains, showing the different status. Screenshots from Nominet Lookup tool.

Domain Status Showing Domain Can Be Renewed:

Domain In Redemption - Can Be Renewed
Domain In Redemption – Can Be Renewed

Domain Status Showing Domain CANNOT Be Renewed

Domain In Deletion - Cannot Be Renewed
Domain In Deletion – Cannot Be Renewed

It’s significant that “pending delete” is shown in both cases, so do not be fooled by this  – it simply shows the domain is past expiry and the initial 30 day grace period when a .UK domain is still active.

Recovering / Registering Domains that Cannot be Renewed

If the domain name you want is in the status where it cannot be renewed, the only option is to try and register the domain name the moment it is released for re-registration. This is a free-for-all process and there is competition amongst domain name investors and others over sought-after domain names.

It is possible to find out exactly when a UK domain name will become available again by using the Nominet Drop List. This is a daily updated list and is very long.  You can ask a friendly Registrar, like to help!

It’s important to note that domain names are cancelled for reasons other than expiry. Registrants can put in a deletion request at any time during a domain’s lifecycle, and there may be other registry processes which result in a cancellation.

Microsoft have two apps called Outlook and it’s causing chaos and confusion

If you are a Windows user, you might have noticed that Microsoft has recently introduced a new app called “Outlook for Windows”, although once installed it’s just called “Outlook”. This app is supposed to replace the old Windows Mail app, which was the default email client for Windows 10.

Two Apps, One Name

However, there is a catch: Microsoft already has another app called “Outlook”, which is part of the Microsoft Office suite. This app is the standard desktop email client that many people use for work and personal purposes. So, what is the difference between these two apps, and why did Microsoft decide to create such a confusing situation?

Outlook for Windows (desktop)

The Outlook for Windows desktop app is the one that most people are familiar with. It is a powerful and feature-rich email client that can handle multiple email accounts, calendars, contacts, tasks, notes, and more. It can also integrate with other Office apps, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. The Outlook desktop app is available as part of the Microsoft Office suite, which can be purchased as a one-time license or a subscription-based service (Office 365 or Microsoft 365).
The Outlook desktop app has been around for a long time, and it has evolved over the years to meet the changing needs of users. It supports various email protocols, such as POP3, IMAP, and Exchange. It also has advanced security and privacy features, such as encryption, digital signatures, spam filtering, and phishing protection. The Outlook desktop app can also work offline, which means you can access your emails even when you are not connected to the internet.

Outlook for Windows

The Outlook for Windows app is the new kid on the block. It is a progressive web app (PWA), which means it is a web page that looks and behaves like a native app. You can install it on your Windows device from the Microsoft Store, and it will appear as a separate app on your Start menu and taskbar. However, unlike the Outlook desktop app, the Outlook web app requires an internet connection to work. It also only supports Microsoft email accounts, such as,, and It claims to support POP/IMAP accounts but at the time of writing does not.

New Outlook does not support IMAP or POP
New Outlook does not support IMAP or POP

Instead if gives unhelpful errors with no way of fixing the problem. Instead only if you switch back to original Windows Mail does Microsoft admit that IMAP and POP are not suported. It seems POP is not even on the roadmap.

The Outlook web app is designed to be a lightweight and modern email client that can sync with your online Outlook account. It has a simple and intuitive user interface, which resembles the Outlook mobile app for iOS and Android devices. It can handle basic email functions, such as composing, sending, receiving, and organizing emails. It can also show your calendar and contacts, but it does not have the same level of functionality and customization as the Outlook desktop app. For example, the Outlook web app does not support email rules, signatures, categories, flags, or reminders.

Users with new computers or upgrading to Windows 11 will find that Windows Mail (itself a replacement for Microsoft Outlook Express) has been replaced by Outlook for Windows (and there’s no way of going back).

Why did Microsoft create two apps with the same name?

The reason why Microsoft created two apps with the same name is not very clear. According to Microsoft, the Outlook web app is meant to be a “new Outlook experience” that will eventually replace the Outlook desktop app. However, this seems unlikely, given the huge gap in features and capabilities between the two apps. The Outlook web app is more suitable for casual users who only need a simple and fast email client, while the Outlook desktop app is more suitable for professional and power users who need a robust and versatile email client.
The decision to name both apps “Outlook” is also questionable, as it creates confusion and frustration for users. Many users have reported that they accidentally installed the Outlook web app, thinking that it was an update for the Outlook desktop app. Others have complained that they cannot uninstall the Outlook web app, or that they cannot set the Outlook desktop app as their default email client. Some users have even expressed their dissatisfaction with the Outlook web app, calling it a “tricycle” compared to the “SUV” of the Outlook desktop app.

How to tell the difference between the two apps?

If you are not sure which app you are using, here are some ways to tell the difference between the Outlook desktop app and the Outlook web app:

  • Look at the app icon. The Outlook desktop app has a blue icon with a white “O” and a yellow envelope. The Outlook web app has a white icon with a blue “O” and a red dot.
  • Look at the app window. The Outlook desktop app has a ribbon menu at the top, with tabs such as File, Home, Send/Receive, Folder, and View. The Outlook web app has a hamburger menu at the top left, with options such as New Message, Folders, Settings, and Feedback.
  • Look at the app settings. The Outlook desktop app has a lot of settings that you can access from the File tab, such as Account Settings, Options, and Add-ins. The Outlook web app has a few settings that you can access from the hamburger menu, such as Theme, Reading Pane, and Notifications.

Could they make it any harder if they tried?

How to switch between the two apps?

If you have both apps installed on your Windows device, you can switch between them by following these steps:

  • To open the Outlook desktop app, click on the Start menu and search for “Outlook”. You should see the blue icon with the white “O” and the yellow envelope. Click on it to launch the app.
  • To open the Outlook web app, click on the Start menu and search for “Outlook for Windows”. You should see the white icon with the blue “O” and the red dot. Click on it to launch the app.
  • To switch from the Outlook web app to the Outlook desktop app, click on the hamburger menu at the top left and select “Open in Outlook”. This will open the Outlook desktop app and show the same email account that you were using in the web app.
  • To switch from the Outlook desktop app to the Outlook web app, click on the File tab and select “Open in Outlook for Windows”. This will open the Outlook web app and show the same email account that you were using in the desktop app.

When Will The Confusion End?

Microsoft has created a confusing situation by having two apps with the same name: Outlook. These apps are very different in terms of features, functionality, and user interface. The Outlook desktop app is the traditional and powerful email client that many people use and love, while the Outlook web app is the new and simple email client that Microsoft wants people to use and love.

However, the Outlook web app is not a suitable replacement for the Outlook desktop app, as it lacks many essential features and capabilities. Therefore, users should be aware of the difference between the two apps, and choose the one that best suits their needs and preferences.

Not Had Enough Yet?

Microsoft of course also renamed Hotmail to so when many people refer to “Outlook” they are talking about their web-based account.

  • is a website you visit using your web browser only.
  • You can use it to create your own free email address ending in
  • A replacement for
  • A web-based user interface used to access only @hotmail, and other Microsoft email accounts.

As you can see, doesn’t relate to Outlook other than having a similar appearance to Windows Outlook. But naturally Microsoft have given it the same name and logo as their desktop versions.

The Role of 4G Backup in Business Continuity

Businesses are now relying heavily on digital processes but have a more urgent need for continuity and security. When the office internet goes down, a minute can feel like an hour waiting for it to come back on, especially if it’s out of the company’s control. Even if digital technologies are widely used, the harsh truth is that these disruptions go far beyond being inconvenient. The flow of business operations could be seriously compromised by an abrupt internet outage that may have disastrous repercussions.

Why 4G?

We’ve seen a lot of fibre optic developments over the years, but one of the best that businesses have tried and approved is using 4G as their backup.

Boosted Productivity on the Go

The need for fast and reliable connectivity while on the move is rising, driven by a growing number of businesses—both small enterprises and large companies—supporting mobile work policies.

While 3G is suitable for tasks like receiving emails or staying connected on social networks, it falters when it comes to quickly sending large files or using advanced business applications like video calling. This is where the efficiency of 4G comes out tops. Giving employees the opportunity to work on the go will boost productivity and let them have freedom whatever the location.

Customer Comms

Using a 4G connection has numerous benefits for your customer service. It can allow you to respond to orders and inquiries quickly and efficiently, no matter where you are or what device you’re using. Because of the speed and lack of limitations, you can also resolve complaints quicker, leading to better efficiency when closing queries.

Responding quickly to their questions and requests not only builds a positive relationship but also improves customer loyalty, and shows you care. Building that valuable rapport with customers will consequently encourage them to keep using your services and give you a reliable customer base.

Online Sales Surge

Digital sales will continue to thrive from introducing 4G as a backup plan, especially as it allows those form rural parts to become connected to the company too. It can also be beneficial for companies who’re themselves located rurally and can connect to a wider client base.

Interestingly, there are still areas marked by broadband “notspots,” where the population density falls short of making high-speed services commercially viable. With the use of 4G as a plan B, it can boost these numbers and bring more customers to purchase online.

Greater business continuity

With 4G rolling out nationwide, it’s becoming one of the securest ways to ensure business runs smoothly and internet disruptions become a thing of the past.

All it takes is one second of unplanned downtime to throw off operations and become substantially costly to your company. This can translate into losses in of customer satisfaction and your overall financial performance. By integrating 4G with your internet connections, your employees will consistently have access to their online resources. Any time sensitive projects will have a better and securer chance of being met on time.

Using 5G to Back Up Your Business

Businesses can alternatively use 5G instead of 4G to back up their office internet. With 5G operating at a higher frequency than its predecessor (4G), it provides lower latency and has speeds of at least 10X times faster.

In practical terms, 5G acts as a secondary connection in case the primary one fails, ensuring that business operations continue seamlessly even during connection disruptions. Thanks to its faster speeds and lower latency, 5G facilitates quick and efficient backup processes, allowing companies to effortlessly transfer and protect important data, applications, and systems. This means that downtime can be further minimised, and operations within the business can be as stable as possible.

Why Is Backup Important?

Having the ultimate protection for your company is something that every business owner should prioritise, even digitally. Without the proper precautions taken to make sure that efficiency is at a constant high, businesses could face significant losses financially. Unexpected outages can cause serious problems, and the unpredictability of them means you need to be prepared. Have a backup plan that allows workers to continue at a normal pace without disruption to work or client communications. The peace of mind that it’ll provide will be rewarding in itself.

Reference list:

This article has been provided by a third party.

For broadband connectivity from, including 4G and 5G backup, please see



No New Phone Lines?

The UK is preparing for a huge technological change. By the end of 2025, the historic analogue network, used to make most phone calls from our landlines and also used for broadband, will have reached the end of its life. And a new digital phone network is taking its place.

The new network will provide a future proof, more reliable and dependable broadband service that will support the UK for decades to come.

The upgrade to a digital line supports the next generation of voice calls – higher quality, fewer faults and less maintenance, as well as being better for the environment. Landlines are going digital across the UK.

This means voice calls will soon be over a digital line – in the same way broadband works.

This change will affect almost everything that currently plugs into an analogue telephone wall socket. This includes any equipment that may be provided to clients and customers, or equipment they purchase to utilise the services on offer.

To manage this, 2020Media will no longer offer analogue phone lines after 31st August 2023. This also affects services over analogue phone lines such as ADSL.

Instead, 2020Media will offer a new product called “SoGEA” which is equivalent to Fibre to the Cabinet  (FTTC). This offers high speed internet without the seperate cost of a phone line.

Telephony service will move to a Voice over IP solution, commonly known as VOIP.



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