Site Update: Let’s Hope Today Is Better!


Fingers crossed for no more issues to pop up today. Yesterday’s horrible site availability was caused by a swarm of bots from Russia and China. They were persistent, but our valiant hosting company took care of them. So far today, things seem to be ok. There are still some mysterious issues that I’m researching that were coincident to the swarm, so there may be more hijinks to come!

I did remove the new inline “Edit Comment” function for now because I suspect it was related to these mysterious issues. Over the next 24 hours, I’ll see if I can bring it back online, once things are calm for a stretch.

Besides that, I’ve got lots to do today and won’t be around in comments. Have a great one!

Open Thread

45 replies
  1. 1
    NCSteve says:

    Most of us think yesterday was a pretty good day, actually.

  2. 2
    Corner Stone says:

    Kludge gotta be kludging.

  3. 3
    Kraux Pas says:

    Yesterday’s horrible site availability was caused by a swarm of bots from Russia and China.

    I just had to check to make sure this wasn’t a joke…

  4. 4
    Yarrow says:

    Thanks for all your hard work, Alain. Glad your back is improving.

  5. 5
  6. 6
    Gex says:

    Thanks for all your efforts. You too, M4.

  7. 7
    oatler. says:

    They hate us for our editing function.

  8. 8
    JPL says:

    @Kraux Pas: We made the big time.

  9. 9
    kindness says:

    I’m curious how BJ stood out enough to merit the attention of Russian/overseas hackers. Do they really get paid for that? Really?

  10. 10
    p.a. says:

    iMac High Sierra, android phone work fine here. iPad ios 11.4.1 like wading through sludge.
    Anyone else?

  11. 11

    @kindness: DDoS bots cost like five bucks for a thousand.

  12. 12
    westyny says:

    Thanks, Alain, the mobile site still seems wacky.

  13. 13
    Corner Stone says:

    @Major Major Major Major: How do we know bots were involved vs BJ?

  14. 14

    @kindness: I warned Alain when I started as a front-pager that Nuclear Diner had been hacked several times, some by the more notable international hacker groups. We eventually had to put Nuclear Diner on the WordPress site to take advantage of their security. So it could be me. Or it could be the anti-Trump nature of the place. The bots may be programmed to seek such things out. And at least two big info ops incidents were in the news yesterday. Microsoft found GRU (Russian military intelligence) putting up fake pages. And then there was a Facebook incident that may have been Russian and Iranian hackers/bots, but I didn’t read that one in detail.

  15. 15
    Platonailedit says:

    Desktop is zippy, but logins don’t stick. Mobile is fubar.

  16. 16
    Mnemosyne says:


    Cole recommended I try a mobile browser called Brave. My iPad is too old to use it (it requires iOS 10 or higher) but it works nicely on my iPhone.

  17. 17
    Doug R says:

    A few days of misteaks is a smail prize to paid.

  18. 18
    Anotherlurker says:

    I went to catholic school and have dated many jewish women, so I know that this is all my fault!
    My apologies to all! ;-)

  19. 19
    Doug R says:

    @Mnemosyne: Does the App store offer Firefox?

  20. 20
    p.a. says:

    @Anotherlurker: So you’re basically saying your Catholic education didn’t take? (sorry too!) 😉

  21. 21
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: We’ve also raised a ton of money for Democrats, which might make us troll-worthy. Still, even given the cheap technology and automation, it boggles the mind that our almost top-10K blog would be deemed a worthy target.

  22. 22
    Anotherlurker says:

    @p.a.: I’m fighting my catholic education, thru intensive therapy. For 12 years we had it repeated daily, that we were the cause of Baby Jesus’ suffering. (I’m not kidding)

  23. 23
    Alain the site fixer says:

    @westyny: I did throw out the old mobile site and we’re using one unified site going forward instead of maintaining parallel sites. I am hard at work on a video ad-free experience, details and timing TBD. I know that doesn’t help today, but it should be soon – I’m motivated!

    @Platonailedit: What is fubar about mobile? Also, I’ll see what I can do on the checkbox, not sure why it’s not working now when it was.

    @Corner Stone: Hosting company alerted me yesterday morning and I was in touch throughout the day until things finally settled down, around 5.

    And some good news on the edit comments beat, I’ve got a new ticket in with the devs and they’re looking at it. Hopefully this means we’ll have a solution and I can then re-enable it. And by”it”, I’m referring to the original one, that recently was allowing folks to edit others’ comments and not their own.

  24. 24
    Alain the site fixer says:

    @Alain the site fixer: Forgot to offer more details – new redesign/new theme coming soon. The mobile site change was going to be done then, but I feel horrible about all the tablet users (myself included!) who cannot use the mobile site at all. Like not just a pain, unusable. When you see folks complain about us on other sites, that stings, and turning it off was in the plans, anyway, so I turned off the old mobile site and now we’re using just the main responsive theme, like we always should have. And since my time is limited, I’m not going to spend it tweaking this mobile site design because my time is best invested in the new theme/mobile site.

  25. 25
    Marmot says:

    As the kids once said Alain, you “da” man!

    I was gonna complain about my phone getting hotter and hotter, but that seems like it’s just a temporary situation.

  26. 26

    @Alain the site fixer: where were they complaining about us? I’ll cut them.

    @Marmot: that would be the video ads probably.

  27. 27
    Jerzy Russian says:

    @Alain the site fixer: My main issue is having the text on the comments appear reasonably large when viewed on my iPhone. So far things look readable. Thanks for all of the hard work.

  28. 28
    Alain the site fixer says:

    Ok, I just disabled M4’s comment checkbox and now am using what I hope is the default WP behavior. I’m going to switch browsers to see what’s up with it now.

    @Jerzy Russian: Pop me an email – and I’ll add you to the list for testing the new site. I’d like to see what I can do out of the box to make it easy reading for mobile users like yourself.

  29. 29
    Alain the site fixer says:

    Ok all done. Must find sustenance.

  30. 30
    Platonailedit says:

    @Alain the site fixer:

    Small text size. Some videos, blog rolls, tweet streams etc. at the bottom (which were never there in the earlier mobile version).

  31. 31
    Alain the site fixer says:

    @Platonailedit: ah, the sidebar content that’s now shoved to the bottom. I’ll take that critique for the new site and see what I can do to reduce what’s seen. At least it’s better down there than having a 2-3x wide screen to have to deal with!

  32. 32
    Aleta says:

    Thanks Alain. You’re a class act extraordinaire and a mensch. I don’t recall that you’ve ever complained, cast blame or covered for what you don’t know. It’s one way of taking a stand against republicanism imo.

    Clear explanations are like a tiny antidote to what happened in the tech world as image got too much weight. Which is weird since technology and the development of computers are a type of limited expression of truth.

  33. 33
    Jerzy Russian says:

    @Alain the site fixer: E-mail sent. My previous reply did not seem to post, so apologies in advance if multiple copies appear.

  34. 34
    Platonailedit says:

    @Alain the site fixer: Thanks, Alain. The best future of bj was the go to the bottom arrow. I use them often to go the latest comment just above the comment box. Now, I have to scroll up many times to get to the last post and the comment box. Except for the missing edit function, I didn’t have any problem with the earlier mobile version. I loved the short titles for the threads for the FP.

  35. 35
  36. 36
    Alain the site fixer says:

    @Platonailedit: Yeah its one of the video ads sitting on top of the buttons. I just glanced down to look for the buttons and saw the ad. I clicked the X to close it and behold, the arrows. I love them too and we’ll see what we can do. That was one of many unexpected side effects of dumping the mobile site.

  37. 37
    Platonailedit says:

    @Alain the site fixer: Thanks, much appreciated.

  38. 38
    Alain the site fixer says:

    @Platonailedit: check out buttons now, mon ami. The incremental ones are in the middle of the screen. Still need to tweak top/bottom buttons but it works for now and is no additional work.

  39. 39
    Alain the site fixer says:

    @Alain the site fixer: I turned off the sidebar for mobile users so no more video ads, but this also means there are things you can’t access. At least data plans are now no longer in jeopardy!

  40. 40
    Platonailedit says:

    @Alain the site fixer:

    Thanks, Alain. Now double tap on side arrow takes it to the last post and comment box.

  41. 41

    @oatler.: … or still pissed about not saving nyms and emails.

  42. 42
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Alain the site fixer:

    That seems to have helped on mobile Safari — the page is loading and the phone is only getting slightly warm. I may continue using Brave on the phone for now, though.

  43. 43
    Gravenstone says:

    @kindness: Was it BJ specifically, or Hosting Matters as a service that was being attacked? Alain said yesterday that he got the heads up about the DDOS attack from the hosting service, so it may well have been aimed at their level rather than any single user site.

  44. 44
    Alain the site fixer says:

    @Gravenstone: It was this specific server, so it could have been intentionally targeted or just random bot attacks. Either way, we’ll be tightening up the WordPress side of things a bit soon. I still have nightmares of the disassociation I felt post-election day with Democratic Underground down from being hacked. Except for being responsible for trying to fix things, I can’t imagine what I’d do without this community at my fingertips!

  45. 45
    seaboogie says:

    Hey Alain – love the new and now much more functional format on my iPad! No link yet to FPers to contact you directly, so you’ll have to accept my public kudos. ‘Mwah! 😘

Comments are closed.