Author Topic: The weirdness  (Read 5146 times)

Kilman

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The weirdness
« on: June 25, 2011, 07:41:13 PM »
Here is an (hopefully abbreviated) explanation of what happened at towelday.net from June 10th to today...

June 10th (approximately) - large scale spam attacks began hitting simple machine forums across the net.  Spambots had evolved to overcome previous anti-spam measures and we started seeing about 35-40 new spammer accounts per day.

- coincidentally about the same time, the company that hosts our site was switching servers.  During the process, towelday existed on two servers.  Spambots found both, but we (with the possible exception of Teatime) were all visiting the old server.

June 10th-16th - I had to clean up spam several times a day and finally decided it would be easier if we had more moderators.  On or around the 16th I posted a message asking if Lewot and Teatime were interested.  I also sent a message to request permission from Donna.  Lewot said yes, Donna said yes, and Teatime did not respond because she was in an alternate towelday universe watching spam pile up (or at least I guess that is what was happening in the other universe).

June 18th - shortly before I got responses from Donna and Lewot, I decided to take extra measures and added a question during the registration process (question had to be truncated due to character limit, but most people familiar with Hitchhikers should get it right) - "Answer to Ultimate Question of Life, Universe and Everything" - the spam wave stopped.  I guess it will take the spambots 7.5 million years to come up with the answer.

June 20something - Lewot said he'd seen some spam but was not able to delete it because he couldn't find the delete or remove command.  I told him he must be mistaken.  In reality, he had made a short visit to the twilight zone, or alternate universe towelday, but had returned.

June 24th - I freaked out because I thought hackers had created a mirror phishing site all the way back on the 10th and either Teatime had been at the evil site for quite some time or everyone but teatime had.

OK, it was not so brief, but oh well.  Next I will try to summarize what messages vanished (things posted on the old server that have been lost).
"That really is truly amazing. That is so amazingly amazing I think I'd like to steal it." - Zaphod Beeblebrox


Kilman

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Re: The weirdness
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2011, 08:01:11 PM »
Some conversations that vanished with the old server because they were posted after the 10th...

Several three word story entries, but I don't remember them.

There was a conversation, maybe in the Kindle Don't Panic thread, regarding naming electronic devices, Kindles, Computers, etc...  I am not sure exactly when Teatime vanished into the alternate towelday, but it had to be after the 10th because she had started the discussion explaining the name of her Kindle (I think).  Lewot and Kilman responded with similar statements.  Teatime said that we were "cool" for naming our electronic devices.  I responded that this activity was not what most would describe as cool.  FallingWhale said that was because most people aren't cool enough to know what cool is.  Somewhere in there is where Teatime vanished.

There was a conversation about the spam wave under the "Learning about Spammers" thread.  That is where I asked if Lewot and Teatime wanted to be mods.  There was some back and forth, including Lewot's claim of having seen spam and my insistence that he hadn't.  I also asked if anyone felt the registration question, "Answer to Ultimate Question of Life, Universe and Everything" was too hard.  No one commented on it.

Noting the unusual silence of Teatime, I checked her blog and noticed that she had posted on the 19th about a blog award.  FallingWhale also posted a blog about the same award.  I wrote a post about what those random facts told us about them.  Again, no response.  I will see if I can remember what I wrote and repost it later today.

I think that was most of what was lost but might have forgotten something.

As a consequence of the lost messages, FallingWhale lost a few and is back down to 3.  Lewot was demoted from Hooloovoo to Frood.  Oh, he also lost Mod status, but I will get to fixing that after this message.

BTW - Teatime, would you like to be a moderator for towelday.net?  Basically you just have to delete spam when you see it.
"That really is truly amazing. That is so amazingly amazing I think I'd like to steal it." - Zaphod Beeblebrox


Teatime

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Re: The weirdness
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2011, 10:50:46 PM »
Thanks for the explanation.
Yes, please. I'd enjoy being on the SPAM police squad.  :)
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Grate Oracle Lewot

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Re: The weirdness
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2011, 08:06:42 PM »
Alright, well, as long as that's all over with, I think we'll survive. For reference, I named my computer Eddie, and set the description to Shipboard Computer. I think I also posted some sprites of Marvin that I drew, but internet people elsewhere said they were so bad that I should never draw anything again, so I don't think I'll bother putting them back up.

I don't think the Ultimate Security Question is too hard--if somebody doesn't know it, they can probably find it through Google. But it seems effective at keeping out the spambots, so that's good.
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Kilman

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Re: The weirdness
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2011, 08:48:21 PM »
I remember the Marvin sprites you posted.  Who said they were bad?  They looked good to me.  I, for one, would like to see them reposted.
"That really is truly amazing. That is so amazingly amazing I think I'd like to steal it." - Zaphod Beeblebrox


Teatime

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Re: The weirdness
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2011, 09:38:44 PM »
I want to see Marvin sprites!
"And time began seriously to pass."
from D.G.H.D.A.

http://afortnightofmustard.blogspot.com/
http://catholiconceagain.blogspot.com/
Syzygy's just this book, you know?
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VogonGirl

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Re: The weirdness
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2011, 03:37:12 AM »
I liked your Marvin sprites too.  I don't think those people know real art when they see it.
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Kilman

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Re: The weirdness
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2012, 02:26:53 PM »
Yesterday we had a little Towel Deja Vu in that the site had reverted to August 26th, chopping off a few hundred messages.  I contacted Donna and the server host had some issues again. The site was down most of the rest of the day, but appears to be back to normal.  Consider it like adventures in time travel.  ;)
"That really is truly amazing. That is so amazingly amazing I think I'd like to steal it." - Zaphod Beeblebrox


Teatime

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Re: The weirdness
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2012, 06:13:05 PM »
I couldn't even get on the site yesterday.  >:(
"And time began seriously to pass."
from D.G.H.D.A.

http://afortnightofmustard.blogspot.com/
http://catholiconceagain.blogspot.com/
Syzygy's just this book, you know?
http://www.facebook.com/Syzygy42

Grate Oracle Lewot

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Re: The weirdness
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2012, 09:09:34 PM »
Yeah, as long as things return to normal, it's probably pretty Hitchhiker-y to have time blipping back and forth and other weird stuff happening. I guess it could be a problem if we got more active members, though.
". . . We realised we had been myopically shortsighted to think this thing was just an adding machine. . . . So we began to develop it as a super typewriter. With a long and increasingly incomprehensible feature list. Users of Microsoft Word will know what I'm talking about."

--Douglas Adams

Kilman

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Re: The weirdness
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2012, 01:41:06 PM »
Hmmm... Imagine having a site with intentional weirdness where/when you don't know which time/alternate thread history you will get when you sign on.  Could actually be fun, if done right.
"That really is truly amazing. That is so amazingly amazing I think I'd like to steal it." - Zaphod Beeblebrox