Imported

Good news! After 5 years, I’ve finally been able to import all of the posts from my old blog. I started the sfmoby domain with a fresh database as WP grew a lot in those first few years and my old mysql table was quite cluttered. I didn’t want to import all the errors from the old database basically.

That’s the good news. The bad news is I may have inadvertently imported duplicate pages and user accounts as well. If you were signed up as a user on both blogs, you might (and I say might) see double emails for new posts if you are/were subscribed. I will be reviewing them slowly. You’ll most likely just need to reset your password as if you lost or forgot it. And conversely, if you notice a problem logging in, just go thru the lost password process.

Some images didn’t come across either. I’ll have to manually update them one by one.1 This will also take some time to complete. While most of you won’t notice anything, I’m giving everyone a heads up.

This also means I’ll be retiring the old archive as it is now in one place. Once I have purged and/or corrected everything I can, I will delete the old blog completely. I’ll keep the old URL for some years to come but it will just redirect here.

If you have any problems with your user account, please email me directly.

 

  1. WP didn’t always support short linking very well []

Still

​It appears le blog is still being subjected to random brute force attacks. If you notice long load times or get a "500 internal server" error message, it is because I’m being timed out by the server to prevent it from crashing.1 I’m not gone, just try again in a bit and it will be back. If you get updates via RSS, you shouldn’t notice any issues.

I keep getting grumpy notes from my ISP about my server CPU stats. It isn’t me specifically that is being targeted. I’m nothing special in the grand scheme of the big interwebs. However, WordPress has some weak areas that bots and hackers routinely try to take advantage of to proliferate s p @ m. They basically take advantage of inherent internet workings to overload a server with too many page requests.

Anyway, I’m having to step up my game a bit. I’ve turned on site-caching from the server instead of from within WP. This just means a visitor gets served a cached copy of my index page vs the server rendering a file from scratch every time someone visits. Loading a static file only consumes bandwidth vs compiling php files on each request. The cache file gets updated every time I create a new post.

Hopefully, this will cut way back on the server load. If the problem continues, I’ll most likely move my blog to WP servers. They do a lot of work on the back end to prevent this sort of nonsense. I mean it is their product so it makes sense. lol My ISP helps when I ask but they are smaller and leave most of the burden on me. I simply don’t have the resources to combat such things.

Time will tell.

  1. Nifty little protection mechanism I didn’t even know servers did that. lol []

Attack

My blog has been under a brute force attack for over a week now. Several foreign bots have been hard at work trying to break into my WordPress software. Sadly, for them, that is all but impossible. I use several layers of security to protect WP. One of those layers locks any user account, including myself, after more than 5 failed log in attempts.1  The user must then go thru the password recovery process.  However, the brute force can bring down the server itself. Even with site-caching, the server has to respond to every request.

Most bots make a concentrated effort for minutes and/or hours and then usually move on when they complete (or fail at) their task. This was much more focused and indicates a deliberate attempt. My blog is not overly popular so I’m a little surprised. Dedicated attacks usually target big sites or at the ISP level. The rest of us fall into the “search and conquer” category described above.

I’ve had to take more direct action now and start blocking bots at the server level. It is often a cat-and-mouse game because said baddies often use already compromised or spoofed IP addresses. They rotate them quickly so blocking doesn’t last long. However, for bots it’s a wee bit easier as they usually carry distinctive names that can be blocked using the .htaccess file.

For my readers, hopefully you won’t see any error pages. On the odd chance you do, please email me and I’ll get you restored. An easy way to tell is by accessing my site from different connections. The chances of both being blocked are extremely rare.

The attack already seems to be waning. The CPU drain from my account on the server is down within acceptable levels for my ISP. It is still higher than normal but going down. Wish me luck. hehehe

  1. I also deleted my default admin account ages ago []

Filter

As previously mentioned, I’ve been doing some cleaning on the blog. As of today, I switched off my beloved SK2 junk comment filter. I’ve been threatening to do so for some time now. t hasn’t been supported in years but continued to chug along doing admirably at blocking unwanted comments.

Sadly, as WP has continues to grow and evolve it’s code the filter was becoming too much to manage. It would break as much as it fixed so I finally axed it.

I switched over to Akismet. If you find your comments aren’t getting thru, please email me or contact me via social media to advise. I’ll try to keep a good eye on it for a few weeks to make sure everything is functioning as planned.

More to come!

Share

First off, if you visit the blog via the web, you’ll  notice a theme change. I’m moving to themes that are built as mobile compliant vs having to have a plugin convert if for me. Of course, you should notice a new mobile version if you access let blog on a mobile device.

*

I hate having to share stuff between my myriad social media accounts. It is a constant pain to share in one place and then fret because I haven’t shared in others. I know, big #FirstWorldProblem. Who cares right? Well, if you subscribe to said blog, you might get a few updates from me today via email. I tried disabling by post but it seems to be ignoring that tiny but important setting. hehe. Apologies if you are getting several emails today about trivial stuff. I’m trying to make it less painful by including pretty pictures.

I’m moving things around. As many of you know, I prefer to manage everything via my blog then share it out to social media. It’s now an easy task when plugins never support all the varied platforms all in one. My biggest thorn has been google+. Because they have a closed API, there are no plugins to accomplish this task so I have to manually share a post. Clearly, that doesn’t always happen. haha  But…

I switched to a Jetpack plugin today on my self-hosted WordPress and it supports posting to google. Yay!  It used to only support WordPress hosted blogs. Now it supports self-hosted.  I’m turning off some of the old plugins and testing the Jetpack one as it posts out to FB and Twitter as well. If this works as hoped, I can finally switch back to posting pics, etc to my blog FIRST and have it filter out to my social sites from there.

Moby will be a happy camper if it all works as planned! Anyway, if you could care less about all this, feel free to enjoy this lovely pic of one of my original blogger meetings so so many years ago. It does include brettcajun and Homer.

image

Game

I’ve been playing Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus lately. R&C has always been one of my favorite game franchises. I was more than little disappointed with the last game though. It had some major bugs that almost rendered the game unplayable.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love my beloved lombax but this last game felt very rushed. Games always have bugs. I’ve yet to encounter a single game that didn’t have at least one bug in it. It is just a fact of life. That said, one that prevents the game from continuing is pretty big.

The Pup got to see my frustration first hand as I was yelling at the TV and very upset over such a stupid mistake.1  And I was upset because it is one of my favorite games. I only bought the PS3 for R&C and GOW. Had those two games gone to Xbox, I’d never have picked up the PS3.

Anyway, I finished the game, even crippled as it was. It sort of rights itself in challenge mode but even then it’s still slightly not right. I plan on leaving feedback on the developer site. I know they’ll make another. I’d rather a game be delayed vs being full of bugs.

If you plan on playing it, here’s a tip. When you get past the bronze and silver challenges and come back to the gold medal challenges in the arena, don’t stop and save during any of the gold challenges. Play all the way thru to the next world, then stop and save. This seems to overcome the bug. Also, the last Gargathon Horn is hidden really well. Go to the left side of the world in the area where you fly around a lot. Make a left turn when you come thru the mountain tunnel and look for the broken railing on the mountain side, it’s in there with the Smuggler’s parrot!

Beyond the bug, this most recent version is more like the old school R&C vs some of the sillier more recent versions. If you’re a fan, you’ll like this one overall.

  1. Unfortunately, he didn’t appreciate my slightly misdirected angst when I snapped at one of his recommended workarounds. Fear not, I made amends. []

Captcha

Because I’m deleting upwards of 2-3 hundred fake user accounts every month now, I’ve installed a new hidden captcha plugin. You as the user should never see it. It doesn’t depend on the traditional method of captcha pictures to solve, which I detest with a passion.

Instead, it uses a rather interesting javascript output and cookie combo that effectively (for the moment) prevents most autobots from registering fake accounts. There are very few people who refuse to use javascript so I don’t forsee this as a problem. However, should you encounter errors, email me.

I also reviewed a lot of comments and feedback on the authors site. None were problems with it’s functionality so I feel comfortable it will not interfere with most of you.

Wish me luck! lol

Survived v2.0

Ugh. So I have almost survived week two of my new day shift. I am seriously beginning to wonder if I’ll ever adapt. It’s been two weeks and my natural rhythm still hasn’t caught up. My sleep pattern has settled a bit so at least I’m getting to bed and asleep on time. I still seem to be almost exhausted by the time I get home at night. Wednesday this week I didn’t have an overly busy day at work but I was simply tired all day. I managed to get a good workout in but by the time I got home I could barely lift my eyes to eat and get Cooper settled. I finally let myself go to sleep around 10:30 and I passed out! Me, asleep at 10:30 pm!

The project has gotten off to a very slow start. It seems the project managers weren’t really prepared, had no idea what to expect, and are still catching up. It is incredibly frustrating to sit in a room with developers, IT employees from 3 depts, 2 project managers, and 2 other operations personal besides myself and feel like I’m the only one really getting it. And having to go over the same stuff several times because key personnel don’t always attend, certainly hasn’t helped keeps things moving along. Naturally, there are some politics involved, which I have absolutely no patience for.

Today was the first day we actually got down to doing some of the nuts & bolts stuff. Much of the work has to be done in certain orders as one system depends on another and you have to build the systems w/no dependencies first, blah blah blah…  We’ve already covered several key issues that would have affected the users adversely. I’m still excited about the project, just grumpy over the delays. Tomorrow is probably gonna be a wash as well but I have several things to review.

I’m hoping I don’t blow half the upcoming weekend recovering like I did last weekend. I blew the whole day last Saturday just trying to chill and recharge.