Story 2014-03-11 3FK Temporarily Offline? Temporarily Offline?

in internet on (#3FK) (including is offline at the moment. The site currently returns the following:
Error 503 Service Unavailable
Service Unavailable
Guru Meditation:
XID: 1060599780
Varnish cache server
There has been a lot of drama going on with SoylentNews lately. The nominal founder, Barrabas, wanted to create a for-profit business, but the majority of volunteers wanted to avoid the potential for another sell-out which lead to the Slashcott in the first place. Due to conflicts with those volunteers, Barrabas has sold the domain to a new and unknown owner. If a deal between the mystery domain owner and NCommander and his volunteer 'Overlords' cannot be reached, the Site Formerly Known as SoylentNews can be found on the default Linode address.
Reply 69 comments

DDoS (Score: 5, Insightful)

by on 2014-03-11 16:44 (#EZ)

In the IRC logs someone admits its a DDoS attack:
The motivation is unclear

Re: DDoS (Score: 5, Interesting)

by on 2014-03-11 16:46 (#F0)

The linode site is down as well.

Let's get some popcorn...

Re: DDoS (Score: 3, Interesting)

by on 2014-03-11 16:50 (#F1)

Wasn't there someone like yesterday promising ~40TB of DOS?

Re: DDoS (Score: 3, Informative)

by on 2014-03-11 16:51 (#F3)

Ignore this. Was in the logs, search for "40TB".

Khyber (Score: 0)

by on 2014-03-11 17:45 (#FF)

What an ass.

Re: Khyber (Score: 0)

by on 2014-03-11 22:58 (#GG)

Meh, he's a serial tall-tale teller so I'm not sure that proves anything.

Re: Khyber (Score: 0)

by on 2014-03-12 00:54 (#GM)

Doesn't prove anything, but starts off with a racial epithet. The proceeds to threaten a driving up the hosting cost. Might have done nothing but I'm sticking with ass.

Re: Khyber (Score: 0)

by on 2014-03-14 03:46 (#HY)

Stick with ass, because I did that to expose you drama-mongering fools, and you took every last bit of it and ate it, then asked for more.

As you see by the uninformed assholes in this entire thread talking about a DDoS from me when one of the site operators comes in saying it was a botched DNS transfer.

It's far too easy to expose the ignorant and easily-led, which is why I did it, to show that a huge chunk of the SN crowd is not very bright. Looks like part of the pipedot community is working the same way, too, as evidenced by the comments in this story thread.

Hook, line, and sinker.

I thought you'd all be smarter than this.

Re: Khyber (Score: 2, Funny)

by on 2014-03-18 17:06 (#NH)

Good for you for spreading disinformation. You must feel very accomplished.

Re: DDoS (Score: -1, Troll)

by on 2014-03-14 04:04 (#J2)

Yep, and you all fell for it hook line and sinker. Look how you repeat it here as if it were the truth while a site admin comes in saying 'botched DNS transfer.'

Shame on you clueless drama-mongers. I thought you'd be smarter, but apparently thinking that was a mistake.

And it was 400TB. Not 40. 40TB isn't even enough for my video chat software and the amount of servers I can set up and run, with 200 concurrent video users in them, each pushing 30 FPS (assuming their cams have enough lighting and their computers can handle 30 FPS.) Near-instant DDoS mitigation guarantees require a ton of bandwidth, even in the cloud.

Re: DDoS (Score: 2, Interesting)

by on 2014-03-18 17:08 (#NJ)

Drama-mongers? Have you read your IRC logs? Didn't you get banned due to drama and trolling after repeated warnings? You could be unbanned if you could just chill out instead of shilling out. That is seeming less likely by the day thoug.

Re: DDoS (Score: 5, Interesting)

by on 2014-03-11 17:21 (#F8)

Holy cow. Some dude thinks that the result of the drama is soylant selling out. He's pissed because he's spent money and time working with them, thinks he should have a say in the drama. So ... his answer is to cause bandwidth costs to go up by flooding it with traffic.

Some people...

The current drama there is too much for me. Pipedot looks like a better run site so far.

Re: DDoS (Score: 5, Insightful)

by on 2014-03-11 17:37 (#FA)


Looks like someone trolling the chat.

I haven't seen any clear explanation of what is going on. I'll wait on my outrage for a bit.

Re: DDoS (Score: 2, Insightful)

by on 2014-03-11 17:52 (#FG)

Ever since the change in ownership, there's been tons of drama. It's unfortunate. This site was better with the previous owner.

Re: DDoS (Score: 5, Interesting)

by on 2014-03-11 18:47 (#FS)

The drama is because of the previous owner. He made poor technology choices, then got into it with the tech guy *HE* brought on board to get slashcode working. Then when the volunteers *HE* appointed revolted due to his lax management and poor communications he "resigned". Then he turned around and gave the site seven days to pay him $2000, double what he stated it cost him to start the project.

So a couple of points of clarification, I think he deserves the $2000 he was asking for. He took the imitative to get things rolling and risked $1000 of his own money. IMHO he made it very clear he was looking for a payout from the site right from the beginning. That being said I don't think it's fair to pin the drama on the current sites management (NCommander). The site is trying to be as transparent as possible to the community, which is something that can't be done without airing dirty laundry. I'm confident things are going to work out over there, at the very worst Soylent will have to pick a new name and get a new domain.

Based on how quickly this story was posted to |. it looks like there are some people looking for Soylent to fail. I was reading the site before noon my time, and came back from a meeting around two and it was working fine, I didn't even see the outage. So sometime in a two hour period this story popped up on |. like it was the end of Soylent.

How did the saying go? "The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated." - Mark Twain

Re: DDoS (Score: 5, Interesting)

by on 2014-03-11 19:57 (#G2)

You are greatly oversimplifying the situation.

NCommander's extremely petty and vindictive blog post where he attacked the previous owner was drama no one needed. He started the post by saying this was an "amicable" change of ownership, but as I read on, it was clear that if it was amicable before, then it would no longer be the case afterwards. Honestly, you should probably wait until you have full ownership of a site before you start trash-talking the previous owner. I'd say John's behaviour is very understandable. I'd be angry too if I had decided to take risks to start a site like that, and then everyone was turning on me. This wasn't part of a "transparent process". It was just mudslinging. There was no purpose to this other than to make John look bad.

I don't understand why the volunteers complained. John made if very clear from the start that this was a business for him. It was *his* business. If you still volunteer after that, then you have to accept the terms.

He also spent more than 1000$. Some of the stuff he spent money on ended up not being used, but that's completely irrelevant. He's selling his business, he's entitled to ask to be completely refunded for all expenses.

All I can say is that, from a user's point of view, the site was better under John. There was no drama that we could see, and there were frequent posts asking the community for input. I think if people had let the site just run for a while, as John wanted, it'd probably be better off.

Re: DDoS (Score: 5, Insightful)

by on 2014-03-11 22:22 (#GC)

All I can say is that, from a user's point of view, the site was better under John.

I disagree. John had Business in mind, which I have no issue with, but it's not what the community wanted and ultimately would end in the community being treated as consumers to advertise to (as was the case with the other site that shall not be named). So on one hand he was toting the site as being "for the community", but then wanting to turn it into a profitable business venture on the other hand. I think the site is in much better hands with NCommander who was actually the one that got the slashcode working, and probably one of the very few people involved that will be able to maintain, update and add enhancements to it. The best people to run the site are the ones whos ideas and views align with the community not the people that want to make money at the communities expense.

I did read NCommanders post and it didn't come of as vindictive to me. To me it was him stating what happened and his reasoning for doing what he was doing. He's a technical person and as such his post lacked the political bullshit and dancing around you'd expect from a non-technical person, which is how I prefer my info. Give me the facts and relevant information and let me decide what's relevant. There were IRC logs and form posts to back up everything he said as factual. If you're trying to foster a community orientated site and you expect the community to be actively involved then you have to make sure the community has the information required to form opinions and make decisions.

But, again I do feel bad for John and appreciate his efforts. He did a decent job ad-hock organizing us in order to get something up and running and I think he does diverse to get something for his efforts.

Re: DDoS (Score: 1)

by on 2014-03-13 08:31 (#HF)

Have you read the IRC logs? NCommander is no political master-mind and he does not know how to white wash himself, his own description of the events leaves one feeling sympathetic towards Barabas, the IRC logs tell a different story. My take is that Barabase wanted to run a business but at the same time was enjoying the benefits of the free labour that comes with a community project. Sooner or later it was going to turn ugly, IMO it is just as well that it happened sooner.

Re: DDoS (Score: 5, Insightful)

by on 2014-03-11 17:54 (#FH)

Pipedot looks like a better run site so far.

No doubt, but ultimately it's the community that make it, and they aren't here.

Re: DDoS (Score: 4, Insightful)

by on 2014-03-12 11:24 (#GZ)

And that's too bad, the site design on Pipedot is I think much more useful and it's based on a newer (and possibly more maintainable) codebase.

Re: DDoS (Score: 1)

by on 2014-03-13 20:10 (#HS)

The larger section of the community may not be here, but that can change over time. In the meantime, I'll continue to follow Pipedot closely.

Re: DDoS (Score: 1)

by on 2014-03-13 22:18 (#HW)

From the number of comments on SN, they aren't there either. I'm worried folks have scurried back to the other guys.

Re: DDoS (Score: 5, Funny)

by on 2014-03-11 19:39 (#FX)

Yeah, way too much pointless drama over there. Changing the subject completely, I was meaning to ask if anyone here had any opinions on whether I should go with vi or emacs as my text editor?

Re: DDoS (Score: 2, Funny)

by on 2014-03-13 08:37 (#HG)

Umm... vi.

Please, this is not a matter of opinion. This is a matter of truth vs. untruth. This is a matter of good vs. evil. It is time for people to man up (and woman up as the case may be, although surely women are too smart to use emacs) and do the right thing. Too long have people suffered under the ineffectiveness of inferior text editors with arthritis inducing key sequences and ONLY ONE MODE!!!

It must stop.

Aw fuggit!

Re: DDoS (Score: 0)

by on 2014-03-11 21:45 (#GA)

There was no DNS, people troll stuff like that in IRC.

Re: DDoS (Score: 5, Informative)

by on 2014-03-11 21:46 (#GB)

DNS was restored, site is back up. DDoS was just a read herring.

Re: DDoS (Score: 0)

by on 2014-03-14 03:51 (#HZ)

I love how everyone thinks I had something to do with this. Proves that the current crop of SN is too easily led and not very bright. You're going to consume yourselves soon enough, especially with mattie_p rolling censorship in IRC, now.

Come back SN (Score: 5, Funny)

by on 2014-03-11 16:58 (#F4)

Even a 503 error is better than beta.

Re: Come back SN (Score: 4, Interesting)

by on 2014-03-11 17:40 (#FC)

Funny thing, I go to check on SN and get the resolving host then nothing. Try a few more times over some time and still down so I figure, let me see if anyone has news. I go back to /. (which i had not visited in a while) and what to my surprise, in my absence they switched me over to the beta. So okay I thought, let me try this out. Within a few moments I find that I really don't like the format. SN had a lousy color, but the format was clean and simple. I don't go to sites like these for fancy. Fuck Beta.

Since /. was a bust I came here and at the least find some news about Soylent. Such a sad moment that people ego's get in the way of providing a good product. Now in looking at |. it is better then /., but I still liked what Soylent was/is (community supported) and it's basic look and feel. Time will tell how it shakes out, but I fear someone really really really didn't want SN to succeed. Just curious who and why.

Costs :-( (Score: 4, Insightful)

by on 2014-03-11 17:08 (#F6)

I hope Linode doesn't charge the NCommander for all the DDOS traffic.

Re: Costs :-( (Score: 5, Informative)

by on 2014-03-11 18:35 (#FR)

from irc ...

[13:24] in the end it was because linode hosed our dns on migration

Re: Costs :-( (Score: 1)

by on 2014-03-11 19:50 (#FY)

That's not the full story. It's fun to speculate. Almost all speculation will be wrong at least in part.
All I'm saying is that it was one of my bits of advice that lead most directly to the solution. (But my other bits were useless, so it's swings and roundabouts.)

Ya (Score: 5, Interesting)

by on 2014-03-11 17:15 (#F7)

Tis a sad state of affairs. I hope it is all sorted out or they migrate here. I like both sites. :(

back up now. (Score: 5, Informative)

by on 2014-03-11 17:41 (#FD)

subject says it all

back now (Score: 5, Informative)

by on 2014-03-11 17:41 (#FE)

normal service has been resumed

Re: back now (Score: 1)

by on 2014-03-13 08:26 (#HE)

This link, refers.

Nice work, (Score: 5, Insightful)

by on 2014-03-11 18:01 (#FK)

Everyone likes to throw around the word community. But to many, it means "I get what I want." We've seen some pretty appalling behavior on Soylent the past couple of days, and the drama has been unbearably painful to watch - embarrassing, really.

This DDoS is childish behaviour who has probably decided he is going to "punish" someone for the transfer of power.

The big take-away is that it is hard for a "community" to organize itself fast enough to do just about anything interesting at all. It takes leadership and dictatorial spirit to force people into organized behavior. Read the Dictator's Handbook if you don't believe it.

These things work better when some budding entrepreneur with a vision quietly builds his/her own thing, and then a community forms around it because they like and see value in it. Like this place, for example. I haven't heard any masturbatory "we're a community, goddammit" blather around here. Face it: A rowdy crowd of violent, pitchfork-wielding nerds is no way to start a business.

Final lesson: this stuff is, after all, a business. In the world of the WWW, someone has to host and manage the code, pay the server costs and the costs of the people who manage software and hardware, and pay bandwidth fees as well. If you want free, then chug down a reality pill and recognize that with the exception of a few vanity sites, the WWW needs to make money to pay for itself. Free means going back to the federated, ownerless model of Usenet, which remains an awesome place to meet and discuss tech with other nerds. And you can't DDoS Usenet, you can't whine about the new interface. You can only choose a Usenet client that suits you and suck up the plain-text goodness. No ads, no Flash, no bling, no images, even. It's Usenet: the worst you can do if you want to behave badly is crapflood, spam, and bitch about other people's posts.

Go get yourself an account on Usenet provider and hook your newsreader up to start participating on comp.misc if you don't believe me.

Meanwhile, Pipedot seems to be relatively drama-free. How refreshing.

Re: Nice work, (Score: 3, Insightful)

by on 2014-03-11 18:14 (#FM)

Well, it is hard to make drama on a mostly empty site. Expect things to get rougher once more people come (and I hope they will, this site rocks).

Re: Nice work, (Score: 1)

by on 2014-03-13 20:15 (#HT)

I fully expect drama to come to this site once more people arrive. That said, we are fortunate to not have any major drama even with the amount of people that we have here.

Usenet (Score: 3, Informative)

by on 2014-03-11 18:16 (#FN)

Usenet is a great place for free, open, discussion. Unfortunately, it's got its share of trolls and spam.
There is an interface to Usenet that uses a karma-like moderation system here , which filters some of this out.

Re: Usenet (Score: 3, Interesting)

by on 2014-03-11 18:35 (#FQ)

Ya, that s'qute site is pretty slick. I'd suggest everyone checking it out, if you haven't yet.

Re: Usenet (Score: 2, Interesting)

by on 2014-03-11 19:59 (#G3)

Any progress on getting this site to work without javascript like how it did a week ago?

Re: Usenet (Score: 3, Informative)

by on 2014-03-11 21:13 (#G8)

Those changes are set to be pushed either later tonight or early tomorrow.

Re: Usenet (Score: 4, Informative)

by on 2014-03-12 10:36 (#GX)

Done. The "Enable JavaScript" checkbox in your settings page is now honored across the board. The site won't use (or even download) a single line of JavaScript with the option turned off.

Re: Usenet (Score: 0)

by on 2014-03-12 12:12 (#H3)

Nice one Bryan, you're doing a great job with the site.

My own initial thoughts were: why not default to a non-JS page (flat html) and then use JS (if enabled) to "roll-up" the comments into the collapsed form. This way it works well for everyone.

But I realised after that my own ideas were a bit naive. If every visitor downloads all of the comments (as flat html) then it probably adds considerably to the load and cost of running the server. By using Javascript you are selectively reducing the amount loaded by most (non-logged in) users. So I did some more thinking and realised that it actually depends on how many comments there are versus how much Javsacript code there is:

- There are three basic ways to handle a page: flat html, javascript on top of flat html, javascript and ajax

- Logged in users can have preferences which are honoured, but it is also possible to implement similar behaviour for non-logged in users with cookies (ah ha, finally, they are good for something other than tracking) but you'd have to decide if that's worth the hassle.

- The draw back with ajax is that for pages with lots of comments (hundreds) then you've just taken your dozen connections (to get one page) and turned this into hundreds of connections, all hammering at the server. I'm imagining you want some kind of clever algorithm to allow you to balance the data delivered with the initial page load, and that with ajax requests afterwards. Have you considered encapsulating post data in the page, for laying out by the javascript at rendering time? This would relieve the load on the web server, but would make the DB server work much harder since each page load will still want to retrieve all posts from the DB. I was thinking they can be put in some JSON format and then gzipped and inserted into the page code at load time. To strike a balance between initial page load and ajax load you can specify the rules on what gets included with the initial load (all posts, first 100 posts, all +3 and higher posts, etc...). But those rules don't in any way affect what the user sees, just what content is sent on the initial load. Once in the browser then ajax takes over and will selectively load whatever remaining posts the user wants to look at. My own web work has lead me to believe that to keep pages fast and responsive you must reduce the number of connections to the server. My own sites use custom server side aggregation code that glues all my javascripts and css files together into one include, and I always use the css sprites hacks to ensure only one image file is loaded per page. I get much much much better performance this way, but on the other hand I'm working with much lighter load compared to what you must be serving here.

Anyway mate, I'm sure you've spent a *lot* longer thinking about these issues than I have, this was just my $0.02 (or less) worth.

Keep up the good work, your page is brilliant!

Re: Usenet (Score: 2, Interesting)

by on 2014-03-12 01:52 (#GP)

Can't this be solved by the judicious use of a killfile?

Re: Usenet (Score: 2, Interesting)

by on 2014-03-12 11:38 (#H0)

Often it can be. But if the troll(s) is deliberately trying to disrupt the group, then they change their name and email often (nymshifting) to avoid killfiles. They can also copy the nym of another poster. Another trick is to post flame-bait to another group with the 'followups' set to the 'target' group. Naive users in the other group who respond have their replies sent to the target group, resulting in a lot of off-topic flames from new users.

Re: Nice work, (Score: 5, Funny)

by on 2014-03-11 18:50 (#FT)

Meanwhile, Pipedot seems to be relatively drama-free. How refreshing.

Does anyone want to talk about gun control?

Re: Nice work, (Score: 5, Funny)

by on 2014-03-11 19:52 (#FZ)

When you pry FreeBSD from my cold dead installation CD!

Re: Nice work, (Score: 5, Funny)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-03-11 20:30 (#G4)

Ha ha - I saw an emacs vs vi post above, too. Anyone want to talk about whether GPL or BSD is the better license and therefore responsible for why either Obamacare or the Teaparty is responsible for the issue of why Windows 8 is a better user interface than Mac OSX? [puts on flameproof battle armor].

Re: Nice work, (Score: 5, Informative)

by on 2014-03-11 20:34 (#G5)

To all the Soybeans who looked at this site yesterday and cried "waaa, no anonymous posting," that little bit of functionality seems to have been fixed.

Re: Nice work, (Score: 1)

by on 2014-03-14 03:52 (#J0)

Nope, it's not fixed, as I had to register an account to post.

So, looks like both new sites have their own issues, still.

Re: Nice work, (Score: 5, Insightful)

by on 2014-03-11 19:25 (#FW)

I agree 1000%. All hail Pipedot!

Re: Nice work, (Score: 5, Insightful)

by on 2014-03-11 20:55 (#G7)

I really love that everybody can mod the comments here, and number of mod points is unlimited.
I really love to see pipedot take off, its just awesome in all aspects.

And good luck to SoylentNews as well of course.

Re: Nice work, (Score: 3, Interesting)

by on 2014-03-12 08:22 (#GW)

I really love that everybody can mod the comments here, and number of mod points is unlimited.

With the small community that we have currently this is the only way to do it, but my experience with Reddit is that this does not scale up. Frequently on Reddit I find myself wishing for the independent moderation of the old site - the fact that mod points are limited means that people think a bit before throwing them out, and the fact that there's a cap of five means that one viewpoint can't be voted up to tower over all the others.

Re: Nice work, (Score: 1)

by on 2014-03-13 20:20 (#HV)

Indeed, I presume the unlimited mod points is a temporary measure. If it was not, the scoring system would have to cap out much higher. The site that pipedot is inspired by really did - and still does for the moment - have the best moderation system I have yet seen.

Re: Nice work, (Score: 1)

by on 2014-03-14 13:01 (#JA)

It could scale, make the pseudocode "var modpointValue = totalCommentsNumber / userbaseNumber" stick to some fixed ratio close to what it is now. Change the variables to what makes most sense. Define it per article if necessary.

This comment is two days late, influential people might not see it, please spread the idea and modify as needed.

Re: Nice work, (Score: -1, Flamebait)

by on 2014-03-11 19:54 (#G0)

>pitchfork-wielding nerds is no way to start a business.

It seems you are the misguided one. This isn't a business. "Businesses" and "members" (of a community) do not mix - remember Dice and slashdot?

>This DDoS ...

It seems you're now talking out of your arse. Sorry, I didn't mean to be impolite, I meant spouting bollocks from a position of ignorance.

Are there plans for pipedot to allow non-Javascript? (Score: 3, Interesting)

by on 2014-03-12 03:04 (#GR)

Hello admins ...

Long time Slashdot user here.

Does pipedot plan to allow Classic mode where Javascript is not required, and comments can be browsed at various levels without Javascript?

Re: Are there plans for pipedot to allow non-Javascript? (Score: 5, Informative)

by on 2014-03-12 10:41 (#GY)

Yes. Goto your account settings page and uncheck the "Enable JavaScript" option. At the moment, the server-side rendering defaults to "expand everything" but the collapse logic will soon be available as a threshold setting there as well.