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Slashdot Outage Update 513

Obviously Slashdot has had some issues the past couple days. For those wondering, we inherited an aging hardware setup in the acquisition that was located physically far away from us. We made a big investment in a new hardware set up, and ran into sizable issues including a massive DDOS during the migration process. Going forward we expect much better uptime. If we inconvenienced anyone, we're sorry. If it's any consolation, it wasn't fun for us either, and our team worked non-stop for days to get Slashdot back online. With our new infrastructure in place, we will be dedicating a lot of time and resources this year to improving Slashdot.
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Slashdot Outage Update

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  • Also (Score:5, Funny)

    by whipslash ( 4433507 ) Works for Slashdot on Sunday March 04, 2018 @12:29AM (#56203963) Homepage Journal
    I appreciate the concern, conspiracy theories, and even the anger and vitriol. It's nice to see people care.
    • Re:Also (Score:4, Informative)

      by ls671 ( 1122017 ) on Sunday March 04, 2018 @12:53AM (#56204051) Homepage

      whipslash for editor role please!

      • Well, I'm a big fan of Whiplash (the movie) and Slash (the guitarist) ; so Whipslash is an happy agglomerate of the two + editor... nice!
    • by TopSpin ( 753 )

      It's nice to see people care.

      We care. Thank you for the effort.

      Also, Unicode!

      • by ls671 ( 1122017 )

        I don`t trust Unicode to run natively on any systems that I manage. Of course, those systems support Unicode at the application level if needed although.

    • I'm not saying it was aliens, but....

    • I've been active on Slashdot for many years. This is my second account, my new account only five years old or so. I have an affection for this site.

      I've been managing servers far longer, since 1997 or so.
      I've owned two hosting companies and consulted for several others. I've had the opportunity to contribute code to the Apache server, the Linux kernel, and a lot of the other software we all use. I've been writing code in Perl, like Slashdot uses, the whole time. I was once the only person allowed to tou

      • "whipslash" is Logan Abbott [], President of SourceForge, Slashdot, and others. He said, "I appreciate the concern, conspiracy theories, and even the anger and vitriol. It's nice to see people care."

        Slashdot is extremely important to the technology community.

        What Ray Morris said in the parent comment seems reasonable to me.
    • Part of that cost-recovery-based financial model that I recommended Slashdot consider (a couple of years ago) would help minimize the impact of whatever the problems were. Because the ongoing costs of features would be divided up on a per-feature basis, the system would be naturally designed to lose functionality in a gradual way. Unfunded features would always need to be ready to be turned off...

      So for I haven't found any details about the apparently ongoing problems, or I missed such a story, but it appea

    • Thanks for all the hard work you guys do providing this service!

      To the complainers about Slashdot, I always say:

      "Slashdot is free . . . and worth every penny I pay for it!"

      Slashdot is as good as we, the participants and contributors, make it!

  • by mcclungsr ( 74737 ) on Sunday March 04, 2018 @12:31AM (#56203975) Homepage

    It's nice to have /. back.

  • by Karmashock ( 2415832 ) on Sunday March 04, 2018 @12:38AM (#56203985)

    You are appreciated.

  • by surfdaddy ( 930829 ) on Sunday March 04, 2018 @12:44AM (#56204009)

    I've been coming here for over 12 years. Always interesting, always insightful. We appreciate you. It's a rough world out there, sorry about the DDOS.

    • Thank you
    • by caseih ( 160668 )

      Been coming here for 20 years now (hard to believe how the time has gone). Likewise, thank you, keep up the good work. Although I must say the last couple of days have been a bit more productive! ;)

      • Thanks! Glad to have you around
      • Been coming here for 20 years now (hard to believe how the time has gone). Likewise, thank you, keep up the good work. Although I must say the last couple of days have been a bit more productive! ;)

        Tell me about it....And I'm in the 20+ years club, too.

        Hey, never mind that "As our way of thanking you for your positive contributions to Slashdot, you are eligible to disable advertising" box; I'm happy to give /. the impression revenues. But would you mind sending me a few of the old servers? They'd have great retirements as historically-significant World Community Grid space heaters!

        BigBlockMopar, aka. 71911
        515 Somerset Street West
        Ottawa, ON
        K1R 5J9

        I'm glad you're back up, guys. Missed you.

  • by myid ( 3783581 )

    Whipslash and Slashdot, welcome back.

    Can I make a request? If someone down-votes a post, I'd like the down-voter's user id to be added to a list of down-voters for that post. Then if you move your mouse over the post's score (ex: "Score:0"), I'd like the list of that post's down-voters to appear in a small pop-up window.

    Hopefully listing the down-voters for a post would discourage people from down-voting it because they don't agree with it (vs. because the down-voter thought the post was useless or harmful)

    • That's a possibility- thanks for the suggestion. Anyone else have an opinion on this?
      • Yes, if an account consistently downvotes far more than upvotes they should receive even less mod points. We need to mod up what is good or important, not downvote what we don't like. This promotes more discussion instead of burying comments.
        • There should be enough data to run some statistical analysis on how a moderator moderates.

          If someone is consistently labeling a certain user or marks posts as "Troll" when it's eventually a +3 then give less weight to their moderation ability.

          or "Slashdot uses AI to moderate comments".

          • Also not a bad idea.
          • The data could be used to determine how many negative mod points you get. Perfect karma long time user 15 mod points? Full downvote potential (for first time). Newer account, less karma 5 mod points limit to 1-2 downvotes. Not so great karma, 5 mod points, history of over negatives - sorry no downvotes for you.
        • by vux984 ( 928602 )

          Isn't there already meta-moderation? Isn't that already what it is there for?

      • by EzInKy ( 115248 ) on Sunday March 04, 2018 @01:13AM (#56204147)

        Seems to me that such a system would discourage honest moderation and only serve to create "mod" wars. There is a reason why voting is a private matter and does not subject to voters to public criticism.

        Besides, if everyone with mod points browsed at -1 as recommended most abuses would be corrected for. Slashdot has been part of my daily life for over 20 years and I would hate to see it devolve into petty popularity contests.

      • Sorry but that sounds like a witch-hunt.

        Moderation is supposed to be anonymous.

      • Can I make a request? If someone down-votes a post, I'd like the down-voter's user id to be added to a list of down-voters for that post. Then if you move your mouse over the post's score (ex: "Score:0"), I'd like the list of that post's down-voters to appear in a small pop-up window.

        That's a possibility- thanks for the suggestion. Anyone else have an opinion on this?

        Yeah. Bad idea. It would breed retaliation.

        Better to keep the moderators anonymous, and let meta-moderating take care of abusive moderators.

        Also, the algorithm that awards mod-points can be adjusted to reflect someone's ratio of down-mods to up-mods.

        No matter what kind of system you set up, there will be users who figure out how to "game" it. Maybe some sentiment analysis and machine learning could be used to find such users, and reduce their chance of moderating.

      • by thomst ( 1640045 ) on Sunday March 04, 2018 @02:35AM (#56204391) Homepage

        whipslash inquired:

        Anyone else have an opinion on this?

        I do. It's a terrible idea.

        Revealing the identities of moderators will merely give the trolls specific targets on which to concentrate their venom, without providing the community with any benefit in compensation. The current system, which prevents moderators from posting in a thread they moderate sort of works. De-anonymizing those mods, in addition to preventing the moderator from posting under his/her actual identity, will simply further discourage those of us who get mod points from using them at all. It's just Not A Good Idea.

        If you want to do something actually useful about the moderation system, try revisiting the existing categories, instead. For instance, why do we need both Troll and Flamebait? They're essentially synonyms, after all. And why isn't there a -1 Misinformed or -1 Stupid, instead? Those would actually be useful additions to the mod categories for posts that are neither Trollish nor Flamebait-y, but are, instead simply, genuinely idiotic or factually wrong, but not inflammatory or critical in nature - and they'd be a lot more on-target for those kinds of posts than -1 Overrated, n'est ce pas?

        Anyway, that's my fiftieth of a dollar. Thanks for asking ...

    • It would also allow tit-for-tat moderation by the psychopaths of the board. What a perfectly horrible idea.

  • Was it a genuine DDOS or just bugs in Cisco firmware. I worked at a place that installed a few large pieces of Cisco hardware and within weeks though they had become under a massive DDOS attack. Come to find out it was a bug that regressed in the Cisco firmware. It seems like it would make sense to me that, with new hardware, a similar issue might have occurred.
  • by ElectraFlarefire ( 698915 ) on Sunday March 04, 2018 @12:46AM (#56204017) Journal

    Just leave the UI alone during your improvements? :)
    It's good having a site that doesn't peg CPUs, consume vast amounts of bandwidth or require modern graphics cards just to render the page. :)

    • Beta isn't coming back don't worry
      • by ls671 ( 1122017 )

        Funny, I haven`t seen that so called "beta" ever once in my life, Maybe I am on some kind of whitelist or something.

        Anyway, what did it look like?

          • by Rakarra ( 112805 ) on Monday March 05, 2018 @05:13PM (#56212505)

            One of my head-desk moments back in the Beta days was a discussion I had with a Slashdot dev -- or someone who claimed to be, and I had no reason to disbelieve him since he seemed to know what he was talking about. The Ars Technica sub-headline of "change for change's sake" was pretty accurate, as this fellow was saying that websites absolutely had to go through redesigns regularly, otherwise users would get "bored" and leave. Creating something better wasn't the primary requirement as much as making something 'different' was. Honestly, that attitude was a stunning indictment of the users and UX development attitudes as well.

      • Y'know, I was starting to feel such withdrawal that I would have welcomed beta, just to have my slashdot back.

        (No, not really.)

    • by antdude ( 79039 )

      Well, it has annoying ads. /. should have a free ad version for those who (donate/pay)s?

  • Just put a bunch of electrician's tape over the circuit breaker so it can't pop out. Works every ti

    • You whippersnappers and your new fangled breakers. Why back in my day I had to put a 1 inch bolt in the fuse holder.
    • Lets not be too modern about this. How about a roofing nail in the fuse holder? Its good for 200A slow blow.

    • Just put a bunch of electrician's tape over the circuit breaker so it can't pop out. Works every ti

      Just for old-time's sake (all those cute little Millenials won't get this):

      [NO CARRIER]

  • by 0100010001010011 ( 652467 ) on Sunday March 04, 2018 @12:51AM (#56204043)

    You inherited what you did.

    Why not take this opportunity for a new code base? It's time for a "new" website to discuss on. Reddit's going through a redesign that people hate. People are fed up with Facebook and Twitter.

    Slashdot's moderation system is still hands down the best I've come across. It's even managed to handle something 4Chan and Twitter couldn't, completely anonymous posts. It's capped to prevent bandwagoning to oblivion, it gives taxonomy to a post's quality. +5 Funny is different than +5 Interesting and I wish I could sort by moderation classification as well. The random distribution means that you can't just make sockpuppets (not that it doesn't happen).

    And if you're looking for funding, I'd pay money to be a part of a website if it meant good discussion. Officially branch out away from technology.

    Let us use markdown, add unicode support, add markdown support, give it a good API.

    • A simple, "Hang tight, we got hardware issues" would have worked wonders.

      With all the ownership changes, I thought you may have been shut down.

      We are a community, please treat us as such.

      • I was silently hoping slashdot wasn't dying also. Been viewing stuff here about 17 years now.
      • by djinn6 ( 1868030 )
        Of all the sites out there, /. is one that should give us maximum transparency. Many of us have dealt with the exact same kind of problems the site has been running into.
    • by EzInKy ( 115248 )

      Reddit's going through a redesign that people hate.f

      So why have slashdot go through a redesign that people will hate? Beta was a total failure, leave well enough alone.

      • > So why have slashdot go through a redesign that people will hate? Beta was a total failure, leave well enough alone.

        Leave Slashdot and "News for Nerds" the way it is.

        Take what you've learned from Slashdot, Reddit, Digg, Fark, Facebook and make a new discussion site for Politics, etc. I'd like to see a moderated news feed and a place for discussion that isn't a newspaper's website.

      • by shanen ( 462549 )

        I've spent several years trying to figure out what anyone likes about Reddit. I've long since lost interest in Digg and Fark, and I regard any time spent on Facebook as a waste--but sometimes I sort of want to waste a bit of time.

    • 2.0 is boring. How about Beta?

    • by shanen ( 462549 )

      One of the features I'd like to see would be logarithmic scaling of the moderation. Base e, naturally.

      Another feature would be symmetric dimensions that are all more clearly orthogonal to each other. Much of the problem with Slashdot is that some of the dimensions are too subjective. One man's troll is another's provocateur of thought, but it would be easier to agree on negative politeness (and then let the people decide how important that dimension is to them).

      (No, I am NOT saying that politeness is the on

  • by bananaquackmoo ( 1204116 ) on Sunday March 04, 2018 @01:05AM (#56204103)
    Was it so hard to tell us that? You couldn't have said told us what was going on before now? Still, thanks for bringing it back.
  • by Jim Sadler ( 3430529 ) on Sunday March 04, 2018 @01:06AM (#56204107)
    I am very glad that slashdot exists and thank all for their wonderful work at slashdot.
  • Hope you will recover soon.

  • ... For those wondering, we inherited an aging hardware ...

    I know i do not speak for anyone but myself, but WTF!?!? I was not wondering about the cause. I was wondering about the non-existence of /.

    No status updates? Does /. think so little of the community they have strived to build to leave that community in complete darkness about the status of a site we want to participate in, to contribute to?

    Are we now just site hits? Or are we a community?

    Unfortunately, because of the complete lack of any status updates, I can only presume that the /. overlords th

    • We tweeted, but the site wasn't in a state where we could update it without spending significant time that we felt was better spent getting the site back up and running. Also didn't expect the outage to last as long as it did. Going forward we'll be better about updating on status if something like this ever happens again, which we hope it doesn't.
      • I checked the twitter feed (and the facebook feed), but all I saw were article postings. No status updates. I don't want my comments to be taken as just plain grief thrown at y'all. There's a problem that needs to be solved. How can /. disseminate site status when the site is down. Obviously, twitter didn't work here. Why, I don't know at the moment. You have my email address, if you want to chat about my experience offline. My bottom line: /. needs to do better. They can do better.
        • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
          +1for not keeping other social media updated. Why not have a 12h, 24h update on the other social media?
          Something above the article postings to actually tell people what slashdot was doing.
  • With all of the "Cloud Rules All!" mentality prevalent, it's interesting to note this quote from TFS: "...located physically far away from us." OK, got it! Cloud rules!
  • by fredrated ( 639554 ) on Sunday March 04, 2018 @01:14AM (#56204155) Journal

    I actually had to work yesterday! Oh the horrors!

  • Dear Slashdot Regulars, We will be doing some upgrades in the next few days. Expect various kinds of service interruptions. We expect things to be back to normal in a week.

  • by rsmith-mac ( 639075 ) on Sunday March 04, 2018 @07:50AM (#56204947)

    In an extensive and unprecedented news briefing this evening, the Council of Elders announced that they have begun a new defensive campaign against the blue world that is the third body from our local star.

    K'Nord, speaker for the Council of Elders' Planetary Land Defense Forces, elaborated:

    "For many years the blue worlders have launched probes and other devices at our glorious home world, with little success. Even when they can land their pitiful machines we have engaged in a subtle subterfuge campaign to further hobble their ability to collect information on our planet. None the less, the Council has grown tired of the annoyance posed by the blue worlders' continued attempts to reach our sweet red soil, and the undue alarm among the populace that it has created. As a result, the Council has approved a new plan to disrupt the communications of the invaders at the source, in order to render them unable to send future probes."

    Detailing the plan, K'Nord revealed that the signals intelligence arm of the Defensive Forces had successfully accessed the exceptionally primitive data networks of the blue worlders, using their own equipment against them to block communications and disrupt the ongoing functionality of the tribals' society. Several communications nodes were rendered inert in this fashion, including those identified with the codenames SourceForge and Slashdot. Defensive analysts believe that these nodes are among the most important to the invaders' society, and that with their failure, the invaders will be unable to complete even the most basic of calculations to reach the planet.

    "The pathetic blue worlders have proven time and time again that they are entirely reliant on machines for even the most basic of functions. Without these they are as helpless as an infant chirocican; their natural cognitive abilities pale in comparison to even our least extraordinary younglings."

    When a junior reporter noted that taking a proactive stance against the third planet could attract further undesirable attention from the invaders, K'Nord quickly isolated the traitor and had their gelsacs carefully eviscerated, for use as wetware in the construction of further communication disruption devices.

"God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh." - Voltaire