How to bring down a web server through no fault of your own


My account at my hosting company got suspended the other night. It was actually a sickening feeling the first time I saw it. I was logging in to another site to do some updates, and saw my lovingly crafted work replaced with an unfriendly “This account has been suspended” message. I did a bit of checking and found all my sites showing the same message. A blog article from about a year ago was shared on Reddit, and it seems it got a fair bit of exposure. My hosting company sent me this email, showing that %CPU and %Memory were very high for a sustained period:

As you probably aware, here at Just Host we proactively monitor all our servers to ensure that our clients websites are loading as fast as possible at all times. During this routine monitoring we have found that your account is utilizing an excessive amount of system resources, and we have been forced to suspend your site as per our terms and
conditions ’10% CPU/MEM/MySQL Policy’

For your reference, here is a copy of your account usage report:
##########User Domain % CPU % MEM MySQL Processes

|xxxx |vycanismajoris.org             |17.47|32.76|0.7   |
| Top Process | 36.0 | /usr/bin/php /home/vycanis1/public_html/brian.hoover.net.au/blog/index.php |
| Top Process | 17.2 | /usr/bin/php /home/vycanis1/public_html/brian.hoover.net.au/blog/index.php |
| Top Process | 14.5 | /usr/bin/php /home/vycanis1/public_html/brian.hoover.net.au/blog/index.php |
##########
Just Host offer unlimited hosting space and unlimited bandwidth, but as per our terms we will suspend any website which exceeds our 10% CPU/MEM/MySQL policy. We hope that you understand our position in ensuring that we provide the best possible service. In order to continue to provide this high quality service, you will need to upgrade to a dedicated server, which will give you an abundance of additional resources and speed up your website.

As a loyal Just Host customer we have arranged for you to receive a special deal on a dedicated server with SingleHop, (our trusted dedicated partner) who will assist you with everything you need to make your switch a smooth transaction.

 

My whole account got suspended, not just this blog web site. The account includes twelve other web sites hosted myself and for friends, plus a couple charities. POP and IMAP were okay, it seems, but SMTP authentication was disabled which was strange. I guess they wanted me to get the above email but not necessarily reply to them.

Long story short, they wanted me to move to a $150 a month dedicated server, just for me. Hey, there’s nothing I’d love more. It’d be a great playground to experiment and do things with but I can’t spend that much coin on Interwebz right now. So I pulled that article and streamlined some SSIs and other invisible gizmos just to get this and the rest of my sites up and running again.

Check out the pageviews:

I guess I can’t complain. I’m not paying all that much for hosting and I can understand their need to ensure that all sites and customers on that web server are functioning, but I would rather they take a different approach in their email. “We’re suspending you. Good day, sir. We don’t want to hear from you again” is a bit harsh.

Been having too much fun on Google+

Wow, been a while since I posted anything worthwhile. I’ve been spending too much time on Google+ and have been a bit distracted by it. It finally came out of beta a couple weeks ago, and notwithstanding some idiotic articles about it, Google plus has been pretty fun to use so far. I’ve been involved in a couple Hangouts, been involved in the “Perth Plussers” circle, and found some interesting people “nearby”. I also use it to automatically back up all the photos I take on my phone, and it lets me share them any time later on. I really can’t wait for it to grow and adapt. For those who want games, it’s got ‘em but so far I haven’t received any game invitations so it’s all good.

I’ve got a few unfinished blog entries I can pick up and finish off, so I guess I’ll have to get cracking over the next few days. I usually have a couple finished and ready to go in the pipeline but the cupboard is bare until the 5th of November.

I’m popular with the Preop Transexuals

Status

I’ve had about 150 hits since Monday night resulting from google/bing searches for “Rebecca Twigley”, probably as a result of the Brownlow. I’ve also had about the same for “Preop Transexual” and “Miriam”. Is she in a new show or something?

I don’t know how I feel about my blog getting hits on “Preop Transexual”.

World of Tanks: My new favourite game

I realise I’m probably late to the game, but I’ve recently discovered World of Tanks. I find it therapeutic to log in crush my enemies, see them driven before me, and hear the lamentations of their women.

World of Tanks is essentially a world… of tanks! Every player drives a WW2-era tank and competes with a team of 15-or so other tanks to beat the other team by destroying them all or by capturing their base.

There are different classes of tanks including Light, Medium and Heavy Tanks, Tank Destroyers and Self Propelled Guns, my favourite. There are also different tiers of each of these tanks drawn from German, Soviet, American and Chinese designs. You start the game off with a Tier 1 tank which is essentially a tin can on wheels with a BB gun and a Semaphore comms system and you work your way towards larger, faster, better armed and armoured tanks. There’s 15-20 maps to test your strategy and tactics.

I’m currently working my way up the American SPG line and a have an M41 artillery with a 155mm Howitzer. I’ve paid my dues in the M7 Priest, which has a smaller gun. The M7 Priest is a case of being a small fish in a big pond, and more often than not I’d be against monster tanks I had no hope of destroying. For example, when you fire on a tank with 300mm of armour and your gun only has a 50mm maximum penetration, you can’t really hope to do much damage. But I managed to work up to the M41 with a larger gun and I can one-shot most Medium Tanks and give a Heavy Tank a bad headache. Eventually I’d like to get the T92, the biggest gun in the game which can kill anything it hits with one shot. It has a couple disadvantages, the main one being the 40 second reload time so you really have to make each shot count.

I often go back to my trusty M2 Light Tank, as these smaller tier Light Tanks are only matched against other Lights. It’s a sweet spot where the M2 is often the best tank on the map and it’s fun not to have to worry about higher tier Heavy Tanks which can run over you without feeling a bump.

When the game starts you have 30 seconds to chat and work out strategy with your team mates. I’ve found that these lower tier games are joined by noobs, and if I can convince them to follow some basic instructions then our team will more often than not come out with the win. You can usually tell the Rambo noobs, as they’re the first to die.

The game has a reward system based on hits, kills, detection etc, as well as awards and various medals. I have a few “Top Gun” awards, and a handful of “Confederate” medals, meaning I hit at least 6 enemies who were later destroyed by others. I’m quite proud of my “Kamikaze” award, for destroying a higher tier tank by ramming it.

Games go a maximum of 15 minutes, and there’s usually at least 5000 people playing at any one time so there’s no waiting for another game. I’d recommend World of Tanks to anyone interested in short, fast, tactical rewards-based team games.

Facebook Slacktivism

OK, here we go:

Shhhhhh!!!! Ok pretty ladies, it’s that time of year again, in support of breast cancer awareness!! So we all remember last years game of writing your bra color as your status?…..or the way we like to have our handbag handy? Remember last year so many people took part that it made national news and, the constant updating of status reminded everyone why we’re doing this and helped raise awareness!! Do NOT tell any males what the status’ mean, keep them guessing!! And please copy and paste (in a message )this to all your female friends to see if we can make a bigger fuss this year than last year!!! I did my part… now YOUR turn ! Go on ladies…and let’s have all the males guessing! .. It’s time to confuse the men again (not that its really that hard to do ) Everyone knows it makes their brains work wonders on what we’re talkin about!! The idea is to choose the month you were born and the day you were born. Pass this on to the GIRLS ONLY and lets see how far it reaches around. The last one about the bra went round all over the world.
So you’ll write… I’m (your birth month) weeks and I’m craving (your birth date)!!! as your status. Example: Feb 14th: I’m 2 weeks and craving Chocolate mints!!

January-1week, Febuary-2 weeks, March-3 weeks, April-4 weeks, May-8 weeks, June-9 weeks, July-10 weeks, August-12 weeks, September-13 weeks, October-14 weeks, November-16 weeks, December-18 weeks.

Days of the month: 1-Skittles, 2-Starburst, 3-Kit-Kat, 4-M&M’s, 5-Galaxy, 6-Crunchie, 7-Dairy Milk, 8-Lollipop, 9-Peanut Butter Cups, 10-Meat Balls, 11-Twizzlers, 12-Bubble Gum, 13-Hershey’s Kisses, 14-Chocolate Mints, 15-Twix, 16-Resse’s Fastbreak, 17-Fudge, 18-Cherry Jello, 19-Milkyway, 20-Pickels, 21-Creme Eggs, 22-Skittles, 23-Gummy Bears, 24-Gummy Worms, 25-Strawberry Pop Tarts, 26-Starburst, 27-Mini Eggs, 28-Kit-Kat Chunky, 29-Double Chocolate Chip Crunchy Cookies, 30-Smarties, 31-Chocolate Cake

Let’s raise Breast Cancer awareness, girls!!!

But don’t let people know what you want them to be aware of or even that they’re supposed to be aware of anything at all.  I mean how do they expect this to work? At best a guy will see the status and go “What the hell are you on about?” and the girl will say “It’s a secret!” At that point the guy will cease giving a shit, trust me.

But I know the answer already. It’s not supposed to work. It’s just an excuse for some people to act dumb by pretending to do something important. No, they don’t really do any “harm”. But these people do it so they can give themselves a pat on the back because “Hey I just raised awareness of <disease that everyone knows about anyway>, good for me. Donate actual money? Screw that. Did you see my Facebook? I posted my shoe size and bra color. I did my part.”

These campaigns bug me because they are inadvertently sexualizing cancer. To get attention or “raise awareness” they’re posting comments that are meant to be taken as innuendo. Because of where the cancer occurs, there’s this inability to disconnect between a potentially fatal disease and “LOL Boobs“.

And really, what the hell does “raising awareness” do at this point? Is there anyone left who doesn’t know how widespread and dangerous breast cancer is? Are they suddenly going to donate because they read a status from a Facebook friend where she implied she was pregnant? What do pregnancy cravings and birthdays have to do with breast cancer?

It’s kind of a sore spot with me.

Three, no longer the magic number

Moving out of town has had it’s disadvantages, not in the least of which has been phone coverage. I’ve been with Three since they started in 2003, and my phone/data usage has meant that my average spend per month has been under $8. This includes a 100MB per month data pack at $5. Data coverage on Three has been spotty at best in the CBD, and non-exiting in Mandurah where I’m always “roaming”. Even though it’s annoying I’ve lived with it because, hey, I’m a patient man.

But since moving office last week I encountered the straw that broke the camel’s back. I don’t any coverage in our new building on St Georges Terrace in the CBD.

So I’ve changed to Amaysim which is basically an Optus reseller. My monthly spend is going to be higher, but at least I’ll be able to use my phone on a more reliable high speed network. And with 4GB of data, I’m seriously thinking of dropping our Home Internet plan and tethering off the handset. If I put a minimum of effort in, I know I can keep my data under 4GB per month.

So if you’re looking for a good deal on Mobile voice and data, try out Amaysim and tell them I sent you. Your first month will be discounted and I’ll get a kickback for referring you!

WordPress upgrade status: SUCCESS!

I upgraded from 2.9.0 to 3.2.1, after deploying a couple test sites to try the procedure out on first, then making multiple backups of the core, the plugins, the themes the images and files, the scripts and static web pages.

I left nothing to chance.

Not that any of you will see anything different, but WordPress 3 provides some extra fancy stuff behind the scenes.

Google+: a better social networking framework

OK, been playing with Google+ for a day or two. Once I get a critical mass of friends over there, I plan on dumping Facebook. Well, maybe not dumping it but I don’t really want to actively use it any more, like I’m over it.

If you’re new to Google+, I have a couple suggestions:

  1. Change your default email notifications – By default Google+ sends you notifications for anything involving your new account. Go to the Google+ section of your Google Accounts settings page and change what gets sent to your email and what gets sent to your phone. Once you hit triple digits in your active Google+ friends, it might start to get overwhelming.
  2. Change your profile’s field-sharing settings – For each field in your Google Profile, you choose what to share and how far to share it. As above, go to the Profile and Privacy section in your Google Accounts settings and set it how you want it.
  3. Disable Resharing – Sure you can choose who you share stuff (photos, posts) but you can stop others passing this on by disabling Resharing. This is set on a post-by-post basis, but will likely be found as a default in the future.

Oh, and add the Android App to your phone for that mobile experience.

So, come on over to the smart side with Google+. Look me up and add me to your circle of friends!

What’s the time in Boston?

You know, as much as I’ve derided Twitter over the last couple years, it really isn’t all that bad now that I’ve started using it.

Granted, since Twitter is the world’s largest intellectual toilet bowl, you do get a lot of shit. But you occasionally get gems like these:

Yep, that’s Mike Finke who, like any regular traveler at an airport, whipped out his device and Tweeted that he’d arrived (I can’t believe I just used that word…. “Tweeted”). Only this wasn’t from gate 17 after a 14 hour flight across the Pacific… it was from the Kennedy Space Center after a two week mission on the Space Shuttle! Astronauts are just like everyone else, I guess.

And this is Ron Garan, part of Expedition 27/28 on the International Space Station which STS134 was visiting. He watched the landing From Spaaaaaace!

Also, I’ve been retweeted twice in a row. Here’s my latest after watching the Canucks get humiliated in Boston:

Retweets certainly get around fast.

Too bad for Luongo, one of the heroes of Team Canada in the Vancouver Olympics. Series is now tied at 2-2 (at the time of writing this) as they head back to Vancouver. I hope they win. I need a new Vancouver jersey to replace my old one to commemorate. It’s the only current Canadian team I don’t have.