Unplanned downtime

Due to hardware issues this site has seen some unplanned downtime of late.  The server that was hosting this site (and providing smtp/imap/dns/ircbot services for ftwr.co.uk) started playing up and would randomly lockup hard.  After a few days of trying to resolve these hardware issues I decided that it was time for a two pronged response – build a new server to replace the current one and start to move some of the services off onto a VPS.

I had been planning for a while to get a slicehost vps server to move all the web properties onto so as to have more bandwidth available for visitors – this site was shifting 5G of traffic a month up my adsl connection on it’s own!

Hopefully all of this site should be running fine now I have got apache2/mysql tuned to run in the limited environment of my 256M slice and wp-super-cache up and running.

Please let me know if anything is broken!

Pervasive wireless networks

The number of broadband providers in the UK providing free wireless routers with consumer broadband connections is leading to secured wireless networks popping up everywhere. This could be seen as a good thing, after all, at least they are all secured by default out of the box. However they seem to be very aggressive in trying to get the best channel for use to ensure that it always works for their end users. Recently this has meant that my personal wireless network which has had the airwaves to itself for the past 2.5 years has been struggling to cope with the competition. In the end the wireless router in question a Buffalo WBR-G54 has taken to dropping wireless network connections and randomly resetting causing wired network connections to drop as well.

I decided therefore to search out a replacement device with which to run my wireless network. After struggling with getting IPSEC pass through to work with the buffalo router I had already invested in a D-Link DI-604 so I decided to search for a small wireless access point to provide the wireless aspect of my home network. After a bit of research I settled on the Apple AirPort Express which seemed to provide the functionality I required. The small size was an added bonus and after my recent positive experiences with the MacBook I had purchased to replace my ageing 800Mhz Celeron laptop I felt an Apple product would be easy to use and reliable – lasting longer than the 2.5 years the previous wireless router had.

However, a small amount of research around the web lead me to a number of reports which implied that some, if not all, Airport Express routers seemed to last about 18 months of usage before giving up the ghost. After much deliberation I decided to bite the bullet and see whether the current product was up to scratch (Expect an update in a year or so when I see how well it lasts!)

The content thieves return

It seems that content theft is the current craze amongst wanabee adsense millionaires. So much so that they don’t even pay attention to the content they are stealing.
The latest culprit “WordPress Planet” @ weblog-pla.net/wp is even stealing the content of my last post about content theft! Compare the original and the stolen copy
As ever I have reported the culprit to google and expect there adsense account to die fairly soon.

Stealing content for profit.

Reviewing my referrer logs again after the recent hotlinking issues I noticed another new referrer cropping up planetwordpress.com. Taking a look at the site in question it seems to be a WordPress install aggregating the content from a lot of WordPress blogs including most of those pulled into the official and unofficial WordPress planets (planet.wordpress.org and planetwordpress.planetozh.com respectively).

The new planetwordpress.com site seems to have the sole purpose of generating money from adsense clicks based on other content which I’m sure goes against the licence I have my content under (CC Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0) and as such I have contacted Google to complain about the sites participation in the adsense program. Searching Google for mentions of planetwordpress.com it seems like I am not the only person to notice there content being stolen.