Burningbird Technology

You might see this

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

You won’t see this. It doesn’t exist.

Or at least, it doesn’t exist – yet – in the new Burningbird home, but does in the old.

I had hoped to be farther along in the transfer, but limitations in the software in the shared environment are slowing things. Rather than being able to log into each system using SSH and FTP files directly, I’m having to download them to my PC and then upload them to the new site. The first of many limitations I’ll face moving from the dedicated server to the shared environment.

However, once moved, the limitations will be offset by not having to worry about constant software upgrades or installing patches. A good trade, all in all.

I did implement the new file system naming here in the old site to make sure it would work on the new. Worked beautifully. You have to love Movable Type templates.

Yes I am aware that my recent comment/trackback functionality is broken with the new naming system. I am looking at solutions, or the possibility of using something else on the new site. You’ll need to click through to the individual page for now to see these items.

I’ve also added a link to the PostCon RDF file for each individual page. Right now all the link does is pull up the RDF meta file. When I’m finished, it will provide either a raw RDF feed, or a prettified HTML feed. I still want to see what RDF vocabularies created elsewhere I can incorporate in. If you see anything, let me know. The files are created by a template – let me know if you want a copy.

I’m itching to get into the design on some of the pages, I’m in a re-design mood. First things first, get everyone safely moved and working, and then I can play. Since I have 9 webloggers, and 15 weblogs (10 of which are MT), with about 23 domains, I think I have enough to do.

I can’t believe what a difference cleaning out the old Burningbird made – from 3000+ entries down to about 1100 or so. Most of these were drafts never posted, or entries used for the photo blogs. And the new naming system is based on category and title – I don’t care much for the date-based directory.

The kicker is going to be doing a string substitution in the database to replace the old photograph URLs with the new one for Can’t do that, though, until the DNS change for the domain makes it through. I have a feeling this is going to be slow, and we’re going to be in for interesting times this week.

DNS. You can see start to see increasing problems with DNS. For those who asked about my prediction for a rough year next year, here’s what I wrote in an email (with some edits):

Why bad? It’s a contentious US election year, with a much more web enabled populace, not only in the US but throughout the rest of the world. More software is being built with holes in it, managed by more web holders who know little or nothing about web technology. ISPs, to stay competitive, are adding more people to individual servers so they can cut costs. And more sites like slashdot and other sites that serve up mass traffic attacks act as a DoS because we just can’t handle any variation in established access patterns. Nothing has room to give.

As more and more webloggers voice an opinion on political issues, or religion, or even spammers, more and more sites will become the targets of DoS attacks. But this doesn’t just burden the site – it burdens the entire system.

Other forms of ‘junk’ connectivity are being outlawed, including junk mail and phone solicitation. The only avenues left to the swarms determined to separate us from our money is door to door, and your computer.

Add to this an increasing privacy issue: with governments becoming more aware of how web enabled their populaces are. My site being scanned by the California tax organization is just one example. And other governments will block, but they’ll use our own paranoia to do so. For instance, some of the original comment spammers had a Chinese IP address, and people were blocking entire networks of Chinese readers because of it.

Which leads to blacklisting. Blacklisting is going to grow as a problem, which means huge blocks of IP addresses are going to get into SPEWs and others lists like this, tainting them so they can’t be used again. IP addressing is enough of a problem now without this.

(Do you know that once an IP is ‘dead’ to a spammer, its released back for some poor old soul to use for their legitimate site? Do you know how long it can take to clear an IP address from all the lists?)

To protect against the bad guys we’re loading our systems down with software that checks this list or that, lists of which are growing exponentially in size. Each of us doing so burdens already over-burdened CPUs on machines holding more and more people, each added to keep costs down in a Net, which is becoming increasingly cheaper to get into, but still being supported on the same architecture that existed years ago.

Used to be you needed to be a smart hacker to cause problems. No longer – not with today’s new user friendly destructiveness. There is DoS software you can download and run without any programming experience. There is software you can get from the W3C that will allow you to post comment spam. And people are hurting themselves – they still won’t stop opening attachments!

How about IM, chat rooms, IRC, moblogging, audio files, video files – do you think that bandwidth grows out of thin air?

We webloggers have to accept that our own actions are adding to the increased burden – very few sites update, check, or send bots out like webloggers. Tell me, how many times were your index.xml and index.rdf files accessed in this last hour? We’re putting significant burdens on the system in comparison to our numbers.

And all of this hits us at our most vulnerable spot – the DNS and the routers.

All in all what we have is a badly educated populace using the Net more and more, buggy software, smarter hackers, and a great deal of overreaction. And just to make things fun – lets put voting online.

I was glad to see I’m not the only one talking about the problems of blacklists by URL or IP – Mark Pilgrim has also covered it, and many of the same concerns I’ve had. (And I love Mark’s new header.)

I’ve already had two ‘poisen pill’ blacklist entries with URLs for and Mark talks about reactions to his writing that are similiar to what I’ve had – why am I saying this negative stuff? Where’s my solutions?

You want a solution? Drop your weblog, sell your computer, have the electrical company turn off electricity to your home, or better yet – move to a cabin on a mountaintop somewhere. Use paper and pen, and get yourself a carrier pigeon – the spammers haven’t gotten to them yet.

I’m not dooming and glooming to scare people away from the Net, but more to get people to realize that comment spammers happen, down times happen, s__t happens – but overreaction just makes it worse.

And knowledge. Knowledge is power in this environment. The more you know, the better equipped you’ll be to ride the rough tides without getting wet. Speaking of which, I added a new For Poets site: MySql/SQL for Poets.

Back to work. Hoo-rha.

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