BlakJak's blog

The following was also sent via email to all the folks currently on file as having services with BlakJak.net....

Our server is again on the move; the folks who’ve been providing hosting for me for the last few years in Wellington are no longer offering the service as of this month and as such we’re in the process of prepping the server to be relocated.

** Relocation is to take place at 5pm on Thursday 20 January. Expected Outage Duration is up to 4 hours **.

During the outage the server will be physically uplifted and moved to a new location. This change will include a change of IP address for the server, as it’ll be moving to a new Service Provider. Once placed back online consequential DNS changes will be made to ensure that all sites and services are restored to service quickly, but there is some engineering required in this, so plenty of time is allowed for. Some prep work has already been carried out to make sure the change is as smooth as possible.

IMPORTANT: If your DNS service is not hosted @ blakjak.net and/or David or I don’t directly administer your DNS server settings for your domain names, you’ll need to make contact with me ASAP so we can get the DNS records changed. This can happen anytime from now on, so please email or call me.

If your site remains down after 9pm tomorrow night, please get in touch so we can investigate. We expect to have everything up and running before then.

There are some further changes planned for the future for several of the services hosted, you will be contacted individually if you’ll be affected but the ongoing goal of course is to minimise downtime and maximise site performance and reliability, within the means available to us.

Apologies for the relatively short notice on this change, we had originally intended to occur next week but for a variety of reasons we’ve opted to take advantage of a window of opportunity that exists for tomorrow.

Cheers
The Admins.

Good ol' Java at it again!

Yessir, this is a great installer for Java's recent update! It even achieves 'smartarse' status.

The left hand panel comes up as you let the Install Wizard do it's thang. "You have successfully installed Java" with a tickbox (ticked by default) that says 'Restart my browser to complete the installation', and a close button.

With several tabs of work-related content open, I don't want to close my browser right now, and figure (like many 'restart required' installers) that i'll simply restart my browser in a few minutes time.

Oh no. Not that simple. Deselecting the tickbox results in the right hand panel popping up. Can anyone explain for me why a full computer restart would be required if I failed to restart my browser when demanded?

At this point I had to laugh; what's the point in providing a deselect tickbox if you're then going to in effect use scaremongering tactics on your users?

I closed down Firefox and then clicked OK. IE was still there (whoopsie) and when that restarted It sent me directly to the 'verify your version of Java' website (instead of opening the tabs i'd had open prior. Interestingly, IE is not my default browser. I clicked 'home' and went on with my life.

In hindsight this probably doesn't seem as bad as it sounds, however, I found the above pretty damn rediculous and actually somewhat rude...


Fire Police Constable on-duty at the scene of a collapsed frontage to a commercial property in Westmere, early this afternoon.

I just want to say that 'dmidecode' is one of the most singularly useful commands i've come across in a while.
Not something you necessarily want every day, but, well, pipe it to less from a terminal and enjoy :-)

One of the many tweets flying around in the last hour or so has been a story about Google Screwing over one of their clients to the tune of Thousands of $$$ because of some obscure contract violations.

From a cold email:

"After reviewing our records, we've determined that your AdSense account poses a risk of generating invalid activity. Because we have a responsibility to protect our AdWords advertisers from inflated costs due to invalid activity, we've found it necessary to disable your AdSense account. Your outstanding balance and Google's share of the revenue will both be fully refunded to the affected advertisers."

... through to no real explanation as to what 'invalid activity' is ...

... through to a crazy analysis of the legal situation:

"The Adsense contract is a beautiful piece of work. One of my subscribers is a lawyer. She looked at the contract and said “wow – this is a beautiful and incredibly expensive piece of work. These guys employ the best.” Her advice? Don’t bother fighting Google.

The contract is designed so that it is almost impossible not to break the Google rules. If you disclose site data then you are in breach. YouTube discloses just the sort of site data that would have me thrown out – but YouTube is Google which is Adsense."

Seriously. Click through and read it. And think about the impact that this has had on the guy, who had absolutely no idea he was doing anything wrong. Is in fact possible not to do wrong? Does this mean that everyone using AdSense is ultimately operating thanks to the good will of Google? And that Google can screw them over, without warning, and quite happily claim it's within their rights?

The entire situation makes a mockery of Google's 'Do no Evil' stance, and I for one am even more put off. The risk of the "cloud" is the amount of dependency you wind up having on it. There's a very good reason I keep the majority of my stuff, under my own direct control, this includes my income.... but notwithstanding this position, Google needs a rocket for screwing over an innocent, loyal customer.

Example of stupidity: An AdSense customer (someone using AdSense for advertising and thus revenue) is in breach of their contract if folks click on the links provided via AdSense and then don't purchase anything from the advertiser? REALLY? I see a run of DoS against AdSense users coming...

BlakJak.net is back and all is right with the world. Sorry for the inconvenience of a longer-than-planned power outage this morning - power was restored at around 1030.

Howdy folks - have just had a headsup that there's a need to do some maintenance on the power feed my machine is plugged into. I'll be downing the server at about 8am tomorrow morning and expect everything to be back up and running within an hour or so.

Sorry for any inconvenience.... (again!)

The family and I attended the Birkenhead Santa Parade this year as our 'local'. They put on a good show!

I have Photos and also a brief video - it only shows the Birkenhead VFB Appliances... one camera couldn't do everything at once! :)

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Sorry for the inconvenience, things should be stable for a while now. :-)

[EDIT: Scheduled Outage to move the server will now occur tomorrow (Friday) between 0815 and 1000hrs]

Hi Folks - sorry for a couple of unscheduled outages this morning and the further outage yet to occur later this afternoon.
The people I host with are moving between premesis in Wellington and in the prep for this managed to drop the power to my server a couple of times this morning (!) - a bit later today there will be a 30-to-40 minute outage while the server is deliberately downed, physically moved between addresses and the network is stood up at the new site. Hopefully that'll be the end of it for a while. ;-)

Moving premesis and keeping things operational is a problematic evolution at the best of times, so whilst I have assurances impact will be kept to a minimum, we also know that patience is going to be needed until things are stable at the new site.

Sorry for any inconvenience - please note i knew nothing of this until an hour ago! :)

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