Problems with GF

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Re: Problems with GF

Postby Kevin Solway » Sat Apr 19, 2008 1:57 am

Latest news is that there are a lot of "Denial of Service" attacks going on at the moment, due to vulnerabilities in a popular web gallery script. That may explain why the site has been performing badly lately.

On the other hand, after all the trouble with webhosts we've had lately, I don't know what to believe.
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Re: Problems with GF

Postby Dan Rowden » Sat Apr 19, 2008 8:48 am

My connection is crappy in general, but I've not experienced any problems apart from minor delays which I ascribe to my connection anyway.
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Re: Problems with GF

Postby Elizabeth Isabelle » Sat Apr 19, 2008 10:28 am

Nothing horrid lately here either.
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Re: Problems with GF

Postby Dan Rowden » Sat Apr 19, 2008 10:59 am

Really? You mustn't be reading much ;)
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Re: Problems with GF

Postby Carl G » Sat Apr 26, 2008 2:16 am

The server seems unable to consistently perform simple functions, in the last 24 hours, such as load a page.
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Re: Problems with GF

Postby Dan Rowden » Sat Apr 26, 2008 10:21 am

Actually all of Kevin's domains have been virtually unreachable in that time.
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Re: Problems with GF

Postby Kevin Solway » Sun Apr 27, 2008 1:49 pm

Yes, I'm aware of the issue. Even though we've moved to a new webhost (Hostgator) it's seems we've been unlucky in the lottery of life.

You can read a discussion on the issue here.

On shared servers, which includes virtual servers, your fate is in the hands of the gods. I've even heard of people with dedicated servers who have a lot of downtime, although I'd like to think that was less common.
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Re: Problems with GF

Postby Jason » Fri Oct 31, 2008 1:47 pm

I noticed that for the "The Perfect Woman?" thread, the index currently shows the last post as being from me, but in reality the last post was by Alex.
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Re: Problems with GF

Postby Dan Rowden » Fri Oct 31, 2008 1:52 pm

That's a bit odd. Maybe the database has decided not to acknowledge Alex's post. Could just be some sort of lag, too. Which is really to say I have no idea what could cause that.


[edit: fixed!]
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Re: Problems with GF

Postby Nick Treklis » Sat Nov 01, 2008 11:08 am

Dan Rowden wrote:That's a bit odd. Maybe the database has decided not to acknowledge Alex's post. Could just be some sort of lag, too. Which is really to say I have no idea what could cause that.


[edit: fixed!]


That's one bug I wouldn't want fixed!
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Re: Problems with GF

Postby Robert » Sun Mar 08, 2009 7:43 pm

When I log in, then go and try to post something, I have to log in again. It only seems to happen once, on that initial attempt to post (or preview a post). Basically, I have to log in twice.

This happens every time I come back to GF. It's not a huge deal, I just have to remember to copy all the text in the response-box area before attempting to submit, log in again when asked, then paste, submit, and it's fine.
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Re: Problems with GF

Postby Dan Rowden » Wed Mar 11, 2009 9:37 am

I'll direct Kevin's attention to this issue, Robert, as he'll have to get into the PHP code to sort it out.
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Re: Problems with GF

Postby Robert » Wed Mar 11, 2009 7:06 pm

Dan, it only seems to happen like this:
I arrive at the site, not logged in. I browse the topics and decide I want to post a reply to something, so I click on the "post reply" button, which then brings up the login page. So I log in, then go back automatically to the previous page and post my response. When I hit send (or preview), the log in page comes back up again.

But if I come to the forum and log in directly, browse the topics and then decide to post, it works fine.

I'm mostly using Safari on a mac, if that's any help.
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Re: Problems with GF

Postby Dan Rowden » Wed Mar 11, 2009 8:14 pm

Ok, well, that doesn't happen for me if I do things that way so your OS and browser may be a factor. They may process the PHP code differently perhaps.
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Re: Problems with GF

Postby Nick Treklis » Wed Apr 15, 2009 8:45 am

What's the deal with the huge wave of spammers the forum has been getting hit with recently? Any end in sight?
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Re: Problems with GF

Postby Dan Rowden » Wed Apr 15, 2009 3:35 pm

It's become a swarm, no doubt. We're discussing it as you post - sort of. i.e. yes, we've noticed. We're making registration by admin to see how that helps.
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Re: Problems with GF

Postby Kevin Solway » Wed Apr 15, 2009 11:42 pm

I've strengthened up the "visual confirmation" which seems to have kept the spambots at bay for now.
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Re: Problems with GF

Postby Elizabeth Isabelle » Thu Apr 16, 2009 8:09 am

that didn't last long
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Re: Problems with GF

Postby Kevin Solway » Thu Apr 16, 2009 5:23 pm

There are two kinds of spam: one is where they have an actual human manually registering the accounts, and the other is where it's fully computerized. We'll always get at least those who are registering manually.
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Re: Problems with GF

Postby Blair » Sun Apr 19, 2009 1:45 pm

So how do the "fully computerized" spammers work? How can they register, post etc, in one go?
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Re: Problems with GF

Postby Diebert van Rhijn » Sun Apr 19, 2009 8:59 pm

A computer program is able to get and post pages in any pre-programmed order, especially when the message board is a widely known system (phpBB) using standard URL's. It doesn't need much computer intelligence to find out recent topics or topics with certain keywords and so on as they are standard searches.

What is more interesting is how they'd by-pass the word identification screen ('captcha') automatically. I suspect two methods:
1. image recognition software tuned to a particular obfuscation system. These are easier to make than commonly thought using 'learning modes'.
2. a computerized spammer could read the image and send them to a terminal where a very poor freelancer is reading and typing the words in huge batches for one cent an image. The result is sent back online to the spambot who completes the registration and continues spamming the forum.

The only solution in my opinion lies in a more complicated turingtest to identify the category 'bots', including spammers, programs and other hit-and-runs or one-day-flies. An introductory email or post before continuing could work. Or put the registrations in queue and judge by email, selected id and land of origin combination if one is admitted or more identification is asked.

It seems like more work but compared to cleaning up the forum constantly it isn't really. There's no way to win this by automation only.
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