Archive for January, 2005

 

Globe reporter

Monday, January 31st, 2005


this post enabled by airblogging.com.

 
 

2008 Presidential Sweepstakes

Monday, January 31st, 2005

Matt Dole has started PresidentialStockMarket.com:

This site is intended to be a fun, informal game leading towards the 2008 Presidential race.  With no incumbent, this is going to be a very exciting time.  I can easily think of 10-15 people on each side of the aisle getting into the race early.

So what is this game?  I was trying to think of some way to put a competitive air to this, keep it interesting, but also stay on top of this whole electoral poltics thing.  This basics of the game are this:

I will present a list of potential candidates.  The initial list is simply made up of people who have a resume worthy of running and/or have run before.  As time goes on, I will add more should more people be announced.  I have given each potential candidate a value  (I am calling them Doles, because this is my website, and because I can – plus there is no real dollars changing hands, and I would rather make that obvious from the start)- most of the people are starting at a base level, though some who have either run before or are already exploring a run are starting higher.

Here is the fun part: for reading this, you get 500 Doles.  Now you have a job to do.  Speculate, undercut, and use insider information, but EMAIL ME.  Email me how you would like to use those 500 Doles.  If you want to back one candidate, let me know; if you want to spread the wealth and play the odds, then let me know how many “shares” of each candidate you want.  I will enter your name, the amount, and if there is any cash value left in your account on the website.

I’ll play along. Should be fun.

Matt also appears to have moved his blog again. Check it here.

 
 

Asteroid

Monday, January 31st, 2005

Frequent commenter Asteroid has started his own blog.

Are you reading it yet?

 
 

Boston Blogger Meetup

Monday, January 31st, 2005

I’ll be there.

(via sg)

 
 

Celebrate!

Monday, January 31st, 2005

Celebrate National Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day!

pop.

 
 

Which is Better

Monday, January 31st, 2005

Which book report is better? This one on Oedipus, or This one on To Kill a Mockingbird. I’d ask you for your thoughts but my comments are disabled for the time being.

Funny, disabled means an entirely different thing when it applied to people, or does it?

Whatever. Enjoy.

 
 

Comments

Sunday, January 30th, 2005

Having received roughly 200 comment spam per hour during the weekend, I have had to shut down all comments pending finding a reasonable solution to the problem.

Sorry guys. Hopefully i’ll get it back up this week.

 
 

Quizzes

Saturday, January 29th, 2005

Apparently I’m a Chaotic Good Sexhound:

You scored as Chaotic Good. A Chaotic Good person is someone who has little intrinsic respect for laws or authority, seeing them as insufficient to sustain what’s right. These people work according to their own moral compass which, while good, is not necessarily always aligned with that of society. Despite their chaotic tendancies, these people are good at heart.

What is your Alignment?
created with QuizFarm.com


Seven deadly sins
created with QuizFarm.com

 
 

Loser Pages

Saturday, January 29th, 2005

I’M BACK!!!!!

I know, I know, you’re all wondering, “What the hell happened to Rob Sama over the past month?” Well, it’s been an adventure, let me tell you. It all began a night or two before Christmas, when I received the following email from my hosting provider, Loser Pages:

From: support@lunarpages.com
Subject: Moved to Quantz [5235-FMKX-9735] [e58d8290] Question Created
Date: December 20, 2004 2:38:08 PM EST
To: r@XXXXXDELETEDXXXXX.com

==== Enter your reply ABOVE this line ====
Dear r@DELETED.com,

The following ticket has been created by a member of our staff for you

Your question’s details:

============== Title: ==============
Moved to Quantz

============== Message: ==============
Hello,

Your account is utilizing excessive resources, causing a significant
degradation of services on the server. This is a shared environment and we
can not allow one user to utilize the majority of the resources on a server as
it affects all users adversely. Unfortunately this is the second time this
has occurred. A detail of the problem is shown below:

Top Process %CPU 83.7 /usr/bin/php
Top Process %CPU 66.3 /usr/bin/php
Top Process %CPU 50.2 /usr/bin/php

The first time this occurred, we gave you several options on how to rectify
the issue to allow you to remain in the shared environment. However, because
this recurred, we are unable to give you these options again and must
recommend you find another hosting solution, such as a dedicated solution,
that is more suitable to your account.

We have moved you to the Quantz server to allow you time to find a new host.
Quantz is not a production server and is not guaranteed to run in the same
manner as your old server nor will it support all functions you may have.
This is a transitional server only and is not intended to be a permanent
placement. You have seven (7) days to make arrangements with a new host.
After seven (7) days, your account will be permanently suspended if no other
arrangements are made.

Thank you for your cooperation in this matter. We value you as a customer and
hope you find a solution that better suits your needs.

Lunarpages Support


Should you require further assistance, please contact us.

Tutorials – http://www.lunarpages.com/tutorials/

Support forums – http://www.lunarforums.com

Control Panel manual – http://www.lunarpages.com/new_manual/

Will Ingram
support@lunarpages.com
Phone: 1-877-LUNARPAGES (Toll-free)
Phone: 1-714-521-8150 (International)

You can view your question’s progress online at:

http://helpdesk.lunarpages.com/view.php?ticketref=5235-FMKX-9735&pass=997a1227

You can also reply to this email to add to your question.

Wow, what nice people huh? They actually asked me to move my server in the middle of the holiday season. What’s worse is that a) they provided no proof that my php scripts were using excessive processing resources b) this was the FIRST time they contacted me about this matter. Earlier in the year, when I had hosted a copy of the Nick Berg video, I had busted my bandwidth limit, but not any limit on processing power use. And my response was to upgrade my service, which I did at that time.

Further, there is nothing in their service agreement that even defines how much processing power one is allowed to use at any one time. By sending me a letter saying that I’m using 80% of the server’s processing power (even if that was true), that’s a relative difference. It does not state in absolute terms how much processing power I was using. Regardless, this sent me ijnto a rage, and I composed the following email in response, but then thought better about sending it:

This is sheer madness.

The only php I’m running on the server is WordPress, which YOU OFFER TO YOUR USERS IN FANTASTICO!!! It is simply not a processing intensive application. I suspect that this is nothing more than a method to encourage users to pay for higher service accounts.

Regardless, thank you for asking me to move over the Christmas week, when I (as everybody else under the sun) already have enough going on. Please let me know how I will be refunded for the remainder of my time since I prepaid for a year over the summer. I believe I will be owed roughly 1/2 year’s service fee.

Regards,

-Rob Sama

I didn’t send it because I realized that I would not have time to move my server that quickly, and that responding to these nitwits would only remind them of their promise to move my server. So I stayed silent.

But it also occurred to be that what Loser Pages was doing in effect amounted to extortion. The scheme works something like this: lure customers in with cheap hosting plan, then some months later make vague accusations against the customer that they’re abusing their account and will be terminated, but then offer an upgrade plan that for just an extra $10/month saves the customer a lot of hassle and makes the problem just go away. I am tempted to approach the attorney general with a complaint regarding this.

Regardless, what was most amazing to me was the following email that I received from Loser Pages just a few days later:

From: support@lunarpages.com
Subject: PHP/Zend UPgrades
Date: December 22, 2004 12:29:33 PM EST
To: support@lunarpages.com

Hello,

We will be making upgrades to PHP and Zend Optimizer today, December 22, 2004 starting at 12:00 pm PST to patch vulnerabilities found in PHP. PHP will be upgraded to version 4.3.10. Zend Optimizer will be upgraded to version 2.5.7.

The upgrade will take approximately 30 minutes. During this time we do not anticipate any downtime or degradation of services. If you see any issues with your site, please contact support@lunarpages.com.

The following servers will be completed today in alphabetical order beginning at noon:

Halley
Helios
Hercules
Heze
Hydra
Imantra
Jupiter
Konig
Kupio
Laffan
Leo
Libra
Lyra
M00001
Magellan
Mars
Mercury
Meteor
Naos
Nasa
Nebula
Neptune
Nova
Oberon
Orion
Pegasus
Perseus
Phoenix
Pioneer
Pisces
Pulsar
Quantz
Quasor

Thank you
Lunarpages Support

In other words, just two days later, they send out a general email admitting that due to the fact that they hadn’t properly upgraded their version of PHP, their servers were suffering hacker attacks, and they need to do an emergency upgrade immediately. What balls!

So I sat around waiting, expecting an apology, or something from these loons, admitting that I wasn’t at fault in all of this. But then again, I suspected that the real agenda here was extortion and that someone was looking to make some year end revenue figures, and that i wasn’t the only one receiving such threats. So I stayed quiet.

I was correct in my strategy as it turns out. I managed to slip under the radar screen, without them deleting my account for a whole month, which was important to me because I use my robsama.com email daily. I opted not to update the blog or anything else so as to not draw attention to myself. This week, I finally managed to complete my move over to 1 and 1 internet. I have to give a shout out to Nate Marks, without whom making the move would have been a complete nightmare.

In any event, just this morning, I receive another email from Loser Pages, as if on queue:

From: support@lunarpages.com
Subject: Re: Moved to Quantz [5235-FMKX-9735] [e58d8290] Our Response
Date: January 29, 2005 12:19:36 AM EST
To: r@DELETED.com

==== Enter your reply ABOVE this line ====

Dear r@DELETED.com,

This is an automated message to advise you that a technician has responded to
your question. You can view this response and track the progress of your
inquiry online at:

http://helpdesk.lunarpages.com/view.php?ticketref=5235-FMKX-9735&pass=997a1227

You can also reply to this e-mail.

Ticket Ref : 5235-FMKX-9735
Ticket Subject : Moved to Quantz

Reply:
Hello,

Recently you were moved to the Quantz server because of excessive resource
utilization. You were emailed with an explanation of the reason, the options
available to you and the time limit you had to make a decision. Because Quantz
is a transitional server only, there is a time limit of seven (7) days for
your account to remain on Quantz.

Because we have not heard from you regarding this, we been forced to suspend
your account. Your account will be deleted from our servers in its entirety in
seven (7) days.

Please contact us by replying to this email if you have any questions or we
can be of assistance.


Please contact us if you have any further questions.

Kind regards,
Fahim Farook

support@lunarpages.com

http://www.lunarforums.com/

http://www.lunarpages.com/tutorials/

Phone: 1-877-LUNARPAGES/1-877-586-2772 (U.S. & Canada – Toll-free)
Phone: 0800-072-9150 (U.K – Toll-free)
Phone: 1-714-521-8150 (International)

Amazing. This time I replied:

Fahim,

Thank you so much for the advance notification of the deletion of my account, and the helpful and detailed explanation of how a blog managed to use so many resources on your server.

You should be happy to know that I have decided to upgrade my service. I have rented a dedicated server in conjunction with friends over at 1 And 1 www.1and1.com and they have been most helpful in getting me up and running. If you’d like, a simple whois search on my domain, robsama.com or a tracert on the domain will reveal that the site is now hosted elsewhere.

Now regarding administrative matters, I have pre-paid for 1 year’s service from Lunar Pages. Since you have decided to unilaterally withdraw from providing me service (much like George W. Bush did from Kyoto!!!) it seems to me that you owe me a refund for those months of service which you have unilaterally decided not to provide. You may refund the appropriate amount directly to my credit card which you may have on file, or alternatively mail a check to:

Rob Sama
51 Warren St #2-1
Waltham, MA 02453

I subscribed over the summer, I believe it was around the first of July, but I’ll check my records to be certain. At $22.95 per month for 5 months, I believe I am owed approximately $114.75.
Consider this email an invoice, and as is standard business practice, I shall expect remittance in 30 days time. If I fail to receive said amount within 30 days time, then the account will be considered delinquent, and I will take appropriate steps to collect what is owed.

Please do not hesitate to call me with any questions or concerns you may have. I assume that there is a billing@lunarpages.com email address, but in the event that I have guessed wrong, please be so kind as to forward this to your billing/payables department.

All the best,

-Rob Sama

I don’t really expect that they’ll refund me my money, but I am serious about reporting them to the attorney general and taking them to small claims court if they don’t. It’s really amazing that they should conduct themselves in such a sleazy way. Do they really think that they can be in the business of hosting websites, and offering blog software to their customers no less, and get away with treating their customers so badly?

Apparently they do, because a brief search of Google under the phrase, “Lunar Pages Sucks’ brings up no shortage of complaints. If you’d like to read a particularly detailed page about their bad business practices, here’s one. Here’s another.

Anyhow, I’m back to blogging. So fire up your browsers or news readers, cause I’ve got a lot to say!

 
 

This is a test

Thursday, January 20th, 2005

Nate Marks is an IT god among men.