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Are You Kidding Me?

Apparently, Twitter–excuse me, X–thinks there’s something potentially dirty here.

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Mysterious Traffic Spike–in November 2020

Normally, I don’t spend much–well, really, any–time worrying about blog traffic. I used to work at encouraging traffic, but, as I have explained previously, I stopped a long time ago. Once in a while a post triggers an email from an old friend or acquaintance, and that makes me happy, unless they hated in it, in which case, whatever. But yesterday’s post for Russian readers had me clicking on the little map in the right column, and that led me to glance at the stats.  They’re under-counts, since anyone who blocks cookies or some other things won’t be counted, and lots of my friends are in the privacy and tech community and likely block more than enough stuff not to be counted. But they do tell me something about trends.  And there sure was a big spike in the data back in September 2020:

Looking at the archive for September 2020, I can’t imagine what set it off, and I don’t have logs that go so far back; I did win an award that month, but at most you’d think that would cause a few hundred hits, not eighty thousand.

The 40,000 in July 2020 is also a mystery. My biannual local ballot recommendations for the Judicial elections are popular, but the idea that they get more than a few hundred hits at most strains credulity.

On the other hand, the chart just records hits and doesn’t say what they were to, so there’s no evidence that the traffic was caused by a then-recent post.  It really could be anything I’d published up to that date. Maybe some new search engine repeated Google’s old mistake and ranked my post “How Not To Pick Up Women Online” highly for people searching for a similar phrase without the “not”.

Any ideas, anyone?

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Troubles Under the Hood suffered a bad crash yesterday [Friday, July 23].

[UPDATE: Wed July 29. I’m hoping it’s fixed now?]

It should all be sorted out soonish, but until then, please be patient with site weirdness.

Sorry about that.

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Almost Old Enough to Vote

Apparently, I’ve been blogging here for…17 years?   

My first post, A New Blog, wasn’t much, but I think this early post, Rose Burawoy, Political Scientist (Sept. 23, 2003), is worth a re-read from time to time. Were the signs of today visible then? I can’t say that I saw it coming, but I was already a bit nervous.

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Site Stability Issues Resolved?

This doesn’t speak all that well for Dreamhost front-line tech support, but this afternoon I got an email from someone higher in the org chart. He explained that the reasons for the crashes were that had been moved recently to a server cluster that wasn’t ready for prime time, which is why things went haywire. So just now they moved it back. Allegedly, that should fix the problems I’ve been having with the site crashing 20 times per day, although it means a new IP number.

Let’s hope.

Oh yes, after the move my Let’s Encrypt cert didn’t work. Worse, Caroline’s blog Blenderlaw basically vanished. But at least front-line tech support was able to fix those issues….

To be fair, though, the hosting isn’t that expensive.

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Getting Hammered

No, this isn’t a post about Bret Kavanaugh’s high school or college drinking. It’s about the blog. It seems is getting hammered by bots trying to break in to it, so the site has been up and down like a yo-yo for the past 24 hours or more.

I’ve spoken to tech support, and their only suggestion was to activate Cloudflare.  That comes in two flavors on my host.  One is free, but requires some changes, including to the site certificate.  The other is $120/year, which would practically double my hosting costs.  So I’m going to try to wait it out a bit before maybe changing hosts or something.

Meanwhile, on the subject of Kavanaugh, a friend from Yale writes:

Just for the record, I overlapped with Brett Kavanaugh at Yale Law School. However, I did not know him. The only Kavenaugh I was then aware of in the Yale community was Kavenagh’s, a great burger joint which featured a cheeseburger made with blue cheese. I can testify wholeheartedly to the fine character, intellect, and morals of that burger. Perhaps it should be appointed to the Supreme Court.


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