March 3rd, 2009

bad words, offices are why

PSA: Bots on LJ

Now that there is the shiny Bot Reporting Tool, that tool is the thing to use.

If anyone tells you that you should report bots some other way, they are operating on very outdated information.

[Edited to Add: Now with official confirmation. In other words, correct anyone who is doing otherwise.]

This Public Service Announcement has been brought to you by some very tasty popcorn, a bit of fudge, and a whole lot of Russian bots. I am not a member of the Abuse team; I do volunteer for Support.
internet, eyespork

Things that you are not entitled to on the internet:

(The "you" and "me" here are not actually you and me.)

When you meet me on the internet, you are not entitled to know the legal identity that my local government recognizes me as. You get to see the screen name I am using to interact with you. If I choose to, I may have listed a face-to-face name I answer to. The name I share with you is the one I would like you to address me by. You do not win magic points by knowing the name that was on my birth certificate, or my current legal name. To pick a public and well-known example, insisting upon calling someone "William" when they have repeatedly stated that the name they answer to is "Ferrett" is really a dick move.

You can call someone anything you want to in the privacy of your own head, but when you are speaking to them, or speaking of them in a public forum, it is only basic courtesy to address them by their preferred name. If you address them by a name you know they do not like, you have failed basic politeness and should go back to kindergarten. If you act like a dick to me, you are not entitled to be treated like you are not being a dick.

Collapse )

So, that thing where userpics are showing up replaced!

When you have a weird icon show up all of a sudden replacing one of your own, take heart. You haven't been hacked, and you're not actually hallucinating.

LiveJournal has taken to using a Content Delivery Network (CDN for short) to serve its userpics. This means that instead of all 197 of some permanent user's userpics being served from LJ's servers in Montana, no matter where you are in the world, the CDN will try and have them on a server that is geographically much closer to you. This means that the master copy of your userpic is stored with LJ, but you are actually viewing a copy on the CDN's server.

This ... can lead to a bit of a situation, because now people have started to get served incorrect userpics from time to time due to the CDN's local copy being bad. It's worse than just a completely wrong userpic -- since it's only on one CDN server, your best friend halfway across the continent is looking at a different server, sees the correct userpic, and thinks you're on crack. There is a treatment, but the cause (why the CDN grabs the wrong picture, why it chooses the wrong picture that it grabs, whose stuff is broken, and exactly what piece of programming or equipment is broken) is, as far as I know, unknown at this time.

As seen in metaquotes, and as I explained there:

There's growing support for a mob with baseball bats and/or code machetes fixing the userpics problem. On the one hand, it's good to have the userpics served from someone else's more geographically convenient servers. On the other hand, if they're going to store the wrong userpics for a certain segment of the viewing audience...

Basic rundown of what happens, for those who aren't familiar with the problem:

LiveJournal: 197 userpics is a lot! Ow, my bandwidth!
Content Delivery Network: We can help with that!
LiveJournal: Great! *sets stuff up*
Content Delivery Network: *retrieves original userpics from* *copies to* Have your userpics, people!
User: Dude, that is not my userpic.
User's friend: What do you mean? That's the same userpic you've had for three years.
User: I'm telling you, mine is supposed to be the O RLY owl, and I've got Goatse!!!
User's friend: Believe me, it's the owl. I would have noticed Goatse.
User's neighbor: WTF, man. Your goatse userpic just showed up on that post when I was showing it to my MOM.
User: SEE!!! *screencaps* *goes to support*
Support: Oh god. Another one. *gets link to userpic* *bothers staff*
Staff: *whacks content delivery network a few times until it drops the goatse userpic and gets the O RLY owl from again*
Support: There! Fixed! (Until the next time, when My Little Pony gets replaced with naked Amanda Tapping!) *drinks heavily*

It's not necessary to include a screencap when reporting. We know it's happening. You don't have to prove it. Just grab a link to the affected icon, or include its keywords, and let Support know so that Staff can go run the pound-on-the-CDN-with-baseball-bats-again tool.

[Edited to add 2009/04/04: LJ has since switched Content Delivery Networks, and, surprise surprise, this doesn't seem to be happening anymore.]

Since there's no such thing as too many cock pictures...

Mama scanned this and sent it to me.

The glasses are regrettable. The dress is cute. This is Xiao Ji (小鸡). His wing is all scruffy as he was sitting closest to the heat lamp and got some feathers way too close. (The heat lamp very quickly got a safety cage.)

running, bomb tech

16 tweets for 2009-3-3

In the last 24 hours, I posted the following to Twitter:

Follow me on Twitter.