Sigh. It was too good to be true. Hours after updating the site (and feeling pleased with myself) because I caught a whiff of something threatening it, a blistering attack came along, in the form of essentially a denial of service attack from hundreds of separate machines/robots all from the same referring site. (See Josh Davis’ report on such things for the Wired Science TV show last year. Video here.) I tried everything I could think of to get rid of it and could not win*. In the end, my hosts shut down my account and suspended the domain (fair enough – actually might have helped), and (not cool) one of their fine technical support people blamed me for the problem (despite the fact that it was an external attack, and I was running software supplied and supported by them). None of them were able to do anything more than I could, interestingly. (I just had the one jerk, the others were fine.)
In the end, I just waited for a day or so for it to hopefully go away. It did. I don’t know when it might happen again or what I did to deserve the hassle, and the loss of several hours during which I could have done useful physics and other things, and/or continued working through the excellent Season One of Heroes (more later!). Annoying. Anyway, the blog is back for a while, and so you can get your daily fix of whatever it is I’m supplying that brings you here. Thanks for being patient, and for your support and readership.
By the way, in one of several attempts to diagnose the problem I deleted the personalized style files that give the blog its look, so the blog will look rather vanilla-ish for a while, until I can rebuild that all.
It never rains but it pours…
*That includes trying to hard-wire things to block entries from a specific referrer.