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As many of you probably noticed, our website had been sluggish or even occasionally unavailable over the last few days. Although we’d initially assumed it was some sort of software problem, we gradually began suspecting that it was on the hardware side, and then suddenly late yesterday our server completely died.

Since the server was a high-end dedicated unit leased from one of the leading server companies, I’d never imagined any possibility of such hardware failure, but sometimes the unimaginable does happen. Obviously, our traffic has grown considerably over the last year and with many tens of thousands of articles and posts along over a million comments, strain on the database system and disk operations had surely increased, so perhaps that might have been a factor.

Fortunately, our automatic daily backups safeguarded all our content material and comments, with the exception of yesterday’s additions, with these latter probably being far fewer than usual because of the ongoing website problems.

We’ve now configured a new website server from the same leading company, but based on their newer Cloud technology, which they claim almost entirely eliminates the possibility of future hardware failure and also has various other performance advantages.

Although nearly everything seems to be working again and we’ve therefore now shifted our www.unz.com URL to the new server, we’re temporarily disabling comments so as to give us a bit more time to test performance issues and various other remaining features on the new server. We simply wanted to get the basic website back up ASAP to prevent people from becoming overly concerned. Please do be patient with any remaining problems you notice, and once commenting has been reactivated, please describe any problems you notice so that we can attempt to correct them.

Given the provocative and controversial nature of the articles we publish, I don’t doubt that many readers suspected we’d been hit by a CIA Drone Strike, perhaps aimed at sending a warning to Julian Assange and Donald Trump, but the truth was far more mundane, though almost as shocking to me.

Update: Commenting now reactivated, so feel free to leave your comments about any problems you encounter with the new website configuration.

 
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  1. In Europe (at least London) the site was down completely all day today (until about 9 pm GMT).

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    • Replies: @German_reader
    Same in Germany, couldn't access it this afternoon (had already temporarily happened yesterday). Glad the site's back, I had already feared it might be sabotage.
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  2. eD says:

    I had thought this was a denial of service attack, but there is also an active solar storm currently that is supposed to mess with electronic communications, so there is an innocent alternative explanation.

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  3. @Peter Johnson
    In Europe (at least London) the site was down completely all day today (until about 9 pm GMT).

    Same in Germany, couldn’t access it this afternoon (had already temporarily happened yesterday). Glad the site’s back, I had already feared it might be sabotage.

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  4. iffen says:

    [MORE]
    I don’t doubt that many readers suspected we’d been hit by a CIA Drone Strike

    I am an opponent of raining on people’s dreams.

    I have trouble separating dreams from delusions of grandeur.

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  5. Hail says: • Website

    We appreciate your efforts.

    I am glad the Unz Review is growing.

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  6. my thoughts were some nut job got butt hurt enough over how open this website is and started a dos attack.

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  7. Mark Green says: • Website

    Glad you’re back, Ron! Thank you.

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    • Agree: SolontoCroesus
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  8. Well, if anybody understands this stuff, it’s Ron, I guess.

    But think about what will happen when self-driven cars experience even one instance like this…

    …Or our financial system…

    …Or our voting systems…

    …Or…?

    (Yes, I know there are redundancies, etc. for everything, but we have seen failures and crashes. Airline check-in systems, credit card ID hacks, major political party hacks, and so on. Heck, my Mercedes-Benz crapped its pants recently when the software wasn’t happy — no problem, it only cost me $1,400 to have fixed.)

    Airline pilots have been shown, via a big famous crash in San Francisco for example, that they too are becoming overly dependent and trusting of the virtual world and electronic assistance.

    Nice website though. Keep it up, and thanks again.

    Read More
    • Replies: @RobinG
    ".....but we have seen failures and crashes."

    We have also seen cars taken over by hackers, as suspected in death of Michael Hastings.
    http://whowhatwhy.org/2015/02/20/car-hacking-report-refuels-concerns-michael-hastings-crash/
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  9. RobinG says:
    @Buzz Mohawk
    Well, if anybody understands this stuff, it's Ron, I guess.

    But think about what will happen when self-driven cars experience even one instance like this...

    ...Or our financial system...

    ...Or our voting systems...

    ...Or...?

    (Yes, I know there are redundancies, etc. for everything, but we have seen failures and crashes. Airline check-in systems, credit card ID hacks, major political party hacks, and so on. Heck, my Mercedes-Benz crapped its pants recently when the software wasn't happy -- no problem, it only cost me $1,400 to have fixed.)

    Airline pilots have been shown, via a big famous crash in San Francisco for example, that they too are becoming overly dependent and trusting of the virtual world and electronic assistance.

    Nice website though. Keep it up, and thanks again.

    “…..but we have seen failures and crashes.”

    We have also seen cars taken over by hackers, as suspected in death of Michael Hastings.

    http://whowhatwhy.org/2015/02/20/car-hacking-report-refuels-concerns-michael-hastings-crash/

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  10. Yessssss!

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  11. Yes we have noticed here in Europe, Portugal…..I thougth it was a Cyber Attack aimed at closing down opinion by Right “leaning” people…..its CENSORSHIP and we see it in soooooo many Media Outlets….”Liberals” are ONLY Liberal when it SUITS them….thanks for your work, glad you are growing, keep up the GOOD WORK

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  12. I figured it was the Russians.

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  13. pyrrhus says:

    Still having problems with your site.

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    • Replies: @Ron Unz

    Still having problems with your site.
     
    That's unfortunate, but unless you're more specific about the "problems" your comment doesn't help us to track down and fix them.
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  14. Ron Unz says:
    @pyrrhus
    Still having problems with your site.

    Still having problems with your site.

    That’s unfortunate, but unless you’re more specific about the “problems” your comment doesn’t help us to track down and fix them.

    Read More
    • Replies: @pyrrhus
    Seems to be fixed now...
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  15. pyrrhus says:
    @Ron Unz

    Still having problems with your site.
     
    That's unfortunate, but unless you're more specific about the "problems" your comment doesn't help us to track down and fix them.

    Seems to be fixed now…

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  16. CandyLion says:

    The style sheets have stopped loading on TorBrowser. I think it worked yesterday.

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  17. Ace says:

    I still experience scorn and derision when I post comments. Please fix this.

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  18. Slightly OT….

    Any words of wisdom, why is impossible, at least in my case, to embed actual videos or pictures (not only links) in the commenting section?

    You can see them in preview comment, but not in the published version.

    Do I need to change the settings,or it has to do something with a random approval.

    I think that having all the traffic on this site is better solution than having readers following outside links….

    Thanks

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ron Unz

    Any words of wisdom, why is impossible, at least in my case, to embed actual videos or pictures (not only links) in the commenting section?
     
    Sure. The problem with expanded embedded videos is that they're "heavy," and when there are too many of them, the pages w/ comments take too long to load. Since some of the comment-threads have hundreds of comments, and people were embedding so many videos, that became a problem.

    Therefore, a compromise I adopted was to expand the first five or so comments with videos on a thread, then leave the others as links. The same expansion logic also impacts expansion of images.

    So if you have a relatively early comment, your videos and images will be expanded, but if it's a later comment, they'll remain as links.
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  19. Ron Unz says:
    @bored identity
    Slightly OT....

    Any words of wisdom, why is impossible, at least in my case, to embed actual videos or pictures (not only links) in the commenting section?

    You can see them in preview comment, but not in the published version.

    Do I need to change the settings,or it has to do something with a random approval.

    I think that having all the traffic on this site is better solution than having readers following outside links....

    Thanks

    Any words of wisdom, why is impossible, at least in my case, to embed actual videos or pictures (not only links) in the commenting section?

    Sure. The problem with expanded embedded videos is that they’re “heavy,” and when there are too many of them, the pages w/ comments take too long to load. Since some of the comment-threads have hundreds of comments, and people were embedding so many videos, that became a problem.

    Therefore, a compromise I adopted was to expand the first five or so comments with videos on a thread, then leave the others as links. The same expansion logic also impacts expansion of images.

    So if you have a relatively early comment, your videos and images will be expanded, but if it’s a later comment, they’ll remain as links.

    Read More
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