Some Clean Up
Technical changes you’ll never see or know took place, that help keep this place running.
Just thought you’d want to know about some technical changes you’ll never see or know took place, that help keep this place running.
We recently converted from “http” to “https”. This should eliminate the warnings in search engines that our address is not secure. What prompted the move was not just those annoying warnings, but also an alert from Google:
We haven’t noticed any problems from the switch, but it “might” be best for you to clear your cache if you experience any problems.
We also switched CDN (content delivery network) providers because our prior provider could not handle https. We are now at Cloudfare, which also should provide some protection if we ever experience a DDOS attack.
We also performed a clean up of user accounts. As mentioned in a prior post long ago, in the early years we didn’t have a “CAPTCHA” screening mechanism to prevent spam and bot User account signups. We did implement CAPTCHA several years ago, but just noticed an increase in phony/bot account sign ups, many using a “.ru” email address. It turns out that the CAPTCHA program we used was compromised and people were able to create scripts to overcome it. So we implemented a more robust CAPTCHA program.
We also deleted from our USER database several hundred thousand phony/bot accounts. If you have a User account and ever commented, your account was NOT deleted. But if you had a User account that never commented, it might have been deleted. You don’t need a registered User account to read the website, you only need it to comment or to vote thumbs up/down on comments. (No, we’re not going to reinstitute thumbs up/down for posts themselves, we here at Legal Insurrection don’t like being judged. Commenters, on the other hand ….)
This clean up *hopefully* will allow us to continue using WordPress commenting, rather than a third party program like Disqus. We currently have over 518,000 comments to date, and over 15,000 Users who have commented. That’s a lot for the WordPress commenting database, but we’re trying to keep it alive.
We are dinosaurs in continuing to use WordPress commenting, but I think overall it’s for the best. Helps keep down the drive-by commenters who only want to throw hand grenades into the comment section.
At least one commenter is glad we didn’t go to a third party program:
I can’t *guarantee* that never will happen to us, but we do everything in our power to protect the website and its data. Our website technical team at Sound Strategies is very experienced in security issues, and there have been times we’ve had to block all traffic from certain regions of the world because of server farms trying to hack us and probably thousands of other sites 24/7.
You may have noticed an annoying autorun audio ad recently. I sure did. We don’t run autorun audio ads, unlike so many other sites. They drive me crazy. When I heard it, I alerted our ad manager. Usually it’s an easy fix of blocking an advertiser from the ad feeds the ad manager uses. This time it was a little more pesky. Hopefully we have solved the problem.
You can always contact me here if you notice autorun audio ads or other problems with the website functionality. (Be aware, about 90% of problems users experience can be solve by clearing your browser cache and rebooting your computer. So try those before contacting me.)
Hope this gives you some sense of what it takes to run the website. You’re welcome.
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.
Thank you for a liver friendly alternative to alcohol.
I now feel the need to judge…
More seriously, I will leave if Disqus gets used.
What’s wrong with Discus, please?
I use Discus. Can you explain why you don’t like it? Thx
I am very glad you never went Disqus. I would actually stop commenting if you did. So not only do you gain spam, you lose real long-time commenters.
There are other sites I read, but only a few I comment on. Ace of Spades and LI are two, because of the homegrown comment system.
The best comments are at the sites that do their own. Ace has the funniest comment section anywhere. LI has many familiar faces in the comments. Better it feel like a neighborhood bar then a rest area on I-95 on the Jersey Turnpike somewhere close to Kearny, NJ.
You get the best followers IMO when you keep it real and ditch the corporate model and drive-by losers.
Oh, I can already tell. For the last few months, opening a few new tabs to read articles on LI would result in my laptop spooling up it’s fans to full speed… TaskManager laid all the activity blame on Firefox. Clearing caches via CCleaner had no effect. I have no idea what it was on LI that caused this… wasn’t even SURE if it was LI at all.
But now? They spool up for about 5 seconds, and then slow back down again.
WHATEVER you did, it’s stopped THAT annoying problem.
I know many people like Firefox (though it is way, way behind all the other major browsers in reader usage), but it is the browser that creates the most problems. See this article by Sound Strategies.
For what it’s worth my experience days Edge is the worst offender, and the gap to Firefox is huge. I use as many as 5 browsers at once (including Safari) in order to operate isolated sessions on various URLs for my work. And I have simply opened a tab on all of them variously to visit LI. None were predictably an issue like Edge.
and yet IE and Edge are the worst for wtc3 standards.
Prof., if you had your druthers, which one would you like users to use?
Doesn’t matter to me. I use Chrome and never have a problem.
Autorun audio and video ads are pieces of shit and single-handedly responsible for the massive increase in popularity of ad blockers.
When a freaking ad takes more processing power and bandwidth to load than the entire site, your ad is a piece of shit.
thanks for all your hard work – i now come here for my first daily dose of reality.
there were other sites which i was VERY fond of and now only specifically read their contributors.
my only real probs with commenting is.
1 – i use FF exclusively, I am have very low vision and use FF Addons to help me to be able to see blogs.
I find that after an initial commenter makes a comment, only 3 replys are available to me and i don’t know if it is FF or some other issue prevents my making a comment.
2 – having the ability as in Disques(ting) has to reedit a comment and a more robust spell checker would be helpful.
3 – having a way to block a user’s comments(again a DisQues feature) would help in a comment string being hijacked.
if someone does like my comments and blocks me from his stream is OK.
in general, the comments add to the conversation.
4 – is there a way to include images in a comment.
i don’t mind just using a link (i.e. YouTube) but i am not skillful to know how to add a smiley or other such keyboard imogees.
Once again thanx foe a place that a ‘moderate’ (aren’t we all ?) libertaian/conservative can come to.
to reiterate having ‘Preview’ is good, having a re-edit would be more helpful for folks who are NOT necessarily clear thinkers, like missing a key word in the comment too late.
I use FF windows 7 (dinosaur, i know).
resizing fonts/text size can cause this.
grr cause this 3 reply issue.
I use waterfox (fork of firefox ) and it all works fine
Thanks for all your efforts at keeping this site not just viable but incredibly interesting and enjoyable to read.
To veer a little OT (since that’s already happened) – I’ve been trying browser after browser, version after version (Chrome, FF, Palemoon, IE, Vivaldi, Brave among them) for what seems like forever in, until recently, a vain effort to find a single browser that would be compatible with all my business & personal uses without some annoying issue somewhere.
Only two have fit the bill: Chrome & Opera. I recently started using and prefer the latter, in part because I don’t trust Google (even though Opera is ‘chromium’). Brave is by far the best at handling site rendering & scaling but has an Achilles Heel: its native PDF handler is incompatible with the business sites I need to use regularly. I would prefer it over Opera, otherwise.
I don’t know what you did, exactly, but whatever it was, I can see a big improvement. Before, when I was on this site, my computer sounded like it was working on solving the equations that show the origin of dark matter. Now, it’s as quiet as a sleeping kitten. And the letters I type in the comment box actually appear as I type them.
Is that a picture above of one of the Awan’s servers….?
That was Hillary’s mail server.
Yeah, she was wiping it with a cloth, or something, so hard that it caught on fire.
Musta got too close to her pants(uit).
Thumbs up! 😀
Thanks for all you’ve done on the technical side. All the right moves, IMHO.
Thanks for having a great site in general. I appreciate it a lot.
I used to use Internet Explorer running on Windows 7. That browser/operating system combo would not allow me to view the little video snippets that get passed around on Twitter and pasted onto blogs. So I switched to Chrome.
Then I had problems with Chrome which seemed to be specific to this site. It seemed like there was a conflict between this site and the ad server that would arise after I’d sign in to comment.
Anyway, whatever you did solved the problems I was experiencing.
Everything runs like a top. Thank you!
Facebook drops two of its tracking cookies onto my laptop whenever I visit this site if I forget to to use private browsing. This is with Safari browser. Settings on Firefox and Brave do not allow this.
I don’t want Facebook tracking me. They say that they don’t but they lie like dirty cheap rugs. They say that they do this so their members can connect easily, yet every visitor is afflicted with their tracking cookies to sell information with improved advertisement targeting to their profit. I strenuously resent all cooperation with Facebook . I’m not a Facebook member for very good reasons.
I wish part of your cleanup would be rid your site’s code of all Facebook mention. But apparently that’s too much to ask. They’re virtually everywhere. And that’s “actuallyl” everywhere virtually.
I keep a Safari privacy window opened on my screen with “facebook” typed so it shows whenever their two cookies appear. I see them pop up constantly. And just having those obnoxious intrusive f-heads messing with my computer with no way to avoid them just flat pisses me off.
Are you running High Sierra (Mac OS 10.13) and Safari 11.0? I’m interested if Apple’s changes implemented in this software has fixed your Facebook privacy issues. Safari 11, released in late September 2017, may be a solution. See: https://www.macobserver.com/tips/quick-tip/block-cross-site-tracking-safari/
There is some more information about Apple’s ‘Cross-Site Tracking Prevention’ at: https://webkit.org/blog/7675/intelligent-tracking-prevention/
It might not be an adequate solution since there is still a 24 hour window, “If the user interacted with example.com the last 24 hours, its cookies will be available when example.com is a third-party. This allows for “Sign in with my X account on Y” login scenarios.”