Category Archives: meta

Our mail is blocked by Microsoft and UCEProtect

(Update: we’re no longer blocked by Microsoft.  Linode got us unblocked.  As for UCEProtect, fuck ’em and feed ’em fishheads.)

Correspondence through text mail with a local harriette who was trying to reset her password indicates that if your email address is hosted by Microsoft (meaning your email address probably ends in,, or maybe some other domains), you will be unable to receive trail notifications and other email from this website.  I have a support ticket in with Linode to see what they might be able to do, but if you have a Hotmail or email address, perhaps you could persuade Bill’s minions to unblock (the underlying domain that sends mail on the website’s behalf).

Also, there is an extortion gang passing itself off as an RBL list, called UCEProtect and based out of Switzerland.  They’ve put every host on Linode on their “level 3” list, regardless of whether those hosts were spamming or not.  Linode customers tend to be rather more clueful than most about running servers, as it’s largely a self-service platform that gives you a root prompt at an IP address and lets you make of that whatever you need of it.  The likelihood of spam, inadvertent or not, coming from these servers is lower than most.  On the off-chance that mail from here isn’t getting through to you and you’re not using one of Microsoft’s services, verify that your mail service isn’t using UCEProtect.  I characterized them as an “extortion gang” because the only way for an individual server to get delisted is to pay them to do so.  No legitimate RBL provider does that.

New-user registration temporarily disabled (Update: not any more!)

Some asshole (or assholes) keeps registering new accounts here, all from the same obviously spammy domain.  I’m tired of deleting them, so I’ve disabled new-account creation for a bit.  If you’re a half-mind and you want an account, let me know through email and I’ll create one.

Update: (21 March 2021) I turned new-user registration back on a while ago…still seeing a trickle of spam accounts, but not like it was.

Automated event reminders have resumed

A disconnect somehow occurred between MySQL and the script that sends reminders of upcoming events.  I found it when I needed to resend them after updating tomorrow’s hash info; it’s been fixed.  (As a side benefit, nobody received email with “location: TBA” in it, at least.)

We’re now reachable via IPv6

I heard from another user on Slashdot that Cox had enabled IPv6 for most of its residential customers.  After upgrading my router firmware and rebooting it, and then renewing the DHCP lease on my computer, it looks like I now have IPv6 working at home.

I then tried pinging the hash website.  At first, DNS lookup failed.  Log into the DNS provider, create an AAAA record, renew the DHCP lease again…ping6 now works.  It also works for our new Red Dress Run site at

Now running WordPress 4.5

A new version showed up. Gentoo doesn’t have it in Portage yet, but I have my own overlay on which I can do version bumps…so the WordPress 4.4.2 ebuild turned into a WordPress 4.5 ebuild with a simple git mv.

Webserver upgraded to Apache 2.4

The upgrade was rather uneventful, as far as the hash website goes…just had to tweak the configuration a little bit and restart.  It was a little more problematic for the Diaspora and GNU Social nodes that I also run, but they’re back in business as well.

Apache 2.4 has been around a few years now, but Gentoo just got around to declaring it “stable.”  I think it previously had issues with Perl (which would’ve affected AWStats), but those issues must’ve been resolved.

Website SSL settings fixed

Derp!  When I copied-and-pasted the Apache SSL settings from one of my other sites to this site, a lengthy string listing allowable encryption settings got cut off.  This kept the site from coming up on all but the latest versions of most web browsers.

This has been fixed.  The only browser anybody’s even somewhat likely to be using that still won’t work is Internet Explorer on Windows XP, and that will never work because it doesn’t support SNI.  (SNI support is needed to access HTTPS websites that share a webserver with other HTTPS websites.)  IE should work on newer versions of Windows (and Edge works on Windows 10).  Safari and Chrome will work wherever they’re supported.  As long as it’s not too old and crusty, it’ll probably work.  (Hell, Safari on my old iPad that’s stuck at iOS 5.something works!)

Bug squashed in the mailer

When the new website went live, I forgot to update the mailer script with the updated iCal URL it needs to read events…oops.  There was also some character-set confusion going on.  That’s why the reminder for tomorrow’s trail didn’t make it out until about 8:30 (it’s scheduled for 3 AM).

On the other hand, there are 15 new subscribers since I last checked, so that part of the system is working OK. 🙂

Anti-image-hotlinking protection is in place

Lazy douchebags link directly to other webservers’ images, leeching their bandwidth instead of serving up their own copy of the image.  We now have protection against this at the server level.  Hotlinking douchebags will get this image plastered all over their pages, instead of what they were hoping to rip off:



If I really wanted to be obnoxious, I could use Mr. instead of Captain Picard, but that’d be overkill. (Don’t know about You could google it, but fair warning: what has been seen cannot be unseen.)