yahoo!: "sorry, microsoft!"

woot! word has it that monday, yahoo will write a “sorry” to microsoft. now let’s just hope they don’t get rid of our search advertising (and, therefore, search in general) to google… as i mentioned before, the best option here is to tough it out this period of time, and things will come back up.

in lolcat terms, courtesy of the flickr anti-microsoft group: this picture is awesome :)

windows downgrade

i’ve been dual booting my gentoo box with windows vista 64 for my occasional bouts of gaming… but yesterday, i decided that despite microsoft ending it’s support for xp sometime this year, that i am better off running xp for gaming than vista. so i downgraded vista 64 to xp 32. i think i made this decision after seeing this article on slashdot.

more on the yahoo stuff

yahooza linked two funny articles about the whole y! ordeal… i especially like the first one, and the second one is funny too but has bad language, so if it offends you, consider yourself warned:

on a more serious note on the same subject, the techcrunch article, “decision time for yahoo,” is a more serious (and perhaps realistic) analysis of the situation. until i read this article, i never really knew that there could be lawsuits for violation of fiduciary duty (which basically entails that you look out for your shareholders before looking at your own interests).

if it weren’t for this, i would have to think that yahoo’s decision would be easy - be patient and the storm will pass.

update on the dns situation

so i spoke with the bro about the dns thing, and it seems as though i jumped the gun a little. in summary, what he told me is that another islamic site did a dos attack on his site due to the fact that there were non-muslims allowed on the forums and such, which some of the people from the other site didn’t like. he didn’t know about this until dnsmadeeasy contacted him, and said he had 48 hours to take the site down or pay the overages. so he said that within 6 hours, the site was taken down.

when he came to renew, he found the $8000 bill, and he was emailing back and forth with them about this (as it seems that they made a mistake with what had happened in the system etc). so he decided he’d switch dns for the time being (and he forgot that i had some of my sites hosted on the same dns server with him). they said they’d investigate and contact him back, and, until now, they didn’t, and he’s still in the process of trying to get this resolved.

given the sort of not-so-positive tone (if not negative or anti-islamic, even) of the dude on the phone “oh, this was the guy who was involved in dns attacks with islamic sites,” versus me knowing my brother, i tend to believe the brother more than this dude. at the same time, the brother should have remembered the important services that i had hosted on there as well, because that is a responsibility and trust.

in any case, all is good now al7amdulillah and am just posting this as a clarification to my earlier post about the same subject.

sublime rhymes for the times

launched my second facebook app: sublime rhymes! still a little rough around the edges, some things can be a little more intuitive, but for now, i am going to sleep :)

yahoosoft...

so there’s a bunch of speculation about y! being bought out by microsoft. while i have no idea what will end up happening, i think that at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter.

when you’re low enough in the food chain (a “peon,” in warcraft2 terminology, part of the work force), you wake up in the morning and mutter, “ready to work,” and go and do whatever they tell you to do. then at the end of the day, you get your check. whether that check is from y! or microsoft, does it really matter? not really…

that having been said, i’d choose to develop under linux/bsd using open source technologies over windows development any day.

update on domains and dns

just a quick update - the brother emailed me and gave me access to the dns servers that the sites are now looking at. so within a few days insha’Allah, the old urls should work again. al7amdulillah. that having been said, i am still going to try to normalize all the quranicrealm traffic to go through searchquran.net.

y! answers used for spreading islamic knowledge?

amazing… i came across people asking about islam on y! answers before, but never upon a muslim asking a question about islam on answers until right now. i was doing a search on google for “arabic tirmithi” and came up with several questions on y! answers, including this one about shopping du3a2s, asked on y! answers malaysia. even more interesting is the fact that there’s a category for ramadan under holidays and it’s full of questions by muslims (i mean, after all, it is y! answers malaysia, right? :)).

dang, i was being paid to make da3wa and i didn’t even know it, al7amdulillah :)

behind the times...

today, i discovered that the quranapp i’d written for facebook has been broken for some time now (mainly due to the changed notification apis, which affects both notification sending and invites). so i’ve finally updated it and it properly works again.

i actually kind of like their changes - their new invite form and friend selector are pretty simple to use and are very feature full (not to mention well documented), and not having to catch return types from sent messages and forward to a confirmation page is always a very nice thing ™.

i guess sometimes, you can’t just write software and forget about it :)

illogical downloading...

continuing the trend from yesterday and posting more about annoying things ™, my friend pointed out that in the awstats report for one of my sites, i had a very abnormal number of reported bandwidth downloads for one of the days (~3tb, when i usually average under 50gb per day for that particular server). of course this is unrealistic (and, in fact, impossible, because the box is on a 10mbps connection, which would mean no more than ~108gb/day…).

so i did some investigation…

[ahmedre@cafesalam a]$ ls -alh download*21
-rw-r--r-- 1 ahmedre ahmedre 36M Jan 22 11:29 download-access_log.01.06.2008_21

i opened this file and noticed that a particular ip was repeated a huge number of times in this file, mainly with 200 and 206 return codes.

[ahmedre@cafesalam a]$ wc -l download*21
158618 download-access_log.01.06.2008_21
[ahmedre@cafesalam a]$ grep -c 68.173.172.149 download*21
152514
[ahmedre@cafesalam ~]$ echo 152514/158618 | bc -l
.96151760834205449570

amazing… turns out that when i swapped servers, i forgot to re-enable mod_limitipconn in the apache configuration. the thing is, this isn’t the primary download server, it’s just one of the mirrors that the download rotates to (so it’s easy to figure out, but you have to have some computer knowledge to get to it, because the webpage currently doesn’t link directly to the files, but instead to a php script that figures out which server to get the file from (and it so happens that both servers usually have all the files, but that’s a different story)).

so what i don’t understand is, if you have somewhat of an understanding of computers, why would you go about initiating 152,000 requests within one hour (from some place in new york, i should add…)? how can you possibly expect to download that much at a time? i have nothing against people using download managers, i use them all the time, but at least be respectable about it - download no more than a handful of files at once… for what it’s worth, the ua string was: “Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.00; Windows 98).” i tried to see if this was some sort of download manager, but i am not sure… but it sort of has to be either a download manager or a script to hit that many files in an hour…

this really bothers me… not to mention that on the primary site, the error log reaches gbs in size due to all these 403 requests because of people with download managers constantly trying to leach a huge number of files at a time… i need to find lighttpd/apache modules that do progressive blocking to people who hit the site an exorbitant number of times…