On Saturday at 8 AM PT, the tech team will be moving Daily Kos from its current web host to Amazon's Web Services. We'll be taking the site down for an estimated one to three hours while we move our data over to the new servers and update the DNS (the system that tells your browser where our servers are when you ask for a page from dailykos.com). The DNS changes could take different amounts of time for people in different regions of the country (or parts of the world).
Why the big move? Daily Kos has long relied heavily on "real iron" servers, which are what you imagine when you think of big machines hosting big websites: boxes in a rack in a data center somewhere that have our name on it. By moving to Amazon, we'll instead exclusively inhabit so-called "virtual machines" in the famous "cloud." In other words, Daily Kos will live in a slice of Amazon's vast network of servers, without being tied to any one specific box as we are now.
Under our old setup, Daily Kos was vulnerable during events like Hurricane Sandy (which actually knocked the site partly offline for a time); with Amazon, we'll have a much easier time dealing with such events. Even better, we'll be taking advantage the flexibility of virtual machines and a world-class data center that offers robust safeguards against failure and will allow us to quickly grow (or "scale," in industry parlance) to meet our traffic needs with ease. This should mean better uptime, faster page loads, quicker response to traffic spikes and outages, speedier deployment of new features, and better-rested, happier developers.
We are also doing a large number of major software system upgrades in the process, covering everything from better "visibility tools" that allow us to chart the site's performance, to a faster, more modern version of Ruby, the programming language that powers all the upcoming new features at Daily Kos. This is the last major planned outage before we upgrade our site's own software, but you'll have to wait to hear more from Markos on that!
I am sad, but also excited, to announce that after 11 years I am leaving Daily Kos and joining Raintank, where I will be working on monitoring software and doing devsy-opsy.
It's been a long and interesting ride at Daily Kos. I went through many election cycles, met lots of interesting people, learned a lot of things, had to solve a lot of difficult problems, and worked with some amazing people. It's the only job that my kids have ever known me to have. Hell, Daily Kos even once saved my life.
I'm sad to be moving on, but I'm very excited about what I'll be doing now. It doesn't have the glamour of politics, but monitoring is important. I'm looking forward to it.
Kossack friends, I'll still be on Twitter, reading the site, and hopefully poking my head up from time to time. Rest assured that my political opinions remain unchanged, and that I will not become a conservatist once I'm out the door. You're in good hands with the rest of the tech team; they do good work, and you won't have any problems with them. One nice thing about my moving on, actually, is that it provided the catalyst to address a lot of tech debt that had accumulated over the years, so it should be even smoother now in many ways.
Good luck, and farewell. See you on the Internets.
Sigh. Our friend BFSkinner returned to the emergency room on Friday due to intestinal blood loss and extreme weakness. He remains hospitalized at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan, north of Detroit.
He received three units of blood. His intestinal bleeding has apparently stopped for now. No site of blood loss was visible on a red blood cell nuclear scan. His doctors cannot determine if the tear has healed completely or if the rend is bleeding intermittently with a periodicity of one to two weeks.
Some of his doctors want to give him the blood thinner Coumadin to prevent blood clots being thrown to his heart or brain. He had a clot already which lodged in an artery on the surface of his heart, for which he had a stent placed. Other doctors reject Coumadin because of his risk of hemorrhage. Coumadin has caused him to hemorrhage in the past.
He told me he has to choose between death by bleeding and death by heart attack or stroke. Immediately after delivering this news, he made me laugh by telling me a funny story about an interaction with one of his doctors. We both laughed.
Looks like he will undergo placement of a temporary vena cava filter in the next couple of days. This filter will be removed in about 30 days.
His family is nearby. His sister lives in the next town, and his brother has not yet returned home to China.
I found out about his rehospitalization today. BFSkinner asked me to say his continued illness has kept him from participating at Daily Kos.
Again, he cannot view Daily Kos on his cellphone, but he can make limited comments on FaceBook.
Our long-time community member Youffraita just found out she is getting evicted TOMORROW (Wednesday 4/22) because her apartment has been condemned. I do not have details -- as you might guess, she's freaking out.
She is located in the Lancaster, PA area. She has a fairly limited amount of belongings, but she can ill afford to lose them all. She thinks she has a place to stash her stuff temporarily, but she has no car. Her place is to be padlocked sometime tomorrow.
If you or someone you know are in the area, have a truck, SUV, or even a large car that could make a few trips, and are available tomorrow to help her move, please respond in the thread and I'll scrape her up off the floor and get her in touch with you.
I installed a search service here at DailyKos lo these many years ago and brought it through the dk3 to dk4 transition. I've maintained it all along as my contribution to the site.
Yesterday I learned that there would be a slight change made over the weekend. All internal time stamps for diaries and comments will henceforth use universal time.
Today I was informed that the change is not over the weekend after all, but before the weekend. As in, "Today". At 6 PM.
It falls to me to make sure it still works at 6:01 PM.
OK. Better get started. For a blow by blow, follow beyond the squiggle of no return.
Update: Search indexing is still not working. I knew the database time stamps were going to be UTC. I didn't expect [was not informed] that the server would also keep time in UTC. So. What I coded up yesterday didn't do the job. In addition I can't find the new database. I'm sure it will all be revealed in short order. I'm sure.
Tonight, starting at 9 PM ET / 6 PM PT and running for about 15 hours, we will be taking Daily Kos offline to implement a major upgrade to the infrastructure behind the site. There should be no changes in user experience when the site comes back online, but this work will put us in a good position for major improvements to our platform in the near future.
I have a question about publishing to groups, I am a member of a few groups, and a moderator of one. Question: is it possible to publish just to a group? How is this done. I have read Kospaedia, and I don't see anything specific to this. How do you post a diary to a group queue for editing? I clicked on my group, clicked on queue, clicked on new diary and wrote. When I went to publish, it appears that it will post to Kos in general and not to my group queue. What actually is going to happen when I post? Will is queue up? will it post? will it be visible by all, or just those in the group? Please help me become less ignorant about this.
Thank you, Manoffire.
I also couldn't find a place to ask an administrator this question, so this is why it is in a diary form. Sorry.
Today in Jotters High Impact Posts in the "Two Years Ago In Daily Kos" section was a Diary by Meteor Blades titled Antonin Scalia on tape that included links and an audio recording of Justice Scalia's argument for gutting the Voting Rights Act.
Cutting through all the "argle bargle", Scalila's basic argument for removing the section 4 formula that gives section 5 it's teeth - the pre-clearance requirement of the Voting Rights act for repeat offenders -> (those states and precincts in the US that have a history of and continue to disenfranchise voters they don't want voting to this day) - is this. What Scalia was trying to sell as justice is his claim that the Voting Rights Act amounted to nothing more than:
“The Perpetuation of Racial Entitlement”
Scalia's judicial or theoretical "purity"or whatever it can be labeled is completely backwards. In reality his extra-judicial ministrations achieve exactly the opposite in the real world. Protecting the historically privileged and entitled while disenfranchising the "others" - imo
This isn't the first time I've wanted to embed a soundcloud audio file, so in the next step I'll try and show a way to do it
So my question was answered (yes, Photobucket is wonked for everyone right now) so the photodiary is suspended for now. But this is such a gem of a site, one I have wished for in the past, that I thought I would share it with everyone. Now, when you wonder if Daily Kos is scuppered, just check it here!
The site goes on checking once it finds a website down, so by keeping its window open you can get your desired site as soon as it goes back up.
On Saturday at 8 AM PT, the tech team will be moving Daily Kos from its current web host to Amazon's Web Services. We'll be taking the site down for an estimated one to three hours while we move our ...