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[From the diaries - BarbinMD]

You know how some politicians are fond of saying “you can’t solve a problem by just throwing money at it.” Well, here is a problem you can solve by throwing money at it. Send in a contribution to save Soapblox now!.

Goal Thermometer

Why is Soapblox Important?
Soapblox is an inexpensive, community-building content management platform developed by Paul Preston and currently used by over 100 progressive blogs. For only $15 / month, Soapblox has offered most of the features available on sites like Daily Kos and MyDD: user diaries, recommended diaries, promoted diaries, interactive comments, comment ratings, tip jars, and even things like quick hits. It is a lot of functionality for not much price, making it ideal for independent, progressive, grassroots media. As such, it has been adopted by about 90% of the fifty-state blog network, and also by several national sites including Pam’s House Blend, My Left Wing, Swing State Project, and my own Open Left. Collectively, the blogs on Soapblox received over 50,000,000 page views in 2008, and provided a huge percentage of the state-level, local politics coverage in the progressive blogosphere.

Why Is Soapblox in Danger?
On Wednesday morning, Soapblox was hacked to within an inch of its life. A quarter of all Soapblox sites went completely offline, and their databases were gone. Most others were threatened, as My Left Wing and Open Left temporarily lost all of their diaries. The hackers were in so deep, that Paul temporarily threw in the towel and declared defeat. Dozens of bloggers that I knew were all frantically emailing each other. Desperate attempts were made to try and copy all of our data before The End. At one point I was, literally, running up and down the stairs in my apartment building freaking out, as there are few things I fear more than my website’s content being wiped out. It was an impending blog apocalypse, where the entire archive and operation of over 100 blogs were almost wiped off the Internet with no hope of return.

As the day went on, through a lot of effort Soapblox was able to fend off the attack, save all data, and restore full service. However, the threat remains.

How To Solve The Problem
Here is what Soapblox needs in the immediate short-term to become safe and secure once again:

--Recharge ten servers
--Perform a full security audit of the SoapBlox server/unix infrastructure to prevent hackers from gaining access
--Ensure all backup processes are working and functional to guarantee that if hacking happens, data is preserved
--Perform a security audit on the SoapBlox code itself so that hackers cannot exploit the SoapBlox code itself.
--Migrate to new, secure servers

The good news is that, in addition to restoring full service for Soapblox, Paul has already found a system administrator who lives in his area and is able to help. All of the work listed above is currently underway. Here is what it will cost:

--Recharging ten servers at $100 apiece: $1,000
--Purchasing new, secure severs, and migrating the data: $8,000
--One month of full-time work at $50 / hour in order to complete all of the tasks listed above: $8,400

So, for a total of $17,400, we can secure Soapblox, and ensure that yesterday’s dangerous attack can never be replicated. Let’s make this happen. Save Soapblox and secure online progressive media. Contribute today.

Why BlogPac?
No doubt, many people will ask why the money for this fundraising is going to BlogPac, rather than directly to Soapblox. The answer is two-fold.

First, BlogPac can transparently raise money across several blogs at once through Act Blue. As you read this, dozens of other Soapblox blogs, along with BlogPac’s membership, are currently participating in this fundraiser. Also, as a federal PAC, BlogPac will have to disclose the payments to Soapblox, thus leaving a public record and complete transparency for the fundraiser.

Second, over the past two years, BlogPac has been proud to be Soapblox’s main contributor. Since January 2007, as part of our fifty-state blogging program, we have paid the website hosting fees of a few dozen state blogs. Also, as part of the BlogPac infrastructure contest, Soapblox was granted $5,000 to help upgrade their service. Now, we are proud to serve as the financial vehicle that will save, secure and help build up Soapblox for the future.

As such, in consultation with Paul and several Soapblox state bloggers, it was agreed that BlogPac would serve as the financial vehicle for the Soapblox fundraiser. We are honored to do so. It is BlogPac’s opinion that Soapblox is too big a part of online progressive infrastructure to fail. Also, all money raised in this fundraiser beyond $17,400 will go toward continuing the fifty-state blog grant program, and building up Soapblox over the long-term. For this effort, becoming a contributing member to BlogPac would be a great help. $5 a month goes a long way toward building progressive infrastructure.

Long-Term
For the past three years, Paul has developed and maintained Soapblox on his own. It is a part-time job for Paul, netting him about $10-$12K a year. Given the service he provides, it is the least he deserves. However, to go beyond merely preventing Soapblox from imminent destruction, and building the service up over the long-term, this will need to become a full-time position for Paul. Also, while Paul is working on improving Soapblox, he will need a regular, part-time systems administrator to guard against future attacks.

Paul and I have discussed a wide range of options to pull this off. It will require a mix of increased hosting fees, larger institutional support than BlogPac can provide, and larger donors who can give directly to Soapblox. Once this fundraiser is over, and the work listed above is completed, our first priority will be making sure that this happens. While there is a certain romantic charm to operating on such a shoestring, in order to build the base of power needed to make a progressive America, we need more organization, infrastructure, and resources. Saving and building up Soapblox is an important part of that goal.

Send in a contribution to save Soapblox now.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 08:56 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

    •  BARGAIN!!! (19+ / 0-)

      To those of you who aren't used to buying tech services, I must tell you that what Chris described as needed work at this price is a BARGAIN.

      One may not always get what they pay for, but in this case, it's a steal, has already paid huge dividends to the community and will continue to do so.

      •  Extreme Bargain - protecting so many voices (12+ / 0-)

        It's also remarkable that the founder can devote more time so easily - and live so frugally. And just the right person was instantly available to administrate. Gotta send a couple few bucks to empower all that.

        •  Isn't this just another BAILOUT! (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Thor Heyerdahl, lanshark, el ganador

          So a web enterprise is having operational and financial difficulties. A lot of us are. If they are going bailout Soapblox, will they also bailout News Corpse?

          Sure, I don't host dozens of active blogs helping to reform politics. And I didn't write code that benefits thousands of Internet users. And no one depends of my site remaining accessible so that they can communicate with 50 million other citizen activists.

          But I do inform people about the abuses and excesses of Big Media. And I make pretty pictures. And I do it all with a healthy sense of the absurd while mocking my targets.

          So where's my fund raising thermometer?

          ~
          ••• CELEBRATE with America's BAraCK Stickers And T-Shirts •••
          ~

          by KingOneEye on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 10:18:18 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Who will be the first person... (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            eeff, greenchiledem, TomP, filby

            ...to not recognize the above as snark?

            OK......GO!

            ~
            ••• CELEBRATE with America's BAraCK Stickers And T-Shirts •••
            ~

            by KingOneEye on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 10:19:11 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Seriously, this sounds like a scam. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            peace voter

            There are a TON of free, open source projects out there with FAR more features. You can buy hosting for a few dollars a month. The fact that this project was hacked so deeply proves the code is deeply flawed. This is a commercial software project, not a non-profit. Why would ANYONE donate money to this?  $15 dollars a month is outrageous extortion. Move your site to a free open source system such as Joomla, hosted on a decent LAMP server for $2-$5 dollars a month. You will save money and your site will be more secure. Soaplox is some guy's company, a company that has failed to deliver quality goods, and now he wants a bailout? You are all being taken advantage of.

            The list of costs and tasks is ridiculous to anyone who knows the industry. "Recharging" servers, what does that even MEAN? Purchasing 'secure' servers? For what, exactly? You 'recharged' the old ones, are the new ones for additional capacity, that you are charging MORE money for? It is NOT the servers that are insecure, it is obviously the Soapblox code itself, and you are going to pay the guy who couldn't secure the code in the first place, to secure the code?

            -You wanted an argument? Oh I'm sorry, but this is abuse. You want room 5, just along the corridor. Stupid git.

            by spun on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 10:51:52 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  only if you don't know what (6+ / 0-)

              you're talking about does it sound like a scam.

              There is a significant history and contribution of Soapblox to developing the Progressive blogosphere in almost every state of the Union.

              Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKaos.

              by boadicea on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 10:54:15 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Be that as it may (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                lostmypassword

                There are tons of blogging software packages out there, developed by volunteers and offered for free as open source. There are tons of hosting companies out there that will host those free blogging packages for $2-$5 per month. The code for Soapblox has been demonstrated to be insecure. It is a commercial venture delivering a substandard product priced far above fair market value. The wording of the tasks and costs borders on nonsensical.

                Progressive bloggers would be better off contributing their money to one of the free open source projects out there that has demonstrated high quality, free code. They will be better off hosting at a commercial site for 1/3 the price.

                -You wanted an argument? Oh I'm sorry, but this is abuse. You want room 5, just along the corridor. Stupid git.

                by spun on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 11:06:49 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  There is more involved in such decisions (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  el ganador, SlackwareGrrl

                  than coding.

                  Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKaos.

                  by boadicea on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 11:10:34 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Such as? (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    dmhlt 66, lostmypassword

                    He's a nice guy who agrees with our politics? Seriously, what services does this company provide that are worth THREE TIMES the going rate for hosting? What good is this doing the progressive movement? There are free systems out there that have more features even than Daily Kos, let alone SoapBlox. They are also more secure, and used by far more organizations and individuals. There are much cheaper hosting providers out there. You have not addressed any of the concerns I've raised, you have only asserted without any supporting evidence that this system is worth the outrageous price and terrible security. Why?

                    -You wanted an argument? Oh I'm sorry, but this is abuse. You want room 5, just along the corridor. Stupid git.

                    by spun on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 11:44:55 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Such as ease of use (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      el ganador, SlackwareGrrl

                      and any number of user considerations involved in any software selection. (I've been through several in my life both vocationally and avocationally)

                      You seem to think you know everything, and you don't.

                      Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKaos.

                      by boadicea on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 11:59:44 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I know about hosting and open source CMS (0+ / 0-)

                        And there are dozens of FREE systems that are far easier to use and install, have more features, and you can host them on any of a hundred hosting companies for $5/month. Any other considerations?

                        -You wanted an argument? Oh I'm sorry, but this is abuse. You want room 5, just along the corridor. Stupid git.

                        by spun on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 12:02:57 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Why don't you perform a public service then (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          el ganador, vbdietz

                          and write a diary about all the free systems that you know of and how to access them.

                          Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKaos.

                          by boadicea on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 12:05:42 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Google is your friend (0+ / 0-)

                            Google 'web hosting provider.' Check the prices. Google 'open source content management system.' Check the features. Ask for help getting set up on the message boards. You will get it for free. I currently host at a company for $5/month, the service is excellent, I get more bandwidth and storage than I can possibly use, my own database, and the security is top-notch. I use Joomla, but there are literally dozens of other, very good CMS packages out there. Check on freshmeat.net.

                            Look, nobody likes admitting they have been taken advantage of. But throwing good money after bad is just dumb. You all owe it to yourselves to look into the alternatives.

                            -You wanted an argument? Oh I'm sorry, but this is abuse. You want room 5, just along the corridor. Stupid git.

                            by spun on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 12:25:28 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I don't concede your premise (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            vbdietz, SlackwareGrrl

                            And you're the one claiming there's lots of better options without any foundation as to what criteria might be used.

                            I'm simply suggesting that your money might meet your keyboard in a diary of your own displaying the vast areas of your expertise for the benefit of the progressive blogging community.

                            Or, you could go on being an ass.

                            Your choice.

                            Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKaos.

                            by boadicea on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 12:28:04 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Nice ad-hominem (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Lava20

                            How am I being an ass? I am pointing out that there are cheaper, better, more secure alternatives. They are easy to find. I've pointed out how. I know that if I were paying good money for this service, and it failed as it has, I would want to research alternatives. And I will continue posting my concerns here, where interested parties can see them and make informed decisions, rather than posting to a dairy no one will ever see. Sorry if that offends you, that isn't my intention. My intention is to provide information that will help people make better decisions. You seem very personally attached to this project, may I ask what your connection with it is?

                            -You wanted an argument? Oh I'm sorry, but this is abuse. You want room 5, just along the corridor. Stupid git.

                            by spun on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 12:32:45 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Then provide the information (4+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            AlanF, mcronan, vbdietz, SlackwareGrrl

                            in a topical fashion rather than taking the "you idiot, you should Google yourself a better solution". (That's would lend itself to the extended treatment of a diary, btw.  I promise that if you take the time I'll read and recommend.)

                            I am the Managing Editor of Texas Kaos-which is hosted by Soapblox.  I want to see it succeed if it is possible, because that is the simplest way forward for the dozens of sites like mine.

                            I've investigated several different platforms, and for the pricepoint and features, made the considered decision that Soapblox was the best fit for us.

                            I've also, in my professional life, been involved in software implementations and migrations-including some project management experience.

                            Any other questions about my bona fides to participate in this discussion?

                            Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKaos.

                            by boadicea on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 12:39:20 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  And of course (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            boadicea, greenchiledem, renbear

                            The other side of it is that progressive blogs want to support progressive businesses and make it possible for the workers to earn living wages.

                            Just grabbing any ol' thing off the shelf that doesn't do the job properly but is cheap, is a Wal-Mart business strategy, not a progressive one.

                          •  Let me know when Wordpress gets hacked (0+ / 0-)

                            VoteForAmerica.net
                            I'm looking for a BlogAds sponsor.

                            by Vote For America on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:50:35 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Wordpress doesn't have equivalent features (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Sharoney

                            to soapblox-though it has its own strengths.

                            Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKaos.

                            by boadicea on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:54:00 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I've read through this thread and you're being (4+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Eileen B, daMule, Pager, renbear

                            a jerk.  Objectively. This guy is merely listing alternatives here. There is truly no harm in that whatsoever.  

                            Personally, I will not be giving money.  Having read through the comments, there seem to be many techies who know much more about this that are saying that Soapblox should not be used based on rational and well founded reasons.  This is then attacked for irrational reasons by people who seem to know much less about tech issues.

                            Further, while yes this is a progressive "movement" it is also a business.  Those ads on all these sites aren't just for fun.  I don't think many businesses would have the gall to ask their customers to pay for their new computers.  I see no reason why someone like Kos, god bless him, should not be ponying up a big chunk of change to pay for his business needs.  I see a worrying trend whereby the "movement" and the business, and business costs and monetary benefits are conflated.  I fully believe that the "bailout" analogies here are quite apt.      

                            Arrogance and stupidity: it's a winning combination.

                            by MatthewBrown on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 02:17:18 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  This guy started by calling us scammers (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Naniboujou

                            and that tends to make for a heated discussion to start with.

                            Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKaos.

                            by boadicea on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 02:27:47 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Well I'm a relatively disinterested observer... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            dmhlt 66

                            and in my estimation you're the one being abrasive and incendiary, spread across dozens of comments here.  And not just directed at this poster.  Just my .02.  There are ways to disagree without being disagreeable.  I think on this particular topic, you have lost that perspective.  As fun as it is to argue on the internet, it's more fun to relax and have a beer on a friday night.  All the best.  

                            Arrogance and stupidity: it's a winning combination.

                            by MatthewBrown on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 02:56:06 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  Having tested most of them... (3+ / 0-)

                          I can honestly say that the little I've used of (now very dated) SoapBlox software provided functionality that no other CMS or GroupWare product offers.

                          And, while you can host at a $5/month hosting site, you won't get the service that you should really have for some of the larger sites hosted by SoapBlox.  The sites are hosted on dedicated servers, and not overloaded with too many sites per machine like you'll get from any cheap hosting company.

                          Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

                          by Phoenix Rising on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 12:15:17 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Scooop is open source (0+ / 0-)

                            SoapBlox is credited with having 'almost' as many features as dK, right in the summary. dK runs on an open source platform. And scoop isn't even the best of breed.

                            -You wanted an argument? Oh I'm sorry, but this is abuse. You want room 5, just along the corridor. Stupid git.

                            by spun on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 12:27:34 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  dk is also customized (5+ / 0-)

                            Paul has external job.

                            Markos doesn't have an outside job, and if you think that the work to maintain dkos is just a couple couple of bucks a month, you egregiously underestimate IT costs. Look at this post and tell me it wouldn't take serious tech time and money. http://www.dailykos.com/...

                            Paul needs to earn more than poverty level wages if he's to do it full-time, AND/OR other developers need to step up. Both would a-okay with me.

                            Also, I've been doing online community a long time. There are not dozens of free open-source blogging software packages with more features (like diaries, rec's, hide rates, etc.) out there. You're misinformed.

                          •  Go to freshmeat.net (0+ / 0-)

                            Type 'content management system' into the search box. Go to the various websites, look at the features, then get back to me. I've been online (on CompuServe and GENie) since 1983. I've been contributing to open source since 1993. I doubt you've got anywhere near my cred in that world, sorry.

                            -You wanted an argument? Oh I'm sorry, but this is abuse. You want room 5, just along the corridor. Stupid git.

                            by spun on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:10:47 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Don't assume (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            boadicea, SlackwareGrrl

                            There are people here who've been around both the online community and programming for longer than you.

                            Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

                            by Phoenix Rising on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:13:07 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Yup. (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            boadicea, Jampacked

                            I'm no spring chicken, but I'm certainly not going to play a game of Who-has-the-biggest-internet-peener. It's been my personal experience that alot of "internet tough guys" don't like being challenged by "wimminz". :D :D

                            Maybe he's never heard of Slackware, who knows?

                          •  What makes youn think I'm an 'Internet tough guy' (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            peace voter, kafkananda

                            And why are you attacking me? I was using slackware back in 1995, I know all about it. I was raised by a single, progressive mom, and I have nothing but respect for women. When I hear sexism in real life or on the Internet, I call people out for it. But sure, you can believe whatever you like about me. Obviously, I'm just a jerk who's here to cause problems. sigh

                            -You wanted an argument? Oh I'm sorry, but this is abuse. You want room 5, just along the corridor. Stupid git.

                            by spun on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:42:14 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  What you are is someone who got off (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Jampacked, SlackwareGrrl

                            on the wrong foot, and can't admit it.

                            You started out combative, and then get all offended when you're challenged on it.

                            Your User ID indicates a fairly long tenure here at Dkos. How is it you're surprised that calling people scammers and idiots by implication if not actual words was going to get a strong reaction?

                            Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKaos.

                            by boadicea on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:45:22 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Most have recommends now (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            boadicea, SlackwareGrrl

                            Scoop, on which dKos is (ever more remotely) based, has ratings and diaries, too.

                            But Scoop has a different focus and function.  ct has done a LOT of customization to dKos to get it where it is.

                            A few quick points on Scoop (many more exist):

                            * Scoop's FAQ says it won't run under Apache2; that's getting a bit dated... * Scoop doesn't have the same/functional diary administration features. * Scoop permissions are much more involved and harder to maintain.

                            About the others:

                            * Outside of Scoop and SoapBlox, I don't know of a CMS that allows per-diary polling. * Outside of Scoop and SoapBlox, I don't know of another CMS or weblog that promotes diaries based on recommendations. * Most other CMS systems are bloated by the fact that they have to be so generic.  The bloat also adds to the administrative difficulties.

                            Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

                            by Phoenix Rising on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:11:43 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Exactly (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            boadicea

                            The assertion that there's  "dozens with more features" that are usable just out of the box, is just wrong. Diarying is an important part of what makes our progressive blogosphere dynamic. I think spun is thinking of forum software, like Web Crossing or UBB, which is completely different stuff.

                          •  I've mentioned a few (0+ / 0-)

                            Drupal. Joomla. Slashcode. Bah, why do I bother? I tried to help, and I got my ass handed to me by people who claim to be progressive. I don't need this aggravation, and you guys obviously don't want my advice, you just want my money. I'm done here.

                            -You wanted an argument? Oh I'm sorry, but this is abuse. You want room 5, just along the corridor. Stupid git.

                            by spun on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:44:59 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  None of them do the job (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Dems2004, boadicea, mcronan

                            I've looked at Drupal and Joomla, and I've been around /. long enough to know pretty much every update it's had since they released the initial Slashcode.

                            They don't provide the same services.  I'll add to that list PostNuke, PHPNuke, Citadel, PHPGroupware, eGroupware, Wordpress and a rather large number of others that I've sampled looking for CMS / blogging functionality over the years.

                            Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

                            by Phoenix Rising on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 02:14:16 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You don't know what you are talking about (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            boadicea

                            asdf.

                            In the fight to prove that you are right, don't forget to be nice.

                            by tarminian on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 04:19:12 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Adding a poll to a post is the easiest thing (0+ / 0-)

                            Look, there's like dozens of alternatives, such as http://pollcode.com/

                            What I see here is simple:

                            - SoapBlox Community owners are not very IT savvy and don't want to be, they want "ease of use" - SoapBlox main developer thinks he can outcode the world and be an "IT daddy" for thousands of users and hundreds of blogs.

                            Bad news for both of you: No ONE person can maintain hundreds of blogs, and even if Paul could, people aren't immortal and life throws curve balls.

                            So both of you have to come to terms with the reality that:
                            a) Blog owners will have to learn more about the IT guts of their blogs
                            b) Paul will have to open up his code and teach other people how to run it. A lot of other people.

                            If you don't do it now, you will have to do it later, with more content and perhaps with a lot less money and help. Might as well do it now.

                            poor people ..are not poor because they lack money. They're poor because they lack values.. and morals - Wingnut Radio
                            And we are the ones doing class war

                            by lostmypassword on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 02:39:47 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Oh sure -- if people don't mind advertising (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            boadicea

                            ...that they didn't approve.

                            There are definitely alternatives, but most of them that are widget-like in nature are predicated on allowing advertising.

                            SoapBlox' progressive users might want more control over the content on their site including the ads that appear -- and that's branding savvy, which you apparently discount by labeling as a lack of IT savvy.

                            The rest of what you've said is preaching to the choir; if bloggers on SoapBlox didn't understand the merits of redundancy and disaster recovery, they do now, and they are really no different than many other small businesses across the entire country who don't grok the importance of these issues.

                            Even the White House has problems with disaster recovery with regard to email -- apparently worse than SoapBlox because they still haven't recovered 5 million emails and SoapBlox is back up and running.  That's YOUR tax dollars at work, too, all those missing emails loaded with flying-spaghetti-monster-knows-what.

                          •  Oh please you don't really believe they lost it (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            cris0000

                            The guy who handled the 5 million lost WH emails "died on an accident" just 2 weeks ago.

                            Look, me and a bunch of other IT people are trying to help. Please, don't listen to me, get someone you trust that knows IT, not involved with Paul or SoapBlox. Ask him or her about the problem and the proposed "long term solution" that is presented above.

                            Paul might have been a very nice guy but hell is paved with good intentions. What he tried to do couldn't work for $1 and won't work for $17,000.

                            poor people ..are not poor because they lack money. They're poor because they lack values.. and morals - Wingnut Radio
                            And we are the ones doing class war

                            by lostmypassword on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 03:59:16 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  A little late to the party (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            boadicea, SlackwareGrrl

                            I'm fully aware that the f*ckers in the White House DELIBERATELY ensured there was no disaster recovery.  You'll find my name entwined with others who've been following closely the debacles of GovTech (at ePM), and whatever it was that Foggo-Wilkes-ACDS-MZM were doing (at emptywheel).  My comment about the so-called missing emails was intended to be sarcastic

                            That said, there's an enormous difference between people who by law are expected to have disaster recovery systems and some guy who provided a beneficial service at a ridiculous expense to himself personally in order to propagate a thriving progressive blogosphere.

                            And if you're such a big help to the community with IT services, why don't the rest of us who've been here since before userids at dkos know who the hell you are?  

                            We know Paul; his product got my site launched and recognized before we eventually moved to a different application.  He's earned our trust and faith.  The real problem isn't Paul but that the progressive blogosphere is still maturing and has not yet figured out how to institutionalize its infrastructure and finance it --  a challenge to be entirely expected from organic, authentic and flat organizations versus the top-down hierarchical organizations that autocrats of the right-wing prefer.

                            Frankly, the last people I'd consult to fix that problem -- an organizational dynamics problem -- are IT people. That's my two cents as a IT project manager with hiring authority.

                          •  and (0+ / 0-)

                            what functionality might that be?

                            In the fight to prove that you are right, don't forget to be nice.

                            by tarminian on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 04:16:51 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                    •  He's more than a nice guy. (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      boadicea, cville townie

                      He's a guy to whom many of us feel a certain loyalty and who was a sort of pioneer in helping progressive activists with no computer savvy at all become their own little "administrators."

                      I'm one of them. I used SoapBlox in '07 to power the website for the presidential campaign of my union and it allowed a bunch of total html neophytes to maintain a site that wowed everyone who saw it. The site became the centerpiece of our campaign machine and we won the election with much less money than our opposition. The $15/mo Paul was charging seemed like a screaming deal back then and when we gear up for the 2010 campaign, we'll go with him again (if he's still around) even at $50/mo.

                      He was there for us when almost no one else was and, what can I say, that just matters to some of us.

                      On top of my personal experience, I would point to the fact that bloggers with a lot more name recognition and street cred than you are putting their names to the effort.

                      So I gave him some $$ and I don't feel scammed in the least.

                      (And you should know that "google is your friend" went out of fashion about two years ago. Y'wanna make an argument, make it early and make it complete and put up some links. It'll save you a lot of hot air. But maybe you live for that sort of thing.)

                      Democrats: For the health, prosperity and security of every single American.

                      by alysheba on Sat Jan 10, 2009 at 05:17:00 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

            •  Joomla code base sucks (0+ / 0-)

              It is pure crap.  Most of the modules for it have had injection problems reported (just search bugtraq).

              In the fight to prove that you are right, don't forget to be nice.

              by tarminian on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 04:15:50 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Yeah, it's fishy (0+ / 0-)

              I'm not quite as outraged by it as you seem to be, but one could run a progressive blog on WordPress.com, or just download the FREE and well-maintained, security-updated WordPress code, and run it on whatever servers this guy already owns.

              It would however cost time and money to convert all the data over, but it wouldn't be impossible. Some Python scripts and custom SQL queries, basically.

              And, I agree, WTF is "recharge" a server? Do their servers run on batteries over there? That's the most ridiculous thing I've seen in a long time. In case of a deep haxx0ring, you'd need need to wipe the drives and reinstall the OS from scratch, for sure, but that's not "recharging". It makes no sense.

              Yes it's a commercial product. I couldn't imagine donating to it, especially when there are so many great Open Source/Free Software projects out there which could be modified to do whatever you need done-- and which could really use the donation money more!

            •  Please be nice to SPUN. Slasdot UID 1352. n/t (0+ / 0-)
            •  Secure servers (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cville townie

              While I have no idea of how much better or worse their service is compared to your typical run of the mill hosting, or how good their CMS is, I have to agree with you on one thing: Anyone talking about 'purchasing new, secure servers' is stretching the truth: What is secure or insecure is the software stack running on the server, not the server itself.

              From where I stand, it seems that the owners of this service are using a regrettable event, which might or might not have been preventable, and using the pity to tack on a few thousand dollars worth of expenses, trying to make them seem like something necessary for security. You need some chutzpah to do that, given that a site with this much traffic must have people like us that work on the business, and can figure out when someone is just spitting BS.

              What astounds me is that, even after getting comments that question the site's claims, people are still donating money. I guess it's the same people that donate to crooked charities too.

    •  Serious question re: PAC and free speech (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SlackwareGrrl

      If you finance this through the PAC, do you then have to abide by any restrictions on the content of the Soapblox sites?

      I would get Adam B or some other competent attorney to research this and give you a clearance opinion.

      Send your old shoes to the new George W. Bush library.

      by maxschell on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 10:00:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not sure I follow you. (0+ / 0-)

        How is it you think supporting the platform development leads to a question of control of content on the separate blogs hosted on the platform?

        Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKaos.

        by boadicea on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 10:33:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Great question. You lawyers out there, help.. (0+ / 0-)

        How ironic would it be for the progressive movement to contribute to its restrictions.

        Soapbox needs to receive a Terms of Agreement from the PAC to incude a No Restrictions Clause (exempting illegal behavior obviously), don't you think?

        It can/will protect both Soapbox and the PAC.

        Poverty does not mean powerless. Unite!

        by War on Error on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 11:32:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Soapblox is the platform/host (0+ / 0-)

          it has no role in content management.

          For example, I'm the managing editor of Texas Kaos.

          Neither Paul (Soapblox) or Blog Pac has any say over what we publish on TK.

          Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKaos.

          by boadicea on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 11:39:23 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I understand. DKos has a say in their rules now. (0+ / 0-)

            Legal agreements don't cover the NOW.  They cover the potential of future weirdness when the honeymoon wears off in relationships, business or otherwise.  Lawyers can foresee evil potential based on past battles.

            To avoid such a potential battle, an agreement today can eliminate any disruption or corruption of future freedoms.

            Just saying.....

            Poverty does not mean powerless. Unite!

            by War on Error on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 11:47:36 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  And for non-US residents (4+ / 0-)

      who can't contribute through ActBlue there's a PayPal link through the Soapblox blog.

      http://www.soapblox.net/...

      "now this is not the end, it is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." W. Churchill

      by Thor Heyerdahl on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 10:28:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Billing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      filby

      Chris, I made this comment on the soapblox.net site shortly before it was reset the other day, but one other area Paul might be able to use some volunteer help in is billing. I know my own SoapBlox account has had some sporadic periods between billings; on one of the other threads torridjoe mentioned that he thought the BlogPac sponsorship of LoadedOrygun had run out but he hadn't gotten a bill from Paul.

      It might be helpful to make sure that everyone who's supposed to be getting a bill actually is, and that they're getting paid. Just that kind of humdrum scutwork can take some time that could be spent on, like, security or new features.

    •  Well, I know I'm not "pure" enough (3+ / 0-)

      for some progressives I run into both online and off, but I don't think there's ANY "romantic charm" to operating on a shoestring, and it's no way to challenge an opposition that has no ethical problems with becoming wealthy from the work of others. I would be the last person to say that someone who has come up with a concept like this doesn't deserve to make a comfortable living, when people with much more frivolous ideas have become multimillionaires.

  •  Have Stoller lobby his new gov't boss for help... (5+ / 0-)

        :P

        Just kidding. Viva Soapblox!!

  •  One good thing about the panic (28+ / 0-)

    earlier this week is that it made it clear what a vital piece of the infrastructure Soapblox is.

    I'll be making an ask later today on TK, but let me add my .02 to Chris here as well.

    The state blog network itself is  going to be very important as legislatures convene in the coming year.

    Please help us keep soapblox secure and moving forward.

    Off to exercise my Act Blue acct now.

    Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKaos.

    by boadicea on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 09:04:38 AM PST

    •  Thank you! (13+ / 0-)

      Thanks for your help on this boadicea. You are right--the crisis was a wake-up call on how much we have been relying on Soapblox, and how much we needed to improve it. Crisis / Opportunity, I guess.

    •  Which is why, IMO, it needs to be open-sourced (12+ / 0-)

      so that it isn't something that has to be relied on solely.

      •  It is an option that is being considered (11+ / 0-)

        At the very least, multiple people will be working on the code upgrade.

        It will expand beyond one person, no matter what.

        •  Great to hear! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          drbloodaxe, greenchiledem

          Anything "too big to fail", even on a liberal blog level shouldn't have a single failure point.

          It's great work being done over there.

          "Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do." ~Voltaire

          by The BBQ Chicken Madness on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 09:39:44 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  An advisory group has already been formed (7+ / 0-)

            multiple people are already working on it. It won't be in the hands of just one person anymore. Even if it isn't open-sourced, it will at least be something several people can handle now.

            •  The Bernie Maddoff of blogging (0+ / 0-)

              Paul is nice, generous and knows a lot of people, but what he was trying to do can't work and didn't work.

              You can not run hundreds of blogs that cater to millions of hits as a hobby. That he tried and succeeded for all this years is nothing short of amazing, but it came crashing down. It had to. There is just no way one single person can support that many people over the internet.

              Now the "long term solution" you guys are proposing on the diary is to give a bit more money to Paul and get a better server but pretty much keep the same romantic idea going that blogs read by millions of people can be run professionally on a shoestring budget, WITHOUT using at least the main tool of shoestringers: open source code.

              Please, use this committee to have a good hard look at the value you have on hand: Your blogs, your content and your brand and the millions of people that use and read your blogs. And if it takes a bit longer, please do make sure it is truly a long term solution that has a chance of working.

              I'm afraid adding 2 or 3 programmers a faster server and full time salary for Paul ain't it.

              But don't take my word for it. Use IT people you know and trust, to give you a good recommendation.

              Cheers!

              poor people ..are not poor because they lack money. They're poor because they lack values.. and morals - Wingnut Radio
              And we are the ones doing class war

              by lostmypassword on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 02:53:42 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I guess we can say whatever we want (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                boadicea

                No matter what anyone involved has said, you keep coming back to harping on Paul being one guy and still running the thing the same way but with more money.

                Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

                by Phoenix Rising on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 03:18:32 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Believe it or not I'm on your side (0+ / 0-)

                  I like many of the blogs at risk

                  With your IT background, you know what I'm saying. You think this time Paul will listen to reason and you guys will get a more stable system with backups and disaster recovery.

                  I say based on SoapBlox's past that is highly unlikely and very risky too. I'd donate $100 to have all this blogs migrate too Joomla, Drupal or even a commercial professionally maintained CMS system. As it is, I hate to see so many people donating their hard earned money to a doomed cause.

                  It's like seeing that kid donating his bike money to Hillary's campaign.

                  But meh... Good luck to you guys.

                  poor people ..are not poor because they lack money. They're poor because they lack values.. and morals - Wingnut Radio
                  And we are the ones doing class war

                  by lostmypassword on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 03:51:14 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  To compare Paul to Bernie Maddoff (0+ / 0-)

                is a little low.  Paul!  Quick send the diamonds you have in the safe!  

                GET F'ING REAL.  

                Paul was absolutely not getting rich off this.  I do wish he would delegate more and this will cause some necessary changes.

                It is a shame it came to this, I feel things are now moving in a good direction.

                •  I don't think Maddoff wanted to hurt his friends (0+ / 0-)

                  He just couldn't make his impossible plans and ambitions work. So Maddoff sat quietly till it blew up.

                  At least that is what I suspect happened in the Maddoff story. I see no sign he kept much of the 50 billion. I even think if he had a way to give out 10% earnings every year he would have used it. He was in it for the prestige and status of being the big man who knows more than everyone.

                  So my apologies if I offended you or Paul. I absolutely do not think Paul meant to scam or defraud anyone. I just think he saw himself as infallible and took little precautions for the unlikely case he wasn't superman.

                  poor people ..are not poor because they lack money. They're poor because they lack values.. and morals - Wingnut Radio
                  And we are the ones doing class war

                  by lostmypassword on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 04:52:04 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

      •  Broken record (4+ / 0-)

        Just making any code open source is not a fix all.

        We're working this problem  priority by priority-if you'd like to help that would be fantastic.

        But I work on systems both open source and closed.  Both can be developed healthily and securely.

        If you'd like to start your own open source solution, by all means, go to it.  I'll be interested to see what you come up with.

        Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKaos.

        by boadicea on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 09:24:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  If it's "too big to fail"... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lawnorder

        ... then, indeed, open source it.

    •  Not exactly (7+ / 0-)

      All that was made clear was that the progressive blogosphere is populated by technical naifs. That so many "important blogs" were hosted on such frail infrastructure is testimony to that.

      I agree with spun. Do your homework, investigate your options, and never put all your eggs in one technological basket.

      What would you all have done if Paul had (god forbid) been hit by a bus six months ago?

      Get yourselves moved to Drupal or Joomla at a reputable host as as fast as you can (WordPress and TypePad are useless except for the simplest blog implemetations)! Hell, I have Drupal experience and hosting space. I'll set you up for $50 plus $15 per month.

      •  Thank you for your helpful comment. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SlackwareGrrl

        Nothing else to see here, clearly.

        Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKaos.

        by boadicea on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 12:04:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It is a very helpful comment (0+ / 0-)

          The problem is exactly that progressive bloggers don't know the hosting market, and they don't know open source content management systems. If they did know, they would never have chosen such an insecure, expensive, feature poor system. Drupal and Joomla are excellent, secure systems. There are at least a dozen more similar systems out there. You can get free help installing and administrating them. Hundreds of companies will host your site for 1/3 the cost of SoapBlox.

          You know what I think? I think you know how bad SoapBlox is, and you don't want people to know about the alternatives. How else do you explain your hostility?

          -You wanted an argument? Oh I'm sorry, but this is abuse. You want room 5, just along the corridor. Stupid git.

          by spun on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 12:38:11 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's interesting to me (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SlackwareGrrl

            that challenging the folks who are so readdy to issue a challenge themselves is interpreted by you as hostility.

            I know it's so inconvenient when your slams aren't simply accepted as the  received wisdom of the ages.

            I'm confident you'll soldier on.

            Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKaos.

            by boadicea on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 12:43:28 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm not challenging anyone (0+ / 0-)

              I'm trying to help people make better decisions. I don't want to be accused of bias, so rather than recommend a particular hosting provider or CMS, I have show people how simple it is to find out more. I am not slamming anyone! Why are you so defensive? Is it because you know you've made a bad choice, but if you get other people to validate your bad choice, everyone can pretend it was a good one? Now THAT was a challenge, see the difference?

              -You wanted an argument? Oh I'm sorry, but this is abuse. You want room 5, just along the corridor. Stupid git.

              by spun on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 12:54:37 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  what you are doing is not helping. (0+ / 0-)

                because you are attacking a single platform and those who've chosen to use it.

                And you did recommend a platform, Joomla.  Should I suddenly suspect you have a vested interested in it?

                If you wish to help, seriously, then the diary suggestion I made is the best way to do so.

                Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKaos.

                by boadicea on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 12:58:17 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  No, I'm not attacking the people who use it (0+ / 0-)

                  And I challenge you to point out where I have been less than civil, or even implied that you or anyone using SoapBlox is dumb. Joomla is simply one CMS that is better than SoapBlox. Drupal is another, Scoop is another, Slashcode another. I don't care what you use. I just don't want to see fellow progressives taken advantage of.

                  -You wanted an argument? Oh I'm sorry, but this is abuse. You want room 5, just along the corridor. Stupid git.

                  by spun on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:14:01 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

  •  Yeah.... you hammered out a deal. (10+ / 0-)

    I'm in for few a bucks.

    Paul is a great guy. He needs all our encouragement and support.

    The NeoCOM (Corporate Owned Media) is Neocon.

    by Brahman Colorado on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 09:13:15 AM PST

  •  Can't do much...but will toss in $25 (13+ / 0-)

    ...you have our blog support...too many of my favorites are on SoapBlox to let it go.

    Not another dime to an out of state race until CA has equality for all. Period.

    by SallyCat on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 09:15:37 AM PST

  •  I blame Joe Lieberman for hacking Soapblox (17+ / 0-)

    My Left Nutmeg was an incredibly powerful Soapblox blog when we kicked Lieberman out of the Dem. party.

  •  So... Who Are the Hackers? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    meg, dotalbon

    Is this just random b/tard stuff or was it political?

    Every day's another chance to stick it to The Man. - dls.

    by The Raven on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 09:17:47 AM PST

  •  I don't know how to feel about this... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drewish, 0wn, dotalbon

    Usually when a site or service gets absolutely rocked its because of either a) inferior design or b) because of the message.

    I feel in this case that it was most likely a combination of both.  A group decided they wanted to hack soapblox because of its liberal association.  They were then able to actually hack it due to some design flaw.

    Chances are good that if you did get hacked, you were completely unaware of a vulnerability; this then makes the fix that much more difficult, sometimes impossible.

    I'm not against what soapblox is doing, but I'm not convinced throw money at the situation will resolve the issues.  Money will not buy database records.  Money will not buy better coding.

  •  is this a joke? (7+ / 0-)

    I'm not paying someone to do what they should have done (secure their servers properly) in the first place.  Ludicrous.

    •  There's the community spirit! (15+ / 0-)

      Wowza. Without Soapblox, the progressosphere wouldn't be nearly what it is.

      •  It's closed source, proprietary software (6+ / 0-)

        I already donate/contribute (either money or time coding) to several open source projects- if they opened this up I might consider adding it to my list.  As long as the platform is closed, so is my wallet.

        Worst Treasury Secretary Evar.

        by aztecraingod on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 09:32:18 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Your choice. (3+ / 0-)

          How do you feel about participating in this orange, very closed-source, proprietary software community?

          •  Ever see the bottom of the page (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            srkp23, 0wn, sabishi, dotalbon

            Powered by scoop.

            Worst Treasury Secretary Evar.

            by aztecraingod on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 09:35:35 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Sure (0+ / 0-)

              And are the customizations open? Does this place sport a GNU license?

              •  ct's planning on merging them back I think (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                drbloodaxe, aztecraingod

                so they will be

                ---
                Fight the stupid! Boycott BREAKING diaries!

                by VelvetElvis on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 09:49:53 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  I thought we were talking about the engine (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                0wn

                not the site.  All I'm saying is that having a bunch of sites running closed-source software with a single point of failure might not be the best arrangement for things.

                Sorry, continue with the lovefest- I'll shut up.

                Worst Treasury Secretary Evar.

                by aztecraingod on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 09:49:53 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I think you miss our point (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  darrelplant

                  Because part of this money is to underwrite an assessment of how to move forward-which may or may not be open source.

                  As I said elsewhere, open source is not the be-all end all of programming.  I work on both proprietary and open source platforms.  They have each their own advantages and disadvantages.

                  I understand if you do not wish to support this based on your open source scruples, but your comments smack of someone who looks at someone who just finished putting out their burning home and pissing on his/her leg.

                  Don't be surprised if the additional moisture isn't the most welcome of contributions.

                  Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKaos.

                  by boadicea on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 10:06:23 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  If I sound out of line (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    boadicea

                    I apologize, I don't see how my words could be misconstrued to sound callous.  I understand full well that there is a place in the marketplace for closed source software- if the gentleman wants to make money for his work, God bless him, that's the American way!  It just seems incongruous to me to have this appeal to the community spirit to fix a man's business model.  The whole point of open sourcing is to harness exactly that community spirit (and produce a better product, and save money).

                    But maybe I'm missing something here.

                    Worst Treasury Secretary Evar.

                    by aztecraingod on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 10:24:18 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I think it's more timing than anything else. (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Catte Nappe, aztecraingod

                      My home almost burned down this week, so to speak.  

                      Makes me a might sensitive, and I'm sure I'm not alone.

                      Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKaos.

                      by boadicea on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 10:27:46 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  If my home burned down (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        lostmypassword

                        I would want to know why. I would want to know if there were better ways of building a home. I would want to know if there were better ways to fight fires. Honestly, it sounds like you've got a little case of the Stockholm syndrome. You are defending the people who sold you a home made of gasoline soaked rags, and think pouring vodka on a fire will put it out.

                        -You wanted an argument? Oh I'm sorry, but this is abuse. You want room 5, just along the corridor. Stupid git.

                        by spun on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 12:50:26 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  You're assuming facts not in evidence (0+ / 0-)

                          We do want to know why, and this fundraising is in to help identify how to fix it and move forward.

                          Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKaos.

                          by boadicea on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 12:52:13 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  The problem has been identified (0+ / 0-)

                            It's called 'SoapBlox.' You want to move forward? Move away from SoapBlox.

                            -You wanted an argument? Oh I'm sorry, but this is abuse. You want room 5, just along the corridor. Stupid git.

                            by spun on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:00:21 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  but you're not biased (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            mcronan

                            or attacking anyone.

                            Of course.

                            Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKaos.

                            by boadicea on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:01:44 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Is your name SoapBlox? (0+ / 0-)

                            No? Then I'm not attacking you.

                            Wow. Just wow. This is my very first set of posts on dK, because I finally thought I had something helpful to add. Based on the types of personal attacks I've encountered, I won't be posting any more. I'm glad this site is not representative of the progressive community in general. I guess I'm just used to groups like Food not Bombs, Homes not Jails, and the IWW, where intelligent commentary and useful information are welcomed.

                            -You wanted an argument? Oh I'm sorry, but this is abuse. You want room 5, just along the corridor. Stupid git.

                            by spun on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:33:07 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You started by calling this fundraiser a scam (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Catte Nappe

                            and then later you implied I was arguing with you because I had a vested interest in said scam.

                            You no doubt do have something to add to the discussion, and I really wish you would diary the various platforms pros and cons-because that would be incredibly useful.

                            But don't start slinging shit and get surprised when some ends up on your own shoes.

                            Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKaos.

                            by boadicea on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:36:04 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Nope, I'm done (0+ / 0-)

                            You're on your own. Your attitude has chased away someone who honestly wanted to help. Buh-bye.

                            -You wanted an argument? Oh I'm sorry, but this is abuse. You want room 5, just along the corridor. Stupid git.

                            by spun on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:52:26 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                    •  Missing Something (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      boadicea

                      I tyhink that what you're missing is that it takes a lot of work to put together something like SoapBlox. And it takes even more work to prep it and document it so that it can work as an open source project.

                      It's not as if Paul developed it to make a huge amount of money off of it (nor has he), but he's concentrated on trying to get it up, keep it maintained, and add on new features. Not to mention holding down his actual job. And if he gets too wrapped up in things, he forgets to send out the bills.

                      •  Exactly the reason to move to Scoop (0+ / 0-)

                        Or other software that has hundreds of developers supporting it.

                        I think no one knew the huge success Soapblox blogs would be. Now on the size it is, it outgrew the capabilities of one single person supporting it on top of an actual job.

                        Or to make a company that has several developers and two or three sysadmin.

                        "Rosa sat down so Martin could walk. Martin walked so Barack could run. Barack is running so our children can fly."

                        by lawnorder on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 07:45:17 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  Nothing to do with open source, per se (0+ / 0-)

                    This has to do with security, cost, and features. SoapBlox can not compete in any of those three areas. The fact that there are open source systems out there is not the relevant issue. The issue is that there are better, cheaper, more secure systems out there. Know your alternatives, people. Google 'open source content management systems' and 'web hosting' and you will see that SoapBlox is ripping you off.

                    -You wanted an argument? Oh I'm sorry, but this is abuse. You want room 5, just along the corridor. Stupid git.

                    by spun on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 12:47:03 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Repeating the same unsupported assertion (0+ / 0-)

                      doesn't make it true.

                      Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKaos.

                      by boadicea on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 12:50:10 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  What support would you like? (0+ / 0-)

                        Side by side, features/benefits comparison of SoapBlox to other CMS? A list of hosting providers that will host your site for less? I told you how to find those things for yourself. And if I had just posted those things here, I know that you would be yelling for me to back it up with citations, so I'm just skipping that step. I'm not the one with the web site hosting problems, you are. You do the work. Or, you could just beg for other people's money to throw at the problem, because we all know how throwing money at a failed project always fixes it.

                        -You wanted an argument? Oh I'm sorry, but this is abuse. You want room 5, just along the corridor. Stupid git.

                        by spun on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:03:44 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

        •  Ditto! (0+ / 0-)

          poor people ..are not poor because they lack money. They're poor because they lack values.. and morals - Wingnut Radio
          And we are the ones doing class war

          by lostmypassword on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 10:49:13 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  That's a big claim (0+ / 0-)

        Wowza. Without Soapblox, the progressosphere wouldn't be nearly what it is.

        Nonsense. Without Soapblox, the progressosphere would be using another blogging software (possible free software), and another hosting service.

        [And one can wonder whether it was a good idea in the first place to choose the hosting provider by political affiliation, rather than quality of the service.]

    •  Then I suggest you stay off of all the SoapBlox (14+ / 0-)

      blogs.

      If someone is putting software out there for all to use, and they've done a pretty damned good job of protecting the software and servers so far with limited resources. I suggest get off your high horse or just stay off all the local political blogs that use the software.

      Not another dime to an out of state race until CA has equality for all. Period.

      by SallyCat on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 09:26:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's NOT about the software (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        drewish, 0wn

        It's about the procedures - or the lack of them. Making backups are cheap; an order of magnitude cheaper than patching software.  I do sympathize and hope they can recover.  But, I'm sorry, they should have seen this coming.  Running a website without making backups is like drinking a bottle of Vodka while driving down the road at 100 mph without a seatbelt on.  You feel sorry for the guy as the paramedics start scraping him into plastic bags, but he should have known better.

        •  Proportionality (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          boadicea

          Security is not the end-all and be-all that IT people like to make it be.

          Backups are good, automatic backups maybe better. And for mission critical data secure off-site backup might be necessary. And for super-duper critical stuff to have that off-site backup take the form of physical media totally disconnected from the network.

          But we are talking what were mostly in origin personal blogs set up by mostly non-techies who in the course of events shouldn't feel the need to obsessively back up their data on a daily basis. This kind of dismissive one way fits all attitude about computing is frankly why a lot of line staff don't like dealing with IT people. Because they tend to start the conversation with "Why didn't you just do X?" (often with the subtext 'you frickin' moron'). Well thanks for the moralizing. Now maybe can we fix the problem?"

          •  Well... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            lawnorder

            Security is not the end-all and be-all that IT people like to make it be.

            Of course it's not (and I'm an IT person).  Security must be proportional to the value of the data you are trying to secure.  But to ignore it entirely will result in catastrophic failure.  See the diary above for an example.

            But we are talking what were mostly in origin personal blogs set up by mostly non-techies who in the course of events shouldn't feel the need to obsessively back up their data on a daily basis.

            Well, if they don't want to do it, then they need to hire someone who does.  That is, if they want to keep their data.  

            Well thanks for the moralizing.

            In my business, it's not called "moralizing", it's called "consulting".  You can't expect to have an Internet presence without understanding the risks involved in having an Internet presence, as well as what needs to be done to mitigate these risks.  

            Now maybe can we fix the problem?"

            There's nothing wrong with barn door repair.  There are just cost variances based on the timing of it.

    •  Awesome (24+ / 0-)

      Let's never help anyone in their time of need!

      The 100 blogs knew what they were getting into. Let's just let them all die. It's their own fault, anyway.

    •  Then you've got nothing to see here (8+ / 0-)

      Feel free to peruse any of the other diaries on the site you deem more worth your time-or that you have a clue about the subject.

      Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKaos.

      by boadicea on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 09:26:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  No joke. (12+ / 0-)

      The service Paul provides is done at below-cost and is not his primary job. It costs money to secure servers properly, (not to mention buy them in the first place) perform audits, buy bandwidth, storage, backup, etc.

      Ask Kos what it costs to run this place and keep the hacker riff-raff out. It ain't cheap.

      This ain't no party. This ain't no disco. This ain't no foolin' around!

      by Snud on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 09:27:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  What is wrong with this picture ? (0+ / 0-)

        A good samaritan works his fingers to the bone to support hundreds of people doing for nothing what Kos himself spends lots of money to do.

        Which leads to said good samaritan being exhausted and unable to protect the users of his blog from a common problem on the internet.

        The solution ? Spend $17,000 to give the poor samaritan some more juice to keep trying to run a jumbo plane on rubber bands and spit... But now RECHARGED rubber bands and spit.

        Guys, this is ludicrous! Spend a bit more and get some real solutions. Perhaps it's time Paul makes a company out of SoapBlox and hire some people ?

        "Rosa sat down so Martin could walk. Martin walked so Barack could run. Barack is running so our children can fly."

        by lawnorder on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 07:55:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'm in for $100 within the next 24 hrs (14+ / 0-)

    soon as some Paypal payments come in.

    Just a reminder to folks that our progressive blogs don't have Democratic sugar daddies supporting them like many Republican sites do.  

    Please give.  

    We are all droogie6655321

    by Buckeye BattleCry on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 09:23:28 AM PST

  •  I think the correct term is Blogalypse. nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    filby, dotalbon
  •  Thanks, CB. (7+ / 0-)

    I'm in for some little bit of $$, such as I can.

    I'm a copyleft person myself, because I think that is ultimately what is consonant with progressive values, so I think the opensource solution is a great one. That said, I think it's interesting that many are asking Paul to opensource, but rarely do we hear a clamor for dK to go opensource.

    •  Actually, it's mostly the same one or two people (5+ / 0-)

      asking.

      Over. And Over. And Over.

      Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

      Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKaos.

      by boadicea on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 09:30:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  dailykos runs on (0+ / 0-)

      Scoop, which is GPL'd.

      I don't know if ct is planning on merging his changes back into the trunk or not (nor how much of a nightmare that might be). Given that they aren't redistributing their code and are just using it internally, I think they don't have to at the moment. But the code is opensource.

      I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you different. -- Kurt Vonnegut

      by sabishi on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 10:47:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  DK is open source (0+ / 0-)

      It's powered by scoop. Scoop is open source, so dK is required by copyright and contract law to share all their coding back to scoop.

      -You wanted an argument? Oh I'm sorry, but this is abuse. You want room 5, just along the corridor. Stupid git.

      by spun on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 11:56:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  WRONG (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        boadicea, WeatherDem, SlackwareGrrl

        And with a single statement you prove how lacking in knowledge of the subject you are.

        Scoop is released under the GPL.  The GPL does not require you to donate your changes back to the parent project.  It doesn't even require you to post those changes, unless you are redistributing the code.  If you do distribute the code, you are required to provide the code to those people to whom you distribute the code, with no restrictions on redistribution, using the same mechanism for distribution as you use to distribute the binary.

        In no way is Daily Kos required to either publish its code back to Scoop, or to the world at large.

        Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

        by Phoenix Rising on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:21:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Technically correct (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          daMule

          Under the letter of the law, dK is not required to give back the code if they don't distribute. However, they are going against the intent of the GPL. They have benefited from the work of others and not contributed anything back. The more I hang around this place, the sadder I become. I'm sorry, but the progressives I hang around with aren't full of selfish bile and ignorance, so maybe I'm just not cut out for dK.

          -You wanted an argument? Oh I'm sorry, but this is abuse. You want room 5, just along the corridor. Stupid git.

          by spun on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:36:39 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I'm not employed right now (16+ / 0-)

    But I know first hand from a blog that was hosted on Soapblox(temporarily until I had to shut it down due to lack of time) that Paul is first rate!

    He is a great guy and works his butt off for the progressive blogs.

    As I mentioned, even though I'm unemployed right now, I'm in for $20!

  •  I wasn't going to contribute (10+ / 0-)

    but you make an excellent case for support, Chris.

    Just gave $100.

    Thanks.

  •  GREAT fu*king diary! (12+ / 0-)

    I'm in as it's the least I can do. I'd love to help on a professional level, but as it is I'm 24/7 now.

    Thanks.

    "Be convinced that to be happy means to be free and that to be free means to be brave." - Thucydides

    by JasperJohns on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 09:30:14 AM PST

  •  Half the cost is labor .... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    0wn, dotalbon

    Why can't a few people just do the work pro-bono?  Certainly there are enough talented, passionate people on the sidelines to fix this.

  •  What's up ActBlue? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Scientician, dotalbon

    ActBlue Payment Information:
    Options: all the countries of the world.

    Contribution Eligibility:
    Only option: I am a United States citizen or a permanent resident alien.

    What's up for me?
    I am not "United States citizen or a permanent resident alien" and I am willing to contribute $50 to Save Soapblox.

  •  As a web developer/programmer (7+ / 0-)

    I must say I wish I had 100 people giving me $15.00 a month for a service that I currently have. Hell, I can rent a Debian Linux box with a 3Tb pipe for under a hundred a month. Maintaining a single box that can hold literally 1000 website using a single install of Drupal/CiviCRM with a database of MySQL. All of the above are open source, features everything you could ask for for a community site and is secure if the sever is secure. To do this right people, you need to be an expert in sofware, web servers, and understand the threats facing networks every second of every day.

    Get some training or ask someone who knows how to do the work to:

    • give you advice,
    • try hacking your server(s) regularly,
    • train you.

    -9.75, -7.49 "He that will not reason is a bigot - He that cannot reason is a fool - He that dares not reason is a slave." Sir William Drummond 1585-1649

    by zamrzla on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 09:39:17 AM PST

    •  let me restate that I am disabled now (0+ / 0-)

      so i don't work much any more.

      -9.75, -7.49 "He that will not reason is a bigot - He that cannot reason is a fool - He that dares not reason is a slave." Sir William Drummond 1585-1649

      by zamrzla on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 09:48:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Seconded (0+ / 0-)

      Just because someone claims to be progressive, does not mean they are honest. Listen to people who know something about coding and the hosting industry. You have all been taken advantage of by this guy. The fact that he is raking in money while volunteers are doing most of the work clinches it.

      -You wanted an argument? Oh I'm sorry, but this is abuse. You want room 5, just along the corridor. Stupid git.

      by spun on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 11:59:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That principle is reflexive (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SlackwareGrrl

        For critics as well.

        Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKaos.

        by boadicea on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 12:01:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  But it doesn't matter (0+ / 0-)

          My being progressive or not has nothing to do with the validity of my information. You sure do love the ad-hominems, don't you?

          -You wanted an argument? Oh I'm sorry, but this is abuse. You want room 5, just along the corridor. Stupid git.

          by spun on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:05:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I hear you (0+ / 0-)

            Trying to talk some sense into this crowd isn't easy!

            I don't think Paul was scamming anyone but he was for sure being irresponsible and arrogant as hell.

            I tried to get a SoapBlox blog once and got the stock answer: You have to run it on Paul's server and you would get no copies of the database. no backups, nothing. Source code ? Not even your data is yours!

            Hence my answer to Paul: Thanks but no thanks. Been around a long time and know a dead end when I see one.

            I shudder to think of the future of those blogs, tied to a developer that lacked judgment and humility for so long, but I wish them good luck. And hope you and me are wrong and this thing won't backfire on them.

            poor people ..are not poor because they lack money. They're poor because they lack values.. and morals - Wingnut Radio
            And we are the ones doing class war

            by lostmypassword on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 03:40:34 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  stupid hackers didn't read their Neitzsche (10+ / 0-)

    "that which does not kill me, makes me stronger"

    I'm in for $25.

    the injectapods look like nothing less than lobsters with bat wings. "I don't know, but I don't like it," says Agar, throwing a stick at the beastie

    by stevelu on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 09:46:53 AM PST

  •  I posted about this at Bleeding Heartland (7+ / 0-)

    Here is the link.

    Thanks for getting this fundraising drive going, and for all the help BlogPAC provides to Democratic community state blogs like Bleeding Heartland.

    Join the Iowa progressive community at Bleeding Heartland.

    by desmoinesdem on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 09:47:56 AM PST

  •  I also posted at La Vida Locavore (7+ / 0-)

    Here is the link.

    La Vida Locavore is the community blog on food/agriculture issues started about six months ago by Jill Richardson, also known around these parts as OrangeClouds115.

    Soapblox has helped so many bloggers create a space for discussing their issues.

    Join the Iowa progressive community at Bleeding Heartland.

    by desmoinesdem on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 09:49:23 AM PST

  •  I sent a little turkee (7+ / 0-)

    Glad to see BlogPAC leading on this.

  •  Wasn't it going to be open sourced a while back? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drewish, 0wn

    What happened with that?

    ---
    Fight the stupid! Boycott BREAKING diaries!

    by VelvetElvis on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 09:54:43 AM PST

    •  From my understanding, interest dropped (0+ / 0-)

      It never found the developer base that made going open source a useful alternative.

      Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

      by Phoenix Rising on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 10:39:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  BS (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        drewish

        Open source something and the developers appear, not the other way around.

        poor people ..are not poor because they lack money. They're poor because they lack values.. and morals - Wingnut Radio
        And we are the ones doing class war

        by lostmypassword on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 10:47:01 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not always true. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          boadicea, SlackwareGrrl

          And in a case like this, open sourcing it without a commitment from several additional developers would be asking for trouble.   Security through obscurity isn't, but security through public release without a development team is even worse...

          Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

          by Phoenix Rising on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 10:48:57 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Pure BS (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            drewish

            If Paul is telling this to you I see more trouble ahead in the future for SoapBlox users.

            Wikipedia is open source and has weathered attacks with the help of thousands of developers across the world. Including mine. Same for other large php open source systems like Scoop and Drupal.

            No ONE person can support thousands of users, even fulltime. Either Paul bites the bullet and hire people and makes a company and sells his server access and gives decent, responsible support, or he opens source.

            Otherwise giving money now is just throwing away money because the same thing will happen over and over again: Paul will get overwhelmed and will tell users to take a hike.

            poor people ..are not poor because they lack money. They're poor because they lack values.. and morals - Wingnut Radio
            And we are the ones doing class war

            by lostmypassword on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 11:15:05 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Paul isn't telling me this (5+ / 0-)

              I have been a certified IT security professional, and I'm telling YOU this.

              If you have a fully developed product that's been closed-source and developed mostly by one person, and you release it to the public without having some developer base, you're asking for the bad guys to break in before you can secure the code - especially on a piece of code hosting politically sensitive sites.

              If the code is to go open source, it needs a preliminary audit first, and a team of people to do whatever that audit recommends, before it goes fully open.

              Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

              by Phoenix Rising on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 11:26:50 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Just an FYI (0+ / 0-)

                lostmypassword doesn't seem to know that Linux is GNU and open-source. The person seems to think that Slackware Linux is proprietary, like Windows Vista would be.

                So I doubt you're going to get very far with your argument here.

                •  Hey you are the one backing a proprietary system (0+ / 0-)

                  Run by one man out of his garage.

                  I think people who know IT know who knows software between you and me just by what we are recommending.

                  You: SoapBlox users should continue to rely on one man, who can not get sick, like lamentably the owner of Slackware did. Said man can not also die, get a better job, move to China or have personal or family problems. Shall he be shackled to the keyboard to ?

                  Me: SoapBlox users should leave this platform that is supported by only one person in the entire world and move to one that is either Open Source and supported by a lively developer community or to a commercial software supported by a company with more than one employee and liable to lawsuits if they leave their users hanging.

                  poor people ..are not poor because they lack money. They're poor because they lack values.. and morals - Wingnut Radio
                  And we are the ones doing class war

                  by lostmypassword on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:44:01 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You know (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    boadicea

                    Nobody said Paul should do this alone. I certainly didn't, and neither did anyone else. You're obfuscating.

                    By the way, the legal status of Linux and its distros is like ..."Open Source 101, Things to Know" for anyone who claims to be knowledgeable about this subject. Really, it's basic stuff. If you're going to act as if we're all ignorant, make sure you've covered the basics yourself. Slackware is the oldest Linux distro.

              •  where is your cert from? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                lostmypassword

                I hold a certificate for IT Security as well. Let me tell you about how the real world works sometime. For now, I'll just say that a helthy dose of paranoia isn't all bad, but don't let it rule you. Take a look at my favorite platform of Drupal , open souce, and Google runs it! And it has spellcheck!

                -9.75, -7.49 "He that will not reason is a bigot - He that cannot reason is a fool - He that dares not reason is a slave." Sir William Drummond 1585-1649

                by zamrzla on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:19:52 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Was a CISSP (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  VelvetElvis, SlackwareGrrl

                  Stopped working on GIAC certs when I found out no-one in Denver would hire me without an existing Federal security clearance on top of my credentials, and let the CISSP lapse, too - bummer, but it wasn't worth the CCE costs.

                  I'm not saying that Open Source is insecure.  I'm saying that releasing Closed Source code in active production on sensitive sites without first doing an audit and fixing holes under semi-closed conditions is idiotic.

                  Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

                  by Phoenix Rising on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:27:37 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  now that (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Phoenix Rising

                    I understand. Better said that way, it actually helps your position.
                    I have held a Tope Secret since my USMC days, which has been a while back now, but since I haven't robbed anyone or blown anything up it shouldn't take too much to get it updated. But alas, I am now retired from the rat race and I do a biot of consulting on the side. Mostly network engineering issues. You know, people wanting server software without actually having to pay for a server. Explaining the differences between SaS over well why can't we all run the same copy?

                    -9.75, -7.49 "He that will not reason is a bigot - He that cannot reason is a fool - He that dares not reason is a slave." Sir William Drummond 1585-1649

                    by zamrzla on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 02:38:36 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

              •  a certified IT security professional (0+ / 0-)

                that is recommending thousands of users to keep using a proprietary system run by ONE single person ?

                Glad I don't use your company for anything because that is one of the most outrageous IT recommendations I ever heard!

                My 20 years in IT experience tell me exactly the opposite: Those users will be much better served by using an open source system maintained by a lievely community or a commercial package maintained by more than one man out of his garage.

                But then again, you know best, don't you ?

                poor people ..are not poor because they lack money. They're poor because they lack values.. and morals - Wingnut Radio
                And we are the ones doing class war

                by lostmypassword on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:32:01 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Don't put words in my mouth (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  boadicea, WeatherDem, SlackwareGrrl

                  I'm not recommending that everyone stay anywhere, other than to say that there's an awful lot of panicking and assuming going on here.

                  Read my words: open-sourcing a closed-source program that's currently in active use without first taking it through an audit is unwise.

                  That's all I said.

                  I've been a Linux user and administrator for 14 years now.  I fully support Open Source use and advocate its effectiveness and security.  I don't think it's a matter of me being a closed-source bigot or "knowing best".

                  Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

                  by Phoenix Rising on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:41:40 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  So please, join me in telling Soapblox users (0+ / 0-)

                    to leave this trap they got themselves into.

                    As it's written above this users will be pouring money into a proprietary solution that Paul will now "run fulltime" instead of as a hobby.

                    Seriously, with all your certificates and years of IT, is that what you recommend to Soapblox users ?

                    With my years and certificates I can't. I know it's just going to happen again. NOW is the time to get them into a better solution.

                    poor people ..are not poor because they lack money. They're poor because they lack values.. and morals - Wingnut Radio
                    And we are the ones doing class war

                    by lostmypassword on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:47:27 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Why should I? (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      boadicea, WeatherDem

                      There's no rational reason to tell them to leave a platform that provides services they can't otherwise find, just because the current setup isn't the open source paradise you dream of.

                      I'm satisfied that the deficiencies of the current setup are being worked on in a rational and effective manner, and that the basics of the system are nowhere near what some of you panicking sorts are running around screaming about.

                      Most open source projects go through a phase not unlike what's going on here - it's just that most of those projects haven't touched such a large audience before they are open sourced and have an active development team.  I think the number of people using SoapBlox attests to the job that it does; it's worth supporting, to take it those final steps.

                      Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

                      by Phoenix Rising on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:52:46 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Yes. This. Very Much This. EOM (0+ / 0-)

                        Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKaos.

                        by boadicea on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:56:14 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  I hope you are right (0+ / 0-)

                        Because I like many of the blogs involved in this.

                        I don't have the same trust you have in the person in charge because most of those projects haven't touched such a large audience before they are open sourced and have an active development team. Which to me shows a very poor judgment in the part of the main developer. Add this to his GBCW when things got tough and I fear for the worst.

                        But what do I know ?

                        Again, best of luck for SoapBlox bloggers and their community. I truly hope I'm wrong.

                        poor people ..are not poor because they lack money. They're poor because they lack values.. and morals - Wingnut Radio
                        And we are the ones doing class war

                        by lostmypassword on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 02:02:22 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

            •  You completely missed (4+ / 0-)

              Phoenix's point. There are thousands of developers who understand the likes of MediaWiki or Drupal well enough to be able to spot and correct any security flaws. There is, AFAIK, only one person at the moment who fully understands Soapblox. Spotting and exploiting a security flaw requires less in-depth understanding of the code than fixing such a flaw does. Therefore, making the code public while there's currently only one person who can fix it is a recipe for disaster. It gives you all the disadvantages of both open-source (exposure of security holes to bad guys) and closed-source (reliance on one person/organization to fix security holes) development with none of the advantages.

              Something as security-sensitive as a CMS needs to be first shared with a small number of trusted people before it can be shared with the public at large.

              There is nothing so practical as a good theory—Kurt Lewin

              by ebohlman on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 11:57:32 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Good point (0+ / 0-)

                making the code public while there's currently only one person who can fix it is a recipe for disaster

                Agreed 100%. But keeping it a proprietary system and wanting people to drop dollars to fund one man's folly of omnipotence is idiotic.

                If people want to fund a solution tho the Soapblox fiasco, they should put money on a solution that won't have them here asking for money again in a year or two, i.e. a solution that doesn't involve a one man show running it and never letting others know enough to help.

                Throwing money at a proprietary system supported by one single person is very very foolish and being on the IT area I think it would be irresponsible of me not to advise against it.

                poor people ..are not poor because they lack money. They're poor because they lack values.. and morals - Wingnut Radio
                And we are the ones doing class war

                by lostmypassword on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:27:08 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  That's what they're doing. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  boadicea

                  Read the posts by pacified, boadicea, and others.  They're not against open-sourcing the code, and they certainly don't want the whole thing to be reliant on one guy.

                  Oh - and if you don't like that whole single maintainer thing, I wouldn't trust that Daily Kos place.

                  Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

                  by Phoenix Rising on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:44:02 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Hey I recommend against it (0+ / 0-)

                    But if they want to do it, it is their house. Just don't ask me to drop money on it. Like SoapBlox is doing.

                    I love a lot of the SoapBlox blogs that is why I care and am being flamed for being tough on Paul. Because I think their content is too important to let it be at risk of one man (or 2 or 3) real life's challenges.

                    poor people ..are not poor because they lack money. They're poor because they lack values.. and morals - Wingnut Radio
                    And we are the ones doing class war

                    by lostmypassword on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:56:00 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  We agree on that (0+ / 0-)

                      but I'm not convinced that panicked jumping to another platform is the answer.

                      Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKaos.

                      by boadicea on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 02:00:19 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Changing platforms is never easy (0+ / 0-)

                        But there has been a very serious disruption already. You won't want to change platforms in 6 months when you finally got the traffic back. By then you might not have a choice.

                        I do wish you Bloxers luck.

                        If you do stick with SoapBlox, make sure Paul opens his code to at least 2 or 3 people besides his buddies. Now you are funding him, you can demand more.

                        poor people ..are not poor because they lack money. They're poor because they lack values.. and morals - Wingnut Radio
                        And we are the ones doing class war

                        by lostmypassword on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 02:07:10 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Trust me. (0+ / 0-)

                          This will be an ongoing discussion.

                          This is, as I said elsewhere, stage 1 of building a firm foundation.  I'm optimistic that it can be done on Soapblox, but not naive enough to assume it will be automatic.

                          Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKaos.

                          by boadicea on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 02:09:38 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Paul is a great guy for giving out free blogs (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            boadicea

                            But he is just ONE person. Both him and you guys on the SoapBlox community have a lot more value to protect than just his software. Your content is valuable, important and what makes SoapBlox worth saving.

                            And now you guys are even funding him. So don't let him treat you guys like he is giving you something for nothing.

                            Demand backup coders. Demand database backups. Demand open source or at least a limited disclosure to someone in the community.

                            You have too good of a community of blogs to be treated like beggars who can be thrown away when the restaurant owner ran out of scraps. Don't let yourselves be put into that situation again.

                            Peace

                            poor people ..are not poor because they lack money. They're poor because they lack values.. and morals - Wingnut Radio
                            And we are the ones doing class war

                            by lostmypassword on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 02:17:44 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I hear ya. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            lostmypassword

                            You may have noticed I'm not a creampuff about arguing my positions.

                            We'll just have to see how things develop.

                            Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKaos.

                            by boadicea on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 02:23:19 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  It seems saner heads are saying the same (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            boadicea

                            At Pandagon

                            A big caveat here—nothing about the above is a long-term solution for a to-date closed-source, run-on-a-shoestring by one person effort, and they know it. Evolving a business based on the programming savvy (and the health and well-being) of Soapblox owner Paul Preston is not a business plan,

                            What Pam writes is what I meant, sorry if some times I sounded like attacking your work and of other SoapBlox users

                            poor people ..are not poor because they lack money. They're poor because they lack values.. and morals - Wingnut Radio
                            And we are the ones doing class war

                            by lostmypassword on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 09:21:18 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  That's what I mean about staging. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            lostmypassword

                            First we need to deal with the immediate problem, then look at possible solutions-whatever they may be-going forward.

                            Paul's posted a status on where things are right now.

                            First off: SoapBlox is no longer a one-man operation!

                            A System Administration group has been created, with over half-a-dozen people working on the new hardware/security concerns of SoapBlox Network, Inc.  A new server has been created which is going to be the model for a new server paradigm.  This server should be up and ready to hosts sites within the week.

                            When the server is ready, we will begin the process of moving sites on to this server, freeing up existing hardware where to be basically reformatted and reinstalled from scratch.

                            Eventually every SoapBlox site existing now will be moved.  During this move we will also be upgrading you to a NEW version of SoapBlox.  This new version as a lot of cool features that you can read about at a link provided below.  Also, new code has been added since our security incident early to help prevent future compromises and make the software more secure.

                            Another group of people have been established to serve as the Customer Service/Bug Monitoring portion of the SoapBlox Network, Inc. team.  We will be creating a portal for all customers to use to report issues and have the handled in a timely manner.  We will be establishing business hours where our Customer Service will be on-call to deal with issues that arrive.

                            Along with this, a 24/7/365 Sys Admin will be on call to deal with any up-time issues on our end of things.

                            All of this will be up and running within the next couple weeks.

                            Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKaos.

                            by boadicea on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 11:07:26 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Good first steps (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            boadicea

                            Also ask for a tool that lets blog owners backup their databases in their own hard drive or on a DVD.

                            This will make sure you at least have all the posts somewhere, in case the server goes down.

                            Good Luck!

                            poor people ..are not poor because they lack money. They're poor because they lack values.. and morals - Wingnut Radio
                            And we are the ones doing class war

                            by lostmypassword on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 03:07:40 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                •  It's not secure until... (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  boadicea, lostmypassword

                  ...everyone knows exactly how it works and it's still secure.

                  So if the goal is to make it as secure as possible, given the constraints of funding, developer time, etc., then (keeping in mind the excellent point above about how it should be pre-audited prior to mass exposure) the best methodology we have available is "lots of eyeballs".  I think the only debate remaining is about what path to take toward that goal.

                  It is the business of the future to be dangerous.

                  by RiderOnTheStorm on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 03:24:17 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Not necessarily. (0+ / 0-)

          Patrick Volkerding is still the man for Slackware Linux, and when he was inexplicably ill a few years ago (check the Slashdot archive), people were concerned for his health and his software. It's not like there were a bazillion Slackware developers out there who knew the software. And it had been around about 14 years at that point.

          •  I'd be worried to (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            drewish

            Proprietary software kept on the hands of someone who is very nice but considers it a hobby is a one way ticket to having your system dumped when the developer gets overwhelmed. A dead end you guys should be trying to get out of.

            poor people ..are not poor because they lack money. They're poor because they lack values.. and morals - Wingnut Radio
            And we are the ones doing class war

            by lostmypassword on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 11:17:39 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Say what? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              boadicea

              Lemme tell you something. LINUX is very much open source software, and Slackware LINUX is the oldest distro of it. Patrick Volkerding is still the go-to guy. It wasn't until after he got sick from his illness 14 years later that more developers stepped up to the plate. Everyone took Pat for granted til he got sick.

              •  Clarification. (0+ / 0-)

                It was 14 years after Slackware came on the computing scene before Pat recieved help. So, no, developers don't magically come just because something is open.

                •  Everyone took Pat for granted til he got sick (0+ / 0-)

                  So relying on ony one person wasn't wise was it ?

                  Why are you recommending Soapblox users to do the same then ?

                  You disproved your own point and proved mine. ONE person can not be expected - even if they want to - to support a system to thousands of users and it is very silly and idiotic to put users in this position.

                  If you know anything about IT you should recommend SoapBlox users to get out of this dead end technology they got themselves into.

                  poor people ..are not poor because they lack money. They're poor because they lack values.. and morals - Wingnut Radio
                  And we are the ones doing class war

                  by lostmypassword on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:36:42 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  They're not asking you to rely on one person! (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    boadicea

                    This money is to fund a development and maintenance effort that will extend support beyond a single person.

                    Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

                    by Phoenix Rising on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:47:33 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Open source ? (0+ / 0-)

                      Because changing from 1  to 3 persons is not going to make the situation any different. With the volume of users and content involved, this should go either Open Source or to a company liable to lawsuits and labor laws.

                      My humble 2 cents.

                      If you think 2-3 people can run this on a shoestring, then recommend it. I don't think it is the case and I am recommending against it.

                      poor people ..are not poor because they lack money. They're poor because they lack values.. and morals - Wingnut Radio
                      And we are the ones doing class war

                      by lostmypassword on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:52:14 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  It's one of the options... (0+ / 0-)

                        Pacified has stated that he's interested in looking to turn this into an open source effort.  Where that goes probably depends on how much commitment he receives to performing the code audit and development required to get it there.

                        Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

                        by Phoenix Rising on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:56:01 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

  •  Our ask is up at Blue Mass Group (10+ / 0-)

    and I'm personally in as well.  Thanks to Chris for taking the lead on this.

  •  If we can pay BIPM for Cheers and Jeers... (5+ / 0-)

    ...then certainly we can afford to pay Paul for providing what is--no offense, Bill--an objectively considerably more significant contribution to the netroots.

    Chip in, folks.

  •  I ponied up and I'm unemployed (6+ / 0-)

    I ponied up and I'm unemployed; but this is one more step toward UHC, no?

    Now get out there and contribute, people. Don't make me ask again.

    Thanks, Chris.

    Obama is a tool; and I mean that in the nicest way.

    by hoipolloi on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 10:04:58 AM PST

  •  I am also unemployed right now (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lanshark, meg, boadicea, SlackwareGrrl

    but I won’t be contributing anything. Not because I think the cause is unworthy, but strictly due to my finances.

    The progressive movement is in the majority in no small part due to the birth of the Internet-based participatory democracy movement. I have seen evidence that the radical right is aware it is lagging behind in the use of Internet resources. There was even speculation earlier in the comments that the identity of the party or parties that hacked into SoapBlox could be members of the radical right, that seek to ebb the tide as it were.

    The progressive blogosphere really needs to thank whoever hacked SoapBlox. As a community we were lucky the data was not lost, but we are luckier that now we are taking steps to prevent, or at least minimize the cost of this type of cyber attack. If it can be shown that the attackers were indeed from the right, it’s a form of political cyber terrorism that, as far as I am aware, has never existed before, simply because the progressive blogosphere never existed as it does today.

    It’s fun to speculate that the radical right might be trying to get its cyber-house in order, and used a hacker attack to further it’s political agenda but honestly, it’s just as likely that it was some geek who wanted to prove he could do it. In any case, let’s be grateful that the future of the progressive blogosphere will be just a little more secure.

    A contribution to support the infrastructure of participatory Democracy is an investment in the future of a progressive America.

    If you are not willing to die for your freedom, your freedom will die.

    by Levi the Oracle on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 10:06:26 AM PST

  •  I'm in for $100. (6+ / 0-)

    Not only does SoapBlox pilot my state's fantastic Burnt Orange Report, it also hosts the grassroots website www.TexansforObama.com, which was a huge help this past election cycle, and Turn Texas Blue, the website for our county party.

    SoapBlox is too, too, too important to not fund as fully as possible. And from a pragmatic point of view, given how much time we all spend reading SoapBlox blogs, it's really cheap deal!

  •  I'm in for $25 (4+ / 0-)

    I know it's not much, but I've been thinking of starting up a birding blog, so I'll definitely be looking into soapblox as a prospective site.

    "[Republicans] swapped principle for power. They ended up with neither. They deserved to lose." --Alan Greenspan

    by lanshark on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 10:18:23 AM PST

  •  It's a tough time for many to come up with (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    boadicea, NMRed, SlackwareGrrl

    some extra cash, but even putting in a few dollars helps when a lot of us do it.  And that's what makes the netroots and places like Soapbox and ActBlue so great.  We can make such a difference when we all pull together.

    Oh wait, that's not very 'murrican, is it?  I forgot that to be a TRUE patriot, it's every man, woman and child for him or herself.  If you can't make it on your own, don't ask for help, and if you see someone drowning, never ever throw them a rope, unless it's so they can hang themselves.  Greed, self-interest, hostility to others - those are the ideals we should strive for.  Silly me.  I remember now.

  •  Back up your damn data! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    desmoinesdem

    That goes for people publishing and storing stuff on sites like these as well as people administering the them. Then you won't ever be running up and down your stairs freaking out for fear that your website's content is going to wiped out.  There are things other than hackers that can go wrong too, like hard disk crashes and human error.  

    Recovering Republican "Order is nothing more than very slow chaos."

    by anonymoose on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 10:37:28 AM PST

  •  Almost to 100 contributors. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SlackwareGrrl

    Hey, who's gonna be Lucky 100, eh?

    C'mon, you know ya want the number magic...

    Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKaos.

    by boadicea on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 10:43:09 AM PST

  •  Open Source exists for this reason (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drewish

    No individual alone can fund and support a system that thousands use.

    Paul should have opened his source code before threatening to leave all his users hanging. That was unconscionable!

    Is he going to open his source now or is he still going to try to be "Mr. everything" and people are just delaying the inevitable ?

    poor people ..are not poor because they lack money. They're poor because they lack values.. and morals - Wingnut Radio
    And we are the ones doing class war

    by lostmypassword on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 10:44:10 AM PST

    •  Paul had a very bad day (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      filby, SlackwareGrrl

      and he's already admitted he shouldn't have posted what amounted to GBCW.

      As someone who might have lost an entire blog community, I suggest if we can move on at this point it would be more helpful than pointing and screaming "burn the programmer"!

      Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKaos.

      by boadicea on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 10:51:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        boadicea, drewish

        I feel for you guys who used SoapBlox but it was an accident waiting to happen...

        Being in the IT community, I have seen this situation happen sooo many times that it isn't funny when I see the drama played yet again, in communities I like and read.

        You guys should demand open source now or you are just going to get the same problem in the future. People get married, have surgeries, move, get good demanding jobs... It isn't realistic from Paul (or anyone) to promise to support alone a system used by thousands. An no one else can help if he doesn't open up the source code.

        poor people ..are not poor because they lack money. They're poor because they lack values.. and morals - Wingnut Radio
        And we are the ones doing class war

        by lostmypassword on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 11:09:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'm in for $25 (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chris Bowers, lanshark, NMRed

    Glad to see it's salvageable!

    louise 'hussein' to you! proud donor to "White Dudes for Obama" Endorsed 11/1/07 and never looked back!

    by louisev on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 10:56:07 AM PST

  •  "Recharging ten servers at $100 apiece: $1,000"? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Scipio

    I have several questions about the proposed changes:

    1. What does it mean to "recharge" a server, and why does it cost $100 per server? Is this an OS reinstall?
    1. Real security audit steps require far more effort (and expense) than is listed. A "full security audit of the...unix infrastructure" is something akin to what Microsoft has spent 5 years and untold millions of dollars on doing for Windows. And no, Unixes are not so much simpler and more secure than Windows that only token effort is necessary to secure them. And "a security audit on the SoapBlox code itself" is also a significant job; witness the number of security fixes over the years for other blog-like software, such as PHPBB. Just search for the term "SQL injection", and you'll see what I mean.
    1. Why is the new (and expensive) hardware implied by "Migrate to new, secure servers" more "secure" than the current hardware?
    •  I'm confused to (0+ / 0-)

      I've never heard of recharging a server.

      As far as a security audit of the infrastructure, I would envision doing something like the installation guidance from GIAC.  I highly doubt they'll be looking at source code.

      Doing a security review on soapbox code however, could take a while.  Even with an audit you have to fix things.

      As far as Unix v. Microsoft goes... From what has been described this was a failure at the OS level.  I'm amazed at the number of people who think they can just install Linux and be safer.  Ohwell.

      •  Not sure what Chris meant by "recharging" (0+ / 0-)

        There has been some work to try to reclaim the security of the current servers, to get them through until the sites are migrated onto the new servers.

        That may be what he meant, dunno.

        Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

        by Phoenix Rising on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 11:59:00 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's not a very good answer for $1000 (0+ / 0-)

          We should expect a better explanation.

          •  They'll charge you that to take it to Best Buy... (0+ / 0-)

            $99 per system.

            And they won't try to re-secure a system that's been broken into.  They'll tell you to re-install and get it over with.  SoapBlox doesn't have that immediate luxury.

            Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

            by Phoenix Rising on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:45:56 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  So now you know what "recharge" means? (0+ / 0-)

              If you're saying it costs $99 at Best Buy, please tell us what it is.

              •  I'm saying *if* that's what it means (0+ / 0-)

                Taking your PC to Best Buy for them to insert a CD and run an automated virus scanner is a $99 venture.  And they won't tell you it's secure, either.  For the same $99, they'll re-install your system from the OEM install disk, and hope you backed up your data first.

                Retaking a hacked UNIX box is a bit more involved than installing an anti-virus scanner, and like that scanner, you can only say afterwords that you caught everything that you were looking for, and that certain holes are no longer open.

                Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

                by Phoenix Rising on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 02:51:53 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  Let's see if I can't clarify... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      boadicea, SlackwareGrrl

      The new hardware isn't itself more secure, but the OS being installed is newer, and the work being done after the OS install will harden the server.

      The hardware price isn't expensive if you consider that the hardware is server-class, rack-mount hardware and that the current SoapBlox hosting is on about 16 systems.  Add in the time for someone to migrate all of the sites over to the new boxes, and it adds up.

      Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

      by Phoenix Rising on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 11:40:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Presumably one could install the new OS... (0+ / 0-)

        ...on the old servers, still perform the security audits (such as they are), and do the whole thing much more cheaply. In any case, if the diarist means "make the new servers more secure by installing a more secure OS", that's what she should say, rather than telling us that the new hardware is somehow, ipso facto, "secure".

        BTW, do you know what it means to "recharge" a "server", and why it costs $100 per?

        •  See my post above on "recharging" (0+ / 0-)

          Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

          by Phoenix Rising on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 12:04:37 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  There is a migration process... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          boadicea, Cali Techie

          You can't just install over the current servers without forcing some downtime for the various blogs on those servers.  Also, there are proposals for some more robustness in the SoapBlox infrastructure.

          My own guess is that the end number will be a bit less than what Chris is proposing, hardware-wise, but it might be a bit more to cover the costs of the application security audit and development.

          Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

          by Phoenix Rising on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 12:09:50 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Every provider has scheduled downtime... (0+ / 0-)

            ...for maintenance. Using that permits one to reuse existing servers. Or, one could buy a single new server, configure it, fill it from backups, test it, and swap it with an existing server with very little downtime. Then one could repeat the process using the newly-freed "old" server.

            •  You can't schedule that much maintenance (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              boadicea

              Not for an online service...

              Setup of a new system, complete with all the security hardening, takes a bit more than down time.

              Right now, your suggestion is being implemented - there's a single spare server and it's being used to upgrade and migrate through things.

              I know there's more to this plan than simply shuffling through the current servers, though - but I don't know enough about it to say anything worthwhile on that front.

              Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

              by Phoenix Rising on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 12:51:03 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  That's what EC2 is for. (0+ / 0-)

            Phoenix:  you're being so 2005. :)

            I am a computer consultant with some experience with large parallel systems.  Right now I'm working with Amazons EC2 and S3 web services -- it sounds like you need EC2 for your reconfiguration and it would be cheap to boot.

            Rather than buy new hardware, set up the services on EC2 -- execute a quick switchover -- then you can recopy back to the current hardware.

            Email me to discuss if you would like:  dkos at That Tall Guy dot net.

            Let us discard all this quibbling about this man or the other man, this race or that race...Let us unite as one people declaring that all men are created equal

            by ThatTallGuy on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 12:38:45 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  There was discussion about S3 (0+ / 0-)

              There's a good group contributing to the discussion on how to rebuild the whole setup.

              And yeah, I'm a bit 2005... :)  My current workplace is pretty self-sufficient - multiple locations, redundant online backup, and pretty much all of our own Internet services.  I haven't had much need to shop for remote anything lately.

              Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

              by Phoenix Rising on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 12:55:35 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Not S3 -- EC2. (0+ / 0-)

                What you need in order to prevent a significant interruption in service is essentially rented machines.  EC2 does that.  Build the systems the way you want on EC2 instances and then switch over to them to handle operations until the local hardware can be brought up to speed.

                Might end up costing a couple of hundred dollars -- far less than new hardware.

                Let us discard all this quibbling about this man or the other man, this race or that race...Let us unite as one people declaring that all men are created equal

                by ThatTallGuy on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 06:52:09 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  Has anyone asked Rupert Murdock yet? nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    filby

    Poverty does not mean powerless. Unite!

    by War on Error on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 11:34:11 AM PST

  •  Throwing $$$ at this... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lostmypassword

    may not fix your problem, especially if the code has inherent security flaws.

    I'd seriously consider reviewing options that involve evaluating open source solutions that can be customized with minimal effort.

    You may find yourself starting from scratch and burning through these contributes for very little results.

    "Artificial Intelligence is no match for natural stupidity."

    by 7P on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 11:58:12 AM PST

    •  We're working this through by priorities. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DailyKingFish

      This is the early part of the life cycle for the next stage of Soapblox' development.

      Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKaos.

      by boadicea on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 12:03:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The bright side... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      boadicea, SlackwareGrrl

      While the code isn't currently open-source, it is certainly owned and developed by SoapBlox and Paul.  That means that with a few good Java programmers auditing the code, it can be made secure enough to open source (or keep in closed source with more developers).

      Because the SoapBlox architecture is designed to facilitate these types of blogs, the common consensus is that simply moving to something like Drupal - or even Scoop or Slashcode - may not provide the same level of functionality.  Not having run a SoapBlox site vs. some of the others, I don't know.  But I do know that there are administrative functions in SoapBlox which are a lot more complicated - or impossible - under the blogging systems I have used/maintained.

      Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

      by Phoenix Rising on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 12:03:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I put up an ask (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lanshark, boadicea, filby

    over at Daily Kingfish.

    Thanks to all who are donating to help save us little voices in this vast wilderness!

    "Some see things as they are and ask why? I dream things that never were, and ask why not?" -George Bernard Shaw, as quoted by RFK

    by DailyKingFish on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 12:03:32 PM PST

  •  In for $100 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    boadicea, SlackwareGrrl

    Just to silence these insufferable know-it-all tech weenies.

  •  Would donate if I had it to give (0+ / 0-)

    I frankly have to say that had they done all of the steps listed above when they should have originally, this would never have happened.  This hacking was at least partly attributable to negligence on SoapBlox's behalf.  If I were on SoapBlox, I'd be looking for a better service right now (for the record, I use Drupal for all of my stuff).

  •  I'll be happy to volunteer my time (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lanshark, boadicea, vbdietz, SlackwareGrrl

    I'm the Senior Internet Security Architect at my company -- probably because I'm the geezer. ;-)   But I have close to 30 years of experience with network/system security, am considered an authority in one area, and have considerable experience in a variety of settings, including some very large network operations (e.g., Fortune 100 companies).  I'll be contacting them myself tonight, but if you want to pass along my email address (see my home page here) to them, please feel free.

    It is the business of the future to be dangerous.

    by RiderOnTheStorm on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 12:59:46 PM PST

  •  Thanks for (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    boadicea, SlackwareGrrl

    spearheading this effort for Soapblox.  It's good stuff.  And truthfully, we need to raise more than that but I'm sure you know that already.

  •  It's worth $15 a month to me (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lanshark, boadicea, SlackwareGrrl

    And I posted an ask at Left in Alabama.

    Those of you who are so sure Soapblox can be easily replaced by something low cost and just as easy to use, please email me your suggestions.  As the ultimate tech dummy I'll be happy to evaluate them and let you know if they're really easy to use or just look like they might be, especially to someone who already understands html and all those other alphabet soups.  Which I emphatically don't!

  •  I gave turkee. When do I get the soap block? eom (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    el ganador

    Nothing to see here, people, move along.

    by ChesapeakeBlue on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:15:39 PM PST

  •  I'm in for $100! Contributed, tipped, recced, etc (6+ / 0-)

    This thread is driving me crazy.

    I see a lot of people who know as much about web CMSs as I do, or more....but I don't think they have the experience to make the call here.

    I do.

    I have used SoapBlox when managing the WA 36th District Dems website. I'm fluent in Drupal, Joomla, Mambo, Plone...you name it...if it's a Web CMS, I've used it.

    They all have their place, and many, like Drupal, are cream of the crop tools when used correctly, with some kind of tech support.

    But my all time favorite experience was using SoapBlox with Paul, and getting a Kos-like site up and running for my org in virtually no time.

    For many progressive orgs, it's all volunteer effort, and a labor of love. And that passion doesn't always come with tech knowledge attached. With SoapBlox I could get a cool site up for my peeps quickly and then hand off responsibility for maintenance to people who were less tech fluent than I am, knowing that Paul would do most of the backend updating and stuff I'd have to do if it was Drupal.

    For an org with NO tech people, it's a godsend.

    Just because I, or some of the commenters here could set up a Drupal website with our eyes closed doesn't mean everyone could. And tho they may be loathe to admit it, there is no such thing as a no-maintainance CMS. The secret bonus here that people don't get is that Paul was doing a lot of the stuff an admin would do on a self-hosted Drupal or Joomla site.

    I just gave $100, and I'll dig to try to give more. SoapBlox is too big to fail for us as a movement, and I'm thrilled and relieved that everyone is stepping up, and that Paul is getting the acknowledgment and recognition for a Herculean effort well done.

    PLEASE DONATE!

    Howard Dean made me believe, Barack Obama made it real.

    by el ganador on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:22:08 PM PST

    •  I think i'm going to steal your comment (0+ / 0-)

      and simply start cutting and pasting it.

      Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKaos.

      by boadicea on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:26:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  If you had a SoapBlox and lost all of (0+ / 0-)

      your data you are NOT allowed to be upset.  You either knew going in that it was unsecure, thus you made a calculated decision or you were misinformed/misadvised which sucks because all of your work is gone.

      In the later case whose fault is it.  You can blame the people who had absolutely no tech experierence who were making what they thought was an informed decision, or you can blame the people whose software was catastrophically hacked.

      VoteForAmerica.net
      I'm looking for a BlogAds sponsor.

      by Vote For America on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 02:13:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  i'm glad that a lot of thought is being put... (0+ / 0-)

    into this.  and some of the comments by chris and others hint at discussions taking place between "the powers that be."  however, the following statement scares me:

    Once this fundraiser is over, and the work listed above is completed, our first priority will be [securing long-term stability of the service].

    to put it bluntly, that doesn't instill much confidence.  it sounds like youre having a fundraiser to buy a new tv that the thieves took, but not a fundraiser to a big, heavy door, or a place in a safer neighborhood.

    if indeed these heavy internal discussions are happening, perhaps you can provide a window into them.  maybe soapblox can put a link so people pant heavily over the nitty gritty of system administration.

    also, i don't give a shit about open-source or closed-source raging in the comments.  go have those arguments on slashdot.

    •  It's a staging question, if you will (0+ / 0-)

      In any project, you stage out what has to happen first, and what depends on that first step's completion.

      This is stage one, if you will. What happens after that will depend on what we find in this one.

      Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKaos.

      by boadicea on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:47:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I have a blog engine that could potentially get (0+ / 0-)

    hacked.  Where is my frontpage post?  If I had $17,400 I'm pretty sure I could come up with a backup system.  In fact my engine already has a backup system and I don't make squat.

    http://triptychstudios.net/...

    Somebody is going to respond by saying that my blog isn't used by anybody.  Which for the most part is probably true, but I have NO way of knowing because its OPEN SOURCE under the GNU or something similar.

    There have been ZERO reports of hacking or data lose.

  •  Happy to help out SoapBlox (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lanshark, boadicea, peraspera

    I've used SoapBlox-run sites for years - it's about time I gave something back. Thanks for all your time and effort, Paul!

    Thanks also to Chris Bowers and other SoapBlox users/supporters for helping identify and implement solutions.

  •  My database server alone (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vote For America

    Cost $3500, I think $17k will barely get the soapblox off the ground.

    In the fight to prove that you are right, don't forget to be nice.

    by tarminian on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 04:14:05 PM PST

  •  chipped in $250. good luck. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    boadicea
  •  We need an opensource archiving solution (0+ / 0-)

    for the internet. I wrote a blog about this here: http://ramsnotes.blogspot.com/...

    A few years from now, we cannot use the search engines as an archiving tool. There is too much data out there - and "my internet", the regions of the internet that I contribute to, should be available to me for archiving. We let parchments and paper based historical documents wither away. We now have an opportunity with the internet to store human knowledge and contributions forever.

  •  Late to the comment party, but ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    boadicea

    ... gave on ActBlue just now.

    Totally, totally worth it.

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