Access Weirdness, my Web site host provider, was apparently blocked today by a number of ISPs, including Sprint (through which my own ISP, Embarq, apparently routes its traffic). Don’t know why. I just know I couldn’t access my own Web site. On one of those whims, I installed Tor to see if it would help me connect here.

Seems to have.

Now, whether it’s Tor doing its thing or just the network confusion clearing up at coincidentally the same time, I’m not sure. What’s more, don’t care. I just know I can access my personal site again. Go me.

10 Comments on “Access Weirdness”

  1. Plus, you’ll be ready in case The Man decides to sniff your packets, and round up any dissident cat-baconers they find.

  2. “… I couldn’t access my own Web site.”

    That’s happened to me too, now and then since 1996.

    It causes, in me, a Phil Dickian existential terror. It is as if a testicle or brain hemisphere has been suddenly removed, all the more frightening because one doesn’t remember having an accident or surgery, or even noticing the loss of function.

    How severe is this net-stroke? How much of me is gone?

    How long have I been dead?

  3. John – I got a series of 404’s this morning between 10 and 11:30 am EST (I’m on Embarque). Seems to be fine now though.

  4. crotchetyoldfan – The Crotchety Old Fan is Steve Davidson, also know as Rimworlder on many SF forums. Steve maintains the Rim Worlds Concordance project which is devoted to the works of A. Bertram Chandler and his most enduring character - Commodore John Grimes of the Rim Worlds Naval Reserve. Grimes is science fiction’s original ‘Horatio Hornblower of Space’. More information about Chandler, Grimes and the Rim Worlds can be found at Steve also maintains a visual index of volume 1, number 1 pulp science fiction magazines on the same website and is a devoted collector of the same. ‘I’m an ‘old’ SF fan, which you can take whichever way you like, as I love the old masters (Heinlein, Clarke, Asimov, E.F. Russell, Piper, Cordwainer Smith) and I’m well beyond the age you’re not supposed to trust anymore’. This blog is devoted to an investigation of the growing divide between ‘old’ - or ‘classic’ science fiction and the moderan literary genre that is currently sold under the same name. Steve has also begun writing reviews for, expects to be doing the same for, and is contributing various non-fiction pieces to various other websites, all of them concerned with science fiction of one stripe or another. Early in 2008 he became completely disappointed with the SciFi Channel and created The Classic Science Fiction Channel website that gathers links to public domain radio, television, film and literary properties. Steve had a successful non-fiction writing career - writing articles and books dealing primarily with the paintball industry (Four books and several hundred articles including editorializing, product reviews, sports reporting, educational and more) - which he has since given up in favor of blogging and fiction. (Leaving the paintball industry after 25 years.) One final book on this subjected is scheduled to be released in early 2009 (A Parent's Guide To Paintball). Current work on fiction includes several completed novellettes/novellas curently in submission hell and various chapters of three novels. Freely distributed current work - including several chapters of a science fiction/paintball novel and a pulp/comic book/fairy tale mashup can be found on his website.
    steve davidson


    my sites(s) are hosted on a leased server at 1and1 and I’m not aware of any glitches yesterday (one site has pretty high traffic volumes)

    One thing I wanted to mention – that I was unaware of until I ran into the issue – was their policy for dealing with DOS attacks:

    if the attack goes on long enough, 1and1 will take MY server offline for 24 hours as their final solution to the problem.

    My reaction to this is that they’re punishing the victims. As a result I’m searching for another hosting company. Yes, 1and1 is inexpensive and pretty reliable under normal circumstances, but I’m involved in a competitive situation with one of those sites: coincidentally, whenever we issue a DMCA (or quasi DMCA) to our ‘competititor’, they comply and then we get hit with a DOS attack within 24 hours. Under those circumstances, I need someone with a better solution than taking ME offline.

    Not your issue of course, but since we share hosts, I thought you might like to know about this ‘policy’.

  5. Steve,

    That’s a fairly common policy at hosting companies, honestly. I’d be surprised to find any low-to-moderate cost hosting company that did it differently. The expensive ones might use the DDoS mitigation system (which are of mixed effectiveness, in my experience), but the basic response to DDoS is still basically containment.

    (and yes, that sucks.)

  6. I’ve been using 1and1 for a few years, but I’m looking to find someone else. Their customer support is terrible… I’ve gotten the same canned non-answer for every question I’ve asked them–all of which have been about breakages caused by them.

    I know, you get what you pay for, but still…

  7. JGS:

    Really? Generally speaking my experience with them has been positive, with the exception of them not telling me that Movable Type sites have a tendency to break when they get too large because they limit the time scripts can run. Other than that, however, no complaints.

  8. Hello John Scalzi,

    This is a message from Lamont with Embarq Customer Support. I am glad to hear that you were able to re-access your webpage. Please let us know if you had any additional concern about your internet access. We strive for complete customer satisfaction and with your help we can improve our service. Thank you for using Embarq, your complete communications solution.

    Lamont L.
    Embarq Customer Support
    For additional support please visit or call 1-877-646-3282
    Voice | Data | Internet | Wireless | Entertainment

  9. John:

    Yup. There hasn’t been anything catastrophic, more like a cumulative series of annoyances. The most recent was a problem with e-mail sent through their newsletter tool bouncing. I sent them a detailed note saying I had checked a, b, c & d, and they sent back a boilerplate response saying ‘there are many reasons why e-mail can bounce, please check a, b, c & d’…

    I don’t mind the occasional glitch–hell, I work in the tech industry, I know how it goes. But I do mind having my polite and detailed requests for help dismissed with a generic (and unhelpful) response.


  10. Irony alert: when I posted that last comment I got a whole page of php errors. Looks like the comment posted anyway…

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