Why I won't be pointing to Slashdot (at least for now)

Why I won't be pointing to Slashdot (at least for now)

Summary: If you follow the tech news at all, then you've got to be suffering from the same overload problem I am. A few years ago, finding interesting tech news was like hanging your tongue under a dripping faucet in the middle of the desert.

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If you follow the tech news at all, then you've got to be suffering from the same overload problem I am. A few years ago, finding interesting tech news was like hanging your tongue under a dripping faucet in the middle of the desert. But now, it's like drinking water from a firehouse. There's so much happening everyday that it's impossible for any one person to stay on top of it all (thanks in large part to the blogosphere and the explosion in sources of credible information).

One reason I was having a problem was that I was subscribed to too many RSS feeds. So many that I stopped paying attention for the last few months. But last week, I finally circled back to the task of whittling down the number of subscriptions to a manageable number and then, I started getting back into the habit of looking for interesting posts to link to and write about. One of the first was a post on Slashdot. But when I clicked through, here's what I got:

slashdotban.png

The message goes on to offer other advice on what could be the problem. For example, whatever system on CNET's network that's over-zealously crawling Slashdot could be going through the same proxy as I am and it could be that proxy that's been banned.

Sure enough, after contacting the e-mail address listed on the ban notification, the folks at Slashdot think that's what it is and according to them, it's a 'runaway Wordpress crawler' that hit Slashdot over 20K times on 6/11. More evidence that this is the problem is the fact that there are others on the CNET corporate network who can see Slashdot (they must be going through a different proxy).

I was told that they'd unban me as soon as I gave them some assurance that our installation of Wordpress wouldn't do it again. I'm working on that now with our IT guys. In the meantime, I'm blind to Slashdot (and I wish they'd unban me on goodwill).

<sidbar>This is just another reason virtualization makes more sense. If for example, I had a virtual machine that wasn't on the corporate network, I could just flip to that and view Slashdot from a completely different (and unbanned IP address). </sidebar>

Topics: Virtualization, Networking

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6 comments
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  • Could you not remote or proxy from home...

    Or that other ZDnet proxy?

    I'm not sure how virtualization would help anymore than just going thru a different route/proxy? Or if possible, actually have Cnet/ZDnet address the issue, seems just a touch ironic that a tech/IT guy/writer/editor, has to go through "IT". Yet I suppose there different departments & protocols to follow.

    Virtualization may certainly be one way to solve it.

    Hope your work out a short & long term solutions, /. & Distrowatch are my two favorite top tech sites.
    LazLong
  • I've never been a fan of CNET's network (of sites)

    They are all so heavily-laden with ads and links to this-that-and-the-other that it affects rendering time, even on my quick box.

    Fortunately, I have local Greasemonkey scripts for many of the sites in my OPML file that I have custom settings for.

    btw: That brings up a good point, some sites are affected from the local directory, others from their homepage, some keep the settings, other constantly change their layout. It's interesting to see which webmasters out there are constantly tweaking their sites. The dynamic (ASP) ones are the bears of the lot; another thumbs down for M$ IMO.
    BillyG_n_SC
  • A great use of virtualization--not!

    Uhh...a *real* machine on a different network would work to get you past the ban, too, no? So there's nothing magical about platform virtualization in this context.

    So you could just VPN from your current machine to a network that's not banned, and SlashDot away. As long as your data appears to originate from an endpoint outside the banned network/proxy, you're in.

    Or just Remote Desktop or NX or VNC or XDMCP to a machine beyond the ban.
    dpnewkirk
    • VPN to an unbanned network?

      It's not like that's a choice I can make. So, I'd like to have one VM on the VPN, the other not. Pretty straigthforward.

      db
      dberlind
      • VPN Choices

        If we've established that VPN is indeed part of the picture, using a VM on that network may be only one of multiple possible choices. If the OS you'd use as host--bet it's Windows :-D--has a VPN client that allows you a choice of using your local gateway or the remote gateway, you could VPN into the other network and just use its gateway for everything--no VM required. Or you could configure the VPN client to use your local gateway, and then tell your web browser to use a proxy in the remote network--still no VM required. Or you could remote desktop to another system in that network--no VM required. (Or maybe *it's* a VM--who knows? Once we think of a computer running everything it runs as just one big hostable process, it's playtime. :-D)

        Of course, TOR from your current system is another solution; but it's really just a variation on the VPN-to-proxy idea--with the remote endpoint possibly in scary, uncharted waters.

        VMs are way cool; I use them every day. But they can be inefficient in that they require considerable memory and system resources--quite a penalty just to provide a VPNable wrapper-bubble around a browser for the purpose of popping out into the world through another IP. So if VPN to a remote network is the common underlying dependency, the system that you would use to host your VPN client may already be able to get you webby use of that endpoint without resorting to a VM, depending on the resources available in that remote network.

        All that said: The free VMWare Player and one of the free Browser Appliance VMs--also from the VMWare site--would be all you need in addition to the available from VPN endpoint. So Microsoft, here's a challenge: Where's *your* free browser appliance for Virtual PC? How about a free Browser Appliance VM that runs only IE and, say, WMP?
        dpnewkirk
  • I don't know, but could you not also....

    I don't know, but could you not also....
    Route it through your host file on the local machine or router to have that address or range routed through different proxy/dns?

    As I said I don't know, as I have never ran into that situtation, and it would probably best to address the issue at the source.(maybe not your department)

    There are probably several/many different solutions.Virtualization may or may not be the best one. "for you". Yet seems unnecessary, except as an excuse to use/learn Virt... which may its own benefits, yet seems like overkill.
    LazLong