spamgourmet moving?

Discussion of items in the "What's New" log.

spamgourmet moving?

Postby info » Mon Apr 24, 2006 3:38 pm

We received notice from Google about "frauduent clicks" on our adsense ads -- don't know what's behind that (if you are - stop it!), but we're facing a shut down of our adsense account, which provides a good portion of the $ that covers hosting fees (donations cover the rest, or at least some of it).

So, we're starting to look around for a cheaper hosting alternative. We're currently paying about $325/month. The service with our current host is really good, and it's a non-trivial service they're providing, and so we have to be careful. If you have any ideas about where to go, please discuss. I'll add more specifics about what we need in the discussion thread.
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Postby info » Mon Apr 24, 2006 3:43 pm

We pretty much have to have a dedicated root linux server (not VPS, slackware or debian preferred) on which we can install (or have installed) sendmail, mysql, perl, apache and DNS services. The server needs at least a gig of RAM, and probably 80 gigs of storage, with redundancy preferred. A nice fast CPU might improve performance over what we've got, too.

Our current account is for 1 megabit/sec average transfer, and so we need at least that (or the equivalent). We also need the ability to do regular backups.

We've got a couple of leads, but are interested in what everyone may think. We'd be willing to give PR (for whatever that's worth) and a link to a service that was willing to cut a deal.

I suppose another track would be to build our own server (or servers, probably), and colocate somewhere. I suppose we'd need to do a fund drive to cover the hardware cost if we did.
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Dedibox

Postby abienvenu » Mon May 08, 2006 9:23 am

A new dedicated hosting service has just been launched by Proxad (a big ISP in France). It makes big titles in the press because of the price : 30 euros (+VAT) / month. You get :
- 2Ghz CPU (VIA C7)
- 1GB RAM
- 160GB SATA disk
- 100Mbps shared and unlimited bandwidth
- Debian, Ubuntu or Fedora
- Root access
- Remote reboot (simulated CTRL+ALT+DEL or power cycle)

I cannot tell if it is reliable yet, since it was launched a week ago. But a friend of mine just ordered 4 of them. I will keep you posted...

More info at http://www.dedibox.fr/

Thank you for the spamgourmet service. It allows us to track spammers, instead of them tracking us!
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Postby SysKoll » Mon May 08, 2006 3:40 pm

They says they offer 100 Mbit/s "unlimited access".

I wish them good luck, but honestly, I don't think you can offer 100 Mbit/s continuous for that cheap. The upstream providers aren't that cheap so how can they do it? At this price, they cannot last very long. I predict that they will soon insert fine print in their ads redefining the term "illimit?". Still, for individuals, it's interesting.

Also, from a legal standpoint, France is a very risky place for us to host our forum. We routinely have spammers posting more or less offending posts, and I am not always available to delete them quickly. Furthermore, we have bona fide users who frequently criticize companies and brands (see the thread "Companies that spam or sell your address!", http://www.spamgourmet.com/bbs/viewtopic.php?t=81).

All of this must already be scrutinized carefully in spite of the US First Amendment. But in France, thanks to the Fontaine law, we (as site owners) would become legally responsible for the posts of our users! If someone posts "XXX sucks", then company XXX can shut down the site simply by threatening our ISP with a lawsuit, and then sue us after the site has been shut down. There are precedents already.

The French judges also seem to side with big companies against individuals and small guys, most of the time. See the sad story of Serge Humpich, an engineer who was sent to jail by the French banking card association for proving their system was insecure (http://www.everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=1495040) or the tale of Milka Boudimir, a taylor that lost ownership of her site against Kraft foods (http://www.heise.de/english/newsticker/news/55737). There are many, many more examples where French justice allowed small guys to be trampled by big bullies in technical and Internet affairs.

Overall, from a legal standpoint, I think that an IP lawyer such as Josh would think twice before entrusting his web site to the wisdom of that legal system.

Disclaimer: I *love* France. I just think that the First Amendment is better than French law.
-- SysKoll
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Postby abienvenu » Tue May 09, 2006 9:23 am

About the bandwidth, of course it is "shared". This means your actual available bandwidth will depend on the usage of other users. You will probably not get 100Mbps, but since Proxad is a big ISP, and has a "high tech, high bandwidth" fame, I think you will have much more than the 1Mbps requested by the Site Admin. The "normal" public price in France for dedicated bandwidth is 2.5 euros / Mbps / month.

About the legal problems for forums, I understand your fear, so let's forget dedibox...

A last thing about Serge Humpisch, I would like to add that he did not spend more than two days in jail (before going in front of the judge). He threatened the "GIE Cartes Bancaires" of revealing the weakness of credit cards if they would not employ him. I do not think he was that smart, but he definitely faced much ruder guys.
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Postby SysKoll » Tue May 09, 2006 12:46 pm

abienvenu wrote:A last thing about Serge Humpisch, I would like to add that he did not spend more than two days in jail (before going in front of the judge). He threatened the "GIE Cartes Bancaires" of revealing the weakness of credit cards if they would not employ him. I do not think he was that smart, but he definitely faced much ruder guys.


The way I read about the affair, Humpich requested consulting fees when GIE Cartes Bancaires asked him to organize what amounted to a seminar for explaining his work to their engineers. His fee request was denied and relationship quickly soured.

It is not an uncommon attitude among stuffy I-know-better-than-you institutions. Remember Adrian Lamo. He "hacked" in a couple of financial institutions, mainly using SQL injection or using a browser by playing with URLs (IE, not exactly a hacker tool!) Every time, he warned the appropriate security people about the vulnerability. Every single organization was grateful. Then he found that the New York Times had a wide-open access which exposed the full name and SSN of guest writers, among many other problems. He warned them, and instead of taking note of the huge gaps in their network, the NYT sent the FBI after this poor guy. The parallel is striking. The morale is: when you get hold of a bunch of stuffed, arrogant fools who have high self-esteem and low common sense, and push their nose into their own poo, they will not clean off the poo, they will splash it all over you.
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Hardware and Software requirements?

Postby Roshan » Wed May 10, 2006 4:11 pm

Hi there,

I'm wondering what exactly your requirements might be from a hardware perspective. 1&1, with whom I have my server, offer 'root server' systems, where you get root access on the machine, 80GB HDD, 100 Mbit ethernet connectitity with no transfer limit, and the ability to install anything you want onto the machine (You can even completely re-install the server with any distro you want!). Here's a link to the UK site: http://order.1and1.co.uk/xml/order/ServerRoot . Prices start from ?50 per month.
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Re: spamgourmet moving?

Postby Nomen Nescio » Thu May 11, 2006 12:21 pm

info wrote:We received notice from Google about "frauduent clicks" on our adsense ads -- don't know what's behind that (if you are - stop it!), but we're facing a shut down of our adsense account, which provides a good portion of the $ that covers hosting fees (donations cover the rest, or at least some of it).

So, we're starting to look around for a cheaper hosting alternative. We're currently paying about $325/month. The service with our current host is really good, and it's a non-trivial service they're providing, and so we have to be careful. If you have any ideas about where to go, please discuss. I'll add more specifics about what we need in the discussion thread.


This is bad news, which I am sorry to hear. I'm not completely familiar with the american idion "facing a shutdown" - does that mean that the adsense account has been closed, is being closed, or may be closed at some date in the future?

Google are famous in part for the slogan "Do no evil" - perhaps you can appeal to their better side not to shut down this source of funding for your operations, or maybe even donate to the cause! :-)

From the discussions elsewhere in this thread, I presume you are looking for a hosting service that contracts under US law (as that is what you are most familiar with)?

N.N.
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Postby Paranoid2000 » Fri May 12, 2006 10:44 am

SysKoll wrote:Also, from a legal standpoint, France is a very risky place for us to host our forum. We routinely have spammers posting more or less offending posts, and I am not always available to delete them quickly. Furthermore, we have bona fide users who frequently criticize companies and brands (see the thread "Companies that spam or sell your address!", http://www.spamgourmet.com/bbs/viewtopic.php?t=81).
Since this presumably applies to the forum only, why not have that hosted separately? Then you can take advantage of the lower costs for the main SpamGourmet service (which is, I assume, bandwidth rather than storage-heavy) while not having the legal exposure to malicious postings - the only danger then is with fraudsters using SpamGourmet addresses.
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Re: spamgourmet moving?

Postby SysKoll » Fri May 12, 2006 8:18 pm

Nomen Nescio wrote:This is bad news, which I am sorry to hear. I'm not completely familiar with the american idion "facing a shutdown" - does that mean that the adsense account has been closed, is being closed, or may be closed at some date in the future?
N.N.


It means it might be closed at some time in the future.
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Re: spamgourmet moving?

Postby Nomen Nescio » Sat May 13, 2006 4:10 pm

SysKoll wrote:
Nomen Nescio wrote:This is bad news, which I am sorry to hear. I'm not completely familiar with the american idion "facing a shutdown" - does that mean that the adsense account has been closed, is being closed, or may be closed at some date in the future?
N.N.


It means it might be closed at some time in the future.


Thank-you.

N.N.
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Re: spamgourmet moving?

Postby jgombos » Wed Aug 30, 2006 5:45 am

info wrote:We received notice from Google about "frauduent clicks" on our adsense ads -- don't know what's behind that (if you are - stop it!), but we're facing a shut down of our adsense account, which provides a good portion of the $ that covers hosting fees (donations cover the rest, or at least some of it).

I get the impression that you're suspecting this was done by someone trying to do you a favor. Considering there are some extremist Spamgourmet adversaries out there, I might suspect that the fraudulent clicks are actually a deliberate, calculated attack, motivated by a spammer who wants to affect the revenue. Though I'm not sure if that point of view is helpful in your attempt to remedy the problem.

Also, is the forwarding service hosted on the same machine as the BBS? After reading about the hosting deal in France, and the concern regarding forums under French law, I have to ask, why not use the French service for spamgourmet.com email traffic, and dedicate a US-based machine to host the BBS? Though there is a shortcoming that comes to mind: all the international traffic will be subject to Echelon dictionary computers (in which case you might want to set some accounts up to exchange traffic with supervillainizer.ch).
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Postby josh » Wed Aug 30, 2006 4:20 pm

We have no idea who was behind the fraudulent clicks (friend or foe, or even if there were any fraudulent clicks, for that matter) - the situation seems to have passed, though, which is nice.

For a short time, we had the bbs on the same machine as the forwarding service, but the vagaries of PHP vulnerabilities soon put a stop to that. Later, we had the bbs on the same machine as the website, but recently, the bbs is in it's own account, and the website is on the same machine as the fowarding service.

If we write our own bbs software, then we'll put it on the same box and dispense with the current bbs account. Haven't started on that yet, though :)
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Re: spamgourmet moving?

Postby de552 » Sun Sep 03, 2006 9:00 am

info wrote:We received notice from Google about "frauduent clicks" on our adsense ads


My friend is hosting quite large free site. He received one of those notes. And now site is banned from adsense and google refuses of any further discussion. That's about it.
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Still considering?

Postby iridos » Sat Nov 11, 2006 3:32 pm

Hey,
is this thread still alive - are you still searching for a good alternative to move to?

Actually I had looked if you are going to change because spamgourmet has been quite slow lately - there's sometimes a several-hours lag until the messages are forwarded sucessfully.

About your search for a cheaper host: I was researching virtual hosts / dedicated servers because a server is needed for a game I am playing (with quite some much lower needs than spamgourmet).

The best I found for our needs back then (about half a year ago) is this one:
http://smart-weblications.de
(It was really cheap and had low latency to the users in question)

It is hosted in germany, and I could not find any offer with a machine having 1GB of RAM - but the server "eco1" comes quite close (everything fine except it only has 512MB RAM):
This is the URL (sorry, it's in german):

http://smart-weblications.de/?content=dedi_eco1

I will quote/translate the offer so you're all able to read it:

* AMD Semperon 64 2600
* 1x 80 GB HDD
* 512 MB RAM
* Debian Sarge
* Full administrator / root-rights
* inkl. 4 IP adress(es)
* free choiche of reverse-DNS
* 100 GB traffic included
* every additional GB 0,29 EUR

Price: EUR 49.90 /month + one-time EUR 69,90 for setup


You could either take this offer despite of the low RAM or ask them for the price of these conditions with a machine with 1GB RAM.

Hope this helps you,

I.
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