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posted by NCommander on Friday January 20 2017, @04:43PM   Printer-friendly
from the hot-upgrading-database-servers-ftw dept.

Earlier today, we ran an article detailing that Oracle released 270 critical security updates for many of its products, including MySQL cluster which we use here to provide high uptime and reliability for SoylentNews. Needless to say, it was time to upgrade both NDB backends, and the four MySQLd frontends. While the upgrade did not go completely smoothly due to the fact that MySQL strict mode got enabled, and broke the site briefly, our total downtime was less than five minutes or so. Right now, we had to do a full flush and purge of all caches, which means the site is running a bit larky until they can repopulate but I'm pleased to announce we're up to date and secure!

ndb_mgm> show
Cluster Configuration
[ndbd(NDB)]	2 node(s)
id=2	@redacted (mysql-5.7.17 ndb-7.5.5, Nodegroup: 0)
id=3	@redacted (mysql-5.7.17 ndb-7.5.5, Nodegroup: 0, *)

[ndb_mgmd(MGM)]	2 node(s)
id=101	@redacted (mysql-5.7.17 ndb-7.5.5)
id=102	@redacted (mysql-5.7.17 ndb-7.5.5)

[mysqld(API)]	4 node(s)
id=11	@redacted (mysql-5.7.17 ndb-7.5.5)
id=12	@redacted (mysql-5.7.17 ndb-7.5.5)
id=13	@redacted (mysql-5.7.17 ndb-7.5.5)
id=14	@redacted (mysql-5.7.17 ndb-7.5.5)

If you notice any unusual breakages or slowdowns, please let me know in the comments. Otherwise, keep calm and carry on!

~ NCommander

posted by martyb on Friday January 20 2017, @07:00AM   Printer-friendly
from the making-a-legacy dept.

A couple months ago we ran a story asking the SoylentNews community for volunteers to help with editing and the community did not let us down; we received a full dozen inquiries! You've probably noticed a few new names art the top of the stories and quite frankly, their contributions made it possible for the staff to survive the holiday season — many, many thanks!

If, for whatever reason, you did not want to be an Editor, but still wish to contribute, there are many other areas:

Submit stories
Click the Submit Story link in the "Navigation" slashbox on the left-hand side of the main page. It is not necessary to write perfect prose (though we sure appreciate it when we see it!) If you find a story that you find interesting and think that others might also enjoy it, too, send it in! We publish, on average, about 450 stories a month. If 1% of the community submitted a story or two each month, it would make a huge difference!
Post comments
You don't need to be a subject-matter expert to comment on a story! (Though we sure do appreciate when such people chime in!) Sometimes the best discussions come about simply because someone asked a question.
Perform Moderation
Moderation is like Olympic Scoring. Everything from a "-1" (not worth the electrons used to store it) to a "5" (one of the best on the site). Each registered user gets 5 mod points per day. Concentrate on promoting the good rather than hiding the bad... we want to make sure the most insightful, interesting, and informative comments are visible.
Help site development and operation
Something bugging you about site behavior? Have experience in running a web site? Know how to run an IRC server? Know your way around a Wiki? Can code Perl in your sleep? Have experience doing QA and/or test? Don't have this knowledge but would like to learn? Join our development and/or operations team.
Support the site
Your financial contributions are critical to our continued operation. Subscribe to SoylentNews or buy SoylentNews swag.
See something else where you'd like to help out? Let us know — the more the merrier! There's a lot of fun and camaraderie in our team... in large part it's why I continue to contribute to the site. Join in on the fun!

There are many rewards for contributing. Just to be a part of such a diverse and knowledgeable team is indescribable. I have learned so much from some amazingly helpful people. So join up as an editor, submit stories and comments, moderate, or help the site to keep running.

Lastly, spread the word. Share a link to the main page, to a particular story, or even to a single comment.


posted by cmn32480 on Friday December 23 2016, @02:38PM   Printer-friendly
from the we-appreciate-the-help! dept.

Hi Guys, Soylent's Editors do a lot behind the scenes to keep the community going. As a gift idea for them this year, please consider submitting lots of stories over the next two days to get the queue nice and full. Then they'll be able to schedule in their appearance on the home page ahead of time and take Christmas (or Hanukkah) off to spend time with their friends and families.

If you've never submitted a story before, here are guidelines for composing a story submission. You submit it here.

My own method is to find tech/science articles from SN's RSS-bot or a dozen other sources like the BBC or, grab the title, and a couple of paragraphs that communicate the gist. Often I'll add a quip, question, or note of my own, but that's up to your personal taste. It's easy and takes under 5 minutes per story.

Thanks for reading, and have a happy holiday!

[Ed Note: The week between Christmas and New Years is always slow for submissions and time is a precious commodity for all of us. The more subs in the queue, the further out we can get the story queue, and the more time we have to spend with our loved ones. Any help you can give would be appreciated!]

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Wednesday November 30 2016, @04:24PM   Printer-friendly
from the fresh-blood dept.

Hopefully you will have noticed a number of new editors that have appeared to help keep this site running. They have been active for over a week but you might not have noticed them if you have been enjoying the Thanksgiving Day holiday, or just spending money during Black Friday (which seems to last longer each year!)

Snow, Charon, FatPhil, Fnord666, and GreatOutdoors have completed their training and are busy making their contributions to the team, and there are several more volunteers who will begin training in the near future. I hope that you will welcome them and keep them busy by providing more and varied submissions for them to battle with. They have already significantly reduced the strain on the editorial team and we are all breathing a collective sigh of relief back here. Thank you for volunteering guys!

posted by cmn32480 on Tuesday November 15 2016, @02:00AM   Printer-friendly
from the editorial-staff-is-getting-TIRED dept.

I will put this to you, the community, in a very straight, simple (hopefully understandable) way.

The editorial staff is a small, hardworking group. There are currently about 5 of us that are actively pushing stories out on a regular basis, and we need help.

We humbly come to you, the community, to solicit for a volunteer or two. We will provide all the necessary training, at a cost of just 3 easy payments of $999.99US, or entirely free if you apply before 1 Apr 2099.

For that pittance, you can expect to learn:

  • The editing process
  • How to get onto the bouncer for IRC
  • The best ways to abuse The Mighty Buzzard
  • The secret staff handshake
  • How to be abused, and learn to like it
  • How to deal with having your name in lights
  • and much much more!

In all seriousness, we all are busy and have lives. So do you, and we get that, but for this community to continue to thrive, we need a little fresh blood on the editorial staff. Some of us have been at this since the site went live almost 3 years ago (janrinok and martyb have posted over 3000 articles EACH). To put it in perspective, the site has only run about 14,500. Some of us came on almost a year later, but like any organization, there has been attrition, and we need to replenish.

We are starting to see some of the tell-tale signs of burnout, and to avoid that, we need your help.

If you are interested, please feel free to reach out in the comments below, via email ([nick] at soylentnews dot org), or hit us on IRC. If we aren't there (we all LOOK like we are logged in all the time due to the bouncer, but we may not actually be there), /join #editorial and leave a message — we will get back to you.

Remember, it isn't all doom and gloom! Working on staff, you will be on a team with a fantastic group of REALLY smart (myself excluded) people. I can honestly say I have made some really good friends from this experience, and I've even gotten to meet one of the guys in meat space. It is something that I am truly glad I took advantage of when the opportunity came around.

Thanks for listening, and with a little luck, we will see one or two of you pretty soon.

Live Long and Prosper,


[TMB Note: Seriously. You really don't want me having to pick stories.]

[Update: see this comment below if you've expressed interest in volunteering.

posted by NCommander on Monday November 07 2016, @12:44PM   Printer-friendly
from the whadaya-say? dept.

So, as per usual, I like to occasionally check the pulse on the community to make sure that people for the most part are happy and satisfied with the day-to-day operation of the site. For those of you who are new to the community, first, let me welcome you and explain how these work.

When I open the floor to the community, the intent is to provide a venue to discuss anything related to site operations, content, and anything along those lines. I actively review and comment on these posts, and if one issue pops up multiple times in comments, I generally run follow up articles to try and help address issues the community feels is important before someone decides to take rehash and form a spinoff. Feel free to leave whatever thoughts you want below.

In contrary to my usual posts, I don't have that much to say to this, so to both the community and editorial team's relief, I'll cut this off right here before it becomes Yet Another NCommander Novel.

~ NCommander

posted by The Mighty Buzzard on Sunday October 30 2016, @02:45PM   Printer-friendly
from the no-fishing-for-me-this-morning dept.

Right, so there's currently a DDoS of our site specifically happening. Part of me is mildly annoyed, part of me is proud that we're worth DDoS-ing now. Since it's only slowing us down a bit and not actually shutting us down, I'm half tempted to just let them run their botnet time out. I suppose we should tweak the firewall a bit though. Sigh, I hate working on weekends.

Update: Okay, that appears to have mitigated it; the site's functional at a reasonable rate of responsiveness.

Update2: Attack's over for now. You may go about your business.