Welcome to my new digs.

Finally all moved in and all settled down.  HostPapa is nice and fast, and I’m happy so far with what I see.  Soon I will chronicle the hilarity that is my attempt at getting technical support from Webserve, as soon as humanly possible anyway.  Boy has a lot of junk happened that I really want to rant about.  It’s a damn shame I’m in such a state right now with work, or I might actually have more time to post.

Our long nightmare is nearly over.

I’m getting an account with HostPapa.  Besides them buying green energy, they also have a great plan for the same price I was paying at Webserve, with the option to host unlimited domains and use unlimited space (within reason, whatever that means), and it appears as though I can actually turn off PHP Safe mode (shock of shocks!).  Also, their technical support exists, which is a big plus (I checked this out before buying, this time).  Sadly, due to all the fees and such, I have absolutely no idea how likely it is that I’m going to get any of my money back from Webserve, and also equally sadly, it’s possible that if something goes wrong with HostPapa I won’t get any money back at all.  However, I am holding out for a miracle in that they won’t suck.

As soon as I get my hosting package’s details I’ll move the site, then I’ve got some scientific, political and current event news to rant about.

Clifton is hitched. Pay your respects.

So Clifton got married today.  Jodi had been feeling under the weather for the past few days, so I attended the wedding alone.  The chapel had a chalk outline of a body in the parking lot, they forgot the marriage license, the preacher used the word “God” more than the word “the” (I was kind of hoping for a more secular wedding, but who am I to complain), Melissa seems to have had a lot of trouble moving around in her wedding dress, and the organist was tone deaf and incapable of playing anything but the chorus to “Love is Like a River” over and over again, and even that poorly, but all that hilarity aside, everything was beautiful.  Oh, except when Melissa cracked up laughing at the part of the vows regarding fidelity.  That probably doesn’t bear reading into, though.

Also, the $20 I had intended toward the wedding “registry” is still in my pocket, as I’m too cheap to get a card and wanted to surreptitiously slip it into Clifton’s hand or pocket or underwear or something (you know, where he wouldn’t notice it) at some point during the reception but I ended up curled up on the couch watching Heroes instead.  I had been planning to attend the reception, showing up fashionably late, later in the evening, but started to feel pretty under the weather myself — I’ve been feeling it coming on for a while, so it wasn’t entirely unexpected, and my immune system is probably shot from overworking myself lately.  Believe me when I say that it takes a lot to keep me from free food and cheap booze, so I sincerely apologize for flaking out on you bro.

I’ll be at the other centre on Tuesday so, as long as you’re not working or on your honeymoon or whatever, we’ll have to meet up so I can say hello, throw money at you, and laugh at your newfound ball-and-chain-ness.

ur in my house stealin my internets

If you can see this post, then you’re seeing the blog as hosted on the Ubuntu side of my desktop computer.  I don’t know how long it’s going to have to stay here, but I’m fed the fuck up with Webserve’s lack of technical support and their particular security measures which, under normal circumstances, I would laud, that in this case have also removed my ability to connect to the site from my work VPN.

That’s right, they’ve blocked my work IP as well.

There’s no reason I should have to connect to my own blog using a proxy server.  So, I figure my desktop can handle things for a while.  Which it probably can, unless I go and get linked on Slashdot or something.  I don’t see how that’d ever happen, so we’re all good for the moment.

The going plan is to get my money back from Webserve, or whatever money I can get back, then find a decent, cheap hosting provider that actually answers technical support requests.  It’s not like I call in asking for help setting up an e-mail account in Outlook Express, for fucks sake.  I just want to know that if I tell someone that the site is down, they’ll actually give a shit, rather than asking for my IP address, then one e-mail later, ask for it again.

Enough is enough

There comes a time where you have to get bitchy to get results.

Folks,

This is my fifth attempt to contact someone on this issue.  I have entered 3 e-mails attempting to contact someone via the Live Chat support site, and when I once called 1-888-443-4678 for technical support, the agent who answered informed me that she was in training and couldn’t help me with my problem, but offered to take a message for a callback instead.  I refused, and she gave me the technical support line 1-888-446-9932.  I have called this line twice and attempted to get to a technical support rep, both times being dumped to a voicemail box after being on hold for twenty minutes.  I’m getting extremely irate and will be taking my hosting to another company very soon, and bringing my girlfriend’s site along for the ride as well, since she’s affected by this same issue.

The issue is, to wit:

I cannot connect to http://www.lousycanuck.ca or http://www.pixelsnake.ca , both of which are on ns66.servepower.com, from my home Eastlink consumer cable internet connection.  This is a dynamically assigned IP address connection, and my current IP address is [home IP] .  I can, however, connect to both sites just fine from my work internet connection, which is also through Eastlink, at [work IP].  I suspect that somehow my home IP address is banned at the server side, because of the following two traceroutes.

From home:
jthibeault@kent-itmgrlaptop:~$ traceroute www.lousycanuck.ca
traceroute to www.lousycanuck.ca (72.15.144.248), 30 hops max, 40 byte packets
192.168.0.1 (192.168.0.1)  2.266 ms  3.781 ms  4.787 ms
2  [home’s gateway]  22.328 ms  23.044 ms  23.637 ms
nwmn-asr2.eastlink.ca (24.215.102.101)  23.208 ms  23.840 ms  24.151 ms
4  * hlfx-br2.eastlink.ca (24.215.102.149)  36.263 ms  37.526 ms
if-12-1.icore1.MTT-Montreal.as6453.net (206.82.135.5)  62.539 ms  63.062 ms  63.376 ms
if-2-0-0-29.mcore4.MTT-Montreal.as6453.net (216.6.115.69)  50.473 ms  44.022 ms  33.149 ms
if-3-0.core2.NTO-NewYork.as6453.net (216.6.115.22)  47.160 ms  47.940 ms  48.087 ms
Vlan13.icore1.NTO-NewYork.as6453.net (216.6.97.6)  56.070 ms  56.651 ms  57.342 ms
ix-13-2.icore1.NTO-NewYork.as6453.net (209.58.26.22)  43.447 ms  49.637 ms  50.804 ms
10  0.ge-5-1-0.XL4.NYC4.ALTER.NET (152.63.3.121)  49.969 ms  51.006 ms  51.329 ms
11  0.so-0-0-0.XT2.VAN1.ALTER.NET (152.63.138.58)  121.495 ms  121.866 ms  122.107 ms
12  194.ATM7-0.GW2.VAN1.ALTER.NET (152.63.136.253)  109.178 ms  111.076 ms  115.109 ms
13  primus19-gw.customer.alter.net (209.167.46.26)  113.588 ms  113.954 ms  114.480 ms
14  209.90.179.234.gs.unused.primus.ca (209.90.179.234)  115.221 ms  115.654 ms  121.128 ms
15  72.15.159.196 (72.15.159.196)  122.298 ms  123.341 ms  123.640 ms
16  * * *
17  * * *
18  * * *
19  * * *
20  * * *

From work:
C:Documents and Settingsjthibeault.[domain]>

tracert www.lousycanuck.ca

Tracing route to lousycanuck.ca [72.15.144.248]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

1    <1 ms    <1 ms    <1 ms  [gateway’s IP address
2     2 ms     2 ms     2 ms  hlfx-br1.eastlink.ca [24.215.101.197]
3     2 ms     2 ms     2 ms  hlfx-br2.eastlink.ca [24.222.79.238]
4    18 ms    18 ms    18 ms  if-12-1.icore1.mtt-montreal.as6453.net [206.82.1
35.5]
5    18 ms    18 ms    17 ms  if-2-0-0-29.mcore4.mtt-montreal.as6453.net [216.
6.115.69]
6    25 ms    25 ms    25 ms  if-3-0.core2.nto-newyork.as6453.net [216.6.115.2
2]
7    26 ms    35 ms    35 ms  vlan13.icore1.nto-newyork.as6453.net [216.6.97.6
]
8    21 ms    26 ms    21 ms  ix-13-2.icore1.nto-newyork.as6453.net [209.58.26
.22]
9    21 ms    21 ms    21 ms  0.ge-5-2-0.XL3.NYC4.ALTER.NET [152.63.3.165]
10    94 ms    94 ms    94 ms  0.so-3-0-0.XT1.VAN1.ALTER.NET [152.63.136.18]
11    94 ms    95 ms    94 ms  195.ATM6-0.GW2.VAN1.ALTER.NET [152.63.136.249]
12    94 ms    94 ms    94 ms  primus19-gw.customer.alter.net [209.167.46.26]
13    96 ms    95 ms    95 ms  209.90.179.234.gs.unused.primus.ca [209.90.179.2
34]
14    95 ms    95 ms    95 ms  72.15.159.196
15    96 ms    96 ms    96 ms  ns66.servepower.com [72.15.144.248]

Trace complete.

As you can see, both traceroutes make it all the way to the gateway immediately before the server on which I’m hosted, being 72.15.159.196.  Any attempt to connect to my own site from home simply times out.  It has been this way for almost two weeks now, having happened shortly after some apparently legitimate downtime.  I suspect that you may have put in some security measures to block a DoS attack or something along those lines, which is understandable.  However, by no means should I be paying for a service that I cannot access from my own home.  If you have blanket-banned all Eastlink cable accounts please let me know so that I can cancel my service with you and move to another hosting provider.  If somehow only my own IP address is affected and I am compromised, please inform me so I can take steps to rectify the situation.  At no time has anyone bothered to inform myself or my girlfriend that we were being banned for any legitimate reason, so I would appreciate it if someone could explain to me why this issue is ongoing.

I hope this will automatically generate a ticket for this issue like the IVR on the technical support line has claimed, because if so, I will be calling immediately and repeatedly because two weeks is far too long for this issue to be ongoing.

Thank you for your time and have a good day.

It’s pretty fucking cut and dry, compadres.
I’m backing up my database and the file structure right now, by the by.

Happy Talk like a Pirate Day!

Avast me hearties, it be International Talk like a Pirate Day.  My webhost still has me barred from making port in me own hometown, so I be sending this message by carrier parrot.  If they don’t end this embargo soon, we’ll chum the waters with their entrails, we will!  Arrr!

I have many chores this weekend, not the least of which will be getting these sumbitches from unbanning me before I take my business elsewhere.  I don’t know how much I’ll be able to post.  Apologies to those of you who were expecting actual content.  If you’re looking for something to do, research the Large Hadron Collider and decide whether or not the doomsayers have a case, visit Something Awful and try to start a new internet meme, or maybe donate some money to me toward a Chevy Volt.

One of you lubbers fetch me a grog!  Smartly now!

My rebuttal to JTankers

Sir, with respect, get a god damn life.

Five minutes of Googling has revealed to me that you are either a composite of dozens or hundreds of like-minded individuals building a body of work over the past year, in an effort to build a persona the likes of which has not been seen since Usenet, or you are easily the most dedicated forum troll in history.  You have posted almost literally everywhere there is the merest mention of the letters L, H and C together, as JTankers (5080 results), James Jr (363 results), James / James Jr / James Jr C Tankersley (362 results, though in fairness this overlaps somewhat with James Jr).

You even founded your very own site, whose very domain name is steeped in partisanship by proclaiming to host “facts” about the LHC, as though you were going to populate it with nothing but figures about the size and dimensions of the various parts — you know, actual facts.  And in every post you ignore rebuttals, post links to discredited articles repeatedly (including those that you have posted in my blog), and generally look like the very picture of someone nursing a serious anxiety disorder after having gotten your head rattled by an IED on your last tour.

Therefore, I have determined that rebutting you is impossible, as others have tried and failed, and I have neither the time nor the patience to try my hand at a Sisyphean task.  Jodi gave me some advice when I first started researching a real rebuttal — that is, to let it go.  And with this parting shot, I am.

You are a hypocrite and a bully, and I have no time for you or your ilk.  Any further posts by you will be summarily replaced with ridiculous nonsense and any attempts at linking your site to mine (which is the real reason you post on even backwater Canadian blogs with a readership of 5) will be removed.  Goodbye.

The downtime that was not downtime

It looks like my home internet connection is blocked somehow from connecting to this server (either my site or Jodi’s), but when I’m logged into my work VPN, I can connect to it fine.  I have to wonder about this — how many other home consumer-class cable or DSL accounts are blocked?  How many people out there tried to get to my site but couldn’t, because of this blacklisting?  And how would they, or I, know?

I’m on hold with Webserve’s technical support now, while waiting for supper to cook.  Hopefully the answer will be forthcoming.

Ridiculous downtime, and my first troll

First up folks, my apologies for the ridiculous amount of downtime over the weekend, and this immediately after I close my Facebook account and direct people here.  Murphy’s law and all that.  Needless to say I’m irritated at my hosting provider, and while I’m only paying for the lowest package available, I could probably get more reliable uptime out of hosting on my own computer at home (if I weren’t so concerned about power usage, given that NS Power just jumped power costs another 9.4%).

Secondly, my last post,while it only peripherally involved mention of the Large Hadron Collider, somehow managed to attract one of those concern trolls that frequent internet forums and Wikipedia articles doomsaying about the LHC and pointing to mostly-discredited articles as their proof.  It got caught in the Akismet spam filter, but I’m rescuing it just for posterity.  I post it in its entirety below:

JTankers | attentionwhore@hotmale.com | shrillinternetklaxon.org | IP: <redacted>

Your prophecy is fullfilled.

Good blog jthibeault, you argue logically, but your Large Hadron Collider analogy relies on disputed “facts” from partisans.

You are correct that popular consensus among scientists with a similar level of understanding as your’s is to believe CERN’s and CERN’s friends’ arguments that danger is not possible.

But CERN did something similar to what the believers you reference do, start with the answer (in this case safety) and promise to prove their conclusion. Any talk of danger was heresy. According to news accounts, CERN even directed their employees not to represent risk as other than zero to the media, regardless of any concerns they might have.

Enough with the supposition. What do the experts who independently of CERN conclude in their respected papers?

Scientists predict possible creation of micro black holes possibly at a rate of 1 per second.[1]

Steven Hawking estimates a 1% chance[2] and evaporation is disputed by multiple papers[3][4]. (Dr. Hawking’s scientific credibility was also recently disputed by Professor Higgs[5]).

Cosmic ray safety arguments are disputed by multiple papers by PHD’ed theoretical scientists[6][7].

Senior German Astrophysicist PHD Dr. Rainer Plaga politely attempted to correct CERN’s apparent possible theoretical flaws in the field of astrophysics which CERN was delving into, but he was ignored apparently.[6]

Inventor of Chaos Theory’s Rössler Attractor and founder of Endophysics Professor Dr. Otto Rössler also theorizes that micro black hole creation would likely be catastrophic, he calculates exponential growth of micro black holes in years, decades or centuries.[7]

If micro black holes are created by Head-On particle colliders some will travel too slowly to escape Earth’s gravity.
CERN’s LHC Safety Assessment Group believed in March of 2008 that micro black holes created by cosmic rays would all travel through Earth at nearly the speed of light[8].

Large Hadron Collider safety is currently under challenge and review in American and European courts.[9][10]. CERN is also alleged to censor information on risks involved.[11]

[1] cerncourier.com/cws/article/cern/29199 The case for mini black holes, CERN Courier (2004)

[2] http://www.photonics.com/content/news/2008/September/9/93181.aspx Threats Won’t Stop Collider, photonics.com Sep 9, 2008

[3] xxx.lanl.gov/abs/gr-qc/0304042 Do black holes radiate?. Dr. Adam Helfer (2003)

[4] arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/0607137, On the existence of black hole evaporationyet again, Prof. VA Belinski (2006)

[5] http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/science/article4727894.ece Peter Higgs launches attack against Nobel rival Stephen Hawking, TimesOnLine, Sep 11, 2008

[6] arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0808/0808.1415v1.pdf On the potential catastrophic risk from metastable quantum-black holes produced at particle colliders – Rainer Plaga Rebuttal (2008)

[7] http://www.wissensnavigator.com/documents/OTTOROESSLERMINIBLACKHOLE.pdf Abraham-Solution to Schwarzschild Metric Implies That CERN Miniblack Holes Pose a Planetary Risk, Prof. Dr. Otto Rossler (2008)

[8] http://www.lhcconcerns.com/LHCConcerns/Forums/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=2&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&start=10 LHC Safety Assessment Group, 16 Mar 2008

[9] http://www.lhcdefense.org/lhc_legal.php US Federal Lawsuit Filings – Walter L. Wagner (2008)

[10] lhc-concern.info/?page_id=28 European Legal Action (2008)

[11] http://www.lhcdefense.org/pdf/Sancho%20v%20Doe%20-%20Affidavit%20of%20Luis%20Sancho.pdf AFFIDAVIT OF LUIS SANCHO IN UPPORT OF TRO AND PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION

I will need time to prepare an adequate rebuttal to this, and while I understand his legitimate concerns (I mean, it would really really suck if the world were destroyed, because, you know, that’s where I keep all my stuff too!), I don’t think there’s any cause for fearmongering at all here, because as Professor Brian Cox so eloquently stated, “anyone who thinks the LHC will destroy the world is a twat.”  There are people who think the turning on of the LHC will also mark year zero for time travellers but there’s nothing that says that every wild-eyed crazy needs to get equal airtime.  This blog does not act as anything remotely resembling Fox News (or at least what they claim to be — “fair and balanced”) — I do not report both the sane and insane sides of the story as though they have equal weight.  Go sell crazy someplace else.

I don’t have a lot of time today, as I just found out my counterpart at a nearby centre has walked out of the job (yes, the one who was just hired), so I’m right back in Shoulders-of-Atlas mode.  For now, enjoy this fantastic talk by Brian Cox.

Critical thinking, evolution, and how to not be dismissed as a total idiot

As you’ll likely recall, I had planned a post about Darwin pareidolia.  I have about twenty tabs open in my Firefox right now, most of which having something or other to do with this, but the remainder are actually sort-of related to this, to pareidolia in general, and to the creationism v. evolution debate.  To make matters worse for my ability to focus on this topic, the other day, a co-worker and potential lurker messaged me on instant messenger regarding the Large Hadron Collider.  The gist of this conversation went something like:

<him> hey, have you heard of the LHC?  sounds like a bad idea to me.

<me> *rants for 30 mins about how stupid people are for thinking it’s a bad idea, barely letting him get a word in edgewise*

There’s definitely going to be another blog post in the future about the LHC, especially specifically about the doomsday sayers and the impossibility of their hypothesized scenarios (none of which have any basis in science outside of the fact that the doomsday scenarios themselves have a kernel of scientific truth — like, say, making a black hole, which the LHC is completely incapable of doing outside of micro black holes that evaporate instantly).  But for now, I’m going to point out that the funny thing about this is that there’s a common thread in these topics — people’s inability to perform simple feats of critical thinking.

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