You may have noticed that the site has been down for a while. We were hit with a combination of problems.
First, we have been plagued by this idiot script-kiddie, the registrant for usuc.us:
(Information erased: a call to the person to which the domain is registered reveals he has no idea what is going on. Does anybody know how to inform the domain name registry that it is registered under a false name and get it deleted?)
Second, the sciencebloggers’ complaints about this have been effectively ignored by the management here (and I think many of us are getting more pissed about this neglect of an obvious problem than anything else.) Several of us have been running a rather kludgy and ugly workaround, inserting code on our pages that secretly runs searches, too, to displace Mr Sullivan’s hack from the list of top searches. This has caused performance problems—we’ve basically been trying to out-thrash the bot to keep it from taking over the main page. A more elegant way to fix this would have been to patch up the search display on the main page, but we don’t have access to that.
Third, in the midst of all the overwork to which we were subjecting MT and the server, MT ate a large chunk of the Pharyngula template code. Poof, my page disappeared. At least that absence reduced the server load so everyone else’s pages were running a little better.
Anyway, the bottom line is that right now the scienceblogs main page will occasionally whisk you off to google, the Pharyngula index page is a corrupt and broken shambles, and server performance seems to be up and down.