Greenruby 101

1000 subscribers

After the 100th Greenruby last week, we get the 1000th subscriber to the email newsletter this week. Welcome George :) So for the occasion I refreshed the subscribers map on cartodb. About half of the subscribers are in the US, but there is a total of 73 countries represented, which is pretty neat. But this is based on the ip used for subscribing, so it’s not totally accurate.

Fighting logs pollution

Some time ago, on edition 82, I posted a link to my webalizer stats for the greenruby website. Fatal mistake, I had referrers stats enabled and I got somehow listed somewhere. The consequence was a lot of fake traffic with only purpose to get links listed in my referrers section. After removing this section from webalizer config, and moving the url, the fake traffic was still there. Like a blind wave. This was pretty annoying.

So I began to take some drastic measures. Because I didn’t have referrers anymore in my stats, I went to my apache logs (yes it’s an old server, still running apache2) and fire up a:

tail -5000 greenruby.org-access.log | cut -d' ' -f11 | sort | uniq -c | sort -n

This give me a nice view of the recent referrers. Fake ones are easy to notice. And that the fake traffic was only coming from a handful of ips, so I just made a few:

iptables -A INPUT -s <ip> -j DROP

The result was radically efficient. Certainly I had less volume but it’s now much cleaner. But it makes it clear that having clean volume stats for traffic on your website is not that easy. There are a bunch of fake traffic sources that you may not suspect.

New server soon

I got a new job 2 month ago at gandi, and there is some nice VPS hosting there. I can have a machine just for Green Ruby there. It can be neat and open some options. Green Ruby website is still very static. Various attempts to improve it with a search engine didn’t end up to something concluding yet. Maybe this time it will.

That also may be the occasion to build up a distribution system and move out of mailchimp. I looked around and all I found was php based. So I will probably just write my own ruby scripts, the mail gem looks great and the rest is a question of configuring a postfix with correct SPF and DKIM setup.

Je suis Charlie

Well, this tragedy that happened this Thursday in France impacts a lot of people. Somehow, it perhaps impacts me more than the average. When I was younger I went to art school to become a cartoonist, and finally I changed my mind. But I knew the work of the victims of this slaughter. They were icons in the French cartoon world.

It’s really sad, first because this is murder, second because the irrational impact it will have on society. This is crazy how a handful of brain-dead punks can bend history. Now France is going to become even more paranoid. I already was so uncomfortable when they began to send military with assault rifles wander in the train stations in Paris. It’s not going to get better.

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