• "Design, host and share your own custom maps." Interesting – tile hosting, tile creation.
  • "Sony's statement suggests that it was actually storing sensitive information in plain text format, which defies belief. The only other explanation is that hackers only got access to the hashes and may have compromised a small minority of passwords by running this data through something like a dictionary look-up. However, from the tone of Sony's apology this does not appear to be the case." Good god; they're certainly transmitted as plaintext to PSN – according to the IRC log referenced in this article – so the incompetence required to store them as plaintext is already evident. Appalling.
  • "At a time when the artworld has become a bloated thing like a celebrity based branch of the stock exchange, it is very satisfying to make a real and seriously thoughtful transaction." Tom Phillips' Word Cross is now in a parish church in Kent. Great.
  • "Egmont Press and Penguin Publishing will launch a range of children's books onto the Nintendo DS in a licensing deal with entertainment software company Electronic Arts (EA). It is the first time that children's books have been developed specifically for the Nintendo DS platform in the UK." Ooh, that's kind of awesome.
  • "Gemcutter is the next generation of gem hosting for the Ruby community. Instantly publish your gems and install them. Use the API to interact and find out more information about available gems. Become a contributor and enhance the site with your own changes." Apparently this is the next big thing, post-github not serving gems. Let's chase this trend for a bit.
  • "…it’s been a week and we’ve decided to not bring back the gem builder. It was a fun experiment but Jeweler and Gemcutter combined make it ridiculously simple to publish a gem. The gem builder use case (fork a project, make a change, publish a gem, install it) is now easier than ever using these tools." Which is all very nice, but a bit of a PITA for anyone who'd been depending on this. Still: gems.github.com will serve for another year.
  • "In Nokogiri  's are converted to whitespace, but they are not a normal space and aren't removed with the standard String#strip and friends." Needless to say, this is somewhat annoying. Thanks for fixing it, internet!

My recent talk about what might happen if gamers ran the world made Digg yesterday, and went a bit big. Big to the point that I got a nice email from my host pointing out that my PHP processes were killing the entire shared host that I’m hosted on, and that I needed to rectify this immediately.

The fires were mainly calmed by installing WP-Super-Cache, which did pretty much what it says on the tin. That said, I did learn a few things from the incident. In no particular order:

  • WordPress’ PHP processes for rendering a page are really, really intensive. Most of the time, that’s not a problem, but when you’re being bombarded with hits, it’ll take it’s told. Flat HTML might be the way forward.
  • Super-Cache isn’t exactly difficult to install, but it requires permissions in lots of places. The best advice I can give is to walk through the installation instructions carefully, and when it doesn’t work, go over the troubleshooting guide in readme.txt one step at a time. The few issues I had were resolved by walking through the troubleshooting process.
  • Most importantly, a combination of the two parts above: you should assume that at some point, you’re going to need this kind of caching, and you’re going to need it fast. Installing and configuring WordPress plugins on a server being bombarded with hits really isn’t much fun. Instead, install the caching plugin of your choice when you set your server up, and make sure it’s working at that time. Then, when the horde descends upon your lowly shared host, you can head straight there and click “enable caching”, rather than having to fight fires for an hour when you really should be working, or in the pub. This also means you can configure the thing to not cache your feed, which is a useful thing to be able to do; I’m about to head off and do that now.

Everything appears to have cooled off now, and I’m not getting any more emails from Joyent about my usage. To Joyent’s credit, they were helpful at explaining the problem and tolerant of the time it took for me to fix things, which was appreciated. And next time I get an absurd amount of traffic, with any luck, I’ll be ready for it.