BuryCoal update

2010-09-29

in Daily updates, Internet matters, Writing

After months in limbo, Google has assigned a PageRank to BuryCoal.com, significantly increasing the amount of traffic going there.

In order to help drive that site’s evolution, I am planning to put most of my climate-related writing over there now. That should also be helpful for those who are only interested in following that topic of discussion, as opposed to the miscellaneous ones that crop up here. I encourage anyone with an interest in climate change to subscribe to the RSS feed or sign up to get updates by email.

BuryCoal is also looking for contributors, including those who wish to post anonymously.

Report a typo or inaccuracy

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Byron Smith September 29, 2010 at 2:50 pm

Both sites have a rank of 4 according to here.

Milan October 20, 2010 at 10:41 am

I don’t know why, but the BuryCoal PageRank has now fallen to 1.

Byron Smith October 20, 2010 at 11:35 am

Could it have something to do with the new security features on BuryCoal? I have been unable to access it for the last few weeks (except as an RSS feed) because I keep getting a warning page saying that my computer or network might be infected. I’m pretty sure it’s not my computer as I’ve run checks (and use a Mac, which generally has fewer problems), but I use a university network that is far too large a beast for me to have any input into.

Milan October 20, 2010 at 11:50 am

That is possible. I am actually not allowed to talk about the security system, since it is a closed beta.

I will see whether anyone else is having similar problems.

Milan October 20, 2010 at 11:54 am

Here’s one hint about what might be getting your network listed as potentially malicious.

Quite possibly, it is chock full of student computers that have been infected with malware and are now part of botnets.

Milan October 20, 2010 at 11:56 am

Does it not allow you to access the site even after you solve the CAPTCHA? Because it definitely should.

Milan October 22, 2010 at 3:16 pm

Sorry for not replying about BuryCoal earlier. I saw your message but then rushed on to doing something else and forgot to reply. When I try to enter I get an error message saying that I must have cookies enabled in order to request temporary access. I do have cookies enabled, though have them blocked from third-parties. I currently use Chrome on a Mac if that makes a difference.

The system uses various mechanisms to identify IP addresses that have been used for malicious purposes such as spam, attacks against websites, and so on. It then prevents those IP addresses from accessing protected pages, unless they can solve a CAPTCHA when challenged. Solving it should affect how your IP address is treated by all the sites in the network, not just BuryCoal.

Because it is IP based, it is a bit uncertain and imprecise. This is from the internal support forum:

CF is telling the people they have an infected machine when in fact all CF knows is that the IP# is/was dirty. Unless a person is on a dedicated IP they could have a clean or dirty IP at a flip of the coin so to speak

That is all CF knows. They have no more idea if the persons machine is infected than you or I. The way it is written now CF is making an assumption…

That is why the challenge page has to be written very carefully. CF can not point fingers at visitors and accuse them in effect, of having infected machines when CF has no way of knowing if the visitors machine is infected or not.

Even I have been challenged with being infected for the sin of trying to access my site via an Android based smartphone using a mobile browser that was at the time, incompatible with CF.

In the end, the costs of the system are inconvenience for some legitimate users. The eventual benefits are a somewhat safer internet overall. I am not sure if I will stick with the system, though I do think it is worth participating in the beta test and helping them improve the product.

Byron Smith October 22, 2010 at 3:42 pm

Sorry for not replying on this thread. Thanks for bringing my comment across. I’m happy that you’re helping the beta and don’t really mind as I can still read BuryCoal through RSS. I just can’t comment. Maybe that is a good thing. ;-)

Milan October 22, 2010 at 3:47 pm

I certainly don’t want to be blocking anyone who wants to access the site – especially those who wish to comment.

One option would be to try and access it once with a different browser using default settings, including the acceptance of third party cookies. Your Mac probably still has Safari on it.

If you solve the CAPTCHA once, my understanding is that CloudFlare should remove you from their suspicious IP address list.

Milan October 22, 2010 at 3:49 pm

I have manually whitelisted your IP address. At present, it is listed in the CloudFlare system as a ‘botnet zombie.’ It also says:

* Seen 10 times on your domain(s)
* Seen 61 times on the CloudFlare network
* Visitor has manually verified that an antivirus scan was run

Byron Smith October 22, 2010 at 3:54 pm

Bingo – problem solved. Thanks!

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