Science-based Medicine, a place where sometimes a “friend” of mine pontificates, is temporarily down. Recently, the SBM crew moved the blog to a new server. Beginning over the last two or three weeks, the blog became buggy. Very buggy. Response times became painfully slow, and then last Friday SBM went down and stayed down nearly an entire day. Valiant efforts and arguing with the hosting company got it up and running again over the weekend, although it remained painfully slow to browse. I thought I had harkened back to those days of yore when I used to use a 9600 baud modem. Then, sometime yesterday morning SBM crashed again and stayed crashed.

It’s not clear yet if it’s lots of traffic and a rinky-dink hosting service. (Actually SBM doesn’t–yet–garner the level of traffic that this blog does; so we’re not talking Pharyngula-level traffic.) A DDoS attack is not entirely implausible, but there is no evidence that that’s what it was. Of course, given the unexpectedly crappy level of technical support the previous hosting company provided (given that it had been highly recommended), we’d probably never know because the company would probably never figure it out.

Patience again. SBM is moving to another host and hopefully will be back up and running soon.


  1. #1 Todd W.
    September 22, 2009

    I hope the issues are resolved soon. It’s a great site with a lot of wonderful resources. Plus, I haven’t read all of the articles from this weekend! Please let it come back soon!

  2. #2 Dawn
    September 22, 2009

    Wow. I sure hope you get it resolved soon also. I was able to view it briefly today but when I went back to it, got the weird “contact support” message.

  3. #3 superdave
    September 22, 2009

    You and your friend never seem to be in the same room at the same time.

  4. #4 enrico
    September 22, 2009

    it’s a distributed woo attack…

  5. #5 Joseph C.
    September 22, 2009

    The hosting company should be able to see a packet attack very easily. It’s one very well known command in Cisco IOS:

    show ip cache flow | inc [destination IP]


    show ip cache flow | inc [egress interface]

    That is, unless they have some very crappy hardware that doesn’t support Netflow. Or maybe their boxes are so saturated they don’t have the resources available to run Netflow.

    You can also turn on packet sniffers in the web server itself.

  6. #6 Abel Pharmboy
    September 22, 2009

    Aye, luxury! You had a 9600 baud modem? Why, in my day, I had only a 1200 baud modem, and that was at a major international pharmaceutical company where I interned. But you kids today, you’ll hear nothing of it.

  7. #7 David D.G.
    September 22, 2009

    So sorry to hear of your, uh, “friend” having so much trouble. I hope that all the technical difficulties get squared away soon.

    ~David D.G.

  8. #8 Kausik Datta
    September 22, 2009

    I am glad that SBM is giving hostpapa the boot… You need a hostmama. We miss your special “friend” at SBM as well as your other friends… 😀

  9. #9 Arnold T Pants
    September 22, 2009

    We dreamed of a 1200 baud modem! I used to have to cough, whistle, and hum into the phone myself!

  10. #10 titmouse
    September 22, 2009

    A phone? Luxury! In my day, we had to tap out our messages in binary over a telegraph. You wouldn’t believe how much longer it takes to post “Hello world” in binary.

    Just try telling this to the young people of today.

  11. #11 _Arthur
    September 22, 2009

    That Gorski guy is a blowhard anyways.

  12. #12 Mandos
    September 22, 2009

    A telegraph? I sent out a series of different coloured pigeons.

  13. #13 Michael Simpson
    September 23, 2009

    This is making my life difficult. I’m arguing with someone on Facebook who keeps making posts about how dangerous vaccines are. Being lazy, I had always used the search function of SBM to find the scientific answer to woo. I couldn’t even dig up the information I needed for Daily Kos supported woo.

  14. #14 biopunk
    September 23, 2009

    Coloured pigeons? Pffft! Up here in the mountains, smoke signals were the usual way of communications.

    We were lucky to even get a hold of a pigeon, but when we did, roasting them over the signal fire was the preferred method of preparation.

    I especially enjoyed the blue ones.

  15. #15 Chrisc
    September 23, 2009

    Whoa, pigeons and telegraphs?! And here I was going to pontificate over having to use a 300 baud teletype terminal! Which was an improvement over the keypunch, boxes of IBM cards and the card reader.

  16. #16 Nasikabatrachus
    September 23, 2009

    “a place where sometimes a “friend” of mine pontificates”

    Yeah, right, Orac! Your charade is over. We all know you’re Steven Novella! The glasses fool no one.

  17. #17 Todd W.
    September 23, 2009

    @Michael Sampson

    Well, there’s always my humble site as a starting point to more info. What kind of arguments are you hearing? I may need to add them to my site if I haven’t covered them already.

  18. #18 ferret wrangler
    September 23, 2009

    Show a little love for this site too 🙂

    They need some more quality folks to stop by and help stomp on the drive-by quackaloons.

  19. #19 Beatis
    September 23, 2009

    Thanks ferret wrangler!

    Love your alias btw!

  20. #20 antipodean
    September 23, 2009

    Well pigeons are faster than the internet. In South Africa anyway…

  21. #21 Chris
    September 24, 2009

    It has returned! Yay!

  22. #22 The Daily Reviewer
    September 24, 2009


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