Recent difficulties

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Le Baron
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Re: Recent difficulties

Postby Le Baron » Mon Mar 14, 2022 7:05 pm

Well chop-chop then...

(I'm joking).
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Re: Recent difficulties

Postby Le Baron » Tue Mar 15, 2022 3:23 pm

Anyone else finding the site very fast since yesterday? One or two 503/502 occurred yesterday evening, but before I went to bed it was moving from page to page in a split second.
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Re: Recent difficulties

Postby luke » Tue Mar 15, 2022 3:47 pm

Le Baron wrote:Anyone else finding the site very fast since yesterday? One or two 503/502 occurred yesterday evening, but before I went to bed it was moving from page to page in a split second.

It does seem better this morning. Hopefully there's a reason and that reason will endure.
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Re: Recent difficulties

Postby lingua » Tue Mar 15, 2022 3:55 pm

I've had several instances over the last few weeks where I tried to reply to a post or update my log and kept getting errors so gave up. Yesterday evening was the first time in a long time that I got no errors at all although I did encounter some slowness. I would much rather have a little slowness than the errors.
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Re: Recent difficulties

Postby lingua » Wed Mar 16, 2022 5:57 am

I have to ask ... has something changed? No errors at all for the last 24+ hours. Which is a first for at least the last month or so.
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Super Challenge 2022-23:
DE: books: 0 / 2500 film: 1654 / 4500
IT: books: 3065 / 5000 film: 5031 / 9000
PT: books: 2921 / 5000 film: 5010 / 9000

Output Challenge 2023:
IT: write: 0 / 50000 record: 84 / 3000
PT: write: 0 / 50000 record: 0 / 3000

PT: Read 100 books: 28 / 100

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Re: Recent difficulties

Postby rdearman » Wed Mar 16, 2022 7:41 am

lingua wrote:I have to ask ... has something changed? No errors at all for the last 24+ hours. Which is a first for at least the last month or so.

No technical change. So maybe whoever was constantly bombarding us got tired of getting 503 errors too.
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Re: Recent difficulties

Postby Le Baron » Thu Mar 17, 2022 3:27 pm

Blast. I just had my first 502 error in two days. :(
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Re: Recent difficulties

Postby iguanamon » Fri Mar 18, 2022 2:44 pm

503 Service Temporarily Unavailable

It's BAAACCCKKK!!!
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Re: Recent difficulties

Postby luke » Fri Mar 18, 2022 4:50 pm

I occasionally wonder if a poster might be an "AI" (artificial intelligence). There can be good and less good AIs. Cutting to the chase:

1) Is there a way to audit PHPbb and see, user XYZ uses 50 or 90% of the available resources? (If yes, probably an AI and should be dealt with).
2) This is probably more an appropriate question on the PHPbb Development site, but has any thought gone into a button (sort of like we have now to "report abuse"), but really as just a marker for "I think this might be an AI"?

The reasons I mention the AI angle:

a) An AI can ask stupid or divisive questions and evoke thoughtful answers, which may not be all bad, but AIs aren't people and people should know when they're dealing with an AI.
b) An AI can do lots of stuff, like bots and crawlers, but more nefariously.
c) If thoughtful posters largely suspect, "Hmm this 'poster', smells like AI", it could provide a useful warning to the unsuspecting.
d) AIs shouldn't be treated like humans. The Administrators should be free and liberal in their banning of non-humans. (Especially in the context of the recent 502/503 storms).
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Re: Recent difficulties

Postby zenmonkey » Fri Mar 18, 2022 5:06 pm

luke wrote:I occasionally wonder if a poster might be an "AI" (artificial intelligence). There can be good and less good AIs. Cutting to the chase:

1) Is there a way to audit PHPbb and see, user XYZ uses 50 or 90% of the available resources? (If yes, probably an AI and should be dealt with).
2) This is probably more an appropriate question on the PHPbb Development site, but has any thought gone into a button (sort of like we have now to "report abuse"), but really as just a marker for "I think this might be an AI"?

The reasons I mention the AI angle:

a) An AI can ask stupid or divisive questions and evoke thoughtful answers, which may not be all bad, but AIs aren't people and people should know when they're dealing with an AI.
b) An AI can do lots of stuff, like bots and crawlers, but more nefariously.
c) If thoughtful posters largely suspect, "Hmm this 'poster', smells like AI", it could provide a useful warning to the unsuspecting.
d) AIs shouldn't be treated like humans. The Administrators should be free and liberal in their banning of non-humans. (Especially in the context of the recent 502/503 storms).


Ok, since I'm working on AI development, I may be able to shed some light. There are no AIs pretending to be humans here. None. That is not how AI programs work, at least not for now.

An AI program or a bot or whatever would not use phpBB resources. Because phpBB is a program - when we talk about 'resources' we are talking about 4 things: memory, processing, bandwidth, and disk. In particular, bots use up bandwidth and CPU processing power - attacks on memory and disk are particularly hard to develop and easy to protect from. These are, in the set-up we have for this board, AWS resources. And they are only limited by the amount of money we want to spend to spin up bigger virtual machines. And they are already monitored. There is nothing that needs to be done to the phpBB code itself (except for the upgrade...).

Bots are generally not posting on the site - rdearman has setup the login process to prevent that, and already does a lot of admin to delete or block IPs - there are other methods that can be implemented but those require a) an update b) access to sysops to set up things like a cloudflare front, IP blocking, etc.

The last thing he needs is random people reporting other random people as bots on a new feature. If you see a bot or crap that shouldn't be posted here - just use the regular report function.

AAAAAND, any further development of buttons, language packs, new features ... comes back to the issue of ... you can't do that unless someone is installing those new features.

If by some fluke someone does one day create a "smells like AI" button... you know what I'm going to be doing... pressing it like ...

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