Jacob Sugarman

Jacob Sugarman
Brooklyn, New York, USA
December 31
Open Salon Editor
Salon Open Media


Jacob Sugarman's Links

SEPTEMBER 13, 2012 7:31PM

Thursday Notes

Rate: 15 Flag

So I'm still picking the shrapnel out of my flesh from your responses to my last post, but here goes:

First, I want to offer a small correction. The disabled search functions I mentioned previously won't actually prevent spam from infiltrating the site. They should, in theory, allow Open to run a little quicker because less of the database is being accessed at any given moment. (Editor ducks).

Second, I wanted to let you know that we're trying, as best we can, to delete enough spam to make the site functional again. The problem is that we just don't have the resources right now to allocate to such a hefty project. With this in mind, we may institute some rolling blackouts in which new members cannot join Open for days at time. (I believe some of you proposed as much in previous comments sections). My hope is that this will buy us some time to clean out the site. If and when these blackouts occur, I'll be sure to let you know.

Third, I thought it worth reporting that I've had some success navigating Open in Google Chrome. I still get errors from time to time, but not enough to prevent me from reading and selecting your posts.

(Editor straps on helmet, climbs into boots and bullet-proof vest) OK, fire away. 

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I'm sure if this comment veers even slightly toward a good on you, the "post this comment" will lead to TOO MANY ERRORS! It's been a wild ride and it's good to see you keep a level head about it.
Didn't there used to be a few OS members who were busting spam on the side? Whatever happened with that?
Kathy, the Spam Cops decided it sucked so they ran off and got married to some Senators. Well, except Mish, he still around but his heart just isn't in it anymore.....


Actually, don't announce the blackouts!! Otherwise, the Spammers...oops, I mean, Marketing Bandits, will just create thousands of accounts!!

Just do it!!!!

I'm sorry I hit you with that baseball bat yesterday. But the frustration is just high, with my escape from the Realworld being messed up, what can I do?

Besides poke people at Facebook!

That gets old after awhile!
P.S. I been using my Atari 2600 to get into Open, and it works awesome!!!

(No, not really!!!!)

I told Emily to have a three-day waiting period before you could become a member. A lot of the Spam is time-related and it will do them no good to join. But, when Catherine and friends were on the job, there was no spam. I still don't know who fucked that up. I'm on Chrome and it hasn't help me a bit. Keep on trying my man, that's all you can do~
@Kathy - should you get tired of the problems with Open, please check out the site lorianne created for us a couple of months ago when OS was down - Our Salon.


- Mark
Effort and candor are appreciated. So is an openness to new ideas and solutions. Fingers crossed and hope still alive.
for those of you asking the question (again) about why volunteers aren't deleting spam accounts, see sugarman's prior post and mishima666's answer. also, the increase in number of spam accounts generated now compared to two plus years ago is enormous. and for scanner - you may think there was no spam, but that's incorrect. the volunteers weren't stemming the tide either, just deleting them one by one. the number of spammers was increasing then and has increased exponentially since then. read mishima's comment. he's explained this at least a dozen times on other blogs over the last year or two. barry doyle has too.

@jacob: why would you announce a three-day blackout on new accounts? if there is some benefit to existing bloggers, i'm missing it entirely. just do it - the more often, the more random, the longer it lasts, the better.
Any opinions on other browsers in addition to google chrome? I've found Firefox gets through sometimes. Safari never gets through
Agreed. Rolling blackouts sounds like a great idea. And newbies should be screened. Holler if you need anything!
Getting into our PMs seems to consistently toss up the error coding most frequently. Maybe that means something.
Don't announce the new member blackouts. Just do it. Lose one maybe good writer,lose ninety-nine gizmo and sandal sellers.
I got your back, Mr. Editor! And Tink -- I got your nose!
tryin ta helpya here man.....tellya what,lend ya my S&W5oo magnum,stickit under Mr. IT's chin,betya get sum results......eh?....
6:22pmEDT: Seems that damn near everybody's had trouble logging on, posting and commenting for most of the day. This morning "Most Recent" showed that 95% of posts made in one hour were SPAM. Just checked and 97% of the posts in the last 90 minutes were SPAM. Not sure what Jacob is doing but it doesn't seem to be working. Tomorrow and the weekend should tell the tale.
10:09pmEDT: Checked "Most Recent" 0nly one of fifty posts is legit, 90% of posts in the last 30 minutes are SPAM. Tried to explore further but when I clicked on Page 3 of "Most Recent" I got this sweetheart: "

Code 0: FATAL: terminating connection due to administrator command server closed the connection unexpectedly This probably means the server terminated abnormally before or while processing the request.
Detailed information has been written into the error log."
Not throwing bombs just reporting the facts.
It doesn't seem that difficult to use the three day blackout to verify that the new applicants are legit people. If I'm wrong about that pleaselet me know. It may be that you're too strapped for resources to permit that but why not canvass some of the regular OSers. I'm sure you'd find some who would take on the pre-screening and you could even toss in a monthly honorarium of a couple of hundred $$.

I appreciate your keeping in touch but you must know that the OS experience is driving folks away. I sure wouldn't steer my friends here under current circumstances.
As the swarthy minions of Luthor milled about The Daily Planet Building corrupting the news Jimmy wondered, "did they lock the door!"
I agree. Why would you announce the new member blackouts? As someone else said, it would mean nothing to existing members. Plus, the announcements would tip off the spammers which I still think is an inside job. R
Thanks for the communication and sense of humor. I've noticed some improvement. Slow, but manageable & fewer error messages.
If you do nothing else, the blackouts should lead to an improvement. Of course, right now anything would be an improvement.
Chrome works better for me than anything else, but there are still many hours and days when I don't get in at all.

Please please PLEASE institute a 3-day waiting period for all new members, in addition to UNannounced blackout periods.

I'm glad you're still able to keep your sense of humor in spite of dodging all the bullets and shrapnel.
Why on earth keep comments open ?
Your disdain for Open contributors couldn't be clearer.
Why not just shut the shop ?
huh....gettin kinda quiet round here....ain't it?......
Jeez, give Jake a break! It doesn't matter what he says here, most meta spammers are run by sophisticated bot technology, they're not reading posts, even Jake's, they're tracking traffic.

I'm with jlsathre, give his/their efforts a chance. Clearly there's enough legit traffic here we've attracted the Spam Kings. I'm oddly proud we've reached that level of popularity. This is a free site for good writers. Bitching and moaning does no one any good and raises blood pressures.

Don't like the current issues, there's the door. I believe Open is worth waiting for and am willing to stick it out until they find a workaround. Meanwhile, write and save anything good and then go spend time away from the computer.

Resume regular programming.
@Sally Swift - why are you so determined to not try a site that doesn't have these problems and does have a lot of familiar faces?
why do you allow spam to remain on the front page ...
in the top rated or recent comments?
is spam creating view numbers you use for advertising rates?
enough allocation? really? how much does it cost to charge a nominal fee to blog here? wouldn't it be feasible to access a few dollars [one time fee of $10?]from the brilliant writers on OS ?or
how about having a three month blackout on new membership, the spammers will leave town, yes? no?
got to love the spammer-floodgate Google Adsense.
the above thoughts riff through my brain as I remember the vibrance of what OS once was.
Lynette, give me back my nose!!!!!!! ~WAA~ :D
soooo...how come every time I try to start a "New Links" area a link to google chrome automatically appears. Is that the agreement?
Can you tell me what the deal was this weekend? I couldn't get on here to save my life. Now and then photos I post seem to disappear, only to reappear a short time later,

I know others haven't been able to get on as they have FB'd me asking me if I could,

I am absolutely for a three day screen...or more! Just do something!
I just received a new kind of spam a couple of posts ago. It was not robot generated but spam all the same. I will see if I can find it and PM you.
You aren't mute.
You pretend dumb.
We no dumb as who?
Why did you delete `
Pedinska etc., ref:,
Jebbie? old Salon.
Send to :
Art James
PO BOX 101
Clear Spring,
Maryland 21722
send all avatar comments.



They cost $45.00 each.
They avoided Salon ads.

goat gouda blueberry
Comments still get stuck.
No eat dead duck's bone.
Spit feathers on keyboard.

I forgot the

that was my sons at the farm.

No send distilled cow urine.
Use Topical Gee Cones too.
Do not take internally dung.
I read this on a brochure.
honest . . .
Maybe they deleted like You do?
I got that brochure by mail.
They are in Port Royal, PA..
I have never visited the crew.
I have been wandering about the neighborhood. I hear rural Hicks around here (Clear Spring, Md.) read ` Jake. I defend Jake and the Salon editor.
I re-turned a borrowed book compiled and edited by` Bruce Coville.
Illustrations are by` Tim Hildebrand - THE UNICORN TREASURY
I re-read this `UNICORN
The Unicorn with the long white horn
Is beautiful and wild.
He gallops across the forrest green
So quickly that he is seldom seen
Where Peacocks their blue feathers preen
And strawberries grow wild.
He flees the hunter and the hounds,
Upon black earth his white hoof pounds,
Over cold mountains stream he bounds
And comes to a meadow wild;
There, when he kneels to take a nap,
He lays his head in a lady's lap
As gently as a child. - W. Jay Smith -
Ay, go?
I hope.

I'm looking forward to the OS blackout parties. :)
How about deleting any account that begins its first post with the word "Watch"?
Markinkentuckiana, you know I like you, but maybe everyone that wants to know about Our Salon already does and has peeked at it. No one site is for everyone. I've noticed people haring off in all directions but they all keep coming back to OS. Maybe there's a reason?
Phyllis you know I like you but maybe people keep coming back to OS in the forlorn hope that things have changed, that an editor might be telling his contributors the truth. You may not have a problem with this site, and I read somewhere that someone else doesn't either, but for most of us, 16 error messages in a row isn't acceptable.
For a few hours this weekend, fog lifted and, momentarily, I remembered free. And then ... just as I was beginning to forget standing in the midst of storm ... so many storms broke loose ... as though there’d never been a moment of calm. I hardly, now, remember calm.

I don’t know if somewhere you have a master key and if somehow you can ever simply come and read, can ever simply watch the way in which certain pieces come to life, drawing readers, viewers, lovers of art, lovers of the written word, lovers of honesty and passion and so much more ... to come and stop ... to come and stay ... to come to simply be ...

In the midst of constant storm with doors that rarely open ... that which has made so many feel comfortable making a home here ... is almost lost behind the door ... a door that bars the way to what we have loved ... that feels simply too hard to continually break down ... whatever and whoever is waiting inside ...

Some of the rain now comes from tears ... for ... now ... on your watch ... something that has been so loved ... is beginning to feel so lost.

Simply making do ... when Open so often is only Closed ... is that enough for you ... Do you feel as though it is enough ... for us ...
As we keep coming back to find and read your words ... it seems as though no one over you there behind the scenes ... is offering much hope to you ... and yet you keep telling us that Open isn’t going anywhere. But ... isn’t it ...

It is hard to describe for you ... or for anyone ... all of what has been here. Call up a piece called Raining on OS. People care for people here. There are ... have been so many moments of caring here ... of coming together ... of pausing for another ...

These moments would not carry over on Salon. And that doesn’t matter to anyone. Yet some of these have been the moments that call our hearts, that call us here. This is just one that stays with me.

For some reason I am standing in the classroom where I student- taught: Girls’ Latin School in Boston when it was still in Uphams Corner. It was my last day there. My girls and I had grown together. They made their classroom my home.

That last day one of them brought me a tiny gift. Particles were wrapped in a plastic covering. All the time I’d been there, parts of the ceiling kept falling on us. It was just the way it was. Boston Public Schools had no money for ... or ... or ...

Her gift to me were particles ... ceiling particles ... I have them still ...

Perhaps the ceiling began to fall ... but the doors and windows never closed. They had all shared their hearts with me and they have always lived in mine.

Are you there in the window, Jake, holding up a light. Is anyone over you helping with the light, looking for the key that will take the bar down from the door ... that will hold the ceiling up ... honestly ...

So many who care, have cared, still want to care ... are becoming more exhausted than souls can bear.

Is there truly a captain on this ship ... is he here with us ... or has he been beaten down by so many storms. I think you want to be ... but is anyone there helping you ...

Even I don’t know what I want you to say ... but once in a while is once in a while and meanwhile many are struggling struggling struggling ... simply to find an oar ... Mixed metaphor ... I don’t care.
It feels a death struggle here ... where there has been ... still is ... still can be ... so much life.

Where are you, Jake. Are you here or are you there.

Thursday notes ... seem a long time ago ...

Creators here are beginning to float away ...
What Salon wants or needs doesn’t matter right now.
Creators here ... matter ... now ...

You are the editor here. What vision can you share ... what truth can you share ... for those still trying to find a way in ... for those still trying ... to be here ... even as they begin to look elsewhere ...
I don't know platforms from atoms. I come in under Internet Explorer and google as a search engine.

My point? You do not need to find a perfect platform. The people coming from the outside may not have that platform. This site needs to be accessible from ALL platforms period.

This switching back and forth and recommending this and that solves nothing.

Please go to Jonathan Wolfmans latest letter to the editor.

Everyone is going to jump ship and it is sad. And you are acting like it just won't matter.

Sad because you say you are doing so much and yes you are doing more...but that is like saying my boyfriend does not abuse me as much as my husband. It's still a problem and it still is not acceptable.

What has happened? When I first got on here just to read, as many have, after you got that great recognition from Julie&Julia, I had no problems.

No other blogging site has gotten that kind of great total recognition. After the multi million dollar, movie everyone came running to see who else was writing the next great novel and can they be a part of it before it gets picked up by a publisher.

What on earth are all of you thinking? You are stripping this goldmine.

Why not sell it outright?

I am curious, doe Salon have as many problems as Open Salon? If not, then find out what they are doing and do it here!

Truthfully I hate anything that might change what works but here are the problems. There are so few and so easy to recognize

1. Server issues: Trouble loading posts and PMS as well as comments

2. SPAM: Idiots who mange to get past everyone and everything just to lessen the quality of our site.

There! two problems. About 15 minutes in a Monday morning meeting.

How about it?
As my new favorite blogger here commented on my also new favorite blogger -

This site is very well. Interesting to hear your take. I understand and guess many people feel the way you do. My generation, growing up just before the Boomers and just after the Greatest had no name at all. Thanks for this post.

David Shafferd is a poet!!!!! His one and only post on here says the same thing, THIS SITE IS VERY WELL!! WEEP!!

And I believe he deserves three EPs and cover.

Also, Annie Lin's post surely should have an EP by now!! It's been in the most read feed for what seems like weeks.



And then you could cross post it over to Salon!! (Yes, "she" has posted the same thing, according to Google, to like 56,821 sites ranging from bulletin boards talking about Jeeps to grilling sites to a dating Russian girls sites, but hey.....)
I've been away from OS for awhile, but I'm happy to see that things are much improved in my absence. Don't know what you're doing to improve the site, but whatever it is, keep doing it.
Not sure what you're doing, but I see a hugeomundo difference, to use a technical term! The little icons don't pile up like they used to across the top line of my blog, the site loads way faster, and I get in and out pretty quickly when I want to say something nice.

Maybe you could let go of the "most recent" feed on the cover because that seems like the only reminder these days of all the spammers.
Are they being MEAN to you?! Jeez! The first editor who actually seems to give a damn and all they can do is complain! Sorry! :-)
You're just lucky they have the SPAM to complain about and are not after you for your EP choices! PS I have been using Firefox for a few months, and I come read and comment with very few issues. Just a slowness sometimes that is not nearly as bad as it once was.
Jake, if you see these words ... even in the middle of the night ,,, where are Kim's words ... and how quickly will you bring them back ...

There is no open ... without our being able ... to be open ... to them ...

Please ... without them ... there is only ... closed ...

Is this really what you want ... please ... read them ... for yourself ... for they ... and he ... are all ... of ... us ...
I wish I could remember the last time I could access his pieces overnight ... but far too many hours now have passed ... another night ... and they are nowhere for the reaching out ...

What does that say ... about all that is left ... here ...

an emptying ... please Jake ... look at what is there ... in his work ... here ... before you take it all ... away ... or is it possible ... that there has been a mistake ...

I will keep looking ... because without his words ... there is nothing for me ... here ...
Perhaps I will understand in a week or two. KR
Hi Jake.

Sorry you took the course you did. Mostly editors/publishers talk to their contributors before they burn them. Not sure why your course of action here, without notice.

I'll stand by the 70 + books I've made, 21 languages, 100 + posts here on OS over three years, and leave it for others to figure out what went wrong between us, notwithstanding your most recent pm because, of course, my page is blocked.

I guess whatever you set out to achieve, you achieved it.
Hey, ps. I saved this.
Just wanted to add in closing, and a way of saying goodbye, I guess, that those 100+ posts & pics constituted maybe 3 or 4 thousand hours of my time, got a lot of hits, were hardly ever polemic & were from memory full of fun in the threads. Truckstop alone was like 3000 + comments. No idea of the views because I can't access my blog.

That you'd do that ; block my blog without notice, Jake, says a great deal. As you know, the only contentious point on my last was in regard to another blogger here.
He got to you, didn't he Jake, & you fell for it.

This is one incredibly sorry state of affairs. May you all ( both of you ) have a long and interesting time together.
Kim, whatever problems you're experiencing are related to some kind of server hiccup. I haven't removed you from the site in any capacity. I suspect the site will right itself, but let me know if the problem persists.
Jacob sorry, no wash.
Mine is the ONLY blog on OS I can't access.
Read the last thread on Our Salon's chat, where any number of people tried without success. ERRORS.
Are you with me ?
I spoke out about thoth.
A dozen other OSers, with for all I know a dozen other servers.
It isn't a server problem.

Bummer in all of this is I was beginning to LIKE you.
Well, all good things...

Whatever the problem is, we couldn't fix it right now anyway, so keep an eye on it and let me know if you're still experiencing the same issues later in the afternoon. Will try to deploy our much-maligned IT team.
Many thanks.

I will keep a jaundiced left eye on it. It isn't the major problem on OS.

But thanks. I won't hold my right-ventricle's breath though.
I want Kim back.. scanner too. Like WTF Jake? You couldn't fix it now anyway? Why not? I know how it feels to be expunged. Remember? You somehow made me reappear the same night after much protest. Restore these people, please.
To be clear, NO ONE has been removed.
Hey, I'm not removed. You're reading me right ?
Unlike tr ig or scanner, this isn't a removal or a re-appearence thing.
This is an ERRORS block.
High tide in Palau.
Give me an enormous amount of incomprehensible IT gibberish.
I just cannot go on without a glimpse of that girl on the croc, just, at least, one more time!
I...I...will make ridiculous comments here then, if Mr. Gamble's site is unavailable...
I suppose I *could* get some work done.
Kim, you mentioned a PM?
Has anybody tried to access Kate Little's blog today? Maybe it's an Oz thing.
I was able to get on to Kate's.
For what it's worth if this will help, I have just been able to access Kate's last piece and so not, I think, an Australia difficulty.

Early this morning when I tried, I was able to access one of Kim's, but not for a long time before and not once since.

When it first happened yesterday, I thought it was the site here again, but the only pieces I can not reach are Kim's.
I hate adding this here but if it might help, this must be, more or less, what everyone is seeing depending on the piece they seek:

Lots of errors occurred!

An error occurred, then the error handler crashed while trying to handle the error. Whoops!

Here are the details of the original error:

SELECT content_id, title, created FROM open.contents WHERE author_id = '47881' AND is_active = 1 AND type = 1 ORDER BY changed desc LIMIT 5 [nativecode=FATAL: terminating connection due to administrator command server closed the connection unexpectedly This probably means the server terminated abnormally before or while processing the request.]

#0 /var/www/html/open.salon.com/urlPalau/web/BetaBlockModules/OSProfileMostRecentPostModule/OSProfileMostRecentPostModule.php(80): Dal::query('SELECT content_...', Array)
#1 /var/www/html/open.salon.com/urlPalau/web/BetaBlockModules/OSProfileMostRecentPostModule/OSProfileMostRecentPostModule.php(25): PostView::getUserList(47881)
#2 /var/www/html/open.salon.com/urlPalau/api/PageRenderer/PageRenderer.php(366): OSProfileMostRecentPostModule->render()
#3 /var/www/html/open.salon.com/urlPalau/web/content.php(385): PageRenderer->__construct('setup_module', 12, ' Truckstop - Ki...', 'opensalon_three...', 'os_header.tpl', 'public', 'Homepage', Object(stdClass), '', Array)
#4 {main}
Here are the details of the second error:

SELECT R.relation_id FROM salon.open.relations R, salon.open.users U WHERE R.user_id = '42714' AND R.relation_id > 0 AND R.relation_id=U.user_id AND U.is_active0 GROUP BY R.relation_id [nativecode=FATAL: terminating connection due to administrator command server closed the connection unexpectedly This probably means the server terminated abnormally before or while processing the request.]

#0 /var/www/html/open.salon.com/urlPalau/api/Relation/Relation.php(122): Dal::query('SELECT R.relati...', Array)
#1 /var/www/html/open.salon.com/urlPalau/web/includes/classes/Navigation.php(704): Relation::get_relations(42714, false)
#2 /var/www/html/open.salon.com/urlPalau/api/PageRenderer/PageRenderer.php(116): Navigation->get_links()
#3 /var/www/html/open.salon.com/urlPalau/web/includes/functions/html_generate.php(157): PageRenderer->__construct(NULL, NULL, 'Error 100: SELE...', 'opensalon_three...', 'os_header.tpl')
#4 [internal function]: exception_handler(Object(PAException))
#5 {main}
tr ig,
last time I could access my message box ( ~ by going to your bro's, clicking Send Message, deleting his name, clicking inbox ... several Errors later ... ) Jake wrote to say while it was my prerogative to write meta etcetera, he was as frustrated by the problems etc etc.
It was nice of him to write. I acknowledged that.
Have just opened one of Kim's pieces three times in a row. Let's see if this may hold.
Held for just a few moments but not consistently. Not holding any longer.
Still not able to access Kim's pieces.
Jake? IT people? If only one person is out of reach and not the entire site, shouldn't this be easier to solve? I have no IT knowledge, but shouldn't it. And whether it is or not, it feels worse to have one voice continue to be unreachable here. If I have luck, I'll come and say. Meanwhile I can only try and come here to let someone know.
At least I think you are listening, Jake, but I hate this sense of one voice being closed ... however it is happening. And dare I say, the weekend - here- looms. Will that mean nothing can be done?
In case this helps in any way, Little Kate and Natalie Not Pedantic are the only other writers of whom I am aware who write here from Australia. Yesterday I was able to access Kate's pieces and just now I've accessed Natalie's. The problem lies somewhere else.
A window to Kim's pieces seems to have opened ... at least for now. Hard to trust this opening. We'll see if this time, it holds. One wonders when trust is lost, what is it that remains.
A window still seems open ... but how was it closed ... and will the opening hold ... if it were your voice ... how would you feel ...
12 hours and holding, for me.

Thanks, Jake.
Wow. What a freakout.
Whew, the sky is actually *not* falling.
Hope you're having a good weekend, Jake. This job must give you all sorts of fun chats around the dinner table...
So quiet you are, Jake. If one cares ... about what is here ... all that is and has been here ... one can only wonder ... why ...
Please know from all that is here ... that many have and still do ... wonder ... for many have given here ... so much care ...
Yes, I was terribly remiss in stating the sky is not falling.
It is.
We love this site clearly or we'd not be here dealing with all the technical troubles, we'd be elsewhere....
Looking forward to an explanation of today's outage. It hasn't deterred the spam which was able to put up 20 or so posts in the few minutes since service has been restored.