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NC #876 Keyword Search Extension, Podfeet Speedup, Fixing MySQL Character Encoding, Security Bits

Hi, this is Allison Sheridan of the NosillaCast Apple Podcast, hosted at Podfeet.com, a technology geek podcast with an EVER so slight Apple bias. Today is Sunday, February 20, 2022, and this is show number 876.

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CCATP #715 – Bart Busschots on PBS 135 of X – Introducing Jest (and re-Introducing Test Driven Development & Unit Testing)

Blog Posts

Easier, Faster Web Searches with Keyword Search Extension for Safari

Podfeet Speedup and Fixing MySQL Character Encoding

After I wrote up the article about fixing my website and how my hero William helped me move my database and after I doubled the number of virtual CPUs, I asked the entire Slack community to go to podfeet.com and verify that things felt snappier. The vast majority of the responses were that it was, indeed, responding much better than it was before.

And then today, forgive my French, but things went in the pooper again. The response time slowed down to 14-second page loads, eventually Steve reported that he couldn’t log in at all, and the CPU load graphs on DigitalOcean showed it was bumping into 100% CPU utilization yet again on 2 vCPUs. I tried to take a look, and WordPress had lost the connection to the brand new shiny database on the dedicated server!

I pinged William and just as we started to figure out what was wrong, it healed itself. William and I crawled every log file we could find looking for some root cause to the high CPU usage and we were unable to find anything concerning. Bart and I chatted quite a bit after that and we still don’t know the root cause.

There’s a chance that my site is being attacked but in a way that doesn’t generate network traffic. Bart explained to me that you can make a very small HTTP request, such as “search all of podfeet.com for the word ‘pancake'” and that would generate a lot of CPU load. The good news is that with a free Cloudflare account, I can put my website behind their defenses, which are designed to ward off all kinds of denial of service attacks.

When Bart can schedule some time to read up on what answers I should give to the questions Cloudflare are asking me as I try to set it up, we’ll give it a try. While it seems like the right step forward, I’m not feeling confident we’re on the right path since we really don’t yet know what the heck is going on.

I’m learning a lot and I stand by my statement that William is my hero, but I sure would like to get this all behind me!

Support the Show

As you’ve heard in my explanation of trying to solve the problems with podfeet.com, I’ve incurred $20 a month more in the cost of running podfeet.com. If you’ve been on the fence about becoming a supporter of the show, this week would be a really swell time to join the other hero supporters. Remember that while I’ve set Patreon up to ask you to support on a per-episode basis, you can always set a monthly maximum so you really can control how much you spend.

Ryan Waldon has been a supporter of the podcast for a long time, and this week he actually upped his pledge by $2/month. If we can get a few more people to become Patrons, this faster experience from which you all benefit won’t come out of my own pocket! Thank you Ryan for being so awesome.

Security Bits — 20 Feb 2022

That’s going to wind this up for this week. Did you know you can email me at [email protected] any time you like? If you have a question or a suggestion just send it on over. You can follow me on Twitter at @podfeet. If you want to join the conversation, you can join our Slack community at podfeet.com/slack where you can talk to me and all of the other lovely NosillaCastaways. Remember, everything good starts with podfeet.com. You can support the show at podfeet.com/patreon or with a one-time donation at podfeet.com/paypal.  And if you want to join in the fun of the live show, head on over to podfeet.com/live on Sunday nights at 5pm Pacific Time and join the friendly and enthusiastic NosillaCastaways.   Thanks for listening, and stay subscribed.

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