Site Updates (Site News)

  • ng
  • 11/10/08 31/12/20
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Posted: Sun, 12/10/2008 - 14:45

Site News will be posted here. This means news about changes and enhancements to the web-site itself, not news of other Group activities nor general news/information about the KSFIoM situation

Please refrain from comments that are not directly related to the topic. If you have ideas for new features which should be added to the site, or changes to be made etc, please post them in this thread.

Please read the Site Updates from time to time.

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Full update of sites completed

  • ng
  • 11/10/08 31/12/20
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  • Tue, 23/06/2009 - 15:29

A significant number of updates have been installed, including important security updates. There are improvements to the notifications facility among others.

So far I have noticed one anomaly since the upgrades - the Actions and tasks list (top-left) is now misbehaving, apparently showing all actions/tasks instead of unread items as it is supposed to do. I will try and get that fixed shortly. If you notice any other anomalies please inform me via my contact form.


Added https connection to ksfiomdepositors.org web sites

  • ng
  • 11/10/08 31/12/20
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  • Thu, 11/06/2009 - 10:32

Related to this thread, we now have secure (aka ssl, https) connection set up.

So, you can now use https://www.ksfiomdepositors.org and https://chat.ksfiomdepositors.org - however you will get a security warning from your browser because we do not have a third-party certificate. The exact message will depend on your browser.

For example, Firefox 3 says:

Secure Connection Failed
www.ksfiomdepositors.org uses an invalid security certificate.
The certificate is not trusted because it is self signed.
The certificate is not valid for any server names.

... you will then need to "add an exception" to allow access to the site. This message is to warn you that our certificate is self-signed (home-made!) as opposed to being from a recognised provider such as Verisign. The encryption works fine with this self-signed certificate, but what you don't get is verification of the site's identity.

I do hope to get a proper ssl certificate, but first DAG has to be established as a legal entity, since the certificate has to identify an entity.


Initial (basic) "project" system implemented

  • ng
  • 11/10/08 31/12/20
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  • Sun, 31/05/2009 - 15:05

More information HERE.


Sky theme rolled-back

  • ng
  • 11/10/08 31/12/20
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  • Sun, 31/05/2009 - 13:38

After yesterday's theme update, there were too many minor niggles, such as bullet points (ordered and unordered lists) not displaying properly. So, I've rolled-back, and re-implemented the modifications made yesterday which were needed to support the Objective filed (specifically, display of CCK data in forum nodes, node-forum.tpl.php).


Theme update and "Objective" field

  • ng
  • 11/10/08 31/12/20
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  • Sat, 30/05/2009 - 16:37
  • Installed updated version of the "Sky" theme (sets general style and colours on the site). that broke a few things as we had previously modified the theme (e.g. to show "new" in orange rather than white) so I had to re-modify. I think it's all done, but if you notice something missing please let me know.

  • Added an Objective field to forum posts. The idea is that posts should have an objective (rather like a meeting!) and should conversation should work towards that objective. Hopefully this will help things to stay on track!


"Access denied" message when trying to add a comment

  • ng
  • 11/10/08 31/12/20
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  • Thu, 28/05/2009 - 10:50

This seems to be happening very occasionally. Even I get the access denied message (should never happen!) ... not sure what the cause is, probably a Drupal bug, possibly fixed with latest Drupal, yet to be installed.

Please use my contact form to inform me of any posts which are affected (send me the link to the post) and I can fix them on a case by case basis. (solution: just edit and re-save.)


Brief downtime around 12:00 UK time today

  • ng
  • 11/10/08 31/12/20
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  • Wed, 27/05/2009 - 11:08

Another occurrence of the unexplained overload problem. load average: 21.24, 12.86, 5.92 - High memory and swap use - Fixed by killing runaway apache process and restarting services. The pattern is always the same, we just cannot isolate the root cause, and it seems to happen at random - had been fine for many weeks and now several times in the past few days. Possibly related to number of users but in simulated high use tests we couldn't find a way of triggering the problem.


Site was slow between 14:00 and 15:45 (UK time) today

  • ng
  • 11/10/08 31/12/20
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  • Tue, 26/05/2009 - 19:53

I was out all afternoon, but my logs show apparently continuous high server between loading 14:00 and 15:45 (UK time) today. Load average of 4 over 15 minutes and as high as 6 over one minute. The site would almost certainly have been very sluggish during that time.


Site down-time tonight

  • ng
  • 11/10/08 31/12/20
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  • Tue, 26/05/2009 - 01:45

Shortly after midnight (UK time) we were hit with an occurrence of the unexplained overload problem that has plagued us from time to time over many months. It hasn't happened for a couple of months though. The problem and the steps we have taken to attempt to resolve it have been documented elsewhere on this site.

On this particular occasion, stef stepped in to try to fix it (thanks Stef) and rebooted the server. The problem persisted, so I shut down services in order to try to avoid possible database corruption. I've come back on line a few hours later and restarted services. It seems to be behaving normally now.


Site upgrade

  • ng
  • 11/10/08 31/12/20
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  • Sat, 23/05/2009 - 14:17

Installed update to PHP5 (5.2.4-2ubuntu5.6) - You won't see any difference, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this might fix the occasional "overload" problems that the server suffers from time to time.

PHP is the underlying programming system that allows everything here to work - More information on the corresponding Wikipedia page.


Fixed "Access denied" on trying to add a comment to node 3980

  • ng
  • 11/10/08 31/12/20
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  • Tue, 19/05/2009 - 09:25

I'm putting this here mainly for my own reference in case this problem reoccurs...


Re. forum post at: http://chat.ksfiomdepositors.org/forum-topic/update-e-mail-liquidator-re... (node 3980)

Issue Trying to add a comment, i.e. /comment/reply/3980#comment-form results in an "Access denied" page.

  • Problem seems to occur for all user roles, even pseudo-admin role (though I haven't didn't checked with user #1)
  • Checked the node settings - comments are enabled and set "read/write".

Tried the following:

  • Clear cache (using filecache, so did rm -r on the relevant directories)
  • Rebuild node permissions (admin/content/node-settings/rebuild)

... problem persists.

  • Made a "clone" copy of the node. Set author and date/time to match original - resulted in the same "access denied" problem - conclusion - problem is not unique to node, possibly something to do with node content or author details. Strange!

Possibly relevant factors:

  • Node author: Knife Edge (user #117)
  • Is post of type forum-post, "General discussion of issues" forum.
  • Posted into All Members group, no other groups
  • Post date 2009-05-18 21:01:27 +0200

So, no solution found yet.

Further investigation

  • Edited node and removed main content, replaced with a short message.

Success attempting to post a comment now seems to function correctly. Conclusion either there's something somehow "special" about the content, or possibly re-saving the node some fixed the problem.

  • Edited the node again, putting original main content back (via copy/paste) -- Problem does not reoccur!

  • Double-checked with standard user role rather than admin. Still works.

Final Conclusion

Solution would seem to have been one of:

  1. the copy/paste process removed some abnormal and problematic characters/strings from the text, or
  2. the edit/save operation somehow resulted in a fix. NB: Probably not relevant, but copy/paste was done under Ubuntu/Gnome with FF 3.0.10, not Windows.
  3. something else, problem just "went away".

(1) seems the more likely explanation, since an earlier "clone" copy of the node did exhibit the "access denied" issue (see above). I now have no exact copy of the original content, so cannot confirm without digging through database backups which I'm not going to do!


Update: This problem is occurring occasionally - solution is simply to edit and re-save.. cut/paste turns out to be irrelevant.


Automatic glossary feature disabled

  • ng
  • 11/10/08 31/12/20
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  • Fri, 15/05/2009 - 11:13

The automatic glossary feature has been disabled, at least for the time being. The reason for this change is that the glossary term descriptions were "leaking" into the automatic notification/subscription messages that get sent out to members, often making those messages difficult to read. This issue can be fixed, but I don't have time to do that right now, so disabling the automatic glossary feature was the fastest solution.

The glossary is still available and functional via the link in the top menu.


Glossary - Top menu

  • Tricky Dicky
  • 24/10/08 30/05/09
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  • Fri, 15/05/2009 - 12:57

Glossary at top menu does not allow access to read the glossary terms


Ok noted

  • ng
  • 11/10/08 31/12/20
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  • Fri, 15/05/2009 - 15:15

A side-effect of the method I've used to temporarily disable the feature. I'll try and think of a better way.


Collapsible block for "Strategy Team News"

  • ng
  • 11/10/08 31/12/20
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  • Mon, 04/05/2009 - 15:36

The post showing at the top of every page was a request from the Strategy Team. However, as some people have pointed out, its way too much information to be forcibly shown on every page. So, I've made the block collapsible - click the title to open/close it. Not a perfect solution, as it would be better for it to reappear automatically whenever it's updated - that's feasible, but not something I can do in a hurry.


New features: Relationships and Messenger

  • ng
  • 11/10/08 31/12/20
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  • Fri, 24/04/2009 - 17:02

Further details in this post


Messenger feature disabled

  • ng
  • 11/10/08 31/12/20
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  • Fri, 24/04/2009 - 18:33

The feature has been disabled - it had worked fine under test, but with real live useers, seemed to cause problems. So its been switched off again, pending investigation or an alternative. Shame, I was hoping it would make handling tech support easier.


affordable subscription ng

  • hippychickrobbed
  • 03/11/08 31/05/09
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  • Fri, 24/04/2009 - 14:47

Listen we are going to be this extended family for a while so an extended subscription needs to be put in place. I for one since late oct coped only with information from this site....


Updates installed

  • ng
  • 11/10/08 31/12/20
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  • Fri, 24/04/2009 - 11:09

A number of module updates installed, and database update to match. All Drupal modules are now up to date. Nothing new or exciting, a bit like having the oil changed in your car, or new tyres maybe.

This completes a set of updates that I've been waiting for a chance to do, in particular for Views and OG which are important parts of the system.


Public Site updates

  • ng
  • 11/10/08 31/12/20
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  • Fri, 24/04/2009 - 11:21

The above now duplicated on the public site. Everything worked, phew.


Thanks & Thanks Again, NG!

  • Wombat761
  • 30/01/09 20/03/15
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  • Sat, 25/04/2009 - 03:01

Thanks & Thanks Again, NG!

We really appreciate all you have done to improve and keep this sit running under difficult circumstances.


ng, your continuing support is greatly appreciated

  • Anonymous
  • Offline
  • Fri, 24/04/2009 - 12:59

Unfortunately your efforts to keep this site afloat are frequently taken for granted. Without your input this site would not exist and we, the depositors, would be a sorry lot. Especially those of us who live further afield.

Thank you.


Downtime this morning (20-Apr-2009)

  • ng
  • 11/10/08 31/12/20
  • a depositor
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  • Mon, 20/04/2009 - 11:52
  • The server was down today due to a low-level system fault, apparently related to PHP memory corruption.

  • The problem first appeared at 09:37 UK time, and was fixed by a forced reboot at around 12:30.

  • A forced reboot is a last resort, and may lead to file or database corruption - it's possible you will see some anomalies such as duplicated messages or missing messages, etc.


Here is my full analysis for future reference:

All times are UK...

Starting 09:25 - Load Average 6 in 1m
09:30 'Load Average 4 in 15m'
.. contines at load between 4 and 6 ...
10:03 'Load Average 6 in 1m'

09:37
Monitor on server.netgenius.co.uk for 'www.ksfiomdepositors.org' has detected that the service is down at 20/Apr/2009 10:37
.. i.e. the web site is not accessible by my remote monitor.

10:04 - Logcheck warns:
Apr 20 10:04:18 ksfiomdepositors suhosin[13777]: ALERT - canary mismatch on efree() - heap overflow detected (attacker '82.110.3.210', file '/var/www/drupal6/index.php')

.. which means some memory corruption in PHP - see http://www.suspekt.org/2008/10/12/suhosin-canary-mismatch-on-efree-heap-...

approx 12:00, Serial console shows:
"Out of Memory: Kill process 2 (migration/0) score 0 and children."
... repeating continually.

Uptime:
12:23:27 up 54 days, 18:45, 4 users, load average: 1.24, 1.12, 0.76
Guest: 54 days 18:44:12

Console reboot and shutdown, including shutdown force, seem to be ignored.

11:42 sent email:

To: Xtraordinary Support
Subject: Urgent: Please reboot our VPS
Date: Mon, 20 Apr 2009 12:42:10 +0200

Hi, our VPS is hung - I can't gain control via the virtual console and the reboot command there seems ignored.

----12:30 more logcheck warnings-----

Security Alerts
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
Apr 20 10:08:38 ksfiomdepositors suhosin[13364]: ALERT - canary mismatch on efree() - heap overflow detected (attacker '87.244.128.62', file '/var/www/drupal-6.10/includes/database.inc', line 205)
Apr 20 10:08:39 ksfiomdepositors suhosin[15119]: ALERT - possible memory corruption detected - unknown Hashtable destructor (attacker '82.113.155.13', file '/var/www/drupal6/cron.php')
Apr 20 10:08:42 ksfiomdepositors suhosin[13741]: ALERT - canary mismatch on efree() - heap overflow detected (attacker '90.192.118.228', file '/var/www/drupal-6.10/includes/database.inc', line 205)

System Events
=-=-=-=-=-=-=
Apr 20 12:29:56 ksfiomdepositors syslogd 1.5.0#1ubuntu1: restart.
Apr 20 12:29:58 ksfiomdepositors /etc/mysql/debian-start[10149]: Upgrading MySQL tables if necessary.
Apr 20 12:29:58 ksfiomdepositors /etc/mysql/debian-start[10154]: Looking for 'mysql' in: /usr/bin/mysql
Apr 20 12:29:58 ksfiomdepositors /etc/mysql/debian-start[10154]: Looking for 'mysqlcheck' in: /usr/bin/mysqlcheck
Apr 20 12:29:58 ksfiomdepositors /etc/mysql/debian-start[10154]: This installation of MySQL is already upgraded to 5.0.51a, use --force if you still need to run mysql_upgrade
Apr 20 12:29:58 ksfiomdepositors /etc/mysql/debian-start[10171]: Checking for insecure root accounts.
Apr 20 12:30:01 ksfiomdepositors postfix/master[10263]: daemon started -- version 2.5.1, configuration /etc/postfix


12:30 - Reboot doner by xtrahost support seems to have completed - Server is back up and site appears normal.


Donation

  • FEDUP
  • 13/10/08 31/05/09
  • unspecified
  • Offline
  • Fri, 24/04/2009 - 14:53

ng, just made a further donation for the upkeep of the site. Really hope other depositors are doing the same, as without this site we would be lost.

Thank you so much for all your efforts ng.


Database repair

  • ng
  • 11/10/08 31/12/20
  • a depositor
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  • Mon, 20/04/2009 - 13:08

Approx 14:00, ran a repair/optimise on all MySQL tables. Backup from 07:00 this morning seems intact.


Site very slow around 16:50 GMT today

  • ng
  • 11/10/08 31/12/20
  • a depositor
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  • Fri, 20/03/2009 - 18:23

The site was unusably slow from around 16:50 to 17:20 GMT. Having investigated and found that it did not seem to be anything on our server (VPS) as such, I emailed the hosting company's tech support at 17:09:

Response from xtrahost tech support:


At 16:50 today, we detected a disruption of traffic to several VPSes. We investigated, and found that one of our customers was undergoing a significant DOS attack, affecting traffic to the host server on which your VPS is located.

We responded by blocking the attack, and normal service was restored by 17:20.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Kind regards,

Technical Support Team
Xtraordinary Hosting : http://www.xtrahost.co.uk
Tel: +44 (0)845 345 0919 email: support(?)xtrahost [dot] co [dot] uk


From: ng
Subject: Server very slow -- 82.113.155.13
Date: 20 March 2009 18:09:52 GMT+01:00
To: support(?)xtrahost [dot] co [dot] uk

For the past 10 or 15 minutes .. not overloaded - load average: 0.40,
0.28, 0.41

Even SSH session is very slow, but ping seems normal. Something weird
happening?


Automatic Glossary of Terms

  • ng
  • 11/10/08 31/12/20
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  • Thu, 19/03/2009 - 12:42

You will now see some terms highlighted, e.g. DAG or SOA and you can "float" your mouse over that text to get a description. Of course the descriptions themselves need to be input, there are only a handful defined at the moment - Tricky Dicky is organising that - anyone wanting to help, please contact him.

Possibly we need a place for "suggestions" for new glossary terms - could just be a forum thread, or something more structured.


Glossary

  • ng
  • 11/10/08 31/12/20
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  • Thu, 19/03/2009 - 23:38

I've changed the way glossary terms are created/updated - more info here. Also added Glossary to the top menu as suggested by LJ.


New feature "my posts" added

  • ng
  • 11/10/08 31/12/20
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  • Thu, 19/03/2009 - 12:17

Minor change to top-right menu to add "my posts" link - it will take you to a display of all posts made by you or commented on by you, and any file attachments (uploads) you have made.

This is in response to comments that it's not easy to find threads that you have posted or contributed to. Now, where are my car keys...


Server overload 09:50 GMT

  • ng
  • 11/10/08 31/12/20
  • a depositor
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  • Tue, 10/03/2009 - 10:32

This morning we had another occurrence of our long standing "overload" problem at around 9:50 GMT. Services killed/restarted at around 10:15 to fix.

So far we have eliminated the following as possible causes:

  • Filecache module (and Drupal caching in general)
  • Graphical captcha image generation

... both the above have been selectively disabled, yet the problem still occurs.

Further information here: http://chat.ksfiomdepositors.org/group-topic/site-downtime-server-overlo...


Search link added to top-menu

  • ng
  • 11/10/08 31/12/20
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  • Tue, 03/03/2009 - 12:12

Search facility added as a link (it was already available if you knew the link!). Please try not to over-use this feature - it requires a relatively high amount of server resources and over-use may result in the site running slowly for others.


Site glitches this morning

  • ng
  • 11/10/08 31/12/20
  • a depositor
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  • Mon, 02/03/2009 - 12:31

Between approx 11 and 12 am GMT today the site was doing strange things - mainly pages not displayed properly.

This eventually turned out to be due to a misconfiguration at the OS level (/tmp not writable by www-data) which unfortunately was by no means obvious as the cause. For my future reference!


Glitches

  • bobwin
  • 23/12/08 n/a (free)
  • a depositor
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  • Mon, 02/03/2009 - 12:59

Yes Adrian had a couple of --you are not allowed to access this site.

When I leave the site, i do not log out just close the window--like the other user, when I come back, I am still logged in--should I log out?---i don't cos it is a pain with the password and you are so strict--it does my head--you are more strict than my other bank--there I have user name, password and random questions like--your first school, your mums first name, your dads first name etc .All that i can remember but the password with caps and numbers is more difficult--I claim senile dementia!

Kind regards and" good job"


Drupal CMS installation updated to version 6.10

  • ng
  • 11/10/08 31/12/20
  • a depositor
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  • Fri, 27/02/2009 - 17:51

We were previously on 6.8, having skipped the 6.9 version as the changes weren't really relevant to us.


Site may be a bit faster

  • ng
  • 11/10/08 31/12/20
  • a depositor
  • Offline
  • Wed, 25/02/2009 - 21:04

A site performance enhancement ("caching") has been re-enabled, and the site may be a bit quicker as a result. The main performance benefit however is only visible to people not logged-in (typically visitors on the public site) so you won't notice a huge difference here.

The caching was disabled few days ago to eliminate it as a possible cause for our occasional "overloading" issue, but since that still occurred, the caching feature appears not to be the culprit and so now re-enabled.


Read This V Interesting

  • giveus backourfunds
  • 13/10/08 31/05/09
  • unspecified
  • Offline
  • Mon, 02/03/2009 - 13:20

UK regulator 'mystified' at reasons for KSF transfer

JOHN ASPDEN: Chief executive of the Manx Financial Supervision Commission

« Previous « PreviousNext » Next »View GalleryADVERTISEMENTPublished Date: 02 March 2009
THE UK financial services regulator says he is 'completely mystified' why his Isle of Man counterpart believes he was encouraged to transfer millions of pounds of Kaupthing funds to the sister bank in London.
Some £557 million has been trapped after Kaupthing Singer and Friedlander (UK) was placed in administration, a move that precipitated the collapse of the Island's bank.

John Aspden, chief executive of the Manx Financial Supervision Commission, previously told a hearing of the UK Treasury select committee investigating the banking crisis, that he agreed the transfer of the funds to London after seeking assurances from the UK's Financial Services Authority.

The transfer followed growing concerns about the financial situation in Iceland where Kaupthing's parent bank was based.

But giving evidence to the same committee last week, the FSA's chief executive Hector Sants insisted there was 'no evidence at all' that the authority had instigated the transfer.

And extract of a letter written on March 21 last year by the FSC to the FSA was read out at the hearing.

In it the FSC asked: 'If KSF (IoM) was to make a large interbank placing with KSF in London, would the FSA be able to confirm that adequate liquidity is maintained by KSF London to repay that interbank deposit should it be requested to do so by KSF (IoM)?'

In the reply on the same date, the FSA outlined the liquidity limits it applied to KSF. 'These apply to the whole of the book and thus would cover any deposits received from KSF (IoM),' the letter states.

Mr Sants was asked if the purpose of that letter to give reassurance to the FSC in the Isle of Man that any large deposit that would be placed in the London bank would be secure and covered.

He replied: 'The purpose of the letter was to confirm, as we did to the Isle of Man regulator, the liquidity regime that was in place which I have to say is more onerous than our normal liquidity regime and which was put in place in 2005 in response to some of our concerns earlier. We confirmed that regime was in place.

'Whether that provided sufficient assurance to the regulator in the Isle of Man that is for them to decide.'

He added: 'We are another host regulator, our job is to provide them with information. It is not for us to make judgements on that information but we accurately answered their question.'

It was pointed out to Mr Sants that the FSA had been accused of actually instigating the transfer.

'Of which there is no evidence at all,' he replied.
He was asked if to confirm the FSA never made any approaches to the London branch of the bank to say it needed to get further assets into its bank.

'No,' he replied.

He said he had carried out a comprehensive investigation of the files and talked to staff involved in the incident.

He added: 'I did actually meet the Isle of Man regulator myself and he made no suggestion to me that we in any way encouraged them to make this transfer. I'm completely mystified where this idea has come from.'

The transfer of Derbyshire Building Society accounts to KSF (IoM) has previously been described by FSA bosses as a 'sorry situation'.

Mr Sants insisted the transfer of ownership to a company in the Isle of Man owned by an Icelandic firm was a matter for those regulators and customers were 'properly informed'.

But he pointed out that term depositors would not have been given the opportunity to say they didn't like the fact they were being transferred into the jurisdiction of the Isle of Man and out of the jurisdiction of the FSA.

He was asked: 'Should the FSA been more active in protecting the interest of the customer in those circumstances as the parental guarantee of a UK building society is significantly different to the parental guarantee of an Icelandic bank?'he was asked.

Mr Sants replied: 'There is no basis for us overruling a judgement by the Icelandic regulators within the framework we currently operate.'
FSA chairman Lord Turner told the committee that major changes were needed to the way a European single market in financial services was supervised.

He said in the way the single market was currently run, 'you have to respect the judgement of the ultimate home supervisor irrespective of which country they come from and whether there would be fiscal resources to support that judgement in extremis'.

He added: 'We think there are huge issues here we about the way we should organise this and major changes are required.'

The full article contains 792 words and appears in n/a newspaper.Page 1 of 1

Last Updated: 02 March 2009 10:18 AM
Source: n/a
Location: Isle of Man
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News


so who is telling lies

  • tsunamivictim
  • 11/10/08 n/a (free)
  • a depositor
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  • Mon, 02/03/2009 - 14:18

so who is telling lies now..UK or IOM????
We must get hold of a copy of the minutes of the meeting at which it was decided to transfer the funds and at which (it is said) John Cashin stepped out?


Could this be contributing to the site problems?

  • Xavier
  • 11/10/08 31/03/10
  • a depositor
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  • Thu, 26/02/2009 - 23:01

I have noticed that if I forget to log out and then shut down (power off) my computer when I next access the site I am still logged in???
Is there any way to break this log on link automatically when a user shuts down or leaves the site?


Logout from the site

  • ng
  • 11/10/08 31/12/20
  • a depositor
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  • Fri, 27/02/2009 - 00:51

Well yes, I could add an automatic (timed) logout, but right now you're left logged in unless you explicitly log out (on menu top-right) - designed to be convenient.


n/a

  • follow_the_tao
  • 11/10/08 31/05/09
  • a depositor
  • Offline
  • Fri, 27/02/2009 - 02:42

n/a


"Captcha" system changed

  • ng
  • 11/10/08 31/12/20
  • a depositor
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  • Wed, 25/02/2009 - 13:43

In order to possibly resolve the site "overload" and resulting downtime that we have experienced from time to time, the captcha method has been changed.

  • Where you previously saw a graphical code, you will now see a simple text code.
  • Type the code without spaces but with mixed capital/small letters if shown in the code.
  • The captcha is now additionally included on the user login page, so you will need to enter the code shown in addition to your user-name and password. This change is for increased protection against spambots.
  • I know many people have found the graphical code difficult to read (it needs to be!) - this new code is much easier, but for the same reason, less secure. Nonetheless, this will probably be a welcome change for many people.

The downside

The whole reason why we use the captcha code is to prevent nasty people from running programs which could interfere with our site in various ways. The main threat is of spam - without the captcha system in place, the site would very quickly be the target of automated posts in the forums trying to sell you Viagra, etc. The new captcha system is much easier to read, both for humans and machines (computer programs.) The result is that we now have an increased risk of spam posts appearing. They may be posted into the forum or via users' contact forms (if enabled) and so received via email.

If anybody sees a spam post on the site or receives spam which was obviously sent from the site via your contact form please let me know


Downtime yesterday

  • ng
  • 11/10/08 31/12/20
  • a depositor
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  • Wed, 25/02/2009 - 11:21

Brief downtime yesterday may have been due to a combination of our ongoing occasional "overload" situation and/or some (probably unrelated) technical problem with the VPS environment our server runs under. Full technicolor detail in this post. There is still an unresolved issue which might result in occasional downtime.

IMPORTANT
If you do find the site inaccessible, please do not repeatedly try to access a page. Better wait a few minutes then try again - otherwise (with everybody continually re-trying) things are likely to get worse rather than better!


ng absence

  • ng
  • 11/10/08 31/12/20
  • a depositor
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  • Mon, 23/02/2009 - 23:43

Just a note to say that due to a personal situation (unrelated to KSFIoM) I am finding it difficult focus on DAG as much as I would like to. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.


Scheduled downtime Feb 21

  • ng
  • 11/10/08 31/12/20
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  • Fri, 20/02/2009 - 16:03

Message received a moment ago from our hosting company...


The Xen host server your VPS is hosted on has reported an intermittent filesystem error. We have decided to move all customer VPS to a different host server.


This move will require around 10 minutes of downtime while your VPS is copied to the new server.
Maintenance window start: 00:00 GMT 21st February 2009
Maintenance window end: 03:00 GMT 21st February 2009

This means:

  • Site will be down for around 10 minutes some time during the window 00:00-03:00 GMT tomorrow (Saturday night)

  • Possibly this might explain the other problems we've been getting. Fingers crossed on that.


Should that be Saturday morning?

  • Anonymous
  • Offline
  • Fri, 20/02/2009 - 19:20

00.00 to 03.00 Saturday 21st Feb is just after midnight tonight (Friday)


Thanks for the correction

  • ng
  • 11/10/08 31/12/20
  • a depositor
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  • Mon, 23/02/2009 - 21:34

Thank you, yes i should have said Friday night / Saturday morning.


Site down-time this morning

  • ng
  • 11/10/08 31/12/20
  • a depositor
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  • Fri, 20/02/2009 - 11:54

Site was down initially due to a problem, and then kept down for running a few tests. Unfortunately, no cause found. This appears to be the same issue that has plagued us from time to time ever since the start - very high server loading (load average as high as 20 or more) for no apparent reason. It does not seem to be directly related to number of users active on the site. Because this problem is intermittent and impossible to recreate, it is extremely difficult to diagnose.


Update: Site problems today

  • ng
  • 11/10/08 31/12/20
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  • Fri, 20/02/2009 - 13:59

Site is back up, its probably going to be a bit slower than normal - this because some performance enhancements (cache) have been disabled to try to eliminate that as a possible cause. Unfortunately, this is a sort of shot in the dark - since the overloading problem only happens occasionally (until today all had been well for a couple of weeks) it will be difficult to know whether this change has actually made a difference or not.


More CMS updates installed

  • ng
  • 11/10/08 31/12/20
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  • Wed, 18/02/2009 - 01:28

Another batch of updates installed. This, I believe, fixes the notifications problem - they had been broken by the previous round of upgrades - thanks to columbgc for pointing that out.


edit group topic

  • adrienne
  • 10/10/08 13/05/10
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  • Tue, 17/02/2009 - 23:08

ng, can I edit a group topic I've created?

great, great , great job btw.