More Beta’s on the way — but first: Server problems!

There are a few updates that are about ready to be pushed out — including ISC 5 Beta 3, BLABA Beta 3 and LDE Beta 1 [That's a lot of "Beta"s!] — just as soon as the server woes are fully taken care of.

[Seriously.  Web servers suck sometimes.  Can't we all go back to BBS's and call it good? :) ]

Could be later today.  Could be Monday.  Hard to say.  One or the other.

Just wanted to give everyone a heads up as I may be hard to reach for just a bit until everything is solid and fixed up.

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Google doesn’t want people to know about better software

Google has decided, today, that RadicalBreeze.com contains malware.  And will harm your computer.

And they display a gigantic red page stating that you, along with your first born, will be slaughtered in the night — to any man, woman or child who visits this website with Chrome or via a Google website.

The only thing available from RadicalBreeze.com is Illumination Software Creator.

Which is, most certainly, not malware.

[Unless you modify the word "malware" to mean "something significantly more advanced than a project that Google started but then gave up on because it was too hard".]

You’ll notice on that fancy “you will be punched in the face by a goblin” page above that Google provides a link to their “Safe Browsing diagnostic page” for RadicalBreeze.com.

This page lists all of the problems Google found with the website in question.

To the right is a screenshot you can see.  Allow me to sum up the problems that Google has with RadicalBreeze.com.

Site is listed as suspicious – visiting this web site may harm your computer.”

Well that’s no good!  Luckily Google’s nifty little tool will tell me what was suspicious so I can fix the problem.

“Of the 21 pages we tested on the site over the past 90 days, 0 page(s) resulted in malicious software being downloaded and installed without user consent. The last time Google visited this site was on 2012-07-25, and suspicious content was never found on this site within the past 90 days.”

Just to sum up:

RadicalBreeze.com is malicious and suspicious.  Also, RadicalBreeze.com is not at all malicious nor suspicious… and never has been.

Right.

Now I just need to let Google know about the problem so they can fix their own system (which is either broken… or has been deliberately modified to block RadicalBreeze.com… in which case… Google.com is a malicious website).

They do claim to provide simple steps to request a “malware review”.  Those steps are as follows:

Request a malware review:

  1. On the Webmaster Tools Home page, select the site you want.
  2. Click Health, and then click Malware.
  3. Click Request a review.

This website is not there.  And it won’t let me add the website.

There is also no “Health” link (or anything that looks like it) on the “Webmaster Tools Home page” that I can click on.

The only form of contact they provide (including email, phone, IM, mailing address, etc.) is “noreply@google.com”.

Which.  As you might have guessed, will get you no reply.

So there is a problem.  But there is no problem.

And there is a solution.  But there is no solution.

Luckily you can contact them.  But you cannot contact them.

Awesome.

So I am writing this now.  Because the only way it seems that you can get Google to fix anything is to make a big deal about it in public.

UPDATE:

A few hours after I posted this article… my website was actually hacked.  Looking through the logs, here’s my best guess as to what happened:

  1. A backdoor was discovered in the Plesk control panel that was in use on that server.  A backdoor which I did not know about.
  2. Google either knew about it or noticed many servers on the same network with the issue that *had* been compromised.
  3. My server was then deemed as “suspicious” because of that.
  4. I responded with this post.
  5. Somebody noticed it, noticed why it was labeled as such… and took advantage of the moment.
  6. Resulting in a little iframe being embedded in the bottom of the site that was fairly gnarly.

Which… lame.  Sometimes the internet can be a very, very lame place.

But, luckily, I had you guys to help me get to the bottom of it!  Things are mostly fixed now (radicalbreeze.com is pointing to lunduke.com right now — or at least it will be once the DNS is updated everywhere — and I’m working to salvage and fix what I can there).

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Server migrations are fun.

Today I am moving all of the key content over from RadicalBreeze.com to live here at Lunduke.com.

Then, starting tomorrow, RadicalBreeze.com will forward directly to the Illumination page here on Lunduke.com.  [And, while I'm at it, I'm giving the individual pages here a much needed update.]

At that point… everything I do will be right here — in one place.  Which sounds so much easier. :)

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Open Source Funded By Donations? Not So Much.

When I set out to convert all my software over to be Open Source — and fully fund development with contributions from the community — I knew there was a strong chance it wouldn’t work out [heck, nobody else has pulled it off].  There was a very real possibility that it wouldn’t even get off the ground.

But get off the ground, it did.  We all pulled together and made it happen.  We hit our fundraising goals for the first month in just 8 days.  Which gave me a great deal of hope for the coming months.

Unfortunately things didn’t quite work out.

Total recurring donations are down to just a small fraction of the initial goals — and way below what is needed to sustain development.

I attempted to make a few modifications to funding model to no avail.  It’s just simply not working.  [Over the next few weeks I'll spend some time taking a look at how it went, day-by-day -- then I'll publish what I figure out - in one single post - so we can all learn from it.]

So… what now?

Now I need to return my lively-hood to a model that I know can support me and my family [and had done so for years previously].  So new versions of some of my software will be returning to a closed source license (in this case the GLL).

Illumination Software Creator 5.x and above will be released Closed Source.  As will the next releases of BLABA and the games [Linux Tycoon and 2299].

The previous version of all of these will, obviously, remain under the GPL.  The Lunduke SDK and Radical Comic Designer will, as well, be staying GPL.

I will continue working on a “Non-Me” Open Source project for one week each month [right now this is Inkscape].

Those who wish to contribute to any of that work my continue to do so.

Everyone who has contributed will get an email from me, tomorrow, that gives them full licenses for all of the new versions of the Closed Source software listed above.

Over the next few hours, there will be a few small changes to Lunduke.com to reflect the new details — along with the first beta release of Illumination Software Creator 5.0.

This has been an exciting experiment.  I’m hoping we can learn from it to better fund similar projects in the future.  And I’m happy that some new Open Source software has resulted from it.

For me… it’s time to play it safe, business-wise, and just focus on making awesome software for a while — and selling it the good old fashioned way.

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We did it. Linux Tycoon, Illumination [and more] are going GPL.

Just 8 days ago I stated that, if I could pull together just $4,000 in contributions, I would Open Source (under the GPL) all of the applications and games you see on this site.

As of about 10 minutes ago, we have hit $4,001 (and some change).

That’s right.  We pulled it off.  Because we are awesome.

We showed that we, as a community, could rally together to fund a developer working full time on Open Source applications.

Now What?

Now things get fun.

  1. Tomorrow I will be updating this website and releasing free (as in beer) builds of all of the software available here (including Linux Tycoon, Illumination Software Creator, etc.).
  2. Then I will be setting up project tracking tools and source control for each application… and uploading the source code licensed under the GPL.

During this time I will be compiling together statistics and information from the past 8 days on how, specifically, this all came together.  Traffic, donation statistics, press information, etc.  My hope is that other indie developers can utilize this information to help them to do something similar.  A detailed and viable case-study.

A Big Thanks

I owe a big, hearty thanks to everyone who has contributed over the last week.  You have helped to show the world that it is completely viable [and practical] for a closed source indie developer to go Open Source and be funded via contributions.  This is a big step.

I would also like to thank all of the organizations [such as OMGUbuntu and the Linux Foundation] and community leaders [like Jono Bacon and Aaron Seigo] who helped get the word out.

You’ll notice that the donation links have moved to the bottom left of the site.  I will also be building some sort of system to show the current donation levels in real-time (or at least semi-real-time).  That way everyone can watch, in a completely transparent way, how things unfold from day-to-day and month-to-month.

Again.  Well done.  Very, very well done.

Keep your eye on this site tomorrow for lots and lots of goodies.

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