Bad Science Emergency Chat Thread

Shit, so Ben at Bad Science is having problem with his site - as we continue to not help him out fiscally (bad us). Still if it helps anyone from the forum, please feel free to use this thread as a chat thread till we get the forum back - or at least a more suitable alternative. It allows anon comments so your shouldn't have problems.

I'll keep this post updated with whats happening - or wherever else we may have gone (if somewhere more suitable is found).

EDIT: Incase the site goes down again heres the update on the status of

Forum temporarily disabled, bandwidth exceeded, website dying, er, “help?”

July 3rd, 2007 by Ben Goldacre in bad science |

Sorry about the very long outage, my host suddenly and without any announcement simply pulled the plug on all CGI (geek stuff) because I was apparently putting too great a strain on their servers, and I’ve had to switch the forum off (at the very least) until I get it sorted. It turns out that I was the hog making everything run slowly: who’d have thought? This blog is back online but only on borrowed time now I’m afraid, to give me a chance to upgrade to Wordpress 2.2.1 and see if that will help reduce the CGI load for a bit. I’ve barely got time to do even that right now.

If anyone could offer help that would be amazing, I need to upgrade Wordpress and phpBB. I really can’t pay for web skills at the moment - must start vitamin pill company instead of giving talks for free in schools and losing train ticket receipts - but I can give love, kudos/publicity, and I know some pretty girls. Might be better to email instead of posting below as the site will probably go down again soon, maybe for quite a while, so is the best.

Also unfortunately - with the best will in the world - I guess I maybe now ought to move to a bigger host to speed everything up, and most importantly remove any chance of this kind of thing happening again (the hours wasted already…) so it would be good to get opinions on what hosting can handle a min of 12,000 visitors a day to a mySQL intensive Wordpress and phpBB installation, and run really quickly? Ideally somewhere a step up from my current ten dollar arrangement but a bit short of the proper big money for a dedicated server?

Anyway thanks and sorry for the outage, hopefully going to sort it all out for good this time. Thank god nobody ever goes here or here eh. Look ma, no adverts. No evil drug company funding. Just a broken website. Looks like the web2.0 cashless volunteer ideas economy may not work if you lack time and 3L33t webskillz.

Sticks in my throat. “Help.” Can’t someone please just become my best mate and hold my hand for the web stuff? I really love this website being here, but I just can’t spend hours sorting it out at the moment.

Want to help?
Buy some merchandise
Buy Amazon stuff through here for Badscience to get 5% of the cost.
(I've just checked the paypal donation button doesn't like being hotlinked to - so you'll have to go to the site to make a direct donatation).


Bill said...

I believe you can get rubbish, but free forums from various websites. Full of ads and pretty shit. But if these problems last - then it may be worth setting one up.

I've no idea about servers and all that jazz, but I've given him a bit of cash. It's shitty that our main voice in the fight against nonsense is struggling to maintain the site. So I suppose we've got to do what we can.

Anonymous said...

I tried the Paypal button from the site and it gives an error, "We were unable to decrypt the certificate id."

I had a couple of friends check too, so I think that's broken. I was just about to find Ben's email address and the Wordpress database pooped itself again :)

Anyone have Ben's email address or paypallable address to hand?

Anonymous said...

It's back up :)

ben at fwiw.

Bill said...

Yeah, I removed the paypal button. It's quite sensible for them to not allow hotlinking but otherwise fraud could be massive.

So can you just paypal the email address ben at or is it ben at

Thats at least the address I got in a "thankyou" email from Ben.

At least whilst the proper site is up it isn't a problem.

Anonymous said...

Ben et al

any way to email all your 'known' commentators with a snail mail address or PO Box for cheques etc? I don't have a paypal account, but happy to send cheque.
Alternatively, let us know when you'll be found sat on the pavement with a 'non-terrorist dr but (internet) homeless' sign around your neck so we can pop along to donate....

Anonymous said...

Ahh yes. Badscience is down...

Anonymous said...

Not true. Sorry. Just very slow.

Anonymous said...

If I follow the story, every message of support pushes the server closer to falling over again.

SQL eh... all I can contribute is "is it possible that the database doesn't have proper indexes on?" Then it will work but it will be very expensive in machine time. I bang on about this at work (Microsoft SQL Server, different beast) with no great effect. But... I'd expect standard Web-service products to do their own index configuration properly... surely?

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