Latest Livejournal update

I’m in Jakarta, Indonesia, and right now it’s 11.00 PM Western Indonesia time (we’re UTC/GMT +7).

In case anyone is wondering what’s the latest LJ situation now, you’d be happy to know that:
– The website is up and running; have been for 24 hours at least
– The website can be accessed while logged in (in my case, I used Google Chrome for browser on my PC and right now Safari on my Macbook)
– The website is still very buggy. Sometimes it loads slowly, sometimes it loads normally.
– Users have reported they are able to post comments and SHORT entries.
– Users have reported that they are unable to change/upload/edit userpics.
– Users have reported that they are unable to post/edit LONG entries. (If you’re there to post fanfiction, for example, like me, then you’ll be met with an error message.) So, for now, keep it short.

The existing problems have been acknowledged by Livejournal, as evidenced by their status page.

I highly recommend Dreamwidth if you’re impatient to post your long entries/fanfiction. Some of my fanfic communities in LJ have done so – they upload the long fanfic entry on Dreamwidth and then link back to it from LJ.

This may be my last entry about the Livejournal situation unless there’s something major/urgent going on again. Good luck with everything.

Livejournal, why so FAIL? – Another Update

Good morning, LJ users. Before we start with the situational updates, can I just ask if you were like me this morning? That is, were you elated seeing LJ’s status page and Twitter update that more or less says “the site has no problems anymore – welcome back!”… only to be crushed when you went on the site to do stuff (like, oh, I don’t know… LOG IN?!) and you can’t because the site was still very much not functioning for you? If you experienced this, I give you my utmost sympathy and I will hug you virtually until the end of time. I really know how that feels.

SO. Latest updates.

The website is still having problems:

[+] I tried logging in to Livejournal using FIREFOX:
– First time at 10.45 my time (my timezone is GMT +7) I got this message: Varnish Error 503 Service Unavailable. Please try refreshing the page. If the problem continues, please let our support team know.

- But I can’t even get to the Support section of the site.

- Next step: I cleared the cookies in FIREFOX, logged in, and it works for me but all the pages load VERY SLOWLY. I had to reload many times to get the full view of the pages.

[+] Then I tried logging in with CHROME:
– The pages load very slowly even logged out.

- I experimented trying to open the support section. When I tried to open the support section, I got this message: Varnish Error 503 Service Unavailable. Please try refreshing the page. If the problem continues, please let our support team know.

- I still can’t log in from CHROME. I can only load the pages while LOGGED OUT.

[+] For ALL BROWSERS:
– I STILL CAN’T MAKE COMMENTS/POST REPLIES. There is something seriously wrong with their .bml thingie. I don’t know what .bml is but it’s just not working for me.

[+] At 11.15 (my timezone is UTC/GMT +7):
– I managed to submit support request after logging in via Firefox.
– I still sent e-mail to support@livejournal.com outlining the above problem.
– I have not yet received any replies.
– I saw someone else’s support request about how they haven’t been able to post anything in the last several days and this is Livejournal’s response:

The problem you are experiencing is related to the Distributed Denial of Service attack currently being experienced by LiveJournal. LiveJournal Staff is currently working with LiveJournal’s host to address this and limit the impact on users, however it is not known when service will be restored to normal.

While LiveJournal Staff are working to restore the site to normal operation, I recommend watching http://status.livejournal.org for updates.

[+] Finally, after realizing that the website is still screwing people over everywhere, just now Livejournal admits that there are still problems with the website:

LiveJournal Status

The site is currently up and mostly functional, but we’re not completely back. Pages may intermittently return Varnish Error 503 or fail to load for short periods of time. If you receive an error 503, or a page fails to load, refreshing the the page may work, and if that fails, waiting a few minutes and trying again can help. We’re still working hard to get everything back to normal.

Status Updated: 3:49 am GMT (Friday, July 29)

That’s your latest update. Make of that what you will. I’m seriously disappointed in them. They know their website is vulnerable against DDOS attacks – couldn’t they have done something to improve their system’s security? They’re an international company and blogging platform with global users. They should know better than to be lax about everything. I’m not going to entirely give up on them but this is very exhausting. Those who have been with Livejournal for many years (I’ve been there since 2003) deserve better service than what they’ve been giving us since 2009.

Seriously, Livejournal, I don’t hate you but… GET YOUR CRAP TOGETHER.

Finally, remember: BREATHE.

EDIT 2.54 PM (UTC/GMT +7)
I just made two posts from Firefox and Chrome and they worked.
Post 1
Post 2
Post 3 (at 3.23 PM UTC/GMT +7)

So for now the website is running fine for me while logged in. However, the status page still warns us of error (unchanged from a few hours before). Expect some other errors still in the next few hours, or even in the next few days. Let’s just hope nothing screws it up again.

Additionally, TIME wrote Why Have Hackers Hit Russia’s Most Popular Blogging Service?

EDIT 8.50 PM (UTC/GMT +7)
– I managed to make a longer post (than the previous 3 I posted) around 10 minutes ago: Post 4 – PROGRESS.
– I tried posting a fanfiction (around 2000 words) to an LJ community earlier, but failed. If your post is a long one, the website will give you an Internal Server Error warning. That part is still buggy or whatever, so keep your post shorts for now – SEMI-PROGRESS.
– I can now post comments on my Friends’ LJ pages – PROGRESS.
– I received a response from LJ support for my support request this morning but they didn’t explain anything new, just to try and clear cookies and reload if Varnish Error message appears, etc. Very standard, very generic. – WHATEVER.

I wish you luck with your LJ adventures, people.

Livejournal Still Failing – Another Update

Day #57350706204 of Livejournal Failure of Summer 2011.

If you’re wondering what’s going on now, here’s what’s happening as of 9.01 PM (my time in Jakarta, Indonesia – we are UTC/GMT +7): currently the website is DOWN. It doesn’t matter if you’re logged in or not, you can’t open it. This has been a persistent problem throughout the day since this morning.

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Livejournal Continues to Fail – AN UPDATE

Hello, fellow Livejournal users. Have you all had any luck with Livejournal while I was sleeping last night? …I am guessing NOT MUCH. Because, yes, the creepy goat on the status page said:

LiveJournal Status

While we’ve gotten site access returned for many users, we know many other users are still unable to access the site at all, or are only able to do so intermittently. We’re sorry for the interruption to your LJ usage, and are still working hard to get site access back to normal for everyone as quickly as possible. Thank you.
Status Updated: 2:47 pm GMT (Tuesday, July 26)

Meanwhile, their twitter claims:

Site access is back for many, but others are still unable to get on at all, or only intermittently. Sorry, we’re still working on it! Thanks
about 14 hours ago via web

And:

If you still can’t access: we haven’t forgotten you. Try deleting your LJ cookies: works for some, not all. Hang in there. ~Carrie
about 7 hours ago via TweetDeck

So… GREAT. Just great. The site is STILL in trouble. You can no longer rely on Down or Not because it’ll just tell you the website is UP but of course this is bullcrap because many – SO MANY – of us are still unable to get the website to function.

Let’s compare notes again, shall we?

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A Movie Weekend in Singapore

Last weekend is pretty much a huge clusterfuck for the world: the Norway massacre, Amy Winehouse’s passing and my other blogging site went down. My condolences to the people of Norway, Winehouse’s family and fans and myself (because I can’t blog over at Livejournal and it just really sucks when this happens). And as if that’s not enough, for anyone living in Indonesia such as myself, we’re also still dealing with the Epic Movie Crisis of 2011 in which no blockbuster Hollywood movie is playing in Indonesian cinemas because A) the government is being stupid, B) the movie distributors are also being stupid, and C) apparently the Indonesian media can’t report news worth crap.

As for me, being the movie buff who’s more than just a little obsessed with Harry Potter, I hightailed it out of the country on Friday, flew to Singapore and stationed myself for three days in Shaw Lido cinema in Orchard Road to watch these summer movies that are not playing here in Indonesia. It’s my second trip to Singapore to do the same thing – the first being in last May, where I watched eight movies in the span of 60 hours – and I managed to amuse myself before the real world caught up with me and made me want to dig a hole and hide there with a Hobbit (preferably in the form of Martin Freeman, of course).

Arriving in Singapore’s Changi Airport at 9.30 AM on Friday, July 22nd, the first thing I did after passing the immigration line was to get a cab to go to the theater. Having paid SGD 19.80 in fare, I arrived at 10.15 AM in Shaw House in time to buy a set of movie vouchers from the ticket box and exchanged them with six movies that I wanted to watch. The first thing I watched there was X-Men: First Class, which I think is a movie that everyone ought to watch every Friday morning to kick start their weekend, and I made a note in my little black book of secret, random thoughts about it, writing “McFassy Bendervoy bromance first thing in the morning gives a whole new meaning to ‘first class’.”

After that, it was onwards to the second movie – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. FINALLY. I’m usually the first person in the planet to watch a new Harry Potter movie but this time around I had to wait a week to watch it. But I have no regrets because it doesn’t matter how soon or how late I watched it, my first viewing of it left me completely in tears. If you’d asked me right after the movie finished what I thought about it, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you because all I remembered was crying for more than half of the movie, especially at all the Alan Rickman’s Severus Snape’s moments.

I don’t know if watching  Green Lantern after Potter was a good idea but it wasn’t like I was given a choice of the showtime. The movie plays only once throughout the day and the 5 PM showtime was the only time I could watch it. So still riding high from the Potterdrenaline I watched as whoever wrote the script of the movie screwed up the story of one of DC Comics’ best superheroes (of 2010, at least, because Geoff Johns’ Blackest Night series was one of the best things to have happened last year). I’m also putting the blame on whoever decided to cast Blake Lively in this movie. But at least Ryan Reynolds remain extremely pleasing to the eyes so it was NOT a total lost.

My movie line-up for Friday ended with the clad-in-CG-costumes superheroes, allowing me to have dinner and meet up with a friend rather early. But come Saturday morning, it started all over again. I watched the 10.30 AM showtime of Kung Fu Panda 2 and both laughed and cried myself silly in the theatre; the movie was indeed made of awesome.

And I knew for sure this time that I made the right choice of watching that movie first before the next one because my 12.30 appointment at Shaw Lido’s Theatre 2 is going to be with a long, exhausting and utterly explosive movie directed by Michael Bay. It really is just better to start with something light before a movie like Transformers: Dark Of The Moon. That way, whenever you start feeling frustrated at Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s complete lack of talent, skill and ability for acting, you can just remember how Jack Black and Angelina Jolie’s characters in the previous movie have sort-of-kind-of-did-that-really-happen inter-species romance, giggle for a moment and say, “Really? Po and Tigress? REALLY?” To be honest, though, Transformers 3 was very good. The only bad thing about it was the female lead, if you could call her that. Other than her utter unimportance to the story and her bad acting, I liked this third Transformers installment quite a lot and not only because Alan Tudyk’s Dutch is probably the best character the franchise could have ever had. Then again, I’ve always been a fan…

Finally, I ended the day’s moviegoing activities by watching Your Highness. Mind you, this sort of comedy is really not my thing… it’s juvenile, it’s crude, it’s gory and it looks cheap (did they not get a special effects budget?) But surprisingly, I laughed a lot and it’s probably the first time ever in the history of me liking movies that I actually enjoyed Natalie Portman’s performance. Go figure!

Sunday was a day of repeats. I watched Harry Potter and Transformers again… and managed to come up with more substantial thoughts about other than “OMG SNAPE YOU WONDERFUL MAN YOU!” Which is good… because one of my assignments this month is to write a review for the movie for the magazine. I almost didn’t watch Transformers for the second time but, I thought, oh well, it shouldn’t hurt to watch Optimus and Megatron try and kill each other. Plus, it was worth spending money to see Alan Tudyk again. So I did. (Fair warning: I’m stalking this actor from now on!)

Having a movie marathon weekend is so much fun. I just wish, of course, I didn’t have to do it in Singapore. I think it’s extremely ridiculous that we don’t get to watch summer blockbusters in Indonesian cinemas. Some sources have been saying that the situation has been resolved now, the movies are coming back, and in fact HPDH Part 2 and Transformers 3 are going to play very soon in cinemas, and they are coming back this month, etc. But seriously? We shouldn’t have to be made to wait this long to watch them in the first place.

I’m not saying I don’t want the government and the movie distributors to collect their collective crap together, but I’m only saying: don’t you have a more efficient way to do that without sacrificing the people’s need for cinematic entertainment? Yes, I realize that not everybody thinks movies are all that great and I know there are other forms of entertainment that we can still enjoy, but have you tried talking to a foreigner about not being able to watch Harry Potter or Thor? Have you ever tried telling people who live abroad, “We don’t have Hollywood movies in Indonesia anymore”? Have you ever tried explaining the whole situation? If you have, then you should have felt what I felt when I tried doing – extremely ridiculous and pathetic.

Anyway, rant aside, this weekend has been fun for me. Of course it makes discovering the news about Norway and Winehouse, plus meeting a dead Livejournal website, all the worse because, after having so much fun, these incidents felt all the more rage/sorrow-inducing. But I can’t imagine where I would be right now if I hadn’t watched those movies before finding out for the nth time what a sad world we live in… I’d have probably drowned myself in a pond somewhere out of depression. The fun and entertainment those movies provide, at least, allowed me to escape to several fictional worlds where I can recharge my happiness levels if even for a short while. That’s why I enjoyed the trip and that’s why watching those commercial blockbusters was, is and always will be essential for my well-being.

Having said that, here is what needs to happen: WORLD, START MAKING SENSE AGAIN. You’ve had your chance to screw us over this weekend, now right yourself and make us happy again without us having to resort to Hollywood entertainment to smile.

Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part Two Special Coverage: TF Interview: Daniel Radcliffe

This a continuation of the Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part One coverage that I did for Total Film Indonesia magazine. This Daniel Radcliffe interview is part of the Deathly Hallows press junket that the magazine attended (but we weren’t allowed to publish it until last month). The rest of the Deathly Hallows cast interview can be found in the archives.

THE TOTAL FILM INTERVIEW: DANIEL RADCLIFFE

Jack Kipling. Alan Strang. Arthur Kipps. J. Pierrepont Finch. And, of course, Harry Potter. After 10 years, Daniel Radcliffe’s journey as the young wizard whose name is on the mouth of every people in the world will end in July 2011. “I actually miss Harry,” said Radcliffe of his on-screen alter ego, “like you would miss a friend who you haven’t seen for a while. I do feel the fans’ pain.

In early March 2011, Total Film Indonesia has its eyes glued to a YouTube video of the 21-year-old Brit actor Daniel Radcliffe singing “I Believe In You”. The song, from Broadway musical How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, is beautiful and not only owns the song, but he should be able to own the world with it. Or, at least, should he ever feel inclined to join the reality TV show, he could really impress the judges of American Idol.

A month later, Radcliffe and his fellow How To Succeed cast performs live at The Today Show, this time singing “Brotherhood of Man”. Agile and acrobatic, Radcliffe sings and dances as if he was born for it. It is now wonder, then, that Rob Ashford’s How To Succeed gets nine Tony Awards nominations and a generally positive reviews from all corners. And surely the Harry Potter alumnus will not be begging anyone for jobs after the Warner Bros. film franchise ends its run on multiplexes.

The young actor has proven he can work in any media: he’s a live action film actor who has done TV (Extras), stage (Equus) and even animation (as the voice of Edmund, a parody of Twilight’s Edward Cullen in The Simpsons‘ “Treehouse Of Horror” episode). What next? Forming a band and releasing an album with Rupert Grint, Tom Felton and Matthew Lewis? “No. I would not be good in a band. I don’t think I particularly have a rocky kind of sounding voice.”

That’s what he said to TFI when we interviewed him last year in August in Claridge’s, London, a couple of months after the Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows shoot wrapped up. Radcliffe had waited for us with a firm handshake and a warm greeting and, like a good host, offered us a drink as we sat down. On that day, the actor who was born on 23 July 1989 did not resemble any character he has played. But despite his jeans-and-t-shirt-clad slight frame and completely fluffy hair, he still manages to exude poise, presence and professionalism.

Radcliffe may sidetrack himself and tell an unrelated story but he always remembers the original question at the moment you find yourself about to despair. Then he returns to it unprompted. His stunningly blue eyes will be focused intently on you as he answers your question. During our chat, he faltered – very slightly – only once, when he forgot the name of his ‘eldest son’, which we had to remind him of. But on the whole we found it was quite impossible not to fall at least a little bit in love with the charming Mr. Radcliffe…

Very soon all the Harry Potter fans will experience withdrawal syndrome. What do you suggest for them to be able to deal with it and how would you deal with it?
I’m fortunate because of course all my friends worked on it as well, so we sort of… we talk a lot so I don’t have to miss it too much. Because the thing I miss most is hanging out with the people. So I think I’d just maybe read the books again. That’d probably be a good thing to do. I think they might do that, anyway. I suppose, treasure it for what it was, while it lasted. It ended at the right time, I think.

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