screenshot: Openclipart, website is under maintenanceThe openclipart.org website has been offline for almost 2 months. Reports on Twitter indicate that it went down due to a DDoS from unknown sources. Users are getting concerned that there may be data loss, and are looking for other sources for copyright free clipart. WayBackMachine and others have some assets saved.

Open Clipart website

Offline since May

Without much of a todo on the internet the Open Clip Art Library (OCAL), hosted on Linode at openclipart.org, a repository of ~160,000 free vector images, has been offline since at least 19 May 2019. There is some evidence on the Way Back Machine that it was having trouble from as early as March 2019.

DDoS, data loss?

Reports suggest that the site was taken down in order to handle a distributed denial of service attack (DDoS) but there is little confirmation of this from any external sources.

tweet from @openclipart: "Under DDoS attack from some unknown sources [...]"

There is no backup available on the web, as far as I can tell. Whilst people have in the past mentioned the possibility of making a torrent of all the art available (eg on Free Desktop hosted “clipart” mailing list) it seems nothing was made of this. Various people have requested the assets be made available via torrent since the openclipart.org site went down, but — at least on twitter — the site owners seemingly haven’t responded.

Other OCAL file stores

The Internet Archive has some of the files on the Way Back Machine (WBM), such as this example of a spider’s web, and clicking through the SVG files can be found too. Indeed the WBM claims to have ~190,000 SVG images from the site, more than the entire archive (which could be true, as it could include removed files); though it’s not clear how to readily access all of these.

Meanwhile the PublicDomainFiles.com website has around 14,000 of the images available on their website, like this anatomical heart image. They list those images as “public domain”; part of their total 200,000 public domain images. So, perhaps they only have the PD licensed images from OCAL which is primarily a CC0 site.

Wikimedia also has just over 2000 of the OCAL files it seems.

Official sources?

It seems that OCAL has associations with the LibreGraphicsWorld.org group of projects, and that the primary maintainer is Rejon who is managing the @openclipart Twitter account. Troublingly, on 11 June 2019 @rejon tweeted:

tweet from @rejon: "taken back control" [of @openclipart]

Saying they had “taken back control” presumably of the Twitter account … making the incident sound like it is much more than the reported DDoS. But this would explain some tweets which seemingly requested money be sent to a BitCoin account.

@rejon is Jon Phillips one of the founders of openclipart.org according to Wikipedia along with Bryce Harrington (a prolific OSS coder well known as co-founder of the Inkscape project, amongst others). Phillips is credited as founder of Fabricatorz an “art technology studio” who Netcraft confirms (!) as the organisation behind the clipart.org website.

Is the OCAL project dead?

Whelp, it’s approaching 2 months now since the site went down, which is very long to handle a DDoS attack especially given that the Netcraft info indicates that they have at least some association with Cloudflare (as their nameservers are hosted with them). Cloudflare are known for handling DDoS and clipart.org’s hosts Linode have specific integrations with Cloudlflare (as do many web hosts) to enable their users to access Cloudflare’s DDoS handling capabilities …

So, it would appear that there’s something else going on? The author of this blog has reached out to OCAL (love@openclipart.org) to get some comments, and they’ll be added here if any reply is made.

Other long term issues?

Utter speculation: It seems there may be other long term issues with the project. Integration with Inkscape was made some years ago, but when the full OCAL integration broke (upload to OCAL), it remained broken. Not itself a smoking gun by any means, but add in that the FreeDesktop.org mailing list for OCAL has had no real traffic since March 2015, and maybe there’s some indications of a project slowly failing?

I should note that I fully support OCAL and am a contributor there.

TL;DR

openclipart.org is seemingly dead in the water (status unknown) but site owners claim to be working on, and recovering from, an extended DDoS. Some sites (see above) have OCAL assets saved.

Firefox 57 (Quantum) is missing a font from it’s newtab page and from fonts from other pages fail to display; here’s a quick fix. Update: turns out to be a sandboxing issue (see end).

Firefox 57 Quantum

Font Problem

If you’ve just installed Firefox 57 like me (on Kubuntu 17.04) you may be a little disoriented – it’s different.

image shows a Firefox newtab page with no text showing

font display error in Firefox 57

For me it was a little too different the about:newtab page, set as my start page (see image), lacks a font it’s instructed to use. Here’s how to work around that.

Which font is missing?

So, I’d just updated to Firefox 57 and assumed that maybe it wasn’t finding one of my fonts for some reason. Using the developer tools we can see the font SegoeUI is missing: Read the rest of this entry »

Perfume might work but DEET or Lemon repellants work better.

Overall, the results from this study confirm that DEET repellents are the most effective mosquito repellents in the market. Although, based on the results from this study, a lemon-eucalyptus oil containing p-menthane-3,8-diol has similar efficacy compared with DEET repellents.But DEET and Lemon based products are best.

See full study at Journal of Insect Science.

In other news that would be a good science-fair project.

iscan for linux can’t find my printer (originally published 2014-02-11, updated 2017-01-02)

Epson’s iscan scanner app

Fixing the config files

iscan error dialogIt’s been a couple of years now that I’ve had iscan installed. Today I wanted to do some high-resolution scanning so I thought I’d try and get it to work as I imagine it might be the best tool to interface between my Kubuntu 13.10 GNU/Linux distro install and my Epson Stylus SX535WD [update: still using same printer-scanner-copier with Kubuntu 16.04, this method still working]. That W in the model number shows I have a wireless connectable Epson. Over wifi I have no problem printing or scanning using the default tools and with the “epkowa” drivers from Epson but attempting to use iscan (“Image Scan! for Linux”) would give an error:

“Could not send command to scanner. Check the scanner’s status.”

In essence I did “sudo nano /etc/sane.d/dll.conf” and made the file there read:

# /etc/sane.d/dll.conf – Configuration file for the SANE dynamic backend loader
net
epkowa

with no other (uncommented) entries. Previously it had an epson2 entry which I think may have been confusing things.

Then I made sure that the /etc/sane.d/epkowa.conf file new where on the network to find my printer. I gave the printer a fixed IP when I installed it, X.X.X.10 [use the proper network address for your printer, not this placeholder]. Read the rest of this entry »

Update on my posts on duplicati: fixed version for Google Drive won’t install on WinXP  but version 2.0.0.79 can be installed and works with OneDrive.

Duplicati backup on Windows XP

Google Docs fails in version 1

Duplicati is now updated to version 2.0-preview as linked from “latest” on their GitHub page. Meanwhile version 2.0.0.86 has been fixed to work with Google Drive where previously it was failing due to Google Docs (sic) updates.

Error message

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments Off on duplicati update: Windows XP and Google Drive

BP petrol price scam? The [probable] truth!

Date: 18 Nov, 2014
Posted by: admin
In: hints & tips|reduce

The most likely maths behind the alleged petrol-pump price scam being reported on Facebook.

I don’t normally share this kinda thing …

Unless there’s bad maths involved!?

Alleged Facebook petrol price scam - screencapture from FacebookOn Facebook usually if a post starts “Ok so I’m not normally one to share things like this but…” then it’s down to some marketing genius trying to dole out product links cloaked as hot tips. So, when I saw this post I assumed that it was something along those lines. Instead (at first look at least) it appears to be a report of over-charging for petrol:

Now I heard about garages starting to clock the pumps to charge you more than advertised so I started putting the test to the theory and low and behold…they were right! Charging me more for my fuel…Bast**ds! Now I can’t belive I never actually checked this before!
As you can see, 1 Litre should cost 123.9 pence, when I put exactly 1 Litre in it came to 125pence!

(Attila ッ Boros, unedited, via Facebook)

So, is this for real. And if it is why would the company advertise the “scam” right there on the pump for everyone to see?!? Read the rest of this entry »


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Flapjacktastic is just a random collection of musings, hints&tips, notes, information ... a collection of stuff really that's overflowed from the brain of this husband, father, potter, business-man, geek ...

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