New Star Blogs

The Yellow Triangle

|, Novem­ber 19, 2019. Pho­to: Eric E. John­son / Kono­mark

In the top left of your com­put­er screen, in the bar dis­play­ing the URL, you might notice a lit­tle yel­low tri­an­gle with an excla­ma­tion mark inside of it.

It appeared there one day in the spring; we first noticed it when a num­ber of you con­tact­ed us about encoun­ter­ing a secu­ri­ty warn­ing when you clicked on one of the links to our site in the New Star newslet­ter.  The yel­low tri­an­gle sig­nals a secu­ri­ty issue with our site, and (frankly) it’s a big, bright warn­ing sign dis­cour­ag­ing users to vis­it the page.

This sound­ed like a job for our IT guy, so we put in the call.  We had been hav­ing oth­er prob­lems with the host­ing com­pa­ny, so this felt like an oppor­tune time to make the move away from that out­fit, and have our site (phys­i­cal­ly) host­ed clos­er to home, with a local host, instead of Los Ange­les, or Belize, or the Chan­nel Islands, wher­ev­er the host­ing com­pa­ny is stash­ing our data.

It was easy-peasy, way back in 2016 CE, to migrate the New Star site from the host­ing site oper­at­ed by a tiny Vic­to­ria co. that was get­ting out of the busi­ness, to the new, bleed­ing-edge, state-of-the-art, everything’s-up-to-date-in-Virtual-City com­pa­ny picked for us as the new site host.  We can­not recall even a moment’s dif­fi­cul­ty or anx­i­ety in mov­ing our site in 2016.

Remem­ber the 1990s, and “Where do you want to go today?”  Well, those days are gone.  Three years lat­er, this indus­try has evolved to a state where, appar­ent­ly, it has become actu­al­ly impos­si­ble to migrate the site to a dif­fer­ent host.  Two dif­fer­ent, seem­ing­ly knowl­edge­able IT dudes have now told us this, and advised us that the best approach would be to just leave things as they are, and build an entire­ly new web­site from scratch on a new host.  The host­ing com­pa­ny we’re using now is the only web host in the world that can han­dle our site.

That doesn’t make any sense.  Except, appar­ent­ly, here in the new age, it does.

Maybe the most frus­trat­ing and dis­cour­ag­ing aspect of our futile efforts to get our web­site back is that nobody seems to have a clear under­stand­ing them­selves of what the problem/s is/are.  Nobody seems to under­stand why the site secu­ri­ty warn­ing start­ed pop­ping up, and they don’t have an answer for what do to about it.  (We thought we did: Please, get us off the awful host­ing site! but that, it turns out, isn’t an option any­more.)  Nobody has been able to explain what’s so dif­fi­cult about mov­ing this site this year, when it wasn’t dif­fi­cult at all in 2016.  “Start all over again from scratch,” is the best and only advice we are get­ting.  It’s like your auto mechan­ic advis­ing you to buy a new car because the mis­fire you’re expe­ri­enc­ing is just too gnarly for them to get into.

So we might be stuck with that yel­low tri­an­gle until we can either put togeth­er the cap­i­tal to build a brand new site from scratch, or until we can find some­one capa­ble to diag­nose, and repair, what­ev­er is pre­vent­ing us — and you — from get­ting the full use out of the way it was orig­i­nal­ly designed and built.

In the mean­time, we’re going to resume post­ing sto­ries on our blog, and do our best to ignore the the secu­ri­ty cer­tifi­cate warn­ings and the oth­er prob­lems dog­ging the site — the shop­ping cart that has room for only one book, for instance.  We hon­est­ly believe you will not be injured in any way by click­ing on our web­site links.  And maybe, in 2020 or 2021, we’ll be able to find a solu­tion to these appar­ent­ly insur­mount­able tech­ni­cal issues.

Watch this dep­re­cat­ed space for sto­ries, about the inter­est­ing books we’ve released this year, like this one, and this one, and this one; and ones we’re work­ing on for next year, like this one, and this one; as well as oth­er news and views about the press’s work.