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TIWWA

Millennium Group Patrons
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About TIWWA

  • Rank
    Roedecker Maintainence Droid (Model 1013)

Millennium Group Database

  • Location
    Lucy Butler's Ranch

Me on Millennium

  • Favorite Millennium Seasons
    All!
  • Favorite Millennium Episodes
    Pilot
  • Favorite Millenium Characters
    Lucy Butler
    Brian Roedecker
  • Favorite Millennium Writers
    Chris Carter
    Ken Horton
  • Favorite Millennium Directors
    Thomas J. Wright

Recent Profile Visitors

7,377 profile views
  1. Unless you've been living under a rock, on Mars or have possibly been abducted by The Polaroid Stalker, you will have no doubt heard about changes to Privacy and Data Protection in Europe called General Data Protection Regulation (or GDPR for short). The legislation in reality effects and improves the rights of everyone. As you would expect, we have always respected your privacy and the processing of your personal data/information, and we will continue to do so. Our community software suite recently received additional functionality and tools to better facilitate compliance with the new GDPR legislation. We have therefore recently made enhancements to our Privacy Policy, which take effect from May 26th, 2018. Our Privacy policy increases transparency, explains our role and responsibilities in terms of storing, using and safeguarding your data. It explains what you can expect if you make contact with us and use our services. It also serves as an introduction to your rights under GDPR. There are understandably lots of interpretations, wild claims and opinions on GDPR. However, we believe GDPR isn't about ruining your enjoyment of the internet, it's good news for all of us. We manage an awesome website, we're open and transparent, but we're not lawyers or GDPR experts. So for further information and better understanding, we highly recommend the reading the guidance available at the ICO website, which you can find here. We have also taken the opportunity to review and update our Guidelines. Thank you for your time, understanding and for your continued use of our website. View the blog entry & optionally add your comments.
  2. Dear TIWWA members and visitors, Nothing to be alarmed about, but I would to extend apologies for any inconvenience you may have experienced with slow responses or speed with the website in the last few days. Unfortunately we have intermittently been receiving a high amount of illegitimate web traffic, effectively hammering away at the server in what appears to be a crude attempt to knock our server or website offline. As you may know such is the nature of DDoS or 'Distributed Denial of Service' attacks, the hackers (possibly someone who has watched too many episode of Mr Robot) often use a one or more, sometimes a whole network of compromised computers or devices to try and take random or specific servers down by bombarding their firewall and server software with traffic or hits. Initially it was coming from Italy, then the US, then South America. We can manually kill off the Apache server process each time and restart it, but after a while it starts up again, sometimes soon or after a few hours. Eventually they will get bored with door rattling and move on, especially since we're not a big company website, power station etc. Our web-hosting company has elevated the issue to a more senior tier of support staff who have been working hard to resolve the issues, however we may start using Cloudflare and routing through their network behind the scenes for extra protection, as they provide a network service to assist with this sort of issue. If so, the website may be inaccessible for a short while. We may also have to enable additional firewall rules, which potentially could cause you to receive a blocked or forbidden error messages in your browser if your use or visit to the site triggers a false positive. Such advanced rules are very sensitive, and require a lot of fine tuning and extra time to configure, so are best avoided if possible. I want to reassure you that we have no reason to believe the website or server has been compromised or hacked in any way, or personal information taken. We take security seriously. We also have automatic backups available, and all non-public user account related personal information such as e-mail addresses, passwords etc are fully encrypted, as you would rightly expect. This is one reason why we licence use of professional community software with regular updates rather than use free software, and we also automatically encrypt all traffic between our server and your browser when you visit our site. We also use another company to probe our server infrastructure, encryption levels and website each week for potential security issues. Thank you bearing with us. Handy to know tips Remember in general to always use ideally single use, strong passwords on your websites and devices, in particular your Google or other email accounts which if compromised could be used to change or hack your social media and website accounts. Password managers are well recommended, in particular LastPass and 1Pass are recommended. http://uk.pcmag.com/password-managers-products/4296/guide/the-best-password-managers-of-2018 https://www.techradar.com/news/software/applications/the-best-password-manager-1325845 https://www.cnet.com/news/the-best-password-managers-directory/ Always use a good, up to date Antivirus software, ideally combined with separate anti-malware software such as Malwarebytes. These days, on Windows 10, Microsoft's built-in antivirus is regarded as very good. Avast is excellent for free software, I used it for over 10 years, but tends to nag with somewhat, scaremongering pop ups to buy the full version. Kapaskey, Mcaffee and Symantec are probably best avoided. Should you have any concerns about account security in general, you may be unaware but we also support so-called 'two factor' account protection. Did you know we support Google Authenticator! If would like to make use of the popular Google Authenticator service which you can configure in your user account settings, it is free and optional for non-staff members. Very handy if you don't use a password manager service or tend to read-use the same password for multiple sites. Once activated, it allows you to require anyone accessing your account from a new device or browser for the first time or after you sign out, to enter a one time code sent to your phone or mobile device by Google, either by text message or via the Google Authenticator app (if you have it installed on your mobile devices). If the code is not correctly entered before it expires, access is denied, so without access to your device, nobody can in theory access your account. I can't stress this enough to everyone with a Google Account these days, I very strongly recommended activating Google 2FA/Google Authenticator to access your Google Account, but you can also use it here if you want and on many other websites and apps too. Adding an extra layer... We also have the optional 3 Security Question/Answers option if you prefer, or you can use both. You can set up questions and answers that hopefully only you would know the correct answers to (don't share too much info on social media!), Either of these options are are available in your Account Security settings and are useful if you feel you would like to add an extra layer of protection to your account. You may also have noticed a new section after our last big update that provides device and browser usage history (Recently Used Devices). If you also use a VPN service however, the info will obviously be incorrect. The Old Man View the blog entry & optionally add your comments.
  3. TIWWA

    Cinco de Mayo

    Cinco de Mayo
  4. TIWWA

    Cinco de Mayo

    Cinco de Mayo
  5. TIWWA

    Cinco de Mayo

    Cinco de Mayo
  6. TIWWA

    St. Patrick's Day

    St. Patrick's Day
  7. TIWWA

    St. Patrick's Day

    St. Patrick's Day
  8. TIWWA

    St. Patrick's Day

    St. Patrick's Day
  9. TIWWA

    Tax Day

    Tax Day
  10. TIWWA

    Tax Day

    Tax Day
  11. TIWWA

    Tax Day

    Tax Day
  12. TIWWA

    Black Friday

    Black Friday
  13. TIWWA

    Black Friday

    Black Friday
  14. TIWWA

    Black Friday

    Black Friday
  15. Welcome to our first update for 2018! The following update isn't that exciting but may be of interest to some more than others but it heralds a faster, more responsive Millennium website experience, which I'm hoping you will notice as from today. As you might expect, our website has grown significantly over the last 15 years and our website community software has become more complex and feature-laden also. Last year, we needed to upgrade to a more powerful cloud-based VPS web hosting solution using SSD (solid state drives) with access to 48 unlocked CPU cores, which saw massive performance increases and cuts to page loading times but also permits more opportunity to tweak performance. As a matter of course, I regularly monitor reports from GTMetrix and other sites such as Page Speed and Pingdom to ensure the site and server is optimised and efficient. Three months ago, after learning more about the dark art of server management whilst I've been ill and waiting for an operation for 12 months, I installed and activated Zend Opcache on the server which is a database caching service. This basically caches database queries so that the results are reused if possible when the same query is repeated again. This means pages are generated more quickly, and we saw an improvement in responsive page loading again, the site just seemed noticeably more snappy! One or two extra improvements never hurt, so earlier today, I got into my Brian Roedecker mode and activated some significantly babe-a-licious server side changes to provide further performance improvements, and to ensure quicker page loading times in order to improve your experience at TIWWA. Amazon S3 Cloud Storage Firstly, our TIWWA community website now makes use of Amazon S3 cloud storage to host the majority of our uploaded member's file attachments and image content. This will free-up space and save resources on the main server. Not only does this include our theme images, CSS and theme templates, but also all emoticons, reactions, profile photos, profile blog and calendar cover images etc, and all existing and future file and image attachments have been shunted over to S3. All member uploaded attachments are now stored on Amazon's S3 service. The S3 cloud servers provide robust storage, and fast delivery of the many attachments and images that make up the TIWWA website. Since the majority of our members and visitors are based on the west coast of the US, I opted to configure the S3 storage bucket to be hosted in N California. Our much loved @beerbelch should see a huge boost! You can learn more here if you are interested, and see a neat video on how it works here: https://aws.amazon.com/s3/ Amazon Cloudfront CDN The second important feature we've activated is Amazon's Cloudfront which is their powerful Content Delivery Network. A CDN takes files, images and attachments and distributes them across the world to various endpoints, where they are mirrored and cached. We've hooked it up to our new S3 cloud storage server in Northern California, so the content is effectively stored much closer to our members and visitors, where ever they reside. The Amazon CloudFront content delivery network is built on the expanding global AWS infrastructure that includes 44 Availability Zones within 16 geographic regions today, with announced plans for 14 more Availability Zones and five more Regions in China, France, Hong Kong, Sweden, and a second AWS GovCloud Region in the US. Amazon CloudFront has 113 Points of Presence (102 Edge Locations and 11 Regional Edge Caches) in 56 cities across 24 countries. What this means in simple terms, is that when say @Libby, myself or other users who access TIWWA in the UK, will now access copies of the image and file content hosted on Amazon's S3 servers mirrored in the UK. Members based in Europe like Alex @SadEyes or @Viivi or the US like @Earthnut and @Walkabout will be accessing the same content from their nearest endpoint. This means a huge boost in page loading times, as well as many other CDN related security and reliability benefits. Learn more: https://aws.amazon.com/cloudfront/ TL;DR *Faster loading and less waiting allows more time for other nice things in life, like pizza! The process isn't fully completed yet, so please bear with us as we complete the transfer of our remaining images and files across to Amazon S3. View the blog entry & optionally add your comments.
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