Monday, March 10, 2008

File this under 'this sucks'

Update 3/16/08:
MultimediaShooter has been restored, including a new video on "How to fix a hack in under one minute."

Way to go Rich!

Rich Hernandez of the Mercury News is one of the pioneers in bringing online video to the newsroom, and his site was a joy to visit.

So imagine my shock when this arrived in my mailbox this weekend:
I write this with a very heavy heart:

I am sorry to report that MultimediaShooter is down for the count. The site was recently hacked several times this weekend and severe damage was done. I do not have the time or resources at this time to continue. I wish you all the best. I only wish this hadn’t happened.

[NOTE: To the hacker I hope it makes you happy to destroy something that people put their heart and soul into for years, for the sole purpose of learning and creating a small community on the web. Just to have you destroy it for no reason. You win. there is a special place in hell for you.]

To those of you who supported the site over the years, THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

I don’t know what more to say, except, remember, it’s all about the STORY, not the TOOLS.
Yes, there a special little place in hell for this hacker.

I had just referred readers to Rich's site for a wonderful video tutorial on how to put up a WordPress site. (I downloaded the video, fortunately, so if it was destroyed in the process, a copy is around.)

I e-mailed Rich wondering if some kind of "bucket brigade" might be assembled to help. I don't have the skills, but it seems to me a site like this, clearly a labor of love, is too valuable to suffer an ignominious end like this. Can anyone help? Let us know, Rich.

March 13, update:

Good news! Hernandez sends an e-mail that a friend he had added as an admin to the site had, unbeknownst to him, been keeping a backup of his database. So he is working on rebuilding the site. But it won't have forums anymore; apparently that's the way the little buggers -- who he has tracked to Canada. Apparently some teenagers screwing around. Right now, he's not publicizing who they are and apparently is debating about calling their parents. Aw, c'mon, Rich. Let it slip just for a moment. We "got people" up there, ya know .... {grin}

Among the things Hernandez says he's learned:
1. A bottle of Jack Daniels doesn't bring your site back to life.

2. Don't take it personally. Boy, did I take it personally. "Why me?" "What did
I do to deserve this? I was only trying to share with others." And so on.

And, of course, backup, backup, backup.

Words to live by, folks.

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At 3/10/08, 3:43 PM, Blogger Alex Parker said...

Very disappointing. That was a great site that I was just beginning to read. Any chance of posting the video? Or perhaps sharing it via email?

At 3/11/08, 9:35 PM, Blogger Anthony Palmer said...

Does Google Docs allow you to upload videos? There's a site called that lets you upload Powerpoint presentations and make them available for download, so that might be worth investigating as well.

Too bad.

At 3/12/08, 12:51 PM, Blogger Doug Fisher said...

It's an 80 MB file, so e-mail is probably out. I don't think I have enough server space at the U to post it, but let me check.

Otherwise, contact me back door and we'll see what we can do. Rich had put a download link on his site for it, so I think his intention was for it to spread.

I'd still like to know what screen capture program he used to make it. I've e-mailed him a couple of times but not heard back. I can imagine he's swamped in consolances.

At 3/12/08, 12:52 PM, Blogger Doug Fisher said...


Thanks for the info on Had not heard of that. Probably not for this, but I'll check it out for other stuff.

Gawd, there is so much good stuff out there, isn't there?


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