IcyBoards -> Jcink

Jul 17 2018, 02:07 PM

For those not aware, IcyBoards, another forum service has decided to close its doors. But they have provided the databases to their users, and they recommended our service to migrate to as a reliable home.

IB's service is closing July 31st. If you wish to convert from IB, please start working with us now as there is not much time left. The process is as follows:

1. Send an email to admin@jcink.com with your IB database attached

2. Include a link to your IB forum

3. Wait for my response -- I'll try to respond to you within 24-48 hours regarding whether I was able to successfully import your board into my development server.

4. If the import into the development server goes well, then I'll send you some screenshots of the board stats, the general forum layout, maybe a topic or two -- just to see if at a glance it looks as it should.

5. If everything goes OK with the test import and we're OK with the preview, then we'll schedule a time that's best for you and us to coordinate a conversion. In general, if a board has less or around than 100k posts then a conversion installation can be done in around 30 minutes from the time that I start working on it.

Everyone who wants to move from IB at this point to our service needs to email me ASAP as we are ready to begin conversions. Start this process with us no later than July 28th to avoid a significant delay in your import.

Please keep in mind that we are converting/migrating the following data:

1. Topics

2. Posts (links in the posts will be remapped)

3. Members & their Profiles (all users will need to reset their password with forgotten password recovery)

4. Categories

5. Forums

6. PMs

7. Avatars

Forum permissions will need to be reconfigured. Skins/themes will not be converted.

If your IB forum had adult or mature content, or it was mature rated, you will need to purchase premium service after the conversion process is finished.

Before sending a final database copy to us for moving, please do what you can to delete anything that isn't necessary. If you have a trashcan of old deleted posts for example and you really don't care about keeping them, please delete them as every little bit helps make the conversion process faster.

Thank you for your patience and support! We welcome you here to JFH/Jcink and hope to help you have the best experience going forward even though we don't run the same software http://files.b1.jcink.com/html/emoticons/smile.gif

Service Interruption

May 23 2018, 04:29 PM

  • At 1:55 PM EDT there was a firmware fault with the drive controller on the server.
  • We worked to debug this. but ultimately elected to reboot the server at 2:37PM EDT.
  • Service was back online at 2:45PM EDT, but due to the hard restart pages were slow (~30 minutes) while the system 'warmed up.'
  • 4:00PM, service has stablized and restored to normal operation. (you may still experience sporadic lag for a few hours while it adds to the cache)
At this time we're closely monitoring everything, and are still investigating the full cause of the crash and will provide an update in the future. Due to the hard shutdown a handful of boards needed individual attention to repair data tables.

We're sincerely sorry for the interruption; please reach out if you are still unable to access or are having issues with your board.

Important Privacy Policy Changes Upcoming

May 4 2018, 06:04 PM

As a forum owner or member, we know that you value your privacy. We're updating our privacy policy, and the these changes will take effect later this month. Some changes to our privacy policy will include, but are not limited to the following:

More Transparency: We’ll provide additional details about the information collected and how we use that information. We’ll explain your choices and the control you have over your personal information. Every hosted forum will contain a link to the privacy policy in their footer near the copyright. The new privacy policy will include things such as an itemized description of what cookies are saved to track your login for example, rather than just saying that "we use cookies."

We have not made any changes to the data we collect, and we don't, and won't sell your data to third parties.

GDPR: On May 25, 2018, a new European Union (EU) data protection law, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), takes effect. The GDPR gives individuals in the EU more control over how their personal data is used and places some obligations on businesses that process information of those individuals, even if they reside outside the EU. We’ll update our Privacy Policy to take into account some of the new requirements of the GDPR, as we receive more guidance from Europe and as market practices evolve. For more information about the GDPR see: here.

Privacy Tools: We're providing some enhanced member management functions for improved privacy. For example, when deleting a member, you can now choose to delete all IP address data associated with said member. Also a new feature, you can also choose to delete a member's personal information (such as: age, date of birth, and other profile elements), but keep the account itself.

As always, we will keep you updated about anything that changes with respect to privacy and data protection practices. Feel free to contact us if you have questions or concerns. Please keep in mind that we can't offer legal advice but we can answer any technical or otherwise questions you may have.

-John & the JFH team.

HTTPS, Messenger Fields, etc

Feb 4 2018, 06:33 PM

Today we have a general update regarding some features, changes, and status.

HTTPS Update

Starting today, when a new board is registered the link provided will be the HTTPS URL. This means that when you register a new board, it will transfer you to https://forumname.jcink.net rather than http://forumname.jcink.net

You are not forced to use HTTPS for your forum; as the http link will work; however, it is advised that if you haven't worked on getting your forum HTTPS-ready you should plan to do so this year. We want everyone to have a smooth and easy transition to HTTPS in due time. http://files.b1.jcink.com/html/emoticons/smile.gif That being said, HTTP will always be available for as long as possible. We recently added a new feature that will seamlessly redirect everyone on your board to the https mode; including old posted links in topics.

It has been almost a year since we implemented HTTPS for *.jcink.net, and the reasons for this are provided here: What is HTTPS?. This page also contains resources and information to help you regarding the transition.

Messenger Fields

By default, boards include fields for messenger applications, including: GTalk, AIM, Yahoo, MSN, and Skype. Beginning this year, AIM finally closed their doors, along with MSN the previous years. Rather than force specific messengers into profiles on all communities, we will be removing these soon.

We recommend communities utilizing these fields to migrate any messengers that are still online such as skype and yahoo messenger to a custom profile field. The custom profile field system contains everything you need to add a number of social media and messengers (ex: discord, facebook) if you feel your community needs it. (As a side note: we are also looking into discord web hooks).

Spam & the Captcha

Scattered reports to us regarding spam in guest forums have been made. Last year we implemented Google's reCaptcha v2 and saw great success in spam filtering. Unfortunately, this year, recAPTCHA v2 was 'cracked' via the audio function, but it is still difficult for many spammers to pull off. In response to this we have increased keyword filtering, blocked aggressive known guest-spam IP ranges, and will continue to monitor the situation.

Inactive Forums

We've seen so many requests in the last year or two from those who want to use names of old forums that have been inactive for 2 or 3 years, especially ones with little to no content that are just sitting on a "good" name!

We will still be taking these requests by email; however toward the end of the year we will likely do a larger inactivity clearance to free names and resources on our systems. This past holiday season we saw a lot of spammers continue to hit boards like this as well despite the fact that they cannot be posted to. So we are thinking about mitigations options for the coming year to make the service even less attractive to those who spam while at the same time freeing names for those who'd like to use them. Remember: To mark any board as active, simply login to it via an Admin or Mod account. You do not actually need an 'active' community. More details on this of course will be provided when the time comes; we have done these types of clearances in the past on a micro and larger level as well.

Premium

We want to thank everyone who has subscribed to premium in the last few years. To celebrate that thanks, we always increase benefits each year and this year will be no different. Look for those increases sometime in the spring. http://files.b1.jcink.com/html/emoticons/smile.gif

Status Page

Many users may not be aware but we recently updated our status page, which checks at 5 minute intervals for up-time. Our server status can always be found here: https://status.jcink.com/ and updates are provided on twitter. Our status site is graciously hosted by uptimerobot and is not operated by us.

Here's to a great 2018! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

Premium Benefits Increased

May 6 2017, 11:12 PM

Forum owners are now able to apply either their monthly or yearly subscriptions to up to 5 other forums at the same time with no extra charge! This is great for running multiple live forums and development test boards without having to pay for a new subscription for each one.

We have also increased avatar size upload limits from 256KB to 1024KB (1MB) for premium users, and to 512KB for free users!

Our premium benefits page has been updated to reflect these changes.

It has been almost 3 years since we launched Premium service and every year we strive to improve it and increase benefits for all. We thank you greatly for all of the continued support.

This summer 2017 (for our US & North America users) stay inside, beat the heat, and create a new forum!

Best regards,

John & the JFH Team

Service Interruption

Mar 16 2017, 12:27 PM

Timeline (all times in EDT)

  • March 16, 2017 at 6:20AM we experienced a service interruption.
  • March 16, 2017 at 8:48 AM we became aware of the downtime
  • March 16, 2017 at 8:50 AM we identified the problem as an issue with our network server at Level3 Communications and not the server with the board data.
  • March 16, 2017 at 9:04 AM we were in contact over the phone with Level3 and techs were already working on the issue to find the root cause
  • March 16, 2017 at 11:00 AM a data-center based outage was confirmed; our systems were not specifically problematic in any way.
  • March 16, 2017 at 11:52 AM Service was restored.
  • March 16, 2017 at 12:11 PM we received notice that "there was an outage in the LA datacenter and a failed PDU had to be replaced. [...] and should be back to normal now."
We apologize for the inconvenience and thank for your patience. We also apologize for the slightly delayed response; and will look into why our notifications did not fire more than once for this incident.

We will be monitoring the server closely throughout the day to ensure it is OK. Let us know if you have any further questions or concerns.

-John

HTTPS Encrypted Browsing

Mar 10 2017, 10:26 PM

Jcink Forum Hosting is now offering HTTPS "BETA" to all free and premium users via the *.jcink.net subdomain.

If you use HTTPS, this means all traffic between your browser and the server will be encrypted and cannot be monitored by a 3rd party. While this is not so important for browsing from your home internet connection, it is essential to be secure if you are using public wifi or a similar public internet connection.

You can start browsing our forums and site by accessing:

https://forum.jcink.net

https://jcink.com

A full article on HTTPS has been posted here:

https://jcink.com/main/wiki/https-encrypted-browsing

HTTPS is a "BETA" feature within our service and is under development.

Comments, questions, and development news regarding this feature will be posted in our dev forum topic here:

https://forum.jcink.com/index.php?showtopic=27295

Thank your for your patience and we're looking forward to serving you with HTTPS http://files.b1.jcink.com/html/emoticons/smile.gif

-John

Captcha Changes

Jan 19 2017, 06:29 PM

As a response to an aggressive increase of spam in 'Guest' enabled forums -- reported by our community and our own logging mechanisms -- we have implemented the friendly checkbox-style reCAPTCHA unit.

While we are not the biggest fans of reCAPTCHA, it has now become necessary because of spammers mass targeting active forum's guest-enabled areas.

reCAPTCHA is being trialed by us over the next few days to see how effective it is. If it proves to be highly effective overall, we will implement it in other logical areas as well replacing the existing captcha.

We thank you for your patience and appreciate your attention while we continue to fight and hopefully defeat the spam!

-John

Feature Cleanup

Jan 9 2017, 12:04 PM

We're looking forward into the new year. As JFH has grown and changed over the years so have the needs of forum administrators and their members. The result? Some features and modules are rarely, or sparsely used. This is for a variety of reasons -- sometimes they have been eclipsed by newer features, they are outdated, or simply not of use in today's web.

Without any spin: we are going to be removing some features that less than 2% of our active boards even have enabled, and less than 0.5% are even "utilizing."

Out of respect for those still using these features, we are not doing this at the time of posting, and instead have marked them as deprecated with a notice for the last month or so. This is to let everyone know these features will be removed soon.

There is no time frame for them to be pulled - you do not have to worry about this for now, as this would be months, possibly a year down the line for some features before they are taken out. We will continue to check on the usage levels of these features and remove them accordingly. Our schedules will adjust as well based on any feedback to this post.

Here is a list of the features that have been deprecated and will eventually be removed, as of 1/9/17

  • IPBookie System -- removed as of 2/25/2017
  • DL System -- removed as of 3/4/2017
  • Army System -- removed as of 4/2/2017
  • IPDynamic Lite -- removed as of 3/4/2017
  • Navigation Bar Set-up
  • Ad Removal (not premium) -- removed from Admin CP 1/23/2017, credit system still active.
  • RSS Feeds -- removed 1/23/2017
  • Lo-Fi Version
  • Search Engine Spiders (ACP, not their recognition)
  • Lottery
  • Hack Attack Logs and 'Secure Login' settings - these are handled more internally now via our own heuristics.
  • My Assistant (Already replaced by alert system - but will be removed entirely if not enabled).
As always, we are not going to stop adding features and working on JFH. But a cleaner code base is always easier to work with -- and less clutter in the Admin CP makes things more clear for both current and new administrators.

We apologize if you are utilizing one or more of these features and urge you to reach out to us if this will critically affect you. This will help us adjust our time frames in the future for removal and we may also be able to help you find a better solution for your needs.

We have ALSO deprecated the "Profile Templates" section of the Admin CP -- but I have not included it in the less than 1% category. Many users are still operating out of this section, so it will be a long time before it is removed. However, a notice is displayed to urge moving their template over to the new HTML Templates system -- which for most is a quick copy and paste.

Thank you for your continued support as we go forward into another new year!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

Dec 24 2016, 08:46 PM

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas! user posted image

[dohtml]<img height='230' width='150' src='http://support.b1.jcink.com/uploads/support/tree.png'>[/dohtml]

Everyone here at Jcink.com wishes you a happy and safe holiday season 2016, and the best of luck with your forum into the new year!