Today Google informed us that some sites stored in people’s BonzoBoxes were are infected with Malware. Because we use a redirection script to track which sites are the most popular on BonzoBox this warning would have appeared when visiting a redirection address on BonzoBox.com, (for example, bonzobox.com/out?u=badsite.com). Even though these warnings appeared there, as far as we are aware BonzoBox.com itself is malware-free.
The number of links affected was very, very, small, (there were five), and they have been removed from BonzoBox.
We have requested that Google review our BonzoBox and expect to be declared clean shortly, (follow @bonzobox on Twitter for more frequent updates).
Lemons to Lemonade
Of course we’ve taken this day of red warning screens and pulled some good out of the bad. All of our links from BonzoBox to other websites are now signed, and they won’t work unless they’re properly signed. This means that it would be extremely difficult for a hacker to create a BonzoBox.com URL that redirects visitors to a nasty website, (the hacker would have to figure out how our signature works, and guess some very long, complicated, secrets, among other things).
Update (May 18): Sometime during the night Google has reviewed BonzoBox and declared us malware-free. No warnings should be displayed.
We just pushed our first update after introducing a signup fee on BonzoBox, and included in it is an improvement enabled by the signup fee: Much, much faster sign-in to BonzoBox. Now that we can count on people who are signing up to be honest members of the community we are comfortable turning off the system that tries to determine if accounts are being used for spam every time you sign in, and that system was slow.
As for that sweet avatar, for a long time people who have linked their Facebook accounts to BonzoBox have had their Facebook profile picture staring back at them, like this:
Today’s update lets everyone stare at their smiling face beside their name. If you’ve got a BonzoBox avatar set, (Click “Welcome Back” and choose Profile to set your avatar), then we use that, if not we’ll try to show your Gravatar, and if that fails, well, we’ve got a backup image.
Here’s mine, on a non-Facebook-linked account:
That’s it for today. Keep BonzoBoxing!
Almost exactly a year ago I posted that we had come back to life, then promptly disappeared. We didn’t disappear entirely, though, and are now back with a revamped team, new focus, and even some site updates.
Our goal is to make BonzoBox fast & easy to understand and use, and we’d like your help in making that happen. Leave comments on our blog posts, E-mail us, make suggestions in our UserVoice Forum, and say hi @bonzobox on Twitter. I’ll do my best to write back and together we can make BonzoBox great, (yes, there’s a little cheese there).
So, what have we been working on over the past year? The system that makes the thumbnails has been completely rewritten from the ground up. Screenshots should now come in much faster and look better. We’re still ironing out the kinks but it’s already a big improvement on our old system.
Will it be another year before we post? No. We’re not going to write unless we have something to write, but we’re going to make sure that we have things worth sharing here.
Now, head on over to BonzoBox and see what we’ve done!
It’s been over a year since we posted here, and today we finally revealed what we’ve been working on – the next generation of BonzoBox. We got some strong critiques when we first launched and we listened. Today we are bringing the new, simpler, BonzoBox to the entire BonzoBox community.
The new BonzoBox gets rid of most of those tabs we used to have, increases the size of the thumbnails by almost half, and is designed with speed in mind, (although, admittedly, we’re having some server speed issues – they will be addressed shortly).
We’ve focused even more on communication with this release. We’re not done yet and we want to make BonzoBox into the best tool possible. We realize that we’re not there yet and that’s where you come in. Tell us what you want and need, on our New Uservoice Forum, by E-mail at feedback [at] bonzobox [dot] com, or by clicking on one of the feedback or contact links on the site. We’re listening. Hard.
We’ve posted a full introduction to the new BonzoBox as part of BonzoBox itself, so check it out for the nitty-gritty details, and let us know what we can do even better.
Powered by Bonzobox, the bz.am URL shortener is coming soon (sounds like Bizzamm!). bz.am is synced with Bonzobox and every URL shortened will be added to our database. The shortener will also give you the ability to look at the history and statistics of your shortened URLs. Right now, if you visit bz.am you can add your email address to our notification list so we can let you know when we launch!
As BonzoBox continues to grow we are all excited for new upgrades and features to come. Our weekend conference begins today to discuss which features we will implement as 2010 approaches. There is no doubt that programming jargon surrounding everything from BonzoBox Mobile to comprehensive search algorithms and URL shortening will be discussed. Whatever it is, these features will be tailored towards enhancing your online experience and making it easier for you to navigate the web, find great websites, and share them anywhere in the world with anyone you would like in fun and interactive ways. BonzoBox is now available in Spanish, Portuguese, and Deutsch with more languages to come! Remember this weekend and the following developments and changes to come are for you. So if you’re a BonzoBox veteran or a brand new user, get excited as there is a plethora of upgrades to come. Stay tuned for a summary of this weekend and what will be coming soon to BonzoBox.com. It’s sure to be a hard working, brain bashing, and entertaining weekend at the BonzoBox office.
Thank You for continuing to use BonzoBox.com,
Ryan Ozonian - Chief Creative Development
John Beales - Chief Technology Officer
Programming - Aniket Dixit, Ashit Vora, Gaurav Jotwani, Jonathan Sebastian, Vishwas Pandya, & Yash Patel
Marketing - Ken Yashamita, Gabe Wolpa
Well, it’s Tuesday and I hope that all of you BonzoBoxers in the US had a great long weekend, maybe fired up the grill, and honored the memory of the brave men and women that gave their lives to keep the country strong and free.
We saw that you were not spending your time on BonzoBox this weekend, and while you were away we did a bunch of small upgrades. Most of them were small and make things a little faster or work a little better. The thing you will most likely notice that when you look at a buddy’s websites, (like mine at bonzobox.com/johnbeales), you shouldn’t see which providers your buddy was using in his E-mail tab.
There are a bunch more small updates scheduled to roll out throughout the week to help improve your experience on BonzoBox. We won’t be blogging about them all, but we will try to post most of them on Twitter so if you’re not already doing it, follow us at twitter.com/bonzobox.
Have a great week.
A few minutes ago we pushed a major update that adds Facebook Connect to BonzoBox. We’re pretty excited about this and hope that you will be too!
Facebook Connect allows you to sign in to BonzoBox by authenticating with Facebook instead of creating a username and password on BonzoBox. If you already have a BonzoBox account you can add Facebook authentication to your account by going to Settings, (by your name in the top right), then choosing Account Linking. If you don’t already have a BonzoBox account simply click the Facebook Connect button in the Sign Up screen. To sign in using Facebook Connect click the Facebook Connect button in the BonzoBox Sign In screen.
This is only our first step with the Facebook platform here on BonzoBox. We are planning even deeper integration with the Facebook platform and there is more to come.
You may have noticed that sometimes BonzoBox has been extremely slow to load over the past 2 weeks. We noticed too and set to work finding out why.
It turns out that the program that imports our updated screenshots was very hard on the database and as a result whenever it started working, (at least every 5 minutes), the database would be overloaded and BonzoBox pages would stop loading properly. This is why BonzoBox sometimes appeared to be up one minute, down the next, and back up 2 minutes after that. To fix the problem we rewrote the program that imports the updated screenshots so be much nicer to the database and everything seems to be running fine now, and has been since last night. As an added bonus updated screenshots are now imported much faster!
Thank you for your patience while we hunted down the cause of the problem and got it fixed.
Since the New Year the BonzoBox community has been experiencing explosive growth. As a result of that growth, we’ve been planning to upgrade our servers for a while. The plan was to smoothly transition to the newer, faster servers. Well, last Sunday, due to circumstances beyond our control, our old server was shut down for a day and a half, so I went into overdrive to move everything to our new server and bring the site back. By the time our old server was brought back online we were far enough into moving everything to the new server that the decision was made to offer limited functionality to existing BonzoBoxers during the move then re-open everything once we were ready for prime-time on the new system. We opened everything up again on Wednesday, and brought back the final missing feature, on-demand screenshots, on Saturday. We are sorry for the problems that the downtime caused. We understand that it was a headache, it was for us too. While we were down we weren’t able to bookmark the reference sites we were using to bring everything back up! However, we’re back now, and better than ever.
We are really excited about our new server. Here are some highlights:
- 5.5 times the processing power of the old server
- 8 times the memory of the old server
- 4.5 times the storage of the old server
On top of that we have moved the system that generates screenshots into an environment where we have access to virtually unlimited computing power.
We have improved our backups too. We now back-up all of your data every hour to a secure location. We also have nightly on-site backups of absolutely everything, and nightly offsite backups of absolutely all data, (even the stuff that we’re already doing hourly). This means that even if the data center where our servers are housed burns to the ground your data is safe.
Now we’re settled into our new home, We can finally fix some bugs that you have discovered and improving BonzoBox. For all of you who have been patiently waiting for something, (like better bookmark import), hold on, it’s coming. Now go and enjoy the new, speedy, servers