[Admin] tinypic (picture hosting) website is gone

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celia
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[Admin] tinypic (picture hosting) website is gone

Post by celia » Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:20 pm

I have probably been one of the more prolific posters here who includes screenshots of spreadsheets in their responses to various people, especially when coming up with a plan for how much in Roth conversions one should/could do each year. I have used tinypic.com to host my screen shots, but their website is now out of business. I estimate that I probably had 50 pictures uploaded there (often with multiple consecutive pics for the same long spreadsheet) and know that others were also using them for hosting. Here is an example post which referenced 2 consecutive pics:
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=272601&p=4383374#p4383374

In my case, I luckily still have most of the JPGs on my computer but no time to match them up with the correct thread although I filed all of them under the name of the OP for each thread.

Right now this looks like a minor disaster for the forum. To determine how much it will impact us, I first propose:

1. Can a site administrator scan the posting part of Bogleheads to see how many links we have to tinypic.com. If possible, collect the url for the start of each referenced thread, the url of the affected post(s) and the username of the poster who had something uploaded to tinypic. If possible, also capture the date the post was made and how many times each thread has been read. This could give us an idea of how big a problem we have.

2. In a perfect world, those who posted previously could upload to another hosting website. Unfortunately, I have a time constraint in that my Bogleheads time is now limited. I could fix 2 or 3 threads (I know which I think should be re-built). Or I could send all my jpegs to someone else who would fix them for me after getting them re-hosted.

3. Bogleheads might consider hosting some of the jpgs themselves as they do for jpgs referenced in wiki pages. (At least the wiki is safe at this time.)

4. Maybe we need another policy in case other hosting websites become unavailable.

Any other ideas here would be welcome as I don't have much time to think this through.

celia

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LadyGeek
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Re: [Admin] tinypic (picture hosting) website is gone

Post by LadyGeek » Mon Nov 04, 2019 5:49 pm

Unfortunately, there's not much a site admin can do about this. It's up to the member to understand the nature of the image and find a replacement.

I revised the wiki article to remove instrucutions for using tinypic. See: Posting images in the Bogleheads forum
Wiki To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.

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F150HD
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Re: [Admin] tinypic (picture hosting) website is gone

Post by F150HD » Mon Nov 04, 2019 6:03 pm

Remember Photobucket? Did the same thing a few years ago, it about broke many message boards.

How Photobucket Broke The Internet (And Why You Should Care)

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Oicuryy
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Re: [Admin] tinypic (picture hosting) website is gone

Post by Oicuryy » Mon Nov 04, 2019 7:23 pm

celia,

The site search finds only 22 posts of yours that reference tinypic.
search.php?keywords=tinypic&terms=all&a ... mit=Search

Site wide there are about 7900 posts referencing tinypic.
search.php?keywords=tinypic&terms=all&a ... mit=Search

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Re: [Admin] tinypic (picture hosting) website is gone

Post by Miriam2 » Tue Nov 05, 2019 2:02 am

I have found many posts by Nisiprius no longer have his wonderful graphs - there is the angry Tinypic guy instead :(

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Re: [Admin] tinypic (picture hosting) website is gone

Post by SimpleGift » Tue Nov 05, 2019 10:52 am

celia wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:20 pm
Right now this looks like a minor disaster for the forum.
As various image hosting websites have gone defunct over the years, I've also seen many of the charts in my posts disappear. At first, it used to bother me and I attempted to restore some of them from original copies that I'd retained — but later I found peace in just accepting it as an indication of the impermanence of life. Though we may put a lot of work into our posts, we have to accept that they don't and won't last forever.

By the way, I like your idea of the Bogleheads Forum hosting its own images, if it's at all practical. At least our images would then last as long as the Forum website lasts!
Last edited by SimpleGift on Tue Nov 05, 2019 11:09 am, edited 2 times in total.

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RootSki
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Re: [Admin] tinypic (picture hosting) website is gone

Post by RootSki » Tue Nov 05, 2019 11:07 am

Add Tapatalk support and allow them to host the images for us.

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Re: [Admin] tinypic (picture hosting) website is gone

Post by RickBoglehead » Tue Nov 05, 2019 11:13 am

I would assume that hosting images would use a huge amount more storage, and traffic changes because many respondents on forums quote a prior post but don't delete the images causing them to be shown many times in one thread.

I like when a forum allows easy linking to an already public image, but I would never link to my own storage for many reasons, including loss of anonymity.
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hornet96
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Re: [Admin] tinypic (picture hosting) website is gone

Post by hornet96 » Tue Nov 05, 2019 11:36 am

celia wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:20 pm

3. Bogleheads might consider hosting some of the jpgs themselves as they do for jpgs referenced in wiki pages. (At least the wiki is safe at this time.)
This is really the right answer, if the fundamental intent of this site and its owner is to preserve the historical integrity of the posts for future reference. Often much of the actual content of a response is housed within an image, and with that image now gone, the continuity and context of those particular threads is now lost as well.

I'm sure it's a lot of (volunteer!) work to configure the Bogleheads site to host its own images, but this will only continue happening as hosting sites come and go in the future. To be honest, I've always found the process of posting images here to be overly cumbersome, especially when posting from a tablet. I'd like to think that nowadays this process could be greatly simplified without a lot of admin work, considering how much the internet has evolved since the inception of this site circa 2007.

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Re: [Admin] tinypic (picture hosting) website is gone

Post by mountain-lion » Tue Nov 05, 2019 11:45 am

Sites that allow hosting of arbitrary images (and arbitrary files generally), invariably come under attack by the less savory people on the internet. People figure out how to workaround site restrictions and content restrictions in clever ways for you to host their illegal content.

It's a problem that can be solved, but I suspect it would require way to much work by our volunteer moderators.

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Re: [Admin] tinypic (picture hosting) website is gone

Post by SimpleGift » Tue Nov 05, 2019 12:07 pm

One partial consolation for the OP and others who have lost images to defunct image hosting sites: As you've no doubt noticed over the years, the same questions and topics seem to re-appear on a regular basis on the Forum, month after month. This provides the opportunity to re-post one's charts and spreadsheets (perhaps updated with current data) in essentially the same repeat topics and discussions.

By viewing the Forum as an ongoing cycle of repeating topics, I've found much more peace — rather than seeing our posts as a permanent repository of "the final word" an any particular question. The Forum Wiki of course would be the exception.

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celia
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Re: [Admin] tinypic (picture hosting) website is gone

Post by celia » Tue Nov 05, 2019 8:37 pm

SimpleGift wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 12:07 pm
One partial consolation for the OP and others who have lost images to defunct image hosting sites: As you've no doubt noticed over the years, the same questions and topics seem to re-appear on a regular basis on the Forum, month after month.
The topic of Roth conversions (especially Backdoor Roths) started becoming too repetitive for me at one time so I started enhancing the wiki page instead. I've thought of doing that for other repetitive topics, but haven't got around to it. Instead I eventually see an improved wiki page referencing the forum pages on that topic. Some of the forum pages are good references, but others probably aren't. The Backdoor Roth wiki page even links to the forum page which discusses what should be included in the wiki and what should not. It is sort of looking at the history of how the page came to be but is not supportive of the wiki topic.

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Re: [Admin] tinypic (picture hosting) website is gone

Post by celia » Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:03 pm

Oicuryy wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 7:23 pm
The site search finds only 22 posts of yours that reference tinypic.
search.php?keywords=tinypic&terms=all&a ... mit=Search
One reason I requested site statistics is to get a view of what is commonly accessed. I see that some of the threads where I reference tinypic pictures range to under 1,000 views for the thread to three threads of mine that have over 10,000 views. The thread with the most views is one I've referenced many times since the thread was created (before the latest tax law change). So this makes later threads less useful besides the original thread.

But if I can get around to re-hosting my pictures, these three threads are the ones I would "fix".

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Re: [Admin] tinypic (picture hosting) website is gone

Post by ARoseByAnyOtherName » Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:17 pm

hornet96 wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 11:36 am
celia wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:20 pm

3. Bogleheads might consider hosting some of the jpgs themselves as they do for jpgs referenced in wiki pages. (At least the wiki is safe at this time.)
This is really the right answer, if the fundamental intent of this site and its owner is to preserve the historical integrity of the posts for future reference. Often much of the actual content of a response is housed within an image, and with that image now gone, the continuity and context of those particular threads is now lost as well.

I'm sure it's a lot of (volunteer!) work to configure the Bogleheads site to host its own images, but this will only continue happening as hosting sites come and go in the future. To be honest, I've always found the process of posting images here to be overly cumbersome, especially when posting from a tablet. I'd like to think that nowadays this process could be greatly simplified without a lot of admin work, considering how much the internet has evolved since the inception of this site circa 2007.
Long term I think it would be awesome if this forum could host its own attachments.

phpBB can use Amazon S3 as the storage backend for attachments, albeit via an extension:
https://www.phpbb.com/customise/db/extension/aws_s3/

It looks like some work was done towards enabling phpBB to natively support different backends, but I can't tell if full support was implemented or only parts of what's needed:
https://tracker.phpbb.com/browse/PHPBB3-14169

I am not an expert on S3 pricing but details can be found here:
https://aws.amazon.com/s3/pricing/

My guess is the storage and data transfer fees for this forum could be significant. That said, an admin that can see overall forum status could probably come up with a ballpark estimate relatively easy.
Last edited by ARoseByAnyOtherName on Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: [Admin] tinypic (picture hosting) website is gone

Post by AlohaJoe » Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:24 pm

SimpleGift wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 10:52 am
At first, it used to bother me and I attempted to restore some of them from original copies that I'd retained — but later I found peace in just accepting it as an indication of the impermanence of life.
Heh, I have had a similar journey and reached a similar conclusion. :-)
By the way, I like your idea of the Bogleheads Forum hosting its own images, if it's at all practical. At least our images would then last as long as the Forum website lasts!
I would be surprised if it is practical. In general hosting attachments for free is expensive and complicated. (What if someone uploads child porn? What if someone uploads 50,000 images an hour?) Even if everything just "works", it substantially increases the size of the database, backups, bandwidth costs, hardware costs, downtime when upgrading, etc, etc.

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Re: [Admin] tinypic (picture hosting) website is gone

Post by ARoseByAnyOtherName » Thu Nov 07, 2019 9:20 pm

AlohaJoe wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:24 pm
I would be surprised if it is practical.
On the contrary, I think it would be practical, though there would be some associated cost, and some additional testing/maintenance burden.
AlohaJoe wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:24 pm
In general hosting attachments for free is expensive and complicated.
Hosting attachments at Amazon S3 or a similar blob storage provider would be quite doable, and would likely not be very complicated (relatively), but it would cost money. How much is not clear to me. But an admin could likely do a back-of-the-envelope estimate.
AlohaJoe wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:24 pm
(What if someone uploads child porn? What if someone uploads 50,000 images an hour?)
Policing uploads would add some amount of burden to the (excellent!) job the moderators do. However it's not clear to me if the increase would be substantial.
AlohaJoe wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:24 pm
Even if everything just "works", it substantially increases the size of the database,
No, it shouldn't, since the images wouldn't be stored in the database.
AlohaJoe wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:24 pm
backups,
No, it shouldn't. Images would be in S3 and wouldn't need to be backed up.
AlohaJoe wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:24 pm
bandwidth costs,
It may increase bandwidth costs to some degree. It may not be a substantial increase.
AlohaJoe wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:24 pm
hardware costs
No, it shouldn't increase "hardware" costs (more likely number of VM instances) much.
AlohaJoe wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:24 pm
downtime when upgrading
No, it shouldn't increase downtime when upgrading at all.

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Re: [Admin] tinypic (picture hosting) website is gone

Post by nedsaid » Fri Nov 08, 2019 6:35 am

SimpleGift wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 10:52 am
celia wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:20 pm
Right now this looks like a minor disaster for the forum.
As various image hosting websites have gone defunct over the years, I've also seen many of the charts in my posts disappear. At first, it used to bother me and I attempted to restore some of them from original copies that I'd retained — but later I found peace in just accepting it as an indication of the impermanence of life. Though we may put a lot of work into our posts, we have to accept that they don't and won't last forever.

By the way, I like your idea of the Bogleheads Forum hosting its own images, if it's at all practical. At least our images would then last as long as the Forum website lasts!
A big reason that I was very sparing in using images with my posts. The charts and graphs are cool but I found it hard, it seemed like the file sizes were often too large. So my posts are almost all narrative.
A fool and his money are good for business.

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