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#1852992 Batoto will be closing permanently

Posted by Grumpy on 07 January 2018 - 08:57 PM

Hello everyone.
 
Batoto will be closing down permanently.
 
I just don't have the will to run this site anymore. This is not a sudden decision for me or something I make lightly, it has been on my mind for a couple years now. And I've finally made my mind to put it into action.
 
I started Batoto along with the crew from The Company back in January of 2011 and it's been a very meaningful part of my life. I don't regret taking on this hobby called Batoto and I cherish the role that I've played as well as the countless hours everyone else here has put in as well as the great community that we've built. I've come to see this like my baby. At 7 years, I suppose it's not even a baby anymore. But it is at a point where I need to move on with my life. I'm tired and I just can't do this anymore.
 
Batoto is proving to be ever more time consuming to maintain despite the fact that we have fewer real visitors. Our bot visitors are always growing as we're the only source that still gives true quality. I've made some serious and controversial changes to counter that like adding membership requirements. While that helped a ton at that time, it always creeps back and we're almost back to square one at this point when I look at the statistics. They currently make up roughly 35% of the traffic which are much more troublesome than real users. And I don't want to make more serious change to this site that'll inconvenience the readers even further. We've already lost enough.
 
It's not just the bots that adds to the technical issues. It's a big site with huge number of page views. It's just expected part of running the site. Whether it be a DDoS attack, scraper bots gone haywire, servers/hosting company being annoying, ad company being annoying, there's just so many stuff that I constantly have to deal with. Over the last 7 years, I haven't had a single day when I could just freely take a day off. If the site goes down, I had to be there, on my computer, ready to take action. I obviously don't do something every single day, but just making myself available is taxing on my life. The fact that I'm unable to take a vacation have often been a point of argument with others in my life. Anytime someone says, let's go somewhere, I could only say no. I have to be here. Sound sleeping is also a thing of the past. I have alarms that go off when the site goes down. I'd wake up in the middle of the sleep to take care of it. False alarm, while irritating, is one of the best things to see when I'm interrupted from my sleep. How else would I have always responded to issues immediately?
 
I've simply run out of will and I feel this is the best choice for me. I beg that the community understands this difficult decision I've made.
 
 
Services will be severely affected starting January 18th as servers expire, though content may still be accessible for you. By January 25th, critical number of servers will have expired that the site will no longer function. But you should consider 18th to be the last day.
 
 
I have stopped accepting donations for a several months now and I'll check to see if anyone sent anything directly and I'll be sure to refund them if they did.
 
Going forward, some of the staff members have and still are in the process of backing up the entire Batoto comic content as they have been notified of this decision well in advanced. They may choose to create a new Batoto or something simpler. That will be up to them, but I will no longer be part of running it.
 
I understand that our forum is a valuable form of communication for many. Because of that, I will be keeping the forums running for an extended period of time, date of which is not yet decided. I will also be making an export for your follows list so that your list isn't lost. Additionally, this list will be available as long as the forum is up and running. Other information that may be useful to the community may be filtered and backed up then made available for the community, but I will, under no circumstances, give anyone a full backup of the site or database. Many have used our system in confidence and it will stay that way.
 
I would like to thank everyone here for your patronage all these years. It has been a good run. Really, thank you. Wouldn't have made it this far without you.
 
---------------------
 
Looks like a lot of people are in a scramble to save what they can, and as a result, site is lot slower. I'm turning on the cloudflare anti-ddos protection to put the site back to a manageable speed. Will likely need to keep it on until the end.
- 2018/1/7
 
---------------------
 
The export feature has been added. Go to my follows and check the side bar. Realized there isn't much data to save when our IDs and such are all gone. But it's there anyway for the fuller version.
If domain is no longer up, forums will be available at the alternate address of vatoto.com (not used right now)
- 2018/1/13
 
---------------------
 
The servers have begun to expire. First the of the servers are now offline. With the exception of the main (control) server, it's designed so that load is shared among the rest when one goes down. So, it'll continually get slower to serve pages unless people trying to access also decreases. I will manually remove reader pages by 25th and migrate the forums away.
- 2018/1/18



#1651226 Moving forward: Upcoming changes and schedules

Posted by Grumpy on 22 October 2015 - 03:19 PM

Other thread is so clogged, felt like a new announcement would be more visible. This thread is locked and purely for announcement only.

 

Bot Mitigation

I will be implementing some bot mitigation techniques. This will be the first of changes along with different reader. From the brainstorms, I've learned a few things that may assist in curbing bots, in addition what I thought of implementing. Some of it will be a bit more of an enterprise solution, some of it will be custom solutions, and some of it will just be basic changes that make crawling more of a hassle.

 

These will be added over a long period of time. Almost all of these are machine targeting machine. And you won't even see it.

 

Changes to Reader

To assist with the bot mitigation and reduction of resource usage, the reader will be changed a bit. It will look mostly the same, some might not even notice. But it is coded in a way that'll help me track the abuses more as well as making it lighter weight. So, the users should be able to hit next page faster too. Yay! This is already coded and being tested.

 

Unfortunately, this comes with new URL scheme. Old URLs will be shut down once new is fully operational and without issues.

 

Also, it will now require javascript & cookies to function. So... to the <1% that has it off. Sorry.

 

Membership Requirement

This has been a source of lot of controversy, but I do still find it almost certain it will happen. Yes, some users will leave. Ad revenue may go down, but so will operating costs. They always move together. I foresee no financial concern from this change. On top of that, kenshin has offered more help that's acting as a safety net in terms of cost issues. And if that means I get to have more horsepower to serve the members that care, I see no real concern. I believe what made Batoto into the giant that we have grown into are the contributors. And by contributors, I mean from people who's uploaded thousands of chapters and to people who's made a single comment about their thoughts. Contents are what makes this site, and they already are members.

 

There are no plans to close membership nor anything like a paywall. You can register anytime you want, and become part of this community.

 

Membership requirement will not be a sudden switch. It will be eased in. And what requires membership will slowly grow. The slow pace will give me the numbers to confirm/break my expectations. And that is from where I'll ultimately draw the final choice, not from guesses or what might be. I can't see the future, nor can anyone else from thin air.

 

Uploader's Private Direct Link

This is one change of direction I realized may be helpful after reading the feedbacks in various places. The uploader, optionally can generate a second URL to the chapter. It will not be mentioned anywhere on this site, but people coming to that URL from the source site won't need membership to view. That way, we can still provide a reliable way for uploaders to share without affecting the anti-crawl of our system.

 

I will likely add this sometime while membership requirement is being eased in. Hopefully in early stage.

 

Why are Changes Being Made Now?

Quite a lot seemed confused about this. I do apologize for lack of clarity initially. I've said before, but complete prevention of copying Batoto isn't the goal. It's just not possible. I know that some of them have humans to copy from Batoto in rare occasions that I troll them with fake contents. Goal is to reduce it.

 

Over the years of maintaining Batoto, I didn't do it alone. I have hired other professionals in the past occasionally to help. And their first reaction to my server is always that I'm getting DDoS'ed. If that were true, this is the longest DDoS in history of the internet. (They do eventually know that it's not) We just get crawled that much. We have to get it down to a reasonable level where it's manageable. This, is a viable goal.

 

It's not that Batoto's going to die tomorrow without making the change. Or a month or etc. It's an ever growing problem and has to be tackled sometime. Doing nothing is to just shut down.

 

After

Hopefully focus can be sent back to bunch of stuff that's like 80% done but never finalized... Like follows overhaul. Flattr/changetip that was started like years ago... So much in queue.

 

Self-Published Titles

None of this applies to self published titles. Except automatic bot mitigation.




#17148 Batoto is...

Posted by Grumpy on 27 September 2011 - 04:47 AM

(This is probably overdue... but better late than never)

Dear readers, fans, contributors, authors and friends,

Through this small letter of mine to you, I hope to let everyone understand what Batoto is all about -- why we exist, what we wish to exist for and why we must exist. Batoto at a glance is just another online comic reader, an aggregate of comics. But we exist for a goal much different than the others. We exist so that the community, the ecology, and the value, the economy, of comics have a place to exist.

I'm sure almost all of you have found your way here to read a scanlation -- a derivative work created by fans for the fans of an original comic. Scanlations exist because there is no other way. Without scanlations much of the world populous would be unable to read your favorite comics, whether it be a manga (Japanese), manhwa (Korean), manhua (Chinese) or any other origin, due to barriers of language and barriers of finances. Ordering a comic that you cannot read from a country far away where shipping will easily out price the comic 3 to 1 is just not possible for many of us. I'm sure you've had moments where you laughed and cried (or you didn't read enough!) as you read them. But the joy that it brought to you is a moment that everyone deserves and a moment that we hope to share. And that is why scanlation exist. As much as many of us wish that all of this can be done for free of charge, free of hassle, that is not possible. There are expenses; you need to pay for your comics, you need to buy equipments to make the process possible, you need to pay for hosting your content, and etc. Then there are those who earn through this process; your hosting company earned, even your electric power company earned, and etc. You see, everything in the world has an intricate active economy no matter what. Sometimes you need to spend more, sometimes less. And when the costs end up being too high, you may have to just stop. And that is why Batoto exists. Batoto hosts not only your comics but also the groups' own ads with them for participating groups. This gives them the chance to recoup their costs through their own advertiser(s) for who need it. This may not be a lot, but through their earnings, it secures their ability to continue and motivate to do more. (While this crossed out statement is still within Batoto's ideals, we are currently unable to do so due to changes in ad networks' function. We will re-enable this feature if/when we can.)

Now that is why we exist today, but we want be and do so much more. Primarily we want to be a place where you can publish your own. Next, we also want to truly be part of the economy of comics. Today, there is no place where you can publish your own comics without heavy restrictions or retain your rights to your work except through self publication. But if you were to publish your own web comics on your own website, vast majority will struggle to even get hundreds of views. Numbers like these will not be able to financially help the author. So, just like we make the impact for scanlation, we want to do the same for self published work. A place where they'll retain full rights and immediately be introduced to potentially millions of viewers. Then, perhaps, they can spend their energy in creativity of their work rather than worrying about their next meal. Another wish for Batoto is to be able to be in a position to buy licenses to increase our reaches to more comics in more languages than ever before. This way, our existence benefits the ecology and the economy of the comic world.

Lastly, Batoto must exist. Today, there is a growing trend in the comic world that's quite frightening and making me grumpy. That is: loss of respect. Some of our competitors are doing things that are just wrong. Some are doing things against the wishes of their scanlators, publishers and/or authors. Hosting the content even when requested not to. Frequently even ignoring DMCA notices as the reaches of the law are often powerless in the Internet. Some are even going as far as claiming that the works are their own. What can we do when even the law can't? We can show people that there is a better way. We can educate people to do things the right way. And we want to show that doing right way doesn't even require more effort or cost. Though we may not be able to eliminate those who disrespect others, we hope to diminish their effects and their powers by simply being the better alternative.

Batoto is a publisher that just wants to make things right.

Sincerely,
Founder of Batoto, the one who is grumpy about what's wrong.




#1852996 Batoto will be closing permanently

Posted by casinia on 07 January 2018 - 09:02 PM

i hope u finally have the time to take care of yourself, thanks for everything




#1650289 Batoto becoming registered only?

Posted by Grumpy on 20 October 2015 - 02:29 PM

I write this announcement about becoming private, meaning that only members will be able to browse this site (or a portion of it).
 
I post this with quite a bit of reluctance because it's something I wanted to avoid. Since pretty much the beginning, there have been requests to make this site private or to increase security of this site so that it doesn't become simply the source for all the other manga aggregates. But I have always said no because I envisioned this site being as open as possible and available to as many as possible. That principle is why, for basic reading, this site even runs without javascript, flash, or pretty much anything beyond most basic requirements--something few sites do today. These two goals of openness and security are both something we want to achieve but they are contradictory to the other and in the end I've chosen ease of use for the users. Times are changing though and it's getting increasingly difficult to maintain this site while being as open as it is now.
 
Currently, Batoto is undoubtedly the go-to source for hundreds other aggregates. Changes and additions made on this site gets automatically updated elsewhere, like this love of ponies (if that link stops working). People uploading here did not intend for their works to be copied everywhere else. Complete prevention of a copy is not an achievable goal, but making it inconvenient--creating a deterrence is possible. And that is making contents viewable by members only.
 
The change kind of scares me to be honest. From an administrator's point of view. Batoto is very optimized to be viewed by guests because guests make up roughly 90% of the visitors--and it's much easier to optimize for guests as they require less dynamic actions. When they all become members, many of existing optimizations made over the years become useless. I don't know if our current system can handle the increased load. I don't know if decrease in bot load will be significant enough. I don't know if it'll make more members leave us. I don't know if ad revenues will be enough to support the system once it's changed. There's quite a lot of unknowns.
 
I feel the change is (most likely) inevitable. However, the question of how it changes is not certain yet. I'm open to hear suggestions and ideas on this.

 

Few things.

  • We don't really care about SEO. Bare minimum of it is sufficient. It has never been a big thing for us. So, don't worry about that.
  • The easier the hurdle to pass, the less useful it will be, but more user friendly.
  • This change will break a lot of other sites and apps that rely on Batoto to function.
  • Opting for partial private may also be possible. Like newly uploaded are visible for few days without registration.
  • Objective: No more crawly crawly on this site.

-------------------------

 

Edits:

 

Well, this is certainly the hottest announcement topic.

 

I want to clarify something. I post this now and here not because I want to play police, ego or some stuff like that. If it was, I would've changed a long ago. I post this now, I change my objective as someone who maintains this site. I want to shave off a few million page hits a day. With great thanks to kenshin, our bandwidth costs don't increase that much with increased traffic. I still maintain my original image source nodes, so it's not a big shave off in cost, but it is completely manageable. What's biggest (always has been) cost is the HTML of this site, processing the pages that needs to be served. These run on farm of really beefy CPU servers with SSD and I'm currently looking to see if it's necessary to purchase another to handle the load. And one of my ad networks haven't paid me in 3 months. So I'm running on a red.

 

We have over 10,000 comics. And over 300,000 chapters. When 100 other crawlers think they need this content, some of it on a few minute basis (to check for new chapters)! Numbers REALLY add up. Humans don't do this. Because there is follows. You don't need to visit 10,000 comics just to see if there's something new.

 

There are number of anti-crawl features on this site already. All of which I tried to make that doesn't hinder normal users at all. It has caught a few real people using download scripts too. But it's insufficient; it's too lightweight. Pretty much since year 1 of Batoto, other crawlers have been using IP distributed crawls. Without further tracking tools for me, they're just not possible to track.

 

Hitting some of the new chapters are less of a concern. It's the deep crawl that concerns me.

 

-------------------------

 

Edit 2:

 

For those saying just don't do it. The alternative is to shut down. Crawling is non-sustainable. Have to do something.




#1852995 Batoto will be closing permanently

Posted by mayonayses on 07 January 2018 - 09:01 PM

Goodbye and take care!


#1686595 Fake Batoto site warning!

Posted by Grumpy on 21 December 2015 - 01:02 AM

I've been getting notices from various users about fake Batoto sites that's out there.

It looks exactly like us (pretty sure direct copy of everything), but with their own ads.

 

DO NOT LOGIN UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE on the fake site. They're stealing your id/passwords. If you end up on that site for any reason, LEAVE IMMEDIATELY.

If you ever logged in to one of those sites before, change your password on EVERY SITE that uses the same password, not just here.

 

Our domain is bato.to. Anything else is fake.




#1852999 Batoto will be closing permanently

Posted by Stark700 on 07 January 2018 - 09:03 PM

Wow. This came to me as a surprise but thanks for everything.

 

I haven't been active on the forums here but always been reading manga for the past 5 years since I've joined. 




#1853001 Batoto will be closing permanently

Posted by CaptainNarcolepsy on 07 January 2018 - 09:03 PM

Thank you for your hard work over the years! Batoto has been the best manga reading experience for me.




#1853046 Batoto will be closing permanently

Posted by Bellstrom on 07 January 2018 - 09:22 PM

Why can't you just give the site to someone else? If the admins are already copying everything why do you have to burn the site instead of passing it on?




#1852997 Batoto will be closing permanently

Posted by achyif on 07 January 2018 - 09:03 PM

interested in seeing how things will develop for scanlation from here.

 

This will probably suck the most for smaller series and scan groups.




#1337836 [Recommendations] {ARCHIVE}

Posted by Xagnam on 05 August 2014 - 11:46 PM

Where Can I Find...? [Recommendations]
 

 

 

 

The Where Can I Find...? [Recommendations] has been moved to unsure more growth and grant higher expectations! Please click the link above to be taken to our new home. Thank you~

 

This thread is now an archive of all the posts and various recommendations users have made concerning novels, light novels, and web novels from August 5, 2014 - March 20, 2015.




#1853008 Batoto will be closing permanently

Posted by SuperStupid on 07 January 2018 - 09:08 PM

F

 

Only manga site I actually like so far, you'll be missed. Hope you have lots of comfy days reading manga or whatever else you fancy.




#1346806 Malware warning by Google [Incident: 2014/08/21]

Posted by Grumpy on 21 August 2014 - 03:07 PM

Well... don't panic... but it appears Batoto has been hacked.

 

 

Google scanner reported that there is malware present on this site about half a day ago from this post date which caused the malware warning being displayed to anyone trying to visit the site which started the investigation.

 

An encrypted javascript injection (simply malware/virus) was found in Batoto's skin code, namely Deluxe. This is highly concerning since the admins are the only ones supposed to be the only one who should be able to access that. I cleaned out the infection, but later decided to nuke the entire skin as there may be more lingering pieces. Deluxe skin has been deleted and will not be restored. In place, our old skin, Sylo is back to default and Blood is still there as an option.

 

At this time, I am unable to be certain of the scope of the damage or the point of vulnerability. I am going to further investigate as to since when this virus was present later.

 

I'm not sure what the injected javascript does, because whenever I tried to access it, I either got an already suspended account it led to or a file not found page (404). But it is possible the not-found page is a disguise since it's possible to make the URL time gated and/or referrer gated to prevent accessing the same URL again later. At the same time, it's entirely possible the URL the virus tried to load really didn't exist and resulted in no action.

 

The virus itself seems to often hide itself, thus making detection difficult. On top of that, it seems very new (or recently altered) and does not exist in many anti-malware's database. That's why there were even notices by Google saying there's malware but found 0 pages with it. Almost no scanner I tried had detected it and almost gave up using scanners. It seems to have targeted IE users. I could not make the injected code appear using using firefox/chrome browser headers. It targeted users that came from a search engine. It was also invisible to standard googlebot.

 

During investigation, I also found out that the same kind of virus was previously present at another IPB site, completely independent of ours. And similarly, it is running version 3.4.6 (latest). So it seems most likely that this virus targets IPB sites and may be a zero-day exploit (an exploit that a patch does not exist for). I've sent little, but much info as I can to IPB as well in case it really is a zero-day attack vs IPB systems.

 

The biggest concern right now is that I still don't know exactly how the system was breached. If this really is an attack vs current version IPB system, I can't guarantee the virus won't return. If it was an exploit caused by the Deluxe skin, I have rid of it, but that's just a guess. I've been scouring the logs for last few hours... and besides the typical dozens attempts that failed (this is nothing specific to us, just life of sys admin), I really don't see anything special right now.

 

 

AS OF NOW

no unknown 3rd party items are being pulled during loading of Batoto pages. So google is no longer flagging us as suspicious.

 

If you see anything suspicious from this moment on, please report them immediately! If you don't have an account, you can email me: [email protected]

 

 

Security tips & Profiling

These kind of malware (javascript injected into sites) are typically are after putting their ads / redirecting you to somewhere else / installing virus on your computer. From the reports I've gotten, it doesn't seem like that's happening. But just as a tip... If this site, heck any site or anything, anywhere EVER tells you to install something, don't. Only time you want to install something is if you initiated it. If you went out to search and install that thing.

 

Also, if you'd like, Batoto is designed to be able to run without JS or flash. You can run this site with pure html & css only which has zero risk. But certain features will be inaccessible.

 

 

tl;dr

It looks like we're okay. But we might not be.

 

 

p.s. This incident is not related to the ads.




#1852998 Batoto will be closing permanently

Posted by Z3US_Ouroboros on 07 January 2018 - 09:03 PM

See you space cowboy... 2 years in this site, i really appreciate all your work take care and thank you for everything




#1350192 New Address/Server Coming to Batoto

Posted by Grumpy on 26 August 2014 - 04:17 AM

In a few days (depending on datacenter's delivery time), Batoto is going to be moving main web servers. No downtime for reading is expected, but downtime for uploading is expected. Shouldn't be too long, few hours at most. Retire the old hardware (though not that old) and get brand new ones and save money while at it. Seems like a win-win scenario. Briefly for the nerds, 3x servers with E5-1650v2s are ordered.

 

Along with physical move, I'm going to move the domain as well to: bato.to 

I actually wanted to move to that quite a while ago... a while ago enough that I probably wasted a bit of money in domain registration renewal by now... haha... I think it just looks more awesome, ya? Bery bery short. The old addresses will be forwarding, so, even if you don't update your bookmarks, you will still be safe.

 

Oh! Don't go to that address yet. It is not setup yet.

 

 

Current status:

2 of the servers have been deployed by the data center. They were supposed to be ready for 25th, but guess they're late on one. So, I'm still waiting for them on ready to move stuff. I will definitely move before Sept 1st (that's when old one goes kaplowy).




#1853063 Batoto will be closing permanently

Posted by Kortez on 07 January 2018 - 09:30 PM

I've been around since Sept. 2011 and this is the only site that I think is worth a crap to frequent. I've never seen any other site give a damn about the scanlators, the leechers, and artists equally and did it without being pure trash with virus laden ads everywhere. I think we're all going to be worse off without Batoto around. I can honestly say I've read so many manga, that I would never have given a chance normally, or even would have heard of. I'm truly grateful for you guys being around for as long as you have.

 

I hope you get an awesome rest man, you guys have earned it.




#1853005 Batoto will be closing permanently

Posted by kanapesh on 07 January 2018 - 09:07 PM

First and last post.

Godspeed.




#1796896 Emergency maintenance - 2017/06/09

Posted by Grumpy on 09 June 2017 - 04:52 AM

So I've been posting bits and pieces on the twitter and twitter is just so darn short...
 
Batoto runs on number of servers and there's one main server that's at the helm of all other servers. It controls what processing goes where, balances the load and handles certain key features including uploads.
 
I may be over personifying, but every computer/server has a personality. And you tend to see it more when you push it to the max. This main server has been finicky for quite some time. Sometimes it doesn't boot up right... Sometimes when it's pushed to extremes, it just starts being an ass. It's always made my maintenance longer than expected and a large reason to a huge chunk of downtime in percentage. 
 
Like the last tweet on May 17th (part1 part2) was about this server too. Whether it was intentional DDoS or a swarm of haywire bots (they happen surprisingly often... *cough* baidu *cough*), I didn't bother to investigate, but that ignited the jerkwad mode and the precipice of downtime. About 70%+ of my time sink and downtime was due to that. Historically, that wasn't even the worst event, but I don't intend to start another story time. Generally, after much effort, it goes back to being normal.
 
Today though... It just went poof. With no visible cause. Rather, it was it going poof that made me think it was having abnormal traffic as the outflow was off because it wasn't juggling the load properly.
 
It's still running. And throwing no errors. No error logs relating to hardware. Temperatures fine. etc. Everything says it's fine. But it's running at like 1/10th of the speed. And no matter how much I try to console it, doesn't seem to change.
 
So, I took the last resort and signed a new server entirely. Hooked everything up. And this is how performance has been restored now. (Would appreciate some donations. Actually not behind much since I'll be cancelling the previous later and I stick with monthly contracts.)
 
The main server is doing very little right now and adding even a tiny bit more would make it cry again.
 
The new server still needs to be handed over more of less demanding but still numerous tasks including handling of uploads (which is next in priority) (upload now complete). Once all of that is done, it will be the new main server. Do expect some minor down times as I still progress with this. But we should generally be online without super lag we've been seeing all day.
 
I'll keep y'all updated with any significant progress.




#1853009 Batoto will be closing permanently

Posted by NormanDFang on 07 January 2018 - 09:08 PM

It's sad...VERY SADDENING. I really enjoy this site for reading manga. I don't think I'll find any other site quite like this. :( :( :(

 

Truly the most predictable thing about life is its unpredictability.

 

I'll remain with this site up to the last possible minute. So thank you for holding out until now. Rest well, knowing that at the very least I really appreciate this site you managed for so long. :batoto_012: :batoto_019: