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Hotlinking Enabled Again

I have decided to revise the hotlinking policy of EAS due to popular request. Direct linking to images on the EAS server is now generally possible. But my position on hotlinking hasn't changed.

Around 2005 my server logs told me that an increasing number of "visitors" loading images from the site didn't even view a single page. I wouldn't mind if EAS images were posted on a message board with a comment like "Here are some images found at Ex Astris Scientia". But many of the hotlinks showed the images inline, without any credit, as a forum avatar, in forum posts without any relevance to the topic, in galleries or as pure decoration on personal websites. In other words, people passed the images as their own, or at least as hosted on their own server, and let me pay for it as if EAS were an image server.

Since at that time the hotlinking cost me around $10 every month, I had to act. I implemented the hotlink ban through a mod_rewrite rule set in the .htaccess file. It effectively replaced any image requested from any other server than EAS with the notorious "blocked.gif" image. It is technically not possible to distinguish whether the image was displayed inline (inappropriate in most cases) or whether it was a text link (usually tolerable). And so I was always aware that I also punished those who used my images with good intent, such as to illustrate something in an ongoing discussion.

I can understand that it's annoying to post something that produces a "blocked.gif" image. But the criticism directed at me was and is unfair. Hotlinking can be considered bandwidth theft, or at least bad style. Anyone posting in a community should be aware of that, instead of badmouthing the people who create, compile and host those images. This is like tourists who are caught stealing the towels from their rooms, and take revenge by giving the hotel a bad rating.

A few things have changed in more recent years. Conventional forums have lost importance. Social media are considered much more important, at least as the quantity and visibility of posts is concerned. Social media such as Facebook also demonstrate that hotlinking can be avoided by simply creating a copy of each image that a post directly links to. Unfortunately conventional forums have learned nothing in this regard the past ten years, although with a single line of code in the BBS software a credit for the originating server could be inserted under each inline image.

I'll have to wait what the server logs tell me. It is possible for me to reinstate the hotlinking ban for single referrers that misuse hotlinking, which will grow to a blacklist. I think that the server can handle the increased traffic, and that I can handle it financially. But not everyone can. The other day a fellow webmaster who produces great artwork and used to show it in his blog told me he had to take it down because of excessive hotlinking. I was close to discarding my plans to allow hotlinking again but I decided that I should give it a try.

The bottom line is that I'm still against hotlinking. But I'm tired of the frequent whining about EAS on message boards and of the bad reputation that I seem to have gained. I am also tired of bullshit suggestions that I should find a new image server and should post ads to be able to pay for it. Just in case it's not yet clear enough: EAS is a totally free website, you can visit the site and download as many images as you want - as long as you do visit the site and don't misuse it as an image server. I will never charge anything for it, I will never post any ads, I will never allow it to be sponsored in any fashion, I will never ask for donations. For me it is a question of honor. I expect and I am sure I deserve respect from the people who use my work. You can criticize me for old-fashioned web design or for not liking the Abrams films. But never criticize me for not paying your hosting bills!

Bernd Schneider


Recent EAS Updates
  • 16 Nov 2015
    Two more game reviews by Andrew Friden, of Starfleet Command and Star Trek Pinball.
  • 14 Nov 2015
    Here are four new ship designs in the Journal of Applied Treknology.
  • 08 Nov 2015
    Here is a new story: Encircled by Travis Anderson. Feeling a noose tightening around them, the Maquis cell on Ronara Prime struggles with Federation and Cardassian threats all around. Including a potential strategic development that would change the balance of power in the Alpha Quadrant.
  • 02 Nov 2015
    I have also set up a page for news about the new TV series, which (like all static EAS pages) allows commenting.
  • 02 Nov 2015
    CBS Television has just announced that a new Star Trek TV series will be launched in January 2017. Where do you expect the new series will be set?
  • 26 Oct 2015
    Here are two new game reviews by Andrew Friden, of Star Trek ConQuest Online and Star Trek: Hidden Evil.
  • 18 Oct 2015
    Vulcans are frequently said to be incapable of lying, although it is clear that Spock as well as other Vulcans occasionally lied. A new article by Joe Richardson investigates the myth: Vulcan Lies and Errors.
  • 12 Oct 2015
    Just a quick note that I have amended the hotlinking policy. Direct linking to images on the EAS server is now generally allowed, unless excessive misuse should force me to restrict it again.
  • 11 Oct 2015
    Here are two new starship interiors by BobyE: Abramsverse Enterprise transporter room and NX-01 cargo bay.
  • 07 Oct 2015
    The EAE Award goes to Star Trek: The Animated Voyages by Jon Markiewitz, presenting his wonderful TAS-style webcomics.
Latest Comments on EAS Articles
  • 21 Nov 2015

    In regards to the advanced tech, I seem to remember mentions that a lot of the DY-100 was developed from tech salvaged or studied from Quark's ship in "Little Green Men". If the DY-100 in the 1990s was a classified ship, then if it was "stolen", it likely wouldn't be acknowledged, but people, years or even decades later find the plans for it, and develop "modernized" versions of them.

  • 18 Nov 2015

    I think the Jem'Hadar not developing spikes until late childhood makes perfect sense. Could you imagine giving birth to that thing? Ouch.

  • 16 Nov 2015

    One explanation that could help explain Odo, Bashir, and O'Brian's reactions could be that the events that led to the loss of forehead ridges was classified by Starfleet. Don't forget, Section 31 was heavily involved in those events, it makes sense why they would want the knowledge suppressed. Add to that, the fact that they were also dealing with Augments, and it all adds up to why the knowledge was suppressed. Regarding why they didn't recognize the Klingons on site, well, it isn't unprecedented for events from the 2160's to be misreported in the historical record in later years, i.e. Trip Tucker's "death". As for photographic evidence, how much would have been produced by civilians. If it all was produced by Starfleet, than it isn't impossible that the official records were altered, either by Starfleet Intelligence, or even by Section 31 to hide the truth. At that point, the only ones who could say differently were the people who personally met or ran into Klingons back then, and if the majority were Starfleet, well...

  • 09 Nov 2015

    Sure, why not? To emulate Archer's ship would bring prestige and nostalgia to any new design - all design borrows from the past (hence the IRL similarities).

  • 05 Nov 2015


  • 04 Nov 2015

    Here's a list of "forgotten technologies":

  • 04 Nov 2015

    I, personally, would love to see something set after Voyager. However, I can't imagine they went through the trouble of moving to the Abramsverse only to move back with a TV series.

  • 03 Nov 2015

    Seems like a ship that might be useful for a small team for roleplaying games.

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