iMechanica is inaccessible—actually, forbidden

Just a real-time posting that http://www.iMechanica.org has been inaccessible from Pune, India, from late morning today onwards. (Right now, it’s evening about 6 PM here in Pune.)

Note that the HTTP error code the site has been returning is 403 (forbidden), but not any other more “normal” ones such as 400 (bad request), 404 (not found) 408 (request timeout) or 500 (internal server error)! One wonders why…

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Update on February 19, 2008 evening: The iMechanica Web site has once again become visible from Pune, but there are no explanations or discussions about its blackout for days together on iMechanica itself…. Hmmm… That is enough to make you wonder where to put sites like iMechanica. I mean, there is this whole spectrum available today: blog(s) (like this), your own Web site, the much more formal arxiv.org, the exclusively online kind of e-journals, and finally, the traditional journals like Nature and Science… Earlier, I used to think that iMechanica was reliable enough for expressing your evolving thoughts too, without any of the usual fears of disclosing the nascent thoughts, because both the things: the immutability of the time-stamps, and the 24 X 7 availability of the service could be assumed. Now, this seems no longer the case… So, I think, at least for technical papers—their kernels—it would be better to prepare a complete version first, say, in the .PDF format, even if it’s only a rough draft, and only then post it, rather than evolve the thinking through a series of individual posts. Given the blackout, I think iMechanica is better relied on, through this .PDF mode….

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