Certificate issues with Tootsbook

Since about 5am (Eastern time) some users are experiencing intermittent connection issues with Tootsbook. We’re looking into it, but it seems there may be a problem with the SSL Certificate used to ensure browsing privacy.

Visiting Tootsbook at http://tootsbook.com/ (instead of https:) seems to work, but it’s possible others can tell what pages you’re reading. This may be only a small invasion of privacy, but it’s a risk you should be aware of, not only for Tootsville, but on the Web in general.

Update (13:30):

Brief outages seem to have appeared around the following times, but things seem to be all right now. (Times US/Eastern)

04:57‐05:19; 06:47‐07:15; 12:27‐12:54

Update (13:40):

The 12:27‐12:54 outage might actually have been caused, at least partially, by our troubleshooting efforts.


What is TLS (SSL)?

Transport Layer Security (TLS) keeps the “conversation” between your web browser and a web server private. You can tell you’re using TLS (formerly called SSL) because a URI (web address) will begin with “https:” and your browser should show a “lock” or similar indication beside that address.

It’s most important for very private information, like credit card numbers or passwords, but it’s generally a good idea to encrypt everything you send over the web. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has a tool to help ensure that you use TLS wherever possible, called Https Everywhere.

You can check your browser’s TLS with https://www.howsmyssl.com/ instantly.


What went wrong?

Honestly, we’re not really sure, but “something” caused a “glitch” in the certificate that Tootsbook.com uses to establish a TLS connection. We’ll be monitoring it as always to see if it reoccurs.

Violet Volts Incorporation News

Here’s the brief news on the latest from the conversion of Violet Volts from an informal association/club into a “proper” nonprofit corporation:

  • The effective date of the change will be around the New Year, probably within the first week or two of 2018.
  • Our current Benevolent Dictator is paying the initial costs.
    • We’ll need to have a certain amount of fundraising on an ongoing basis, although sales of merchandise will continue to be one source.
    • There’s another idea being discussed that may wait for the first Cadre meeting in January to be decided, or may be put out for an opinion poll.
  • The new corporation name has been chosen, but we’re keeping it a secret for now. ☺ It’s not going to be “Violet Volts,” any more, though.
  • Tootsville and everything related to it will be managed by the new organization (corporation).
  • The official management body will be the Cadre, like a board of directors.
    • One of the four general offices in the Cadre (for now; possibly more in future) will be elected by the players each year, starting in 2020. Until then, all of the Cadre members will be appointees. Nominations are open for these Cadre appointments. The duties of the Cadre are being laid out.
    • Our current Benevolent Dictator will continue as the Operations Manager and Chief Engineer for the time being.
  • We’re writing up the Charter (Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws), designing a logo for the company, and preparing some of the other things that we need (PO Box, bank account, stuff like that).
  • Cadre Nominations will remain open until Friday, 8 December, 2017, unless all seats are filled before then.

Details on duties of Cadre

After opening nominations for the “Cadre,” or managing board, for the upcoming Violet Volts foundation’s initial organization, here are some details about the duties of a member of the Cadre.

  • When the organization is officially registered and organized as a legal entity, Cadre members will be members of the Board of Directors or equivalent.
  • Periodically, the Cadre must “assemble” a quorum of members to perform the usual governance work, eg, filing State or Federal paperwork, etc.
  • Any work performed directly or indirectly (eg, contracted out) by Violet Volts, any changes to the rules of Tootsville, any products or fundraising approved, can be reviewed, approved or denied by Cadre votes.
  • Our current Benevolent Dictator will be stepping down to be a member of the Cadre.
  • The estimated work will amount to perhaps an hour a month in email communication and a one to two hour conference online quarterly.
  • Initial Cadre members will be publically vetted via Tootsbook and appointed. The first Cadre will ratify the organizational paperwork and bylaws, including establishing limitations upon the powers of the Cadre and how to elect their successors, under the advice of our legal counsel.
  • As Tootsville grows and hopefully Violet Volts is able to expand our outreach, the duties of the Cadre could become more complicated, but one can step down if the work becomes onerous.
  • This is, for the time being, an unpaid position.

Our current Benevolent Dictator is expecting to learn more about the legal aspects from counsel on Monday, 6 November, but it’s expected that the foundation won’t be filed legally until the New Year’s timeframe.

Foundation Nominations

Violet Volts, the volunteer organization developing Tootsville.org, is preparing to be legally organized into a foundation or non-profit organization. The exact structure has not yet been decided, but we are opening nominations for members of the presiding board, or “cadre.” If you, or someone you know, may be interested and qualified, send your nomination to nominate@star-hope.org.

Continue reading “Foundation Nominations”