Author: VaughnSoft

VaughnSoft Blog

May 1st and Confirmed Email Addresses

Starting May 1st Confirmed Chatters will be on by default in every channel. This can be turned off by the channel owner if they wish, but definitely not recommended.

Also if you broadcast you will need to ensure your email address on your account is confirmed, otherwise your stream will no longer work. If your email address is old or fake, you can change your email address under Settings. Please do not contact us to manually confirm your email address as we will not do it under these circumstances.

– Mark

Chugging right along

I know I’ve been rather quiet lately, so I’m checking in with a quick blog post. The last few months have seen many backend updates and upgrades to our live streaming platforms. I’ll outline a few things that have happened below:

  • Complete rewrite/update of the TCP socket engine for backend services. Far more stable and responsive.
  • Complete rewrite of the client side API (sApi) server software (provides realtime data such as viewer count, stream goes off air/goes live, etc to the client)
  • Complete rewrite of the archive management system.
  • Built a much better remote server management system (allows restarting specific services remotely, monitor bandwidth, uptime, etc of each server)
  • Accidentally fixed a memory leak in our video ingest software, one that has plagued us for many years and has been the cause of many video crashes.
  • As a result of fixing the above memory leak, it has uncovered several “new” issues that were masked by the memory leak for many years. Those are being addressed. All are stability related issues.
  • Rewrote the email confirmation system (formerly known as activation.)
  • Expanded the metadata logged for each incoming stream. This helps us troubleshoot stream issues more easily.
  • Expanded video ingest system to multiple bandwidth providers. We’ve been with Cogent for many years, now we’ve expanded to a more flexible blend of providers that has enabled a better experience over all.
  • Expanded our video edge system into Europe for better latency/distribution to those outside North America.
  • Over the last six months we’ve also ramped up the number of ingest points available for streamers, now totaling eleven points of presence. Streaming to the PoP (Point of Presence) that is physically closest to you allows for better stream stability for you and your viewers.

There are several other things to list, but it’s mostly tedious little things and day-to-day operation stuff. In a future blog post I’ll touch on what is currently being worked on, cover past issues as well as cover current known issues, and maybe a list of bug fixes.

– Mark

Difficult Decisions

As of today iNSTAGIB and Vapers.tv have been migrated to Vaughn Live. We are focusing our energy and resources on Vaughn Live and feel we can no longer justify the upkeep needed for the fragmented platforms.

We have added two new categories to Vaughn Live: Gaming and Vaping. Stream keys for iNSTAGIB and Vapers.tv now redirect to Vaughn Live but will stop working March 1, 2021. At that point you will need to use your Vaughn Live stream key in order to continue streaming.

iNSTAGIB: 2011 – 2021

Vapers.tv: 2013 – 2021

-Mark

P.S. – Don’t worry, Vaughn Live and Breakers.TV aren’t going anywhere. We’re very excited about the things we’re working on for those two platforms.

Removing Video Embeds

On January 1st, 2021 we will be removing and disabling all video embeds for all of our platforms. This is in part of an effort to focus attention and financial resources on traffic to our websites and upcoming apps. In the future we will likely re-introduce video embeds, but in a far more limited way where the streamer has control over them. No further details at this time.

Mark

ERROR: Could not validate browser

A security update was done earlier in the week to keep bots, scrapers, and malicious traffic from abusing the video system. Typically a browser extension is to blame for blocking the legitimate server requests for our validation check. Only 4% of users are affected by this.

The most common culprit appeared to be DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials browser extension, but other privacy extensions have been reported as causing the same issue.

Privacy is a serious issue, but a very alarming thing I have witnessed with those experiencing this error is they admit to installing numerous privacy extensions without even looking into whether or not they are legitimate and safe. Not only that but using multiple privacy extensions can cause serious issues within your browser, such as the above error. I call these extensions paranoia extensions because many don’t actually offer any protection at all, they’re just multiple layers of tinfoil taped to your browser.

This security update will not be undone, especially since the only ones experiencing problems are those with paranoia browser extensions installed. Try loading a stream in your browsers private/incognito window. If it loads in there then it’s obvious an extension (or extensions) is causing the browser validation error.

To check your browsers validation rating, rated 0.1 to 1.0, visit https://vaughn.live/debug. If no validation results show, then you may have third party cookies blocked.

Mark

Content Guidelines and Marijuana

Over the years we’ve been criticized for our essential banning of marijuana and anything marijuana related on our platforms. Today we are happy to announce that the marijuana ban on our platforms is no more! Why are we making this change? Marijuana has become more widely accepted and legal in many parts of the United States, and the overall attitude towards marijuana has become much more accepting.

So what exactly does this mean? It means you will not be asked to remove marijuana related content, you won’t be asked to take your marijuana off camera, and you won’t be asked to keep your pipes and devices out of sight.

That being said, you still have to keep the hard drugs (non marijuana) off our platforms. If you absolutely must do hard drugs, have the courtesy to lean off camera while doing hard drugs. And definitely do not promote them in any way.

 

Vaughn Live Wrong User Info

For a brief moment today users were shown the wrong user info due to a third party service enabling their proxy server solution without warning us first. Possible information that could have been shown to a different signed in user is email address and channel stream key, and chat authentication token (this is not the same as a password.) While it is unlikely that other users saw this wrong information due to the small window of time that it happened, you should update your stream key and email address to be on the safe side. To do that, go to https://vaughn.live/settings or use the following links:

https://vaughn.live/settings/change_email

https://vaughn.live/settings/reset_streamkey

Note: this issue only affected Vaughn Live, none of our other websites.

Experimenting with stream quality

We’ve begun experimenting with offering stream quality options on select streams. If you click the gear icon in the lower right of the video player, you’ll see a Quality option. For most streams this will show as Source, which is the stream the broadcaster is sending to our servers. For select streams, the Quality option will show Source and 360p. By default, select streams will load the 360p quality. If you want the best quality of the stream, you will need to switch it to Source.