Our IRC Server benefactor Phatal has today announced that he can no longer fund our IRC Chat project. I haven't decided what we're going to do regarding this change, and there aren't many options on the table right this second; but I'm open to suggestions.
I've contacted the shell provider with the offer of free advertising in exchange for their services (our lowest outward hit count to an affiliate this month was 300 hits) but where declined (and not respectively at that)...
I've decided that we're just going to migrate over to another network; through searching on searchirc.com I've made my choice of FreeNode.
Our choices where:
EfNet - Pro: Large network. Con: No chanserv functionality, easy channel takeovers, etc.
UnderNet - Pro: Largest IRC Network online. Con: Very stringent policies.
FreeNode - Pro: Large userbase, chanserv and nickserv, coding oriented. Con: ???
When the time comes that the shells are no longer operational I will be setting the cname on our irc hosts (irc.undergroundnews.com, irc.undergroundnews.net) to irc.freenode.net which will seem transparent to users irc clients.
Likely, you won't even notice a change, other than a minimmal downtime waiting for the dns prorogation.
If you own a channel, and would like me to set it up for you on the new server, please send me a PM or contact me on the IRC Server. I've moved over our #undergroundnews and #backoftheweb channels so far but am unsure as to what else is used by users currently.