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This has been tested here with etch i386 on two machines, and with sid amd64 on one machine. None of the Debian boxes will load this site: http://www.nohrsc.nws.gov/ Two Kubuntu edgy systems accessing the internet through the same router can load it. It isn't Java-related or browser-related. Other than that, I have no ideas. The webserver in question is running Linux and Apache, BTW.
Further testing might help narrow it down, so please try it and report in with your results.
Wild speculation is also encouraged, but I'm pretty sure this isn't caused by aliens.
Tried here on sid amd-64: Iceweasel, Konqueror and Epiphany
On etch i386, on two machines: Konqueror and Firefox
None work. All the same result; "...contacted, waiting for reply" type messages, then they just sit and spin until they time out. Kubuntu machines work with Konqueror and Firefox.
Things which are not the cause:
Browser. Browsers that do not work here on Debian work here on Kubuntu.
Debian. Works elsewhere.
Network. All machines here, both working and nonworking, are on the same network with the same internet access.
I'm not sure if this is effective, but I tried it on one of the Kubuntu boxes that work with the site.
First, with konqueror freshly started:
lsof | grep konqueror > list.not
Then after pointing it at the website:
lsof | grep konqueror > list.nohrsc
diff list.not list.nohrsc
The only thing that comes up with is files under /tmp/...
Assuming that this is effective, it means that konqueror is not loading any additional libraries or anything else in order to handle that site.
Just tries to connect forever using Konqueror, Iceweasel, Opera 9.10, Mozilla Firefox 2.0, dillo and even on links2, w3m, elinks and lynx.
So maybe they are having server issues.
The thing is, they are not having server issues. If you hit it with something that works, it's fast and fine. I even got a response(!) to an email sent to the webmaster, who said they were having no issues. Your symptoms are identical to mine.
So now that we have another nonworking debian box, we can try to figure out where the working ones differ from the nonworking ones, and what the nonworking ones have in common. I think it is safe to say that it is something other than the browser.
OK- Here's a question for everyone following this thread.
When was the last time you upgraded?
All three of my affected machines were dist-upgraded within the last two weeks.
Two are etch i386, the other one is sid amd64.
Nothing in my iptables is blocking the site , same goes for hosts file, tried with my router connected and even with a direct connection to my cable modem. Still nothing, it just sits there and spins never loading no matter what browser I attempt to use.
The only browser that actually times out is hv3:
502 Read from server failed: Timeout (65539)
The following error occurred while trying to access http://www.nohrsc.nws.gov/:
The others just sit there trying to connect.
I've tried every available browser on my Slackware 11.0, even upgraded Firefox from 188.8.131.52 to 184.108.40.206. To no avail. On the same physical PC, in VMWare, Kubuntu 6.10 with Firefox 2.0 just does it nicely.