It seems that PlusNet has moved a few hundred high bandiwdth users over to a new pipe because they were using too much bandwidth. It seems a lot of the users of low cost DSL and cable services are told that there is a usage cap, but this is not automatic - they simply get a warning if they go over the limit. In the case of PlusNet, it seems the users that they have moved are now reporting that their service has degraded.
Maybe when an ISP introduces a usage limit on certain product offerings, it should allow for automatic suspension of the offending user rather than sending warnings. You do get what you pay for and if you are only paying a small amount you can't expect the world. Do instead expect service outages, bandwidth limits and no sight of any SLA.
I have a 2 megabit business ADSL pipe from Demon who I have been with for nearly four years. Since I pay more, I don't have limitations on usage and don't really experience any problems. I'd rather pay more for a better service.
If you pay hardly anything for a service, think about why. Don't expect things that are designed for accounts that cost more, which includes no bandiwdth restrictions and better service. Some people might not be aware of a limit, but once they are told about it they should either change to a better suited package or cut their bandwidth use.
I think PlusNet took things a little too far and did not need to take the approach that they have, but at least they are portraying that if you want a half decent service you're going to have to pay for it like most other people do. Costs of Internet connections are coming down with the flood of providers on the market but always remember that cheaper isn't usually better.
I've not checked what the amount monthly bandwidth usage is on my link, I could probably find out from Demon but I'll be able to monitor it myself via MRTG and other graphing applications via SNMP when I configure it all.
I'm on nights again this week. It seems to come round a lot quicker lately, but that is due to the fact that now I'm on a three week rotation. It gives me even more reason to be trying to find a more suitable role, with regards to location and the working hours. I would not mind so much if I was not spending as much time on travel, but it is really annoying me now as so much of my time is being wasted that could be used doing productive things. It'll soon be sorted out hopefully so in the mean time, I'll just have to continue to deal with it.
I would say some of the time, but when it comes down to weekend trips that involve going out, my plans usually change so most of the time it is not worth planning anything in advance. Well, accomodation and such should be arranged but anything else is always open to change. Last night at Fabric was great, but instead of leaving earlier and going to get some sleep before getting up to get out of the hotel at 11am, I stayed out and never got back to the hotel until 8am.
I was planning on having a few hours sleep, but the next thing I know it was 2pm and we were woken up by the hotel calling our room. We had to pay an extra 30 pounds for getting out of the room late, which is something I have not experienced by a hotel before, normally it is free.
Also because I was in need of more sleep and not feeling too good, combined with the fact it was now 3pm, I decided it was not worth heading to Max Power as it would have been too late by the time I got over there. A good weekend was had, but I was a bit annoyed I never made it to the show but it was my own fault. I'm back home now and heading to bed. So there you have a quick summary of things, but of course a lot was left out because I never know who might read this, for one thing!
Last night was great, today I'll be spending time checking out shops and going for drinks and food around the Docklands. I'll probably head to Leicester Square later tonight before heading to Fabric and meeting up with some others that are heading to London today. This weekend is all about relaxing and having fun. Mind you, that is what most of my weekends are about, but since the hotel does offer free Internet access on a number of compauters as well as the wireless, I thought I'd make a quick post.
Well after arriving at the hotel earlier and chilling out, I'm about to go out. It was a bit of a mad rush getting down here as I never got up until late. It's going to be a good weekend though. I'll probably do some shopping tomorrow and then get ready for tomorrow night. The hotel has wireless Internet access but since I don't have a laptop with me it is not much use. I'll be glad when I do get one, but that will have to wait a while.
The area is really nice and new, if you have not seen it or been before make sure you check it out if you can. My hotel is just a fw minutes walk from Canary Wharf which is the tallest building in the UK. A lot of businesses and offices are located in the area. There are some new apartments being built but prices start around £300,000 which is not anything out of the ordinary considering they are in London and right in the heart of the business area.
I've booked the hotel now. I'll be staying at the Britannia International Hotel. Since I have left it so late, I could not find one in a more central location for both nights. I'll be a little way out down by Canary Wharf, it's a nice hotel with all the usual things you would expect to find. It's got a swimming pool, sauna, wireless Internet access and lots of other things.
It looks nice, but I'll have to wait and see what it turns out to be like. It is a four star though so should be fine. I would have spent this weeking still catching up on things but again because I was working to an altered sleep pattern most of the day is gone and I've not got time now, so things will have to wait until Sunday and next week.
I'm taking off Thursday and Friday this week and having a little break before I head to London on Friday for a couple of nights out down there as well as attending the Max Power London show. I've not yet sorted out a hotel but will be doing that soon. On Friday night, I'll be going to Brixton Academy and on Saturday I'll be off to Fabric.
It's going to be a good weekend!
There is discussion at the moment of some aggregator services and actual sites with RSS feeds putting advertising in the feeds. Personally I don't think it is a good idea, but people have different views. I think most readers that read news a lot use an aggregator service or application. I don't currently use one but have chcked a few out such as Bloglines and a few application based programs for doing the job. It does make the job of reading different news sources a lot easier and less time consuming so I'm going to get round to adding a load of feeds to Bloglines and see how it goes. Of course doing things via the web based method instead of via an application has the sama benefits as with web based email in that you can access it virtually any time you like and from almost any location.
Keeping the RSS feeds free from advertising on your feed from you site is easy, but there is no way to control what a third party aggregator does to it. In the future I'm sure more services will add in their own advertising and I think in the most part this will stop users using a service that does this. Sites that add advertising directly the the source of the RSS feed would also loose visitors and they might switch back to viewing the site via the web which would probably also have adverts on it but they would be easier to block.
People should really be given the choice. A google example would be to have two feeds, one with advertising and one without. You might think that is a bit pointless but one feed could have advertising and other things which a user might want, the other could simply be a pure RSS feed with no additions, service such as FeedBurner allows you to add verious things. I've taken a look and I'll probably try it out for a few of the things it offers and add that in as another feed.
Giving people a choice is the main thing.
There are a number of 400GB SATA hard disks appearing on the market at the moment. I've read some reviews on a few models, from Seagate and Hitachi. The cost of the Hitachi Desktar 7K400 is a lot cheaper than the Seagate and the tests done in most cases point in the direction of the Hitachi, if you're looking for better performance.
I'm thinking about getting one and putting it in my FreeBSD system and using it as a file storage unit, if I get a few disks I can setup software RAID too. I've read a few reviews of the Hitachi 7K400 and the Seagate Barracuda 7200.8 and of course a comparison of drives is usually done from the testing of the drives. The Hitachi comes out on top mostly and for the price, you also make a decent saving compared to the Seagate offering.
I think I'll be getting one or two of the 7K400 drives shortly, unless of course by that time another model is out or another brand releases a better product at a better price. One thing is for sure, it will not be too long before we are able to buy 1TB hard disks.
I've recently ordered a copy of Halo 2 for the Xbox. You have probably heard about a lot of people being banned from Xbox Live recently as along with Halo 2, Microsoft decided to release an Xbox Live update at the same time. Reported information is floating around about why people are being banned, it seems it is mainly due to people that have changed the hard disk in their Xbox. I've got a chip in mine to allow me to exploit the potential of the Xbox but I've not been banned, at least not yet anyway.
I've had the Xbox Live update and it still allows me to connect and play. I can see the reasons for MS doing this, but you have to have an original copy of a game to play on Xbox Live so it'll not have any affect on people copying games when playing on live as all copies should be original anyway.
I think MS are looking at it from the other angle to stop try and persuade people not to get their Xboxes fitted with a chip in the first place, in that scenario it would lower the amount of pirate copies of games being used. They also suggest it will low the level of cheating taking place. I've not found that anyone is cheating because they have a modified Xbox but of course this may be the case with some games, I'll have to investigate to find out.
I've also ordered a few other games, including DOOM 3 & Farcry for the PC. I'm probably going to get a number of other Xbox live games quite soon, as I've only got a few games for the Xbox at the moment and since I prefer online game playing, I need to get some.
Microsoft has recently released the latest version of MSN, version 7 beta build 0425 to the beta testers. Of course, it has been released to the world the second it was released to beta testers as someone always leaks a copy, you can download it here.
I've just installed it after using MSN 6.2 for ages on Windows machines and some of the changes are really good. The new look, extra features including being able to use the mouse to allow you to draw and write things are all pretty good.
You can also send flash based winks to people and also nudge them, which makes the chat window shake. That could get annoying, but it could come in handy as a noficiation method that you want someone as well if the sound is off.
There are a lot of visual changes as well, it looks better. The only problem is when I upgrade, usually Messenger Plus does not work any more which means I loose all the custom names I set for people and only see email addresses instead. Check out this thread for the latest beta of Messenger Plus v3.40.110 which works with MSN v7.0.
Messenger Plus adds a lot of functions which are really handy to MSN, some of which you will never live without after trying them out. Other things, such as changing the colour of your name on MSN, just allow you to make things a bit different and personal. Messenger Plus is really worth checking out, I've been using it since the early days of its development and like MSN Messenger has come along way.
You'll probably have to update when downloading v7.0 as there are new updates being relased quite often which you have to accept to continue using it. Anyway, if you use MSN on Windows at all, get the updates as they are worth it.
I've just noticed something strange when I did a whois on google.com. I tried from another location as well, which gave the same results that you can see below.
# whois google.com
Whois Server Version 1.3
Domain names in the .com and .net domains can now be registered
with many different competing registrars. Go to http://www.internic.net
for detailed information.
To single out one record, look it up with "xxx", where xxx is one of the
of the records displayed above. If the records are the same, look them up
with "=xxx" to receive a full display for each record.
>>> Last update of whois database: Thu, 18 Nov 2004 07:14:39 EST <<<
NOTICE: The expiration date displayed in this record is the date the
registrar's sponsorship of the domain name registration in the registry is
currently set to expire. This date does not necessarily reflect the expiration
date of the domain name registrant's agreement with the sponsoring
registrar. Users may consult the sponsoring registrar's Whois database to
view the registrar's reported date of expiration for this registration.
database through the use of electronic processes that are high-volume and
automated except as reasonably necessary to register domain names or
modify existing registrations; the Data in VeriSign Global Registry
Services' ("VeriSign") Whois database is provided by VeriSign for
information purposes only, and to assist persons in obtaining information
about or related to a domain name registration record. VeriSign does not
guarantee its accuracy. By submitting a Whois query, you agree to abide
for lawful purposes and that under no circumstances will you use this Data
to: (1) allow, enable, or otherwise support the transmission of mass
unsolicited, commercial advertising or solicitations via e-mail, telephone,
or facsimile; or (2) enable high volume, automated, electronic processes
that apply to VeriSign (or its computer systems). The compilation,
repackaging, dissemination or other use of this Data is expressly
prohibited without the prior written consent of VeriSign. You agree not to
use electronic processes that are automated and high-volume to access or
query the Whois database except as reasonably necessary to register
domain names or modify existing registrations. VeriSign reserves the right
to restrict your access to the Whois database in its sole discretion to ensure
operational stability. VeriSign may restrict or terminate your access to the
reserves the right to modify these terms at any time.
The Registry database contains ONLY .COM, .NET, .EDU domains and
Now, why would the whois data for GOOGLE.COM show what it does?
I'm just about to send an email to inform Google about it and see what they say. If that does not get a response or even if it does but it does not get sorted out then there is always the Internic Whois Data Reporting System. I'll post an update when I hear something back about it.
I've received a reply back from Google thanking me for reporting this and that they have forwarded my email to their legal team. We'll have to see what happens when they investigate it, I'll ask if they can keep me updated.
NASA has recently announced that it's X-43A Scramjet has broken a speed record. The figures are pretty amazing. It was flying at nearly Mach 9.8 which works out to about 7,000 miles per hour as it was 110,000 over the Pacific ocean.
Imagine flying toa nother country at that speed? Maybe it will be the next generation Concorde? Of course that is a long way off. The flight of course was not manned and after departing from the carrying B-52 at 40,000ft is then increased speed and height for around 620 miles before falling to the depths of the sea.
It's a record breaking achievement and lets hope the data gathered can be used in many ways in the future to continue development of this craft and others.
Check out the Hyper-X project site.
The recent changes made by ICANN have been reported by some people as not required and pointless, check out the changes. A lot of domains are possibly open to bogus transfer requests now. Most domains are locked usually but if not most people are turning on the transfer locking feature. One change will allow for a transfer request to take place even when the owner of the domain has not accepted it, which does not make sense since an owner should have the right not to reply to a non-requested transfer and it be totally ignored without any intervention as was the case before now.
However, it is being reported that these changes have only been made due to some registras not making it easy enough for customers to transfer domains away, instead trying to keep them as customers so these changes have been made to allow changes of registra to take place more easily.
Is also interesting to point out that this is for the transfer of domains from one registra to another, not changing the owner. That is a seperate issue and so the domain won't change hands, who bills you will. Of course if any of the name server information changes then the domain will not work, but as long as this is kept the same you would not notice a difference to a domain without looking at the whois record or noticing that the domain is no longer listed on the account you have with a certain registra.
The issue of increased hijacking taking place does not appear to be something that will happen due to these changes, but a lot of sites are reporting this is the case. These changes are not going to allow the domains to change hands without any action from the current domain owner, so there seem to be a lot of worried people for no reason.
Another issue that people seem to be seeing is some requests for their domains being submitted to report that their domain has a problem with the stored whois record data. When a report such as this has been submitted, some registras request a reply from the domain owner in a short period of time else will delete or suspend a domain. Other registras charge a fee for checking these reports out which may have not been made by the domain owner but of course causing charges to be invoiced to the domain owner. There are a lot of comments on the Slashdot post regarding this so check it out for further information.
Gmail have introduced POP3 & SMTP access for Gmail users, which was announced last week. I've only just noticed that my account has been enabled for POP3/SMTP access, it's being done in sections of users at a time but mine may have been done days earlier as soon as it was announced but I've not been checking to see if mine had been enabled.
I'm yet to check it out, but will do soon. It'll allow people to access their mail and also send mail using their usual email aplpication as well as the web browser. With forced use of SSL/TLS, you'll be keeping your connection secure, so not only will the authentication of your account be secure but also the transmission of any data, when accessing Gmail via the website only the authentication part is done via SSL so there is increased security, but emails generally travel between server to server with no encryption so until all mail servers also send mail between each other with SSL for example, the protection a secure connection can provide is limited your email could have already been viewed in transit.
At the moment, you don't see any Adwords advertsing in your email when accessing it via POP3 and none is added to any mail when sending via the Gmail SMTP server, although this may change. At the moment the folders in your Gmail account are not populated to your mail application and you only seem to get the mail that is in your Gmail inbox, not any that has been archived.
I'm sure this functionality will be added at some point as having access to all of your mail is obviously better than just access to mail in the inbox of your account.
Also the fact that POP3 and mail forwarding will be free is good as I got the impression that there may have been some charges for these options. Things are coming along well and Gmail is proving to be a great tool for managing email. I've still got a few issues with it though, such as filtering email that has filters already straight to the Spam folder. I've informed Gmail about this but as yet it is still happening. Personal rules should be applied before hitting the anti-spam filters and systems that Gmail uses. I just noticed an email from Orkut even got filtered as Spam.
I've moved all my email over to Gmail really, because having access to all my email makes it a lot easier. When I was using an email application that was only available on one computer, it meant I'd only have access to mail for a certain amount of the day and if the disk failed the mail data would be lost unless backed up. Using Gmail, the backup is taken care of and you can still use a mail application when you want to. If you have a laptop, then you can use the application more often as obviously you can carry it around wth you.
At the moment I have a lot of accounts forwarding to my Gmail account, a few I still use locally on the individual systems. I backup the data on the servers using Veritas NetBackup but I'll eventually forward all of my accounts to Gmail and then use a mail client on my new laptop when I get it and then via webmail the rest of the time when I don't have it wth me.
Gmail is making good progress!
At the moment I'm in the process of moving some of the company related things that have been setup, to be part of the limited company status. It seems it would have been better getting the company incorporated first and then setting up the bank account and such. The way it has been done, it means more trouble moving everything over to being limited.
Everything is nearly sorted though, that is the main thing.
I've given Vodafone a call to find out what is happening and it seems that I'll probably have to wait a little be more time for their complaints department to get in touch. I've also spoken to Nokia, who stated it is an issue caused by the provider since they don't supply the handsets with any blocks in place when they sell them to the providers so the blocks have been put in place by Vodafone.
I'm going to wait a while longer for a reply backfrom Vodafone complaints department and if I don't hear anything back I'll chase it again. I was informed by the customer services person I was speaking to that the complaints department don't speak to customer services so the chance of a customer speaking to them is even less. They just leave notes on accounts for people to pick up.
What a mission this is turning out to be.
I emailed Screen Select as I had over 50 selections in my account and nothing had been allocated to me, even after four days! They said it was a technical error, I've just checked and I now have some titles awaiting dispatch which is good.
I was thinking that the service was not very good, which was a strange thing to encounter since I had read a lot of good reviews. It looks like the problem with my account was a strange one, I think it might have been something to do with the fact I signed up as an affiliate as well using the same email address, when I logged in I was always directed to the affiliate page instead of my account page. It does not do that now, so I'll have to check the affiliate aspect is alright.
They also extended my free trial, so all is good so far but we'll have to see how the service shapes up over the next few weeks.
I'm heading off to London shortly to see Danny Tenaglia spin some records in London tonight. I've not seen him for a while, he has not played in the UK for a few years so on this rare chance I'd be mad to miss it. It'll be going on all night with Danny playing an 8 hour set.
With four rooms of different sounds it's going to be a great night!
First, I've got the train trip down there and then to a few bars before heading to the club. Since it was my birthday last week this is the big celebration, see you there maybe!
Well, I've had no reply from Vodafone yet, after the letter I sent you would think that they would at least contact me. I'm going to have to give them a call shortly and see what is going on. If the issues are not resolved then I'm just going to leave and move to another network that can sort out something as simple as what I am requesting, which in case you did not know is to remove some bars on my number / phone which stop me getting any service when out of the UK.
I thought I spotted a mistake on the National Express site relating to one of the coach routes. I was tired at work as it was 3am and I thought it read that it stopped at the airport but looking later on it seems I obviously just got the idea in my head because I hoped that it did stop there.
So, combined with my desire to sleep and my hopes that it did stop off at the airport clouded what really was on the site. I found the correct information after looking again later. I was going to call them to report the mistake, it's a good job I checked again before doing so. I managed to get dropped off where I wanted to go by the driver, which saved me a lot of time.
You might have heard recently about a problem that was discovered after an update to the systems that power the Cahoot online banking site. I am a Cahoot customer myself and was wondering why I could not access the site, it appeared that there was some work being done but during the middle of the day which was a bit strange as any work would normally be done during the night.
It then came to light that the site was down due to some essential changes being made after a problem was discovered that allowed anyone with a Cahoot account to gain access to the account of another customer without a password, but you would need to know details about another account to gain access and it would be read only as performing any tasks would still require the account password.
Normally banks are not quick to admit to these kinds of problems and shy away from the questions even if like in this Case it is all over the news. Cahoot appears to be taking another angle by putting the message out about what happened, although no real details were provided. Generally speaking I think that is the right way to deal with it especially when the media coverage would almost certainly have spread the word quite a lot.
Maybe more banks shouldm learn some lessons and change their ways as hiding away from the truth when these things happen does not really help the situation but admitting there were problems would do. You can't solve a problem until it accepted that one exists.
The spam is coming through a lot more with the current delays in the updates to the master blacklist. I'm going to upgrade MT & MT-BL soon which will help with the issue but in the mean time it would help if there is an alternative list to use. Although people can check my blacklist file I think I'm going to start logging any addtions to my blacklist in another file for other people to add. There are probably other people doing this already, which will help with things until the master list is updated.
There are loads of places that you can rent a DVD from these days, some just online based. I've looked at a few in the UK and one of the best appears to be Screen Select. Of course there are that many free trials about you could probably go for about a year without actually paying just by creating accounts and enjoying free trials. I'll gather some together and post them up. I watch a lot of films and Screen Select appears to have the biggest selection to choose from with 25,000 titles as well as:
* No due dates
* No late fees
* First class postage
* Freepost returns
* Rent unlimited DVDs
* No commitments
* No cancellation fees
If you continue and become a paying member after the free trial, which currently lasts 14 days it costs £14.99 a month, which is pretty good. Other sites allow more rentals at once but even so, if you are limited to 3 at a time because of the quick service you'll easily be able to get 100 films per month if you watched and returned titles quickly but most people would probably not watch that many in that time.
I'm going to try out the free trial and then check out some other ones too, probably. But when it comes to paying, I'll probably go with Screen Select due to the large collection & no charges for late returns and such.
Renting online via the post can be a lot easier as you can search for what you want easily, amongst other things. With Screen Select you choose titles and then select a priority for them and then will be then sent to you when a copy is available so if you keep the number of selections on your account high, you'll constantly have new films being delivered!
When looking for new things to buy it is of course a good idea to shop around. I've found such variation in prices for certain things available from various suppliers in the UK. Prices are usually cheaper in the USA than the UK but then there is the shipping costs and such to add on top, I'll just wait until I am over there next and pick up a load of things then.
Sometimes it is too much trouble looking around though, but when online it is a lot easier than if the price comparison was being done via visiting stores. There is also the phone, so calling would be an option. I've purchased a few things recently and have got some more things that I want to get so I'll be looking about for the best prices which is something that most people would do, it would be silly not to. I'll probably start posting some of this information on good deals, as I'm sure it may be of use to people.
The feeling where you should have done something, but did something else instead? The opposite of what you did do, would have been the better move to make but at the time you were not aware. It happens a lot. Thinking ahead is always good but in some cases it is not possible to do or is possible but your thoughts might not be based on evidence, but rather guess work.
Making imformed decisions is better of course, but then there is human judgement which is something that is very variable in accuracy. More on this and other things later, as it's time for bed - an earlier night for a change!
It is that time again. It's my birthday! It seems a bit longer since the last one, more than usual. It reminds me that the year is nearly over again and summer here is long gone but it never really came this year. How old (young) am I now?
I'm 23, the main birthday event is going to be a three or four day event in London next weekend. It's a joint celebration for a few of us who are getting a year older in November, can't wait!
Present wise, I usually prefer the money but when getting older the presents don't come as thick and fast as they used to. Maybe it is time to start a revolution to get buying presents for every birthday no matter what the age, back on the map!
When opening tickets with some companies, I've found that if it is a sales related request, they keep asking for updates from you, asking if you are going to buy a product or upgrade a service and such.
If it is a technical ticket or support request, it takes a lot longer to get a reply from the company providing the service, not always but sometimes. Some companies are better some are worse. The only way to get around this is to ensure that you are covered by a decent SLA plan. Of course this usually costs a lot more but as they say you do get what you pay for and for the majority when you do pay, things do get delivered most of the time to within agreed service levels.
It is just funny that when you're not covered by an SLA the techincal things take longer to get sorted, but the sales people are always on your back for updates to any enquiries you have made. It does make business sense for the sales people to work like that, but still.
OpenNTPD 3.6 has been released, so for those of you that use NTP for keeping the time updated on your systems, if you have not checked it out then give it a try. I don't use NTP at all but for some applications that are distributed, having the correct & same time on all systems is required which is where OpenNTPD comes in.
It allows you to run an NTP server or just run as a client, receiving updates from another NTP server and is a free implementation developed by some of the OpenBSD team.
I've sorted out the problem I was having with MT-BL. As I thought it was due to some spam, for some reasons MT-BL did not like it and was throwing up the errors. I'm not sure why, but it's obviously a bug. Since most people are now running 2.0 and I have not found anyone else having the problem, it seems like it was an isolated case.
I'll be upgrading MT soon along with MT-BL so with regards to the spam fighting, things should improve even more.