Thursday, July 31, 2008

Wikipedia I love you

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Hilariously incompetent

Jack's chief source of discomfort, then, was a feeling well known to soldiers of low rank, to doctor's patients and the people getting their hair cut; namely, that he was utterly in the power of an incompetent. -- Neal Stephenson, The Confusion
My ISP, Rogers, is Doing It Wrong again. This time they've broken DNS, the service that turns hostnames, like in to the numbers that your computer can use to actually contact the computer at that address. Now, if you enter a non-existent host name, instead of returning an error, the Rogers DNS servers return the address for one of their computers, and if you ask for a web page from that computer, it gives you a page of ads.

Now this sounds shady, but it's not actually bad, right? If you asked Rogers about it, they'd tell you that it's actually doing you a favor, that instead of a scary nasty error page in your browser, you get a friendly Rogers branded page of ads, and who's to say that one of those ads isn't for the thing you were looking for? And if Rogers makes a couple of dimes, what's the harm?

Well, I'll tell you
  • The internet is not the web! Most people, most of the time use the internet to browse web pages, but there's lots of other things on there. Email, IM, FTP, SSH and all kinds of other stuff, and this breaks all of them. If you mis-type an server name when you're setting up your email client, it will ask Rogers' servers for the address, Rogers will return the address for their ad servers, and you won't be able to get your email and your email software won't say "Sorry, you mis-typed the address" it will say "sorry, I can't find the email software on that server" and you'll be confused.
  • It breaks web browsers too. Now, my web browser is pretty smart. If I type in, say "reddit" it asks the DNS server for that address and if the server says "that doesn't exist" my web browser will try "". Now I'm lazy, and I've gotten used to that behavior, but since Rogers made this change, their DNS servers never say "that doesn't exist"
  • Everything else! This pollutes the internet with bad data. At a basic level, the internet runs on trust, and Rogers is breaking that trust, saying they own all the unclaimed land in the wild west of the web " oh yeah, we own that. That's us too"
Now, fortunately Rogers offers a way to "opt out" of this service, if you scan through the page there is a link you can click, unfortunately the way they've implemented this opt out is just another hilariously incompetent disaster.

First, the opt out only works in web browsers! So email software, IM, and all the other things that aren't web browsers are still broken!

Second, they way they've implemented the opt out is not to have their servers say "sorry, couldn't find that address" but rather to do what they were doing before, but instead of serving up a page of ads, it serves a page that looks like the page Internet Explorer gives you when it gets that error. Not only that, but the page has code that will ONLY work on Internet Explorer.

Not only does Rogers think that the internet is the web, they think everyone is using Internet Explorer on Windows.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

2 things

  1. How I know I'm old: I tweaked my back making popcorn
  2. How I know I'm a nerd: Set my laptop to do something hard but useless and used it as an improvised heating pad.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Appologies to Merlin Man

5 Rap Pseudonyms Taken From Things In My Kitchen

  1. Chocolate Noir
  2. Milk Fat
  3. Smoked Salt
  4. Magic Baking Powder
  5. Butter Chicken

Monday, July 14, 2008

Rock Band 2 Setlist released

Here it is

8. Beastie Boys “So Whatcha Want” 1990’s
9. Beck “E-Pro” 2000’s
11. Billy Idol “White Wedding Pt. I” 1980’s
52. Red Hot Chili Peppers “Give it Away” 1990’s
69. The Go-Go’s “We Got the Beat” 1980’s
71. The Guess Who “American Woman” 1970’s
73. The Offspring “Come Out & Play (Keep ‘em Separated)” 1990’s

21. Elvis Costello “Pump It Up” 1970’s
42. Modest Mouse “Float On” 2000’s
60. Squeeze “Cool for Cats” 1970’s
63. Survivor “Eye of the Tiger” 1980’s
65. Talking Heads “Psycho Killer” 1970’s