Domain seizure just got even more scary.

I remember, once upon a time, when it was said by many that the Internet transcended mere political boundries. A user in the United States could chat with another user in France, read breaking news in Japan, and swap code with hackers in Iceland. Those were the times when it cost beaucoup to register your own domain; Network Solutions was the only game in town and you paid through the sinuses to own smartcards.com or energy-efficient-lanters.org. That began to change around 1999 or 2000 and now anybody with a couple of bucks to spare can register a domain …

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Potential side effects of SOPA.

Note: Updated January 4 2012 in response to a comment by Jamie Zawinski, proprietor of the DNA Lounge.

I haven't been writing about SOPA (the Stop Online Piracy Act) or PIPA (the PROTECT IP Act) because, frankly, I've been too busy trying to fight them. To keep abreast of them following the #SOPA hashtag on Twitter is really the best way to go about it because things are changing so rapidly. Between the people watching the live stream of the markup hearings and people who are actually attending the hearings and livetweeting (I'm looking at you, @EFFlive) things are changing …

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Google announces free public DNS servers.

It could be said that DNS is one of the services which underpins the Internet by translating hostnames (like drwho.virtadpt.net) into the IP addresses which are actually used under the hood (such as 66.93.100.253). Unless you remember the IP addresses of the sites you usually visit or you have them hardcoded on your system, if your local DNS isn't available there isn't a whole lot that you can do online. Scattered around the Net are publically available DNSes that you can configure your machine to use in the event that something goes wrong with your …

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No time to write proper posts lately.

It says something, I think, when someone spends most every day of the past week going to bed at 2100 local time and sleeping clear through until 0600. Plus a nap after coming home from work. An essay I've been working on has been at a low simmer for a few days now until I've got enough neurons online to turn it into a coherent whole. I've got pictures to post that I haven't gotten around to yet.

Come to think of it, I've got two more disposable cameras that I haven't gotten developed yet.

Oh, and the inauguration yesterday …

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Another weekend in the nation's capital.

Aside from a few bouts of tenderness in the new dental work on Saturday, the pain and infection in that one particular molar are gone. Praise be to the gods of dental medicine. I go in on Friday morning to get fitted for the mounting post and temporary crown. Whether or not I'll be able to afford them is a different matter entirely. Time will tell, as it always does.

On Saturday, Lyssa and I meet up my mother and Judy, who happened to be in DC taking a bus tour of the nation's capital. Even though they were staying …

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A new Windows worm crawls the net.

A couple of days ago, Microsoft released a security bulletin regarding a vulnerability in the DNS server component of Windows Server 2000 and 2003. In it, a remote attacker can cause the DNS server system service to spawn a shell that one can then connect to and execute commands because there is a bug in the RPC (Remote Procedure Call) interface. Ordinarily, Windows is designed to be operated from the GUI that we all know and love, but if you open a command shell, there's an excellent suite of command line utilities that can perform the same operations, usually much …

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DNS greylisting to lessen the amount of incoming spam.

Greylisting is a technique for slowing down the oncoming torrent of spam on the Net today by breaking spamware that isn't compliant with the SMTP RFCs. It consists of a simple alteration to your DNS zonefiles that places an IP address that doesn't have anything listening on port 25/TCP in the position of your primary MX, and the addresses of your real MX's in positions of lower priority in you DNS zone. Spamware that isn't compliant looks at your DNS records for the IP address of the primary MX, tries to contact it, fails, and gives up, or at …

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Random knowledge IX.

When all else fails, try doing what you know shouldn't work. I don't care if the docs say it doesn't work, if the FAQ says it doesn't work, if the books say it doesn't work.. try it anyway. Stuff like BIND is like that.

In trying to get a domain working with BIND, what I wound up doing was changing a record for a single host (www IN A xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx) to the FQDN (fully qualified domain name - www.promiseofiris.org. IN A xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx), incrementing the zone's serial number, and then kickstarting the daemon. Lo …

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