Internet v2.0

My hunt for a nerd friendly ISP has paid off. I was somewhat surprised to find that quite a few Norwegian ISPs actually allow nerds to have small home servers installed on their private internet connection. A few other ISPs didn’t bother to answer my e-mail, for me that’s a good thing since I don’t have to consider them. After some consideration, I’m now leaving a large ISP who don’t like nerds in favor of a smaller one who does. That the guy who replied to my mail with questions about home servers had the quote “Sex, Drugs & Linux Rules — MaDsen Wikholm” in his e-mail signature and that says it all. They’ll even provide me with a static IP for free. Good stuff.

Small can be good, because they tend to care more about their customers, at least all up until the point where they get too many of them. I experienced just that with my first web host and they really started to suck monkey balls. According to people I know who are still with them, they have dug a support hole they can’t quite seem to crawl out of. If my new ISP does a good job, I’ll let you know and I’ll certainly let you know if they suck.

Not only am I changing ISP, I’m also changing technology. I’m moving from cable internet to ASDL2+. According to the ISP this could theoretically give me a massive 25Mbit/s downstream and up to 2Mbit/s upstream, but the problem with ADSL2+ is that the speeds are just that – theory. Everything depends on how far I’m located from the network equipment. It’s also interesting to note that according to Wikipedia, the theoretical maximum downstream is 24Mbit/s, while my new ISP is advertising 25Mbit/s. That said, I probably never would have seen that high speeds anyway, and I would never really need it, but it was a good offer.

I’m that easy to fool.

Norwegian Computer Nerd Friendly ISPs

After VBOX was finished, I realized that my ISP wasn’t very computer nerd friendly. They didn’t really allow their customers to set up hobby servers in their network and they blocked several standard ports.

I decided to try to find a Norwegian ISP that allows me to set up a small server without too much traffic and didn’t block the ports I needed. I’ve summarized what I found in the table below.

The information is available in both English English and Norway Norwegian for obvious reasons.

Day of Silence

Some of you probably hope that Monday the 25th of June, the Day of Silence, is the day that I will eventually shut the hell up. I’ve got to disappoint you. The Day of Silence is the day when all the US internet radio stations replace their ordinary programming with public service announcements to wake up their listeners.

In case you’re listening to internet radio and missed it, the RIAA is at it again and has requested that the Copyright Royalty Board increase the royalties paid by internet radio. From SaveInternetRadio.org:

At the request of the Recording Industry Association of America, the CRB ignored the fact that Internet radio royalties were already double what satellite radio pays, and multiplied the royalties even further. The 2005 royalty rate was 7/100 of a penny per song streamed; the 2010 rate will be 19/100 of a penny per song streamed. And for small webcasters that were able to calculate royalties as a percentage of revenue in 2005 – that option was quashed by the CRB, so small webcasters’ royalties will grow exponentially!

19/100 of a penny per song streamed might not sound like much money, but many internet radio station are non-profit and are, to put it bluntly, fucked. This goes for all my favorite stations; Soma FM, Digitally Imported and Radio Wazee. Since I’m not a US citizen, it’s not much I can do except join a mailing list. But if you’re a US citizen, you can make sure that I get my daily fix of excellent music even after July 15.

Act now. Thank you.

What Did the Stalker Do?

Every now and then an internet fad comes along. Take MySpace and YouTube. Both are extremely popular, but eventually, something more popular will take their places.

One such fad is Facebook. Facebook is “made up of many networks, each based around a workplace, region, high school or college”. Create a profile, become a member of different networks and groups, find your friends and become their Facebook-friends, too. Intriguing, but probably not of any practical value to the majority of the users. There will still be wars on spaceship Earth even if we all become Facebook members.

There is, however, a group of people to which Facebook can be extremely helpful. The stalkers.

After you’ve found all your old friends, who is it that you start looking for? Old dates, of course. What about that really hot date you once had that never returned your phone calls no matter how many singing telegrams you sent? Because of your profile’s default privacy settings, Facebook has the answers. By default, if you’re a member of the same network as the person you’re searching for, you can see everything he or she has written in the profile, watch every picture, see every non-private message, view every note – pretty much the perfect tool. The network Norway has 102,462 member when I’m writing this, so if you’re stalking a Norwegian, it’s very likely that the one you are looking for is the member of the Norway network. If you become a member of the same network, you’re good to go.

Let’s test how well this works with a real-life example. Before I met Gine I dated quite a few girls. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the last names of most of them, and that makes it somewhat hard to find them, but at least one I remember. A quick search reveals that she is on Facebook and that she is indeed a member of the Norway network. Even better, she has not touched the default privacy settings, making her entire profile visible to me.

From her profile I can see that she has not moved since we dated, at least she not moved out of the city she lived in. That’s good new for the stalker, because finding her won’t be an issue. From her mini-feed, which shows me what she has been doing on Facebook, I can see that she’s been fairly active, but that she’s not totally obsessed. She has a few friends, has written on the odd wall and is a member of a few groups, but nothing that interesting. One thing, however, is interesting for the stalker: She is listed as “in a relationship”. What the hell!? How can she do that when she is supposed to be with me?

The moral of the story is that it’s not a very good idea to keep the default privacy settings Facebook prevents you with. The world is full of crazy fucks and making the job easy for them is something you should try to avoid. Be a bit paranoid, and use a few minutes of your time to modify the privacy settings.

Good night.

Redditor

About a year ago I posted an uninteresting rant about why I preferred Slashdot to Digg. I frequented Slashdot because of the annoying users on Digg, mainly kids, who probably would have been better off with shutting the hell up. In spite of this, I’ve found myself visiting Digg more frequently than Slashdot lately because of the way stories are submitted to Digg: In contrast to Slashdot, there are no assigned editors who post stories on the front page, every reader on Digg can digg a story up or down and with enough diggs it will eventually end up on the front page. On Slashdot, it might take a day or two before interesting stories appear on the front page.

So what about an alternative site with breaking news, interesting stories and users with a higher collective intellect than that of a pack of donkeys? I think I’ve found it: Reddit.

Not quite as popular as Digg just yet, it looks like – based on the commentary on the stories on the front page – that the better part of the Slashdot crowd, or at least a Slashdotish crowd, have found their way to Reddit and that the kids have not been able to make a strong foothold.

Before you start to use Reddit, remember that it does not take responsibility for lost productivity!