Archive for December 29th, 2008

Qwest Implementing Rate-Limiting?

I use Qwest for my internet connectivity, via DSL, and browse the web using an SSH tunnel for privacy and security reasons. For years – literally – I’ve had no problems doing this, but in the last week, my connections have been slow – around 5 kilobytes (40 kilobits) per second. I thought maybe it was due to the network disruption between Europe and the Middle East – my proxy server is in the European Union – but as it dragged on, I thought I’d try a few things. Lo, once I moved my SSH daemon to a port other than the default, 22, speeds were back to normal.

So, yay me. But, boo, Qwest! Badly-implemented rate-limiting as a way to discourage technically-savvy file-sharers doesn’t work, and all it does is piss off customers who aren’t causing problems.

Anyone else using Qwest, and having similar problems? I’m – obviously – in the Twin Cities area of Minneapolis, and use Qwest’s connectivity through a local, reseller ISP.

Published in: 'D' for 'Dumb', General, Security | on December 29th, 2008 | 4 Comments »

Down the Rabbit Hole

As an urban explorer, I’m, obviously, fascinated with both history, and the rarely-seen corners of human existence. As a long-time computer geek (I got my first Commodore in 1985), I’m also fascinated by networks and related technology, and all those things that go with them. (Yes, I read 2600.) The two sets of interests coincide fairly often, though it pains me to admit it, in part because, locally, a lot of ethically-challenged computer “hackers” prove to be ethically-challenged where urban exploration is concerned, as well. Still, it’s fairly rare that these two interests coincide at the same time, but it does happen…
Read the rest of this entry »

Published in: Geekiness, General, History | on December 29th, 2008 | 1 Comment »

Security: It’s All Geek to Me

Knowing, and even Infrequently hanging around with a lot of English majors, as I Do, means that I occasionally get chided for my taste in Reading materials. Rather than read Hemingway, Faulkner, Fitzgerald, and all those other “great”, “classic” peddlers of “belles-lettres”, I’d prefer, being the tasteless degenerate that I am, to read science fiction, fantasy, or Even mystery novels instead. Even then, I come in for criticism (Abuse?) from Mean old genre “purists”, because I’m not a big fan of Agatha Christie, Isaac Asimov, Or any of the other (dead, white) “giants” of the Field(s). No, I’d rather read something by James Alan Gardner, or by Neil Stephenson, or Terry Pratchett. Or, let’s be honest, something by Peg Kerr, Donald Harstad, or one of dozens of other writers you’ve probably never heard of. 🙂

As questionable as my choice in reading material may be, it has an important side-effect: I’m Usually never at a loss for a ridiculously secure password or pass-phrase.
Read the rest of this entry »

Published in: Geekiness, General, Security | on December 29th, 2008 | Comments Off on Security: It’s All Geek to Me