Ignorant statement – SOPA & DMCA

A lot of it has to do with music rights DCMA, ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, etc.

I made a comment to the author’s statement and below is what I get as a response. I simply (implied) asked what’s their stance on SOPA.

One thing has absolutely nothing to do with the other.

This has to be the most ignorant thing I heard today.

They both deal with “copyright” materials in general. They may be ‘somewhat’ direct/indirect related to different industries but in one shape, figure, form or the other… both are trying to achieve same goal – protect what’s rightful to the respectful owner.

I did not comment further because rest of his/her responses are simply pretty ignorant and defensive. Whatever I wish to voice will not be accepted by him/her anyway. I’ve dealt with these type of people before. These type of people, most, never really achieve anything great in life due to their narrow mind. Well, best wishes to him/her.

My ignorance allowed spam backlink harbor

If you followed this blog religiously (heck! who doesn’t! :) ), you know that I kind of stopped updating this ‘technical’ blog. I started SysAdminTalk.Net and pretty much all new technical post goes there.

Well, I set aside an URL with a snapshot of the forum as a dev site – to test updates and plugins. Somehow this URL was found and was been used to harbor thousands and thousands of backlinks. I immediately put a stop to it. I don’t recall how many members and how many posts were registered in database. But it was MASSIVE!

The dev site looks extremely broken to begin with. But I guess those SEO service provider don’t care… the TLD is good enough for them?

I have it redirect to YTMND – The Amazing Yodeling Riker… music to the ears! I hope they all liked that!

Bad business practice – Lie & Cover-up

Few months ago I rented a dedicated server from a colo host for VPS hosting. Chatted with the CEO online and everything seems great. Ordered the server and prepaid quarterly.

About a week (or two; I don’t really remember) later one of my VPS customers started spamming. (When was the last time that any VPS host NEVER gotten a Spammer?!?! NEVER!) This colo host attempted to contact me within the first hour. Since I work in an area that has literally no cellphone reception, I missed the (two) calls. About 30-40mins into it, this host nullrouted the switch port my server was plugged in. When I got a chance to check my email, I got slapped with an upward ~$220 fee (don’t remember the exact amount and it’s not really worth my time trying to dig it up) for Abuse and SPAM violation.

Well, this is a first. I’ve dealt with about four different dedicated server host providers aside this one and NEVER EVER anyone else did what this host did. It’s always I’m given fair warning and at least twenty-four hours grace period. Prior to this, from the chat that I got the vibe this host is ok with Spam as long as it’s taken care of in a reasonable amount of time. Apparently this is not what happened. Honestly… I don’t think 40mins is a ‘reasonable’ amount of time to respond.

Eventually, the deal didn’t work out at the end for both of us. I canceled the service with this dedicated server provider and lost a considerable amount of money.

I went back shopping for a new host. Found a host that was doing an auction bid. I won the bid to a fairly good priced server. I started chatting with the CEO of the new company. Had the previous engagement and what happened. I specifically asked this CEO about their exact Spam procedures. The answer I got was to my satisfaction, and I paid for the server.

About more than a month into it, one day I was chatting with this CEO about some network stuff. He told me that one of other dedicated server provider had warned him early on and told him I was a Spammer. Wow…. just “wow”. You should’ve seen my face. I was speechless. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out who told him that. I laughed at this fact and told this CEO “Well, you see for yourself. You make better judgement yourself.”

I’ve been with this new dedicated server provider onto third month now. Ordered a second server just few days ago. Both parties, him and I, are happy. Business continues on. Not hard at all.

 

Over the weekend, I received an email about a “Security Breach Concern” from the previous colo provider. Their billing system based upon WHMCS was cracked.

First, I just like to say that security breach is just bad for any business online these days. I wish that no one gets cracked/hacked. It’s horrid. Cause business money and time. I still do not know why people likes to crack systems for fun (or any other reasons).

Today, on a forum, I read a thread opened by this host. It’s about a general maintenance and they went into a total network lock-down. There is nowhere in there to be told they were cracked. However, in the previous email sent there were more specific details.

First, I’d like to point out couple a things:

  • WHMCS released two security patches on 15OCT2011 and 1DEC2011.
  • This host claimed the “1DEC2011″ security patch email was received afterwards.

This is a lie. I received my notice from WHMCS on 1DEC2011 6:45PM CST. This host’s WHMCS was breached on 2DEC2011 late night – according to them. The previous October security email was received on 16DEC2011 3:50PM CST. Do I smell something here? Yes, this host lied and failed to patch their system properly on-time. Having the guts to tell your existing clientele that you received the security email afterwards is really dishonest. Unless their DNS/MX+SMTP configuration is really messed up beyond recognition. I don’t think even Greylisting can delay email for that long. At the most, couple hours due to TTL and retries.

I don’t understand why they can’t be forthcoming and honest about the security breach online, on forum. I recall last time one of the biggest VPS providers in the world was cracked. They flat out told the world they were cracked/hacked. (I’ll dig up the thread later.) The owner was honest, and his honesty was understood by everyone on the forum. Now he works as a head of one of the department in VPS.Net.

I operate my business on the plate of honesty. Every single time we had an outage of any sort. All details are published in the Announcement section. What had happened. What we’ve done about it. And possibly any solutions/prevention going forward. I think we retained a lot of business due to this transparent honesty.

Personally I don’t agree on many fronts what this company did and how the owner handled things. Well, to each its own.

STAAR in Texas educational system

I do apologize that I am posting this on my blog site. As this is totally unrelated to any technical computer discussions whatsoever. But I think this is a serious issue that needs to be pointed out and to direct why the educational system in America is, IMHO, “broken”.

I have a relative out of country currently attending in a specialized high school specifically designed for kids with the need to learn the English language. As the end of the first six weeks grade period approaching soon, that some of his grades raised my concern. It was serious enough that made me pay a visit to his school this morning and to pursue answers to some of my questions.

I had the pleasure to speak to all his teachers and i am grateful for them to take the time out to meet me. Toward the end, I found out that the State of Texas had made a change starting this semester to roll out STAAR to replace TAKS. And this STAAR program introduced a new “end-of-course assessments”. This is where it stumped me. As this new “end-of-course assessment” tests seems to ignore the whole ESOL population. When I said ignored, it means that I’ve been given glimpse of this assessment test – previous test of course. It consists few questions and they were all worded in a manner that’s totally unacceptable for ESOL students. It did not give the consideration that ESOL students will have extremely hard time (if not impossible) comprehending the words. Teachers are FORCED to give ESOL students these test. So regular high school students AND ESOL students are subjected to this STAAR program.

It seems to me that whomever passed this did not even think twice that this is Texas. Where there are tons of Hispanic students, and to include many other nationalities from other countries as well. So, America is all about promoting immigrants and this is what we do to the children of immigrants. Basically ignore their specific needs and subject them to these type of educational system changes that doesn’t even have any beneficial statistic data to back up.

If the State of Texas is so concerned about how and why our kids have achieved lower grades throughout the years… this is definitely not one of the ways to do in hope to attempt fixing this. Introduce these type of changes also are harmful to the teachers. Do they even think about how teachers given these have to adapt to the new policies within their teaching? The whole notion introduces (more) unnecessary complexity to what is already a fallen system. The prime example to this would be the national debt crisis – “oh, we have a problem with the economy, let’s raise the debt ceiling, borrow more money from China, and hope the problem would go away and fix itself.” It won’t. It won’t work for the US debt situation, and of course it definitely won’t work with the Texas educational system.

I was sadden to find this out today and this is what we subject our future generations to. I believe we are not fixing the fundamental problems. The fundamental problems are 1) the parents 2) educational system regulations. The State of Texas should NOT introduce more changes but instead, look at areas where they can improve communication between the individual schools and the student’s parents (or legal guardians). A lot of those ESOL students came from a family of refugee or where parents work crazy hours where they don’t have time to attend PTA meetings. Well, let’s hire ‘better’ teachers – ones that actually cares. Call the parents. Pay the parents a visit. Let the parents know that school cares about your children and so should the parents. I think the huge problem right now is the communication bridge between the parents and school about the child’s well being isn’t there. And they need to attempt to break the ice and build this. I am whole heartily believe in a ‘good educations begins at home’, not at school. Parents needs to reach out to their children and let them know that they care about their education. And they needs to relay the proper message what education means for their future. Those that don’t, then it’s probably school’s job to identify those families and pay them a visit. This whole system doesn’t just turn on one gear. All gears has to work together in order to produce successful results. As far as education regulations goes… we don’t need any more of those. Regulation prohibits growth. It wastes time and energy. And I don’t even want to bring in the issue if this is a proper use of Texan’s tax money – if I have any say so, I do oppose this (STAAR). So now all teachers in Texas have to spend extra time and energy roll those changes into their curriculum. Why? Does it really promote any benefits to the ultimate receiving end, the students?!? Please show me any track records that do.

At the end of the day, we should start care about the students. Students now are the future of the world. We need to let them know we care. All these changes are difficult on students, not just the ESOL ones. STOP subject our future generations to these unnecessary and harmful things. Educating our kids doesn’t need to be this difficult. It’s not hard, it’s common sense. :)

New theme

I’ve been using Mystique for a long time. However, recent changes made by author split the theme into two versions – normal and lite.

First, I don’t know what the author(s) did with the fonts. But the title font looks all squashed together, which is ugly.

Second, it seems the configuration UI is harder to understand now. I can’t get it to look like the old way.

 

Read the rest of this entry »

Accelerating UnixTitan.Net!

I’ve decreased entire website load speed by a wide margin. Thanks to the benefits added from Varnish (Web Accelerator) and HAProxy (Load Balancer) combination.

Previously I was using nginx to reverse proxy. I was EXTREMELY surprised how much faster it got after replacing it with the new subsystem. Almost everything is in its default configuration. There’s some basic optimization I’ve done in Varnish but not much. I intend to spend time reading up on both. Wondering how much more faster it’ll give me with further and better optimization. :)

Facebook – Max concurrent connections, queries and transactions

If you dealt with MySQL at an intermediate or advanced level, you know about max_user_connections variable. Where it limits concurrent connections per account. However, I was surprised today to find out that MySQL (enterprise-level DB) doesn’t have a variable to limit the number of transactions per account – until after I read this Facebook Engineer post.

The patch adds the columns max_concurrent_queries and max_concurrent_transactions to the mysql.user table. The GRANT command also supports with max_concurrent_transactions X and with max_concurrent_queries X.

Though I probably never would have the need to use this variable. However, it is nice to know it’s there. I hope the patches Facebook implemented makes its way into the official MySQL stream.

Irrelevant user base benchmark

I don’t know what is the exact point of CloudFlare posting this. “Fastest Growing Startups”? Personally I see some fails here.

The business models of all compared – is different. All products caters different crowd. It’s like I can try sell mango to someone that’s allergic to mangos… I’ll never make that sale.

I guess they failed to realize the number of (Inter)netizens within the last 10 years. Simple point here.

How many of those companies CloudFlare directly/indirectly utilized as a medium to promote their services? Almost all. Also, fans that does non-paid, free advertising.

 

Not bashing CloudFlare here. I’ve used their service. It’s great. I read almost all their Facebook postings (as I read this one from). But this one really threw me off…..

DNS problems

I guess I left lingering *dead* load balancers in DNS. Causing some problems with not displaying the site.

It’s fixed now. :)

Why do you need a sales team

More and more I realize that having badass products without good sales (advertisement) would probably hinder your overall sales and growth.

Having decent advertisement and public exposure is good – it’ll pull in some sales. Perhaps if you products is good, the retention rate would be high. However, how about reaching your business goals? Do you have goals quarterly? biannually? annually? Do they list obtainable, realistic growth plan?

If you do, that’s good. What are the steps in order to get you there? A know-how, good sales team would get you there.

Recently I’m puzzled and concerned about overall growth. Basically there would be no new sale at all, what I called it “blank period”. I have realistic growth plan on paper. Now I am having a bit of difficult time getting there due to lack of sales.

The expectancy of reaching one server growth per month is getting harder and harder to achieve – and this is VERY realistic goal. I do not know what it is, maybe because of current economy people are cheap. Cheap enough they don’t care about quality and reliability of servers it seems. So when is the economy going to get better? Who knows! :)

Right now I’ve found some leads in other countries and hopefully this will enhance the overall growth soon. If this doesn’t happen, then I will have a pretty big issue on hand coming next month. :)