Idle Life Net Tech


Well, it’s been a long time (10 years) with Network Solutions but I’ve finally gotten off my lazy butt and moved my domains over to GoDaddy.  The primary reason was to get away from paying $35 a year per domain and bring it down to closer to ten bucks a year.  A little effort to save a little money.

There will be only one casualty in the transfer: the history.  There isn’t much documented in the Network Solutions registration but I always enjoyed being able to go look at the whois record for and find the registration date.  I guess I’ll have to turn to this blog entry to reminisce from now on. – Record created on 27-Jul-1995

Along with this date I might as well record the story behind the registration.

Before working at Microsoft I had a job at a small “start-up” (it wasn’t starting, so I use the term “start-up” loosely) named ResNova Software, Inc.  ResNova’s primary product was a BBS which, among other things, had functionality to aggregate Usenet newsgroups.  Back then there was far less garbage in the newsgroups but there was, strangely enough, a large number of posting from some “John Doe” fellow with the address  Being the curious sort I decided to investigate who owned… turns out no one did.  Being the mischievous sort I decided to register it (domain names were free back then… I’m also the cheap sort).  I used to periodically check the account and respond to the occasional “are you real?” or “test” e-mail messages (and they were occasional).  The account was also useful when I was a test lead on Outlook Express and Entourage for the Macintosh, lots of spam to throw at the product.  Sadly, I can no longer play celebrity as is overrun with e-mail.  Surprisingly the bulk of the mail is no longer spam, it’s bounce messages from all the test mail, junk mail and virus mail purporting to be from can receive around 250 bounce messages per minute (my previous ISP threatened to kick me off his servers because just the mail connection attempts to were melting his servers, there weren’t even any accounts set up).

Today is mainly a traffic generator for my blog.  People show up randomly looking for either the U.S. Department of Energy (which was but is now but still didn’t register, genius!) the Doe Fund ( and, at one time, the Canadian Department of Environment (which used to be but appears to be no longer, it’s moved on, it’s an ex-site…*).  Just for grins I let my online life flow into the real world, my Volvo station wagon has the custom plate “doe com” (if you came here because I cut you off on the freeway, I honestly apologize… it had nothing to do with you, I’m just impatient and meant no offense).

The info above covers just about everything, but it doesn’t answer the most frequently asked question: “Is for sale?”  The answer is, “yes”, of course, everything has its price.  Each time I’m asked I sit down and seriously consider selling the domain name.  I don’t, after all, have a mail server set up, I don’t use the domain name as the identity of my web site and even the traffic it generates is nothing but a cost to me.  Why not sell?  Turns out I’m very sentimental and really don’t want to sell it, but because everything has to have a price I’ve set the price at an $3 Million to cover legal fees, taxes and, of course, pain and suffering for the loss.  I figure that amount is suitably ridiculous to drive off almost all buyers and if someone does come along willing to pony up the ridiculous fee (heck, it’s a three-letter, easy to spell .com domain) I’ll take the money, give half to Uncle Sam, buy something really nice for my wife and put the rest in the bank for retirement.

Oh, I’ll spend a little on my car too, I need new tires for my Volvo… they don’t seem to last for some reason.  Must be something wrong with the car.

* Much love and many apologies to John Cleese

Note from Reeves to Reeves: Before moving the WhoIs showed “ – Record created on 10-May-2002”.  I know the domain is older than that but I’ll have to do some research to find out when I first registered it.

Net Weird

Monday media

A couple of e-mails slowed my progress on work this am…

A random vacation from reality sent by Ellie:

1) Go to
2) Go to “watch this movie”, click on “without subtitles”
3) Enjoy the Romanian beats

A fascinating bit of science fiction sent around by Aditya:

In the year 2014, The New York Times has gone offline…

Microsoft Net Security Weird

I couldn’t resist

New Tech News World article: Microsoft and Pfizer Team Up Against Viagra Spammers

C’mon, what happened to the good old days of clever headlines?  How about:

“Unwanted advances from Viagra spammers turn off Microsoft and Pfizer”
“Microsoft and Pfizer work to hold down Viagra Spammers”

I’m sure you can do better than that, give me your best headline, click the comment link.

Related story: EarthLink, Microsoft, Pfizer File Barrage of Spam Suits

Microsoft Music Net

More free music*

I love free music… well, I love free legal music.  I may have to wait a while for another Mercedes Benz mixed tape but starting tomorrow (2/8) MSN Music is starting its Grammy blitz by giving away one free song from each category.  A panel of music professionals is going to attempt to predict the winner in each category… then MSN Music will give away the song predicted to win.  So, not only is it free music, it’s good, free music.  You know it’s good, the professionals told you so.

Now, before you point out that I’m just being a corporate pawn to Microsoft let me say this… first: I am a total pawn, second: even if I weren’t a pawn I still like free music.  So there, I’m a sell-out… but I’m a cheap, stingy sell-out… that must be worth something.

There will be one free song per day, starting on February 8th.  Using my top-secret, internal Microsoft sources I’ve determined the order the songs will be released in is:

  1. Tuesday, Feb. 8: Best Male Pop Vocal Performance/Best Female Pop Vocal Performance
  2. Wednesday, Feb. 9: Best Rock Song
  3. Thursday, Feb. 10: Best Rap Song
  4. Friday, Feb. 11: Best R&B Song
  5. Saturday, Feb. 12: Best Country Song

So, there you are, in the greatest of corporate traditions a big company has told you what you’re going to like.

Movies Net Web

It’s about freakin’ time

The broadband world has been here for a while but getting good content over the net is still not a simple matter.  Where’s that on-demand, world-wide entertainment network we’ve been promised?

Well, for you fans of Indian movies there is now a site for you which allows you to download digital copies of movies.  Movies like Raincoat which your local movie store will never carry… or new releases like Dhoom which even aren’t yet available on Netflix.  Not only are the latest movies available but you can get them much faster than driving to your local video store and way faster than Blockbuster Online.

If movies with people randomly bursting in to song and dance are your cup of tea, then check out Masala Downloads (

If, on the other hand, Jean-Claude Van Damme is your cup of tea… simply switch on Spike TV… he’s sure to show up at some point.

Blog Net Web Weird

The shrinking web

The reason the World Wide Web is called the World Wide Web is because it’s filled with interconnected links, allowing you to move from site to site.  Do you ever do that?

When I first started using the web, yes, I did click around from site to site, it was kind of neat.  Now, when I want some information I go to a search engine (typically Google, but I’ve just installed the MSN toolbar, but I digress), type in a search and go directly to the info I want.  I do very little “browsing” when on the web.  Two reasons:

  1. Many sites actively seek to keep you on their site
  2. The web is getting really, really big… wandering is not as interesting as it used to be, there’s just too much random crap.

The thing that has brought back interest in web surfing for me is the concept of the blog sphere.  A blog sphere is a subset of a subset of the web; it’s the blogs (one subset) I read (another sub set).  This narrowing of scope has made it much easier to navigate the web in an ad hoc fashion as I am no longer presented with the overwhelming scope of the web… I’m presented with the web as seen by people I think are interesting (who find interesting links, produce interesting content or are, simply, interesting).

All day today I’ve been listening to a new, free album I downloaded from Mercedes Benz (yes, the auto manufacturer).  Seeing as you don’t expect go looking for music on a car manufacturer’s site and I don’t own a Mercedes (or a Chrysler for that matter) it’s unlikely I would have happened upon this site on my own.  I found it because Paul left a comment on my blog, and he entered the URL for his blog.  Reading his blog I found the info on the Benz free music download.

Viewed as a whole, the web is full of a bunch of random crap.  Viewed through the filter of the people with whom I share a connection it becomes a whole lot more interesting.

Net Photography Web

Tracking down the best photo sharing site

For a while now I’ve been wanting to get more of my pictures on line to share with friends and family.  Here are the sites I’ve dug up to date.  Any suggestions or comments?

My requirements:

  • A ton of space (unlimited would be nice, I have over 24 gigs of images)
  • Ability to have a custom domain (e.g.
  • Customizable look and feel
  • Per gallery security


Nice to have: per image comments.

Some photo hosting sites:


Some photo review sites (they tend to be geared to artists who want to get feedback, some only allow you to upload one image per day).  Not quite what I need.



Net Software Tech

Some geeky fun

I was chatting with Omar over lunch the other day and he was telling me about his latest wireless network setup and his frustration with trying to troubleshoot connection drops.  I feel his pain… my wireless network is a combination of one Microsoft base station (naturally) and two Linksys bases (two totally different models, of course).  I was unable to connect to the network when in my bedroom for about 6 months.  Everything worked everywhere else… but in the bedroom?  No.  Gah!  I think I solved the problem, but I’m not sure.  I’ll have to document that later after I’m sure I understand it (no use posting embarrassingly wrong advice… I know I’m an idiot, but why tell others? I’ll keep the illusion up as long as I can. 🙂 ).

So… where am I going with this rambling post with zero useful content thus far?  NetStumblerOmar commented that he wished he has a tool to tell him all the networks in his area and on what channel they communicated (yes, you can change the channel on your wireless base station for better connectivity).  There are probably a bunch of tools, the one I’ve found useful is NetStumbler

Netstumbler is a fun little app that can provide hours of entertainment for geeks.  This software will look for WiFi networks in range, document their SSID (essentially the network name), if they are encrypted, their channel, the signal to noise ratio and, if you have a GPS on your laptop, the coordinates.  It’s a very useful tool for working out network issues… or for finding open networks (war driving is apparently a popular hobby).  Check it out if you have some time to kill or feel like living out your hacker fantasies.

Oh, war driving… Do you remember War Games with Matthew Broderick?  If you don’t, rent it, it’s a fun movie.  In War Games Matthew’s character was trying to find a game company’s mainframe by having his computer methodically dial every single phone number in a given area code and logging the phone numbers connected to computers – he was war dialing.  War driving is the modern equivalent where people put a WiFi-equipped laptop in their car and drive around logging open wireless networks.  Using software like NetStumbler you are able to drive around then dump the results to a program like Microsoft MapPoint to graph out all the open networks in your area.  Why?  Geeky fun, mischief or whatever reason doesn’t really matter, it just reminds you that you shouldn’t assume that because your computer is in your house that your data is safe.  My advice: turn on some form of encryption (WEP for most), hide the SSID and enable MAC filtering.  If you don’t know how to do that, check your manual, it’s worth learning how.

Net Security Software

Google, say it ain’t so!

Update: obligitory slashdot link

Wow, who’d have thought this would happen? 

And before any conspiracies start… no, Microsoft didn’t do it. 😛

The problem is a new worm on the loose is causing a distributed attack on search engines in it’s quest for new e-mail addresses to which it can send itself (my English teacher just rolled over in her grave).

Okay class… repeat after me: “I will update my anti-virus software once a week if not more often.” story…

Google, other engines hit by worm variant
By Richard Shim and Michael Kanellos
Staff Writer, CNET

update Major Internet search engines were crippled Monday morning by a variant of the MyDoom worm, rendering Google inaccessible to many users and slowing results from Yahoo.

The attack also affected smaller engines, including Alta Vista, a Yahoo subsidiary, and Lycos.

A Lycos representative said the company is aware of the problem and is working to block the performance obstacles. A Google representative said the company was working to figure out what was happening.


Net Software

Interesting article on PC Myths

PCWorld has a good write up on PC myths… but read carefully as their ratings seem to contradict the text at times.  They rate the responding to Spam myth as a level 4 out of 5 on the bogus meter but then include this quote:

“Knowing who to opt out from is key,” says Schwartz. “Opting out of legitimate companies drops you off their lists, but when you do that with ‘real’ spammers, the results are unclear.”

So, what is it?  A myth?  If the results are unclear can you be sure?

A summary of the myths (go to the article for full details).

Busting the Biggest PC Myths
We expose the bad advice that wastes your time and money.

  1. Magnets zap your data.
  2. Using a cell phone on a plane interferes with the navigation and communications systems of the aircraft.
  3. If you don’t ‘stop’ a USB device before unplugging it from a PC, you’ll screw things up.
  4. Cookies track everything you do on the Internet.
  5. Windows’ Japanese edition uses haiku error messages.
  6. Terrible things happen if you turn off your PC without shutting down Windows.
  7. Opting out of spam gets you even more spam.
  8. Hackers can destroy data on your computer’s hard drive.
  9. Turning off your PC daily to save power shortens its life.
  10. The government reads everyone’s e-mail.
  11. Saddam Hussein bought PlayStation 2 consoles to use in Iraq’s weapons program.
  12. DOS is dead.
  13. Only a pricey surge protector can keep your devices safe.
  14. If you don’t periodically run your laptop batteries down to zero, you’ll lose battery life.
  15. If you don’t use an antistatic wrist strap while tinkering with a PC, you’ll ruin hardware.