Archive for the ‘ Tech ’ Category

New IP Addresses may crush the earth.

There are  232 = 4,294,967,296 (4.3 billion) IP addresses available in the current IPv4 addressing scheme. The new 128 bit IPv6 scheme offers 2128 = 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456. Thats 340 trillion trillion trillion addresses. An impressive number visually, almost unimaginable. Imagine this, if one IPv6 address weighed one 1g then all of them would weigh the equivalent of 56 billion Earths.

I’m going on record and saying that this is going to be enough, forever.

Business FIOS at the office.

Tomorrow I start making the necessary changes in our network infrastructure to move us from a 1.1Mb DSL line to our newly installed FIOS service. It’s going to be nice to go from 1.1Mb to 25/25Mb. I’m particularly looking forward to the ability to do legitimate remote/off-site backups. Right now all backups are held in the same physical location (address). There are multiple copies on multiple machines but now to be able to add an off-site location will ensure a more complete solution.

I have been using FIOS at home for a couple of years now and it has been very reliable and ultra fast. We will be using a Soekris net5501 for the router/firewall at the office. Saturating that 25Mb line requires a pretty robust router. I had to move from a 4501 at home to a 5501 at home for for that reason, the 4501 just couldn’t keep up on large sustained downloads.

Besides the backups the speed increase is really going to make a difference in our mail services. We use Google Apps for our mail back-end (superior spam filtering) and everyones clients are set for IMAP access to the Google servers. Multiple users all doing IMAP to a remote server can be tedious. Now it should be insignificant.

I’ll be back with a follow-up in the future and report the results.

pdftk (The pdf toolkit)

In order to comply with the Google mail-server attachment size limitation, I went looking for the best way to reduce the size of a pdf and found THIS. I’m sure it is not the best option and it is certainly not elegant but it works. Not that this is a great example but it does remind me of why I love using Linux. Among many other reasons it’s just so easy to get things done.




I’ve never felt comfortable about the so-called cloud and the concept of it being the new home to all of my data. For anyone who questions authority or has any interest in privacy the cloud is extremely questionable but when it comes to data security and stability it is even more so. I can’t see any scenario at this time that is better than having physical possession and total control over your own data.

I think Cringely states a great case HERE.

Antikythera Device

More on the Antikythera Device from Wikipedia

600 Year old Prague astronomical clock.

In celebration of the 600th anniversary of this clock the city put on a show at the site. The video below shows what they did with projectors to design the commemoration. It’s really cool.

I think I like this legislation.

I’m not usually one for more laws. I generally feel that the less laws the better. On the topic of the audible volume of television commercials; It would be ideal if people just stopped watching channels that participated in the practice of jacking the volume on commercials, but that has not happened.

The U.S. Senate has done someting about it by passing S.2847 that states:

To regulate the volume of audio on commercials.

It seems the intent is to limit commercial volume to the same volume of the interrupted program. I hope this one makes it all the way.

Let’s just do what China does.

This article is maddening in so many ways, mostly because of the lack of common sense, but you just gotta love this comment by Senator Lieberman.

Right now China, the government, can disconnect parts of its Internet in case of war and we need to have that here too.

Paul Joseph Watson goes on to properly point out:

As we have documented, the Chinese government does not disconnect parts of the Internet because of genuine security concerns, it habitually does so only to oppress and silence victims of government abuse and atrocities, and to strangle dissent against the state, a practice many fear is the ultimate intention of cybersecurity in the United States.

He’s right. Perhaps this rings a bell… Western China: The Internet is restored, but repression continues

Encryption is looking more relevant.

I have posted about our privacy rights before so this wont be protracted. But this NYT article by Charlie Savage really got me going. The thing that most frustrates me is that these reports of and these threats of the loss of our privacies are so material to our disregard for our rights.

On a technical note, the article speaks to law enforcements desire to have access at certain points along certain provider based services. This is an area where those providers may and in many cases likely will continue to bow to government pressure and relinquish that access to police powers. However we, as the users, the people, have our own tools we can use to maintain our privacy. If by chance you feel you have nothing to hide, fine. Exercise you rights anyway, lest you forfeit them by neglect.

Package management.

No, this is not a post about undergarments, it is about the underpinnings of one remarkable Linux distribution. Debian is remarkable for a number of reasons but all are second to it’s policy regarding software packaging. Debian’s package management stands alone in the Linux world. Many people will argue that fact, they will be wrong. You may have heard the “apt” vs. “yum” type of debate, those are irrelevant. What matters is not the installation tool set but the quality of the package being installed. This is where the “Debian Policy” comes in and trounces the alternatives. Martin Krafft in his book The Debian System: Concepts and Techniques does a wonderful job of highlighting the virtues of the policy. I highly recommend the reading of the book (the second edition seems imminent) and a skimming of the policy itself.

If you’re more interested in undergarments you can look here or here.