Category Archives: Geeky

This will be the Geeky Blogs…

Becomming a Communications Provider because of the DEB

I am no longer a “Subscriber” to the internet. I am instead a “Communications Provider” but, what does this mean?

Well, it means I provide some form of Communications to other people at no cost to them and with no contract. In my case I offer Open Public Wifi access for free. It has users using it, and all woks well. I have also made my ISP aware that I am a Communications Provider (infact, it was their idea). There are a number of reasons to do this, the biggest is just to prove how stupid laws can be. The New DEB pretty much makes you guilty of downloading before you’ve even thought about doing it but only as a “Subscriber” (which I now am not). Now, I haven’t downloaded music or video’s, etc for many years. and neither have I bought any. The thought of going to the shop to buy a disk with music on when I’ve not heard any of it and don’t know if I will like it is ludicrous. 5 years ago I downloaded music, if I liked it I went and bought it, if I didn’t like it I quietly discarded it, I don’t really see anything wrong with this. would you go and buy a car without test driving it? would you buy a house without viewing it? no, you wouldn’t. Anyway, I don’t agree with a “guilty until proven innocent” and I dislike being declared “Guilty” on an assumption. I have a network with 10 PC’s why do you think it’s me that’s downloading? could be any of the other people. It is for this reason that I have moved to be a Communications Provider.

I don’t intend on doing any downloading, and maybe I’m making myself automatically guilty by putting myself down as a Communications Provider, but they’re going to have to really prove that *I* was doing the downloading. Given I host public access wifi, good luck with that one. What I’m actually doing is sticking up my middle finger at Labour, and showing them why the law doesn’t work, and why they shouldn’t rush these things through just because there’s an election going on. There’s more important things to worry about.

I think what annoys me the most about this whole thing is the Music Industry, By which I mean the record labels, think they’re losing money, well the artists I saw complaining about people downloading had such shite music I wouldn’t even use it to wipe the dogs arse with. The artists that appears to agree that downloading music could be OK if you could some how monitor it, or limit it, and that it was “The way of the future” are the ones that have good music. The pattern, ah, that’s right, if you write good music people will pay you anyway, if you’re shit people wont. I’m betting everyone that downloaded the music of the complaining artist probably quickly discarded it straight after.

Anyway, back to the point, there are ways around the DEB, and I’m only mentioning one of them here. I’m not the only one doing this, and some ISP’s are advising people do. keep in-mind that an ISP isn’t going to want to send you letters telling you they’re going to disconnect your internet, this would be complete corporate suicide. I advise anyone that can to put themselves down as a Communications Provider, and show the government what’s wrong with their system. Note you can be a Communications Provider even if you just offer the internet to anyone in your own house that is not the “subscriber”, you don’t have to open a network up for public access. But on the other hand, if you want to work with a new internet provider, I do recommend a really good one. You can visit their website here!

SIP Abuse from Amazon EC2

Ok, so I’ve been slacking again. Actually, I’ve been busy. Recently our VOIP server was receiving a SIP registration attack. the source IP was one from Amazons EC2 Network. having blocked them on the firewall at my end-point, the attack continued to try and send data to my system. I followed protocol, and sent an Abuse report to Amazon EC2. The abuse report contained a graph of the on-going data, seen here:


It also contained a cut-down of the logs, showing which IP from their network was attacking our system and an explanation of what was happening. This was also CC’d to my ISP, I don’t normally CC them in on abuse reports, as when sending them for SSH attacks there’s alot of them, however, this isn’t the first time it’s happened from the Amazon network, and the data usage was incredibly large. and persisted even after blocking on the firewall. Fortunately for me, My ISP (Andrews and Arnold) give me a lot of control over my lines, including routing tables specific to IP’s that I have allocated and in this instance it took un-routing the subnet from my lines before the traffic stopped (though, according to someone at my ISP, the attack continued for some hours after un-routing the subnet).

Anyway, I received a response from Amazon today, they quoted the IP Address of my server that the attack was going to and had this to say:

Thank you for submitting your abuse report. There was no single customer using the source IP address(es) during the time you provided. This may be due to the fact that we do not own the IP address(es), the time or time zone you provided was incorrect, or there were multiple customers with instances running during the time and IP address(es) you specified. You may try re-submitting your report with a different time if you wish.

What that reads to me is “I didn’t actually look that closely to the logs and ignored most of the information that told me the time-zone in which your network is using, I also don’t know how to read logs, and assumed the IP address was a different one from what you had quoted” I have responded, telling them of their mistake. I have told them again which time-zone the logs are in, and I have told them again which IP Address they should be looking at in the logs. Today, the entire Amazon EC2 network has blocked access to my VOIP Server. What this means is that if there is anyone using Amazon EC2 legitimately for a VOIP server, they can not directly call our numbers.  I doubt this actually happens very often anyway but the least I expect from a company like Amazon when sending in an abuse report is that they actually give it to someone that has more than a single brain cell and doesn’t know what a computer is.

We’ll see what happens with this, but I’m not hopeful, and will never recommend Amazons EC2 service to anyone.


VirginMedia – A Friendly Bunch

Over the past few months myself along with some other residents of Basingstoke, The council, both Basingstoke & Dean and Hampshire County and our M.P. Maria Miller have been in meetings and discussions with some rather large telecomms companies regarding broadband speeds in and around Basingstoke. (More so around, really). This came about with BT releasing that they were going to deploy FTTC to Basingstoke, which has turned out that it’s actually 30% of Basingstoke. A Meeting with them went “OK” it wasn’t great, but it wasn’t bad, we offended them on a number of points, but showed some good statistics from door knocks about where the demand was. Things like 95% of people have internet and only 19% of those were actually happy with the service, Also that 70% of people would change providers and 60% would pay more to get a faster service.

All interesting information, so you’d think, but BT really didn’t appear all that interested, we have given them dates to get back to us and maybe they’ll surprise us with some good news. However, today we had a meeting with Virgin Media. to start with, it was much more friendly, with the occasional laugh coming from our meeting room. There was very positive feedback about the deployment of Virgin Cable in the area’s that BT have blindly ignored (that is most area’s outside of town).

Currently the eHampshire website only has information regarding FTTC, as this is a new deployment. If, and we hope they do, Virgin Media start a new deployment in Basingstoke, the information will also be in-putted into the eHampshire website.but I advice anyone in Baingstoke that hasn’t already to register their details on the site at so that we can easily see the area’s in which deployments should take place.

I’m personally looking forward to a deployment from Virgin Media, as this will really show BT that they don’t have the better game, I personally believe with the bad press BT have currently got in and around Basingstoke, a lot of people will be wanting to flee away from them. Come-on Virgin, do us all a favour!


A Gift from an ISP!

How many different ISP’s are there in the UK? – too many, really. However, There’s some very very bad ones, and there is also some very very good ones. I chose my ISP for many reasons, one of which was not cost. I am happy to pay extra for a better service, and a better service is what I have. There’s many things they do right, they enjoy doing it, and at least most of their customers are incredibly greatful for the quality of service they give.

Anyway, I got home from work today, and hanging in my letterbox was a package from my ISP (AAISP) I open it up, and they have sent me a gift, it is possibly common, or at least, was 10 years ago to send customers tea coasters in the form of a CD for their latest software (AOL). My gift is still a tea coaster, however it is actually a tea coaster, and not a CD. here’s what it looks like.


Well, I’m happy with my gift, partly because now I won’t get mug-rings on my desk anymore, and partly because of the comment written on it, which is very true, and why I don’t use NAT (if you don’t know how a network works, you probably have NAT!).

So this is to say Thanks to Adrian and the team at Andrews & Arnold.

(so you know, it is Laser engraved Welsh Slate)

Basingstoke FTTC Trial(?)

Ok, I’m a tad angry now. BT announced earlier this year that they would be trialling FTTC in Basingstoke, Myself and a few other people I know have been waiting almost impatiently for this, due to the lack of speed and constant line drops.

The line checker to find out what connection people can get was updated with eMLC on Friday 27th, so that ISP’s could see the FTTC on the list, however, it didn’t show up for us!  Is this a mistake? Did they leave us out?

After much frustration, communicating with my (extremely helpful) ISP and a few other people, we have found out that BT are NOT enabling my Cabinet, or any of the Cabinets connecting people I know in Basingstoke, So, what/Who ARE they connecting? it seems a very small percentage (only 77 cabinets) in Basingstoke are actually going to be connected to FTTC, and most ISPs won’t even be trialling it, well, unless there’s someone on the Board of directors in town, anyway (

“In Basingstoke, for example, 50% of telephone lines are more than 6km from the exchange, and in Hampshire as a whole a quarter of postcodes get less than 1Mbps.” (Source:BBC :

Logic and common sense would dictate that one would update the cabinets in the areas already well known for poor broadband, like Hatch Warren, Beggarwood and Chineham, but no!  They are installing cabinets in a lot of areas with already reasonable coverage, What sense does this make?

Myself and a few other people in Basingstoke, some who run businesses or work from home have vented our frustration to the person in Basingstoke & Dean Council, who is liaising with BT/Openreach of the roll-out in Basingstoke. We have also been in contact with the Gazette’s news desk. by this afternoon people were getting the response of “you as well, huh?”

Anyone in Basingstoke wanting to vent about this, in-fact, even if you are not particularly interested in having high speed FTTC, but think others should be entitled to have vaguely decent internet in Basingstoke (where, of course most places get less than 2Mb), Then Please. Contact Andy and the Gazette – I won’t put their numbers on here, but you can ask me for them and I shall reveal all, The more people that complain about this the sooner they come to their senses and actually do a REAL trial.


Windows 7 & Ubuntu 9.10 – Which one’s right for me?

well, There’s been a lot of articles about Windows 7 Vs Ubuntu, but I have found all of them completely uninteresting. For starters, most people don’t particularly care if their system takes 35 seconds (ubuntu) or 48 seconds (windows) to boot. because it takes at least 3 Minutes to boil the kettle. Anyway, those that know me, know that I am rather bias towards Linux. However, in this view I will try and be as un-bias is I can. I did say “Try”. A lot of the articles on the internet about Windows Vs Linux doesn’t step on the most important part for any normal user, not the geeks, I’m talking Joe Bloggs sitting at home. or – My Girlfriend who doesn’t really care what they’re system has, as long as it works.

First of all, Lets look at the Default Desktop of each. The default Windows Desktop does look very nice, from an “eye candy” approach. of course, Linux can be skinned to look just like it, but I’m going to focus on the out-of-the-box experience, look and feel, applications, and usability.

Let’s ignore the Eye-Candy for a moment. Both desktops pretty much have the same features, Both allow you to have a background of your choosing, both display a clock, both have a menu and both have a taskbar. so let’s call them about even there.

On the Application front, Ubuntu does win hands down. with the default install including Office applications, Internet Chat client for almost every known chat service and a web browser, where Windows includes it’s Internet Explorer, MSN Client, and no office Applications. however, if you are writing the odd document, Microsofts Wordpad is sufficiant. If, however, you do want more office applications on your Windows platform you can go out and buy Microsoft Office, alternatively Open Office is available for Windows for free as a download, so you don’t have to spend a lot of money for it. Finding and installing software is very painless on Ubuntu, with it’s new Ubuntu Software Centre, this is laid out very nicely for non-technical users, and is as simple as clicking on the application you want and clicking “Install”. This is something Windows is still lacking, however, at least you can go to the shop and buy software and know that it will work.

Firewalling is quite important these days. despite most people using a NAT network (which I won’t get into how much I hate, right now) . Windows Firewall is quite aggressive, and the difference between “Public”, “Work” and “Home” networks can sometimes be unclear. for instance, if you have a system at home, and want to share files between the computers, you actually want to choose a “Work” setup, otherwise you can’t share those files. Ubuntu however has it’s firewall set to allow everything by default. I still don’t like this fact, and if anything at the least it should only allow Related packets in by default, This is a trivial thing to do in setup. yes, Linux is a lot more secure than Windows, however, Nothing is secure without a firewall. one thing I would like to see installed by default in Ubuntu is a firewall builder that is User Friendly – and they do exist, and they’re in the package manager, so in my opinion from a “default” install Windows is better here, despite it’s options being confusing. but all Ubuntu would need is 2 firewall rules, and changing the Default for INPUT, and they would then be about even.

Lets move to Hardware support. This is something that a lot of older windows users look at with glee. but they shouldn’t. There is still a lot of people that believe “Linux doesn’t support much hardware” – well, actually this isn’t true, it does, right from the oldest SCSI scanner you have up to the latest greatest Graphics and sound cards, and everything in between. However, Windows has very good hardware support for alot of the latest devices, but not so much for older hardware. However, if you are buying a new computer (and if you’re thinking about Windows 7, you probably will be) then actually, it makes little difference between the 2. most devices that people have will work on both latest Operating Systems. Like Camera’s, Card Readers, ETC. Bluetooth Mice and keyboards work without any issues in both Windows and Ubuntu, and are equilly easy to configure. Likewise for connecting to Wireless networks or University 802.1x encrypted networks. these things are easy to do in both.

When deciding which of these Operating systems you should go for. ask yourself these 2 questions: 1) am I buying a new computer anyway, 2) what do I want to do with the computer. These questions play an important part in the choices. Let me explain, If you are not buying a new computer, then make sure Windows 7 will work with all your hardware, if it won’t then you might want to think again. Secondly, what you’re doing with your computer is very important. If you are going to be playing the latest greatest games, then you probably don’t want Ubuntu. although Game support on this is getting better, Unfortunately persuading game manufacturers that they should be writing games for Linux/Ubuntu is a rather difficult argument and is generally stuck in Catch-22 (there’s few games for Linux so people don’t play games / don’t use Linux, people don’t use Linux because of the lack of games) Working for a company that writes software for a multitude of platforms, I really can’t see their argument for not doing it. If you’re just going to be browsing the Internet, then actually it doesn’t matter which one you choose. Facebook works on both.

So, Which one is right for me?

Yes. that’s my answer, “Yes” – they both are. they really are both very close to each other. If you want to install and straight away write documents and use spreadsheets, Use Ubuntu, if you want to install and play games, use Windows. it really doesn’t matter. The only note I will point out, is that if you chose the Ubuntu route, then from the Software Centre, Install “Firewall Configurator” (gufw for the more advanced users) , run it, click “Enabled” and set the default to “Deny” and you’re good to go. this will configure the firewall up so nothing gets in, but anything you do won’t be blocked. advanced users will be configuring their own firewalls, so isn’t a big issue for them.

Whichever one you choose to install, I hope you enjoy your experience.

And, Apologies to those that were looking for more argumentative points in one direction or another, I’m trying to approach this one from a usable state, and not with “this one is better because…” this argument has been going on long enough, and there is room for both of these operating systems in todays world of computers.


A bad weekend for flying

Well, it was going to happen sooner or later, my first crash of a Helicopter, and this weekend, it did.

I had bought myself a small electric Helicopter, these tend to be harder to control than the larger petrol ones, so figured it was a good thing to use to push myself a little more. hovering it was fine, I can do that, it’s not a problem. I had a day of flying on Saturday, having bought an extra battery for the electric, so I had 2 batteries for that, and got through a tank of fuel on the Nexus. having re-charged one of the batteries for the electric, I started to push a little more, I was doing small-low circuits with it before, this time I started going a bit faster, as it came in fast, I pulled back to slow it down, and the rotors hit the tail boom and down to the floor it came… it took me a moment to work out what had just happened, I’m still not sure why exactly it did that, as it shouldn’t. but new parts are ordered, that’s only £20 – and it should be flying again by Tuesday (internet orders, have to wait for delivery – ho humm) – all I can say is, I’m damn glad it wasn’t the Nexus, because then I’d have been seriously gutted. I just have to work out why it hit itself once it’s re-built.

On Sunday, I went back up the airfield, this time only with the Nexus. Neil gave me some spacers, so I could put my nice new Carbon Fibre rotor blades on – and they look really nice! once they were on, I had a quick hover, but there was a couple of issues, the tracking of the blades was out, and the head speed was too high, well first job is to get the tracking roughly right, with a guage, next step is to get the head speed slowed down, and then to finely adjust the tracking. while sorting the head speed (we wanted this at 1750 RPM – as this is “optimum” for these rotors) we got it right, and I made a mental note of the display of my receiver so I knew exactly where to set the “max” power. – if you’re interested that was 55% throttle. job done, so move the collective stick down and…. wait… it’s not doing anything… I have no control at all. The Heli had decided to turn the electrics off! so, my toy that I really enjoy was now a sitting duck, with rotors spinning at 1750 RPM, engine running, and no control! Neil ran round telling everyone that the machine was there and has no control, and all we could do was wait for it to run out of fuel… and 30 minutes later it finally did. fortunately the pitch was still too low for it to get off the ground, but had the wind picked up, it could have gone anywhere.

The good news is that I did get the settings for the head speed – though, this will change slightly once it’s in the air, and there’s some friction on the rotors. but it’s roughly there. I have sorted the switching off problem (seems the switch was faulty – and was hard to turn on, but very easy to turn off again – just a light touch and it went off, so it most likely vibrated to the “off” position.

Next I need to sort the tracking out, and check my Gyro. the Gyro has been a hard thing to setup, but little point in messing with it until everything is set up right, otherwise you only end up changing the gyro again. though, I might replace this with a better one before long.

all in all, a bad flying weekend. however. I learnt more. I stayed calm when there were big problems (and dangerous problems) and I’ve had my first crash. I’m sure there will be many many more, I just hope not with the Nexus!

Thanks to Neil for his help. was much appreciated.


Messing with Brainf*ck

Well, a couple of nights ago, I started toying with Brainfuck, for no reason other than I was just bored.

I was talking to a colleague about a Brainfuck interpreter on my Nintendo Wii, this was just a little bit of fun, but yesterday, he couldn’t sleep, as some of you may know, I work for a company that writes an APL Interpreter, so we’re not new to strange languages. What’s more obscure than APL, well, there’s loads of them, and Brainfuck is one of these. But how could we make use of obscure languages together? well, as Nic couldn’t sleep, he decided to write a Brainfuck Interpreter…. in APL…

For those that don’t know Brainfuck, here’s “Hello World!” in Brainfuck.

I’m not going to show all the code in here for the Brainfuck interpreter, as it would make my post huge, but it’s here (note, this doens’t actually show what APL can do, and makes it look like a procedural language.)

because APL Uses it’s own Character set you may need Apl385-Unicode font to actually read some of the code. that can be grabbed from the download area on

In the mean-time, here’s a quick screenshot of Brainfuck in APL in action:


And in the interest of saving some arguments, some will point out that ⎕←’Hello World!’ is _NOT_ Hello world in APL – I used this to show the same output – as interpreted, this is ok, as a program, I agree. it isn’t. – also note that I shortened the function name to “bf” just because that was easier to type :-)

Who knows. Maybe the “bf” function will be included in Dyalog. just for a little bit of fun. Well, it is, isn’t it! :-)


UK Internet with BT 21CN

Well, I’ve not posted for a while. and there’s good reason too. I’m always a big fan of Technology, the way it’s moving and what it brings with it. The Internet is one of those things that has been moving relatively rapidly (though maybe not so much for the normal home-user). However with my ISP, I do get to test some nice connections (sometimes) and connect to test networks, with test routers and so on. I even run a router that I have written a bit of code for, so that I can run my IPv6, VPN links, Fail-over connections & some customised routes (including a tunnel system to have IPv6 on my laptop no matter where I am in the world).

Anyway, For those that don’t know, In the UK most of the lines are supplied by BT, This means if you want internet you can choose any supplier you want, but many of them will be using BT lines to your house, and BT equipment to hook it all up. This, however isn’t too bad, or rather, Wasn’t. BT have been rolling out their 21CN network, which I am connected to, this is supposed to be next generation ADSL, when it was first installed, it was OK, and around a month ago it became unusable. My ISP (AAISP) has been attacking BT regarding this problem, and I’m not alone with the problem, there seemed to be a number of people on my exchange that had the same problem. this is what I get on my line:

Jason Line Graph

The Green bars (going up) ar latency on the line, the higher that bar, the slower things are to respond.
The Red bars (going down) are loss on the line – the lower this bar the less things that get to you
The White is a line disconnect
and the green dots are download (from the internet), and reddish-brown is upload (to the internet)

As you can see, if I tried to download anything I got latency (went slow) packet loss (things just didn’t get to me) and line drops. not to mention my download speek was around 50K if I was lucky on a 4mb line. BT have access to these graphs, and persisted for a very long time that there was nothing wrong with the line. Anyway, a couple of nights ago, they admitted there was a problem, and nailed it down to a Cisco IOS bug in some of their routers, and they did some test work on my exchange / BRAS last night, this took them around 45 minutes and all of a sudden my line was alot better. and I could download at my full speed.

This problem with BT (along with a few others) that seem to show just how incompetent BT are at times has pushed my ISP to look into other  wholesale LLU providers, as an extra option on the BT infrustructure. Although I’m not exactly a fan of some LLU providers from what I’ve seen of BT, could they possibly be worse? probably not.

just to note: this isn’t the case that this problem existed, I can deal with that, technology has it’s problems. What I can’t deal with, is companies like BT that have sole control over fixing them, saying there isn’t a problem when they have been given the evidence to show that there is a problem.

I will be looking forward to the FTTC rollout, and will be testing it. Lets hope BT can do a better job with that than they have done with 21CN

BT Have finally fixed my line (actually they did this last week) and everything has been working again, and of-course I’m getting my full download-speeds again. still – I’m waiting for FTTC and my ISP have signed up for Be* LLU wholesale – so I may switch to this to get away from BT for a short while. – This turned out to not be a bug in the code, but they had over filled the pipes from Basingstoke…. Thanks BT, Nice going…

The Virus that is Skype

I have not really been around much at home the last few weeks, but I have been on test equipment for my Internet at home with Andrews and Arnold. Today while running through some tests with them I noticed a lot of traffic on my Internet line. Instantly flipping into the mode of “I must sort this” I started searching for clues about what’s going on with the traffic.

I closed all the connections I had open between home and work, and opened a fresh connection and started scanning the traffic, this was around 100 different IP’s all trying to talk to a single IP on my network. However, this was around 10AM, and the system in question (a laptop) had not even been at the house since around 8AM. knowing this, I started to scan the office network, and had the same traffic going to the same machine. This told me I had a machine that was part of a bot-net, so started searching for clue’s on the system without it connected to the network.

3 different virus scanners and 4 malware scanners later I was still scratching my head, and these had taken around 5 hours to complete. so I enabled some more network monitoring, and started monitoring traffic on the laptop at the same time, plugged in the network cable. Instantly all the traffic started again, and this time I had flags to tell me what programs were using this traffic on the system, which told me it was Skype. Closing skype, the traffic all went away.

I hunted around the internet for a short while, and there were not many clues as to a rogue skype client and after to a couple of people I found out that this is by design. Skype talks to everyone it possibly can, and peers calls through other people too. Skype then, have created a very large P2P network, saving them money on servers and bandwidth. Good for them…. maybe….

If you try and block Skype from accessing the Internet, it will use port 80 (HTTP) and 443 (HTTPS) – you can’t block these, as then you can’t browse the Internet. so there’s no real way of blocking Skype, short of blocking everything, or removing it from the system. So here’s where I’m at; Skype will gain access to the Internet by whatever means necessary (RFC2549?) it communicates with every possible other Skype client it can find, and is controlled at a central location (server). for those that don’t know – This is exactly the behaviour of a Bot-net.

some security implications with sase edge control, this is where it gets slightly fun. Lets say you have Skype, and you wish to call your mum for a chat. Because of the way the system is designed, if there is a blockage on a direct route, it will peer through someone else (each sending and out-going connection to the Peer) let’s say I’m this Peer (and no, I don’t keep disconnecting your session – that’s another peer). So now you’re talking to your mum, and everything seems fine. But with the right software on my system, I can capture the packets that Skype is sending (which I did earlier today) I can then inject those packets into another application, and make it give me the audio from those packets, so I can listen to your conversation. I also have the IP Address of your system, and I have the IP Address of your mums system. I can now start scanning your system(s) to gain access to them, maybe there is a way to make a Skype client that will give me forced entry into your system if you try and peer through me, injecting your system with more virus’s. (This would require deep packet injection, and Skype should be protected against this – but who knows.)

The other issue, at least for me, is I am on a bandwidth limited network, Mostly through choice, I’m not a heavy bandwidth user, but I want lots of specific features. so people making calls through my network uses my bandwidth, which I’m then charged for.

Skype however has no way of turning this option off, it has a (hidden) way of turning it off being a Super-node, this doesn’t eliminate all the traffic, only some of it. and don’t think you’ll be OK because you have NAT – you’re not, and it might be harder to monitor where it’s going from & to.

At 2PM The traffic was still on-going at home. That’s 6 hours after the machine was removed from the network. so my ISP has now blocked all traffic coming to me on that IP Address (I have 30 Routable IP Address’s, and no NAT) I have bodged my DHCP Server to not give that IP to any systems on my network. and I will release all this in 2 days. I’m not talking a trickle of traffic, there was around 20KB/s, which might not sound a lot, but it soon adds up.

The Conclusion here, is Skype has been written to act in the same way that a virus / bot-net works. Will I ever use it again? no. and I will block all traffic to anyone’s laptop if they try and use it on any of the networks I manage. So if you’re coming over anytime soon, and want to have Internet access for more than a few minutes, I suggest removing Skype before connecting to my network. :-)