Slacking off

Well, I know I’ve been slacking again, here’s the thing, summer is approaching, we’ve had really nice weather I have new hobbies and also a girlfriend, all of these things keep me rather busy.

So, firstly work, that’s definitely been keeping me busy, but all is well there, and I don’t think there is much I would change about it. well, other than buying more toys, that’s always fun!

As for the new hobby, I have taken up ice skating, no not the namby-pamby dancing, more freestyle, it’s good exercise, this incidentally is where I met the girl I am now seeing.

I still fly most weekends, I have bought myself a blitz avro, this is the roles royce of helicopters. I’m scared to throw it around too much, but it really is a dream to fly. It’s smooth, accurate and does exactly what I tell it to. I’m also throwing my raptor around a lot more, to the extent that parts are wearing out quickly, and I caught the ground while doing tick-tocks, oh well, that was only around £40 and was incredibly fun.

Oh yeah, I also bought a new phone, I bought a HTC desire HD. Running cyanogenmod, and really like it. This also means I can update my blog while the girlfriend is trying on clothes while out shopping (yes that really is what I’m doing). I think it also makes phone-calls, but really, who does that these days?

Anyway, I will try and update my blogs more often, I’ve been meaning to for a while, but laziness is bliss (as is ignorance).

Apologies for any odd random words, I’m doing this on my phone between telling the girlfriend she looks good.  :)

Bored of Internet idiocy…

Right, I haven’t posted for a while mostly because I’ve been busy with work, social life and moving house, however I’m completely fedup with the idiocy from some ISP’s, media, and people.

IANA have handed out the last /8′s of IPv4. and it couldn’t come sooner in my opinion. I’ve been using IPv6 for many years now, have IPv6 when I’m at home, this is native. I have it at work, this is currently tunnelled, but only because of Mikrotik ROS not supporting native IPv6 over PPPoE on 4.x builds. I even have it on my laptop when I’m sat in a pub. I have helped friends and family get IPv6, and everything on it just works.

Why is it, then, that ISP’s “have no plans” to implement IPv6 still. stop complaining that IPv4′s have run out and you don’t know what to do, IPv6 has been around since 1996, it works well and I have systems that _only_ have IPv6 address’s. Don’t use “there’s no routers on the market that do it” because there is. Billion have one, ZyXEL have one, Comtrend have one. they’re all priced at or under £50. what’s not consumer about them? if you want more, then OpenWRT and DD-WRT DO have IPv6 support, and can be flashed onto many routers, if you want to put the boat out a little, Cisco support IPv6, as do Routerboard.

it is of my opinion that there is absolutely no excuse for not offering IPv6 to consumers, if the consumers don’t want to use it, that’s up to them. Ipv4 is LEGACY it is the OLD Internet. IPv6 is the CURRENTLY used Internet Protocol. so, come-on people, pull your fingers out and get it done. I will not be buying any devices that do not support IPv6 anymore. this includes Routers, VOIP Phones, Printers and even Set-Top Boxes – yes, they have ethernet for their “Interactive” services. if they don’t do IPv6, they will not be used.

For now, back to work…

Windows XP x64 is not a Windows operating system….

Well, one of the office machines has just has a new hard disk installed, so clean install of Windows XP x64, and start running updates. you now get this “Browser choice” thing on your desktop (which is frustrating when you’ve been using a machine for years and it suddenly pops up, but anyway…) for this system, we’ll be using IE8, well. That’s what I hoped anyway. However, Microsoft appear to fail to accept that Windows XP x64 Professional is actually a windows operating system.

Here’s a screenshot of what I got when I tried to put IE8 on the system:


If Microsoft don’t class Windows XP x64 as a Windows Operating system, should everyone else do the same?
well, I guess we’ll use a standards-compliant browser instead on this system… now, where can I get one of those :-)

Spam Emails

I’m sure I’m not alone in hating Spam emails, but we get used to all these common emails for extensions of genitalia and performance enhancing drugs and we quietly discard them, because it doesn’t matter how hard we try, they’re still going to squeeze through occasionally. However, I do not give my email to companies, I, infact create [email protected] for all dealings, thus knowing where “Spam” emails come from. Unfortunately, my domain had spam before I owned it, so stopping some of it really is impossible.

What really ticks me off, is when and email comes to my real email address and is a “marketing email” from a company I have never given my email address to. I have dealt with the company, but only in cash and in person. However, the owner of this company is also a member of a club that I attend. This makes me think that he has taken my email from the confidential systems that are part of that club. I have asked politely that he removes me from his mailing list to no avail and today received yet another SPAM email from him.

At this point, I decided to take things a little further than a polite note asking to be removed, and have sent an email quoting The Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 (No. 2426) Section 22 to him. I have also quoted Data Protection Act 1998 (c. 29) Section 7 and Section 11, demanding that he removes me from his list, and informs me as to where he retrieved my details from. I’ll be honest, I’m a little fed up with this particular individual, and I’m not too fused about pissing him off a little. However, as he is running a business, and part of my grudge is personal, He and his company will remain anonymous on here.

My problem with this is I take Spam coming in quite seriously, I work hard with companies to reduce the amount of spam they receive, I help out various networks to identify where spam is coming from and where email lists are obtained, so for someone that I know to be doing it I find Very frustrating.

A Day at Paul Heckles

BMAC Group at Paul Heckles

Well, after 2 cancellations due to bad weather, and me already getting my BMFA Heli ‘A’ cert, I was dubious about how much I would learn and how beneficial a Day at Paul Heckles flying school would be. I woke on Sunday morning thinking “Well, Worst case I’ll get some flying done, anyway”. The weather was fantastic, and upon arriving at the field we met our instructors and instantly fell into our usual Basingstoke club Banter mode.

Going though the pre-flight checks, it seemed most of what I do for mine are the same as what David did there, but I did pick up a few tips on checking my Gyro and actually pulling the linkages off the balls, and not just putting pressure on them, Then it was over to The flying.

I had 3 flights throughout the day, the first flight I think David wanted to work out what level I were at. The second flight was was teaching me some smoother flight and better controls, and the third flight was a bit of fun. Once Bill had taken off we were sat behind them listening to advice David was saying “Left Aileron” seemed to be the theme of the day towards Bill, and has now become his nickname but I think everyone on my group picked up some tips. When it got to my flight, we picked the Raptor 50 and David took me thought some moves (see the picture) and my flying got better as the flight continued.

David showing me 'The Moves'

Onto my second flight, and I went for the Raptor 30, toned down the agressive flying style and focussed much more on smooth flight, and this was incredible! I was doing the same things that I have been doing for months with my own helicopters and suddenly it all looked much cleaner, tidier and neater. There was so much information coming in from David that it was still going through my head on the way home. This wasn’t a bad thing atall.

My third flight I did some inverted hovering, and David took me through some flips. I still can’t do them, but they’re getting better and the advice I was given is working.

All in all, this was a fantastic day, I think I learnt more because we were in a group with people at similar levels, and so advice being given to other people I was able to benefit from, too. The flying was good fun, but even with the Heli sat on the floor and David talking us through manoeuvres I learnt alot.Very enjoyable day all-round and it was definitely money well spent. I would definitely do it again, and I would probably opt to do it in a group session again. This really did work well.

Apparently we are the first model club to do a “Club-Day” at Paul heckles, and given how well it went, I would urge other model flying clubs to do the same. I don’t think it matters what level you’re at, there’s always something to learn from them. From hovering to heavy 3D.

Thanks to the guys at Paul Heckles school of flying, and to our club Member Chris for organising such a fantastic day out.

Supplying customers with what they want.

A few months ago, I asked an internet provider,Timico, with which I have a co-location server with if they would supply IPv6 on their network. They told me there were currently no plans to implement it. OK, fine, I’ll use another method, Tunnelling. This is fine, there was a way around the problem, and everything worked fine.

Today, however there was a BBC Article explaining that IPv4 was going to run out soon. well, this isn’t news to me, but reading further into the article, there was news. From the BBC Article: “Unless more ISPs and others start to adopt IPv6 those delays could start to hit general web browsing, fears Mr Davies.” Now. Mr. Davies is Trefor Davies, the Technical Director for Timico. Hold on a moment. Timico told me they had no plans for IPv6. so what’s he talking about?

I have done a small amount of digging, and on Trefor’s personal blog, on the 25th February (only a few weeks after I was told that there were no plans to implement) he said that IPv6 is almost running on the Timico core network. So, why is it not available to their customers, and why have they delayed it this much. I have been using IPv6 for some time now, long before my blog stream started. To start with it was Tunnelled and now I have Native at home, though I’m still Tunnelled at the office, mostly due to some firewall restrictions.

Anyway, My problem with this is that Trefor is quoted saying that people need to move to IPv6, well, they do, but why should he be saying this when the ISP that he is a director of, does not offer it to their customers. My Chosen ISP at home (AAISP) does offer IPv6, they also offer it tunnelled or native, and have done so for a very long time. I have emailed Trefor, and Hopefully he can let in some light about his comments and why he thinks he should be able to say what people should be using when he doesn’t offer what he says they should.

possible updates depending on Trefors response. :-)

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.

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 new canopy

well, I’ve not posted for a while, but, actually I’ve been busy. But at the beginning of the week, I got my new canopy for the Helicopter. Thanks to Chris who painted it up for me. here’s what it looks like now:

DSCF1410 DSCF1411

Unfortunately on my first flight with the new canopy, the throttle linkage snapped, and the carbs are designed to spring OPEN! I have no idea why they’re designed this way, but it meant that my rotors that are rated up to 2000rpm were turning closer to 3000rpm, resulting in quite a wobble and it shaking itself to bits. hopefully that is all sorted. Hopefully today I can get it off the floor and throw it around a bit, it does look nice out there!