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On Monday, AT&T Customers Enter Era of Broadband Caps

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the wake-me-when-the-world-ends dept.

Businesses 537

theodp writes "The Age of Broadband Caps begins Monday, with AT&T imposing a 150 GB cap on DSL subscribers and 250 GB for UVerse users, and keeping the meter running after that. The move comes as AT&T's 16+ million customers are increasingly turning to online video such as Hulu and Netflix on-demand streaming service instead of paying for cable. With AT&T's Man in the White House, some fear there's a 'digital dirt road' in America's future. Already, the enforcement of data caps in Canada has prompted Netflix to default to lower-quality streaming video to shield its users from overage fees."

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LOL, the West is losing BAD! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35984574)

LOL, the West is starting to fall so far behind now. First you guys lost all of your industry to Asia. Most of your university-level STEM students are foreigners. The United States has had a particularly bad flare-up of religious stupidity over the past few decades. The American Dollar is devaluing extremely quickly. Now you can't even get Internet access that's comparable to what some Asian nations had a decade ago!

Re:LOL, the West is losing BAD! (0, Offtopic)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 3 years ago | (#35984612)

LOL, the West is starting to fall so far behind now.

If your idea of quality of life is sitting at your computer playing WoW all day in a cramped apartment, yes.

First you guys lost all of your industry to Asia.

Outsourced - bad, but nowhere near as bad as "lost" may imply. As quickly as tax stops favouring outsourcing and workers abroad start getting treated like human beings, it'll come back onshore.

Most of your university-level STEM students are foreigners.

There are more people living outside the US than inside. Everyone wants to study in the US. So there are more foreigners in US universities.

The United States has had a particularly bad flare-up of religious stupidity over the past few decades.

No, it hasn't. Religious influence on law and culture has been rampant throughout the life of North America. But enclaves of religious stupidity have received an inordinate amount of airtime recently - partly as a neat distraction from important stuff, and partly because it makes the strange new breed of Fanatical Atheist feel better about himself.

The American Dollar is devaluing extremely quickly.

Compared to which other period of fluctuation?

Now you can't even get Internet access that's comparable to what some Asian nations had a decade ago!

Oh no! And twenty years ago hardly anyone could get the Internet at all. We must have been as neanderthals.

Re:LOL, the West is losing BAD! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35984664)

Wow, you just bought hook line and sinker. Seriously mod this shit offtopic.

Re:LOL, the West is losing BAD! (1, Offtopic)

puterg33k (1920022) | more than 3 years ago | (#35984666)

LOL, the West is starting to fall so far behind now.

If your idea of quality of life is sitting at your computer playing WoW all day in a cramped apartment, yes.

China

First you guys lost all of your industry to Asia.

Outsourced - bad, but nowhere near as bad as "lost" may imply. As quickly as tax stops favouring outsourcing and workers abroad start getting treated like human beings, it'll come back onshore.

China

Most of your university-level STEM students are foreigners.

There are more people living outside the US than inside. Everyone wants to study in the US. So there are more foreigners in US universities.

China!!!

The United States has had a particularly bad flare-up of religious stupidity over the past few decades.

No, it hasn't. Religious influence on law and culture has been rampant throughout the life of North America. But enclaves of religious stupidity have received an inordinate amount of airtime recently - partly as a neat distraction from important stuff, and partly because it makes the strange new breed of Fanatical Atheist feel better about himself.

China???

The American Dollar is devaluing extremely quickly.

Compared to which other period of fluctuation?

China!

Now you can't even get Internet access that's comparable to what some Asian nations had a decade ago!

Oh no! And twenty years ago hardly anyone could get the Internet at all. We must have been as neanderthals.

LOL China!

Re:LOL, the West is losing BAD! (0)

gomiam (587421) | more than 3 years ago | (#35984698)

If your idea of quality of life is sitting at your computer playing WoW all day in a cramped apartment, yes.

I somehow find it hard to believe playing WoW 24/7 will eat up 150GB per month ;)

Oh no! And twenty years ago hardly anyone could get the Internet at all. We must have been as neanderthals.

It doesn't matter where you were twenty years ago. If you are today where other people were 10 years ago you still have 10 years of catching up to do.

Re:LOL, the West is losing BAD! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35984944)

I somehow find it hard to believe playing WoW 24/7 will eat up 150GB per month ;)

With all the patches those bastards at Blizzard release, you never know.

I know he was trolling (3, Interesting)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 3 years ago | (#35984716)

but that doesn't change the fact that he was right :(. My idea of quality of life is a rising income higher than my parents, good schools and good health care. All of those are disappearing fast. Real wages have been stagnant since the 70s, school funding is being slashed (and what little money there is goes to wealthy schools thanks to the property tax scam) and the only thing going up faster than insurance premiums is the speed they deny your claims. Here in Arizona we literally just let two people die because we didn't want to pay for organ transplants.

As for the manufacturing, the big threat to Americans isn't Outsourcing, it's computers & robotics. I know keep bringing this up in my posts, but there is a sleeping bag factory making 2 MILLION bags a year with a total workforce (including salesmen, marketing, accounting and all other non-manufacturing jobs) of JUST 120 people. Fact is, it's not just that we're outsourcing, we just don't need all these people. So far the only answer I've heard to this is "Tough titties, at least they're free to starve to death in the streets".

A free, inexpensive Internet is seen by a lot of progressives as the only hope. China is starting to see some progressive movements (very little, I know) because they have a well educated middle class whose brains work well enough now to realize they're being taken advantage of. If the schools & centralized media fail us, the only hope is people on the Internet. It's not much, but I still like it better than saying 'Oh well, time for 70% of our populace to die in a gutter'.

So, yeah, he was trolling. But ye was also right.

Re:LOL, the West is losing BAD! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35984826)

"No, it hasn't. Religious influence on law and culture has been rampant throughout the life of North America. But enclaves of religious stupidity have received an inordinate amount of airtime recently - partly as a neat distraction from important stuff, and partly because it makes the strange new breed of Fanatical Atheist feel better about himself."

Bull-fucking-shit.

Re:LOL, the West is losing BAD! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35984680)

It'll be fine, guys. Just switch to a different ISP.

I'll help it "WIN" a bit then, vs. this... apk (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35984684)

If you wish to get some of that bandwidth back, especially as an "end user" who is paying a monthly billing to ISP/BSP's like AT&T instituting this? You can... easily & here is how + why:

Use a custom HOSTS file!

It can gain you added online "layered security" (the best thing we have really to date), better speed, and even better "anonymity" (vs. DNS request logs, &/or DNSBL), but perhaps MOST IMPORTANTLY is, it gets you more "bang for your buck" for your monthly bill... and folks? IT IS NOTICEABLE SPEED, and yes, NOTICEABLY BETTER SECURITY, period, if done right!

On this issue of "bandwidth caps" by ISP/BSP's, specifically however:

It can help you in 2 capacities vs. this, for:

---

1.) Conserving bandwidth YOU PAY FOR (after all folks - IT IS YOUR MONEY)

AND

2.) GAINING BACK SPEED YOU PAY FOR THAT YOU ARE WASTING LOADING ADBANNERS!

---

In fact, I'll post the ENTIRE "gamut" of WHY A HOSTS FILE IS SUPERIOR TO BOTH AdBlock &/or DNS servers alone, right now:

---

20++ ADVANTAGES OF HOSTS FILES OVER DNS SERVERS &/or ADBLOCK ALONE for added layered security:

1.) HOSTS files are useable for all these purposes because they are present on all Operating Systems that have a BSD based IP stack (even ANDROID) and do adblocking for ANY webbrowser, email program, etc. (any webbound program).

2.) Bad news: ADBLOCK CAN BE DETECTED FOR: See here on that note -> http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2010/03/why-ad-blocking-is-devastating-to-the-sites-you-love.ars [arstechnica.com]

HOSTS files are NOT BLOCKABLE by websites, as was tried on users by ARSTECHNICA (and it worked, proving HOSTS files are a better solution for this because they cannot be blocked & detected for, in that manner), to that websites' users' dismay:

PERTINENT QUOTE/EXCERPT FROM ARSTECHNICA THEMSELVES:

----

An experiment gone wrong - By Ken Fisher | Last updated March 6, 2010 11:11 AM

http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2010/03/why-ad-blocking-is-devastating-to-the-sites-you-love.ars [arstechnica.com]

"Starting late Friday afternoon we conducted a 12 hour experiment to see if it would be possible to simply make content disappear for visitors who were using a very popular ad blocking tool. Technologically, it was a success in that it worked. Ad blockers, and only ad blockers, couldn't see our content."

and

"Our experiment is over, and we're glad we did it because it led to us learning that we needed to communicate our point of view every once in a while. Sure, some people told us we deserved to die in a fire. But that's the Internet!"

Thus, as you can see? Well - THAT all "went over like a lead balloon" with their users in other words, because Arstechnica was forced to change it back to the old way where ADBLOCK still could work to do its job (REDDIT however, has not, for example). However/Again - this is proof that HOSTS files can still do the job, blocking potentially malscripted ads (or ads in general because they slow you down) vs. adblockers like ADBLOCK!

----

3.) Adblock doesn't protect email programs external to FF, Hosts files do. THIS IS GOOD VS. SPAM MAIL or MAILS THAT BEAR MALICIOUS SCRIPT, or, THAT POINT TO MALICIOUS SCRIPT VIA URLS etc.

4.) Adblock won't get you to your favorite sites if a DNS server goes down or is DNS-poisoned, hosts will (this leads to points 4-7 next below).

5.) Adblock doesn't allow you to hardcode in your favorite websites into it so you don't make DNS server calls and so you can avoid tracking by DNS request logs, hosts do (DNS servers are also being abused by the Chinese lately and by the Kaminsky flaw -> http://www.networkworld.com/news/2008/082908-kaminsky-flaw-prompts-dns-server.html [networkworld.com] for years now). Hosts protect against those problems via hardcodes of your fav sites (you should verify against the TLD that does nothing but cache IPAddress-to-domainname/hostname resolutions via NSLOOKUP, PINGS, &/or WHOIS though, regularly, so you have the correct IP & it's current)).

6.) HOSTS files protect you vs. DNS-poisoning &/or the Kaminsky flaw in DNS servers, and allow you to get to sites reliably vs. things like the Chinese are doing to DNS -> http://yro.slashdot.org/story/10/11/29/1755230/Chinese-DNS-Tampering-a-Real-Threat-To-Outsiders [slashdot.org]

7.) HOSTS files will allow you to get to sites you like, via hardcoding your favs into a HOSTS file, FAR faster than DNS servers can by FAR (by saving the roundtrip inquiry time to a DNS server & back to you).

8.) AdBlock doesn't let you block out known bad sites or servers that are known to be maliciously scripted, hosts can and many reputable lists for this exist:

GOOD INFORMATION ON MALWARE BEHAVIOR LISTING BOTNET C&C SERVERS + MORE (AS WELL AS REMOVAL LISTS FOR HOSTS):

http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm [mvps.org]
http://someonewhocares.org/hosts/ [someonewhocares.org]
http://hostsfile.org/hosts.html [hostsfile.org]
http://hostsfile.mine.nu/downloads/ [hostsfile.mine.nu]
http://hosts-file.net/?s=Download [hosts-file.net]
https://zeustracker.abuse.ch/monitor.php?filter=online [abuse.ch]
https://spyeyetracker.abuse.ch/monitor.php [abuse.ch]
http://ddanchev.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]
http://www.malware.com.br/lists.shtml [malware.com.br]
http://www.stopbadware.org/ [stopbadware.org]
Spybot "Search & Destroy" IMMUNIZE feature (fortifies HOSTS files with KNOWN bad servers blocked)

And yes: Even SLASHDOT &/or The Register help!

(Via articles on security (when the source articles they use are "detailed" that is, & list the servers/sites involved in attempting to bushwhack others online that is... not ALL do!)).

2 examples thereof in the past I have used, & noted it there, are/were:

http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1898692&cid=34473398 [slashdot.org]
http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1896216&cid=34458500 [slashdot.org]

9.) AdBlock & DNS servers are programs, and subject to bugs programs can get. Hosts files are merely a filter and not a program, thus not subject to bugs of the nature just discussed.

10.) Hosts files don't eat up CPU cycles like AdBlock does while it parses a webpages' content, nor as much as a DNS server does while it runs. HOSTS file are merely a FILTER for the kernel mode/PnP TCP/IP subsystem, which runs FAR FASTER & MORE EFFICIENTY than any ring 3/rpl3/usermode app can.

11.) HOSTS files are EASILY user controlled, obtained (for reliable ones -> http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm [mvps.org] ) & edited too, via texteditors like Windows notepad.exe or Linux nano (etc.)

12.) With Adblock you had better be able to code javascript to play with its code. With hosts you don't even need source to control it (edit, update, delete, insert of new entries via a text editor).

13.) Hosts files are easily secured via using MAC/ACL &/or Read-Only attributes applied.

14.) Custom HOSTS files also speed you up, unlike anonymous proxy servers systems variations (like TOR, or other "highly anonymous" proxy server list servers typically do, in the severe speed hit they often have a cost in) either via "hardcoding" your fav. sites into your hosts file (avoids DNS servers, totally) OR blocking out adbanners - see this below for evidence of that:

US Military Blocks Websites To Free Up Bandwidth:

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/03/16/0416238/US-Military-Blocks-Websites-To-Free-Up-Bandwidth [slashdot.org]

(Yes, even the US Military used this type of technique... because IT WORKS! Most of what they blocked? Ad banners ala doubleclick etc.)

ADBANNERS SLOW DOWN THE WEB: -> http://tech.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/11/30/166218 [slashdot.org]

and people do NOT LIKE ads on the web:

PEOPLE DISLIKE ADBANNERS: http://yro.slashdot.org/yro/08/04/02/0058247.shtml [slashdot.org]

15.) HOSTS files usage lets you avoid being charged on some ISP/BSP's (OR phone providers) "pay as you use" policy http://yro.slashdot.org/story/10/12/08/2012243/FCC-Approving-Pay-As-You-Go-Internet-Plans [slashdot.org] , because you are using less bandwidth (& go faster doing so no less) by NOT hauling in adbanner content and processing it (which can lead to infestation by malware/malicious script, in & of itself -> http://apcmag.com/microsoft_apologises_for_serving_malware.htm [apcmag.com] ).

16.) If/when ISP/BSP's decide to go to -> FCC Approving Pay-As-You-Go Internet Plans: http://yro.slashdot.org/story/10/12/08/2012243/FCC-Approving-Pay-As-You-Go-Internet-Plans [slashdot.org] your internet bill will go DOWN if you use a HOSTS file for blocking adbanners as well as maliciously scripted hacker/cracker malware maker sites too (after all - it's your money & time online downloading adbanner content & processing it)

Plus, your adbanner content? Well, it may also be hijacked with malicious code too mind you:

---

Ad networks owned by Google, Microsoft serve malware:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/12/13/doubleclick_msn_malware_attacks/ [theregister.co.uk]

---

Attacks Targeting Classified Ad Sites Surge:

http://it.slashdot.org/story/11/02/02/1433210/Attacks-Targeting-Classified-Ad-Sites-Surge [slashdot.org]

---

Hackers Respond To Help Wanted Ads With Malware:

http://it.slashdot.org/story/11/01/20/0228258/Hackers-Respond-To-Help-Wanted-Ads-With-Malware [slashdot.org]

---

Hackers Use Banner Ads on Major Sites to Hijack Your PC:

http://www.wired.com/techbiz/media/news/2007/11/doubleclick [wired.com]

---

Ruskie gang hijacks Microsoft network to push penis pills:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/10/12/microsoft_ips_hijacked/ [theregister.co.uk]

---

Major ISPs Injecting Ads, Vulnerabilities Into Web:

http://it.slashdot.org/it/08/04/19/2148215.shtml [slashdot.org]

---

Users Know Advertisers Watch Them, and Hate It:

http://yro.slashdot.org/yro/08/04/02/0058247.shtml [slashdot.org]

---

Two Major Ad Networks Found Serving Malware:

http://tech.slashdot.org/story/10/12/13/0128249/Two-Major-Ad-Networks-Found-Serving-Malware [slashdot.org]

---

ADBANNERS SLOW DOWN THE WEB:

http://tech.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/11/30/166218 [slashdot.org]

---

THE NEXT AD YOU CLICK MAY BE A VIRUS:

http://it.slashdot.org/story/09/06/15/2056219/The-Next-Ad-You-Click-May-Be-a-Virus [slashdot.org]

---

NY TIMES INFECTED WITH MALWARE ADBANNER:

http://news.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/09/13/2346229 [slashdot.org]

---

MICROSOFT HIT BY MALWARES IN ADBANNERS:

http://apcmag.com/microsoft_apologises_for_serving_malware.htm [apcmag.com]

---

ISP's INJECTING ADS AND ERRORS INTO THE WEB: -> http://it.slashdot.org/it/08/04/19/2148215.shtml [slashdot.org]

---

ADOBE FLASH ADS INJECTING MALWARE INTO THE NET: http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/08/20/0029220&from=rss [slashdot.org]

---

London Stock Exchange Web Site Serving Malware:

http://www.securityweek.com/london-stock-exchange-web-site-serving-malware [securityweek.com]

---

Spotify splattered with malware-tainted ads:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/03/25/spotify_malvertisement_attack/ [theregister.co.uk]

---

As my list "multiple evidences thereof" as to adbanners & viruses + the fact they slow you down & cost you more (from reputable & reliable sources no less)).

17.) Per point #16, a way to save some money: ANDROID phones can also use the HOSTS FILE TO KEEP DOWN BILLABLE TIME ONLINE, vs. adbanners or malware such as this:

---

Infected Androids Run Up Big Texting Bills:

http://it.slashdot.org/story/11/03/01/0041203/Infected-Androids-Run-Up-Big-Texting-Bills [slashdot.org]

---

It's easily done too, via the ADB dev. tool, & mounting ANDROID OS' system mountpoint for system/etc as READ + WRITE/ADMIN-ROOT PERMISSIONS, then copying your new custom HOSTS over the old one using ADB PULL/ADB PUSH to do so (otherwise ANDROID complains of "this file cannot be overwritten on production models of this Operating System", or something very along those lines - this way gets you around that annoyance along with you possibly having to clear some space there yourself if you packed it with things!).

18.) Adblock blocks ads in only 1-2 browser family, but not all (Disclaimer: Opera now has an AdBlock addon (now that Opera has addons above widgets), but I am not certain the same people make it as they do for FF or Chrome etc.).

19.) Even WIKILEAKS "favors" blacklists (because they work, and HOSTS can be a blacklist vs. known BAD sites/servers/domain-host names):

---

PERTINENT QUOTE/EXCERPT (from -> http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/12/16/wikileaks_mirror_malware_warning_row/ [theregister.co.uk] )

"we are in favour of 'Blacklists', be it for mail servers or websites, they have to be compiled with care... Fortunately, more responsible blacklists, like stopbadware.org (which protects the Firefox browser)...

---

20.) AND, LASTLY? SINCE MALWARE GENERALLY HAS TO OPERATE ON WHAT YOU YOURSELF CAN DO (running as limited class/least privlege user, hopefully, OR even as ADMIN/ROOT/SUPERUSER)? HOSTS "LOCK IN" malware too, vs. communicating "back to mama" for orders (provided they have name servers + C&C botnet servers listed in them, blocked off in your HOSTS that is) - you might think they use a hardcoded IP, which IS possible, but generally they do not & RECYCLE domain/host names they own (such as has been seen with the RBN (Russian Business Network) lately though it was considered "dead", other malwares are using its domains/hostnames now, & this? This stops that cold, too - Bonus!)...

Still - It's a GOOD idea to layer in the usage of BOTH browser addons for security like adblock, &/or NoScript (especially this one, as it covers what HOSTS files can't in javascript which is the main deliverer of MOST attacks online & SECUNIA.COM can verify this for anyone really by looking @ the past few years of attacks nowadays), for the concept of "layered security"....

It's just that HOSTS files offer you a LOT MORE gains than Adblock does alone (as hosts do things adblock just plain cannot & on more programs, for more speed, security, and "stealth" to a degree even), and it corrects problems in DNS (as shown above via hardcodes of your favorite sites into your HOSTS file, and more (such as avoiding DNS request logs)).

ALSO - Some more notes on DNS servers & their problems, very recent + ongoing ones:

BIND vs. what the Chinese are doing to DNS lately? See here:

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/10/11/29/1755230/Chinese-DNS-Tampering-a-Real-Threat-To-Outsiders [slashdot.org]

---

SECUNIA HIT BY DNS REDIRECTION HACK THIS WEEK:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/11/26/secunia_back_from_dns_hack/ [theregister.co.uk]

(Yes, even "security pros" are helpless vs. DNS problems in code bugs OR redirect DNS poisoning issues, & they can only try to "set the DNS record straight" & then, they still have to wait for corrected DNS info. to propogate across all subordinate DNS servers too - lagtime in which folks DO get "abused" in mind you!)

---

DNS vs. the "Kaminsky DNS flaw", here (and even MORE problems in DNS than just that):

http://www.scmagazineus.com/new-bind-9-dns-flaw-is-worse-than-kaminskys/article/140872/ [scmagazineus.com]

(Seems others are saying that some NEW "Bind9 flaw" is worse than the Kaminsky flaw ALONE, up there, mind you... probably corrected (hopefully), but it shows yet again, DNS hassles (DNS redirect/DNS poisoning) being exploited!)

---

Moxie Marlinspike's found others (0 hack) as well...

Nope... "layered security" truly IS the "way to go" - hacker/cracker types know it, & they do NOT want the rest of us knowing it too!...

(So until DNSSEC takes "widespread adoption"? HOSTS are your answer vs. such types of attack, because the 1st thing your system refers to, by default, IS your HOSTS file (over say, DNS server usage). There are decent DNS servers though, such as OpenDNS, ScrubIT, or even GOOGLE DNS, & because I cannot "cache the entire internet" in a HOSTS file? I opt to use those, because I have to (& OpenDNS has been noted to "fix immediately", per the Kaminsky flaw, in fact... just as a sort of reference to how WELL they are maintained really!)

---

DNS provider decked by DDoS dastards:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/11/16/ddos_on_dns_firm/ [theregister.co.uk]

---

Ten Percent of DNS Servers Still Vulnerable: (so much for "conscientious patching", eh? Many DNS providers weren't patching when they had to!)

http://it.slashdot.org/it/05/08/04/1525235.shtml?tid=172&tid=95&tid=218 [slashdot.org]

---

DDoS Attacks Via DNS Recursion:

http://it.slashdot.org/it/06/03/16/1658209.shtml [slashdot.org]

---

DNS ROOT SERVERS ATTACKED:

http://it.slashdot.org/it/07/02/06/2238225.shtml [slashdot.org]

---

TimeWarner DNS Hijacking:

http://tech.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/07/23/2140208 [slashdot.org]

---

DNS Re-Binding Attacks:

http://crypto.stanford.edu/dns/ [stanford.edu]

---

DNS Server Survey Reveals Mixed Security Picture:

http://it.slashdot.org/it/07/11/21/0315239.shtml [slashdot.org]

---

Photobucket's DNS records hijacked by Turkish hacking group:

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/security/title/1285 [zdnet.com]

---

Halvar figured out super-secret DNS vulnerability:

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/security/has-halvar-figured-out-super-secret-dns-vulnerability/1520 [zdnet.com]

---

BIND Still Susceptible To DNS Cache Poisoning:

http://tech.slashdot.org/tech/08/08/09/123222.shtml [slashdot.org]

---

DNS Poisoning Hits One of China's Biggest ISPs:

http://it.slashdot.org/it/08/08/21/2343250.shtml [slashdot.org]

---

SLASHDOT USERS EXPERIENCING SUCCESS USING HOSTS FILES QUOTED VERBATIM:

---

"Ever since I've installed a host file (http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm) to redirect advertisers to my loopback, I haven't had any malware, spyware, or adware issues. I first started using the host file 5 years ago." - by TestedDoughnut (1324447) on Monday December 13, @12:18AM (#34532122)

"I also use the MVPS ad blocking hosts file." - by Rick17JJ (744063) on Wednesday January 19, @03:04PM (#34931482)

"I use ad-Block and a hostfile" - by Ol Olsoc (1175323) on Tuesday March 01, @10:11AM (#35346902)

"^^ One of the many reasons why I like the user-friendliness of the /etc/hosts file." - by lennier1 (264730) on Saturday March 05, @09:26PM (#35393448)

"I use a custom /etc/hosts to block ads... my file gets parsed basically instantly ... So basically, for any modern computer, it has zero visible impact. And even if it took, say, a second to parse, that would be more than offset by the MANY seconds saved by not downloading and rendering ads. I have noticed NO ill effects from running a custom /etc/hosts file for the last several years. And as a matter of fact I DO run http servers on my computers and I've never had an /etc/hosts-related problem... it FUCKING WORKS and makes my life better overall." - by sootman (158191) on Monday July 13 2009, @11:47AM (#28677363) Homepage Journal

"I do use Hosts, for a couple fake domains I use." - by icebraining (1313345) on Saturday December 11, @09:34AM (#34523012) Homepage

"They've been on my HOSTS block for years" - by ScottCooperDotNet (929575) on Thursday August 05 2010, @01:52AM (#33147212)

"Better than an ad blocker, imo. Hosts file entries: http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm [mvps.org] [mvps.org]" - by TempestRose (1187397) on Tuesday March 15, @12:53PM (#35493274)

"I'm currently only using my hosts file to block pheedo ads from showing up in my RSS feeds and causing them to take forever to load. Regardless of its original intent, it's still a valid tool, when used judiciously." - by Bill Dog (726542) on Monday April 25, @02:16AM (#35927050) Homepage Journal

"put in your /etc/hosts:" - by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 03, @09:17AM (#34429688)

---

Then, there is also the words of respected security expert, Mr. Oliver Day, from SECUNIA.COM to "top that all off" as well:

A RETURN TO THE KILLFILE:

http://www.securityfocus.com/columnists/491 [securityfocus.com]

Some "PERTINENT QUOTES/EXCERPTS" to back up my points with (for starters):

---

"The host file on my day-to-day laptop is now over 16,000 lines long. Accessing the Internet -- particularly browsing the Web -- is actually faster now."

Speed, and security, is the gain... others like Mr. Day note it as well!

---

"From what I have seen in my research, major efforts to share lists of unwanted hosts began gaining serious momentum earlier this decade. The most popular appear to have started as a means to block advertising and as a way to avoid being tracked by sites that use cookies to gather data on the user across Web properties. More recently, projects like Spybot Search and Destroy offer lists of known malicious servers to add a layer of defense against trojans and other forms of malware."

Per my points exactly, no less... & guess who was posting about HOSTS files a 14++ yrs. or more back & Mr. Day was reading & now using? Yours truly (& this is one of the later ones, from 2001 http://www.furtherleft.net/computer.htm [furtherleft.net] (but the example HOSTS file with my initials in it is FAR older, circa 1998 or so) or thereabouts, and referred to later by a pal of mine who moderates NTCompatible.com (where I posted on HOSTS for YEARS (1997 onwards)) -> http://www.ntcompatible.com/thread28597-1.html [ntcompatible.com] !

---

"Shared host files could be beneficial for other groups as well. Human rights groups have sought after block resistant technologies for quite some time. The GoDaddy debacle with NMap creator Fyodor (corrected) showed a particularly vicious blocking mechanism using DNS registrars. Once a registrar pulls a website from its records, the world ceases to have an effective way to find it. Shared host files could provide a DNS-proof method of reaching sites, not to mention removing an additional vector of detection if anyone were trying to monitor the use of subversive sites. One of the known weaknesses of the Tor system, for example, is direct DNS requests by applications not configured to route such requests through Tor's network."

There you go: AND, it also works vs. the "KAMINSKY DNS FLAW" & DNS poisoning/redirect attacks, for redirectable weaknesses in DNS servers (non DNSSEC type, & set into recursive mode especially) and also in the TOR system as well (that lends itself to anonymous proxy usage weaknesses I noted above also) and, you'll get to sites you want to, even IF a DNS registrar drops said websites from its tables as shown here Beating Censorship By Routing Around DNS -> http://yro.slashdot.org/story/10/12/09/1840246/Beating-Censorship-By-Routing-Around-DNS [slashdot.org] & even DNSBL also (DNS Block Lists) -> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DNSBL [wikipedia.org] as well - DOUBLE-BONUS!

APK

P.S.=> SOME MINOR "CAVEATS/CATCH-22's" - things to be aware of for "layered security" + HOSTS file performance - easily overcome, or not a problem at all:

A.) HOSTS files don't function under PROXY SERVERS (except for Proximitron, which has a filter that allows it) - Which is *the "WHY"* of why I state in my "P.S." section below to use both AdBlock type browser addon methods (or even built-in block lists browsers have such as Opera's URLFILTER.INI file, & FireFox has such as list as does IE also) in combination with HOSTS, for the best in "layered security" (alongside .pac files + custom cascading style sheets that can filter off various tags such as scripts or ads etc.) - but proxies, especially "HIGHLY ANONYMOUS" types, generally slow you down to a CRAWL online (& personally, I cannot see using proxies "for the good" typically - as they allow "truly anonymous posting" & have bugs (such as TOR has been shown to have & be "bypassable/traceable" via its "onion routing" methods)).

B.) HOSTS files do NOT protect you vs. javascript (this only holds true IF you don't already have a bad site blocked out in your HOSTS file though, & the list of sites where you can obtain such lists to add to your HOSTS are above (& updated daily in many of them)).

C.) HOSTS files (relatively "largish ones") require you to turn off Windows' native "DNS local client cache service" (which has a problem in that it's designed with a non-redimensionable/resizeable list, array, or queue (DNS data loads into a C/C++ structure actually/afaik, which IS a form of array)) - mvps.org covers that in detail and how to easily do this in Windows (this is NOT a problem in Linux, & it's 1 thing I will give Linux over Windows, hands-down). Relatively "smallish" HOSTS files don't have this problem (mvps.org offers 2 types for this).

D.) HOSTS files, once read/loaded, once GET CACHED, for speed of access/re-access (@ system startup in older MS OS' like 2000, or, upon a users' 1st request that's "Webbound" via say, a webbrowser) gets read into either the DNS local caching client service (noted above), OR, if that's turned off? Into your local diskcache (like ANY file is), so it reads F A S T upon re-reads/subsequent reads (until it's changed in %WinDir%\system32\drivers\etc on Windows, which marks it "Dirty" & then it gets re-read + reloaded into the local diskcache again). This may cause a SMALL lag upon reload though, depending on the size of your HOSTS file.

E.) HOSTS files don't protect vs. BGP exploits - Sorry, once it's out of your hands/machine + past any interior network + routers you have, the packets you send are out there into the ISP/BSP's hands - they're "the Agents" holding all the keys to the doorways at that point (hosts are just a forcefield-filter (for lack of a better description) armor on what can come in mostly, & a bit of what can go out too (per point 18 above on "locking in malware")). Hosts work as a "I can't get burned if I can't go into the kitchen" protection, for you: Not your ISP/BSP. It doesn't extend to them... apk

Re:I'll help it "WIN" a bit then, vs. this... apk (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35984754)

TL;DR

Learn to read then, illiterate moron (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35984924)

See subject-line, & if reading is "too much '4U'"? Either get "hooked on phonics" or, just don't read it @ all (your loss though, & your money when you come right down to it).

APK

P.S.=> The unjustified "mod down" too? Please... Instead, why don't you TRY to technically disprove ANY of the 20 points I put up then, instead of doing the "TRUE ANONYMOUS COWARD" mod-down & run?

Oh, I know why - because YOU SIMPLY, CAN'T... & you know it!

(ALL you have is your "effete moddown", & nothing more, especially via AC trolling posts & then modding down via your registered account!)

...apk

AT$T (2)

the_Bionic_lemming (446569) | more than 3 years ago | (#35984578)

What's just as bad as them trying to force you up from DSL to UVerse (hence the 100/250 cap) the terms they sent out also had a provision where you had to be nice when calling in for service issues or they would cancel your account. I quit two weeks ago because AT$T's attitude still sucks, and the company is still Horrible despite realizing that they now have competition.

Re:Nice (0)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#35984610)

I'm sure you meant you had to be "sweet" when you call in. Sacchrine is sweet. It's also known to cause cancer in Customer Service reps.

"Yes I'll hold. Uh Huh. Yep. Yep. That's okay, my name as four consecutive vowels, that's why your email to confirm didn't work... uh huh..."

Re:AT$T (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 3 years ago | (#35984614)

The thing that really confuses me about AT&T is that after it was painstakingly dismantled at the legal level, not only did it reassemble itself, like some very ugly swarm of very large nanobots, but it took back up the name of its former self, thus completing the reincarnation into the monster hated and feared by its customers. Why the name, AT&T? Was the labelling on all the old switch boxes really bothering your field techs that much? Why would a company choose a name so completely and consistently associated with poor treatment of customers?

Re:AT$T (2)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 3 years ago | (#35984748)

No. AT&T is Southwest Bell with lipstick. They are an amalgamation of Ameritech, PacBell, and assets they picked up on the way. But at the core, they are a "Baby Bell" monopoly. It's the management of SW Bell in their "take over the world" phase.

And now they need to complete their rape and pillage by buying T-Mobile. Did you think the caps were for technical reasons? No. They need revenue to finance the hideous acquisition that would make them The Death Star Monopoly again.

Re:AT$T (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 3 years ago | (#35984834)

No. AT&T is Southwest Bell with lipstick. They are an amalgamation of Ameritech, PacBell, and assets they picked up on the way. But at the core, they are a "Baby Bell" monopoly. It's the management of SW Bell in their "take over the world" phase.

IOW, the original AT&T monopoly reassembling itself, exactly like GPP said. The fact that the company which kept the AT&T name was swallowed by one of its children, rather than the reverse, is really irrelevant -- the point is that it was all Ma Bell originally, and it keeps coming back to that, the monster that just won't die.

Re:AT$T (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35984932)

IOW, the original AT&T monopoly reassembling itself, exactly like GPP said

Not quite. One of their main competitors is Verizon, which previously existed as two Baby Bells (Bell Atlantic and NYNEX), and CenturyLink now owns what used to be US West, which was another Baby Bell. The AT&T that exists now is not the same company that was broken up in 1982.

Re:AT$T (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#35984732)

I have the Uverse service, but don't really see a problem (yet, we'll see). DSL alone is $20 per month, Uverse is twice the speed and is only $25. Both are cheaper than Comcast -- but if they start charging me extra, it would be easy to go to Comcast, who are even worse than AT&T.

Re:AT$T (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35984800)

Those are 6 month special pricings only. Then the price will go up after 6 months.

Re:AT$T (1)

WyzrdX (1390963) | more than 3 years ago | (#35985014)

I have the Uverse service, but don't really see a problem (yet, we'll see). DSL alone is $20 per month, Uverse is twice the speed and is only $25. Both are cheaper than Comcast -- but if they start charging me extra, it would be easy to go to Comcast, who are even worse than AT&T.

Yes uVerse is cheaper than Comcast. Yes it is twice as fast as DSL. But lets face it, 25 per month for 1/4 of the speed my 60Mb connection. I pay 50 per month and get 300% faster than uVerse. Even the top speed uVerse Max Turbo is up to 24Mb down and 3Mb up. I get up to 75Mb down and 6.5Mb up and if I have a problem or outage, I get those days credited to my account and the service doesnt depend on Where I Live in proximity to AT&T lines.

Re:AT$T (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35985038)

For 25 a month I would just buy two connections and switch over mid-month then you get 500 GB for 50 dollars which is only 8 dollars more than I pay for my uncapped connection.

Good Idea. (1, Troll)

outsider007 (115534) | more than 3 years ago | (#35984582)

I'm tired of having to ask AT&T iPhone customers to refrain from masturbating while riding on public transportation. Hopefully this new cap will help put an end to such obscene displays.

Re:Good Idea. (2)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#35984622)

What else do you think MultiTouch was for?

Just you wait, someone will develop an interface that actually creates SFW real work with those motions.

"Johnson! What the HELL are you doing??"
"Your report is in your inbox, Sir."

Of course people are swallowing this (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35984600)

just like they did when told they would be paying to receive calls on their cells. More proof that the 'free' market is retarded.

Re:Of course people are swallowing this (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35984676)

Phone companies are near monopoles. That's why they can do that. In the free market monopolies can and must be regulated by government. This type of behavior is because of a failure of regulation. What's with this knee jerk reaction against markets on /.?

Re:Of course people are swallowing this (2)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 3 years ago | (#35984792)

It's pretty sad, given that your classic knee-jerk Slashdot Libertarian annotates every post with "ignoring the phone companies, which have completely embedded themselves legally and don't representing anything remotely like a free market..."

It's as if extremely opinionated people are impervious to the ideas of everyone else, or something! (Oh no!)

Re:Of course people are swallowing this (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35984978)

"ignoring the phone companies, which have completely embedded themselves legally and don't representing anything remotely like a free market..."

Because it's true?
The cellular market in the US is highly regulated, it's probably the only market in the world with a multi-billion dollar barrier to entry (what's cellular spectrum segments going for these days?)

You can't have a free market if no-one else can compete. Go ahead, set up a cell tower in your back yard - see how quickly the FCC come knocking.

Re:Of course people are swallowing this (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35984982)

Well, it's perfectly understandable, if those ideas are wrongheaded and ignorant -- like the idea that monopolies just grow out of a market naturally. This was Karl Marx's view, but was basically a bourgeoius fairy tale he swallowed whole without any thought. If he had considered it, he probably would have realized it to be a fantasy born from the comfortable ignorance of the middle class, and history would have been vastly different. ("The way things are now is the way they're supposed to be" is the default philosophy of the middle class, a kind of somnolent dismissal of anything that might disturb their narrow-minded contentment.)

  The reality is that such institutions are again and again the visible result of state collusion with favored sectors of the economy to insulate those actors from competition. The railroad monopolies, the telephone monopolies, the big media monopolies, they all owe their existence to government protectionism. They couldn't exist without it -- monopolies collapse in a free market.

  That said, government regulation is a reasonable method of fixing this problem, since it is government that created it. Refusing regulation while also refusing to undo the protections that created this mess is foolish. It would be better to cut these companies loose from all protections and allow them to be swallowed by competitors, but I wouldn't hold my breath. Lots of powerful actors have spent a couple centuries building unfairness into our economy, and would fight any rebalancing effort tooth and nail. As long as government continues to exist, they will strive to wield it against us, so it's acceptable to try to wield it back for now.

Re:Of course people are swallowing this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35984758)

Wait... That really happens in some country? People pay to receive phone calls?

If that is true I am baffled... I would never have imagined someone would take that.

We just need (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35984608)

This needs to happen to multicasting too. Maybe through a sin tax on watching any form of video.

Thx (1)

togofspookware (464119) | more than 3 years ago | (#35984616)

I needed more reasons to quit AT&T; maybe now I finally will (we have some other, crappy-in-different-ways competitors here in Madison, WI).

Re:Crappy (2, Interesting)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#35984662)

That's just it, I haven't done the chart yet, but aren't most of the big names moving to bandwidth caps?

Does no one else notice that "move your stuff to the cloud" ... takes bandwdith?

Then in that corporate "never give ground" fashion, they'll just ratchet down the caps every 2 years or so.

We all need to go see that movie (Total Recall?) where someone cuts off the air. That's what we're headed to, Bit-Wise.

Re:Thx (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35985026)

TDS won't be one of them for much longer.

Sweden (5, Informative)

Securityemo (1407943) | more than 3 years ago | (#35984620)

I sit here, 90 miles above the polar circle in the northernmost city in Sweden, and I pay ~52 USD a month for an unlimited 100/10 (guaranteed minimum 60) connection from an RJ-45 jack in my apartment wall. It's an ordinary apartment, nothing special about it, this is something that is generally available. Bask in my smugness, etc.

Re:Sweden (0)

geniice (1336589) | more than 3 years ago | (#35984702)

"unlimited" just means that your provider is lying to you.

Re:Sweden (2)

Securityemo (1407943) | more than 3 years ago | (#35984724)

Nope, you don't get cut off. There are no hidden caps, at least not that I've ever heard of (and such information would spread fast.)

Re:Sweden (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35984928)

If the average user of this downloaded 250gb a month, would there be caps implemented?

Because that's the question.

Re:Sweden (1)

Securityemo (1407943) | more than 3 years ago | (#35984938)

No, not to the best of my knowledge.

Re:Sweden (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35984842)

That is quite untrue. I once did 3 terabytes in month myself and absolutely nothing happened. When the northern European ISPs say unlimited they mean it.

Also they don't undersize their core network capacity. It generally can handle the traffic. If it slows down they will enable more fibers and buy more hardware.

Re:Sweden (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35984858)

Absolutely not.

Here in the Netherlands an unlimited line is exactly that. You can download 24/7 at the maximum speed. No cap, no throttling.

Connections range from 8 Mbit (entry level, about 19 Euro / 27 dollar a month) to 120 Mbit (60 euro / 90 dollar a month). No other fees are added.

There are also huge discount when you combine Internet access with telephony and TV.

Re:Sweden (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35984708)

Yes but once the WTO gets on the case, municipalities will be forced to sell off their fibre infrastructure to private companies. When that happens you too will get zero on-going investment and shoddy service from fraudulent companies overselling their capacity.

Re:Sweden (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35984722)

At least my DSL connection isn't SOCIALIST!

Re:Sweden (4, Informative)

Edsj (1972476) | more than 3 years ago | (#35984776)

And not so far from Sweden, baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) have unilimited 50,100 and even 200Mbps for a cool $40. These countries are not even the richest but somewhat think that this is an investment for their future as they can create a new type of industry with all that bandwith avaliable, helping their economies.

Re:Sweden (1)

moonbender (547943) | more than 3 years ago | (#35985020)

To be fair, 40 USD in Estonia are not 40 USD in the US (or in Sweden, for that matter). The GDP per capita adjusted for purchasing power parity of Estonia is less than half of that of the US. A Big Mac is about 2.70 USD in Estonia, compared to 3.70 USD in the US.

Still, your point stands.

Re:Sweden (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35985022)

I doubt it's about helping their economies. They simply built their broadband infrastructure later, when these high bandwidths were taken into consideration. That's the advantage of late adaptors.

In the US on the other hand, corporations would have to upgrade their older infrastructure. Obviously that would cost money so they rather reduce service.

Sweden: WANT EVEN MORE SPEED (& more)? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35984958)

If you wish to get some of that bandwidth back, especially as an "end user" who is paying a monthly billing to ISP/BSP's like AT&T instituting this? You can... easily & here is how + why:

Use a custom HOSTS file!

It can gain you added online "layered security" (the best thing we have really to date), better speed, and even better "anonymity" (vs. DNS request logs, &/or DNSBL), but perhaps MOST IMPORTANTLY is, it gets you more "bang for your buck" for your monthly bill... and folks? IT IS NOTICEABLE SPEED, and yes, NOTICEABLY BETTER SECURITY, period, if done right!

On this issue of "bandwidth caps" by ISP/BSP's, specifically however:

It can help you in 2 capacities vs. this, for:

---

1.) Conserving bandwidth YOU PAY FOR (after all folks - IT IS YOUR MONEY)

AND

2.) GAINING BACK SPEED YOU PAY FOR THAT YOU ARE WASTING LOADING ADBANNERS!

---

In fact, I'll post the ENTIRE "gamut" of WHY A HOSTS FILE IS SUPERIOR TO BOTH AdBlock &/or DNS servers alone, right now - which not only gets you more SPEED & BANDWIDTH PER MONTH, but also better online "layered security":

---

20++ ADVANTAGES OF HOSTS FILES OVER DNS SERVERS &/or ADBLOCK ALONE for added layered security:

1.) HOSTS files are useable for all these purposes because they are present on all Operating Systems that have a BSD based IP stack (even ANDROID) and do adblocking for ANY webbrowser, email program, etc. (any webbound program).

2.) Bad news: ADBLOCK CAN BE DETECTED FOR: See here on that note -> http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2010/03/why-ad-blocking-is-devastating-to-the-sites-you-love.ars [arstechnica.com]

HOSTS files are NOT BLOCKABLE by websites, as was tried on users by ARSTECHNICA (and it worked, proving HOSTS files are a better solution for this because they cannot be blocked & detected for, in that manner), to that websites' users' dismay:

PERTINENT QUOTE/EXCERPT FROM ARSTECHNICA THEMSELVES:

----

An experiment gone wrong - By Ken Fisher | Last updated March 6, 2010 11:11 AM

http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2010/03/why-ad-blocking-is-devastating-to-the-sites-you-love.ars [arstechnica.com]

"Starting late Friday afternoon we conducted a 12 hour experiment to see if it would be possible to simply make content disappear for visitors who were using a very popular ad blocking tool. Technologically, it was a success in that it worked. Ad blockers, and only ad blockers, couldn't see our content."

and

"Our experiment is over, and we're glad we did it because it led to us learning that we needed to communicate our point of view every once in a while. Sure, some people told us we deserved to die in a fire. But that's the Internet!"

Thus, as you can see? Well - THAT all "went over like a lead balloon" with their users in other words, because Arstechnica was forced to change it back to the old way where ADBLOCK still could work to do its job (REDDIT however, has not, for example). However/Again - this is proof that HOSTS files can still do the job, blocking potentially malscripted ads (or ads in general because they slow you down) vs. adblockers like ADBLOCK!

----

3.) Adblock doesn't protect email programs external to FF, Hosts files do. THIS IS GOOD VS. SPAM MAIL or MAILS THAT BEAR MALICIOUS SCRIPT, or, THAT POINT TO MALICIOUS SCRIPT VIA URLS etc.

4.) Adblock won't get you to your favorite sites if a DNS server goes down or is DNS-poisoned, hosts will (this leads to points 4-7 next below).

5.) Adblock doesn't allow you to hardcode in your favorite websites into it so you don't make DNS server calls and so you can avoid tracking by DNS request logs, hosts do (DNS servers are also being abused by the Chinese lately and by the Kaminsky flaw -> http://www.networkworld.com/news/2008/082908-kaminsky-flaw-prompts-dns-server.html [networkworld.com] for years now). Hosts protect against those problems via hardcodes of your fav sites (you should verify against the TLD that does nothing but cache IPAddress-to-domainname/hostname resolutions via NSLOOKUP, PINGS, &/or WHOIS though, regularly, so you have the correct IP & it's current)).

6.) HOSTS files protect you vs. DNS-poisoning &/or the Kaminsky flaw in DNS servers, and allow you to get to sites reliably vs. things like the Chinese are doing to DNS -> http://yro.slashdot.org/story/10/11/29/1755230/Chinese-DNS-Tampering-a-Real-Threat-To-Outsiders [slashdot.org]

7.) HOSTS files will allow you to get to sites you like, via hardcoding your favs into a HOSTS file, FAR faster than DNS servers can by FAR (by saving the roundtrip inquiry time to a DNS server & back to you).

8.) AdBlock doesn't let you block out known bad sites or servers that are known to be maliciously scripted, hosts can and many reputable lists for this exist:

GOOD INFORMATION ON MALWARE BEHAVIOR LISTING BOTNET C&C SERVERS + MORE (AS WELL AS REMOVAL LISTS FOR HOSTS):

http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm [mvps.org]
http://someonewhocares.org/hosts/ [someonewhocares.org]
http://hostsfile.org/hosts.html [hostsfile.org]
http://hostsfile.mine.nu/downloads/ [hostsfile.mine.nu]
http://hosts-file.net/?s=Download [hosts-file.net]
https://zeustracker.abuse.ch/monitor.php?filter=online [abuse.ch]
https://spyeyetracker.abuse.ch/monitor.php [abuse.ch]
http://ddanchev.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]
http://www.malware.com.br/lists.shtml [malware.com.br]
http://www.stopbadware.org/ [stopbadware.org]
Spybot "Search & Destroy" IMMUNIZE feature (fortifies HOSTS files with KNOWN bad servers blocked)

And yes: Even SLASHDOT &/or The Register help!

(Via articles on security (when the source articles they use are "detailed" that is, & list the servers/sites involved in attempting to bushwhack others online that is... not ALL do!)).

2 examples thereof in the past I have used, & noted it there, are/were:

http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1898692&cid=34473398 [slashdot.org]
http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1896216&cid=34458500 [slashdot.org]

9.) AdBlock & DNS servers are programs, and subject to bugs programs can get. Hosts files are merely a filter and not a program, thus not subject to bugs of the nature just discussed.

10.) Hosts files don't eat up CPU cycles like AdBlock does while it parses a webpages' content, nor as much as a DNS server does while it runs. HOSTS file are merely a FILTER for the kernel mode/PnP TCP/IP subsystem, which runs FAR FASTER & MORE EFFICIENTY than any ring 3/rpl3/usermode app can.

11.) HOSTS files are EASILY user controlled, obtained (for reliable ones -> http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm [mvps.org] ) & edited too, via texteditors like Windows notepad.exe or Linux nano (etc.)

12.) With Adblock you had better be able to code javascript to play with its code. With hosts you don't even need source to control it (edit, update, delete, insert of new entries via a text editor).

13.) Hosts files are easily secured via using MAC/ACL &/or Read-Only attributes applied.

14.) Custom HOSTS files also speed you up, unlike anonymous proxy servers systems variations (like TOR, or other "highly anonymous" proxy server list servers typically do, in the severe speed hit they often have a cost in) either via "hardcoding" your fav. sites into your hosts file (avoids DNS servers, totally) OR blocking out adbanners - see this below for evidence of that:

US Military Blocks Websites To Free Up Bandwidth:

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/03/16/0416238/US-Military-Blocks-Websites-To-Free-Up-Bandwidth [slashdot.org]

(Yes, even the US Military used this type of technique... because IT WORKS! Most of what they blocked? Ad banners ala doubleclick etc.)

ADBANNERS SLOW DOWN THE WEB: -> http://tech.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/11/30/166218 [slashdot.org]

and people do NOT LIKE ads on the web:

PEOPLE DISLIKE ADBANNERS: http://yro.slashdot.org/yro/08/04/02/0058247.shtml [slashdot.org]

15.) HOSTS files usage lets you avoid being charged on some ISP/BSP's (OR phone providers) "pay as you use" policy http://yro.slashdot.org/story/10/12/08/2012243/FCC-Approving-Pay-As-You-Go-Internet-Plans [slashdot.org] , because you are using less bandwidth (& go faster doing so no less) by NOT hauling in adbanner content and processing it (which can lead to infestation by malware/malicious script, in & of itself -> http://apcmag.com/microsoft_apologises_for_serving_malware.htm [apcmag.com] ).

16.) If/when ISP/BSP's decide to go to -> FCC Approving Pay-As-You-Go Internet Plans: http://yro.slashdot.org/story/10/12/08/2012243/FCC-Approving-Pay-As-You-Go-Internet-Plans [slashdot.org] your internet bill will go DOWN if you use a HOSTS file for blocking adbanners as well as maliciously scripted hacker/cracker malware maker sites too (after all - it's your money & time online downloading adbanner content & processing it)

Plus, your adbanner content? Well, it may also be hijacked with malicious code too mind you:

---

Ad networks owned by Google, Microsoft serve malware:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/12/13/doubleclick_msn_malware_attacks/ [theregister.co.uk]

---

Attacks Targeting Classified Ad Sites Surge:

http://it.slashdot.org/story/11/02/02/1433210/Attacks-Targeting-Classified-Ad-Sites-Surge [slashdot.org]

---

Hackers Respond To Help Wanted Ads With Malware:

http://it.slashdot.org/story/11/01/20/0228258/Hackers-Respond-To-Help-Wanted-Ads-With-Malware [slashdot.org]

---

Hackers Use Banner Ads on Major Sites to Hijack Your PC:

http://www.wired.com/techbiz/media/news/2007/11/doubleclick [wired.com]

---

Ruskie gang hijacks Microsoft network to push penis pills:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/10/12/microsoft_ips_hijacked/ [theregister.co.uk]

---

Major ISPs Injecting Ads, Vulnerabilities Into Web:

http://it.slashdot.org/it/08/04/19/2148215.shtml [slashdot.org]

---

Users Know Advertisers Watch Them, and Hate It:

http://yro.slashdot.org/yro/08/04/02/0058247.shtml [slashdot.org]

---

Two Major Ad Networks Found Serving Malware:

http://tech.slashdot.org/story/10/12/13/0128249/Two-Major-Ad-Networks-Found-Serving-Malware [slashdot.org]

---

ADBANNERS SLOW DOWN THE WEB:

http://tech.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/11/30/166218 [slashdot.org]

---

THE NEXT AD YOU CLICK MAY BE A VIRUS:

http://it.slashdot.org/story/09/06/15/2056219/The-Next-Ad-You-Click-May-Be-a-Virus [slashdot.org]

---

NY TIMES INFECTED WITH MALWARE ADBANNER:

http://news.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/09/13/2346229 [slashdot.org]

---

MICROSOFT HIT BY MALWARES IN ADBANNERS:

http://apcmag.com/microsoft_apologises_for_serving_malware.htm [apcmag.com]

---

ISP's INJECTING ADS AND ERRORS INTO THE WEB: -> http://it.slashdot.org/it/08/04/19/2148215.shtml [slashdot.org]

---

ADOBE FLASH ADS INJECTING MALWARE INTO THE NET: http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/08/20/0029220&from=rss [slashdot.org]

---

London Stock Exchange Web Site Serving Malware:

http://www.securityweek.com/london-stock-exchange-web-site-serving-malware [securityweek.com]

---

Spotify splattered with malware-tainted ads:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/03/25/spotify_malvertisement_attack/ [theregister.co.uk]

---

As my list "multiple evidences thereof" as to adbanners & viruses + the fact they slow you down & cost you more (from reputable & reliable sources no less)).

17.) Per point #16, a way to save some money: ANDROID phones can also use the HOSTS FILE TO KEEP DOWN BILLABLE TIME ONLINE, vs. adbanners or malware such as this:

---

Infected Androids Run Up Big Texting Bills:

http://it.slashdot.org/story/11/03/01/0041203/Infected-Androids-Run-Up-Big-Texting-Bills [slashdot.org]

---

It's easily done too, via the ADB dev. tool, & mounting ANDROID OS' system mountpoint for system/etc as READ + WRITE/ADMIN-ROOT PERMISSIONS, then copying your new custom HOSTS over the old one using ADB PULL/ADB PUSH to do so (otherwise ANDROID complains of "this file cannot be overwritten on production models of this Operating System", or something very along those lines - this way gets you around that annoyance along with you possibly having to clear some space there yourself if you packed it with things!).

18.) Adblock blocks ads in only 1-2 browser family, but not all (Disclaimer: Opera now has an AdBlock addon (now that Opera has addons above widgets), but I am not certain the same people make it as they do for FF or Chrome etc.).

19.) Even WIKILEAKS "favors" blacklists (because they work, and HOSTS can be a blacklist vs. known BAD sites/servers/domain-host names):

---

PERTINENT QUOTE/EXCERPT (from -> http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/12/16/wikileaks_mirror_malware_warning_row/ [theregister.co.uk] )

"we are in favour of 'Blacklists', be it for mail servers or websites, they have to be compiled with care... Fortunately, more responsible blacklists, like stopbadware.org (which protects the Firefox browser)...

---

20.) AND, LASTLY? SINCE MALWARE GENERALLY HAS TO OPERATE ON WHAT YOU YOURSELF CAN DO (running as limited class/least privlege user, hopefully, OR even as ADMIN/ROOT/SUPERUSER)? HOSTS "LOCK IN" malware too, vs. communicating "back to mama" for orders (provided they have name servers + C&C botnet servers listed in them, blocked off in your HOSTS that is) - you might think they use a hardcoded IP, which IS possible, but generally they do not & RECYCLE domain/host names they own (such as has been seen with the RBN (Russian Business Network) lately though it was considered "dead", other malwares are using its domains/hostnames now, & this? This stops that cold, too - Bonus!)...

Still - It's a GOOD idea to layer in the usage of BOTH browser addons for security like adblock, &/or NoScript (especially this one, as it covers what HOSTS files can't in javascript which is the main deliverer of MOST attacks online & SECUNIA.COM can verify this for anyone really by looking @ the past few years of attacks nowadays), for the concept of "layered security"....

It's just that HOSTS files offer you a LOT MORE gains than Adblock does alone (as hosts do things adblock just plain cannot & on more programs, for more speed, security, and "stealth" to a degree even), and it corrects problems in DNS (as shown above via hardcodes of your favorite sites into your HOSTS file, and more (such as avoiding DNS request logs)).

ALSO - Some more notes on DNS servers & their problems, very recent + ongoing ones:

BIND vs. what the Chinese are doing to DNS lately? See here:

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/10/11/29/1755230/Chinese-DNS-Tampering-a-Real-Threat-To-Outsiders [slashdot.org]

---

SECUNIA HIT BY DNS REDIRECTION HACK THIS WEEK:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/11/26/secunia_back_from_dns_hack/ [theregister.co.uk]

(Yes, even "security pros" are helpless vs. DNS problems in code bugs OR redirect DNS poisoning issues, & they can only try to "set the DNS record straight" & then, they still have to wait for corrected DNS info. to propogate across all subordinate DNS servers too - lagtime in which folks DO get "abused" in mind you!)

---

DNS vs. the "Kaminsky DNS flaw", here (and even MORE problems in DNS than just that):

http://www.scmagazineus.com/new-bind-9-dns-flaw-is-worse-than-kaminskys/article/140872/ [scmagazineus.com]

(Seems others are saying that some NEW "Bind9 flaw" is worse than the Kaminsky flaw ALONE, up there, mind you... probably corrected (hopefully), but it shows yet again, DNS hassles (DNS redirect/DNS poisoning) being exploited!)

---

Moxie Marlinspike's found others (0 hack) as well...

Nope... "layered security" truly IS the "way to go" - hacker/cracker types know it, & they do NOT want the rest of us knowing it too!...

(So until DNSSEC takes "widespread adoption"? HOSTS are your answer vs. such types of attack, because the 1st thing your system refers to, by default, IS your HOSTS file (over say, DNS server usage). There are decent DNS servers though, such as OpenDNS, ScrubIT, or even GOOGLE DNS, & because I cannot "cache the entire internet" in a HOSTS file? I opt to use those, because I have to (& OpenDNS has been noted to "fix immediately", per the Kaminsky flaw, in fact... just as a sort of reference to how WELL they are maintained really!)

---

DNS provider decked by DDoS dastards:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/11/16/ddos_on_dns_firm/ [theregister.co.uk]

---

Ten Percent of DNS Servers Still Vulnerable: (so much for "conscientious patching", eh? Many DNS providers weren't patching when they had to!)

http://it.slashdot.org/it/05/08/04/1525235.shtml?tid=172&tid=95&tid=218 [slashdot.org]

---

DDoS Attacks Via DNS Recursion:

http://it.slashdot.org/it/06/03/16/1658209.shtml [slashdot.org]

---

DNS ROOT SERVERS ATTACKED:

http://it.slashdot.org/it/07/02/06/2238225.shtml [slashdot.org]

---

TimeWarner DNS Hijacking:

http://tech.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/07/23/2140208 [slashdot.org]

---

DNS Re-Binding Attacks:

http://crypto.stanford.edu/dns/ [stanford.edu]

---

DNS Server Survey Reveals Mixed Security Picture:

http://it.slashdot.org/it/07/11/21/0315239.shtml [slashdot.org]

---

Photobucket's DNS records hijacked by Turkish hacking group:

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/security/title/1285 [zdnet.com]

---

Halvar figured out super-secret DNS vulnerability:

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/security/has-halvar-figured-out-super-secret-dns-vulnerability/1520 [zdnet.com]

---

BIND Still Susceptible To DNS Cache Poisoning:

http://tech.slashdot.org/tech/08/08/09/123222.shtml [slashdot.org]

---

DNS Poisoning Hits One of China's Biggest ISPs:

http://it.slashdot.org/it/08/08/21/2343250.shtml [slashdot.org]

---

SLASHDOT USERS EXPERIENCING SUCCESS USING HOSTS FILES QUOTED VERBATIM:

---

"Ever since I've installed a host file (http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm) to redirect advertisers to my loopback, I haven't had any malware, spyware, or adware issues. I first started using the host file 5 years ago." - by TestedDoughnut (1324447) on Monday December 13, @12:18AM (#34532122)

"I also use the MVPS ad blocking hosts file." - by Rick17JJ (744063) on Wednesday January 19, @03:04PM (#34931482)

"I use ad-Block and a hostfile" - by Ol Olsoc (1175323) on Tuesday March 01, @10:11AM (#35346902)

"^^ One of the many reasons why I like the user-friendliness of the /etc/hosts file." - by lennier1 (264730) on Saturday March 05, @09:26PM (#35393448)

"I use a custom /etc/hosts to block ads... my file gets parsed basically instantly ... So basically, for any modern computer, it has zero visible impact. And even if it took, say, a second to parse, that would be more than offset by the MANY seconds saved by not downloading and rendering ads. I have noticed NO ill effects from running a custom /etc/hosts file for the last several years. And as a matter of fact I DO run http servers on my computers and I've never had an /etc/hosts-related problem... it FUCKING WORKS and makes my life better overall." - by sootman (158191) on Monday July 13 2009, @11:47AM (#28677363) Homepage Journal

"I do use Hosts, for a couple fake domains I use." - by icebraining (1313345) on Saturday December 11, @09:34AM (#34523012) Homepage

"They've been on my HOSTS block for years" - by ScottCooperDotNet (929575) on Thursday August 05 2010, @01:52AM (#33147212)

"Better than an ad blocker, imo. Hosts file entries: http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm [mvps.org] [mvps.org]" - by TempestRose (1187397) on Tuesday March 15, @12:53PM (#35493274)

"I'm currently only using my hosts file to block pheedo ads from showing up in my RSS feeds and causing them to take forever to load. Regardless of its original intent, it's still a valid tool, when used judiciously." - by Bill Dog (726542) on Monday April 25, @02:16AM (#35927050) Homepage Journal

"put in your /etc/hosts:" - by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 03, @09:17AM (#34429688)

---

Then, there is also the words of respected security expert, Mr. Oliver Day, from SECUNIA.COM to "top that all off" as well:

A RETURN TO THE KILLFILE:

http://www.securityfocus.com/columnists/491 [securityfocus.com]

Some "PERTINENT QUOTES/EXCERPTS" to back up my points with (for starters):

---

"The host file on my day-to-day laptop is now over 16,000 lines long. Accessing the Internet -- particularly browsing the Web -- is actually faster now."

Speed, and security, is the gain... others like Mr. Day note it as well!

---

"From what I have seen in my research, major efforts to share lists of unwanted hosts began gaining serious momentum earlier this decade. The most popular appear to have started as a means to block advertising and as a way to avoid being tracked by sites that use cookies to gather data on the user across Web properties. More recently, projects like Spybot Search and Destroy offer lists of known malicious servers to add a layer of defense against trojans and other forms of malware."

Per my points exactly, no less... & guess who was posting about HOSTS files a 14++ yrs. or more back & Mr. Day was reading & now using? Yours truly (& this is one of the later ones, from 2001 http://www.furtherleft.net/computer.htm [furtherleft.net] (but the example HOSTS file with my initials in it is FAR older, circa 1998 or so) or thereabouts, and referred to later by a pal of mine who moderates NTCompatible.com (where I posted on HOSTS for YEARS (1997 onwards)) -> http://www.ntcompatible.com/thread28597-1.html [ntcompatible.com] !

---

"Shared host files could be beneficial for other groups as well. Human rights groups have sought after block resistant technologies for quite some time. The GoDaddy debacle with NMap creator Fyodor (corrected) showed a particularly vicious blocking mechanism using DNS registrars. Once a registrar pulls a website from its records, the world ceases to have an effective way to find it. Shared host files could provide a DNS-proof method of reaching sites, not to mention removing an additional vector of detection if anyone were trying to monitor the use of subversive sites. One of the known weaknesses of the Tor system, for example, is direct DNS requests by applications not configured to route such requests through Tor's network."

There you go: AND, it also works vs. the "KAMINSKY DNS FLAW" & DNS poisoning/redirect attacks, for redirectable weaknesses in DNS servers (non DNSSEC type, & set into recursive mode especially) and also in the TOR system as well (that lends itself to anonymous proxy usage weaknesses I noted above also) and, you'll get to sites you want to, even IF a DNS registrar drops said websites from its tables as shown here Beating Censorship By Routing Around DNS -> http://yro.slashdot.org/story/10/12/09/1840246/Beating-Censorship-By-Routing-Around-DNS [slashdot.org] & even DNSBL also (DNS Block Lists) -> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DNSBL [wikipedia.org] as well - DOUBLE-BONUS!

APK

P.S.=> SOME MINOR "CAVEATS/CATCH-22's" - things to be aware of for "layered security" + HOSTS file performance - easily overcome, or not a problem at all:

A.) HOSTS files don't function under PROXY SERVERS (except for Proximitron, which has a filter that allows it) - Which is *the "WHY"* of why I state in my "P.S." section below to use both AdBlock type browser addon methods (or even built-in block lists browsers have such as Opera's URLFILTER.INI file, & FireFox has such as list as does IE also) in combination with HOSTS, for the best in "layered security" (alongside .pac files + custom cascading style sheets that can filter off various tags such as scripts or ads etc.) - but proxies, especially "HIGHLY ANONYMOUS" types, generally slow you down to a CRAWL online (& personally, I cannot see using proxies "for the good" typically - as they allow "truly anonymous posting" & have bugs (such as TOR has been shown to have & be "bypassable/traceable" via its "onion routing" methods)).

B.) HOSTS files do NOT protect you vs. javascript (this only holds true IF you don't already have a bad site blocked out in your HOSTS file though, & the list of sites where you can obtain such lists to add to your HOSTS are above (& updated daily in many of them)).

C.) HOSTS files (relatively "largish ones") require you to turn off Windows' native "DNS local client cache service" (which has a problem in that it's designed with a non-redimensionable/resizeable list, array, or queue (DNS data loads into a C/C++ structure actually/afaik, which IS a form of array)) - mvps.org covers that in detail and how to easily do this in Windows (this is NOT a problem in Linux, & it's 1 thing I will give Linux over Windows, hands-down). Relatively "smallish" HOSTS files don't have this problem (mvps.org offers 2 types for this).

D.) HOSTS files, once read/loaded, once GET CACHED, for speed of access/re-access (@ system startup in older MS OS' like 2000, or, upon a users' 1st request that's "Webbound" via say, a webbrowser) gets read into either the DNS local caching client service (noted above), OR, if that's turned off? Into your local diskcache (like ANY file is), so it reads F A S T upon re-reads/subsequent reads (until it's changed in %WinDir%\system32\drivers\etc on Windows, which marks it "Dirty" & then it gets re-read + reloaded into the local diskcache again). This may cause a SMALL lag upon reload though, depending on the size of your HOSTS file.

E.) HOSTS files don't protect vs. BGP exploits - Sorry, once it's out of your hands/machine + past any interior network + routers you have, the packets you send are out there into the ISP/BSP's hands - they're "the Agents" holding all the keys to the doorways at that point (hosts are just a forcefield-filter (for lack of a better description) armor on what can come in mostly, & a bit of what can go out too (per point 18 above on "locking in malware")). Hosts work as a "I can't get burned if I can't go into the kitchen" protection, for you: Not your ISP/BSP. It doesn't extend to them... apk

the joke(s) (3, Funny)

AmigaHeretic (991368) | more than 3 years ago | (#35984624)

I called at&t customer service and spoke to a nice representative. After listening to my concerns about broadband caps being imposed on accounts, he explained that the rising cost of fuel was effecting the price of delivering the bits to my home, hence the need for the limits on bandwidth. He asked if he could place me on hold for a moment while he talked to a supervisor, when he came back he said had gotten permission to grandfather my account to keep it as unlimited for as long as the account remained open.

(this is probably only sad/funny for people that have actually ever called at&t. feel free to point out all the discrepancies/truths)

Re:the joke(s) (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#35984636)

It's been a while but I vaguely recall AT&T reps being better than Verizon reps.

Re:the joke(s) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35984660)

After listening to my concerns...

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Re:the joke(s) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35985004)

Wait did you just say fuel costs? What kind of fuel is there involved in a network put in place years ago? Or was this the joke? Is it sad that I can't tell if that part is the joke or whether it's the good customer service that's the joke?

Good to see America is catching up (1)

Hermanas (1665329) | more than 3 years ago | (#35984640)

Here in South Africa we've always had capped Internet.

Re:Good to see America is catching up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35984950)

Here in South Africa we've always had capped Internet.

Great ! America is going backwards.... no offense meant.

What about advertising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35984646)

What I don't hear talked about a whole lot is the impact these policies will have on the current advertising based model that most of the internet operates under. Under a cap, every advertisement is stealing part of my monthly cap. I want that back, or to be paid for it, or have it blocked. As caps become more of a problem there will be a greater demand for better software to block ads. Eventually the entire advertising based model will collapse.

Maybe part of their plan?

Re:What about advertising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35984820)

Next step is opt in ads to increase your cap.

Re:What about advertising (1)

jmccue (834797) | more than 3 years ago | (#35984976)

That is my concern, I do not come close to 250g a month, but seems people will start paying to see ads in the near future. Also, once limits are imposed, they seem to slowly shrink over the years. Easy enough to block some ads but may end up in a arms race similar to email and spam :( I would want a refund for any ads eating bandwidth and I will call the ISP if I ever start approaching the limit

Vote with your Wallet (0)

clinko (232501) | more than 3 years ago | (#35984672)

I know it doesn't help much, but I recently moved ISPs from AT&T of this. It sounds childish and passive aggressive, but it's easier to do than you think.

1) http://lmgtfy.com/?q=internet+providers [lmgtfy.com]

2) When you find the best for you, just ask for free installation on the call. They always do it, if not, go to #2 in the list. (Bonus, new business always gets to a live rep immediately on a call. No waiting)

3) Request a weekend installation

4) Cancel At&t service. There's no contract with AT&T internet.

The only thing keeping you from unlimited data is those 3 steps (the 4th is the pay-off).

Re:Vote with your Wallet (5, Insightful)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#35984786)

oh thank you, I have never thought of that before, lets see here in my area there is

#1) ATT
#2) Comcast

well fuck me, that showed them

Re:Vote with your Wallet (3, Insightful)

magamiako1 (1026318) | more than 3 years ago | (#35984868)

FUCK YEAH! FREE MARKET WINS OUT AGAIN!

YOU TOTALLY HAVE A CHOICE!

But you forgot:

#3) No internet at all

The amusing thing is that the free market libertarians argue very much like religious people (usually they're one in the same), in that the choices religious people present to you are:

#1) Bask in God's glory and accept Jesus Christ into your heart and be saved.
#2) BURN IN THE FIERY PITS OF HELL AND BE TORTURED FOR ALL ETERNITY

Doesn't sound like much of a choice to me, but for them, it is.

Back to the market for a second, the obvious excuse is "Well, if you feel that you cannot do without the service, that means having the service is worth whatever they're willing to charge and whatever you're willing to pay before you'll do without."

But me, I prefer to live in a more modern society, with an elected government body that represent the people. And I want laws that I know are good for *everyone*, not just for a *select few*.

Re:Vote with your Wallet (2)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 3 years ago | (#35984902)

You have Comcast? My choices are:
#1) AT&T
#2) Broadstripe (one of the worst rated ISPs on Broadband Reports)

I currently have Broadstripe and am seriously considering switch to AT&T because Broadstripe seems to think 150+ms ping times that wildly fluctuate up and down following their last upstream provider change is perfectly normal. They also consider random 15 second upstream dropouts to be perfectly normal. Did I mention I called techs out twice to fix this issue?

Re:Vote with your Wallet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35984818)

Hey look! No other options for broadband other than AT&T or Comcast in South Florida.

Boy I am sure glad i got options which allow me to keep my current speeds instead of going back to dial-up.

Alternatives? (1)

stopacop (2042526) | more than 3 years ago | (#35984686)

How much would it cost me for a 50 - 100Mbps connection so I can allow my neighbors to download all they want, make it affordable to them at a similar (or cheaper) cost, and have the bill covered?

Re:Alternatives? (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#35984778)

I don't think the speeds are that high; I have 6 mbps for $25, 3 mbps is $20. And the TOS forbids leaving your router open. This kind of annoys me, as I latch on to open hotspots and would like to leave one open for others.

My only other choice is Comcast, but I don't know what speed they deliver. Movies stream fine, so the 6 mbps is working for me.

Truth in advertising? (5, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 3 years ago | (#35984690)

Maybe the FTC should force them to add a "Not suitable for streaming" disclaimer to all of their advertisements unless their cap can support high quality streaming (2.3GB/hour) for as many hours that a typical household watches TV (6.75 hours/day), which would mean a cap of 465GB/Month.

Re:Truth in advertising? (2)

transporter_ii (986545) | more than 3 years ago | (#35984770)

Well, anyone who has any knowledge of how the Internet works knew that there wasn't enough bandwidth for everyone to stream at the same time because the ISP business mode was based on overselling bandwidth. Plain and simple.

So everyone gets mad to find out that "unlimited" didn't really mean unlimited. And then everyone gets mad when they stop calling it "unlimited" and actually telling people it is capped. You can please some of the people some of the time, but...

Let me state how much I hate phone companies right now. But start your own ISP and see how expensive it would be to get unlimited, dedicated bandwidth to every last one of your subscribers at the same time 24/7...and do so for 19.95 or 29.95 a month. I've worked at a WISP and it's a whole different ballgame when you are on the other side of the table. Especially when you have investor's money and they are expecting a return on their investment.

Re:Truth in advertising? (5, Informative)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 3 years ago | (#35984896)

Sure, I understand how oversubscription works, but don't say that your service is great for video streaming when I'd hit your cap in 15 days if I tried to replace my normal TV viewing with streaming.

I really don't care what the economics of being an ISP are - if they can't support the use they are claiming it's for, then they shouldn't be making that claim. It's not like they didn't know years ago that video streaming was on the upswing and would become a dominant use of bandwidth so surely they've had time to come up with advertising collateral that accurately describes what their product can do.

It's like a car manufacturer advertising that their latest pickup is great for heavy construction use... then in the fine print they note "Warranty invalid if used for heavy construction use".

Re:Truth in advertising? (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#35984802)

its perfectly suitable for streaming, you want on demand hd buy that service, you want to watch the office 3 days later on hulu, well its still there

Cap (1)

dn15 (735502) | more than 3 years ago | (#35984692)

So it's come to this, has it? Good thing I still have unlimited data on my iPhone. If my home ISP starts capping I'll just have to watch NetFlix over 3G on my phone. :P

Re:Cap (2)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | more than 3 years ago | (#35984726)

Using the Magnifying iGlass app?

Re:Cap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35984952)

Using the Magnifying iGlass app?

You may think it cute, but using... this TV next to me, I put my hands out and use my fingers to size up the field of vision it takes up. @about 1.5 feet away from my face it comes to about the size of an iPad. So while the screen maybe smaller, the perspective distance can make smaller screens give as much as larger ones. I don't think anyone would use a tablet 3+ feet away from their face. Now in regards to the iPhone, yeah. Gotta wear one of those helmets that hold the phone for display about 3-4 inches away to get a good size.

What is so bad about it? (4, Interesting)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 3 years ago | (#35984700)

Come on a 150GB download limit, that is okay. If you need your porn faster then 150GB per second then... wait, it is NOT per second? Oh well, 150GB per day is still... not per day either?

Oh dear. You poor Americans... thank god in mainland Europe we have evil state sponsored businesses and no free market so we have a lot of choice of ISP's. But who will I now download my porn from at 100mbit and no bandwidth limit? Oh wait, Japan! Country of un-limitted porn AND bandwidth and now thanks to Fukushima, tentacle porn without special effects!

But I know the perfect way to get the Americans to shit up and enjoy the AT&T dick going up their ass for the thousand time. Here is it. Are you ready for it? Brace yourself:

The way to fix this, is government regulation.

Whoa, see? All the complainers now switched their energy to frothing at the mouth about the free market, small government etc etc and they stopped complaining about the ass raping they are getting. Always works.

Re:What is so bad about it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35984762)

Or instead just have enough people quit using the service and then maybe they'll think about it and uncap it. See free market at work.

Re:What is so bad about it? (2)

Arlet (29997) | more than 3 years ago | (#35984790)

That only works when there are enough alternative ISPs serving the same area.

Re:What is so bad about it? (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#35984836)

Quit the service and go where? To the other big cable company/telco that has the exact same bandwidth caps?

Re:What is so bad about it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35984764)

You apparently don't live in Belgium where almost all ISP are capped, and those that aren't are generally expensive or very limited in service areas.

I know Europeans hate it when anyone treats them as a single unified situation, you should do yourself the same credit.

Re:What is so bad about it? (1)

failedlogic (627314) | more than 3 years ago | (#35984890)

This is more than just a tad insensitive: "Oh wait, Japan! Country of un-limitted porn AND bandwidth and now thanks to Fukushima, tentacle porn without special effects!" I agree with the rest of your comment, but I hope it doesn't get modded as funny.

That said, the majority of the Canadian market share for high-speed is run by monopoly companies. There used to be a dozen or so ISPs in each city when the dial-up Internet was around and this worked well. Then these ISPs stayed around when the high-speed was available but were squeezed out, I think by low margins because the Ma Bells put some high costs on leasing the lines. Since its all monopoly players in the major markets, generally each province, Canadians don't have a choice. Your provider puts a cap and you have little if nowhere to go. Its too bad and I hope someday we get ourselves out of this mess.

If there are caps they should be higher. I'm leasing a place right now and I don't have much a choice on what the landlord is offering on Internet. I'm on 15 GB right now, started at 2 GB (which believe me is gone in NO time - I had to turn off images on everything!). I have to be careful with downloading Windows Updates. And I can't really download Linux ISOs. 150 GB is gone in no time with You-Tube, iTunes, etc. After 4 months of this, I'm getting a new place and have to sign-up for Internet. So, I'll finally be able to get the new Slackware ISO to try out rather than paying for a DVD to be shipped. :)
 

Ah Verizon Fios (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35984704)

Here lemme download a blu-ray movie. How about 4 at the same time? No problem! Sure I might live in the city, with pollution, traffic, inflated prices, and a closet-sized living space. But I have the closest thing to living in the datacenter I can get.

No you don't & here is how to get even MORE! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35984750)

READ THIS, & APPLY IT:

http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2116504&cid=35984684 [slashdot.org]

IT works... & yes, I've applied it to FIOS users' system (my niece has such as connection) & even there, it makes a difference in speed, and certainly in online layered security!

APK

P.S.=> I'm on VERIZON DSL here, & it makes a HUGE diff. in webpage speeds most of all, which only helps your overall speed experience (not much help on binaries DL's though, unless you hardcode in the DL link site to the HOSTS file that is, & then it helps hostname/domainname resolution be faster than calling out to remote DNS servers (which MAY be downed or compromised/redirected/dns-poisoned, etc./et al))...

Anyhow/anyways:

Read that link above, & I think you'll find you'll go EVEN FASTER (& it's like a FREE turbo for a car basically)... apk

What the U.S. and world needs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35984728)

is a massive exodus of AT&T customers. If you're an AT&T customer, cancel your account NOW or at the next contractual opportunity. If enough customers leave them to make this an unprofitable move, maybe the dark days of metered Internet can at least be put off a few more years.

Re:What the U.S. and world needs (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#35984824)

yea and where the hell are you going to go, comcast has caps, cellphones have caps (if you read your contract) so where is this great exodus going to take us, 20 years back passing messages over fidonet on a 2400baud?

Shut up already! (1)

PhreakOfTime (588141) | more than 3 years ago | (#35984900)

Nothing bothers me more than hearing this whining. blah blah blah... I want things for free... blah blah blah...

If thats what you want, then GO GET IT.

Want to hear a dirty secret? My ATT internet will NOT be capped starting monday. Why not? Because I decided it would be a better idea to PAY FOR a business account. Those are not capped at ATT, or Comcast.

Yes, it is more expensive than 'residential' service, but it also meets my needs, has better reliability, etc. My Uverse biz acct is also cheaper(and about 10X faster) than the old business DSL I switched from.

Bottom line, you get what you pay for. So don't be surprised when your service gets lumped in with the lowest common denominator. Because, that's exactly what you are.

Get over yourself.

Marginal pricing is good economics. (4, Insightful)

imcdowell (1986142) | more than 3 years ago | (#35984730)

Having a bandwidth cap per se is not a bad thing from a societal perspective; if there really is a marginal cost to carrying a GB of data you'll only get the socially optimal result if you price bandwidth at that marginal cost. From that perspective the Netflix degradation referenced in the article could be a good thing; if individuals value the higher video quality less than the price of transmitting it, the right outcome for society is for them to see lower quality video at lower cost.

Of course, the marginal price for a GB of data these days is near zero -- (one site [nerdboys.com] pegged it at $.03). AT&T has a fine idea, they're just pricing it 150x too high. The fact that they're able to do so screams market failure/monopoly to me.

Re:Marginal pricing is good economics. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35984780)

I have a better solution:

payable = monthly_invoice / (max_theoretical_transfer / cap)

Re:Marginal pricing is good economics. (1, Insightful)

Ichijo (607641) | more than 3 years ago | (#35984828)

Of course, the marginal price for a GB of data these days is near zero -- (one site pegged it at $.03). AT&T has a fine idea, they're just pricing it 150x too high. The fact that they're able to do so screams market failure/monopoly to me.

When your use of bandwidth deprives your neighbor of his use of bandwidth at the same time, you've imposed an external cost on your neighbor. Flat rate bandwidth caps are a clumsy way of making you pay for this type of market failure known as a "negative externality".

A better solution is time-of-use pricing/bandwidth caps, because when you use your bandwidth when nobody else is, you aren't imposing any cost on anyone, other than the $.03 wholesale cost per GB of bandwidth that you mentioned.

So if you're really concerned about market failures, you would be in favor of time-of-use pricing/bandwidth caps.

A taxicab without a meter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35984768)

Is the meter going to be visible, as the customers who choose to do business with them use the internet, or is the goal just to surprise the user at the end of the month with an extra fine?

If only it didn't suck! (4, Informative)

Whip (4737) | more than 3 years ago | (#35984816)

The caps wouldn't be that bad if the service didn't *utterly* suck.

The gateway they give you is the only thing that works with the service (you can't use your own hardware, or at least nobody has found a way to). It won't do any kind of bridge mode. It won't talk to more than one IP per MAC address, so you can't put a router behind it (unless that router is doing NAT for *everything*). It randomly drops connections, especially long lived ones -- I can't make local backups of my server in a remote datacenter anymore, because the connection will almost never stay alive long enough to transfer the whole ~400MB. Sometimes it starts blocking random incoming connections, even to static, un-natted, unfirewalled addresses -- one day I can't get to my webserver from the outside world for a few hours... the next I can't ssh into my home server ("unknown inbound session stopped" ... of course it's unknown, it's the first packet of a new connection, you piece of garbage). It supports logging to syslog, but outputs a constant stream of useless messages so thick that it's almost useless.

Recently I've started to notice having periodic problems downloading content (like the slashdot style sheet!) from akamai-based sites, which a little bit of goggling shows to be an ongoing U-Verse problem since 2008.

The support sucks massively. If you call with basically any problem beyond "my internet is down" they will forward you on to their "advanced" support department, who has a fee of $39 (might be $29... don't remember)... which they'll charge you even if all they do is tell you that they can't help you and you need to call regular support.

Netflix, on my 24Mbit downlink, varies from "great quality" to "OMG you can barely do SD quality"... many other people report this as well. Some days the performance is great, some days the performance is just absolutely miserable. I'd try to see if there was some common network path causing problems, but they basically disable traceroute for all of their internal nodes (I'm guessing they just stop them from sending TTL exceeded datagrams completely).

You can't switch back to ADSL -- they wouldn't even let me get U-Verse service unless they disconnected my ADSL at the same time. But it is "no longer available" so now I'm stuck with this garbage.

I'd gladly take a usage cap if it meant any of this crap would get better. I'm somehow doubting it, since not a bit of it seems like it's related to network saturation... just lousy service. And my only other choice in this area (AFAIK) is Comcast, who also has caps, along with their own set of problems...

I'd say "welcome back to the 90s" ... but my network worked a lot better back then. So I guess... welcome to the future!

They should remember ... (1)

BlackBloq (702158) | more than 3 years ago | (#35984844)

I pay a lot for my extreme account. If I get capped or torrents blocked I'll just dump my service. While I'm at, it I'll dump my cable service and save like 2k a year at least. With that cash I can buy whatever I wanted to download. Lately no EZTV streams will work for me. Lame cuz it's like PVR'ing because I pay for extended cable service I just never really use it (wifey does). Maybe I will get a PVR and dump internet down to light. Either way the cable company is loosing money from me.

Re:They should remember ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35984914)

Either way the cable company is loosing money from me.

Damn whores gotta keep their legs closed!

Shaw limit in Canada (Calgary, Alberta) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35984846)

Calgary, Alberta using Shaw Communications:
High Speed: 60GB limit per month
Extreme High Speed: 100GB per month

Now if you pick the "lite" version of high speed which is 1Mbps then it is limited to 15GB per month .... I highly doubt people with the lite package are watching Netflix.

A business opportunity (2)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 3 years ago | (#35984880)

Where some see a problem, I see a business opportunity. Why not great a deal where by the content providers (Netflix, Hulu..etc) offer to put a cached server in the headend of ATT and Comcasts local networks. It would reduce bandwidth between pairing agreements and save everyone money. Not only that, with sharing of the profits, networks can use the funds to increase data capacity to match the exponential growth in data usage.

Re:A business opportunity (1)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 3 years ago | (#35984956)

Lol.... yeah.... fixing simple problems with complex answers is totally a good idea.... LOL. NOT!

Evidence of a monopoly. 200GB should run $20. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35984882)

For $40 I should be able to get 400GB not 150GB. I don't know what AT&T charges of course. Probably around that for data with /w strictly basic phone service. That pricing is insane. Even if users are getting all the extras for phone and paying $20 for ADSL you should get at least 200GB of data. I'm not against data caps. I am against the abuse of these monopolies to further there own entertainment services which don't get counted within the data caps.

Get of your asses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35984884)

No, seriously. Get of your asses. Go outside. Stop watching 7 hours of Netflix a day and crying on Slashdot.

Your life will be better for it. I promise.

AT&T Broadband is a utility company (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35984894)

AT&T Broadband can now be treated as a utility company and regulated as such.

150 GB/month is not bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35984910)

1.2 terabits per month, or ~2.6 million seconds is >400 kbps NONSTOP FOR THE ENTIRE MONTH. That is not bad for basic residential internet access. The ISPs are finally drawing a line in the sand on how much data is 'too much'. More expensive plans should offer more data per month.

Call it what it is (1)

NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) | more than 3 years ago | (#35984974)

Rationing. That is what a monopoly does when it can't/won't keep up with demand. The good news is, uh, well, there isn't any good news.

So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35984984)

No offense but...this has been the case over here in Australia since as far back as I can remember and we've dealt with it quite easily. And we've only hit affordable triple digit quotas in the last 3 years.

Quit your whinging.

the regulatory solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35984994)

The regulatory solution would be for the FCC to required ATT to sell their service to resellers at their cost plus say 15%. (There used to be such a regulation, but it was dropped.)

We need to take a zero tolerance policy with this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35985012)

As users of the Internet, we need to take a zero tolerance stance on this type of shennanigan. I would urge any at&t subscriber to immediately contact their support center and demand either no data caps or release from their contracts so they can move to a no cap ISP (thats what I did and I am quite happy with my new ISP). There are several online services that will assist you with locating a new carrier, just do a search for 'find local broadband' on your search engine of choice.

New ISPs (1)

Palmsie (1550787) | more than 3 years ago | (#35985018)

Could anyone inform the other readers (and myself) about perhaps what kinds of things it would take to start up new ISPs? I mean, if we hate AT&T and Verizon so much and it only seems that Google is here pushing the Internet envelop, why aren't more entrepreneurs starting ISPs (other than it is probably expensive, just like any other business startup)?

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