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Geeks In Asia Use Clever Hacks To Get Slashdot

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the whatever-it-takes dept.

Programming 154

Daedius writes "My comrade Hugh Perkins is living in Asia and he has been without reliable internet connectivity for many days. He uses l33t hacks to get his daily dose of Slashdot in desperate times." From the posting: "The Taiwan earthquake has brought telecommunications in the Taiwan/Hong Kong region to a standstill. I am living in Shenzhen and am unable to read Slashdot directly for several days. Gmail and Google have privileged bandwidth and local servers and both continue to work perfectly from the region. Could there be some way to use Google or Gmail to read Slashdot? A solution was to upload an executable to my web hosting in America that would receive zipped executables by email, execute them, then email me the results."

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Elegance, Windows, UNIX (5, Insightful)

P(0)(!P(k)+P(k+1)) (1012109) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421016)

Résumé of TFA:

  1. uses Visual Studio;
  2. emails himself arbitrary binaries;
  3. executes said binaries.

Promiscuity and Windows must go hand in hand (bad joke there, anyone?); why the hell wouldn't he set up a dæmon that received URLs by email instead of arbitrary binaries?!

Elegance may well be a UNIX thing.

Re:Elegance, Windows, UNIX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17421144)

Why not just search for slashdot on google and use the cache? Sure, it may be a little bit old but it only looks like it is currently a few hours behind. On the plus side there is no programming required and no private server required and no email required. On the other hand why not just setup a private web proxy on the private server. certainly that is an easier and more flexible hack than an email daemon program.

Re:Elegance, Windows, UNIX (1)

jarl1976 (1000672) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421242)

Using google's cache would have been a nice solution, if it wasn't for the little detail that google's cache is blocked by the great firewall... And the proxy thing wouldn't have worked since the actual connection to the rest of the world was almost completely broken and the only internet site outside of china that really worked these days was google(at least for me).

Re:Elegance, Windows, UNIX (1)

mr_tenor (310787) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421152)

The Windows way seems to be to start with Microsoft's approved libraries and build a big application from scratch.

Me, I would have thought 'wget', 'gzip' and 'mail' scheduled to run periodically would do the job. And without any "run arbitrary applications" stuff either

Re:Elegance, Windows, UNIX (1)

lxt518052 (720422) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421400)

Indeed, the *nix way is far more elegant than the guy's solution. The guy's probably not aware of the tools available on a *nix host. Or worse, he could have chosen some IIS host, in which case, it's not likely he'd know *nix well.

That being said, it's still a nice hacking attempt. He'd probably be converted to the *nix way sooner or later if reading slashdot is of such importance to him. Once the door is open, there're endless opportunities.

Re:Elegance, Windows, UNIX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17421166)

I really hope he at least verifies gpg sigs before executing them.

Why cant he just ssh in and use lynx?
Why doesnt he set the mime type in the mail to text/html, rather than saving it in notepad?!

If this guy is l33t, I'd really hate to see a lamer.

Re:Elegance, Windows, UNIX (5, Funny)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421238)

``Promiscuity and Windows must go hand in hand (bad joke there, anyone?)''

Is that why *nix users never get laid?

Re:Elegance, Windows, UNIX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17421524)

...oh we get laid... and due to lower stress we also get more children...

Re:Elegance, Windows, UNIX (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421360)

Promiscuity and Windows must go hand in hand (bad joke there, anyone?);

Windows users have toxoplasma gondii parasite?

As if it's known symptoms weren't bad enough, this clever bug wears down it's host's defenses by compelling them to use Microsoft software...

Re:Elegance, Windows, UNIX (5, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421522)

Well for posting a story trying to show how good your coding is hoping to get a pat on the back, Slashdot is the worse place to do so.
  • Your choice of programming language will be judged. Someone will use an other language to show you the simpler solution, (although it may not work, or work for your situation).
  • The OS your program runs on. If it is Windows people go why the hell are you using Windows and point you to a Unix/Unix clone. (Even though over 90% of the people are using Windows, and at the time of the disaster and the remote system you have access to only runs windows apps)
  • Your coding style. If you do it in C, C++ or C# you better make sure your brackets are in the prescribed but yet debatable location.
  • Your Code. If it i longer then 5 lines (properly spaced) then someone will find a better smaller solution even though the code may be unreadable.

Slashdot is filled a diverse group of people, Good Programmers who know they are good programmers, Bad Programmers Think they are the Best Programmers out there, Good Programmers who who think they are Bad programmers so (the tend to keep their mouth shut), Bad Programmers who know they are Bad Programmers, and Good programmers who think themselves as the Best programmers, and Bad Programmers who think them as actually good programers.

The most vocal are those who think they are the best programmer out there, some may point to some award that they won in college (that a Lot of students didn't compete in) or show all the great stuff they made. These are also ones the most easily get get threatened by an other programmers code and find ways of knocking it down. Making sure the designer of the code fells as crummy as possible, so the guy can still keep the place in his mind that he is #1!

The Good/Bad Programers who know/think they are Good normally may give a couple of corrections in the code just to make it work a little better of efficiently, or just admit that that isn't quite the same approach they would use, in there style they may accomplish the same task differently and make it more easier for them to read threw.

The ones who think they are bad programmers will try to learn about the code hoping it will make them better programmers or just ignore it as a programming thing.

As for my take on the solution, it does seem a bit overkill, but you need to keep in mind that .NET adds a lot of additional code that other higher level languages (such as python) doesn't show you as part of your code (for all those includes say all the code for url.py in the python lib directory, or the smtplib code)) So his solution as far as the computer is concerned may be close to doing it in an other language. As well if he added to the email a Content-type: text/html\n\n to his email header he could probably be able to view the HTML file straight from gamil. I would grade the solution a C+/B- it gets the job done, it wasn't impressive, and a bit hard to follow. As well if you are going to post your code online you should at least make some comments explaining what each section does so the reader could read the comments for each function and get a gist on how the code works.

Re:Elegance, Windows, UNIX (1)

yosofun (933530) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421998)

what's the "prescribed yet debatable location" for brackets?

Good luck sending .exes in zipfiles via GMail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17421020)

... unless you rename them to something other than .exe. GMail is a monstrous pain in the ass in this respect. It will not let .exes through even in a .zip or .rar file.

Re:Good luck sending .exes in zipfiles via GMail (2, Insightful)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421560)

"Good luck sending .exes in zipfiles via GMail ... unless you rename them to something other than .exe. GMail is a monstrous pain in the ass in this respect. It will not let .exes through even in a .zip or .rar file."

This used to be true, but it has been a while. I just sent myself both a .ZIP and .RAR file and they came through successfully. I imagine Google got sick of complaints aobut it. I've been sending ZIP file backups to myself for several months now.

Fucking slants (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17421034)

Get your own website filthy gooks.

Privileged bandwidth (5, Funny)

ishmaelflood (643277) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421038)

I'm sure all the people and companies that pay for that privileged bandwidth are very happy that it is being used for something as important as /.

Re:Privileged bandwidth (1)

msobkow (48369) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421076)

I'm sure they are happy about it, as they're the ones paying for it. :)

No one mentioned it being corporate bandwidth or people surfing at work, did they?

Here in Saskatchewan GMail access was horrendously slow this morning, and access to other web sites has been very inconsistent and unreliable. Having to refresh pages a few times was not uncommon throughout the day, and has often been a problem throughout the holiday season.

Too many script kiddies on the 'net during the holidays around the world that harass people and damage systems for giggles; never mind the serious industrial espionage or government agents that could do some real damage while everyone thinks it's bored university students on vacation.

Re:Privileged bandwidth (1)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421538)

I'm sure all the people and companies that pay for that privileged bandwidth are very happy that it is being used for something as important as /.

Screw them. Thay can get their porn a bit slower. I (in Hong Kong) pay for my home connection which was completely dead for two days and is now at about 50% (guesstimate) of its normal performance.

What struck me as suspicious was that for the first 12 hours after the quake (about 8pm local time) I didn't notice any problems in access. Only the next morning did my connection suddenly go to shit. Presumably the corporate big spenders called the ISPs and demanded full access, leaving only some crumbs for domestic users.

Oddly enough I had the opposite experience to the submitter. Slashdot was one of the few US sites I could access most of the time. I couldn't get either Google or Yahoo (which is my mail host) for two days. But he's in Shenzhen, not Hong Kong. Google has been sucking up to Beijing, so maybe that paid off for them.

I could wish they'd prioritise email over web, I can live without Slashdot but not email. My POP3 connections just kept timing out and drove me nuts. (Of course, when I finally got email back, there wasn't anything important in the queue....)

It all makes sense. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17421040)

No wonder there's only been one comment on this entry.

In all seriousness, though...why not just see if you could reach a service like Anonymouse [anonymouse.org] to proxy it, or if you can get to your "American Web Hosting" you could set up your own php-based web proxy [sourceforge.net] . Way easier and more elegant than all that other mumbo jumbo, plus you could reach any other site.

Could always rename Slashdot.... (2, Funny)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421044)

"The Glorius Workers Communist Website of Slashdot", That should get it past the censors.

Re:Could always rename Slashdot.... (2, Informative)

The Slaughter (887603) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421060)

If you'd bothered to read the article, you'd see that the reason he was unable to read slashdot was due to the EARTHQUAKE limiting connectivity over there. Not any chinese censorship.

Re:Could always rename Slashdot.... (1)

lxt518052 (720422) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421096)

Hey, this is slashdot. Some people NEVER read TFA and always assume they knew it! Besides, everything in China has to be evil, doesn't it?

Re:Could always rename Slashdot.... (1)

TheCyko1 (568452) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421146)

This is in Taiwan, not China.

Re:Could always rename Slashdot.... (1)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421206)

Don't irritate me with facts!

Re:Could always rename Slashdot.... (2, Informative)

jarl1976 (1000672) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421314)

The article specificly says the man lives in Shenzhen(like myself). Shenzhen is most certainly not in Taiwan...

Re:Could always rename Slashdot.... (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421318)

I went there last year. It's a shit-hole, isn't it? Sort of like Wales, only with even more miserable people. The customs kept me for ages on the way in because of the omission of a leading zero on some form I had to submit with my passport. I thought they were trying to keep people in, not out? I don't think I ever saw a single person smile the whole time I was in China - in stark opposition to the great time I had in Hong Kong.

Re:Could always rename Slashdot.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17421494)

Smile? What smile? there no such thing as smile here in china


we chinaman work all day bring you capitalist pigs gold in mmo rpgs


and we are hungry, food we need, buy gold you capitalist pigs

Re:Could always rename Slashdot.... (1)

Notrace (710461) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421632)

Hey, give them a break, they're working on it ...

Chinese learn to smile [sciencedaily.com]

Re:Could always rename Slashdot.... (1)

lxt518052 (720422) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421352)

Please ignore the parent post, my friend. He probably is not that ignorant to think Shenzhen is in Taiwan. He just wanted to provoke people and make some fun. There're a million mischievous surfers out there, you simply can't educate them all, especially when they don't really care about facts. Let's just make our points and move on.

Re:Could always rename Slashdot.... (1)

Rebelgecko (893016) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421316)

Taiwan, also known as the Republic [wikipedia.org] of China

Re:Could always rename Slashdot.... (1)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421566)

This is in Taiwan, not China.

No.

The story is about Shenzhen, China. The quake off Taiwan was where the cables were damaged.

Wrong sensitive words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17421142)

If you ever want a slashdot post to be inaccessible in China, all you have to do is post "falun gong", and get modded up.
Stuff about communism won't do it these days. The hot topics are religion and independence of various sovereign nations that just happen to be adjacent to China.

Dali lama might do the trick too.

Google Translate? (3, Interesting)

dtfinch (661405) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421056)

Select a bogus source language and it makes a good proxy for reading blocked sites, unless they block that too.

Re:Google Translate? (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#17422038)

That's pretty much what I came here to say.

french to english translation of slashdot
(since there's no french, it just passes the page as-is)
http://google.com/translate_c?hl=en&langpair=fr%7C en&u=http://slashdot.org/ [google.com]

You can use pretty much any online translator to do this.
(Turning off images is wise, since the images will not be 'proxied')

Google Reader (1)

slack_prad (942084) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421058)

If he just wants to read the summaries

Re:Google Reader (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17421070)

link? [google.com]

Too bad... (2, Informative)

spammerboy (834445) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421066)

If this was the old internet, he could have used one of those 'Web to Email' services that *used to operate* till a few years back (remember Agora servers and stuff ??)... Too bad for the new Internet!! ;-)

still usefull, restricted work places (1)

cheekyboy (598084) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421264)

How useful for restricted corporate environments that either ban complete internet , or whitelist the net, or perhaps blacklist 90% of it.

Re:Too bad... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17421370)

Some web-to-email sites still exist http://www.webreplicate.com/ [webreplicate.com]

Those that ignore history... (4, Informative)

ColaMan (37550) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421068)

Are doomed to repeat it.

http://www.expita.com/howto1.html [expita.com]

Re:Those that ignore history... (1)

nurmr (773394) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421156)

same thing, less work:

$ cat > .forward
curl $subject | mail $sender

done.

Re:Those that ignore history... (3, Funny)

seifried (12921) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421274)

From: Badguy
Subject: http://www.cnn.com/ [cnn.com] ; rm -rf *

Re:Those that ignore history... (1)

zCyl (14362) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421160)

Yeah, and what if they couldn't access that page either. :-P

LOL. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17421074)

If you can get to your webhost to upload files, then simply proxy through it.

ssh -D 9999 for example, then set your browser to use the socks 4 host listening on 127.0.0.1 port 9999.

For those of you who exclaim "but he is running windows on his server", then do it some windows way, or install sshd from cygwin.

oh but wait, this is cool because he had to write code! oops!

Re:LOL. (2, Insightful)

noidentity (188756) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421110)

I'm more of a UNIX newbie, so I'd have thought he could simply telnet to his American machine and run Lynx.

Re: ah i have wget P~~~ (1)

cheekyboy (598084) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421240)

Why not just telnet/ssh in and do a wget -r2 * and then tar.bz2 it then email it to gmail from there.

But on the other hand, it would be nice if slashdot offered a 'one file' download of todays stuff with 1 level view of the comments.

Its all text/html, should compress really nicely, under 100k. Add another 25kb for adds. Pdf maybe. An offline deliver would be nice.

I did that once (1)

erlehmann (1045500) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421250)

when i started to participate in freifunk, a wireless mesh-net, i did not know how exactly to contact one subnet from another. my computer was in 192.168.0.X, the others were in 104.61.249.X .

one night i desperately needed some information form a website. i quickly figured out that my router advertised itself as 192.168.0.1 AND 104.61.249.1, so i connected to the router per ssh, connected to the next node per ssh, connected to the next node per ssh, connected to a server i had an acount on per ssh and started links2. funny, but it worked.

Taste of Anti Net Neutrality (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17421092)

This kind of limited bandwidth is probably what the net would feel like when the its content-neutrality is ditched for the pay-per-view system that some morons are advocating.

Re:Taste of Anti Net Neutrality (1)

zCyl (14362) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421164)

You mean we'll route all of our traffic through google to get around the bandwidth limitations?

Okay.... (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421106)

A solution was to upload an executable to my web hosting in America that would receive zipped executables by email, execute them, then email me the results

I'll admit, the workaround was indeed clever, but did anyone else get a horrible, queasy feeling when they read this?

Re:Okay.... (1)

Lavene (1025400) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421464)

He probably had fun doing it. And isn't that often the main hacker motivation for doing stuff? I have done some pretty weird hacks in my time just to see if I could make it work... I never advertize it on /. though.

Errr, making the solution harder then it is. (2, Insightful)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421122)

Instead of writing an executeable that reads another executable which fetches the page, why not just write the one executable that responds to plain mail with URLs in the body in the first place?

Re:Errr, making the solution harder then it is. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17421308)

because he's no bright enough to do so? he is using visual studio, a windows desktop and windows web server afterall...

Re:Errr, making the solution harder then it is. (1)

Eternauta3k (680157) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421508)

because he's no bright enough to do so? he is using visual studio, a windows desktop and windows web server afterall...
I thought of writing an ironic reply but thought I might get modded down unless I write it in UPPERCASE. So I'll say it like this: using windows does not make you dumb. using visual studio does not make you dumb.

asians just checking to see if robbIE's patentdead (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17421128)

PostBlock censorship device is still (not) working?

meanwhile, many of us (world wide) are becoming members of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate? really no contest/question?

from previous post: many demand corepirate nazi execrable stop abusing US

we the peepoles?

how is it allowed? just like corn passing through a bird's butt eye gas.

all they (the felonious nazi execrable) want is... everything. at what cost to US?

for many of US, the only way out is up.

don't forget, for each of the creators' innocents harmed (in any way) there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/US as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile will not be available after the big flash occurs.

'vote' with (what's left in) yOUR wallet. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi life0cidal glowbull warmongering execrable.

some of US should consider ourselves very fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate.

it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc....

as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis.

concern about the course of events that will occur should the corepirate nazi life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order.

'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

Standstill? (2, Informative)

ladislavb (551945) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421148)

I live in Taiwan, but I haven't noticed even the slightest disruption in Internet service (Hinet) whatsoever - either in terms of speed or connectivity to the outside world. Am I just lucky or has Taiwan escaped the "standstill" reported in other places in the region?

Re:Standstill? (2, Informative)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421310)

``Am I just lucky or has Taiwan escaped the "standstill" reported in other places in the region?''

You're just lucky. See this message on interesting-people [elistx.com] .

There's a video of the outage [internetperils.com] .

Re:Standstill? (1)

lxt518052 (720422) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421488)

That's because most of Hinet is on the other side of the broken fibers. Your connection to the US is not affected. Try visiting some sites in Hong Kong and you will notice the difference.

This unfortunate earthquake happened to expose unfortunate planning of the Asian submarine fiber network. Almost all major conmmunication fibers took route via the seafloor between Hong Kong and Taiwan, which is subject to earthquakes.

Re:Standstill? (1)

pikine (771084) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421526)

A link between Taiwan and U.S. appears to be working. I'm writing this in Singapore. Since the earthquake, data packets originating from Singapore have been routed through some hops in the U.S. before finally reaching sites in Taiwan, getting 400ms+ latency for traveling half of the world and back.

I think it is not possible at this moment for Asia to communicate north to south.

Re:Standstill? (1)

chrnb (243739) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421690)

I think it is not possible at this moment for Asia to communicate north to south.


I'm in northeast mainland China, The only place i can download BT from, although painfully slow, is Australia and NZ. And I'm able to use my Anti-censorship VPN proxy in sweden, so can at least get my wiki, although surfing without images on most of the time. seems like the main problem is connection to the US, as all websites there, are still almost inaccessible.

first time of 2007 (-1, Offtopic)

Adult film producer (866485) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421178)

fucking my gf, wanna watch me on cam? I'll masturbate afterwards for an encore.

Or..... (2, Interesting)

bobintetley (643462) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421182)

He could have just run web proxy on his remote server instead of being a complete moron and doing this "clever" hack. Sheesh.

Re:Or..... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17421484)

Or maybe he couldn't, because he only had mail access. See, I got that information from the short Slashdot blurb. Didn't even have to read the article. Happy New Year. Same as last year.

Re:Or..... (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421924)

It's hard to believe a moderator was stupid enough to give you points for this crap.

A quick glance at TFA would instantly show you how stupid you sound.

Re:Or..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17421852)

Oddly enough, that is what I always do to get US web access from Thailand. Tunnel my browser-to-proxy traffic over SSH and use a proxy that filters out ads and other tracking hooks. This reduces round trips, plus easily allows the bulky web traffic to be compressed via the built-in gzip handling of SSH.

During the recent outage, I needed to change the TCP congestion control of both Thailand and USA endpoint hosts to "hybla" from the default "bic". This made it much more tolerant to the terrible packet loss rates and high RTT latency which were otherwise preventing even a basic SSH authentication session from completing even though we could ping and could get the TCP connection open.

Re:Or..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17421926)

-1, (Didn't understand question)

Google cache (1)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421186)

If you can access google and gmail, doesn't the google cache work, too? If so just type "site:slashdot.org" first result is, gasp, slashdot home, click cached link, get site home updated last 30 december. Some other sites are newer, some not, but you have enough material to satisfy your geekitude.

Re:Google cache (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17421380)

Google cache is blocked by the great firewall.

Only the links don't work... (1)

micro4 (1045514) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421200)

...in the received document. But it should not be too difficult to get that to work, too.

Open Proxy (1)

Lawrence Ho (111834) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421214)

It was really bad to have traceroute slashdot.org going nowhere. But here in Hong Kong, I just googled "open proxy", took a look at the Google cached results and configured the proxy (I picked one from UAE)... and there it was, my daily dose of Slashdot! It was very slow and I could not post a comment to the Taiwan quake story, but it worked. I did not have a chance to see if this works in Shenzhen though.

Now, proxy is longer needed, the traffic is routed through London and Slashdot is still very slow for me. I can only hope the cables will be fixed soon, 400+ ms ping is not fun.

Re:Open Proxy (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421444)

``400+ ms ping is not fun.''

You say that, but I'm on a GPRS link with round trip times in excess of one second (sometimes even over 10 seconds) and packet loss that varies from 20% to 100%.

It would be great for testing my forward error correction transport protocol (it's supposed to suffer less from high latency than retransmit protocols do), except that the telco appears to block UDP.

What about good old fashioned... (1)

mikeage (119105) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421218)

... Internet by Email?

http://www.faqs.org/faqs/internet-services/access- via-email/ [faqs.org]
http://www.expita.com/howto1.html [expita.com]

I did this in 98, when I was overseas, and my internet access was a 15 minute on one of 4 PCs for about a hundred people, with a local SMTP/POP solution that dialed in twice daily for sending / receiving mail. Worked quite nicely, actually.

Then again, I don't know if any of the servers listed are still up, but it ought to be easier to have someone install something like this...

Slashdot 'Daily Newsletter' preference (1)

Avisto (933587) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421232)

Couldn't he have changed his user preferences and gotten Slashdot to email the "Daily Newsletter" to his Gmail account?

Network Neutrality (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421244)

``Gmail and Google have privileged bandwidth''

So you're saying that while folks in the US are arguing over network neutrality, it's already out of the window (in Asia, anyway)?

Re:Network Neutrality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17421372)

I think what he's saying is that people in the US are pointlessly arguing over something that's already settled, while in the rest of the world people are being a bit more pragmatic.

Re:Network Neutrality (1)

dfoulger (1044592) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421794)

More likely he's saying that Google owns bandwidth (or owns the right to use bandwidth) across the Pacific ocean that hasn't been disrupted by the earthquake. That has nothing to do with net neutrality and everything to do with having a good infrastructure design. The architecture of Pacific Rim telecommunications runs in a a crescent from New Zealand to Korea, with bandwidth tending to connect to the U.S. from either end. When you sever a major intermediate point, like Taiwan, it tends to have downstream effects. I worried about this when I was architecting IBM's Business Partner infrastructure. Good performance (minimum latency) to Asia meant putting clone or good proxy servers somewhere in the middle of that crescent and having enough assured bandwidth to keep those servers updated.

Hong Kong and Singapore always seemed like good candidates because they were more or less in the middle. It is interesting that they are among the most strongly effected by this earthquake.

Which is not to say, in any way, that China has embraced anything even mildly resembling net neutrality. Quite the opposite. The technology that makes net preference possible was largely developed (by Cisco and others) to enable China's rather aggressive net censorship.

Clearly an over-complication (2, Interesting)

predakanga (788419) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421248)

I'm in an area affected by the connection issues as well (Malaysia), but I took a more polished, simple solution. In a word, TOR. Not only have I set up my own network to use a squid-privoxy-tor system to provide relatively fast internet to sites I couldn't access at all before (slashdot for one), but I've been recommending and teaching others how to use Torpark so that they can still get their slashdot, youtube, etc, fixes.

Overly Complicated? (2, Interesting)

Smerity (714804) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421284)

Isn't that an overly complicated solution? I haven't checked if this will work fully as I don't have access to working sendmail, but basically this Python script cronjobbed would do the same...

#!/usr/bin/env python
import os, urllib

MAIL = "/usr/bin/sendmail"

header = """To: user@china.com
From: server@usa.com
Subject: Slashdot
"""

slashdot = urllib.urlopen("http://www.slashdot.org").read()
msg = header+slashdot

p = os.popen("%s -t" % MAIL, 'w')
p.write(msg)
p.close()

Sendmail code referenced from Sending email in Python [thinkspot.net]

Re:Overly Complicated? (2, Insightful)

thelima (1045360) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421340)

What about something like this? $ curl http://slashdot.org/ [slashdot.org] | gzip -c | mail somoeone@gmail.com

Both are very good (1)

lxt518052 (720422) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421426)

Yours is terse, the gp is more readable.

...but, since when do hackers care about readability? ;-p

Re:Overly Complicated? (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421408)

If you used include smtplib [python.org] with a couple extra commands you could have made it platform independent, assuming that you didn't have access to a Unix box. Say a VMS Station or Windows server....

Go online in Hong Kong, via proxy server (5, Informative)

didiken (93521) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421288)

I live in Hong Kong, and indeed it was a huge disaster. I run an online flower shop myself, so we see our daily traffic went flat for the last couple of days. And I can't even ssh into our colo in USA.

Recape of the situation: 6 underground fiber lines were cut. "Foreign" sites like Slashdot, Google, EBay and Yahoo! were dead. Hong Kong based sites, Australia sites and a few European sites like BBC does work, so that give us hope. So...

On day 1 ( 12/28 ): we found out Google Hong Kong still works, and Australia sites work... so we search "australia proxy server" and funny that a few ISPs have open proxies open at 3128 (Looks like Squid Cache to me!). Since we must be an early batch, we feel wonderful to be "the only one" in town to go online, beat the odds and get all the pussies...

One day 2 (12/29): news of the proxies must have gotten out. Yahoo! Answers are full of such foreign proxies lists, and some entrepreneur hackers must have wonderful day, building their own proxies and lured people into using it. Of course your average surfers wouldn't know normal http is unencrypted... Meanwhile our "free proxy" running by that friendly Australia ISP finally adds ACL to block us out... We try installing Google Web Accelerator, and it did no good, and accessing local sites are even slower...

On day 3 (12/30): we start looking for Australia colocation / dedicated server plans to run our own proxy server. Their prices are at least 2 times more expensive than US hosting companies, so we start pinging popular hosting in USA.... ev1servers.net? down. Rackspace? up (but too pricey). Godaddy? up, and lo and behold, they have a cheap $29.99 USD virtual linux plan.

So, we setup our own Squid cache [squid-cache.org] and it finally keeps us reading Slashdot until this day :)

Re:Go online in Hong Kong, via proxy server (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17421412)

"beat the odds and get all the pussies..."
Now that's what I call a serious porn addiction.

Re:Go online in Hong Kong, via proxy server (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421424)

``Since we must be an early batch, we feel wonderful to be "the only one" in town to go online, beat the odds and get all the pussies...''

LOL. You bastards. Surfing pr0n on the scarce bandwidth left after a disaster, thereby depraving others of their ability to read /.

Re:Go online in Hong Kong, via proxy server (1)

Urza9814 (883915) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421934)

Why the heck do you need paid hosting for that? I run a proxy off my free host. I've got a gig of space and 5 of bandwidth...should be more than enough for a proxy for several people. I mean, I understand the use of dedicated servers, but it seems like quite a waste of money just to run a proxy.

Windows scripting at its best (1)

thelima (1045360) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421292)

7Zip to just uncompress zip files from C#? Handmade s/mime parser? base64? Mono? Execs? On Unix? OMG! This is most weired solution I could imagine!
Thanks god this guy haven't installed MS SQL MSDE database and Exchange plus some web services on IIS server to store intrmediate results and push them back to Asia...
I could probably write this within no more than two lines of curl/perl/whatever...

Re:Windows scripting at its best (1)

Watson Ladd (955755) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421784)

Sure. But that line would have a lot of semicolons!

addiction.. (1)

kbox (980541) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421300)

A solution was to upload an executable to my web hosting in America that would receive zipped executables by email, execute them, then email me the results.
And yet, Some people still have the cheek to say we are becoming addicted to the internet.

web to mail portals (4, Interesting)

dargaud (518470) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421322)

People who forget history are bound to repeat it goes the saying. At the very begining of the WWW, not everyone had access to web browsers so various systems were developped, including web to mail portals. You would sent an email to a specific address with a GET request, and you'd get the page in return. Some of those servers are still in use to get around censorship or very limited conectivity, which was my case last year in Antarctica [gdargaud.net] . I read slashdot thanks to a daily email connection, text only, and the agora web-to-mail portal.

In Hong Kong... Using Tor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17421396)

I have been using Tor to access websites and, despite of the inherent slowness, it has been working fine for me. The best part of Tor in this scenario is that Tor figures out the possible working routes and I got quite a few :)

Re:In Hong Kong... Using Tor (1)

Lawrence Ho (111834) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421684)

That's good for you. I tried Tor too and it could not find enough nodes to build a circuit for me. It did work after a while but not until many sites became directly accessible again. So, for me, Tor was not particularly helpful to workaround the connection problems.

And the winner is... (-1, Offtopic)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421442)

Maybe the best solution would be for the rest of the free world to start putting a little more pressure on China to not be quite so heavy with the censorship. I mean, they've got to sell their cheap goods somewhere right? And it might be a good opportunity for the "free" nations of the world to show that they do actually support liberty around the world. We hear a lot of lip service to that effect here at home, so how about putting our money where our mouth is? I'm willing to pay an extra few bucks for my, well, my everything, so that geeks in China can get /. too. Why should they be spared?

Less spam from Far East? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17421448)

Seeing as China, Taiwan, etc. are sources for spam, is it possible that in damaging internet connectivity in places like Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, etc., this earthquake has also, temporarily, lessened the amount of spam sent on the internet?

WHY WHY WHY (1)

ari wins (1016630) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421518)

I, for one, welcome back our old analog overlords.

A clever hack? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17421570)

... Why just not set up a proxy on that remote hosting server, or if that's forbidden, just set up a cron job to use wget in that server and mail results to you ...
Running arbitrary binaries on your hosting server will most likely get your account suspended.
 

Usenet and mailing lists... (0)

mi (197448) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421572)

... were invented for news-distribution and forum-like conversations in the times, real-time connectivity is expensive/slow/not available.

What's next? Using e-mail during instant-messaging downtime gets Slashdot's front-page prominence?

It's easier than that (1)

broothal (186066) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421582)

So - google works. Go to google language tools. Select english->english translation. Input whatever site (i.e. slashdot) you want. Let google fetch it, "translate" it and present the output.

Just use the RSS feed! (1)

tjansen (2845) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421604)

Just use the RSS feed with Google Reader. You will get all articles, only without the links. And if you're internet is down anyway, those links probably won't help you (but you can star the articles whose links you want to follow later).

google cache? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17421866)

What about just using google cache for reading slashdot ...
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