Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Charter Implements SiteFinder-Like DNS

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the fun-and-games dept.

The Internet 206

paulbiz writes "Charter Cable's DNS servers have just started resolving all invalid hostnames and pointing them to their own error page. The About page states: 'This service automatically eliminates many of the error pages you may encounter as you surf the web. No software was installed on your computer for this service to work.' It has an 'opt-out' page, but when you use it Charter simply sets a cookie that makes their page redirect errors to Microsoft Live Search instead!" One more reason to use OpenDNS, where you can actually opt out of the custom error page.

cancel ×

206 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Run your own DNS resolver! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18022550)

That's precisely the reason why I run my own resolver. Also, if I were a customer of those morons, they would get a nice letter demanding to restore their service to proper working or else they'd get no more money.

Meh (2, Funny)

MicrosoftRepresentit (1002310) | more than 7 years ago | (#18022642)

Well, I run my own internet. Gay mac users and Linux hippies aren't allowed, there are no caps on bandwidth, there are no logs kept on what sites I have made that I visit, copying copyrighted content is legal and I use P2P to share anything I want (although I am the only person on the network, so I have set up bots to P2P and share music with), and all the porn sites are free.

Re:Run your own DNS resolver! (1, Funny)

Random BedHead Ed (602081) | more than 7 years ago | (#18022706)

I run my own resolver, too. In fact everyone runs their own resolver. The resolver is the bit of the DNS infrastructure that runs on client machines and is responsible for performing lookups. Every computer that can access the Internet tubes has a resolver on it.

Re:Run your own DNS resolver! (0, Flamebait)

encoderer (1060616) | more than 7 years ago | (#18022726)

And I'm sure they'd just jump at your request..... Oh please. I wish I had your life where worrying about a custom DNS error message was worth so much of my time.

Re:Run your own DNS resolver! (5, Informative)

jafiwam (310805) | more than 7 years ago | (#18022736)

Well Charter in particular has been blocking DNS ports to anything but their DNS servers for a long time.

So running your own resolver on a Charter line probably will basically mean no DNS.

Re:Run your own DNS resolver! (4, Informative)

PaisteUser (810863) | more than 7 years ago | (#18023148)

Well Charter in particular has been blocking DNS ports to anything but their DNS servers for a long time. So running your own resolver on a Charter line probably will basically mean no DNS.

This might be the case in certain areas, but in my neck of the woods, I'm able to use DNS servers other than standard Charter DNS resolvers just fine.

Re:Run your own DNS resolver! (1)

Intron (870560) | more than 7 years ago | (#18023178)

Blocking outbound connections? They might block inbound DNS connections to PCs on dynamic addresses in order to prevent trojaned machines from acting as DNS servers for spam sites, but blocking outbound port 53 is just stupid.

Re:Run your own DNS resolver! (1, Offtopic)

Mopar93 (1046032) | more than 7 years ago | (#18023410)

They should block the SMTP port 25 instead. What's the matter with them?

In the past 4 months, my email server has rejected 291 spams coming in from zombied computers from Charter customers.

Come on Charter, get your act together.

-Maurice

Re:Run your own DNS resolver! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18023894)

Yeah. Why don't you just tell them that so I can't send mail anymore without going through their shitty servers, asshole?

In East Tennessee, I'm currently able to do both inbound/outbound SMTP and inbound/outbound DNS, and I'd like to keep it that way.

I only allow relaying for 127.0.0.0/8 and SASL authenticated clients on my local networks, and my DNS servers are configured to only return responses to non-bogon clients for authoritative zones.

There's no reason to punish me just because you don't have enough time to wade through your stupid inbox. Maybe you should get a life.

-kayditty [slashdot.org] (slashdot is trying to keep me from posting for some stupid shit like "karma" -- whatever the fuck that even means)

Re:Run your own DNS resolver! (1)

Rukie (930506) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024456)

block port 25? You nuts? They already block half my ports, including port 80. They charge you insane amounts for a "bussiness" account so that you can have port 80 open to the public!

Re:Run your own DNS resolver! (1)

mcarp (409487) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024464)

I gave up on Charter's DNS a few weeks ago when I continued to be able to reach my default gateway and any other known IP during "outages". I started running my own caching BIND direct to the roots. This has been extremely many times faster than Charter's DNS has been for many many months. Even when Charter is up, it's DNS often is not or is very slow. If they start to block DNS to other than Charter we'll be screwed; no other providers exist. I've totally given up on tech support unless its really really REALLY out for more than a couple days. The last time my service was out a Charter lineman had FILTERED MY DROP AND FAILED TO RESTORE IT. Average downstream speeds have been reduced as of late and quite frankly what used to be a pretty darn good service has started to stink.

Fellow Charter users, make your voice heard! We're paying their bills and they are rewarding us with terrible service.

I'm not a bit surprised Charter has been mucking about with DNS since its down at least one good 30-60 minute period every 2 or 3 days.

Pretty Confusing (-1, Flamebait)

mfh (56) | more than 7 years ago | (#18022552)

I am unsure if this is a slow news day or if this is sensationalist because of some strange happening, and I'm pretty sure I can connect even seemingly disparate bits of information, so my only follow-up question is -- who the fuck cares?

MOD PARENT TROLL (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18022620)

Everyone who wants a properly working Internet connection, moron.

Did you buy that UID on ebay?

Re:MOD PARENT TROLL (0, Offtopic)

someone1234 (830754) | more than 7 years ago | (#18022824)

Haha, a real Antediluvian Troll...

Re:MOD PARENT TROLL (-1, Troll)

mfh (56) | more than 7 years ago | (#18022968)

Everyone who wants a properly working Internet connection, moron.
Properly working? Nice command of the english language! You MEANT to say, "Everyone who wants the Internet to work, moron."

Did you buy that UID on ebay?

Yes, and it was worth every penny, and while I'm at it, I think it's pretty silly for someone who doesn't even HAVE a UID to complain about someone who PAID to get one because he thought it would be cool to own a piece of internet history -- a Slashdot beta account. Furthermore, I have posted green-lit articles that make sense, I have Excellent Karma (generally) and I contribute positively to this community. You won't even identify yourself; is that because of your UID envy, your terrible Karma or your affiliation to Slashdot?

Re:MOD PARENT TROLL (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 7 years ago | (#18023308)

UID envy

Ooh. :)

Re:MOD PARENT TROLL (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18024374)

Only in this case, shorte--- I mean, lower is better.

Re:Pretty Confusing (5, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#18022672)

Do you use your Internet connection for anything other than HTTP? If so, this 'service' could break things for you. If you use FTP, for example, and typo a hostname then instead of getting a 'server not found' error, you will get a 'connection refused' error. This will make it look like the host is up, but the FTP server is broken.

The same is true of pings. If you ping a non-existent host, then instead of being told 'this host does not exist,' you will get ping returns from their server.

This can potentially break a lot of things. On the plus side, since the ISP is now directly manipulating the data flowing over your Internet connection (and violating a few RFCs), it can no longer claim to be a common carrier and is therefore liable for all copyright infringement committed by its subscribers.

Re:Pretty Confusing (1)

mfh (56) | more than 7 years ago | (#18022842)

My confusion is their confusion. The Slashdot editor should have green-lit a post that was written intelligibly, as opposed to the confusing post that was released into the wild. Networking was never my strong-suit, so I was pretty weirded out by the way they presented this article, because I could not see the relevance.

Here is a brief rewrite for your consideration:

paulbiz writes, "Charter Cable's DNS servers are now resolving all invalid hostnames and pointing them to a Charter-branded error page. This new approach will cause major issues for any Charter customer using FTP or ping (for example). If a Charter user types in an FTP host incorrectly, for example, the user will falsely believe their domain is down due for some undisclosed reason, because Charter will not be choking the attempt but sending them CONNECTION REFUSED errors instead. Confusion ensues!"

Alas I am not sure why I even am green-lighting this article, but since it's a slow news day, and since the article was so well-written I must release it into the wild. Plus it gives us a chance to get some Karma from OpenDNS, where you can actually opt out of the custom error page.

Re:Pretty Confusing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18023916)

If a Charter user types in an FTP host incorrectly, for example, the user will falsely believe their domain is down due for some undisclosed reason, because Charter will not be choking the attempt but sending them CONNECTION REFUSED errors instead.


No, the user will think that the FTP server running on their target host is down, while the target host machine itself appears to be up. (I don't really know how a "domain" goes down, per se.)

Re:Pretty Confusing (3, Interesting)

encoderer (1060616) | more than 7 years ago | (#18023282)

1. Non-Telco-ISPs and cable companies are not, and never have been, Common Carriers
2. Non-Telco-ISPs and cable companies DO NOT WANT TO BE common carriers.
3. ISPs are protected by the Good Samaritan provisions of the Communications Decency Act. THIS is what protects them from liability, NOT common carrier status.

Re:Pretty Confusing (4, Interesting)

tendays (890391) | more than 7 years ago | (#18023366)

If you think that's bad, see what my isp (netcabo, Portugal) is doing:

Every now and then when they want to send me a message (e.g. to tell me about "special offers" or whatever), they intercept one of my http requests and reply with a redirect to a page on their website, with the oh-so-important message and a link to the page I had asked for.

Needless to say that scripts that automatically parse web pages get confused.

Re:Pretty Confusing (2, Informative)

PRC Banker (970188) | more than 7 years ago | (#18022674)

Not receiving correct DNS error pages is a problem for those that wish to resolve domains.

But to me it's more simple than that. It means misleading the consumer of the cable service. 'The website does not exist' is being changed to 'we're not being up-front that there was a type, misdirected link, etc, we're going to show you adverts instead'.

The Site Finder-like service further reduces the web from a meritocrious system of links and content, to a mess of adverts.

Will cable subscribers' fees be reduced because of this? Probably not.

There's a slippery slope from a (albeit idealistic) system of content and links, to an advertising mess, to outright DNS poisoning (which, living in China, I'm already experiencing - it was a big problem for Google in 2005).

Re:Pretty Confusing (4, Funny)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 7 years ago | (#18023760)

"'The website does not exist' is being changed to 'we're not being up-front that there was a type, misdirected link, etc, we're going to show you adverts instead'."

A typo of "typo". Oh, the irony.

Have any of these survived? (4, Insightful)

daeg (828071) | more than 7 years ago | (#18022556)

I've read about various ISPs doing this from time to time, but have any of them actually stuck around for more than a month or so? The stories are usually followed up by a hasty retraction shortly after the launch.

Charter customers (I pity you): make your voice heard!

Although the recommendation to switch to OpenDNS has the same flaws from what I have read. They, too, redirect unknown domains to their "organic search" page. I'm not sure how trees and cows help your search, but I suppose supporting an open, free DNS system is better than letting Charter continue to rake in money at your expense.

Re:Have any of these survived? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18023218)

Earthlink still is. I complained and got no response. It hasn't caused me to leave but is a straw in the pile. My alternatives would be Road Runner (and I really dont' want to give more money to AOL-Time warner than I have to.) Or Verizon DSL. But that's changing. The FIOS fiber is on the poles outside my house, and I'm expecting the "FIOS is now available" card any time now. Initially, I was intenting to stay with Earthlink because they got the job done and generally stayed out of my way. But because they're fooling with my DNS, I'm acutally considering it. My big concerns with Verizon is they seem to be far more known for lousy service, and my Voicepluse service has been close to flawless over earthlink. I'm a bit more leary of trusting that the Phone company won't fool with SIP communications (either now or in the future). Does anyone know if Verizon has tried this DNS stunt? I't tip the scales back for me.

Re:Have any of these survived? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18023824)

Earthlink has a way of opting out [earthlink.net] .

Re:Have any of these survived? (1)

fizbin (2046) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024600)

This particular nastiness Verizon has never tried. Instead, Verizon wastes all of its internet stupidity on anti-spam stuff, including a royally screwed up method of sender callbacks that causes them to be placed on multiple DNS blacklists.

Re:Have any of these survived? (2, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024106)

Although the recommendation to switch to OpenDNS has the same flaws from what I have read. They, too, redirect unknown domains to their "organic search" page.

You, sir, are not using your brain.

From the OpenDNS FAQ [opendns.com] :

How do I turn off phishing protection or typo correction? [opendns.com]
Create a free account to manage your network preferences.

In fact you can turn those "features" off. You have to opt-out, which means you have to register.

Re:Have any of these survived? (1)

Rukie (930506) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024398)

OMG GAH!
I'm a Charter Customer by necessity :-( The only other nearby company is roadrunner, but they have yet to offer internet in my location. Over the last year or so I've had a TON of problems with their DNS. I often play FPS games like enemy-territory, and after playing them for about half an hour the server would dissappear (of course, if I tried to find the server through whois/friends, the server would be just fine). But this is crap! Although I haven't heard of OpenDNS before, I think I will try it as soon as I get home. Charter is some big cable company who thinks they can do whatever they want. Internet goes out for hours on end once a month, cable gets jumpy, and at unreasonable prices. I hate the company, but I need the high speed internet (which they "claim" you can't get without buying a cable package). I'm curious if theres some way I could open up a lawsuit...

Charter, my recommendation is to stay away from them!

Re:Have any of these survived? (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024558)

So does this foul up anti-spam software like the Sitefinder one did, by resolving non-existent domains?

Er, what? (-1, Offtopic)

Ronald Dumsfeld (723277) | more than 7 years ago | (#18022570)

What is this doing on the front page? It is just one more ISP listening to their marketing division and turning their mickey-mouse search engine into a source of revenue.

The reference to OpenDNS is a non-sequitur, in fact the whole article is a steaming pile of WTF?

I have a feeling (1, Interesting)

kobaz (107760) | more than 7 years ago | (#18022592)

I have a feeling that this will die a quick painful death just like sitefinder did.

I doubt it (3, Interesting)

Shawn is an Asshole (845769) | more than 7 years ago | (#18022896)

Earthlink still has their version Sitefinder. Charter will likely continue with this bad idea. Others will likely follow.

At least Earthlink offers "opt out servers [earthlink.net] " that function properly.

Re:I have a feeling (1)

kobaz (107760) | more than 7 years ago | (#18023840)

I'm replying to my own post since apparently the mod didn't who didn't like my post just clicked instead of replied. How could my post possibly be redundant since I was the first to bring up that particular topic in this story?

opendns? over my dead... (4, Interesting)

the unbeliever (201915) | more than 7 years ago | (#18022596)

Reading things on their faq, like "intercepts phishing attempts" and "corrects typos"

No thanks, I'll just use my work's DNS servers from anywhere I go, since we're not douchebags and don't want to make more income by hijacking other people's surfing.

Also, Earthlink has been doing this for months, which is why I recently replaced the DNS servers that have been burned into my skull since working there in 1998.

Re:opendns? over my dead... (2, Informative)

Albanach (527650) | more than 7 years ago | (#18022934)

Also, Earthlink has been doing this for months, which is why I recently replaced the DNS servers that have been burned into my skull since working there in 1998.
Earthlink provide two DNS servers that operate normally for anyone that wants to opt out. They even have a knowledgebase article [earthlink.net] telling you about it.

Re:opendns? over my dead... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18024154)

Your work's DNS servers are misconfigured if they handle recursive queries for clients outside of their intranet or other networks.

-kayditty [slashdot.org] (slashdot is trying to keep me from posting for some stupid shit like "karma" -- whatever the fuck that even means)

Not working for me. (2, Informative)

wileyAU (889251) | more than 7 years ago | (#18022608)

I have Charter (who I hate BTW, I had to switch from Comcast to Charter the last time I moved and am now paying more money for worse service), and am still getting the standard "Page Not Found" screen. Of course, I'm running Firefox on a Mac, so . . .

Re:Not working for me. (1)

solevita (967690) | more than 7 years ago | (#18022666)

Of course, I'm running Firefox on a Mac, so . . .

So DNS doesn't work? If their system is working as they intended, you'll get redirected no matter what browser you run on what platform.

Re:Not working for me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18023730)

Exactly... The "so...." part was to say:

"I'm a Mac user so I think I'm better off, but it's really just a feeling. In reality, I don't really know how things work, but I bet I'm in for great things! Oh, and my computer is cuter than yours."

Re:Not working for me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18022700)

That doesn't make a difference. It's DNS! Mozilla is NOT doing any DNS stuff, except it requests that IP for a DN from their servers (if you have DHCP or set it according to their installation description). So, the IP you get is to their server IP's if they want to... but since it doesn't work for you I seriously dubt they do it at all.

Re:Not working for me. (1)

jacksonj04 (800021) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024644)

Or you try visit something common like Google and your router has cached the DNS. Give it 24 hours to clear it :D

Re:Not working for me. (1)

tji (74570) | more than 7 years ago | (#18022778)

I also have Charter broadband (and am using Firefox on a MacBook Pro), and it does do the silly redirection for me.

It gives you a choice to "opt out", but that can only work for www browsers, since it relies on cookies. So, any other apps making network connections are subject to their redirections.

I hope there will be enough customer pushback to get this reversed. But, I'm not sure there will be. Most users won't realize what's happening. And, I personally don't have any other broadband options.. it's either charter or dialup.

404 != DNS error (1)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 7 years ago | (#18023292)

"Server Not Found" is the error you get when the DNS address doesn't resolve.
"Page Not Found" is a HTTP 404 error, which means you're connecting to an HTTP server.

Re:Not working for me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18023484)

I am also getting the same standard error message on a windows box running Firefox 2.0. I have not seen these redirect pages personally yet either.
Ed

Earthlink (0, Redundant)

verbatim_verbose (411803) | more than 7 years ago | (#18022614)

Earthlink does this as well. I really hope this doesn't become more common. They're mucking with the way DNS is just supposed to work, which is bound to cause problems for customers.

Issue? (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 7 years ago | (#18022616)

Well... It's Charter's network, so I guess they can do what they want, eh?

Re:Issue? (2, Insightful)

paeanblack (191171) | more than 7 years ago | (#18022856)

Well... It's Charter's network, so I guess they can do what they want, eh?

That depends on how they are selling it. Would that argument hold up if they were blocking http traffic from comcast.com, verizon.com, etc?

Accurate DNS would probably be an assumed necessity for consumer-level "internet access". If they are actively and intentionally shipping bogus DNS info, there could be some opportunity for lawyers to get some billable hours in.

Re:Issue? (4, Insightful)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 7 years ago | (#18023420)

Well... It's Charter's network, so I guess they can do what they want, eh?

They can do what they want after they've dropped out of the exclusive franchising agreement they have with my city. Until then, they enjoy government protection from market competition, and they should be subject strict oversight to prevent them from taking advantage of their monopoly entitlement to harm consumers.

It's not like their DNS was worth using anyway (4, Interesting)

jkmullins (643492) | more than 7 years ago | (#18022618)

I quit using it months ago. Every time I had to go to their DNS to do a lookup I didn't have cached, the first lookup would timeout every single time. The second lookup would only work about 50%. Last time I checked, they were just as bad as ever. I've pointed several friends to OpenDNS and they were all amazed at the difference. Charter's customer server is horrendous and the only reason they have a market lead in this area is because they have exclusive service in so many apartments and subdivisions.

Re:It's not like their DNS was worth using anyway (1)

OS24Ever (245667) | more than 7 years ago | (#18023208)

Same thing happened with Sprint and their DSL. I believe they use Earthlink if I remember right. At least from the Raleigh area in North Carolina their DNS was incredibly slow/timed out. Switched to OpenDNS and have had no problems ever since.

Re:It's not like their DNS was worth using anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18024086)

I've had the exact same experience with Charter in upstate SC. Been using OpenDNS for about 6 months and I'll gladly take a search page every once in a while in exchange for fast, working DNS.
I've also turned a dozen or so Charter using friends of mine onto OpenDNS as a solution to Charter's POS DNS (kinda has a nice ring to it). I haven't heard any complaints from any of them since.

Re:It's not like their DNS was worth using anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18024370)

I'm a Charter customer also by default. If you want broadband, they are the only option here, can't use DSL here (too far from switch and it sucks here also).
Use to have Charter phone, video and internet. They lied right to my face about the price of the phone. I think they gave me one of those introductory offers,
even though I had their regular service, I switched to the unlimit long distance. The guy swore to me that this wasn't an temp price or some kind of offer,...
blah blah. Swore this would be my price, plus taxes. It was for 3 months, then went up lot.

Called to complain, and was actually told that I just got lucky with the price the 1st three months and that I also couldn't switch back down to just regular
charter phone service. That I would have to go to SBC (now AT&T). Charter can stuff it up you know where. I dropped the land line, went wireless. Switched
the video to Dish Network (about $30 or more cheaper) and better service and picture. I only kept the internet cause don't have any other good CHOICE.

Charter customer reps will lie right to your face and seems company policy if you complain is: Oh well.
I have another friend in the same boat and his bill is always getting screwed up and they will cut off his service and he has to call and complain and prove
they cashed the check..... and then they turn it back on. Only to have it happen randomly some other time during the year.

Charter sucks bad and don't care cause they are a monopoly in their markets.

Actually openDNS is a good idea. (3, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 7 years ago | (#18022632)

Every customer we set up I add openDNS as the secondary DNS in their router which act's as their DNS server. Granted you can only do this with a decent router or in our case the buffalo router with DD-WRT installed. (every customer has a DD-WRT router as we will only work with our router and not anyone elses)

Comcast is notorius for having their DNS dead and by us adding in a secondary DNS that is not ISP locked it gives them more days without problems than their neighbors.

Any geek that is not running a dd-WRT or a OpenWRT router at home is missing out.

Re:Actually openDNS is a good idea. (2, Funny)

VCAGuy (660954) | more than 7 years ago | (#18022812)

Any geek that is not running a dd-WRT or a OpenWRT router at home is missing out.
Well now I wouldn't say that, I'm running a Nortel Contivity 1050...

If you have your own DNS... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18022644)

Of course, if you're running your own BIND server on your NATted network, which forwards non-local queries to the upstream DNSs, you can use something like what ISC recommends in case of SiteFinder. In /etc/named.conf:

zone "COM" {type delegation-only; };
zone "NET" {type delegation-only; };

See their site [isc.org] for more info.

Re:If you have your own DNS... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18022790)

For people (like me) that use the PowerDNS recursor: It too has a delegation-only setting [powerdns.com] .

Re:If you have your own DNS... (1)

The Cisco Kid (31490) | more than 7 years ago | (#18022918)

"If you have your own DNS..." there is no need for it to forward to your ISP's DNS at all, it can talk to the roots (whats what named.root is about) directly, and follow delegations from there. And yes, delegation-only is a good thing, but in that case, its only relevant (or needed) to counteract stuff Verisign/Netsol puts in the TLD zones themselves.

Re:If you have your own DNS... (1)

Fastolfe (1470) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024402)

Your DNS resolution performance will suffer, however. Unless your DNS server is resolving a ridiculous amount of names all the time, your cache is going to be mostly empty, which means every name not in the cache is going to require hitting up other servers to get it resolved. You can either forward those requests to your ISP's (nearby) DNS server, and get the benefits of their cache (which probably is resolving a ridiculous amount of names on behalf of all of its other customers), or resolve it yourself, and be forced to hit at least 2 or 3 other (distant) DNS servers.

And this is different to OpenDNS how? (3, Informative)

Odiumjunkie (926074) | more than 7 years ago | (#18022652)

How does OpenDNS make money? [opendns.com]

OpenDNS makes money by offering clearly labeled advertisements alongside organic search results when the domain entered is not valid and not a typo we can fix. OpenDNS will provide additional services on top of its enhanced DNS service, and some of them may cost money. Speedy, reliable DNS will always be free.

Re:And this is different to OpenDNS how? (4, Insightful)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 7 years ago | (#18023478)

It's different because you're not already paying OpenDNS $29.99/month for the privilege to see their ads.

Re:And this is different to OpenDNS how? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18023724)

So I can pay Charter $40 a month for cable internet and then switch to OpenDNS which has the same broken DNS setup as Charter, but its different because I'm not paying OpenDNS to do the same thing Charter is?

Your logic is... odd.

Re:And this is different to OpenDNS how? (1)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024094)

So I can pay Charter $40 a month for cable internet and then switch to OpenDNS which has the same broken DNS setup as Charter, but its different because I'm not paying OpenDNS to do the same thing Charter is?

No, DNS is understood to be an integral part of the services provided by an ISP. Its cost has always been included in your monthly fee. It's highly unlikely that any ISP is going to drop monthly rates because of this ad revenue, so this action is essentially just another rate hike. Nothing about your ISP's service is improved, you may get stuck looking at ads, and some of your apps may break. OpenDNS, OTOH, is an optional backup than can provide higher reliabilty through redundancy. If your apps break with it, you don't need to point your resolver at it. They are adding optional value above what your ISP is providing (redundant DNS service), in return for you dealing with the ads and/or app issues.

Re:And this is different to OpenDNS how? (2, Insightful)

fmobus (831767) | more than 7 years ago | (#18023908)

it differs in the fact that OpenDNS is clearly an opt-in service.

Re:And this is different to OpenDNS how? (1)

vcv (526771) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024122)

Hell, technically charter is too. You can use dial-up or DSL isntead. Or satellite. The point is that both dns servers do pretty much the same thing, so it's kind of ironic to recommend using opendns if you don't like charter returning their own page when it can't resolve a domain.

WOW does this too... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18022678)

WOW / Wild Out West Cable (in Columbus, OH) has been doing this forever. they have their own site setup for it - seek-aid.com. I complained and at first they denied it existed. They finally admitted it but basically told me to deal with it. The "opt-out" sets a cookie which ignores the site and redirects you to Windows Live search -- yeah, BIG difference...

I use OpenDNS at home and my websites load a LOT faster (ones that aren't cached anyway).

ISPs are stupid and evil.

Re:WOW does this too... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18022772)

At least get your cable company's name right, it is WIDE OPEN WEST. At least whine with the right name.

Re:WOW does this too... (1)

psm321 (450181) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024294)

I'm pretty sure they dropped the "Wide Open West" a while ago and it's just WOW now. And I can confirm that they do have the stupid seek-aid thing, drives me crazy when trying to setup new websites because the seek-aid reply gets cached.

Standard? (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 7 years ago | (#18022680)

Isn't there some sort of DNS standard that prevents this type of situation? There are applications out there that depend on getting reliable errors back from DNS. With such pages, DNS will always return an IP, even if none is registered. Sitefinder-like DNS breaks applications.

It's becoming increasingly clear that, in order to protect the internet from the greedy hands of corporations, we need to adopt their tactics; patent the DNS standard and trademark the "DNS" label, so nobody can mangle it and still claim to be DNS.

The FOSS community should start to pro-actively patent, copyright and trademark anything they can, so no corporation can mess it up.

Re:Standard? (3, Insightful)

davmoo (63521) | more than 7 years ago | (#18022728)

The FOSS community should start to pro-actively patent, copyright and trademark anything they can, so no corporation can mess it up.

The problem with this is FOSS rarely innovates. The community is usually playing "follow the leader", and duplicating software that is already available on the commercial market.

I swear I'm not purposely trying to be a negative ass, that's just how it is. 99 percent of FOSS comes in to being because someone wants a free (beer/speech) equivalent to a closed source and costs money commercial package.

Re:Standard? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18022978)

Yeah, things like DNS servers, web servers, etc. are all MS designed! Get a life, get a clue and get the facts. Most of the Internet is run on stuff that was CREATED by FOSS developers and MS, et. all acquired later. In fact anyone familiar with MS knows they buy or "borrow" most of their good ideas from someone else.

Re:Standard? (1)

Annymouse Cowherd (1037080) | more than 7 years ago | (#18023196)

He's not talking about MS...

Re:Standard? (1)

Alt_Cognito (462081) | more than 7 years ago | (#18023552)

The community is usually playing "follow the leader", and duplicating software that is already available on the commercial market.

No, what FOSS is usually doing is writing tools to fill a need, and yes, often those tools are often on the market in some form or another, but it really just depends on whether there is a need out there.

The issue here isn't standards, the issue is: It's their network, they can do whatever they want with it. If consumers don't care about the purity of their DNS requests (and the vast majority don't), then it won't be an issue.

I have dealt with Charter before. Their customer service borders on criminal (fraudulent). I've had relatives who have been overcharged, contractors who don't show up, and *gasp* their technical supports only goal is to NOT allow you to talk to anyone meaningful within the corporation.

Re:Standard? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18023566)

> The problem with this is FOSS rarely innovates.

Come on, you can do better.
Take for example the GNU-tools who spread on most Unices because they were _better_ than their CS-counterparts.

Besides that the whole internet was built on (natural) FOSS.

And then companys with an innovative image (read apple) litterally build on FOSS.

It's just that most software is rarely innovative and FOSS is no exception to that.

Re:Standard? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18023660)

You have a very backwards view of things. EVERYONE copies from everyone in the computer industry. Wait no, ANY INDUSTRY.

Seriously, between OSS, Microsoft and Apple each probably has about 33.333333% share in new ideas for the PC. When one comes out with something good, the others rush to make their own version of it.

3d accelerated desktop evolution: Apple creates it -> Linux makes their version -> Microsoft catches up to the other two

What do you think happens when a car company comes out with a new type of car that becomes very popular? The others follow suit. Pontiac released the GTO, Chevy retooled their Chevelle and Ford retooled their Fairlane. Ford released the Mustang. Chevy built the Camaro, Pontiac built the Firebird.

Every industry has stories like this because you have to compete or you lose.

Get a clue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18024200)

The networks based around the ARPANET were government funded and therefore restricted to noncommercial uses such as research; unrelated commercial use was strictly forbidden. [wikipedia.org]

You also seem to be confusing F/OSS with non-commercial, Unix saw extensive development at Berkeley based on source distributed by AT&T before they attempted to commercialize it.

registrars are worse. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18022724)

I think registrars that buy domain names for themselves are worse...
I can avoid typos, I doubt I can avoid a fucking registrar that already buy the domain name I want, and doing nothing with it except ads and trying to resell it at a premium.

I have Charter and OpenDNS stopped working ... (1)

Hohlraum (135212) | more than 7 years ago | (#18022788)

for me about a week or two ago. Coincidence?

ORSN is better. (5, Interesting)

JamesTRexx (675890) | more than 7 years ago | (#18022796)

I've been looking at different alternatives to the standard root servers and didn't like OpenDNS either as they also change DNS replies.
My search ended with ORSN [orsn.net] , a European "backup" of ICANN servers. This way I shouldn't be affected by attacks and outages on ICANN servers.

Re:ORSN is better. (2, Informative)

giorgiofr (887762) | more than 7 years ago | (#18023424)

That's exactly what I did and what everybody who complains about ICANN should be doing too. Besides, ORSN's servers are quite fast: the *real* reason why I ditched my ISP's DNS servers was that they took forever to answer and THEN proceeded to show you ads to boot. Needless to say, I require to know whether the host I *actually want to connect to* is up, down or feeling sick, not their ad servers.

Re:ORSN is better. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024176)

OpenDNS allows you to opt-out of their query tweaking crap so you can get a proper DNS result. Nice FUD.

they have your best interest in mind (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18022826)

their system requirements page helpfully recommends you run Internet Explorer and thankfully they support Windows 98. I was going to head over to netcraft and report the search page as a phishing site so that maybe the few who actually have the netcraft toolbar installed can get a warning. The last time I checked, I was able to browse the internet using a Tandy CoCo and OS-9. But I'm putting in for my upgrade to a vintage 1998 PC so I can get up-to-date.

System Requirements
Don't worry, we're not getting too technical here. Charter High-Speed(TM) Internet is compatible with most computers.
Windows 98 S.P.2/ME/2000/XP

        * Processor: 233MHz Pentium or compatible; 300MHz Pentium or greater recommended
        * Memory: 64MB; 128MB or greater recommended
        * Hard disk: 100MB; 250MB or greater recommended
        * Internet Browser: Internet Explorer 5.5; Internet Explorer 6.0 recommended
        * Drive: Must have a working CD-ROM Drive

Mac OS 9.0 or Higher

        * Processor: PowerPC processor; Power Macintosh G4 recommended
        * Memory: 15MB available RAM; 20MB or greater recommended
        * Hard Disk: 12MB available hard disk space; 20MB or greater recommended
        * Drive: Must have a working CD-ROM Drive

My DNS settings (2, Informative)

dosius (230542) | more than 7 years ago | (#18022844)

nameserver 151.203.0.85
nameserver 151.202.0.85
nameserver 65.121.99.5
nameserver 65.121.99.6

And rest assured, so far, neither ISP whose nameservers I'm using seems broken at the moment. (The first two are Verizon, the last two are Coffeynet)

-uso.

Re:My DNS settings (1)

JohnnyDoh (1057238) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024498)

I like using UUNet's DNS servers. 198.6.1.2 198.6.1.3

Thanks for the OpenDNS advertisment! (1)

55555 Manbabies! (861806) | more than 7 years ago | (#18022952)

Seriously, no one should use OpenDNS. The solution to Charter's fuckery is to run your own caching DNS. The ideal software for this is djbdns [cr.yp.to] . Just switching from your ISP's DNS servers to some fly-by-night third party's servers is RETARDED.

OpenDNS slow/flakey, better to run your own DNS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18022998)

When I did a major server and network change, I switched to OpenDNS (primarily because I failed to write down the DNS servers before I started, and had to get things working again in order to look them up). I used OpenDNS for about a week or so. During that time, it took several seconds to open new web pages or start jobs that accessed remote resources, some things just didn't work at all. I didn't realize what it was immediately, instead after an invalid FQDN returned the open dns error page it dawned on me. I switched back to real DNS servers and my problems went away.

So, if you have nothing else and have to get DNS working, OpenDNS is ok. But, for the long-term, it's better to run your own or find a public DNS service that doesn't play fast and loose with FQDN lookups.

Another Charter 'Service' (1)

ztynzo (798194) | more than 7 years ago | (#18023090)

When forwarding scam/spoof emails to either PayPal, or eBay ... your message doesn't get sent but you get a notification that it is being considered spam...

One might think they could build their anti-spam filters to accept messages going to such email addresses as those needed for spoofs..

Of course you can supposedly jump through several hoops to get the message sent, but I don't think that works as advertised (having gotten none of the thank you emails I used to from such online services).

Works fine for me. (1)

madskyllz (699304) | more than 7 years ago | (#18023162)

I have Charter, and I haven't noticed any timeouts as some have said. In fact, the only reason I noticed that they switched, is because I mistyped a URL and it took me to their search page, so I started digging around. As long as it keeps working transparently, I could care less if they use it.

Emailing Charter about this (1)

projektsilence (988729) | more than 7 years ago | (#18023246)

I guess I wonder what exactly you should demand out of Charter when a person emails them complaining about something like this. I noticed this page yesterday when I typed a domain name wrong. I was like 'WTF?', but I don't guess I know exactly how to respond to them.

Hosts file (4, Interesting)

DebateG (1001165) | more than 7 years ago | (#18023270)

I have Charter, and this annoys me to no end. I simply added www11.charter.net (the website they're currently redirecting me to) to my hosts file, so I get an "Unable to connect" message. It's not perfect, but it at least gives me a somewhat meaningful error.

Someone should .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18023278)

... register afksjafkljaskfljasklfa.com ASAP.

Waiting to hear back from them... (3, Informative)

philgarlic (875387) | more than 7 years ago | (#18023518)

I talked to their tech support a few days ago about this shadiness. He had no idea this was going on, and rightfully thought it was a malware/spyware problem at first, until I explained a little more clearly what was going on, and he did some poking around and found other blog and forum posts about this. He seemed somewhat surprised that Charter would engage in such a practice and that no one had been told about it.

He was talking with level 2 support while he was on with me and said that they just kept telling him it was probably malware/spyware. Hilarious that they at least see it that way too, but sad that their company pulls this shit on them without telling anyone first. I asked him for a followup, he said he'd pass it along to level 2, I gave him my email address, and that was that. I don't exactly expect to ever hear back from them, so I'll probably have to make a stink at a city Cable Board meeting to get any response.

In the meantime, I hope other folks out there start repeatedly and publicly asking Charter:

- Were they ever going to make an announcement/disclosure to allow customers to opt-out, or at least tell their staff about it?
- Will they provide options for customers who don't allow or regularly clear cookies, such as a non-redirecting DNS?
- Why were they pointing people towards http://optin.charter.net/ [charter.net] , which doesn't exist?
- How much information do they gather about visitors to their link farm?
- Is there a third-party involved providing Charter the redirect (like Barefruit did for Earthlink?)
- How much money are they making from their link farm affiliates?
- Most importantly, do we have any guarantees that they aren't redirecting or degrading other network traffic?

In the meantime, I've switched my DNS over to Level3 (4.2.2.2 and 4.2.2.3).

Re:Waiting to hear back from them... (1)

Icon720 (1064558) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024052)

The funny part of this argument is this service and others like it actually improves your DNS performance. Normally when a DNS lookup fails, the client will retry before giving up and displaying page not found. With this type of service in place the DNS service only sees one failure because the failed message is intercepted or replaced with a redirect to a search page. These types of services actually reduce overall traffic on DNS servers. I am all for faster DNS. Right now I am not annoyed by it anymore than the default MSN search, yahoo toolbar, google, AOL and others that do the same thing.

rolled out w/o letting their support know (5, Interesting)

_peter (54875) | more than 7 years ago | (#18023572)

I noticed this last night, called to complain about it, and spent over an hour on the phone with their tech support. First I had to convince them it was really happening and it was a change to their DNS, it wasn't some browser setting I had ``accidentally'' changed. So they apparently made this change without letting their 1st and 2nd level support know about it.

Then once I got high enough, they tried to weasel out of it with their lame opt-out solution, which even if it worked wouldn't help when I'm making non-browser-based connections. So I guess they want all of my typo'd telnet, ssh, ftp and ping commands to hit their search server instead?

At the end, I asked to be transferred to account services to cancel (gosh I hope Bell doesn't pull the same shit in a month), and the admittedly very understanding engineer begged for a day to look into a way to completely remove the feature from my account. So I'll be calling back tonight.

Rather than OpenDNS, avoid IANA entirely! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18023594)

Rather then OpenDNS, why not use something like orsn [orsn.net] , the Open Root Servers Network - not only does this not do anything stupid like "correcting spelling mistakes" using DNS, but it has the benefit of being run in accordance with the RFCs regarding the DNS root, and has a large amount of thought put into it by some very knowledgable people. There are instructions on orsn.net on how to configure ORSN with a wide variety of platforms, from Windows 95 to AIX, as well as a number of popular DNS packages.

http://european.nl.orsn.net/tech-switch.php [orsn.net]

I adopted ORSN as a way to send a big "fuck you" message to the IANA, whose management of.. well, many things is less than fantastic, and I haven't looked back.

openDNS to weird comcast router (1)

towsonu2003 (928663) | more than 7 years ago | (#18023860)

Comcast rents you a wireless router but they install some firmware that doesn't allow you to use all functionality. I think there is no way to put openDNS on those? I didn't see any menu that said "DNS" or similar...

OpenDNS Isn't always faster (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18024314)

I just set openDNS as my settings on my ubuntu machine. It actually was slower. I Have verizon FiOS, btw

This is getting common (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024412)

Earthlink started this. My local ISP (Cavalier Telephone [cavtel.com] ) has been doing this for 6 months.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>