Long Live Closed-Source Software!?
Jaron Lanier wrote an article for Discover Magazine. His belief seems to be that open source produces nothing interesting, and Adobe Flash and the apparently 100% closed-source iPhone are the coolest things the planet has ever seen. I find it a bit disturbing that a science magazine publishes an article about a software model based on secrets. What happened to the free flow of information that science is supposed to be about? My opinion is that the article only seems to show his lack of knowledge about open source.
Time Warner refuses to fix VoIP problems
I've been a ViaTalk customer for about 10-months now. Lately the customer service has gone downhill rather steeply, with 2 hour wait times on the phone, but overall I've been pretty happy with the features and cost.
This past Tuesday around 3:00 PM EST, the VoIP adapter lost its connection to the ViaTalk servers. Despite all the standard tricks, including plugging the box directly into my Road Runner high speed cable Internet line through Time Warner, I was unable to get a connection. Even stranger, free accounts that I've acquired from Ekiga and Wengo also stopped working on all of my home PCs at the same time. I did a tcpdump of the issue from my Linux router/gateway, and was able to easily see the SIP requests outbound, but never received a single reply.
The following day, I took my laptop and VoIP adapter to a friends house (also on Road Runner), plugged the VoIP adapter into the modem and everything came to life. I then connected my laptop to the modem, my Ekiga and Wengo accounts started working too! My friend lives pretty close, but tracepath reveals that the first hop is different. I tried to debug the issue a bit with tools like smap and sipp, all of whose results showed what I expected but no farther clues. The tools worked everywhere but here (friends house, and work).
Conversations with ViaTalk were mostly fruitless. They were able to see the VoIP adapter when it was connected directly to the modem, and verified all the proper settings. Talks with Time Warner were also quite useless. They claimed that they could not help me because I wasn't using Time Warner VoIP service! They also stated that they guaranteed a working Internet connection as part of the service, but refused to recognize that my connection was in-fact not working completely. They said that they could not help me with this problem.
At this point I'd really love to move to a different Internet carrier. Unfortunately, in my area its Time Warner or dial-up. So I ask you, dear Slashdot, what's a man to do?