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Ask Slashdot: Getting Around Terrible Geolocation?

PktLoss Your options suck (100 comments)


I own https://wonderproxy.com/ and the primary thing we sell our customers is "a server where we say it is so you can test your localization", and we have problems _all the time_. So I've been where you are, with the added bonus of having customers yelling at me because Google thinks my Madrid server is in France.

There's no real good options here, different people use different databases of different ages with different procedures to update (if they have one at all). MaxMind (http://maxmind.com) is pretty good at updates, as are most of the free options (like ip2location http://www.ip2location.com/). Google (which powers a lot of ads, and their own country redirect) has a form (https://support.google.com/websearch/contact/ip) which seems to pipe directly into /dev/null.

Most GeoIP providers want to handle things in large blocks, not one IP at a time. If you can convince your ISP (generally by pointing them at a few forms) to send in corrections they'll be able to correct their entire IP space all at once, which may be handled faster, or at least cover you now and next time your IP changes. Once these are submitted expect a delay of 2weeks -> before anything starts to get better.

Beyond trying to correct people, buying a cheap server from Linode and VPNing through should be a decent work around. If you set up an OpenVPN server, several routers are capable of connecting and routing all their data through them automatically, so you wont need to configure each device individually. Linode is a decent option as their servers are fast, stable, and you'll effectively only pay for half your symmetric bandwidth as inbound is free.

good luck :(

about a month ago

How Free-To-Play Is Constricting Mobile Games

PktLoss Reminds me of the Adult online market (115 comments)

I used to work for a very large player in the adult online space, video content and the like.

Their research showed that customers who signed up had a window, measured in weeks, in which they'd blow a bunch of cash, then stop. This is why if you do sign up for an adult site you'll see their content, and ads for content from other sites (some they own, some their competitors). The links to competitors surprised me, but it makes sense. There's a very high Cost-Per-Action (CPA) in that space, and the window to get that user to spend money is closing, so any opportunity is worth looking into. You make less money sending them to your competitors, anything > 0.


about 7 months ago

McAfee Grabbed Data Without Paying, Says Open Source Vulnerability Database

PktLoss Re:just copying bits (139 comments)

It's behind Cloudflare, and they're leveraging other means to catch scraping. This hardly seems like "wide open"

about 7 months ago

Algorithm Challenge: Burning Man Vehicle Exodus

PktLoss Doesn't solve fundamental problem (273 comments)

The fundamental problem seems to be the bottleneck of cars getting onto the highway. By creating a priority lane you'll be reducing the number of cars/minute that are able to leave via the regular lane. Additionally there will likely be some switching inefficiencies introduced with the new lane merge.

So some cars will get out faster, other cars will get out slower (as the non-priority cars wait for the priority cars to pass them and leave), I think we'll see average car wait time increase here. The extra labour used to manage entrance to the express lane could probably be better spent on highway flagging or looking to optimize the highway merge for more vehicles/minute.

about 8 months ago

CES 2014: A Bedbug Detector that Looks Interesting but has Detractors (Video)

PktLoss Confusing copy. (72 comments)

The title leads me to think this is a video about a bed bug detector. The copy in the post goes on and on about where someone worked, or claimed to work, and what their website said...

Please edit copy and try again.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: Getting an Uncooperative Website To Delete One's Account?

PktLoss Security Breaches (171 comments)

I'm often interested in deleting accounts I don't use to avoid handing over my data to attackers when their systems are breached. The more sites I've given my data to, the more likely some random attack that grabs a DB dump is to have a copy of my Name, Email, (hashed)? password, etc. Depending on the type of site it may even get some bonus data in the form of answers to security questions.

This sounds lame, but the amount of spam currently directed at the accounts I used on: the motley fool, eharmony, Adobe, is quite high. Just putting my name at the top makes it that much more likely I'll be scammed by some phishing email.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: Recommendations For Beautiful Network Cable Trays?

PktLoss Re:use wifi (250 comments)

Wifi is.. nice, but I wouldn't use it in a full office environment for everyday access. It's a big brick room, lots of computers, lots of interference. Not only is WiFi slower, but you end up with less throughput as interference requires random packets to be retransmitted.

1 year,16 days

Ask Slashdot: Recommendations For Beautiful Network Cable Trays?

PktLoss Buy plain, decorate (250 comments)

I might not bother trying to find beautiful trays, but instead find regular ones, then decorate!

Take something like this: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003AU3HG6?ie=UTF8&camp=213733&creative=393185&creativeASIN=B003AU3HG6&linkCode=shr&tag=preinheimerco-20&qid=1386087250&sr=8-5&keywords=wire+tray

Then put these underneath: http://www.whatisblik.com/shop/explore?theme=77

Turn your office ceiling into a pacman arena!

1 year,16 days

New York Subpoenaed AirBnb For All NYC User Data

PktLoss Re:Look past the article's version of the cast ... (181 comments)

I very much think the city can have an issue on its own, without the hotel lobby being involved.

Property owners are learning that they can make more money posting their apartments on AirBnB than renting them out traditionally. It's in their economic best interest to hire a cleaning service, throw in some flat-pack furniture, and stop renting normally. This distorts the rental market as people who live in the city end up competing with short-term tourists for places to live. Cities want to be somewhere people live, not just somewhere people visit.

AirBnB hosts also compete against hotels with a stacked deck. They're not forced to charge the standard hotel-night taxes, nor meet ID checking requirements on guests, pay commercial property tax, meet commercial firecode requirements, etc. I can understand why hotels would be angry, but they're far from the only group with a vested interest in the outcome.

about a year ago

How Car Dealership Lobbyists Successfully Banned Tesla Motors From Texas

PktLoss Re:Nobody is Banning Tesla (688 comments)

I understand the basis of the franchise laws as they exist to be: Car companies needed to expand in the old days, but lacked the capitol. Franchisees bought the rights to sell cars from a given company, put their name on the door, and started selling Ford, GM, whatever. Once the car companies themselves were in better shape (with cash kicking around) it would have been trivial for them to open their own dealership down the road, then either stop selling cars to the franchisee, or undercut their prices, etc. etc. Without those laws it would have been easy, and economically beneficial, for the car companies to kill their dealer network and replace it with corporate stores once they had the money to do so.

No franchisee has given money to Telsa to start selling their cars, so there's no one who needs those protections.

about a year ago

Interviews: Q&A With Guido van Rossum

PktLoss BC Breaking changes in 3 (242 comments)

Do you regret the swath of backwards incompatible changes in version 3 that have lead to such slow uptake, or do you feel it was the best move for the language moving forward?

about a year ago

California Law Would Require Companies To Disclose All Consumer Data Collected

PktLoss Re:Problems? (119 comments)

Thanks, I'd read the article, but not the bill text.

about a year and a half ago

California Law Would Require Companies To Disclose All Consumer Data Collected

PktLoss Problems? (119 comments)

So, this presents some challenges to me.

I'm one of the co-founders of WonderProxy (https://wonderproxy.com), running a global proxy network you might imagine that we have a fair large log set. Our billing process involves pulling those logs into a central location, parsing out the information billing cares about (customer & amount transferred) and recording that in aggregate. We store the raw log files in the raw form for some period of time to comply with any sort of warrant from law enforcement (our goal isn't to be an anonymous proxy), then delete them.

We've deliberately avoided storing the details we have about traffic in any sort of a searchable form. We don't care unless something comes up, and as a general rule we don't think it's any of our business. So this is information about a customer we do possess, but also information that we've deliberately avoided making easy to access. To grab it we'd eschew all our UI tools, drop to a command line, and start uncompromising raw logs, then dropping in with grep or something to filter the user. Then another manual pass to make sure we haven't accidentally included a line from a different customer. For a customer who has only paid us $15 we're going to lose money once we comply.

Then there's our webserver logs. If someone logged in, we can technically deduce what requests are associated with that user, but the apache logs don't store that in a nice easy to read format. We'd probably need to correlate a bunch of different systems in ways we've never done before (because we don't care who loaded main.css on Tuesday the 4th at 16:22:32) to ensure we've handed everything over.

This is of course assuming that we're required to comply. We're a Canadian corporation, federally registered, all that fun stuff. But we do have servers in the US, even ones in California. Of course, getting an answer from our lawyer on whether or not we're required to comply would also cost well more than $15, and that's before we've started trying.

Then there's more privileged information. Internally calculated fraud scores, internal customer notes ("these people never pay on time", "serious PITA, don't give a discount", "Super nice") which is also information we have on a customer, but generally something we'd rather not share.

As a user of the web, I like this idea. As a provider of services the cost of compliance scares me.

about a year and a half ago

SSH Password Gropers Are Now Trying High Ports

PktLoss Very few (349 comments)

We're running a network of 80+ servers around the world (https://wonderproxy.com).

We've moved in stages getting things off standard ports.

Whole network standard - several hundred attempts per day
a few standard, rest on non-standard ports - tens of attacks per day
all non-standard ports - 0-5 attacks per day.

It's been worth doing just for the reduced reporting volume in our status systems.

about 2 years ago



Where can I buy ROMs?

PktLoss PktLoss writes  |  more than 3 years ago

PktLoss writes "I'm interested in building an arcade machine, following the footsteps of Cmdr Taco amongst many others. Not being all that interested in piracy, I need to find somewhere to buy games. Starroms used to be the kind of thing I was looking for, though with an incredibly short catalog. The MAME people have a few available for free (non-commercial), but this isn't going to sate my needs.

There's an entire cottage industry supporting this goal. People are ready to sell me plans, kits, buttons, joy sticks, glass marquees, and entire machines. That's fantastic, but where can I get the games? I refuse to believe that this entire industry is built on piracy."

Miles/Millisecond: Comparing ping time to distance

PktLoss PktLoss writes  |  more than 3 years ago

PktLoss (647983) writes "What do you do when you've got a lot of servers and a splash of curiosity? You make them all ping each other (then re-write that script so it doesn't take 10 hours) then map that against the physical distance between servers. What you come up with is some pretty charts, and connections that hit 70% the speed of light."
Link to Original Source

PktLoss PktLoss writes  |  about 8 years ago

PktLoss writes "A research team at the University of Windsor has published in the November issue of the journal Sceince (registration required), including an accompanying article. For those lacking a chemistry degree (or a valid account) a breif write up is available in the schools daily newsletter. An excerpt from that article:
University of Windsor researchers have filed for patents for their new process to capture and release hydrogen without the use of precious metals. Their findings, published in the journal Science, may have application in the economical development of fuel cells, as well as in the pharmaceutical, petrochemical and food industries, says chemistry professor Doug Stephan



First Journal!

PktLoss PktLoss writes  |  more than 11 years ago

Well, I haven't bothered to use the journal option before, but i thought I might give it a whirl.

Firstly, I want to say HI! to my two fans out there on slashdot. It took me a good three minutes to figgure out what the hell a fan was, but now that I know, I am honoured.

Secondly, I found this post in the Worm vs Worm thread funny and interesting (the machines they are talking about are the airport security machines that snif for explosives, they run windows 98.
Our company borrowed one of those machines from the manufacturer to determine its effectiveness at measuring trace explosives in soil for environmental cleanup.

Because we wern't a paying customer, we were sent the company's test-mule where all the new developments were tried before going into production.

The machine used a lightly modified Windows 98 installation as it's OS. Security was non-existant, as any idiot (me) could go in and monkey with passwords, workgroup settings, and file locations. (I did this to get it to talk to our network for backup) I was concerned about this at first, until I realized that these devices

weren't used with mice or keyboards
and typically had armed guards nearby who took a dim view of people monkeying with the hardware

As far as the installation of windows, we used it for 3 months straight, with absolutely no crashes whatsoever. The only time it was rebooted was when it was shut down for the weekends.

A good friend will bail you out of jail.
A great friend will be in the cell next to you saying "That was AWESOME!

Namely the bit about men with guns not liking it when people poked around with equipment they werent supposed to. I also think that in such situations running windows has another advantage, the average joe sixpack can probably figure out what to do if it BSDs or brings up a critical error, but would be dumbfounded if anything went wrong under linux (and things do go wrong under linux.)

Finally, I do have a blog, 'CrapBlog' apropriatly enough, it is at http://preinheimer.com/gm/

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