Microsoft DDoS'd Skype?

20 August 2007

broken disaster technology

Does causing a bajillion machines to reboot constitute a DDoS attack?

The reason behind Skype's downtime this week looks somewhat like this image of a malicious DDoS attack, no?

ddos_attack.gifAttacker: Microsoft

Handlers: Windows Upgrade Servers

Zombies: Windows users!

Victim: Skype

Just sayin'.

Death to Capitalism

17 November 2006

culture disaster math

Picture 3.pngMilton Friedman died at the age of 95 yesterday. Milton was a proponent of controlling the economy by working with the supply-side of the equation. You have Milton to thank for your 2.185% mortgage. Ultimately, Milton promoted a clear and free market across the board, with less government regulation and interaction.

He played a role in the abolition of the draft and supported the decriminalization of drugs and prostitution.

Go hug an economist today.

TiVo's Getting Evil

16 August 2006

culture disaster technology

Picture 8.pngJust a helpful note if you have both TiVo and children: set a parental control code or your children will.

Tonight, the wife and I sat down to enjoy some wholesome television, including Moral Orel and Aqua Teen Hunger Force. We quickly learned that our child, currently fast asleep, had set a parental control code and limited us to TV-13 or somesuch. I was unable to guess what the boy might've used for a code, so I turned to the interwebs.

After some Googling around, I learn that the only solution is to call TiVo customer support.

First, you get dumped into an IVR system that attempts to have a conversation with you. Instead of the obnoxious "press 1 if you are having trouble with...", you simply must speak your troubles into the phone, and it'll route your call accordingly. In theory. Instead, you get to have a conversation with a rude, dim, and deaf IVR system.

I was taught, as a child, not to interrupt when someone else is speaking. But the IVR never stopped talking. It'd tell me to state my problem, and then just keep yammering away about other options I might have, or that I could try using, or perhaps I would like to answer a survey. Being a parent, I'm aware that if someone is talking, they certainly are not listening.

The IVR had difficulting understanding the word "no" even. Just like a child.

Ultimately, after enough cursing, I got bumped to the queue to speak to a live human... if I wished to wait an estimated 15 minutes.

After 40 minutes, I do finally get to speak to a human. During the 40 minute wait, I was reminded a dozen times that I could use to solve my problem. Of course, is what ultimately told me I had to use the phone.

Once I had Dusty (a very helpful and friendly support person, I must admit) on the line, I gained some insight into the workings of the TiVo parental control system. He provided me with a 4-digit code that would work until 4pm tomorrow. This was without contacting my device or having it dial in for an update. It would seem that in addition to the user-set parental control code, there is a secondary code that can be derived from a combination of the device service number and the date.

Considering the annoyance of the faulty voice-recognition IVR and the long wait times, I fully expected TiVo to have to send me a piece of physical postal mail with the code printed on a piece of paper in 4-to-6 weeks. I was pleasantly surprised.

Of course, no matter how annoying or evil TiVo gets, I'll remain loyal. We tried the ReplayTV and returned it within a day. Anything through the cable provider is bound to be even worse, both in terms of technology and service.

Catblog: And then there were five

07 July 2006

cats disaster

velcro.jpgThis is Velcro.

She was the oldest of the 6 cats who reside in our house. About 6 years ago, we almost lost her to infection and kidney stones. She managed to pull through quite well. This week, she took a downturn. Collapsed lung. A mass near her liver. This morning, while Rebecca was driving her from one veterinarian office to another (which had a better ultrasound), Velcro took her last breath. Velcro, we love you and miss you dearly.

Sanity, Slight Return

26 May 2006

codehaus disaster java technology web-20

Picture 6.png Through the kick-ass efforts of Ben Walding (pictured left with his, um, jaffles iron...) and major assists by Contegix, sanity has started to return to the haus. All repositories are capable of being open for business, pending the project despots decision. So, if CVS/Subversion is missing, go bug the project lead.

We've got all project mail flowing again, with a new web-based management piece for subscribing and unsubscribing. While the downtime sucked more than most things can suck, we're coming back with better tooling and infrastructure. This is mostly the result of not being willing to reconfigure all of our projects by hand. So we've scripted the heck out of things.

newhaus.pngWe're still working on personal and project webspace. Previous sites should be up, except those using plain HTML. Any Confluence-backed site is good to go. All projects are currently restricted from producing new distributions on, but we're quickly working towards a solution for that. Pretty soon the front page will return to its normally scheduled programming.

Plus, we've got a new logo. Everything goes better with a new logo.

Codehaus Update

19 May 2006

codehaus disaster java technology

After fighting with backups (check your backups, kids!), we've started getting the haus back online. Subversion repositories are back, read-only over HTTP at, the various distribution repos are back, such as We did lose some commits in the SVN, and some deployments may be missing from dist. Now's the time to sanity-check.

We're continuing to work to get CVS, mail, and read/write access to Subversion back as soon as possible.

We truly appreciate all of the efforts to help, and your patience has been outstanding. We realize how painful downtime is.

It's Going Around...

15 May 2006

disaster java

Alas, it's been a bad month for opensource communities. SourceForge has had its share of problems lately, as did the ASF. And now, even the Codehaus is not immune. Our CVS/Subversion server is offline with an angry disk. We're trying to recover it, but preparing to restore from backups if need be. We have no ETA at the moment, but real-time updates will be available on in the #codehaus channel.

We apologize to users who are left out in the cold, particularly those using maven with missing repos. I also hope no demos at JavaOne assumed we'd be online. Eh, what can you do? Plans for migrating the functionality of this machine to a shiny new box at Contegix are under way.