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Part 2 of today’s thoughts…

Blacklists, Blocking, Reverse-Validation - Yes, they have some uses. I use Daemon Synchronization in DenyHosts and plug-ins like Pyzor in SpamAssassin. However, I’ve also been the victim of blacklists, and the new Internet order, many times. There’s a conspiracy between ISPs - simply put, big ISPs want everyone else to use big ISPs. I understand the logic behind reverse-validation. However, I have a residential internet connection. I also run Linux. When I got Verizon, I configured Postfix to deliver mail directly. Big mistake. Most big email providers (AOL, MSN, probably Gmail too) will bounce back e-mail that comes from a domain that doesn’t reverse-validate. And since Verizon owns my IP, despite the substantial sums of money they’ve been getting from me, my IP doesn’t reverse-validate to my domain name. To top it off, Verizon blocks the usual SMTP ports on residential connections, so I can’t have people send me e-mail either. Everything needs to be relayed through Verizon. To add to the frustration, Verizon blocks port 80 on my connection, so I’m forced to serve my whole site on an unused (and un-blocked) high-numbered port. And use DynDNS.org to redirect to my dynamic IP. This wouldn’t be so much of an issue if I didn’t know that some large companies have firewalls configured to block HTTP requests *OUT* to any non-default port. As a result, my own father can’t view my web site or blog from work. What ever happened to the little guy?

Network Performance - I know I have old computers and an old switch. But there’s something wrong when network file transfers crawl by at \~3 Mbps. I setup nttcp on two of my machines to measure throughput, and was greeted with numbers in the realm of 93-96 Mbps - what I’d expect on a 100 Mpbs network. However, a file transfer between these two machines barely scratched 8 Mpbs. Maybe GigE is the answer, but I’ll be looking into the theory behind this in the next few days - admittedly, I don’t know much about network performance, but I’m willing to learn…

New Project - I’ve started planning on a new project, openEPCR. My PHP EMS Tools package for EMS and fire agencies seems to be generating a lot of downloads (yet little community interest), and I’m now seriously thinking about the lack of a free, open-source Electronic Patient Care Report package for the pre-hospital care industry. A lot of these organizations are volunteer and operating on limited budgets. Stay tuned… all I’ll say is that what I’ve planned is something that you’d expect from me - open-source, platform-independent, and geared towards limited hardware resources. I’ll probably be looking towards Java as a development platform, though the interest generated in Google Gears may also pay off. Of course, there’s no way I can do such an ambitious project myself, so I’m looking for developers to help out.

Comic - pretty much the only non-serious content in my Google Reader account is XKCD.com. It’s a great comic with wonderful technical and geek humor. Today’s comic was so good that I just had to include it…

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