First though, let's consider what happens when DNS breaks. As noted previously, the DNS system translates computer names into IP addresses. So if it breaks, it may seem that your Internet connection is broken when in fact, it's fully functional. That is, from your ISP's perspective everything can be working fine, all the lights on your modem and router* can be normal, but still, you can't get to any Web sites … Read more
OpenDNS is a free online service that offers an extra layer of safety on the Internet. Technically, the service is DNS resolution, which I'll explain below. The main defensive computing advantage it provides is protection from bad Web sites, most importantly from phishing scams. ID theft is, to me at least, the worst thing that can happen to a computer user, so any extra protection helps. You also get some flexibility in deciding which other types of Web sites should be restricted.
You don't have to register to use the service, and there is no software to download … Read more
Nothing makes my day sunnier than a bad press release. And today I got two. Oh boy!
PRWNFRD, Rabbit-hole division Today, NeuStar launches DNS Advantage, an advanced managed recursive service. What's that? It's what it is.
PRWNFRD, Jumping the gun division
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Hey Mr. PR guy: What part of blogging do you not … Read more
Over the weekend domain hoster 123-Reg went down (taking my own company's website and email with it), taking customer service to all-new lows. No phone support. No email support. No web support. No notice of when the problem would be fixed, what the suspected problem was, how to deal with it, etc. Nothing.
If you've tried to reach Alfresco's web site in the past day (Oh, come on! You know you have!), you will have been disappointed. There's nothing there (See right).
Alfresco, among many others, uses 123-Reg as its domain registrar, and 123-Reg is down. Completely. Calls to 123-Reg's technical support have gone unanswered.
123-Reg is owned by Pipex, one of the UK's leading ISPs (and has been for a very long time). It may be a denial of service attack. Or it may come from complete and utter ineptitude on 123-Reg's part.
Either way, for … Read more
OpenDNS is rolling out an addition to its alternative DNS service I covered last September: Its new Shortcuts feature lets you program it to recognize keywords typed into to browser's address bar. For example, "w" could redirect to Webware.com. You can also add simple variables to the keywords, so "st" followed by a ticker ("st ibm") would look up a stock price on your favorite financial site, not just the Google default. Keywords can even fire up applications on a PC and pass parameters to the application.
Sounds clever, and it is, … Read more
I am not looking forward to the day that my son goes online, because then I'll have to have The Talk with him. About safe surfing. Sites he can and cannot view. Or I'll have to somehow rig the family computer or our home network's router so he can't view the sites I don't want him to. More likely, I'll do both.
There are products that can help: Filtering systems (like Naomi) that work on PCs, and services that work with popular routers, which attempt to block your computers from viewing entire classes of … Read more