One blog

So now there is only one. Blog, that is. The hosting on that other site ends in two weeks, and we decided not to renew, since most of us got static ip’s now (through our workplace, and a special offer by Nebula (nebula rocks)). So now there’ll only be this one blog, here at comfy www.grelbar.net.

I still feel a slight tingle with my own domain here 🙂 It’s probably because way back in the day, even before the dotcom boom, your own domain was kind of a high mark, an achievement of sorts. Something that you as a kid couldn’t afford, or even maybe knew how to get. This was like.. the time period between 95 and 99 or something. Geocities was still hot. *shrug* Enough nostalgia.

So, i’ll be writing mostly tech stuff here, but some political stuff and other rants about the decaying state of freedom of speech here in Finland, the stupidities of the legal system (“murder pays off, copyright crime does not” comes to mind..), and general things on my mind. It won’t be terribly personal, like perhaps two years ago, but yeah.

Hoist the sails, TPB is back

So they are back. Check out their page now. Apparently, the ISP of the ISP of TPB was handed a hefty fine, in order to shut down the site, but they’ve already relocated. Trackers are said not be up yet, but T-shirts are being sent out to the people responsible for the bandwidth-chopping.

The shirts are black and say: “I spent months of time and millions of dollars to close down the Pirate Bay, and all i got was this beautiful t-shirt!”

So long Pirate Bay.

So, if you point your browser of choice to http://www.thepiratebay.org you will see this:


tpb_solong

Yep, it’s gone. The last news out of that place was on slashdot today, stating that the CEO of the company who supposedly bought TPB, has resigned due to charges of insider trading, and a lot of other people leaving as well, such as Johan Sällström (boardmember), and advisor Wayne Rosso. Seems the uh.. pirates are fleeing the ship? Maybe it wasn’t such a good buy for five mil (or whatever they actually ended up paying for it?)

I guess the court decided that TPB had to shut down in its current form, which they now have. I have no idea if the trackers are still up, or any of the other components. I just know a lot of other sites are still serving out illegal content.

In other news also, before they shut down, there was apparently a torrent of all the torrents (several gigabytes in size) of just the .torrent files, which could potentially be used to set up a new site/tracker whatever. I didn’t follow very closely, but i’m pretty certain that someone (or a big load of someone’s) got that download done before the end. So maybe the tale of TPB isn’t done just yet. But the boat is definately sinking, and the last swig of rum has been had, i think.

Any legal form it’ll return in will not succeed. Mark my word. People aren’t looking for a site that’ll give them what they want for a premium or for some other catch-22. They’ll just head elsewhere, because these sites will never go down. Pirates are like ninjas in that way. They are everywhere. (I’ll get shot for saying that!).

In memoriam, you could check out static.thepiratebay.org from http://www.archive.org, and check out some of the hardware that ran the piratebay, from it’s humble beginnings in 2004, to the latest archives in 2007. Sadly, the latest aren’t there, but i bet someone has them. If you see them somewhere, hit me up with a link.

The politics of DDOS-attacks

Twitter has today been the target of a rather crippling DDOS, which has left the site down for several hours, according to Pingdom and Netcraft.

I haven’t seen any word as to the attacker, and that got me to wonder:

Is there politics involved in DDOSes? Twitter knows exactly who’s been hitting their sites, they see the source ip:s. Sure, they might’ve gone through a bunch of zombies here and there, or a botnet or something, but i’m pretty sure they have an idea of what is going on. Can they tell us who it was?

Let’s play with the idea that it was Iran, even governmental forces in Iran who wanted to show Twitter who is the king of the hill? Twitter was and has been instrumental in the dissemination of information from the botched elections in Iran not long ago. Twitter has been blocked in Iran by the government, but there are also other groups working to provide twitter to Iranians, through proxies and anonymizers. I’m not gonna get in to this issue now; the blocking of people from sites so they can’t talk freely, that’s an issue for a different post.

Instead i’m wondering whether Twitter can actually disclose the attackers, should they  know them? Or does foreign policy or something else dictate how it’s done? I mean, twitter delayed their service break at the request of the government, so that reporting from Iran could keep on going.

Who knows, but i’d be willing to bet at least someone is thinking about this issue. Can you publicly blame someone, if you are absolutely sure it was them? Or does it fall under the umbrella of politics?

The AT&T 4chan block

So they’ve gone and done it. AT&T has blocked parts of the popular 4chan forum, notably /b, home of anonymous.

No. Anonymous is not an organisation. They don’t have a leader, they don’t have meetings, they don’t have a head-quarters. They can’t be bartered with, they can’t be bribed. They just do their shit.

It’s a loosely connected pile of posters on a forum, that can, if whim allows, do some funky shit like take down websites, organize flash-mobs and protests, or whatever they please. Anonymous often reminds posters that “it is not a personal army”. You can’t ask anonymous to do something for you. Anonymous forms on its own and does what it feels like.

The name of this “group”, though i do not wish to call it that, comes from the fact that when you post on 4chan, you can give a nickname, but if you don’t, like most people, you’ll simply be posting as “anonymous”. It’s a force of nature that can’t be quantified, actions of that can’t be predicted.

Blocking 4chan may have been the stupidest fucking idea AT&T did in a long line of really bad ideas. I’m not gonna go on a whole rant of ma’ bell, the babybells or any of that other phone company history that only interests hackers and phreakers. But sufficed to say, they’ve not always been at the top of their game.

I’m gonna follow this as it goes on, but it’s either going to end in:

a) massive ddos and other attacks on AT&T services, physical or virtual

b) at&t giving in to customer demands

c) lawsuits

Sneaky fuckers evade ad-blocking

The guys at http://www.datacenterknowledge.com , an otherwise great site for news on servers and datacenters, has invented some sneaky-ass way to prevent users from using adblockers. I had the adblock plugin on in Firefox, as i always do (the web is a fucking cesspool of spam), and i was reading the news on that site, when i noticed the layout was completely fucked.

I reloaded the page, and the same repeated, so it wasn’t a case of some elements not loading properly. I turned off adblock for that site, reloaded, and presto: the site looked as it usually does, but with ads. So i figured i’d block the ads only, and keep the site unfiltered in a general sense. Doesn’t work. The ads are dynamically generated, and the elements are never called the same, even if it’s the same exact ad-banner.

So i have to give up at the moment. I can’t block those ads.

There has been a lot of discussion on the consumers right to block a sites ads. Site owners claim adblockers are stealing their revenue possibilities. How can this be? People download adblockers for a reason…

A recent survey also finds that up to 20% of all internet users have purchased products advertised in spam-emails. That’s a crazy figure! Seems that spammers are the richest fuckers of the entire .com wastelands!