internet


Sure, you’re thinking, they’ve been saying that for years.  This time it’s real, even though it may not be much – ICANN announced that on February 4 they will be adding IPv6 records for the addresses of four root servers.  With that change it becomes possible for the first time for two IPv6 hosts to communicate without using any of the IPv4 infrastructure.  Not exactly a revolution but sometimes big changes happen slowly and incrementally.  In a decade every electronic component you own – cell phone, iPod, even your car – will have its own unique IP address, courtesy of this new system. What could possibly go wrong?

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A thousand of ’em.  Great quality.  Free to use.  All you have to do is credit the source.

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Let’s say you want to go to the funniest site on all the interwebs, Fark.  Here’s a tip to save some keystrokes so you have more energy to laugh: type fark in the address bar in your browser, then hold down CTRL when you hit enter.  The browser automagically fills in the http://www.____.com for you! Granted, most browsers are intelligent enough to eventually locate the full address for you in that situation, but this saves those few seconds it takes to figure out what you want.  When you spend a lot of time in front of a computer those quick shortcuts can really help move things along.

This shortcut works in both Internet Explorer and Firefox, and it probably works in the other major browsers as well. There are other combinations to complete a .net and .org domain, but I always forget those.

For some reason this shortcut key combo is not very well known, so do a good deed now and spread the word.

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Looks like Verizon is the first to roll out symmetrical access, at least in New England.  Currently the 15mbps down/2mbps up FiOS package costs about 50 bucks a month.  This new 20/20 service is currently priced at $65.  No word on when this will be offered in DFW, or whether or not the 20/20 service will actually deliver at least the 15/2 we should be getting currently.

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Right before I switched to FiOS last winter, I started noticing some BitTorrent connection issues.  Sure enough, Comcast has been caught with its pants down.  The executive summary is that Comcast is spoofing reset packets to trick filesharing applications into thinking the connection to the remote peer was dropped.

This isn’t magically limited to illegal sharing only; it’s across the board. What’s more, even Lotus Notes packets are disappearing into the ether.  Money quote:

Gigi B. Sohn, president of Public Knowledge, said that Comcast’s actions demonstrate the need for legislation. “Add this incident to the Verizon behavior on text messaging and AT&T’s censoring of the Pearl Jam concert and it’s clear that the policymakers who kept saying, ‘Wait until there’s a problem’ before acting on legislation to keep the Internet free and non-discriminatory have to wait no longer,” said Sohn in a statement. “We have a problem, and it’s time to act on it.”

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When I found GSpace last week, I was hunting for ways to synchronize a set of folders across multiple machines. I eventually found and began using NetDrive, a freeware application that allows you to map an FTP site as a drive letter in Windows Explorer. The thing is, all I really wanted to do was synchronize my Firefox bookmarks between my work and home machines. The last time I looked for Firefox bookmark extensions the selection was lacking; not so this time. Foxmarks is a free website and plugin that syncs Firefox bookmarks between multiple machines. Tomorrow I’ll be installing the plugin on my work machine and, barring unforeseen troubles, the days of emailing links to myself will be over.

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I’m totally stoked about this Firefox plugin called Gspace because I’ve been looking for something like it for a while. Gmail accounts come with massive storage space – just over 2.9GB as of today. This plugin lets you use that space for file storage as if it were an FTP server. Free offsite backups anyone?

When selected (Tools -> Gspace, or via the icon on the bottom right of the Firefox window) the plugin opens a new tab that looks like an FTP client. When you use the interface to transfer a file to your storage space, behind the scenes the plugin sends a cryptic email to your account with the file attached. While I haven’t gotten this far yet, I’m thinking it should be relatively painless to create a filter that moves these cryptic emails into the All Mail folder so they don’t clutter up your inbox. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Update:  even better than GSpace, GMail Drive is a standalone Windows application that mounts your Gmail space as a drive letter.  Drag and drop files in Windows Explorer to store and retrieve them!

NOTE: the maximum file size for both applications is 20MB as that is the size limit GMail enforces on attachments. 

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