AT&T’s CEO Ed Whitacre is complaining once again, that it isn’t fare that web content owners are allowed to use large volumes of communications companies’ bandwidth for ‘free’. He wants big sites such as Google and others to pay for access to their clients. I read this a month ago but it has come up again. Don’t these people realize that Google doesn’t just plug into the Internet for free? Google must pay for several optical connections to their server farm and ISP fees, which their ISP pays to connect to other networks, such as AT&T’s network. Then the consumers, you and me, pay to connect to AT&T’s network, my Mediacom cable connection connects to the AT&T network. Why should Google and others pay twice for their Internet connection?
The real problem lies with what lies before us in the next five to ten years. About ten years ago we were promised fiber to the wall and all the bandwidth we could suck up, well about 100mbps both ways. What happened was the web 1.0 bubble popped. Suddenly around 2001 these big Telephone Companies found themselves with some fiber upgrades and a large amount of dark fiber, since the demand shifted, they stopped investing in their networks, except when they absolutely had to.
Now as the so called Web 2.0 movement catches fire and begins to run with the economic torch, the telephone companies realize that demand has increased (shifted to the right on the demand curve graph) but their supply capacity has remained the same since they foolishly lined the pockets of their CEOs and management instead of investing in their networks. The entire Web 2.0 movement will heavily push VOIP and IPTV. POTS will more or less die soon, as in by 2010. Once POTS dies as everyone uses VOIP, SBC/ATT will find itself with a bunch of worthless copper. They should have upgraded ever last inch to fiber but now it’s too late. That’s what Ed Whitacre is seeing, though he could be just seeing a plan to line his pockets since as a general rule of thumb all CEO/CFOs are corrupt, self-centered, evil rats. Their profits will dwindle and the new ATT will die a quick painful death, just like Enron.
You Internet Explorer users out there should upgrade to the beta 2 to see my blog correctly, since I believe it displays 32bit PNG images correctly now. After mass ‘piracy’ of previous alpha builds, Microsoft has finally released a public beta, and therefore I will no longer care about users who use anything under IE 7, or Mozilla/5.0 compatible (Khtml based (Safari, Konqueror) and Gecko (Camino, FireFox, Mozilla, seamonkey)). You will need XP with Service Pack 2 installed to install it, I’ve tried on my SP1 machine and I had no luck.
According to the maintainer of Spam Karma in his latest blog entry, a new breed of spam bot has emerged and has been released in the last few days. This new spam bot uses somewhat more intelligent behavior and can get past Spam Karma 2 sometimes. Bad Behavior, the spam protection that I use, isn’t very effective against these bots, which I can attest to since I had swarms of spams queuing up for moderation beginning last Friday.
It seems that there is an update coming to Bad Behavior which may end up stopping these new bots, but it won’t be available until Bad Behavior 2 arrives sometime this year. Michael Hampton, Bad Behavior’s maintainer has released an alpha but it will be some time before a final release will arrive. If you wish to speed the release of Bad Behavior 2 please donate to his paypal account, his laptop died on the third of January and he doesn’t have the cash to repair/replace it.
Watching a spamming attempt unfold before my very eyes, I have become furious to the point of almost writing a Word Press plug-in. Instead, I’m going to share an idea. So a certain Internet Explorer user from Europe, whom is using the IP address 18.104.22.168 and is ‘pimping’ a fraudulent online pharmacy, decided to crawl my site a few months ago. Plotting its attack, it waited, and waited. Avoiding Bad Behavior was necessary, but the simple WordPress moderation blocks kept his spam from getting through. He should have seen a 412: Precondition Failed, but somehow didn’t. The first attack lasted only 8 posts but they never caught on. The next day 12 spam posts came, and then that night 48 posts came through. This really pissed me off. I uploaded a nicely modified .htaccess file that blocked his IP address, now he sees a nice 403: Forbidden.
Instead of taking such a harsh approach on spammers I’ve though of something: how about using a black list, such as Bad Behavior’s central one, and when a spammer tries to post a comment with under 10 words and has a hyperlink, or supplies one to the “website” field, log the message as spam, the IP address, and the site url in a sql database entry and then forward the robot to the site that they tried to “promote”. That way legitimate the users of the IP address can get make quality responses, while the spammer bots will waste bandwidth of the site that they are “promoting”.