Satya's blog - 2009/01/

Jan 31 2009 12:17 Yahoo domain names fiasco

I have a domain at Yahoo Small Business that expires next month. Since Yahoo now charges about $30 or more per year, I decided to transfer the domain to Dotster.

I always set up whois privacy for my domains, so that a Whois database lookup (this is public information) returns a placeholder postal address, email address, and phone and fax numbers instead of my own. Yahoo and Dotster both claim that they will forward anything received at these points of contact to me, as long as it doesn't look spammy. Yahoo contracts with MelbourneIT for this, by the way.

Unfortunately, the contact information that Yahoo puts into the Whois system isn't tagged. Everyone using the Whois privacy "feature" gets the same details. How does Yahoo distinguish between them? It doesn't. When I requested a domain transfer via Dotster, Dotster sent an email to the administrative contact, which was Yahoo's placeholder address. I never saw that email. Only by turning the Whois privacy off, and asking Dotster to re-send the request, did I get Dotster's email. In the meantime my private information is exposed to the world of domain criminals.

Dotster's private registration *does* use tagging, the email address listed is something random. So they can forward real requests to me. I have tested this successfully.

In the meantime, I did a Whois lookup for a domain I had cancelled several months ago. To my surprise and dismay, Whois showed my personal information for this cancelled domain! The technical contact was listed as MelbourneIT, so I contacted them and asked to have my information removed immediately. They asked me to contact Yahoo. Yahoo asked me to call them. I did, and had the information removed. Apparently, at Yahoo Small Business, "cancelling" your domain does NOT mean "de-registering"! Horrible. I'll never be using Yahoo Small Business again. I'll be avoiding anything by MelbourneIT, too.

I'm not the only one with this problem.

Tag: geeky rant

Jan 22 2009 12:16 BoingBoing article on pneumatic tubes

I saw this title on Boing Boing "Pneumatic tube-based postal systems of the late 19th century", but first I saw the word "portal" instead of "postal" and thought they were making some Portal(the game)-related joke. Too bad they weren't.

Insert your own intertubes joke here.

Tag: silly

Jan 06 2009 23:14 Sansa E200P playlist
I have a Sansa Sandisk E200P music device that shows up as a USB mass storage device under Linux. After much digging around, I found a couple of web sites and eventually realised that the playlist format is "extended M3U" (and these are DOS ASCII files, acording to a forum post). So I wrote a script that will build playlists. You will need perl and the ability to edit simple perl code. Sansa playlist maker

Tag: perl code howto

Jan 05 2009 00:03 Kino downgrade
I use kino for video editing. The newest version which comes with Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex (8.10), version 1.3.1, has some bugs related to scene splitting. After trying (not very hard) and failing to get the kino devs to acknowledge the bug, I tried to compile kino on my box. Mistake. First I had to apt-get install about 100 packages (really, I counted and there were definitely over 100). Then it complained that frame.h was including libavcodec/avcodec.h and a couple of others, which couldn't be found. Some googling turned up a laugh at Redhat
"Why is it that every decent multimedia production tool always requires stuff to build its tarball that is not part of the fedora repositories?"
and then this, which said to reference avcodec.h and so on, i.e. remove the libavcodec/ directory qualifier from the #include lines in frame.h However, the compiled kino segfaulted when I tried to run it. Then it occurred to me to go grab an *older* debian package, one which I know works -- the one from Ubuntu Hardy (8.04)! See, so far I'd been trying to find *newer* packages. I added Hardy main to the apt sources.list file, and got synaptic to "Force version" for kino to Hardy, then locked kino's version. Too bad it still screws up the scene splits, though. After pinning ("force version" is also known as "pinning") various packages, I could not fix the problem. Eventually I tried editing a recently-captured video file. It kept the scene splits. So, apparently, my old files have some issue that makes them lose the scene split data after a kino FX operation. Weird. This confusion arose because I've only edited old files since the Ubuntu upgrade. Sigh. What a waste of time.

Tag: ubuntu

Jan 01 2009 11:22 Recycling packaging material
Based on a post at Go Green Charleston blog, I had some thoughts:

I got a large number of packages this year. I freecycled all the boxes and packing material (including peanuts and brown paper) to a family that's moving to New Jersey. There were 2 small air bubble bags that went with it. The best part: I bought two new computer cases which came with those custom tall, thin, boxes. Well, this family has two computers they're moving, so those boxes and their foam padding came in handy!

Now the treadmill I bought has a ton of waste, where can I recycle it?

  • several plastic bags with no recycling number (the biggest problem)
  • bits of foam packing material (trash, a few pieces saved for later re-use)
  • plastic ties (trash)
  • metal bits (can these be recycled somewhere in Charleston county?)
  • cardboard (recyclable)
  • wood! (where can I recycle this, short of leaving it outside to decompose?)

Update: Plastic bags went to the grocery store. I think they know how to sort them out. The metal bits will be taken to a recycling drop-site, and are in my car now. The cardboard was recycled, and I still have the wood. I *could* build a shelf, but why?

Last updated: Jan 14 2009 15:05

Tag: environment