Seacom problems

Or the alternate title of “Why your inability to access international content is your ISP’s fault, and not Seacom’s”
Or “Why your cheap-as-chips residential ADSL Broadband account is broken, and why I don’t care”

I could go on with all the complaints that I’ve heard over the last 24 hours, and all the stupid reasoning behind those complaints. But I won’t. I’ll try and be helpfully informative.

So we’ll start with the facts:

  • Seacom is one of the Submarine fiber cables that connect South Africa to Europe.
  • There are other ways out of South Africa to Europe, that do not rely on Seacom.
  • Residential ADSL users are quite far down the list of priorities for most ISP’s.
  • Business users on leased lines account for significantly more income than ADSL users.
  • You get what you pay for.

Your choice of ISP should take all of these facts into account:

  • Does your ISP have multiple international circuits?
  • Are these circuits physically diverse (ie: not the same cable).
  • Are you actually paying for a service that will make use of the backup circuits in the event of a failure?

Chances are, unless you have a leased line service, and you pay something in the region of R20000 a month for it, you will be affected by the Seacom problems.

It would be incredibly naive of any ISP to expect that a single upstream provider will be up 100% of the time. Seacom do not promise a 100% uptime, so how can you expect that level of service if you rely solely on them?

The solution for the ISPs? Use one of those other forms of international connectivity. Such as the SAT3-SAFE cable. Sure, thats expensive, so only use that for your “premium” customers. Like those guys paying R20000+ a month for their leased lines. They’ll get what they pay for.

And that there, is the difference between the R900 you pay a month for 4mbit ADSL, and R20000 per month for 4mbit leased line.

You get what you pay for.

Possibly cooler than Photosynth


Now my little stick figure drawings can actually look decent.

This is possibly the coolest thing ever.

Researchers have come up with a way of taking your stick figure drawings (and keywords), and using them to find actual images that match. Then compositing them to create the complete image you were thinking of.

From Crunchgear

Setting up a SixXS Tunnel in Mikrotik

I haven’t seen any working examples of configuration for setting up a SixXS tunnel on a Mikrotik, so here’s on that I’ve put together.
I’ve just done this, and had to figure alot of it out for myself.

There are a few assumptions:
1) You have a static IP Address
2) You already have a SixXS account, which has been validated, etc.
3) You have a device running Mikrotik RouterOS.
4) You have the ipv6 package installed and enabled

So, onto the nitty gritty…

Continue reading Setting up a SixXS Tunnel in Mikrotik

Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail

Whats is the point of having this at the end of your email signature?

If you have these sage words of advice, you probably have a stupid 10 line disclaimer about “if you’re not the intended recipient, please don’t read this email” nonsense too. At the end of the email. After you’ve read it.

Do people even realise that your little “legal” disclaimer has absolutely no power at all?
It means nothing. Email is not a legally binding medium, therefore, your email disclaimer means nothing, legally.

Hows this for a suggestion.
Don’t have the stupid legal disclaimer. Don’t have the stupid save the environment nonsense either. That way, when someone does need to print the email, your signature doesn’t take up another page of paper all for itself.

So, lets save a tree or two. Get rid of your excessively long and pointless Email signature.

Nifty Bash Complete for SSH known_hosts

Just came across this today… Really useful, since 90% of my job requires SSHing off to remote hosts…

From drawohara:

Stick this in your ~/.bashrc

SSH_COMPLETE=( $(cat ~/.ssh/known_hosts | \
cut -f 1 -d ‘ ’ | \
sed -e s/,.*//g | \
uniq | \
egrep -v [0123456789]) )
complete -o default -W "${SSH_COMPLETE[*]}" ssh

This does a lookup for all the hosts in your ~/.ssh/known_hosts file, as a source for the autocompletion.

Jawug gets a mention on ZA Tech Show

Jawug got a mention in todays ZA Tech Show podcast.

At 45 minutes, they stray onto the topic of Wireless User Groups.

Just a note to people who listened to it, WUGs are legal, as long as they don’t provide internet access, and don’t make a profit. This has been acknowledged by ICASA (not just ICASA turning a blind eye to it)
The WUG guys actually went to ICASA for a hearing, and this was the outcome.

Duncan even mentions me by name around 50 minutes in! I’m famous! Heh
Justin and myself met with Duncan a few years back when he was doing an article for the Financial Mail.

We’re still growing! And fighting for spectrum space, between all the WISPs that ARE illegal.
You cannot use the ISM spectrum for a profit, even if you have a VANS. End of story.

So if you come across a WISP that blames their problems on interference all the time, you know they they’re using unlicensed spectrum, which makes them illegal.

Real Wireless ISP’s pay for Spectrum. It also means that ICASA has to listen to them when they complain about interference.