OpenDNS Speed

Wikipedia defines Adware as “Adware or advertising-supported software is any software package which automatically plays, displays, or downloads advertising material to a computer after the software is installed on it or while the application is being used.”

This guy makes some good points, the OpenDNS as Adware idea not being one of them though. He’s had some issues with the typo fix feature of OpenDNS and the OpenDNS search page coming up when it shouldn’t.

So what happens when it doesn’t know the IP address you ask? Well sometimes it returns no answers

[email protected] ~ $ dig verizonn.com @208.67.222.222

;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 0, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 0

And sometimes it gives you back their server. (asdverizon.com. 1 IN A 208.67.219.40) any request to 208.67.219.40 results in a search the attempted url being ran through their systems. If im not misunderstood, they make their money off of adds displayed at this time… therefore, the more they don’t catch, the more money they make on advertising? Ok so I guess for their software it “Pays to be stupid”

Simply because an application doesn’t provided the expected results doesn’t mean it’s adware. OpenDNS seems like the kind of company who is out to stop adware and other sorts of internet baddies. That post is worth a read, it does a nice job of bringing to light some problems in OpenDNS. And, I don’t think the guy was actively trying to take the “OpenDNS is Adware” stand, he did file that post under “Talking Shit” after all. heh.

Another interesting OpenDNS related post comes from Thomas Ptacek. Thomas has noticed OpenDNS actually takes longer to resolve some domains than, say, your ISP’s DNS servers.

74ms longer via OpenDNS. How much of that is network latency? You could turn off recursion, but OpenDNS doesn’t support it, so instead query for OpenDNS’s own names:

nsping -z opendns.com 208.67.222.222
+ [ 22 ] 55 bytes from 208.67.222.222: 261.771 ms [ 192.468 san-avg ]

41ms. Weak evidence that it takes OpenDNS 33ms longer to look up random names at Google on my DSL connection? Note also that all the OpenDNS queries “succeed”, because OpenDNS sends you to a landing page for typos.

Some pretty interesting comments going on at that post too. David Ulevitch and Thomas might end up getting together to do some testing on DNS caches and overall performance. David made a comment in my previous post on OpenDNS in which he explains some of the new features they’re working on:

I agree 100% about us needing to be more transparent. The three biggest things we are working on right now are:
1) Getting account preferences up and running so people can just enable and disable the various features they are working on.
2) Providing a much clearer understanding of where our phishing data comes from and what happens if we make a mistake
3) Bringing up our London datacenter and adding in a bunch of peering and other network connectivity to our existing sites.

I’ve really only witnessed one problem with OpenDNS. This is a prime example, try navigating to http://www.tehserver.us/. It takes you to the OpenDNS search page, right? Well, the first link displayed on the search page is really where I want to go. So, I click the first link and I’m taken right back to the OpenDNS search page I was just on. So, there’s apparently no way for me to get to www.tehserver.us using OpenDNS. Granted, tehserver.us isn’t totally legitimate, it’s definitely not breaking any sort of laws. Perhaps the spellcheck is getting confused. The domain is tehserver.us, not theserver.us.

I’ve been using OpenDNS for about 5 days now. I am going to do some testing tonight at home to see if OpenDNS actually serves up info quicker than my ISP’s DNS servers. I will post the results and how I went about testing. That is, provided I have power at home, there’s been some awesome storms rolling through the last couple days. A welcome event for the farmers around here though.

UPDATE:
I can get to tehserver.us with no problem now, I never even see the OpenDNS search page. David mentioned he’s opened a bug in bugzilla for the developers to check out. He also mentioned this post on OpenDNS by Greg Keene. Greg takes a look at OpenDNS and fears even one security breach could make OpenDNS disappear:

My concerns? The obvious, security and security. Will temptation to generate advertising overcome their ‘do good’ nature? We’ll have to see. A huge, obvious hole is their own security. If they get hacked, then their users are effectively exposed — don’t underestimate this. I’d like to get more people using them so we can really find how good they are. My thought is that one security breach could kill these guys, even an exposed exploit would be a very bad thing.

Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Mexico Threatens Suits Over Guard Patrols

Isn’t this interesting? Mexico is all ready to launch lawsuits against the U.S. for protecting our own damn border. Why lawsuits? Well, Mexico is worried about the security and safety of the would-be border jumpers. Kinda ironic huh? I was 100% positive the Mexican government didn’t give a rats ass about their citizens, guess I was wrong.

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico – Mexico said Tuesday that it would file lawsuits in U.S. courts if National Guard troops on the border become directly involved in detaining migrants.

Mexican border officials also said they worried that sending troops to heavily trafficked regions would push illegal migrants into more perilous areas of the U.S.-Mexican border to avoid detection.

President Bush announced Monday that he would send 6,000 National Guard troops to the 2,000-mile border, but they would provide intelligence and surveillance support to Border Patrol agents, not catch and detain illegal immigrants.

Note, lawsuits happen “if National Guard troops on the border become directly involved in detaining migrants.” Migrants? Excuse me, but these aren’t fucking migrants. They’re illegal immigrants trying to make it to the U.S. for a better life. Sorry, but they’re criminals.

Others blogging on this topic:
The Coalition of the Swilling
Expose The Left
California Conservative
Stop The ACLU

On a related note, Hyscience has a list of Republican Senators that voted with the Democrats on the immigration issue. Someone should probably let them know what a bad decision they made. At least bring it to their attention that they’re ignoring the will of their constituents, it’s the courteous thing to do.

That’s Right, We Use White Phosphorus

The BBC came out with a Q&A about white phosphorus today:

The Pentagon’s confirmation that it used white phosphorus as a weapon during last year’s offensive in the Iraqi city of Falluja has sparked criticism.


Why criticism? Oh yah, because we’re the U. S. of A. Sure, some civilians probably were affected by the white phosphorus, but there’s always some collateral damage. There’s no doubt white phosphorus is dangerous and should only be used in the most severe of circumstances. I think Fallujah last year is a key example of one of those circumstances warranting the use of white phosphorus.

What are the international conventions?

Washington is not a signatory to any treaty restricting the use of white phosphorus against civilians.

White phosphorus is covered by Protocol III of the 1980 Convention on Conventional Weapons, which prohibits its use as an incendiary weapon against civilian populations or in air attacks against enemy forces in civilian areas.

The US – unlike 80 other countries including the UK – is not a signatory to Protocol III.


See that there? Yah, there’s nothing prohibiting the U.S. from using white phosphorus against any group, even civilians. So, if we did intentionally use white phosphorus against civilian groups, what action would be taken? Probably none. I highly doubt the U.S. used white phosphorus on civilians intentionally. If there were civilians affected, it’s because they were sticking around in Fallujah with the insurgents. And if that is the case, the civilians deserved everything the insurgents got. Why would a civilian stick around other than to assist the insurgents or to protect their homes? My point is, white phosphorus wouldn’t be used agains civilians unless they were presenting some sort of threat, which they most likely were.

And, besides that, white phosphorus isn’t even a chemical weapon. John Cole seems to feel pretty strongly about that. It’s almost always used to provide a smoke screen. It will produce a very dense cloud of smoke that can provide cover for troops. Like everything, white phosphorus can be used for evil.

My 2 cents.