APNIC has run out of IPv4 addresses

Posted on 15 April 2011 | No responses

Well that happened rather more quickly than I’d thought. The Asia-Pacific Regional Internet Registrar (APNIC) is now down to it’s last big block of IPv4 addresses. Its policy, once having reached this point, is to carefully conserve the remaining IP addresses to facilitate service providers’ transition to IPv6. They won’t give out more than about a thousand addresses to each APNIC member – total. Effectively, this means they’ve run out.

In recognition of this interesting fact (if you are a geek), slightlyodd.com and www.slightlyodd.com now have AAAA records. All set for world IPv6 day, I guess 🙂

Edit: Linode has deployed Native IPv6 🙂 – so I’ve updated all my DNS records accordingly. Progress!

An eloquently devastating takedown of mystical thinking

Posted on 9 April 2011 | 2 responses

Tim Minchin’s wee animated short here, Storm, is quite something.

I’m not usually one to go for beat poetry, but this ten-minute tirade had me picking up my jaw from the floor.

Watch only if you’re either a sceptical person or not too easily offended.

My name and date of birth? But you called me!

Posted on 5 April 2011 | 2 responses

This morning, a fellow named Brad from NAB called to see how my banking was going. The call was unsolicited and the caller ID blocked. Brad was friendly and polite as he began asking a few questions about my banking habits. You can imagine though, that I wasn’t terribly inclined to answer any of his questions, considering I didn’t know him from a bar of soap.

I asked him if he could provide me with a piece of information from my account, to assure me that the call was legitimate. In order to give any information, he told me, he would need to first obtain some details from me, and began by asking for my name and date of birth. I wasn’t quite sure he was getting the point, but politely let him know that I didn’t really want to do that. We finally arrived at a compromise – I could phone him back on a number found easily on the NAB website. I did, waited on hold and was eventually transferred back to him – a process that took something like ten minutes. Not quite sure why I bothered, really.

There would be a really simple way to solve this. On opening the account (or as part of regular account maintenance), customers could be asked for an “authenticity assurance” word or phrase – a shared secret which could be quoted on an outbound call to provide peace of mind. To me, it seems like this is a total no-brainer security measure and I can’t understand why nobody does it. So I’ve sent them the suggestion, I’m curious to see the response. What am I missing? Why isn’t this done already?

Ever wanted to see the inside of my eyeballs?

Posted on 15 March 2011 | 2 responses

Here is your opportunity! Lucky you!

The white bits are the optic nerve. The darker section is the macula, and in the middle, my fovea.

 

The good news is, they’re in good shape. Apparently the white sheeny stuff is reflection from the vitreous. Gross, huh!

Attention very angry man in the van behind me!

Posted on 11 March 2011 | No responses

There is a really good reason why I’m driving fairly slowly and leaving a large gap in front of me on the Warringah Freeway. Believe it or not, I’m doing you a favour – you and everyone in the lane behind.

When driving in heavy traffic, patterns of stop-start movement will emerge; sometimes because of a near miss, sometimes because of an accident, or sometimes because of absolutely nothing at all. But once that pattern has emerged, shock waves propagate slowly backward though the traffic, causing people to have to hop on and off the accelerator and brake. It’s no fun to drive in (particularly when, like me, you drive a manual).

Here’s a video both explaining and illustrating the phenomenon:

One Seattle driver discovered that there was a solution for his frustration of getting on and off the gas & brakes. By driving at the average speed of traffic, instead of rushing straight toward the stopped bumper ahead, he caused the flow pattern of his entire lane for miles behind to smooth out. In traffic flow terminology, he figured out the secret to transform a “wide moving jam” into “sychronised flow”. Amazingly, this behaviour can actually improve the overall flow rate of the traffic: more cars can travel along a given road in synchronised flow than in the presence of a jam.

Anyway, angry flashy-light van driver, I thought I’d do you the courtesy of explaining my behaviour. I hope you understand.

Philips NMS 9100 – our first PC

Posted on 10 March 2011 | 8 responses

A wee bit of nostalgia today – I found a few pictures of what was our first home PC. It was a PC/AT compatible 286, running at 8MHz.

As seen in the image below, it came with 768kB of RAM. If I remember correctly, at some stage we upgraded it to 2MB.

On it, I played such immersive games games as “Dark Heart of Uukrul”:

And wrote up school projects in WordPerfect:

Now I can look at stuff like this with the phone in my pocket. The CPU in my phone is (at least) one hundred times faster, has more than 250 times as much RAM. It can tell me where I am using satellites in the sky. I feel old:

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