Monday, April 28, 2008

2008-04-28 Yikes! Hotter in Whittier than Death (Valley)!

It was, just a bit ago, actually hotter in Whittier (91˚F/33˚C) than it was in Death Valley (87˚F/31˚C).

Of course, that didn't last long (it's now 88˚F/31˚C in Whittier, and 90˚F/32˚C in Death Valley), but for a bit, it was fun to brag about. ^_^


Death Valley:

It was so hot yesterday that I was worried that Tafyrn would completely melt, so we made sure we had plenty of cold water, and to stay in the shade as much as we could. He also got to try some of the orange-juice popsicles we had up in the freezer. You just make—or buy—some orange juice (whatever claws the furniture), pour some of it into popsicle trays, put these into the freezer for a bit and WOW—tasty popsicles! It works with home-made lemonade as well.

When he left for Vancouver this morning at 04:00, the temperature outside, here, was 71˚F/21˚C!

Anyway, we will continue to melt now...

Sunday, April 27, 2008

2008-04-27 Verizon is Still Evil

Verizon has been continuing to give us troubles, hijacking valid web addresses like to their "powered by Yahoo" search service. Over the last week, we were unable to get to many major sites on the Internet. Yet, all the time, connecting via IP worked without problems.

It is clear that the problem is in Verizon's network — their "DNS Assistance" service is mistakenly thinking that valid addresses do not exist. However, their support organization is sadly even more broken than their network...

We called front line support, and the lady that first helped us correctly narrowed down the problem to DNS resolution, and was starting to walk us through the procedure to "opt out" of "DNS Assistance". However, when she found out that we were using a Macintosh, she refused to provide further assistance, and indicated we had to talk to someone in their Macintosh support department. (Despite the steps being configuration changes to the modem, which had nothing to do with the operating system)

Ten minutes of holding later, we talked with another fellow, who first refused to acknowledge that the problem even existed, then said that the problem was the browser that we were using and told us that all he could recommend was to download Firefox, despite the fact that I walked him through the fact that you could see the problem just using telnet, and that the DNS resolution subsystem is independent from the browser.

So, time for a supervisor...

Ten minutes more holding, and the supervisor said that "nothing could be wrong with their network, and that the problem was with the modem." So I specifically asked if the DNS resolution code that redirects me to a different address when the requested address is not found was in the modem. He answered that it was, and said that the only thing he could do was to send me a new modem.


Of course, while on hold, I found forum postings on how to change the modem DNS configurations, the passwords for the modem, and the official Verizon support page that describes how to "opt-out".

Official Verizon DNS Assistance Opt-Out Instructions

We're going to take the screenshots of Verizon redirecting to a yahoo branded search service and send them to google, since this hijacking is completely unacceptable, even if it is the result of their system problems.

Monday, April 21, 2008