IBM didn’t take too long.

That was a nice, intermediate escape from Pack-Rat.  Now I’m on to bigger and better things.  Tomorrow I’m starting what I hope is going to be a long term relationship with the American Kennel Club.  I don’t project this to be an endless series of institutional meetings with little outcome as I experienced at IBM.  Good luck to all the contractors I worked with in Big Blue’s Network Sevices Division.  I hope you all find yourselves a home at AT&T.  Surprisingly most of you seem to be looking forward to it.

I really like the folks I met with at the AKC last week.  It appears there are some Netbackup issues in-house that will be first on my list once I get my bearings in the environment.  I also get to help move another data center in this new post.  There’s plenty of VMWare, Exchange and other technologies to keep me disecting the technology profile for a couple of months at the least.  And finally I’ll be in an environment again without prejudice toward Unix like OS’s.  Most of the time this “prejudice” is no more than lack of experience administering the technology and IT managers that don’t understand the difference between a carriage return that is constructed of one vs. two acsii characters or why it matters.

For today I’m going in search of a new WordPress editor.  One that makes it easier to upload and orient photos inside a post.  It’s time this became a photo blog again.

On to IBM…

So I’m dealing with a situation at IBM where the Network Delivery Services Group I’m part of has been acquired by AT&T.  The whole IBM network and the support of it will now be owned by AT&T.  It’s an even more daunting task than the Lenovo seperation.  That only included personnel, not network assets.

Wow. I almost went the entire month of September without a post on this blog. That would have been the first full month without an entry since I published it.

Support House Resolution 946

U.S. House Resolution 946

The Consumer Overdraft Protection Fair Practices Act.

This bill would enforce laws against the current scrupulous activity banks engage in whereby they order consumer transactions from largest to smallest during processing to maximize overdraft “protection” fees. This process is currently under legal scrutiny even without this bill. It would also make it illegal for banks to approve transactions on debit and Visa “check cards” for which the money is not in the account unless the “overdraft protection” services are applied for by the consumer. Banks currently count on these over-the-limit transactions to maximize overdraft protection fees. The banking industry made 73 billion in such fees during 2006. It was their single largest source of revenue.

In 1999 a class action lawsuit was filed against Bank of America for engaging in the practice of “Biggest Transaction First” transaction and check clearing. They paid a $9 million dollar settlement in this suit without admission of fault and continue the practice until this day. I think more individuals should file suit against this practice, not class action attorneys, because the impact against BoA would be far greater and would receive far more attention than a few law firms cashing out.

Obviously this resolution is going to come under harsh attack by the omni-present and feared banking lobby. May they burn in hell along with all other corporate interest lobby’s.

UPDATE: Consumers who think the current system is unfair should write to the Federal Reserve and complain, and write to their congressional representatives asking them to support the “Consumer Overdraft Protection Fair Practices Act” introduced by Congresswoman Maloney.

Our little giggle bear…

It’s been a big week for Logan. He started rolling over all the time, eating cereal, all the big baby stuff. He’s a giggler too. We’re thinking he’ll be crawling withinthe next month. Right now he tries to get his legs under him when he’s on his tummy. Connor never did crawl. He just rolled around and then walked. Logan may have the same problem Connor did with walking because he’s so big.

We moved into the upstairs of our house for awhile because the condenser for our down stairs heat pump blew up trying to keep pace with the heat. It was repaired for only $200. The next day we had a big storm come through that tore up the yard and knocked down trees. I spent the weekend cutting them up with a chainsaw.

I’m thinking of moving this blog to another platform soon. WordPress is just too cumbersome to post on sometimes. It’s difficult to add pictures and that’s one of the reasons I haven’t been creating more entries lately. If I didn’t have to spend time inserting code manually for correctly formatted images there would be a lot more pictures of the baby on here.

Moses Cone Hospital and Extortion

Here’s an artical on the Blue Cross Blue Shieldof NC website about why Moses Cone cancelled their contracts with this major NC health insurance provider.

This statement from BCBS underscores my fight to prove that it is NOT the health insurance companies who are responsible for outrageous medical costs, it is the hospital corporations.  I will pose the simple question once again, which no one has ever satisfactorily answered: How can hospital corporations, with a vested interest in shareholder profits, put their patients care above targeted revenues and profitability.  The simple answer no one wants to admit is: They can’t.

An annual double digit increase for inpatient fees based on identical procedures is an outrage.  This markup (ripoff) would not be tolerated in any other consumer industry.  Yet society at large is silent towards hospitals and blames health insurance companies.  If anything the insurance companies are working to control costs.

Massachusetts Makes Health Insurance Mandatory

Hopefully this won’t start a horrifying trend. I am not opposed to discussions about Universal Health Care but passing laws at the state level which dictate that small businesses owners must make it available and individuals are responsible for having it is nothing but a great big victory for the health insurance companies and health care corporations.

This is an ill-conceived, stupid plan by ass-hats who have no idea what a burden this will place on many families. They will claim that state and federal funds will assist those with financial hardships. The truth is that to qualify for such programs you will only be able to have a part time job making $8 an hour to fall below the federal poverty level. Those families making $35K to $65K a year struggling to pay the mortgage and two car payments so they can get back and forth to work will not qualify and this will directly tap into their budget for genuine life necessities. All so a state government can dictate what’s best for them to do with their money.

DO NOT let laws like this fool you. This is not a group of legislators looking out for the best interest of their constituency. They are mearly trying to make sure that hospitals get paid when the uninsured can’t. At the same time they pacify the health insurance industry by providing them a state mandated revenue stream. Mitt Romney, you sir are an ass. And as a corporate “playa” an easy target for the corporate lobbies that are responsible for having these laws passed.

They are hoping the people of Massachusetts are stupid enough to beleive they are looking out for their best interest. And maybe you are on a few occassions. But in this instance corporations have gotten laws passed to increase their revenue streams.

Reverse DNS – PTR Records

Imagine you’re a small company owner and you decide to host your own mail server. You hire a technician to come in and set up a small SMTP server of some flavor for your domain and have him modify your external DNS and MX records so your mail starts flowing to the static IP address for your network assigned by your telecommunications provider (AT&T, Time Warner – whoever). Two days later you begin receiving non-delivery errors for sent messages that state “You don’t have permissions to send to this recipient”. This is typically a case of the receiving mail server performing a “reverse DNS lookup”. In order for these reverse lookups to succeed the telecommunications carrier that provided your static IP for your network is required to maintain a PTR record for the host name of your new mail server. Now you will learn the horror that is requesting a PTR record from a major telco or ISP.

Many ISP’s and telco’s are reluctant to add PTR records for customers they have delegated IP addresses to for a couple of reasons: The first is usually because they don’t know what you’re talking about when a request for a reverse DNS entry is made and you’re required to travel well up the support food chain before talking to a technician that understands that PTR records are maintained by the ISP delegating the IP address, not the ISP hosting DNS for the domain. The second reason is that unlike the ISP hosting the public DNS entries there is no money involved for the telco or ISP providing your static IP (yet).

PTR records are becoming common requests that you would think ISP’s would be more more willing to accomodate since major ISP’s like AOL and Time Warner both require successful reverse DNS lookups for any mail being sent to a receipient of their domains. It’s a bigger shame they don’t realize the greater importance of hosting PTR records which is it’s actually a technology in the fight against spam that works. If every mail server out there had reverse DNS lookups required for incoming mail I could speculate the number of successful spam deliveries would be cut in half.

What most people, including a lot of Sys Admins, don’t know is that any ISP or telco delegating an IP address is REQUIRED by the text of their ARIN agreement to provide reverse PTR records for the IP addresses they delegate. I wouldn’t hesitate to drop this bomb in the ear of any ISP refusing to add a PTR record for a network I administer.

Under section 7.1 of the ARIN number resource policy manual (American Registry for Internet Numbers) it specifically states

“All ISPs receiving one or more distinct /16 CIDR blocks of IP addresses from ARIN will be responsible for maintaining all IN-ADDR.ARPA domain records for their respective customers.”

This means that any ISP or telco delegating IP addresses is required to maintain accurate DNS entries not only on the domains for which they host public DNS records for but also for any IP addresses they delegate (i.e. statically assigned IP address for your network).

iPhone for Windows

“High Tech Computer Corp. announced the HTC Touch, a Microsoft Windows Mobile 6 Professional OS device designed with one-touch screen features giving users instant access to emails, contacts and appointments.”

I beleive I would prefer this for business use over the entertainment value of an iPhone.

“The Touch does not come with large internal flash memory capacity for music and movie storage, which the iPhone will have. HTC instead offers a microSD drive, and a 1G-byte microSD card is included with the handset.”

Connor and Logan at Birth

I have two photos of Connor and Logan both taken minutes after each was born.  As you can see Logan is the bigger baby and he’s on track to outweigh his giant big brother.  Click to see the full size images.

Connor: 5 minutes old


Logan: 5 minutes old