Author Archive

BellSouth DSL has Slow DNS Lookups

April 15th, 2005 Tony 44 comments

I’ve used Bellsouth FastAccess DSL at home for nearly 3 years. Its never given me trouble. However, starting in March the time it takes to resolve a URL to an IP has suddenly increased from unnoticable levels to 10 seconds or more. Sometimes by browser gives up. To remidiate the problem I’ve setup a local DNS via BIND on SuSE. Frankly, I’m kind of pissed that Bellsouth can’t do better for the money I pay them.

Categories: Computers Tags:

Best Buy is Cloaking

March 18th, 2005 Tony 1 comment Cloaking
Today I discovered that Best Buy cloaks their product pages. I was searching for a Serial ATA PCI controller.

The Google search (the first result should be the Best Buy link)

Notice the URL for the product page:

Now click the link and notice that it redirects to the dynamic URL:

How did Google Get the Static URL?
Best Buy is cloaking via user agent. To see it in action enter the short static URL into my HTTP Response Viewer and select Googlebot for the user agent.

Notice that you get back HTML with all the product information.

Now enter the same URL into my response viewer *but* select a normal browser for the user-agent.

This time you get back a very short piece of HTML that does a meta refresh to the long dynamic URL. This is what the average Joe will land on.

It seems ridiculous for Best Buy to risk getting caught for cloaking when its so easy to simply use mod_rewrite to create static URLs.

Categories: Search Engine Optimization Tags:

NC Government Enters the SPAM Business?

March 5th, 2005 Tony 2 comments

I received a postcard from the North Carolina Secretary of State informing me it was time to file my annual report on my LLC (read “give us $205″). They let me know that I could easily file by visiting But when I visit the site I immediately feel like I’ve been duped by a spammer posing as an official government office. The site is riddled with links to pages serving up nothing but Overture ads for high dollar phrases such as “North Carolina Real Estate”. Burried in the middle of the page is a link to “NC LLC/LLP ANNUAL REPORTS” which links out to Note the domain name

So it seems that the owner of has taken advantage of the fact that the NC Secretary of State misprints their URL on the thousands of post cards they send out. Or perhaps had someone inside the state government to purposely misprint the card. Hmmm.

Categories: Search Engine Optimization Tags:

Speed up Firefox with these tweaks

February 25th, 2005 Tony 27 comments

Does Firefox seem way slower than Internet Explorer to you? Well it certainly is out of the box. I’m not sure why they don’t make the following settings default but check these out. They may change your opinion of the browser.


Type “about:config” in your firefox address bar.

Search for the following settings:

1. network.http.pipelining
Set to true
2. network.http.pipelining.firstrequest
Set to true
3. network.http.pipelining.maxrequests
Set to 32
4. network.http.proxy.pipelining
Set to true
5. nglayout.initialpaint.delay
Set to 0

Its very likely that you won’t have an entry for network.http.pipelining.firstrequest. Thats ok. Just add one.

Right-click on the preferences list, select ‘New’ then select ‘Boolean’

On the first prompt, type:

On the second prompt, set it to ‘true’

Its also likely that you won’t have an entry for nglayout.initialpaint.delay

Right-click on the preferences list, select ‘New’ then select ‘Integer’

On the first prompt, type:

On the second prompt, set it to ‘0′

Thanks to MatthewHSE and rise2it of WebmasterWorld for these settings. Thanks to rona for heads up on the nglayout.initialpaint.delay also not being present. Firefox is way faster for me and has enabled me to finally bail on IE.

How does it help? These are Matthew’s words:

Enabling the pipelining features allows the browser to make multiple requests to the server at the same time. The “maxrequests” is the maximum number of requests it will send at once. I’ve heard that 8 is the most it will send at once, but setting it higher won’t hurt, just in case. The initialpaint.delay is the length of time (in milliseconds) after the server response before the browser begins to paint the page.

Categories: Computers Tags:

Bittorrent TV Show Download

January 21st, 2005 Tony 12 comments

I only watch one TV show (Lost) regularly but I really don’t want to miss any episodes. Earlier this week I did miss it because I was stuck at work due to the crazy traffic mess in the Triangle.


Bittorrent to the rescue! What a beautiful, simple, p2p application. If I desired to download the tv episode in perfect raw AVI I could probably could have downloaded it in around 4 hours. Of course I wouldn’t actually download this tv show because that would be illegal so I this is purely conjecture.

Some good sites for bittorrent TV episodes download:


I recently discovered the Azureus Bittorrent client. Install this bad boy and you have the ability to offer your existing library up for upload resulting in faster downloads on your new files!

Categories: Computers Tags: