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Category Archives: Internet

The other day I came across this blog post “That Dirty (Sri Lankan) Mind“. The first thing I got in mind: “Seriously, WTF?”.

I’m not quite sure whether google place suggestions according to the relevance. But seems like it is.

Today I found these two screenshots, google suggestions for sara and rajap on my friend @laktek‘s Tweet. And felt like looking for more.

So I looked for ‘how to’. See the results for yourself.

Seriously? How to get Pregnant? Oh c’mon Sri Lankans.
I don’t know why I felt like checking out Google.in for same thing. (Maybe I was looking for a way outta this shame ;) ).

See? We are not screwed. Yet. Apparently India screws up suggestions for us (It’s good to have a great neighbor :P ).

I checked the Google trends for “How to get pregnant” to be sure.

So it’s time to remove some bras.

Google Sri Lanka suggestions for “removing”

Google india Suggestions for “removing”

And now let’s see who really don’t know how to remove a bra.

Now that’s a big relief :D. Eff you Goog. We know how to remove bras, eyes wide shut :P

The privacy is again in hot zone of topics in communities I follow. The reason is @ericschmidt, Google CEO Eric Schmidt.

The register reports, “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place,” under the heading “Google chief: Only miscreants worry about net privacy”. That’s how journalists do it. Let’s have a better perspective on the subject.

“Judgment matters… If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place… If you really need that kind of privacy, the reality is that search engines – including Google – do retain this information for some time and it’s important, for example, that we are all subject in the United States to the Patriot Act and it is possible that all that information could be made available to the authorities.”

Quoted from Eric Schmidt on CNBC video found here (some interesting stuff about Schmidt too ;) ).

Doesn’t really sound as bad as The Register report, but still it’s bad.


Google has to obey the laws, I agree, and the laws are not perfect. Anyway laws and regulations is not the only reason they track and log certain information. It’s a part of their business model.

Google offers simply awesome services and I find it really difficult to stay away from all that awesomeness thinking of privacy issues that doesn’t seem to be hrmful for the time being. Hope it’s the case for you too.

It’s not only Google that we should be alarmed of. Recently Yahoo said something similar to “Our Spy Capabilities Would ‘Shock’, Consumers“. Is that sound frightening?

So I think it’s the time to at least stay concious about these issues, if not to stay away. I would rather ask Google than a friend, of a private and sensitive question, thinking my secret is also gone with the closed search page. But it’s not the case anymore. Unfortunately.

Note: Find some interesting ideas about privacy, on secutiry guru Bruce Schneiers blog

My tweet you just read says the long story short. In case you didn’t come across, Google made DNS a buzzing topic again with Google Public DNS. So I felt like trying a dns cache again. The logic is “If a better DNS server makes things better, DNS cache makes it even better.”

This is more of a note to self than a HOWTO. If your use case atches with mine, feel free to use this.

My use case: I use an HSDPA, mobile broadband connection on Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope.

Install pdnsd with,

$sudo apt-get install pdnsd

Now launch the text editor you hate and add following to /etc/pdnsd.conf

(By default all the parts are commented so just adding this was fine enough for me)


server {
ip=208.67.222.222 , 8.8.8.8;
timeout=5;
interval=30;
uptest=ping;
ping_timeout=50;
purge_cache=off;
}

global {
 perm_cache=5120;
 cache_dir="/var/cache/pdnsd";
 min_ttl=15m;       // Retain cached entries at least 15 minutes.
 max_ttl=1w;        // One week.
 timeout=10;        // Global timeout option (10 seconds).
}

I copied this piece from here and edited ;). Added the global field because defaults were not cool enough for me. And in ip field I’ve put respectively OpenDNS and Google DNS addresses. You can just add one address there. ‘man pdnsd.conf’ will teach you more about the content in the file.

Once you are done editing the configuration file restart pdnsd with

$sudo /etc/init.d/pdnsd restart

Now you should tell the network manager to look for pdnsd for it’s DNS needs.

Right click network manager icon and then follow Edit Connections > Mobile Broadband and choose to edit your preferred network connection.

In Editing <Your Network Connection> dialog box,
[1] Choose IPv4 Settings tab
[2] Choose Automatic Addresses (ppp) Only in Methods Dropdown box.
[3] Set DNS Servers field to 127.0.0.1 (which refers to pdnsd in our case)

And obviously, Apply Changes :P .

If everything went fine, you are now ready to enjoy DNS cache goodness with pdnsd.

You can check how good is it with dig command.

ex:
$dig yahoo.com

run this command twice and compare Query time field.

Note: If you followed all the steps but still it doesn’t work, try restarting pdnsd. If you get following error refer this page

/etc/resolv.conf must be a symlink

Update: Added the global settings for config file.

It’s over. The fight against the dynamic DNS is over for me now. It took me so long to figure this simple thing out. But I don’t worry, even the big bro Goog couldn’t come up with a satisfying straight answer for my problem. So I myself searched under the mattress & found the pea which took my good night sleep (I’m neither a princess nor prince ;) ).

Sometimes back I had to come up with a pretty shitty solution for a shitty problem. No I didn’t won’t to show how bad my thinking or coding is. But wanted to show how shitty is the service of my ISP. But however the right way to fix all those are here with me. And I’m gonna share it with you.

If you use wvdial to dial up (Ok, now only seven people at most will continue reading this) for your internet connection, and you hate the DNS servers come your way automagically, here’s what to do.

Open /etc/ppp/peers/wvdial with your favorite text editor & comment the line usepeerdns. I mean make it look like #usepeerdns. Now wvdial won’t ask pppd to fetch those crappy DNS addresses again.

So go and edit your /etc/resolv.conf file and add you favorite DNS servers there. Mine looks like following.

nameserver 127.0.0.1
nameserver 208.67.222.222
nameserver 208.67.220.220

Wonder why I use 127.0.0.1 there? That’s because I’m a happy user of dnsmasq (I recommend you to use it). I used this simple HOWTO to install it on Ubuntu. There should be other guides & HOWTOs which might match you (In case that one doesn’t fit). Just ask big bro Goog.

And other nameservers are of the nice free DNS service OpenDNS.

Hope everyone knows that something went wrong with Google for some time. 6:30 a.m. PST and 7:25 a.m on 1/31/2009 as Google says. They marked all their search results as harmful sites. Here’s photo proof from dave winer (I didn’t witeness the error. Unfortunately :) ).

Google made a statement on the incident on their official blog. At first they were trying to ( may be not intentionally) put the blame on stopbadware.com . Here’s what stopbadware people have to say.

Things are all fine by now (at least it seems to be). But what about those people who found your site on Google at the time the error occurred? Ok count the geeks, nerds, web junkies, net savvy people & people with better IQ out (Since they notice it’s an error). But still there’s a huge portion of surfers who really don’t know that what happened was an error. So what should Google do? Apologize on their homepage and/or search result pages ? What do you think.

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