Category Archives: Internet

What Your DNS Says About You

image_thumb88I know many people that just type in the usual Google public DNS when they need to add one to a computer or server. It’s easy right!? Just remember 8.8.8.8 and/or 8.8.4.4 it’s a no brainer! But what are we REALLY doing when we use Google for DNS?

Your chosen DNS servers translate domains (xyz.com) to IP addresses (xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx). So your name servers know every domain you have accessed since they did the job of translating them to IP address of the servers hosting the site. This is some pretty juicy information for a company like Google or even your ISP that provides your DSL or Cable Internet access. If you are already using Google services like search and Gmail using their name servers adds to the bounty of information they collect about you.

Maybe you just hate that your ISP hijacks your browser every time you type in an address wrong? Giving your their recommendations that are ad driven.

“How can I not leak all my information!?”

OpenNIC DNS can help solve this issue and give you some added features. It is simple to change the DNS servers.opennic-logo-sm411

You can also take it one step further and use DNScrypt to secure your queries. Just choose your closest geographic OpenNIC DNS servers from the list that offer DNScrypt support.

Another added bonus of using OpenNIC is they support Namecoin (.bit) domain names and offers for free a list of their own Top Level Domains (TLDs).

It is hard to wean yourself off of services like Google that are in actuality a key player in what many call the surveillance economy. Which equates to giving your information and privacy away for free services. A simple change like your DNS and using a search engine that does not track you can be a huge step to taking back control of your privacy.

What Comes After the Containers and Unikernels?

(Reposted here from my LinkedIn)

A brief history of everything… (SysAdmin related)

There has been a lot of hype over the last year on container solutions, like Docker, with an ever growing and sometimes fragmented group of supporting projects. What does this all mean for the cloud and the future of hosting applications?

Pre-Cloud and Virtualization (aka The Dark Ages)

Before the cloud and virtualization you had a bare metal server where you installed an operating system on to host your service or application. It was basically a 1 to 1 thing in terms of the hardware and operating system. There were hardware load balancers to distribute traffic to a pool of these physical servers. This was very inefficient due to much of the hardware not being utilized even during peak load times.

Dawn of Virtualization (aka The Not-So Dark Ages)

When the boom of virtualization in all its forms came about with VMware and other offerings, people saw the promise and hope of being able to more fully utilize their hardware by segmenting it into virtual machines to better use (and cost effectively) plan for capacity.

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How Amazon Kindle Finally Won Me Over

(Cross post from my Google+)

I have always been a die-hard paper book lover. Nothing to me smells better than a old used book store. But I have recently finally given in to the eReader boom. I have had a Viewsonic gTablet I hacked with Android Honeycomb for about 6 months. On it I have Kindle and started playing with it, downloading sample chapters and a few full books. It quickly grew on me. Then with the release of the Amazon Cloud Reader it has put me over the top.

I enjoy being able to highlight and notate things in the mostly non-fiction books I read. Along with being able to access the books from my phone, tablet, and desktop. Most books I read are technical or startup/business related so my notes come in very handy with the research I do.

Some things that won me over:

  • Notations in-line of the books with notes
  • The ability to make black on white text and vice versa (big plus when reading in bed)
  • Ability to make multiple bookmarks to reference things previous
  • Access to books from many devices at once
  • Saving a tree or two 😉
  • Lightening my load when it comes time to move to another residence

My biggest complaint about Kindle books is the disproportionate pricing compared to hardback or paperback books. Many times the price is only a few dollars less.