Thursday, May 26, 2005

The Power of Persistance.

I got a response today that my request to transfer my domain to myself was rejected by BilkRegister (oops, BulkRegister). So, I finally got ahold of someone online. First, they told me what I already knew, that the account was expired and that the Transferguard was still in place. I told them that I had spoken with a technician three days before and he said that he was putting in a work order to lift the lock and that it would take two days. That time had passed and it was still locked.

Domain Support: Are you a bulkregister member?

Geis: No I am not. And, before you say that I need to contact my reseller, I must reiterate that MongoHosting has refused to respond to any of my requests to release the lock for three weeks now.

Domain Support: Why dont you sign up with us. So that you can manage the domain yourself.

Geis: Because MongoHosting already blackmailed me into paying them for two years of hosting to get the domain transfered to me. All they did was change the name on the admin and did not release the transfer lock.

Domain Support: But if you sign up with us you can manage the domain totally.

Geis: If you release the transfer lock, like the technician I spoke to on Monday said he was doing, I can transfer the domain to another registrar and manage it there.

I could see where they were going with this as I had seen it in a number of previous e-mails and I will let the domain die rather then pay them a dime of blood money.

They tried to direct me to a phone number that didn't answer. They tried to refer me to MongoHosting who I again said had not been responding to me. I described my experience with MongoHosting in detail using words like extortion, blackmail, hostage and thievery. They tried to refer me to another number and I told them that wasn't getting through either. Then they told me to wait two days (I assunme for the lock to be lifted). I said I had already waited three days. In fact, I had already waited three weeks and have gotten nothing but the run-around.

All told, this conversation went on for an hour and a half with several long pauses as I'm sure the technician consulted with her manager. I did not let them go for too long with each pause, asking if there was a direct number I should be calling to actually talk to someone directly who could resolve this issue. I wasn't going to go away.

Finally, the word came back: "The lock is realeased"

I immediately re-faxed my transfer request to Network Solutions.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

A temporary solution.

The backup domain I’ve purchased is set up. I’ve contacted my personal hosting service to add that domain to the DNS resolution so that people going to that URL will end up at my website. My website has been changed so that users will read that this is a temporary situation and that they can click on one of several links to get to a streamlined version of the website. Now, I have to disseminate the new domain address to all the search engines so we can minimize the damage.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Ten kinds of wrong.

Japan and China have been in a war of words recently over perceptions of the Second World War. It involves Japanese textbooks that do not admit atrocities committed in China. It involves war memorials that honor all of Japan’s war dead, including war criminals. Mostly I think it involves posturing and saber rattling by China to counter Japans influence in the region both politically and economically.

Well, a posting to a newsgroup has tried to defuse the situation. The posting was a photograph of a pouting 11-year old girl saying "Please stop these anti-Japanese hijinks. If you don't, I won't like you anymore."

It’s a clever personal appeal. Well, actually it’s somewhat contrived because the girl, model Saaya Irie, didn’t actually say what she’s quoted as saying. Even so, suddenly, the discussion groups went from China-bashing and Japan-bashing to conversations about how cute this girl is. But, what made it really work and what makes this so wrong is that this particular 11-year old girl wears an F-cup. Yea, the little child is completely stacked.

I recently saw an anime called Bokusatsu Tenshi Dokuro-chan (which roughly translates and “Beat-to-death Angel Dokuro-chan). A time traveling angel lives with a middle-school boy and regularly knocks the top of his head off with a big spiked bat. That’s pretty messed up but what really makes it wrong is the reason. It seems that the buy is destined to discover the secret to immortality. The side effect however is that girls will not mature beyond age 10 and the angel has been sent back in time to murder him and prevent this pedophile’s paradise.

And if the school girl fetish wasn’t disturbing enough, I found a copy of a Japanese print that is the precursor to the tentacle porn genre. It’s titled "Octopi and the Maiden" by Katsushika Hokusai (c. 1814) and portrays a woman being molested by an octopus.

I’m sure it is a cultural egotism and our nation’s puritanical roots that have me believing that the Japanese are messed up beyond all reason. Evidence shows that these disturbing behaviors occur in all cultures and have probably always been going on. In fact, evidence shows that even animals engage in what would be considered deviant behavior so maybe these sorts of things are really deviant at all. What we consider "normal" is merely an arbitrary central point in a broad spectrum of behaviors. That central point moves back and forth from time to time but the full spectrum remains.

This is not to excuse pedophiles for their criminal behavior but perhaps we need to clearly understand the foundations of what’s going on. It is normal behavior for males to seek out the best females. In nature, the best females are typically young and healthy. In early humans, these females would be "claimed" as soon as they became reproductively viable. Perhaps, even earlier to guarantee that the alpha male had first dibs. Puberty in modern humans begins at around age 8 or 9.

As society has gotten more complex, so too has the time necessary to
develop the ability to make decisions in that society increased. For a primitive human girl concerned with subsistence survival on the African savanna and might not expect to live past the age of 30, hitching up with a male at the age of 8 would be an easy and wholly appropriate decision. But to a modern girl in elementary school who is a decade away from entering the workforce and could expect to live into her 80’s, it’s far too early to be making those decisions for the rest of her life. And it’s always too early for an older male to be making that decision for her.

Does it sound like I’m defending these guys? It shouldn’t. Pedophiles are some of the worst kind of human filth I can think of. But it’s not because they are sexually attracted to young girls because we are all genetically programmed for some level of that. It’s because they prey on their youth and inexperience for their own selfish desires in violation of all the rules of modern society.

Monday, May 23, 2005

End Run.

One of the first things I did today is purchase another domain at Network Solutions as a backup for the one that’s expired through MongoHosting and BulkRegister. It’s not going to help too much as our our sci-fi organization flyers and publications have the old .ORG domain but if I can get the DNS entries changed and the new information out to the search engines we won’t be completely down.

The second thing I tried was contacting MongoHosting by telephone. As I mentioned before, the WHOIS information for Robert Dunbar of MongoHosting and Silvercities is incorrect. In one place it’s an outright lie. In another it’s merely disconnected. I tried calling directory assistance and searched on a few things and the one entry I found turned out not to be the person I was looking for.

Next, I called Network Solutions to see if there was anything they could do. Indeed, there was. Since my name is the Administrator of the domain, it should be an easy thing to transfer to myself. They looked at the entry and said that even though it was expired, the domain wasn’t locked (BulkRegister said it was) and they should be able to do the transfer. It couldn’t be done on-line, however. I needed to sign forms, provide proof of identity and fax the documents. It could take ten days, however.

One of the things on the form was something called an Authcode. This is apparently required for transfers of .ORG domains. I called BulkRegister directly and was able to get the Authcode from them. They also said that the domain WAS locked and that they would enter the work order to have that listed. Interesting, because in all their e-mails of the past two weeks they were saying that only MongoHosting could lift the lock. The discrepancies between what they say via e-mail and what they say when cornered on the phone are all the more reason to get the hell out of there.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Off the air.

I noticed that the website I had hosted at MongoHosting was off the air today. I’ve been trying for two weeks to get in touch with MongoHosting and they have not responded to any of my e-mails. Bastard. And BulkRegister hasn’t been helpful either.

Unfortunately, there isn't much I'll be able to do until Monday.

Friday, May 13, 2005

The rest of the story.

When the systems started having problems yesterday, the Help Desk got a call from a support person who said he was going to do something to try to resolve it. Because it was a production issue, he was told we would have to open a high severity tracking ticket. He said, "No, I'll take care of it."

Then it really went bad.

Whatever he did brought the whole system crashing down.

ID10T indeed.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

We all fall down.

Because I'm still training, I don't get my lunch break until 2pm. It makes for a real short afternoon and isn't too bad except that it messes up my feeding schedule. I'm generally eating only one meal a day.

Anyway, on this particular day, shortly after coming back from my lunch, things went south. The Bank experienced a problem with the teller system causing users to go off-line. Our call volume went through the roof and stayed that way. At one point, we received a pop-up message from the Function Desk saying that the system "Should be back up in 10 to 15 minutes". Of course, that didn't affect the call volume.

As that deadline came and went without resolution, we received another message from the Function Desk: "If you get a branch on the line and they ask you how long it will take the system to come back up..... DO NOT TELL THEM 10-15 MINUTES..... YOU'RE NOT THE SUPPORT GROUP.... STOP IT IMMEDIATELY BECAUSE USERS ARE CALLING BACK STATING THAT THEY WERE TOLD 10-15 MINUTES."

But, wait. Didn't you just tell us that it should be up in 10 to 15 minutes? Don't you give us this information so that we can pass it on to the users who are clambering for just this kind of information? This problem came at the end of the day and the tellers needed to balance their drawers. They needed to make a decision as to whether they should stay after closing time 10 or 15 minutes to get the systems back up and balance things or just assume that it wasn't going to work at all and go to their backup procedures.

Now, that having been said, I rarely believe these ETA messages anyway. Usually they are based on the mistaken belief that a simple reboot of the servers will resolve the issue. In my experience, that is seldom the case. Whenever I give out these ETAs I do so with the qualifier that support says that it SHOULD be up in X-amount of time. I also usually say that if it's not they the user's are just going to need to continue with the specific interim procedures I've just given them.

Ugh. In any case, I took over 80 calls for the day, half of them in the last hour.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Two Minute Warning

So, the HR Rep come up to me at work and says:

"Did I tell you that you're training a new analyst tomorrow?"

"No. You didn't."

"You're training a new analyst tomorrow."


If this were a sit-com, that comment would have been followed by a cue from the laugh track. Unfortunately, there was no punchline and her comment was followed by a simple stare from me.

"Is that OK?"

"Whether it's OK or not is irrelevant. At this point I don't have any choice in the matter."