My Thoughts On Everything Else

  • .uk Nominet Consultation Proposal – What does it mean to you?

    Posted on July 8, 2013 by in Everything Else

    I have copied this information from my free domain checker tool at but I feel it is info that should be read by as many people as possible who have an interest in the .uk namespace. This guide is own interpretation and I am expressing no view either way on if I agree with the proposal or not.

    On the 1st July 2013 Nominet, the not for profit company who are responsible for the registration of the majority of .uk extensions, announced a second consultation of their plan to allow registration at the second level of the .uk ccTLD. Previously the majority of UK registrations had been mad at the third level; i.e. with the somedomain being the third level, co being the second level and uk being the first.

    So Nominet’s proposal is that they will allow under most circumstances users to register under the second level; i.e.

    There are a number of reasons explained in the consultation documents linked below as to why Nominet think this is necessary, with one of the primary being the increased competition to come from the generic top level domains such as the widely covered .london

    A important part of the consultation is surrounding the release mechanism of the .uk extension, the normal release schedule of a new extension involves a number of stages with trademark owners getting first preference, then there is usually some auctions of premium domains and then a land-rush where it is every man, woman and child for himself. As .uk is not a new extension as such there has been some discussion since Nominet’s original consultation as to who would get rights of first refusal on any given .uk. This is particularly of interest where the same name has been registered by a number of different people as a, and (and possibly the less used,, and

    Within the fist consultation there had been suggestion that the interested parties could enter a auction to see who would take the .uk, however this has now been removed from the version 2 and the current suggestion is that the oldest of the Nominet managed registrations getting first refusal the .uk with the others being able to register an interest in case the oldest does not choose to take the domain up within the suggested 6 month period. Whilst there is no detail as to exactly how this will happen the process will probably all be dealt with online and there will most likely be no postal communication.

    The current suggested fee for a .uk is £5 per year, wholesale, a currently is £3.50 for the same.

    what this tool is here for is to enable you to assess which domain will “win” the .uk if the scheme goes ahead under the current proposal, it currently ignores domains as further clarification is required as to what date Nominet have as recorded as the registration date. Additionally Nominet are proposing to reserve approximately 150 domains for organisations who have lost their domains under the recent shake up. Finally there is probably going to be some difference with the 2 letter domains that where auctioned by Nominet a few years ago. One all these issues have been clarified I will update the tool.

    I would actively encourage anyone reading this to take some time to read the proposals on Nominets site and if you feel you have something to add take part in the consultation, which ever side your views lie.

    Thank You

    Jon Byrne

    Read more @ Nominet .uk Consultation

  • TalkTalk DNS Snooping / Hijacking?

    Posted on June 14, 2013 by in Everything Else

    A few days ago I was doing some security updates on my site as I had seen a number of reports of a recent spate of hacks on WordPress sites with the vulnerabilities coming not from the core WordPress code but 3rd party plugins which allowed the hackers to inject SQL Code and gain admin access to the install of WordPress.

    On checking the security plugin I was watching the live site traffic where I could see there had been a number of failed attempts to gain access, however what caught my eye was a fair number of visits from a IP Address in Warrington, not that interesting you may think, but I noticed all of its visits where logged just after visits form my IP Address. To confirm my suspicions I attempted to load a page which obviously gave a 404 error, however seconds later the Warrington IP Address tried to load the same page.

    Screenshot from 2013-06-14 22:53:31

    I took to Google and discovered that it was TalkTalk’s Homesafe security scanner checking the site out which they do when ever an address is resolved though thier DNS Server, now this may seem innocuous and possibly useful, however I had not enabled TalkTalk Homesafe on my account and do not use TalkTalk’s DNS Servers either, but use Google’s Public DNS Service.

    Screenshot from 2013-06-14 23:34:58

    It is apparent that TalkTalk hijack or snoop on all DNS lookups and then store this in order to crawl the site shortly after. I can see that this would be useful for their customers who wish to use the HomeSafe protection, but to do this for people who have not enabled this strikes me that they are collecting this data for other business uses.

    If you are a TalkTalk or other ISP Customer and are worried about this or just don’t want them using this data without being clear and transparent then I would recommend OpenDNS’s DNSCRYPT which I have tested and it seems to stop the TalkTalk Bot from following you around. Anyone using Fedora I would recommend the install guide here.

    It would seem that this does not work and they possibly do not use DNS Hijacking / Snooping as the only method of following you around, I will do some more investigation and keep this post updated.

    Screenshot from 2013-06-14 23:13:51

    I would be interested if any other ISP’s do the same.

    Thank You

  • Try Something New

    Posted on June 8, 2013 by in Everything Else

    Here is an old but very interesting talk from Google’s Matt Cutts. He talks about making changes, either by doing something new or stopping something, but doing it for 30 days. I think this fits in well with the Get Things Done methodology that I am starting to work with and I will probably try and integrate the two.


    Anyway enjoy.

  • Combat Zone: First Play

    Posted on January 22, 2013 by in Everything Else

    Played my first game of Solo Combat Zone tonight after picking it up last September as a birthday treat, the value of this game is second to none and after painting the figures after being distracted by painting a load of EM4’s bargain Orcs & Dwarfs and the start of an epic Dalek force I finally the figures from the box set painted (and a fair few others from the same range)

    So tonight I played the first game of many I am sure, the rules are good and after a thorough read and few turns the Quick Reference guide is all that you need.

    A quick shot of tonight’s “teams”.  (sorry for the poor picture)

    I hope to enjoy plenty more games in the future.

    Thank You

  • Instant WordPress

    Posted on September 11, 2012 by in Everything Else

    This maybe something some of you have come across before but as someone who has used WordPress for about 5 years I was not aware there was a out of the box package to run a test\dev instance WordPress locally on your Windows machine with no configuration required.

    Instant WordPress is a a simple .exe which just a gnats hair over 54MB and contains a webserver with PHP and MYSQL fully configured to run WordPress 3.3.2. Plugins, updates and themes work just as you would expect and it runs very nicely. I have found it very useful in working on plugins and themes, hopefully some of you will too.


  • Doctor Who Adventures Magazine – Daleks Miniatures

    Posted on September 3, 2012 by in Everything Else

    After finding the Doctor Who Miniatures Game (DWMG) a few months ago I really wanted to try it out. However with my natural cheapskate outlook I have been looking for some reasonably priced miniatures. There are plenty of options for all of the Doctors and as you only need one of them the couple of £ they are is no issue. Unit troops can be played by my EM4 Troopers for now, not perfect but will work in my whoniverse.

    The big issue is the baddies, they generally need a fairly big force for them to come up against the Doctor so that will start to add up, I could use substitutes but I prefer something real. A few people on the DWMG mailing list had mentioned the battle pack that often come with the DWAM every now and then, I had not managed to find any reviews, so after browsing ebay and not being happy with the prices I was pleased to see that this weeks magazine had a mixed pack on the front including 5 daleks a big enough group for anyone to worry about along with a number of other enemies. This is not that pack I got but the Daleks are the same.

    They look like the cheap toys they are but I am mostly interested in the Daleks so I took the plunge and spent 30 mins tonight trying to get them a little more menacing. After a base coat of pound shop acrylic and a light brushing of Humbrol number 11 this is what I have. I am going to do a little detailing but am pretty pleased and they certainly look much scarier.

    The troopers on the pictures are EM4’s 28mm plastic troopers to give you an idea of scale.

    So for £2.70 I have 5 daleks and possibly a a few other usable figures, not bad.



  • UK Band Plan 2012 Android App

    Posted on March 15, 2012 by in Everything Else, radio

    I have recently launched a simple but effective Android App which provides you with offline access to the UK Band Plan and a list of call sign prefixes. It is nothing clever or complicated just nice and simple.

    It can be found for free here

    I would really appreciate it if you contact me with any comments or suggestions.

    Thank You