A Collective WTF

I was at today's spectacular Green Bay Packers game (thanks Brian!) against the San Diego Chargers and watched the two teams battle it out.

I expect that there are three things I will remember from this game for quite a while:

  • The fact that the Packers have started out 3-0 when nobody seems to have expected it.
  • The two Chargers fans who also happened to be beautiful blonde twins.
  • The sound the stadium made when the 4th down pass was incomplete.

Hearing 70,000 fans essentially say "What the fuck was THAT?" all at the same time was pretty impressive, even if the reason for it was not.

Even though the Chargers lost, they've still got the Charger Girls.  And the twins.

Passive FTP and Firewalls

For the last few months, I've been receiving complaints from some of my customers that they were having trouble with the FTP services being offered through Cartoli.  Problems included being immediately disconnect from the server upon connection, fast timeouts, occasional problems with file transfers, etc.  In other words, the transfer portion of File Transfer Protocol wasn't working so hot.

The one thing that remained constant is that I could get transfers to work when the firewall was shut down.  Obviously not a permanent solution, it at least allowed the FTP services to be useful again.  As always, it's the firewall that's causing the damn problem.

Oh yeah, SSL uploads via port 990 were working beautifully.  That threw me for a loop, too.

After a ton of trial and error and investigation, I found some information on the Application Layer Gateway Service that is installed by default on Windows servers.  Apparently it's sole purpose in life, besides messing with me, is to assist with Internet Connection Sharing plug-ins and whatnot.

It appears that it was acting as a proxy of some sort which was breaking the connection.  This wasn't happening under the SSL sessions as the information was encrypted through the certificate.

I disabled that service on the server and immediately Passive FTP began working as expected.  Mind you, this is after a few months of digging into the problem off and on.

Up Up Down Down

Sometimes I find myself wishing I could use the Contra Code in real life..

Up up down down left right left right A B select start.

Damn, didn't work.  Stupid thing.

Phoenix of Jericho

On May 16th, CBS cancelled Jericho, which I really liked, but wasn't sure was going to make it through the first season.

Beginning almost immediately thereafter, in a tie-in to the season finale, over 20 tons of nuts were shipped to CBS in protest of the cancellation.

On June 6th, CBS announced via their fan forum that due to unexpected fan response they would be ordering an additional seven episodes for next year.  They also expressed that to continue production of the series the fans will need to grow the number of viewers for the show.

Additional information was provided in a quote from one of the actors, a Waukesha native:

The biggest problem with our show is that so many people were watching it on the Internet or Tivo (which doesn't count toward Neilson ratings), so I think the fans are now aware to watch it when it's on.

So that's two different comments indicating that watching via DVR or online doesn't count toward the ratings of a show.  This indicates to me the same problem that has been faced so often in the past...  technology advances, but the big companies don't know how to deal with it.

While I agree that CBS needs to see an increase in the number of viewers to continue the show, I sincerely hope that they're going to take additional steps to determine how to track the "profitability" of a network show, especially one that was geared so heavily towards the Internet as Jericho was up to this point.

Hey ACNielsen... it's high time to figure out how to provide more comprehensive tracking data... those Nielsen Ratings need to be expanded to capture more information or else you're just misleading everybody in the long run.  I don't envy the task, but as we move more towards Internet-centric broadcasting it will become more and more vital.