Official word on the streets is that the social network censorship that happened a few days ago was due to ISP routers unable to handle the load since everyone is at home reading news. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight. I believe you. And pigs can fly too.
Earlier when I thought this blog was also being blocked turned out to be that the government was blocking access to ghs.l.google.com, which is the address that Google Apps based services (including blogger.com) resolves to. However, since ghs.l.google.com is on a round robin DNS system, and they were only blocking some sets of IP's, so it appeared that the blocking is random and goes on and off. (And the government is using this as an excuse that the ISP's can't handle the load.) But this actually due to the fact that some IP's being blocked and some aren't. Facebook.com and other social networking sites were affected in the same way.
One of the mysteries I encountered at work is that some of my users when traveling to China to our subsidiary would have trouble accessing our Google Apps based mail, while others have no trouble whatsoever. This is quite difficult to debug when China is about 2,000 miles away.
Last month when I finally had a chance to go to China myself, the first thing I did after arriving and getting Internet access, was to open the company's email. ... and, nothing. A quick look proved that I was being blocked by the Great Firewall.
What does the Great Firewall have to do with the Thai government censorship? Turns out they both block ghs.l.google.com. However, there is a way to access Google's services, and that is through the google.com domain name itself. So, instead of going to, say, www.ivoidwarranties.com, which resolves to ghs.l.google.com, simply go to ivoidwarranties.blogspot.com, which resolves to blogspot.l.google.com.
Or in case of Google Apps, instead of going to, say, www.capothai.org, which was a case of the right hand blocking the left hand, simply go to sites.google.com/a/capothai.org/www
As of this writing, 188.8.131.52 is still blocked by the ICT, so hopefully this post will help.
May 19, 2010
View from my office not long after the soldiers stormed the protesters and the protesters set fire to a number of buildings including Central World.
Of course, most people probably only care since they can't shop there anymore. Amazing Thailand, Amazing Value!
Update (later in the day): Oh yah, notice how blue the sky is, with clouds visible? Normally the sky in Bangkok is never blue like that except in long weekends. Closing down the central business section and everybody staying home from the protests actually was actually good for the environment!
Update (still later in the day): It appears that my blog is blocked by the government, w00t! This is what happens when I go to www.ivoidwarranties.com now:
Update (5/20/2010): Boooo, I don't feel so special anymore, looks like the web blocking is directed at the Centre for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation (CRES) itself, which happens to be hosted on Google Sites, and poor me being blocked is just a side effect. Different factions of the government attacking itself? Rogue hackers at work?
May 15, 2010
Thailand's political situation is really hard to grasp, unless you've been living in Thailand long enough. Let me see, back in 2006 Thaksin got ousted in a coup lead by the military, then the Yellow Shirts through mass protests and questionable means brought down the replacement prime ministers that they didn't like.
Of course, this brought the UDD, aka The Red Shirts, or Thaksin-supports to start their own protests in the streets. After all, if they could do it, why can't we? As usual, the media coverage is all about how the Red Shirts are destroying the country and nothing about the reason they're holding the protest. Personally, I think the Red Shirts picked a bad name.
Since most of the Thai media are utterly biased against either the red or the yellow, I choose to follow BBC News. Imagine having to read news from a website across the world on what's happening on my doorsteps.
Anyway, since it's like a war zone out there almost right outside of my office so I better head home. I'll fix my servers another time since if any of the fighting happens to blow up my office by mistake, I would've saved time by not fixing my servers!
BNE is everywhere!
May 3, 2010
Spirit Jailbreak is out for current firmware versions of iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. (Requirements: 3.1.2, 3.1.3, 3.2). The server seems to be bogged down now so I'm mirroring the files on RapidShare. The files were downloaded directly from spiritjb.com, but no warranties of course.
Download Windows version.
Download Mac OS X version.