Why can’t a British company do something like Game of Thrones?

The first season of Game of Thrones finished this week and I have to say, I found it compelling entertainment.

Given its strong British cast (Sean Bean, Mark Addy, Michelle Fairley, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, …) and filming locations predominantly in Northern Ireland, why could this not have been a British production instead of an HBO one?

Outside the sitcom genre it seems like we have so few decent TV series in the UK compared to those in the US. There have been a few notable exceptions for me, like Luther and Sherlock. Other than that, what has there been?

I realise this is, as jwz would put it, farting in nerd church, but is Doctor Who the best we have to offer the world?

I feel like I am supposed to like that show. I want to like that show. Every time I’ve tried to watch that show, I’ve been disappointed by the poor story lines, script, acting and special effects. Yet as far as I can see this thing has a budget of £10million per series or something. I can’t like that show, sorry.

There, I said it. Are some nice men from Auntie going to come and confiscate my TV licence now?

Domain name as hostname not recommended

I had an interesting support ticket yesterday.

Someone was trying to do an apt-get update via BitFolk‘s apt cache and was ending up connecting to 2607:f0d0:1003:85::c40a:2942, where it was failing to update. This is not a BitFolk IPv6 address, nor is it the IPv6 address of a Debian mirror. Where was it coming from?

I’d asked the customer for the contents of a bunch of config files and output of the dig command, and while I was waiting for that I mentioned the problem on IRC, where Graham said:

<gdb> $ dig -t aaaa +short apt-cacher.com.net
<gdb> 2a00:1c10:3:634::3486:75a0
<gdb> 2607:f0d0:1003:85::c40a:2942
<grifferz> interesting
<gdb> Same for apt-cacher.bitfolk.com.net
<grifferz> so he's probably got some  search line in
           his resolv.conf
<gdb> I would ask what the search line is
<grifferz> r
<grifferz> search lines always good entertainment for
           those times when wtf moments are scarce
<gdb> Actually it's possible that the hostname is
      foo.net and there's no search line.

It seems that the enterprising folks at com.net have put in wildcard A and AAAA records which basically means that if you try to resolve *.com.net you end up at their “search portal”. That’s all web-based of course.

The customer didn’t have a search line, but the issue was that their host had a fully-qualified domain name (FQDN) along the lines of example.net.

This meant that according to default resolver settings it considered itself to be inside the domain net, and when searching for hosts (like apt-cacher.bitfolk.com) it would try to find them with .net appended first.

Massively confusing.

It can be fixed by giving the resolver libraries a hint as to which domain you are actually in, in the /etc/resolv.conf:

domain example.net

Having said that, it’s better not to pick your domain as the FQDN for any host and this is just one of the weird issues I have seen.

Sometimes customers order a VPS with a FQDN set to something like this, and I’ve yearned for an authoritative bit of documentation that says it’s not recommended. I asked about it on HantsLUG a while back also, and while it seems there was some agreement, it still seems to be down to preference.

I’ve never really tried to tell a prospective customer that they should pick a host within their domain (e.g. foo.example.net) instead of the domain name as the FQDN, because it always seemed like too complicated a subject to explain. Maybe I should try to find a way in future.

Which site’s database got sold/leaked?

Earlier today I received several emails of the form:

Return-path: macdaddy@dedibox.fr
Envelope-to: andy@example.com
Delivery-date: Wed, 01 Jun 2011 00:58:02 +0000
Received: from impaqm2.telefonica.net ([]
        by bitfolk.com with esmtp (Exim 4.69)
        (envelope-from <macdaddy@dedibox.fr>)
        id 1QRZl3-0006v3-06
        for andy@example.com; Wed, 01 Jun 2011 00:58:02 +0000
Received: from IMPmailhost3.adm.correo ([])
        by IMPaqm2.telefonica.net with bizsmtp
        id qQYS1g01y2h2L9m3MQlr7A; Wed, 01 Jun 2011 02:45:51
Received: from sd-1622.dedibox.fr ([])
        by IMPmailhost3.adm.correo with BIZ IMP
        id qQlq1g00D3KS0VC1jQlqTB; Wed, 01 Jun 2011 02:45:5
X-Brightmail-Tracker: ??
X-original-sender: electricidadromero@telefonica.net
Received: from [] by sd-1622.dedibox.fr id
        96YxWPB6QbSt with SMTP; Wed, 01 Jun 2011 02:52:25
Date: Wed, 01 Jun 2011 02:52:25 +0200
From: Support <macdaddy@dedibox.fr>
X-Mailer: The Bat! (v4.05.2) Personal
X-Priority: 3 (Normal)
Message-ID: <0288215865.30146090204853@sd-1622.dedibox.fr>
To: XXXX <andy@example.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain;
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit
Subject: Your order reference is 1460489

Dear User, XXXX.

Your order has been accepted.

Your order reference is 18973.

Terms of delivery and the date can be found with the auto-generated msword
file located at:

Best regards, ticket service.
Tel.: (050) 404 53 824

The above is verbatim other than I’ve replaced my email address with “andy@example.com” and the “XXXX” is actually a password that I’ve used on multiple web sites.

I assume that the linked Zip file is a trojan; I haven’t looked at it.

Does anyone else who’s received the same email know which site it might be who’s leaked or sold their user database?

Please don’t contact me to tell me that I should use a different password on every web site. That is impractical for me; I already use several different classes of password and the one in the email is one I only use on the most trivial sites. I’m not particularly worried over what details have been leaked, I’m more interested in which site leaked because whoever they are, they store their passwords in the clear.

I also can’t tell by email address. They seem to have used my generic email address, so this would be from before I started using a unique email address for each site.

Any ideas?

Sites which it is not:

Amazon, Apple, The Book Depository, Ebay, Facebook, Forbidden Planet, Giffgaff, Lulu, Moonpig, Novatech, PayPal, Play, T-Mobile, Twitter

(either I’m not a user of these services or my email/password there isn’t what were used)

Update 2010-Jun-02: It was Friendster.

Reporting it was hard work, but they did eventually agree to look into it.