The problem of communication

There is a big difference between communication and understanding.

Here is a DNS story:

The Internet Bank of Ebal (paraphrasing customer’s name) has their own Authoritative NameServer for their zone.
In the company i am currently working, we provide a secondary dns service.

Bellow the steps/instructions we provide to our customers - in order of action:

  1. Inform the customer to allow zone transfer to our Lans
  2. We confirm the zone transfer
  3. Inform the customer to add our secondary NameServers to his zone
    (NS records inside their dns zone)
  4. Provisioning the service aka add configuration to our NameServers
    and finally
  5. inform customer to add our NameServers to the Registry of .gr Domain Names

Just to be perfectly clear - we keep these steps simply cause from our experience not every DNS administrator understand what they must/should do.

So here are the steps the bank’s administrator did:

  1. Add one of our NameServers into registry of .gr domain names
  2. Allow zone transfer to our Lans.

in that order!

They raised a complain that we dont provide the secondary service and a lot of bank’s customer cant access their site (obviously)!

We re-inform the customer with the actions/steps and we specific told them to REMOVE our nameserver from the registry of .gr domains till WE confirm that everything is ok.

Below the new steps the bank’s administrator did:

  1. Add one more of our NameServers into registry of .gr domains names.

So we have a new problem.

I told the administrator (in writing) to remove something and they did the exactly opposite.
Still (at the time of writing this blog post) they havent add our nameservers into their zone
(step number #3).

At this moment i cant think of how to resolve the real problem: “The problem of communication to the point of understanding”

Seems that we are still having problems with this customer!
The administrator of the bank chose to update the authoritative nameservers on the registry .gr domains.
They removed our authoritative nameservers (acting as secondary) and added our caching nameservers.

Tag(s): work_related
pure HTML5/CSS3 show/hide help box

Just because i am a sysadmin, doesn’t mean that i can’t hack some HTML5/CSS3 code!

Or even do a better job than some “web” devs or devops !!!

In fact, here is an example of a pure HTML5/CSS3 show/hide help box:


The below code displays a ? on the HTML page,
so that when hovering over it, shows a help box.


HTML5 part

<span class="help">
    <font color=blue>  ?  </font>
    <div class="hidden">
        Specifies authoritative information about a DNS zone, 
        including the primary name server, the email of the domain 
        administrator, the domain serial number, and several timers 
        relating to refreshing the zone.


and the CCS3 part:

.help {
    width: 5px;

.help:hover {
    width: 500px;
    height: 100px;
    position: fixed;

    top: 50%;
    left: 50%;
    transform: translate(-50%, -50%);

.hidden {
    display: none;

.help:hover > .hidden {
    display: block;
    background: #f7f7f7;
    color: #000000;
    text-align: left;


I am sure, that this (perhaps) is not the perfect way - but it sure beats every JS code I ‘ve already read from web-devs.

Tag(s): HTML5, CSS3
Deep Web

After finishing my Cyberpunk reading of Burning Chrome a short story collection & Neuromance by William Gibson started to search for new books to read.

@comzeradd suggested the bellow books:

  • Ancillary Justice (2013) by Ann Leckie
  • Cryptonomicon (1999) by Neal Stephenson
  • Homeland (2013) by Cory Doctorow
  • Little Brother (2008) by Cory Doctorow
  • Pirate Cinema (2012) by Cory Doctorow
  • Robopocalypse (2011) by Daniel H. Wilson
  • Snow Crash (1992) by Neal Stephenson
  • Permutation City (1994) by Greg Egan
  • The Emperor’s New Mind (1989) by Roger Penrose

but (as always) something new caught my eye!

a tweet about free books at noisetrade, a site that i hadn’t heard before.

There are short stories and books from indie (and not) writers that want to promote their job by giving free some stories/books. After a few searches i came up with Social Engineer by Ian Sutherland and immediately hooked up !


Searching the web for other work of Ian Sutherland i found his personal page on wattapad, a platform for writing & self-publishing short stories and books.

I have to say that there are a lot of stories that you have to read there !

I understand that self-publishing isn’t something easy. Major publishers with their “politics”, promotion and marketing can affect your book price or even your fan base. But wattapad builds their status upon readers and the publicity is being via social media (or blog posts like this one).

So I’ve read the first chapters of Invasion of Privacy there.


OK - this dude knows his stuff !!

From technical view is nearly perfect and the story has many “Jeffery Deaver - paranoia points and twists “

I don’t want to spoil anything on both books - but I’ve enjoyed the entire time of reading them the last couple weeks.

Take a look on his site Ian Sutherland for more info.

Tag(s): books