512k Internet Slow Down

There is currently a problem with the Internet. Some time ago I wrote of the change from IPv4 to IPv6, which is a change in the standard way of assigning Internet addresses to devices. We were running out of addresses. New hardware capable of handling larger addresses has to be added and has been being added for the last couple of years.

Now another growth pain is starting to impact users as the Internet grows more complicated. We are seeing slow Internet and sites we cannot connect to because the routers that direct traffic from place to place run out of memory. The older routers can typically hold 512,000 addresses. Sounds like plenty. But, that is what they thought about addresses too.

The problems are hitting in the USA and Canada as older routers max’d out. The problem right now is that Border Gateway Protocol (BGP)routing tables have grown too large for some top-level Internet routers to handle. The result is that these routers can no longer properly handle Internet traffic. The result is they get confused and fail to rout anything, forget some routes and stop forwarding traffic destined for those routes, or just ignores that traffic. Whatever they do, your connection slows to a crawl as the system tries to find a way to route you packet to the destination or fails altogether.

You can figure out if you are running into this problem by doing trace route testing. See my Troubleshooting your Connection. If you are hitting the problem you will see your packets fail to get past some router.

The problem has to be fixed by the Internet Service Providers, mostly the backbone providers. About all you can do is suffer and complain to your ISP. The Trace Route information will help them get THEIR complaints to the right people.

If you want more information, search on 512k Internet.

Second Life Money Hack

Iris Ophelia wrote an article appearing on New World Notes: A Second Life Public Service Announcement: Here’s Why Free L$ Cheats Don’t Work. It is a nice clean explanation of one of the ongoing YouTube scams, not by YouTube, but on YouTube.

I see these everyday as I scan my aggregator for news of what is happening in SL. They have titles like SLWorld Hack, SL Hack, Second Life Cheats, Revision 2 – 100% Success, Second Life Money Hack, and on and on.

Ophelia points out why it technically doesn’t work, money can’t be created by users in SL. It can be stolen from other players. But, that leaves a trail and the Lindens can follow it to recover the money.

Of course the real purpose of these scams is to get the SL ID and password of whoever tries the ‘hack’ program, so the scammer can steal from them.

W. C. Fields once wrote, you can’t con and honest man…

 

 

Second Life BCU Phishing Exploit

There are numerous exploits used in Second Life™. YouTube has a series of videos titled ‘What is Scond Life?’ or ‘This is Second Life.’ And links to download the program. Some of the videos are obvious crap and others are pretty good and look enticing. I suspect those are plays on the current popularity of VR and HMD as they are recent.

Lost Eden 2014

Lost Eden 2014

Many of these lead to pirate download links. I am betting the viewer one gets is a basic password/account stealer.

Today I see the United Content Creators of SL has issued a warning in Second Life™ about BCU.exe. I think this is also known as the Browser Configuration Utility. If so, it has been around since 2010 in a couple of forms and most anti-virus software is aware of it. But, run from inside the viewer, which you have given permissions to, it can circumvent your anti-virus software.  Continue reading

Second Life Voice Offline

There is an announcement up that Second Life’s ™ voice system will be offline for maintenance June 24th (Tuesday) from 12AM PDT. There is no ETA for its return.

See the Grid Status page:

[Posted 3:24 AM PDT, 23 June 2014]  Our voice provider will be undergoing scheduled maintenance on Tuesday, June 24th beginning at 12:00 AM PDT. Residents may lose voice access during this time. Once the maintenance is complete, some residents may need to relog to return to voice. Please continue to check this blog for updates.

Second Life and HeartBleed

The media is trying for ratings. To get them, they over hype things. I am also convinced that journalist become journalist because they cannot do math or understand science, which to some degree means technology. So, they have little understanding of HeartBleed, what it does, how it does it, or what it means.

HeartBleed

HeartBleed

To put things in some perspective check out: Answering the Critical Question: Can You Get Private SSL Keys Using Heartbleed?

The quick explanation of HeartBleed is that it is an exploit run on SERVERS that use the OpenSSL code and only certain versions of it. Anti-virus and anti-malware software cannot fix or protect you from such a problem.

So, if someone is selling protection, they are selling into the hype-generated fear. They are opportunists, which is not necessarily a bad thing. But, if they are providing software for your computer they are only providing some people peace of mind. You can get peace of mind for free from understanding the reality.

Cloudflare’s explanation is what I’ll call medium level technical. It is readable and I think SL users will probably understand it. But, the TL;DR is:

The exploit in the server code will allow a hacker to trick the server into sending them the code they need to decrypt HTTPS encrypted network packets. When you browser talks to a bank or other server using OpenSSL the network packets traveling back and forth are encrypted. To date no one has been able to break that encryption. So, your conversation is secure.  Continue reading

Second Life Bug

We get them from time to time. We have one that is annoying for those of us using the Preview Grid.

BUG-5563My Password and Inventory don’t update on Beta Grid (aditi).

The idea on the Preview Grid is that it updates your inventory to be what you have on the main grid when you change your password. This bug means that is not happening.

It is a bit confusing but the report is the Preview Grid does not get your new password. So, if your main and preview grid password was fred and you change it to Sue111, you will use Sue111 on the main grid and have to use fred on the Preview Grid.

Some find that both passwords will work on the Preview Grid for a time.

If you are confused, so are others.

Second Life Bits 2014-13

Viewers

After my Tuesday morning post I found the main release viewer updated to 3.7.4.288138. This was the Hotfix RC viewer compiled Mar 15 2014 and released some time Monday.

Image by: Reema Xue, Flickr

Image by: Reema Xue, Flickr

I am finding this viewer runs pretty fast (30+ FPS) when few people are around. Add a dozen people and it slows down horribly. I’ll need to spend more time with it and try it around other groups, but in the little time I have had it, that seems to be a pretty consistent experience. Continue reading

Alert

There is something going on with the SL system this morning (7AM-8:30AM). People in a large number of groups are talking about Bake Fail. It seems lots of people are staying gray.

There is no good work-around. Some have solved it by relogging. Some have solved it by waiting.

DO NOT clear your cache. That just makes it worse for you and everyone else.

I am not seeing the problem. So, it is not affecting everyone. But, it is affecting a large number of people.