On Tuesday night the amount of spam delivered to my server dropped to about the half of the former average. My mailserver was still doing well as there were still eMails coming in. But some hours after my discovery I found the explaination in an article of the famous german online and print IT publisher heise.

The two main ISPs of the American hoster McColo pulled the plug of his internet connection. Based in California McColo supposably gave refuge for master servers of several spam bot nets. The Washington Post covered this story as well. According to IronPort, spam levels fell by 66% in this night.

It’s a pity for all reputable customers of McColo’s – sorry, but I welcome this action. I hope you’ll quickly find a new hoster.

Some months ago I set up mailgraph on my server. Mailgraph is nice mail log analyser and visualiser. It watches Postfix or Sendmail log files and creates daily, weekly, monthly and yearly graphs. I regularly check these graphs. So I discovered the unusual low mail reject rates Tuesday night already. And even days later the spam levels stay at that level. Here is my weekly graph two days after McColo went offline:

Mailgraph two days after McColo's internet connection was cut
Mailgraph two days later

But I wanted to have my own numbers. So I quickly did some calculations and compared the first McColo-offline-day (Wednesday) numbers with the former average:

  • overall connections to my mailserver dropped to 48%
  • overall rejects as well are at 48%
  • rejects because of invalid helo hostname even are at 44%
  • mail rejects from known spam sources are down to 38%
  • rejects because of invalid recipient fell to 50%

Now it even got more interesting monitoring the statistics to find out when the spam rates start to rise again. Somehow I doubt that the bot net creators will fail to even get parts of their system back under control.

Karl Ranseier is dead

Karl Ranseier
Karl Ranseier

Worlds most unsuccessful blogger all-time, already in his childhood posted all of his friends. At school he became maverick. He wanted to get the star role in the homonymous hollywood movie and became an actor. As he went for the casting he picked the wrong door and was appointed supernumerary in a comercial where he got at least a bog roll. After an occupational retraining he worked as a second-rate b-logger for the saw mill of his uncle.

At the age of 42 Ranseier founded a microchip factory, designed and built worlds biggest microchips and vainly tried to sell them. Two years later he was up to his neck in debt and for 5 years went to jail where he learned to code. In recent years he worked freelance as an executive webapplication developer of enterprise business management systems for several IT companies.

Ranseier died yesterday when he confused his second-life with his real-life account and did a logout.

My Anythingbutipod: Cowon iAudio 7

For about two years I was suffering from an old MP3 player. It was too big and too small. Too big in dimensions and too small in capacity. At least thats why I almost never used it. But sometimes mobile music is a nice thing to have so I looked for an adequate music player.

Sure, iPods look very nice and even the laser engraving is a neat thing. But iPods lack one very important feature: they can’t play Ogg Vorbis. Sorry Apple, I asked you for Ogg Vorbis support in iPods over two years ago when I got my first MacMini (PowerPC). Yes, I had one as my Workstation for 2.5 years, as we ship openSUSE for PPC again since 2005.

Cowon iAudio 7
Cowon iAudio 7

Finally after reading lots of reviews I found the Cowon iAudio 7 and liked it. Its lightweight (35g), big (16GB), plays Ogg Vorbis, flac, wav and MP3 and even has an integrated FM radio. Additionally it can play videos, which I can’t think of ever needing it on a 1.3 inch display (videos need to be recoded on the PC anyway) and it has a built in microphone and a line input, so it can record from these and from the radio. But I wont use these features either as I have a more suitable device for mobile recording (maybe I’ll blog about it as well).

The navigation on the iAudio 7 is done with the “Swing Touch” and an additional menu button on the top. This was odd just for the first minute but then I loved it. Once I got used to it I could jump to any function intuitively. Together with in-ear head phones from AKG I now use the iAudio 7 on my trips with the public transport on my ways trough the city.

Btw. the music the player is playing while taking the photo can be found at jamendo.com.

openSUSE Board Election

Finally I voted for the openSUSE Board. I think this is a quite important committee in the openSUSE project. Their job is not about taking control over the openSUSE development, but rahter to interlock of the community and the interests of Novell. They are communication partners for both sides and help in decision making processes. Thanks to the current board for their good job, and all the best to the next board.