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D-Link Settles Danish Time Dispute 192

Posted by Zonk
from the cash-out-your-chips-now dept.
igb writes "The Register reports that DLink has settled the time server dispute described a little over a month ago here on Slashdot. They're going to stop using an NTP server they're not really authorized to chime with, and they've reached an amicable settlement over the use by existing products. The details of the settlement are, not unsurprisingly, somewhat vague, but let's hope that the good guys aren't out of pocket any more."
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D-Link Settles Danish Time Dispute

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 11, 2006 @01:42PM (#15310888)
    than to challenge a Time Lord!
  • by dananderson (1880) on Thursday May 11, 2006 @01:47PM (#15310945) Homepage
    Netgear did the same thing with the University of Wisconsin Internet NTP's servers. [wisc.edu]

    It's strange these companies can't afford to set up a few of their own NTP servers instead of overloading servers that don't have the bandwidth. It it's because they are clueless or they are cheap?

    • Why dont they at least use the government supported ntp servers since then the users probobly still payed for it in taxes.

      I currently use the Argonne national lab NTP server most of the time which is probobly government paid though it could be provided by the University of Chicago (though since my connection is on-campus, it makes the most sense).

    • by wowbagger (69688) on Thursday May 11, 2006 @02:04PM (#15311111) Homepage Journal
      It it's because they are clueless or they are cheap?


      Yes, and yes. They are clueless, and they are cheap.

      That is why pool.ntp.org was created - to provide a pool of NTP servers that these bozos can use without hammering anybody's server too badly.
    • These situations make no sense to me. The NTP system is very easy to use properly.

      There's a great little website about how to use ntp.org servers [ntp.org] properly.

      For the quick-fix people, point your NTP capable system at pool.ntp.org.

      If you live in north america, you can use the north-america.pool.ntp.org dns name instead, for only north american servers. The same applies to other continents [ntp.org] and several country codes.

      Basically, there's no excuse for hard-coding a time server in almost any situation, unless your client is completely incapable of DNS and has no access to external DNS servers.
      • It would be really nice to think that it's not that hard. Yet, somehow, as a member of the NTP pool, I just keep on having issues. At this moment, I'm supporting roughly 1500 clients. 35% of my resources to supply all those clients with acurate time are being used by 40 clients. In fact, the top 10 "abusers" are taking nearly 17%... and it's a good moment.
        • as a member of the NTP pool
          [...]
          At this moment, I'm supporting roughly 1500 clients

          Somehow, I find this value flawed. On my server [ntp.org], also in the pool, I logged requests from 161683 different IPs within just the first 24 hours after joining the pool; thus, only those who just resolved the name accessed it. Most NTP clients do a DNS lookup only once during the startup, thus I expect the usage to increase over time.

          I'm in the pool for just over a month; I'll turn on logging for another day to gather the new d
        • by Gnavpot (708731) on Thursday May 11, 2006 @03:47PM (#15312299)
          At this moment, I'm supporting roughly 1500 clients. 35% of my resources to supply all those clients with acurate time are being used by 40 clients. In fact, the top 10 "abusers" are taking nearly 17%... and it's a good moment.
          I wonder if the abusers are running some kind of Unix/Linux/BSD time daemons.

          In my experience, when starting the 'chronyd' time daemon under Linux, it will poll very often, like 15 seconds intervals. Everytime it gets an answer, it will compare it to the system clock, log the deviation and adjust the system clock speed based on the trend. After some time, the system clock will run really accurate, so the logged deviations will be small. The polling interval will then be increased in steps up to a max. limit of 4 hours. If the computer is restarted, this scenario starts over again.

          Compare this to a typical Windows XP computer which seems to poll a time server once a week or so. No doubt that the ntp server will feel some clients more abusive than others.

          Disclaimers:
          The intervals stated above may be wrong. I haven't tinkered with optimizing my time daemons since the old pay-per-minute ISDN days so my memory is a bit rusty.

          Chronyd is just an example. I have no knowledge of whether it stresses the time servers more or less than other time daemons like 'xntpd'.
    • It's strange these companies can't afford to set up a few of their own NTP servers instead of overloading servers that don't have the bandwidth. It it's because they are clueless or they are cheap?

      They could use "pool.ntp.org", which is probably cheaper than the effort they currently put into finding NTP servers. Even better, set up some of their own and add them to the pool...
  • And likely more. I've been telling my friends not to buy them, and I know of at least one buying decision that was made specifically for that reason that cost them $120 worth of sales of USB wireless adapters.

    • Somehow I doubt you and your friends boycott is going to cost them as much money as running their own NTP server would ;)
      • Maybe not, but if my effort is widely replicated, it will cost them way more in the long run. Yes, they've rectified the situation, but they had to be dragged into it. They didn't act like good citizens right up front. I will stop complaining about them in about a year or so, but for now...

    • I've told my friends (and my company) to avoid buying their stuff because it's junk (IME) We used to spec D-Link because one of our distributors already carried it and I'm fairly certain I've since swapped most all of it to Linksys or Netgear which are both more or less equal to me.
      • Linksys has a terrible track record with Macs. I'm not sure how a basic 8-port router can fuck up tcp/ip traffic but it managed it.

        Their wireless products frequently choke on Mac clients too; and heaven help you if you turn appletalk on.

        Usually upgrading or *downgrading* the f/w will resolve the issues, but I prefer dlink or netgear where I don't ever have these problems in the first place.
        • News to me. I've always run Linksys network hardware, and the Macs on my network have always played nice with them. We've got a PowerBook that goes wired and wireless on a WRT54G, and straight wired on a BEFSX41 just fine. We've also got an iBook that goes wireless on the WRT54G just peachy. Never had a problem.
        • You're not the only one.

          It seems that quite a few people have experienced odd behaviors as a result of interactions between Linksys routers and some Macs.

          http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID= 381090&tstart=0 [apple.com]

          This thread in particular is about the Mac Book Pro, but I've heard it happens with some other computers also; no clue why or what, but the solution that most people seem to be using is "buy a new router" of a brand other than Linksys. Contributing to this is the general brain-deadedness
          • My 314's antenna broke suddenly one day. I went to bed and I had wireless, I woke up and suddenly only the wired ports worked... was very odd. Oh well, the thing was built well and served me well enough.

            I replaced it with a Microsoft 700-something, and damned if Microsoft didn't make some killer networking hardware-- pity they stopped making it, but this one is at least as robust as the Netgear one, and runs like a champ without me even thinking about it.
    • Can someone point me to where Slashdot previously covered this? Also, I recall some years back that there was a router that decided to randomly re-route 12.5% of all requests to non-existent web pages to the router manufacturer's web page that said, "You're obviously lost on the Internet --don't you want to pay us money so we can surf the web for real?" Which company was that --was that Belkin?
    • That's nothing. I'm engineering a large scale DSL rollout, around 80,000 installations in the first 2 phases during 2006, and a potential 4 million subscribers over the next 3 years. My technical analysis of the CPEs determines who makes the shortlist. I had a lot of fun at CeBit this March, watching the sales weasels fight over who would get first shot at my account.

      I had even more fun letting the D-Link fuckheads know why they were on my blacklist. For two main reasons, the NTP theft of services from all the stratum 1's, and the mac ethernet framing problems. They were told quite clearly the non-response from their engineering team on these two show-stopper problems had left them permanently blacklisted. Its called schadenfreud, and it feels good.

      the AC

    • Did you also stop buying Belkin when they added sw to their routers that, about one week into operation, would randomly redirect a web page request to an advertisement for their filtering service?

      How about Linksys? They've done some mean things too.

      And every other company out there.

      Your tactics will not impact d-link. Not only that, they are unsustainable, if you want to buy any technological equipment, that is. Eventually everyone will be on your lit shist. Then you'll start trying to figure
      • Not only that, they are unsustainable, if you want to buy any technological equipment, that is.

        You'll always be able to find basic devices (like wireless APs) from thousands of companies. You may have to stay away from the major brands, but you can still probably buy your equipment from the same nameless Chinese company D-Link, Linksys, etc. buy their parts from!

        Besides that, there's no reason you have to buy wired/wireless routers from anybody. A litte software on a low-cost embedded board, and you're se

  • Not Vague At All (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TubeSteak (669689) on Thursday May 11, 2006 @01:50PM (#15310968) Journal
    ... D-Link's existing products will have authorized access to Mr. Kamp's server, but all new D-Link products will not use the GPS.Dix.dk NTP time server. D-Link is dedicated to remaining a good corporate and network citizen.
    Allow me to translate: He got paid.

    Part of the settlement involves him putting on his website "D-Link is dedicated to remaining a good corporate and network citizen."

    Otherwise, considering his previous level of frustration, there's no chance he would shill for them like that.
    • And he should have been paid, he needed to be reimbursed for his costs as well as future costs for the hoardes of D-Link gear already out there with his servers configured in their firmware.

      Granted D-Link could and likely will correct the issue with firmware upgrades most people don't upgrade the firmware unless they are having a problem or maybe if they are redeploying a device. It's likely that in 10 years time there will still be D-Link devices out there trying to query his NTP server.
      • unlikely, these devices are meant to fail after a year or two. it is safe to assume that in 5 years all but a very (lucky) few number of them will have been replaced.

        and don't forget that people will probably want to upgrade to get the shiny new lastest wireless 802.11bgnxyz
        • Re:Not Vague At All (Score:3, Informative)

          by raitchison (734047)
          Well don't tell any of my devices, cause all of them are over 2 years old, many of them over 5 years old. Heck my "public segment", where the DSL modem (6 years old), broadband router (4 years old) and VPN device (4 years old) connect is a 15 year old 10Base-T ethernet hub. Your experience must be with Linksys, I always keep a spare D-Link broadband router on a shelf ready for when a friend or relative calls after their "Internet doesn't work" because their Linksys router fried itself. I'm continually am
          • I mentioned this elsewhere as well, but I just thought about it and realized that a Netgear router I installed for my parents almost 5 years ago is still running fine, and has been doing so with no downtime except for power outages.

            That's about the best track record of any piece of under-$50 networking equipment I can think of, except for maybe hubs and cables.

            I've had my share of Linksys gear, and I doubt it'll last anywhere near as long as that: I've had two 54-series routers flake out on me in the last y
    • Do you like his hat? It's made of money!
    • Re:Not Vague At All (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Uncle Rummy (943608)
      He also took down the entire description of the problem D-Link caused, which used to reside at that URL. Considering how pissed he was, they must have paid him well, indeed.
  • by boldtbanan (905468) on Thursday May 11, 2006 @01:51PM (#15310988)
    The details of the settlement are, not unsurprisingly, somewhat vague...
    I do not think that means what you think it means
  • by ch-chuck (9622) on Thursday May 11, 2006 @02:00PM (#15311080) Homepage
    Is silently migrate my legit users to another ntp server and then set the D-Link'ed ones to something like Klingon time or something bizarre, streach 8 hour days to 10 hours, etc. Of course that wouldn't solve the excess traffic, but you can get creative with revenge, especially when you're in the right.

  • NTP Pool for Vendors (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 11, 2006 @02:14PM (#15311203)
    There is now a way for vendors to use the NTP pool. See http://www.pool.ntp.org/vendors.html [ntp.org] for details.
  • Someone at D-Link should simply have realized the mistake and paid for a few very fast servers to sit at a hosting facillity and respond to the requests -- and all the requests already using that service -- for as long as the Danes were willing to point the DNS entry for that server to them.

    In the scheme of things, and from a marketing perspective, anything else is stupid and a waste of good will.
  • If something is "not unsurprising" doesn't that mean it was surprising? Like it was suprising that the details of the settlement were so vague?

    I don't know. I'm just asking. Irregardless, I could care less...
  • Just how "out of pocket" are you if someone "chimes" with your NTP server?

    I realize a few years back, when bandwidth came at appreciable cost, this might have been the case, but now?

    • $8000 a year isn't exactly chump change for most people.
  • What D-Link did was unprofessional and irresponsible, they should be condemned for it, and Kamp had every right to complain to them. Nevertheless, it's good that this has been resolved without legal action. If Kamp had actually prevailed in court, it might have set a dangerous precedent: Linux distributions are distributed with hundreds of preconfigured links to all sorts of sites. Generally, those sites have agreed to that, but if their ownership or their policies changed, this could cause serious troub
  • by henriklehmann (455724) on Thursday May 11, 2006 @03:54PM (#15312396) Homepage
    Poul-Henning Kamp got 200.000 DDK (Danish kroner) which is about 33.000 US$.

    The settlement states that Poul-Henning Kamp must not talk about the history of problems which the D-Link routers caused. But He tells danish press that any future problemes causes by D-link equiptment will be posted around the net ;-). This information is from the danish version of computerworld online at http://www.computerworld.dk/ [computerworld.dk]

    His homepage is http://people.freebsd.org/~phk/ [freebsd.org]

    For those in america: Denmark is not the capital of sweden ;-)
  • IMHO they should donate their best products to him, a "powered by D-Link" small png along with the bill they paid.

    So, that would be a "better ending" to a legit fight helping their amazingly bad image. I mean, DOSing a public,amateur server with your products and getting mentioned at Slashdot. Can be worse?

    It is good ending btw.

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