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EFnet Hits Turbulence 161

Lots of submissions regarding a bumpy week for EFnet, mostly short on fact and long on rumor. Several high-capacity servers have either dropped off entirely or limited their connections to local clients due to DOS attacks. We got one good link about the situation; anyone else have more info? Is this a real problem or just normal roughness? I'm not an IRC regular these days but I've never seen a stable IRC network.
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EFnet Hits Turbulence

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  • Can't be as bad as the splits on Dalnet
  • by Phokus ( 192971 )
    You're just begging to get marked down as a flamebait aren't you? I guess #PHP, #PERL, and #CGI are just 'warez' and 'child porn' rooms with no use but to harm society. Before making such erroneous assumptions, please do some research.
  • On of the biggest problems with EFNet, has been that there is no 'ownership' of channels - or the fact that no ircops participate in such matters. This is has made it a very interesting for screept (yeah)-kiddies to attack, since they then can annoy the most people by attacking something (that in fact) isn't that useful. There's no surprise in the fact that the number of servers has dropped from 140+ (?) to the 35 servers connected at the moment. Large ISPs will never risk their serious business for something as 'non-profitable' as an IRC-server. Sorrowly, this is becoming more and more of the truth - but hopefully EFNet will survive for a long, long time.

    .. p4ck37 j00 b417ch. yeah. auch. it hurts.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I've always used it to talk to other programmers. In such channels as #c, #c++, #perl, #java, etc. Perhaps you shouldn't join #teensex and #iwantkiddieporn to get your irc experience. Just a thought. We're not all evil people.
  • Gah, i was trying to reply to a thread :(
  • by Brian Feldman ( 350 ) <> on Tuesday September 26, 2000 @02:54AM (#754474)
    This is a real problem. I'd say a very good portion of the traffic I've noticed is servers netsplitting and synching up -- good that it can recover at all, but a painful recovery. Hybrid is being modified to accept higher loads (in various ways; inter-server protocol enhancements are one, as is work on using asynchronous event mechanisms rather than select()/poll() and reducing the overall "weight" of the implementation), so hopefully even through DoS attacks, in the future EFnet will be better about it.

    Note that this is just one aspect of recent EFnet suckage :) Before you flame me: no, I like EFnet still, even though it has recently sucked very much.


  • According to sources (and from personal experiance) the @home irc server has been permanently removed from Efnet thanks to all the script kiddies with cable modem access launching attacks and the @home domain has been perm banned from most of the remaining servers. Thanks again, kidz.
  • by toofast ( 20646 ) on Tuesday September 26, 2000 @02:56AM (#754476)
    I remember when went offline because of DoS attacks. They had the ability to serve up to 7000 IRC clients. One of the main reasons for killing the server, IIRC, was because of an evening where a bunch of idiots threw tons of garbage down blackened's pipes, causing the entire state of (arizona?) to be deprived of internet access. Although I cannot find Matt's original letter, I did find the config of AMD K6-2 @ 333mhz, 128M of ram, 18G-10k rpm scsi primary, 9G secondary. This server houses the origional EFnet server, the largest EFnet server in the world before it de-linked. Still running with the origional IRCD, I, O, C/N lines and TCM.

    It's a pity that, in blackened's case, volunteer workers such as mjr are forced to abandon what they love to do, because of immature kiddies flooding the network with useless garbage.
  • has chanserv bots that get assigned to every room that gets started and some channel operators actually own them.
  • I agree. I don't see how these guys get permission to use all their companys bandwidth for such a non-profit making venture.
    Don't get me wrong, I'm glad they do but I can see fewer and fewer companies willing to give up anything for IRC
  • Yeah, buts that another IRC-network. There has never been any chanserv-clients like X, W, Y, Z and alike on efnet - and after all - it is efnet were discussing here.
  • Blackened leaving, to me, began the start of the slow roll towards "death."

    Blackened was really holding up most of EFNet.

    Yes, the rise of script kiddies has contributed to EFNet's current state, but really, if you had to place a date on it I'd pick Blackened leaving
  • > On of the biggest problems with EFNet, has been that there is no 'ownership' of channels - or the
    > fact that no ircops participate in such matters.

    This has always been the case, it always worked before, but now I suppose there is a better class of asshole wondering the internet.

    and what do you think IRCops should do?
    should they do what they are meant to, and look after servers?
    or should they pander to thousands of whining users that accidently lost ops in a channel, and to hell with looking after a high load server

    channel ownership, in my experience, only works in a small network where there is some feasibility of controlling the channels ... you can't do that on efnet...

    so instead of having users fighting amongst themselves, the users would fight amongst themselves AND the IRCops, wasting their time and taking it away from their real purpose of looking after the servers ... if you don't look after the servers then you will never have an IRC network for the channels to exist in ..

    well, there is my 2p
  • Yeah, the loss of blackened was perhaps the first big loss because of the all the attacks. Later several other large providers decided to remove their irc-servers because of the same problems. The history and records of blackened are great - and they'll forever be remembered as one of the greatest servers at efnet. At least its something, but its IRC :)
  • Because of the wonderful chanserv Q I always found galaxynet net to be fairly stable in my year and a half of running a channel for an on-line game there. Very few channel splits and never had a problem with a script kiddie. Did have a lot of the Sub7 virus running around but that was about it.

    Oh and to an earlier post it was a channel devoted to a on-line gameing guild where we could get together and co-ordinate attacks. Wow, something to do with IRC that doesn't involve warez, kiddie pr0n or programming. Now that is wierd.

  • nice title..... but we've been asking this question since 1997 or ealier... when org?) shut down because of idiots... im sure other efnet servers will go down too(the small ones), but the bigger ones wont, and hopefully they will try to get the crackers/script kiddies in trouble for doing this

    but either way, i dont really use irc anyway, too many idiots spreading VBS viruses in every room (what idiot will download "girl-sucks-horse.jpg.VBS"???)
  • On a network such as efnet, which is generally fairly full of general chat, netsplits and the like are all part of the fun. It adds to the "conversation" and pranks, which make irc so interesting. Sure, for more serious channels it is a bit of a pain, but for channels where people are just stuffing about, like most of efnet and dalnet, there isn't a real problem.
  • and are the only ones I know of that allow @home connections now.
  • by pim ( 111585 ) on Tuesday September 26, 2000 @03:13AM (#754487)

    Disclaimer: I'm fairly new to the efnet experience. I've been running Undernet servers[1] for the past two years and only recently linked a server to efnet[2].

    I haven't yet found someone who has been able to figure out where these rumours have been coming from. We got a couple enquiries about "is efnet going to shut down" in our efnet mailbox, but that's nothing out of the ordinary (Imminent Death of Efnet Predicted - Film at 11). Haven't seen any mail claiming that anything really special is going on. A couple of servers changed their policy. As far as I understand, from my limited experience, there's nothing strange or extraordinary about that. IRC networks are dynamic in nature.

    The amount of DoS-flooding that goes on directed at a typical server for a major IRC network is completely out of bounds. Scriptkiddies see themselves as Freedom Fighters and Mighty Warriors, but are slowly pushing IRC networks to the point where they either become unusable or virtual Police States. On some networks, ideas have already been coined to start using a mandatory user registration system. No admin likes the privacy implications of such a move, but it may turn out to be the only way to keep the idiots out.

    Once in a while, we get lucky and one of these kids touches a site that a federal agency cares enough about to start a case and the world has to deal with one scriptkiddie less. Most of them never get caught, though.


    [1] and
  • Wow. In my editorials I often cite IRC as an alternate distribution method for warez and porn, a wake-up call to legislators who believe the Internet is controllable by legislation. De-centralization puts it just beyond arm's reach and even if they could target every server being used, it would be a futile exercise as a copycat protocols spring up. That said, I've also sat in on some great chats between sufferers of Parkinsons disease living on different continents. Sometimes they chat about their disease, sometimes about fishing, and occasionally argue passionately about Ford vs. Chevy. Alcoholics can find support in channels devoted to that purpose. People living in central and western Canada can't see TV coverage of election results until their polls close. Hop on to a channel for maritimers and get real-time results -- a must for us political junkies, debating the results as they come in, of course There's always a user in one of the technical channels willing to help a clueless computer user figure out why their browser won't display Quicktime content. Amateur HTML users can get help with that damned tag that won't work, in real time. Film reviews are unfiltered as people discuss their entertainment choices. The IRC is a microcosm of the world -- though with better communication. I've chatted with people living in repressed countries who dare to talk openly in channel about conditions where they live. When IRC becomes easier to use, and more stable, it will be almost as important as email. Studying journalism in school, I've spent hours chatting with classmates in the wee hours as we worked on the school paper on deadline, DCC'ing draft pages back and forth. That's a powerful tool. IRC has its downside, but to pooh-pooh it as exclusively the domain of the seediest 'netizens is knee-jerk reactionism. Kiddie porn is illegal, and there are legal recourses which exist today to punish those trading in it, no matter how they do so. It's not reason enough to advocate the shutdown of the world's electronic meeting place.
  • I don't know how big galaxynet is. But most networks that run "smooth and without splits" are those who don't have enough clients yet to run into the problems bigger networks run into. It's sort of common knowledge that at 40-60K users (depending on server software and network architecture) an irc network just tends to get saturated.
  • by MartinG ( 52587 ) on Tuesday September 26, 2000 @03:18AM (#754490) Homepage Journal
    > , and all of the other IRC networks,

    Getting a bit general aren't we?

    Have you ever visited for example?
    - Lots of useful discussion regarding development etc.
    - Frequent conferences held discussing the direction of open source projects
    - Much much more. There's even a #slashdot channel. The one single file I have seen on this irc network for offer over dcc is a linux kernel patch in #kernelnewbies. That's hardly what I would call illegal or immoral.

    I would also add that there are similar channels on #efnet. Just because there are a lot of bad goings on is not a reason to punish the legitimate users by getting rid of the networks.
  • I certainly hope they work through all their problems. As it was, many of the EFnet servers I've tried to connect to wouldn't let me ("Your domain not allowed...too much abuse."). Having a domain name, I'm probably the first to go if they're restricting access even more.

    EFnet has been a great resource for me for computer help, etc....though I've been told once or twice to RTFM. But the people there have been generally more helpful than irritating, so I'm upset to see them getting DoS attacks, etc.

    I hope for everyone's sake that they can push through the "turbulence" and get things back in good order.

    "It is well that war is so terrible, lest we grow too fond of it."
  • I've been a regular on Dalnet for about 5 years now, and a regular on Efnet for about 3 . . . when I'm at school I usually have two IRC clients, one on each network, idling in several channels.

    Dalnet is where I go for silly chat, that doesn't matter, and I think the services they offer (registered nicks, channels, etc) are nice.

    Efnet is good for various "scenes." Efnet is where the mp3 groups hang out, and I also hang out in the semi-official Ars Technical channel, along with #litestep. IMHO. I find much more intelligent conversation on Efnet that I do on Dalnet.

    The article that's linked to does point out the obvious, and Efnet is horrible about script kiddies. The number of DoS attacks are numerous, and I've been packetted for takeover purposes. On the other hand, Dalnet is rampant with various trojans/virii such as Life Stages, script.ini, Judgement Day, etc. Though Dalnet has done a pretty good job of implementing server side protection against these.

    In the end, I'll still hang out on both networks because different IRC networks server different purposes.

  • I've learned more about how to do my job from other like minded people on IRC than from any of my university courses.

    Sad but true...

    There are thousands of people on IRC who know the answers to any question you can think of, from HTML to freebsd help..

    And of course lots of people to make friends with! :)

    Although as a friend of mine once said, "IRC is great as it gives you the opportunity to meet new people from different cultures from all over the world, and somehow find a way to piss them off ;)"

    madmax@efnet admin
  • by Masem ( 1171 ) on Tuesday September 26, 2000 @03:23AM (#754495)
    I've got no proof, but based on what I know on IRC networks and the types of host-leaf connections you need to set up, I'd say that maintaining the stability of a IRC network increases with O(n^2), n being the number of servers. I've found EFNet always relatively unstable, Dal somewhat so, and smaller networks rather stable. I think some of this has to do with the ability of smaller networks to stategically plan where to plug in new servers carefully, while larger networks have to haphazardly place new servers based on the best info available to them. There's also something about "too many cooks" .. Dal has fallen apart due to so many internet IRCOP conflicts, it's not funny.

    The only disadvantage is that you can't have as many clients -- but save for help channels, how the heck are you supposed to have meaning conversations in an IRC channel with over 50 or 100 people in it???? I think smaller networks will make IRC a bit more 'worthwhile' in terms of it's original concept.

  • (...) a wake-up call to legislators who believe the Internet is controllable by legislation. De-centralization puts it beyond arm's reach and even if they could target every server being used, it would be a futile excercise as copycat protocols spring up.

    The same could be said for napster. Napster is not much unlike an irc-server. I'm still waiting for the MPAA or RIAA to start the lawsuits on IRC networks for "distributing intellectual property". Just as with napster, the exchange of files on IRC is a peer-to-peer issue: The IRC server only transmits the transfer-requests.

  • I personally think that newbies find IRC to difficult to understand, and prefer to use simple programs like ICQ or AIM. I remember many years back learning how to IRC with IRCii (unix-based irc client), and it took me a good 20 minutes before I figured out how to /join, /msg, and all that fun stuff. Of course there's Mirc which is probably the client most people use, since it's easier to manage many channels at a time, and since it's for Windows. Anyways, basically I think that people who will get sick and tired of EFnet because of all the splits and such are just going to stop using IRC protocol, and start using ICQ, MSN, AIM, etc... Oh ya, and just a note. I hate people who think IRC is Mirc. That's like saying the Netscape or Internet Explorer is the Internet. Ugh.
  • > This has always been the case, it always worked before, but now I suppose there is a better class of
    > asshole wondering the internet.

    I agree with everything you said - i've got the same opinions about what the opers should deal with - and what they quietly should ignore. EFNet is EFnet because of the no-ownership of channels, because of the structure, because of the history and because of (after all) its users. I'm just asking wether that no-ownership-policy may be an indirect cause for the attacks .. but, after all, other networks are also attacked, so it's not the only cause.

    .. servers are the most important - so keep them running. But something has to be done so that a scriptkiddies won't "earn" anything on taking down servers.
  • No, the IRC server DOESNT transmit the transer-requests. IRC networks are not like napster, but you could make the arguement that mIRC and other clients are. When sending a file over IRC via DCC there is NO involvement with the IRC server at all. (hence why its called Direct Client Connection)
  • You'd actually be surprised. For the past 2-3 weeks, there has been a split pretty much every hour on the hour. It's not just the same server(s), either. It's all of them.

    My wonderful EFnet, that I've enjoyed for so many years (7 or 8), is finally crumbling.

    This is worse than the big split back in the days. That was some mess, too.
    Don Head
    Linux Mentor
  • > how the heck are you supposed to have meaning conversations in an IRC channel with over > 50 or 100 people in it???? You don't. :-) When there are 100+ users on a channel, most of them aren't saying anything. They're just idling quietly down in a corner, ignoring most of the things going on in the channel. The main problem is that when there are so many users in one channel - the channel becomes a target for spammers and massinviters. There is no "easy" solution for this, but if you take a look on #norge (norge == norway) on EFNet, you'll see that the channel is moderated - and people will have to register to get voiced. The registration is private, with a password and alike. The channel has over 1k of users at the most busy days. (Usually easter, when The Gathering (the worlds largest computerparty) is held)
  • In my past five years of experience on IRC, I've seen many networks begin, grow and die. I've seen the split of the Australian body of servers from Undernet to form their own IRC network (OzOrg), the beginnings of now the largest Australian IRC network AUSTnet, and of course, the IRCnet/EFnet split. Why does everybody think that EFnet is dying? As I write this, over 44,000 unique clients are connected to EFnet distributed over 35 servers. That's roughly 1.2k clients per server - not exactly what I'd call dying. EFnet is also largely dominated by warez and pornography due to the pure size of the network. Many of the servers are constantly subjected to Denial of Service attacks such as smurf attacks, involving a large flood of traffic, costing ISPs a considerable amount of money and downtime. Typical efnet servers need to sustain traffic rates of around 50 kilobytes per second on average, just in IRC traffic, excluding the DoS. Many ISPs decide to delink their IRC server. It's a large target to the "leet haxor" community saying "hey there! attack me!" There are no registered channels or nicknames, meaning that if you run a channel there, it's your responsibility. It's a very old network, and lacks many of the nice services that most newer IRC users would expect (eg. channel/nick registration, help services etc) from networks such as DALnet and AUSTnet. Different networks suit different people, and as long as the EFnet community remains around, the network will still exist in some shape or form. -zardoz
  • I'm not very surprised that you didn't get a link. In fact, i'm quite happy you didn't get it - with that kind of an attitude. In fact - it *is* an honor to get linked to the efnet, and i'm quite fond of the fact that they deserve a good server with a serveradmin with his sense still in good shape. I'm not saying that all efnet-admins are the nicest and most caring people i know (but some of them are quite nice and good friends of me).

  • (what idiot will download "girl-sucks-horse.jpg.VBS"???)

    Same idiots that automatically download all files and use an OS where the extension is hidden by default? :)
  • I feel like a fairly large percentage of the cracking being done in the world ammounts to being nothing more than an irc turf war. Kind of cool, in a Gibson kinda way.
  • I'm afraid you're wrong. The IRC does transmit the transfer-request. If you send someone a file over DCC, what happens is that your clients sends a CTCP DCC message to that client containing your IP-address and a port-number. The client on the other side connects to this port-number and receives the file.

  • I can't think why any decent minded person would support the use of a protocol which is used almost solely for illegal, and quite frankly disgusting, purposes.

    IRC is an open protocol [] for distributed "real time" text conferencing and file sharing. This potent idea continually gets reinvented. AOL's Instant Messager and Jabber [] are the latest incarnations of real time conferencing.

    As the original killer Internet application, email has florished as a means of conferencing and file sharing. It propagated to all platforms that supported TCP/IP networking. The problem with email is that it is asynchronous. By default, it provides no notice that a message has arrived at its destination, much less was seen by the intended recipient. IRC is a way to extend the conferencing capabilities of email. You know instantly whether your message was received. For small groups, this method works well.

    If AOL's IM improves (for some values of "improves") on real time conferencing Napster, Gnutella and Freenet extend file sharing to be pervasive and searchable. And yes, unlicensed files are traded with wild abandon on those networks too. Hustler magazine is printed on paper, just like currence, the Bible and Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash. I wouldn't go back to using stone tables because the medium can be abused.

    Of course, it is easy to pick on the senile old aunt of conferencing technologies. There is no doubt that script kiddies and p0rn abound in seedy, misspelled chat rooms. It is a shame to condemn this important technology simple because of the activities of a few reprobates. If one could judge the whole by its parts, we'd have been Usenet years ago.

    You may not choose to use IRC because of the few bad apples, but you'd do well not to quickly condemn all IRCers. There is a lot useful information tucked away in those intangible rooms.


  • For those of you who might have a hard time remembering exactly when EFnet was born, from which network undernet forked off or similar stuff, try my old IRC history page over here [].

    Send flames to someone else.

  • I've learned more about how to do my job from other like minded people on IRC than from any of my university courses. So what, you're a professional software pirate? Saying that is not impressive, it merely indicates that your academic ability is impeded by the large quantities of crack you seem to be smoking.

    WTF? Actually i run my own business, and my job requires knowledge of unix, HTML, cisco, etc etc etc.

    And where to find pictures of small girls eh?

    Just because you use IRC to find pics like that doesnt mean everybody does.

    And to find people with like-minded illegal "hobbies" with which to engage in DCC sessions.

    And to put on /ignore sad bastards with nothing better to do but try and get up peoples noses due to a lack of interpersonal skills and a real life?

  • > This has always been the case, it always worked before, but now I suppose there is a better
    > class of asshole wondering the internet.

    I think it's time to quote [whoever said it first]: "The amount of intelligence on the Internet is a constant; unfortunately, the population keeps increasing."

    It's actually quite sad, but I don't think one can expect people to behave like they did when IRC was young. In the beginning people who used IRC were among the few to even know about the Internet, but today the users on IRC represent an almost randomly chosen group of people. And there _will_ be some who won't respect other people, and there _will_ be some who will cause this kind of problems.

    I think the possiblity that people will start to behave nicely has to be ruled out. Those days are gone.
  • Dude, I've found two decent jobs thanks to IRC (and I wouldn't rule out taking a third).

    It 'aint all warez and kiddiez. Check out #php or #c sometime.

  • by Phaid ( 938 ) on Tuesday September 26, 2000 @03:56AM (#754512) Homepage
    Since the end of August, EFnet has become a real pain to use. Some of the better servers, like and, have simply gone away, and others are just about impossible to get to. The ones you can get on go up and down all the time, there are endless netsplits, etc. The only semi-stable servers either belong to .edu's or are part of some network like mindspring or and don't let anyone on who isn't a part of their network (understandable, but frustrating).

    The article is correct in one thing: it's because of the packet kiddies. With hundreds of kids behind cable modems blasting away at servers all day long, it's no wonder that network admins take down IRC servers -- the turnover rate on EFnet servers has been amazingly high recently.

    The one thing to take comfort in: despite its problems, EFnet is still "the" IRC network to most people, so if you're on another IRC network, it's taking the brunt of the assault...
  • Well, just imagine how the Internet as a whole would work if networks and hosts were connected ONLY by explicit static routes.

    That's right, it wouldn't.
  • This is actually a problem which has been under discussion.

    I doubt of course that such a massive change would ever be able to be implemented on a network such as efnet - half the servers run hybrid ircd, and half run comstud ircd - and nearly all are different version - co-ordinating changes in ircd are near impossible.

    madmax@efnet admin

  • You are truly an idiot.I use two IRC channels the #Carrara and #3d_errorcode50,which both service people using 3d apps.There are many channels that support OSes,applications,and are generally fun to hang out in.Maybe you should stop warezing child porn you sick bastard.
  • What the hell are you talking about? You are doing them a favor. They should be grateful to you that you're donating your hardware/bandwidth especially in this time of DoS attacks.

    Of course, your attitude is fairly standard among IRC users. I'm not sure why, either. IRC is just a protocol Like ICQ. Or Oscar. Its not something special. Its not a way of life. If you think it is, get out and see the sun sometime.
  • i know that ever since i've been on efnet (early 97 probably) that efnet has never implemented a channel or nickname services in the idea that they should "not be owned". But i believe that this is the downfall of the Eris Free Network. Implementing a channel service would probably cut down on a lot of DoS attacks, for the fact that script kiddies aren't going to try and takeover a channel if it's pointless, even if they DoS the services, as soon as they come back online, the channel can be easily taken back again. I think that whoever (and i know there are many) makes the decisions about EFnet should really consider the thought of installing some services there, it would cut down on IRCop's headaches of having to face the same annoying people complaining that they're channel was taken-over, etc. At least this way, users can fix the problems themselves. EFnet, i've found, has always been a "broken" network, splitting even more then DalNet, it's never stable, and there are never constant server connections. I use EFnet for one channel only, and that is where a bunch of people from my hometown hang out and chat (#goodtimes), as for DalNet, i use it only for our group's channel (#LinuxGroup). But lately, i've been spending a lot of time on openprojects, great server, i think EFnet can learn from some of these other networks that are around.
  • by wik ( 10258 )
    Being an IRCop on one network and friends with several IRCops on other networks, I've seen my share of political battles and obnoxious users. We're on a small network, so it isn't a big deal to link in another server every once in a while.

    When turbulence happens, a branch of the network sometimes gets shaken out. We had a network of servers in the United States and a slew of machines in the Czech Republic. There were a few problems with timezones (the only time I could consistently talk to the opers over there was around 8am EST). Over the summer, a few US servers dropped (some IRCops left because they no longer had as much free time, families, etc) and the Czech network became its own autonomous network.

    When IRC is fun, it's a lot of fun. Unfortunately, there are always a few snotty users who think it's their devine right to pester the IRCops for weeks on end or packet a server. At some point, the IRCops have had a bad day and things like *!*@* get banned. If there were some way we could uniquely lock out a user by retinal scan or a Bad Breath breathalizer test when they connect (anyone up for re-writing identd's to do this?) we'd love to have it. However, we're stuck with broad bans in order to keep ourselves sane. It's not nice to the users, but there isn't a better solution yet.

    Particularly in the cases where an IRCer is good at social engineering, we have problems. Some of those users have managed (through various subtle methods) to get O: lines on our servers and our network then goes to pieces until we figure out what happened. To be honest, I don't understand what causes people to feel the need to do that every three months, but it happens.

    I used to spend a lot of time on (EFNet) and before that (they allowed bots!), before they were packeted so many times that our upstream cut them off. To me, that was when EFNet suddenly lost its appeal, because it became a chore to find a server where I could keep a stable client connection. I believe that EFNet will continue to exist as increasingly smaller numbers of large servers, as IRCops get tired of the problems and the fun (or power trips) become less rewarding.

  • I find much more intelligent conversation on Efnet that I do on Dalnet

    Funny, when I left EFNet (c. 1994), Undernet seemed to have better-adjusted people than EF....

    Then again, Undernet died the day they chose to make some of the admin channels a "general help" channel.

  • Not so dumb as you; he was responding to something modded down.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Once AOL came onto the scene EFnet went downhill, only to be followed by wonderful TS, which then really turned EFnet to shit. If it were not for TS I'd be willing to wager 99.99% of DoS attacks wouldn't happen or would be signifigantly shorter. It's a lot easier to split ops than waste your time packeting ip's. Combine all of this with the IRCops which are all mostly fools (I say this because 1/2 of them are IRCops beacuse they gave an admin head and have a hard time even working mIRC), and that might be why EFnet is so screwed up. There are a few IRCops op there who know what they are doing, but they stay behind the scenes, which I can't blame them for, after all they can't control all the loud mouth powerhungry IRCops. It all comes down to it's just irc, and if it's that big a deal to you if EFnet did go down, you really need a life.
  • I've found EFNet always relatively unstable

    It's been my experience that IRC servers tend to work best when in a star topology (or something close to it) than in the "spanning tree" they chose to describe in RFC-1459 (now there's an outdated document--anyone know of a completely RFC-1459-compliant network? I didn't think so :-) ). When you have a massive routing-only server, with all the other servers connected to it, it helps a great deal. Mind you, it may work better with multiple central servers, but YMMV.

  • Yeah, that guy was a total moron. Let's continue this thread talking about what an idiot that guy is.
  • My wonderful EFnet, that I've enjoyed for so many years (7 or 8), is finally crumbling.

    Maybe, but we of the Undernet, when we split away from EFNet, said the same thing years ago :-). When Undernet had similar issues, about three years ago, we said the same too, and started up Yet Another Network (tm). That YAN died, and Undernet is still around. Most EFNet admins are at least halfway clued; give it time....

  • is running in debug mode which allows the administrators to watch all private and channel conversations. Lots of people have cliamed the the fbi is trying to bust people. -Leusent (coward)

    No it isnt.


    2.8.21+RF+CSr30. irc.Prison.NET ACeEHiKMpRtX CS3abBDEfIjKlLmMnNoPrsStTu TS3ow

    Its the ACeEHiKMpRtX bit which contains what options were #definied. Do you see a D in that?

    madmax@efnet admin

  • IMHO I think that the IRC protocol needs to be revised so that it allows for arbitrary network topology. The problem with the current setup is that one server dying often means the splitting off of a large branch of the network. The Internet itself won't exist if it had this kind of topology.

    There must be some way of revising the IRC protocol so that there's at least two distinct paths from A to B in most cases. When one of the servers in a path goes down, the servers will just resync themselves to find an alternative connection path. This will greatly reduce the painfulness of netsplits, as netsplits won't happen very often with this strategy.

    But of course, all this does it to provide more buffer in case of DoS problems. It doesn't really address the source of the problem... but IMHO trying to prevent/solve DoS problems on IRC is like trying to cure cancer that has spread to every other organ in your body...

  • There must be some way of revising the IRC protocol so that there's at least two distinct paths from A to B in most cases

    Yeah, there probably is a way. But getting 36 servers to upgrade at once is well, impossible. If you start trying to implement it so its compatable with servers which use the old protocol, you make the implementation near impossible and a real head-f**k...

    madmax@efnet admin

  • by JatTDB ( 29747 ) on Tuesday September 26, 2000 @04:28AM (#754528)
    Just because the "newbies" don't use it, that doesn't mean it's dying.

    The "newbies" also don't generally go to tech-info-heavy text only websites. The "newbies" don't normally use FTP in a non-URL-based way. There are a lot of things out there in this wacky world of the internet that the newbies will never try out or understand. That doesn't mean that any of them are dying.

    How can something with 40,000+ client connections at any given time, and often going to over 60,000 possibly be considered dying?

  • Oh,and BTW try asking for warez in either of these channels and see how long it takes to be kicked.
  • the splits a DQ are pretty bad too. that Ice cream tastes like plastic... ---temp .sig--- look at me, I stole your account! guess where I hid the password...
  • Sorry, but I don't "warez child porn" as you so "eloquently" put it. As a parent and a long-standing net user I am merely concerned about the sheer volume of filth that pervades IRC, and any legitimate conversations (if there are any, which I can't seem to find) could just as easily be done using mailing lists.

    It seems to me that you're the one with the problem, after all I didn't lash out at you and call you a "sick bastard" did I? Feeling any residual guilt are we?

  • UGH! As far as I can tell what has happened is there was a high profile post on like or something that said:

    " will be permanently delinked because of DoS attacks" is just one EFnet server. It does not mean that all of EFnet is going down or is in serious trouble...

    Servers come and servers go but EFnet has survived and will continue to Josh

  • GalaxyNet is thankfully small right now, but hopefully they'll be up to the test when they grow. I among friends just recently moved our main channel to GalaxyNet after some of our friends couldn't get onto EFnet anymore.

    Like another guy said, #shadowrealm is great for movies =) [] for more information and a list of servers.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    You are quite correct. I remember hacking ops and colliding/nuking people off in the old days. It didn't hurt people like these massive DoS attacks that affects thousands of people when you kill a provider's entire network. I'm not trying to say that this was a GOOD thing to do, but it was certainly less destructive than sending 500mbit at an IRC server and costing a provider lots of $$$ while all their customers call in a panic just because you want some lame channel.

  • A couple of servers changed their policy. As far as I understand, from my limited experience, there's nothing strange or extraordinary about that.

    From the semi-official EFNet site []:

    • 9/2 - leaves EFNet. According to the news item, this server handled over 15% of of EFNet's user load.
    • 9/7 - is shut down due to DoS attacks against it and the "chance is not great" that it will return.
    • 9/12 - is pronounced dead.
    • 9/19 - goes down. Admins of the server refuse to comment on weather or not it will return.

    The official page doesn't even talk about how far the connection policies on most of the remaining U.S. servers have been tightened! From what I've seen and heard, most people these days only have a hope in hell of using east/west, and This is not just "business as usual".

  • welp, I know the irc admins have a job to do ... and they usually do too good of a job. The Power-tripping admins kill/kline usually without much regret and it was worse back in the day. Efnet has always had a problem... delinked back in the day prolly cause it was desynced more than it was connected. disappeared not too long ago. My main problem is that these admins have a bad attitude from the get go... they /kill people for no reason at all sometimes... and then they wonder why they get so much slack from these kids? Prolly cause they are sick of hearing "do this dont do that" from parents and go on irc to finally put the havok on lame opers with power trips... this is one case where I dont feel bad for the admins. I ran a server on newnet for awhile ( and found out that alot of their main servers were being attacked and mostly because their admins were being asses. my server ( wasn't once attacked by any syn/icmp attacked...
  • Nice to finally know what happened to my ISP's (@Home) IRC server. They never sent out any kind of notification to thier users. It just stopped working one day. Then again it is @Home so I am not really suprised.

  • When I first got on IRC in 1993, the school I was accessing it from had a 64k connection FOR THE WHOLE SCHOOL. No one really had enough bandwidth to split a server at the time. Still, distributed attacks could take over a channel or boot a user.

    IMHO IRC's biggest flaw is the fact that it's servers are networked and all channels rely on that network to function. If one server goes down, you can loose half or more of the channel's users. And servers go down a lot. I t would seem to me the only reason anyone would put up with the flakieness of IRC is because they are either part of the problem, or because they enjoy the thrill of brutal internet strife.

    IRCs problems are what prompted me to make something 'different'. A chat program which did not allow channel operators, banning, kicking or any of the things which typically spur DOS attacks on the servers themselves. Each room is an independant server and nicknames need only be unique per room, not per network. (and no network at all to rely on). Servers are linked similar to the Web where it gives an address and port to connect to.

    Best of all, it's graphical and it's free.

    They are a threat to free speech and must be silenced! - Andrea Chen
  • I phoned @home tech support wondering what happened to their irc server, and they told me flatly that they've just shut it down. So all the @home people no longer have a home. They told me that it wasn't a supported service, so thats why they didn't notify any of their customers, and that it was closed down due to abuse.

    It has been down for a little more than a month(?) and I wonder if a lot of the fallover from that server is overloading, and causing grief with others. That is, for the few that allow @home people to connect, and don't tell them to connect to their own irc server (which no longer exists).

    Damn the man. Maybe we could convince the nice Havenco people to host an EFNet ircd!!

  • by Nemesis][ ( 21247 )
    EF has always had its ups and downs. Currently we worry about DoS attacks from skript-kiddi3s. Years ago it used to clone bots (pre TS) from scripts like Vassagos Serpent which lead to massive nick collides. What it simply boils down to is people feelings, if/when they get slammed they attack back. It dosnt matter if they take over a channel or kill an entire server anymore (or worse). *Sigh* - I miss the days when people had to know how to program ircII scripts and use a shell to even get on IRC. In most of EFs history people have always claimed EF is dying, like when left and then a few years later blackened left. The cycle just keeps repeating.

    The more things change the more they stay the same.

  • OK, I'm 99% convinced you're a troll having read some of your comments, but hey, I'll bite anyway, because I'm in that sorta mood.

    Fine, there's filth on IRC. Well, there's plenty of filth available on the Net via other means - WWW, Usenet. Do we just shut down the whole Net?

    I agree totally with what some of the other posters to this thread have said: there really are rewarding places to be on IRC. The people in the programming channels on some of the networks are insanely knowledgable. Some of the chat channels have really great people to talk to (and meet, if you're in the same meatspace area). Many organisations use IRC to plan, meet, play, whatever. Besides, mailing lists just aren't the same as real-time chat, and chat is more suitable for some discussions.

    As for the undesirable stuff (warez, child porn), well, it's there, that's life. In my experience, though, it doesn't tend to just fall in your lap, so presumably (not needing warez, and not being the slightest bit interested in child porn), you need to go looking for it.

    Finally, since you are a parent, may I point you to the standard disclaimer many servers on many networks carry (including the server I'm an IRCop on): IRC is an unmoderated medium. Anyone who leaves their children (thinking sub-teens in particular) on IRC without keeping an eye on them is asking for trouble, IMHO.

  • Actually, it's impossible to keep it backwards-compatible with at least the Undernet implementation (well, as of 2.9.32 or something) of the ircd; there cannot be more than one routes to a given server from another server.

  • by Kintanon ( 65528 ) on Tuesday September 26, 2000 @05:44AM (#754552) Homepage Journal
    EFnet has been a great resource for me for computer help, etc....though I've been told once or twice to RTFM. But the people there have been generally more helpful than irritating, so I'm upset to see them getting DoS attacks, etc.

    If you get shunned by Efnet come to Undernet. #linux and #linuxhelp and #techies are prefectly great places to find info. Undernet is alive and well and relatively trouble free.

  • Actually, a large part of the reason there are fewer servers is becuase the admins on EFNet will not ALLOW anyone to add a server unless it is going to be extremely well connected. They don't like the 'disruptions' caused.

    I know a great many people with T1 and such style links, who would GLADLY run a server and allow 50-100 people to connect. EFNet won't hear of it.
  • by FallLine ( 12211 ) on Tuesday September 26, 2000 @05:54AM (#754555)
    Yes, I agree, but....IRC should be dead by all rights. It is an inferior protocol implimented on mediocre servers connected haphazardly and administrated mostly by idiots [There is hardly a meritocracy amongst's who can kiss ass the most]. The only reason the 3 major IRC networks still survive is for social, not technical reasons. People stay on IRC for the "social" structure or fabric, if you will. Put simply, all their friends are on IRC network X, so they stay put. Even though there are superior alternatives out there for most every application, the loose knit groups can't, or won't, coordinate their movements and move at once. Thus, when the individual is given the choice between using superior protocol A on their lonesome, or using crappy protocol B with their "friends", most will choose B and put up with all the crap they have to endure.
  • I'm at a *.edu site, and yesterday I had to try 27 SERVERS on EFnet before I could find one that would let me connect. That's ridiculous. And no, that is no exaggeration. Guess what the majority of the non-allowing servers told me? "You are not authorized to use this server." If a server isn't prepared to accept clients, it shouldn't be linked to the network. PERIOD. And by "clients," I mean global clients, not just clients within the server's own ISP.

    FWIH, most of the servers that restrict their usage as such do so for one of two reasons: 1) DoS attacks or other related abuse, or 2) bots. I don't mean to sound like a troll here, but when you link to an IRC network, those are risks you take. And you don't solve them by effectively banning *@*. If a server on any other network did that, just imagine how fast they'd be delinked. Yet EFnet puts up with it.

  • Here's an idea: implement a gateway server between the "old EFnet" which uses the old, single-route protocol, and the "new EFnet" which uses a multi-route protocol. This will at least maintain some semblance of functionality as servers upgrade to the new protocol.

    I think this will work because there will be a single route for communication between the "old" and the "new" sides; so at first, this will look like an addendum to the current tree-structured EFnet. Then as more and more of the servers upgrade, this "addendum" will grow and eventually the "old" side will shrink to zero, then we can remove the gateway server.

    Think this is workable?

  • Quite true. Though, I haven't yet found a program that accomplishes all the primary tasks that I like to use IRC for while still giving me the breadth of choice of interfaces and such that IRC gives me.

    Also...there's one thing I've noticed about IRC (I've been using efnet now for about 6-7 years)...if you don't piss anybody off, and no one else in your channel ever pisses anybody off, you rarely have takeover attempts! It's really quite amazing! Imagine that.

  • It seems most of these servers are impossible to connect. Anyone know of a good Web site that updates the list of all the good servers to use? Thanks. :)

  • >Heh, and how many of those 40,000 clients are
    >bots? It's amazing how many bots you need now
    >just to hold a channel.

    How about none? I'm a regular on one of the original IRC channels on EFNET and we haven't had a bot protecting the channel for years.

  • There were recently accusations of the same thing on DALnet -- nobody has the time or the energy to watch and sift through a million conversations about your Diablo II characters or your netsex with "Jenny_18."

    That's what the almighty grep is for, my friend.

  • by Fas Attarac ( 163334 ) on Tuesday September 26, 2000 @06:50AM (#754571)
    In the beginning, there was IRC. IRC was good, people got along, and chatting was what people did.

    Then there were some differences of opinion between administrators. It's OK, these things happen. Feelings got hurt, EFnet spawns a child network. Increasingly, this happens more and more, but typically the arguments revolve around the introduction of features to give the user a better chatting environment.

    There are always two sides to the argument. There are those that want things like channel ownership, more IRC operator participation in the affairs of mortals and harsher, coordinated controls against abusers of the service. Then there are those that don't want anything to change. They view IRC operators as the keepers of the links, and that those keepers should never meddle in the affairs of the users. Let them sort (battle) out their own problems. EFnet splits. The liberal operators and servers (the ones wanting the change) spawn off a new IRC network, and the conservative/reactionary operators and servers stay behind.

    Think of it as evaporative cooling. As EFnet experiences its civil wars, the proportion of "to hell with the users" attitudes rises.

    Eventually, this attitude starts biting the opers and admins on the ass. EFnet turns into a war zone, with DoS attacks starting to show up. A few users think they're funny and DoS the opers too.

    The ugly dragon rears its head.

    Now the attitude becomes "fuck everyone but my fellow opers". IRC wars move from the IRC playfield to the Internet with DDoS attacks taking down servers for the purposes of channel warfare and retaliation against opers and admins. Sometimes the ill feelings are warranted, but mostly the packet kiddies are just trying to make a nuisance of themselves. Networks suffer, ISP customers suffer, ISP's de-link their IRC servers. A free service (IRC) should not--must not--impact the ISP's ability to reliably serve its customers.

    Now at this point, EFnet starts getting a shortage of big servers. Naturally there are dozens of ill-experienced, IRC savvy packet kiddies that have "grown up" a bit and want to try their hand at running servers. A few are cautiously linked in, oper abuse (already rampant on EFnet) begins to rise even faster. The line between oper and kiddie twists around a bit, more servers run by "former" (or current) packet kiddies, Internet wars abound, servers are split, packet kiddies continue to attack. Legitimate, well-staffed servers jump ship.

    EFnet, in short, goes to hell.

    I've always said EFnet is the ghetto of IRC networks. I would wager the vast majority of people that use EFnet to chat nowadays do so only because their friends are there, or they don't know that there are alternatives. If there was a way to reliably migrate a person's group of friends instantaneously to another more mature network, most would do it. I would.
  • by Fas Attarac ( 163334 ) on Tuesday September 26, 2000 @06:55AM (#754572)
    Limiting a server to local clients has always been an acceptable and practiced policy among EFnet servers. Generally if a server is capable of being open and handling non-local clients, it should do so, but if an ISP has a sizable population of IRC users, and sufficient hardware to support those users and little more, it makes sense for that ISP to set up its own dedicated IRC server for its customers, and to link that server to EFnet.

    AOL and Netcom are prime examples of large providers that have opted to build their own IRC servers for their own clients. Unfortunately (mainly in AOL's case), they didn't feel obligated to police their own servers, and abuse was quite rampant.
  • That would be great, if only EFnet would allow smaller servers to connect.

    I know that I could responsibly run a server (ie: not abuse it, just leave it alone) and allow the 30 or 40 people that I know to connect, hassle free.
    Why will EFNet not allow private servers? They only allow things that have HUGE pipes.

    Simply make it a condition that a single abuse by an IRCOp on a small server is grounds for immediate and permanent detachment.
  • IRC's design has always been broken in many other ways. I remember back in 93 or so when servers would let you do a remote "/stats k" and happily send over 10k of lines back to you. Send 20 of those in a row, and you had a netsplit. I was so shocked to find that, that it didn't even occur to me that people would do such "bad things" other than once for testing. Of course, at that time packet flooding was unheard off, and a single spoofed ICMP was considered "really bad", too.

    As somoene who has worked extensively on IRC server to server protocols, I can confirm what you're saying: ircd scales rather badly. It only has gone up to the current levels thanks to the massive increases in bandwith and server memory. If IRC wants to keep the model of a single network with a unique channel namespace, and a completely decentralized network of servers, then alternate routes and cyclic links become a necessity. EFnet has been going mostly in the opposite direction: a few strong central hubs, and lots of leaves. That works better than the random-spanning-tree that IRC started with.

  • by Fas Attarac ( 163334 ) on Tuesday September 26, 2000 @07:12AM (#754577)
    It's an issue of trust. A rogue IRC server can introduce any command into the IRC network that it wants. If there weren't any other opers watching the network, that server could cause anarchy.

    They also require servers with large pipes for a reason: the IRC2 protocol is not very efficient. It's entirely ASCII-based and depends on things like connections, quits and channel messages to be propogated throughout the entire network. Thus, your private server wouldn't necessarily just be seeing traffic it needs to see, it would be seeing ALL traffic across the network.

    Ordinarily, this amount of data isn't too bad. An ISDN link could probably handle it. The problem is the connect bursts. When two servers split, as you know, each server on the local side of the split sends out QUIT messages for each client that has now disappeared on the other side. If this is a major hub, this burst in itself is quite large. In addition, when servers reconnect (such as when your private server connects to the network or when a split server reconnects), a much larger connect burst occurs, as each client on the "other" side is introduced to the local side. JOINs (well, SJOINs) have to be sent as well, so that all servers have enough state information about what clients are on what channels that they can provide that information to the local user.

    In short, IRC2 needs "HUGE pipes".

    Yes, it could be designed better. Yes, there are better IRC network designs on the way, but there's little that can be done to fix IRC2.
  • Only if the gateway-side abstracts the rest of the network and makes it seem like a single über-server.

  • No offense, but EFnet has always sucked. It's rate of suckage has just increased recently due to several factors. I've had to, personally, check up to 20 servers just to get on. Half the time, I either get the "You are not authorized to use this server" message, or the connection times out. I don't like it.


    There are other IRC networks. Dalnet, Undernet, and Yiffnet [] to name a few. I've found that Yiffnet [] is the most stable in terms of server splits, and the opers are actually friendly for a change.
    Since Yiffnet [] is a semi-roleplaying network, there are, IIRC, two bots used to store descriptions of your character. If you ever sign on just for the hell of it, for the love of God go read the website first![1]
    If, after reading the site, you decide to logon, try not to make your nick look like you're an EFnet refugee. The people there get on your case about it, and there's no real reason to have all the extra stuff[2] anyway. After logging on, read the MOTD for the server you're on, then if you feel up to it, /join #furry and hang on to your keyboard.

    [1] What? You thought those links were to show off my leet HTML skillz?
    [2] You know, stuff like _^*=+ tacked on the end and 31337 Sp311In6?


  • .. I just submited this to's forum a few minutes ago.. []
  • I am upset with the majority of comments posted here. According to many EFnet is nothing but a place with warez, no ChanServ, constant DoS attacks, and an overall "l4m3n3$$". EFnet is not this at all. Sure it has its share of warez/mp3/porn channels, but every net has an underground side to it. DoS attacks happen every where, but mostly on servers open to public. This is what everyone is crying about. If all servers go private, how will the general IRC population get on? The answer lies in geographic distribution. Why do EFnet Canadian servers only allow *.ca ? Why can't states of the US be divided up and assigned to a server. This way it cuts down on the DoS attacks.

    Another thing that many don't realize is the freedom on EFnet. If I want to create a channel with no one present, I can. I get no message from ChanServ telling me bob1234 registered my channel at the server's conception. IRCOPs should be hands off. If theres a disbute or a takeover in a channel, let them work it out. It's these basic freedoms which make EFnet such a great idea. I do concede that EFnet is not at its pinnacle right now. It has experienced massive DoS attacks, loss of servers, corrupt IRCops, and devistating takeovers. The IRCops are not to blame. They just went with the flow from a lack of rules. Sure, here's an i:line for this nice shell. Sure, I'll k-line that client even though its not a bot or clone. Sure, I'll abuse my power for anything that might better myself. If the administration of EFnet cannot keep itself clean, what hope is there for a new EFnet without DoS attacks.

    It is a sad time for EFnet. We have come so far. I will stay on it until the end.

    gimme a /msg and we can talk any time :)
  • To those that say, "People have always been saying EFnet is dying, but it's still here, and it will be around for a long time to go!" I agree, only insofar as EFnet will not go away.

    But isn't an IRC network effectively dead when it ceases to be a reliable means for people to get online and chat? When was the last time you could get onto your EFnet channel of choice and have a conversation with the regulars? I bet if you did the math, EFnet would spend over 50% of its time with at least one major server split or with one or more heavily hit links.

    When I sit down and am totally unable to have a conversation with my friends for any more than a few minutes at a time, I consider it time to move on. The only way people are going to be happy again is if they migrate to a more stable network, and nobody is going to do that until EFnet finally kicks the bucket and its existing (stable) servers either join up with a real IRC network or shut down for good.

    Let EFnet die. It's functionally dead already.
  • I guess I'm too late and no-one sees this message anymore, but anyway.. :)

    Take a look at SILC, Secure Internet Live Conferencing []. It's designed with better network structure, isn't a braindead protocol, and as the name says it's designed with security in mind. And to me the best thing about it is that it's new and not finished yet. I can suggest new features to it, I can fix broken things in it, I can try to make it the best chat protocol there is.

    SILC is the most serious IRC replacement I've seen so far: there's working server and client code, there's documentation, even comments in the code and the specs are in RFC drafts.

    The biggest reason for DOS attacks against IRC servers is (I'm pretty sure :) creating net splits and taking over channels with them. If we just design the protocol so that it is impossible to take over others' channels the network will be DOS safe (and it will be one happy chatting network ;)

  • Funny..I read mjr's letter from 1998 just a few days ago (I visit every so often, and sometimes I reread the letter--it serves as a sad reminder of the lamers that are everywhere on IRC these days):

    "Even the big ones fall. []"
    • hopefully they will try to get the crackers/script kiddies in trouble for doing this.
    And just what "trouble" do you expect to them into? Jonny's parents take away his computer for a week? What they are doing is illegal. It's just difficult to track down and almost impossible to prosecute -- you cannot "throw the book" at a 13yo punk. Until some FBI agents bust down the door to some central Kansas house, charge into some teen's room, and shoot him (or her) in the head at close range with a shotgun, this sort of childish bullshit will never stop.

    Most animals act according to an anticipation of a reward or in fear of some punishment. As a child, I learned quickly what my boundries were -- e.g. exactly what I could do without being beaten. Most parents raise their children in a violence free environment that complete negates half of our behavioral instincts -- hell, parents would be arested for abuse now-a-days if they hit their kids. ("Spare the rod; spoil the child" is true.) Setting the kid in the corner for an hour isn't punishment; it just gives them time to think up more bad things to do. When there is no fear of punishment, rewards have no meaning and children never learn to participate in a civilized society.

    Now that I think about it, society has just gone to hell. Did I miss the Rapture or something? A memo would have been nice...
  • *sigh*

    • The answer lies in geographic distribution
    Not the geography load of horse shit again. Where I'm standing on the surface of the planet has almost nothing to do with my IP proximity to anything. Case in point, I can go stand in the server room in Atlanta right in front of the rack housing and dial into BellSouth.Net. Does the fact that I'm physically three feet from the IRC server have one bloody thing to do with my network proximity to that IRC server? NO!

    Anyone can buy just about any domain name they want. Does this mean *.to is actually in Tonga? Are all the *.cc names somewhere in the Cacos Islands? Hell, I can have the DNS for a machine in my bathroom here in Raleigh, NC, USA say it's somewhere in *.ca.

    I bet you wouldn't guess, sitting here in my livingroom, I'm four hops from the Microsoft Campus in Washington state. Or that I used to be three hops from London, England, UK. (Interpath@MAE-East/Xara@MAE-East/Xara@CWIX)

    Hop count and transit time are what matter. Even BIND has known this for years.
  • No offense but I've been on Undernet and IMO the users are less experienced than myself. I have been an avid Linux user since Slackware 2 (eww) and I've met very intelligent people on efNet that I learned a lot from, and I've also helped other promising script kiddies to get another life.

    I have to agree, Undernet is generally younger and less hardcore for all of their subjects. But we're improving as best we can, and our network is much better than Efnets recently.

  • Here's a link to a text file that is updated three times a day and lists all the servers: []. Unfortunately, all it does is list servers, so it's not full of information.
  • When I was at CMU.EDU, we had an irc server at one time. It's funny, for a period of time * was banned from its *own* irc server. Go figure. Same deal with @home now.

    When Monash University here in Melbourne AU had an EFnet server - - it's users were banned between 9 and 5, and I think dialin users were banned 24/7, because the University tolerated it with the provision it didn't stop legitimate work. But that's my POV, I'm sure the exopers will correct me if I'm wrong :)

It's fabulous! We haven't seen anything like it in the last half an hour! -- Macy's