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Microsoft

MSFT thanks Linux Programmer for paying $35 Fee 188

Quite a number of people have been writing recently in regards to the recent Hotmail outage. As we reported before, a Linux programmer wanted to get his mail - and paid the $35 fee to renew their domain registration. News.com has picked up the news story, complete with thanks from MSFT to Mr. Michael Chaney.
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MSFT thanks Linux Programmer for paying $35 Fee

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  • by SuperJ ( 125753 ) on Tuesday December 28, 1999 @11:50AM (#1437825) Homepage
    That's not the only thing a Linux programmer could fix over at Microsoft.
  • Since he paid for the domain registration, wouldnt he have a final say on the domain? If he refuses to accept any payment microsoft made ($35), wouldnt he be the owner of this domain? And have a final say as to where it should point?

    I believe M$ owes this dude more than $35. A personal check from BillG would be most appericated. :)
    --
  • by kevin lyda ( 4803 ) on Tuesday December 28, 1999 @11:51AM (#1437827) Homepage
    yet another example of how helpful linux and other free software users/developers/admins can be compared to their windows counterparts.

    would a windows person think to pay for linux.com's domain? (or other linux related domains)
  • Do you think Micro$oft would have given Linux.com back for $35? I think not. I'm just glad he's decent enough not to try to squat the site and inconvenience all those hotmail users (not really a good PR move).

    F.O.Dobbs

    ps- a redirect to www.hotmale.com would have been interesting though...
  • by Kris_J ( 10111 ) on Tuesday December 28, 1999 @11:52AM (#1437830) Homepage Journal
    Gee, Microsoft, (one of?) the largest corporations on the planet are going to 'Thank him and pay him back the US$35'. That's just swell. The move was probably worth a five figure sum, which is pocket change to the giant, but no, he's getting thanks and $35.

    I bet you they still wouldn't buy back an OEM copy of Windows from him if he wanted Linux on a name brand PC.

  • I find it rather amusing that one linux progammer managed to beat out an entire team of M$ employees in diagnosing and fixing a problem. It only adds to it that the problem was that M$ forget to pay a #$35 dollar fee.
  • ...if Chaney just wanted his 35 bucks back and said "Hey, no problem, glad to do it." As it is, he comes off like a glory-hounding jerk. It rubs me the wrong way when people think that they have a right to a reward of some sort for doing a favor, as this guy seems to (the article doesn't quote him directly, but implies that he thinks that M$ should cut him in on a share of the Hotmail revenue). Whatever happened to doing something nice just for its own sake?
  • Yeah, I went and paid for granitecanyon.com myself -- they're the ones who do a *free* DNS service. They take donations, and I figured this would be a great way to donate to their cause. Has anyone else experienced DNS lookup failures because granitecanyon.com hadn't paid to renew their domain name?? Hux
  • by alexhmit01 ( 104757 ) on Tuesday December 28, 1999 @11:55AM (#1437835)
    I'm glad that he is enjoying his fifteen minutes of fame. For $35 dollars, he got a lot of attention for doing something simple, and at no long term cost to him.

    However, at the end, he indicates that he would like them to consider the advertising revenue that they saved by his registering it.

    I don't know if that is his actual statement or a journalist trying to make the story more controversial, but if he really feels that way, it's kinda silly. He wanted to get his mail, he paid their registration fee, and they are paying him pack.

    They also figured out the problem, he just beat them to it. While I'm certain that this administrative slight is really embarassing to Microsoft, the whole situation is silly.

    This wasn't a win for the community. This was a silly situation to happen and a potential PR mess. I'm glad that it was resolved, but this is getting blown out of proportion.

    Alex
  • And have a final say as to where it should point?
    I've got a suggestion on where it should point, but depending on your definition it kinda already does...
  • Since he paid for the domain registration, wouldnt he have a final say on the domain? If he refuses to accept any payment microsoft made ($35), wouldnt he be the owner of this domain?

    In a word, no.

    If I sent one month's payment to the company that holds the paper on your car|house, that doesn't change the fact that you hold the title to your car|home.

    InitZero

  • by Shaheen ( 313 ) on Tuesday December 28, 1999 @11:57AM (#1437840) Homepage
    As it may seem that Microsoft has everything to lose from this scenario, to the consumer, they redeemed themselves by paying back Mr. Chaney.

    Look at it this way: How have you heard Linux described in the press? "Linux, an alternative to Microsoft's Windows Operating System..." is one of the many incantations of the phrase. Most of the television watching, Time magazine reading public sees "alternative" == "competitor". Meaning, financial competitor, because that's what people see - money.

    Now, what people see the Hotmail/Passport situation as being is that some guy from the Linux camp gave money to their worst enemy. Sure, for the most part it looks bad for Microsoft. But Microsoft redeems themselves immediately in the eyes of the consumer by giving that money back.

    All in all, approximately 26 Million people couldn't access their e-mail for a few hours and everything else is normal to most people. Microsoft wasn't hurt too badly by this situation when you think about it.
  • You know you're a monopoly when you have the brass balls to piss off a giant like Microsoft over a stupid $35 monthly fee. This is just typical of the arrogance that is Network Solutions.
  • Well, hotmail still isn't working, at least for me. When I try to access www.hotmail.com I get the error "Unable to locate server lc1.law5.hotmail.passport.com. Is it possible my DNS cache still isn't updated? It's been several days now...
  • Wait a minute... i don't know what to think... someone posting on slashdot asking why someone isn't "just doing something nice for microsoft"... haha. But seriously, this guy could've charged MS a LOT more than $35 to get it back, and had he done that, he would've gotten probably somewhere up to 5 or 6 figures before MS would've decided "Well it would cost us less to sue him". That's how MS thinks, and had he asked for 5 figures, they would've given it to him without suing, since it's soo much cheaper. He WAS doing something nice.

  • I think microsoft should send him a complimentary copy of win2k. Then he can post about their generosity (I'm assuming it will retail for a touch more than $35), and slashdotters can use it as an excuse to rip it apart! It will be great fun.
  • by spectecjr ( 31235 ) on Tuesday December 28, 1999 @12:01PM (#1437845) Homepage
    yet another example of how helpful linux and other free software users/developers/admins can be compared to their windows counterparts.

    would a windows person think to pay for linux.com's domain? (or other linux related domains)


    Call me a cynic, but its got a lot less to do with "community spirit" and "helping out your fellow man" than it has to do with "Linux user helps out megacorp that Linux Users hate to get Front Page News and More Coverage for Linux"

    Simon

  • Record created on 02-Oct-1996.

    Database last updated on 28-Dec-1999 13:02:57 EST.



    This looks like the first payment. And a domain name is surely not like paying (lease) for a car/home. Once you pay for that period, you own it untill the end of that period. With a car, you get to own it only after you pay out your lease not after paying one payment for the duration of how long that payment is in effect. If you dont pay then it would be taken away from you and someone else would be given the chance to use it.

    Maybe if it was a second or next payment it would have seen more logical. But m$ missing out of the first payment?
    --
  • Unfortunately Microsoft can't reciprocate. Open source doesn't speak their language.

    Maybe Microsoft would consider donating something worthwhile in-kind for the gesture, like some code.

    I think Microsoft could be able to share in some of the positive relations to stem from this if they reacted with a code donation, rather than just looking like fools, reimbursing the programmer and looking sheepish and humbled.
  • by Floyd Turbo ( 84609 ) on Tuesday December 28, 1999 @12:03PM (#1437848) Journal
    . . . "I didn't get to be the richest guy in the world by writing a bunch of big checks to people". (Granted, he only said it in an episode of the Simpsons).
  • by Roundeye ( 16278 ) on Tuesday December 28, 1999 @12:03PM (#1437849) Homepage
    I know him, and he's not glory-hounding or a jerk.

    IMHO he did do something nice just for its own sake.

    Give it a rest.

  • Whatever happened to doing something nice just for its own sake?

    It went out the window along with "I'll write programs for free, give out the source, and people will just pay me to code because they know I code well." :-)
  • umm yea ive got problems with DNS lookup from granitecanyon.com

    any ideas if its going to be solved sometime soon ?

    their page says nothing about any problems

  • by Anonymous Coward
    The guy makes a good-faith effort to restore service to some company (who cares which one, really?) because he values the service they provide.

    It's mature, it's unselfish, it's not what I'd have expected from many of the more childish posters I've seen reply so far.

    THIS makes me proud to be a Linux user. If we could all be as mature, maybe I wouldn't mind being lumped in a "community" with the rest of you so much. :)
  • by Yebyen ( 59663 ) on Tuesday December 28, 1999 @12:05PM (#1437853) Homepage
    I doubt that there was anyone who said "Hey it's microsoft... maybe we shouldn't... :-)." I would guess that Microsoft's domains were in the normal database like any other company's, and a computer went through, didn't care if it said "Microsoft" or "The Corner Store".

    Payment received?
    NO
    Remove dns entry.

    That's probably how it happened, except it probably involved a little more code than that, and it was probably a little more complex. (Hehe i think I just called that 3 line thing code...)

  • I have a crappy local dns too. Most likely your DNS server goes and updates every week or so, mine is that slow too.

  • If I had to guess, I'd bet that the comment about "deserving" more because he did them a favor was probably something just said idly, or even in jest, that the reporter seized on... they do have a tendency to do that in the news, to add a twist to a story. Never say something you don't want quoted in front of a reporter, eh?
  • by jabbo ( 860 ) <jabbo@nosPAM.yahoo.com> on Tuesday December 28, 1999 @12:11PM (#1437858)
    Don't be such a butthead. Read his original post.

    "Merry Christmas, Microsoft." It appears that he did it to be nice, and feels (rightly) that this service was worth more to MSFT than $35. It's not like he hijacked the domain and held them for ransom.

    What have you done lately for someone else who you don't necessarily like, spontaneously and gently?

  • by theholyboot ( 62114 ) on Tuesday December 28, 1999 @12:11PM (#1437859) Homepage
    a Linux programmer save a Microsoft service running BSD... The world is smaller that you realize
  • Some posts are implying that after having paid for passport.com, that Chaney owned it.

    I don't see how that is true.

    Just paying for it doesn't change or give you the authority to change any of the contact or DNS information.

    What I wonder is what the passport.com internic records looked like before Dec 27. That is, was the Billing Contact Carolyn Gudmundson...or was it someone else who may no longer work at MS?
  • This story warms my heart in all the right ways:
    • Michael Chaney was helpful in a place where throwing insults might have been easier.
    • The assistance was actually helpful, with no attempt to (say) change ownership of the domain name or other "giving with one hand, whilst injuring with the other."
    • This was a pretty "purely giving" thing, in stark contrast with Microsoft's usual greed.
  • This story warms my heart in all the right ways:
    • Michael Chaney was helpful in a place where throwing insults might have been easier.
    • The assistance was actually helpful, with no attempt to (say) change ownership of the domain name or other "giving with one hand, whilst injuring with the other."
    • This was a pretty "purely giving" thing, in stark contrast with Microsoft's usual greed.
    • It's quite entertaining that this represents an opportunity for some "Linux folk" to usefully debug a Microsoft "bug."
  • It looks more like a lecture to me. Something along the lines of "Now if you'd put your bike in garage it wouldn't have been stolen. By the way, I hid it in the back yard so you'd know how it feels to have your bike stolen. Put your bike away and you won't feel like this again."
    Oh hell, that's the best example that came to mind.
  • If I were him I'd call up my credit card company and tell them to cancel payment. :) That might cause the server to be held up in another fiasco while they sort out Internic trying to charge late fees as well as handling cancellation fees.
    Joseph Elwell.
  • "Buy him out boys!"
    Another quote from that Simpsons episode. Very amusing.
  • I read the article and it seemed not to say that he got paid back yet, nor did it say that the amount he got paid back was only $35.

    The guy says he'll frame the check "unless it's a huge amount."

    Why would he say that? My guess is, he's not going to see a dime. What's he going to do? Sue Microsoft?
  • I don't think that by giving the money back they eredeemed themselves. People are too self-cenetered to care about that. All they noticed was that they couldn't access their e-mail. M$ really will not gain any credibility from paying him back, because most people would expect them to that. The oly way they can redeem themselves in the eye of the consummer is to find a way to make up for the outage, which is difficult since this is free service.
  • by quonsar ( 61695 ) on Tuesday December 28, 1999 @12:23PM (#1437870) Homepage

    But seriously, this guy could've charged MS a LOT more than $35 to get it back...

    Get WHAT back? He didn't have anything that belonged to them.

    You seem to think that using the automated payment system at NSI actually transfered the domain to the guy that paid. It didn't, it doesn't. A credit card is a credit card. I could walk into the phone company and pay your bill, that doesn't mean when people call you my phone will ring, and it doesn't change the name on next months bill either.

    So how do you figure he could have held out for 5 figures? About all he could do is ask politely for his $35.

    ======
    "Rex unto my cleeb, and thou shalt have everlasting blort." - Zorp 3:16

  • by tolldog ( 1571 ) on Tuesday December 28, 1999 @12:23PM (#1437871) Homepage Journal
    If memory serves me right, when M$ came down and helped out apple, the "community" response was bloody M$, don't stick your wallet where it isn't wanted. Now... when a linux person does it for M$, the response is "Look, we saved megacorp from drowning, aren't we swell". Irony?
  • by Keith Russell ( 4440 ) <keith.russell@gm a i l . com> on Tuesday December 28, 1999 @12:26PM (#1437872) Journal
    It's not like he called a press conference, or something like that. The press is coming to him to get his side of the story. Would you prefer a mumbled "no comment" as he shuffles back to his pizza, Jolt, and Perl scripts? :-)

    And that "cut of the revenue" comment at the end reeks of pseudo-journalistic spin. I'd bet that comment was a joke taken out of context.

    Keith Russell
    OS != Religion
  • Probably not. The news.com article mentions that he payed with his credit card, and since you can usually pay someone else's bill on their behalf with your own money, he essentialy gave MS $35...no change in ownership required.
  • So use a different DNS server?

  • You would think with all thier money Microsoft would buy a good accounting program to track their account payables. Perhaps they might even try to write some software to track bills.....

    :^)


  • You can't blame someone for taking decisive action when those responsible fail to. It is outrageous that the problem occured in the first place. An Internet company that fails to pay for their domain registration is the equivalent of a airline forgetting to fuel up their planes. Let us all remember that before Network Solutions puts a domain on hold they send lots of warnings via email and via postal mail. To let something like this slip is negligent.

    If the hero in this situation wants to make a few pointed statements about the negligent party, he deserves no criticism for it. He's just doing everyone a favour by drawing attention to a serious problem with the management of the passport.com domain.

  • ...does anyone with out the proper account information pay for a domain name they don't own.. Does this mean I can go pay for the renewal of ibm.com if I felt like it? or some one pay for my domains? Isn't this a security issue also? last time I messed with this kinda stuff I needed to have a working e-mail address to modify and verify changes. hmmmmmmmmmm
  • Oh yes, they do have an accounting program. It's called Microsoft Money. How did they come up with MS Money? Could it be that they copied Quicken? Maybe? Just a little bit? What I want to see is the folks over at Intuit put out a Linux version of Quicken and their other products. They don't even have to GPL it. Back to the topic at hand, I'm guessing that Microsoft probably was using their own software. Hey, remember what happened when they tried to run Hotmail itself on NT? Maybe Microsoft will release a product for doing your taxes. They could call it MS FastTax, and it would offer you the ability to pay your taxes electronically via the internet. Now, how would the IRS feel about that one? Maybe MS would offer Mr. Chaney a $35 tax deduction?
  • by GNUs-Not-Good ( 130016 ) on Tuesday December 28, 1999 @12:43PM (#1437881)
    that because a Linux user paid for the domain that it now be called GNU/Hotmail, because while Hotmail is the operational part, without GNU it would not be complete.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Leave it to be bunch of GPL freaks not to understand the spirit of a free gift, one that demands nothing in return.
  • If memory serves me right, when M$ came down and helped out apple, the "community" response was bloody M$, don't stick your wallet where it isn't wanted. Now... when a linux person does it for M$, the response is "Look, we saved megacorp from drowning, aren't we swell". Irony?

    Not really. MS just "saved" Apple because it was a way to get out of several lawsuits. They also "needed" the competition. Without Apple, MS would have had even bigger problems.

    On the other hand, we don't "need" Microsoft. It is of no difference to us whether Hotmail is around or not. We aren't being sued by Microsoft, either.

    So there.

    -Brent
  • Anyone can post a payment for any domain provided a payment is due by going here:

    https://payments.networksolutions.com/

    You can't change any of the contact info, just make a payment.

    --hunter
  • Give the guy a break. I thought it was a great little story.

    Take it for what it's worth. Would you have done the same?

    Don't know if I would, I more than likely would have just bitvhed about it and done nothing.

    If nothing else, it's keeping Linux in the headlines, and that for sure is worth 35 bucks.

  • As far as I know, MS uses SAP to track their AP and AR... Though it's highly modularized for each department...

    --hunter
  • "His actions prove he was a saint." -vs- "His words prove he's a greedy opportunist."

    I doubt that his intentions were purely altruistic (genuflects) SIC? or greedy. It was probably done in jest so don't get bent out of shape, just laugh.

  • A lot of people seem to be assuming that Chaney expects some sort of monetary reward for this act, apparently because of this from the end of the cnet.com article:

    ... Chaney suggested that his Christmas charity is arguably worth more than a simple thanks.

    "In a perfect world, I wish they'd take that into account," he said. "But I'm not relying on it. It's their choice."

    Now, personally, first time through reading that, I was thinking he'd like a job at M$, maybe. Yeah, I know working for the Evil Overlord(tm) may not be your cup of tea or mine, but elsewhere in the article, it describes him as having started "in Unix and Microsoft Windows", and "he only got serious about it with the emergence of commercial Linux provider Red Hat", so he doesn't sound like a hard-core penguin-mascot-toting Linux coder to me. He just might go for such a thing.

    Good... bad... I'm the one with the gun.
  • by elthia ( 119370 ) on Tuesday December 28, 1999 @01:04PM (#1437890)
    I don't know. To be honest, having read his original post (he posted to /. when he paid the thing), I think it was more done to be funny. Why not? They're dumbasses, it's only 35 bucks, hell - I'd have paid for it if I'd been in that position. Would've been funny. *grin*

    Yes, it was a nice thing to do, simple as that. It was also very amusing. And made for an amusing conversation on slashdot when he did it, and again later (though I don't think he could have realized that he would get actual _press_ for that).

    Having done it, I would also be wondering if they could pay more than 35 bucks. He isn't asking for it, he isn't pushing for it even. He commented that it would be nice, but he seems to understand that it isn't likely, especially knowing the greed in ms. So? Seems like just another average joe to me, who happened to notice the problem and do something about it, and get amused by his own actions. Nothing major, and certainly not greedy.

    A greedy person would have tried to transfer ownership, or something like that. I see no indication that he even considered that, it seems more like a 'heh, I fixed their screwup for em, too bad they can't fix themselves' sort of thing.

    -Elthia
  • Isn't this a security issue also? last time I messed with this kinda stuff I needed to have a working e-mail address to modify and verify changes. hmmmmmmmmmm

    NSI's payment system is separate from the one used to make changes. NSI doesn't care whether the person making the payment has anything to do with the domain, just whether the credit card is valid.

  • What's a frist??
  • What's wrong with wanting money? Sure, it's a nice thing to do on xmas, and a lot of people get their e-mail back (spam, porn, anoying "happy new milenium" mails, etc), but it's also a way to get:

    Free publicity for your company, and whatever else you want (the guy is saying "I'm a linux programmer")

    Maybe some money.. Maybe if Microsoft gives the guy some money, there's nothing wrong with it..

    I'm not assuming that Michael payed the domain because he wanted money from microsoft. I just think there's nothing wrong with that.. After all, who forgot to pay?

    --

  • I notice many responses to the effect that Microsoft was too Stupid/Arrogant/Lazy to pay their bills.

    Given that Network Solutions has a reputation (deserved or not, I have no personal experience) could this outage POSSIBLY have not been Microsoft's fault?

    Of course we should never overlook chances for MS bashing, but somehow I have a feeling this wasn't because billg's a cheapskate.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    And that "cut of the revenue" comment at the end reeks of pseudo-journalistic spin. I'd bet that comment was a joke taken out of context.

    Well, I'd love to believe you, but the following is from Michael's own website:

    Microsoft is under no legal obligation to repay the $35 to me, and it really doesn't matter to me if they do or not. If they do, and if this late payment was the reason for passport.com being unavailable, I would ask that when they make out a check they consider how much revenue would have otherwise been lost had this been down for another day or two, in addition to the inconvenience to people who rely on Hotmail as their only source of email contact. Check out http://www.passport.com/directory/ for a complete list of sites which can also use passport.com for authenticating users.

    You were saying?

  • Have you ever heard those stories where some wealthy businessman loans $1000 to a struggling student (or otherwise) and says "Pay it back when/if you can". Then, when the person comes back years later, he just says to repay him by doing the same for somwone else?

    I think he ought to ask Microsoft to 'repay' him by helping some other company in need :-).

    P.S. Are you listening, WINE?

  • Just because it's already been said in the comments doesn't mean I wasn't the first to say it. Read the time stamps.
  • Many large corporations are so inefficient that they can't pay their bills in a timely fashion. This hurts their suppliers unfairly, who quite logically will resort to automatic, pre-programmed service cancellations. I've seen it numerous times, and from the outside this certainly looks like another case.
  • yeah, and I'm sure that most Linux users would actually do the same for Microsoft.... right.
  • Hey that's a good idea. I'm sure WINE could use the $35 :-)

    -----------

    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

  • would a windows person think to pay for linux.com's domain? (or other linux related domains)

    Would you pay for microsoft's domain? Shut up.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 28, 1999 @01:42PM (#1437907)
    How can such a dumb situation exist?

    Here is the main part of a letter I wrote earlier with some suggestions for improvements:

    A recent article ("Domain Winner Loses Big") on wired.com at

    http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,32974, 00.html

    was heavily discussed/ranted-about on slashdot.org at

    http://slashdot.org/articles/99/12/11/1155244.sh tml

    and left me with a distinct impression that there are some real problems with the registration system, to wit:

    (1) There does not seem to be a reliable way to establish provable priority of a claim to a name, i.e., that one was first in the first come first serve process. And (1a) The act of checking a name for prior registration exposes the name to the risk of being misappropriated if the link is not secure or the registrar is unscrupulous.

    I believe the way to solve this is to separate the creation of a proof of first claim from the business of the various registrar authorities.

    As it stands, the registration businesses apparently can make mistakes (possibly even on purpose, some seem to suspect) which can make a domain name wind up unfairly in the wrong hands, and point to their disclaimers and say, "too bad."

    A possibility would be to have ICANN run one or more entirely automatic secure and certifiably trustable servers synchronized with UTC time (see http://www.time.gov/ ) -- whose only purpose would be automatically to return time-stamped, digitally signed copies of messages sent to them by secure web form. This is simple and quick, and does not involve searching a database. If there were a unique server for each g/ccTLD, they wouldn't even have to be that well synchronized (solves the problem of sub-second ties, for which you probably would need need a tie-breaking rule otherwise).

    You would enter your identification and the domain name you were _trying_ to claim, and you'd get a certificate back, which would be the proof of your time-priority in case of duplicate names. There would be three business days to complete a registration using any of the competing registration businesses, which would be bound to respect the certificate (whose signature they could independently verify).

    You would be protected, because you would no longer be dependent on the performance or reliability of any particular registration business. The name could not be misappropriated, because it passed securely to the time-stamping server, and if your first choice registrar could not return legally binding proof that they had received and processed your application into pending status (again probably a transaction record forwarded through an official time stamping server), then you could go to another registrar with no risk to your claim, even from an unscrupulous registrar that as it stands now could potentially put you off with some operational delay excuse and pass the name to a cybersquatter for registration via another channnel.

    Of course if the name had already been completely registered, or had a prior pending application, your application would be rejected with no charge (and you could verify that you lost fair and square). At the end of the three days, your pending status would change to completed (unless someone else in the meantime submitted an application with an earlier time stamp), and your credit card could be charged.

    This would also create a competitive incentive towards good service.

    (2) The transfer of ownership/title to an existing domain seems vulnerable to equipment or procedural errors or registrar misconduct. The cited discussion suggests that title tranfer was not reliably under control of the owner.

    Domain name title/ownership transfer must be totally atomic and have no possibility of falling into unregistered status without the owner's informed consent. Registering businesses should not have the authority to change the status of a registered domain name except by due process of expiration or as explicitly authorized by the owner. The burden of proof of authorization must be on the registrar, and any operational or equipment error on their part should not have legally binding consequences on the status of the domain name.

    The key is to design a sequence of verifiable transactions that guarantee execution of the owner's intent, even with a bad service apple in the barrel.

    This is just what I've thought since reading the discussions, so there may be some holes in the above, or better ways to achieve the guarantees, but I believe some technical implementation changes could make for better legal protections in registering and transferring domain names.

    Thanks for reading.

    Regards,
    Bengt Richter

  • to clarify, because that post was made in a real pissed off mood, i don't think it matters if someone's a "windows" person or whatever, come on. Like you can classify people as "windows" people or "linux" people or somethin... what's up with that, really? This guy happened to be a linux programmer, what would you have said if this guy was the C.E.O. of a prominant porno company?
  • Microsoft: Thanks for paying for our domain registration. We owe you one. Oh wait... here's a "free" copy of Windows 2000(tm). Enjoy. Be sure to read the disclaimer attached below. [1]
    Me: Damn it. I got ripped off. What did I expect? After all, it is Microsoft. Did they really expect me to taint my machine with that rubbish? (throws box over shoulder) Couldn't they just repay me??

    [1] "Disclaimer" -- Y2K compliance not guarranteed, but you did not hear that from us. You are not eligable to recieve free upgrade patches. You will pay like everyone else. We are not responsible if your machine suddenly crashes is more way then one. We will not be held liable if you lose money due to the instability of our operating system. Better yet, why don't you just run Lin.... oh wait. (backspace, backspace, backspace) Feel like arguing? Come meet our "lawyers" in a dark alleyway next Wednesday.
  • I think he should get full premium service of Hotmail, sans advertising, free for life, plus half a dozen or so MSN services free for the next year (if they charge for anything). But that's just me.
  • Just because it's already been said in the comments doesn't mean I wasn't the first to say it. Read the time stamps

    No, I think it was marked redundant because there is no 'stating the obvious' option.

    O.D.
  • The situation is not outrageous. It also is not outrageous nor outrageous. It is a simple example of one party making a mistake. Happily, a kind person was able to help mistaken party. It is an example of common courtesy, like telling someone they left thei car lights on, or mailing back a lost wallet. Unfortunately, the kind person in question doesn't seem to be content with their own personal satisfaction and is soliciting a monetary reward. Sigh.

    Anyway, my point was that superlative modifiers are frequently over-used on this forum. Go ahead and moderate me down.

    -jwb

  • \subject.
    --
    It's October 6th. Where's W2K? Over the horizon again, eh?
  • There is a big difference between the thanks he has earned from the Hotmail users and from Microsoft. He did something nice for the other users of Hotmail. Microsoft on the other hand, is a corporation. It cannot be grateful [cluetrain.com]. Gratitude is a feeling. Perhaps he should tell them that he really wanted to see something in a red hat for Christmas.

    I don't mean this to suggest that corporations should be taken advantage of, defrauded or such. But the only gratitude they can show is that of the people they represent: share holders, employees or customers. The share holders and customers should be grateful in this particular case. I suspect that there are some employees who are not grateful at all.
  • this is from the article


    Users already logged on to the service would not have been affected. Users whose login information was available from another location through a process known as caching also would not have noticed a disruption in service. In addition, knowledgeable users could have accessed the site by writing their own login script and including their password and username.

    Sanford said that because not all of the Hotmail servers were affected by the problem, not all of Hotmail's users had difficulties. She added that updates to the system frequently take hours to take effect, making it difficult to judge exactly when the problem started or ended.


    So if I make my own login script, I can bypass passport? Does this mean we can get around their verification system, and use the older one that allowed you to get into any userid's account if you gave them the right url?

    And does it also mean that when a hole becomes public, that that window will still be open for a few hours?
  • Oooo. You're _evil_ >:)

    I don't know about you but I wouldn't subject even Microsoft to the horror of a confused Network Solutions :)

  • Paul Erdos, a mathematician, did exactly what you described with a promising high-school student who wanted to study mathematics at Harvard.
  • by daigu ( 111684 ) on Tuesday December 28, 1999 @03:02PM (#1437930) Journal
    If I recall correctly, the domain name Passport [passport.com] used to belong to International Broadcasting Services, Inc., to promote their book Passport to World Band Radio. [passband.com] The transfer to Microsoft happened sometime during the summer of this year -- I seem to remember noticing the change in mid-June. While it may be fun to poke fun at Microsoft and there really is no excuse for failing to renew the domain, it seems somewhat understandable when you consider the fact that this domain is new to them.

    Why is there such need to gloat about Microsft's mistakes? Does pointing them out make Linux or whatever operating system you use better?

    In the end, Chaney did a good turn and set a good example. Enough said.

  • I wonder how long before the billing contact loses her poor little job. If I were MSFT, taking guff from the Linux community is the last priority on my list and I'd dump her, but I'm not part of or affiliated with MSFT.
  • From what I've been led to understand, it's even more than than. A friend in the Finance Dept. at a company I used to work for once told me that they regularly delayed payments as a matter of normal business operations. Apperantly, on top of any bookeeping juggling you can do, there's a great deal of interest to be made on keeping your money in the bank until the last possible moment. More than the late fee, at that.
    Just what I heard -- He could have been pulling my chain...
  • Technically speaking, the domain name is the property of the part (sic) who OWNS the domain.

    If I was late for my mortgage, and someone, for some weird reason, paid for it, the title is still in my name. If Channey (sic) wanted to own the domain, as you are insisting he now does, he should have waited until it expired, not until it was merely being held by Network Dissolutions.

    It would do you well to get a little bit more legal knowledge (and perhaps have a dictionary or thesaurus handy when typing messages) before making incorrect, grammatically/typographically challenged posts.
  • Network Solutions does NOT send lots of warnings by paper and email. My domain bill was due on Oct 31 and I received exactly one piece of correspondence on this, an email on Oct. 6, before they cut me off at the same time as passport.com.

    This is a point that is being left out of the coverage of this: Microsoft screwed up, possibly they didn't get the bill, possibly because they are human. (do you seriously think that the person responsible at Microsoft is going to say, "let's hold off on paying passport.com"?) But why in the earth did Network Solutions pick Dec. 23/24 as the day to cut off the DNS service of outstanding invoices for the last few months? What a poorly timed move that was. And I guarantee they did not email people with outstanding invoices beforehand, as I was one of those people. (I am admin, tech, zone, and billing contact for my domain).
  • That was the RTM, or release to manufacturing. It won't be available to the general public until Feb. Only MSDN wonks such as us will get it before then.

    Dave
  • Renewing the domain doesn't make him the owner of it. Anyone can pay the $35 on any domain to renew it, it doesn't mean anything.
    --
    Joshua C. Stein
    Superblock Information Systems
  • Simply changing the zone files from the previous name server won't do the trick. One must register the new name server as a host, then modify the domains to include the new hosts info. In order for the change to be real, you HAVE to do the paperwork. There is no way around it, that is how the system works.

    Dave
  • by winterstorm ( 13189 ) on Tuesday December 28, 1999 @03:31PM (#1437943)
    I too am a tech contact on many domains. My experience is that Network Solutions sends several warnings before putting a domain on hold. In fact in September I received a final notice (by postal mail) on a domain for which I was formally listed as a technical contact. I haven't been listed as the technical contact for the domain in question for over one year yet after not receiving a response for the client's current contacts, Network Solutions sent me a notice too. That is quite extraordinary I think, and while we can't know if the passport.com domain was treated in this way I think they probably got more than one notice.

    I consult for a large telecom company that hosts thousands of domains so I get to see a good sample of the problem people have with Network Solutions. Generally speaking they send out plenty of notice before putting a domain on hold. [Hey, don't get me wrong, I really hate dealing with Network Solutions, but generally the problems I have with them are getting updates done.]

    I've seen one other case where a large ISP neglected to pay for an important domain. In that case it was simply that those responible for paying where not techies (because in large organizations techies don't pay the bills, the finance department does) and considered a US$35 bill unimportant; they willfully neglected to pay. I suspect the same thing happened with passport.com. I'd bet that some accountant recieved the invoice but couldn't find anyone who could tell him who "network solutions" is and said to himself, "Well, I'm not going to pay a $35 invoice that I can't account for."

    I've seen many cases with small organizations where domains didn't get paid for because the accountant was expecting an invoice for "InterNIC" and didn't know that "Network Solutions" was the Internet (in days gone by there were the same organization).

  • Nope... not necesary. They just upgraded them an hour ago it seems. :-)

  • Call me a cynic, but its got a lot less to do with "community spirit" and "helping out your fellow man" than it has to do with "Linux user helps out megacorp that Linux Users hate to get Front Page News and More Coverage for Linux"

    I knew about the problems before Chaney did pay for the domain (it was the early evening of Dec. 24 for me too, but over here, that is 6 hours in advance), I thought about making lots of money by claiming the name.

    I didn't: I don't need the money, I like it that people think I'm honest. An article on news.admin.net-abuse.email [supernews.com] mentioned the problem. It was canceled by HipCrime, a repost [deja.com] is still available at deja.com.

    I could have helped micros~1, I didn't. That was just a brain block, my fault. Kudos for Michael for his creative solution.

    I do think it shows that Linux users and spam fighters have higher moral standards than the "Evil Empire". Bill Gates would take any legal opportunity to increase his wealth by 1%. A lot of people could have made a lot of money; none of then did, because they like their reputation more than their wallet.

  • Get WHAT back? He didn't have anything that belonged to them.

    Errm, the name passport.com was not taken by anybody at the time he paid. He could have registered the name with any competitor of networkdelutions.com. Just rewriting all the scripts would have cost Microsoft a lot of money, not to mention the problems hotmail users would have experienced during that time.

  • Just my prospective...
    This just goes to show that Linux people (No nessisarly advocates or zellots but the general community) want what they want and will move heven and earth to get it.. woe be it to anyone who gets in there way...
    Microsoft has become the bad guy becouse the simply want everyone to use there products. They are ok but they aren't perfict and don't work for everyone. As a result Microsoft puts themselfs in direct obstruction of anyone who wants to do something Windows can not handle very well.
    Microsoft has basicly the made themselfs into the techo unmovable object and Linux people have become the techno illresisable force... and they colide often...
    But when a Linux programmer wants his e-mail.. and it's on Microsofts server.. and all thats stopping him is a domain name... Not even a second thought... it is done.. It matters not that it's Microsoft he helpped... He wants his e-mail and he will get his e-mail...
    As for Microsoft.. far from the vile evil overlords we make them out to be.. Do whats right and thank him for his efforts..
    It probably has a few Microsoft people scratching there heads.. Why would someone do something like this? More so why would a LINUX programmer help Microsoft?
    The answer is simple... Microsoft is the evil bad guy as long as they stand in the way... Anyone can become evil... just try and stop the Linux community from doing something... you'll be come evil.. and very injured....
    Why arn't other obstructive companys on the communitys "Evil" list? Simply becouse they don't get in the way of the Linux community.. they obstruct others...
    Many obstructionists really deserve the "Evil" title.. Microsoft is better labled "Misguided".. misguided in the idea that this is the way to do busness..
    Right or wrong asside things are changing and Microsoft has put themselfs in the way of that change.. Thats just an unwise busness move. At this point IF they did change most people would be wondering what Microsoft is up to.. They let themselfs be "evil" for far to long...

    But this dose show that if Microsoft could show they are sereous and put themselfs in the direction of helpping the Linux community they could be accepted into the fold...
    It also shows that if Microsoft belived helpping the Linux community was a good thing they'd do it..
    Finnaly.. The Linux community is not as selfless as they come off.. They just think in bigger terms... Not "I" want it... "WE" want it.. and "WE" move in mass to get it... If "I" want something "I" find others who also want it and "WE" get it.. togeather.. as a community.. Selfishly helpping others achive the goals "WE" wish to achive...
  • You know you're a monopoly when you have the brass balls to piss off a giant like Microsoft over a stupid $35 monthly fee. This is just typical of the arrogance that is Network Solutions.

    Removing the DNS entry is just what they do everyday, bouncing the check is the only way to piss off NS. If NS would still be a monopoly they would give the name back to Microsoft even if Michael had registered the name. NS isn't a monopoly anymore, Michael could have taken the domain name.

    Be afraid, Microserf, be very afraid. Michael could have damaged Microsoft, he didn't, because Microsoft is irrelevant.
    Nice guys don't tease losers.

  • This should serve as a reminder to anyone that deals with the InterNIC or any registrar that uses contact information.

    Specifically, you will note that the Billing Contact [networksolutions.com] for PASSPORT.COM [networksolutions.com] is a person.

    Billing Contact: Gudmundson, Carolyn (CG6635) carolyng@MICROSOFT.COM +1 (425) 882-8080 (FAX) +1 (425) 936-7329

    Now, compare that to most other domains [networksolutions.com] used by M$oft. It is often the case, that people that are part of big business FORGET that there are some very tedious details on the InterNET.

    Microsoft-Internic Billing Issues (MDB-ORG) msnbill@MICROSOFT.COM 425 882 8080

    This is the proper use of a ROLE. A sure fire way to screw something up is to let a SINGLE person be a Billing Contact. By far the best practice is to use a ROLE that has a email address that gets sent to several people. Since you never know who might be on a vacation or might blow away their inbox.

    So I would recommend that Microsoft go here: http://www.networksolutions.co m/makechanges/reports/ [networksolutions.com]

    Actually, a good natured Linux user could probably do this as well for them. :) All you need it the information contained in the whois lookup.

    The reason this is important is that Gudmundson, Carolyn (CG6635) carolyng@MICROSOFT.COM probably hasn't paid many other things as well. Why? This person might not even WORK for microsoft now...

    Think this can't happen? Think again. Her manager should have known or someone should have known but apparently nobody did or there was a billing error/oversite. Oh, but wait... what if her manager is gone TOO???

    Repeat again: Think it can't happen? Thing again.

    When you use a domain name make sure you put a TEAM in charge with a leader vs. a single point of failure. Even a rank newbie working for an ISP knows this much. I expect that Gudmundson, Carolyn (CG6635) carolyng@MICROSOFT.COM was on vacation or called in rich[sick].

    Aren't you glad you don't work in this persons office?
    http://www.mp3.com/fudge/ [mp3.com]

  • Well, here's a quote from your own quote. :)

    Microsoft is under no legal obligation to repay the $35 to me, and it really doesn't matter to me if they do or not.


    Anyway, if you look at the original Slashdot thread, he didn't expect this to turn into a big media thing. He just posted a comment along the lines of "Hey, I just paid it for them. Here's the reciept."
    --
  • This is just what Microsoft needs, more bad PR. What surprises me is that they forgot to pay the InterNIC fee for a domain that handles all of their logins to places like Hotmail, MoneyCentral, etc. I hope that Microsoft gets the clue this time, and I would hope that the person who is in charge of domain registration there gets reprimanded as well. I just mentioned this story to my brother (who is a Microsoft employee in MoneyCentral), and he just rolled his eyes. As mentioned, since Passport handles the logins for MoneyCentral, my brother has already said that once he heads back to Seattle, he's planning on inquiring about this.

    Really nice of that guy to pay for the domain registration though. I hope Microsoft gives him the thanks he deserves for helping to correct yet another Microsoft blunder.
  • In an abstract view, it was not one linux programmer who beat them, it was the slashdot crowd. This was IMO some sort of example for (beat me) the bazaar. Slashdot is a 24h beehive _without_ a certain target, but _sometimes_ there are usefull posts or even usefull things that happen outside slashdot, but bc of slashdot.
    That was it this time, many people where guessing what has happened to hotmail, one found the reason and another one fixed it.
    In this view, /. beat a number of "experts" (financial ones, in this case) of microsoft hands down in "finding a bug and fixing it".





  • It looks more like a lecture to me. Something along the lines of "Now if you'd put your bike in garage it wouldn't have been stolen. By the way, I hid it in the back yard so you'd know how it feels to have your bike stolen. Put your bike away and you won't feel like this again."

    Not really, he didn't take anything away. It would be more accurate to say "I found your check book outside. You should be more careful. By the way, I balanced it for you, mailed off a check to your bank with the stub from the Repossession notice that was stuck in the check book, rotated your tires and detailed your car. I put the Pine air freshener instead of the Jasmine, since it is Christmas. Say, that's a odd looking wart on your neck, let me do a quick biopsy...."

    The guy was a Good Samaritan on Christmas morning to help out the online community that would be impacted by this that day. Give the guy a break.

    Personally, I'd probably do the same thing if it came my way just for the entertainment factor!


  • The name passport.com was free for the taking at several registrars mentioned at CORE.

    This speaks far more about the lousy current condition of the various whois systems than it does to the actual availability of the domain. NSI had a record on passport.com because they are the registry for the domain. Those other registries have simply not fixed thier whois processes to deal with the "decentralized" system yet. You cannot rely at this time on whois to tell you if a domain is available. Go to NSI and try fuckingsucks.net, and it will tell you it is 'inappropriate'. But write a script that parses the returned data for the correct whois server (instead of mucking about searching for the fuckword so you can lecture the user about propriety) then query THAT whois server, and you get the correct result:

    Whois Server: whois.corenic.net
    Geoff Cummins (template COCO-6284) CORE-28
    Fun
    P.O. Box 950652
    Mission Hills, CA 91395 USA

    Domain Name: fuckingsucks.net
    Status: production

    Admin Contact, Technical Contact, Zone Contact:
    Geoff Cummins (COCO-6284) geoff@hawky.net
    +1 8188942773
    CORE Registrar: CORE-28

    Record last modified: 1999-12-10 02:56:08 MET by CORE-28
    Record created: 1999-08-05 06:17:25 MET by CORE-28

    Domain servers in listed order:

    ns1.vmrdesigns.com 209.126.135.10
    ns2.vmrdesigns.com 209.126.135.5
    curtis.curtisfong.org 206.111.86.96

    You cannot rely on the broken scripts at these registries to tell the truth. Interestingly, *I* learned how to do this from reading a Slashdot article a few weeks ago, and implemented it on a web form using a few lines of PHP. That these registries still cannot be bothered to fix this worries me. There may be several up and coming future NSI's out there. *shudder*

    ======
    "Rex unto my cleeb, and thou shalt have everlasting blort." - Zorp 3:16

"An ounce of prevention is worth a ton of code." -- an anonymous programmer

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