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Archive for April, 2011

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

Testing out UDP Tracker Support

We are testing UDP tracker support on the Mystic and Gurren server (Public Tracker configuration).

If you wish to try this out please open up PublicTracker.ovpn in Notepad/Wordpad, and add a # in front of all the other statements that begin with “remote” except for the following lines:

# Mystic (LUX)
remote mystic.bolehvpn.net 443

# Gurren (Lux)

remote gurren.bolehvpn.net 443

remote-random

Click Save and then connect.

We will most likely not enable UDP tracker support for the PrivateTracker configurations (since I don’t know of any private trackers that rely on UDP trackers).

 

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

April Update: UDP Trackers, BolehVPN-GUI and L2TP/IPSec

Quick updates on what we’ve been doing in April! We haven’t been sitting on our asses :D

BolehVPN-GUI

I know we promised this a while back and we apologize for the delay.

There was a problem in our final stages of our implementation which required us to reprogram our web panel to make it work properly with the BolehVPN-GUI and this is approaching completion.

We have also listened to your feedback and will have proxy server support and encryption of stored user passwords on the computer.

L2TP/IPSEC VPN

Currently OpenVPN support is poor on mobile devices which require root/jailbreaks or third party applications which are troublesome to setup for the average user.

L2TP/IPSEC VPNs are great for those with mobile devices such as IPads, IPhones, Android devices and Blackberries and just want security or to appear from a different location without the hassle.

We have worked out basic functionality and have a working setup for this and are proceeding with fine tuning this. At the moment, setup is rather complicated for the end-user so we’re working on making this more user friendly and will post updates on this. We have not decided whether this should be introduced as another added feature of BolehVPN in our regular packages or a separate plan altogether.

UDP Tracker Possible Issue with PublicTracker/PrivateTracker proxied configurations

We notice public trackers such as PirateBay have increasingly used UDP trackers which appear to not work properly through our socks proxies in the PublicTracker/PrivateTracker configurations (note that you’re not supposed to use public trackers such as PirateBay on the PrivateTracker configurations). This did not use to be a problem as the main normal trackers worked fine but now these trackers are slowly going offline one by one.

You know your torrent is using a UDP tracker if you click on the torrent in utorrent and under the trackers tab there’s a UDP:// prefix.

We believe this to be a bug in the socks proxy program we are using and have contacted the developers to see what they can do to address it.

These trackers however work under BolehRoute mode (because there is no proxy mode). For those of you who insist to use the PublicTracker configuration for these torrents with only working UDP trackers, if you are willing to sacrifice a bit of security, you can try unticking all the options in Proxy Privacy which should allow you to connect to the UDP trackers and retrieve their seeders/peers.

However rest assured we are working on this matter.

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

My Thoughts on the Motorola Atrix

Now the Motorola Atrix has been out for a while now and it’s still a relatively rare phone in Malaysia. It’s also been reviewed by many tech sites and I don’t wish to post another long rambling post repeating the same things.

However most reviews only concerned their initial experiences with it after a few days of use and didn’t address the many problems that cropped up upon further use of the phone.

Reviews:

Engadget Score: 9/10

CNet 4/5 Stars

Laptop 3.5/5 Stars

I will first go over the benefits as it is still an awesome phone.

Pros:

  • As the date of writing, a Motorola Atrix can be had in Lowyat for about RM1980+ which is an awesome price considering its specs.
  • Dual core processor means it’s really blazing fast even compared to my old Samsung Galaxy S
  • Tegra 2 chip means lots of gorgeous games available for it
  • QHD screen with higher resolution (as close as retina as you can get outside an IPhone 4).
  • Fingerprint sensor is damn cool :D

Issues:

Now besides the laggy laptop dock with limited functionality (I have one and I have to say I feel it’s a waste of money), there are a couple of niggly bits of the Atrix that prevent me from making a wholehearted recommendation:

  • Voice quality issues: This is a problem that has plagued many users of the Atrix with no fix in sight. Only some sets appear to be affected by this but it is by no means an isolated problem. View the whole support thread here which remains unanswered after 46,000+ views and 418 posts. Make sure you check yours if you decide to buy one!
  • Locked bootloader: No custom ROMs for you and you’re stuck with MotoBlur. Motorola said they’re working on a bootloader solution on the 22 January but no news has been given for this and there’s a lot of unaddressed anger. Lots of things are locked down as well inexplicably such as the ability to switch between 2G and 3G modes or even wireless hotspot tethering. All this can be solved via hacks on the xda forums but for the average user this is really too techy.
  • Skype does not work: Skype does not work on the AT&T Atrix along with a couple other VOIP apps. When making calls, it’s full of static. There’s a hack that solves this on XDA as well but again this shouldn’t be needed.
  • Possible touchscreen issue: On my first Atrix I experienced a touchscreen problem where part of the top screen went dead. I thought this was an isolated issue until I saw many other people reporting the same problem. Motorola has not acknowledged this problem. I made a report here but no official replies.
  • Horrible Motorola Support: As you can see the Atrix has been suffering from a bunch of issues that have not been resolved despite months passing by. Official replies for the bootloader and voice quality issues have gone totally silent despite increasing frustration from customers and no eta for a fix. This hearkens back to their Xoom tablet which was also riddled with problems at launch.
  • FRICKIN SLIPPERY: If you don’t have a cover for the Atrix, I highly suggest you get one, the smooth back makes it really easily to slip out of your hands…Seriously…it is like holding a bar of soap.

Now without the finger print reader and the laptop experience, what you have is an awesome phone that is locked down. This means it doesn’t stand very well against the Samsung Galaxy S II or the HTC Sensation but the  difference is that you can get the Atrix now…

It’s quite sad that Motorola messed this opportunity up to virtually dominate this area as being the first dual core smartphone out to market and it’s actually quite an impressive piece of hardware. However the product was obviously not tested properly in labs and rushed out…to add insult to the injury, the Motorola devs have not issued any fixes and users are stuck relying on independent hobbyist developers at XDA (and many of which have abandoned the Atrix because of their frustrations with the locked bootloader).

My advice is to wait it out, and get a HTC Sensation or Samsung Galaxy S II unless the Atrix price drops significantly or you just want to be different.

Monday, April 25th, 2011

TM suddenly slows down to a crawl

It appears that TM just farted and many users across the nation are experiencing inexplicable slowdowns. There has been no official word from TM as of yet and it appears to only affect some international sites such as Facebook.

Whether this is in line with their planned upgrades as per this announcement is anyone’s guess. As such this may affect VPN speeds.

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

Hidden Strings on HSBC Amanah Credit Cards

I recently got myself a HSBC Amanah Platinum Visa and was attracted to it for 3 things:

  1. 1.0% cash back on overseas retail spending
  2. 10% discount at Starbucks (yes I know I know….wattudu…I like my fancy coffee)
  3. Balance transfer interest free for 6 months

Balance Transfer Interest Free 0% for 6 months….WITH STRINGS

I got a phone call from HSBC that offered 0% for 6 months. Interestingly, there is no mention of this 0% for 6 months plan. On their website it states HSBC Amanah Balance Transfer Plan from as low as 6.99% for 12 months.

Back to the phone call, I was told simply that as long as I paid within 6 months, I wouldn’t be charged interest so I thought heck, why not and transferred my credit card balances from my other bank’s credit cards. No documents were signed and everything was done over the phone just through a verbal confirmation.

Now I have been continuing to use the card so I have incurred some charges on top of this balance transfer. I wanted to settle these charges but not the balance transfer since I had still quite a long way to go to settle it. I was told that I couldn’t do so and that I had to settle the balance transfer amount first BEFORE I could settle the other charges.This defeats the whole point of having an interest free balance transfer unless I was not supposed to use the card for 6 months! I told this to the customer representative who laughed when I explained to her the absurdity of the situation (she was otherwise very helpful).

Pretty sure I wasn’t imagining it and sure enough I found this this blog post:

HSBC 0% 6 Months Balance Transfer

Some of you might have heard or received calls from HSBC offering 0% Balance Transfer for 6 months. Well, a forum member at Low Yat did report that he was going to do BT with HSBC until he found out that he may face some issues since he got installment plans with them. So when HSBC called me to offer the BT Plan I took the opportunity to ask about it. She explained that HSBC have some kind of hierarchy when you make payment and told me not to worry as I don’t have outstanding balance or any installment plan with them. The thing is she said not to worry, why should I worry in the first place, and that got me worried about HSBC Balance Transfer. Anyway I don’t understand how the payment hierarchy works and not interested to know about it anyway since I am very happy with CIMB BT. But if you want to do Balance Transfer with HSBC, my advise to you is ask them about this payment hierarchy and if you understand then I guess ok for you to do BT with them. But if you don’t understand like me, better stay away from it to avoid unnecessary headache.

No mention of this ‘payment hierarchy’ was made to me when I signed up over the phone!

1.0% Cash Back for Overseas Retail Spending does not cover the INTARWEBZ

I thought I was being smart as well by using this card to spend on my server bills for BolehVPN but realized internet transactions were NOT considered overseas retail spending. Not a deal breaker but something to take note of.

So for now I’ll just enjoy my 10% discount at Starbucks :-(


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