Cloudflare DNS

Now thanks to the publicity of the data collection by Facebook people are showing increased interest in both their online privacy and profiling by large tech organisations.

But while the focus has largely confined itself to Facebook, the elephant in the room which seems to be largely ignored is Google.

Coupled with its dominance of both the search and browser markets, it is in a rather unique position to profile internet users. What ever gaps are missed by both the browser and search can then be filled in by  the DNS service.

Privacy nearly always has to be balanced with convenience and we often trade it for that ease of use. But one simple step we can do is to attempt to ensure that all our privacy eggs are not in the same basket.

It’s for that reason that recent launch of CloudFlares DNS service is to be applauded, firstly the company has committed to wiping all DNS logs within 24 hours and not using the DNS data to target adverts.

While we can assume that nothing is free in this world and the offering of this DNS service is also the same, it’s data collection is more transparent than googles and the retention is less.

Added to which moving  your DNS queries away from Google reduces your visibility to them.

The key here is not to completely boycott a particular company, but rather spread your information across as many as you can. Favoring those that offer good privacy with convenience.

For example while I avoid Google search and Chrome where possible, I do make good use of GMail which is excellent.

After all Google do make good product, we just need to be aware of what we’re trading when using them.

CloudFlare DNS Settings
  • For IPv4 use and
  • For IPv6 use 2606:4700:4700::1111 and 2606:4700:4700::1001

These can typically be set on your Router under the LAN settings which will apply to all devices served by it.

Though it can also be done on individual machines, on Windows these can be found by opening “Control Panel” and performing the following steps:

  1. Select “Network and Internet”
  2. Select “Network and Sharing Center”
  3. User the section “View your active networks”, on the right side click the “Connections” link, mine for example shows “Ethernet” since I have a wired connection yours may say “Wireless”.
  4. Click “Properties” on the Dialog box displayed.
  5. Locate the “Internet Protocol Version 4” or “Internet Protocol Version 6” and then select its “Properties”.
  6. Enable the “Use The Following DNS Server Addresses” option and then enter the CloudFlare DNS values shown above.

Throttling YouTube uploads with Chrome

If you are sharing an internet connection with others, while uploading video content to the likes of YouTube. Then one issue you will have run into quickly is that you can quickly saturate the up-link.

Thus, making browsing unresponsive for the other users, since that up-link no longer has capacity to deliver their browsing requests.

A handy trick to get around this is to use the developer tools offered with Chrome to limit the amount of bandwidth you are consuming on your upload.

You can access this functionality by pressing F12 key on your keyboard to bring up the “developer tools” panel within Chrome. With the network throttling option offered under the “Network” tab.

The throttling can be selected by pressing the downward facing arrow at the end of the “Network” options. Though you may need to expand the amount of space visible to see the drop arrow to access the speed menu. (As shown below)

A number of presets are available which can be selected, along with the option to add a custom configuration.

Click the “Add custom profile” button to bring up the custom profile settings. Here you can supply the upload speed limit which is expressed in kb/s. For my purposes I want to restrict my uploads to around 5mb/s, so I entered 5000, the filled out dialog is shown below.

The action is completed by pressing the “Add” button highlighted in blue.

Once these actions have been completed you will be able to select your new profile on the Network tab shown earlier.

Your uploads will now be restricted to the limit you specified while the throttling option is active.

The new puritans.

What a time to be alive, with censorship disguised as moral virtue being the order of the day.

This is so clearly illustrated by the censoring of “Hylas and the nymphs” on the part of the Manchester Art Gallery and its subsequent attempt to back-track to the controversy which followed.

Hylas and the nymphs by John Williams Waterhouse

It should come as no surprise that the new puritans of the left would be no fans of the celebration of the female form. Which is so prominent in the paintings of John William Waterhouse.

That the painting has been reinstated is a triumph over the zealots and perhaps a wake-up call to the general public to the continued attempts at censorship by the authoritarian left.

Freedom has more often been lost in small steps by progressive incrementalism, than it has been by catastrophic upheavals such as violence or war.

-James Madison

Bad Horse

A shout out to Brian Brushwood for highlighting this, it’s great and you need to take the time to try it out.

Do a trace route to “” from a command prompt. In Windows this can be accomplished by opening a command prompt and typing the following at prompt.



The Reinhardt back story video is easily my favorite of the Overwatch videos released this year, the Hanzo backstory “Dragons” a close second. Both are well worth a watch.

And here’s a video of Reinhardt gameplay.

Elite Dangerous – Vacation time

Elite Dangerous is a seriously good looking game, but you know sometimes we’re in such a rush to get in and out of the stations that we never really stop to take in the sights and sounds of them.

So with a name like “Big Harry’s Monkey Hangout”, I figured this is a place to stop and take a tour. So here are my holiday snaps of the various parks and administrative centers.

Just arriving at Big Harry's and preparing for docking.
Just arriving at Big Harry’s and preparing for docking.
An impressive administrative centre.
An impressive administrative centre.
A picture from the tour bus.
A picture from the tour bus.

Nice place for a picnic.

Anothe park.
Anothe park.

Elite Dangerous, Control panel

Elite Dangerous, I love it as you might have gathered.

But while playing with a nice Hotas joystick and keyboard is great, I find it somewhat breaks the sense of immersion when you need to use the keyboard or joystick buttons to do things like engage your landing gear or deploy your cargo scoop.

What I needed I said to myself was a control panel, something with switches and buttons.
And there are a number of such things available, but I thought I’d have a go at making one for myself.

To that end I purchased a Teensy 3.5 micro-controller which would act as the brains for my panel. In particular one reason for taking this particular board was the presence of an SD card reader. This will allow me to store my key mappings on an SD card meaning I can easily change the functions of the switches without having to reprogram the controller.

The next major issue I had was finding a housing onto which I could mount the switches. And while a good number are available online, none really fitted the size (and price, yes I’m cheap) for what I had in mind. 

But where there is a will there’s a way. 
So using some spare MDF I had at home. I fabricated a housing to take the switches.

Count the holes, that’s twenty six of them. Six latch switches and twenty buttons.
That should cover me for most cases, anything else can be handled by the joystick.

A quick run of the plane and some sanding to take the edges off, followed by a quick spray of black paint.

Here you can see the tangle of wires connecting the switches to the micro-controller.
Don’t even try to solder these, spade connectors are the way to go.

I’ve not yet wired up the led’s for the buttons, so it’s going to become a lot more crowded in there soon. 

On the bottom you can see the micro-controller and SD card holding the mapping file I’m using, that’s a 8gb card holding a 1kb file. Memory has sure gotten cheap. 

Finally here’s the assembled panel, not perhaps as pretty as the commercial products. 
It works great and thanks to the configuration file is highly adaptable for use in both Elite and other simulators (looking at you Star Citizen).