Jordan remains on Summer Time

Simple and short if you have some business with Jordan and/or have computers or servers running in that country:

Jordan’s government has canceled the switch from Daylight Saving Time to Standard Time this year. The Middle Eastern country was originally set to turn the clocks back 1 hour on Friday, October 26, 2012. However, with the new decision made on Wednesday, October 24, Jordanians will remain on Daylight Saving Time (DST), which is UTC+3.

What to do if your computers are running on Microsoft Windows?  Waiting for next, probably out-of-band “DST cumulative update” release from Microsoft.  Here is a capture from MS Jordan on Facebook, they call it hotfix.

News source: http://www.albawaba.com/editorchoice/jordan-cancel-winter-448253

Related Microsoft sites:

http://support.microsoft.com/gp/cp_dst
http://blogs.technet.com/b/dst2007/
http://blogs.technet.com/b/dst2007/archive/2012/10/11/october-2012-dst-cumulative-update-for-windows-operating-systems.aspx

Again, Microsoft Azure charged about $5 a month for an empty database.

Now I realized, I shouldn’t have touched this MS Azure cloud again when I received a newsletter from Windows Azure Team.  All I did one day last month after I saw that email was created an empty web site, a cloud service, an empty database and a storage.  Not a single byte has been put in so far because I still cannot figure out what would the next step be, even to say ‘Hello World”.

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Last time I wrote about Azure I have the conclusion that a 200MB database in MS cloud could cost user more than $25,000 each month, so this time I haven’t put a single bit in db01 database I just created.

http://woodaway.wordpress.com/2011/02/17/how-much-does-it-cost-to-store-16kb-data-in-azure/

Now it’s happening again, when my credit card expired by the end of June, they sent me two email today (July 1st), reminding me I should update credit card info and also I owe them $0.20 for the first day of July, for nothing.

The Azure billing detail is more sophisticated than the hydro and gas bill:

  1. I don’t know why they charged me 0.016129 ConsumeUnits for an empty database, there is nothing in it, but at least it’s consistent everyday.
  2. The ConsumeUnits of the website are different every day.  Why?  I have nothing, not even one html file in the web site, what has been consumed differently everyday?

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This is what Azure charged in June for the empty services.

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And this is what MS cloud charged for July 1st, plus tax I assume.

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This could be the reason – I enabled four services in June 8th although I didn’t have time to touch them again, but the SQL service charged me for an empty database, which might have consumed some kilobytes on their virtual hard disk somewhere in the cloud.

The unreasonable part is the SQL service was not even working when I logged in yesterday.

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I don’t bother call Microsoft support for the error this time.  I called for some other Azure questions last time, it seemed they don’t care.  I am not sure if it’s because I told them I wanted to try (preview) Azure from SMB (small & medium businesses) standpoint or else.  Bottom line, it’s Microsoft product, if Microsoft people don’t care, why should I?

I just deleted everything  under the account, gonna pay a few loonie or toonie to the MS foundation since they claimed I owe them (maybe in fine print somewhere).

Bye Azure!

Why do I see failed connection to sip*.example.com on proxy firewall?

From time to time, we saw attempts on proxy or firewall trying to go out for the following destinations:

sip.example.com
sipinternal.example.com
sipexternal.example.com

Because the domain example.com is reserved in RFC 2606, those hosts don’t actually exist, so all the attempts failed.  Consider the number of users in the network, how many resource had been wasted due to this kind of nonsense traffic?  If there is a proxy configured, the client will periodically send requests to the proxy, the proxy then need to authenticate and process the request.  If user has direct connection, the DNS need to resolve this non-existing hostname every few minutes.  Think if there are 1000 users in the same situation in your network.

Here is the log that shown on the proxy server from one client, the attempts repeat every few minutes:

The question then became where the traffic are from and how to stop them.

SIP is the keyword, it must be from an instant messaging client.  So on the client machine, we found only Office Communicator was installed but not configured ever since.  The Sign-in address (URI) was the default someone@example.com, and somehow it starts observing or connecting to all three hosts mentioned in the begining of this article.

imageI searched the Internet for similar complaints, most of those have three hostnames are Microsoft official documents – OCS Deployment Guides and Communicator Testing Guide.  The domain example.com are real examples in those documents.

There is only one thread in Microsoft online community discussed about the issue.  worb68_ocs brought up the same concern that I have.  The only answer that closes to the root cause was from Turgay Ongun in Microsoft:

When you install the Communicator client and run it as the very first time, the textbox where you enter your SIP address is someone@example.com

If by mistake, any user click the sign in button without entering his/her SIP address, then the communicator tries to find the edge server for example.com for someone@example.com SIP address.

All other answers were not quite straight forward.

So the next step is either remove Office Communicator if user is not using it, or configure it by a correct sign-in address, or disable automatic login if it’s not in use all the time.

Microsoft should also do something in their next release of Office Communicator or Lync client, they should leave the Sign-in address blank or lead user by a wizard to put in some more meaningful address/URI instead of just dropping a example like someone@example.com.

Here is the thread address:
http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/ocsmanagement/thread/394de0c5-8f6d-4acf-886d-14d67eebe510

Some extend readings:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd637152(office.13).aspx
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb457114.aspx

Were you on free flight OLSB? Now MSFT is kicking you out to the Cloud… Let us know when you touch the ground.

FACTS:

http://ask.officelive.com/smallbusiness/blogs/team/archive/2011/12/17/update-on-the-future-of-office-live-small-business.aspx#comments

Can my website be transitioned automatically to Office 365?

You must manually recreate your website in Office 365. To do this, you must copy and paste your text, pictures, and any other website elements you choose to move.

(http://www.microsoft.com/office/olsb/FAQ-EN-US.html)

Microsoft has been struggling with its online service since long time ago, maybe since it bought HoTMaiL 14 years ago.  Then it started MSN, including MSN Messenger and MSN Spaces, later rebranded to Windows Live, it also named its small business service to Office Live.  But in recent years, MS re-shuffled all its online service again.  Stopped Live Spaces last year, made Office Live and Live Office more confusing.  Pushing the MS cloud – Azure, including a lite consumer version called Skydrive.  Changing Office Live to Office 365,  et cetera.

But all these are going to fail.  MS had failed on Web 2.0, it has also failed on Social Networking (remember Wallop?).  Now they bet on the Cloud.  If there is no philosophical change in its online business, MS is going to fail again.  Let me tell you why?

(to be continued)