Friday, 27 April 2012

Who is the customer?

When using the vast array of 'free' Internet service users rarely stop and think "who is paying for this service?" there is an immense cost to providing an online service especially one that is used by millions of people. 

Initially the cost is borne by investors that are sold the proposition, however over time they are going to want their investment returned with margin, and a good amount too. So once established with a large user base funded by investors, the tool may introduce a paid for premium service e.g. Dropbox with its larger space sizes, or Linked in with its premium features. Advertising will almost always be added to bolster the revenue stream. However more likely, real customers will be found – Marketing Agencies. 

Many users feel the need to share their whole life on Facebook and twitter and this information is gold dust to marketeers, knowing vast amounts of information about someone (even if anonymous) enables marketing companies to build complex profiles of age groups, genders, communities etc., especiallywhen coupled with the ability to target adverts back to them that are guaranteed to be appropriate to the user, and their friends. The possibilities are endless, and the underlying motives become crystal clear when you look at the offering and ask yourself "who is the customer?" as it probably isn't you! You are the product.

This isn't a reason to shun such services, but to just stop for a minute and think about whether you are comfortable with what will happen to the information you are about to commit to the service.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Mitel IP Phones On Cisco 800 Routers

On a recent project to deploy Mitel IP Phones to teleworkers on Cisco 857 Router we came up with a couple of issues, here is the solution.

The config we used for the DHCP was (anon-omized):


ip dhcp pool phone

host 10.x.x.x ! IP For the phone

client-identifier 0108.000F.4512.34 ! MAC of the phone prefixed with 01 for ethernet

option 128 ip 10.10.x.x ! Mitel 3300 ICP

option 129 ip 10.10.x.x ! Mitel 3300 ICP

option 130 ascii "MITEL IP PHONE"

option 132 hex 0000.0001 ! VLAN

option 133 hex 0000.0001 ! QoS Priority

default-router 10.x.x.x ! Router Address

dns-server 10.x.x.x 10.x.x.x ! Internal DNS Servers


This was all ok, other than the option 130 kept erroring. It turns out that it is a bug in the Cisco IOS - CSCta85026. We had to backdate to:






All suffered from the same bug. Although I have recently seen suggestions to put the ascii into HEX which does not suffer. I will give it a try and report back.


Update: Yes the Hex replacement works;

option 130 hex 4d49.5445.4c20.4950.2050.484f.4e45


Thursday, 20 August 2009

SUNRay to Cisco VPN 28F Error

Whilst configuring some SUNRays to connect via a Cisco "Dial VPN" for a customer, I came across an error on the SUNRay during VPN authentication:

PH1 agg I est 28F

Much googling later I found that lots of people were having this issue but no one appeared to have published an answer. Anyway after some debugging it became apparent that the SUNRay needs a specific transform set:

crypto ipsec transform-set {name} esp-aes esp-sha-hmac

It appears to work very well after this, once you remember to change the MTU down to 1450 (in the UK) to accommodate the VPN headers and DSL etc.


Wednesday, 19 August 2009

The Start

Well here we go. I have a blog and now I need to start putting stuff on it rather than just thinking about putting stuff on it…