August 2013

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Proxmox is a pretty nice virtualisation solution for the medium enterprise. It’s bigger than Virtualbox, smaller than Openstack, and easy to implement on both as single machine or a whole cluster. Unfortunately, the developers are struggling to pay the bills. So with the 3.1 release they have followed the path of “Subscription versus Community.” Users without a subscription are now treated to this dialog every time they login:

You do not have a valid subscription for this server. Please visit to get a list of available options.

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At Talia, we use Skype as a backup chat mechanism in addition to our own Jabber server. When choosing corporate Skype names, we tend to match the email address, replacing the at sign as that’s invalid on Skype. So “” becomes Skype user “”. A while back we discovered that we couldn’t reset the password of one of our staff members, Mohamed. Mohamed could reset his password via the Skype web interface, but couldn’t login afterward.

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It was bound to happen. The IPv4 address pool has nearly run out, IPv6 adoption is moving at a glacial pace, but demand for devices to be IP-enabled is soaring. And so, the vultures have come:

Dear Mr. Wagner,

We would like to invite your company to become a REDACTED Marketplace participant, where you can purchase the rights to unused IPv4 number blocks. There is no cost to become a participant and we currently have significant listings of various size number blocks which can be easily transferred to your company under existing policy.

We are available to discuss how the marketplace works or can provide it to you in writing if you prefer. Please contact me if this interests your company.

Best regards,

Outreach Coordinator, European Market
REDACTED Marketplace Services

I suppose I’m being unfair. The market is simply moving to fill the demand. But this is monetisation of a resource which should be free, infinite, and available to all. And thanks to politics and bad governance, we’ll soon have to pay for even the smallest IPv4 subnet. That will be a bar to entry to individuals and smaller companies, who will find themselves on a second-tier Internet. The one with private IP space, NAT, and the limitations that come with them.