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a blog from Eli the Bearded
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Children of Men


This movie by Alfonso Cuarón came out in 2006 and is set in 2027. When it was new, someone I know commented that the lack of electric cars was hard to believe. Sitting in early 2021, having just watched Children of Men, the lack of electric cars seems quite plausible.

The basic story is for some reason, unknown to the characters, women, at least humans, stopped having babies in 2006. The story opens with the death-of-Princess-Diana level news about the youngest person, an 18 year old, having been killed. The coverage gives his age to the day. I get the sense that after the infertility set in, people just gave up on preserving the world for the future and doubled down on pollution.

It's clear that what's left of society has given up most hope, Britain is shown as a rare place where life sort-of continues normally, and thus is a huge destination for displaced peoples from the rest of Europe. It is a point of great friction in that world.

Background details show quite believable tech advances like the fancy monitors in an office, a TV as an alarm clock, and video ads on the sides of buses. And seeing the refugees get left in cages and having a reference to a flu pandemic made this seem rather 2020-topical.

Anyway, the main character, Theo, is a former activist now numb to pretty much everything. "At least with a hangover, I feel something." Then his ex-wife approaches him to ask for a favor. There's a young woman who needs to get to safety — she's pregnant and everyone wants to have the baby for propaganda reasons.

This story doesn't break ground with themes. To me, it seems like a tale ripped from 1970s dystopia, with the 1970s taste for setting it twenty to thirty years later, but with much more modern budget and production values.

The whisk-a-woman-to-safety (with some precious cargo) story has been done before. My mind went to The Ultimate Warrior (1975, Yul Brenner as title character) there. The prison camp scenes made me think of Escape from New York (1981, late for 1970s).

The details, filming, world realization, war scenes, etc, all those are much, much better than the 1970s versions of this story. As such, it's good entry into that escape collapsed society niche, just time shifted.

Five security checkpoints out of six.

Children of Men at imdb

Namecheap, Grr


Yesterday qaz.wtf was briefly unavailable. The domain registration expired. This happened for number of reasons, some mine, some I'm going to blame on Namecheap.

First, what I did wrong: I put an overly strong spam filter rule in place that was marking all mail from them as spam. In particular the rule was indiscriminate about source when the domain was (a) using registrar-services.com for DNS and (b) using DNS with a SOA serial number that parsed as less than a day old. In fairness, it is a very effect rule. Here's a sample of the domains from the last 100 messages that deleted:

mail[.]forhealth[.]bar Oct 2020; medicarepro[.]xyz Oct 2020; diabetesfrepro[.]xyz Oct 2020; mail[.]diabetes2type[.]casa Oct 2020; carbosfix[.]xyz Oct 2020; mail[.]pocketdrone[.]work Oct 2020; goldplatedscoin[.]xyz Oct 2020; mail[.]fevertrhermal[.]casa Oct 2020; whowhpremium[.]xyz Oct 2020; mail[.]dxpgaget[.]work Oct 2020; mail[.]machinepower[.]bar Oct 2020; mail[.]trackerss[.]bid Oct 2020; royalbalance[.]cam Oct 2020; mail[.]pocketdron[.]work Oct 2020; stopsqribble[.]bid Oct 2020; shinehead[.]bid Oct 2020; mail[.]neckmassager[.]casa Oct 2020; audigrow[.]bid Nov 2020; mail[.]learnpiano[.]work Nov 2020; mail[.]heatromwave[.]casa Nov 2020; BayAreaTechSummit[.]com Nov 2020; mail[.]waxremove[.]casa Nov 2020; mail[.]gpstrack1[.]work Nov 2020; mail[.]gps1track[.]work Nov 2020; mail[.]zoom2dipro[.]casa Nov 2020; mail[.]strategys[.]bid Nov 2020; lifeprotect[.]uno Nov 2020; oxyrobot[.]bid Nov 2020; survivlife[.]uno Nov 2020; survivlife[.]uno Nov 2020; mail[.]musichall[.]casa Nov 2020; mail[.]discovery1[.]casa Nov 2020; mail[.]diabetesremedy[.]work Nov 2020; mail[.]zoomzoom[.]work Nov 2020; yourbusinesstips[.]biz Nov 2020; mail[.]goodhealth[.]casa Nov 2020; vanses[.]icu Nov 2020; mail[.]dailmulti[.]bid Nov 2020; mail[.]zoompro[.]casa Nov 2020; mail[.]heatpad[.]co Dec 2020; mail[.]foodgrow[.]bid Dec 2020; mail[.]shinehead[.]bid Dec 2020; mail[.]bagtrack[.]work Dec 2020; rewardtoshop[.]com Dec 2020; rivalo[.]com Dec 2020; rivalo[.]com Dec 2020; mail[.]techvisions[.]bid Dec 2020; mail[.]vestwoding[.]icu Dec 2020; brutualloss[.]icu Dec 2020; drawlace[.]buzz Dec 2020; 247blindco[.]co[.]uk Dec 2020; 247blindco[.]co[.]uk Dec 2020; 247blindco[.]co[.]uk Dec 2020; 247blindco[.]co[.]uk Dec 2020; mail[.]easysurveyrewards[.]best Dec 2020; zind[.]us Dec 2020; zind[.]us Dec 2020; herpesyl[.]icu Dec 2020; mail[.]digitalbrand[.]icu Dec 2020; mail[.]offertrend[.]icu Dec 2020; offerworld[.]icu Dec 2020; offerworld[.]icu Dec 2020; mail[.]offerhad[.]icu Dec 2020; healingsystem[.]icu Dec 2020; myshedesplan[.]icu Dec 2020; boosterday[.]best Dec 2020; brutualloss[.]icu Dec 2020; mail[.]shinehead[.]bid Dec 2020; mail[.]remedypro[.]us Dec 2020; tactnutri[.]icu Dec 2020; mail[.]feverfix[.]icu Dec 2020; mail[.]sugartonic[.]icu Dec 2020; mail[.]mechanism[.]icu Dec 2020; mail[.]ecomdeals[.]icu Dec 2020; mail[.]dealsbreeze[.]icu Jan 2021; mail[.]vestwoding[.]icu Jan 2021; mail[.]heatsawy[.]icu Jan 2021; mail[.]capitalreward[.]icu Jan 2021; mail[.]capitalreward[.]icu Jan 2021; mailserviceemailout1[.]namecheap[.]com Jan 2021; mail[.]energyy[.]bid Jan 2021; mail[.]speechrewards[.]icu Jan 2021; mail[.]usonly[.]bid Jan 2021; mail[.]certifiedstate[.]cam Jan 2021; thecsi[.]com Jan 2021; coloradocareerproject[.]com Jan 2021; mailserviceemailout1[.]namecheap[.]com Jan 2021; mail[.]healthrequired[.]work Jan 2021; mail[.]doorbellclub[.]work Jan 2021; mail[.]hollyb1ook[.]work Jan 2021; mail[.]safehealth[.]work Jan 2021; mail[.]remedypro[.]us Jan 2021; mail[.]yourtone[.]casa Jan 2021; mail[.]healthmonitor[.]casa Jan 2021; mailserviceemailout1[.]namecheap[.]com Jan 2021; mail[.]voidemodems[.]casa Jan 2021; mail[.]entend4ded[.]casa Feb 2021; mailserviceemailout1[.]namecheap[.]com Feb 2021; slotcrime[.]guru Feb 2021; mailserviceemailout1[.]namecheap[.]com Feb 2021

There are six messages, from two domains, that are inappropriately caught there. One of those was quasi-spam. Looking at the last 1000, there's only one more "ham" message caught. Seven out of a thousand is a pretty good track record, but when five of those seven are important that does sting. That's the part that's my fault.

Now onto Namecheap.

Almost all of my hostnames at Namecheap are set up to autorenew, with care selecting the ones that are not. At the same time, I have a credit card on file at Namecheap, and it is selected as my default payment method. I don't remember when, but I likely changed my card on file in late 2020, when I had a bunch of things to renew in the October to November period. I know I have twentish pieces of email from them in that period that didn't get deleted.

So it turns out that having autorenew selected and having a card on-file and "default is not sufficent to actually autorenew stuff. You also need to find the hidden configuration page (it is not the regular "edit card" page) that selects a card as enabled for autorenew. Serious, WTF?. Why isn't it with all the other configuration for a credit card?

Anyway, I use my own site regularly, and noticed the outage quickly. It did take a while for all DNS servers to get the message. I was seeing Cloudflare (1.1.1.1), eg, reporting the Namecheap parking page long after Google (8.8.8.8) had it restored.

Grrr.