RCN Not Perfect – 404 Redirects

Redirected 404 Page Thanks to RCN

Well I wondered how long it would take before I hit a snag with RCN’s internet service after praising it. It turns out it only took a few days before I found out they redirect 404’s (incorrect addresses or webpages that are temporarily down) to their (spammy-looking) “help” page. Now perhaps I’m too picky but I’m quite happy with the way my browser handles things now and if I wanted something different I sure wouldn’t pick crappy search results mixed with ads for my solution. I suppose I could live with the useless page but it also rewrites the address so if I type exmple.com/longstring/ I have retype the whole thing instead of just adding an ‘a’ to exmple (really a pain when developing websites). And mostly it just annoys me to suddenly be on a page that sets off my spam detectors. So I set out to figure out how to fix it.

On the bottom of the RCN page, there is an option to opt out but it actually then sends you to a buggy Internet Explorer error screen (and still rewrites your address). Since there’s no opt out that left working around them. RCN is inserting their page through their DNS servers so using a different server should fix the problem. I had been meaning to try out OpenDNS anyway so I figured I might as well make some lemonade out of lemons. But it turns out OpenDNS do the same redirection thing to their own page. So it was back to a google that turned up this helpful page of alternate DNS servers. I’m a little leary of using unknown servers (since you send them the address for every site you visit and they can send you wherever they want) but the servers through are all from Level 3 Communications Inc which seem pretty widely used and reputable. OpenDNS provides a handy guide to changing your DNS servers (if you don’t want to use theirs you can substitute any other IP address) for anyone with similar problems.


Comments (0)


My “Congressional Medal of Merit”

Tom Cole - Spammer and Telemarketer

My dad called me today all excited that a congressmen left a message that he wanted to give me an award. He played back the message over the phone and it certainly did sound legit with Patty Cleaver working for Congressman Tom Cole of the National Republican Congressional Committee wanting to award a Congressional Order of Merit so call her back at 1 (866) 264-3583.

Of course my bullcrap detectors were tingling pretty hard at this point. First, they can’t even get my name right (having a hyphenated name sure helps with junk filtering). Second, I’m not really happy with any current party but I certainly don’t see me identifying myself as a Republican any time in the near future. Third, I guess I’m a decent guy but as far as I can recall I haven’t ran into any burning buildings or donated my kidneys to feed starving orphans recently. But then again you never know so I did a quick google (don’t know what I would have done before internet). Luckily there’s a couple blog posts reporting similar experiences. Once you call in, they apparently hit you up for a $500 donation to some ad campaign.

So I thought I’d throw this post up to help warn other people since this seems really really dirty to me. Tom Cole is either selling awards or defrauding people in order to finance his campaign. I don’t see how anyone could look at this and not consider it completely immoral. Any politician that does this deserves to be voted out of office/impeached.

Update: Another (excellently titled) report here (Thanks Alex).


Comments (5)