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GameSurge Introduces 'Free Custom Title' Service

Cradly announced the beta of a new service on GameSurge’s website named ‘Free Custom Title’ service.

A Custom Title is something different then a vHost or entirely ‘faked’ hostmask as Cradly explained to IRC-Junkie in a reaction:

“GameSurge has offered +x host hiding for some time, in the format  <account>.user.gamesurge.   What we call the title is the center word  “user.”  GameSurge is now allowing our users to change their title  based upon a list of options, once every 30 days.”

“This is not to be confused with what we call “fakehosts” which are  complete fake replacements of the entire hostname and are also  implemented using +x.  Currently, new fakehosts are not available to  our users, though we anticipate offering that service once again in  the near future.”

The Custom Titles were a paid service in the past, but have now been turned into a free service. And no plans exist to turn it into a paid service again in the future.

“We free custom titles as a value-added service for our userbase and are promoting it.  We’ve had about 4,000 users change their title since opening it up at no charge last week.  The two most popular titles as being <user>.bot.gamesurge and <user>.will-frag-for- food.gamesurge”, Cradly ends.

A list of titles can be found here.

GameSurge Shows a Different Face

“Many of you have given us great feedback over the previous weeks and months and we have listened”, GameSurge admin Andrew starts on the network’s website. “We deliver to you today some large changes to the network that will change the face of it as we currently know it. We have listened. We have eliminated a large amount of the bureaucracy in the support and channel registration area of the network. We hope you like the changes!”

The biggest change is that the network will not restrict its channel registration process to gaming channels only. Any channel can now register, like a friends group, technical support, opensource projects, etc. Also there is no longer the requirement of a website for the channel.

IRC-Junkie asked Andrew if he is not afraid that GameSurge will loose its face as a prime gaming network. “This was a consideration that was thought long and hard about but we came to the conclusion that it is still fully possible to have primary focus on gaming (which we, as a network and mission, will still have) and diversify as well.”

“Gamers do many more things than just play games in their clan and team channels – the diversification represents that statement.”

GameSurge have had a hard period with the DDoS attacks towards the network. During this period however, the network’s team got a lot into contact with its users and however the idea to widen the rules took form years before, it was during this period that it began to take solid forms. “It was primarily the large amount of suggestive feedback we received that consolidated the decision to do this now rather than later”, Andrew explains.

The restriction of only allowing gaming channels was also because of restrictive historic reasons. Andrew explains: “Many of the rules we had in the old policy were based on very out-dated technical issues with services we stopped using years ago (the ones directly before we moved to srvx.) Basically, back then, there were issues in the number of channels that the old services could handle and the rules had to be formulated around that problem otherwise the network, at the time, would have simply imploded.”

More information regarding the registration process can be found here.

Troublemaker Forces GameSurge to GLine ISP

“Due to problems with a recurring trouble maker and no response from Sprint’s abuse department, so far, which we have attempted to contact for the past three weeks, we have been forced to block this range from our our network”, the GameSurge website announced.

Cradly from the GameSurge team explained to IRC-Junkie that the gline was eventually set “due to a user who  would use dynamic ip addresses to evade g-lines.  Because we didn’t  receive a response from Sprint to our initial abuse complaints, we decided on the ban.”

The user made it a game to evade the ban, both on IRC and on GameSurge’s forum.

Once the ISP was glined, other customers complained at the ISP for not being able to connect to the network, which got the abuse department of Sprint to act and resolve the issue with the user in question.

“After verifying our complaints about the user, Sprint assigned the  user a static ip address which allowed us to enforce a g-line for  only that user” Cradly explained.

“Ultimately I think  it was an exercise that proved once you find real people in a company  like Sprint, they’ll go out of their way to help with abuse issues.”

It is not the first time a large IRC network had to decide to gline a whole ISP becuase of the abuse of a few, or a single user. Undernet had to resort to banning whole of Turkey on its forum due to the abuse of a single user last year. Also Undernet had to gline the large Canadian ISP Videotron due to continuous abuse.

GamesNET releases Partial Evidence from Domain Dispute

You might recall the domain dispute that took place between Donald Wasylyna, and the at that time GamesNET Board of Directors which we reported on. The case finally resulted in a settlement between the two parties on February the 4th of 2004. Part of the settlement is an agreement to remain silent over the outcome of the case from both sides.

The 15th of this month however, Donald Wasylyna, who regained the domain GamesNET.net as part of the settlement, published part of the evidence on the GamesNET website. Wasylyna explains that he was only able to gain access to the evidence over Federal court-orders. “This process is painfully slow and very expensive”, he wrote on the GamesNET website.

The document does not contain any evidence from Wasylyna himself, as that was left out prior to publication. “I will likely publish all of the civil and criminal evidence as time permits”, Wasylyna said on the website.

“CHL (CoolHandLuke, nick of Wasylyna, ed.) was extremely selective in what he assembled to post on his web site” said Entrope, admin on GameSurge. Entrope was one of the defendants in the domain name dispute. “I do not recall the exact numbers, but he produced somewhere around 2000 pages of documents, and we produced about 3000 pages.”

“I provided only highlights which seem most pertinent regarding criminal activity”, Wasylyna explained to IRC-Junkie in a reaction. “I will likely publish more as time permits.”

Wasylyna also explains his decision to release these documents: “It is my goal to provide awareness to the significant problem of identity theft, the failings of ICANN, and how both make domain theft a simple task.”

“We believe his motivations in releasing the documents are simply to defame us (the defendants, ed.) and GameSurge” Entrope continues. “His IRC network is not going anywhere, so he wants to diminish what we have done. [...] I believe that if  CHL had talked to a lawyer, any lawyer would have told him several reasons that such a post might land CHL back in court.”

GameSurge is currently listed as 5th largest IRC network on the IRC statistics site NetSplit.de, GamesNET can currently not be found back in the top 25, and was yesterday at position 214 with around 450 users.

Wasylyna explains: “Launching (or relaunching in my case) an IRC network is much different than it was in 1996.  Back then, GamesNET was the only IRC network dedicated solely to Internet-based gaming.  In addition, DDOS and botnets were non-existent.  It seems best to wait for the criminal charges to come before I re-contact my friends in the gaming and ISP industries.  I’ve been told a he-said she-said scenario would likely motivate them to become permanently disinterested in my endeavors.”

GameSurge tests new IPv6 code in ircu

“Our development committee is currently testing our new IPv6 IRC server located at ipv6.gamesurge.net. If you have an IPv6 connection you might want to download this patch for Mirc that will allow you to connect to GameSurge via the IPv6 protocol”, the GameSurge website reports.

IPv6 support is one of the new features of ircu2.10.12, the IRC deamon which is also in use on the Undernet network.

We asked Entrope, coordinator of the ircu2.10.12 development, how the test was going so far. “We found a moderate number of problems very early in the test, but that is typical for rolling out so much new code.  In the past two weeks, we have seen only one minor problem.  It is specific to a GameSurge patch, and should be fixed by the current version of that patch.”

The users have been excited over the support for IPv6 “Between IPsec and other new features of IPv6, we think the benefits of IRC over IPv6 outweigh the possible problems”, Entrope explains.

In the IRC community there have been some concerns about the big ammount of IP addresses users have the access to with IPv6. Entrope about this issue: “The clone checking code in ircu should prevent that; the new code works on larger blocks than single IPs.  There are a few cases that it does not currently address, since those require information about end-user netblock sizes, but those should be rare and can be handled as they arise.”

GameSurge is planning to setup a second server testing this IPv6 code, and naturally, when ircu2.10.12 is being released it will be rolled out to all GameSurge servers. Also Undernet has plans to test the new ircu with the IPv6 code.

The new ircu also contains some other interesting changes. The format of the configuration file will be simplified and is based on ircd-hybrid’s one, as is the DNS resolver, new channel modes that will automatically op a user who joins with a specific key, aliases for /X and /chanserv type of commands, and