The Quick and Dirty Reference to Cisco Call Manager Express

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In seriousness, if you’re all wired at home, or you are interested in wiring up your home for multi line telephony or have the ability to answer calls from a number of phones or internally call people from within… I think given the consolidation and the access to them, the recommended path is to Cisco. As much as I can’t stand a lot of their technology, you do not need to need  to have everything running on Cisco to do Cisco telephony. Being frank. I have switches using Netgear, and I have some third party endpoints.

Click below for more, and jump to six different parts

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Damn that Millenial! Why do GenXers get a bad name?

What happened to these parents is they were the first major generation to basically grow up without much rules, as both of their parents were working, leaving the kids to on their own. Most GenXers would be outside, outside and be very outdoorsy till the sun set. They didn’t do much gaming, even if an Atari existed, and to many of the Gen-Xers, an Apple was a fruit, and sometimes a computer, and even for an Apple II, it was too complicated. Most Gen-Xers learned on an IBM 5150 (or “The IBM PC”) resulting in burnouts of Tier 1 Helpdesk professionals often changing under 50somethings’ diapers during the first generation of the PC.

As a result they are technologically phobic and can’t understand social media, let alone the original carnations of the World Wide Web. Remember if they learned on a PC, then they never understood the open Internet, because Microsoft manipulated their users to use Internet Explorer… don’t get me started with that trauma!

Many of just only 50 million of these weirdos too worshipped Ronald Regan, as if he was some magical political force, of empty policy, and fluffy marketable ideas, but again ideas are not policy. If you push your beliefs, then it can magically become this perfect little world that the United States could do nothing wrong. Regan introduced society that primitive thinking (like as if we were in 1000 AD by branding his policies pretty simply.

Then GenXers were exposed to children randomly going missing in the 70s, and as a result, this may indicate why a certain age and demographic why parents over-protect their kids not from physical harm, but their feelings and mental protection is doing anything to harm.

That’s another subject for another day.

The issues between DevOps and General Enterprise Technology

In the Facebook outage, it reminded people that you can’t trust a company which thinks they have only a few million users, when they don’t accept they work for a trillion dollar enterprise. This meaning that Facebook’s servers and services are more consumer-class than enterprise class or worse the braintrust is very weak.

It’s important to note, that even though the Internet Protocol is in itself a software stack (think of this as an “extension” or “driver”), but software engineering, web apps, etc., is in itself a different skillset. People who have used Microsoft’s Windows Server solutions really do not know much about IP networking. For many years, the Server editions came with a DHCP server, how many of the Microsoft certified admins know more about DHCP other than it gives IP address at the local level to get out onto “the Internet? I have suspected about VOIP deployments in the past, where NT admins didn’t understand “DHCP options” and alike because you know it’s more important to manage an Active Directory.

Look at Microsoft’s own VOIP systems, it fell shorter beyond Cisco’s Unified Call Manager, and obviously the Avaya, Nortel, Mitel or Shortels of the world. It’s sad when a Cisco can do better. This has a lot to do with Microsoft’s DNA of everything being software and talking to Microsoft’s own blueprint. Anything that routes outside a data center of an in house, on prem Microsoft solution is something Microsoft doesn’t get, and their software shows it. If it has to hit a Cisco, or needs to interact with a Cisco IOS, well good luck to that.

The Session Initiation Protocol part of Voice over IP was yet another rip-off from the traditional telephony, and was created by application people, since SIP was based off the Web standards or HTTP technically speaking if it’s a device talking to another machine. In a lot of ways SIP was designed almost like cell phones because a telephone number is basically a URL, and when you hear the “dial tone” it’s a fake noise to assure the user to replicate it’s a phone. Because the people who developed SIP didn’t understand enterprise voice systems, its basically like a landline with all the 19 potential features you could add on to your home hardwired or broadband phone service, because the people who likely created it looked at their POTS phone and assumed the same.

What a bunch of assholes to make an ass out of themselves.

Understanding software and an imaginary world is the worst thing to have in DevOps, of which is the new IT department fusing move-fast-and-break things punky coders, and wife beating sysadmins who hate change, but preach it to their “end users” or “lusers”. It’s kinda ironic that either type of man typically lacks software of another sorts, people. Understanding people. The IT world needs to be reformed to really not be the evil world to their fellow employees, and they need to stop jacking off to the C-suite, to help them save money by cutting jobs to their own people. This kinda goes full circle of the way money and influence is killing society with Facebook and their technical approach. If you are building a social network, that isn’t based on empathy, you are certainly going to cause rift amongst the people who are using your service.

On Facebook’s Outage…

I am not going to be the asshole tech pundit who trashes others for not knowing things like Border Gateway Protocol, or what have you.

I mean seriously, who at the Facebook’s technical staff even know what BGP stands for? Or any server administration period.

I am talking about the Facebook outage that occurred on Monday morning – the morning after the whistle blower appeared on 60 Minutes. There was little clarity whether it was a Distributed Denial of Service attacks (or DDOS – yes I capitalize the “O” because I find mixed capitals in initials to be tacky) or just a simple routing issue. It turns out, according to their blog post in response to the outage

“Our engineering teams have learned that configuration changes on the backbone routers that coordinate network traffic between our data centers caused issues that interrupted this communication. This disruption to network traffic had a cascading effect on the way our data centers communicate, bringing our services to a halt.” From Facebook’s engineering blog

Where is the PR to help gel out vague languages such as a “configuration change”… that even though I am not technical, I would certainly test things before applying (but that would violate the Move Fast and Break Things ethos.)

I’ve had a theory that coders were very narrowminded groups of people who don’t know much about networking, much like how networking guys took a literal backwards view on telephony.

Or that coders have basic views of networking, that is no different than a gamer or a YouTube influencer.

This is sad if a large trillion dollar enterprise is acting like a bro startup at a scrappy office building. It’s been confirmed that Facebook’s corporate hierarchy is “flat” according to the whistle blower speaking to Congress this week. It’s not a surprise and coders see the world as flat (maybe they are flat-earthers!)

Facebook’s own computing (of which they do, and not use Google or Microsoft or Amazon), is not just their own farm, but they had built their own bare computers, without standard rack hardware, just sitting out in the open, using open source software along with their wacky hardware designs. Facebook’s software however, should be concerning if the underlying code is basic Linux code, and if Linux servers are acting as routers, they typically are not intended to be built to handle billions of users.

This is really, really bad, if Facebook’s routing is as shallow as a home gamer with consumer grade equipment or consumer grade networking settings. This consumer mindset should alarm enterprises of any size because IP networking and routing is more than just from going in and out.

If you want to be the next Facebook, it’s likely logical you should consider Software Defined Networking, just make sure it’s built for scale and built for serious environments. Facebook’s very casual and reckless approach for managing their systems should also be a wake up call for aspiring web disrupters.

Have Children’s Responsibilities Been Taken Away by “Parental Rights”?


(Just that parents forget the latter.)

The American Parent should be the next institution that gets destroyed, rebuilt, to allow children to have the freedom to express responsibilities, that would imply children’s rights. Sadly, the popular opinion is children’s rights means give them an iPod touch at 4, a MacBook by age 7 and an iPhone at age 9. That’s what not children’s rights means nor should it mean.

“Parental rights” that gets uttered by TV-governors… is a weasel word for a parent-that’s-always-right and is never-wrong, and worse lacks responsibility or accountability. For a quintessential example just look at the school board meetings down south, specifically in Virginia… Critical Race Theory is being proposed and books of sexual explicit nature are in school libraries. The majority of the whiners, are the stereotypical “Karen” types (Gen X women… and sometimes men) under the age of 65 but older than 44 that are taking their theoretical freedoms as literal rights. Their anger echos talk radio and the channel with the search lights in their logo.

The arguments against CRT are unbased on fact,  and the anger c0ming from the Karens have everything violating their own personal world-view. From a rational POV, in democracy, shouldn’t kids learn something that challenges the parent’s world views? Since the pandemic, the number of parents with overprotective views have skyrocketed especially in appearances in the media (Trump fangirls or fanboys do not count.)

From an East Coast brat looking down, I do look down at them. I can’t believe that middle of America can be this clueless about their world is apparently all about them and it can’t be shared.

Is it also ironic that these same groups of people were laughing at a sadistic level of when those same barely legal adults were at a loss when Hillary Clinton lost in 2016? Can you verify with me… were they called “snowflakes”? Were they told to “suck it up buttercup”? Were they also called “whiners”? Are these generation of parents (remember they are Gen Xers mostly) looking down at Millennials?

Hypocrisy at best?

A Telephone Number is NOT A URL!

A couple years ago, I had clashed with a crude and disrespectful DSP; who was there for a quick buck but should’ve worked in another field instead. The individual was significantly younger than me; and involved the really grey matter of what is considered to be a private, one on one conversation in a congregated group that isn’t strangers. I’ve had people say it’s wrong to abut into conversations in open environments, and some seeing what I saw.

The person I won’t identify avoided a local restaurant because the joint didn’t have an app to order on a smartphone, and actually left to go to another place that did. I said

“you couldn’t use your phone by calling?”

She responded (again a DSP, who should hold higher standards said in a crudely sarcastic matter”)

“I don’t need your sass”

While I was being generally light-hearted.

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Unsolicited Advice: How Can Facebook Prevent the Latest Screwup

In the last 5 days, Facebook has been under pressure, the whistleblower who broke the stories to The Wall Street Journal of specifically Instagram monitoring and adjusting knowingly content with the intent to harm teenage girls came forward to 60 Minutes Sunday night. While it made media play the following morning, around lunch hour, Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp all experienced outages  at least for the rest of the day till roughly 6:00 pm Eastern Time when some of the services returned

On Tuesday, it was reported that Facebook had made changes to their core servers that resulted in the outages. In the midst of the outages, rumors flew that Facebook employees literally had to go into the data center physically to perform the reboot. Another cause was a screwup to the Border Gateway Protocol routing tables. This is one of several IP routing protocols to route Internet traffic between machines and users.

Both have no excuse. I have some solutions:

1. Facebook violated COPPA, both on the letter and spirit of the law

For those who say the rules and regs have to be rewritten for a modern era of technology is frankly bullshitting you. The Children’s Online Privacy and Protection Act or COPPA was designed to protect all children under the magic age of 13 as they put into the regs from being tracked, monitored specifically personally identifiable information or PII. And even if the users were over 13, this doesn’t give Facebook the ethical or moral standards to treat a 14 year old user the same as a 24 year old because the world is not flat or bland, where everyone should be treated 100.0000.0000.000% the same.

If anything, Facebook should be fined if there is data that was harvested for the persons under the age of 13. The Instagram for kids app that Facebook was contemplating should be reviewed by a legal firms to ensure it’s all compliant to the existing COPPA regulations, and not universities.

2. Whistleblowers need to be protected (legally)

One of the provisions of the controversial Dodd-Frank law, was to address a decades old issue of how can a company prevent another Enron. Part of this was providing bounty support for anyone who was open and willing to report nefarious actions by corporate executives. While the Trump administration got rid most of the law (because it had Obama-fingerprints on it, other than promoting an indiscriminate free-market agenda) this whistleblower protection still exists because the law was the basis for the whistle blower to come forward since Facebook is a publicly held company.

There should be no legal shame for these people to come forward. It’s typical for a publicly held company to be responsible financially for wrongdoings, but Faceebook is with a zillion dollars by science of public perception, and the idea they can’t seem to have enough money to finance (or “fund”) a group of people to make Facebook’s platforms safe for everyone?

3. Facebook needs to not only employ security and safety, but FFS no one that is running the server farm has no knowledge on IP?

This clearly shows how people (even nerds and techies) assume the Internet is the Web or a platform, not a underlying protocol to connect machines to users. The Monday outage seemed to show how Facebook appears to be running on plastic clad routers or hubs. Worse, I suspect since Facebook’s own servers are built in house, that I wouldn’t be surprised to see if their networking was built in house too (read Software Defined Networking.) I wouldn’t be surprised to see if they shoplifted some open source code for routing and switching that in reality is designed for light traffic and lacks important critical features that would be required for a site like Facebook, and apps like Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp.

4. After this incident coders can’t be taken seriously anymore

The guys who brag they know Python, are real jerks. I am going out of my way to call them “zealots”. They are completely intolerant to anything that doesn’t interest them. They don’t care about  QoS, or IP routing, all they care about is their own type of networking that the rest of us don’t see it as. Technology professionals need to look at themselves in the mirror, to see if their one skillset is worth having a job in the first place. Just like in telephony, the phone guys didn’t get IP, and the networking admins didn’t understand the underlying telephony features, the same applies to networking admins and server admins. Look at how Microsoft sucks at VOIP because Windows guys don’t get Cisco’s IOS, and how lousy the constantly rebadged Unified Communications System showed that?

Brag about your skills in Python, but Python won’t save you from screwing up a routing table.

And if you disagree with me, then you lack empathy, you lack diversity, and you must be a little creepy perv to spy on underage girls’ PII.