Danish Time Geek’s Open Letter to D-Link

Poul-Henning Kamp, a Danish citizen, has a good heart and an obsession with time but his time is running out, thanks to inconsiderate manufacturing by the D-Link corporation.

Mr. Kamp, pro bono publicus, operates a server that helps many of the computers and networks in Denmark keep the correct hour. Without asking for permission, D-Link, maker of servers and routers has hard-encoded in many of its products several protocols which send their time checking packets through his server. Poul says 75-90% of the packets arriving at his server come via these D-link mechanisms.

Normally, he gets to operate his server space for free, as he’s performing a public service, provided usage is below a certain threshold. The D-Link products amp up the usage considerably, over his allowable amount. Since contacting them in November, spending 120 non-billable hours, wrangling with a D-Link lawyer, D-Link has not taken steps to fix the problem, and only offered a pittance of ‘hush money.’

The rest of the story, in full, gory, technical detail, he’s posted here as an open letter.

Shame and ignominy upon thee, D-Link. Shame! (Thanks to Matt!)

UPDATE
: As is to be expected, there’s a pretty heated discussion about this at Digg. From them, we glean that if you’d like to express your opinion you can send an emails to D-Link CEO at sjoe@dlink.com or joe@dlink.com, or the vp of marketing at bmorse@dlink.com or call 1-800-326-1688.

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  1. AppTechie says:

    What outrageous ego D-Link has. We need to have someone light a fire under their butts and make them realize that what they are doing is actually illegal by California law as well(at least is a roundabout way). They are directly affecting this poor guy’s bottom line for a service which is free to the Danish public. If nothing else, he should get the Danish government involved and have them throw down the guantlet!

  2. Nick says:

    Since he’s getting no useful response from d-link, why not drop all packets from their devices? I’m sure it’s possible to fingerprint them somehow – he knows what percentage of his total usage is from them, after all.

    Or, he could change his server’s DNS name. Either way, it’d be amusing to see the resultant huge number of d-link devices that suddenly lose a feature…

  3. AcidReign says:

    …..I’ve got a D-link ethernet card on one of my older computers. I won’t be buying anything from them again! It came with a setup program that refused to run. It took manual intallation from Device Manager to get the card working. Pity the poor buyer who didn’t know what an .inf file was, and how to find it on the installation floppy! XP thinks it’s a Realtek card, and automatically installs a working driver…

    …..The card worked fine, though, and still does, after I figured out myself how to install it. My complaint is that they used the softest metal they could find to make the frame on the back of the card! It only took one instance of one of my kids pulling the computer away from the wall (to plug in some USB gaming widget) to yank the ethernet cord out of the card and bend the hell out of it. Now, one must be really, really careful messing around behind the computer, or the cord will fall out.

    …..And of course, being a Consumerist, I’m too cheap to go and purchase another network card for 10-15 bucks! I just trained everyone in the house what to do when that little “a network cable is unplugged” icon shows up in the system tray!