It’s a bank holiday here in Hellas and I decided to take some time off work.
Being bored with ‘important’ stuff, I added a graphical country identifier to comments. It’s mostly an aesthetic addition, but might also prove useful in other ways. The information comes from comparing the commenter’s IP address (the address of his/her computer on the internet) with a cache of publicly available records. No personally identifiable information is transmitted to third parties nor is the IP of the commenter shown anywhere on this site. Just the country they are from.
I am using a heavily updated version of the free ip2nation database. Why and how is it updated, you might ask? Well, while checking it out, it became immediately apparent that a whole lot of EU networks were classified under ‘eu’ which (although charmingly idealistic) is too broad and generic to be of any use right now.
So I decided to write a small perl script that queried the RIPE (Réseaux IP Européens) whois server for all ‘eu’ blocks provided by ip2nation and updated the database accordingly. Because of the number of queries (and some pauses to play nice), this took a while to complete. As it turns out only a handful of the 2000 or so netblocks were actually registered as ‘eu’.