It seems that incompetence on the part of the coders who write network hardware manufacturing giant D-Link's router firmware, and possibly even more insidious willful ignorance at higher levels of the company, may force Denmark's only networked time server to permanently shut down its vital public service. Apparently thousands of Danish servers use Poul-Henning Kamp's pro bono publico NTP server to sync their own clocks -- which is hosted for free by the Danish Internet Exchange (DIX) with the understanding that it is restricted to server-level access, but whose address D-Link hard coded into their device firmware without ever having asked Kamp's permission. The traffic from D-Link devices consists of well over 75% of the packets that the server handles, and has caused DIX to hit Kamp with an $8,800 per year connection fee that may mean the end of the free service and extra work for those thousands of Danish admins, not to mention the embarrassment Danes will have to face when mocked for living in an NTP-free technological backwater (despite their army's snazzy MP3 pillows). Kamp claims that although D-Link is well aware of the issue (they've since updated some, but not all, of the firmware on their site), but instead of fixing their mistake and encouraging customers to upgrade their firmware, the company simply offered Kamp an unspecified amount of "hush" money that doesn't even cover his most direct expenses. Hey D-Link, please drop us a press release if and when you decide to address this issue, because we think your "NTP vandalism" isn't very cool.

[Via The Inquirer]