i've entered preferred DNS server numbers into my IPv4 LAN connection settings a zillion times but never really understood what the hell i was doing. so they don't have to be Cox's but any server i so choose?
Right... you can even write your own DNS server that points every name to bitcoinica's IP if you so choose
FWIW, I've run a local DNS server since my client was OS2 2.0 and my connection was dial up, with a slow connection it did a lot for reducing perceived latency when web browsing.
These days there are a lot of alternatives, but the standard is a program called BIND, which can be had for just about any platform. Linux distributions provide it universally, and it's pretty tolerable to set up on Windows as well. It does things beyond simple caching that the built-in Windows DNS cache does not.http://www.isc.org/software/bind
The simplest thing to set up with BIND is a caching server with forwarding, the last time I installed it under Windows ( sometime in the 1990s ) this was the default configuration. You do have to add the IP addresses for your forwarding servers ( e.g. your ISP ) and then point your local IP configuration to query the local name server at 127.0.0.1 .
The reason I mention all this is that I had a hard time replicating the problem described here, I'd never seen it. It had been so long since I did my set up I had to consider why.
As it turns out, my DNS forwarders are Comcast and Google. Here's a portion of my named.conf, one of the configuration files for bind ( the program executable is usually "named" or "named.exe" ).
Beyond that BIND will identify the authoritative name servers for a given name and query those directly, in this case NS1.XWAYLAB.COM and NS2.XWAYLAB.COM for bitcoinica.com .
So, using BIND can provide robust name resolution from multiple sources, it worked transparently for me with the bitcoinica .com DNSSEC issue present, most likely by using Google to resolve the authoritative servers and then using those to resolve the actual name.