Archive for the Category » networking «

Monday, March 30th, 2009 | Author:

Who’d have thought that something as silly as Choqok trying to automatically log into Twitter might get me temporarily locked out?

Oh well. I’m patient.

Tried to log in too many times?

We've temporarily locked your account after too many failed attempts to sign in. Please chillax for a few, then try again.

Wenerei, March 25th, 2009 | Author:

I finally got Ignite Realtime'S Spark to work. I don’t particularly like Sparkits a necessity though and I’m sure others have had trouble with it.

As some readers might be aware, I’m using 64-bit Arch Linux. Spark runs on top of a JRE, independent of the base platform. Therefore, this shouldn’t be an issue. Heoi, Spark appears to come bundled with a 32-bit JRE.

After a lot of hassle, I eventually figured all I had to do was obscure or remove (rename or delete) the bundled JRE. This way, Spark’s startup script wouldn’t find the bundled JRE and it would be forced to search for the one built into the system. I had previously installed openjdk, an open source JRE from Arch’s [extra] repository.

There also happens to be a minor bug in the startup script in that its looking for a folder called “matapihi” when there’s clearly no such folder except one named “linux”. Go figure.

Anyway, here’s the gist of the installation if you’re doing it manually on 64bit me te you already have a JRE (such as openjdk) installed for your system:

mkdir -p ~/src
cd ~/src
tar -zxvf spark_2_5_8.tar.gz
mv Spark/jre Spark/jre.not
sed -i 's/\/lib\/windows/\/lib\/linux/g' Spark/Spark
sudo mkdir -p /opt
sudo mv Spark /opt
Thursday, March 05th, 2009 | Author:

Why is it that we’re so gullible?

I even considered for a whole second that my colleague had cross-checked the following SPAM before posting it on our IRL noticeboard. Please note that the following text originally had really bad-for-your-eyes fonts and colours. 😉

Urgent Warning from
Cell C, Vodacom & MTN!

[business card of aLegal Representativeof the Special Investigating Unit]

Dear All,
If you receive a phone call on your mobile from any person, saying that, he or she is
a company engineer, or saying that they’re checking your mobile line, and you have
to press # 90 ranei #09 or any other number.
End this call immediately without pressing any numbers.
There is a fraud company using a device that once you press #90 ranei #09 they can
access your ‘SIMcard and make calls at your expense.
Forward this message to as many friends as you can, to stop it.
All mobile users pay attention if you receive a phone call and your mobile phone
displays (XALAN) on the screen don’t answer the call, END THE CALL IMMEDIATELY,
if you answer the call, your phone will be infected by a virus..
This virus will erase all IMEI and IMSI information from both your phone and your SIM
card, which will make your phone unable to connect with the telephone network. You
will have to buy a new phone. This information has been confirmed by both Motorola
and Nokia.

The first things that got me thinking was the text denoting authority at the top of the page. Now, bear in mind this is on a noticeboardnot my inbox where my anti-spam senses are at their peak.

Who could possibly have the authority to say they’re sending out a notification on behalf of each of South Africa’s tri-opoly of GSM providers? Okay, so its someSpecialLegal team that sounds government-type. They’re legitit turns outbut they probably don’t have enough time to take my call asking if this is all true. Absolutely everything on the Internet must be true, especially anything I say. 😛

So anyway, now that we’re over the silliness, let’s break this hoax down:

Official Documentation

Bar a business card, which is hardly standard in any industry, there is no official contact information. I’d expect at least a letterhead or a misguided trailing disclaimer.

Presentation and Language

There are actually 2 notices here regarding separate threats however it isn’t obvious without reading the text in full. This is because the paragraphing and grammar are very poor. Government institutions don’t normally issue poorly-worded or paragraphed documentation. hoki, why not issue a separate notification regarding each threat separately?

A Lime Green??? bleh

There are no links to further resources

Any warning of this sort would undoubtedly offer further information or advertise the online presence of the institution. hoki, perhaps they’d like for you to give feedback on the situation or maybe they’d like us to report on further suspicious activity. But no. Nothing. Just a specific representative’s business card. What if the guy dies, finds a better job, ranei leaves the country?

There is a fraud company … “

This means that they haven’t any clue who it is. This is a broad and passive statement. Question whenever someone saysthey” ranei “people who”. Who is thisfraud company”? Where isthere”? And why doesn’t this crack government legal team (who have to use chain mail to spread warnings) let us know through their uber-powerful chain mail network?

Forward this message to as many friends as you can

My, oh my. This line has probably been in every chain letter / social engineering virus (my special definition) since sliced bread.

This information has been confirmed by both Motorola and Nokia.

They’re trying to prevent you from thinking for yourself and try to verify their claims independently. They’re sayingYou’re stupid to check. We already checked for you. :-D”. O te akoranga, in reality, they’re just trying to take advantage of our gullible nature.

“#90 or #09” me te “XALAN

There isn’t any way for you to verify this. Again, question everything. Google’s first page of results is riddled with the wordsCell phone warning hoax”. duh.

If you get a message like the above from your friends, reply and tell them to stop sending spamand maybe give them a link to this page so they know why. 🙂

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009 | Author:

Some of you may already know that I built a home server not too long ago. I documented some of the very important parts of how it was built though I was planning on releasing all the documentation all at once. I was using Arch Linux and I hadn’t nearly finished everything, especially the documentation. No te tauira, it was supposed to be a media server. After some disk shuffling, it was supposed to end up having a RAID1 for the boot and RAID 10 for the rest (the media part).

This didn’t work out at all.

I got as far as having an efficient (me te paifirewalled) routing gateway server. I was finally satisfied that the customised local routing* was working correctly and I was confident that my tests with DHCP meant I could disable the DHCP service on the flimsy ADSL router and have all my flatmates start using the server as the Internet kuwaha. Instead: I was logged in to the server from the office, I’d just installed Apache2**, and I was about to consult with a colleague regarding getting nice graphs put together so the flatmates could all see who was using up the bandwidth***when I noticed a little message indicating that the root filesystem had been remounted read-only due to some or other disk failure.

And then I lost my connection to the server.

And then I gained a foul mood.


When I arrived home, I found that, as I had guessed from the descriptive message given at the office, the (rawa) old 80GB IDE disk that I was using for the root filesystem had failed. Unfortunately, the server would never boot again and there was little chance of prying everything off onto another disk to continue where I’d left off.

I’m buying a replacement (SATA) HDD this next weekend just after pay dayand I’ve changed my mind about documenting my progressand backing up my configurations:

Release Early. Release Often.

* ISPs in South Africa charge less (easy price comparison) forlocal-only” (within South Africa) traffic on ADSL but only if you use an ADSL account that CANNOT access web services outside of South Africa. This means that if you want to take advantage of the reduced costs but still be able to access the Internet at large, you need to set up some sneaky routing.

** one-command-install: ~$ yaourt -S apache

*** Internet Access in SA is expensiveyou get charged about R70 ($7 / £4.9 / €5.46) per GB when using ADSL, or about R2 per MB if using GPRS / 3G.

Wenerei, January 28th, 2009 | Author:

I’m very happy to report that 2 much-needed and related features I’d filed bugs for at KDE’s Bug Tracking System bugzilla were added to KDE 4.2‘s KRDC. KDE 4.2 was just released and is now available within kdemod (aka Chakra)’s repositories. KDE-loving *nix-loving Windows administrators rejoice!

  • Ability to specify a default Username: Previously, before logging in, you’d be prompted for the username. Now the prompt is automatically filled in with a default username.
  • Ability to recognise LDAP logins and remember the password using kwallet as an LDAP Login.
KRDC options added

New KRDC options added

A very big thank you to the developer maintaining KRDC, Urs Wolfer.