Robert Soloway was taken into custody today on several charges. Everybody with an e-mail address has probably received his spam. Good to know that justice gets served on spammers eventually. Also published in the Seattle Post Intelligencer: Feds: Notorious Seattle 'Spam King' indicted. Original source: Usenet posting.
Wardriving results 5 May - 29 May: 2903 new networks with GPS locations according to WiGLE. A visit to Nieuwegein, uncharted bits of Utrecht, a visit of Delft. Visits to areas I haven't seen in a while score high numbers of networks. I guess a lot of people buy new wireless network equipment at the moment (probably pre-802.11n equipment or replacing WEP-secured stuff).
The asterisk project for the speaking clock now has its own page: Asterisk project 002 where the current version of the script can be viewed.
The blackbird nest in our backyard is occupied again. Two blackbirds are flying in and out of the place I saw the nest. We were gone for a couple of days, I guess they thought the garden was safe enough. Today we had lunch in the garden and one of the blackbirds was a bit irritated at us sitting in our own garden! ;)
One of those nagging things: music on hold sounded real slow in Asterisk. By default, asterisk uses mpg123. The small print of the documentation (and some web links) showed that the version default with the Debian on the test server is indeed not 'right' for this task. So, after rebuilding mpg123 from source I had working music on hold with a collection of irritating earworm music! Time to find a better source of music.. maybe Podshow has some feed I can use for podsafe hold music.
I played with Asterisk scripting last evening. Started out with an empty extensions.conf and went from there to create a speaking clock. I was trying to copy the old Dutch ptt telecom 002 experience, with a Dutch voice I found at VoIP wiki nl: Asterisk en taal afhankelijke sound files. I run this ofcourse on a ntp-synchronized server, a talking clock has to be correct! I tried to make it run on intervals of 10 seconds, but that doesn't work completely yet.
Recompiling php I noticed at the end that certain libraries were mentioned a lot in the final linking stage: -lcrypt -lcrypt -lpq -lldap -llber -lfreetype -lpng -lz -ljpeg -lcurl -lz -lresolv -lm -ldl -lnsl -lxml2 -lz -lm -lcurl -lssl -lcrypto -lgssapi_krb5 -lkrb5 -lcom_err -lk5crypto -lresolv -ldl -lz -lgssapi_krb5 -lkrb5 -lk5crypto -lcom_err -lresolv -lidn -lssl -lcrypto -lssl -lcrypto -lgssapi_krb5 -lkrb5 -lcom_err -lk5crypto -lresolv -ldl -lz -lz -lxml2 -lz -lm -lxml2 -lz -lm -lxml2 -lz -lm -lcrypt -lxml2 -lz -lm -lxml2 -lz -lm -lxml2 -lz -lm -lcrypt. The winners: 12 -lz, 8 -lm, 7 -lxml2, 4 -lresolv, 4 -lcrypt ...
This weekend I tried Asterisk, the open source pbx for the first time because I plan to give some lectures and demonstrations on the subject of VoIP later this year, and I want to understand VoIP better by getting some hands-on experience. I found out the learning curve is somewhat steep and the Asterisk quickstart linked from the Debian docs is somewhat minimal. I found an IAX (Asterisk protocol) softphone: idefisk (the linux and mac versions of this program don't support SIP) which helped me do a test of the installation. So, after some fiddling, finding out that an IAX softphone needs to be registered in iax.conf (one of those things that sound completely logical after you run into "it does not work"). The first call I made was to test number 1000, so I heard the voice of Allison Smith telling me I had succesfully installed Asterisk. I am glad I didn't try Asterisk when I wanted to play with xs4all VoIP last year: it would have taken me quite some time to get going. It seems Asterisk is software that you can configure when you have a set target (a home pbx, a call-in information service) and you go reach that target (possibly using extra hardware or extra sip accounts). The 'scripting language' is quite different from anything I'm used to. But now I think I have a set target (given some approval for buying hardware) and I can set up Asterisk for that target.
Mirjam recently bought a laptop. It came with Microsoft Vista as operating system, XP was not an option anymore. The reason for any story of succesfull Vista sales is therefore clearly a result of Microsoft steering the market using their OEM contracts, and not due to Vista being spectacularly good. A lot of people are waiting for it to become useful, service pack 1 to be released or avoiding it alltogether. One of the features of Vista that is supposed to make us say 'Wow' was the eye-candy with stacked windows. Mirjam searched for this feature (her laptop has a fast graphics card, so that should be possible) and found out that you need a business version of Vista to get this part of the 'wow' of Vista. So I guess Vista is not that 'wow' after all, you just get it shoved down your throat.
Ages ago, I was trying to get the pam_groupdn option in ldap.conf for pam_ldap.so to do what I want: limit access to a certain system to certain accounts (where the list of 'certain accounts' could be managed centrally, via that same ldap). It needs a 'groupOfUniqueNames' type object in the ldapserver with multiple 'uniqueMember' fields pointing at the dn of accounts that are member. I found the correct bits in a mail to the secure-shell list: RE: AllowGroups and ldap.
Birds are very active in our back yard. First I saw blackbirds active and thought they might be building a nest. Indeed they were, but when they found out people walk really close to that nest they abandoned it again.
Wardriving results 12 April - 4 May: 1918 new networks with GPS locations. Some detours happened, a visit to Houten, a drive to the east of the Netherlands with my first networks mapped in Germany and some purpose visits to small uncharted bits of Utrecht.
From The Onion: Prince William Fells Prince Willem-Alexander Of The Netherlands In Crucial Joust. Back to old times? Or international tension all over.
I decided to try a flickr-account so I can upload and share pictures easily, so I can use my own pictures.idefix.net for well-balanced collections and flickr for 'putting a picture on-line'. Now an attempt to use a flickr picture on my page: Koos van den Hout: flickr page