News archive October 2011 - Koos van den Hout

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2011-10-31 (#)
After the presentation which used virtualbox I did the upgrade but I noticed last friday that remote desktop support wasn't working anymore (which I needed at that moment). I found out that 'VRDE' support (virtual remote desktop extension) is now part of the extension pack. VirtualBox asks for this extension pack once but you need to install it by hand.

Did the upgrade and installed the extension pack and now everything works again. I would have liked a bit more warning: the only thing warned about was that the extension pack was needed for USB support.

So now I can run VBoxHeadless again and portforward the remote desktop port over ssh. I'm not opening that port to the big bad internet: I see enough portscans for it.

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2011-10-30 (#)
I scanned digitenne dvb-t services and noticed something in the w_scan output:
        service = SkyRadio 101 FM (Digitenne)
Sky Radio really wants the FM broadcast allocation to be part of their brand. But if they wanted to be correct on Digitenne it would be:
SkyRadio transport stream 2305 frequency 818 MHz service 113 (0x71), PMT
0x46a, audiopid 1162.
.. but it wouldn't sound the same. Can't find the 'logical channel number' at the moment (the number a receiver listening to Digitenne would give the service).

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2011-10-30 (#)
Living one's life as performance art - Chris Jones on Google+.

Website for Hasan M. Elahi which is currently a bit slow, probably due to the New York Times article.

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2011-10-30 (Living one's life as performance art: """ In the process of compiling data about myself and supplying...)
Google+Koos van den Hout : Performance art and/or an insight into the impact of surveillance.
2011-10-29 (#)
Volgens het laatste Ziggo Zie magazine komt er de optie "TV op bestelling" wat ze in de bijbehorende FAQ ook al gauw 'PPE' noemen, oftewel pay per event. Het papieren magazine bevatte ook een opmerking over een optie om kinderprogramma's op deze manier te bestellen, maar op de website zie ik alleen voetbalwedstrijden.

De conclusie is wel dat de infrastructuur voor conditional access wijzigingen bij Ziggo verbeterd moet zijn om dit soort diensten commercieel te bieden. Hoewel ik benieuwd ben hoeveel klanten ze aan kunnen. Maar als je 3 of meer wedstrijden per maand kijkt is gewoon altijd eredivisie live nemen handiger. En voor overtuigde voetbalhaters zoals ik is het alleen technisch interresant dat het kan.

Het is duidelijk een commerciele keuze: voor het snel in- en uitschakelen van keuzepakketten zoals ik had verwacht toen ik het 'kennis en nieuws' pakket bestelde wordt het juist niet ingezet.

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2011-10-24 (#)
I realized I never made the scripts available to fetch the carrier stats for the Speedtouch 546/546i modem. So I packaged them and made them available as part of the Generating Alcatel Speedtouch graphs micro-howto. I also updated the howto with information about ADSL2+ and the speedtouch 546i. The first serious update since I released the scripts for fetching the carrier stats from the speedtouch home in 2002.

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2011-10-22 (#)
Ik kom net een mooie virtuele foto-expositie tegen van Theo Peters over IJsland op Prachtige beelden. Ik herken een aantal plekken direct zoals Landmannalaugar maar dat weerhoudt me er niet van zo weer een keer IJsland te willen bezoeken.

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2011-10-20 (#)
Read somewhere today:
Just got a support call to add some IPv6 addresses to one of our mail clusters, since a customer needed to mail one of their partners in China, who did not have MX in IPv4 space...
IPv4 address exhaustion is REAL. And it is happening now. You need IPv6 to talk to the entire Internet.

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2011-10-20 (#)
I heard about rdnssd today at the NLUUG meeting I attended. I gave it a try on my laptop. As an ubuntu package it uses the resolvconf package. I had to change the /etc/resolvconf/interface-order file to use the rdnssd results before the dhcpv4 answers:
# interface-order(5)
And now I get the resulting /etc/resolv.conf I want:
# Dynamic resolv.conf(5) file for glibc resolver(3) generated by resolvconf(8)
nameserver 2001:980:14ca:42::694
And resolver traffic goes over IPv6.

Update 2011-11-25: Trying the same on a workstation on the wired network doesn't give the right result:
$ cat /etc/resolv.conf
# Dynamic resolv.conf(5) file for glibc resolver(3) generated by resolvconf(8)
Yes, empty. No data from rdnssd and no data from dhclient. Back to the working config...

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2011-10-20 (#)
Vandaag naar de NLUUG najaarsconferentie 2011 "Networking: IPv6 en de rest.." geweest. Inspirerend, gehoord over IPv6 (nieuwe dingen geleerd over DHCPv6 en over IPv6 unique local adresses). Daarnaast bijgepraat over dnssec, waar ik ook weer eens tijd in moet steken.

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2011-10-18 (#)
Commented on Carriers Aim to Curb the 'Bill Shock' of Excessive Roaming, Data Charges | Gadget Lab |

My comment about earlier forms of 'bill shock':
Just like the 'bill shock' on the first telephone bill after you got a modem. Or when discovering out of area BBSes, or Compuserve. History just repeats itself, but this time it is news.

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2011-10-17 (#)
All the feared mayhem with the timezone database lawsuit should calm now: the ICANN took over and the new home of the timezone database is at the IANA website. Source: ICANN rescues time zone database - The Register.

There is still a lawsuit in which Astrolabe looks quite stupid.

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2011-10-16 (#)
Visiting relatives in Zuid-Limburg I took the DAB+ radio with me to do a quick service scan. This location is interesting for radio coverage: it is a bit hilly country, there are very local radio stations for the servicemen at the local military bases and all the surrounding countries have their own transmitters. Flemish (vlaanderen), Walloon (Wallonie), German national, German regional (Northrein-Westfalen).

Services found:
1LIVE diggi
90elf Fußball
90elf Livespiell
90elf Livespiell2
90elf Livespiell3
90elf Livespiell4
90elf Livespiell5
Absolut Radio
Program information: Sie hoeren das BRF1-Programm in digital ueber das DAB-netz der RTBF
Program information: Sie hoeren das BRF2-Programm in digital ueber das DAB-netz der RTBF
Classic 21
Program information: Vous ecoutez Classic21 en numerique sur le reseau DAB de la RTBF
DAB+ Test A    <- rtbf
Program information: Tests en DAB+ Vos commentaires : radionumerique☭ ou rnt☭
DAB+ Test B
Program information: Tests en DAB+ Vos commentaires : radionumerique☭ ou rnt☭
DAB+ Test C
Program information: Tests en DAB+ Vos commentaires : radionumerique☭ ou rnt☭
DAB+ Test D
Program information: Tests en DAB+ Vos commentaires : radionumerique☭ ou rnt☭
Dradio DokDeb
ERF Plus
Klara continuo
La Premiere
MNM hits
Pure FM
Radio 1
Radio 2
Radio Horeb
Studio Brussel
WDR Event
Nothing special when I compare it to the DAB ensembles for Belgium, DAB ensembles for Germany and DAB ensembles for Nordrein-Westfalen. If I am correct I see the ensembles VRT DAB, RTBF DAB, DR Deutschland and Radio fuer NRW. The receiver sorts the found services by alphabet and I can't (yet) find technical details per service such as operator and frequency.

The ☭ sign in the program information above was originally an at-sign, but I don't want to cause extra noise in those mailboxes. I mailed a reception report for those DAB+ tests. Which failed to deliver: both addresses are bad. Which may say something about tests running on autopilot for long times.

BRF1 / BRF2 (Belgischer Rundfunk) are specific stations for the german speaking community in Belgium.

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2011-10-14 (Wired used an US airforce stockphoto in the article Get Hacked, Don’t Tell: Drone Base Didn’t Report...)
Google+Koos van den Hout : Wired used an US airforce stockphoto in the article Get Hacked, Don’t Tell: Drone Base Didn’t Report Virus at . The stockphoto doesn't really have to do a lot with the article: it's a US air force member working on the wires in a main distribution frame of a telephone exchange. So now I want to know the story behind that picture which I can't find on the USAF stock photo site.

I did a traineeship with the Dutch phone company years ago (1988!) and I spent some time in exchanges.
2011-10-14 (#)
News about the passing away of Dennis Ritchie made me update the machine names at home page. A bit of history collected.

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2011-10-14 (#)
An interesting picture on top of the article Get Hacked, Don't Tell: Drone Base Didn't Report Virus - Wired Danger Room, with just an image credit to the US Air Force.

I am very sure it is a US air force member in a phone exchange somewhere in the world. He is working on the main distribution frame (Nederlands: hoofdverdeler) and those wires (Dutch: kruisdraad) connect the exchange equipment to the outside wires.

The relevance to the story is not very clear to me: the story is about computer networks, drones and a virus.

I tried to look up the picture on the Official Site of the U.S. Air Force - Photos but couldn't. Search terms I used like 'phone' or 'network' gave lots of nice pictures, but not that specific one. I know the picture is from that site: the local filename on the wired site can be found in the large size archives: exists.

But I want to read the story behind that picture!

I did a traineeship with the Dutch phone company back in 1988 and spent some time in those distribution frames.

Update: Lazyweb Google+ helped: in response to me posting this to google+ : Wired used an US airforce stockphoto in the article Get Hacked, Don’t Tell: Drone Base Didn’t Report Virus Reinoud van Leeuwen found the source of the image in the story: Yokota Comm keeps interagency team connected during Operation Tomodachi - Yokota Air Base 7th picture.

The story:
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Airman 1st Class Nicholas Leon, 374th Communications Squadron cyber transport technician, connects a new Defense Switched Network line at the 374th CS building, Yokota Air Base, Japan, April 2, 2011. Airman Leon helped install additional DSN lines for easy communication with units temporarily assigned to Yokota AB for Operation Tomodachi. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Samuel Morse)
Kudos to Airman 1st Class Nicholas Leon of the 374th Communications Squadron.

2011-10-14 (#)
Once, a long time ago, I chose request tracker by best practical. In implementing RT I found some bug in it. Since I have a history of finding 'interesting' bugs in corner cases of software use that was no complete surprise. When I reported it on the mailing list I had a suggested fix within half a day. Which fixed my problem, so I could report that back and the fix made it into the distribution.

Now I work in a situation where other people have chosen helpdesk workflow software. Which is now usable for me after some heavy cursing at it. It is web-based but the whole web interface gives me the feeling I am looking at the web implementation of a windows program interface.

This web-interface has a nasty problem recently: giving 'connection reset by peer' when I reload pages after a few days. I know the workaround: restart my browser (removing all session cookies does not help!). Which suggests to me it is some bug in the webserver or in the application. Reported to the local support, see how long it takes...

Update: After the weekend, the local support reported the webserver had certain problems and the was restarted...

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2011-10-13 (printf("Goodbye Mr. Ritchie.\n"); /* You helped us make computers get things done, thanks for everything...)
Google+Koos van den Hout : Lots of variants on "Hello world\n" doing the rounds, this one caught my eye.
2011-10-11 (#)
Politiek witheet door Lektober, wil actie Donner - Webwereld
Het ict-beleid van de overheid moet echt verbeteren
Arjan el Fassed (GroenLinks) wil ook een team. Maar dan een audit-team dat jaarlijks de ict-beveiliging van gemeenten test. Volgens El Fassed zijn de slecht beveiligde gemeentesites geen incidenten meer, maar een symptoom van gebrek aan controle op ict-veiligheid en privacy bij de overheid.
Juridisch goed onderbouwd werken bij de overheid is stoer. Met veilige en betrouwbare ICT werken die gegevens van burgers goed beschermd blijkbaar nog niet.

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2011-10-11 (#)
Slate magazine has reprinted the "Secrets of the Little Blue Box" article from 1971 which inspired Steve Jobs. The same Ron Rosenbaum now writing for Slate was the author of the 1971 esquire article, which can be found via Secrets of The Little Blue Box - The History of Phone Phreaking Blog where Phil Lapsley has a quality scan of the original.

It's still amazing to read about the original phreaking community and how technical knowledge spread before the worldwideweb.

Found via Slate Reprints Blue-Box Article That Inspired Jobs - slashdot.

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2011-10-09 (#)
An obsolete scanner found its way into our home, an HP scanjet 3970. Connect scanner to (Ubuntu) laptop, start xsane, searching for devices, found an hp scanjet 3970, ready to scan.

Where is the hardcore hacking nowadays! I know, lots of other stuff to hack left, especially when you want things to look different than what the designers/packagers thought would be great (I want my fvwm2).

Ok, I will admit I did do a search for 'linux hp scanjet 3970' before it got taken home. But this says something about how friendly modern open source software can be.

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2011-10-06 (#)
Grappig: bij het spelen met de google webmaster tools kwam ik dit artikel tegen: Voorlopers en geboorte van het (publieke) internet - Radoveden met verwijzingen naar de geschiedenis van BBS Koos z'n Doos.

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2011-10-06 (#)
Updated the Weather station Utrecht Overvecht page to give the latest measurements. In the background it changed from an rrdcgi page to a perl page so I could easily add those measurements.

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2011-10-04 (#)
Pepijn van webmenshirts is blijkbaar een zware en hardnekkige spammer die denkt dat beheeraccounts ook geinterreseerd zouden zijn in het ontvangen van de laatste html-bagger over de "herfstcollecue".
   Registrar: NORDNET
   Whois Server:

        Philippo Patrick (NNR-p2hinv0)
                P2h Investissement
                57 Avenue D Enghien
                93800 Epinay Sur Seine
                Phone: +33.148411349

        Registrar....: Nordnet

        Domain Name:
Maar ook gezien in dezelfde mail:, Een websearch geeft me duidelijk het idee dat dit een hardnekkig geval is.

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2011-10-04 (#)
Interesting photo set: Devil's mountain: NSA's Abandoned Cold-War Listening Post | Threat Level |

Both a great set of pictures of 'urban decay' and a view into cold war history.

We cycled up Teufelsberg when we cycled through Germany in 2009. We did not get a view like in the pictures above because we didn't go through the heavy barbed wire fence.

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2011-10-02 (#)
Aam het item over de de hcc mediadag 1 oktober 2011 zijn nu mijn presentaties toegevoegd in openoffice en pdf formaat.

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2011-10-01 (#)
The planned presentation for hcc mediadag 1 oktober 2011 didn't go very smooth: I wanted to demonstrate virtualbox running at home with virtualbox over ssh. But screen performance (X11 over ssh) was unusable. After a few tries I gave up and tried it via VBoxHeadless and rdesktop via ssh portforwarding. Still bad performance. I switched to legacy IPv4 for the ssh portforwarding and that 'fixed' things: usable performance to show pxebooting working.

The different thing about IPv6 is that it's routed via an openvpn tunnel which introduces a bit extra latency and other overhead. Maybe something to investigate later.

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IPv6 check

Running test...
, reachable as PGP encrypted e-mail preferred. PGP key 5BA9 368B E6F3 34E4 local copy PGP key 5BA9 368B E6F3 34E4 via keyservers

Meningen zijn die van mezelf, wat ik schrijf is beschermd door auteursrecht. Sommige publicaties bevatten een expliciete vermelding dat ze ongevraagd gedeeld mogen worden.
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Other webprojects: Camp Wireless, wireless Internet access at campsites, The Virtual Bookcase, book reviews
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