News archive August 2012 - Koos van den Hout

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2012-08-31 (#)
@Wilboard grappig, radio top2000 en nieuws24 bestaan dus niet alleen op DAB
2012-08-31 (#)
Want to pay 199 Euro for a worthless spamlist? Email-Packs makes it possible.

I received spam this morning addressed to a (to me) completely unknown business name which I saw before in spam. The spam suggested the business would be in the local area of the sender in Flemish Belgium. So I replied to the sender asking where they got my address and other information. The answer came reasonably fast: the data comes from

Browsing the site of email-packs makes it reasonably clear what their business model is: selling spamlists. The company that spammed me probably bought Email Packs Belgium for 199 euro. Email-packs has 'interesting' contact information: an address in Chisinau, Republic of Moldova with a +373 number. The 'more information regarding our products and/or our services' number is in France +33, but I have no idea whether a +33-1-8 number has to terminate in Paris or can be forwarded somewhere else, like Moldova.

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2012-08-30 (#)
Adding more bits of BBS history to and hoping others will do that too
2012-08-28 (#)
Weer zo'n spam waarbij ik me af ga vragen wat de fraude is:
Beste dames en heren,

We beiden goedbetaalde baan aan: de website LEZER.

Uw functie:
Bezoeken van de website van een Gezondheidskliniek en daarna eenvoudige vragen te beantwoorden.

Bijvoorbeeld: was het gemakkelijk om een aanvraag te doet, is er niet te veel van de rode kleur, is de tekst duidelijk op de aanvraagpagina.

We vragen dat om te bepalen of de website gemakkelijk is voor onze klanten. Dit is zeer belangrijk want een eenvoudige website kan wist ervan 3-5 keer vermeerderen. U kan dit doen in uw vrije tijd, ongeveer van 2 tot 12 uur per week.
Wat het ook is, er is vast een fraude, dus trap hier niet in.

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2012-08-26 (#)
Ik heb een echte originele T65 draaischijftelefoon te pakken gekregen. Productiedatum april 1985. Ik ga hem nog schoonmaken. In een simpele test kwam ik al gauw achter een te verwachten probleem: de ATA die ik gebruik voor VoIP experimenten, een cisco ata 186, snapt geen pulsedialing. Maar voor inkomende gesprekken is deze telefoon al goed genoeg. Misschien handig voor inkomende gesprekken op Collectors*Net!

Later viel me trouwens iets op aan de productiedatum: in juni 1978 hadden we thuis al een telefoon met druktoetsen en dtmf. Maar dtmf ondersteuning werd in Nederland gefaseerd ingevoerd, toen ik in 1984 stage liep bij kpn telecom waren er nog electromechanische centrales in Utrecht die geen dtmf ondersteuning hadden.

Update 2012-08-28: Een echte T65 draaischijftelefoon is voor iedereen bereikbaar: bij de webwinkel van het Staatsbedrijf der Posterijen, Telegrafie en Telefonie zijn ze te koop. Prachtige website met de nodige Nederlandse telefoonhistorie met een knipoog.

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2012-08-25 (#)
RT @BadAstronomer: Neil Armstrong: 1930 - 2012.
2012-08-23 (#)
A while ago somebody pointed me at the BBS wiki at where I created a page about BBS Koos z'n doos.

Since then I visited the BBS wiki on and off. I would like for that site to get some more activity so to people who remember BBSes and people who ran BBSes: go over to the BBS wiki at and update it with your bit of BBS history.

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2012-08-23 (#)
I used the wardriving box at home after I noticed I hadn't used it at all in over two months. It hung after a while, not responding to network or keypresses but still reporting on ethernet link state changes. I thought the temperature might have something to do with it since the box does get a bit warm and it was in the direct sun.

So I loaded the internal sensor driver w83627hf which is mentioned in the voyage linux getting started page and had a check:
ritchie:/sys/devices/platform/w83627hf.656# cat temp?_input
72 ⁰C seems a bit high, but other reports of measured temperatures list the same values, like this openbsd on the alix1c for dmesg shows.

Later during the day with the wardriving box out of the direct sun it keeps running fine.

With the probable hardware for the weather station computer also being an alix1.d the ideas now include measuring and graphing of all available temperatures, if only to keep an eye on possible stability issues.

Update: 47 new wi-fi networks found without moving the wardrivebox 1 centimetre...

Update 2012-08-24: I wanted to bring the wardriving box on my bike but .. the carrier on the back is slightly broken from earlier wardriving, and there is no place to stick the gps to at the moment.

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2012-08-22 (#)
Home automation and monitoring with ideas I like: openHAB 1.0 - Home Automation For Geeks. One thing quite notable to me is the option for privacy in measuring:
Persistence and Charting – Store your values and states anywhere you like: In a local database (classic or round-robin), in dedicated log files or even in an Internet-of-Things cloud service. Use the persisted data for defining complex automation logic or for dynamic chart generation.
So you don't have to export all your data exactly logging your daily life to some external service. Very good! Lots better than all those devices that ship your data out first and give access to you and who else later, like the 'smart meter'.

The current user-interface options are very modern-gadget centric (android mobile browser or apple mobile device browser) but given the fact that it also has a clearly defined REST api, developers can write other user interfaces.

Via openHAB 1.0 - Home Automation For Geeks - Jan-Piet Mens

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2012-08-22 (Ok, it annoys me when the last sip of ice-tea isn't willing to get out of the carton. Fixed with scissors...)
Google+Koos van den Hout : Ok, it annoys me when the last sip of ice-tea isn't willing to get out of the carton. Fixed with scissors.
2012-08-21 (#)
RT @ArjenKamphuis: Location for 2013 Dutch hackerfest is final: 1 hr north of Amsterdam, July 31st to Aug 4th 2013 ...
2012-08-20 (#)
Another SEO scammer being quite stupid:
Hope you are well, I was surfing through your website "" and realized that despite having a good design; it was not ranking on any of the search engines for most of the keywords pertaining to your domain.
How would you 'surf' that website?
$ host
Host not found: 3(NXDOMAIN)

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2012-08-20 (#)
There once was a time debian just couldn't install anymore on a machine with less than 12 mebibyte memory (12582912 bytes). I looked it up, this must have been Debian Potato: Installing Debian GNU/Linux 2.2 For Intel x86 - System Requirements. We're now at the level were 128 mebibyte is not enough for running Ubuntu 10.04 server. During startup the out-of-memory killer kills ureadahead and plymouth.

This is on an indeed aging machine (bios date 07/15/97), but I am somewhat dissapointed how big a 'minimal' install is. I blacklisted every unneeded but automatically loaded kernel module to free up some kernel memory after boot.

Update 2012-08-21: That indeed helped to get rid of the regular 'page allocation failure' messages.

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2012-08-18 (#)
RT @Wilboard: Sommige dingen zijn zo eenvoudig: #stemwijzer
2012-08-17 (#)
At my current work I am also introducing zabbix monitoring. I chose zabbix at my previous work because I like the approach: measure a lot of values and store those, and next you decide whether to draw graphs or run triggers based on those values. Monitoring, graphing and alerting in one system.

The installation of the zabbix agent got puppetized instantly. I found out the rpm from epel leaves a few things to fix, so puppet to the rescue to fix that on installation. By simply configuring those fixes to depend on the package and to notify the service the start of the service will be postponed until those fixes have been done and the agent will start correctly.

Firewall on the monitored machines still needs to be fixed by hand, this is still a problem. Bringing the firewall under puppet control would be great, but that is quite a project.

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2012-08-17 (#)
En nog een leuke 'computerkamer' set gevonden via google image search: Computerkamer van cba. Compleet met 19" rack.

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2012-08-16 (#)
I came across this video announcing the BBS documentary on G4TV. A somewhat younger Jason Scott introducing the BBS documentary and hoping other, better BBS documentaries will be made after he releases his one.

Update: Ok, this is weird: when this video is on my homepage the embed gets replaced by the video embedded from snotr recently but when this embedded video is on itself I see the right video. Must be some conflict in the embed code. And it only happens on one browser, with a different system with the same Ubuntu version shows the right video.

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2012-08-16 (#)
With some spam I really wonder what the scam is.. like this one:
I wish to purchased from you, but before i request for my items i wish to know your terms and conditions, like your payment methods, including your shipping methods?
Received on a personal e-mail address not linked to any selling.

What would the scam be? Ordering something expensive and avoiding actual payment?

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2012-08-15 (#)
Pure amusement: Mozilla bug 765645 – Millions of web pages use the -moz-opacity:0.7 tag and in javascript. It's broken now since FF 13.01. Please can you "alias" it back into your main browser code. Thanks. someone who obviously did a lot of work on copying / creating his website with horrible colors, javascript and sound effects (for this reason I leave out the URL, it is mentioned in the bug report if you are interested) is dissappointed css parameter -moz-opacity is gone.. because it has been standardized to opacity. Now he has to spend hours of work finding all the places where he used this (.. style sheets have this option of being a separate file which you can reference from all pages) and he wants to invoice the mozilla foundation for his hard work which will take a lot of time since he's not a web developer.

By this logic, people who ran 'Internet Explorer only' websites should have been billed seriously.

Via Twitter Lea Verou: This is hilarious: Dude freaks out that -moz-opacity was removed, threatens to sue @Mozilla unless they pay $18,000

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2012-08-13 (#)
@Wilboard Ik ook! Gebruik maken van je democratisch grondrecht is altijd verstandig.
2012-08-13 (#)
@Wilboard "Er zijn onvoldoende serieuze partijen actief in de verkiezingen, waardoor geen betrouwbare verkiezingen gehouden kunnen worden"
2012-08-13 (#)
At work I recently introduced puppet for automated system management, after hearing about it from people with very good experiences with it.

Slowly but surely we start to manage the first tasks with puppet: system accounts, ssh configuration, ntp configuration, package removal/addition, postfix configuration and other things we want configured to our standards on all machines. Puppet helps a lot in making configurations standard and making sure (complicated) configuration tasks have been done on every system.

The fact that we are currently setting up quite a number of new virtual machines helps, lots of room to start of with a 'puppetized' config.

Configuration choices can be made based on classes assigned to nodes but also based on 'facts' derived from the machine itself. For example I install package smartmontools on machines with real hardware, it doesn't make sense to install it in virtual machines. Or I can use a variable from a fact in a configuration, which is great if you want mail from machines to be readable when it's in a big mailbox. A sample from the logwatch config:
        file { 'logwatch.conf':
                path => '/etc/logwatch/conf/logwatch.conf',
                ensure => present,
                owner => 'root',
                group => 'root',
                mode => 0444,
                content => "# This file is under puppet control
# Generated by $Id: logwatch.pp 67 2012-08-14 08:14:49Z XXXXX $
# Do not edit on this machine
MailFrom = Logwatch@$fqdn (Logwatch on $hostname)
                require => Package['logwatch'];
And the logwatch mailfolder gets more readable.

Puppetdashboard radiator view with colors denoting system states With more than a few machines to manage with puppet I like puppetdashboard to see whether all changes have been rolled out to all machines. The 'radiator view' gives a great visual hint whether you need to look at your own puppet dashboard for more info or everything is fine so we use that view on our system monitor screen. And puppetdashboard gives nice counters showing just how much configuration items you are controlling: the current count for our setup is 812 items already, and we're just getting started.

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2012-08-11 (#)
De @xs4all #krijtmok is binnen, bedankt!
2012-08-10 (Another picture doing the rounds with a story attached I didn't trust:
Google+Koos van den Hout : Another picture doing the rounds with a story attached I didn't trust: .. that is a wide-band log-periodical antenna so it is for way more frequencies than just 2.4 / 5.8 GHz. So I asked about it on a mailing list about broadcast transmitters in England, and got an answer real fast: That is a Rohde & Schwarz antenna with internal low noise amplifier connected to an Agilent Field Fox analyser. In use to detect interference issues on a lot more frequencies. There are about 100000 transmitters in use around the Olympic venues on licensed frequencies, and detecting and stopping interference on licensed frequencies has a much higher importance than unauthorized wi-fi access points.
Gizmodo still has the wrong story: but they link to the reddit page about the image where a very good answer with actual clue is rising to the top:

So on-line media is not free from giving you that nagging feeling of "If they get this so wrong about a subject I happen to know something about, what else do they get wrong?". No surprise, but you would think comment systems like the one on reddit would be seen by gizmodo and their story corrected.

Ofcom has a good explanation about their work around the games:

Update: even the Sydney Morning Herald believes the 'wi-fi police' story and using it in a story about all the rules surrounding the Olympics: I have mailed the author of this story, maybe it will be corrected.
2012-08-08 (#)
En alweer einde van een tijdperk: De hcc!pc gg waar ik in het verleden veel dingen mee en voor gedaan heb wordt na een winterslaap herboren als hcc!pc ig (interessegroep) : HCC!pc ig als opvolger van HCC!FVC en HCC!muziek ig en HCC!web ig - HCC groepen. Met nieuwe mensen, een nieuwe domeinnaam en website:, een nieuwe aanpak van de hosting (bij hobbynet, dus gelukkig wel met IPv6) en nieuwe activiteiten.

Ik kan mezelf niet echt lekker vinden in de manier waarop de HCC omgaat met zijn vrijwilligers en heb deze hele ontwikkeling een beetje rustig aan me voorbij laten gaan. De nieuwe mensen maken er vast iets moois van.

Maar dan moet er wel iets met de techniek die nog onder mijn beheer is: de domeinnaam gaat opgeheven worden. En dus vervalt ook De blogsite van de netwerkgroep laat ik doordraaien op zodat de content beschikbaar blijft. Comments zijn nu wel uitgeschakeld.

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2012-08-08 (#)
ADSL downstream speed graph, showing several changes in downstream speed over 24 hours A rainy day makes the ADSL downstream speed interesting...

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2012-08-07 (#)
Ruim een week niet toegekomen aan de Digitale Leeromgeving zend amateurs maar vanavond lukte het weer. Het leren van de 'droge kennis' die verder voor mij nog geen logische verbanden heeft is wat lastig, ik haper momenteel een beetje op welke frequenties N en F amateurs mogen gebruiken en de Q-codes. Het nato-spellingsalfabet heb ik mezelf eerder eigen kunnen maken door te oefenen met de letters in kentekens dus ik kan het allemaal wel leren als ik er iets mee kan.

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2012-08-07 (#)
Rainy weather, lower bandwidth:
Available Bandwidth                 Cells/s           Kbit/s 
  Downstream          :            18596             7885 
  Upstream            :             2426             1029 
And hickups.

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2012-08-07 (#)
Rainy day: my #adsl connection is bouncy
2012-08-07 (#)
Oh, the whole industry of 'search engine optimization' which is in my opinion a scam anyway, but some are more scammy than others. A really interesting spam came in about this, and I reproduce it like it shows in mutt:
Subject: [Webmaster] Google 1st Page Ranking otherwise Guaranteed Money Back

[-- Attachment #1 --]
[-- Type: multipart/alternative, Encoding: 7bit, Size: 3.4K --]

*Hi There,

I am Jenny
Business Development (Manager),
We are offering Best Sales and Traffic Guaranty through our SEO and SMO
services in our committed time.  No Black Hat, No Spam work.
That's interesting, 'No Spam work', but you are sending this as the signature of an e-mail, which is usually a flag of abusing a webmail account of a third party. The signature is set once, and the spam goes out as a one-line message to each recipient. Searching for the name of the webmail account shows me some advance fee fraud mail (Nigerian scammers). So this 'no black hat, no spam work' SEO manager is associating with the finest in on-line fraud.

Oh and there is no website, nor a search term mentioned which should find it. How can you be a SEO scammer without having your own website which I should always be able to find with a search engine in one click?

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2012-08-07 (#)
@Wilboard da's wel verdacht he...
2012-08-03 (The story of a sewer / rain overflow / underground river in London and truly awesome pictures.)
Google+Koos van den Hout : The story of a sewer / rain overflow / underground river in London and truly awesome pictures.
2012-08-03 (#)
@xs4all "Instant system administrator: just add coffee" #krijtmok
2012-08-03 (#)
Time to count IPv6 visitor percentage to different websites again:
SiteJuly 2009July 2010July 2011July 2012 my homepage 1% 2% 2% 3% weather maps < 1% 5% 6% 7% hcc!pcgg netwerkgroep 2% 2% 2% 3% BBS files 1% 1% 1% the webcam < 1% 1% < 1% 2% The Virtual Bookcase < 1% 1% 1% 4% Camp Wireless < 1% 1% 1% 3%
Interesting numbers. Websites with a more 'general' audience are now also growing this year.

Method: unique IPv6 addresses seen in the whole month / total unique addresses seen in the whole month.

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2012-08-02 (#)
@SadaoTurner no, that's a wideband antenna and analyzer, they are looking for sources of interference to licensed transmitters
2012-08-02 (#)
On our recent holiday in France I did bring the laptop.. and the DVB-T stick and small antenna. I scanned in a few places in France but noticed that for any real reception in most rural areas a high antenna and a pre-amp are needed. Metadata came in, but real TV-watching was impossible. So on any future trips: if we want to watch TV, we'll need the antenna with preamp.

DVB-T reception log 2012-06-11 Jumièges, Seine-Maritime department, France
DVB-T reception log 2012-06-26 Seillac, Loir-et-Cher department, France

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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.
My opinions are my own, what I write is protected by copyrights. Some publications contain an explicit license statement which allows sharing without asking permission.
Other webprojects: Camp Wireless, wireless Internet access at campsites, The Virtual Bookcase, book reviews
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