News items for tag rant - Koos van den Hout

2020-10-20 Vergeet niet de text/plain versie in je mail 1 month ago
Uit de text/plain versie van de laatste mail van azerty:


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 vestibulum. Nullam nulla eros, ultricies sit amet, nonummy id, imperdiet feugia
t, pede. Sed lectus. Donec mollis hendrerit risus. Phasellus nec sem in justo pe
llentesque facilisis. Etiam imperdiet imperdiet orci. Nunc nec neque. Phasellus
leo dolor, tempus non, auctor et, hendrerit quis, nisi.

Productnaam 1

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rdiet iaculis, ipsum.


Productnaam 3

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rdiet iaculis, ipsum.

meer info

Productnaam 4

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rdiet iaculis, ipsum.

meer info
De text/html versie bevat wel informatie. Iets met hardware voor gamers, dus ik kan verder de mail van harte weggooien.

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2020-07-23 Twitter pointing me right at the dark side of social media 4 months ago
I separated my amateur radio twitter from my work and other contacts twitter to get less depressing world politics in my timeline and today Twitter showed me very clearly that I'm supposed to get agitated and depressed and not retreat into a safer bubble.

I got notifications on the @PE4KH account (including on my phone) to look at this tweet by Phil Karn KA9Q: Fascism has arrived in America. which quotes another political tweet.

I really appreciate the work Phil Karn has done in the past for networking and amateur radio, and as a person I feel sorry for him and others to have to live their daily lives in a situation like this.

But at the same time I don't want to be reminded constantly, because I can't do much about it and I will just feel more depressed. So it really annoys me that Twitter goes out of its way to point me to something that will agitate and depress me.

It seems like Twitter wants more doomscrolling and more depression to increase "engagement" at the short term.
Read the rest of Twitter pointing me right at the dark side of social media

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2020-07-21 Spam trying to sell me PC hardware 4 months ago
Since a few weeks I notice a lot of spam with deals in PC and mobile phone hardware. Several different domain names, but all with an overview of latest models and prices. When searching in the log for the names, the patterns are visible:
Hosting seems to be at 2 or three places.

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2020-07-16 En weer spam voor een Belg, misschien moet ik maar eens schadevergoeding gaan eisen 4 months ago
Weer eens spam voor een belg, met zelfs de naam "Maes-Swerts/A." weer in de adressering, wat dus betekent dat ze het bestand gebruiken wat ik in augustus 2012 traceerde als illegale bron.

Dat voldoet dus absoluut niet aan de huidige wetgeving op dit gebied en zowel de Nederlandse als de Belgische toezichthouder hebben ondertussen stevige boetes uitgedeeld voor het niet opvolgen van verwijderverzoeken. Een leuk overzicht bij Overzicht GDPR/AVG boetes en schadevergoedingen.

Misschien maak ik ook wel kans op schadevergoeding, na 8 jaar ergernis.

Eerder, eerder, eerder, eerder, eerder, eerder, eerder, eerder, eerder.

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2020-07-15 I tamed systemd 4 months ago
I shared my earlier mishap with systemd on twitter: @khoos: Another run-in with systemd and got a reply to check the prerequisites: @devbeard: Is there something that needs to come after, before the thing is there for gpsctl to configure? and I added a dependency on the serial driver for the right port.

This seems to work now, it all comes up as planned. Updated file /etc/systemd/system/ublox-init.service:
Description=u-blox initialisation

ExecStart=/usr/local/bin/gpsctl -q -a -B 115200 --configure_for_timing

And now I'm greeted by a working ntpd at 115200 bps when I log in to the Pi.

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2020-07-04 Again with systemd in the new GPS Pi 5 months ago
Again and again systemd annoys me. This time in the GPS Pi configured for timing.

Since I want it to work perfectly at start I added the systemd rules as suggested by A Raspberry Pi Stratum 1 NTP Server - Phil's Occasional Blog with /etc/systemd/system/ublox-init.service containing:
Description=u-blox initialisation

ExecStart=/usr/local/bin/gpsctl -q -a -B 115200 --configure_for_timing

After reboot ntp was running, but no data at all from the gps unit, and gpsctl was unable to revive it. The solution was to disable the above unit and ntpd, powerdown and restart the whole system and try again. After that doing the changes by hand and starting ntpd worked fine.

It's probably some sort of race condition, but any time I try to make a system with systemd do something reliably I run into things like this.

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2020-07-02 My social media accounts 5 months ago
Social media is a nice and easy way to interact with people. There was and is a lot of choice in social media. Ages ago I started with fidonet echomail groups, later with usenet and recently with web-based social media.

But that's also a development from volunteer-run systems to commercially run systems. Companies like twitter, google and facebook are in the world to make a profit. With echomail and usenet the protocols and software were not linked to the operator of the service, someone else was able to run the same service and allow access to the network again. When google+ stopped the ties to people I knew were broken and I had to find them again on other networks.

I am somewhat active on twitter. My 'main' twitter account is but I was getting a lot of negative messages about world politics which got depressing. Since twitter has made it a lot easier to manage more than one twitter account from the twitter web interface I decided to add a specific account for amateur radio with the predictable name Amateur radio twitter is not completely free of politics, but it's a lot more sane view of twitter.

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2020-04-07 Troy Hunt: No I won't link to your spammy article 8 months ago
A recurring theme in rants here: link request spam written to look like a serious and personal request to improve an article on my site.

Troy Hunt seems to get a lot of those too, so he wrote No, I Won't Link to Your Spammy Article.

So we can now all stop doing stupid 'search engine optimization' and go back to sharing actual good content.

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2020-03-25 It's 2020 and github doesn't support IP version 6 8 months ago
Several of the machines here at home have IPv4 to the outside world disabled, simply to find every ancient service or program that still lives in the old world. Today I found one of those while installing dehydrated to automatically renew Let's Encrypt certificates.

Indeed, github has no IPv6 support. It tries to be a modern service, but lacks an AAAA record.

The solution is simple: use a webproxy to solve this. The only reason I still have a squid webproxy running is to be able to access IPv4-only http/https services from those hosts, so setting the http proxy in the global git config helped. I'm just surprised github doesn't support IPv6.

Update: After some searching I found Github users have been asking about IPv6 connectivity since at least 2018 and the "solution" is that they currently don't support IPv6 and the request is on some list.

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2019-06-18 Scriptkiddies being especially stupid 1 year ago
Cybercriminal Checking how fail2ban was doing on a wordpress site I noticed the following error in the log: - - [18/Jun/2019:09:03:46 +0200] "GET /wp-content/plugins/ungallery/source_vuln.php?pic=../../../../../wp-config.php HTTP/1.1" 404 15933 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64; rv:64.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/64.0"
which is never going to work as an exploit. A full explanation in Hackers Will Try To Exploit Vulnerabilities in WordPress Plugins in Ways That Will Never Succeed - Plugin Vulnerabilities but this entire attempt is based on just the description of a vulnerability and can never ever have succeeded, not even on a system with the vulnerable version of the ungallery plugin.

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2019-04-12 Corel spam 1 year ago
It seems Corel graphics still exists and part of their continued existance is sending out spam to unverified e-mail addresses. With the included lie:
You are receiving this email because you requested to receive information regarding Corel products and special offers or you subscribe to a Corel e-newsletter.
No I haven't.

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2018-12-30 First annoyance with systemd on thompson 1 year ago
On reinstalling thompson I was not sure whether to pick ubuntu (with lots of package support for amateur radio) or devuan (without systemd). I chose ubuntu to keep access to lots of amateur radio packages but as expected the first systemd problem already got me. Names in the internal network with RFC1918 addresses weren't resolvable.

After some searching I found out systemd-resolved had decided the last nameserver advertised via IPv6 was the one to use. As I could not find a lot of information on how to do the ordering I just decided to kick it all out and switch to normal resolving. Some searching found How to disable systemd-resolved in Ubuntu? - ask ubuntu which has the right steps. Back to somewhat normal, the next step is to convince NetworkManager to use IPv6 resolving before IPv4.

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2018-12-07 Trying to kick spamassassin and perl into the 21st century and prefer IPv6 for DNS traffic 1 year ago
Or in short: Perl considered harmful

I want applications to use and prefer IPv6 whenever possible, so I have a /etc/resolv.conf with IPv6 addresses of the nameserver(s) listed first. But I noticed queries from the spamassassin processes still coming in over the legacy IP protocol. Even when listing them in order in /etc/spamassassin/ spamassassin prefers IPv4. And I want it to prefer IPv6 without leaving out IPv4. I like the redundancy but I want to change the preference. Also: I only want to maintain the list of nameservers in /etc/resolv.conf and not in other locations.

I wrote a simple test program to understand what the perl Net::DNS::Resolver is doing. With a standard test program like:
#!/usr/bin/perl -wT

use strict;
use Net::DNS;
my $resolver = new Net::DNS::Resolver();

print join ' ', $resolver->nameservers();

print "\n";
The IPv4 addresses will be listed first, independent of the order in /etc/resolv.conf. Only after changing to:
#!/usr/bin/perl -wT

use strict;
use Net::DNS;
my $resolver = new Net::DNS::Resolver();

print join ' ', $resolver->nameservers();

print "\n";
I will see the IPv6 resolver listed first. But now to convince spamassassin to do the same. Browsing the Net::DNS::Resolver shows the RES_OPTIONS="inet6" option but does not document it. This option confuses spamassassin when starting:
export RES_OPTIONS="inet6"
root@gosper:/etc/default# service spamassassin restart
Restarting SpamAssassin Mail Filter Daemon: Bad arg length for NetAddr::IP::Util::mask4to6, length is 128, should be 32 at /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/perl5/5.24/NetAddr/IP/ line 647.
Compilation failed in require at /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/perl5/5.24/NetAddr/ line 8.
BEGIN failed--compilation aborted at /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/perl5/5.24/NetAddr/ line 8.
Compilation failed in require at /usr/share/perl5/Mail/SpamAssassin/ line 70.
BEGIN failed--compilation aborted at /usr/share/perl5/Mail/SpamAssassin/ line 70.
Compilation failed in require at /usr/share/perl5/Mail/SpamAssassin/ line 85.
BEGIN failed--compilation aborted at /usr/share/perl5/Mail/SpamAssassin/ line 85.
Compilation failed in require at /usr/share/perl5/Mail/ line 71.
BEGIN failed--compilation aborted at /usr/share/perl5/Mail/ line 71.
Compilation failed in require at /usr/sbin/spamd line 240.
BEGIN failed--compilation aborted at /usr/sbin/spamd line 240.
So that was a bad idea and is not the answer. Looking at the resolv.conf manpage shows that the option indeed does different things which explains why that was wrong.
  inet6  Sets RES_USE_INET6 in _res.options.  This has the
		 effect of trying an AAAA query before an A query inside
		 the gethostbyname(3) function, and of mapping IPv4
		 responses in IPv6 "tunneled form" if no AAAA records
		 are found but an A record set exists.  Since glibc
		 2.25, this option is deprecated; applications should
		 use getaddrinfo(3), rather than gethostbyname(3).
So if I want perl programs to do what I want, I have to change every one of them to set $resolver->prefer_v6(1);. There is no sane default or a global "get into the 21st century" flag.

Changing /usr/share/perl5/Mail/SpamAssassin/ to include $res->prefer_v6(1); does help, but will need to be redone when updating spamassassin.

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2018-11-28 Using mice adopted to my hands 2 years ago
The old rsi problem was acting up again, just like I had RSI in 1999.

One of the things I now did was add a left-side mouse on the linux desktop at home. I have used a left-side mouse for a number of years on a linux desktop and used the instructions from the xmodmap manpage:
       Many  pointers are designed such that the first button is pressed using
       the index finger of the right hand.  People who  are  left-handed  fre‐
       quently  find  that  it is more comfortable to reverse the button codes
       that get generated so that the primary  button  is  pressed  using  the
       index  finger  of  the  left  hand.   This  could be done on a 3 button
       pointer as follows:
       %  xmodmap -e "pointer = 3 2 1"
But I now have two USB mice, one with a forward/backward button and a clearly right-handed design and one simple one on the left. And it is possible to selectively swap mouse buttons on only one input device with xinput.

The list of all inputs:
koos@thompson:~$ xinput list
⎡ Virtual core pointer                          id=2    [master pointer  (3)]
⎜   ↳ Virtual core XTEST pointer                id=4    [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎜   ↳ Logitech USB-PS/2 Optical Mouse           id=9    [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎜   ↳ Logitech Optical USB Mouse                id=10   [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎣ Virtual core keyboard                         id=3    [master keyboard (2)]
    ↳ Virtual core XTEST keyboard               id=5    [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ Power Button                              id=6    [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ Power Button                              id=7    [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ Burr-Brown from TI               USB Audio CODEC  id=8    [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ VIA Technologies Inc. USB Audio Device    id=11   [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ daskeyboard                               id=12   [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ daskeyboard                               id=13   [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ Dell WMI hotkeys                          id=14   [slave  keyboard (3)]
Setting the button order happens with xinput set-button-map which needs an ID. Solution in .xsession:
xinput set-button-map $(xinput list --id-only "Logitech Optical USB Mouse") 3 2 1

Oh, and in that other operating system I use (Windows) one of the problems is the user can't set mouse button order per device. And technical specifications of left-handed mice do not list whether the buttons are swapped in hardware.

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2018-11-20 Fixing old deeplinks to twitter 2 years ago
Remember the twitter #! hashbang urls? I'd rather not. Those URLs were active from 2010 to 2012 and have been eliminated. But I got reminded today as it seems they are now silently failing. I checked the archive of my own website to fix all those links.

I try to keep all old URLs working. Unless the content completely goes away.

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2018-09-24 Nog meer omfietsen door werkzaamheden door omfietsen rond het Eykmanplein in Utrecht 2 years ago
In Maart 2018 begonnen er werkzaamheden aan de fietspaden rond het Eykmanplein. Er stond toen een bordje bij het fietspad over 'enige verkeershinder'. Ondertussen zijn we zes maanden verder en is er nog steeds behoorlijk veel verkeershinder voor mij als fietser.

Vandaag was een nieuw record, door het tegelijk uitvoeren van twee projecten moet ik nu met de fiets 3 keer de Kardinaal de Jongweg oversteken met iedere keer wachttijden voor verkeerslichten en een paar extra haakse bochten en krappe plekken.

Mijn normale route is dat ik uit de Professor J.W. Dieperinklaan kom, rechtsaf het fietspad langs de Eykmanlaan neem, dan op het Eykmanplein eerst de Kardinaal de Jongweg en daarna de Blauwkapelseweg oversteek, vervolgens over de Van Esveldstraat fiets en dan de route vervolg met het fietspad langs de Kardinaal de Jongweg.

Ingetekend op een OpenStreetMap kaartje: mijn normale route rond het Eykmanplein. In deze route rij ik op fietspaden aan de rechterkant van de weg en heb ik geen scherpe bochten en lastige opstoppingen.

De werkzaamheden van het project fietsroute Overvecht-Utrecht Science Park zijn dus in Maart 2018 begonnen. Dat begon aan de Pieter Nieuwlandstraat waardoor het niet meer mogelijk was normaal om de rotonde te rijden. Dan maar de Eykmanlaan oversteken na een scherpe hoek en uiteindelijk pas bij de Jan van Galenstraat oversteken.

Ingetekend op hetzelfde kaartje: de eerste omleiding rond het Eykmanplein. Met rood aangegeven waar ik blokkades tegenkwam.

De Van Esveldstraat is maar kort weer open geweest nadat ik weer langs die kant om het Eykmanplein kon, daarna ging alles daar weer open.

Vandaag kwam er nog bij dat de Eykmanlaan opengebroken werd vanwege het project Opnieuw inrichten Eykmanlaan.

In de planning van dit project is ingetekend dat er oversteekmogelijkheden blijven voor fietsers en voetgangers op de Eykmanlaan. Alleen waren die vandaag niet uitgevoerd, er staat nu een hek langs de zijkant van de Eykmanlaan om dat oversteken compleet onmogelijk te maken.

De fietsroute zoals deze nu uitkomt ingetekend op het kaartje: de dubbele omleiding rond het Eykmanplein. Met ook in rood de blokkades.
Read the rest of Nog meer omfietsen door werkzaamheden door omfietsen rond het Eykmanplein in Utrecht

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2018-09-24 Windows 10 WiFi can't deal with password changes 2 years ago
The work laptop is now "upgraded" to Windows 10. I wasn't sure about it as I saw Windows 7 as less annoying but it's the corporate choice.

And after I changed the password for my eduroam wifi-account it just gives an error and does not connect to the wireless network. The obvious choice to show the option to enter a new password does not pop up (unlike Android which came with that suggestion right away). Even the "network troubleshooter" doesn't come with the source of the connection problem let alone the obvious solution.

The Windows 10 "solution" is to just forget the network and discover it again. I'm glad this isn't a network where I need special options and a certificate to log in.

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2018-08-13 False advertising from antivirus software in e-mail 2 years ago
----- No virus found in this message. Checked by AVG - Version: 2014
.0.4830 / Virus Database: 4365/10772 - Release Date: 13/08/18

[-- Attachment #2: doc10089752487652120190813.docx.jar --]
I guess No known virus found was a better message for AVG.

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2018-05-22 The linkspammers are back, but they are trying to hide it a lot better 2 years ago
Over the years I have ranted several times about linkspammers. About spammers in general too, but linkspammers are a special category.

Most of them, especially the fully automated ones died when google started detecting their deceit. That time there was some amusement to be had reading mails "somehow there is an evil link to my site from your site, please remove it as it affects both our google ranking".

But now they are back, but trying to hide it a lot better. I received several nicey-nicey and helpful mails with really personal suggestions to improve my site, or improve the world in general by adding some link they proposed, complete with the right anchor text.

At first I thought they were personal and answered them telling them the proposed links were wrong, or they had not read the article/post/.. they wanted to change very carefully.

And then a week or two later I'd get another personal mail asking whether I had considered their previous request. And answering with "did you read my answer?" did not change a thing.

My best guess at the moment is that I wasn't looking at a personal mail and that I should add a lot of airquotes about terms like "personal" above. It's a template with 'page X' 'needs link Y' and 'with anchor text Z' and there is software running that checks whether page X has the 'right' link and keeps sending reminders until it does.

As you can imagine (or not), I feel very annoyed by this new scam tactic.

One sample:
Hi pal,

My name is Oliver and I'm writing to share an infographic that aims to educate people about PTSD amongst our veterans and serving military personnel. The infographic is titled "The Silent Enemy: How PTSD Damages Our Soldiers".

You can view the infographic by clicking here: [link]

To spread the word about these issues, I ask if you could add a "weblink" to this infographic from this page on your own website: Note how this page has only a link to 'military' but actually reading it for 4 seconds would let you know that it has no link to PTSD in the military.

I chose this page because you already link to from this page.

If this is possible, you could add the below text to this page on your own websi te:

The Silent Enemy: How PTSD Damages Our Soldiers – An infographic aiming to raise awareness about PTSD in the military.

Alternatively, you could also publish the infographic on your website as a "guest blog post". If this is OK, I can write a unique introduction to go with the infographic. This will save you time and also help to highlight the important issues covered in the infographic.

I really appreciate your time. I know that linking to this infographic will help to build awareness about mental health issues amongst veterans and serving memb ers of the military. I'm sure this is a cause you would like to get behind by adding the above link. I've actually attached the infographic to this email for you to add to your website at either the page I suggest or as a fresh blog post.

Many thanks,

Oliver Clark

Rehab 4 Alcoholism

Please click on Unsubscribe to be unsubscribed from any future communications. P rivacy notice.
The last line is quite a hint that this is from an automated system, the stories are somewhat long so this isn't always very visible.

Now I also wonder whether the link would be to a very commercial rehab organisation.

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2018-04-20 Spam van StoryTel 2 years ago
Spam van StoryTel, waarin het me opvalt dat ze de e-mail marketing spam infrastructuur van mandrillapp gebruiken, maar zelfs zonder manieren om uit te schrijven of iets anders wat nog een beetje rekening houdt met de huidige wetgeving op dat gebied.

Zoeken op storytel spam levert niet veel vergelijkbare verhalen op dus blijkbaar is dit een nieuwe aanpak van StoryTel.

Dan maar via alle routes aangemeld als spam, inclusief een complete melding bij Spam melden bij ACM.

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  Older news items for tag rant ⇒
, reachable as PGP encrypted e-mail preferred.

PGP key 5BA9 368B E6F3 34E4 local copy PGP key 5BA9 368B E6F3 34E4 via keyservers pgp key statistics for 0x5BA9368BE6F334E4 Koos van den Hout
Other webprojects: Camp Wireless, wireless Internet access at campsites, The Virtual Bookcase, book reviews