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Tue, 19 Dec 2006

ESA Plays Funny

When you are on some abuse list from an ISP you propably know these kind of things: you get copyright/intelectual property/whatever infringement alerts from various institutions every now and then. I won't try to guess if they themself are actually downloading all the data to verify the content, or maybe even put it into the peer to peer networks to see who is going to download it.

Nevertheless, sometimes there are quite funny companies with their alerts out there. One of those is the ESA—the Entertainment Software Association. The following is an excerpt of one of their mails stripped down to the relevant parts:

From: esa-no-reply@copyright-compliance.com
Reply-To: esa-no-reply@copyright-compliance.com

[key 0x9E9658B85A10FEEC unavailable]

ESA believes that its members' rights in such entertainment software products
are entitled to the full protection of the intellectual property law as well as
other relevant laws of your country.
Please inform us whether you will remove or disable access to the Infringing
Material as requested.

Given that they say in their headers that they don't want reply, both in the From and Reply-To, they still request information about the actions taken in their mail body. Yes, there is a different mail address listed in the body too, though that's not how mail programs work, do they...
Then for added authentity they pgp signed their message. Though, I wasn't able to find a server on which this key is available, and there is no hint in the mail where to get it from. Quite trustworthy, isn't it. It adds that the whole mail says that it's a template, though states that they are "entitled to the full protection of [...] relevant laws of your country". One starts to wonder if they are at least remotely aware to which countries they are mailing...

P.S.: On a side note, their second listed MX record doesn't seem to feel responsible for the domain—it simply sends you a 551 5.7.1 relaying denied when one would try to deliver there. Adds to the impression that the ESA is nothing but entertaining...

/misc | permanent link | Comments: 0

Thu, 21 Sep 2006

All Praise Dunc-Tank!

Recently Dunc-Tank was created. An effort, instantiated by the current DPL, it is said to improve Debian. Personally I am quite sure it's rather the opposite, especially when the people coming up with the idea are the people in charge currently and are giving the thing a quite official feeling. And money next to never is a good motivation for quality, especially when working on parts people usually don't work on. The quality Debian has is because people work on the parts they have interest in themself to get improved — that's the way Free Software really works.

But, there's one really good thing about it: Now that people are going to get paid to work on Debian, it motivates me to take a step back and spend some more time on other things. More free time for everyone, because there are the people getting paid now! Thank you very much, Dunc, for giving us back our free time!

/debian | permanent link | Comments: 0

Wed, 23 Aug 2006

abook in experimental

I've uploaded a CVS snapshot of abook yesterday to experimental. Cédric Duval did commit really useful stuff there, like the possibility for user defined fields and views, renaming the custom fields, and lists which can contain a quite big amount of entries.

It would be nice if you could give it some testing and send in feedback about it so that I have more than just my own impression about it for deciding if it's ready to upload to unstable for it making it into the release of etch.
Some things I've noticed so far: You can't use a comma in lists because it is used as field separator. Yes, this needs to get changed, but it is no real regression, because the only list used before was the email addresses and you wasn't able to use it there neither. The date field type isn't yet completely supported — it is planed to have content checking in it, I could think of having flexible display ways for date fields, too. So far it has its reason why it isn't released yet upstream, it has its problem, but I think it is still a great advancement over the current stable release and would make sense to get included in etch. Give it a try and report back, either to me or to the upstream list.

/debian | permanent link | Comments: 0

Fri, 02 Jun 2006

Back in the worng timezone

After two weeks and a bit it finally happened: I hit austria again. But, first things first. I guess everyone noticed by now that at the start the network wasn't our best strengths. I helped as much as possible, collected network cable back from one path to lay it out at a different one just to find that the about 200 m were a bit too short (or rather, me was lying the cable with too much safety). Though, it was too long anyway to be relyable, to it was cut in the middle and a small access point was put in. Later it had to be replaced because we were running a bit short of specific power supplies.

But it wasn't too bad, waiting for some more rj45 plugs and other things even allowed Ganneff to spend some time in the pool and relax a bit. And given that there seem to have been a few (vegetarian) people less than registered for sponsored meals allowed stockholm and Vagrant to get extra dishes to get fed. People during the debcamp mostly enjoyed themself, mao was played, fights for the gay vegetarian sign, tetrinetx on homer when only local network was available, and I managed to translate the new wesnoth tutorial into german. It wasn't clear by then that the new release will be delayed due to other problems until after the debconf, but in my opinion the tutorial is one of the most important parts of any games because it explains the basics, so I wanted to be sure that there won't be another release without a fully translated one.

About enjoying oneself: I tried out the skirts I brought with me and considered them absolutely comfortable. You'll find me more with one, especially when it gets warmer. It helped me to be more "myself". Also I enjoyed the weird looks and repeated questions about my shoes — although it was often that I was walking barefooted; but that got a bit of a pain, especially after noon when you were able to boil eggs on the stones. And given that I forgot myself when I switched from blue/red shoes to red/blue ones you don't have to send in your guesses when it was done because I can't tell who would be the winner anyway. ;)

The end of the week came, the Debian Day was here. Closer to its happening more and more people arrived and it was becoming more crowded in the hacklab. The network became more and more stable, the video streaming setup got finalized, and everything looked alright. Some of the mexico city people stayed for the night and enjoyed the friendly atmosphere (and a beer or two ;)).

The debconf started for real, the talks started, people were busy all around, zack added me to the alioth pkg-vim project to continue helping with the hijacked debian specific syntax files. Haven't done much yet beside a checkout, still pondering where I can bug around most ;)

I was looking forward to bubulle's BoF about the i18n infrastructure. It was really inspiring, and I collected some ideas for what the tool-to-be-created should support. The second BoF later the week just showed that others were mostly thinking along the same lines, so I hadn't much to add. Still I am looking forward to join the effort to make it happen — I was playing with the idea about such a tool for ages now, and I guess this is what it will make it happen, finally. Christian is so much more able to get people interested and together for making it happen than me... :/

There were some more talks I could mention, like Enrico's talk about Advanced tools for wasting time (yes, I have submitted my gnu.cow file in the meantime), or Erin's and aj's Debian's Debugging Debacle: the Debrief (in which I finally got around to fix a RC bug incidentally), and the talk by bubulle and jfs about State of the art for Debian i18n/l10n of course, which features some of the conclusions of the two part BoF.

Some of the evening featured interesting things too, like a cheese BoF, the everywhere featured formal dinner with its mariachis, the waterfall and the blackout; special effects you wouldn't be able to plan as well as they happened — though Martin Ferrarri had a small accident with it when water rushed down onto his plate and spilled the sauce over his white shirt and the table. And then there was the hard liquour BoF where I quit after the eggnogg.

The week passed, I got my hair dyed and rid of my beard right in time for the group photo. Thank you nattie, a thousands time, it went better than I expected! Really like it. I didn't attend the fun photo in the pool the next day, was a bit late after the talk, didn't had my bathing slip with me, was worried about my newly dyed hairs and was nervous... because a person I was looking forward to meet again was late. But gladly only late, so I got rid of my nervousness and enjoyed the last official talk (formerly mentioned i18n talk) of the week, and explained to some attendee that even in languages like French, German and English (yes, no mistake) there are still areas we have to struggle with all of this, like when keeping things up to date and the likes.

It was the last evening in Oaxtepec for me because I refused to leave by bus at 4 in the morning, rather wanted to spend the night in Mexico City to at least be able to have seen a tiny bit of it and eat something my tummy enjoys completely. :) I guess I don't need to point at sandino's gallery about that evening anymore, thanks to Gunnar. And yes, I'm mentally disturbed, but that shouldn't be anything new to people who know me for a while, or is it? ;)

This night was too long (less than 4 hours of sleep is even for debconf not much), so I rather went to bed early after a small walk (just 2 blocks or such) in the city and a nice dinner with friends who are missing the nice time too and was wearing too big sort-of shoes. Went to the airport in the morning by taxi whose driver gladly was able to speak english. Met zack and Martin Ferrari again there, and some other people with whom I was taking the same plane with. They were hacking along on the airport, found the open wifi, using power supplies from different spots. Bubulle already wrote about the two loud guys, gladly I wasn't too close to them, and plugged myself into the music and movie channels from the plane. The showed Last Holiday (which I really liked, although in the ending I started to cry — mostly because I started to realize what I was leaving...) and two spanish movies of which I don't remember the titles. People started to hack away in the temporarily set up hacklab and we started to wonder how much power they might have, though they cheated: They used two battery packs...

In Madrid some more people parted and we were down to 5 people. I bought totally overpriced playingcards so we could play Mao, had a short nice session and spread the word. We did hack the baby room power supply and hacked along a bit more, and then Peter and me were off heading to vienna, finally.

All in all I really enjoyed it. Although there were its down times, sunburned, my butt hurting a bit because in the end I did jump from the 10m platform into the pool, it still was a really nice event and even though I guess many people tried to enjoy themselfes quite some things were acomplished. If not really codewise, then at least social-wise, which will benefit quite well in the future, I'm sure. Hope to see you all next year, wherever that might be.

/debian | permanent link | Comments: 0

Fri, 19 May 2006

Just like Ben said...

thanks, Ted, for spoiling what was expected to be the nicest evening of the debconf. And thanks to the organizers for the really great special effects with the light plays and the waterfall; really!

/debian | permanent link | Comments: 0

Tue, 09 May 2006

Arrived in Oaxtepec

... and already liking it. Though, first things first, some notes about the trip so far: The plane from vienna took off 50 minutes late due to weather reasons. It was quite nice, though, and I hope that some of the night pictures of town lightnings are usable. At least the delay reduced my waiting time at the madrid airport quite a bit.

Which brings me to that airport. It's... HUGE! I mean... erm, it has signs telling people that it will take 25 minutes to the gate that the plane to mexico will be leaving. And that is including the trip on some underground train they have that it doesn't take you much longer than that... But appart from that, I arrived on the gate area before midnight so I was able to order some drink at the starbucks. At least some shop that knows how to let people enjoy the waiting time. :)

The plane to mexico left on schedule at 1:50, so it was completely dark outside when we started. And almost the whole trip, up until about the last 20 minutes or so of the 13 hour flight, it was completely dark outside, because we were travelling ahead of the sun. So it wasn't too bad, being able to get some good sleep, at least as good as possible on a plane.

Having arrived in mexio airport with a short delay and waiting a bit for my suitcase I finally met up with Frans Pop, because I was too scared of getting lost without any sense for the spanish language yet. We took one of the prepaid official taxis to the bus that will take us the rest of the trip. The taxi drive was really... well, interesting. It was the fastest trip I've ever seen in any car in city area, but the bad thing: I can't even tell you how fast we were at times because the speedometer was b0rked and displayed only zero all of the time. I guess taxi drivers are most the same all around the world, but this one definitely mastered the art.

The bustrip wasn't anything notable, besides a bit tiresome due to the air in the bus, the partly monotonous vegetation outside and that I was sure to not be able to watch the movie to the end, besides that the sound was too silent. :)

Finally arrived at Oaxtepec, which turned out that our hotel seems to be in some sort of recreation area, maybe even a bit of themepark... At least it has some rollercoasters, at least they showed them on the video. We'll see. I at least tried out the pool already, it's not even feeling cold for me. Not have met all the people yet that are rumoured to be around already, but I guess it might happen at lunch, which is expected soonish. Due to network not working though this blog post will have to wait until afterwards.

/debian | permanent link | Comments: 0

Fri, 07 Apr 2006


/me wonders why people seem to prefer a webbased, flash game when we have the very same thing in our sgt-puzzles package called untangle. Wasn't Debian and sort of Planet Debian about mainly free software, back then, somehow?

/debian | permanent link | Comments: 0

Thu, 30 Mar 2006

Please do not read ...

if you are not the intended recipient. Often mail disclaimers are just a laugh in it self, but this one got me really rocking. At the end of the mail I found the following part:

This message is intended for the individual named above and is confidential and may also be privileged. If you are not the intended recipient, please do not read, ...

So, after wading through the mail and reading what's it about one is asked to not read it. Wait a minute... How should one know that one shouldn't read it when one didn't read it? Strange world out there ...

This laugh was sent in by tele.ring.

/misc | permanent link | Comments: 0

Fri, 10 Feb 2006

Curious Meme...

Interactive Johari Window — pick the five or six words that you feel best describe me. Thanks to nilasae for the link. Hopefully it won't /. the server too much, it's already acting quite slow...

/test | permanent link | Comments: 0


The following haiku poem was written some days ago. I wasn't too sure about including the final two paragraphs, but after letting it rest for a while I think they don't fit too bad into the overall view.

Lazyness — a pain?
It helps you to optimize...
or do just nothing.

Some say it is art —
a required skill for some,
e.g. syadmins.

To notice repeats
and work on scripts to ease them.
It truly helps there.

But then the downside:
when you don't manage anything
you are lazy stunt.

Not able to do
what you are expected to
and just waste big time.

I strive for former
but fall into latter group
I am but sorry.

The expectations
that I built — to some degree
all by myself — hurt.

I have no idea
why people believe in me,
I don't do myself.

/haiku | permanent link | Comments: 0

PHP mail() Considered Harmful

I know for myself that picking up unparsed userdata is teh evil. But we also all know that the usual webpage and mailer script coder isn't thinking. And to my knowledge the php mail() function is the only one that perverted to parse the headers additional to an explicit given recipient list for additional recipients. Yes, you read right. Often enough people use things like mail("myown@addre.ss", "subject", $body, "From: $_POST['name'] <$_POST['email']>") without thinking about it, because, there is this extra to field anyway. Right?
Wrong! SPAMers will come and send things like email="some@jo.ke\nBcc: my@sp.am, list@is.bigg.er, than@you.rs". People that put up such webmail scripts usually don't notice it anyway, they just delete the spam right ahead, not noticing that it was an abuse of their form. And the ISP has to deal with having to get the system out of the blacklists again....

At least none of the hosts on which customers are able to put up such scripts directly affect our own mail system, it's just the shared hosts they use... Still, deadly annoying. And then people are claiming that such misfeatures aren't a problem in PHP but in the coders? If it would at least be documented in the description of the function, but if one can claim it that it is it's at most just very vague hinted...

/debian | permanent link | Comments: 0

Tue, 24 Jan 2006


Remove dpkg-sig signatures from .deb files by opening it in vim, deleting everything starting from _gpgbuilder (or what you've signed it with), optionally ":set noeol bin", save it, and update the md5sum and filesize in the .changes file. Done so with xblast and xmms-sid because the update was fixing rather important problems which couldn't wait for the archive patch that will allow dpkg-sig signatures again.
Winderschlapfn and Corry got released. Get your copies now!
Die Krupps are on tour again! Going to visit them on thursay! Yeah!!
For Those Who Care About Multiple Signatures: The second signature on Joey's d-d-a mail was not broken, the inner signature was mine. It was a statement that we both are to blame for it.
Late, but still worth it: Grow Ornament (requires flash)
Wir sind Helden on my:
Am in contact with a person who managed to reverse engineer the database format used by My Mini DJ. He's working on a patch for amarok to update the database, and I hope he'll share the format soonish so I can do a curses app for managing it.
"Organize isler" in turkish with subtitles. Maybe a bit brutal partly, but great and funny story. Definitely worth watching.
No, I'm not interested in random chats by bored horny people!
The transition from bind9 (no debpkg link; not because it's not working currently, but because it was running on FreeBSD) to pdns is underway.
Planeshift: I'm planing on fixing #284398. Might need something free like re-flex for its datafiles to be able to go to main, though.
I hope to blog more regularly.... *sighs*

/misc | permanent link | Comments: 0

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