misterx: (Default)
I moved my site again, to an even faster server than last time. Nice side benefit of working for an internet company.

A weird thing happened though, my google gadgets quit working when viewed on my iGoogle homepage. What was baffling me is that before making the site live I checked that both my cron job was working correctly to generate the updates, and that the generated files were happy and accessible. Example of happy and accessible file: http://www.vaughnsphotoart.com/googlegadgets/random-landscape-photo.html

The error was an odd one too, a 403 access forbidden. Yet I could view the files just fine, outside of the igoogle page, which meant some combination of Google's handling of the link and my new server made it barf. Google links directly to the file, but they append all kinds of parameters to the url:
http://www.vaughnsphotoart.com/googlegadgets/random-landscape-photo.html?lang=en&country=us&.lang=en&.country=us&synd=ig&mid=62&ifpctok=-7539280821549177493&exp_split_js=1&exp_rpc_js=1&exp_track_js=1&exp_ids=300403&parent=http://www.google.com&libs=hvXvLcAdreI/lib/liberror_tracker.js,V_hCLz15ZAw/lib/librpc.js,MgYjoHVg2rQ/lib/libcore.js&view=home

I separated out params one by one, and tracked it down to this one as the problem: parent=http://www.google.com

Spent about an hour trying to write an .htaccess RewriteRule that would remedy it, maybe encode the slashes and color or something, and then realized it was never even getting to my rule. Why? I went through server logs and eventually figured out that the new server is running the EasyApache ModSecurity module, and ModSecurity is taking offense to the "=http://www.google.com", thinking it is an injection attack.

So, I had to learn how to write rules for ModSecurity, and eventually wrote one to allow the google gadget requests to go through.

Ah, what fun.
misterx: (Default)
Ok, I've been trying to find a Security contact at T-mobile, or really, any human who can help. Here are my support options:

If you’ve got questions about your phone, plan, services, or bill—we’re here for you. We offer a variety of ways to get in touch.
It’s the fastest, easiest way to get your questions answered. Browse online support, change your plan, pay your bill, and manage your account, anytime you like.
Ask questions and get help from other T-Mobile customers in our Community Forums.
Find a T-Mobile store near you using our store locator. We’ll even give you driving directions.
Chat live with one of our specialists. If all agents are busy, you can even send us an e-mail instead of waiting.
Get in touch, free of charge: Just dial 611 from your T-Mobile phone or call 1-877-453-1304. Customer Care representatives are available from 3 a.m. to 10 p.m. PST, 7 days a week. Automated account help is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Send your questions and comments to T-Mobile Customer Relations, P.O. Box 37380, Albuquerque, NM 87176-7380.

Please don’t send payments to this address. You can pay your bill online, by phone at 1-877-453-1304, or if you prefer to make a payment in person, find a payment center near you.

Ok, #1 doesn't even count, it's stuff like "how do I push buttons" and "my phone is making a ringing sound, what do I do?"

#2 ...  I'll get to that.

#3 I called the store, rather than drive down. They don't have a clue who to contact. They told me to call customer support.

#4 Instant Chat help:


#5   I called customer support. After determining that she had no appropriate contacts, she told me to go to the "Contact Us" section and email. I read to her the options available under "Contact Us". She went and looked herself. "That's strange, usually we have a way to contact us."  I couldn't help but laugh at that point. As in, I spit coffee on my screen a bit when she said it. "No, no you don't. It's always like this."  She couldn't get me anyone to talk to, nor an email address of anyone in the web or security departments, and apparently her supervisor couldn't be bothered to even get on the line when someone reports a security issue.  To her credit, rather than leave me empty-handed, she gave me the email address of the CEO. Mind you, I've tried discussing security with CEO's before, and it either results in (1) legal theats or (2) inaction, or action that takes months. So while I appreciate her effort, I have my doubts it would help. I will email the guy as a last resort though.

#6   "Write us a letter"? Are you kidding me?  Where are the fucking email addresses people???


Ok, so having exhausted my other support options, I figure I'll follow their suggestions and post to the forums. Nothing like posting to a bunch of users "Hi, I can probably steal your password" to get some attention. So that's what I'm doing.

EDIT: a forum mod was kind enough to respond. Wish me luck.

misterx: (Default)
The city of Morgan Hill, CA, lost internet, ATM network, cell service, landline telephone service, 911 service, private networks, the hospital network, fire and burglar alarms, and critical infrastructure monitoring in a matter of moments. How? Four manholes were opened, and eight fiber cables were cut.

They don't know who did it, or why.

http://perens.com/works/articles/MorganHill/

This one gives me chills. I suspect it's a test run.
misterx: (Default)
Linux computers measure time since the "epoch", which started midnight January 1, 1970.

Today, at 30 seconds past 6:31pm EST, Unix/POSIX time will measure 1234567890 seconds since the epoch !

So put on your propeller party hats folks. :)

Watch the countdown here:
http://coolepochcountdown.com/

Slashdot article:
http://tech.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/02/08/2043206&from=rss
misterx: (Default)
You can get them at Walmart for about $25.
http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=10196613

I'm kind of a flashlight geek, so when I ran across this little gem I just had to share.

It's rated at 115 Lumens, quite bright. It takes 2AA batteries, probably the most common battery on earth. It's built like a tank, it's good looking, and did I mention it's bright? Melanie says it looks like a lightsaber. She's right.

For a long time the flashlight to have in your pocket was a 2aa Minimag. No longer. There are much brighter lights out there. One such brighter light is the new 3 Watt LED 2AA Minimag. I didn't like that it was longer than a regular minimag, but it was considerably brighter so I let it go. Well, this Coleman is quite a bit brighter than the LED Minimag. See pictures below.

This light surpasses the "police/military flashlights" that sell for 5x the price, from brands such as Streamlight, Fenix, or Surefire. And many of them are not even this bright. Take a look at the lumen ratings, and the prices:
http://www.surefire.com/maxexp/main/max_segment_listing/disp/strfnbr/6/sesent/00#battery-led
The one tradeoff you are making is in Runtime... the Coleman will last about 5 hours on a pair of AA's. The highend lights have runtimes almost double that, but then they are using more expensive batteries, such as CR123A (camera battery) or similar. What I love about this Coleman is that it uses the ubiquitous AA battery to pump out a ton of light, for an excellent price.

BTW, no affiliate program here or anything. I just think it's a great flashlight, and wanted to tell my friends. Go get one. :)







...just don't blame me if you start turning into a flashlight geek too.
misterx: (blah blah blah)
Which ever country has the least number of downloads will be asked to leave island Earth. Montserrat, you better step up, you have only have 31 downloads pledged.

Maybe they are a people of action, not words. We shall see.

http://www.spreadfirefox.com/en-US/worldrecord/
misterx: (red x)
While I realize you meant well, backing up the shared drives on the file server TO the file server doesn't make much sense. Actually, the effect snowballs, and the server rapidly runs out of diskspace. And as my automated backups of the file server run, you fill up the backup server too. You get bonus points for automating all this destruction though... well done. -Vaughn
misterx: (Default)
Oracle: You're not the one.
Neo: ...
Oracle: Here's your cookie, thanks for playing. Next.
misterx: (Default)
That's the first time I've ever seen a rocket jump used outside of a FPS.
misterx: (Default)


The Thief and the Cobbler is a feature-length animated film begun in 1964 by the Canadian master animator Richard Williams. You may know him as the animator of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and some of the later Pink Panther stuff. The Thief was conceived to be his magnum opus, and the standard against which all other animated features would be compared. It was of such quality and complexity that it was aimed more at adults than children. It was to be the greatest animation ever produced.

If ever a project was cursed, The Thief would be it. The film was originally intended to be called "Nasruddin!" about the humorous adventures of the middle-eastern "wise fool" Mulla Nasruddin, based upon books by Idres Shah, which Williams had illustrated. Unfortunately, a falling out in 1973 with the Shah family required the plot be abandoned. Rather than also abandon the work, Williams retained the animation that didn't contain the Mulla, and fashioned a new plot, which became the plot of The Thief and the Cobbler.

At various points, Williams had over 40 animators working on the project. Williams was a huge fan of Disney's early work, and often hired their older animators as a way of keeping their style alive. He worked with many of animations greats on The Thief. Over the years, there were many ups and downs, and he gained and lost funding multiple times. It seemed the project would never be finished.

In 1990 however, after his success on Roger Rabbit, Warner Brothers signed a contract to release The Thief. The Thief would finally see the light of day, in all it's epic greatness. It wasn't to be however. Warner gave Williams an overly ambitious deadline of 1991. When the deadline rolled around, there were 15 minutes of screentime left to be produced, requiring several more months of work. At the same time, Disney was preparing to release Aladdin, a work based partially on the plot and scenes Williams had created, except cuted-up quite a bit and simplified for a younger audience. Some at Warner doubted Williams would ever finish... he had worked on it for over 20 years now, after all.

With the pressure of a pop-culture oriented release impending from Disney, and a dubious delivery date, Warner cut the project. The assets were sold to a bond company, and Williams and his team were given just hours to clear out of the studio. It is said that when they came to lock the doors, Williams was still sitting, animating at his table. The company took possession of all the materials, including the work prints in William's vault. This was the beginning of the end of The Thief.

A Saturday-morning cartoons producer was brought in from LA to finish the film as quickly as possible and to give it more mainstream appeal. Much of Williams footage was cut, the materials were shipped to a studio in Korea for production, the quality of the film was degraded horribly, and the result more little resemblance to Williams original intent. It was released as "The Princess and the Cobbler". Disney subsidiary Mirimax then bought the rights and butchered it further, releasing it as "Arabian Knight". (this happens to be the version I first watched). At one point, DVD's of this version were given away on the side of Kellogg's cereal boxes.

...

Fast forward to 2006, and enter one Garrett Gilchrist. Garrett is a fan of both Williams and The Thief, and in 2006 he announced his intent to restore the film to its intended greatness. He has since been gathering materials from all over the world... pre-release cuts, pal and ntsc video, 35mm working prints, pencil sketches, you name it... and digitally restoring and editing together The Thief as Williams intended it. The restored version, called "The Thief and the Cobbler, ReCobbled", has so far gone through two releases, and a third is in the works.

I'm writing this post for all of you to spread the word about what I consider to be a masterpiece of animation, and to share with you the immense enjoyment I feel when watching the restored version.

This isn't a totally polished finished product. It's a work of love. At points, Garrett animates with the only thing he has to work from, Williams pencil sketches. During the film, you can see the quality switch from 35mm (almost HDTV quality) to TV cartoon quality, to hand drawn. But to me it creates a feeling of "history in motion", which just adds to the experience. I seriously look forward to the Mark III release.

Resources:

The ultimate thread on the subject, started by Garrett Gilchrist, the fellow undertaking the restoration... the most recent post was yesterday, so it's a live thread: http://ffrevolution.com/InvisionBoard/index.php?showtopic=1199&st=0

The Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Thief_and_the_Cobbler

Torrent File, to download the Mark II release: http://www.mininova.org/tor/327018
You will have to burn the results to a dvd. I did and it only worked on my computer, but that's fine, my computer has better resolution than my TV. :)



Enjoy!

hehe...

Sep. 17th, 2007 11:37 am
misterx: (Default)


translation:
sudo = on a linux system, run a command as the superuser/admin
misterx: (Default)
If we say we need a static IP, and you tell us you are giving us a static IP, and you charge us for one, please go ahead and actually provision our account that way. Otherwise, I may spend hours setting up port forwarding, compiling helpware applications, and other such activities based on the belief that the IP address I have will stay.

It would really suck if some random Wednesday afternoon in September I find that nothing is working, and that I can't support my customers, because you pulled my IP out from under me. I would really hate that, you stupid jackasses. I'm glad you wouldn't do such a thing. Thank you for your considerate attention to detail.

Love,
Vaughn
misterx: (Default)
Misc geekery unfolds:
http://76.26.123.109/

It won't be up but a couple hours, most likely.
misterx: (Default)
Experimenting with Greasemonkey scripts and a Firefox extension called Platypus today. Platypus lets you change certain things in a webpage, then save it as a greasemonkey script. Starting with that, then editing by hand from there, I have created what is surely a poorly written Greasemonkey script that does the following:
  • Replaces any mention of "War on Terror" with "War on Pants",
  • Replaces any mention of "War on Global Terror" with "Global War on Pants", and
  • Replaces any mention of "Iraq" with "My Pants"


It's set up to run on every page you visit, and it will break links various things, like if links contain any of the key phrases, so you probably don't want to keep it enabled all the time. But when the news is getting you down, turn it on for a new perspective.

Example...
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/01/20070110-7.html
"THE PRESIDENT: Good evening. Tonight in My Pants, the Armed Forces of the United States are engaged in a struggle that will determine the direction of the global War on Pants -- and our safety here at home. The new strategy I outline tonight will change America's course in My Pants, and help us succeed in the fight against terror."

Get it here: War-on-Pants.user.js
misterx: (misterx chromeball tech)
Reduced to it's basics, a Wiimote is a 3-axis accelerometer paired with a Bluetooth transmitter.

Connecting to the Wiimote via a Bluetooth enabled PC allows you to eavesdrop on the output of the accelerometers.

Thus, with a laptop and a Wiimote, one can do interesting things, like performance testing one's automobile. How many G's are you pulling on the skidpad? What does your acceleration curve look like? What's your 0-60 time?

Too cool for school.

http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=3362586

(now here's hoping Mel gets a new laptop so I can do stuff like this with her old one!)

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