Michal Čihař - Blog Archives for English

Big brother is watching you (on IRC)

The idea is simple, but I haven't seen this before. Place bot on IRC channel, collect URL and generate web page which shows linked images. This is exactly what irc.tnet.no does. Big brother is becoming reality. Maybe sometimes we will have also analysis what people really talk about, but images can tell quite a lot.

Anyway if you want to know what people search for, Slovak search engine provides you this possibility under URL containing well known year 1984 :-).

More ham than spam?

I just wondered, whether it is possible to receive more ham than spam emails. After 12 hours server outage, I can say that it is possible. However it takes only one hour and then spam again wins. At least it is good that spam bots are still not clever enough to retry sendins, they simply drop everything what could not be delivered. I only hope that none regullar mail server does it also, otherwise I'd lost that message.

Please report bugs

I sometimes random page on internet, where somebody in blog, wiki or whatever complains that something in Wammu or Gammu is broken. Last place where I noticed it was phone database. Why don't you report such problems to bug tracker, where you have much higher chance to make your problem fixed?

I know it is more work to collect all needed information, but if you want to use the software, it should be worth of it for you.

Server outage

I'm sorry for outage of this server. It was caused by short power down in serverhouse, which lead to server reboot. Unfortunately network interface didn't reset properly and thus computer was unreachable.

Everything looked fine, except it was not able to enable link intreface. PHY was somehow confused and it reported different state than usual (0x786d vs 0x7869). I will try investigate details later to avoid repeating this.

Removal of inactive developers

Marc yesterday proposed to remove inactive developers from project on sourceforge. This would clean up the list to show actual state of developers instead of everybody who contributed in past.

For past contributors there is huge credits section in documentation, so it should be enough for anybody ego ;-).

Lets see how it will evolve, at least Garvin seems to be against his removal.

Time to update PGP keys

Time to time I do full update of local PGP keys from keyserver. This reduces need for updating keys when checking not so important signatures.

This time it looks like lot of signatures were added:

gpg: Total number processed: 1442
gpg:               imported: 1
gpg:              unchanged: 810
gpg:           new user IDs: 78
gpg:            new subkeys: 14
gpg:         new signatures: 31038

Updating of all keys should be done with gpg --refresh-keys. It attempts to receive keys from not respoding servers defined in some keys, so I wrote simple script to do the same using default key server:

gpg --list-keys | grep ^pub | grep -o '[0-9A-Z]\{8\}' | sort -u > /tmp/keys
< /tmp/keys xargs gpg --recv-keys

Fight with www.foo sites

There are many sites where www.foo.bar points to different web than foo.bar. Random example that comes to my mind is http://opensuse.com/ and http://www.opensuse.com/. This sucks. I'm probably not the only lazy men in the world and typing www everytime is pointless.

So I much appreciate www. is deprecated website, which tries to persuade people about pointless keeping of www in many cases. So if you can, please classify your site as Class B, which is the best solution right now.

GnuPG path grabbing

Many times I needed "intelligent" way to grab key path from my key (and others I somehow trust for signing purposes) to other random key that gets to me.

Receiving keys for all signatures is quite expensive operation and you soon end with most of PGP keys on the world in your database. The best seems to fetch only needed keys. You can find path using PGP pathfinder & key statistics by Henk P. Penning. It's extremely useful site, where you can find many information about PGP keys.

So the logical step seems to be to write down script which will grab needed keys:


if [ "$#" -lt 1 -o "$#" -gt 2 ] ; then
    echo usage `basename $0` ID [gpgparam]
    exit 1


links -dump "$url?FROM=36E75604&TO=$1"
links -dump "$url?FROM=B3B2A12C&TO=$1"
links -dump "$url?FROM=65D0FD58&TO=$1"
) | grep -o '[0-9A-F]\{8\}'  | sort -u | xargs gpg --recv-keys --no-auto-check-trustdb $2

gpg --check-trustdb $2

And special bonus for Sylpheed-Claws users. Here is action to call above script:

ID=`gpg --verify %p /dev/null 2>&1 | \
grep "key ID" | tr -d "[:space:]" | \
tail -c8`;echo "==== Fetching $ID ===="; \
~/bin/gpg_get_path $ID --no-tty

Freehosting on pipni.cz

For some time, I've been using free vserver hosting on pipni.cz for phpMyAdmin demos. It had always so much troubles, so I decided to move that to my own server. As I don't want to drop it completely as it might be useful for some testing, I placed there mirrors of arch.cihar.com and dl.cihar.com under names arch2.cihar.com and dl2.cihar.com under hope that they will be available at least sometimes.

But I was wrong. Server doesn't autostart anymore and after starting it survives around 1 day, so it is not usable at all. I know it is free service, however I thought they offer it as advertisement for more expensive services they offer. I doubt this way will attract anybody…