Archive for November, 2008

Update: Circumventing bloatware – the web stream

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008 | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Here we are.

By going to you will be promted to save a *.pls file (or it will download automatically, depending on your browser settings).

You can open this pls file in your audio player of choice and it will start streaming the 96 kbps MP3 stream. ūüôā

Even if you stop the playback and then get start it again, it should work – however, if you get an 401 error or a password request, just generate a new pls again.

Free the streams Рagainst bloatware. 

Here’s the source code: jamfm.php code¬†as a ZIP file.

Getting streams from bloatwaring internet radios:

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008 | technology | 1 Comment

Some Internet Radios are not their listener’s friend.

In the case of, the radio is not your friend on so many levels. visit their webstream selector at¬† and you get a choice between MP3 or WMA streaming. Nothing exeptional, you’d think. But no. Instead of a pristine mms://, .asx or .pls all¬†you get is a bloatware html/flash page with no apparent controls. Flash-Ads before playback. POPUPS!¬†URGH! No me gusta. No gusta my iTunes, either.

Ok, let’s dig a bit deeper, maybe there is some way to get to the stream. Peeking inside the HTML of the page(s)¬† and¬† (mp3 and wma, respectively) we find a clue that the answer to the question at hand my lie somewhere close.

I’ll now proceed separately, first detailing the results for the mp3 stream and then for the WMA stream.

1) MP3

Ok, the¬† wants us to go to¬† which redirects to¬† which is a really small flash player. Much improvement, but still we’d need a flash-capable browser to listen to the stream (hello iPhone, waving at you). So, the flash applet does accesses this file:¬† Not good. Not good at all. Dynamically generated token. When inserting this URI into VLC or iTunes, you get the stream, BUT. Once you stop the stream and then try to restart it, you get a password request for “Icecast2 Server on”. Same thing when opening the URI inside Firefox. So everytime you want to access the mp3 stream, you need to go to the flash player (and here to you’ll be asked a password sometimes, just reload it and it will work), get the MP3 file with token and insert it into itunes. Not really practical, as you may agree. There are two options here: 1) finding out the password asked or 2) writing a script that somehow gets a correct token from the flash player page and writes a pls with the correct mp3 or, even better, a script that relays the stream so that e.g. iTunes can accept the URL right away. Both options go beyond the scope of this article at the moment.

2) WMA sends us to¬† like the mp3 does. This forwarder.html sends us to¬† The Activity tabs of Safari does not help here, so off we go to firefox. Going to “Media” in the “Show page info” (get to url, you’ll hear the music start or a small controller (much like the mp3, at the end)) and we get this URL called by the stream-radio-player.php:¬†

Saving the redirect.lsc file and looking at it with a text editor, we get something which (result!!) yields the WMA stream. It is: mms://$livestream.wma?token=665919ce58c3422a2f953a4f18040fbs. Not better than mp3. Same caveats apply. Damn token. Inserting this URL into VLC only results in a 401 Access denied. Here too, there are only two options: break the password or get the token from somewhere and add it dynamically.

This is not over.

Update¬†CURL¬†¬†and the token is in the javascript:¬†var token = “xxx”;

Add the xxx to¬†¬†and you’re ready to go. I guess i’ll learn PHP tonight.

the con man

Thursday, November 20th, 2008 | life | No Comments

Do you ever feel you have conned your way through life without being worth all the things you’ve achieved? Ladies and Gentlemen, this is a post by our anonymous guest blogger who goes by the name Mr. Washington Carter (so much for anonymousness). His first, but surely not his last. Have a good read!

Dearest Jurors, please bear with me and let me plead my case. You accuse me of being an impostor and you might be right. But despite your spiteful accusations, i will reveal myself for what i really am. I am solely lucky and an able con man. The fact that i am where i am, with a wonderful girlfriend who loves me despite all, a great work, university diploma coming up and a quite bright future with a lot of opportunities, i feel i failed. I did never rise up to my full potential, instead i’ve been ambling along the way and getting by with able tricks to avoid complete failure. Always on the brink of being discovered for what i am: a con man. A lazy, procrastinating, fearful con man.


Only known image of Mr. Washington Carter

Surely, also pulling it off for so long and with some success requires some skills. But lies have short legs, as they say. For now they did not catch me, but for how long encore? For all of my school days, mediocre despite doing less than everyone else, i was on the brink of repeating a year but always able to manage barely to stay afloat. Conning. University was the same, a frustrating mediocreness on my part. But now i am ahead of the race, finishing sooner than anyone else, with my good share of internships (things i got conning) and a semester abroad. Not the US, as i wished, but hey… Is this conning? Surely i did not work as hard as other people to obtain these things. I barely worked at all. I don’t know, i sometimes implore the failure so that i can stop being a con man. But i cannot fail. I am a gifted man who, in order to grab a quantum of the satisfactions he would surely get without his condition, cons his way through life.

Is this a compelling reason to con? Most certainly not. But i will always feel i’m living on 20% of my possibilities. Not doing what i want to do, but doing what i think i must do. Too fearful to explore the endless alternatives, too fearful even to imagine them. Why? I have an idea why.

This society, this world is not one with compassion for people like us. But we need to survive, we need to adapt. That’s why we con. Futhermore, despite a fair chance of achieving everything i want in life, i probably won’t be able to savour it. This, dear jurors, is already the greatest of punishments.

spammy spam all over the spam

Monday, November 17th, 2008 | economics, technology | 1 Comment

In the last days there has been an influx of spam comments on this blog.

I’m quite curious about what the trigger was. Google says i’m not linked anywhere on the open internet but on my user page. While this may not be great in terms of public visibility, it is obviously not true, which means a lot of content on teh intertubes, more than i thought, is hidden from google. Other links exist, like one at my posterous.



Anyhow, i guess some botnet has launched a crawl of the web, looking for blogs and then spamming them.

Whatever the cause, the spam has a peculiar property. No payload (links) in 80% of the cases and indiscernible blabblings with not-interpreted html links thrown in in the rest of the bunch. I’m seeing this kind of stuff at the support email address at work too. What happened? Have the botnets gone mad? Was the payload corrupted? Did some spam summer-intern got the format wrong? Who will ever know what happens in the shady business of spammerworld…

I quite liked the experiment conducted by University of California and UCSD that shows that despite meager margins (0.00001% response rate for spam mails), a 1 million strong botnet could yield over 2m in revenue a year. If only the overall loss in productivity in the economy weren’t a few multiple times that amount, i would tip my hat to those pesky spammers.


Lil’ buddy :(

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008 | life, technology | No Comments

I had tears in my eyes reading his twitterpage:

See you soon, little lander :*

The author