Koch-Mehrin und der Vacláv Klaus

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009 | politics | 1 Comment

Oder: diskutiere nie mit einem Vacláv Klaus, sonst zieht er dich auf sein Niveau herunter und schlägt dich durch Erfahrung.

“Unsere” Europa-Spitzenkandidating Koch-Mehrin hat sich im Focus-Blog den Mund über Vacláv Klaus zerrissen. Was in aller Welt hat sie dabei geritten? Der Ton des Artikels ist reichlich undifferenziert und unsouverän, vor allem weil Deutschland eben selber noch nicht dem Vertrag zugestimmt hat (ob das geschehen sollte, könnte ja auch noch mal diskutiert werden). Ob es nun an Karlsruhe wie hier oder an einer versprengten Minderheit im tschechischen Parlament liegt, ist doch egal und gibt der Koch-Mehrin jedenfalls keine Handhabe um die Tschechen dumm von der Seite anzumachen.

Was stimmt: ein Teil der tschechischen Politiker hat sich mit ihren Kaspereien zum Thema Europa nicht viele Freunde gemacht. Kurz ein Reminder was tatsächlich passiert ist, unabhängig von Koch-Mehrin’s Motzereien: die OSD, die Demokratische Bürgerpartei und ein Pendant der hiesigen CDU, hat im Moment zusammen mit einer kleineren konservativen Partei und den Grünen (!) eine wackelnde mal Mehr- mal Minderheit im nationalen Parlament und ist auf Überläufer der Sozialdemokraten angewiesen. Für die Ratifizierung des Vertrags im Abgeordnetenhaus (unser Bundestag) braucht es aber mehr als eine einfache Mehrheit und dadurch können die Europakritiker innerhalb der OSD (ca. die Hälfte der Abgeordneten der OSD, also ca 40 Abgeordnete von 81 der OS von ca 190 im gesamten Parlament) die Ratifizierung torpedieren. Klaus, einer der Gründer der OSD und Staatspräsident, ist gegen Lissabon – Topolanék, der Ministerpräsident und ebenfalls in der OSD, ist dafür. Die Tschechen sind zu 60% für den Vertrag – das Abgeordnetenhaus neuerdings, nachdem OSD-Abgeordnete zweimal die Abstimmung torpediert haben, zu zwei Dritteln dafür. Nur Klaus beharrt darauf, das alles sowieso nicht zu unterschreiben. Er hat ein suspensives Veto – wenn der Vertrag also erneut vom Parlament ratifiziert wird, muss er.

Die Kritik an dem Lissabon-Vertrag ist immer der Mangel an Demokratisierung der Union. Ist DAS aber Demokratie? Die Instrumentalisierung von wichtigen Entscheidungen von Seiten einer Partei, deren Mehrheit im Parlament wackelt und von der Teile durch großes europakritisches Rumposaunen hoffen, sich ein wenig Profil zu geben und dabei das untergeht, was im Vordergrund stehen sollte, eine inhaltliche Diskussion über den Lissabon-Vetrag? Ist Demokratie, wenn ein in Unehren (Spendenaffäre…) ergrauter Staatspräsident, der sich zwar liberal nennt aber damit eher konservativ meint, sein Veto einlegt, um seine eigene politische Agenda durchzudrücken? Nein, der Klaus hat soviele Skelette im Schrank, wenn man den schüttelt klingt es drin wie eine Ladung Maracas. Das was er gerade macht ist das, was Politik seinen schlechten Namen gibt. Und sein sich liberal nennen und nebenbei gegen gleichgeschlechtliche Partnerschaften tönen, die globale Erwärmung als völligen Humbug zu deklarieren und sich dann noch bei den Kommunisten anzubiedern, um seine Wahl zu sichern, das setzt dem Ganzen die Krone auf. Der Typ hat sich inzwischen so weit selbst disqualifiziert, dass seine Opposition gegenüber Europa sich in eine lange Reihe von mindestens mehr als fragwürdige Positionen einreiht. Aus dem Mund kommt nichts Konstruktives mehr. Daher vielleicht der Ton von Koch-Mehrin, die sich dadurch auf Klaus’ Niveau begibt und sich ebenfalls mitdisqualifiziert.

Man könnte es ja durchaus VIEL besser machen. Weil der Lissabon-Vertrag ein bürokratisches Ungetüm ist, was viel zu viel verschlimmbessert und wichtige Sachen völlig außen vor lässt. Was unlesbar ist. Ein Mischmasch, nicht Europäische Verfassung (die sowieso von Franzosen und Niederländern torpediert wurde) und nichts anderes, Fisch oder Fleisch. Aber trotzdem nötig ist. Man kann mittlerweile nicht mehr gegen Lissabon sein, ohne irgendwelchen Demagogen jeglicher politischer Coleur in die Hand zu spielen. Sie haben es geschafft, teilweise die Interpretationshoheit zu erlangen – nun dürfen sie nicht auch noch das ursprüngliche Ziel erreichen. Das ist Politik.

Was das Schlimmere an der Sache ist: Koch-Mehrin gibt durch ihr Tackle mit gestrecktem Bein denjenigen Recht, die Europa für ein abgehobenes, machtgieriges Konstrukt voll Hybris halten. Das ist nicht Politik. Das wird Europa zu Fall bringen.

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Bloatware rebellion: JamFM.de again

Friday, January 9th, 2009 | technology, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

In the third instalment of my war on bloatware series, the first and only enemy of hassle-free streaming pleasure returns. After being defeated the first time around, JamFM.de has risen up again. As you probably won’t have noticed, jamfm.php on phikappa.eu has stopped working – it can’t extract the token anymore. Why? The reason is simple. The address where the flash player is located has changed. I replaced it in the script and everything in good order again. [Edit, one minute later] You’d think! But no, seems as JamFM’s own player cannot find the mp3 file anymore. Booo! We’ll switch to Windows Media, then.

(Outdated) Please find the new version where the old one was: http://phikappa.eu/jamfm.php (this does not work, but may at some point in the future

You can display an URL to paste to VLC or your mms:// capable player of choice here:

http://phikappa.eu/jamfm_asx.php

[Edit] Please find a script at http://phikappa.eu/jamfm/jamfm_wm.php that generates an .asx you can directly open with your Windows Media Audio-capable player of choice from the browser.

[Edit 2] Well, somebody already discovered the same “sikkrit” things on the nacamar server i did… so the next steps i’d have done just became redundant. Have fun with http://www.project-fx.de/tiscali/

You can quote me on this

Friday, January 9th, 2009 | politics | No Comments

“Political activity? Not at the moment, thanks but no thanks. I don’t see our civil rights in danger right now. True, democracy in itself isn’t a guarantee of individual freedoms – since the majority of people is absolutely stupid, this majority will have no difficulties in signing away their rights for some vague jet compelling promises uttered by demagogues. But in my immediate space-time neighbourhood, i don’t see any major risks. After securing my private independence, however, i shall surely seek public office to serve those like me.”

- The author

 

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Update: Circumventing bloatware – the jamfm.de web stream

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

Here we are.

By going to http://phikappa.eu/jamfm.php 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. :)

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 – against bloatware. 

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

Getting streams from bloatwaring internet radios: jamfm.de

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

Some Internet Radios are not their listener’s friend.

In the case of jamfm.de, the radio is not your friend on so many levels. visit their webstream selector at http://www.jamfm.de/cms/streams-playlist/stream-playlist/stream-playlist.html 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) http://213.200.64.229/freestream/download/jamfm/frameset_mp3.html and http://213.200.64.229/freestream/download/jamfm/frameset.html (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 http://213.200.64.229/freestream/download/jamfm/frameset_mp3.html wants us to go to http://213.200.64.229/freestream/download/jamfm/forwarder_mp3.html which redirects to http://213.200.64.229/sltokens/flashplayer/stream-mp3-player.php?stream=jamfm/livestream.mp3 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: http://62.144.180.170:80/jamfm/livestream.mp3?token=e5d5816ce89fe048baa280725383bfb9. 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 62.144.180.170″. 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

http://213.200.64.229/freestream/download/jamfm/frameset.html sends us to http://213.200.64.229/freestream/download/jamfm/forwarder.html like the mp3 does. This forwarder.html sends us to http://213.200.64.229/sltokens/stream-radio-player.php?stream=jamfm/livestream.wma. 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: http://lsd.newmedia.tiscali-business.com/bb/redirect.lsc?adid=0&stream=jamfm/livestream.wma&content=live&media=ms&token=e665919ce58c3422a2f953a4f18040fbs

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://62.26.161.89/jamfm$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 http://213.200.64.229/sltokens/flashplayer/stream-mp3-player.php?stream=jamfm/livestream.mp3 and the token is in the javascript: var token = “xxx”;

Add the xxx to http://62.144.180.170:80/jamfm/livestream.mp3?token=xxx 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.

conman

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 last.fm 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.

spam

spam

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.

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Lil’ buddy :(

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

I had tears in my eyes reading his twitterpage:

http://twitter.com/MarsPhoenix

See you soon, little lander :*

Apple,…

Monday, September 29th, 2008 | economics, life, technology | No Comments

…i hate love am angry with you.

Because you make beautiful looking pieces of technology that are a joy to work with. But then they fail. Invariably. You see, the beauty of a relationship with a technological item, in contrasto to one with a real human being, the technology does not die. Never. It will always be there for you.

I am typing this on the sexy, lean, engaging Powerbook one can see in all it’s glory a few posts below and everything is perfect. Except that Leopard is sluggish. Because you shipped faulty mainboards and i’m stuck with 1 GB of RAM. The screen freaks out every time the PB comes out of sleep.

You see, the problem with being perfect is that once you err i hate you even more because i know you could have acted otherwise. But you did not. Deliberately? My offended self thinks so.

At the end, i’m just a marketing student and you have just bad customer services and don’t like to admit your errors. That puts a strain on our relationship, you know? But otherwise, you’re quite perfect. But don’t push it. It’s the small things that end even the most engaging love story.

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Shuffling Drives: A Powerbook DVD-RW in a MacBook?

Saturday, September 13th, 2008 | technology | 1 Comment

Fast answer: Maybe.

Long answer: uuuuuuhm. Well. Lemme think. Duh. Ok. Maybe?

Since i’ve welcomed a MacBook C2D 2 GHz to our all-mac household, i’ve been between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand the MacBook is fast, small and lovely all around. On the other hand, it’s “predecessor”, a PowerBook 15″ 1.5GHz, now retired from mobile duty, sits on my desk, hooked up to a 17″ LCD and being a great dual screen workhorse (and after a small project of mine also silent AND cool). Anyway, i think this issue will be for the next post.

Now this otherwise lovely, if somewhat battered, MacBook has only a CD-RW. The Powerbook has a DVD-RW which cannot be used since the slot-in drive is covered by the notebook stand it’s sitting on. You see where i want to go here.

Straight to the porn:

In their gory entrails: MacBook and Powerbook

In their gory entrails: MacBook and Powerbook

You can see how the logic board of the MacBook is really small compared to the larger one of the Powerbook. Nothing surprising given their different specs, but still worth a mention.

So, after taking out the two drives i compared them and sadly, the DVD-RW of the PowerBook was quite substantially higher than the MacBook drive. Bummers. This seems a no-go (or better, a no-fit), although the specs were the same (standard PATA notebook drives).

BUT. Upon remounting everything, i found that the sort of cage that gets mounted at the side of the drive leaves some room for a higher drive, so maybe…. At this point however i had already given up and just wanted to put those macs back togheter. Still now i’m left with a lingering doubt if after all it would have been possible. After reassembling them they still work (i’m always surprised, given my amateurish skills in laptop (de)assemblage) and that’s good news. Another good news: i’ve modified the stand so that the PowerBook drive is again usable. Sorry, MacBook, will be for another time.

The author

potrit

my last.fm