Getting streams from bloatwaring internet radios:

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.

spammy spam all over the spam

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.


…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.

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

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.

getting (old) iPatch patches to work in Leopard

There are some no dvd or hardware check disabling patches for Mac OS X games that aren’t working anymore in Leopard, crashing on start if not launched with rosetta and failing the verification of SHA1 checksums for the files to be patched even if they are the correct version. Some examples for this issue are the patches for Civilization IV and Call of Duty 2 for Mac OS X released by… (argh i have to check this at home).

As I found out, in order to fix them download iPatch 3.7.1 from and then explore the package’s content. You will find under /Contents/Resources an app called iPatcher, explore that file’s content again by right clicking and find a nice unix executable-style file named, you’ll never guess it, ipatcher under /Contents/MacOS/. You’ll need to copy this file over to the /Contents/MacOS folder inside the patch application package, overwriting the old ipatcher (size 204 or 208 kb) with the new one (size 212kb).

Now launch the game patcher thus modified and voilá, it will happily patch away.

Thanks to the author of those patches whose name i will add here in a couple of hours.

Some things.


0) welcome to all new subscribers. there have been a few. why don’t
you add me on twitter? phikappa’s the name.
1) i should integrate this posterous on my webpage, as i should do
with the twitter updates.
2) i never thought there would be a page 2 on this blog. i mean, when
did i have ever taken something so far as to page 2?
3) i started and as it looks it is not
something that will reach page 2.
4) i met someone who reminded me of how cool being geeky is and that i
should not repudiate my geekery as much as i do
5) speaking of geekery, my project of transforming my old ipaq 3660
into a online music / streaming station is still out on the
ocean. phyton is installed and lastfmproxy sort of running, but, alas,
no web interface so far. on my wlan-enabled htc wizard everything is
fine, i hope phyton+lastfmproxy will love the cf wlan card and bind to
an IP address.
5a) installing a semi-actual version of phyton onto a complete enemy
of connectivity like the ipaq (no wlan, no bt, only ir. IR!) is crazy,
but feels warm and fuzzy. still, not surprisingly, i need the wlan
card to make that thing useful.

that’s all. for now.