Azureus killing a small router?

I am having a problem of my tiny Fonera router restart on me endlessly whenever I have two laptops with Azureus running connect to the network, so I started to investigate. I could not get any meaningful error messages from the router before it reboots and the only weird thing I could find in the statistics was the huge number of active connections. When I have one laptop with Skype running, Firefox browsing a few pages and Internet radio playing the number of active connections was around 200. Starting Liferea for RSS bumps that to 300. Nothing serious. However, as soon as I start Azureus (with no active downloads!) the number of active connections jumps by 400-500, starting one download adds another 300 connections. That is despite setting a maximum global limit of active connections to 100 in Azureus preferences. After 5-10 minutes the number of connections goes down to 500 (with one download active), but with two laptops with Azureus in the same wireless network the initial spike is high enough to kill the router in 2-3 minutes, force it to reboot and then do it all over again, and again, and again ...

No I am thinking whether to spend around 50€ for another router or try to work with Azureus folks to try to fix this. :(

Ubuntu removing XML from Python?



Traceback (most recent call last):
File "", line 12, in module
from xml.dom.ext.reader import HtmlLib
ImportError: No module named ext.reader


+ sys.path.append('/usr/lib/python%s/site-packages/oldxml' % sys.version[:3])
from xml.dom.ext.reader import HtmlLib

I had an old Python script doing some XML work and after upgrade to Ubuntu 8.04 I started getting the above error message and had to use the above fix because the Ubuntu packages of python-xml moved the xml.dom.ext.* to /usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages/oldxml for some reason. Have not looked at the latest Debian packages. Does anyone know why such back-compatibility breaking change was introduced? All I find on Google are the people getting bitten by this bug and no reasoning or even discussion behind the change.

Speak to the mind and you'll drop in ratings

Apparently it is a political suicide in USA to make people think. Obama's ex-preacher Jeremiah Wright is the most sane US preacher that I've ever heard. If you read or listen to his sermons in full length and go beyond the Fox News presented soundbites, he is 99% right. The US has long been doing extreme violence to countries around the world, so it is no wonder that such violence came back to US. Russia had the same problem with Afghanistan and Chechnya. If you try to put yourself up as 'world police', some people will disagree. Then he damned America's _government_ for letting Americans down by not caring enough about the people. The only thing that I would smile and shake my head at was the statement that American government invented HIV. I doubt even they have such resources. Read this transcript for example, the sermon is just a great sermon that urges the people think for themselves. And what people put this sermon down for? Using a word 'Negro'? Having an issue with some specific politicians? He is a pastor, pastors are meant to have a strong opinion a vision and to project that for the congregation to see. "I'm not going to stop thinking just because I love Jesus" is the summary of that sermon if you ask me. And that is the most positive religious message I've heard from that side of the pond for a long time. You can agree or disagree with rev. Wright, but you can still go to his sermons and enjoy it because he makes you think. I would talk to most racist bastard, serial killer or even Hitler himself if he could tell me something that would provoke my mind to think and thus improve myself. You don't have to agree with people to benefit from speaking to them or from listening to what they have to say. Even if someone is 100% wrong and misguided, if his speeches can make you think of some good idea, it is worth it. And rev. Jeremiah Wright is not 100% wrong, from what I've heard he is on the money most of the time and only some of his statements I would disagree with. And he is a great speaker. If I would have not been an Obama supporter, I would become one because of Wright.

Or because of the very accurate observation by Obama that in hard times people in rural USA cling to trusted values such as guns and religion. There is nothing wrong with that.

I am amazed how such true statements can be so turned by US press and can actually reduce Obamas rating. I was starting to believe that not all is lost in the US, but if Obama does not get elected, well ... it is all lost in the US.

PS. How this related to Debian? Or software is the best choice for the society in the long term. However, that is only true if we assume that people behave rationally and use it, improve it and contribute back improvements for the public good. If the general population is made weary of rational thinking and starts thinking in soundbites and slogans, then there is a ceiling to free software expansion and the whole free software movement can eventually be crushed in the interests of homeland security with strong corporate commercial software backing. (Only government approved software is allowed to run with mandatory government approved back-doors and hardware verification to prevent cyber-terrorism or something, thus also forbidding any compilers and interpreters outside government controls.)

The Andromeda Strain 2008

When I heard that there will be a miniseries based on "The Andromeda Strain" book, I was very exited. That was one of my favorite sci-fi books in my childhood. After watching the miniseries I must conclude that this is another book perverted and trivialized by Hollywood. SPOILERS AHEAD!

They created some crazy pseido-sci-fi idea that humans from the future sent Andromeda back from the future via a wormhole in a container that contained a message which was then picked up by a satellite that was sent up to investigate the wormhole. No wormhole was there in the book. The book had a much more modest idea - a Scoop satellite was to skim the outer layers of the atmosphere for mutations of common Earth bacteria for military purposes when it was impacted my a micrometeorite carrying the Andromeda. Much more probable, no need to involve wormholes, time travel, ASCII messages, eco-terrorists and a sub-plot on conservation of marine species.

Due to extreme modernization of the script, the whole subplot of the teletype mechanical failure was omitted. Andromeda was made sentient instead and communicated via 'some kind of inductive field' to shoot down a fighter jet and activate a nuke.

The survivors and their pH levels got barely a glance. Also the amount of destruction was obviously too low for the movie, so the Andromeda was made to mutate more, spread out of containment easily and even make a flock of birds attack a squad of solders 'Hitchcock style'. Disgustingly cheap scriptwriting.

Huge chunks of plot were ripped out (searching for the micro-meteorite impact crater with different lenses, central core security) and the two hours were filled with Rembo style journalism vs. black ops, selfless president and scenes of animals eating each other and dieing. At the end they ran out of budget and just made it look like presence of Andromeda made air and water bright red so that people would have something to run away from in fear. Oh and the scientists are allowed to freely talk about the event after it's done. Yeah, right.

In my book this movie rates very close to the infamous "The Core" with the only difference that they managed to fuck up a really good book. Do not watch it and read the book instead.

Baby Jesus violation meme

Most absurd religious bullshit in long time. Baby Jesus cries like being stabbed in the eye with a fork. It is like a sweet gay love orgy between baby Mohamed, baby Jesus and baby Abraham while baby L. Ron Hubbard films it all and baby Buddha gives artistic directions. Wouldn't you want to see that Holy Trinity? Just as real and inspiring as the other one. Baby Jesus is a fictional character just like Donald Duck or Terminator, get over it.

If your personality is fully determined by several thousand years old megalomaniac fantasies to the point where you are unable to accept satire about it, you might have serious psychological issues and should seek professional help. If people get seriously offended at anything written online it is their own personal psychiatric problem. The fact that such irrational over-offensiveness is promoted in US. Opinion is an opinion even when stated as a fact or amusing expression or observation. Being offended by an opinion is a clear sign of lack of personal integrity and self-awareness. Don't enforce your own psychological deficiencies on others or baby jesus will cry like he crapped his pants before the age of diapers.

Smash Lab S01E01 & S01E02

Smash Lab is a new Discovery Channel series where a team of inventors try to solve an engineering challenge. The premise is quite nice, unfortunately I don't find the inventors in question to be particularly bright.

In the first episode they try to bomb-proof an existing building using spray-on Rhino Lining and some weird flaps for windows. The result were blown out windows and doors and a semi-stable wall that was crumbled inside. You can't really stop walls crumbling down after a car bomb right outside. But, the windows could easily be protected with the same type of stretchy plastic covering the glass from both sides in a way similar to Triplex car windshields. That would be much better looking than the window flaps they used. Also, if you're simulating a car bomb, don't forget to add nails, screws and/or ball bearing to create shrapnel. Overall: 5/10, can be improved a lot.

In the second episode they tried to use aerated concrete to improve the dividing barriers on highways. Both their designs failed miserably in a multitude of ways - they were hard to produce and failed to stop cars. The best they got was to slow down a heavy bus, but even that did not stop. I would propose a completely different design - an arrestor bed created from easy to manufacture blocks of solid concrete with a rectangular hole inside and a thin slab of aerated concrete on top of that hole. The blocks would be rectangular with a length that is good for transport and deployment. The crucial details are the width, height and internal structure. The height of the block must be surely higher than half the wheel diameter of a largest typical car. The width of the internal hole must such that a typical wheel would fit inside the rectangular central hole of the block after the top of the block breaks in. The wheel must fit both in a parallel and perpendicular fashion thus the width of the block must come to the typical wheel diameter. The blocks would be layed parallel to the road with around 10 blocks separating the traffic lines. If a car would weer onto such lane, the tops of the bricks will break very easily getting the wheels to fall into the hole in the block. The block walls will be much harder and will impact the wheelbase both slowing the car down and steering it so that it would be forced to move in the direction parallel to the traffic flow. In such direction of travel the car will continue to break off tops off the blocks until it slows down enough to fall beneath axle height at which point the concrete will crumble upwards bringing the car to a much faster stop. The car will be unlikely to cross to the opposite traffic because of the diversion effect from the block walls. Overall: 3/10, the inventors failed to achieve anything.

Crosscut of one block

# #
# #
# #
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- is aerated concrete
# is solid concrete

Debian on EEEpc 2

The new release from the Debian EEE PC Team is simply great - it works flawlessly to install a fully functional Debian install onto an EEE PC over wireless. You only need a 16 Mb USB stick (or SD card) to boot from.

The only remaining bug that people are still working on is the selection of the wireless network - int the current build the installer autoselects the strongest signal by default and if you want another you need to go back and reconfigure the network in the installer.

Great work guys!

BTW: This got me thinking - it shouldn't be too hard to take over the EEEPC from the default installation without having to have a USB stick or an SD card :) The default EEE PC setup consists of a (read-only) system partition and a user partition overlay. It should be simple to download the 16 Mb D-I boot image, save it to the system partition and write a boot loader that would allow the choice between normal boot, EEE PC rescue boot and Debian installation boot. With a bit of pre-seeding we could have the d-i install a Debian instance in place of the user partition unless the user overrides that.

More of a good thing?

There is one particular aspect of Microsoft's document format going through ISO process that I had a hard time to find a counter-argument against: "Well it is better to have multiple open formats, isn't it?". Last night when I was presenting in a Document Freedom Day event, I finally got one. When multiple standards exist in the same area, two options can exist:

  1. Cooperative standards - providing similar functionality in different ways that can coexist in the same medium without a significant overhead. An example of this are the credit cards - they have multiple ways that the card information can be transferred to the bank: visual writing down of the data, imprint, magnetic strip and the chip. Any of these ways can be used and all of the are equally valid;

  2. Conflicting standards - providing the same functionality in incompatible ways. The example here is the power adaptors - the form of the power plug is an open and public standard (AFAIK), but so many of them exist in different places that it creates all sorts of problems both for companies producing electronic equipment and for frequent travellers.

What Microsoft proposes is much worse than the power plug mess, because the power plug standards are at least restricted by region. But imagine going to another country and having to be ready that you hotel could have any one of 8 power plug types at random. And while electricity is rather easy to convert looselesly, complex documents are far more .. complex. It is like having to buy 8 different power bricks for each of your electrical devices to be prepared for all possible voltages, frequencies, waveforms, polarities and whatnot.

Having more than one ISO document standard in a horrifying idea for any programmer that will have to ever work on software that will need to support both of them - twice the work for no etra benefit whatsoever.

If Microsoft can prove (in technical terms) that their file formats present capabilities that Open Document can not, then the only sane way to implement those in the ISO format is to add those capabilities as an extension of the existing Open Document format and not to reinvent the wheel.

Microsoft also has a habit of pointing to JPEG and PNG being "competing". Well, they are not - those are complimentary standards, because JPEG is designed for compression of photographic details while PNG is designed for the compression of bitmapped vector images. Something like DejaVu could be seen as a superset of the two formats.

So, if you ever need an argument against more standards - remember about the power plugs.


Occasionally I post (or could post) things that are not fit for Debian Planet (non-English) or Planet (unrelated to Latvian or Debian/Ubuntu matters), so I finally budged and switch the planet feeds to their own categories so that such things can be managed on a per-post basis.

Anyone know a Wordpress plugin that would allow to set multiple default categories?