pmeerw's blog

Aug 2008

Sun, 31 Aug 2008

Bluetooth and Python

posted at: 11:39 | path: /programming | permanent link

Sat, 30 Aug 2008

Beagleboard: up and running

posted at: 23:17 | path: /projects | permanent link

UPS: more than I want to know

Recently, I had to return a product (RMA) via UPS, the vendor graciously provided a six-digit UPS account number to bill the shipping expenses to.

Service was efficient and I could have been a happy customer if ... well, UPS send an invoice couple of days later and charged 9 eur for ... not or incorrect stating the UPS account number on the freight bill. Conversation with customer service revealed that

  1. there is no way (for a customer) to check a customer number
  2. customer support is not supposed to look up a customer number nor disclose any information regarding a customer number
  3. customer support is supposed to explicitly inform you that you have to cover any charges that may arise, and specifically have to point you the 9 eur service charge for filling in an incorrect customer number
  4. by signing the freight bill you accept the general terms and conditions (in German: Allgemeine Geschäftsbedingungen, AGB) which refer to a tariffs document (40+ pages) which indeed sets a 9 eur service charge for failing to provide a correct customer number
I really wonder who came up this that ingenious process. It sounded like they have more complaints in that area...

posted at: 22:32 | path: /rant | permanent link

Gödel fetish

From xkcd:

posted at: 20:21 | path: /fun | permanent link

Wed, 27 Aug 2008

OCF-Linux (Linux port of the BSD crypto framework) CryptoDev for Linux

posted at: 15:04 | path: /projects/OpenWrt | permanent link

Tue, 26 Aug 2008

OpenWRT on Alix board

I got a PC Engines alix2c3 board which now runs OpenWRT. WLAN is provided by Gigabyte GN-W101HT 802.11.agb mini PCI card with an Atheros AR5413 chipset (got everything from

OpenWRT is trunk (rev. 12393) and I had to try the new LUA based web configuration interfaced named LuCI (trunk, rev. 2955). Main problem was missing dependencies in various OpenWRT packages, so you have to guess what you might need...

Here's my custom kernel config (gzipped).

posted at: 17:06 | path: /projects/OpenWrt | permanent link

Fri, 15 Aug 2008

HSDPA: telering willi

I had the pleasure of setting up a telering 'willi' HSDPA modem on Linux. The modem is the usual Huawei E220 / E270 device (USB vendor/product 12d1:1003) with a telering SIM card (the PIN check was deactivated).

When you plug in the device, a folder pops up with some useless Windows drivers -- I'm ignoring that for now, not sure how to disable the mount. I'm simply following the advice from here and using these dial-in settings. Basically, you set up gnome-ppp with the following:
Password: web
Phone number: *99#
Then set the modem device to /dev/ttyUSB0,
type USB modem, speed 460800, tone dialing,
configure the init string: at+cgdcont=1,"IP","WEB","",0,0,
and store phone number *99#, no dial prefix, uncheck the 'Wait for dialtone' box,
set networks options to dynamic IP and automatic DNS,
finally, select the following options:
minimize and dock in notification area,
abort connecting if no dialtone,
check carrier line,
ignore terminal strings,
uncheck other options.

posted at: 22:52 | path: / | permanent link

Mon, 11 Aug 2008

New toy: Beagleboard

Got a new toy: Beagleboard

TI OMAP3530 processor (ARM), 600 MHz, 128 MB RAM, 256 MB flash, OpenGL accelerator, DVI output, DSP chip, SD card slot, S-Video out, Stereo in/out, USB 2.0 OTG, USB powered, Serial

posted at: 16:37 | path: /projects/BeagleBoard | permanent link

Fri, 08 Aug 2008

Nokia 3500

Got a new phone, a Nokia 3500; Tri-band, Series 40, Bluetooth, Micro USB plug, MicroSD slot. And tons of multimedia garbage features...

posted at: 15:06 | path: / | permanent link

Sequential Analysis

Today I received a copy of Abraham Wald's 1947 book Sequential Analysis (Dover Phoenix edition, 2004). The theory on sequential tests of statistical hypothesis, joint work with Milton Friedman, formulated in 1943 was withheld until after the war and first published in 1945. Let's see what we can cook up with this :-)

posted at: 15:00 | path: /academic | permanent link

Global ranting: MasterCard SecureCode

MasterCard SecureCode is a Bad Feature, by Dale Phurrough
Mastercard Securecode Rant, by Andy Davidson
Verified by Visa - cause for concern, by Ashley Friedlein
Verified by Visa considered bad?, Joel on Software discussion
Verified by Visa (Veriphied Phishing?), by antiworm

And to cite Dan Kaminsky (on 2006 data): "26 % of the Top 50 banks operate insecurely; all but one use a picture of a lock to assure users the link is safe."

Background info:
Wikipedia on 3-D Secure Wikipedia on MasterCard SecureCode (german)

posted at: 14:51 | path: /rant | permanent link

Wed, 06 Aug 2008

Buying a BeagleBoard

I'm trying to buy a BeagleBoard via Digi-key:

"Thank you for your order. However, before we process your order I need to know if the parts will be for any military or government applications. Also, be more specific with what you will be doing with the parts.
Regards, International Sales Representative Digi-Key Corporation"


posted at: 23:26 | path: /rant | permanent link

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