Nov 15

Status Update: Archival/Reference Purposes Only

By Xeross Posted in Blog News Comments (1)

I figured I’d post a quick update here as the blog has been inactive since August 2012. I’ve lost most of my interest in blogging and have therefor not updated in all this time, besides that moving into my own apartment and other things have kept me pretty busy anyway.

The blog will stay up for archival/reference purposes only, until I decide to revive it, or replace it with something else entirely.

Thanks for reading, and farewell.

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Aug 03

How-to: Bash Switch/Case Fall-through

By Xeross Posted in Developing, How-To's, Tech, Uncategorized Leave a Comment

To have a fallthrough case with the bash case statement you simply use ;& instead of ;; in the case you want to have fall-through behavior, so as follows:

case $VAR in
        echo "This doesn't do fallthrough"
        echo -n "This does"
        echo "fall-through"
Jul 02

Masterchief “No root device /dev/md1 found”

By Xeross Posted in SysAdmin, Tech Leave a Comment

Yesterday Masterchief went down, and didn’t come back up, after hooking up a monitor and keyboard it is now displaying an error stating “No root device /dev/md1 found” and dropping me into the Dracut rescue shell.

I ran through some basic checks, fsck’ed the device, checked the RAID status and even successfully mounted it. So I’m now at quite the loss what’s causing this and so far #fedora hasn’t offered any help.

I’ll continue trying trying things, perhaps I can at least get it to boot and go from there.

Update 18-Jul-2012 (15:55): One of the errors seems related to the renaming of one of the LVM volume groups, will try changing it back to the old name, see if that works.
Update 18-Jul-2012 (19:41): Renaming the LVM volume group to its former name caused the server to boot again, now to figure out how to properly rename it and keep boot working.
Update 23-Jul-2012 (17:38): It’s odd that the root device is getting an error on a volume group rename, because the root volume is just a raw partition, guess we’ll poke some more.
Update 23-Jul-2012 (18:34): Not going to investigate further, renaming the LVM volume group to the original fixes it but I was going to install Arch Linux anyway.

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Jul 02

Control VLC Media Player through D-Bus

By Xeross Posted in How-To's, Linux, Tech Leave a Comment

I recently switched back to VLC from MPD/MPC because VLC seems to play more formats and is easier to use/set-up. However I did want to keep my global keybindings, considering I couldn’t find an option in VLC to enable them and knowing that it has a D-Bus interface I decided to figure out how it works.

After some research I found out that VLC adheres to the Media Player Remote Interfacing Specification” (or MPRIS for short) for its D-BUS commands, which can be found here. To use it you can use the command line utility to send D-Bus messages dbus-send for example:

dbus-send --print-reply --session --dest=org.mpris.MediaPlayer2.vlc /org/mpris/MediaPlayer2 org.mpris.MediaPlayer2.Player.Stop

Which returns.

method return sender=:1.50 -> dest=:1.143 reply_serial=2

And stops the audio output.

The spec lists all the available commands however as I’ll only be using the org.mpris.MediaPlayer2.Player.* commands I made a simple wrapper script:


# Simple proxy script to interface with VLC over DBUS
# Available commands can be found at

dbus-send --print-reply --session --dest=org.mpris.MediaPlayer2.vlc /org/mpris/MediaPlayer2 org.mpris.MediaPlayer2.Player.$1

Now I can simply call vlc-proxy <command> to control VLC.


Jun 21

Goonswarm making trillions utilizing flaws in FW changes

By Xeross Posted in EVE Online, News & Stuff Leave a Comment

2.5 hours ago a post went up on the Goonswarm forums that was quickly mirrored to the EVE-o forums, detailing how Goonswarm made huge profits by utilizing flaws in the recent factional warfare changes.

Through flaws in the new factional warfare mechanics Goonswarm made a profit through destruying their own assets to acquire LP. As a result LP store items could be sold with large profits, causing the market to crash for the items involved.

Reports of earnings in the trillions seem to be the baseline, however an occurance of over 300 trillion in assets+ISK and 250 million in LP was observed.

CCP is currently investigating the situation and will decide on a later date whether the people utilizing this flaw will have their actions reversed. Factional Warfare in the meantime has been fixed.


I find it fascinating to see players analyzing and playing the sandbox to benefit them, this included, quite a bit of testing and theorycrafting went into this and the result speaks for itself.

Whether this is actually allowed under the EULA is something we could discuss endlessly but CCP will do whatever they feel is justified.

So, brilliant action, and we’ll see how it plays out in the coming days.


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May 17

CDs Have Arrived, Brief Reviews

By Xeross Posted in Uncategorized Leave a Comment

All of the CDs I’ve ordered have arrived, some quick info/review on them:

Punch ‘n’ Judy

Spring!TimeAlbums Purchased:
  • Punch On!
  • Spring!Time
  • Live

After hearing Punch ‘n’ Judy perform at the Elf Fantasy Fair I had their songs stuck in my head and as a result just had to get their albums.

The albums sound good and I don’t really have anything bad to say about them apart from some the singing being off-key in some songs (Luckily only for short periods of time).

The Cobblestones

Albums Purchased:
  • Laughstory
  • Eating Trifle
  • Late Breakfast

Came across The Cobblestones while listening to Punch ‘n’ Judy songs on MySpace (That was the only place I could listen to them), I like folk music and figured I’d just buy them. I don’t have much to say about their music, it just sounds good and well made.

Darius – Ergosphere

I was pleasantly surprised when I listened to the album, I incorrectly recalled Darius as being ambient music, however it is actually experimental techno which I like far more than ambient.

Album sounds good and professionally produced, has nice variety between songs and also works well as background music.

The Quick Brown Fox – Brutal Rhythm Rider

When I first downloaded this album I was of the opinion that most of the songs were too over the top for my taste, BPM was just too high and it felt too chaotic and noisy to be enjoyable.

However after listening to it a few times I’ve grown accustomed to the album and have to say it’s actually quite good, the songs are enjoyable to listen to and in the end the high BPM isn’t that disturbing.


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Mar 29

And Back Up, 11-Day Downtime

By Xeross Posted in Blog News Leave a Comment

As all 2 of you have noticed, my blog has been unreachable for a while. My Pingdom statistics confirm it was 11 days, so why was it down?

Well first of all, my monitoring infrastructure in place is currently incapacitated, as in it doesn’t send email, yes this is bad and I should get around to fixing it. This causes the problem to only be noticed after approx. 5 days.

Second, I was sick during those 5 days, which isn’t the greatest state to be in to fix your shit. And to top that off my internet was being flaky.

So after fixing the internet I decided to tackle it and get this shit back up again. Something is fishy with that VPS.

Anyway we’re back, I’ll fix the monitoring server, and we’re good to go


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Feb 06

The Pirate Bay now blocked by Ziggo and XS4ALL

By Xeross Posted in News, Tech Leave a Comment

The Pirate Bay has been blocked by XS4ALL and Ziggo a few days ago, the domain name redirects to and switching DNS server just gets you the following result

xeross@alfa ~ [ ping
PING ( 56(84) bytes of data.
--- ping statistics ---
140 packets transmitted, 0 received, 100% packet loss, time 139003ms

At this moment in time I have no new information on the appeal and where it stands at the moment. Also all ISPs that BREIN has sent requests to to block The Pirate Bay have refused and are awaiting the appeal.

Sources/related links:

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Jan 11

Dutch ISPs Ordered to Block The Pirate Bay

By Xeross Posted in News, Tech Comments (3)

Today in a main proceedings that was filed by Stichting BREIN the court in The Hague has ruled that 2 of the largest ISPs in the Netherlands, Ziggo and XS4ALL, will have to block access to The Pirate Bay, they have until the 25th of January to implement this or will face fines of €10,000/day up to a maximum of €250,000.

After this victory BREIN is also trying to get other ISPs to also block The Pirate bay, using the court ruling as leverage. However these will wait to see if XS4ALL and/or Ziggo will appeal, before going through such drastic measures.

The following IP addresses and domain names are ordered to be blocked (Source:

IP Addresses
Domain Names

Stichting BREIN has also been given permission to supply additional IP addresses and domain names to be added to the blockade, which is worrying as they can be added without any proper review of what is being blocked, however they are held liable if IP addresses or domain names they provide aren’t directing to The Pirate bay.

Something Interesting

One thing of particular interest is that Stichting BREIN had to prove that people using XS4ALL and Ziggo as their ISPs are using The Pirate Bay. To do this they sampled 50 movie torrents. This gave them 11,105 IPs exchanging the movies, of which 5,143 Dutch IPs of which in turn 1,477 (28,7%) are Ziggo IPs and 240 (4,7%) are XS4ALL IPs. However it is unclear if this sample provides an accurate average.

Then, to determine how many people using these ISPs have downloaded from The Pirate Bay they extrapolated the results, using data from AdPlanner (Note that it isn’t very that accurate), which estimates the amount of unique visitors from the Netherlands per month at 500,000. This leads to an estimate of 143,500 Ziggo customers and 23,500 XS4ALL customers that supposedly exchange copyrighted material through TPB. Note that they are extrapolating IPs collected from trackers on torrent downloads with website visits, while they are unrelated.

The judge based on this concurred that 30% of Ziggo customers and 4.5% of XS4ALL customers have recently downloaded illegal material from The Pirate Bay. This is crooked because the torrents could’ve come from someplace else, the material isn’t necessarily copyrighted (Free and open source software, and alike). Plus downloading movies and music both aren’t illegal in the Netherlands, which is completely ignored, partially because BREIN asserted that, even though you can disable uploading, no one actually does this.


January the 11th 2012: XS4ALL has officially announced to appeal the court ruling, their CEO stating the court ruling is “Censorship” and that this is “A dark day in internet history”
January the 12th 2012: Ziggo has also officially announced to appeal the ruling.

Further Reading:

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Dec 31

Electronic Arts, Nintendo and Sony Still Support SOPA

By Xeross Posted in News, Tech Leave a Comment

Various “news” sites have reported that EA, Nintendo and Sony have dropped their SOPA support, though they’ve never published a press release about it and they weren’t even on the official list of SOPA supporters, Techdirt explains what caused this error.

So they don’t support SOPA? No, they do support it, as they’re all members of the ESA (Entertainment Software Association) which supports SOPA as can be seen in the official list of supporters (Mirror).

If you want to check whether a tech company is supporting SOPA don’t forget to look at the list of members of the ESA and the BSA (Business Software Alliance) who also support SOPA.

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