Author Topic: A random thread for small computing things that don't really warrant a thread of their own  (Read 86925 times)

Gattopardo

  • Lord of the sith
  • Overseaing the building of the death star
Amazon solved the problem, which annoys me as am loathed to use amazon.

Mr Larrington

  • A bit ov a lyv wyr by slof standirds
  • Custard Wallah
    • Mr Larrington's Automatic Diary
You know when you have an Asus EeePC, yeah, and it's, like, nine years old, yeah, and it's got Windows 10, yeah, and it like hasn't been switched on since like October 2016?

Yes, exactly like that...
External Transparent Wall Inspection Operative & Mayor of Mortagne-au-Perche
Satisfying the Bloodlust of the Masses in Peacetime

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
I'm impressed that an Eee will run (well, walk) Windows 10.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Mr Larrington

  • A bit ov a lyv wyr by slof standirds
  • Custard Wallah
    • Mr Larrington's Automatic Diary
Fresh-ish install back then, cruft pared back to the minimum and very limited number of applications.  It's updating itself ATM so natch it'll put all the crufty apps back on  :'(
External Transparent Wall Inspection Operative & Mayor of Mortagne-au-Perche
Satisfying the Bloodlust of the Masses in Peacetime

Gattopardo

  • Lord of the sith
  • Overseaing the building of the death star
Win 10 works fine, just needs the memory maxed out to 2gb!!!!!!!

woollypigs

  • Mr Peli
    • woollypigs
The latest version of win10 has given life in one old laptop. So there might be hope for the eee yet, if it survives nearly 3 years of updates :)

Gattopardo

  • Lord of the sith
  • Overseaing the building of the death star
Or the obsolescence of bits like wifi cards.

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
In my current job, I have a wireless Apple keyboard. It has just occurred to me that I have not yet had to plug it in to recharge it. That's pretty impressive, considering I have been using it for several hours a day five days a week since 22nd October, with just a few days off for Christmas - much better than the cheap shit Anker wireless keyboard I use at home, which also drops the connection regularly.

Does anyone know anything about TOR?

I run a public website for aircraft enthusiasts at Heathrow (yes, yes, I know!) and I don't have any problem with visitors with web browsers using the data it displays on arrivals and departures (that's what it's there for), but it's become clear that it's also being accessed by someone running a screen-scraper bot that hoovers up the data at regular intervals (despite the banner on the site saying that no automated scripts or bots are allowed).

The client IP addresses of the bot used to access the site vary, and a reverse DNS search on any of them typically comes up with something like "this-is-a-tor-exit-node.filepit.to", so it's clear that the perpetrator is using TOR to disguise their actual IP address, which I would otherwise block.

I know there are public lists of TOR exit nodes, but they don't seem particularly complete.  Is there any way of detecting TOR access programmatically from the server log (IIS) so that my application can use that to decide whether to allow/disallow access?

I'd stress that I have nothing against TOR as a concept, I appreciate that it's a lifesaver in less enlightened countries, but I'm not willing to accept it being used for what is, essentially, hacking my website.

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
In my current job, I have a wireless Apple keyboard. It has just occurred to me that I have not yet had to plug it in to recharge it. That's pretty impressive, considering I have been using it for several hours a day five days a week since 22nd October, with just a few days off for Christmas - much better than the cheap shit Anker wireless keyboard I use at home, which also drops the connection regularly.

Pretty good aren't they? I think I have to recharge about once every six months (same for the mouse and trackpad). Also rock solid, which I simply don't expect from Bluetooth
!nataS pihsroW

I run a public website for aircraft enthusiasts at Heathrow (yes, yes, I know!) and I don't have any problem with visitors with web browsers using the data it displays on arrivals and departures (that's what it's there for), but it's become clear that it's also being accessed by someone running a screen-scraper bot that hoovers up the data at regular intervals (despite the banner on the site saying that no automated scripts or bots are allowed).

They're just using TOR to prevent you from banning a specific IP address.

I'd gather as much info as you can about the thing doing the scraping.

i.e. log all of the headers presented (e.g. user-agent[1]), timing info (does it make several queries in a row, does it make the queries at the same times, etc)

You might find that there's something specific about that client you can use to detect it.

If you outright ban it then you can expect them to work out how and make it harder for you to detect it in the future, so it becomes an endless game of whack-a-mole.

You can be much sneakier. I've written a bunch of things to scrape other sites (honouring their robots.txt and other wishes) and what annoyed me most was when the format of the response changes.

If you detect the annoying client then change the format of the page you return, add in new divs, add an extra column, that kind of thing.

One other fun thing is if you can reliably detect this client amongst all of the legitimate clients then occasionally send it incorrect data.

1. I know these can be trivially faked, but that person having to do that will cost them some time. At some point in the whack-a-mole game you'll either exhaust their (or your) patience or technical ability.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
You can be much sneakier. I've written a bunch of things to scrape other sites (honouring their robots.txt and other wishes) and what annoyed me most was when the format of the response changes.

If you detect the annoying client then change the format of the page you return, add in new divs, add an extra column, that kind of thing.

Having had the misfortune to have to dabble in scraping things[1] from time to time, I second that approach.  Assuming it won't break things for the legitimate users, you can do it without having to detect the scraper.


[1] Usually to get data out of embedded devices, rather than from public websites.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Mr Larrington

  • A bit ov a lyv wyr by slof standirds
  • Custard Wallah
    • Mr Larrington's Automatic Diary
Newly relocated PC starts making expensive noises every time graphics card breaks out of a stroll.  Dive (more like, "bomb", TBH) under desk with torch, pull off side panel, poke errant disk drive cable away from one of graphics card's fans.  Peace and normal heart rate restored.
External Transparent Wall Inspection Operative & Mayor of Mortagne-au-Perche
Satisfying the Bloodlust of the Masses in Peacetime

Would anyone like:

- a Wacom Graphire  ET-0405-U usb tablet with pointer and mouse?  vintage is likely 2001 or thereabouts.

- a Sharp Zaurus SL5500 with gubbins (including a 64!!1! Mb!!1!, count 'em, SD card)

- Also on offer JVC-JRS100 receiver, mostly works, vintage....'75? probably only fit for spares, has a hefty PS in it but unlikely worth any shipping cost. anyone got an actual use for it I'll cover shipping headed dumpwards

Headed dump-wards shortly (prob not the Zaurus)

Steph

  • Fast. Fast and bulbous. But fluffy.
Just a simple question, coming from the lunatic TERF fringe of Twitter.

They keep posting the construction "&amp" after various insulting words. Anyone have a translation for me?
Mae angen arnaf i byw, a fe fydda'i

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
No idea what the TERFs are doing, but ampersands are a special character in HTML[1] (to embed arbitrary characters by their code point[2] - for example Y gives you a 'Y').  Consequently, if you just stick an ampersand in, the parser tries to interpret what follows as something special rather than simply generating an ampersand character.   To embed an ampersand without the parser interpreting it as a command, it gets encoded as &

Consequently, lots of systems that are designed to process normal text for use on the web will escape the ampersands.

Many buggy systems get this stuff wrong, for all sorts of tedious reasons, but a popular example is taking input where the ampersands are *already* escaped as & and naively escaping it again (so it becomes &) and you end up seeing &-related rubbish in the output.

TL;DR: It might simply be a result of copy&pasting in software[4] that's a bit clever, but not clever enough.  But I'm not discounting the possibility of a new internet slang that I'm not aware of.


[1] Certainly the older standards - it think the current ones allow an un-escaped ampersand?
[2] This is more useful for symbols and characters used in non-English[3] languages.
[3] For USAnian values of English.  £ is useful to Brits, for example.
[4] Possibly a troll-bot?
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Feanor

  • It's mostly downhill from here.
Thought I'd just killed my 8 port USB charger which does Fast Charging to my Samsung phone.

I had it connected to my new Suunto watch, which connects via a USB using contact pads much like the Garmin units.  The Garmin units have a crocodile clippy arrangement to clamp the cable to the pads.  The Suunto is magnetic.  The cable end has a strong magnet which clamps itself to the back of the watch, which works very well.  There are ridges which make the thing self-aligning, so you don't need to manually jibble it so much.

I disconnected the watch, and the cable end then clamped itself firmly to the metal base of the lamp on the bedside table.
Whilst the cable was humping the lamp, it was shorting out all its connector pins.
Also, the lamp has a touch dimmer, so goodness knows what low current mains voltage AC was present on the lamp base.

The charger died.

But after I came back in from the restaurant and pub, it had come back to life!
Yay!