Thursday, October 25, 2007

Yet another Rapidshare hack

A few weeks after I published my Rapidshare Linux hack (which removes the delay between two consecutive downloads by changing the MAC and the IP addresses) and probably completely unrelated to this Rapidshare introduced another annoying "feature" - up to 1 minute delay before the first download.

It turns out that there is a trivial hack for this too (but only for these who are smartlucky to use Firefox). First you will have to install Greasemonkey Firefox addon and after that my Rapidshare delay removal script.


P.S. This Javascript hack is not exactly new, I just automated it using Greasemonkey.
P.P.S. Here is the script source code:

function() { this.c = 0},

It simply changes the value of "c" variable to 0 after the page finishes loading. This variable is used by Rapidshare Javascript delay function, so my script just sets this delay to 0.

Update: Apparently this does not work anymore as they check the time delay on the server too.

Labels: , , , , ,

Monday, October 22, 2007

PacMan for kids

After giving up efforts to find a decent computer game for my 3.5 year old kid I figured out that I was just reinventing the wheel. Tons of good old computer games can be easily adapted for kids. So I started with PacMan - mostly because I could came across an easy to modify open source implementation at

So... here it is - PacMan for kids. I slowed the game a little bit, but most importantly I decreased by the factor of 3 the speed of "ghosts" compared to the pacman. And added more lives so that one game would give me at least the time I need to finish my beer :)

You can download the game here

Temporarily it is also available online

Labels: , ,

Saturday, October 20, 2007


Magnatune is an open source buzzword compliant... what exactly ? I'm not sure what are they since I did not visit their web site, but they surely did not save on buzzwords.

List of open source related buzzwords from the LinuxJournal "article":
"We Are Not Evil”
"Creative Commons "
"Open Source Community"
"Freedom Fighter"
" Open Music"
"source code”
"give it back to the community"
"crisis in music"
" Running on Open Source"
"Linux, Apache, PHP, MySQL"

For god's sake, this is not an open source project, they are just trying to find a way to sell you some lousy albums that nobody would by! And their definition of "Open Music" is quite interesting, they invite you to "be a part of the Magnatune's marketing team by requesting free recruiting cards or printing Magnatune mini-posters and handing them out", i.e. work for them just because their web site runs on Linux!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Transferring information between Java applets

I stumbled upon a rather lengthy article at TechRepublic about a workaround for one of the Java applet security limitations, which does not allow any information to be passed between Java applets originating from different servers. The article talks about transferring files, but there is no reason not to generalize it to the transfer of any kind of information.

Their solution is to write what they call a "middleman" - an application that should reside on a web server and route the traffic between its applet and the "middleman" application running on the server of the other applet, which in its turn should forward the information to the receiving applet.

Well... it's surely an interesting exercise, but... guys, this is stupid!

The following trivial hack using Javascript allows you to do the same, i.e. pass information between two Java applets originating from different servers, in a fraction of an effort needed to implement the hack from TechRepublic article. This is actually very simple - the above Java applets are not allowed to communicate with each other, but they both can communicate with the Javascript!

There are a couple of ways to call Java code from Javascript, but the simplest is "java.package.class.staticMethod()". So all you have to do is to call the relevant methods of both classes from Javascript and pass the information from one to another.

Java applet security limitations, Sun Java security specifications

Labels: , ,

Monday, October 15, 2007


DViCO is a Korean company which produces quite popular TViX media players. Most of them are based on Sigma Designs reference board and run some kind of embedded Linux. They even have a GPL page on their website with the full text of GPL v2 and a link to the source code tarball, which indicates that they admit to using Linux in their systems and understand what GPL is.

The only problem is that the above tarball, which is supposed to include the full sources of their software along with the compilation instructions, is identical to the one released by Sigma Designs for their EM8500 reference board. As TViX system has clearly different hardware and software, these source won't run "as is" on their hardware and clearly do not contain their modifications, i.e. derived work, to the GPL code.

Unfortunately, this is very typical and common case of GPL violation.

Interestingly enough, their "firmware upgrade" image appears to be encrypted in some way as I did not manage to find any of the known Linux filesystem images inside of it when I tried to get shell access.

DViCO "GPL" page
Sources of Sigma Designs EM8500 reference board

Labels: , ,

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Internet Explorer

Well, I never particularly liked that thing (IE), but I did not realize how bad it sucks from the technical point of view until I started doing some Joomla coding. Apparently IE6 does not support neither PNG alpha transparency nor CSS tooltips, i.e. :hover class on elements other than links.

Needless to say that Firefox supports all these. Interesting whether they finally fixed it in IE7.

Labels: , ,

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Google Analytics

Is it just me or Google Analytics, however cool it may look at the first sight, has absolutely terrible user interface and actually does not come close to Analog and Webalizer ?


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Rapidshare hack for Linux

As it turns out it's unbelievably easy to overcome annoying time delay between downloads of the free Rapidshare account. And it's even easier if you happen to run Linux.

Rapidshare "remembers" the IP address you used to download, so all you have to do is to change it between subsequent downloads by restarting DHCP client. In order to ensure that you will not get the same IP address (Linux DHCP client tries to get the same IP by first issuing the DHCP REQUEST and only if it fails - DHCP DISCOVER; and most DHCP servers will try to lease the same IP address for the same MAC address) you have to change... right, the MAC address. And, as I mentioned above, this is yet another example of Linux being much more user-oriented OS than the other one - changing MAC address on Linux is a breeze.

ifdown eth0
let "rnum = $RANDOM % 255"
d=`printf "%02X\n" $rnum`
ifconfig eth0 hw ether 00:0F:EA:37:9F:$d
rm /var/lib/dhclient/dhclient-eth0.leases
ifup eth0

Remember to change the MAC address of the correct interface, i.e. the one on which you get the normal (routable) IP address.

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, October 08, 2007

Linux journalS

Apart from Linux Journal that actually publishes some interesting stuff from time to time, who the heck is reading Linux Magazine and Linux User and Developer ?

And more interestingly, who is the moron that is financing all this crap ?

Heck, Linux Magazine web site layout apparently was not even tested under Firefox!

Nouveau drivers

I keep hearing that once Nouveau drivers (open source drivers for NVIDIA cards) reach maturity we will finally have video drivers problem "solved". It is funny how even intelligent people fail to see the reality of their (well, our) beloved Linux OS. Nouveau project will never reach maturity. Look at the pace at which NVIDIA and ATI are releasing new products. We will never catch up!

And lets not forget that the situation with ATI open source drivers is even worse. The only video card for which there are decent open source drivers is Intel and this situation is not going to change any time soon. Never, actually.

People may get fooled by the fact that the situation with Linux video drivers improved dramatically over the past 10 years, but this is only because there much less video card companies than it used to be.

However, I'd argue that, in spite of all the above, the situation with Linux video drivers is OK. Desktop Linux is a niche OS and will remain such until something dramatic happens. And for a niche OS it is perfectly acceptable to support only very specific hardware, i.e. Intel.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

LinuxConf Europe 2007 article and presentation: Hacking Embedded Linux Based Home Appliances


Embedded Linux is an interesting phenomenon. With millions of devices shipped to-day, from residential gateways to cellular phones, it may be Linux's biggest success story ever. However, it gets disproportionately small amount of interest from the open source community. Part of the blame is on the companies developing embedded Linux based products, which feel uncomfortable with the idea of opensource. However, even bigger problem can be the fact that embedded systems are perceived as black boxes which are very hard to hack, contrary to an "open" PC.
This article tries to break this stigma by showing Linux developers how to hack various Linux based devices that they might already have at home. If we understand that it's easy and fun to hack embedded systems, I believe embedded Linux issues will get more attention from opensource community, which will eventually result in more embedded-friendly Linux kernel, more embedded-oriented opensource projects and better Linux-based products.


Labels: , , , ,

Linux Journal article: Building a Next-Generation Residential Gateway

A bit high-level article about how the simple lego-like approach of building Linux-based residential gateways is going to change when vendors are required to support high throughputs of 802.11n, PON and DOCSIS 3 on cheap commodity hardware.

Labels: , , ,