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01 November 2006

The Chinese Answer to SPAM

What I got on the Internet Governance Forum

Yesterday at the IGF's "Security" panel, I stood up to ask a question, partly about SPAM coming out of China. Now the transcript of the Security session is online, and from the transcript I can quote the answer I got:

CHENGQING HUANG: "...we have the principle of coordinated action to make joint efforts. So after defining some principles, we received the reporting and denunciation from society and the relevant organs and received some addresses that sent Spam. If we determine that these IP addresses, indeed, sent Spams, we announced the list of such addresses. So such a list, we have WW.NT slash Spam Web site, you can see how many servers of Spam we have announced. If after three months they have not improved their behavior, we will organize resistance to such Spams."
Note that the website address he mentioned is garbled, due to translation and transcription.

Posted by betabug at 09:27 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)

The Greek Governments Answer to Freedom of Speech

Another Thing I got from the Internet Governance Forum

At yesterday's IGF "Openness" panel, the case of Greek blog aggregator Antonis Tsipropoulos ( arrest was brought to the attention of Theodoros Roussopoulos from the Greek government. I'm again quoting the session transcript for the first part of the answer (see the transcript if you want to read all parts of his answer)

ROUSSOPOULOS: Well, I'm not aware of this case. But what I can state is that over the last period, we have had to face various bloggers who make any kind of references really untrue statements. In fact, these lies get on television and on other media which are widely followed in my country. So we have a problem with bloggers who spread lies through television. What we need to guarantee in a democratic environment is to respect professional codes of ethics and international rights guaranteeing the rights of everyone, but also giving the opportunity to freedom of expression, but also to the truth. Because there are people who are not politicians or business representatives but is the victim of slandering or defamation. How can this person deal with statements, untrue statements, made by a blogger against him?
Please don't judge the quality of the english, this is a transcript of the life translation! My personal interpretation: Roussopoulos is still angry and hurt because weblogs spread the news about the Greek wiretapping scandal across the border. Tough luck, a government spokesperson should be more professional. But feel free to judge his answer by yourself...

Posted by betabug at 09:50 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
03 November 2006

No Investigation on Ericsson in Wiretapping Scandal

Strange Decision from ΑΔΑΕ (ADAE)

According to the Greek news sites, the Greek Information Security Authority ΑΔΑΕ (ADAE) has decided not to investigate Ericsson for their involvement in the wiretapping scandal that was revealed in February of this year. As the "reason" they state that the law does not give their agency the role to investigate the manufacturers of telecoms equipment. Apparently this decision came out of a 4-3 vote, where 2 of the minority votes were by specialists from the investigative unit of ADAE.

Depending on your level of paranoia and/or believe in the orwellian state of the industry / the world / etc., this either comes as a surprise or something expected. Myself I haven't expected exactly this, but I certainly didn't expect anything to come out of the investigation conducted by ADAE. Ericsson might as well ship their systems with a backdoor as wide as a barndoor, the ADAE wouldn't notice. It's all a matter of agenda, and I suspect the agenda of the ADAE is to get this thing forgotten as fast as possible.

Posted by betabug at 10:26 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)

Die Vergangenheitsform von "lesen"

Grammatiklektionen aus der Suchmaschine

Eine bekannte Suchmaschine, deren Name mit "G" beginnt, liebt diesen Weblog und meine unscheinbare Website. So erreichen immer mal Suchanfragen den Server, die nach der Vergangenheitsform des Verbs "lesen" suchen (Screenshot oder live-suche). Gefunden wird dann meine Seite, auf der meine Rolle beim MUS in der Vergangenheitsform zu lesen ist. Sowas ist verwirrend. Die Verwirrung entsteht daraus, dass man mit Suchmaschinen wie auch mit Wörterbüchern eigentlich nur nach etwas suchen kann, dass man schon kennt.

Um diesem Misstand abzuhelfen, hier nun die Lösung des Rätsels: Die Vergangenheitsform von "lesen" ist natürlich "lieste", wie im Satz: "Gestern lieste ich in der Zeitung, dass die Schule heute zu hat." Das Verb lesen gehört nämlich zur gleichen Wortfamilie wie das Verb "niessen" und bei dem heisst es ja auch "ich niesste". In deutscher Grammatik bin ich halt schon nicht zu schlagen.

Posted by betabug at 13:23 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
05 November 2006

Coffee with HelMUG

Sunday Meeting on Syntagma Square

We're sitting in the cafe Ethnikon on Syntagma square, chatting about Mac stuff. I'm on a meeting of the Greek Mac User Group HelMUG. Ten people have shown up so far and we even signed up two new members. I'm typing this entry on a white MacBook, trying to get used to the keyboard. Reminds me of Spectrum home computers. The screen is nice, even though I don't like the glossy finish.

HelMUG meetings are on every first Sunday of the month (around 11:30 in the morning), members and non-members welcome. For the moment we are meeting here on Syntagma square, where we have free wifi access, but the location may change. If you are interested to get reminders about these meetings, you can sign up to our notification mailing list.

Posted by betabug at 12:08 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
07 November 2006

Yesterday I installed IE7

It's new, it's uh... nothing changed, CSS needs "fixing" (again)

Yesterday I had set myself the task to check our Zope application with the new Internet Explorer 7, out now relatively fresh. The IE7 update is being "pushed" onto consumers by Micro$oft it seems, but our customers come more from the corporate world, so in going through a few days of logs, I didn't spot any visits from the new Internet Exploder. Installing IE7 on the VirtualPC instance was an interesting experience though. Oh, about the CSS? It's almost fine, but it left me angry for a simple reason...

Continue reading "Yesterday I installed IE7"
Posted by betabug at 23:27 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
10 November 2006


OpenBSD auf meinem "neuen", alten G4

Letzten Sonntag bekam ich von Stefanos von der HelMUG einen G4/466 geschenkt. Nicht wirklich das heisseste und neueste Eisen, aber die G4-Architektur ist so solide und sauber gebaut, dass diese Maschinen noch länger Spass machen werden. Auf die Kiste habe ich dann erstmal OpenBSD installiert. Worauf sich jetzt der Grossteil meiner Leser (naja, zwei von den insgesamt dreien) fragen werden: "Was ist das?" Alle anderen werden sich fragen: "Wieso das, wenn der PowerMac ja auch mit einem schönen, normalen Mac OS X laufen tut?" Mal der Reihe nach: OpenBSD ist ein Betriebssystem, dass aus dem freundlichen Mac eine furchteinflössende Unix-Maschine macht. Die Bedienung ändert sich dabei von freundlich und nett hin zu verschroben und kryptisch. Warum also?

Continue reading "Zeitfressmaschine"
Posted by betabug at 10:56 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
12 November 2006

Photography from Freaky to Ultra Expensive

Looking at Macs and Hasselblads
Serious picture taken by photobooth

Yesterday I was planning to go to Stournari street to look for a replacement HD for my server. Right as I was walking down to the bus station my phone rang. Panos (Libero) from HelMUG called with an invitation to visit the largest illegal structure in Europe, Athens "The Mall" super shopping center. In some kind of coincidence-colliding-with-an-idea moment, I changed plans as well for my server as for the day. I went straight to The Mall, where I met Panos and about half of the shopping crazed women of the Attican peninsula. While we tried to avoid being run over by the masses, we went to play with some Macs and later in the day even got to play around with expensive Hasselblad cameras...

Continue reading "Photography from Freaky to Ultra Expensive"
Posted by betabug at 19:44 | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
13 November 2006

More ZWiki Skins and Skin Know-How

Redesigned my own wiki, updated the docs
Screenshot website

Friday evening I finally took the (seemingly) big step and slapped some new paint on my own little wiki site Just like with the nautica project, I took a template from and created a zwiki skin out of it. The template needed only a few changes, the biggest of which was the replacement of the main deco image with one of my sketches. I like the result so far, even though the content of the site may look greek to you. It's been the fourth ZWiki skin I'm building, and I'm getting faster with each one. I'm down to a couple of hours for a site with a reduced set of wiki functionality.

Since I've learned a lot in the experience, I was able to update the HowTo describing the process. At first had some problems with a full disk, so I stored the howto right there on my own zwiki. Now that the database of has been packed, the HowTo found its home at CreateZWikiSkinsFromOpenWebTemplates. The other places (nautica and papaki) still have it, but they point to, where I plan to keep the howto updated. (Reminder for those coming in late: The ideas behind this are explained in The Easiest CMS on Zope... Zwiki and Skinning a ZWiki.)

Given the latest trolling on the zope mailing list I think it's interesting to note that Simon provides one of the biggest documentation projects for the Zope community, yet works on a shoestring hosting. Maybe some people could contribute something for that instead of spending hours for a useless and irresponsible trolling project.

Posted by betabug at 23:38 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
15 November 2006

Books Hunted, 1001 Books Listed

Another Bookshop, and my score on the reading list

Looking through a list of Zwiki example sites I came across one very nice wiki called thinkubator. In its refreshing but not very wikilike pages I found a reference to a book with a list of 1001 books one should read, complete with a list of the authors and titles. A long count showed me that I have read 60 of them and am into number 61 now... because as I happened to have visited a friend in Kolonaki and was slowly going back to the bus station, I stumbled upon a bookshop that has some english books. I went in to discover a small selection, but amongst them I found 3 books that I bought. So a big selection isn't really everything. What did I get?

Continue reading "Books Hunted, 1001 Books Listed"
Posted by betabug at 23:23 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (1)
16 November 2006

Searching ZCTextIndex in Greek, properly

Treat those pronunciation marks right with GRSplitter in Zope

A long time ago I had made my own Greek Unicode splitter for ZCTextIndex. That worked fine, but it didn't take the pronunciation marks into consideration (so searching for "ελληνικα" didn't find "ελληνικά"). Today I found through the greek plone forum the GRSplitter, which came out a few months ago. I've set it up with this blog as a guinea pig, and the search works even better now. No need for me to fix my own splitter any more. Thanks go to George Gozadinos!

Setup: Untar the archive, place in your Zope Instance's "Products" folder. Even though the GRSplitter is a Zope Product, it won't show up in your "Add" menu in the ZMI. Instead you will have to add (or replace) your "ZCTextIndex Lexicon", which usually lives inside your ZCatalog and is usually named "lexicon" or so. When you add a new Lexicon, you specify to use the GRSplitter and off you go. If this is a replacement, you will have to recatalog.

Posted by betabug at 12:32 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
18 November 2006

Server Downtime, EU Security Measure Casualty

Or "Crash Bum Bang" if you prefer

On Friday I was preparing some things for the upgrade of to OpenBSD 4.0. Due to pilot error, I managed to crash the machine and bring it into a state where accessing it wasn't possible any more. I'm sorry if the downtime has caused any problems, especially to the witch users (the witch being the Zope/apache rewrite rule generator, which is about the only really useful service I provide). There will be another (hopefully brief) downtime on Tuesday evening, when the actual server upgrade should happen.

The problem with that upgrade is of course that I am in Greece, while the server is in Germany. So on Saturday I took the plane to Munich (well, not only for the swerver upgrade). I carried a HD with OpenBSD 4.0 installed on it with me. Given the new EU security craze^H^H^H^H^Hmeasures, I wasn't too sure if that would be trouble. We called the airline and asked. They had a bit of a problem finding someone who knew what a Hard Disk was, but in the end I was able to transport the HD safely in my hand luggage.

The EU Casualty

The EU security guidelines caused a different casualty though: Since one can not bring liquids into the cabin any more, the bottles of greek Ouzo I was bringing for presents had to go into my bag. When the luggage came out on the baggage claim, I noticed the outside of my bag being wet. I had a faint hope that it was due to the rain in Munich. Not really. One of the bottles hadn't survived. Most of my clothes had a distinct anis and alcohol smell and there were shards of glass all over the contents of the bag. I managed to get my winter jacket out of there without cutting myself. The Ouzo didn't penetrate the security barrier of the second compartment of the bag, so things weren't that bad. A run of the washing machine cured most of the other problem cases.

Posted by betabug at 13:14 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)

Kulturschock Deutschland

Ein ganz leichter Hauch von Unwirklichkeit

Also erstmal hat es geregnet,als ich mit dem Flieger ankam. Dann war (im riesigen und leeren) FJS Flughafen von München alles auf Deutsch ausgeschildert. Das gleiche auf den Strassen. Dort hat es wieder geregnet. Man muss als Fussgänger an roten Ampeln stehen bleiben. Wenn sich die Autos stauhen, fahren keine 15 Motorräden pro Minute dazwischen durch. Samstag abends um 11 sind die Strassen leer, ausser im Ausgehviertel. Samstag nacht um 2 sind sie noch leerer. Ich bin leicht kulturgeschockt.

Es sind keine grossen Sachen, aber viele kleine Ungewohnheiten. In München drückt man bei der Strassenbahn auf den Knopf damit die Tür aufgeht. Alles ist sehr sauber im ÖV, dafür gibt es abends im Bus Leute die Bier trinken, was man sich zuhause in Athen überhaupt nicht vorstellen könnte. Überhaupt ist vieles anders als in bei uns in Athen, was vielleicht der Grund ist, warum deutschsprechenden Lesern die Feststellungen eben nicht so besonders vorkamen. Wenn ich bei uns am Samstag um 10 Souvlaki holen will, dann muss ich in Zografou Schlange stehen (weil alle anderen auch ausgehen und noch schnell was zu essen holen). Es sind überall Leute auf der Strasse. Alles anders eben.

In München waren wir heute im Augustiner Bräustüberl, zum Schweinebraten essen. Danach ging es zum Karl-Valentin- und Liesl-Karlstadt-Museum. Witzig und unterhaltsam, zum Glück nicht zu gross, den meine Aufnahmefähigkeit wird schon so ausgeschöpft. Danach ein Spaziergang durch die Innenstadt, wie es sich für einen Touristen in München gehört. Vorbei am alten und neuen Rathaus, an der Marienkirche und diversen anderen Sehenswürdigkeiten.

Posted by betabug at 22:22 | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
28 November 2006

Server Failure

Main board hosed

The main board of the G3 that was running and had a total failure. The server is currently being restored on a G4. Not all data is back, not all services are running right now. Things will hopefully get better soon.

Posted by betabug at 17:03 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
29 November 2006

Site Up, Mail Not Yet works, doesn't yet

As you may have noticed, the site was up this afternoon, down again in the evening, now it came back up (or you wouldn't be reading this). I have restored both the static site and the dynamic content from backups that are a few days out-of-date. Talking about here, for the papaki site there are some more complications due to DNS issues. I could get the real, up-to-date data, but it's on a SCSI disk that -- for the moment -- doesn't work in my replacement machine. Looks like I need a SCSI terminator (and/or a clue about scsi), but the days when I had either of those are gone. The mail server configuration is on that SCSI disk too, so I will have to recreate the setup.

Posted by betabug at 02:02 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)