Saturday 29 January 2011


Renzi immortalato nella roccia sulla copertina Venerdì di Repubblica. Ed è davvero in ottima compagnia...

Friday 28 January 2011

Shock value

Pochi centimetri di scaffale. E' il minimarket di un Autogrill, è vero: ma notate come ci siano almeno un paio di titoli che non utilizzano espressioni dialettali, volgari oppure relative al sesso. Cosa non farebbero le case editrici per attirare l'attenzione dei lettori, o aspiranti tali, in cerca di un buon titolo...

Saturday 22 January 2011

Voodoo Visual Studio

While I was - uh - researching the previous post I fired up VS2008 and tried to establish a connection to a Microsoft access database via Server Explorer. I got this dialog...

instead of this dialog.

'Test Connection' invariably returns 'OK'. The advanced button remains grayed out. Clicking OK invariably yelds the message 'Format of the initialization string does not conform to the specification starting at index 0', even typing a perfectly valid Jet 4.0 connection string. Invoking the .NET OleDb provider directly from Server Explorer and linking it to Jet 4.0 driver seems to work, at first, but then an 'Object reference not set to an object instance' message stops everything. Programatically, using OleDb+Jet poses no problem whatsoever. I have also VS2005 on the same machine: same problem. And VS2010: no problem at all.

I spent quite a bit of time online searching for a solution. It looks like something related to a deleted registration (and I actually ran a registry cleaner utility a few months ago), even if it's strange that VS2010's working in this case. I found these solutions:

- regsvr32 query.dll
- checking if the default value of the ProgID subkey of registry key HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{F9AE8980-7E52-11d0-8964-00C04FD611D7} is set to MSIDXS.1
- reinstalling/re-registering MDAC
- deleting invalid SQL Server connections from Server Explorer
- devenv /ResetSkiPkgs (devenv.exe is the VS2008 ide)

None of them worked. The problem seems to be relatively widespread, M$ knows about it, but the only surefire solution seems to be a complete reinstall (which is a major waste of time). I'm lucky not to really need the feature and to have several other machines where VS works...

Microsoft.Jet.OLEDB.4.0 provider is not registered

The above message can and will show up using some software using Access databases on 64 bit Windows computers (Seven, Vista, 2008, XP 64..). It happened yesterday to a colleague of mine, and I had to investigate. The puzzling thing is that Jet is registered, and other software using it runs fine. Firing up task manager shows that the problematic .exe is running in 64 bit mode (no *32 suffix). There is no 64 bit Jet driver because it's old software and the 32 bit Jet engine runs fine. Why would one write a 64 bit software to use a nonexistent database driver?  Moreover, the same software on a 32 bit system runs flawlessly in 32 bit mode.

What is it? It's most probably .NET executable compiled with the 'AnyCPU' Project options. On a 32 bit system it runs in 32 bit mode and is able to use JET. On a 64 biti it runs in 64 bit mode, but it cannot use the non-existent 64 bit driver. Try this in Visual Studio, if you have it - it requires a single form and a single button:

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.ComponentModel;
using System.Data;
using System.Data.OleDb;
using System.Drawing;
using System.Linq;
using System.Text;
using System.Windows.Forms;
using System.Configuration;

namespace testaccess
    public partial class Form1 : Form
        public Form1()

        private void button1_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
            String connectionString = "Provider=Microsoft.Jet.OLEDB.4.0;  Data Source=c:\\accessfile.mdb;";
  OleDbConnection cnn = new OleDbConnection(connectionString);

Clicking the button will reproduce the problem on a 64 bit system. Obviously the solution is a recompile, if sources are available. Otherwise, there should be some way to force the executable in 32 bit mode, yeah?
Yeah, but it's not in .exe file properties, it's not something - as it would seem obvious - to put in a .manifest file along other things. It's a bit in the PE executable file. There is a Microsoft utility to do this: it's called CORFLAGS.EXE and to force a .NET executable to run in 32 bit mode it's usede this way:

CORFLAGS /32BIT+ filename.exe

To switch back to 64 bit mode:

CORFLAGS /32BIT- filename.exe

Where is CORFLAGS.EXE ? There doesn't seem to be an official download for the single file: that would be too simple, it's part of the latest SDKs (a few gigs to download). I got mine with Visual Studio, as I installed the .NET sdk. It's in %PROGRAMFILES%\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v6.0A\bin"

Nota bene: make a backup of the original .exe anyway if it's not your software. Conceivably, using corflags.exe could conflict with some copy protection/activation schemes and render the software unworkable (though it's a bit unlikely).

Monday 17 January 2011

Daspo Volant Ultras Manent

Il calcio per me è l'oppio dei popoli. I Daspo sono provvedimenti troppo blandi.
Per i writer ci vorrebbero pene corporali, da amministrare sulla pubblica piazza.

Però questo anonimo imbecille che almeno 'sa di latino' strappa un sorriso.
Pilone del ponte di Varlungo, Firenze, gennaio 2011.

Saturday 15 January 2011

Œdipe Adroit

Why is this man smiling?

In France, he's under attack from almost all sides. His new book, Des gens très bien has been out just a few days ago. Oh, the man is Alexandre Jardin, he's a self-described purveyor - until now - of 'lightweight literature'.

The book is about Jules Jardin, Alexandre's grandfather. Grandpa was  a high ranking officer in the cabinet of Pierre Laval, the french collaborationist prime minister. He was at his post when episodes like the roundup of Jews at the Vel d'Hiver took place. Jardin wants to expresshis  'cry of conscience', his 'shame' and his 'slow awakening' to his family responsabilities (at 46 years of age). But the book has stirred up quite a controversy in the Hexagone. 

Take for example (pardon their French)  'Le nouvel Observateur', a leftist magazine:
Or turn slightly to the center with Le Monde:

Le Figaro, France main right-wing daily newspaper, is a bit more explicit:
Basically, Jean Jardin wasn't particularly responsible for the crimes against the Jews, which were obviously perpetrated by others. This controversy is not very different, if not in intensity, from other similar recent controversies about people (especially Catholics like Pope Pius XII) who, in the eyes of some commentators, sinned by omission, not doing everything that they (supposedly) could to stop the massacre.

It's not unlikely that Jardin Jr. will find some other types ready to support him. The Guardian, of all newspapers, has recently published an english translation of Mr. Jardin's response to his critics. It was brought to my attention by, of all people, Nahum, the 'funny yid from London' (did I ever call him this way before? I don't think so) who always reads this blog, He, at least, will be happy to hear Jardin's story.

Alexandre Jardin is of course happier than ever, or at least he's crying all the way to the bank. His book (buy it here, make him happier!) won't sell less copies because of this kind of criticism. It's all kabuki to me, but Jardin could have tried harder.

You can read a brief excerpt (again, in French) of the book here at L'Express.

"Même si, bien sûr, il ne m'a pas échappé que les vrais commanditaires de l'horreur furent avant tout des Allemands : Heinrich, Oberg, Dannecker, Knochen et d'autres.  "

"Pourquoi Jean n'a-t-il pas démissionné ce 16 juillet 1942 ? 

Sans doute - aussi révoltant cela puisse-t-il paraître - parce qu'il crut faire le bien, selon son code éthique aussi rigoureux qu'éloigné du nôtre ; ou le moindre mal qui lui semblait alors ressortir à une forme atténuée de la grandeur. Génétiquement catholique, il fut ce qu'on appelle une conscience démangée par une morale exigeante. Une sorte de bloc d'innocence qui le rendait d'autant plus dangereux. Rien à voir avec un gestapiste de cinéma ; rien chez lui des claqueurs de talons qui aboyèrent à Vichy des opinions hargneuses. "

"Even if, surely, it did not escape me that the people responsible for the horror where before all some Germans: Heinrich, Oberg, Dannercker, Knochen and others"

"Why Jean didn't quit that July 16th 1942?"

"Without doubt, as revolting as it may seem, because he believed to do good, according to his ethical code, as rigorous as it was far from ours, or to exert the least damage. Something that seemed to attain to an attenuated form of granderu. Genetically cathlic, he was what could be called a conscience itched by an exigent moral. A sort of innocence block that rendered him even more dangerous. Nothing to do with a movie gestapo man, by him there was nothing of the heel-clackers who shouted with their aggressive opinions during Vichy"

Apparently this makes automatically his grandpa 

"un acteur capital, sans jamais se renier par la suite, de l'un des plus criminels régimes de l'Histoire de France. Jusqu'à se hisser vers les sommets de la honte d'Etat ;"

"a main protagonist, without ever going back on his opinions , of one of the more criminal regimes in the history of France. Up to elevate himself to the pinnacle of infamy in State'

So he didn't quit, he had his reasons to do so, but he was guilty anyway. But it's useful for grandpa to be guilty, at least for the moment. 

I wonder if, 50 o 60 years from now, there wil be stil a market for such a 'guilt lightweight literature'. I don't know: 'My grandpa knew all about the massacre in Gaza and did nothing'. 'My mother supported the Second Gulf War', or more modestly, 'My grandfather thought Sarkozy's pension cuts were a good idea' and so on..


Questo trafiletto di Ernesto Ferrara è apparso sulla cronaca di Firenze de 'La Repubblica' venerdì 14 gennaio.

"Dopo le critiche Zhou Yunqi convoca l'assessore.
Bivacchi cinesi in via della Robbia la console s'arrabbia con Mattei

Caos in via della Robbia, il Consolato cinese su tutte le furie
convoca l'assessore al decoro di Palazzo Vecchio Massimo Mattei. [...] Il Consolato generale della Repubblica popolare [..] chiama a rapporto l'assessore per chiedergli conto delle sue dichiarazioni.[..]"

Riconosco di essere ipersensibile a certe situazioni, ma la mia regione, la Toscana, è quella in cui per almeno due volte consoli e ambasciatori della Repubblica Popolare cinese hanno protestato per dei semplici controlli dei Carabinieri e della Guardia di Finanza tra le aziende cinesi di Prato e dell'Osmannoro. Come se in Italia si abusasse facendo rispettare le leggi italiane, e non viceversa.
"Convocare","chiamare a rapporto"? E che autorità avrebbe il console di un paese straniero per convocare, chiamare a rapporto un assessore di un Comune italiano? Se l'assessore non si presenta il console gli commina una multa?

Sono i diplomatici, semmai, ad essere convocati dall'esecutivo del paese ospite. Per fortuna il Comune di Firenze parla dell'incontro in termini diversi. Ormai dai gazzettieri (quelli di Repubblica poi) mi aspetto di tutto. Però temo che non sia solo un problema di scarsa padronanza del lessico italiano: scivolamenti di questo genere sottendono una forma mentis già compromessa.

Thursday 13 January 2011

How to propel your IT revenues to new heights

I found the following text in a bottle which washed up ashore. Is it true? Is it fiction? Maybe, if you dabble into the wonderful world of businness software, you might find the story mildly interesting:

One day, in F., your average IT outfit...

Concerned customer 1 : Help! Help! I can't access XYZ, the login screen says the database is corrupted. Oh my! I haven't done any backups!

Tech guy: How unfortunate, you should always backup your data, we'll se what we can do but in this situation it's not unlikely to lose at least some of your data.. Oh, wait a minute my other cell phone is ringing...

Concerned customer 2: Yo! the goddamn computer says the data is gone and that I should contact tech support, so here I am!

Tech guy: Oh hello, Mr. Manners, what where you using down there? XYZ 2.0, right?

Boss: Hey, tech guy, stop talking on the phone. I just received a call from that XYZ customer, he says that his database server is gone!

Now, XYZ is not a software produced by F., the  IT outfit. It was sold by another software house to a few of  F.'s customers. F. just installed XYZ and set SQL Server up, and those customers used some other F. software anyway, so they all called F. Usually the other software house handles all of its clients directly, but not this time.

Three, four SQL Server installations corrupting data all in the same day  is something as unlikely as winning a consolation prize at the lottery, unless a new bug came up or a new virus was in the wild, and it was neither case.

Something was definitely  stinking. I was called in to check the database status. Management Studio wasn't showing anything unusual. The databases were up and running.One could select data from every table and view, the application event log was fine, physical disks health was OK, nothing strange.

The SP hosting much of XYZ business logic were all encrypted but I already knew that. How come the login screen continued to blame a data corruption error in the database if there was effectively none?

Maybe a bug? An incompatibility of some kind? I wanted to know without calling the other guys at the other software house.

The client portion of XYZ is a .NET Windows Forms executable. It's not hard to decompile a .NET executable, especially if not obfuscated.  I used Redgate's .NET reflector, a freeware assembly decompiler: I looked for the login dialog box code.

It was a simple select statement which displayed the alarming message when a stored procedure in the database returned a particular status value.

The stored procedure was, as I said, amog the encrypted stored procedures in XYZ database. I should have really called the other SH, but then I know that SQL Server's 'encryption' is really nothing more than a simple 'xor like' obfuscation easily circumventable. It can be done by hand putting the server in single user mode with some special but standard commands, or one can use one of the many tools available.

I have one of these useful little utilities at hand so I proceeded. The stored procedure state machine only checked that the system time was distant 'n' days  from an apparently arbitrary date fixed in the code. If it was, it returned the magic value triggering the 'data corruption' message.

Editing the login stored procedure magically solved all the 'data corruption' problems at F.'s customers.

Now, remember that the same installation used by the other software house for its clients was used. The only catch is that this time F.'s tech support was called.

Presumably, every customer of the other software house experienced this 'data corruption' problem a one point in time or the other (probably not the same day for every customer, but you get the idea). I ignore if, those times, money was asked to  'save' the customer data, or if it was only a ploy to 'induce' ...service recovery fidelization.

Yet I really can't recall something so shameless in so many years of IT jobs all over the country...

Monday 10 January 2011

L'effimero renziano

Il 2011 inizia questo lunedì. Le feste sono finite definitivamente, prima settimana di lavoro piena da quasi un mese, scuole riaperte. In città si smantellano gli addobbi, già erano state spente le luci notturne sul nuovo Palazzo di Giustizia di Firenze, a Novoli.

Che è ancora da inaugurare. Che è opera della precedente amministrazione. Che doveva aprire lo scorso anno. Ma non importa, il Sindaco ha invitato tutti a godersi lo spettacolo dell'illuminazione notturna del palazzo, la cui inaugurazione sarà tra le sfide del 2011.

Sull'immancabile Facebook il Sindaco annuncia che ...ha fatto qualche centinaio di metri  in centro.. Matteo Renzi "ha fatto a piedi stazione-p.zza Signoria e ha visto fiumi di gente. Saldi, ponte, non so, ma va bene così. Concreti impegni per il 2011: a) raddoppiare le panchine di Duomo; b) nuova illuminazione della piazza (con i soldi della Camera di Commercio, già stanziati); c) noi iniziamo a ripavimentare ma dobbiamo convincere l'Opera del Duomo a ripulire il Battistero che è bellissimo, ma potrebbe esserlo di più...Il giorno dopo, Matteo Renzi "al lavoro in un Palazzo Vecchio tranquillo, con le strade ancora libere. Ma lunedì tornano le scuole e martedì si parte con Pitti. Occhio alle auto, please. In prospettiva serve la III° corsia subito e la tangenziale Rovezzano-Castello a breve. Nel frattempo spera che nuovi mezzi Ataf e pensiline intelligenti siano un incentivo al trasporto pubblico. Lunedì incontriamo i ciclisti per lavorare sulle piste..."

La terza corsia, subito? I lavori sono a metà, basta prenderla, l'A1. La tangenziale Rovezzano-Castello a breve? Ma se non si riesce nemmeno a far partire i cantieri per la linea 2 e3 della tramvia. Nonostante fossero stati promessi prima, più volte, per lo scorso anno, e ultimamente per dopo le feste.

Lavorare sulle piste ciclabili? Sarà meglio, si. Nuovi mezzi ATAF? Pensiline? Non sarebbe meglio evitare di tagliare le corse, per quanto possibile?

Ma tanto non importa. Qualunque cosa dica il rignanese, trova decine e decine di fan pronti ad acclamarlo come un genio (almeno fino alla prossima nevicata o alla prossima cena ad Arcore).

Il Sole 24 Ore  ha appena incoronato Renzi come il più amato dagli italiani (sì, il link è del Corrierino, ma poteva mancare, il Corrierino?)

Partiranno i lavori per la tramvia nel 2011? Avremo un servizio ATAF più dignitoso? Comincio a dubitarne. Di sicuro non ci mancheranno qualche manifestazione, qualche concerto a fine anno, anche i Lichtspiele sul Palazzo di Giustizia. Che forse rimarrà ancora tristemente vuoto. Tanto per avere qualche decina di click sul bottoncino 'Mi piace' basta anche dire di essere arrivati in Piazza Signoria a piedi.

Saturday 8 January 2011

ITLE' e i crucchi

נחום, sempre lui, mi segnala questo serioso articolo apparso su moked, newsletter dell'UCEI. Il pezzo è una compunta riflessione sulla mostra 'Hitler und die Deutschen' del Deutsches Historisches Museum. Il tono è sommessamente positivo. Curioso, perchè lo scorso ottobre, all'apertura della mostra, non erano mancate le polemiche. E' di poche ore fa la notizia che la mostra è stata prolungata per l'alto numero di visitatori.

In questo, il corsivista di moked vede la dimostrazione che la Germania è finalmente riuscita a raggiungere, con un serio e faticoso processo di recupero della 'memoria', la consapevolezza di un fatto ineluttabile. Che tutto il popolo tedesco, nessuno si senta escluso, anzi.. 

" il popolo tedesco e i popoli dei paesi che appoggiarono la Germania furono interamente responsabili del nazismo. Molti di loro appoggiarono una soluzione finale al problema ebraico. L’assassinio degli ebrei non poteva essere ignorato dalla popolazione, ma al contrario, era tacitamente approvato sulla base di un misto di compiacimento, di indifferenza morale e di paura. E non solo. L’esposizione dimostra come la popolarità di Hitler restò alta fino all’ultimo, anche quando la guerra era chiaramente perduta, la sconfitta trascinava nella rovina decine di milioni di vite umane e le condizioni di vita si facevano insopportabili."  

La posizione è, a dir poco, über-Goldhageniana, e - temo - egualmente traballante. Non solo i tedeschi (che non smetteranno mai di essere colpevoli), ma anche gli italiani, giapponesi, romeni, finlandesi, ungheresi... Tutti colpevoli. E' vero, ad esempio, che la popolarità di Hitler rimase alta fino all'ultimo, ma non credo che c'entrasse ne la volonta di sterminare gli ebrei, ne quella di prolungare la vita del regime: era più che altro la paura - fondatissima - delle razzie e delle violenze dell'Armata Rossa. Tutti colpevoli, certo.

Il successo della mostra su Hitler era più che prevedibile.  Ma la spiegazione non credo risieda in un inusitato desiderio masochistico di espiazione da parte del Volk tedesco. Le ragioni sono sempre quelle descritte già con semplicità da Robert Harris in 'I diari di Hilter' (Selling Hitler) - il racconto dello scandalo dei falsi diari della Stern. Zio Adolf, per usare le parole di Trevor-Roper, è stato il Gengis Khan del XX secolo. Per molti una enigmatica figura tra il tragico e l'operatico, per alcuni - incofessabilmente - il protagonista di una success story, fino al 1942, ineguagliabile. In 65 anni si sono accumulati letteralmente decine e decine di migliaia di pubblicazioni su AH. Centinaia e centinaia di film e documentari. 
Una mostra sul Fuhrer a Berlino tutto sommato fa discutere solo perché è stata organizzata nella capitale tedesca da un ente governativo.

Tuttavia, quale sia il medio livello della sterminata produzione mediatica sul caporale austriaco, quale sia l'effettiva e catartica presa di coscienza dei tedeschi, lo mostra  in due minuti il bravo Jesko Friedrich, di cui per l'occasione ho sottotitolato in inglese un altro sketch, risalente a circa 5 anni fa,  dopo il sessantennale della fine della IIGM. 

Forse per moked sarebbe stato più realistico attaccare ancora la mostra come un'operazione nostalgica e pericolosa, parlare del germe del nazismo sempre presente nel popolo tedesco Der Schoß ist fruchtbar noch, aus dem dies kroch (Brecht). Eccetera.

Banot im roveim

נחום, the always funny compulsive reader of this humble blog, has posted a link to this site on Usenet, apparently asking for comment. Rachel Papo is an Israeli-American photographer with a rather good résumé (she had her work published in several magazines). Her magnum opus (or at least the one who raised the attention of my funny reader) is Serial No. 3817131.According to Ms. Papo notes, she went back to the army base where she served a few years earlier, to document the alienation of the younger israeli women soldiers. Mmm, really? My funny friend thinks it's a - pun intend - complete ...misfire: the documentation effort of a pacifist turning out to be sheer propaganda for Tsahal. 
I don't second that opinion: I don't believe Papo is a pacifist, she probably only had some qualms finding something to write for the liner notes of her book. Her ..aim was (in my opinion) simply to present some original, captivating pictures. If she really was a pacifist, she could have, say, used more sharp angles, high contrast black and white images. Cruder settings. Better yet, she could have framed her subject not only reharsing or frolicking  around. She could have shown some real action. Like, in Cast Lead. Or the Second Lebanon war. It's not the boy (or girl) toys that pacifist propaganda make, it's the real effects of warfare on the flesh and blood of soldiers and civilians that really show what 'nationalism' - to use Rachel Papo words - is all about.

Let's dismiss nahum's opinionated views, and Papo's righteous liner notes: it's a ..body of work of pretty pictures about conscripted women israeli soldiers. Some of the photos look candid enough (e.g. this and this, and also this). They seem to be genuine samples of military service life. What you're looking at are average young girls without makeup doing their daily chores. Mildly interesting, but hardly exciting, after a few ..shots. Now look at this: do you really need an assault rifle when you are wearing slippers and talking on the phone? This could conceivably be after target practice, but this other ? Come on girl, that M16 is bigger than you, and you're going out to smoke a cigarette. You're in shorts and a tank top. Oh, the gun is without the magazine, it's fastened to your pants. Some of the settings are a bit less cinema vérité, something like showing a young Queen Elizabeth in military fatigues.Oh, and do Israeli women soldiers really travel using public transportation with their rifle positioned in THIS WAY? Really, is there any strategic need for this? Isn't it a bit dangerous?  Oh, and it looks like that for these young women socializing is akin to teen slumber parties, see this and also this.

They're goohhrgeous, and the testosterone is up in the male and lesbian audience, but is the IDF approving?

Friday 7 January 2011

OpenDNS and slowness with YouTube (and other CDN services): a possible solution

I use OpenDNS a lot. I started using it to - uh - bypass some preposterous interference in my ISPs DNS management from our friendly Italian government. More recently, I discovered its convenience as a free and effective web content filtering tool. When adequately configured, free OpenDNS is very handy in a home-SOHO situation. You configure it on the router/server and no more facebook at work, no more porn in the computerized classrom, no more time-wasters at home (just to make a few examples: and it's not censorship, it's common sense). It's just a matter a tweaking a web form in the OpenDNS account.

However, I've recently experienced an apparently strange behaviour with Youtube: when I use OpenDNS servers, YT is often painstakingly slow. Using my ISP DNS servers makes everything resume its normal (i.e. almost always immediate, except for HD) speed. The problem is that YouTube content delivery network (the massive, multiple data center infrastructure able to serve hundreds of millions of views per day all over the globe) selects the server nearest to me, based on the DNS server querying the resource I'm asking for.  My ISP's DNS is of course one or two hops from me: OpenDNS nearest server is - at the time of this writing - in Amsterdam, and I operate in Tuscany. Why the Googleheads use this rather crude system of geolocation, when there is, well, real geolocation able to pinpoint one ip with a resolution of a few KMs is beyond me.

OpenDNS support forums say that there is no real general-purpose solutions (and there isn't). They write they have some 'peering' with YT, or the recommend to edit one's hosts file to force YT server URLS to the nearest ip. I've read also about using BIND and creating 'fake' authoritative zones for and other domains used by YT's CDN like in order to redirect DNS queries for these specific domains to the ISP DNS servers. A (wee) bit awkward and long to configure/install.

The other day I reinstalled an old Sparklan WX-6615GT wireless router of mine, with an ADSL2+ modem I bought for 10 euros in ebay. The 6615GT is a 2004 802.11g AP+4port hub + (ethernet only) router from a rather obscure chinese manufacturer. Its official firmware is obsolete and hasn't been updated in years.
BUT it's a Broadcom based router able to run linux based replacement firmwares, in particular DD-WRT,
DD-WRT is nice because there are ready to use firmware images flashable directly, without the need of using JTAG interfaces or other special hardware (however if you are in the process of upgrade FROM an older DD-WRT image to a newer one you problably would need to upgrade from the sshd-telnet console for memory usage limits - the web interface sometimes simply reboots the router instead of upgrading!).

DD-WRT's wiki also has a very good tutorial on configuring OpendDNS and DSN-O-Matic (another cool OpenDNS  service) in order to have mostly hassle-free OpenDNS and dynamic dns support. The page warns about the problem with CDNs. For its reciped it uses a custom dynamic dns configuration AND Dnsmasq. Dnsmasq is a simple DNS forwader-only server: it's used in dd-wrt and other linux-based firmware but it has been written for 'real' linux.DD-WRT's dnsmasq is just another recompile, with all the features. In dnmasq there is the server = server_ip configuration directive, telling dnsmaq which server it must forward ist queries to. BUT if you read the manpage there is also this variant: --server=/   will query only when domains containing a requested. Used with the strict directive and other server= directive it allows to query one's IPS server for specific domains, centralizing the configuration with a minimum of fuss. Take for instance the dnsmasq configuration in DD-WRT wiki:


This is simply telling to the router to use OpenDNS servers. If your ISP servers are and .25 try this configuration (if they aren't, yes, you should change the ip numbers :-) )


Now we're telling DNSMasq to use the ISP dns for, and, YT (i think) CDN domains. The strict-order directive makes sure that the first server=directives are observed first.
One can test that this configuration is working by blocking video sharing sites from OpenDNS dashboard: YT should continue to be browsable, other video site should not. Of course the domains used for other CDNs can be used, if need arise. Et voila, YT is back to normal, and you still got OpenDNS. And to think that newer and costlier D-Link and ZyXEL hardware I've bought are not DD-WRT compatible...

Tuesday 4 January 2011

Sindacalismo oggi.

Cliccate sull'immagine (scattata qualche ora fa in un punto imprecisato della periferia fiorentina).

"Atención, si eres un trabajador immigrado(sic) y necesitas tutelar tu trabajo conociendo cuales(mancherebbe l'accento) son tus derechos... tu solución es  la fit cisl Toscana que junto al anolf Firenze te ayudarán a resolver tus problemas cuotidianos como trabajador inmigrado. ven e (sic) inscribite con nosotros!!(mancherebbe l'esclamativo invertito) Haz parte de la familia cisl!! contacta nuestro responsable (segue cellulare e indirizzo, effettivamente quello della fit cisl)"

"Attenzione, se sei un lavoratore immigrato e devi tutelare il tuo lavoro conoscendo quali sono i tuoi diritti.. la tua soluzione è la fit cisl toscana che insieme all'anolf firenze ti aiutaranno a risolvere i tuoi problemi quotidiani come lavoratore immigrato. Vieni e iscriviti con noi! Diventa parte della famiglia CISL"

La rifondazione del movimento sindacale comincia oggi, dopo le recentissime catastrofi, sul giallo palo di un semaforo fiorentino. Ed è in segno di sfida che riparte proprio con i Gastarbeiter latinoamericani, notoriamente tra i più refrattari ad abbandonare l'accogliente circolo delle loro famiglie estese ed etiliche. Un lungo, lunghissimo viaggio, comincia con un piccolo passo.