Monday, December 10, 2012

Network Traffic Analysis, Laptop Power Charger Replacements, and More Bugs

If you've ever worked on a network of any reasonable size or have had to deal with network administration management in any form of capacity then you would have realised that two things that you'll need to deal with are bandwidth and quotas. Recently, I've been experimenting with various proxying technologies as a means of dealing with these particular problems. Some of the cloud based variants include Opera Turbo and FasTun (basically your browser is setup to reference these particular servers instead of going direct to the Internet). Accounts by others seem to indicate that performance improved for others but personally I haven't seen much of a benefit (I believe that this may be due to the nature of the content that I work with and the fact that I already optimise many network settings already. I experienced similar results when using a local proxy.).

What I have found to be of significant benefit has been proxying or completely blocking advertising, system updates (browser updates are a particular nuisance), multimedia, and various other unrequired services/network applications. Use an application like ntop, iptraf, wireshark and you'll be shocked to realise just how much traffic gets through. On one network I've managed to slash traffic to a third of its original usage.

Obvious options for blocking include doing it at the gateway/firewall/router level but personal experience has taught me that SME/SOHO based implementations are rather limited so multiple layers may be required to deal with the problem. If your gateway/fireall/router can only handle a certain amount of DNS/IP based bogon lists than you may require a secondary option such as another device, server, or even local browser based addons and host (/etc/hosts under Linux/UNIX) file based modifications.;hostformat=hosts

Examination of 'updated_ad_blocker_for_firefox_11-0.7.7-fx.xpi' (a Firefox addon) indicates that it works along similar lines as the bogon list option. Basically, regex/pattern matching and then send queries to these particular servers back to the local loopback interface or else drop traffic from these particular sources entirely.

user@system:~$ mv updated_ad_blocker_for_firefox_11-0.7.7-fx.xpi
user@system:~$ unzip
user@system:~$ vim content/defs.js
####Start Quote####
 var adsUrls=[
####End Quote####

Reasons why you should try to get a proper laptop power charger replacement whenever/ever possible.

Bugs of the Week

Sega's/Sports Interactive's Football Manager Series (most of these apply to 2009 but some apply to only earlier versions)
- bugs with regards to dealing with finances. Once you go past certain point your finances wrap around that particular variables storage limit. In old versions this would lead to negative finances. In newer versions can lead to a management takeover
- every once in a while a scout "finishes assignment" in the news
- being able to loan a player for a fee that is more than the size of the available funds for another team which leads to instant bankruptcy (earlier versions)
- good player's (presently) names are often combined or re-used. For instance, I recently came across a great defender called believe it of not, 'Fernando Tevez'. Often technical good, creative, Brazilian players are called '[prefix]inho'
- every once in a while a wage negotiation for player results in silliness. For instance, 90 Euro as opposed to 90,000 Euro. Often this will make it impossible to purchase the player or else renegotiate the contract. The only way to deal with it is to re-bid for the player or sell and attempt to re-purchase him
- during negotiations of contract for GK coach stats/details for manager are provided rather than for a GK coach. Suspect that this may be related to a manager who has been hired as a GK coach and is early in his career though
- if you give a guy a job with higher seniority than the one that he is seeking he will reduce his wage demands rather than increase or maintain them

w3af (Windows port, may be a slightly older version)
Drop down list for target when it has only been first initiliased results in entire list being populated by first target. Believe that this may be some lazy programming that may be fixed over time?

Strictly speaking not a bug but when run as non-root user, error message is following. Not too helpful.
user@system:~$ sarg
SARG: File not found: /var/log/squid/access.log

Leadtek's WinFast PVR2
- "Fails to load decoders" or "Fails to load graph" when means it can not detect USB TV dongle. Better message would be helpful
- sometimes if you change channels quickly enough and it will eventually lead to a crash
- while previewing a new program the channel doesn't change properly to reflect what is occurring
- if you get into trouble advice is don't downgrade. You may get all sorts of strange errors about not being able to load decoders. Use the version that you installed the program with or else uninstall the program first and then re-install the version that you require

Some fun...

Life in Vietnam 2, Data Recovery Work, and More

This is a continuation of my other post: - more Yo...