Fixing QEMU poor USB audio quality

zehJVarQuick note here, in case somebody else runs into this problem.

I’m currently using Windows 10 in a virtual machine (this problem also happened on 7) using QEMU on GNU/Linux, with PCI and USB passthrough. Passing through USB devices works fine, but when a USB audio device (like a headset) is passed through, the audio sounds like shit, with popping and crackling. I’d even get a VHS “wow”-like effect when playing League. Until the upgrade to Windows 10, I’d get around this by letting QEMU emulate an audio device, passing to PulseAudio (which was really nice and I’d rather go back to doing), but this broke with the upgrade. The only way to get audio again was to passthrough my USB headset. But that sounded like shit.

After some Googling, somebody suggested upping the buffer for the audio device, so I went inside the properties for the headset. Nothing about a buffer, but I did find an option to set the sample rate in the Advanced tab. Setting the sample rate to 16 bit, 48000 Hz (DVD Quality) fixed the problem. If this does not work for you, you may also want to install the manufacturer’s drivers for your audio device instead of using the generic Microsoft USB audio drivers.

Another solution that worked for others was to use PCI passthrough to introduce a USB controller (and dedicate it to the VM), perhaps even one on your motherboard if it has more than one. I didn’t test this because I’m all out of PCI slots.

Fixing Intermittent IPv6 Kickstart Issues

For a work project, it became necessary to kickstart CentOS installations using only IPv6. This is because the provisioning VLAN is separate from everything else, we needed to set static IPv4 addressing in the kickstart, and there’s (currently) no way to have “installer only” network settings in a kickstart configuration.

It’s simple enough, just create a local-only IPv6 network on the provisioning server, announce it with radvd (and DHCPv6, for good measure), and just use those addresses for Anaconda’s boot parameters and kickstart’s url line. However, in Anaconda’s haste to start the installation, a small bug came forth…

On a seemingly random basis, it would show a dialog box like the one above, saying it could not download the kickstart file. (Note: The same thing can also happen during download of install.img) The most peculiar thing about this problem is that hitting OK, even just a few seconds later, would almost always result in the installation being successfully kicked off. So what’s the problem? Continue reading

Skids Will be Skids

Okay so, this shows up on my Twitter notifications…

Screenshot from 2016-02-10 12:41:10

Reality? r000t.com runs inside a virtual container. In fact, every website, daemon, service, etc. that I operate runs in either a container or a full blown virtual machine. When the hypervisor restarts, for example, after regular updates, not every container is set to start with the system. r000t.com didn’t start with the system. This, of course, didn’t stop these skidiots from trying to take credit for it when trying to scare somebody else.

So I started the container and bagged on them a little bit. But, looking at the server logs, it does look like an attack is ongoing. But it’s a particularly shitty attack. Only about 5-10 requests per second, from one IP address. Easily walled off at any number of places, including the CDN, the hypervisor, the container, the webserver, or WordPress. Here’s a video of the saddest attack I’ve ever seen.

Those useragents look a bit… dated. Next time, try an off-the-shelf tool that was made in the last five years.

Cox fined $595K after Lizard Squad “hack”. Good.

It's sad how much mileage I get out of this picture

Getting a LOT of mileage out of this image.

I’ll have to resist making a “Hackers love Cox” joke.

If you’ve ever heard of PHI, PII, or any other industry-specific term for “customer’s private information”, CPNI shouldn’t be too hard of a concept to grasp. Just like PHI refers to your health information stored with, for example, your health insurance provider, CPNI (Customer Proprietary Network Information) refers to personal information stored with your telephone provider. Just like PHI and all the rest, CPNI is, under federal law, considered pretty sacred. So much so, that service providers who mishandle CPNI are subject to six-figure fines per occurrence, per day.

The FCC just handed down such a fine, to the tune of nearly $600,000, after Lizard Squad script kiddie “EvilJordie” (also operating under the alias “GDKJordie”), posing as Cox IT support, socially engineered a Cox representative into entering her work credentials into a webform he controlled. This allowed the child to log into private Cox systems under the representative’s name, giving him unauthorized access to a large amount of CPNI for a short while until the account was disabled.

This fine is a wonderful thing, and we need to start seeing more of them, and for larger amounts.

Continue reading

Zeekill Has a Bouncy Feeling!

Lizard Squad script kiddie RyanC/Zeekill/Julius Kivimaki was taken to the loony bin for a BOUNCY FEELING! And sending lots of CP to the Finnish police. So here’s a video where his face is superimposed on a white puffy dude singing a Finnish song about bouncy feelings.

(Vimeo embed will be used until I can coax AfterEffects into exporting in MKV format)

Fail Differently

Here’s to the zany ones. The slim fits. The devils. The upgraders. The ones who put flat phones in curved pockets. The ones who want a working cellular radio. They’re not fond of returns. And they have no respect for being told it’s their fault. You can hang up on them, quote policy to them, put them on hold or disconnect them. But the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they take their money elsewhere. They switch to Android. And while some may see them as market churn, we see market share. Because the people who are crazy enough who want phones that work, are the ones who will get them.

Apple. Fail differently.

T-Mobile to Announce Half-Life 3 at Uncarrier 7.0 Event

T-Mobile will be holding their Uncarrier 7.0 event at one of their stores in Washington this week. The rumor mill is abuzz about what could be announced, especially given that the wireless carrier has recently made some tweaks to their Simple Choice family plans.

But friends, I can confirm that on Wednesday, 10 September, T-Mobile will be partnering with Valve to announce the long awaited release, of the latest installment in the Half-Life video game series. And I can prove it.  Continue reading

A Conspiracy Theory

A Tinfoil Hat

And stop worshiping Jesse Ventura!

I think I’ve nailed down 10 words/phrases that instantly make you look like a lunatic conspiracy theorist. Use any of them to instantly invalidate any argument you make. Find another way to phrase what you mean, folks are conditioned to tune out those who use these phrases.

1) One World Government
2) New World Order
3) Martial Law
4) RFID implants
5) Sheeple
6) Illuminati
7) Chemtrails
8) Fluoride (Unless you’re a dentist)
9) FEMA Death Camps
10) 9/11

Bonus Phrase!

11) Sovereign Citizen. You know the kind, the person brays on to the police/judge that laws don’t apply to him because he’s a so-called “sovereign citizen”

By the way folks, NFC (like in your debit card) is not RFID. Nobody can read them from 3 feet away. You don’t need a metal wallet. You have to be within 3 centimeters of the card, and oriented just right, to read it. Get a normal wallet, you look ridiculous.

 

A Cloud Storage Breakup

Short article today. Not even a picture.

I think I understand how breakups work now. I broke up with Dropbox, after an intense, deep, 5 year relationship. I was afraid it was sharing my secrets.

First, I found someone new (ownCloud). We screwed around for a few hours, but it wasn’t the same. I thought maybe I could compromise in order to have my perfect cloud storage soulmate. So I broke up with Dropbox (deleted the account). But then, ownCloud turned out to be crazy, unstable, and slow.

I tried to make it work but all I could think about was how much I missed Dropbox. Dropbox did so many things that I took for granted, that ownCloud isn’t experienced enough to do. So I tried to go back, but while Dropbox was happy to take me back, there was nothing either of us could do to completely heal our relationship (account metadata, file revisions, camera upload metadata, and bonus space). The magic was gone, probably forever.

Finally, I decided to tell both Dropbox and ownCloud that I needed some time to myself. Maybe I should go without cloud storage for a while.

Google Drive, however, is clawing at my door begging for action.

SCOTUS: No Warrant, No Phone Search!

I’ll be focusing more on the implications of the decision. For a more news-y article about it, refer to WIRED or the Chicago Tribune.

"Unlock this... for safety?"

“Unlock this… for safety?”

This morning, the United States Supreme Court made one point perfectly clear: Arresting officers are to stay out of suspects’ cell phones until such time as they get a warrant. Interesting about the decision is that it involved two cases, one involving a basic flip “feature” phone, and the other involving a smartphone.

Previously, warrantless searches of an arrested person’s cell phone were considered lawful under the Search Incident to Arrest (SITA) doctrine.

The Court found that a cell phone is a very intimate device and the average phone contains a very detailed digital record of it’s owners entire (private) life. Given 10 minutes with someone’s smartphone, you can learn more about them than you ever could with full reign of their house. And that’s what the decision was about.

While this decision is very important for your privacy, it’s also very important that you realize what it does and does not do, specifically, and what you can do to enhance your privacy.  Continue reading