Being Sick / Linux Audio Stuff

"He is dead, Jim" -- Leonard McCoy

(posted a week or so after writing…)

I thought this might have been the first winter (ever?) without getting sick. Didn’t work out 🙁 Whatever… After even netflix became boring I had to something else.

My stereo hasn’t been the same since I moved home. Today I finally looked into the issue. Some peak performance testing before moving to Hannover fried one tweeter completely and hurt the other one badly. The automatic eq / analyzer of the amp covered this failure up somehow (being a four way system the mid speaker range is overlapping with the tweeters). Since I use the amp mostly for surround sound, the other speakers helped covering it up as well. But after I bought some JBL Control One for my Desk it became quite obvious that some frequencies are missing. I still had some tweeters from the stereo of the 190 series ( a car…) catching dust so I went for a quick fix. It turned out they are too noisy but I got them more or less under control thanks to the equalizer.

Linux provides some great tools for audio testing and they are for free. So I cobbled together an audio analyzer using the mic which came with the amplifier for setting up surround sound. The following are all frequency diagrams, x-axis is frequency, y-axis is output volume. The actual numbers don’t matter, what we are looking for is a more or less straight line indicating that the pink noise is reproduced by the speakers “as is”.


From left to right: original tweeter, audio system, gradient


The Speaker with the completely fried tweeter. Note the drop!


Quick fix: The audio system tweeters are a little bit small for the Infinity Reference 61 Mk II Chassis


Audio System tweeters removed from the old Merc. Not too bad at all but a little bit too much. Probably because they are build for a two way system there’s too much overlap on a four way.


Bildschirmfoto vom 2014-03-02 12:47:26

Fancy Gradient Tweeters from ebay, used. I don’t like the peak around 8k.

Up to now the audio system + duct tape did a superior performance than fancy (and well fitting) Gradient Tweeters. Since both speakers have different volume levels on high frequencies (which you can’t see on the diagrams) there’s still something wrong. More investigation has to be done I guess. To be continued…

Counterintelligence TV Streaming

Alright, streaming TV Series legally in Germany sucks for different reasons: You have to wait ages and they are mostly dubbed. I already tried who thankfully got the orginal voice available on most programs but it still sucked. failed me as well. So where to go next? Some friend suggested netflix (from the US) which apparently is not available in Germany. Hmm, I guess I read about it on the interwebs. Some research turned out netflix produces about 30% of the internet traffic in the united states, that’s No. 1 for sure and about three times youtube. Sometimes I really believe we’re living under a rock over here… I think my research into TV Streaming should include the leading product I’ve barely heard of. Also the US offers other great sites with “geoprotection” as,, … and last but not least the annoying “this content is not suitable for your country” stuff on youtube is unknown over there as well.

Bildschirmfoto vom 2014-01-28 08:22:19

Wherever Psy got his clicks from, it’s not Germany. Video unavailable because the GEMA (german copyright annoyance) has not granted (as in sold) the suitable rights to youtube (rough translation).

Gathering a Greencard and moving over to the States seems a little bit over the top for just watching some telly. But what does it actually need to be “inside” the USA? I mean, we are speaking about the interwebs where national borders are blurry at best. So a US-based Server with a reasonably fast Internet Connection which is acting like some kind of proxy seems sufficient. There are services like who offer this for about 7-12USD / month depending on the length of your subscription. A root server costs in the US is about five USD / month payable by credit card. Hmm. Netflix also accepts my (german) credit card. Hmmmmm. All available sources suggest that this is legal as well. Hmmmmmmmm!

One thing which is bothering me as well as others is the fact that the US is spying & recording data on everybody. Being german that reminds me constantly of the STASI (eastern German intelligence) and of course of the Nazis. Not so much about spying but about having data and using it. Say what? Well, to pull off the holocaust they needed to identify Jews. So the Gestapo (Nazi intelligence) started to pull all data already available in different registers which turned out to be quite extensive on stuff which must not bother a government like religion for example. To cut a long story short: I don’t like governments to have more data as they need to fulfil their job. So the NSA kind of pisses me off. The options from here are quite limited, all I can do is to encrypt my communication. And if I do that the NSA stores any traffic they encounter indefinitely (if you don’t believe it check out Jacob Appelbaum’s talk on 30C3 and/or the documents thankfully provided by E.Snowden.). Well. If that’s not an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone: Watching HD Television though an encrypted VPN while spamming NSA Harddrives at 3GB/hour.

I wonder if this activity would trigger Quantum-whatever attacks on my networks. Hmmm. Memo to self: install suitable honeypot. I’m a security researcher after all and there may be a third bird being interested in some stones…

Ah, and dear NSA: If you happen to cut me off from US television somehow I might get tempted to get two servers with unlimited traffic and do some research on VPN performance and possible usage caps for servers with “unlimited” traffic. 🙂

(most likely reaction of the NSA I can imagine) Dear Andi: The NSA datacenter at Bluffdale (one of our approx. 40 centers in the states) is believed to have a capacity somewhere in the range of exabytes up to single digit zettabytes (it’s so secret we don’t know for ourselves). Even if you produce 1TB of traffic per day it would take between 1 Million days to 1 Billion days to fill up the harddrives. Or in other words: With just ordinary TV consumption (say 100GB/month) it’ll be at least 10 Million months to fill our storage (if traffic scales as well as HDD Space). So as long as there are not millions of people using VPN we don’t really care…

Hmm, netflix alone has about 40 Million subscribers, 10 Million of which are not stateside. Please folks, encrypt your traffic. Just for a couple of months…

Adventure XBOX 360

Already owning a kinect for hacking purposes and wanting to play GTAV let me to the adventure of getting a XBOX 360. Buying it in sweden, registering it online in the UK and finally moving it to germany is not exactly a common case. After an account migration (which disturbingly is a “new” feature) to germany my xbox menu was a funny mixture between english and german, language- as contentwise. The only real problem was that it advertised only british apps (yeah, bbc and netflix) which wouldn’t work due to my german IP. And I couldn’t install any german apps due to the marketplace still thinking I’m in the UK. In short: Almost all Apps rendered useless and I was unable to use my watchever account.

Even magic support codes like “clean the cache for three times” and uninstall updates by pressing “LB RB X LB RB X” while highlighting the harddisk did nothing but making me remember some windows vodoo from back in the days and streetfighter special moves…

After an hour with the microsoft support chat they delegated my problem to the technical support because something with my account migration went wrong. Quite an educated guess, actually that was my best guess BEFORE I contacted the support. The adventure continues in approximatly three business days…

I hate you, smartphone! Recap…

I decided to get rid of smartphones. I bought a cheap phone (Nokia 100) and a Tablet (Asus Transformer) instead and thought I would carry the Tablet if I need Internet and stick to the phone otherwise. Then a good friend needed a phone fast so I traded the N100 for pizza and some beer (yeah, it really is THAT cheap).

Yesterday the screen of my HTC Desire cracked. Again. While driving my car. I put it under the armrest in the middle between the seats and when I arrived it was lying in front of the back seat with the screen cracked… Maybe it was my unusual reckless driving, I tried to figure out the top speed of the pornstyler. This was a failure as well, too much traffic and too many idiots on the autobahn. At least it runs 190km/h (GPS measured) and it was still accelerating. And the breaks are fine as well…

Anyways, a realized that a 10″ tablet with a keyboard is not just looking like a subnotebook, it in fact is one. So I don’t just carry it in my jacket… I wanted to get a replacement for the HTC fast so I did two things which I normally don’t: I synched my whole phone with google and I went to “media markt” to buy a (Google/LG) Nexus 4 Tablet Smartphone.


The HTC Desire is not a small phone but it looks just silly beside the Nexus

While synching the phone was quite unspectacular besides the bad feeling giving my data to google the shop visit was. The price at the “media markt” online shop was 349€ if you pick it up in one of their stores. Since I didn’t want to give my personal data to “media markt” as well I just went to the shop. 395€ for the phone. Well… I asked an employee if I really had to order online to get a normal price. He was quite helpful, had a look at the website, adjusted the price in his software and that’s it. So if you just walk in and buy the thing they just rip you off big time. Interesting. I thought about buying some HDMI Adaptors (20€ each) and some Crimp Connectors for the car stereo (6€ each). But since these items are sold on the internet for maybe 2€ / 10 Cent I changed my mind quickly. So Dear Idiots: Please stop buying overpriced crap at “media markt”! Just imagine a world free of ridiculous “media markt” stores and silly “media markt” advertising… You can do it! Well, alright. You probably can’t because you’re stupid… My bad…