Archive for the 'Public Service Announcement' Category

Mail to accounts being blocked

Sunday, November 4th, 2012

Just a heads up that I found out today that mail from our mail server is being rejected by mail servers.

One of my mail users was sending a message to a friend and it bounced with:

host[] said: 550 SC-001
(SNT0-MC4-F38) Unfortunately, messages from weren’t sent.
Please contact your Internet service provider since part of their network
is on our block list. You can also refer your provider to (in reply to MAIL
FROM command)

So I dutifully contacted our ISP for the mail server, ServerBeach, as well as hotmail. The ServerBeach folks (awesome as always) replied in minutes and said that the IP is not on any other blacklist, so I had to deal directly with hotmail. I got a reply from hotmail that the issue couldn’t be automatically mitigated, so I had to fill out another questionnaire on-line, and I assume I’ll have to wait a couple of days for it to be addressed.

The funny part is that I looked through our logs, and we’ve tried to send exactly five e-mail messages today to hotmail addresses. Two were to the legitimate address that started this whole process, and three were to addresses like:

which appear to be spammers trying to register on our wiki. The wiki replies and requires an additional action in order to register, and I assume it is this mail traffic that is causing the problem. Note that all of our mailing lists are handled by Sourceforge so this only affects mail from the wiki, project members and employees of OpenNMS.

I think it is pretty ironic that the reason my mail server is being blocked by hotmail is that spammers from hotmail are trying to register on our wiki.

Update: Surprise – I got a rather quick reply from hotmail:

My name is Amrita and I work with the Hotmail Deliverability Support Team.

Your IP ( was blocked by Hotmail because Hotmail customers have reported email from this IP as unwanted. I have conducted an investigation into the emails originating from your IP space and have implemented mitigation for your deliverability problem. This process may take 24 – 48 hours to replicate completely throughout our system.

Digger and the Hugo Awards

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

Okay, no OpenNMS or open source content today, but since most free software geeks also like fantasy and science fiction literature I figure this might be of interest to the three people who read this blog.

One of the highest honors a writer of this genre can receive is a Hugo Award. They are given out every year by the World Science Fiction Society at their annual convention. This year I learned that anyone attending the convention can vote for the Hugo Award winners. I thought it was something like the Academy Awards where only other people in the business could vote. I was wrong. Better yet, I learned that by becoming a supporting member, anyone can vote even without attending the convention.

How great is that?

This is important to me, since a friend of mine, Ursula Vernon, has had her graphic novel series Digger nominated in the “Best Graphic Story” category. I think it would be awesome if someone who lives in Pittsboro, North Carolina, won a Hugo Award. Plus, her work is pretty fantastic on its own. And if Patrick Rothfuss can pimp out his editor, I can pimp out my friend.

Before I lose more readers with another “TL;DR” post, I just want to encourage anyone with a love of science fiction and fantasy to sign up as a supporting member and to vote. It’s US$50, but you get digital copies of most of the nominated work (DRM-free, and no, don’t ask me for a copy). If you bought just the “Best Novel” nominees it would be way more than fifty bucks, and you get exposed to amazing shorter work that rarely finds a market.

I always like to be an informed voter, so I am making a dedicated effort to read all of the nominees. Well, except for “Best Graphic Story” since my mind’s made up on that one. (Well, and Betsy Wollheim for “Best Editor – Long Form” since I trust Patrick’s judgement)

Digger is about a wombat. Wombats are marsupials native to Australia that dig extensive tunnel systems. The story starts out with our heroine digging (as wombats are wont to do) but she gets lost and emerges in a world both like and unlike her own. In an attempt to find her way back home, she enlists the help of a talking statue of the god Ganesh, unintentionally partners with a childlike shadow being (who gets her out of a couple of tight places involving hyenas) and listens to the prophecies of an oracular slug.

Cool huh?

The comics are available online, but I plan to buy the printed volumes. I am rationing them, one a month (I just ordered Volume 2 from Amazon). Check them out and then remember to vote! I also want to point out that the other nominees involve teams of people – Ursula both writes and illustrates her work – so that should be worth some extra consideration.

As far as the other Hugo Award categories, I’m working my way through the “Best Novel” nominees. The one to beat will be George R.R. Martin’s A Dance with Dragons which is the fifth book in the Song of Fire and Ice (Game of Thrones) series. I pre-ordered this and read it the day it came out and I wasn’t disappointed, so while it is a bit cliché it has my vote at the moment.

I just finished Embassytown by China Miéville last night. I enjoyed Kraken, but didn’t like this one as much. It starts off a lot like Stephenson’s Anathem, with a lot of linguistics that don’t make a lot of sense until you just plow through it for fifty pages or so. Unlike Anathem it is much more a book focused on the link between language and thought. Like pizza, when Miéville is good he’s really good and when he’s bad he’s still pretty good, I did enjoy the book and read the second half pretty much in one sitting, but if I am honest with myself I didn’t enjoy it nearly as much as A Dance with Dragons.

Tonight I start Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey. I’ve never read anything by him but perhaps since he has two middle initials he can give Martin a run for the money. (grin)

UPDATE: Leviathan Wakes is awesome. At the moment it is my choice for the Hugo Award. I read it as non-stop as I could.

In part it was due to the writing style. “James S. A. Corey” is the pen name of a pair of authors, one who worked for George R. R. Martin. There is Martin DNA all over this book. It starts off with a rather brutal and shocking scene, but then they don’t return to it for several hundred pages. Every chapter is written from the point of view of one of the two main characters (although in third person) and most end in cliff hangers which makes you want to read the next one.

I ordered Caliban’s War, the second book in the series, halfway through this one.

Although this may make me sound a little like Harlan Ellison who, in his dotage, seems to be claiming to have written every science fiction story, I find myself making comparisons between any modern space opera that involves genetic mutation with Donaldson’s Gap series, Leviathan brings enough uniqueness and style to the genre that I’m certain I’ll devour the series.

OpenNMS and the Leap Second Bug

Monday, July 9th, 2012

While this may be pretty old news for most, but I figured I’d post something about it anyway.

At midnight the morning of July 1st, an extra second was added to “official time” in order to keep clock in sync with the Earth’s rotation. This had a negative impact on certain machines, especially Linux machines running Java.

Since most OpenNMS installs are on Linux machines and it is written in Java, this could negatively impact OpenNMS performance.

We had one support ticket opened that was caused by this problem. In this case, OpenNMS was being run as a VM guest and it was the host machine that needed to be rebooted in order to clear the problem. The symptoms involved the CPU being pegged at 100% and OpenNMS never starting.

New OpenNMS Book – in English!

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

As we start work on the English language OpenNMS book, which is turning into a rather large undertaking, imagine my surprise when I found out that one has already been written.

Yes! Amazingly, you can get an OpenNMS book for about US$0.50 a page containing content scraped from Wikipedia. While I’m not about to drop US$63 to see this for myself, I just wanted to warn everyone that the publishers of this “book” have absolutely no relationship with the OpenNMS Project and I, in no way, have endorsed it.

Betascript is a an imprint of VDM Publishing which is known for repackaging content from Wikipedia, and the latter reports that a Swiss newspaper “described VDM’s practices as controversial and bordering on deception”. This book will consist of the Wikipedia pages for OpenNMS, Network Monitoring, Network Management and FCAPS. Save yourself the money and just click and print them yourself.

At the moment, the only “real” OpenNMS book is in German. This English language book should be avoided. I am working with Amazon to see what our options are for getting it removed.

Somebody’s Watchin’ You

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

My news sites are heating up about the discovery of a database created by iOS on iPhones that track everywhere you go. While no malicious intent has been uncovered (the information doesn’t seem to go anywhere), one has to wonder why Apple added it and what the ultimate purpose could be. Also, I’m curious as to why Apple never disclosed this to their users.

Using an application called iPhoneTracker, the data can be extracted and displayed. I’ve been pretty busy, it looks like.

Note: I love that the developers of the app also tell you how to access the data directly, for the truly paranoid.

While I love my iPhone, I am pretty certain that it is the last Apple phone I will own. I just can no longer ignore the privacy issues, and although I am far short of abstaining from carrying a phone altogether, and am becoming much more of a freetard than I’ve been in the past.