An hour or so with an Apple TV 4

Whilst wandering round town this afternoon I found myself in the Apple store, where I picked up a new 4th gen Apple TV to play with.

Plugging it in in place of my older 3rd gen unit it initially decided I would prefer to set it up in Spanish, no amount of rebooting would persuade it to start again, so I had to muddle through and complete the configuration, then work out how to change it back to English so I could wipe it and start again. Eventually it was up and running in a language I can cope with.

It seems to work nicely, well mostly (more of that later), and the new screensavers are almost worth the purchase cost themselves. However it’s badly let down by a few stupid decisions or omissions.

No remote keyboards

The initial setup of the Apple TV can be done from an iPhone or iPad, but once that’s complete you’re stuck with using the remote for entering text. Unlike the previous Apple TVs this one does not support the remote app on iOS, or Bluetooth keyboards. If you’ve got lengthy usernames and complex passwords you’ll soon be looking for the nearest window to throw the device out of. A couple of apps like Flickr and YouTube have a nice slick sign-on process where it generates a code for you to enter on a website, but apps like Netflix will try your patience.

Siri can’t play music

This works well on iOS but on the Apple TV it just tells you that it can’t play music. If this worked it would make life so much easier for those of us with large collections of music. Apparently this may be coming next year.

The App Store is useless

There’s seemingly no way to browse available apps beyond those "Featured" by Apple. You can’t use Siri, as far as I can tell you have to use the search function to find the app you want (remember the lack of external keyboard support), which makes it virtually impossible to discover new apps.

If Apple can fix these fairly major (in my opinion) defects then they’ve got a superb device on their hands. However at the moment it’s a bit of a half-assed effort.

Useless Spam

If you want someone to reply, it helps to include an email address somewhere in the headers or body…

Date: Sun, 01 Feb 2015 00:43:06 +0530
From: Dave Dawes <>
To: Recipients <>
Subject: Reply

My wife and i have a donation cheque for you, please reply back 
for more details.

Blocking Ecatel

Ecatel seem to host a rather large number of malicious hosts, and there doesn’t seem to be any downside to blocking them completely. If you use iptables the following will drop all traffic from the current Ecatel address ranges. Adjust as appropriate to suit your firewall of choice.

iptables -I INPUT -s -j DROP
iptables -I INPUT -s -j DROP
iptables -I INPUT -s -j DROP
iptables -I INPUT -s -j DROP

Idiots on the internet – Take 2

The morons at Guardlex finally noticed my Idiots on the internet post from last summer, and have sent an email, reproduced below, demanding removal of the links to Obviously I’m treating it with the respect it deserves, i.e. none at all.

I’m still not sure which are the bigger idiots, or the idiots at Guardlex.

To Whom It May Concern,

My name is Michael Jonson, I work in the Anti Piracy Department of Guardlex ( Our company provide anti-piracy and Intellectual Property protection services for our clients.

We represent company which is currently experiencing problems with search engines because of the penalties. Our client has received an “unnatural links warning” which says that they have to remove or mark with “nofollow” tag some links pointing to their website from other web resources.

It has come to our attention that your website (or website hosted by your company) contains one or more links to the company website (

I kindly ask you to remove or add “nofollow” tag to the link or links that point to our client’s website as soon as possible to help us deal with the search engine penalties and restore our client’s website from search engines penalties.

Please see the list of website pages on your website where you can find links in question:

Idiots on the Internet

In order to find those links please do following:

1) If this is an online website directory or regular website. Use search system on the website or press CTRL+F on Windows (Command+F on Mac) when your are on the web page in question and look for “” links.

2) If there are any hidden links in the source code of website or links with different anchor. Open the website’s page and view its source code (right click on the web page and choose “View page source”). Search for “” in the source code. This will reveal any links in question.

Please note, we do not generate the list of the links that needs to be taken down, we receive it from our client and just handle the takedown process. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any question, unsure how to remove those links or how to add the “nofollow” tag. We will be happy to assist you in any way to resolve this issue as soon as possible. Thank you in advance.

Looking forward to your positive reply.


Michael Jonson
Anti Piracy Department
Guardlex company
Tel: 17183032669

Ubuntu, fail2ban, and Dovecot

The standard install of fail2ban on Ubuntu 12.4 LTS doesn’t, by default, pick up all errors. To fix it, edit /etc/fail2ban/filter.d/dovecot.conf and change the failregex line to

failregex = .*(?: pop3-login|imap-login):.*(?:Authentication failure|Aborted login \(auth failed|Aborted login \(tried to use disabled|Disconnected \(auth failed|Disconnected \(tried to use disabled).*rip=(?P\S*),.*

It’s the “Disconnected \(tried to use disabled” which is important.

Idiots on the Internet

I never cease to be amazed at some of the idiots out there proclaiming to be internet experts, often under the guise of SEO.

The latest story I’ve noticed seems to revolve around and the idiots called Guardlex they have employed who are sending out DMCA takedown notices to sites legitimately linking to their clients websites.

I’m not sure who’s the bigger idiot, for employing them, or Guardlex for thinking it’s a good idea to stop people linking to their clients sites.

via BoingBoing: SEO company rep says it’s illegal to link to his clients’ websites

Gmail go slow

Received: by with SMTP id r26cs124180qci;
Thu, 8 Dec 2011 11:42:05 -0800 (PST)
Received: by with SMTP id d62mr23938wem.0.1323297151417;
Wed, 07 Dec 2011 14:32:31 -0800 (PST)
Received: from ( [])
by with ESMTP id fj5si1725890wbb.91.2011.;
Wed, 07 Dec 2011 14:32:31 -0800 (PST)

21 hours to move between two gmail servers? That’s a bit shit.