Bleeuuuggggghhh

I’ve been working a couple of insane days for the end of this week so the company has me staying in a nearby hotel they have trade with. As not to piss anyone off I won’t name it, but it’s in a beautiful place outside the city, on the bank of the river. They make a big deal about being a LEED certified facility.

Last night I got there, checked in, and went to my room. I picked up one of the coffee mugs and it had a waxy feeling mess on the outside and smelled like hibiscus blossoms. There were bits of the same inside the mug.

I figured it hadn’t been washed properly so I looked underneath. The “made in China” paper sticker was still fully intact. I sanitized it by boiling water in it in the microwave, let it cool, and used paper towels and isopropyl alcohol I had in my car to clean it out.

The next evening, the mug I had used was back under a paper dust cover and this time both of them had a thick coating of the waxy junk.

On the bathroom counter are two pump top bottles… One’s a hand soap that smells like lavender. One’s a lotion.. ….

Which smells like hibiscus.

You didn’t– really? Seriously???

Sonicwall, schmonicwall

How to forward ports on a SonicWall:

Okay, it’s easy, just start steeping some hemlock into the blood of a virgin in a quartz flask upon an altar of old single sided floppies and get to work—-

you will not know this horror unless you experience it for yourself and i recommend you not.

sonicwall was clearly developed by someone who had a raging databases-where-databases-are-not-due fetish.

you do not just specify addresses. you do not just specify ports.

No.

You create address objects.
You create service objects to define ports.

Then you define NAT rules.

HOWEVER…. if you manually enter or edit anything about a NAT rule, for arcane and horrible reasons that have apparently never been addressed in over a decade worth of firmware versions, they break. The only reliable way to create these rules is to go into Quick Configuration and use the Public Server Wizard. There, you can create your objects (or select them if they’re existing already) and bake them into a NAT rule.

Then maybe 40% of the time it works and the rest of the time you’re frantically SSH’ing into a remote shell somewhere else and crying into your coffee over the output of nmap.

FUCK SONICWALL.

Oh that’ll wake you up

The RMT for this month came through just GRRRRRRRRRRR-EAT!!!

Warning: Replaying these files on any broadcast station or cable TV system is a violation of FCC rules. Yes, there are people who would be ignorant enough to try it otherwise (oh hi Bobby Bones show).

This is the end result with Billy and Patrick being very very confused…

The actual audio received by the SAGE Endec:

Had this been an actual emergency, uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

FNORD!

AaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAA

there are no words. Someday I will try to come up with words in the process of writing a notice of retirement, but that day is not today.

The really fucked up one is an Armstrong tube transmitter from the mid 1990s.

The tape wadded splices are in the ~8000 volt plate supply. Also in this collection, a Nautel that ate a BNC lead that then ate several expensive RF transistors.

🎶 I am barely breathing, I can’t find the air 🎶

Help Wanted in Engineering and Oppression Prevention! uh

I’ve addressed some pretty out there engineering job openings in the past, but this one is the strangest I’ve ever seen. Please go ahead and grab a glass of water and drop a couple of Alka-Seltzer in it, because you may need it. I’m going to inline my comments in a nice shade of cyan reminiscent of P2 phosphor.

KBOO is Hiring: Chief Engineer

Published date:
Thursday, February 7, 2019 – 11:59am

Please submit resume and cover letter with the answer to the question “Why is KBOO Important” by March 4th, 2019 11:59 pm to engineerhire@kboo.fm 

I’m sorry but what— this is one of the strangest, most pretentious things I’ve ever seen on an application. This is not a standard cover letter by any means. This is just W E I R D

or mail/bring your resume and cover letter to: Station Manager 20 SE 8th Ave. Portland OR 97214

KBOO Community Radio Department: Operations

Job Title: Chief Engineer

Reports to: Station Manager Employment

Status: Exempt

danger, will robinson

Hours: 40 hours per week

Positions Supervised: Live Events Engineer, IT Systems Admin Contractor, Transmitter / Translator / STL / EAS Contractor, and Volunteers

Revised: January 2019

General Description: To oversee and maintain the technical operation of KBOO’s studios, its transmitters and translators at an optimum level.

Qualifications

  • Broadcast engineering and electronic experience necessary.
  • Ability to work with, train and assist a diverse group of people and the ability to explain technical matters to non-technical beginners.
  • Experience in installation, modification, maintenance and repair of broadcasting equipment, including but not limited to: CD players, digital audio equipment, cassette recorders, computer hardware and software, audio mixers, microphones and telephone systems.
  • Driver’s license and vehicle for travel to transmitter / translator sites.
  • Ability to improvise and achieve results with materials and resources on-hand.
  • Knowledge and experience working with analog and digital equipment.
  • Computer skills.

So far, so good….. though I worry about this being an exempt position. This gets REALLY nasty when you’re required to work more than 40 hours a week, but do not receive any compensation for it. But now, all aboard the WOO TRAIN

Essential Functions

  • Identify and address institutional and individual acts of oppression at KBOO. Ensure there is interruption of the oppression, follow-up and support for those impacted as well as documentation/record keeping of the incident.

I’m sorry.

What? This is very strange, but it continues—

  • Work to implement KBOO’s affirmative action policy in recruiting, training and maintaining volunteers.

This is a very strange task for an engineer – serving as a volunteer coordinator, but at least it’s not asking one to fight oppression…. whatever that implies….

  • Maintain signal and audio quality.
  • Act as Chief Operator in maintaining FCC logs and required documentation.
  • Maintain broadcasting equipment in good working order, including studio equipment and system phones, transmitters and translators.
  • Coordinate with staff for the station’s audio equipment and studio needs, including purchasing and soliciting bids.
  • Supervise the IT/Systems Admin Contractor.
  • Supervise the Transmitter / Translator / STL / EAS Contractor.
  • Supervise and provide support and backup for Live Events Engineer.
  • Work with other staff to coordinate training for engineering volunteers.

So are you coordinating volunteers or are you not coordinating volunteers?

  • Guaranteed 24-hour emergency engineering support for the station, either in person or by delegation to qualified engineering volunteers and contract engineers.

oh, that’s where the “exempt” part gets ya.

  • Coordinate with staff to plan and implement engineering budget, including long-term strategic planning for engineering needs.
  • Coordinate facilities maintenance at tower and translator sites.
  • Participate in engineering projects as assigned by station manager (i.e. production room remodels).
  • Oversee engineering aspects of new transmitters / translators (i.e. planning and project implementation).
  • Lead/staff the engineering committee meetings. Generate agendas each month and ensure there are committee minutes that are put up on the web within 5 days of the meeting.
  • Attend technology operating team and staff meetings.
  • Other duties as assigned.
  • Keep KBOO in compliance with FCC rules and regulations relating to engineering and technical issues.

Salary

This is a full-time position with a starting salary $31,426.38/year. The employee shall be eligible for annual step increases subject to conditions in KBOO’s Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Okay, wait. 24/7 on call…. salaried exempt… under 32k a year…. in PORTLAND? How do they expect one to live like that?

Probationary Period

Any person hired will be required to join and pay dues to CWA Local 7901 after 90 days. There is a six month probationary period. This period is not to be construed as a contract.

Wait, this is….. union…..

WHO APPROVED THIS COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT AND WHY ARE THEY NOT ON FIRE? Please make them be on fire. Thanks.

Benefits

Benefits include medical and dental coverage, disability and life insurance, and credit union eligibility. This position also offers paid vacation, sick leave, and 11 paid holidays per year, in accordance with KBOO’s Collective Bargaining Agreement. FSLA-exempt employees receive paid compensatory time off. Eligibility for the pension plan is one year after the date of hire.

Nice benefits under that Collective Bargaining Agreement, but WTF IS WITH THAT SALARY?!

Working Conditions

KBOO has over 150 hours per week of local programming, produced by volunteers who need to be trained on studio equipment. KBOO is a union shop and all (non-management) staff are members of Communications Workers of America (CWA) – Local 7901. All employees are expected to provide time to answer questions and to help volunteers learn. The engineer is called upon on a daily basis to help volunteers with using the studios and equipment. The engineer conducts workshops to train people as engineering volunteers. The engineer will work, coordinate efforts, and learn from contract engineers on special projects. KBOO’s environment is hectic and stimulating. You must enjoy working with a wide diversity of volunteers.

Funny, it sounds like most of your time as the salaried engineer will be volunteer too after those 40 hours a week. I really wonder what the collective bargaining agreement says about that. Then again, it really sounds to me like it’s the most watered down piece of junk ever. Alas…..

We have an air studio, three production rooms, multiple digital editing stations, and other rooms used for live public affairs and music. The engineer’s office also doubles as a workshop and contains some of the transmission and phone equipment. We have two STL’s (station links) to our tower with main and backup transmitters.

There are other engineers in Portland with a wide range of experience, both volunteers and contract hires, which you may work with and learn from.

And they might take pity on your predicament and try to find you jobs in their far better organizations, I’d like to hope—

KBOO has regular membership drives. They require an intense amount of time and coordination. The engineer must provide technical assistance as necessary during these drives.

BAHAHAHAHAHA AND HOW. My experience with these at another station was pretty much that it was two weeks of 14 hour days.

Workplace expectations at KBOO radio include: effective verbal and written communications; conflict de-escalation; skillful volunteer relations and utilization; capable project management; work-area organization; response to phone calls and correspondence; teamwork and cooperation with other employees, volunteers, and Board members; furtherance of KBOO mission, goals and values; meeting attendance and participation; capable departmental budgeting; and punctuality.

Equipment Used

KBOO equipment ranges from vintage analog audio player/recorders, 40-year old transmitters and mixing consoles to state of the art, networked digital broadcast consoles. There is heavy usage of all this equipment. You must repair as necessary and ascertain the need for new purchases within a somewhat limited budget.

Keep in mind…. at under $32k/year…. and the maintenance and repair is probably 40 hours a week in and of itself.

KBOO is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer, Women and People of Color are encouraged to apply. Discrimination because of age, race, religion, color, sex, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, gender presentation, class, creed, physical or mental disability is prohibited.

Meanwhile, I just can’t even. This position will HOPEFULLY remain unfilled until they refine it severely to actually make it worth someone’s time and effort to fill it.

picture unrelated

Spam, patience, and the things that test it

As of about 5 AM the shittening happened again. Sorry to anyone who got hit with the same dumbass redirect. I’ve reverted to the WordPress default theme just in case the issue was the theme I was using before allowing SQL injection…

security like a maladjusted microflect entry panel, broski.
the description tag was full of javascript garbage too, wow! (i’ve replaced all references to the offsite script with calls to a dummy file onsite here to sanitize it all quick and dirty.)

Here’s what I know so far…

The whole attack seems to be straight outa China.

When it happens, I’ve seen something basically start hammering on mysql (tons of login failures are produced) which is only open to localhost, so I feel like something is kinda being exploited in a roundabout manner to brute force a password and get in. I’ve changed the passwords to stuff that looks like line noise for now.

No idea what it is but I’ve hidden the old Gallery install for now in case that’s the point of entry.

I’ll be doing the good ol’ nuke and pave soon then reimporting all the content. For now, knock on wood, maybe this will just stay up and uninfected for a couple days until I can get around to that.

Maybe the domain name in use for the JavaShit script – getmyconfigplease -dot- com – is a silly clue, like they’re somehow getting hold of the WordPress config file for this attack? I mean, if that’s obtained by an attacker, they’ve got the database credentials handed to them on a silver platter. If that were the case though I wouldn’t expect to be seeing tons of login failures, just a quick and easy in, spam, and out.

I fucking hate computers 😀

Mmm, Galvanic Corrosion Burger

I don’t know where they came from but somehow this facility was ~blessed~ by having some aluminum transmission line adapters in use.

Here’s one (a gas block with pressure fitting) sandwiched between flanges made of brass and nickel plated(?) brass…. similar to about 99% of all these fittings I’ve seen in service.

But wait, aren’t those a little far apart in galvanic potential?

Maaaaybe.

To the tune of Sisters Of Mercy – This Corrosion

Gack. Note the first inner lip around where the polymer insulator is seated. This is where the RF connection is actually made. The well around it only holds the sealing ring.

No thanks.

Broadcast Engineer: (n) A person who fixes all the shit the manufacturer fucked up by design.

The MP Select Mini cooling fan, or, why Malyan clearly has no clue what they’re doing.

The 3D printers made by Malyan for Monoprice.com are just silly. There, I said it.

The Mini Delta takes a lot of work to get good results from, and the Cartesian type Select Mini printers need a lot of mods for stability and reliability.

One issue I was having on my Select Mini, aside from the one where it spontaneously emits cats*…

… was that I was getting poor print cooling, leading to things getting slumpy and generally Jacked Up.

Object above is part of an improved fan duct to use a 50mm blower.

So the stock fan is a mystery wrapped in an enigma of misengineering.

It’s a 30mm fan rated for 9vdc. What? Arrggh! If that were a 12v fan you’d have options as to what to use as a direct replacement. With it being 9v, your options are…… whatever sleeve bearing folderol one manufacturer casts on their badly worn injection mold.

In all honestly, I broke the fan, but by doing things that should not have broken it.

I was getting poor cooling as I’d mentioned above, so I was setting Slic3r to run the fan at 100. The resulting g-code is M106 S255

After a couple of prints like this, I heard scary noises from the fan, and upon removing it I discovered the 9v label and a ring of oil it had thrown out of its bearing. Yuck. They didn’t even leave a way to get in there and oil the bearing.

I found this all suspicious. M106 S255 ran the little fan louder than the firmware default settings did. Normally if you send no g-code to override it, the fan will always run at a low speed any time the hotend is heated. It does not automatically stop.

Out of curiosity I measured the voltage using a true RMS meter. I set the temperature to 190C from the front panel and the fan started shortly into the preheat (much better after changing that stupid heat block). Voltage was about 8.7v.

I then sent M106 S255 and it jumped to 12.6vdc and the fan sounded……. lovely.

It broke as I was trying to reinstall it so I put in a 12v fan that came on a $10 eBay E3D V6 clone.

The result… The fan still runs at any speed I ask it for, so stalling isn’t an issue, but now it doesn’t self destruct at 255 / 100%.

When the new blower gets here I’ll have better luck with bridges.

*This is a feature, not a bug