Motivational bull rebuffed

Just found this gem on the interwebz;

When “I” is replaced by “we”, even “illness” becomes “wellness”.

I’m not that into that group-motivational bull, so I had to refrain myself from replying;

And I’ll puke becomes we’ll puke. But somehow that’s less motivational, isn’t it? ;-)

What does a webtech addict do when in a Tesla?

Tesla Model S infotainment panelWell, checking out the browser, off course!

I had the opportunity to ride along with a friend in his brand new Tesla yesterday. Great ride, but you know that already, so I checked out the browser and data connectivity obviously. I visited my own little “ip check” page and saw this in the logfile: – – [05/Feb/2015:12:17:24 +0100] “GET /check_ip.php HTTP/1.1″ 200 132 “-” “Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux) AppleWebKit/534.34 (KHTML, like Gecko) QtCarBrowser Safari/534.34″

Breaking it down:

  • The free mobile data connectivity is provided by KPN (Base) in Belgium (and Holland, probably).
  • As per the useragent the car display runs on Linux (that little OS that could is really everywhere these days)
  • The browser is QtCarBrowser, which would obviously be built with QT and WebKit. Based on the WebKit version, one can deduct that the version of QT uses is 4.8. As such, QTCarBrowser seems very similar to QTWeb and might indeed be based on it. rates QTWeb with 204/555, but Tesla’s QTCarBrowser result might still be different off couse.
  • The WebKit-version, 534.34, is pretty old and as such dates from mid 2011 (QT 4.8 was released in December 2011). This is close to the version that was used in Safari 5.1 (534.48.3).

I sure hope there are not too many vulnerabilities in those old version of of QT and WebKit, but one does not drive a Tesla to browse the internet, does one? ;-)

WP YouTube Lyte and YouTube API v2 end of life

The YouTube API v2 is now officially to be shut down soon after April 20th. That’s bad news for WP YouTube Lyte, which uses this version of the API to perform unauthenticated read-only requests to fetch a.o. video title and thumbnail information (example here). The v3 API is supposed to simpler yet more powerful and migrating should not be a big problem, except for that little detail that v3 doesn’t allow unauthenticated requests at all. So I’ll need to add authentication (via an API key) to the mix, leaving me with the dilemma of having to choose between these approaches, none of which I really like:

  1. Tell WP YouTube Lyte users to get their own API key and have them enter it in the plugin’s settings-page. Risk: upsetting users who all of a sudden have to get an API key (“huh, what key?”)
  2. Get an API key myself and hardcode that in WP YouTube Lyte. Risk: abuse of that key (and neither a server key nor a browser key is applicable really), reaching limits, being denied access.
  3. Create and operate a proxy application that sits between the v3 API and each and every WP YouTube Lyte instance, taking care of authentication with an API key. Risk: having to write & install that proxy application, making sure it is available 24/7 (it’s a single point of failure) + obviously the same abuse-risk as in (2).

No, I’m definitively not happy … :-(

Fixing Firefox’ LessChromeHD to reclaim lost screen real estate

I had been happily auto-hiding the Firefox navigation bar on my small-screen netbook for a couple of years already, until that add-on (LessChromeHD from the Prospector series) stopped working after having upgraded to Firefox 35. So I started Firefox from the command-line and spotted this error:

addons.xpi WARN Error loading bootstrap.js for lessChrome.HD@prospector.labs.mozilla: TypeError: redeclaration of variable event (resource://gre/modules/addons/XPIProvider.jsm -> jar:file:///home/frank/.mozilla/firefox/jy6bws91.default/extensions/lessChrome.HD@prospector.labs.mozilla.xpi!/bootstrap.js:226:8)

A quick look at the source code confirmed “event” was declared twice, once on line 210 and a second time on line 226. The fix, obviously, is simple; on lines 226-228 replace all references to “event” with e.g. “shownEvent”;

let shownEvent = document.createEvent("Event");
shownEvent.initEvent("LessChromeShown", true, false);

You can do this yourself by unzipping “lessChrome.HD@prospector.labs.mozilla.xpi” in your extenstions-folder, editing boostrap.js and updating the xpi. Or you could wait for the Mozillians to update LessChromeHD.