A long time ago, I wrote a little script called cert2rss.py that takes the URLs from the US-CERT Summary Bulletin Feed, parsed the HTML summary pages and generated a feed of containing each item individually. I needed something like this for work as I need to keep track security vulnerabilities for all things Linux. The script has been broken for some time because the HTML of summary pages has changed.
Today I finally got around to looking at the problem and found that the HTML of the summary pages is now so bad that it is very difficult to extract useful data from. The HTML looks fine when rendered but it is full of incorrectly escaped text, missing tags and bizarre formatting. Whoever is responsible for generating that HTML shouldn't have their jobs.
So, I'm retiring cert2rss.py. I've updated my Code page to reflect this.
As an alternative, there's some reasonable RSS feeds from the National Vulnerability Database that provide similar functionality.
posted: Wed, 21 Mar 2007 16:59 | permalink | comments
Hours and hours and hours....
Perhaps I've been living under a rock but I just discovered Best Tech Videos On the Net today. It's a site that indexes all the best technology related videos on the web. There's so many good screencasts and conference sessions. Especially exciting is that there's sessions I wish I'd gone to at conferences I've attended. I could spend hours on this site (and probably will!).
posted: Fri, 16 Mar 2007 15:32 | permalink | comments
Traffic @ the Arches / Earplugs
We checked out the Traffic drum and bass party at the Arches on Friday night. I'm not a drum and bass aficionado but the music in the main room seemed pretty damn good to me. TeeBee was a real highlight DJ-wise. MCGQ was easily the best MC that we saw. The second room was a little to messy and "jungley" for me but other people seemed to like it.
The crowd was humourous to study. Aboutt 90% of the punters were young, slightly nerdy guys. Hoodies were definitely the thing to wear.
We had a lot of fun and that fact that we could walk home was a big plus.
The night was also good opportunity to try out some earplugs that we'd all bought. DnB nights are traditionally L-O-U-D and this event was no exception. One of our flatmates had tracked down some musician's earplugs from a Dutch company called Alpine. They come with 2 pairs of changeable filters. One set provides greater attenuation than the others. The earplugs turned out to be quite comfortable and seemed to take down the volume fairly evenly at all frequencies. After a while you forget that they're even there. I found that the purple "regular" attenuation filters suited me the best. The yellow high attenuation filters reduced the volume too much for my liking.
There was a welcome lack of ringing in our ears when we left to go home. I'd highly recommend these sort of ear plugs to anyone who goes clubbing regularly. They would probably be suitable for club DJs too. They only cost 15 pounds so there's no excuse for not trying them out. I wish I'd bought a set years ago.
posted: Mon, 12 Mar 2007 23:00 | permalink | comments
Rant: moving house
- There were still painters working in the bathroom as we were moving in to the flat. The estate agent called us on hour before we were due to move in to let us know that the painters hadn't finished yet. Of course, the paint wasn't dry by the time we first tried the shower meaning that it has run in parts.
- The cleaning of the apartment that had been promised wasn't done. Carpet cleaners had been organised for 2pm on the day we moved in meaning that we had to put all our gear in the kitchen and couldn't unpack until after they'd left. Overall, the place was filthy.
- The phone line and broadband was supposed to be transferred on the day we moved in. Having seen telcos screw this up many times before I was dubious that this would happen. BT didn't disappoint: the phone was working on the afternoon we moved in, but broadband still wasn't up the following day. It took over a week of persistent calls to BT to get the link running.
- The landlord has decided to store a bunch of her junk in the hall cupboards. The estate agent had assured us that the stuff wouldn't be there while we were there for a viewing. We are now trying to get it removed but are having considerable difficulty. We need the space but the landlord doesn't want to move it elsewhere. It doesn't help that the landlord is in Australia at the moment.
All in all the moving process has been pretty awful. BT and the estate agents really let us down despite us doing all the right things.
Despite all of the above, we're happy to be in the new flat. The location is excellent, it's a bigger place and we've got some great short-term housemates. Just a few more battles to get through...
posted: Mon, 12 Mar 2007 21:53 | permalink | comments