Warhammer Online “Authentication Failed” solution

2008-09-30 Tue – 16:39:09

I’ve been having trouble logging on to Warhammer Online, and by the looks of it I’m not the only one – seems that there’s hundreds of people out there frustrated by an error saying “Authentication Failed” when trying to start the game.

Thanks to a “rizzo” on a weblog I came across, though, it seems that the issue might be solvable – apparently you need to make sure that your machine has the ports 1380, 8046, and 10622 open – so have a look at your firewall setup and see if that might be the problem.

Thanks, rizzo!


There’s a few other things, too:

  • run warpatch.exe (see this FAQ for more)
  • possibly open port 4574 (see this FAQ for more)

I’ve just run warpatch.exe and have apparently have 815MB to download. Ye gods.

Update #2

Well, looks like that was the issue: just needed to run warpatch.exe. Which admittedly isn’t exactly the obvious solution; but it worked. (I even got a response to a mail I sent about something entirely unrelated this weekend, saying to run warpatch.exe, heh). I’ve just had a nice four hour intro to the game, and, well, I’m pretty happy I’ll have something to do for a while yet. Hooray!

LinkedIn’s “People you may know” feature

2008-09-29 Mon – 20:06:09

If you weren’t already familiar with it, LinkedIn is a social networking site that focuses on the professional side of networking. Essentially it’s the same model the rest of them:

  1. Get people signed up through a pyramid scheme based around people’s need to feel popular and their ability to believe that relationships are essentially a matter of mass – that 200 superficial relationships is the same as 20 long-lasting friendships
  2. Profit!

And, yes, as it happens I am rather a hypocrite here, because I have spent a considerable amount of time looking for people that I might possible know or have worked with or have sat opposite on the bus once because then I could introduce myself and I’d get another more Connection! Which makes me one step closer to winning at LinkedIn! But I figure, every other idiot or minority or otherwise mockable group is allowed to mock said group they belong to, so, I can too. Anyway. I wanted to write about one particular part of LinkedIn.

On the “Home” page after you log in, there’s occasionally a box off to the right labelled “People you may know”, with a list of three or so LinkedIn members that you aren’t currently linked to, as suggestions for future Linkees. (Linkees? I suppose you’d be a Linkee too then, the Link goes both ways, it doesn’t matter who initiated it after an invite’s been accepted. Perhaps that would make everyone collectively the Linkii. Too much ee going on there, I’m mentally gurning. Hmm. “We are the Linkii-Gurn, and we come in peace! We would like you to join our professional network!”)

So, this “people you may know” didn’t seem much of anything at first, I didn’t take much notice of it as I was working way through much more efficient methods of mass-linkage (“right, now, I was on 461 bus route back then, so if I just find out the route and search for everyone that lives in the surrounding area and send them all invitations, statistically speaking I’m certain to rack up loads more Connections!). However, after a while I realised that the suggestions were surprisingly accurate – and not just accurate, but remarkably helpful, because people were being suggested that I would never have thought of myself! I mean, I could imagine that had I actually been spamming my fellow bus-travellers from 10 years ago, I might see the bus driver up there – except not the normal bus driver, the guy who we only saw for a week because he was temping while the other driver was ill, and I only had one five minute conversation with, about paint.

I’ve I’ve wondered a few times how they did it. Some of the methods must be relatively obvious – they’re always encouraging people to import their entire address books and stuff, and things like correlating locations with interests with age would no doubt be very effective in a lot of cases. Some of the suggestions, though, were just so obscure, I just couldn’t figure out how on earth the algorithm had been able to connect us. (Was there someone on the bus with me 10 years ago working for LinkedIn?! It’s a conspiracy!)

Whatever it was must’ve been a strong enough link that we were identified as potentially knowing each other, but something (or, more likely, a whole lot of little things) so unobvious that even after some considerable thought (I had to lie down for a bit) it remained a mystery. Considering the fact that I must’ve come across quite a few of the other members of LinkedIn on a closer level, I would have expected to be seeing other people’s faces that I’d heard of, or had worked somewhere I was familiar with, or something – at least more often.

I finally Googled the problem today, and found a question that was answered on LinkedIn itself about the “You might know…” feature. It’s not just me, have a look at some of these quotes (actually, the question itself gives a good idea of what I mean):

How does the AI behind the “People you may know” work?

I’m amazed by its accuracy. Just today, it suggested over a dozen people that I do know and am connected to in one way or another. What’s the logic behind the code, in simple terms? Is there some code written in the contacts file we upload? Although, some of the people that I “know” weren’t hidden somewhere in my address book, so it can’t be that. Is there some geo localization at work, or is it a sort of datamining AI? I’m so curious to know how it works!

Clarification added June 24, 2007
It can’t be from my “other” contacts because I don’t have any stored there. Nor can it be keywords that we have stored in our profiles because some of the “people i may know” have completely different backgrounds, education, jobs, etc.

Clarification added June 24, 2007:
I think there is a cross co-relation between contacts that I upload and those uploaded by others that include me. Even if we don’t invite these contacts or even if these contacts don’t invite me, then subsequently delete them from our contact list, I suspect LinkedIn stores this information.

The weirdest thing though is when it suggests someone I only know “off the street”: someone who’s contact info I don’t have and vice versa and someone with whom I have no history with (school, employer, same industry, etc.).

Most of the other commenters were equally amazed or even more so – one person in particular made me question whether they were just shit stirring or telling the truth:

was just given two names of people that I do know, but that I have no connection with through LinkedIn. My profile is not filled in with enough data OR the right data to make a connection. Therefore, how would they know I worked with them, if that employer is not listed, how would they know I went to school with them, when that inststution is not listed. I am not a regular LinkedIn user and only have a few connections, and those connections have no connections to the people on my list. SO…. where did those names come from?

There were a couple of comments from staff:

Steven Stegman – Research Scientist and Sr. Product Manager

“People you may know” is powered by a sophisticated predictive model that uses many factors to guess people you might know. it’s still in beta, and we’ve made some significant refinements to it recently.It’s pretty cool, no? Please give us feedback on it.

The comments following this essentially ignored him – with everyone saying how amazed they were, until the last post:

David Brabant – Software Architect – Software Development Manager at Siemens IT Solutions and Services

There isn’t any kind of magic here, and even less the slightest trace of artificial intelligence. This is simply based on graph theory, starting exploration of the graph of your relations from your node, and filtering those relations according to what is called “homophily”. The greater is the homophily between two nodes, the more likely two nodes will be connected. For a good introduction on the social network theory, see the document linked below.

http://home.earthlink.net/~ckadushin/Texts/Basic Network Concepts.pdf

Well, of course. It’s simply graph theory! If anyone had cared to read even the simplest of introductions in the field then we wouldn’t’ve had to waste this man’s valuable time, I mean, really, how inconsiderate. Oafs.

So, I went and read (most of) that 63 page PDF, and I’m still convinced it’s a little more murky than that. It doesn’t explain why I’m not getting more suggestions about people who would be instinctively easily to identify within a degree of accuracy. Also, there are people I haven’t attempted to connect with that I could have, but decided against, or simply couldn’t remember the email address for and needed to know it before sending an invite. Why haven’t they come upas suggestions while these seemingly counter-intuitive others have? After all, they’re actually (given the data, if it were being analyzed) much more strongly connected to me than the others.

A couple of things might be along the lines of, someone who’s been to visit someone else’s page, and gone most of the way towards contacting them, but didn’t in the end – which is exactly what I did with a number of people, and relatively easy to look for. Finding people who appeared in, say, two or three people’s address books, and is already even though they didn’t list their work addresses from 5 years ago, they were already connected to another two people from the company. You could probably tell a lot about who someone might be connected to given their browsing habits – I would say (without any evidence, true) that humans tend to be much more interested in people they know than strangers even when the stranger is famous or rich (or otherwise might tempt people being curious without having their friends to check up on first): for anyone that signed up, the first few profiles they looked at would be huge pointers.

Of course it does have to be some sort of Science in the end (unless they really did have people following me around on the bus!); but I sincerely doubt the specifics are about to be revealed any time soon. My money’s on LinkedIn being actually pretty sneaky, even if they’re being clever as well (and I guess their money is too), and whatever the case it’s still pretty cool. And, as Clarke’s third law states, any any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic; while we’re still ignorant, who cares how they do it?

Inconsolata Cleartype: Raph Levien’s Inconsolota font, hinted for Windows

2008-09-25 Thu – 21:30:09

Woo! I love Inconsolata (see also Raph Levien’s main page) – so much so that I’ve even recommended (on the About page (which I know you haven’t read)) downloading it as I’ve set it for the default monospace font on this site.

One problem it’s always had, though, is that it looks pants with at low points subpixel rendering (aka Cleartype) turned on. Hooray! thought I, when I came across this page:

Thank you, xiy, or Mark, or whoever you are! You have made the world a better place.

Update 2009-04-27: the site seems to be down; for prosperity, here’s a copy of the font (I hope I’m not breaking any copyright here!):

Update 2010-12-22: Codeur kindly notes in the comments that a better version has been uploaded to the Google font directory by David Crossland:

scp: copying filenames with colons

2008-07-19 Sat – 18:11:07

# annoying:

[jem:pgl]:~/p/misc_useful $ /usr/bin/scp scp\:copying-filenames-with-colons-in-them.txt localhost:/dev/null
ssh: scp: Name or service not known

# sorted:

[jem:pgl]:~/p/misc_useful $ /usr/bin/scp ./scp\:copying-filenames-with-colons-in-them.txt localhost:/dev/null
The authenticity of host ‘localhost (’ can’t be established.
RSA key fingerprint is 12:2b:3a:4e:be:6f:41:f2:20:4c:1b:ee:6a:46:35:61.
Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no)? yes
Warning: Permanently added ‘localhost’ (RSA) to the list of known hosts.
pgl@localhost’s password:
scp:copying-filenames-with-colons-in-them.txt 100% 0 0.0KB/s 00:00

Executive summary: filenames with :colons: break scp, unless they’re prefixed with a path.

Why: scp has no way of telling that a file called “file:name” is isn’t the user specifying host:path, which is the usual way it’s used. To disambiguate this for scp, prefix the filename with its path (either relative to your current directory, or a full path, it doesn’t matter); ie, instead of “scp filename:with:colons“, it’s “scp ./filename:with:colons“.

WordPress Automatic Upgrade fix for local file access permissions bug

2008-07-19 Sat – 14:48:07

I’ve just upgraded this WordPress installation to the new point release, 2.6. Being lazy, I used a plugin to help me do it, “WordPress Automatic Upgrade”. Unfortunately it has a bug at the beginning that prevents local file access, so I ended up using the FTP method (which worked perfectly). I had a look at the plugin afterwards though, and was able to figure out what the problem was, and posted a fix to the forums.


Hope someone out there finds this useful.

Nokia, Thunderbird, syncing, and mental anguish

2008-07-10 Thu – 02:10:07

From the Nokia forums (and approx. 2bn other places around the web where people are asking the same question):

“Does any one know how to synchronize … thunderbird … with your nokia … and the other way round?”

A perfectly valid question, especially since both Nokia and Thunderbird have been around quite some time now – you would’ve thought that this is a solved problem.

However, I think the correct answer to that this question is, no, nobody does. And if they do then I would very much like to know about it.

The old Thunderbird addon doesn’t work anymore, and hasn’t for a while.

There’s two beta-stage projects which might one day help, but look almost abandoned to be honest:



(GPlus is actually based on Gnokii, it just has the same half-finished feel to it. (I am being totally unfair here – a lot of hard work has obviously gone into these projects, and they don’t deserve to be dismissed out of hand; they just didn’t work for me and the amount of time I’ve spent playing with stuff that also doesn’t work has caused me to be nasty (fuckers).))

I’ve tried them, they don’t work (at least not with my phone, a 6300). Ditto MobileMaster. Ditto Intellisync. It’s tragic. Is this really such a hard thing to solve?

Oh well.

[… a little later on…]

I wrote this post a few days ago – since then, I’ve installed the Ovi Suite. And fuck me sideways, they’ve finally done it — what they should’ve done five years ago — a group of programs for managing your mobile that doesn’t need three services running and five processes starting up when you login. Clap, clap, Nokia!

Horrible as it is that they’ve taken this long to come up with this, it is a good set of programs, and I have recently experienced my first proper Sync. Maybe I’ll write more about it later – especially the weird as Wyrd 3D desktop thing that comes with it.

(Not that, of course, it syncs with Thunderbird: but it did with GroupWise, and GroupWise can export something which Thunderbird can import – so… well it’s a start.)

[tags]nokia, thunderbird, syncing, painful, pain, gnokii, gplus, ovi, ical, calendar, 6300, mobilemaster, intellisync, fail, gplus, beta, groupwise, export[/tags]

My Garden

2008-07-09 Wed – 22:55:07

A GARDEN is a lovesome thing, God wot!
Rose plot,
Fringed pool,
Fern’d grot-
The veriest school
Of peace; and yet the fool
Contends that God is not-
Not God! in gardens! when the eve is cool?
Nay, but I have a sign;
‘Tis very sure God walks in mine.

Thomas Edward Brown (1830-1987)

Fuck you, spam

2008-07-09 Wed – 13:20:07

And this, folks, is why spam sucks so fucking much:

Junk Filter Statistics

The junk mail filter has been trained by 46868 messages, whereof 28127 (60%) have been rated as solicited and 18741 (40%) as junk. This resulted in a total of 699360 tokens read, 349780 (50%) rated as good and 349580 (50%) as evil; the number of different tokens is 622268.
The following table will show the 12 most common tokens, hiding 622256 tokens below the threshold of 24060 appearances.

(Processing this training.dat of 24060562 bytes took 780.35 seconds.)

Token                            Good   Evil  Junk Probability
1 mime-version:1.0              13818  17248  65.20 %
2 for                           16579   9394  45.96 %
3 the                           21511  11836  45.23 %
4 envelope-to:pgl@yoyo.org      22742  16294  51.81 %
5 content-type/type:text/plain  22016   6247  29.87 %
6 you                           19875   9279  41.20 %
7 with                          17209   8710  43.17 %
8 this                          17078   9004  44.17 %
9 x-mozilla-status2:00000000    10897  13810  65.54 %
10 that                         17419   7984  40.76 %
11 x-mozilla-status:0001        10846  13810  65.65 %
12 and                          20086  10530  44.03 %


That’s right, there’s a greater than 40% chance any mail I receive is going to be spam if it contains any of these words: “with”, “that”, “and”, “for”, “the”, or “you”. 40% for any of them. Sigh.


2008-07-09 Wed – 09:36:07

So, I never really thought I’d actually end up attempting a weblog of my own, but, there you go – or here I go. I try to avoid things that have a very large statistical likelihood of failing; and maintaining a weblog is without question something which has shown a propensity for people not to do that verges on being a physical property of the universe.

However, as many before me, I have ignored my own best interests in order to satisfy those narcissistic tendencies (my real own best interests) that urge me (and apparently a large percentage of the rest of the world (who are arranged in some sort of sphere, it seems)) to tell everyone else (that’s right, everyone) what’s on my mind: resulting in this – this thing, here, with me, and you. Hello.

Warning: I will attempt to be amusing, and interesting, something which almost guarantees that my webloggery will annoy you. This is not an apology, just, an excuse I can use to myself after I’ve irritated you.

OK, right, now where is my checklist? Right – doing well so far, I can tick off self-absorbed posting, spending too long fucking around with WordPress, and – ah – I’m right on schedule to fill up some area or roll type section with links to people I’ve know. Then I think fairly soon I’ll be ready to post about anything that over 90% of all weblogs have already posted about, followed perhaps by some short notes about work that mean nothing to anyone except myself, at which point I can take a break for a few months until I’m up for the apology for not posting much recently. Excellent. This is going to be fun.