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If you’ve been running a beta, or if Apple update is just confuzzled 🙂 this may help.

I was getting an error trying to update to the final version of Catalina – “The requested version of Mac OS is not Available”. Installing and removing the beta profile didn’t help.

If you have this issue, you can reset the Software Update Catalog to defaults by doing the following in terminal:

  • sudo defaults delete /Library/Preferences/ CatalogURL
  • defaults delete CatalogURL
  • softwareupdate --clear-catalog

The last one will warn about being deprecated, but still works.
Check software update again, and you should be able to download updates again.

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Have issues with slow loading times for right click, open with menu on OSX?

Copy and paste the below to resolve –

/System/Library/Frameworks/CoreServices.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/LaunchServices.framework/Versions/A/Support/lsregister -kill -seed -r -f -v -domain local -domain user -domain system

Ignore any errors, as it re-removes and re-registers registered context menu’s – once completed, right click menu’s will be back to their fast speed.

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I bought a Phicomm R1 Speaker for 150RMB delivered, its supposed to have Wifi and a config app, but the App registration is apparently broken.

The Phicomm R1 speaker has Android installed, unfortunately the configuration app for the speaker is no longer working as noted, so you can only use Bluetooth unless you hack it (Bluetooth is available via a triple press of the top button).

For some crazy reason, the speaker has a fairly decent cpu, and is running Android (albeit without a display, which is annoying, but not completely unfixable); we can connect via adb.

Download adb tools here – and stick in your path.

Set the speaker to Wifi (long press of the top button), and connect to the Phicomm_R1_xxx network.

Mine setup a network on, with a gateway of

adb connect

adb shell ls -al

drwxr-xr-x root     root              2016-01-21 16:50 acct

lrwxrwxrwx root     root              2016-01-21 16:50 bcm4329_cybertan.hcd -> /etc/bluez/bcm432x/BCM4329B1_002.002.023.0389.0000_Cybertan-Foxconn_Cls2_extLNA_EDRmaxInputLev+PeakDEVM_NT.hcd

-rw-r--r-- root     root       148936 1970-01-01 08:00 rk30xxnand_ko.ko.3.10.0

drwx------ root     root              2018-04-28 10:50 root

-rw-r--r-- root     root       252134 1970-01-01 08:00 vcodec_service.ko

lrwxrwxrwx root     root              2016-01-21 16:50 vendor -> /system/vendor

Yup, that worked!

Ok, so we can see the thing at least! Lets get some screen viewing software installed. I’m on OSX, so its a simple brew install..

This seems to work reasonably well –

brew install scrcpy

#load ADB first as above on the default unconfigured wifi ip
adb connect

You should now be able to see the device display, and the internal app called Pandora. The pandora app is a rather useless one – it basically doesn’t work. So ignore..
We need to install other tools.

#allow any app install
adb shell settings put secure install_non_market_apps 1

Next up, configure wifi on the thing!

#install adb wifi tool
adb push adb-join-wifi.apk /data/local/tmp/adb-join-wifi.apk
adb shell /system/bin/pm install -t /data/local/tmp/adb-join-wifi.apk

#change YOURSSID, and YOURWIFIPASS as appropriate..
adb shell am start -n com.steinwurf.adbjoinwifi/com.steinwurf.adbjoinwifi.MainActivity -e password_type WPA -e ssid YOURSSID -e password YOURWIFIPASS

It will hopefully setup the wifi. You’ll need to wait for it to ‘timeout’ and tell you wifi setting failed; it will then connect to your normal wifi as set above.

Once on your ‘normal’ wifi, you can adb connect again to the normal ip.
I installed airpin.apk to setup Airplay, now I can connect to the speaker in iTunes, and play. Good enough!

It can be downloaded here –
Install in a similar manner as other apk’s, then use screen mirroring to config the name.
I called mine phicomm

#copy and install airpin APK
adb push AirPin.apk /data/local/tmp/AirPin.apk
adb shell /system/bin/pm install -t /data/local/tmp/AirPin.apk
#run the screen mirroring to configure directly on the device

You can go further and remove the Xiao Xun (小讯) listening software, and install something else, but I haven’t bothered (yet). Mine is still unconfigured.
This is detailed in Chinese over here –

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The mail software has been completely revamped to support additional security precautions.

Failed logins will be blocked by ip address for 1 hour. (5 fails to trigger a 1hr block)

Senders can only send mail from their authenticated email address.

Outgoing mail is now also inspected for spam, if tests fail, sending will fail.

DKIM signing is now possible, we are in the process of implementation and testing.

SSL connections are now set to a minimum of TLS1.2 and 2048bit encryption, as per internet standards.

Support for connecting to servers still using old insecure protocols has been deprecated (i.e. not supported anymore).
The protocol insecurity issue is explained in more detail here –

This has impacted some deliveries to outdated servers, which still use outdated software.

We can resolve these issues on a case by case basis if you forward support the relevant bounce messages.

If you see bounce messages with errors similar to this –
SSL routines:tls_process_ske_dhe:dh key too small;
SSL routines:ssl_choose_client_version:unsupported protocol;

The recipients server’s SSL key setup (the key they use for encryption for their mail server) is an issue.
Their keys are too small, and vulnerable to eavesdropping, and ideally need to be updated, as their communications are vulnerable.



Cert updates

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Certificates for * have been updated to use letsencrypt from April 2019 onward.


DNS Updates

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As part of our DNS migration in mid 2016 (June / July last year), we asked all our clients to update their DNS to the below servers.

Note that as of today (22nd Feb 2017), our previous DNS servers are now offline, and will no longer resolve.

If you are having issues with email and website hosting today (22nd Feb 2017), please ensure that your DNS has been updated as requested.

This will only affect clients that maintain their own DNS, if your services are managed by us, this was done last year.

If you are unsure on how to proceed, please contact us.

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小米 sells a small little wifi camera which works quite painlessly.
I’ve bought several over the last few years.

My recent ones don’t work oversea’s though (which is where I install them).
Its extremely bogus selling equipment that is limited to a country, especially when they don’t tell you about it.

Annoying, as my older models aren’t “region locked”, but the newer ones are.

There is a fix for it, although it will likely get more difficult to patch at xiaomi’s whim.
If so, I’ll probably stop buying the camera’s. Lovely how vendors want to mess with customers…

First up, enable telnet on the camera.
Get an SD card or take the card out of the camera.

Create a folder named test on the card.
Create a plain text file called in that folder, and add the following bash script:

# Telnet
if [ ! -f "/etc/init.d/S88telnet" ]; then
echo "#!/bin/sh" > /etc/init.d/S88telnet
echo "telnetd &" >> /etc/init.d/S88telnet
chmod 755 /etc/init.d/S88telnet
dr=`dirname $0`
# fix bootcycle
mv $dr/ $dr/

The script will enable telnet on the camera, and then rename the script so it doesn’t run again on the next boot.

Stick the prepared card into the camera, power on, and it should reboot (twice).
If you check the open ports on the camera ip you should now see port 23 (telnet) is open.

Login with the default user/pass (as below) via telnet

User: root
Password: 1234qwer

Once telnet’d in, enter the following, line by line –

Find and kill the watchdog process

killall watch_process

Find and kill /home/cloud process so we can edit it without the watchdog watch_process restarting it

killall cloud

Change the check within /home/cloud executable to query a fake domain so it never returns a failure, then reboot.

sed -i 's|||g' /home/cloud

Notes – The camera checks for the country by running an executable called /home/cloud
This calls an api at which does a ip check, then returns a true or false value if it thinks you’re in China or not. We change the /home/cloud executable ip check call to a bad url, which means it can’t perform its check.

Worked on my camera’s running version

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We are currently seeing some issues sending TLS encrypted mails to hosted email addresses.
This appears to only be affecting some of the hosted server ip addresses intermittently / /

If messages fail to be delivered, you will receive a bounce message similar to the following:

TLS connect failed: timed out; connected to
I’m not going to try again; this message has been in the queue too long.

In the interim we have disabled TLS encryption to the affected addresses.
We are currently unsure if this is a Microsoft issue, or a China Firewall Issue, so this may or may not resolve the issue.

We will update this post when we have further information.


SSL Updates

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The SSL certificate for the all servers have been updated to use a wildcard certificate.

We *finally* changed over to use a wildcard cert, as pricing has come down enough to not warrant having separate certificates per server.
Our new wildcard certificate is valid until 2019.

What does this mean for you?

The bad news
Really old browsers won’t be able to open our site
If you are an XP user running IE6, you won’t be able to load our encrypted sites anymore. We strongly suggest you upgrade though if you fall into that category!
Same goes for those running Android 2.x (which is equally ancient in computer terms).

The good news
Email is now encrypted point to point using AES256 SHA encryption where possible, and webmail is SHA256 encrypted from server to your browser.
Mail servers that support it (i.e. all of ours, plus the major providers like Google, Yahoo etc, will send encrypted mail to our servers).
Mail Headers will include things like the below if encryption is supported –
Received: from ( by with AES256-SHA encrypted SMTP;

Lastly – our new cert gets us a test rating of A at the SSL Labs site.

Screen Shot 2016-05-16 at 1.15.56 AM

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Despite having friends that have broken limbs skateboarding, I decided to buy myself an Electronic Longboard.
I’m still a kid at heart, despite my ongoing age…

Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 10.11.00 AM

The board I chose to buy is what looks like a copy of the Boosted Board. The design is different though, but its close enough to look like a copy of sorts. Mine is from a company called BenchWheel out of Hangzhou, and although mildly expensive, isn’t too bad in Electric Skateboard pricing terms, especially in comparison to the similarly specced Boosted board at $1499.

I was originally planning to get the Stary board, as its made in Shanghai, and I was watching their Kickstarter, but sadly they don’t seem to want to sell it locally.
So, I scanned Taobao for similar products, and decided on the BenchWheel, as it looked reasonable quality-wise compared to the other options.

BenchWheel is currently available on Taobao for 2899RMB (about 450$USD odd at this moment in time)

They have 2 models for sale – the B board, which is a standard longboard, and the C board, which is a skinnier board at the ends.

Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 10.11.45 AM

I bought my BenchWheel on Monday, had it delivered on Wednesday (the magic of Taobao), and have been riding it for a whole 2 days now. I’ve never ridden a skateboard or longboard before, and I’m finding it very easy to ride. I’m already comfortable using it on the road for short trips in light traffic here in Shanghai. Took me about 5 minutes to find my balance, and after about an hour riding around my compound avoiding pedestrians and small rodent sized dogs I felt comfortable enough to take it outside on the street with the bigger traffic.

So far I’m quite happy with it. Top speed is faster than I want to go still, and the battery life is quite decent @ +-20km. The entire bottom length of the board is essentially battery.

Having played with most of the things available here, from e-scooters to airwheel’s, I think a Longboard is the most fun/ practical in daily use, especially for last mile from metro -> home.

All in all, it feels like a decent quality item. The parts are solidly built, and it doesn’t feel like cheap crap.
I haven’t tried a Boosted board or other US brand boards though, so can’t compare to those, but I do know what cheap crap feels like, and this isn’t that.

Some notes on using it
The BenchWheel has a carry handle, but I think there needs to be something smoother around the handle as the sandpaper gets rough.
Its light enough to carry short distances, which is good.

Remote control feels comfortable to use. The speed acceleration is good – its not crazy from stopped, it feels like they ramp up in a curve rather than giving you full throttle immediately. Braking on the other hand feels like they give you too much – you need to be more careful braking as its almost too fast on the controller.

Controller could do with some labelling, there are way too many leds that show different colors (red or green).
The bottom 3 show board battery status. The top two are speed allegedly, although they do flash when the board isn’t sync’d.
The remote and the board time out if not used and left on. The lights stay on, but the remote does nothing. Turning both off then on again resolves that. Looks like it does that when left 3-5 minutes unused. I’ve already hit that once or twice tonight talking to people about the board and not using it for a few minutes, then it doesn’t want to work.

My manual is in Chinese, and the instructions are not very clear – I had initial issues syncing the remote with the board despite reading the instructions, and repeating the steps a couple of times.
Their online support was good (aliwang), and I resolved it, but the manual needs to be much clearer.

I’ve actually had a go at making a better english manual here –

I’ll re-iterate, this is really fun to ride. I’m actually excited to go out and ride around, which is good.
I’ve also been quite lucky in that I haven’t fallen yet. Having a brake and not going too fast helps a lot, as you can just jump off if you feel like falling.

Some tech details
N5065 270KV motors x 2 – Not sure what brand, haven’t opened it up yet.
Batteries in a 6S 4P (22.2V nominal @ 6 x 3.7V/ 25V peak/ 20v get off the board before you kill the batteries 😉 ) config using 18650’s @ 8800MAH / 210WH
Wheels are 80x45mm 78A hardness
Board is 920x240x15mm
7.9KG total weight.
Has a carrying handle cut out in the board (useful!)

Dual motors @ 1800W

Expanded view
Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 8.59.16 AM

Underside view

Whats missing
It feels like a strong version 1.0
That said this is whats missing:

    • Lighting – they need to add underlighting to the board (they actually came out with some the day after I bought mine, grr!, so will be adding mine when it arrives in my next taobao shopping order).
      Carrying handle – great idea, but the board sandpaper surface chafes, so it needs some smoother tape around the handle area.
      Design – There are tons of cool skateboard designs. BenchWheel have completely ignored that and gone with a horridly bad logo font choice and rather basic and bland black board color. This totally needs some work. Luckily you can buy cool stuff on taobao, so thats a fairly easy remedy.
      Packaging – Very white box. Mine actually came slightly damaged, although the board was fine. They need to work on that.
      Battery indicator – The Marbel board has a battery indicator on the board. They need to add something either on the top of the board, or underneath the board with a bar for charge value like you get on electric mopeds and scooters. I might mod mine to add that, as thats fairly easy to do. There is a battery indicator on the remote, but its not too accurate / useful.
      Manual – the existing one isn’t so clear on a few things, even in the Chinese manual.
  • Some action shots below.





    Full set on Flickr