I goofed and tried to secure a web admin interface

Now Firefox won’t let me log in. I’m going to have to factory reset the router, configure it all over again, and this time leave it configured for clear text only.

This seems like going backward.

I mean, I get it: it is clear that RC4 is too easily broken, so support for it was removed.

But I’m not so wealthy that I want to just throw away an otherwise fine – old – router. I put the latest version of Tomato on it that still runs on that platform; but, that version of firmware is from 2010.

This is for my Internet of Things network. Nothing on that network is going to be terribly fast, so I certainly don’t need a high powered router. Still, if a lightbulb gets compromised, I’d like there to be at least a tiny bit of work involved in capturing the router’s password. RC4 may be brute forced in minutes with a GPU, but a lightbulb doesn’t have that sort of processing power.

Anyway, I goofed up. I saw an article about how to convert the web admin interface to use https only, so I pushed the button to generate a new certificate. Now I’m locked out and have to wipe the router back to factory reset.

The official error message is: Error code: SSL_ERROR_NO_CYPHER_OVERLAP

Thank you smarter people than me, for not allowing an override, even temporarily. Thank you smarter people than me, for making sure my IoT wireless access point web admin interface password has to remain in clear, plain text, forever.

Amazon Transcribe gotcha

I needed to transcribe some minutes from a meeting, and only one person was speaking during a particular three minute piece. So I copied that segement out to it’s own MP3 file.

I uploaded the file to s3:// and ran a default transcription job. Whoops.

By default, I mean that, mostly I clicked Next, Next, Next. I supplied a job name, an input file, and an output file. (That I used an output file location other than default means it wasn’t exactly default settings).

After the transcription job was done, because I had not specified the quantity of speakers, it left out the 'speaker_labels' data from the JSON file.

I have been using https://github.com/trhr/aws-transcribe-transcript/transcript.py to simplify the JSON into text, but it does not handle files with missing speaker labels.

Sigh. Now I have to re-do the transcription, which will incur another charge. Those speaker_labels are all over the file when present.

For what it is worth, the tasks were essentially:

  1. Upload the file to S3
    1. aws s3 cp /home/david/Documents/some_path/review_of_previous_board_meeting.mp3 s3://some_s3_bucket/
  2. Log in to Amazon Transcribe and create a job
    1. Job name was review_of_previous_board_meeting
    2. Input file was s3://some_s3_bucket/review_of_previous_board_meeting.mp3
    3. Output file was s3://some_s3_bucket/review_of_previous_board_meeting.json
      1. This did require clicking the button “Customer specified S3 bucket”
      2. I used the AWS CLI commands to copy between my local machine and the S3 bucket, so it is easier if I name the bucket I want the files in.
    4. Click Next
    5. THE IMPORTANT PIECE: Audio Identification = On, and audio identification type = speaker identification
      1. Stupidly, you have to define the count of speakers, and 1 single speaker is an invalid minimum. So I have to tell it there were two speakers, when I had clipped the MP3 file to only contain one.
  3. Download the file from S3
    1. aws s3 cp s3://some-s3-bucket/review_of_previous_board_meeting.json /home/david/Documents/some_path/
  4. Clean up the transcription
    1. transcript.py /home/david/Documents/some_path/review_of_previous_board_meeting.json
    2. And then transcript.py runs without errors. The result is file review_of_previous_board_meeting.json.text

Booking.com and Red Roof Inn Dearborn Michigan did the right thing

I screwed up. I had put in my cancellation on my airline flight during my lunch break months ago, but was running late. I couldn’t find the email for the hotel. Turns out it was because it was with Booking.com instead of my legacy booking site. And then life got distracting, and I forgot that I needed to deal with this.

The morning that I was supposed to check in, I got a reminder email. D’oh!

I called them up, and explained that I needed to cancel, and yes it was my fault. I fully understand that they deserve their cancellation fee. The Booking.com agent also asked that I telephone Red Roof Inn, Dearborn, and let them know I wouldn’t make it. I did.

They refunded me in full. That was very gracious of them. I am thankful. Although I doubt that I will ever have a need to go to Detroit for the rest of my life, if I were to go, I absolutely would book again with Booking.com and the Red Roof Inn, Dearborn.

The other thing the whole thing reminds me of, is that Search in Mozilla Thunderbird is really poor. I’m spoiled, of course, because in my work life, the email system I run has an excellent indexer + search. Rather than be a failure and cause these people the headache of having to refund (and waiving the cancellation fee), I would rather have found the right email and gotten the cancellation done in a timely manner.