VLC crashes when trying to play stuff over the network from Kodi.

This took me a while to figure out, so here's a fix for an annoying problem:

Let's say that you have a media box running Kodi on your local area network.  You have uPNP turned on so you can stream videos from your media box across your LAN.  You want to use VLC to watch stuff across your LAN.

Problem: When you select your Kodi box in VLC and double-click on the server to open the directory of media to watch, VLC crashes with no error message (even in debug mode).

Explanation: VLC is configured to exit when the current …

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Ouch. That's going to leave a mark.

By some accounts, the Amazon crash that began somewhen around 1600 EST5EDT today is the first downtime they've evidenced in years. On one hand I can't help but chuckle a little bit when I see this because, for once this isn't my fault. I can just sit back and fiddle while somebody else's network burns. On the other hand I've been on the other side of the screen when stuff like this happens and the thought of getting trapped in the data center trying to resuscitate the service of one of my old employers jolts me awake dripping with sweat …

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Crash on the red line of the DC Metro this afternoon.

Around 1700 EST5EDT in the DC metroplex, there was a head-on collision between two trains on the red line. The crash occurred in the vicinity of Takoma Park, Maryland. Reports vary, but about ten people were severely injured in the crash. Unconfirmed reports state that the crash may have had something to do with the drivers being distracted.

<p>If you were on the DC metro and you’re reading this, please comment so that we know you’re okay.</p>     <p>Lyssa, Laurelinde, Bronwyn, Cate, Hasufin, and I are all right.</p>      <p>Hasufin’s confirmed that Mika’s …
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I figured out the glitch in Windbringer.

Ever since version 2.6.29 of the Linux kernel was released I’d been having problems with Windbringer crashing on shutdown. After triggering the system shutdown applet in Gnome X would terminate, sometimes I’d see a debug message from NetworkManager as it tried to shut down the network interfaces (and sometimes the ALSA sound drivers, oddly enough), sometimes I wouldn’t see anything. The end result, however, was that Windbringer would have to be manually powered off, thus forcing a (lengthy) file system check the next time I booted up.

  <p>The answer arrived from <a href="http …
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The Pixies almost had it right.

Yesterday wasn't so much a wave of mutilation as it was a stormfront of WTF sweeping across the land. While I can't really put my finger on any one trigger event that caused yesterday to go west in a serious way, I can outline more or less what happened. First off, the hard drive in my workstation at the office decided to pack it in while I was working on something, which turned the rest of the day into a mad dash to find a new drive and rescue everything that I could. Finding a replacement drive took somewhere around …

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Situation report, or, "What blew up this time?"

Between getting back home from a field assignment late on Friday night, recovering from two weeks on the road eating way too much takeout, and stuff happening at home, I haven't had much time to do anything in the way of writing. I can honestly say that it hasn't been a boring couple of weeks, but there's a lot to be said for sitting at home engaging in a high impact workout (read, my glutius maximii striking the couch at -9.8 m/s^2 once a night for five nights) to unwind.

On Monday night after work and dinner …

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