Resume and bio of the author Couple of articles related to my hobby - robotics
My impressions about immigration to Australia. In Russian only. Recipes for everyday problems solving
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Andrey Mikhalchuk’s Blog

Technoblog about life

Feb 18, 2015 How to quickly check if an internet store is a scam

So imagine you go to google shopping ( and search for an item to buy and google returns you a really awesome price for the thing you dreamed about your whole life (or just the last 5 minutes). And you are almost ready to go ahead and order the item from this company (because google found it for you and google is awesome). STOP! Let’s first check the background of this company.

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Apr 4, 2014 Tips and tricks for your Riviera Maya trip (Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Akumal, Tumlum etc)


There are plenty of great posts about what to expect when you’re traveling to Mexico in general and Riviera Maya in particular. So instead of writing another one let me just list couple lessons learned that hopefully will make your trip to Mexico even more enjoyable.

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Mar 20, 2014 How to silence a piezo buzzer in your microwave, alarm clock etc

Almost every time I buy a piece of electronics with some sort of alarm it always includes a super loud and mega annoying buzzer notifying about the end of cycle. Though tuning it off completely is an easy operation (just open the case and cut the wire) making it just not as loud is a more complicated task involving knowledge of electronics and some soldering skills. Fortunately there is a much simpler way to accomplish the task, sometimes not even requiring the device disassembly …

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Dec 22, 2013 Fixing Sony Pulse Elite Edition Wireless Headset Blue Light of Death

Sony Pulse Elite Edition Wireless Headset is the finest you can find for PS3 and it totally worth its sticker price between $100 to $150. This is one of only a few options providing Surround sound for PS3, thanks to Sony proprietary protocols used for sound delivery to your ears.

Unfortunately the product was not tested well and just like many other complex solutions it glitches more than a user expect for such an expensive piece of electronics. One of the most famous problems typically occurs when you shelf the headset for a few days. After you blow the dust off you will find a tiny blue LED on the headset blinking twice every second. What’s interesting it will keep blinking even after you turn the headset off! The problem is very widespread and a lot of people experience it. Unfortunately Sony support is not very helpful in solving the problem. Replacing the headset does not solve the problem, eventually BLOD will happen to the new headset just like it happened to the old one.

Here is how to fix the problem:

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Sep 24, 2013 Fixing Verizon FiOS DNS Problems

Your superfancy FiOS internet link is getting flaky for no reason every now and then? The reason could be not the fiber-optic cable (which is awesome), but a problem with part of infrastructure called DNS servers. The DNS (Domain Name Resolution) servers are responsible for translating domain names such as or into internet addresses computers use for sending traffic across the internet. When DNS is not working properly your web surfing becomes either slow or impossible.

I was debugging corporate email problems recently and besides many other interesting things was fixing the CEO’s complain about email not working from his home most of the time. Surprisingly the root cause of the problem was absolutely horrible reliability of FiOS DNS servers. For some reasons every other DNS lookup was ending up not knowing anything at all about our company’s domain. The solution to the problem is getting rid of FiOS DNS servers in you router configuration and replacing them with OpenDNS servers. That’s much easier to do than it sounds, I recommend doing that even if you don’t have DNS troubles in your home network yet. Some Internet research shown that many people are having sporadic problems with DNS while using FiOS and this recipe will solve some of them.

Let’s fix this …

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Sep 13, 2013 ActionView::Template::Error (active_admin.css isn’t precompiled)

Just sepnt quite some time fixing infamous “ActionView::Template::Error (active_admin.css isn’t precompiled)” error on prod. Everything worked fine in dev environment but once I put the code on prod it broke. Couple websites proposed several solutions, but none of them worked for me. Finally a combination of difference recipes seemed to fix the problem. Here is how …

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Sep 2, 2013 Apple’s review fraud prevention system is as useless as Amazon’s :(

I already was writing about fraudulent reviews on Just today found the same lame approache to reviews on app store. Developer Jackadam seems investing ton of money into the promotion of a program called “Dark Sky – Weather radar, Hyperlocal Forecasts, and …”. I found a very positive review about it on and decided to read user reviews. Take a look yourself: There are ton of positive comments but also surprising number of one-start comments. This is very suspicious. But if you take a look at the timestamp of almost ALL 5-star reviews you will find they were all made on June 28th, while lower-rated reviews are randomly spreaded across the calendar. Isn’t that obvious that most if not all positive reviews are fake?

Why industry giants like appstore and amazon are not spending a tiniest fraction of their humongous revenue on protecting their customers is a mystery to me.

Aug 27, 2013 Fraudulent promotion techniques on Amazon are getting smarter

Take a look at this item: DOD Ls300w 2.7″ LCD Car Dashboard Camera. Looks so awesome based on reviews, doesn’t it? However most reviews for this item are fake and it’s a shame Amazon doesn’t do even basic fraud analysis to protect its customers. Here is how to check:
– note all 5-star reviews were submitted within 1 month in July-August – highly suspicious
– pick any 5-star review
– click “See all my reviews” for that review
– note that the user has multiple reviews including the one for the camera, but they all are made on the same day!

How realistic the situation when within 1 month 9 users created their accounts just to buy bunch or random stuff and leave 5-star review for this camera on the same day and then never write reviews again? :)

Buyer, beware that merchants using fraudulent techniques are getting smarter, be very skeptical about these awesome reviews. Not-so-awesome reviews are typically way more useful.

Jun 14, 2013 Oracle Policy Automation Modeler Debugger 10.4.3 is not working with Internet Explorer 10

Oracel Policy Modeler Debugger is not working with Internet Explorer 10. You can still use it to author and compile rules, but debugger with windows just hangs.
There is no official fix for this yet, so your only option is to uninstall IE10 if you can. In windows 7 go to Control Panel->Programs->Programs and features ->View installed updates->Internet Explorer 10->Uninstall.
BTW, OPM is not working with Office 2013 either.

May 22, 2013 Enabling HTTPS in JBoss EAP 5, Using Self-Signed Certificate

Surprisingly by default JBoss EAP (at least version 5) comes with HTTPS disabled. Here is how to enable it:

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