2010 archive

a personal note

I have not posted anything new since October because I have been hobbled following an operation to my ankle. Perversely, this made sitting at my desk (and hence my keyboard) very uncomfortable because my leg would swell inside the plaster if I stayed in a seated position for more than a few minutes at a …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2010/12/31/a-personal-note/

google opt out village

The Onion News Network reports: This is not satire……

Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2010/10/09/google-opt-out-village/

maybe I should sell

I have been exploring the InTrust Domain Names website I mentioned in the previous post. There are some absolutely astonishing prices quoted for some domains which do not immediately spring to mind as being particularly valuable. For example, the domain falldaron.com is quoted at $10000000.00. If you actually click on that domain name you are …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2010/10/09/maybe-i-should-sell/

domain sales pitch

In the past couple of days I have received some amusing email spam. I own ten different domain names, mostly in the .net TLD. The spam emails in question all offered to sell me the domain “exnic.com” on the grounds that I already own “exnic.net” (not an unreasonable sales pitch). It turns out that this …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2010/10/09/domain-sales-pitch/

professional ability

I was skimming through a series of security related sites last week when I came across an article referring to someone described as something like “A Person, M.Inst.ISP, CISM, CISSP, MBCS, CITP, BSc, Director of etc…..” and I found myself wondering what that all actually meant. Yes, I know what the letters stand for, hell …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2010/09/25/professional-ability/

very, very, slow electrons

I recently received an email from my old chum Chris Samuel. Chris emigrated to Australia several years ago, but we still correspond, if infrequently. In fact he sometimes comments here. But he is not good at email. This is what I received: On Thu, 19 Dec 2002 03:50:08 am you wrote: > Have a very …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2010/09/14/very-very-slow-electrons/

a graphical web of trust

I recently stumbled upon sig2dot, a gpg/pgp keyring graph generator. In fact this seems to have been around for some time, but I’d never come across it before. It can be used to generate a graph of all of the signature relationships in a GPG/PGP keyring, and, like other visualisation tools, this graphical image producing …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2010/09/12/a-graphical-web-of-trust/

kseniya simonova

This has absolutely nothing to do with my usual topics but I make no apology for posting this because the artistry is stunningly beautiful. I was sent a link to Kseniya Simonova’s sand art by a correspondent on a mailing list I subscribe to. Apparently the artist is telling the story of a ukrainian family …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2010/09/04/kseniya-simonova/

it’s not that I’m anti google

I’m just pro privacy. And google just happens to be one of the worst offendors when it comes to breaches of my privacy. El Reg yesterday ran an article pointing to the consumerwatchdog.org ad depicting Eric Schmidt as a “privacy pervert”. Deliciously, that ad is hosted on youtube. But consumerwatchdog have long campaigned about google’s …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2010/09/04/its-not-that-im-anti-google/

phone home

image of etherape capture

Google’s chrome browser first appeared back in 2008, since when many commentators have sung its praises. Apparently it is “blindingly fast” (well, let’s face it firefox can be a tad slow, particularly if loaded down with a swathe of plugins) “clean”, and “simple”. Until recently I had not tried chrome (for some fairly obvious reasons) …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2010/08/29/phone-home/

update to autossh – or how ServerAliveInterval makes this unnecessary

I had a couple of comments on my earlier post about autossh which suggested that I should look at alternative mechanisms for keeping my ssh tunnel up. Rob in particular suggested that setting “ServerAliveInterval” should work. Oddly I had tried this in the past whilst trying out various configuration options and I swear it didn’t …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2010/08/27/update-to-autossh-or-how-serveraliveinterval-makes-this-unnecessary/

they are taking over the entire net

Some time ago I disabled my wp-recaptcha plugin because it had the unfortunate side effect of marking all comments as spam. I don’t have a particularly high comment rate, but the ones I do get, and which get past akismet, are usually OK. Apparently a flaw in version 2.9.6 surfaced when wp-recaptcha was used in …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2010/08/02/they-are-taking-over-the-entire-net/

autossh – or how to use tor through a central ssh proxy

Since I first set up a remote tor node on a VPS about this time last year, I have played about with various configurations (and used different providers) but I have now settled on using two high bandwidth servers on different networks. One (at daily.co.uk) allows 750 Gig of traffic per month, the other (a …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2010/08/01/autossh-or-how-to-use-tor-through-a-central-ssh-proxy/

the “awesome power” of the apple brand

I have been following the unfolding tale of the faulty antenna on the new iPhone4 with some amusement. Apple’s complete inability to admit to any possibility of a mistake is hugely entertaining. Apple (or is it Jobs?) seem to be unable to contemplate the possibility of the need for a recall. Such hubris is bound …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2010/07/25/the-awesome-power-of-the-apple-brand/

there are more than 10 kinds of people in the world

A correspondent on a mailing list I subscribe to uses the .sig “There are 10 kinds of people in the world. Those who understand Vigesimal, and 9 others.” Even after checking what vigesimal was, I had to think about this for a bit because initially I thought he was wrong. If I understand correctly, I …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2010/07/04/there-are-more-than-10-kinds-of-people-in-the-world/

scroogle is having a problem

I posted a note about scroogle back in January. Scroogle offered an SSL interface to the google engine, and, moreover, didn’t lumber its users with google cookies and sundry other irritations. Since then, however, google themselves have started to offer an SSL interface and, coincidentally, scroogle seem to have started to have some problems. If …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2010/07/04/scroogle-is-having-a-problem/

this is a politics free zone

Well, I have cast my vote. Let’s hope we get the result we need.

Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2010/05/06/this-is-a-politics-free-zone/

email address images

Adding valid email addresses to web sites is almost always a bad idea these days. Automated ‘bots routinely scan web servers and harvest email addresses for sale to spammers and scammers. And in some cases, email addresses harvested from commercial web sites can be used in targetted social engineering attacks. So, posting your email address …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2010/05/03/email-address-images/

ubuntu 10.04 – minor, and some not so minor, irritations

If and when the teething problems in 10.04 are fixed and the distro looks stable enough to supplant my current preferred version, I will be faced with one or two usability issues. In this version, canonical have taken some design decisions which seem to have some of the fanbois frothing at the mouth. The most …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2010/05/02/ubuntu-10-04-minor-and-some-not-so-minor-irritations/

ubuntu 10.04 problems

UNR 10.04 desktop image

The lastest LTS version of ubuntu (10.04, or lucid lynx according to your naming preferences) was released to an eagerly waiting public on 29 April. Long term support (LTS) versions are supported for three years on the desktop and five years on the server instead of the usual 18 months for the normal releases. My …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2010/05/02/ubuntu-10-04-problems/

where are you

I have added a new widget to trivia – a map of the world from clustrmaps which gives a small graphic depicting where in the world the IP addresses associated with readers are supposedly located. Geo location of IP addresses is not a perfect art, but the map given corresponds roughly with what I expect …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2010/04/18/where-are-you/

there are 10 kinds of people in the world

With grateful thanks to xkcd.

Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2010/04/02/there-are-10-kinds-of-people-in-the-world/

webDAV in lighttpd on debian

I back up all my critical files to one of my slugs using rsync over ssh (and just because I am really cautious I back that slug up to another NAS). Most of the files I care about are the obvious photos of friends and family. I guess that most people these days will have …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2010/03/31/webdav-in-lighttpd-on-debian/

what a user agent says about you

I get lots of odd connections to my servers – particularly to my tor relay. Mostly my firewalls bin the rubbish but my web server logs still show all sorts of junk. Occasionally I get interested (or possibly bored) enough to do more than just scan the logs and I follow up the connection traces …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2010/03/30/what-a-user-agent-says-about-you/