2012 archive

another anniversary

This time last year I noted that christmas eve was trivia’s birthday. Guess what, it’s that time of year again, and what am I again doing? Merry Christmas to all^h^h^h both my readers. Mick

Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2012/12/24/another-anniversary/

no sites are broken

Or so the wordpress post at wordpress.org would have us believe. However, I think there is flaw in both their logic, and their decision making here. I spotted the problem following an upgrade to wordpress 3.5 on a site I use. One of the plugins on that site objected to the upgrade with the following …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2012/12/19/no-sites-are-broken/

password theft

I have mentioned odd postings to bugtraq before. Today, one “gsuberland” added to the canon with a gem about the Netgear WGR614 wireless router. He says in his post that he has been “reverse engineering” this router. Now for most bugtraq posters (and readers) this would mean that he has been disassembling the firmware. But …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2012/12/14/password-theft/


Steve Bell’s If… cartoon in yesterday’s Guardian was wonderful, and wonderfully opportune in its timing given my letter to Jeff Bezos. I wanted to include a copy here so I emailed Steve this morning asking for permission. Astonishingly he replied, saying yes, only minutes after I had sent my request (clearly he wasn’t very busy…..) …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2012/12/12/horse-terity/

moonlighting in parliament

Yesterday I followed a link from Duncan Campbell’s Reg article on the joint parliamentary committee’s scrutiny of the Communications Data Bill referred to in my post below. That link took me to the UK Parliamentary website which I confess I haven’t visited in a while. I was initially irritated that the video format used on …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2012/12/11/moonlighting-in-parliament/

tor and the UK data communications bill

As a Tor node operator, I have an interest in how the draft UK Data Communications Bill would affect me should it be passed into law. In particular, I would be worried if Tor ended up being treated as a “telecommunications operator” within the terms of the Act (should it become an Act). Fortunately, Steven …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2012/12/10/tor-and-the-uk-data-communications-bill/

an open letter to Jeff Bezos

Dear Jeff You don’t know me(*), but I used to be a customer of yours. I say “used to be” because I am no more, nor shall I be again. I have today closed my Amazon account (and I must say that you do not make that process very easy). You may be aware that …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2012/12/07/an-open-letter-to-jeff-bezos/

why I read el reg

The Register today carries a story about the discovery of a truly massive black hole named “SDSS J1106+1939” at the center of a dying galaxy. That black hole is reported to be emitting energy “equivalent to two trillion times the power output of the sun.” The story itself is classic Reg material and is covered …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2012/11/29/why-i-read-el-reg/

what gives with dban?

Recently I have been faced with the need to wipe a bunch of hard disks removed from some old (indeed, in one or two cases, very old) PCs before disposal. Normally I would have used DBAN to do this because it gives me a nice warm feeling that I have taken all reasonable steps and …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2012/11/27/what-gives-with-dban/

why mysql crashed

Update to previous post According to bytemark, a bug in the bigV system caused some disk corruptions for a small number of customers. It seems that I was just one of the unlucky ones. I am assured that all is now well.

Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2012/11/22/why-mysql-crashed/

forcing innodb recovery in mysql

Today I had a nasty looking problem with my mysql installation. At first I thought I might have to drop one or more databases and re-install. Fortunately, I didn’t actually have to do that in the end. I first noticed a problem at around 15.45 today when I couldn’t collect my mail. My mail system …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2012/11/16/forcing-innodb-recovery-in-mysql/

using openvpn to bypass NAT firewalls

OpenVPN is a free, open source, general purpose VPN tool which allows users to build secure tunnels through insecure networks such as the internet. It is the ideal solution to a wide range of secure tunnelling requirements, but it is not always immediately obvious how it should be deployed in some circumstances. Recently, a correspondent …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2012/10/27/using-openvpn-to-bypass-nat-firewalls/

book theft

Back in August 2011. I wrote about my preference for real books over the emerging electronic version. In that post I noted that Amazon had famously deleted copies of Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm purchased by some customers. It now appears that Amazon has gone even further and deleted the entire contents of a Norwegian …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2012/10/23/book-theft/

grep -R doesn’t search amazon

Towards the end of last month, following the release of the unity lens in ubuntu which searches amazon, “akeane” posted a bug report on launchpad complaining that “grep -R doesn’t automatically search amazon”. In his first posting he said: Dear “root owning” overlords, When using grep recursively I only get local results: grep -R fish_t …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2012/10/20/grep-r-doesnt-search-amazon/

ubuntu is free and it always will be

But we may ask you for a contribution. Canonical have made another move in what is beginning to look ever more like a monetary commercialisation of ubuntu. On 9 October 2012, they added a new page to the “download” section titled “Tell us what we should do more……and put your money where your mouth is …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2012/10/14/ubuntu-is-free-and-it-always-will-be/

password lunacy

One of my fixed term savings accounts matured at the end of last week. This means that the paltry “bonus” interest rate which made the account ever so slightly more attractive than the pathetic rates generally available 12 months ago now disappears and I am left facing a rate so far below inflation that I …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2012/10/13/password-lunacy/