Mick

Author's posts

more in the “you couldn’t make it up” dept

The UK Parliamentary petitions site is currently hosting what appears to be one of the most popular it has ever listed. The petition seeks to gain support for revocation of article 50 so that the UK can remain in the EU. Personal politics aside (though in the interests of transparency I should say that I …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2019/03/21/more-in-the-you-couldnt-make-it-up-dept/

postfix sender restrictions – job NOT done

OK, I admit to being dumb. I got another scam email yesterday of the same formulation as the earlier ones (mail From: me@mydomain, To: me@mydomain) attempting to extort bitcoin from me. How? What had I missed this time? Well, this was slightly different. Checking the mail headers (and my logs) showed that the email had …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2019/02/16/postfix-sender-restrictions-job-not-done/

postfix sender restrictions

I mentioned in my previous post that I had recently received one of those scam emails designed to make the recipient think that their account has been compromised in some way and that, furthermore, that compromise has led to malware being installed which has spied on the user’s supposed porn habits. The email then attempts …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2019/01/24/postfix-sender-restrictions/

congratulations to BT

I have been running my own mail server now for well over a decade. Whilst the actual physical hardware (or actually VPS system) may have changed once or twice during that time, the underlying software (postfix and dovecot on debian) has not really changed all that much. However, what has changed over the last decade …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2019/01/23/congratulations-to-bt/

always keep the address

I normally post a “happy birthday trivia” message at this time of year. Indeed I have been doing this for 12 years now. Of late my posting has become less frequent which is somewhat odd since I now have much more free time than I had back when I started trivia. But no matter – …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2018/12/24/always-keep-the-address/

wordpress 5.0 editor error

When I posted yesterday I noticed that there was a new version (5.0) of wordpress available for installation. So I decided to spend a short while today upgrading as I always do when a new software version is released. But I hit a snag – a big one. The new version of wordpress includes a …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2018/12/12/wordpress-5-0-editor-error/

well I never

It’s not often that I find myself agreeing with GCHQ, but ex GCHQ Director Robert Hannigan’s recent comments in an interview with the BBC Today programme struck a chord. Hannigan headed GCHQ from April 2014 until his resignation for family reasons last year. Whilst in post he pushed for greater transparency at the SIGINT agency. …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2018/12/11/well-i-never/

re-encrypting trivia

Back in June 2015 I decided to force all connections to trivia over TLS rather than allow plain unencrypted connections. I decided to do this for the obvious reason that it was (and still is) a “good thing” (TM). In my view, all transactions over the ‘net should be encrypted, preferably using strong cyphers offering …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2018/07/07/re-encrypting-trivia/

database failure

askmid contact info

In 1909, Franz Kafka wrote the “Inclusion of Private Automobile Firms in the Compulsory Insurance Program” as part of “The Office Writings”. His experience of tortuous bureaucracy in Insurance and elsewhere was later reflected in one of his most famous novels “Der Process” (known in English translation as “The Trial”). Back in October last year …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2018/02/18/database-failure/

Merry Christmas 2017

I’m a couple of days late this year. I normally post on Christmas Eve, trivia’s birthday, but hey, I’ve been busy (it goes with the territory at this time of year if you are a grandparent). This year I thought I would depart from my usual topic(s) and post a couple of pictures marking the …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2017/12/26/merry-christmas-2017/

multilingual chat

XKCD cartoon about multiple chat systems

I use email fairly extensively for my public communication but I use XMPP (with suitable end-to-end encryption) for my private, personal communication. And I use my own XMPP server to facilitate this. But as I have mentioned in previous posts my family and many of my friends insist on using proprietary variants of this open …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2017/10/14/multilingual-chat/

geeks rule

Well, sliderule, actually. The ‘net is a truly wondrous space. I can’t recall exactly how I stumbled across the “International Sliderule Museum” but it is such a wonderful resource devoted to a tool which most people under the age of 40 will never have used that I just had to post a link to it. …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2017/09/30/geeks-rule/

a letter to our dear home secretary

Dear Amber So,”real people” don’t care about privacy? All they really want is ease of use and a pretty GUI so that they can chat to all their friends on-line? Only “the enemy” (who is that exactly anyway?) needs encryption? Excuse me for asking, but what have you been smoking? Does the Home Office know …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2017/08/02/a-letter-to-our-dear-home-secretary/

it is now

Back in January 2011, I posted a brief note about a site hosted at the domain “ismycomputeroff.com“. I have just had occasion to look again at that site and found that the domain is now definitely off. It is parked at sedo and is up for sale at the ludicrous price of 599 euros. Tell …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2017/06/06/it-is-now/

monday in manchester

At around 22.30 last Monday, Manchester was subjected to an horrific attack at a pop concert. As the world now knows, a suicide bomber deliberately targeted young people and their friends and families as they were leaving a concert by the young pop singer Ariana Grande. In that attack, 22 people, including children as young …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2017/05/25/monday-in-manchester/

using a VPN to take back your privacy

network diagram

With the passage into law of the iniquitous Investigatory Powers (IP) Bill in the UK at the end of November last year, it is way past time for all those who care about civil liberties in this country to exercise their right to privacy. The new IP Act permits HMG and its various agencies to …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2017/05/12/using-a-vpn-to-take-back-your-privacy/