Monthly Archives: May 2013

Drupal Exposes Millions of Users’ Data

Dear community member, We respect the privacy of your information, which is why, as a precautionary measure, we are writing to let you know about an incident that involves your personal information. The Security and Infrastructure Teams have discovered unauthorized access to account information on and Information exposed includes usernames, email addresses, and country information, as well as hashed passwords. However, we are still investigating the incident and may learn about other types of information compromised, in which case we will notify you accordingly. This unauthorized access was made via third-party software installed on the server infrastructure, and was not the result of a vulnerability within the Drupal software itself. This notice applies specifically to user account data stored on and, and not to sites running Drupal generally. We have implemented additional security measures designed to prevent the recurrence of such an attack, and to protect the privacy of our community members. The next time you attempt to log into your account, you will be required to create a new password. Below are steps you can take to further protect your personal information online. We encourage you to take preventative measures now to help prevent and detect the misuse of your information. First, we recommend as a precaution that you change or reset passwords on other sites where you may use similar passwords, even though all passwords on are stored salted and hashed. All passwords are both hashed and salted, although some … Continue reading

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Upgrade Chat to the new Hangouts experience for free

Hangouts bring conversations to life with photos, emoji, and even group video calls for free. Connect with friends across computers, Android and Apple devices. Just like John Davies in the photo below.

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Is Coinbase legal?

If you look on eBay there are no Bitcoins for sale inside the USA. And according to Wikipedia: In the US, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) established regulatory guidelines for “decentralized virtual currencies” such as Bitcoin, classifying American “Bitcoin miners” who sell their generated bitcoins as Money Service Businesses (or MSBs), that may be subject to registration and other legal obligations. So how is it that anyone can sign up for a Coinbase account and then they have the option: to link a bank account i.e. “Bank Accounts – used to buy and sell bitcoins, U.S. only right now” and purchase the bitcoin currency? Well, I posted a question in the help section of Coinbase asking: Is Coinbase legal? I read on Wikipedia that it is illegal to buy and sell bitcoins in the USA. Is that true? Then I get a response via e-mail: A public question has been updated: Link to Question The only problem is that when I click on the link it goes to the general help section – i.e. the question has been deleted. So I suppose the question of whether or not Bitcoin sales in the USA is still a grey area, and it seems Coinbase has responded by ignoring the question and/or trying to make it go away. Very odd. I checked the rest of their FAQ section and also their legal pages without seeing any comment on this.

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Google Analytics: Remove Email Report (new version)

Click Admin. Then click the profiles tab. Then click “all website data” Next click “scheduled emails” Now click delete (or modify as you see fit)

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brew install gnu-stat

The stat command on Ubuntu and OS X behave differently and I’d like to have the functionality of the GNU / Ubuntu version of stat available on OS X – if there is such a thing. I have already used homebrew to install gnu-sed and I see similarly that a lot of the GNU utilities are available from: brew install coreutils findutils gnu-tar gnu-sed gawk gnutls gnu-indent gnu-getopt I know stat on OS X might be very specialized because of the OS X file systems that may be present, but I’d ALSO like to have the linuxy version if it is available. As it turns out, it is. The GNU version of stat can be accessed on OS X by installing a package / keg called coreutils which includes the following utilities: base64 env mknod runcon touch basename expand mktemp seq tr cat expr mv sha1sum true chcon factor nice sha224sum truncate chgrp false nl sha256sum tsort chmod fmt nohup sha384sum tty chown fold nproc sha512sum uname chroot groups numfmt shred unexpand cksum head od shuf uniq comm hostid paste sleep unlink cp id pathchk sort uptime csplit install pinky split users cut join pr stat vdir date kill printenv stty wc dd link printf sum who df ln ptx sync whoami dir logname pwd tac yes dircolors ls readlink tail dirname md5sum realpath tee du mkdir rm test echo mkfifo rmdir timeout These GNU utilities are available on Mac OS X but the one caveat is that they are … Continue reading

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HM-27 Nightlight

This is the HM27 Nightlight, made made in China. It is a great, low-light, white night light. It also comes in a polished silver / chrome decorative version. The nightlight was sold at WalMart stores during the year 2011 but is no longer carried, nor is it available online. This is unfortunate because it is a very good nightlight. See below for most similar night lights. China Patent No: 200930132069.X 120VAC60Hz0.4W E307003 UL Listed NIGHTLIGHT 33Z6 A385538D9 The closets night lights I have found so far include: AmerTac 75153CC Sphere Decorative Night Light AmerTac 72052 Classic Directional Night Light, White 2/pack

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Rackspace: Exit Rescue Mode

The Rackspace documentation says on exiting rescue server mode: Once you are done troubleshooting your system, you can exit Rescue Mode by clicking the link labeled Exit Rescue Mode in the Rackspace Cloud Control Panel under your Server Details page. I couldn’t seem to find the link. The solution? Visit the list of servers. Click the server name to go to the details page. And the most important key? Wait. It may take a few seconds (~10) before the “Exist Rescue Mode” box pops up with an option to quit recovery mode and reboot into normal server operations.

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How can I recover a crashed Rackspace Cloud Server?

I’m now starting to use Rackspace after a having a lot of experience with Amazon AWS and so I’m having a hard time understanding a few things about the way Rackspace works. One of these things is “Disaster Recovery” for a Rackspace “Cloud Server’s” primary drive primary drive. There is a lot of server terminology with Rackspace so for clarification I’m talking about the ones in the Cloud Servers control panel that are in this tab: So my point of confusion is this: If I screw up something big on AWS, like the /etc/fstab file and the server won’t boot, I can use the AWS control panel to get the console log: If I need to edit things on the primary drive I can “detatch” it from the instance and attach it to another server, and then access the files on it. I searched the Rackspace knowledge base and also read the Disaster Recovery blog post which mentions three ways of doing disaster recovery with Rackspace: Take regular snapshots and restore the instance from one of those Do manual file system and database backups to have a copy of your data NOT on the primary drive Replication with Manual Failover (seems like overkill) I also saw that it is possible to boot the server into “recovery mode” but I haven’t tried it yet. The way I’m planning on running my rackspace server is attaching another drive (aka Storage Volume) and putting all the application data on that. I am also … Continue reading

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What is ming for PHP (php5-ming) ?

Reading a recent server setup guide I saw the suggestion to use apt-get install php5-ming to install Ming – as a (suggested) module that WordPress would like to have. so what is MING ? First of all: Ming is not an acronym. Ming is an open-source (LGPL) library which allows you to create SWF (“Flash”) format movies. Ming supports almost all of Flash 4’s features, including: shapes, gradients, bitmaps (pngs and jpegs), morphs (“shape tweens”), text, buttons, actions, sprites (“movie clips”), streaming mp3, and color transforms –the only thing that’s missing is sound events. Note that all values specifying length, distance, size, etc. are in “twips”, twenty units per pixel. That’s pretty much arbitrary, though, since the player scales the movie to whatever pixel size is specified in the embed/object tag, or the entire frame if not embedded. More information about ming is available in the PHP documentation

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Install Slanger on Ubuntu 12

Slanger is an open source server implementation of the Pusher protocol written in Ruby. I wanted to install it on Ubuntu 12 but hit a few snags, so here’s how I got it working. First, it seems pretty imperative that you have a good ruby version manager (rvm) tool available. On Mac OS X I use rbenv but on Ubuntu I think the best one is the one from and not the one from apt-get. So if you have installed the one from apt-get then it is probably best to remove it. Disclaimer – back up important files, blah bla blah, you should have some knowledge of linux, bla bla bla, I don’t know what you might accidentally delete while doing this. Be careful. To remove the old rvm: sudo apt-get –purge remove ruby-rvm sudo rm -rf /usr/share/ruby-rvm /etc/rvmrc /etc/profile.d/ Then logout of the shell and/or reboot and run: env | grep rvm It should be blank, but if not try and find where the settings are coming from. I changed to the /etc/ directory and ran grep -Hil rvm and found that it was in the bash.profile there so i removed the environmental variables being set there, then logged out of my shell and logged in again. Once that is removed, you need to install the new version of rvm and from the website the instructions say run this: \curl -L | bash -s stable –ruby –autolibs=enable –auto-dotfiles That worked great, I think it installed ruby … Continue reading

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