Category Archives: Tech Opinion

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 Drupal.org Security and Infrastructure Teams have discovered unauthorized access to account information on Drupal.org and groups.drupal.org. 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 Drupal.org 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 Drupal.org and groups.drupal.org, 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 Drupal.org are stored salted and hashed. All Drupal.org passwords are both hashed and salted, although some … Continue reading

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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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DSpace: No matches for the query (OAI-PMH)

After a recent upgrade to DSpace 3.1 (from 1.7 to 1.8 to 3.x) there was a problem getting the OAI-PMH working. When visting the OAI harvester’s URL there was an error: No matches for the query You can most likely use the default OAI configuration file: [dspace]/config/modules/oai.cfg You will need to run one of these commands to get your index: [dspace]/bin/dspace oai import Or if you want to clear your index out and rebuild it, i.e. erase existing records from the solr oai index (won’t delete your dspace records) then use: [dspace]/bin/dspace oai import -c I checked the /var/log/tomcat6/catalina.out when running this and saw a note that said that I had run out of disk space when doing this. That was one problem. The other problem was that I actually needed to edit my [dspace]/config/modules/oai.cfg file and update my identifier prefix and url. The value for identifier.prefix should probably yourdomain.edu without the http, and the bitstream.baseUrl should probably be http://yourdomain.edu with the http. Don’t put a trailing slash on either one. Also, unless you have a specific reason to change the other settings, leave them the same. They are internal URLs: # Storage: solr | database storage=solr # Base solr index solr.url=http://localhost:8080/solr/oai After updating the settings I restarted tomcat, then re-ran the index with the -c option as mentioned previously, and then the OAI-PMH started working again. For good measure I also deleted the files out of the requests subdirectory of my cache.dir directory (see your oai.cfg file for that … Continue reading

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windows system32 host location

Clear and simple. The path for the windows system32 host location is c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts on most systems. On linux systems it is in /etc/hosts so that part makes sense to me, but I have no idea why it is in the drivers folder. Remember if you want to edit the hosts file you may need to have “administrator access” which can be done by right clicking “Notepad” and choosing “Run As Administrator” and then opening the file with Notepad. Otherwise you might be able to view the file but you will get an erro when saving it. Make a backup before you start Other windows system32 host location Windows 95/98/Me c:\windows\hosts Win2k, Windows NT/2000/XP Pro c:\winnt\system32\drivers\etc\hosts Windows XP Home c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts

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Paypal Multiple IPN

When using GravityForms with the PayPal extension, the plugin asks you to set your IPN in paypal to: http://www.yoursite.com/?page=gf_paypal_ipn This is the settings page: The problems facing Paypal Multiple IPN are: You can only have one PayPal account because PayPal will terminate multiple accounts if you try to set them up PayPal only allows you to enter one IPN address on their website (admin) Potential Solutions are: Use the PayPal API to set the notify_url in your request Use a broadcast script to have a single IPN endpoint that will make CURL requests to all of your endpoints Ask your plugin developer to update the plugin you are using to use the notify_url instead of hard coding the IPN endpoint

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GoDaddy Chat Support

GoDaddy has wait times for phone support that could be 5 minutes to 30 minutes – sometimes even 45 minutes. A lot of times when I want support I don’t want to listen to hold music. Go Daddy does offer you the chance to press the pound button when you call in so that you can hold without music, but then once per minute you’ll get a recorded message telling you that your call is important. When I talked to their rep he asked me if I e-mailed in my support request that I was checking on, or if I had opened the ticket when chatting. I told him I didn’t realize that they offered chat support (I had looked for it on their website before) – I enjoy using chat support most times. He said he was referring to “chatting” (voice) and not the IM style chat (error in his language) and then said he wasn’t sure if they did offer chat support or not. They are so huge – hopefully they will offer it in the future because I can’t find it on their site.

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What is box.com?

I just saw an ad for box.com and visited their site and watched their video. They appear to be most similar to dropbox with some resemblance to sendbigfile / kicksend and also some functionality of Google Docs. From their homepage (without watching the video) I had a hard time understanding what they did. They have a cloud based service and a fairly simple API that you can use to connect with it. It seems interesting but I’m not sure it will gain enough support to be around in the long run. Hopefully they will – competition is good.

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Google Apps No Longer Free

On Friday, Dec 7th, 2012 at 8:53 PM I received an e-mail from Google announcing they will no longer be allowing free signups for Google Apps. Google Apps initially offered a “free tier” that allowed up to 50 users free per organization / domain. Then Google reduced that number to 10. Now there is no free tier. Here is the message from Google: Hello from Google, Here’s some important news about Google Apps—but don’t worry, there’s no need for you to take any action. We just want you to know that we’re making a change to the packages we offer. Starting today, we’re no longer accepting new sign-ups for the free version of Google Apps (the version you’re currently using). Because you’re already a customer, this change has no impact on your service, and you can continue to use Google Apps for free. Should you ever want to upgrade to Google Apps for Business, you’ll enjoy benefits such as 24/7 customer support, a 25 GB inbox, business controls, our 99.9% uptime guarantee, unlimited users and more for just $5 per user, per month. You can learn more about this change in our Help Center or on the Enterprise Blog. Thank you for using Google Apps. Clay Bavor Director, Google Apps

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AWS Control Panel Gets a CSS / Design Refresh

Amazon EC2, CloudFront, and all of the other Amazon Web Services have received a CSS / Design refresh after a few years of using the previous design. A few highlights on the new design: Dropdown Selection of all AWS Services This has been available for at least a few months. Amazon was adding so many “tabs” to the previous horizontal layout that they ran out of space. Configurable View Options Much like WordPress’s “Screen Options” Amazon has added some settings for how you view items in the toolbar: Collapsable Sidebar Amazon now gives you the option to collapse the sidebar more easily (previously you could resize it). Toggling it is a more effective way to quickly see more of the columns in the panel on the right. Quick Toggle for the Properties Panel There are now three icons in to quickly toggle sizes in the Properties Panel at the bottom There have been a few other changes to try and make the panel more “responsive” and friendlier for small screen sizes. However, I would still rather use a mobile app to manage EC2 instances on my phone.

Posted in Design, Server Admin, Tech Opinion, Web Development | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Announcing Dropbox Links – The best way to share your stuff, ever.

Dropbox just sent me an e-mail announcing they now have “Dropbox Links” – a “new feature” Dropbox has, for a long time, offered special links to big files, first in your public folder, then anywhere in your dropbox. The public file links allows you to share a link that will never expire. The other links (to non-public folders) will expire after a set period of time – and you can expire them early. From one point of view, this “news” is nothing new. There are a lot of companies now that are getting used to send files via email, like KickSend and SendBigFile – and it appears Dropbox wants a piece of the pie – that and also they are probably disappointed that not enough of their users know about this feature. Dropbox Links let you share files or folders (of any size) with anyone, even if they’re not using Dropbox Sharing files is a huge pain – you have to compress, attach, upload, and a bunch of other verbs that are a waste of your time. Forget that! We just invented the best way to get stuff from your computer to the rest of the world. Happy Dropboxing! – The Dropbox Team

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