So I recently announced my intention to rejoin the Debian project, having been a member between 2002 & 2011 (inclusive).
In the past I resigned mostly due to lack of time, and what has changed is that these days I have more free time - primarily because my wife works in accident & emergency and has "funny shifts". This means we spend many days and evenings together, then she might work 8pm-8am for three nights in a row, which then becomes Steve-time, and can involve lots of time browsing reddit, coding obsessively, and watching bad TV (currently watching "Lost Girl". Shades of Buffy/Blood Ties/similar. Not bad, but not great.)
My NM-progress can be tracked here, and once accepted I have a plan for my activities:
I believe this will be useful, even though there will be limits - I've no patience for PHP and will just ignore it, along with its ecosystem, for example.
As progress today I reported #754899 / CVE-2014-4978 against Rawstudio, and discussed some issues with ITP: tiptop (the program seems semi-expected to be installed setuid(0), but if it is then it will allow arbitrary files to be truncated/overwritten via "tiptop -W /path/to/file"
And now sleep.
Docker is the new best thing ever.
The technology behind it is pretty cool. It works very well and it's incredibly easy to just make things work.
But that's not the best bit!
My favourite thing about Docker is that it's simple to explain to semi-technical folks and better yet, it's easy to get people enthusiastic about it.
As I've previously mentioned, simplicity is something I aspire to in all things and the fact that "post-technical" [cheers Goran ;)] types get excited about how Docker can be used to break your services down into small components that you thread together makes my life that much easier when I'm trying to "sell" the benefits of doing so.
I have failed at sentence construction. Maybe I need to dockerise [eww] that.
So I've recently posted a few links on Twitter, and I see followers clicking them. But also I see random hits.
Within two minutes I had 15 visitors the first few of which were:IP User-Agent Request 126.96.36.199Twitterbot/1.0;GET /robots.txt 188.8.131.52Twitterbot/1.0;GET /robots.txt 184.108.40.206python-requests/1.2.3 CPython/2.7.2+ Linux/3.0.0-16-virtualHEAD / 220.127.116.11Mozilla/5.0 ();GET / 18.104.22.168Google-HTTP-Java-Client/1.17.0-rc (gzip)HEAD / 22.214.171.124Google-HTTP-Java-Client/1.17.0-rc (gzip)HEAD / 126.96.36.199Twitterbot/1.0;GET /robots.txt 188.8.131.52Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; TweetmemeBot/3.0; +http://tweetmeme.com/)GET / 184.108.40.206MetaURI API/2.0 +metauri.comGET / 220.127.116.11Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Yahoo! Slurp; http://help.yahoo.com/help/us/ysearch/slurp);GET /robots.txt
So what jumps out? The twitterbot makes several requests for /robots.txt, but never actually fetches the page itself which is interesting because there is indeed a prohibition in the supplied /robots.txt file.
A surprise was that both Google and Yahoo seem to follow Twitter links in almost real-time. Though the Yahoo site parsed and honoured /robots.txt the Google spider seemed to only make HEAD requests - and never actually look for the content or the robots file.
In addition to this a bunch of hosts from the Amazon EC2 space made requests, which was perhaps not a surprise. Some automated processing, and classification, no doubt.
Anyway beer. It's been a rough weekend.
Last year I removed all my music from Google Play Music and created my own subSonic server. I really like subSonic but don't use it a huge amount, mostly for syncing some music to my phone prior to going on holiday or business. Therefore, I've made a single one time donation to the project rather than the ongoing monthly usage fee.Installing subSonic on Debian
This is how I install subSonic on Debian Wheezy.Install Tomcat. sudo apt-get install tomcat7 Install subSonic. apt-get install ffmpeg sudo mkdir /var/subsonic sudo chown tomcat7: /var/subsonic sudo wget -c https://github.com/KHresearch/subsonic/releases/download/v4.9-kang/subsonic.war sudo cp subsonic.war /var/lib/tomcat7/webapps
Restart Tomcat.sudo service tomcat7 restart
Login to subSonic by visiting http://server.example.org:8080/subsonic and login with the credentials admin and admin. Make sure you change the password straight away.
Right, that is it. You can stop here and start filling subSonic with your music.subSonic clients
So recently I got into trouble running Redis on a host, because the data no-longer fits into RAM.
As an interim measure I fixed this by bumping the RAM allocated to the guest, but a real solution was needed. I figure there are three real alternatives:
Looking around I found a couple of Redis-alternatives, but I was curious to see how hard it would be to hack something useful myself, as a creative solution.
This evening I spotted Protocol::Redis, which is a perl module for decoding/encoding data to/from a Redis server.
It's a limited implementation which stores data in an SQLite database, and currently has support for:
It isn't hugely fast, but it is fast enough, and it should be possible to use alternative backends in the future.
I suspect I'll not add sets/hashes, but it could be done if somebody was keen.
Is it annoying or not that everyone says SSL Certs and SSL when they really mean TLS?
Does anyone actually mean SSL? Have there been any accidents through people confusing the two?
So its been a few years since I’ve posted, because its been so much hard work, and we’ve been pushing really hard on some projects which I just can’t talk about – annoyingly. Anyways, March 20th , 2011 I talked about Continual Integration and Continual Deployment and the Cloud and discussed two main methods – having what we now call ‘Gold Standards’ vs continually updating.
The interesting thing is that as we’ve grown as a company, and as we’ve become more ‘Enterprise’, we’ve brought in more systems administrators and begun to really separate the deployments from the development. The other thing is we have separated our services out into multiple vertical strands, which have different roles. This means we have slightly different processes for Banking or Payment based modules then we do from marketing modules. We’re able to segregate operational and content from personally identifiable information – PII having much higher regulation on who can (and auditing of who does) access.
Several other key things had to change: for instance, things like SSL keys of the servers shouldn’t be kept in the development repo. Now, of course not, I hear you yell, but its a very blurry line. For instance, should the Django configuration be kept in the repo? Well, yes, because that defines the modules and things like URLs. Should the nginx config be kept in the repo? Well, oh. if you keep *that* in then you would keep your SSL certs in…
So the answer becomes having lots of repo’s. One repo per application (django wise), and one repo per deployment containing configurations. And then you start looking at build tools to bring, for a particular server or cluster of servers up and running.
The process (for our more secure, audited services) is looking like a tool to bring an AMI up, get everything installed and configured, and then take a snapshot, and then a second tool that takes that AMI (and all the others needed) and builds the VPC inside of AWS. Its a step away from the continual deployment strategy, but it is mostly automated.
The cliché is that lotteries are a tax on the mathematically illiterate.
It's easy to have some sympathy for this position. Did you know trying to get rich by playing the lottery is like trying to commit suicide by flying on commercial airlines? These comparisons are superficially amusing but to look at lotteries in this rational way has seems to be in-itself irrational, ignoring the real motivations of the participants.
Even defined as a tax they are problematic – far from being progressive or redistributive, it has always seemed suspect when lottery money is spent proudly on high-brow projects such as concert hall restorations and theatre lighting rigs when—with no risk of exaggeration—there is zero overlap between the people who would benefit from the project and who funded it.
But no, what rankles me more about our lotteries isn't the unsound economics of buying a ticket or even that it's a state-run monopoly, but rather the faux philanthropic way it manages to evade all criticism by talking about the "good causes" it is helping.
Has our discourse become so relative and non-judgemental that when we are told that the lottery does some good, however slight, we are willing to forgive all of the bad? Isn't there something fundamentally dishonest about disguising the avarice, cupidity, escapism and being part of some shared cultural event—that are surely the only incentives to play this game—with some shallow feel-good fluff about good causes? And where are the people doing real good in communities complaining about this corrupting lucre, or are they just happy to take the money and don't want to ask too many awkward questions..?
"Vices are not crimes" claims Lysander Spooner, and I would not want to legislate that citizens cannot make dubious investments in any market, let alone a "lottery market", but we should at least be able to agree that this nasty regressive tax should enjoy no protection nor special privileges from the state, and it should be incapable of getting away with deflecting criticism with a bunch of photogenic children from an inner-city estate clutching a dozen branded footballs.