I know the title of this post might seem a little premature but it’s going to take something amazing to beat Skys skateboarding advert. The last couple of times I’ve been to the cinema I’ve seen an advert for Sky that features some stunning skateboarding by Danny Way, the adverts footage was taken from a documentary on him, with Regina Spektor - US providing the music. Mute the skateboarding clip, hide the US window and watch along, it’s very cool. Read on →

Watch it be done in under five minutes in the MS SQL Preauth Attack, Pwdump and John the Ripper video. Surprising? No. Fun to watch? Yes! Every now and again it’s nice to be reminded our systems are not as secure as we’d like to think.

Here’s a link shot to some of the events I want to try and get to over the next two months, they’ve mostly not been very well advertised: Steve Coast on Geospatial Open Source Activity - hosted by the BCS on September 9th. I’ve not kept up with Steves bundle of projects (OpenStreetmap and OpenPostcodes among a scary number of others) so I want to get along and see what he’s been up to. Read on →

Guy Kawasaki has a link to the Startup Success 2006 Recording on his blog. From the good humoured and funny snipes at LinkedIns Reid Hoffman to some great tidbits of information (“Expensable not approvable” and “Convince the fewest number of people possible to buy it”) from Joe Kraus it’s well worth watching, even at over an hour long. I was also impressed with Guy in his role as moderator, I’ve been to a lot of conferences over the years and he’s one of the smoothest moderators I’ve seen. Read on →

A book about a debugging program is never going to be that exciting. At best it’ll be both comprehensive and concise, two things that don’t have to be mutually exclusive, at worst it’ll be a dull rehash of the perldoc. Which type is this one? The Perl Debugger Pocket Reference (PDRB) starts with some basic practises to help you avoid debugging (the usual use strict and use warnings) before walking through two very basic debugger sessions and then on to the bulk of the book, the command reference. Read on →

I’ve just uploaded the initial release of WWW::Shorten::Smallr to CPAN and it should be making its way through the mirrors right about now. The module itself is simple, it shrinks the given URL using the http://smallr.com/ web site. I wrote this for two reasons, firstly smallr is the official link shortener of one of the mailing lists I frequent and I wanted it available from the Vim Shortener I wrote. Secondly I wanted to have another play around with Module::Build. Read on →

A machine should run a defined set of ports, if any of them are not listening you’ve got a problem. If any others are open then you’ve potentially got an even bigger problem. The Check Open Ports Nagios Check accepts a list of IPv4 TCP and UDP ports and reports if any of the expected ones go away or any others are detected as listening. This also partially scratches one of my own itches, I’ve had a couple of daemons (MySQL in particular) start after a package upgrade without my knowing it. Read on →

One of the small developer blogs I host has a number of people linking to, and complaining about, the bugs present in different Free Software projects. After watching one of them open a text file, dig through the links, pull out the wrong one and eventually get the right URL I decided to write a small Blosxom plugin to make the process easier. The Bugzilla Tag Blosxom plugin lets you define shortcuts to a number of Bugzilla servers, and a default one, which you can then link to using the following syntax in your blosxom posts: <bug "redhat">117894</bug> <bug "mozilla">84752</bug> And the links look like this: 117894 84752 For full details have a look at the Bugzilla Tag Blosxom plugin source.

I’ve recently needed a way to see, via the Nagios web front end, which Debian machines need their packages updating. So I wrote the check_debian_updates.sh Nagios plugin. This is the initial release (which hasn’t been hit too hard yet) so be careful about deploying it anywhere but your testing environment for now. I’ve played with it in my small test environment and it seems to work so feel free to have a look at it. Read on →

Over at use.perl.org Ovid recently posted How to tell if Perl is installed on your computer , an entry that points to a shell script that must die. Go and read the script in the post, I’ll wait. Note: this isn’t his code and he’s blame free, he just found it and started waving it like a red flag so the anal shell scripters among us have something to moan about :) Firstly why use ksh? Read on →