Happy Software ProleWindows Live Local and Firefox (9.12.2005, 19:33 UTC)
Windows Live Local, with its isometric, Sim City, “bird’s eye” view, is quite nice. However, what gets me is — do MS do this deliberately? I’m referring, of course, to the way it’s broken on Firefox 1.5, requiring you to drag twice to get it scrolling around the viewport, and the jumpy, clunky UI on that browser. Pretty lame — and lazy, too. By now, it’s essential for a new fancy website to work under Firefox; even if only 20% of your users will...
Link | Author: Justin | Clicks: 0
Happy Software ProleEmail Injection attacks in PHP via mail() (8.12.2005, 19:22 UTC)
Apparently, spammers are now exploiting a hole, or holes, in multiple PHP scripts which use the mail() API. The holes are described at the SecurePHP wiki; basically, the script author inserts CGI fields directly into a message template without stripping newlines, and this allows attackers to create new headers, take over the message body, and generally take over the mail message and destinations entirely. Funnily enough, these are the same holes Ronald F. Guilmette and I found in FormMail 1.9,...
Link | Author: Justin | Clicks: 0
Happy Software ProleApacheCon US 2005 (5.12.2005, 07:09 UTC)
In a couple of weeks, I’ll be going to San Diego for ApacheCon US 2005 (including the hackathon beforehand). There’ll be quite a few other SpamAssassin committers there, too, so if you’re working with SA, or interested in getting some face time with the developers, there’s no better way of doing so. apache apachecon conferences san diego spamassassin
Link | Author: Justin | Clicks: 0
Happy Software ProleDigital Rights Ireland launch, next Tuesday (3.12.2005, 02:21 UTC)
DRI’s formal launch is next Tuesday: December 6th sees the formal launch of Digital Rights Ireland, with a press conference in the Conference Room, Pearse St. Library, Dublin 2 at 11.30am. We would like to invite to you to come along - we’d welcome your support, and the chance to chat with you about your concerns after the main conference. Please feel free to invite anyone else who you think would be interested in digital rights. To give us an idea of numbers, we’d appreciate ...
Link | Author: Justin | Clicks: 0
Happy Software Prole[thx] HAM (29.11.2005, 01:54 UTC)
flickr_IMG_7139.jpg Originally uploaded by Andy Cadaver. I was just emailing with Sarah Carey, and she correctly noted that my weblog has been tending towards the techie-incomprehensible recently. A brief look at the front page confirms this. So here’s a remedy: a photo of the delicious ham which the lovely C cooked up for Thanksgiving, last Thursday. Just look at that, mmmmm! When I get back to Ireland, I will be bringing Thanksgiving with me; a holiday based arou...
Link | Author: jm | Clicks: 0
Happy Software ProleNew SpamAssassin Rule Development Tools (23.11.2005, 23:53 UTC)
Recently, I’ve been working on new systems to develop SpamAssassin rules faster, and with a lower ‘barrier to entry’ to the core ruleset. Some highlights seem bloggable, seeing as it’s all web-based and I can link to it! The ‘preflight’ BuildBot: This uses the fantastic BuildBot continuous-integration system to monitor changes to our Subversion repository. Every time something is checked into SVN, this wakes up and immediately runs mass-checks using that ...
Link | Author: Justin | Clicks: 0
Happy Software ProleProduct idea: RAID Backup Enclosures (23.11.2005, 19:56 UTC)
Cory Doctorow at Boing Boing links to an article at TechCrunch that lists Better and Cheaper Online File Storage as a product that needs to be made. However, Ben Laurie does the sums on online storage as a useful backup medium, and found them not exactly compelling (e.g. 100GB of data will take 75 days to upload over an 128Kbps link). I tend to agree. An online host isn’t great as a backup host, since, in my experience, there are two types of backups required: The important small files...
Link | Author: Justin | Clicks: 1
Happy Software ProleWisdom Teeth — Complete! (21.11.2005, 01:15 UTC)
On Friday, I got my lower-left wisdom tooth extracted. That’s the last one that should cause any trouble; there’s only one remaining, and it’s fully out so shouldn’t act up. After a few years of on-again-off-again twinges, and lots of irresponsible putting-off of surgery, I’ve finally taken care of it. The downside: I’m totally zonked on painkillers, so I won’t be doing much for the next few days apart from what’s required for day-to-day day-job...
Link | Author: Justin | Clicks: 1
Happy Software ProleUrban Dead HUD; added Inventory Sorting (14.11.2005, 07:11 UTC)
I’ve updated the Urban Dead HUD Greasemonkey userscript; it now offers inventory sorting, inspired by Ikko’s userscript (albeit a little different in implementation). Here’s a screenshot: Right now, UD is reasonably interesting — our team of plucky survivors have been helping out with the defence of Caiger Mall, a major mall towards the north-west of the city. We’ve repulsed the Church of the Resurrection’s attempts to wipe us out, but that seems to have...
Link | Author: Justin | Clicks: 0
Happy Software ProleMobile phone repair at Karol Bagh Market (11.11.2005, 02:26 UTC)
I love these pictures: I link-blogged that article ages ago, but I keep thinking of it, so it’s worth a proper post in its own right, to expand on that. These guys work at an Indian mobile phone repair stall in Karol Bagh Market, in Delhi. The blog entry notes: As in China, many of the mobile phone shops and street kiosks offer mobile phone repair service. Many of these guys can strip and rebuild a mobile phone in minutes. … a lot of the hyperbole surrounding western ha...
Link | Author: Justin | Clicks: 2
Happy Software ProleIFSO Seminar In Dublin (4.11.2005, 05:22 UTC)
Passing this on for readers in Ireland — this sounds like an interesting event. From the FSFE-IE mailing list: On the morning of Friday November 18th, IFSO is organising an event hosted by MEP Proinsias De Rossa about preventing software patents in the EU. Topics covered will be: An analysis of the software patent directive; a discussion of Free Software and computer security; an introduction to IFSO/FSFE and their work; the future of legislative obstacles to the development and distri...
Link | Author: Justin | Clicks: 1
Happy Software ProleProducing Open Source Software (2.11.2005, 06:10 UTC)
Plug: Producing Open Source Software, a new book by Karl Fogel (of the Subversion and CVS projects), readable online as HTML or in ground-up wood formats. It’s got a whole load of solid-gold good advice on open-source development best practices, and even includes a section on dealing with the dreaded Reply-To munging issue. Looks excellent — this is definitely one to read. best practices books karl fogel open source projects via:nat
Link | Author: Justin | Clicks: 0
Happy Software ProleUrban Dead HUD (29.10.2005, 21:44 UTC)
I’ve been playing a bit of Urban Dead recently. Urban Dead is a very low-key, web-based MMORPG — you play a 3-minute turn once every 24 hours. It needs some rebalancing and some new features, especially given the organised nature of some of the bigger marauding zombie hordes, but I’m still finding it fun. To scratch a couple of itches, I’ve written a Greasemonkey user script for UD called the Urban Dead HUD. It adds several nifty features to the user interface: keybo...
Link | Author: Justin | Clicks: 0
Happy Software ProletrueColor() bug in GD::Graph (28.10.2005, 20:06 UTC)
Hacking on a new rule-QA subsystem for SpamAssassin, I came across this bug in GD::Graph. If: you are drawing a graph using GD::Graph; outputting in PNG or GIF format; and the ‘box’ area — the margins outside the graph — keeps coming up as black, instead of white as you’ve specified; check your code for calls to GD::Image->trueColor(1);, or the third argument to the GD::Image->new() constructor being 1. It appears that there’s a bug in the current...
Link | Author: Justin | Clicks: 0
Happy Software ProleFalse Positive ‘Reports’ != FP Measurement (26.10.2005, 22:31 UTC)
John Graham-Cumming writes an excellent monthly newsletter on anti-spam, concentrating on technical aspects of detecting and filtering spam. Me, I have a habit of sending follow-up emails in response ;) This month, it was this comment, from a techie at another software company making anti-spam products: When I look at the stats produced on our spam traps, which get millions of messages per day from 11 countries all over the world, I see our spam catch rate being consistently over 98% a...
Link | Author: Justin | Clicks: 0
Happy Software ProleWired on the Motorola ROKR iTunes phone (26.10.2005, 17:44 UTC)
Via Cory at Boing Boing, here’s a great Wired post-mortem on how all the corporate vested interests (including Apple!) turned a nice concept for a new, music-playing mobile phone, into a useless, DRM-hogtied, designed-by-committee turd. That’s worth a read, in itself. However, what really blew my mind was this: Anssi Vanjoki, executive vice president of Nokia and head of its multimedia group, has bad news for the [music] labels. … He pushes a couple of buttons on the...
Link | Author: Justin | Clicks: 0
Happy Software ProleOuch! (25.10.2005, 23:08 UTC)
my new ipod.jpg Originally uploaded by jmason. Yep, they really are that easy to scratch, it seems.
Link | Author: jm | Clicks: 0
Happy Software ProleUK ATM fraud in the 1990s (24.10.2005, 20:24 UTC)
The Register: How ATM fraud nearly brought down British banking. This story is mind-boggling; it claims that UK ATM security had two major issues that have been kept secret since the 1990s: An insecure data format used for the data on the magnetic stripes in one bank’s cards; Another bank’s computing department “going rogue”, “cracking PINs and taking money from customers’ accounts with abandon” as the story puts it. Yikes. The latter problem is scar...
Link | Author: Justin | Clicks: 0
Happy Software ProleAvian Flu, Health vs. IP Protection (22.10.2005, 19:02 UTC)
Over at O’Reilly Radar, a question came up as to whether Roche’s patent on Tamiflu should be respected if, in the event of a pandemic, people were dying on a large scale due to an inability for Roche to produce Tamiflu in sufficient quantities. James Love of cptech.org recently pointed out that the WTO made an exception for a situation like this, allowing importation of medicines from foreign countries in violation of local patent licenses in the case of an emergency, in a 30 August...
Link | Author: Justin | Clicks: 0
Happy Software Prole‘Internet Stamps’: ‘Sender Pays’ Is Back From The Dead (22.10.2005, 04:22 UTC)
Jeremy Zawodny mentions that Tim Bray has proposed something he calls ‘Internet Stamps’ to solve the blog-spam problem; here’s Tim’s description of how it works: An Internet Stamp is an assertion, signed by a Post Office, that some chunk of text was issued by someone who paid for the stamp. At least one major Post Office will be required by government statute to sell stamps to anyone in the world for either US$0.01 or EUR 0.01, and no stamp-selling organization ...
Link | Author: Justin | Clicks: 0
Happy Software Prole‘I Go Chop Your Dollar’, the video (21.10.2005, 20:15 UTC)
Wow! videos.antville.org (via robotwisdom) came through with the goods. Go check out the video for Nkem Owoh (aka Osuofia) singing “I Go Chop Your Dollar”, which turns out to be pretty catchy! Here’s the lyrics so all us oyinbos can sing along: I don suffer no be small Upon say I get sense Poverty no good at all, no Na im make I join this business 419 no be thief, its just a game Everybody dey play am if anybody fall mugu, ha! my brother I go chop am Chor...
Link | Author: Justin | Clicks: 0
Happy Software Prole‘I Will Eat Your Dollars’ (21.10.2005, 18:52 UTC)
An excellent, eye-opening interview with Samuel, an ex-419 scammer. There’s even a theme tune: Their anthem, “I Go Chop Your Dollars,” hugely popular in Lagos, hit the airwaves a few months ago as a CD penned by an artist called Osofia: “419 is just a game, you are the losers, we are the winners. White people are greedy, I can say they are greedy White men, I will eat your dollars, will take your money and disappear. 419 is just a game, we are the master...
Link | Author: Justin | Clicks: 0
Happy Software Prole‘Life Hacking’ and Metacity (17.10.2005, 20:07 UTC)
The NY Times story on “life hacking” is a pretty good one, and an excellent intro for anyone who hasn’t been religiously reading the changing transcripts of Danny O’Brien’s talk and so on. This line: Mann has embarked on a 12-step-like triage: he canceled his Netflix account, trimmed his instant-messaging “buddy list” so only close friends can contact him and set his e-mail program to bother him only once an hour. Reminded me of something I ra...
Link | Author: jm | Clicks: 0
Happy Software ProleThe Adelphi Charter (17.10.2005, 17:30 UTC)
I’ve just finished Sir John Sulston’s inspiring book about the Human Genome Project, The Common Thread, in which he discusses how he found himself on one front line of the battle between intellectual ‘property’ maximalism attempting to grab ‘property rights’ over the human genome, and the common good, preserving such rights for all humanity and unfettered research. (Thankfully, he — and therefore the latter side — won.) I’ve been meaning to...
Link | Author: jm | Clicks: 0
Happy Software ProleI Agree With Goopy (12.10.2005, 20:46 UTC)
shiny do-dad Originally uploaded by goopymart.
Link | Author: jm | Clicks: 0
Happy Software ProleDaniel Cuthbert’s Travesty of Justice (12.10.2005, 19:58 UTC)
The Samizdata weblog posts more details about the Daniel Cuthbert case, where a UK techie was arrested for allegedly attempting to hack a tsunami-donation site. Here’s what happened: Daniel Cuthbert saw the devastating images of the Tsunami disaster and decided to donate UKP30 via the website that was hastily set up to be able to process payments. He is a computer security consultant, regarded in his field as an expert and respected by colleagues and employers alike. He entered ...
Link | Author: Justin | Clicks: 0
Happy Software ProleHarpers: The Uses of Disaster (12.10.2005, 04:00 UTC)
In this month’s Harpers — The Uses of Disaster contains a passages that rings bells, post-Katrina: You can see the grounds for that anxiety in the aftermath of the 1985 Mexico City earthquake, which was the beginning of the end for the one-party rule of the PRI over Mexico. The earthquake, measuring 8.0 on the Richter scale, hit Mexico City early on the morning of September 19 and devastated the central city, the symbolic heart of the nation. An aftershock nearly as large...
Link | Author: Justin | Clicks: 0
Happy Software ProlePhoto Update (12.10.2005, 04:00 UTC)
Photoblog! We recently ticked off another of California’s national parks with a trip to Joshua Tree, and saw this: Scary desert people. Also, I got to be in a fractal: Beardy progress continues, as you can see! In other pics, Catherine cooked me an amazing birthday cake: Also: I ate the most sacrilicious food ever — mochi that tastes like green-tea-filled Eucharist wafer! Ah, the blessed sacrament of the (green tea) body and (red bean) blood. The textural resemblance ...
Link | Author: Justin | Clicks: 0
Happy Software ProleBruce Sterling on J. G. Ballard (28.9.2005, 21:13 UTC)
Ballardian.com just posted an interview with Bruce Sterling about J.G. Ballard by Chris Nakashima-Brown. One of my favourite authors talks about the other — it’s amazing! A couple of highlights: … The assumptions behind The Crystal World were so radically different and ontologically disturbing compared to common pulp-derived SF. If you just look at the mechanisms of the suspension of disbelief in The Crystal World, it’s like, okay, time is vibrating on itself and t...
Link | Author: Justin | Clicks: 0
Happy Software ProleKitty vs. International RFID Standardisation (27.9.2005, 02:29 UTC)
So, I’ve just bought myself an RFID implant reader. However, don’t jump to conclusions — it’s not that I’m hoping that possession will put me on the right side of the New World Order 21st-century pervasive-RFID-tracking security infrastructure or anything — it’s for my cat. Here’s why… Many years ago, back in Ireland, we had an RFID chip implanted in our cat, as you do. Then 3 years ago, we entered the US, bringing the cat with us, and ...
Link | Author: Justin | Clicks: 0
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