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Journal: CloudFlare Anti-DDoS is Hijacking Browsers 1

Journal by Khyber

While trying to debug a site today (thanks to CloudFlare's Anti-DDoS blocking my customers from using anonymous/private mode browsing,) I discovered that CloudFlare's anti-DDoS measures will actively kill any instance of Firebug running in your browser. As a web developer, I find this pretty annoying. As a site administrator, I find their lack of respect for my customer's privacy appalling. But what I find even worse, is that CloudFlare is actively modifying my computer programs and how they operate, without any expressed permission or knowledge. Is this by any chance a potential CFAA violation?

User Journal

Journal: Verbiage/Rant: Customized email addresses problems (4)

Journal by Chacham

I like to customize my email addresses. (parts 2 and 3 are not as relevant here.) The problem is, not all websites accept this format. Somehow the extra period throws them for a loop and either i get no response from them or they reject it from the outset.

So, like Froman's comment i started using + which is supported in GMail.

That all worked great for a while. Recently, however, many websites are rejecting the plus sign! Worse, some sites that used to accept it, no longer do. For example, Barnes and Noble used to accept it as my login email contains a plus sign. No more. I had to create a new account to login. Part of their stupidity is putting sign-in and create account on the same form, so the validation routines validates email addresses that are already registered. But, wait, don't buy yet. We'll throw in a free stupidity. Free nookbooks now require you to have a credit card listed. Really?!

It's as if some moron wrote code with checking the RFC and somehow that code became standard. The beauty of this is that whereas emails to sub-domains are now supported, plus signs are not. Flippity flop. Luckily, i can do both.

User Journal

Journal: Slimy 1

Journal by stoolpigeon

Having to carefully unselect crap I don't want installed on every Java update? Slimy
Rechecking the "stay logged in" button on facebook for me? Slimy
There's so much slimy stuff. Found a new one today. That Win 7 VM I mentioned, it wanted me to upgrade IE. Which I want to do - no problem. As I'm about to hit the Download button I see a small line further down "Download non-enhanced version." My gut tells me I don't want enhanced - do a quick google and I'm right. Non-enhanced means just the browser. Enhanced means that I'm selecting bing and some MSN junk. It used to be a check box and you had to unclick it. Apparently too many people did.

User Journal

Journal: Storage is Cheap but Come On Windows 1

Journal by stoolpigeon

EDIT: I cleaned up restore points and that got the space used down to 27.4 GB - still crazy.
 
I have a Fedora 20 vm that I run in VirtualBox on my Mac. It gives me access to some tools I like, and it lets me run a web server that's closer to what a production environment would look like.
 
Yesterday I got around to setting up another VM. This one is Windows 7. I started the same as I did the Fedora image, with a 25 GB hard drive. That was fine for the windows install but I thought I'd check out the new community edition of Visual Studio. When I went to install it, it told me I didn't have enough free disk space. So I made the "hard drive" bigger - I bumped it up to 30 GB. The install worked then, but I have under 600 MB of free space on the drive. I have only installed Chrome and VS. That's it. WIndows 7, Chrome and VS are 30 GB. I've installed a bunch of stuff on my Fedora VM - Apache, MySQL, KDevelop, QT and the QT tools and so on. Lots of stuff and it is sitting at 18 GB right now.
 
Fortunately it's easy to give the Windows VM more space - it just surprised me I'd need so much.

User Journal

Journal: Things I Can't Avoid Knowing 5

Journal by stoolpigeon

I spend a decent amount of time at Reddit. The key is finding good subreddits. I usually hop on Facebook a time or two a day as well. As an expat it is a good way to connect back to home.
 
Anyway what's interesting to me is that sometimes things happen and those sites just go kerbonkers. Like, for example, if it rains in Phoenix my facebook feed will be absolutely full of it and I'll see it about a million times.
 
With reddit it is more noticeable because certain events will show up in multiple subreddits multiple times and on other sites like Slashdot and Hacker News. Yesterday I'm pretty sure a probe landed on a comet and MS open sourced .net. I'm not sure, but I think I saw something about it - about a million times.
 
Not totally related - the other site I spend a lot of time on is youtube. I watch a lot of starcraft and some different shows like tabletop and I enjoy music videos too. I should write a post just about youtube now that I think about it. Anyway - yesterday I saw something there for the first time where I recognized another user. I guess the real surprise is that with g+ it didn't happen sooner, but still it was funny.

User Journal

Journal: A World Clock with an Analog Face 2

Journal by stoolpigeon

I'm still learning a lot about my Mac and getting better at using it. Today I was going over trackpad gestures and learned that there is this "Notification Center" that I can pull out by swiping in from the side with 2 fingers. I had no idea it was there. It's mostly useless. I don't care about stock quotes. I don't use any of the Apple calendar, reminder or other stuff. But I did think that the world clock thing was a good idea.
 
On my living room computer that is hooked to my TV I have 3 time widgets I keep up. It's Win 7 and each widget is set to one of the 3 time zones where we have family. I figured I could have something similar in the notification center on my laptop. The thing is, as far as I can tell there is no way to change the way it represents the time. It does it with little analog clock faces. I can't think of a worse way to do that. There is no way to look at it and know if the time displayed is AM or PM. It makes me have to think too much.
 
I read somewhere that third parties can create widgets for this space. I'll have to look into it.

User Journal

Journal: The Sixth Stage of Grief is Retro-Computing 2

Journal by stoolpigeon

The Sixth Stage of Grief is Retro-Computing
 
This is just a beautiful piece of writing. It doesn't match my experience perfectly but so many notes really resonate with me. It's funny, I've been on this Steve Jobs video binge lately and this just fits right in.
 
I had to scroll down to start reading the piece, which threw me for a second, but again - I really recommend reading this. It's so well done. I will be thinking about it and quoting it for a long time to come.

User Journal

Journal: My Spine 4

Journal by stoolpigeon

I have a herniated disc (disk?) (Apparently disk if I follow AMA guidelines. huh.) in my neck. Apparently in a common place. It's protruding pretty far into my spine and pushing on my spinal cord. I think it's also in contact with nerve roots. I don't know all the right terms. I make my wife crazy because medical stuff doesn't interest me. It's like car maintenance. I just want to hand it off to people who know. But since it looks like I need surgery, I have to be more involved in this as it's somewhat serious - people digging around in your neck and spine.
 
The first neurosurgeon I saw took a look at the MRI, did an exam and said I need surgery immediately. Normally that'd be it, but I've had it drilled into me that when it comes to surgery and stuff you always get a second opinion. (As much as I hate to do that.) So Monday I'll see another guy here in Budapest who is apparently one of the better doctors in the world for this kind of stuff.
 
If he agrees that I need surgery (and I think he will) then I have to decide where to do it. Hospitals here in Hungary are a little lighter on the care side than what I'd get in the U.S. There might be an option with a private hospital here, or I may look into having it done in Germany where there is another doctor who is pretty good at this stuff.
 
What's crazy though is if I did have it here, the doctor tells me the cost would be about 1800 euros. As an American, that is an insane number. Yes, during the hospital stay I'd have to provide my own medication and toilet paper - but dang, 1800 euros? I'm guessing the Germany route I'd be looking at a minimum of 20000 euros. My insurance would cover the majority of it. If I went home to the US I'm guessing it would be as expensive or more than the private hospital route in Germany.
 
I only have one spine - so I'm a little torn. Need to do more research, which I hate.
 
Oh - and here's the other thing I've learned. Hungarians aren't fans of pain killers. It took a lot for me to get some rather mild medication. They started me on what was the equivalent of ibuprofen. The doctor was worried about giving me something stronger and I was thinking, "Dude, back in the US I'd be knocking back 325 milligrams of Percocet." That was when it was really bad. I actually feel a lot better now, though I have to be very careful about how I move and I have constant numbness in my left hand.

User Journal

Journal: Verbiage: Time to say goodbye to the Mac Mini 1

Journal by Chacham

Well, Apple just refreshed the Mac Mini. I was actually waiting for the update because i have a 2011 Mac Mini and upgrades are usually nice.

I switched to the Mac because i got sick of Windows with all their changes. There's the ribbon, the attempt at removing the start menu, the reorganizing of the Control Panel, and the overall homogenization of the desktop and handheld UI, which i want to be different. After disliking Vista, not liking Windows 7, and being horrified by Windows 8, i just gave up. Now i run OSX on my Mac Mini which, for the most part, i find to be fun.

After my conversion, i realized what OSX users had that they could be upset about. First and foremost, Apple is not responsive. Find a bug, they'll probably fix it in the next release, if they care. For me, the Speakable Items bug was the worst, because i wanted it, with a multiple monitor bug being annoying as well. The former has been fixed in Yosemite, luckily someone noticed.

That call upgrades into play. Apple now offers them for free, but it's take it or leave it. Like those blue scroll bars? Too bad, they removed them. Like something else? You can keep them as long as they want them. Yosemite changes the UI giving it a flat look which the community seem divided on. I dislike it so much ihave decided to not upgrade to it. Between it's ugliness and the push to make it like the handhelds, i'm back to my problem with Windows. Oh well.

But now comes the clincher. The Mac Mini has soldered RAM. My current Mac Mini has 16 GB RAM that i bought myself for significantly less than what Apple would have charged. I would not want to limit my next Mac to 16GB nor pay Apple some ludicrously large amount for it either. On it's own this is a bad move. Added to the flat look, and i no longer want a Mac.

So, my next computer will probably run Linux. Question is, should i go back to Debian (i don't think i can handle Slackware anymore) or use one of them newfangled distros. Well, i have some time before i need to upgrade to Linux again. And who knows what will happen?

User Journal

Journal: Mounting My Old System Drive Via USB and a quick note about Synergy 1

Journal by stoolpigeon

2 things. One is longer than the other so I'll start with the shorter.

Synergy has decided that they'll charge for downloads. This is totally fine with me and they are fully within their rights. They have not changed the licensing on the code, it is still FOSS. So I went to their nightly build directory and grabbed the rpm I needed today from there. It's a good project to support I just figure I'll do it on my terms. This was easier than grabbing the source and going that route.

Now to the longer part. A little while back the hard drive in my Fedora box starting getting flaky. I was going to buy a new drive but a friend offered one he wasn't using so I took that instead. Then that one started getting flaky so the other day I went out and bought a new hard drive. Same size, different manufacturer.

Then I tried to clone the old drive to the new drive with Clonezilla. The process completed but the new drive wouldn't boot. It mostly did but got stuck - I think because so much hadn't been able to be copied due to bad sectors on the original disk. So I figured it's not hard to do a fresh install and I went that route.

I put the new disk in, pulled the old disk out and installed Fedora. I have done it enough times that I can step through everything pretty quickly. But that quickness made me forget about a couple items on the old drive that I wanted. So I grabbed our little harness that lets me connect sata drives via usb.

When I install Fedora I let the installer configure my storage and I take the defaults. No problems. But when I plugged in via USB I saw the root partition right away but not the LVM partition. Checking with the lvm tools I see that I have two volumes with the same name and I'm not sure which is which. Fortunately vgdisplay will tell you lots of interesting things about your volume groups including their UUID. So for two items that looked identical to me, I could see the UUID of each. And fortunately vgrename takes a UUID as an argument and that let me rename the old volume and then bring it up. Once I activated it, it was automounted and I could use Dolphin to see and grab the files I wanted.

In the future when installing I should probably choose a non-default volume name to avoid this kind of thing. Or make it a post-install step to change what's on the box.

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