Month: October 2008

EC2 Security

One thing that concerns me about using any online service is the security. When that service is a virtual server running in another country the risks are greater than average. I’m currently investigating the Amazon EC2 service for some clients, and naturally I’m concerned about the security. Firstly they appear to have implemented a good […]


Updated EC2 API Tools package

I’ve updated my package of the Amazon EC2 API Tools for Debian [1]. Now it uses the Sun JDK. Kaffe doesn’t work due to not supporting annotations, I haven’t filed a bug because Kaffe is known to be incomplete. OpenJDK doesn’t work – apparently because it doesn’t include trusted root certificates (see Debian bug #501643) […]


I Won’t Use Drizzle

A couple of days ago I attended a lecture about the Drizzle database server [1]. Drizzle is a re-write of MySQL for use in large web applications. It is only going to run on 64bit platforms because apparently everyone uses 64bit servers – except of course people who are Amazon EC2 customers as the $0.10 […]


Future Video Games

I just watched an interesting talk about video games [1]. The talk focussed to a large degree on emotional involvement in games, so it seems likely that there will be many more virtual girlfriend services [2] (I’m not sure that “game” is the correct term for such things) in the future. The only reference […]

Misc Computer

The Security Benefits of Being Unimportant

A recent news item is the “hacking” of the Yahoo mailbox used by Sarah Palin (the Republican VP candidate) [1]. It seems most likely that it was a simple social-engineering attack on the password reset process of Yahoo (although we are unlikely to learn the details unless the case comes to trial). The email address […]


RPC and SE Linux

One ongoing problem with TCP networking is the combination of RPC services and port based services on the same host. If you have an RPC service that uses a port less than 1024 then typically it will start at 1023 and try lower ports until it finds one that works. A problem that I have […]

Networking Security

Getting Started with Amazon EC2

The first thing you need to do to get started using the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) [1] is to install the tools to manage the service. The service is run in a client-server manner. You install the client software on your PC to manage the EC2 services that you use. There are the AMI […]


DKIM and Mailing Lists

Currently we have a problem with the Debian list server and Gmail. Gmail signs all mail that it sends with both DKIM and DomainKeys (DomainKeys has been obsoleted by DKIM so most mail servers implement only one of the two standards although apart from space there is no reason not to use both). The Debian […]


How Many Singularities?

There is a lot of discussion and speculation about The Singularity. The term seems to be defined by Ray Kurzweil’s book “The Singularity Is Near” [1] which focuses on a near-future technological singularity defined by significant increases in medical science (life extension and methods to increase mental capacity) and an accelerating rate of scientific advance. […]


Solutions for the Housing Crisis

Currently we have a huge husing crisis in the US which involves significant political corruption including the federal government preventing state governments from stopping predatory banking practices [1]. The corrupt plan to solve this is to simply give the banks a lot of taxpayer money, so the banking business model then becomes to do whatever […]