What to do in the event of an NTP attack

Earlier this week the server that hosts this blog and other sites that I run became unreachable. I know this because it is being monitored by New Relic and I got notifications emails. I couldn’t access the server either via HTTP or SSH so all I could do was reboot it and hope I could hop on. The issue had the feel of a DoS attack and so once I was back on the server I stopped Apache and inspected the logs. A while later, I restarted the service and all seemed ok.

Then I received this worrisome email from … Read the rest

A Tale of Two Chromebooks

A couple of years ago I spent weeks searching high and lo for a Samsung Series 3 Chromebook which was the first of the really affordable cloud laptops. I finally found one and paid £240 – nothing compared to the price of some Windows and especially Mac laptops.

Initially I was amazed at the start-up time of seconds and the fantastic battery life. I found that I could access my email and calendar through the browser (as I had been for a while since ditching Outlook) and do all my general web-browsing. I was hooked and decided that, away from … Read the rest

Sneaky LinkedIn

So what’s the difference between the two images above? Well at first glance they would seem to be the same. Both invite the individual to connect with you on LinkedIn, right? Well almost but there is a very subtle difference that if you miss it you could end up spamming people who are not already on LinkedIn.

At some point in the past I must have let my guard slip and allowed LinkedIn to suck up all my contacts from my address book and since then it has been keen that I connect with everyone. Of course, not everyone is … Read the rest

Accessing Amazon RDS Instance from Remote phpMyAdmin

imagesOne of the great services offered by Amazon Web Services (AWS) stack is Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS). This is a properly managed database server that you can run alongside your existing application server instances allowing the load to be spread.

This all works well but management can be a little tedious especially if you have been used to managing your existing MySQL server through phpMyAdmin. However, do not despair as it is possible to manage RDS from phpMyAdmin running on a remote server and this post shows you how.

This article assumes that you already have both RDS and … Read the rest

3 Things Evernote is Missing

20140130-082701.jpgI an a keen and active user of Evernote paying for the service not just to gain access to the “pro” features but also because I want to repay Evernote for the use I derive from it.

That’s not to say that it is perfect though so here are three things that I would add to it from the normal to the whacky.

Better table support

Evernote has support for tables but it is pretty basic. Once created you cannot add new columns, change the width, add new rows anywhere but at the bottom and you cannot apply any styling … Read the rest

What I learnt from my 2013 side project

LogoIn 2013 I worked on a side project, The Chubby Challenge, which I continue to develop and move forward. This was built in response to another goal of mine – to lose some weight. I have found in the past that like so many other things in life it is far easier to reach a goal if you are working toward it with others. So the idea is that you challenge others to see who can lose the most weight over a given period.

The system works well and was a great opportunity for me to learn a whole … Read the rest

The Easiest T&Cs to Accept

So I signed up for a trial of Adobe’s eSignature service Echosign today and was initially presented with the following screen asking me to accept their terms and conditions. I assume that the huge white space is where they were supposed to have been displayed. So I went right on and accepted.

The question now is where do I stand legally as I accepted a blank set of T&Cs can I be bound by the ones Adobe failed to display?

Screenshot_19_12_2013_14_33Read the rest

Adverts used to Publicise AdPlus Service

IMG_7739Really interesting advert in today’s Metro newspaper for the AdPlus service encouraging you to download their browser plugin that “optimises your web browsing so you see better, fewer ads.”.

There are a few things that are interesting about this service. Firstly it is highly ironic that they have to resort to advertising to promote a service designed to reduce the number of adverts. Secondly, unlike, say, AdBlock Plus, this service does not claim to get rid of all web-based adverts but shows you “only relevant, high-quality ads from advertisers who want a healthier relationship with you.”. Hummm.

My original … Read the rest

Want an Outliner with Evernote Support? Today’s your Day!

outline-editor-iphoneIf, like me, you want to use an outliner that is available across multiple platforms and syncs with Evernote then Xwavesoft’s Cloud Outliner could be for you. Especially as for today only it is available for free on iOS.

Available on Mac, iPhone and iPad the apps allow you to create structured lists which are synchronised between the devices and Evernote too if you wish.

Note that synchronisation is only available in the paid version of the apps and not the free “lite” version.

If this sounds like your sort of thing download the iOS version today as it … Read the rest