Category Archives: General

Stuff that can’t get stuffed in other cats.

Let’s Encrypt and let’s go

Last week saw the start of the Public Beta period for Let’s Encrypt and the start of a more secure internet for all. For free. The project has been in development for at least a year, was due in the summer and has just now finally been cleared for public usage. This is something of a game changing moment but not something the public is aware of. It means that any site that wants to have that little green padlock up in the location bar can now easily install one. And given that Google (and presumably other search engines) are starting to penalise sites that are not running over HTTPS, this will become a greater issue over time. I decided to try it out on a few domains… Continue reading Let’s Encrypt and let’s go

Drupal malware – Farbtastic exploit, only in Google

I was contacted by a client last night, very concerned because, when you enter his site into Google, it comes back with a warning that ‘This site has been hacked’. And yet, when the site is viewed in the browser, there is no sign of any bad links or anything. What can be happening? Why does Google think the site is hacked?

I took a look at the site and he was correct, there was no sign of any bad links, and yet in Google there was a couple of pages of links to various pharmacy products. Which when clicked on led to a 404 page not found error. But when I asked Google for the cached version, there the links were, proudly displayed at the top of the page, bold as can be.

Continue reading Drupal malware – Farbtastic exploit, only in Google

A new dual sim smartphone: Xiaomi Hungmi

I travel a lot and it’s always a hassle changing out the SIMs whenever I need to check for calls and messages. A friend of mine, in a similar situation, brought a nice dual HTC SIM phone although he had to order it from Dubhai and it was £500. That’s a bit steep I thought… and decided to see what else might be available in my price bracket.

redmi
Redmi

Continue reading A new dual sim smartphone: Xiaomi Hungmi

Ubuntu upgrade from 12.04 to 14.04

I’ve recently upgraded my Ubuntu 12.04 to 14.04, using the release upgrade tool. Normally I would do a clean installation, especially with a major release upgrade like this. But I heard good things from others in doing an in-place upgrade so went with that. Reinstalling packages and setting them up again is time consuming. Anyway, all went well with only a few gotcha’s on the way. I’ve listed them below. Continue reading Ubuntu upgrade from 12.04 to 14.04

Searching for a new CMS

There are a couple of new projects coming up and I want to find a simple CMS for them. Both projects will need a user interface that is very simple and easy to use and the sites are basic enough that I don’t need a lot of bells and whistles. It needs to have the following; a simple user interface for entering and changing entries, simple API so that I can add in some custom stuff, self hosted, good documentation and strong community. Continue reading Searching for a new CMS

A Fallow Year

Fallow
The fields awaken as the snow disappears.

I was travelling through Czech with a friend a couple of weeks ago. The fields were just seeing the light of day after a winter under the snow, the colors that greenish yellow of vegetation that hasn’t seen sun in a long time, the ground bare in patches. What do they grow here? I asked. I don’t know, he answered. Sometimes they leave the fields empty for a year so that they can regenerate, how do you call that? A fallow year I said. Continue reading A Fallow Year