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Category Archives: Web

Matters related to the Web

Two-factor in the middle of the night

Wherever possible I have been enabling two-factor authentication and similar protections. Not that I am paranoid, it’s just that I am paranoid. One of these I have had in play for a long time is protection on my Google account. So it’s somewhat comforting to get an unexpected SMS message from Google in the middle […]

SSL Made Easy

Time for a shout-out to DreamHost, who have partnered with LetsEncrypt to make using SSL with this website very, very easy. DreamHost have always aimed to make many actions against the site push-button, with sensible defaults, and clear documentation, and generating and attaching the certificate was a walk in the park. I was a little surprised to […]

A man is not dead while his name is still spoken.

Something I have been meaning to do for quite a time is to take up the idea of keeping PTerry’s name alive by adding the X-Clacks-Overhead header to parts of this site. Even if it is only in the overhead: GNU Terry Pratchett.

CSS3 Oops.

Revising my resumé as part of an overall overhaul of my site, I realised that the presentation on mobile devices was not very good. Fortunately since I last did anything major, CSS3 has become widely implemented, so Media Queries are now an option for degrading onto smaller screens. To my pleasure it did (eventually) just […]

Robots. They are coming to take your content.

I am in the process of revising my site, and discovered for whatever reason that I had an empty robots.txt file present. I know it is only a voluntary ‘standard’, but as far as I know all the major players do respect it. As the overwhelming proportion of users use a search engine that respects […]

Doing More With Less (Part 1 of N)

In recent weeks I have been massively overhauling the monitoring and alerting infrastructure. Most of the low-level box checks are easily handled by CloudWatch, and some of the more sophisticated trip-wires can be handled by looking for patterns in our logs, collated by LogStash and exported to Loggly. In either case, I have trip wires […]

Passwords definitely considered broken

So we have news of yet another major slurping-up of poorly secured credential sets. A column at the Guardian talks about all the usual measures that can be taken to more-or-less protect your multiple identities, but once again misses the two subtle and deeply geeky issues that underly this breach. First off, we can guess that […]

Deserialising Lists with Jersey

I very much like the way in which Jackson and Jersey interact to make building a RESTful interface with objects transported as JSON really, really simple. As an example, if we have on the server side a class like this: then consuming the service is joyfully simple (note that this is a slightly fudged about […]

When Typography Goes Bad

So I’ve just spent a very confused 15 minutes trying to figure out why something that cannot possibly go wrong was breaking. I’m working to get DynamoDBLocal up and running. It all looks very simple: download the tar ball, unpack it, and execute the Java invocation: java –Djava.library.path=. -jar DynamoDBLocal.jar Hmm. That’s odd: Error: Could […]

Toward a vision of Sustainable Server Programming

For a number of years I’ve been thinking that I should write down some of the ideas I’ve had and lessons I’ve learned over way too many years banging on a keyboard. In my head this has has always been centered around the vague label “sustainable server development”. Let me try to peel away some […]