Month: May 2013

@MaxCDN: The Proper Way to Handle a Hack

It’s not often that I give out praise for how a company handles a security breach, especially one that could contains usernames and passwords. Normally, the scenario is as follows: Deny Deny Stall Cover-up Fess-up Ask for forgiveness and promise to never, ever, do it again   This was not the case today when I was notified by MaxCDN , whom I use for a CDN service for the site, about an apparent breach over the the Memorial Day weekend. They seem to have quickly identified the breach, closed off loopholes, and notified me of everything that was going down to include that my password would need to be reset. Actually, they went beyond that in that I know for a fact that they immediately expired everyone’s passwords because I found it old several nights ago that I was prompted to reset my password. At the time, I thought “Oh well, must have been something that I did or didn’t do” when in fact it was MaxCDN’s team going about ensuring the integrity of the system. Below, is the copy of the email that I received from their team. Kudos to the people involved. Cheers! AJ Email Excerpt ———————————————————————   From: MaxCDNSent: 5/30/2013 12:42 PMTo: ArieSubject: Important Security Update: Resetting your Credentials Dear Customer, Over the Memorial Day weekend the NetDNA (parent company of MaxCDN) Operations team responded to...

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Windows 8, Is It Really DOA?

Issues or Not? Over the past couple of days I have read some very interesting posts by people having issues with Windows 8 or the perception that Windows 8 doesn’t have something when it actually does. In particular, this post on Softpedia here and this one on Binary Passion here kind of illustrate my point. So I thought it would be kind of nice to address each of these and to discuss if the OS is really DOA or not. The first thing to realize is that the OS is based around the idea of having touch enabled devices, so I am the first to admit that without a touch enabled screen it’s a little more unnatural to move about but it definitely works once you get used to it. So in the first article, the authors first point is that the Modern applications need to have a close button. Well, this is actually already built into the system via one of two ways…which definitely do not include the use of Task Manager. The first, is good ol’ Alt-F4 . Yep that’s right. Alt-F4 still works by closing the application whether it’s a desktop application or a Modern one. The second method involves a gesture…either with the mouse or ,if touch enabled, with your finger. Basically, its just swiping from the top of the screen to the bottom…that simple. Just like...

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The Future of Bitcoin?

A lot of press has been made of Bitcoin in the last few years, but what exactly is the phenomenon and how could or would it affect the way that we handle transactions? Background For the uninitiated. Bitcoin is a form of cryptocurrency … or more plainly stated, it’s a form of digital currency that relies on cryptography and also involves a process known as proof-of-work to create and manage the currency. The Bitcoin model is a unique form of cash system in that it is highly distributed by use of a peer-to-peer system that uses a ledger and the ledger is updated by p2p file sharing technology. It’s also unique in the fact that, unlike paper currencies, there is a total limit to the number of Bitcoin that will ever be produced and further that the currency can be subdivided down to eight decimal places… Strange I know but once you get past formulas and the scientific blah blah blah.. it is really quite a simple process. Bitcoin servers are the responsible entities for handling transactions. Transactions are collected up into what is known as a block The servers now “work” on finding a  solution to a complex computation on the block. Once a solution is found, the Bitcoin server finding the solution broadcasts that to the collective and also get paid with some newly created “coins” Rinse...

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A New Direction

My blog has gone through SEVERAL iterations over the past several years, mainly depending on what mood I am in at a particular time or what technology I am using. I have basically tried them all… big platform content management systems and open source projects. For the longest time, as this blog grew in popularity I had settled into using WordPress. Not exactly my favorite choice, as I have a visceral reaction to anything that contains PHP or MySQL nowadays. However, over the past year through a series, a rather long series, of WordPress getting hacked … me fixing it … getting hacked again … Google complaining .. me fixing it … getting hacked again.. (you get the picture).  I even have a post I will be sharing on how just changing your Admin password is really not going to be enough to stop your WordPress site from becoming part of the every growing Botnet that is out there. So a couple of months ago, I made the big leap to BlogEngine.NET .     Out of the various .NET platforms out there, this was what I considered to be the best fit for me. Once the conversion was complete, I found the design to be a little boring so I went about changing the theme here and there working within the general constraints of the system. Yet, it...

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