I love EC2 and RightScale!

Monday morning, one of our web sites got infected by a javascript virus that spreads through SQL Injection. I don’t work on mondays (good life) so I wasn’t there to see the chaos but I eared that it was quite bad: customers complaining that our web site infected them for example.

The people working that day took the server offline, restored the infected DB from a clean backup and all was good (temporarily).

I got a couple phone calls, we talked about installing a reverse proxy to catch these kinds of attacks. It would take a few days to set this up.

They looked for the piece of code where the injection occurred, but missed one (or many) because the day after the server got infected again.

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Plainte contre l’émission Découverte du 6 avril 2008

Madame l’ombudsman de Radio-Canada,

Je voudrais porter plainte contre le reportage sur les “effets indésirables des micro-ondes qui nous envahissent” diffusé à l’émission Découverte du 6 avril 2008. J’ai trouvé cette émission alarmiste et biaisée sur plusieurs points, en voici quelques uns:

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Bernstein’s comment about third-party DNS and the reality with qmail

In a document written a couple years ago, Dan Bernstein describes the costs and benefits of third-party DNS services.

In his document, he states that:

“Third-party DNS means the difference between email being requeued and email bouncing.” No, it doesn’t. Mail transfer agents defer delivery attempts when DNS servers are unreachable, just as they defer delivery attempts when SMTP servers are unreachable.

This is simply not true.

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Oh my God, I’m installing Debian inside a Virtual PC using VNC inside Windows Remote Desktop from my PowerBook G4. Geez, I wonder why it’s so slow…

Yes we can


It was a creed written into the founding documents
that declared the destiny of a nation.
Yes we can.

It was whispered by slaves and abolitionists
as they blazed a trail toward freedom.
Yes we can.

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msdb is huge!

On our SQL Server 2005 DB, I found out that the msdb.dbo.sysmaintplan_logdetail table was more than 6 GB, so I ran the following SQL code to reduce it to 60 MB. It took about 10 minutes to run the query, so don’t panic.

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Mon premier Haïku

Voici mon premier Haïku (court poème japonais):

terasse au soleil
les jolies filles du StarBar
délice pour les yeux

Il respecte les règles de base d’un Haïku:

  1. Trois vers de 5-7-5 syllables
  2. Le premier vers contient une référence à la saison
  3. Il décrit un court instant
  4. Et en bonus, il parle des filles du StarBar! (Contrairement à ce que plusieurs croient, ce n’est pas une règle du Haïku traditionnel.)

MythDora: MythTV that works!

I tried once more to install MythTV on an old PC (P4 1.6 GHz, 512 MB RAM) that has been gattering dust at home for months. I tried using KnoppMyth in the past with ressounding failure. This time, I decided to try mythDora.

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Raccourcis pour sa demande de passeport

Je viens de faire ma demande de passeport et en parlant avec le personnel j'ai appris quelques trucs pour accélérer sa demande de passeport.

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Hard drive woes

Yesterday at around 16:30 the secondary hard drive on my decade old linux router passed away. Most of the software continued working, only the DNS server stopped working. Not knowing what was going on, I restarted it, and it's not starting anymore… :-( I don't believe in esotericism, but I guess I had a premonition last week-end when I bought a Soekris net4501 that I should be receiving in a day or two. So for those who are emailing me, it might take me a bit more time to answer, since my mail server was behind that router. You can reach me at [email protected] in the meantime. Update 20070619 19:57: I managed to use a Linksys wireless router running DD-WRT as the new router. It's not as good as my old one, but it will do until I can set up the Soekris board. Update 20070622: The Soekris board is now set up with m0n0wall with openvpn support. It's a bit more rigid than I had hoped for, but at least it's really easy to set up.