Cocker Hat everyday!

This amazing Cocker Skipool hat by Eisbär Cocker Skipool hat by Eisbär is sold in snow sports retailers, but it’s a real geek thing and I decided to wear it everyday in cold snowy winter. It keeps my head and ears warm and protected from wind thanks to internal polar fleece coating.

Eisbar hat

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Best links of the week 04/2010

Here’s your weekly concentrate feed in case you missed some juice:

  1. Panopticlick — EFF shows off user tracking by fingerprinting browser’s User-Agent.
  2. Misa digital guitar — Open Source touchscreen guitar runs on Gentoo.
  3. Preordering the Apple Tablet — You may like iPad or not, but you can’t forget the wait.
  4. Ian Bicking: A new way to deploy web applications — Extending Google’s AppEngine paradigm to a customized world.
  5. What Every Programmer Should Know About Memory by Ulrich Drepper — A nice evergreen for my CS students.

Google’s rampage

In the last 7 days, clickstream has been exceptionally dominated by Google, so I think it deserves its own hit parade:

  1. Google’s proposal to extend DNS protocol — adding originator’s IP in queries would help geo-customized response.
  2. Chromium Blog: More Resources for Developers — brief of next-gen web technologies.
  3. Google Deducing Wireless Location Data — by inspecting packet headers and measuring transmission rates.
  4. Chromium Blog: Encouraging More Chromium Security Research — security bugs wanted, dead or alive.
  5. Google Xistence Offers to Live Your Life For You — a nice parody on social networks by Australian web designer Philipp Drössler.

P.S.: The best news of the week (of the year?) is actually this one.

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.gitignore for Django buildout

If you’re keeping your django buildout installation under git, you may find the following .gitignore list useful to prevent your commits from cluttering with ugly temporary files (of course it also applies to other revision control system ignore files). You may need to adapt folder names to your buildout.cfg setup.

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What evil lurks in OCFS2

In the beginning, Linux was a free general purpose OS and it was not clear how Linux companies would generate profits out of it. In 1999 RedHat company went public and started to develop a real business plan. After a few years, in 2003, one of its main competitors, SuSE Linux, was acquired by Novell. Since then, both companies worked hard to reduce their involvement in desktop solutions and develop a segment known as “server market”.

One of the key technologies of enterprise server market is Storage Area Network: an infrastructure that abstracts storage resources. When Linux companies started to compete in server market, Linux had support for accessing SAN storages (Fibrechannel and iSCSI drivers), advanced disk partitioning support (LVM and EVMS), but no free shared-storage filesystem. So RedHat acquired Sistina’s GFS, a shared-storage filesystem, imported some work from OpenGFS developers, released it under Open Source license and evolved it to GFS2.

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Gentooize Part 1: colorize console

One of the best lessons you can learn from Gentoo is you can export most of its juice to other OSes. I’ve been using Gentoo as main Linux distro since 2001. Currently I have a few setups where drawbacks of migrating to Gentoo would exceed benefits, so I decided to increase affinity by adding some Gentoo look’n'feel. This week I will post some tips to setup Gentoo console colors on other operating systems.

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My preparedness toolkit

After catastrophic events like Haiti earthquake, a lot of people start considering their personal survival capabilities. How long can one survive when civilization facilities are temporarily suspended? The answer is not equal for everyone: it depends on personal abilities and resources, location and duration of the emergency.

I’ve evaluated a 48-hours emergency plan to survive in an urbanized environment and prepared a set of life support tools for two people. The base criteria is portability: heavy-weighted backpacks are difficult to carry in suboptimal situations and to store where needed.

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Django dynamic template paths

Several add-on applications for Django bring in their own templates and expect user to hardcopy those files into project’s template directory. The problem raises when add-on egg is updated and its hardcopied templates are not. Another approach could be to add add-on template directory path to TEMPLATE_DIRS variable in project’s settings.py. However, once add-on application is updated, hardcoded path may not be up-to-date.

UPDATE: Vinicius Mendes commented on using django.template.loaders.app_directories.Loader to solve the problem (a similar module exists for eggs, which is named django.template.loaders.eggs.Loader). It’s definitely the easiest way if you don’t mind importing all of your applications templates. Instead, if you need to pick only selected directories or non-standard directory names, keep on reading.

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Best links of the week 03/2010

Sunday is a great day for relaxing and catching up with the zeitgeist, so I decided to write down a list of the 5 best clicks from the past week. Here it is:

  1. Humble Pied — nice tips to get inspired and productive.
  2. High Performance Enabled SSH/SCP — how to make your SCP session run at full bandwidth.
  3. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg says privacy is no longer a ‘social norm’ — He’s too young to be called visionary.
  4. Naked airport scanner catches cellphone, misses bomb components — Whoops, it’s not a sex bomb they missed with the full body scanner.
  5. TJ Creamer twits from space — International space station went on-line this week.
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Windows back-to-the-future bug

According to this advisory written by Tavis Ormandy, Windows has been exposed to a vulnerability for over 15 years! Microsoft will only release a patch for supported products, so if you have any Windows 2000 or earlier in your lab, the only way to fix is disabling DOS and WOWEXEC.

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Process management roundup/1

Under UNIX-like operating systems, there are several ways to manage long-running processes such as daemons. Process management is a crucial aspect of system maintainance and therefore it’s one of the aspects to take into account when planning a deployment. Since available solutions are getting more and more complex and specialized, I thought of writing a series of articles to recap the state of the art and draw up a comparative analysis.

This post deals with two system-wide alternatives, sysinitv and Mac OS X’s launchd: the first represents the tradition, while the latter represent innovation. Feel free to use comments to share your tips.

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