my recent reads..

Mikko Hyppönen@TED

Doing more than just talking about viruses: he fires up a few classics in a DOS box and pokes around with a binary editor before looking at current threats and live infection data. Very cool and entertaining. Not many are brave enough to do live demos, but if you watch to the end you'll get to see how prepared he was for failure;-)

Best served with sides of:

  • Daniel Suarez's Daemon - for the extreme version of how bad things can go wrong,
  • Rebecca MacKinnon: Let's take back the Internet! - because maybe organised crime is the perfect distraction as we rush headlong to enslave ourselves to the Sovereigns of the Internet, and
  • Security Now! #291 - for Steve Gibson's deconstruction of stuxnet, the most spohisticated Internet-borne "weaponised payload" ever discovered... and perhaps a plausibly-deniable warning from Government(s) that "you call that a knife? THIS is a knife!"

PS: better quality vid on youtube. And yes, that is a 5 1/4" floppy.

Blogarhythm: Security - Jo Jo Zep & The Falcons
read more and comment..

It goes PING!

If you're like me, you have a bunch of trusty (and rusty) shell scripts that you reach for when doing things like testing a new load balancer.

Enough of that! igp (It goes PING!) is a simple command line utility for testing services with a range of common protocols: ICMP, UDP, TCP, HTTP/S, LDAP/S and so on.

This is nothing earth shattering I know, but it's nice to have simple cross-platform (since it's ruby) tool that does all the common protocols in one. Thankfully, most of the work has already been done by the net-ping library - igp really just provides a sleek command-line wrapper.

The only dependency is ruby+rubygems. Just:

gem install igp
And then you are ready to capture traces, for example:
# ^ ICMP assumed by default. This is the same as:
igp icmp://



igp tcp://
igp udp://

igp ldap://
igp ldaps://

Blogarhythm: Keep it Up - Snap!
read more and comment..

Multi-tenancy with Rails

RedDotRubyConf 2011 in Singapore is over. It was an amazing event (ryan takes notes so we don't have to - day#1 day#2)

Somehow I managed to cheat my way into a line-up of legendary speakers that included Matz himself. Here are the slides..

I spoke about multi-tenancy - what it is and why it's increasingly relevant for Rails development. It dives a little into four of the many approaches and ends with the challenge: Isn't it about time there was a 'Rails Way'?

Blogarhythm: So Many Ways POP DISASTER
read more and comment..

jQuery UI AddToCalendar update

Thanks to nfarina for a patch to improve compatibility with older IE versions.. jQuery UI AddToCal widget is stepped to 0.1.1 and now listed in the jQuery plugin store.

To recap .. use AddToCal if you want to offer your website visitors the ability to add any events you list or present on your site to their own calendar. It supports Google Calendar, Microsoft Live Calendar, Yahoo! Calendar, 30boxes, any iCal or vCalendar compatible desktop application (and you can extend it to support any special calendar software you might be dealing with).

See my previous post that describes how to use it in a bit more detail..

Blogarhythm: Birthday
read more and comment..