Monday, November 28, 2005

Blocking Skype Using Squid

Over at Help Net Security's web site they have a fancy 3 page PDF available for download that details how you can go about blocking Skype traffic from your lan. The document by 'rootn0de' ultimately says you can deny Skype's SSL tunneling behavior by have Squid block all CONNECT attempts that are specified by IP instead of by hostname. Woot.

Quite the sophisticated technique. I'm glad I had to download a pdf document and read through to the last page to discover the magical technique. This is just the sort of crap that web publishers do that I hate so much, a 1 page, 1 paragraph teaser that exists solely to hold advertising waiting for the user to click through to download a nearly content-less PDF document.

On a related note, this is generally a good practice for organizations to employ given the fact that a legitimate web service is highly unlikely to use IP based URLs, the issue I have here is with the manner of content distribution being disproportionate to the value and substance of the message.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

BoingBoing Breaks Paper Folding News From 2002

Recently BoingBoing posted about Britney Gallivan's successful folding of a piece of paper in half 12 times. The way the BoingBoing post and the updated Pomona Valley Historical website reads, this would appear to have been a recent event. In fact, the event was way back in January 2002. The news is that evidently the event was showcased on CBS this year.

A bit surprising given BoingBoing's usually extreme currency.

Wednesday, November 2, 2005

Eclipse, ANT and sshexec

It took me quite a while to figure out how to make eclipse work with sshexec targets on ant build files. Turns out it was quite easy and even uses the cached identity used for cvs operations. Quite handy. The way I made it work was to tell the ant builder to make use of the jsch jar included in eclipse for use by the cvs plugin.

  1. Open Window -> Preferences

  2. Select Ant -> Runtime on the left side

  3. In the classpath tab, select Ant Home Entries

  4. Click on the Add External JARs... button

  5. Navigate to your eclipse installation, then select eclipse/plugins/

  6. Click okay to confirm the file selection

  7. Click okay to close the preferences dialog

  8. Run your buildfile with sshexec and/or scp tasks.

It's that easy. The specific version number of the cvs/ssh plugin and the jsch jar may differ, but it should still work.

Tuesday, November 1, 2005

Bizzare Tales of DRM

Over at Big Picture there's an excellent story of how DRM is killing the world of consumer media.

This tale is part of a larger struggle within the recording and digital download industry -- not of P2P or piracy -- but one of innovation and competition. As you follow this odd story (broken into 4 increasingly strange parts), you will note that as it gets weirder, Artists and Consumers are the collateral damage. It makes one wonder just what the hell the Recording Industry is thinking about these days.

I can see the distributor's position, they have a huge infrastructure and industry surrounding the current model of music, video and television distribution and want to protect that. Frankly they have an obligation to their shareholders to do just that, however this is one of those situations where badly applied Capitalism can fly in the face of what's good for society.