Wednesday, October 22, 2014

When MySQL joins become disjointed

I honestly don't know how I've managed to avoid this until now, but I ran into an issue today where I could not get a SQL query with a join to execute properly.  I kept getting errors saying that I had referenced an unknown column.  After rewriting the query several times and questioning my sanity, I decided to do a quick search online.  Much to my surprise, I quickly found the answer.  The way joins are handled changed ever so slightly in MySQL 5.0, such that they are now more closely aligned with ANSI SQL standards.  By tweaking the query and adding parentheses in the from clause, all worked perfectly.

Many thanks to jbrinkmann for his excellent article on the subject at

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Benevolence of Microsoft

I really must hand it to Microsoft.  For all of the bad publicity and general ill will that a lot of people harbor toward them, they still want to help the little guy out - even when that little guy is running Linux.

(Just for clarification, this does not involve the real Microsoft.)

A few minutes ago I received a call to my cell phone from a rather nice, if somewhat hard to understand, gentleman who informed me that Microsoft had received highly unusual traffic from my computer.

 "How did they get my number," I thought to myself.  "Must be some lucrative agreement with the NSA."

Directing my attention back to the kind soul on the other end of the line, no doubt a descendant of those long oppressed by the British Empire in their search for the perfect curry blend, I asked for more information.  He went on to say that the insidious network traffic was being sent as we spoke.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Who let the dogs out?

Here we go again - yet another "major" security vulnerability.  This time it is SSL 3.0 (why is anyone even using this anymore?) that has fallen victim.  Read more about the POODLE exploit at US-CERT.

Edit: The plot thickens!  This might be a good thing...

After reading a bit more on the subject, I realized that there might be a silver lining to this dark dog-shaped cloud after all.  All modern browsers support TLS and only fall back to SSL as a failsafe, so disabling SSL should not present an issue.  Notice that I said modern.  How many web developers out there consider IE6 and its nearly fossilized users to be thorn in their side?  Yes, there are some entities that insist on maintaining compatibility with this dinosaur of a browser.  Guess what IE6 does not support?  You guessed it... TLS!  What better reason to justify discontinuing support for IE6?

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Are you patched?

I'm sure by now you've heard of the Bash vulnerability Shellshock.  Not going to beat a dead horse, but if you haven't patched yet, stop reading this and do it now!  After you're done, check out and see if you're still vulnerable.

Friday, August 15, 2014

The future of IT

Ran across this amazing video the other day where the self-described "NextGenHacker101" graciously shares his expertise in network forensic techniques:

Poor kid should stick to a Mac.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Get your bugles ready - it's Taps for WInamp

Now before you say anything, I know Winamp isn't native to Linux (and yes, you can run it under Wine), but like most Linux users our there, you've probably had to run either a dual boot or dual systems with Windows boxen at some point.  Back in the 90's I did just that.  I spent many hours listening to tunes served up off of a Slackware box to my desktop using Winamp.  Granted, I haven't used Winamp in years, but I was still sad to read today that it's going the way of the dodo.  Apparently AOL (yes, they are still around, too!) managed to foul something else up and drove them into the ground.  I think the only positive thing that AOL will ever be remembered for was their endless supply of free floppy disks and beer coasters.

After 15 years of llama-whipping, AOL shuts down Winamp for good

Sunday, November 17, 2013

What happened to the SourceForge that we used to know?

One can't mention open source software and not think of SourceForge, the once de facto haven for almost any major FOSS project.  There are others that have sprung up over time and lured developers away whether due to better features or the lack of an ever increasing onslaught of ads, but SF has still managed to survive.  Now there is another nail in the slowly creaking coffin  - bundled "crapware."  Take a look at this article from The Register.