Listed on

Prowl as a Nagios Notifier

Prowl (@ProwlApp) works now (Apple it seems has finally sorted out its developer portal issues in relation to certificates) and notifications are flowing. All in all the presentation and configuration of alerts is great. Read More...

Twitter

The reality of social media is that it exists to further a business aim … someone has to pay for it and there are significant costs in providing the service. One of my problems with the social media phenomenon has been seeing why I want to subscribe to an advertising feed - the usual is answer is to get a discount or to be informed of new products. Traditional media provides plenty of avenues to convince me to buy stuff, my inbox is already filled with companies I already deal with. So what benefit does Twitter bring me? What justifies adding a new mechanism on top of email, RSS and websites?

I have recently seen two examples of using Twitter to provide urgent information about product problems - Twitter seems extremely well suited to this particular type of communication perhaps even enough to open the advertising floodgates further. Read More...

Prowl

As part of improving my reporting of Nagios alerts I decided to try using the Growl framework via Prowl to my iPhone. This was precisely the wrong time to do so as Apple is having an extended down time on their developer centre and a certificate renewal and hence his push notifications are not working. I have to praise the developer of Prowl as in spite of his obvious frustrations he has used Twitter to keep his users informed in a humorous and effective way. This is one of the best examples of handling a fault that is out of your control and crippling to your business that I have seen. Read More...

NBN: Australian ISDN Revisited?

Simon Hackett’s fascinating talk (http://simonhackett.com/2013/07/17/nbn-fibre-on-a-copper-budget/) on the NBN and reducing the cost of it whilst retaining the fibre reminded me of some Australian telecommunications history - Australia’s ISDN overlay network. Read More...

Goodbye Postini, Hello SpamHero

With the impending doom of Google’s mail filtering service (the service formerly known as Postini) I have been searching for alternatives. The front runner is SpamHero. My business partner at Clarinet Internet Solutions, Daniel O’Callaghan made the transition easy and came up with an interesting hybrid solution for further enhancing its operation. Read More...

Why security by obscurity is a double own goal

We all “know” that security by obscurity is a “bad thing” but why is it? And why is it a double own goal for a security company? Read More...

Tranisition to nowhere

As a user of Postini (now known as Google Mail Filtering) I received a number of communications from the Google Postini Transition team saying that they were migrating services off the old Postini infrastructure and onto the new Google Apps infrastructure and that I could select to transition or not and to keep an eye out for the new agreements and that you can get extra information by following some links. Later, they sent another friendly e-mail saying that your existing service won’t really be affected except to make it better by allowing you to have the power of Google Apps.

Then this morning arrived the non-renewal notice.

Apparently my transition is a transition to nowhere.

Please understand, I do not question Google’s right to no longer offer a service, nor to change their mind. The issue is the poor manner in which they communicated with their customer - somewhere along the way I feel I went from being an asset to being an inconvenience. Read More...

Was the BOFH sleep deprived?

Is your systems admin irritable? Could it be sleep deprivation? The BOFH (Bastard Operator from Hell) is a classic figure from computer science fiction (http://bofh.ntk.net/BOFH/) famed for his low tolerance for users disturbing his ‘work’ schedule and doing exactly what they asked but rarely what they wanted. His quick wit probably means that he wasn’t sleep deprived but I am starting to ask how prevalent are the effects of sleep deprivation and what we need to do about them. Read More...

DFRobot Xhouse

DFRobot (www.dfrobot.com) have a demonstration iPhone App and software for their Xboard series of devices. Apart from a small issue with a cable the Xhouse demo project was a fun little diversion - easily built and potentially useful. Read More...

Android on the Desktop - If the plug fits

One thing I didn’t expect when I deployed a bunch of Android based boxes in a call centre was that operators would start plugging their iPhones etc in. Apparently, if the plug fits … Read More...

Fluid: not quite there

After testing fluid for a couple of hours I found that it had a number of problems with some of the web sites I was most interested in wrapping up; but would probably work fine for other commercial web sites. Read More...

Fluid

Today I bumped in to one of those apps you always knew should be easy and should have: Fluid. This application wraps up a web site and makes an application icon you can click on to start. Read More...

Science vs Journalism

Some years ago I worked with a very astute social scientist (you know who you are!) who had worked in journalism and in academia and she made a number of observations about the difference between writing for the two. The recent article in Fast Company (http://www.fastcompany.com/1285154/top-scientist-slams-electric-vehicles-misses-mark) contrasts markedly with Research Fortnightly’s article (http://www.rsc.org/images/ResearchFortnight_tcm18-152803.pdf) which it is critical of. Read More...

Ubiquiti UniFi

My venerable Airport Extreme base stations at the farm with Ubiquiti Networks (www.ubnt.com) UniFi APs and UniFi AP outdoor. This is a fairly challenging environment for a WiFi network as the house is constructed with Hebel (reinforced foamed concrete) and a number of tin sheds. Read More...