Category Archives: cloud

Aw, how sweet… #IBM

Dear Alec,

I recognise that this is an unorthodox approach, so I will be brief and hope you find time to respond.

IBM’s acquisition of Green Hat has given us a leadership position in the service virtualisation and integration testing market. IBM’s service virtualisation solution enables our customers to simulate and model the services that share dependencies with the new solutions they are developing. With IBM Green Hat you are able to work with systems which are:

• Not yet operational, or still under active development.
• Only available for testing in limited capacity or at inconvenient times.
• Owned by a third party or partner, who may charge significant fees for access.
• Difficult or expensive to provision or configure in a test environment.
• Required for simultaneous testing by teams with different requirements.

Through the adoption of IBM’s solution, a major financial institution has saved £30 million in the last 3 years, whilst being able to increase the projects delivered by over 100%. 

If this is an area of current consideration I would like to book some time in your diary to identify areas where IBM would be able to help you to meet your business needs more effectively. 

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards

[Name Elided]
Rational Account Manager – IBM

Craig: “Are you a libertarian or something, because I’m not sensing any clear political philosophy behind your position?”

Alec: “No, I’m not a libertarian. I’m from the Internet. I’m here to help.


Install VNC to provide a graphical front-end to Ubuntu Server – Precise, Lucid, Karmic, Jaunty and Intrepid


Administer Ubuntu Server 12.04 using VNC

via Install VNC to provide a graphical front-end to Ubuntu Server – Precise, Lucid, Karmic, Jaunty and Intrepid.

Apparently #Outlook is now a good thing ; also: Regards domain-squatting

From an IM conversation:


BTW: the new outlook is pretty awesome – EMAIL IS EMAIL AGAIN


outlook on what ? [I genuinely had no idea what “Outlook” might mean in this context]

friend – omg – you should camp out a username there


oh, e-mail ?


yes, it’s so easy [that] Microsoft might make a comeback


Meh, I have a mail address but thank you for thinking of me


I recommend just camping your username; it’s a useful tactic and you can always set things to go on autoforward


I get the theory but it would be hypocritical of me


On what grounds?


I already criticise (say) Apple for booking out apple.{every TLD in the known world} and argue that the most important thing is to have a brand and stick to it; though Apple are less bad – Sun was very bad

Sun’s UK website was – completely disjoint from the main Sun website for quite a lot of its existence.

Apple gets branding but still chooses to redirect (eg:) to their .com website; it’s better but I still dislike it.

So I can’t in good conscience go around chasing aliases and mail addresses that I will never use

I’d rather it be known that I make no attempt to control them and that people who want to contact me just work out how to do it.

I own just to prevent arseholes grabbing it for spoof sites; aside from that, I cannot be bothered.

Azure VMs contain amusing capabilities; WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG? /HT @GeoffArnold @seclectech

OK, so, you could say something like “each and every EC2 VM running Linux has the capability to be SSHed into and be driven remotely, shutdown or reinstalled. And you could do the same from the Dashboard, too…” – and you’d be right.

But still: wanna take bets which one is harder to abuse? Especially given the noddy filtration?

One thing that particularly upsets me about #CCDP is that it’s a step towards a British #CALEA (HT #Netflix)

As my former colleague Dave Walker touched upon in a comment in this blog there is a massive question over who has to provide CCDP interception capability if you’re a British Communication Service Provider.

Say you use the Amazon EC2 Cloud – the servers are all outside the UK: Ireland, US West/East/Central, South America, Far East – so none of them are impacted by CCDP, but if you’re a UK business you could end up having to modify your code, take extra logs and provide some means just in case the Government want to know what/whom you’ve been accessing/doing/talking to.

Case in point might be Netflix who use just such a cloud architecture – the Government might want to know in case you’ve been watching some terrorist movies or somesuch; or if you’ve set up one of the thousands of template-driven niche-specific dating websites (example1, example2, example3, example4, example5) which clearly enable communication between individuals.

Will these cloud-hosted sites have to have gchq-logging.php added to their codebase?

And will the module be open-source?

Smells like CALEA.

#TorProject releases cute “Join The Network” YouTube video for #Tor #security #privacy #ec2 #cloudcamp

It’s part of Tor’s Join The Network Campaign to get more people using Tor on a more regular basis – and to promote the setting up of relays to help other people use Tor to regain anonymity and access to materials that their state governments might not want them to see…

…including now the ability to run free or nearly-free Tor nodes in the Amazon EC2 Cloud.

Ogg versions of the video are available for download/reuse at the campaign link above.

BBC – Could the digital ‘cloud’ used for storage ever crash? # Normal people afflicted by #megaupload ‘takedown’

Will Shenton from Bedford, says he stands to lose hours of audio from his work as a DJ and producer.

“I used to spend a lot of time making music myself; a lot of DJ sets, original material. We’d record them, [but] after a while the hard drives got full. We kept them on Megaupload, they’re the only copies on there.

“It would be a massive blow if it all got deleted. It would be a massive part of my life just gone.”

via BBC – Newsbeat – Could the digital ‘cloud’ used for storage ever crash?.

“AWS Free Usage Tier will now include EC2 instances running Microsoft Windows Server” #justwhatineed #not

Dear Amazon EC2 Customer,

We are excited to announce that starting today, the AWS Free Usage Tier will now include Amazon EC2 instances running Microsoft Windows Server. Customers eligible for the AWS Free Usage tier can now use up to 750 hours per month of t1.micro instances running Microsoft Windows Server for free.

With this announcement, customers familiar with Windows Server can gain hands-on-experience with AWS at no-cost. Customers can select from a range of pre-configured Amazon Machine Images with Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2. Once running, customers can connect via Microsoft Remote Desktop Client to begin building, migrating, testing, and deploying their web applications on AWS in minutes. The expanded Free Usage Tier with Microsoft Windows Server t1.micro instances is available today in all regions, except for AWS GovCloud.

Can you say “botnet”? Good! I knew you could!