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A rarely mentioned obstacle when attempting to duplicate or migrate enterprise-class applications is IP-dependency. Not just topological dependencies that are easily addressed with dynamic routing and switching protocols in conjunction with a boot script, but internal dependencies – the ones so deeply embedded in the application’s “identity” that to change the IP address is to break the installation and render it useless. These are the applications that, upon asking for an exported image for testing purposes, virtualization experts will tell you is far more efficient to start from scratch, because the IP dependency issue will cause more trouble in the long term than simply starting over. Moving such an application to a public cloud is nearly impossible due to this restriction, and any bursting or data center extension model is out of the question. This is also a pr... (more)

How I Dated Three Amazing Cookies

I searched high and low for them and my standards were high. One main requirement: they had to be unique. Eventually I picked three, and of the three I picked one I love best. So, I broke up with the other two. Three Pretty Amazing Cookies 1. Red Velvet Cupcake Cookies, Byrd Cookie Company, $7/box You're an amazing cookie. Really, you are. Major props to the Byrd Cookie Company for introducing an awesome cupcake flavor into the cookie world. Plus, you look hot in pink and I like how your cream cheese-flavored sugar topping is cool on the tongue. The flavor comes close to the real thing. But why are you so tiny?? I would love to see a bigger, freshly-baked version of you one day that's soft and chewy--then maybe I won't feel bad for shelling out $7/box. Momofuku's Cornflake Marshmallow Chocolate Chip Cookie 2. Chocolate Walnut Chewies, Whole Foods $4.99 for 4 You had me ... (more)

Excuse Me But Is That a Gazebo On Your Site?!

There are few things in reality that can match The Gazebo in its ability to evoke fear and suspicion amongst gamers. The links on your web site may be one of them. In the history of Dungeons and Dragons there exists the urban legend known to all as “The Gazebo.” The Gazebo, over the years, has become a gaming euphemism for a situation in which people over analyze and overestimate the risk involved with interacting with some “thing”. In the case of The Gazebo the “thing” was, as you might guess, a gazebo. Yes, a simple wooden structure placed in gardens where lovers meet under the moon and all that. A player, according to legend, would not believe this simple gazebo was not dangerous. So he attacked it and, failing to elicit a response, eventually decides to run away. The DM (Dungeon Master), having been frustrated by the waste of time that was the encounter, decide... (more)

When Bad Pictures Happen to Good Desserts

Like people, not all desserts are photogenic. I'm kidding! Well, kind of. Since I started this blog in May, I've been eating dessert everyday (even when I'm sick). Sometimes three times a day on a good day (or a horrible one). So if I don't blog about it, it's either, one, they're not worth the effort (Crumbs Red Velvet Cupcake, this means you, you big fat disappointer), or two, I took bad pictures of them. Usually it's nothing completely major. Either they're not the right color, not the most flattering angle, plain un-pretty, or some odd combination of the three. I blame them on days when excitement gets the best of me and I would quickly trade my camera for a spoon. Behold, a parade of bad pictures of good desserts--completely unedited. Cheesecake Factory's Stefanie's Ultimate Red Velvet Cheesecake Case in point of over-excitedness. But come on, look at that--white ch... (more)

Behind the Scenes, SANta Claus Global Cloud Story

Cloud Expo New York There is a ton of discussion, stories, articles, videos, conferences and blogs about the benefits and value proposition of cloud computing. Not to mention, discussion or debates about what is or what is not a cloud or cloud product, service or architecture including some perspectives and polls from me. [Santa Photo Via ABC news] Now SANta does not really care about these and other similar debates I have learned. However he is concerned with who has been naughty and nice as well watching out for impersonators or members of his crew who misbehave. In the spirit of the holidays, how about a quick look at how SANta leverages cloud technologies to support his global operations. Many in IT think that SANta bases his operations out of the North Pole as it is convenient for him to cool all of his servers, storage, networks and telecom equipment (which ... (more)

Christmas Card ToonUps Now Available on Facebook

ToonUp Snippets, a multi-media company in Wayne, PA., is introducing animated holiday e-cards for Facebook in the nick of time for those who have yet to mail greeting cards. ToonUps e-cards let Facebook members select holiday-oriented, animated, cartoon videos; add any photo of themselves or their friends from their Facebook albums or their PCs; add personal messages, and send e-cards to multiple Facebook friends at once. To access the Christmas e-cards directly, a Facebook member can go to the Christmas Card ToonUps application. Members also can check out the Christmas Card ToonUps Fan Page click the “Become a Fan” button. By becoming a fan of Christmas Card ToonUps, Facebook members can be notified when new e-cards are available for future holidays. “We want to spread as much good cheer and good will as possible this holiday season, and what better way than send... (more)

REST API Developers Between a Rock and a Hard Place

A recent blog on EBPML.ORG entitled “REST 2010 - Where are We?” very aggressively stated: “REST is just a "NO WS-*" movement.” The arguments presented are definitely interesting but the most compelling point made is in the way that REST APIs are constructed, namely that unlike the “ideal” REST API described where HTTP methods are used to define action (verb) and the path the resource (noun), practical implementations of REST are using a strange combination of both actions (verbs) and resources (nouns) in URIs. What this does is simulate very closely SOA services, in which the endpoint is a service (resource) upon which an action (method) is invoked. In the case of SOAP the action is declared either in the HTTP header (old skool SOAPaction) or as part of the SOAP payload. So the argument that most REST APIs, in practice, are really little more than a NO WS-* API is fa... (more)

There Are Several I's in This Team

Posted a new article last night on configuring BIG-IP LTM VE In a VMWare Team environment with servers (DevCentral login required) and just wanted to let you all know. It’s a relatively complex topic, considering that the pieces all work well separately, but if you’ve configured networks in VMWare before it isn’t too bad to get going. I chose CENT-OS as the server OS because then if any of you decide you want to toy with the team, you can email me and I’ll get you a copy somehow. You’ll need VMWare, and a license key for the BIG-IP VM, but otherwise you should be able to mess with it as-is. I prefer though that you use the article, which tells you how to set up the same environment, so if you’ve already got BIG-IP LTM VE and VMWare, just follow the steps. For my part, I’d like to thank Jason and Lori for their JIT help with two different issues I ran into. They’re s... (more)

Turning the Pushdo Bot into the Push-oh-no-you-don’t Bot

Options to put a stop to the latest mutation of the Pushdo trojan The Pushdo bot is a malevolent little beast that is nothing new to Infosec professionals. What might be new, however, is that it recently changed its code and now creates junk SSL connections. Lots of them. I mean you are likely seeing an unexpected increase in traffic by several million hits spread out across several hundred thousand IP addresses. No you didn't read that wrong that is millions of hits and hundreds of thousands of IP addresses. This might be a big deal if you're used to only getting a few hundred or thousands of hits a day or you don't have unlimited bandwidth. -- ShadowServer 01/29/2010 Pushdo is usually classified as a "downloader" trojan - meaning its true purpose is to download and install additional malicious software. (SecureWorks, Analysis of a Modern Malware Distribution System... (more)

Are You Scrubbing the Twitter Stream on Your Web Site?

Web 2.0 is as much about integration as it is interactivity. Thus it’s no surprise that an increasing number of organizations are including a feed of their recent Twitter activity on their site. But like any user generated content, and it is user generated after all, there’s a potential risk to the organization and its visitors from integrating such content without validation. A recent political effort in the UK included launching a web site that integrated a live Twitter stream based on a particular hashtag. That’s a fairly common practice, nothing to get excited about. What happened, however, is something we should get excited about and pay close attention to because as Twitter streams continue to flow into more and more web sites it is likely to happen again. Essentially the Twitter stream was corrupted. Folks figured out that if they tweeted JavaScript instead... (more)

Amazon Makes the Cloud Sticky

Stateless applications may be the long term answer to scalability of applications in the cloud, but until then, we need a solution like sticky sessions (persistence) Amazon recently introduced “stickiness” to its ELB (Elastic Load Balancing) offering. I’ve written a bit about “stickiness”, a.k.a. what we’ve called persistence for oh, nearly ten years now, before so I won’t reiterate again but to say, “it’s about time.” A description of why sticky sessions is necessary was offered in the AWS blog announcing the new feature: Up until now each Load balancer had the freedom to forward each incoming HTTP or TCP request to any of the EC2 instances under its purview. This resulted in a reasonably even load on each instance, but it also meant that each instance would have to retrieve, manipulate, and store session data for each request without any possible benefit from lo... (more)