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Showing posts from 2012

Mobile broadband for home usage in the UK

I've recently moved into our own home (yeah!) but found myself with no timeline yet on when I can get home broadband :-( The situation is that Openreach has an open order on our new phone/ADSL line so can't do anything for quite a few weeks, until then - and that particular order is probably a cancellation!! It is a peculiar situation in that it would have been quicker if the previous owners hadn't done the right thing and then we could have "taken over" the line. No ISP is interested in the line until then even though I can show we legally own the house. So I've decided to document how I kept working and kept our sanity.

Firstly my requirements were that needed a fair bit of bandwidth as we have three heavy Internet users in the house and many devices, and that we don't get hit with massive bills if we go over any cap. I looked at pure pay as you go devices but the cost per GB worked out at about £5 per GB. Nasty! So for the main bandwidth I went with Th…

A few tips for Amazon

Just got asked about getting started with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and thought may as well put as a blog post as well.
So here they are: Make sure you take support of some kind from Amazon. You need it as sometimes your machine might get a glitch or you just want to ask a few questionsGet to know the account team at Amazon. They will give you free technical training and help you out. Once you grow enough they'll also help you change from credit card billing to on account billing. I personally wouldn't worry about trying to alter contract/legal terms and conditions - you'll tie yourself in knots for ages and gain virtual nothingArchitect for failure. With Amazon you still need to have redundancy and backups. See my blog post at http://blog.next-genit.co.uk/2012/04/building-for-amazon.htmlUse their products where possible to reduce work for you. e.g. Amazon Linux (their version of RedHat), RDS (MySQL, Oracle), DynamoDB (a NoSQL database)Start with small instances and make b…

Fixing your twitter being hacked

Often people are sending out junk tweets or direct messages from their account and they are not sure how to stop them. For example the latest ones are direct messages like "Hi someone is posting nasty rumors about you..."  or "Hi some person is posting nasty things about you..." or "Hi somebody is saying really bad things about you..." or sending out status updates such as "I lost weight without having to make any major diet changes while boosting energy levels, heres how: http://media-channel-8.com"

The reason for this is that your Twitter account has been compromised. This was probably due to you clicking on a bad direct message or going to a malicious website.

To fix this go into https://twitter.com/settings/applications and revoke every single application. These are web applications that you have given permission to at some time to use your Twitter account - all those applications listed can go and post spam if they are malicious. Don't …

Building for Amazon

Recently there has been a bit of comment from a couple of people around an article that appeared about using Amazon Web Services (AWS).

To be honest I'm more than a bit annoyed about how they were written up. The article made it sound like I'd given a talk about my use of AWS at work, or had helped write an article. I hadn't done either, but was part of a panel discussion around cloud. I do note that one of the other panellists was similarly written up too... Most of the article was from an answer to a question about what was good, and what was bad about Amazon with other bits picked out from other things. Some of it was not quite sensationalised and I didn't know the article was happening or a chance to review (something that has always happened before and I've spoken at around 20 events).

So first of all I want to go on the record and say I am a strong supporter of Amazon. They, Google and Salesforce are the companies who have done more than anything else to push…

Cloud computing and location of data

Disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer so this is not legal advice, and these views do not represent my employer's views either.

One of the big elephants in the room with cloud computing is the location of data. People are naturally worried about whether their data is accessible by others or not. Some providers will tell you the location of the data, some will not. There are also the issues of the Patriot Act and safe harbour when interaction with technology providers across the Atlantic.

The Patriot Act requires a US based corporation to hand over data to the government and they do not have to disclose it to the end customer either if they are service provider. As far as I can understand you are not protected any further even if the data is in the EU or another region. The defining requirement is whether they are a US based company.

One thing that is mentioned often is safe harbour. Basically what safe harbour means is that the US based provider will adhere to the same standards as the…