Clearing stuck jobs in Huginn

From time to time the job workers in Huginn will lock up. This usually happens if they are subjected to an external resource which can be contacted but never seems to respond. A stuck webapp on the other end is usually the problem. If the connection never dies, or takes a long time to time out it can wreak havoc. However, there's a relatively easy way to fix this. First, you have to shut down your job workers. Depending on how many you have this can take a while... once they're down, though, it's a relatively simple matter to use …

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Converting a Matrix server to use Postgres.

In my last post about the Matrix network I covered how to set up a public Synapse server as well as a web-based client called Riot.  In so doing I left out a part of the process for the sake of clarity (because it's a hefty procedure and there's no reason not to break it down into logical modules), which was using a database back-end that's designed for workloads above and beyond what SQLite was meant for.  I'll be the first to tell you, I'm not a database professional, I don't know a whole lot about how to use or …

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Is this shaping up to be the summer of WTF?

Last last month and early this month, a disturbing amount of WTF appears to have been cropping up around the country. While that shouldn't really surprise anyone as it seems like a common state of mind anymore, I still find it fascinating in the "Wow, that's how they cut someone out of a wrecked car?" way.

First of all, the Supreme Court decided by a vote of 5 to 4 that one's Miranda Rights mean far less than they used to. Dating back to the court case Miranda v. Arizona in 1966, the Miranda rights of American citizens are the …

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Biodegradable surgical implants and surreptitious DNA archival.

After badly breaking a load-bearing part of your body it's not uncommon for an orthopedic surgeon to install a couple of after-market bits of hardware to hold the bones together while they knit. This usually takes the form of a couple of titanium alloy screws, though plates, rods, and tubes are not unknown. The downside of using something made out of metal to put things back together is that the screw holes left behind after the implants are removed require additional time to heal. Plus, the holes further compromise the structural integrity of the bone until they fill in. In …

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A week after the VPMP deadline.

A little more information on the recent compromise of the VPMP and subsequent ransom demand has hit the wires since Wikileaks.org broke the news almost two weeks ago. It was admitted that the VPMP's information security measures were not all they were cracked up to be, as if this would come as a surprise to anyone. The article mentions that a backup system did not appear to be in place, nor a properly configured firewall to control traffic from the public Net. Governor of Virginia Timothy Kaine tried to save face by playing up the countermeasures in place and …

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Virginia Prescription Monitoring Program compromised - 8 million records held for ransom.

Yesterday morning, word got out through the Internet Storm Center that the web server of the Virginia Prescription Monitoring Program was compromised by an unknown attacker. The VPMP is tasked with recording all of the pharmaceutical prescriptions filled in the state of Virginia for the purpose of data mining to determine who may or may not be abusing prescription drugs, and probably who may or may not be selling their prescriptions on the street. Given that Virginia enacted some annoying laws a couple of years ago that require a photo ID to get hold of Sudafed and placed limits on …

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Fribet: A RAT that chews holes in SQL servers.

Since the country of China stepped up its activities in Tibet hundreds of pro-Tibet websites have been springing up all across the Net. Predictably, some subset of those sites are being compromised by pro-Communist China crackers, which is a popular political maneuver (of questionable effectiveness). Not content to merely deface these sites, some of them are being infected with a malware agent called Fribet, which attacks vulnerabilities in the user's web browser to silently install itself. Fribet not only sets up a backdoor into the system that allows it to be remotely controlled but it is capable of attacking other …

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Ameritrade cracked - 6.3 million customers exposed.

The online stock trading and investment company TD Ameritrade announced this morning that a database server holding contact information for approximately 6.3 million customers was cracked and copied by agents unknown. They're saying that the Social Security and account numbers in the database weren't copied, but it sounds kind of odd that crackers would only take names, addresses, and e-mail addresses and leave the good stuff behind. Because the FBI, SEC (Securities Exchange Commission), and FIRA (FInancial Industry Regulatory Authority) are involved they're not allowed to release any more information pertinent to the case. The compromise appears to have …

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