COVID-19 quarantine, day... who knows anymore.

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I have no idea how long I've been in quarantine.  I've stopped counting because the numbers were just making me twitchy.  Life is going about as well as one could reasonably expect.  We're all save and sound in northern California, as much as we can be during a pandemic.  Working from home is working from home.  To minimize risk we're getting as much stuff delivered as we can, modulo periodic trips to the local pharmacy to pick up filled prescriptions and suchlike. I wish I could say the same of things back home in Pennsylvania, but I'd be lying and …

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Fully remote backups of websites.

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A couple of weeks ago my webhosting provider sent me a polite e-mail to inform me that I was using too much disk space. A cursory examination of their e-mail showed that they were getting upset about the daily backups of my site that I was stashing in a hidden directory, and they really prefer that all files in your home directory be accessible. I ran a quick check and, sure enough, about twenty gigabytes times two weeks of daily backups adds up to a fair amount of disk space. So, the question is, how do I keep backing up …

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Leave nothing to chance.

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Something that I keep meaning to write about is the topic of practical data backups - how to back your data up in such a way that you won't go bonkers trying to manage it, but if you blow a drive you'll be able to restore something at least. The thing about backups is that they're at once easy to overthink and confuse yourself horribly (which means that you'll never make or use them) and easy to do in such a fashion that they won't be usable when you need them the most. At the enterprise level, there are at least …

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US government mines even more personal information than previously suspected.

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Ever since 9/11, the US government has been an informational vacuum cleaner that sucks up information on just about everyone in this country, or who happens to enter or leave the country (as some people with laptops have discovered). What they do with it and where they put it all is a matter of some speculation; suffice it to say that the network attached storage system companies are making a killing selling RAID systems to them... at any rate, it's come to light that they're mining more than just terrorism-related information to generate profiles on people. In fact, there …

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Oracle sure took its sweet old time patching this...

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Oracle is best known for its database system, which many thousands of companies make use of in some capacity or another. It's big, it's bad, it's complex, but it's also got some amazing features, like clustering and replication that many other databases (open source and otherwise) can't hold a candle to, assuming that you understand it well enough to make it work. It's a complex beast, no two ways about it. That complexity, however, is no excuse for them taking two years to patch a security vulnerability in Oracle 10. It's a cross-site scripting bug in the enterprise search subsystem …

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