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June, 2012:

Birmingham Bristol Road Olympic Torch Relay pictures!

After just missing the torch in Smethwick, I dashed across town to Bristol Road, where the torch was heading just before reaching Cannon Park. And luckily, I got there with less than fifteen minutes to go - and managed to get an excellent spot for a few snaps!


The Torch sets off again from around 6am at Victoria Square -- check the London 2012, BBC Torch Relay and BBC WM sites for detailed maps and timetables plus live video!

Here's some of what you see before the torch itself rocks up:


If you knew your site had been hacked, would you do anything about it?

Earlier this week a PayPal phishing email dropped into one of my work inboxes. I usually delete them instantly, but I checked out the compromised URL -- and surprise surprise, it was a UK domain. "OK," I thought, "I can do something about this."

Little did I know that the problem - a hacked subdomain hosting PHP redirector files to HTML on other compromised domains, and a fairly simple one to fix in five minutes - still wouldn't be fixed by the web site owner a week later... (more…)

Tiplet: PuTTY disconnecting when checking Exim via telnet? (554 SMTP Synchronization Error messages of doom!)

I've been checking the configuration of an Exim mailserver recently; from another server I could connect to the mailserver on port 25 and manually verify addresses. However, using PuTTY on a Windows boxen resulted in immediate "554 SMTP Synchronization Error" messages being shown in PuTTY before the connection was closed. (Protip: set your PuTTY windows to never close on session end; as PuTTY defaults to this, the error message was eluding me for a few minutes).

Checking exim's rejectlog showed this for all the PuTTY connections:

2012-06-08 11:27:12 SMTP protocol synchronization error (input sent without waiting for greeting): rejected connection from H=mypc.rdns.tld []:58772 I=[remote.mail.server.ip]:25 input="ÿû\037ÿû ÿû\030ÿû'ÿý\001ÿû\003ÿý\003"

Evidently PuTTY, even in Telnet mode, is sending raw control characters to the server which Exim's balking at. So, if you're using PuTTY, enable Raw mode when connecting on Port 25 (and/or 587, depending on your MTA config). And, in your defaults, in the Session section choose "Close window on exit: Never" then save the settings in the Default Settings preset. Happiness will ensue.