Why it is important to watch your credit card or WTF is ATC*SYNAPSE

The scam truck

With all the breaches in credit card security lately I had us bank setup every account alert possible (talk about alarm fatigue). This morning I received a notification that ATC*SYNAPSE active.com was charging me $36.00. Of course I immediately feared the worst, however after doing a little more research it was a recurring charge for Fitness magazine that my wife had signed up for for “free” while registering for a race.

Magazine stack

After doing a little checking $36 seemed rather high when Amazon was selling subscriptions for $5.99.
After a bit of googleing I was able to find the offending company behind this massive over charge, the Synapse Group they have an online service page if you want to cancel online or just call them at 203-595-8255

So the end of the story is that I called them, they are refunding the $36 and canceling our “order”. After they end we will be re-registering with a far cheeper subscription and saving money all around.

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The oddest things get you views

naked CX bike

A while back I wrote a blog post about how the “naked” X-ray scanners at the airport were a bunch of bunk, and how Adam Savage was able to accidentally carry sharp and “dangerous” tools on an airplane after going through one of them. It was a relatively brief post and I never thought it would be a big deal, however I never figured that google would pick it up and link the words Adam Savage and naked together. In this sad world there are apparently several people who search for “Adam Savage naked” and find their way onto my blog. To those of you who do, first I would like to say welcome, and secondly eww and Why?!

It just goes to prove that blog posts have a long tail, and the oddest turns of phrase come back to surprise you!

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Revising bash history

BASH...

One of the biggest flaws of using multiple instances of bash on most linux machines is that the last virtual terminal to close is the one that gets written to bash history. This last in way of recording history is one that causes issues especially when using tools like screen tmux or byobu Fortunately there is an easy update to your .bashrc file:

export PROMPT_COMMAND=’history -a’

The end result is that your bash history will be in chronological order of the commands being entered. While this may not always be the perfect solution it is in most ways better then the alternative of having large chunks of history lost to the ages.

Thanks to this blog for pointing me in the right direction.

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What does the fox say?

You know that an internet meme has jumped the shark when even your Siri, your iPhone’s AI, knows the answer to the question “What does the fox say?”
What does the fox say…

For those of you who don’t actually know the answer to the question, here is what you have been missing out on:



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Merry Christmas, a little late

IMG_0361

As always, we sent out a Christmas Letter in our annual Christmas Cards. For those of you that we either forgot, or just don’t have an address for. Here is a copy of it (pdf)

December 14, 2013

Dear friends and family,

It is hard to believe that another year has gone by! We write this letter on the last day of our vacation as we sit on the beautiful sunny beach in Jamaica and sip a rum punch. We have had a lot of fun and crossed many things off of our bucket list, like snorkeling, climbing and swimming in a waterfall, visiting and sampling a rum distillery, and eating wonderful food like jerk chicken, akee and salt fish, and caviar. While we have been in Jamaica it has snowed over 5 inches back home and we have a rude awakening awaiting us!

In other exciting news Jess has been promoted to Quality Manager at Caremoli. In this new role she will take over her former supervisor’s position after her supervisor moved on to other opportunities. Andy continues his position as a software developer at DuPont Pioneer in the Soybean Field Research Information Management Department. Both of us are looking forward to another productive and fruitful year.

We have both been busy in our organizations. This year Andy was re-elected as newsletter co- editor and Jessica was elected as treasurer for the Alumni Band board. Andy continues his Vice Presidency for the Central Iowa Linux Users Group as well as serving as the Secretary of our Church Council. Finally Jess continues to be active with the local alumnus chapter of ASK.

Jess also continues to be quite the baker and competed for yet another year in the Iowa State Fair food department where she won a personal best 11 ribbons. Including first in white and chocolate cake and peanut butter blossoms. She also participated in two distance races, the Dam to Dam that was almost a half marathon and the Des Moines Half marathon as well as numerous 5 and 10K races

We hope that this past year has also been productive and fruitful for you also, and we are looking forward to the challenges and accomplishments of next year.

Truly yours,
Andy and Jessica Denner

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Fortune is back or how to solve Net::Twitter::Lite error 410: gone

Twitter - New 'Over Capacity' Graphic

My twitterbot is back on line after a long vacation (ok so twitter tweaked their API and for a while they were ignoring my posts) It turns out I needed to add “apiurl => ‘http://api.twitter.com/1.1′,” to my connection information and all was back to working again.

The issue was that Net::Twitter::Lite was using the old twitter API that has been retired. Instead of posting to your twitter account the error 410: Gone was all that was returned.

Here is my updated script (of course you need to add your own keys and tokens)

#!/usr/bin/perl
use Net::Twitter::Lite;
my $nt=Net::Twitter::Lite->new(
  legacy_lists_api => 1,
  consumer_key => "KEY",
  consumer_secret => "SECRET",
  access_token => "TOKEN",
  access_token_secret => "SECRET",
 apiurl => 'http://api.twitter.com/1.1',
);
$quote=`/usr/games/fortune`;
$quote=substr($quote,0,139);
$quote =~ s/\s+$//;
$nt->update($quote);

What is fortune you may ask?  As Wikipedia says “Fortune is a simple program that displays a pseudorandom message from a database of quotations that first appeared in Version 7 Unix.” An example of this is “Beware of a dark-haired man with a loud tie.” The other magic glue that is used here is Perl (a useful scripting language), Net::Twitter::Lite (a light weight twitter api because I am lazy) and Crontab to (periodically run the script and post my wisdom to twitter).  Thanks also to the perl monks for their wisdom in how to solve the error message 410:Gone

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving at the Trolls

Hopefully everyone is having a happy Thanksgiving!

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♫It’s Black Friday!♫



This one is a couple of years old now, but I hope you have had happy hunting!

Please don’t hurt me!

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Cheating CPAN, or how to let CPAN do the right thing on update

Perl
One of the biggest issues I have when I update my perl packages in clan is that it takes for ever to sit there and always answer y to all of the questions. It turns out that there is a way to answer the default answer always (which is what I was doing manually before). Before you run ‘upgrade’ simply type:

cpan> o conf prerequisites_policy ‘follow’
cpan> o conf build_requires_install_policy yes
cpan> o conf commit

then type

cpan> upgrade

and then go get a cup of coffee as it will be a while until it finishes.

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/Boot out of space

Poolbeg Control Room Panoramic - AKA - Homers Desk...

There comes a time after a linux box has been running a while and it has acquired many updated versions of kernels installed on it the Boot drive will eventually run out of space. At that point the only thing that is left to do is remove some of the old kernels and clean up the drive. This can easily be done with the command
sudo apt-get purge $(dpkg -l linux-{image,headers}-"[0-9]*" | awk '/ii/{print $2}' | grep -ve "$(uname -r | sed -r 's/-[a-z]+//')")

to remove all but the current kernel. This worked wonders for my NAS that is currently running Ubuntu 13.04 raring.
Linux Notatoy

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