Weekly Roundup #1

The first in a (hopefully) recurring series: my weekly roundup of interesting things!

GIMP icon

A native OS X GIMP client was released this week, relieving the need to run GIMP bootstrapped on X11. Both this release and an alternative native client crashed on first run on Mountain Lion. Another launch and everything was smooth. Performance seems to be overall better, however small quirks still exist. No show-stoppers so far.

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FQDN: Frequently Questioned DNS Necessity

This is a topic that often confused me when I first began experimenting with web and email server configuration. So, here is an insanely quick guide to the fully qualified domain name (FQDN):

A FQDN uniquely identifies a single device using DNS. Where the domain zone "example.com" may refer to any number of frontend web servers, "phantom.example.com" would refer to the server named "phantom" on the example.com domain. FQDNs are important because they unambiguously point to a single server by name. Web and (especially) email servers often rely heavily on a properly-configured FQDN.

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Good Security Pays Off

It has been a long week for online security.

LinkedIn, Last.fm, and eHarmony have reported that account passwords may have been compromised. In the case of LinkedIn, an estimated 6.5 million password hashes were publicly released, with many more possibly compromised. While Last.fm has not definitively confirmed that passwords have been compromised, they do suggest that all users change their passwords as soon as possible. eHarmony, on the other hand, joins LinkedIn in confirming a breach of security.

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World IPv6 Launch

World IPv6 Launch badge

June 6 is World IPv6 Launch day. It comes roughly a year after World IPv6 Day, which ultimately helped raise awareness of IPv6 implementation. Launch day aims to push real IPv6 connectivity to the masses, with quite a few ISPs and online entities flipping the switch for customers.

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The Problem with PINs

The personal identification number. Boy, doesn't that make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside? My very own number, designed to uniquely identify me as myself to a system. A secure four-digit identifier. No one would ever know.

Other than their rock-solid security, what else about PINs makes me giddy? They are so stunningly great that I will never, ever forget them. Even though I spat out those four numbers years ago when I opened that account, purchased that first cell phone, or signed up for that service, they are all of such value that I will remember them 'til my death.

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