Automated firewall iplist updates

So I’ve used pingdom for years to monitor servers/services related to my hosting business www.serve-you.net. They offer a great service at a reasonable price, so I don’t have to setup my own monitoring hosts. They have tons of monitoring servers around the globe, which is a good way to not only monitor the up/down status, but also latency/page load times, etc.

The problem I often have though, is that monitoring servers are added/removed fairly often. I usually have pretty strict firewall rules on my servers, so allowing these servers is a must, since the activities that they perform is often seen as an attack. Pingdom publishes a list of active servers in the control panel, but keeping up with this and manually updating my firewall rules (I use CSF on my cPanel servers) can be a pain. Luckily Pingdom also has an RSS feed with the server list, though it’s in XML format of course. So I finally got around to setting up a script to automate updating the firewall rules daily with this list.

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Android Awesome Sauce

So if you haven’t noticed, I have a whole new section here devoted to all things android. Since I’m using an Incredible, most of my info is centered around that device. However, a lot of the information is the same for other phones, especially the EVO, which shares a lot of the same framework. I hope people find it helpful. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to let me know, and I’ll take them into consideration.

My comcast cancellation call

So I called comcast to cancel my cable internet service today, and the conversation went something like this:

comcast: Hi, how can I assist you today?
me: Hi, I’d like to cancel my internet service.
comcast: May I ask the reason?
me: I’m switching to FIOS.
comcast: Why do you want to do that?
me: Faster speeds.
comcast: You know, we have pretty fast speeds available too.
me: I’m pretty sure I have the fastest already.
comcast: What city are you in?
me: Ashburn
comcast: One moment…. Yes, I see you have 16/2. You do know that you are getting a discounted rate on this service? You pay $56/mo, normally it’s $62/mo.
me: All the more reason to switch.
comcast: So there’s nothing we can do to keep you?
me: No. I’ve already switched.
comcast: Okay. You just need to return your router within 5 days.
me: Thanks. Have a nice day.

Verizon FIOS Install Part 2

Well, miss utility showed up on Friday to paint lines. Saturday afternoon, I found a bunch of guys in my backyard digging. I went out to see what they were doing, and how they planned to get the fibre to my house. We have a 4 foot wide stone path that goes from the side of the house all the way to the garage, so the fibre has to get across it somehow. They found a drain pipe that connects from my gutter drain, that goes under the path to drain the water away from the house. They wanted to run the fibre in that. I told them no way, you need to tunnel under the path. They weren’t happy about it, but they gave it a shot.

They dug a whole about a foot deep on one side of the path, then trenched it out and took a 6 foot spike and hammered it under the path. I sat out there watching them pound away at the spike, wondering how they planned to get it back out once they made it through. After about 10 mins of work, and digging on the other side to find the end, they just pounded the thing right back out. I was pretty impressed.

They shoved the fibre cable through, and pulled it out the other end, then routed it up the thin trench they made through the yard back out the fence to the box. We are lucky enough to have the junction box directly behind our fence. They ran it up to the side of the house, and bundled it up and zipped it to another pipe for the installer to connect to the box he’ll install.

The cable itself is pretty heavy duty. It’s about half an inch wide, and it’s flat rather than rounded. The ends are capped off with a nice thick cap to cover the polished ends.

All told, they were done in less than an hour, and left very little trace that they had been there.

Debian still sucks!

So my brilliant company signed another big debian customer. Lucky me gets to create images for this crap across 2 data centers, 3 hardware platforms, and 2 different versions of debian. Such BS. Of course the first server I try to build is complaining about the CDROM, cuz it’s virtual.

I H A T E D E B I A N