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Au Revoir Simone - Tell Me (Clock Opera Remix) Lyrics

Places exist
For times like this
I never need them
I never need them
Places out there
There’s magic everywhere
I never need them
I never need them
For if, just when I notice it
And it seemed, just ignored
Farther out, just when we need this
And it seems, is this just me
For if, just when I notice it
And it seemed, just ignored
Farther out, just when we need this
And it seems, is this just me

I never need them

I never need them

For if just when I notice it
And it seemed, just ignored

Farther out, just when we need this
And it seems, is this just me

For if, just when I notice it
And it seemed, just ignored

Farther out, just when we need this
And it seems, is this just me

Is this just me

Is this just me

Virgin Media Super Hub Session Data Downloaded/Uploaded Bug

Virgin Media automatically updated the firmware on my Super Hub (Netgear VMDG480 router) recently. Since then I’ve noticed that the Session Data Downloaded value has been ridiculous, like they’re showing MB as GB or something…

28TB in 8 days, 3 of which my computer was off and I was away with my laptop…

2,560GB in 2 hours 17 minutes…

Or how about 16GB in 26s…

I’ve tweeted them about it, so I’ll update this post with their response if I get one.

Accessing a restricted BBC site from the UK

I was just trying to read an article on faster than light travel on the BBC website and I got this message: 

We’re sorry but this site is not accessible from the UK as it is part of our international service and is not funded by the licence fee. It is run commercially by BBC Worldwide, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the BBC, the profits made from it go back to BBC programme-makers to help fund great new BBC programmes

I don’t see why I can’t access the site from the UK. However it is funded from abroad, surely they can use that to fund it in the UK as well. If they have to put an interstitial page warning that the article contains adverts and explaining why, that’s fine, but to deny me access to it and make me to connect to a VPN or use a proxy. 

I wrote an article about using proxies and VPNs to access The Pirate Bay and some of it applies here. The easiest way I know of to access the restricted site is to add .nyud.net to the end of the domain part of the URL as that will proxy the site.

So to make this work in the UK, you can just do this:

Original URL: http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20121003-can-we-travel-faster-than-light/1

Proxied URL: http://www.bbc.com.nyud.net/future/story/20121003-can-we-travel-faster-than-light/1

I hope that helps someone else.

Using ASP.Net Forms Authentication on Load Balanced Servers

We recently started using HAProxy to load balance between two application servers for both HTTP and HTTPS traffic. It was really easy to get working, has worked great so far and we’re really pleased with it. The only issue we had was with our login cookies, which are set via FormsAuth, as when logging in our visitors use HTTPS and might get a different server to the one they were ‘stuck’ to with HTTP which uses a cookie to ensure the same server. HAProxy can’t read a cookie from an SSL stream as the connection isn’t terminated at the proxy, it is still terminated at the web application server (you can end HTTPS connections at the proxy by installing a webserver on it as well though). For us this was an easy fix however. 

From the Microsoft article on FormsAuth:

If you deploy your application in a Web farm, you must ensure that the configuration files on each server share the same value for validationKey and decryptionKey, which are used for hashing and decryption respectively. This is required because you cannot guarantee which server will handle successive requests.

With manually generated key values, the <machineKey> settings should be similar to the following example.

<machineKey  
validationKey="21F090935F6E49C2C797F69BBAAD8402ABD2EE0B667A8B44EA7DD4374267A75D7
               AD972A119482D15A4127461DB1DC347C1A63AE5F1CCFAACFF1B72A7F0A281B"           
decryptionKey="ABAA84D7EC4BB56D75D217CECFFB9628809BDB8BF91CFCD64568A145BE59719F"
validation="SHA1"
decryption="AES"
/>

If you want to isolate your application from other applications on the same server, place the <machineKey> in the Web.config file for each application on each server in the farm. Ensure that you use separate key values for each application, but duplicate each application’s keys across all servers in the farm.

To generate a Machine Key, simply go to this handy webpage and generate a new key. You can then either add it just after the <system.webelement to your application’s local web.config or to the root web.config which will be in your .Net installation folder (something like C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework64\v4.0.30319\Config).

After you have done this on all your servers, you can check them all by going into IIS and selecting Machine Key where you can see if each server is using the correct keys.

However, after doing this it still wasn’t working for us. After a little digging about we realised we hadn’t installed any Windows Updates on the new server. I think it was specifically this one that was stopping it working, but after a full update and a reboot it all worked just fine.

OS X Mountain Lion

I upgraded to Mountain Lion yesterday, as I like to torture myself a little from time to time and see what an OS upgrade will break this time. I’ve only two things that didn’t work, Mailplane and Parallels. Mailplane needed to be upgraded to either version 2.x preview or to the Mailplane 3 beta.

Parallels also had an upgrade with support for Mountain Lion and installing that got it working.

I have two 24” monitors on my Mac and I run Parallels full screen on my 2nd monitor. On the new version with OS X Mountain Lion, when I click inside the VM, apps on my main display start flickering like crazy. There is a forum post on it here, but basically the fix for now is to disable 3d acceleration on your VM.

Some friends and I went out drinking at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park a couple of winters ago. Filmed some pretty funny footage on my camera, so I put it to The Black Eyed Peas as the lyrics seemed to go really well the video, which I edited to be relevant to the lyrics where possible. I still amuses me anyway. :)