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Posts from the ‘Computing’ Category

Steve Jobs (1955-2011)

Apple has announced that the company’s co-founder Steve Jobs has died. He was 56 years old.

In a statement, the company said: “We are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Jobs passed away today.

“Steve’s brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives. The world is immeasurably better because of Steve.

“His greatest love was for his wife, Laurene, and his family. Our hearts go out to them and to all who were touched by his extraordinary gifts.”

The homepage of Apple’s website now displays a full-page image of Jobs with the text: “Steve Jobs 1955-2011.”

A dedicated webpage then reads: “Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.”

There is no denying that Steve Jobs and Apple have changed the world we live in today with smartphones and tablets now common in every household. May he rest in peace and our condolences to his family.

The Humble Indie Bundle #3 Is Live

The Humble Indie Bundle #3 is officially live.

You can get 5 classic indie games: Crayon Physics Deluxe, Cogs, Hammerfight, VVVVVV and And Yet It Moves for whatever price you want while helping the Child’s Play Charity and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

The games being cross-platform mean that they work natively on Linux Mac OS X, and Windows. All games are DRM free, so you can install them as many times as you like and even redeem them on Steam and Desura.

So what’s stopping you? Get your hands on some games and support some good causes in the process.

CentOS5 – yum – cElementTree – Python

So you updated using yum, and lo and behold yum is no longer working. An attempt to use yum gives you the following:

$ yum
There was a problem importing one of the Python modules
required to run yum. The error leading to this problem was:

No module named cElementTree

Please install a package which provides this module, or
verify that the module is installed correctly.

It's possible that the above module doesn't match the
current version of Python, which is:
2.4.3 (#1, Jul 27 2009, 17:57:39)
[GCC 4.1.2 20080704 (Red Hat 4.1.2-44)]

If you cannot solve this problem yourself, please go to
the yum faq at:

I had this error on a CentOS5 VPS. Now, the fix for this is simple enough. It involves removal of some packages, then re-installing those packages we removed.

rpm -e yum yum-fastestmirror python-urlgrabber python-sqlite python-elementtree
rpm -i yum-3.2.22-20.el5.centos.noarch.rpm yum-fastestmirror-1.1.16-13.el5.centos.noarch.rpm python-urlgrabber-3.1.0-5.el5.noarch.rpm python-sqlite-1.1.7-1.2.1.i386.rpm python-elementtree-1.2.6-5.i386.rpm

Of course bear in mind the architecture and versions (depends when you are reading this post!) of the files.

This should get you up and running again.

Project Honey Pot – 1 Billion Spammers Served‏

I just received an email from project honey pot, 1 billion spammers have been served. The details are below:

On Wednesday, December 9, 2009 at 06:20 (GMT), Project Honey Pot achieved a
milestone: receiving its 1 billionth spam message. The billionth message was
an United States Internal Revenue Service phishing scam sent to an email
address that had been harvested more than two years ago. More than just a
single spam email, the billionth message represents the collective work of
you and tens of thousands of other web and email administrators like you in
more than 170 countries around the world. Together we have built Project
Honey Pot into the largest community tracking online fraud and abuse.

To celebrate this milestone, we sifted through five years of data to learn
more about spam and the spammers who send it. As a small token of thanks for
your help, we wanted to share some of our more interesting preliminary
findings. Click the following link for the Full Report:

Highlights include:

– Monday is the busiest day of the week for email spam, Saturday is the
– 12:00 (GMT) is the busiest hour of the day for spam, 23:00 (GMT) is the
– Malicious bots have increased at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of
378% since Project Honey Pot started
– Over the last five years, you’d have been 9 times more likely to get a
phishing message for Chase Bank than Bank of America, however Facebook is
rapidly becoming the most phished organization online
– Finland has some of the best computer security in the world, China some
of the worst
– It takes the average spammer 2 and a half weeks from when they first
harvest your email address to when they send you your first spam message,
but that’s twice as fast as they were five years ago
– Every time your email address is harvested from a website, you can expect
to receive more than 850 spam messages
– Spammers take holidays too: spam volumes drop nearly 21% on Christmas Day
and 32% on New Year’s Day
– And much more…..

We have published it under the Creative Commons Attribution license, so
don’t hesitate to share anything you find interesting. In the end, we
couldn’t have gathered this data without you.

Thank you for all your help over the last five years. Here’s to wishing you
happy holidays and a relatively spam-free New Year.

The Project Honey Pot Team

Python receives Linux New Media Award

Python has received the Linux New Media Award in the category Best Open Source Programming Language.

Knoppix inventor Klaus Knopper handed over the Best Open Source Programming Language prize, this year hotly disputed among the jury. The distinction went to Python. “The thing can do anything,” Knopper expressed. Martin von Löwis of the Python Foundation accepted the award for the Python community.

Popular UK Dating Site Relies on MySQL to Power its Rapid Growth

MySQL AB, developer of the world’s most popular open source database, today announced that has selected the MySQL database server for its fast-growing Web 2.0 site. has rapidly become one of the most popular dating websites in the UK, with over 150,000 current users and a further 10,000 joining each month. At peak hours, there may be as many as 16,000 concurrent users in the system. Launched by TV personality Sarah Beeny and business partner Amanda Christie in September 2005, the site has been described as ‘more addictive than lemmings’.

The viral community growth of the site has been a challenge for its technical staff to keep up with. needed a fast, flexible and reliable database that would scale to support its growth. The database had to be cost-effective and backed by a high level of customer support to ensure availability at all times.

“After analysing the various solutions on the market, MySQL was the clear winner. We decided to design the site from the ground up with MySQL and PHP as the foundation in a classical scaled-out LAMP environment,” explains Matt Bridges,’s Technical Director. “I am extremely pleased with the technical support we have received from MySQL AB. We always get a quick response from someone who knows what they’re talking about. It’s the best customer service I’ve experienced from any software company.”

Matt Bridges and his team have found the MySQL database extremely well suited for the needs of a fast growing Web 2.0 site. “The speed of MySQL always impresses me and is the biggest benefit for us. We can squeeze in a surprisingly large amount of queries and concurrent users per second using low cost commodity hardware,” says Bridges. “We also leverage the flexibility to use specific storage engines for different needs.”

Managing Director, Amanda Christie, is enthusiastic about the continuing relationship with MySQL AB. “ changes people’s lives – we get reports of weddings every week here. If we are the maid of honour, then MySQL is the best man!”

Bertrand Matthelié, MySQL AB’s EMEA marketing director, said: “ is yet another demonstration of a fast-growing online company that has been able to jumpstart its business using MySQL. Using our high-performance database on lower-cost commodity hardware, companies can cost-effectively scale their infrastructure. We’re certainly delighted to contribute to so many happy couples in the UK!”