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How-to: Survive Heartbleed

Bleeding Hearts: Street Art on Maybachufer – Artist UnknownFor those who have never seen the term Heartbleed before, it is not the latest medical scare to follow SARS, Ebola and Bird-flu. In fact, its nothing medical at all. For those with an eye on the technology news, you may have seen all kinds of mis-reporting and scare stories.

So what is Heartbleed and what can you do to survive it?

First of all, the Heartbleed SSL vulnerability is a computer security crack – and NOT a virus.

Heartbleed is a vulnerability in web-servers running the authentication software OpenSSL. This is the non-proprietary version of Secure Sockets Layer, the open source implementation of SSL and TLS, the protocols used for secure connections – look for web addresses beginning https://, not http://. Continue reading

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Review: Gravity (2013)

Gravity movie posterAlfonso Cuarón’s Oscar-winning technical tour-de-force is a thriller come adventure come survival story, yet, with a cast of only two, remains epic in every sense.

Sandra Bullock is entirely sympathetic (if not entirely believable) as civilian astronaut Dr Ryan Stone, a technical specialist in orbit to upgrade the Hubble Space Telescope. George Clooney is barely, but memorably, there as shuttle commander Matt Kowalski.

Don’t you know it, those pesky Russians have shot down one of their own satellites, creating a shower of debris hurtling across the sky at 20,000 miles per hour. The high-speed space junk takes out their shuttle, then the ISS, until the only refuge is a Chinese space station. Continue reading »


Review: American Hustle (2013)

American HustleSome serious 70′s hair and make-up; but no Oscar nomination in that category, while The Hustle seems set to sweep all else before it. And like the director’s previous Silver Linings Playbook, it’s all a bit mad.

David O Russell’s trademark off-the-wall and off-kilter view of America is filtered through this ‘based on a true story’ heist caper; a period movie that lets Russell’s repertory players light up and show off. But sorry boys, it’s Amy and Jen who steal the show.

Note it’s not just any hustle, but an American hustle. Continue reading


Review: Sherlock Season Three

Sherlock Season Three Poster

Spoiler Alert!

Are three episodes really a season? Gatiss and Moffat (with Steve Thompson) write more tricksy, twisty, cheatsy, glossy, 90-minute features based on Conan Doyle’s great detective.

Through each of the knowingly post-modern, vain, smug, self-congratulating tangle of unsolved mysteries, plot holes through which you can pour the Reichenbach Falls, and style covering the lack of substance – and indeed plot – it remains brilliant.

As does the Freeman and Cumberbatch bromance, now complicated by the Watson wedding and the best Best Man’s wedding speech of all time. Continue reading »


Think Before You Post

Think! Before you post (Alex Kinsella)From Alex Kinsella ‏via Twitter @alexkinsella

Saw this sign in my daughter’s school this morning. Good advice for any age.

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