Backup your Delicious Bookmarks!

[UPDATED 2012.07.05 : Apparently Delicious changed their API to automatically limit to 1000 entries if you don’t specify via the “results” URL argument.  Updated the script below, but you should customize to your own limit. ]

If you’re not paying attention, (Yahoo and) social bookmarking service Delicious is in trouble. Although no one can know for sure what will happen, you can bet Delicious will never be the same, one way or another.  So while we’re all looking for alternatives (so far nothing awesome found), you should think about backing up your bookmarks just in case the worst happens.

So you’ve got plenty of options for backing up your cloud’d bookmarks. You can import your bookmarks into another service, you can copy/backup (or export/edit) the ybookmarks.sqlite file in your Library/Application\ Support/Mozilla/Firefox/Profiles/BLAH dir. Here’s your other 2 options:

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Quick Note: sshblack updates for OSX 10.6 and China

If you’ve got sshd (or anything else) running on your computer that is open to the internet, i recommend installing some extra security measures to help ensure you don’t get hacked. I’m not going to go into all those details right now, but i recommend setting up sshblack which will watch your logs and blacklist multiple attempts to break into your system.  I’ve got sshblack running on OSX (basic Mac config instructions here), and since i recently updated to Snow Leopard, I had noticed some extra network activity.   After checking my logs, I could tell that someone bad in China was trying to brute force their way in to my machine with a list of random user names. (Obviously you should disable ssh access for all common usernames like root.)

So after reading the logs, it turns out that the ssh error messages have changed in 10.6, so you need to update your sshblack to look for these new errors. Or maybe this is just a new type of attack, but it did coincide with my Snow Leopard update. Regardless, I had to add “Invalid user” to my :

my($REASONS) = '(Failed password|Failed none|Invalid user )';

And then just restart your sshblack.  So there you go, my system is now back to blocking China.  I guess Michael Scott was right.

MicroReview: Syncplicity

(The first in hopefully many “MicroReviews” – small reviews geared to quickly get the bottom line info to you. No fluff!)

I was looking for a way to backup/sync my Google Docs locally, and Syncplicity seemed to be one of the only (free) currently working options (now that Google Gears has been disabled). Overall, it is a very simple/slick interface, with some benefits over DropBox (ie: you can “sync” any folder on your system). Importantly it uses Google Docs API, and doesn’t require your password.  It will sync Docs down and convert to MS Doc, XLS, and PPT format so you can edit locally in your native MS Office. Unfortunately that’s all it does, and doesn’t support any other file types on Google Docs. And unfortunately there seems to be a bit of lag before you notice changes in the Google Docs sync.  What’s worse is that if you “move” a doc on your computer to a subfolder, it only does a “copy” leaving a duplicate behind. And the new “copy” loses all sharing you previously had. Bottom line, this is a no-go for now.

Current alternatives: SMEStorage (Sorry, there was no way I was giving them my Google password), and Insync (I’m still waiting for an invite), or someday Google will release its new “offline” HTML5 stuff.

Free Google Calls Still Confusing

Is it just me, or is Google Voice the most confusing product ever?  I must be getting too old, because I have no idea what is going on. And I invented the interweb. Maybe more on my Google Voice confusion later, but at least today the confusion went in a whole new direction for me.

Today, I got a notification for free US calls in my Gmail (more info here).  So I checked it out, and at first it seemed cool. I called my own phone, and got a wierd caller-id. So I figured out you have to sign up for Google Voice to get a phone number.  So i did that, and now my calls from GMail have my new Google Voice caller ID.  I paired my cell phone with Google Voice, trying to figure out how the consolidation works. Within Google Voice, I can set it to make outgoing calls with my cell’s caller ID, however when I make a call from Google Voice, it rings my cell phone (to patch you through, i guess) instead of calling directly from the browser.  And then i went back to GMail and made a call from there, but you can’t change the caller ID there, as it always uses your Google Voice number from there.  What is going on here?

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