Diamond Pickaxe Hard Enamel Pin-Badge

 

Following the success of my previous minecrafter badges, I have made some hard enamel versions of a diamond pickaxe. It is of amazingly high quality.

IMG_4942 IMG_4943 IMG_4944

If you are interested in purchasing this badge then contact me.

 

All proceeds from this badge are donated to a local charity to provide equipment and support for children from disadvantaged backgrounds to play the game Minecraft and learn computer programming at the local Coderdojo and Scouts and are not for commercial or individual gain. Minecraft ®/TM & © 2009-2013 Mojang / Notch

 

OpenSSL HeartBleed Bug – Explanation and fix

Heartbleed is a recently discovered small bug that relates to the OpenSSL’s implementation of the TLS ‘heartbeat’ mechanism.

The bug is present only in the OpenSSL versions 1.0.1 through 1.0.1f!

By exploiting this bug, an attacker can request that a running TLS server hand over a relatively large slice (up to 64KB) of its private memory space. Since this is the same memory space where OpenSSL also stores the server’s private key material, an attacker can potentially obtain data such as:

1) private keys
2) TLS session keys
3) confidential data
4) session ticket keys.

The remedy

You can test if a given server is vulnerable using this tool: http://filippo.io/Heartbleed/ (enter your domain as for example: yourdomain.name:443)

To check the OpenSSL version running on your server, use the following command via SSH:

CentOS

# openssl version
OpenSSL 1.0.1e-fips 11 Feb 2013

Ubuntu

# dpkg -s openssl | grep Version
Version: 1.0.1-4ubuntu5.6

Having identified a problem, the first step is to patch OpenSSL. Fortunately this is relatively easy. The 1.0.1g version is not vulnerable, and Debian has a patch. You can also recompile OpenSSL with the -DOPENSSL_NO_HEARTBEATS option.

Installing OpenSSL 1.0.1g on CentOS:

# cd /usr/local/src
# wget -N http://www.openssl.org/source/openssl-1.0.1g.tar.gz
# tar -xzvf openssl-1.0.1g.tar.gz
# cd openssl-1.0.1g
# ./config
# make
# make install
# alias cp=cp
# cp /usr/local/ssl/bin/openssl /usr/bin/openssl
# cd /usr/local/ssl/include
# ln -s /usr/local/ssl/include/openssl openssl

Once done, check the version again and restart the web server:

# openssl version
OpenSSL 1.0.1g 7 Apr 2014

Restart any services using SSL.

Installing OpenSSL 1.0.1g on Ubuntu:

# apt-get update
# apt-get install -y openssl libssl1.0.0

Restart any services using SSL.

What’s the TLS Heartbeat mechanism ?

The TLS Heartbeat mechanism is designed to keep connections alive even when no data is being transmitted. Heartbeat messages sent by one peer contain random data and a payload length. The other peer is suppose to respond with a mirror of exactly the same data.

If you want to read more about this, the best written article I’ve found on this topic can be found here: http://blog.cryptographyengineering.com/2014/04/attack-of-week-openssl-heartbleed.html

Top 20 replies by programmers when their programmes don’t work

20. Thats wierd…..

19. It’s never done that before.

18. It worked yesterday.

17. How is that possible?

16. It must be a hardware problem.

15. What did you type in wrong to get it to crash?

14. There has to be something funky in your data

13. I haven’t touched that module in weeks!

12. You must have the wrong version.

11. It’s just some unlucky coincidence.

10. I can’t test everything!

9. THIS can’t be the source of THAT.

8. It works, but it hasn’t been tested.

7. Somebody must have changed my code.

6. Did you check for a virus on your system?

5. Even though it doesn’t work, how does it feel?

4. You can’t use that version on your system.

3. Why do you want to do it that way?

2. What were you doing when the program stopped working?

1. It works on my machine.

 

…..I must confess that we say No. 1 in our office all the time when someone phones up still running Windows Xp and IE 6!

Minecrafter Badge

I have commissioned a special badge with a goal of showing that the wearer is an avid Minecraft player.

If used in Scouting, at present it can only be worn on uniform for 1 year from the date of issue as a custom badge with approval from your county commissioner, however I am working to get it internationally recognised as an activity badge.

I have requested approval from the Scout Association to call this an official activity badge, however this has not been granted, and has to wait until their next review, so they are not official activity badges, and does not have the scouting logo on the badge. I am obviously hoping the the Scout Association approves the badge and allows me to make it an official badge with the logo on it!

Its called the Minecrafter Badge. Its available in four different styles.

Explorer Minecrafter Badge - Pack of 5 Scouts Minecrafter Badge - Pack of 5 Cubs Minecrafter Badge - Pack of 5

Its primarily designed to encourage those who are not perhaps the most athletic and sporty to feel that they too can achieve something, and a wonderful way to get potential new members interested.

 

Getting the badge

For Scout leaders wishing to purchase this badge, it is available for £1 each from below. This covers the cost of making the badge, the postage and a very small amount of profit that is used to support a local scout troop. NB. For all orders  of £15 or over there is free shipping.

 

 

Minecrafter badge – Red edge, blue background

Minecrafter badge – Gold edge, red background

Minecrafter badge – Light blue edge, blue background

Minecrafter badge – Dark blue edge, yellow background

 

 

These are not official scouting badges, however as they were conceived of and designed by scouts we propose the following criteria to help you with determining sufficient knowledge to attain the badge if you wish to do so. Lots of the goals are about creativity, but you should add a focus of online safety if possible.

Proposed Badge Criteria (Beavers & Cubs)
UPDATED to cater for single-player where no internet access is possible.

Here are the criteria that need to be met for you to be awarded the Minecrafter Badge.

Complete the following:

1. Play Minecraft on either a PC, Xbox, Playstation, iPad/Tablet or Raspberry Pi

2. Show that you know how to create a single-player world

3. Demonstrate an understanding of how to make/craft the following using a crafting table

  • Furnace
  • Chest
  • Bed
  • Torch
  • Ladder
  • Cobblestone stairs
  • Armour
  •  Sign
  • Bucket
  • Sandstone slab
  • Pane of glass

4. Demonstrate an understanding of how to make the following tools and from what materials they can be made

  • Sword
  • Pickaxe
  • Shovel
  • Axe

5. Play minecraft in a single-player or multi-player environment for at least 1 hour in a 7 day period and build something unique in the world (something you have come up with, not a copy of something someone else has made).

6. Explain why it is important not to do the following when on a multi-player world

  • Breaking the creative works of others

 

Proposed Badge Criteria (Scouts)

Here are the criteria that need to be met for you to be awarded the Minecrafter Badge.

Complete the following:

1. Have your own Minecraft account (where financially possible, recommended, but ideally not purchased as part of this badge). Not applicable for Raspberry Pi.

2. Show that you can download and install Minecraft on to a computer or Raspberry Pi

3. Show that you know how to create a single-player world

4. Show that you know how to add / join a multiplayer world

5. Demonstrate an understanding of how to make/craft the following using a crafting table

  • Furnace
  • Chest
  • Bed
  • Torch
  • Ladder
  • Cobblestone stairs
  • Armour
  •  Sign
  • Painting
  • Bucket
  • Sandstone slab
  • Pane of glass
  • Stone bricks
  • Red Brick

6. Demonstrate an understanding of how to make the following tools and from what materials they can be made

  • Sword
  • Pickaxe
  • Shovel
  • Axe

7. Play minecraft in a multi-player environment for at least 1 hour in a 7 day period and build something unique in the world.

8. Explain why it is important not to do the following when on a multi-player world

  • Breaking the creative works of others
  • Disclosing your real name or personal details about yourself on the chat
  • Use bad language or say things that others may find offensive or to deliberately inflame the situation
  • Arrange to meet up with someone you don’t already know
  • Build offensive structures or signs

 

Proposed Badge Criteria (Explorers)

Here are the criteria that need to be met for you to be awarded the Minecrafter Badge.

Complete the following:

1. Have your own Minecraft account (where financially possible, recommended, but ideally not purchased as part of this badge). Not applicable for Raspberry Pi.

2. Show that you can download and install Minecraft on to a computer

3. Show that you know how to create a single-player world

4. Show that you know how to add / join a multiplayer world

5. Demonstrate an understanding of how to make/craft the following using a crafting table

  • Furnace
  • Chest
  • Bed
  • Torch
  • Ladder
  • Cobblestone stairs
  • Armour
  •  Sign
  • Painting
  • Bucket
  • Sandstone slab
  • Pane of glass
  • Stone bricks
  • Red Brick

6. Demonstrate an understanding of how to make the following tools and from what materials they can be made

  • Sword
  • Pickaxe
  • Shovel
  • Axe

7. Play minecraft in a multi-player environment for at least 1 hour in a 7 day period and build something unique in the world.

8. Explain why it is important not to do the following when on a multi-player world

  • Breaking the creative works of others
  • Disclosing your real name or personal details about yourself on the chat
  • Use bad language or say things that others may find offensive or to deliberately inflame the situation
  • Arrange to meet up with someone you don’t already know
  • Build offensive structures or signs

9. Demonstrate the following working  constructions:

  • 2×2 Jeb Door using pistons and redstone (http://minecraft.gamepedia.com/Tutorials/Jeb_Doors)
  • Redstone tripwire that causes a dispenser to shoot snowballs or arrows at the person who has tripped the wire
  • A working roller coaster with start and stop similar to a real roller coaster.

 

Sales of the minecrafter badges have supported individuals / provided the following equipment for a local scout troop:

  • Purchase of equipment for the survival skills badge work and a survival skills bivouac camp
  • Special fully-funded scout adventure camp to the Mourne Mountains for scouts and their families
  • 20 AirSoft BB Guns for Master At Arms badge
  • 20 bows, arrows and targets for Master At Arms badge
  • Tug of war rope
  • Funding for scouts living in areas of rural deprivation to go to 3 annual scout camps and 2 overnight camps
  • Annual subs for 18 scouts living in areas of rural deprivation whose parents cannot afford the annual costs
  • Purchase of over 800 award/merit badges so that there is no additional costs for parents of scouts living in areas of rural deprivation

iOS 7 – the amazing hidden spirit level

iOS7

Its a brilliant new feature of iOS 7, yet you probably wont have heard about it virtually anywhere. There is a spirit level (a fantastically accurate one that works on multiple planes) built in to the compass app.

 

Open the compass app and then swipe left (thumb on right of screen and swipe across to the left) to go to the next screen

IMG_3954

 

What you get is this – in this mode the level checks if your phone is flat on its back. Set your phone on your desk and you can see if it is level! You may hope its not off by 9 degrees like the screen-shot below or no pen or pencil would ever stay still.

IMG_3955

If your desk is level – it goes green 🙂

IMG_3956

If you turn your phone on its edge, the display changes to allow you to check the level across the phone. You can make this even more accurate for longer distances by putting the phone on a plank of wood, and it is remarkably accurate.

IMG_3957

 

 

The same as with the phone flat, if you get it level, the screen goes green! No more paintings hung at an angle for iPhone users!

IMG_3958

 

 

Paying drivers every time they are stopped at temporary road-works

This proposal concerns the annoying habit of utility companies and building firms to not co-ordinate their activities, and cause huge disruption to drivers with temporary road-works during the working week. Too often huge disruption is caused, yet there are practically no workers there actually doing the road-works to ensure they are completely quickly.

The practical party proposes that for every occasion where a driver has to stop (is stationary) at a set of temporary road-works traffic lights or stop/go signs during the working week (Monday-Friday, 8am til 6pm) the company  / individual doing the works must pay the vehicle driver a single 50p (fifty pence). This includes ALL instances where the road-way is impeded, including but not limited to road building works, hedge cutting, pipe laying, accidents and residential/commercial building works adjacent to the road.

There are no limits to the number of times drivers can receive the money, as long as they are fully stationary, it must be paid as compensation for their journey disruption. Any company or individual who impedes the road must get the road-way cleared again for traffic as quickly as possible.

On motorways, a similar scheme will be introduced, whereby drivers can submit a claim online for deductions against their road tax of £1 for every instance of road-works that have impeded their journey and an additional £1 for every mile of road-works. There will be a smart-phone app (and a separate stand-alone sat-nav style device) that is linked by numberplate with GPS location that will automatically apply the deduction to the next road-tax bill for the vehicle.

On motorways for every minute of stationary time once the Police or emergency services are on-site due to an accident there will similarly be a £1 deduction in road-tax using a similar scheme to the motorway claim scheme.

The Practical party will work with Google, Microsoft and Apple to develop a national road mapping tool that is available freely for all companies and individuals completing road-works to see what other companies have planned in the area. This maps will be available to the public, and must be updated before any road works are carried out, no matter how small. Failure to comply will result in a £10,000 fine for the company or individual involved, and a reward of 50% of this fine to be paid to the individual who first reports that road works are taking place without first being notified on the national mapping system.

Calibri and Cambria fonts for Mac

One of my very, very few annoyances when moving to the Mac platform was the lack of Calibri and Cambria font, so I did some research and found them after a lot of digging around. I decided to make them available for all those others who also were looking for them!

Fonts included:

Calibri

Cambria

Consolas

Constantia

Corbel

Download Calibri and Cambria Fonts (.zip file, 3.4Mb)

To install, simply download, extract and double-click on each font and then click on the “Install Font” button to install.

Install Font Mac

These are the fonts that come with Microsoft Office.

These fonts are copyrighted to Microsoft, however (I have checked with Microsoft UK on this by telephone on 14th June 2013) you are allowed to have them provided that you own a copy of either:

– Microsoft PowerPoint Viewer (Free), fonts are included

– Microsoft Office (Any version, Windows or Mac)

 

–Update June 2015: Now downloaded over 122,000 times! The most popular post on my blog!

Now available also to download from here – San Francisco Font (as used on the Apple Watch)

 

Calibri Font for Mac, Cambria Font for Mac, Consolas Font for Mac, Constantia Font for Mac, Corbel Font for MacCalibri Font for Mac Download, Cambria Font for Mac Download, Consolas Font for Mac Download, Constantia Font for Mac Download, Corbel Font for Mac Download