It's often useful to be able to find out what your external IP address is. I often check when I'm at client sites, to discover if I'm behind a NAT, remind myself whether I'm browsing through an SSH tunnel, and so on. There are a number of sites available that provide this service, e.g. whatismyip.com and myip.dk, but I recently decided to set one up on Kitserve. It's accessible at https://secure.kitserve.org.uk/ip/.

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I discovered today that the UK's Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) has issued a proposal that Nominet's terms and conditions be changed so that they are contractually obliged to “suspend domains where Nominet has reasonable grounds to believe they are being used to commit a crime”. On the face of it this seems like a good idea, as there are an ever increasing number of sites out on the internet serving up viruses, attempting to steal confidential information, and so on.

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The process of tethering allows you to connect your computer to the internet via your phone's 3G mobile connection. This is a life saver if you are working in a location where you don't have access to other internet connections. Broadly speaking, there are two methods of tethering: plugging the phone directly into your computer via USB, or setting up the phone as a mini Wi-Fi hotspot. I prefer to plug in directly because Wi-Fi uses up battery power on the phone (and the laptop if unplugged) very quickly. Unfortunately, I have an Android phone and a Mac computer. The official Android website says that you can use a USB cable for tethering with computers running Windows or Linux but not with Mac OS X. Nevertheless I have found a way to do it with OS X, read on for more information.
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Some time ago I was asked to provide some simple advice for non-technical users on protecting their data and office computer systems. Most people are aware that computer security has become a huge problem in recent years, but the sheer amount of (often conflicting) advice on the subject often drives people to ignore it - after all, if you're just trying to do your job, you don't want to have to spend a lot of time learning obscure technical information. With that in mind, this article outlines five basic things to keep in mind to stay safe online.

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I've been setting up Ubuntu on my mother's laptop because the Windows XP system that it came with 5 years ago is grinding to a halt. With a 1.5GHz Celeron M processor it's not exactly a supercomputer but with a fresh new Linux system it can still be a decent, useful computer for several more years.

I went for Lubuntu because it's lightweight and easy to use.

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The Problem So you've followed all the instructions on installing Tomcat and you're almost ready to create your first JSP web app. Unfortunately, you can't seem to access the web interface for Tomcat even though it's started and Netbeans throws this error: Starting of Tomcat failed, the server port 8080 is already in use. See the server log for details. The truth is, it may not be anything to do with the port number assigned to Tomcat! The Solution
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Here's the scenario: you are developing a web application using PHP on an Ubuntu server. You need to pull in data from an external database as part of the app. Unfortunately, the external database is Microsoft SQL Server. Accessing a PostgreSQL or MySQL database via PHP is very easy, but as I discovered, accessing MS SQL Server is less straightforward.
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