Upgrade your PDF reader (don't say we didn't warn you).

News is just out that this is a major security hole in Acrobat reader (what you normally use to open PDF Files). Most people are currently using version 7 or earlier (the version affected). Upgrading to version 8 appears to solve the problem.

Brian Honan has more details with a full writeup at Symantec.

Google scrambles to plug Gmail hole

More information here on ‘Google scrambles to plug Gmail hole’

Two things to take from this:

  1. Even Google Makes mistakes when it comes to Security
  2. Hosted Applications can be patched and rolled out much faster than traditional ones. Can you imagine a problem with your version of Microsoft Office being fixed ‘about three hours later’?

Technical Knowledge Base – Just Launched

Our Technical Knowledge base has just been launched.

We found that over the last 5 years , 80% of the solutions we were building were the same. How many ways are there to take information from the web, apply some business rules or logic to it, and then save it into a database?

Currently the knowledge repository contains information on Enterprise Java , XML , Eclipse, Oracle, Architecture, Project Management as well as a lot of useful links for Dublin, Ireland and Technical specific areas.

The public area to the site can be found here. All information is generic, non-client specific, and can probably already be found on the web, although it is much easier to read it here!

Be nice to your System Administrator

Probably the toughest assignment of the Master’s course so far, but we made the deadline and have now learnt how to be nice to System Administrators. This did not involve us learning how to make them cups of tea, get them the newspaper etc. What it did involve is building systems that manage themselves.

To see what we’re talking about, take a look at the project we put together (links below). It’s a document share system running on 1, 10 or as many computers as you want. It uses Peer-2-Peer (p2p) technology so that even if you pull the plug the others take over and replicate the documents. Ok, it’s not quite ready for venture capital funding, but this idea of ‘self-management’ means that nobody get’s called out of
bed for something that the computer can learn to manage itself.


  1. Download Code as Zip
  2. Browse Code Online
  3. IBM Framework for Autonomic Computing (using Eclipse)

Easier Builds equals more work done

One of the ‘should be easy but takes up loads of time’ items is actually building your code , especially getting the first build working. Until now , the tool of choice has been Ant which means that as soon as one person on a team can get things up and running, everybody else can copy it and do the same (as opposed to having to set up each machine one by one).

Been getting more into Maven which is what the people from Ant did next. It can do everything Ant does , but is more project focussed and on getting results. For example , instead of making you worry about the technical details of the build (which it does very well) , Maven lets you think ‘I want to build the project’ and tries to do (trival!) things like download the necessary libraries for you …

The integration with Eclipse promises to be very good , even more natural than is currently possible with Ant. More details here.