Securing your SSH server

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Enabling SSH on your home server – or a virtual private server, if you have one – is a risky affair. An unsecured server is a tempting target for script kiddies who want to test their “skills.” If you’re already running an ssh server, try the following command to see if anyone’s tried to connect to your computer and failed a password check:
user@computer:~$ sudo awk 'gsub(".*sshd.*Failed password for (invalid user )?", "") {print $1}' /var/log/auth.log* | sort | uniq -c | sort -rn | head -5
 11 root
 9 admin
 6 sales
 2 user

So how do you secure your ssh server so that inquisitive people across the globe can’t access and harm your sensitive data?

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Network timeout while downloading iOS 4.0.1?

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As with last time, some people are reporting problems while trying to download the 4.0.1 iOS update for their iPhones, where their network connection is interrupted and the download cancels. It’s also painfully slow when you’re in Australia or other third world (as far as internet connections go) countries. If you’re one of these people, you can grab the direct downloads here. They’re all direct links to the Apple servers.

Downloading direct is also a lot faster, especially if you’re using a Firefox add-on called “Down Them All!” which splits downloads into multiple chunks so that instead of being restricted to a single slow download, you can run ten slow downloads concurrently – effectively making your download run ten times as fast.

Once you have the file, connect your iPhone to iTunes 9.2 and perform a backup, then hold the Shift key (Windows) or Option key (Mac) while pressing the Upgrade button and select the firmware you downloaded to begin the upgrade process, or the Restore button if you want to install fresh.

Airvideo on Ubuntu 10.04 the easy way

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AirVideo on iPhone

For those of you who don’t know what Airvideo is, it’s a little piece of software which runs on a server in your home and allows you to watch videos on your iPod Touch, iPhone or iPad both in your home via WiFi and when you’re out and about on a 3G network. It transcodes video (including MKV) into something your iDevice can play, then streams it out at the optimal bitrate for the available bandwidth. The server software is free, and the client software is available on the App store for around $2, which is a phenomenal bargain considering what it does.

The server software usually runs on Windows or Mac, but what about people who use Linux as their server operating system?

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