Curl, unquoted URLs, and LANGSEC

April 1st, 2017

The other day I had an unpleasant realization about curl, and how I use it. I'm going to guess most programmers have had this experience:

tim@puter:~$ curl -sS https://www.example.com/whatever?foo=bar&baz
[1] 638
bash: baz: command not found
tim@puter:~$ <!doctype html>
<html>
<head>
    <title>Example Domain</title>
...

...and immediately have the reaction "oh dammit I forgot to quote the URL", because that innocuous little ampersand is getting interpreted in bash as "run the preceding as a command in the background".

This has happened to me from time to time for years, but it was only this week that I realized how *dangerous* it is.

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Why I’m using Windows nagware on my Linux box

April 26th, 2007

When I switched to Linux a couple of years ago, I was able to find excellent replacements for most of the software I used on Windows. In a couple cases I had to use Wine to run my favorite Windows-only programs until I was more comfortable with the replacements, but there was one that I never gave up: Textpad.

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Ubuntu “Feisty Fawn” upgrade was a breeze

April 20th, 2007

I just completed the easiest operating system upgrade I've ever experienced: Ubuntu Edgy Eft to Feisty Fawn. I directed the entire process over VNC, and did not have to leave the GUI at any time. Only a single restart was required, I did not have to edit any config files, and there does not seem to be anything left to clean up.

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IE 7 on Linux

October 28th, 2006

When I'm making a web page at home on my laptop (a Linux machine), I test it on Firefox and IE 7. (I only test on IE7 now, because it will be distributed to Windows users as a high-priority update.) Unfortunately, IE 7 will not install under Wine, which is annoying because that's how I run Windows programs on my Linux machine. However, there is a way to get the layout engine of IE 7 working under Wine -- and that's all I need.

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Login screen crashes after Edgy Eft upgrade (solution)

October 28th, 2006

After upgrading Ubuntu Linux from Dapper Drake to Edgy Eft, I found that the login screen would malfunction with the message "The greeter application appears to be crashing. Attempting to use a different one." A different login screen would appear (which worked just fine), but it was still irritating.

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