europoint communications https://www.europoint.uk Europoint Communications provides quality assurance and test management consultancy for software and hardware projects across the UK. Fri, 18 Oct 2019 17:01:02 +0100 en-GB hourly 1 https://www.europoint.uk/web/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/e-logo-site-icon-32x32.png europoint communications https://www.europoint.uk 32 32 76712952 Identifying Docker Container IP Addresses https://www.europoint.uk/docker-container-ips/ https://www.europoint.uk/docker-container-ips/#comments Thu, 25 Oct 2018 07:06:57 +0000 https://www.euro-point.co.uk/?p=1684 The post Identifying Docker Container IP Addresses appeared first on europoint communications.

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I have been starting to use Docker to implement a number of applications (Jira, Confluence, Jenkins, GitLab etc), but one issue I have encountered is, that unless you create specific networks for each container, on starting the container, it is given a random IP address (typically the next available one in the subnet).

Since I use reverse proxies to navigate to the containers, I need to be able to redirect from the external URL to the internal IP address of each container, but there is no simple way of identifying those IP addresses.

Enter a quick piece of code that can be used to retrieve the IP addresses for each container: dockerip.sh.

  1. Log into your Linux server that is running Docker as a user that can execute Docker commands.
  2. At the shell prompt, type ‘vi dockerip.sh’.
  3. In vi, press I and paste in the code on the dockerip.sh tab.
  4. In vi, press [ESC] and then type ‘wq dockerip.sh’ and press [ENTER].
  5. At the shell prompt, type ‘chmod 744 dockerip.sh’ to make the script executable.
  6. You can now run the script specifying each container you want the IP address for as follows:
    ./dockerip.sh [containername1 | containername2 | containernameN]
  7. If you want to display IP addresses for all Containers, simply type:
    ./dockerip.sh
  8. If you want to make life even more simple, you can create an alias for the script.
  9. At the shell prompt, type ‘vi ~/.bashrc’ and press [ENTER].
  10. In vi, type ‘dockerip=’~/dockerip.sh’.
  11. In vi, press [ESC] and then type ‘wq’ and press [ENTER].
  12. At the shell prompt, type ‘. ~/.bashrc’ to reload the file.

To run the script you can now use: dockerip in place of ./dockerip.sh.

bash$: dockerip Jira Confluence
Jira: 172.18.0.2
Confluence: 172.18.0.3

bash$: dockerip
Jira: 172.18.0.2
Confluence: 172.18.0.3
Jenkins: 172.17.0.2
GitLab: 172.17.0.3

# Displays the IP addresses for each Docker Container specified:
# ./dockerip.sh [containername1 | containername2 | containernameN]
# or all Docker Containers if no parameters are passed:
# ./dockerip.sh

if [ ! "$@" ]
then
	containers="$(docker ps -f '{{.Names}}')"
else
	containers="$@"
fi
for container in $containers
    do
	echo -n  "$container: "; docker inspect -f 
	'{{range .NetworkSettings.Networks}}{{.IPAddress}}{{end}}' $container
    done

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The (Not So) Impersonal Touch https://www.europoint.uk/the-impersonal-touch/ https://www.europoint.uk/the-impersonal-touch/#respond Mon, 29 Jan 2018 20:50:45 +0000 https://www.euro-point.co.uk/?p=1216 I received a telephone call this evening from a company that purported to be Lorien (on 0333 023 0006 if you are interested), a recruitment consultancy. Ordinarily, this wouldn’t be a problem, although at quarter to eight in the evening, is perhaps not the most appropriate time. There are several problems with this call: whilst […]

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I received a telephone call this evening from a company that purported to be Lorien (on 0333 023 0006 if you are interested), a recruitment consultancy. Ordinarily, this wouldn’t be a problem, although at quarter to eight in the evening, is perhaps not the most appropriate time.

There are several problems with this call: whilst it is common knowledge that agencies will trawl job sites for appropriate CVs, I have never had a business relationship with Lorien, and therefore have never given them explicit permission that they can call me.

More than this, the call was automated, with a female voice informing me that they had my details on file and to comply with GDPR, I either needed to hang up to allow them to keep my CV or press “1” to have my details removed from their database. Now, since I’ve never really had any direct communication with Lorien, it follows on from this that I have definitely never given them permission to call me using an automated system.

GDPR itself is also about explicit OPT-IN. In response, Lorien (purportedly) suggested I do nothing to keep my details on file – in other words, an implicit opt-in; and to press “1” to have them removed – an explicit opt-out.

When I did press “1”, I was then told I was being sent a text message with a link to where I could opt-out. Surely if I have pressed the option to remove my details, then they should do that immediately, rather than have me click the link?

The final joke in this litany of failure is that the link provided was to https://secure.telereso.com. Certainly, the text message said it was from Lorien, but how can I be sure? I’m certainly not clicking on the link to find out.

I have done a bit of digging, just to make sure. Telereso was set up in June 2017 to allow bulk calling, apparently to advertise jobs:

Telereso makes the calls. 1000s per second if you want - people pick up - your job broadcast is played.

Google Search results for Telereso

Clicking on the link, to telereso.com, I was warned that the SSL certificate was not exactly reliable. A further scan of the site reveals that the certificate had expired in 2016 and didn’t relate to telereso.com at all. Scanning secure.telereso.com did at least provide a modicum of comfort, in that it uses a Let’s Encrypt certificate which expires in April (since they renew every 90 days).

SSL Certificate is expired, does not match name telereso.com and is not trusted.

SSL Results for telereso.com

However, it doesn’t inspire confidence in Lorien or Telereso about their adherence to GDPR and the security of your data, given that they are asking for an implicit opt-in, use a third party for service calls, and that that third party has one expired SSL certificate, and uses another free certificate issuing authority to protect their main secure site (I have no qualms about Let’s Encrypt, but what I do question is the level of security they employ elsewhere if they are unwilling to pay for a corporate standard SSL certificate).

And I have still absolutely no proof that the message was sent on behalf of Lorien, because it was entirely automated. So, if you’re reading this Lorien, please remove my details from your system, because I’m not sure I can trust you or Telereso with it.

Update 1st February 2018

I have just had a very pleasant chat with David Gettins, the new CEO of Lorien, to discuss the call, which was a trial to a limited set of people to gauge its effectiveness. It’s encouraging to see that he is keen on learning lessons and improving processes and communication with clients and contractors.

The upshot of this is, that whilst I still think that the call was incredibly misguided and self-defeating, Lorien are listening and learning, and a simple personal call was all it took to reassure me that they are taking things seriously. From washing my hands of Lorien, I am now willing to consider them as an agency. #

All in all, a good start to David Gettins’ new role as CEO, although perhaps internal processes need to be improved to ensure such a catalogue of failures never sees the light of day again.

 

 

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Bringing Agile Practices to the Every Day https://www.europoint.uk/bringing-agile-to-the-every-day/ https://www.europoint.uk/bringing-agile-to-the-every-day/#respond Fri, 10 Nov 2017 14:43:55 +0000 https://www.euro-point.co.uk/?p=1203 For the past four years, I have been working in a fairly agile environment, with intentions of bringing in the DevOps culture of automation for repetitive tasks to reduce the human level of interaction and potential for error. Naturally this is in an Information Technology environment, but I have also been chatting to a number […]

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For the past four years, I have been working in a fairly agile environment, with intentions of bringing in the DevOps culture of automation for repetitive tasks to reduce the human level of interaction and potential for error.

Naturally this is in an Information Technology environment, but I have also been chatting to a number of people who are not in IT, or even technology driven industries. In each case, they were telling me of the workload that they have, which meant them working late or at weekends. Unreasonable demands were also being placed on them by their superiors, who would ask them to do additional tasks, but not understand that this would affect the day-to-day work they were doing.

Having been in the same situation myself, I thought I could introduce them to Kanban as a simple method to control their work, and to be in control of their work rather than the other way round. Theory of course is fine, and whether it will work in practice is another thing entirely, but the concept is simple.

Kanban is a Japanese blended word meaning “Visual Cards”, and the premise is that you write all your jobs on cards (or stick-it notes, or use an application like Jira or Trello) and then move them across a swimlane (vertical columns) from “To Do” to “Doing” to “Done”. This allows you to manage your work load in a visual way. You can see how many tasks you have to carry out for a given period of time, order them in terms of importance, gain a rough idea of how much effort each one will take, and how much you can reasonably complete in that timeframe. With a rule that you should never have more than three tasks in your “Doing” column, so that you do not keep jumping between tasks, this maintains your efficiency and prevents you from feeling overloaded.

Another benefit of working with Kanban is that you can present your workload in a very obvious way: a noticeboard next to your desk with all your tasks in columns can also help your manager to understand how much planned (day-to-day tasks) and unplanned (tasks they have asked you to do on top) work you have. By engaging them in your workload, and asking them to prioritise work they have given you, they can immediately see as you add the task to the board what impact it will have.

So what should you do?

  1. Identify all of your day to day high level tasks.
  2. Break these down into individual work items.
  3. Order these in a column, in order of priority – what must get done this week?
  4. Identify any unplanned work – meetings that you typically get invited to, last minute requests, and add them as potential tasks at the bottom of the list.
  5. Then look at each task and size them – it could be using numbers in a Fibonacci sequence (0,1,2,3,5,8,13 etc), or T-Shirt sizes (small, medium, large, extra-large). Size them based on how complicated and fiddly they are.
  6. Work out how many small items you can do in one day. Then take a maximum of three work items from the top of your list and start to work on them. If that goes over your maximum limit for the day, swap something out so you can complete all those items in the day (for example, you might be able to do the equivalent of 8 small items – so taking 4 small and 4 large is too much).
  7. If your boss gives you a different priority or adds unplanned work into your day, swap them out for one of your existing tasks. Make your board of tasks visible to your boss so they can see what effect their request has on your workload!
  8. Never let your Work in Progress (Doing column) get larger than three items, or for the effort to be more than you can complete in a day.
  9. If a work item is too big to complete in a day, break it down into smaller tasks.

This can also be applied to your non-work life as well – who hasn’t had a huge list of tasks (wash up, vacuum, iron, cook dinner etc) and been unable to decide where to start? Breaking it down this way makes it more manageable, identifies which items are your priorities and what can be left for another day. If you’re feeling stressed over the day to day, give it a go.

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Sunrise Sets With a Fresh Outlook https://www.europoint.uk/sunrise-sets-fresh-outlook/ https://www.europoint.uk/sunrise-sets-fresh-outlook/#respond Fri, 13 May 2016 09:20:04 +0000 https://www.euro-point.co.uk/?p=1121 One of the top calendar apps for iOS and Android, Sunrise has long been a favourite of mine for its simplicity but also its ability to connect to a number of different sites (Office 365, Outlook, Exhange, Google Calendar, iCloud Calendar, Facebook, Wunderlist, Google Tasks, Evernote, Trello…The list goes on). However, last year, it was […]

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One of the top calendar apps for iOS and Android, Sunrise has long been a favourite of mine for its simplicity but also its ability to connect to a number of different sites (Office 365, Outlook, Exhange, Google Calendar, iCloud Calendar, Facebook, Wunderlist, Google Tasks, Evernote, Trello…The list goes on).

However, last year, it was purchased by Microsoft, and it was only a matter of time before it was subsumed into the larger whole (or should that be hole), much as another favourite, Tweetdeck, is being slowly swallowed by Twitter.

The time has now come, where development has stopped on Sunrise and its functionality will be switched off completely on 31st August. The team behind it, according to their blog, are working closely with the Microsoft Outlook team to bring the same functionality to Outlook on Android and iOS. We can only hope that this move doesn’t result in the loss of some of the key functionality and design that Sunrise gave us, either in an interim period after August, or worse still, forever.

Having watched Twitter slowly remove functionality from Tweetdeck in the mistaken belief that Twitter does it better (or more likely with the intention of driving Tweetdeck users to the Twitter platform), I am waiting with trepidation to see the results of the merge of Sunrise into Outlook.

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Nasty Scam Spams https://www.europoint.uk/nasty-spam-scams/ https://www.europoint.uk/nasty-spam-scams/#respond Wed, 04 May 2016 08:01:34 +0000 https://www.euro-point.co.uk/?p=1116 I’ve had a couple of these, rather pernicious, spam emails recently, which purport to be from Her Majesty’s Courts & Tribunal Service and stating I need to attend court to hear the charges against me. Quite what the charges are, and when the court date is, I can’t tell from the email, unless I open the attached […]

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I’ve had a couple of these, rather pernicious, spam emails recently, which purport to be from Her Majesty’s Courts & Tribunal Service and stating I need to attend court to hear the charges against me. Quite what the charges are, and when the court date is, I can’t tell from the email, unless I open the attached document.

Scam Subpoena

Having had experience of friends and family panicking at various spam emails and asking me if they are legitimate, it might be worth pointing out what stands out about these spam emails, identifying them as dubious.

  • The email title refers to a subpoena, but then suggests in the body that you would need to defend against charges. I subpoena is only used for to compel someone to provide evidence, and only in a criminal case. For civil proceedings, it would be a Witness Summons and if you were being charged with something criminal, you would have had a visit from the Constabulary first.
  • It’s missing the date of the court session or even the name of the court from the body of the email.
  • It’s threatening you with arrest if you don’t comply, but in order to work out where you need to go, you need to open the (virus-laden) attached Word document.
  • The image for the HM Courts and Tribunals Service is actually a link off to a site called “TheyWorkforYou”, unconnected to HM Government.
  • And finally, perhaps the most glaringly obvious clue that it is a scam: Any summons to court would be either hand delivered or delivered through the post, NEVER via email.

As with any email that you aren’t normally expecting (such as the one above), always follow the old Green Cross Code mantra:

  • STOP!
  • LOOK!
  • LISTEN (to your friendly local IT expert)!

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Taking a Break https://www.europoint.uk/taking-a-break/ https://www.europoint.uk/taking-a-break/#respond Sat, 30 Jan 2016 15:33:54 +0000 https://www.euro-point.co.uk/?p=1062 Europoint Communications will be taking a break for a while, whilst Matthew Cunliffe explores new avenues of technology and career.

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Europoint Communications will be taking a break for a while, whilst Matthew Cunliffe explores new avenues of technology and career.

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Sharemouse a KVM for the modern age https://www.europoint.uk/sharemouse-a-kvm-for-the-modern-age/ https://www.europoint.uk/sharemouse-a-kvm-for-the-modern-age/#respond Mon, 13 Jul 2015 21:41:15 +0000 https://www.euro-point.co.uk/?p=964 The post Sharemouse a KVM for the modern age appeared first on europoint communications.

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I recently bought a Surface Pro 3, and since I already have a workstation of considerable proportions under my desk, I began looking for a KVM, or Keyboard/Video/Mouse unit so that I could switch between the two machines without having to constantly move between them.

I’m still on the search for one that will not only not clutter up my desk, but also neatly handle a mixture of DVI and HDMI signals, but along the way, I came across Sharemouse.

Sharemouse is a software KVM, and the strikethrough the Video is important, in that, whilst Sharemouse allows you to seamlessly share keyboard and mouse, it cannot support video (at least not yet). The objective of Sharemouse however is slightly different to that of a traditional KVM – if you need a large monitor and are going to be using each PC for long periods of time before switching over to the other, then a physical KVM is the obvious way to go.

However, if you are constantly switching between machines, and use one of the more predominantly, then Sharemouse allows you to work more efficiently, and with less hardware.

The application itself is extremely simple to use. Install it on the two machines that you want to share the keyboard and mouse with and, providing that both machines are on the same network, just moving the mouse off the edge of the screen will switch control from one to the other.

In my case, I had to do absolutely no configuration at all, but just in case you have a different set up, Sharemouse allows you to decide where each machine is sitting on your desk, so that you can swipe up, down, left or right to move to the other.

It also dulls the screen of the machine that is not being used, and clearly identifies what is happening as you switch across, making it immediately obvious which machine you are using.

Obviously, this is not a true KVM replacement, as you still need line of sight on both PCs since it doesn’t share the monitor, but the advantage over a traditional KVM is the instantaneous switch between the two machines.

There are three versions available: the free option for non-commercial use, which allows two machines to be connected; The standard version, which includes additional functionality such as the ability to drag and drop between the two machines and synchronise the clipboard for ease of transfer; and the Pro edition which increases the number of machines you can connect to from 2 to 9, with 16 monitors being configured to work with the software.

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Google's Easter Eggs Have Come Early https://www.europoint.uk/googles-easter-eggs-have-come-early/ https://www.europoint.uk/googles-easter-eggs-have-come-early/#respond Tue, 31 Mar 2015 19:45:51 +0000 https://www.euro-point.co.uk/?p=950 In what seems to be an early Easter present for us all (at least in the UK) Google have provided a not so secret Easter Egg on Google Maps. Head on over to maps.google.co.uk and enter an address. After zooming on the area (with plenty of roads), an option will appear next to the satellite option in […]

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In what seems to be an early Easter present for us all (at least in the UK) Google have provided a not so secret Easter Egg on Google Maps.

Head on over to maps.google.co.uk and enter an address. After zooming on the area (with plenty of roads), an option will appear next to the satellite option in the bottom left-hand corner.

Click on the Easter Egg, and you get the option to play Pacman on the streets of whichever town you have chosen!

Google Maps Pacman

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Twitter Makes TweetDeck More 'Secure' https://www.europoint.uk/twitter-makes-tweetdeck-more-secure/ https://www.europoint.uk/twitter-makes-tweetdeck-more-secure/#respond Sat, 07 Mar 2015 09:31:51 +0000 https://www.euro-point.co.uk/?p=945 Having recently logged on to my Tweetdeck account, a web-based app that allows direct tweeting to any number of Twitter accounts, I was informed that I had to move my login from a unique Tweetdeck account to one of my Twitter accounts before the 31st March. This apparently is done in the name of making […]

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Having recently logged on to my Tweetdeck account, a web-based app that allows direct tweeting to any number of Twitter accounts, I was informed that I had to move my login from a unique Tweetdeck account to one of my Twitter accounts before the 31st March. This apparently is done in the name of making things more secure.

Now forgive me if I think this is a trifle disingenuous. At the moment, my Tweetdeck account accesses both my personal account, and the account for Europoint Communications. By linking my Tweetdeck account to one of my Twitter accounts, not only will anyone hacking my Tweetdeck account be able to access and tweet from both accounts (which to be honest would always have been the case), but they will be able to log in to my personal Twitter account and access the other.

This means that, where before, anybody attempting to hack either of my Twitter accounts or Tweetdeck, would need three different logins, one for each account, now they only need one to gain full access.

Please tell me Twitter, how is that in anyway more secure?

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You Made a Difference https://www.europoint.uk/made-difference/ https://www.europoint.uk/made-difference/#respond Sat, 10 Jan 2015 08:55:41 +0000 https://www.euro-point.co.uk/?p=936 For Christmas 2014, Europoint Communications ran a poll asking you to vote for one of ten charities to receive a proportion of £5000 and Make a Difference.  Thanks to you, the votes are now in, and we have now donated a total of £5004 (rounding up the amounts) to the ten charities below. It’s not over. […]

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For Christmas 2014, Europoint Communications ran a poll asking you to vote for one of ten charities to receive a proportion of £5000 and Make a Difference.  Thanks to you, the votes are now in, and we have now donated a total of £5004 (rounding up the amounts) to the ten charities below.

It’s not over. These charities need our help every day of the year, not just at Christmas. So why not, find out more about Make a Difference and donate?

Charity Results

 

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