500 Internal Server Error

Got a personal website hosted on Godaddy that all of a sudden started giving me 500 Internal Server Error:

I have the domain and hosting at Godaddy – Economy Linux hosting. I use WordPress as the front end. Not the WordPress setup they offer, but I uploaded my own WordPress files, setup a MySQL db, and configured everything manually. I use the site to host family pictures and videos. I haven’t made any changes in a month however all of a sudden I’m getting 500 Internal Server Errors.

During the course of my investigation, I found out it was due to my .htaccess file. The site worked without it, but why? It worked fine before!

Turns out it was the following line in the file:

# disable directory browsing
Options All -Indexes

I commented it out, and everything worked fine. Not sure if it’s a Godaddy issue or an Apache issue. Probably the former.

But I would think it would be prudent to disable directory browsing. However, what’s weird is that I have similar setups with Godaddy, including the Options All -Indexes, and have no issues…yet.

Switch To GNOME From Unity

I know Ubuntu folks are touting Unity as the new desktop theme, but it doesn’t work well on the netbook where real estate is limited. The Launch Pad on the left seems very inflexible. With it, using a web browser [ in this case firefox ] seems difficult. The best option for me was to switch from Unity to the classic gnome desktop.

1. Select Applications from the Launch Pad.

2. Locate and click on the Login Screen icon. Then click on Unlock so you can change the settings.

3. You will have to authenticate with your login password.

4. Select Ubuntu Desktop Edition from the dropdown, for the default session.

5. Select the option to Log in as <Username> automatically and set the login timer to 10 seconds, then hit Close and reboot.

6. After reboot, you should get back to a login window. After you select your username, the taskbar will appear at the bottom of the screen. In the taskbar, make sure the desktop version is still Ubuntu Desktop Edition. Then simply login.

The above steps were written for Ubuntu 10.10, but I suspect they should work for 11.04. However, instead of going from Ubuntu Netbook to Ubuntu Desktop, you have to go from Ubuntu to Ubuntu Classic.

Ubuntu Netbook Remix

Got myself a Dell Inspiron Mini 1012 a while back, for work. I travel from office to office and I use it to remote into my main desktop at homebase. The netbook came preloaded with Windows 7 Starter, which is fine for what I needed to do. I’m not a Linux expert. Far from it. But I recently ran the Windows Update, downloaded and installed Service Pack 1, and basically blew up my netbook. Hey, s#!t happens. Sooo, after I reloaded Windows 7, I decided to also install the Ubuntu Netbook. So I figured I write about my experiences with it here.

HuffPost – Texas Exposes Private Records: State Accidentally Releases 3.5 Million Personal Records

Epsilon e-mail Marketing Breach

By now, you may have heard of the security breach at mass email marketing company Epsilon, where the names and email addresses of thousands, if not millions, of people have been stolen. The current list of companies include:

  • 1-800-Flowers
  • AbeBooks
  • Ameriprise Financial
  • Barclays Bank
  • Best Buy
  • Brookstone
  • Citibank
  • Disney Destinations
  • Hilton Worldwide
  • JP Morgan Chase
  • Kroger
  • Lacoste
  • Marriott International
  • McKinsey Quarterly
  • New York & Company
  • Robert Half
  • Target
  • Tivo
  • US Bank
  • Verizon
  • Walgreens

The warning emails are starting to role in. This one from Target:

When will it become Standard Operating Procedure, and an industry standard, if you are storing customer info, to store it in an encrypted database! It can’t be that difficult!! The money you are spending on the resulting PR, could probably have been used to secure the database.

I blame, not only Epsilon, but also the companies that dealt with Epsilon for not making it a requirement that the customer info be encrypted.