Response: Django with HTTP Authentication

30 Jun 2006

NOTE: I have not seen Scott’s code. This means that my conclusions about his method could be wrong, depending on whether or not he has already dealt with the issues.

In a recent post by Scott Paul Robertson on his blog titled, Django with HTTP Authentication, he builds a workaround for Django‘s lack of a proper hook to use the authentication system that he needs/wants to use (BTW, LDAP is a good choice and a secure one). I feel for you man, as I’ve “been there, done that and didn’t even get a lousy T-shirt!”

Since Django can not deal with LDAP on it’s own, he decided to use HTTP Authentication and tie Apache (or so it appears) to the LDAP store. Of course, his app still needs to know, at the application level, that a valid authentication is present, which user it is and perhaps some other information.

Unfortunately, this approach could lead to some little security problems.

Again, I don’t know if Scott has already worked around these or not, but I felt it would be good to publicly discuss the possibilities. For all I know, he already has this licked:
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English Invade German Pubs

29 Jun 2006

Apparently, the British citizens who are in Germany for the World Cup are celebrating so hard because of their victory last night, that German pubs are in serious danger of running out of Beer.

Said one German pub owner, “Never have I seen so few [drink] so much in so little time.”

If you’re not laughing from that quote, then perhaps what you need is a history lesson.

Utah #1 Volunteer

26 Jun 2006

According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, Utah has the highest rate of of volunteer work from 2003 to 2005. Here’s the top 5:

  1. Utah: 48%
  2. Nebraska: 43%
  3. Minnesota: 41%
  4. Iowa: 39%
  5. Alaska: 39%

Camera Batteries Didn’t Last

24 Jun 2006

In my recent post, I said that I would try to get better pictures of the commemorative plaques at the U.S. Patent & Tradmark Office‘s training rooms. When I went to start making the attempt, the camera reported to me that there was insufficient power remaining to take pictures. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a spare set (2xAA) of batteries with me.

When I bought the camera, I read in it’s manual that it should last much longer on lithium AA batteries that it will on alkaline, so I guess I’ll have to go get some and try it out. Either way, I should carry a spare set when I’m traveling. I already keep AAA batteries for my headphones and my bluetooth earpiece.

AT&T Announces New Privacy Policy

22 Jun 2006

In yet another interesting article in today’s issue of USA Today, I read about AT&T’s latest move regarding it’s privacy policy.

Oh, and the EFF gets mentioned in the article, starting from the second paragraph.

‘Trusted Traveler’ Program Knocked

22 Jun 2006

Also in today’s issue of USA Today was this story about the ill conceived, so-called “SecureFlight” program that the U.S. Congres suggested following the attacks of September 11, 2001.

Oh, yeah, the House of Representatives is just the place to find a plethora of individuals who you would want designing security systems. Not!

Let me boil it down for everyone:

If you have two pathways to enter a secure area (in this case, the airports), one high security path (what passengers go through today) and one low security path (what SecureFlight and other registered traveler programs would do), which do you think terrorists are going to attack? If you said the low security path, you’re right.

It’s that simple. These programs will, if allowed to launch, completely undermine the rest of the security operations at airports.

Frequent Business Travelers Pack Guilt

22 Jun 2006

Today’s USA Today caries a cover story titled, “Frequent business travelers pack guilt“. Some of it is common sense, but as the author, Gary Stoller, points out, almost no studies have been done to show the impact of frequent business travel.

As a frequent business traveler myself, I can relate to some of the things in the article. There are certainly times that all the traveling has left me feeling drained of all my energy. That’s when it’s not fun. However, as I have no children (yet), it’s (usually) not so bad.

Patent History

21 Jun 2006

I recently posted about a nice little bit of historical information that I had found while traveling for work. Since then, I purchased a digital photo camera. This week, since I’m back at the same location where I found “The Real McCoy” factoid and since I brought my new camera, I decided to take some pictures of some of the plaques.

Unfortunately, the subject I’m trying to photograph is so highly reflective, that only 4 out of the 14 photos I snapped today turned out well enough to be used.
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Free Meals for Going Hungry

20 Jun 2006

As most of you know by now, I’m spending this week on the road. One thing that makes a big difference in how you feel throughout the day is to have a good breakfast. That doesn’t mean a huge feast, just something to get your body energized for the day. This is especially true when traveling.

So, with that in mind, I have filled out the “order some breakfast” door hanger and placed it on the handle the past two nights. Unfortunately for me, each morning, there was no breakfast. It never showed up.
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Stupid Web Sites

19 Jun 2006

Try visiting Hilton Hotels‘ website with any browser other than IE, Netscape 7 or Firefox 1.0. Argh! It dumps you on a “Web Standards” page and you can’t leave it unless you use one of the “approved” browsers.

I haven’t tried it with any handheld browsers, so if you do, please, post a comment about the results.

Anyway, sites like that are yet another reason why I love Konqueror. It took just 10 seconds to tell Konqueror to pretend to be Firefox 1.0 (on Linux, of course) whenever it connects to “”. Presto! No trouble at all. In fact, the whole site renders perfectly.