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Keith Gregory
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Every suburban office park that I've been in had the same smell: it's the smell of new carpet and laminate glue.

The has to be old office parks, but maybe I've never been in one?

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Thank you, Sergey Brin.

And I can only hope that other immigrants who head tech companies take a similar stand, or maybe one that's more dramatic: "the reason we stay here is because the US is the land of opportunity for all"

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Server-side Authentication with Amazon Cognito IDP

AWS Cognito has a compelling feature set, and handles functionality that most programmers just shouldn't be writing themselves. But it is incredibly poorly documented, and has some quirks that make it a pain to use. This post is one attempt at using Cognito Identity Provider (IDP) for server-side user management.

Why do banks send their customers emails with embedded links? Do they want their customers to become prey for phishing attacks?

Here's an idea: if you receive an email from your bank (or, really, any organization that expects you to create an account to do business), call their customer support line to ask if it's a valid email.

If enough people do this, it will increase the cost of customer support, and perhaps the organizations involved might just stop this idiotic (and in my opinion criminally negligent) practice.

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Hacking the VPC: ELB as Bastion

A common deployment structure for Amazon Virtual Private Clouds (VPCs) is to separate your servers into public and private subnets. The problem with this deployment model is that there's no way to access your servers from, say, your office network.

The standard solution is to create a "bastion" host in the public subnet: you connect to the bastion and then to the private hosts (usually via an SSH tunnel). The only problem is that you've got another thing to manage.

But as it turns out, you already have a bastion host: the ELB. This post walks through tunneling RDP traffic through it.

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This is the script for a talk that I'm planning to give tomorrow at BarCamp Philly . The talk is a “live committing” exercise, and this post contains all the information needed to follow along. With some links to relevant source material and minus my pauses, typos, and attempts at humor.
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