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MyBroadband broke a story today on Vodacom exposing your cellphone number in HTTP headers for sites that you visit.

I played around and found a few workarounds, some are trivial, and others are less so.

The MyBroadband story is HERE and it is not the first time that this has been noticed, in a MyBroadband forum two years ago there has also been mention of this HERE

Three ways to get around this and keep your Cellphone number from being exposed:

  1. Tunnel your traffic through an HTTP Proxy. I tested Squid and Firefox with the proxy addon for mobile and without more than enabling Squid Auth the headers were altered and my cellphone number was no longer exposed.
  2. Use the Opera Mini Browser. It also tunnels your traffic through a proxy server and the details get stripped and replaced with others.
  3. Change your APN on your phone. In SETTINGS under Mobile Networks I added another APN with the same settings as the standard one and without using the proxy settings my cellphone number is not exposed any more. No idea if this will last though. Adding a custom APN does mean that you can add proxy settings for it, meaning you can play with what gets sent to the world from there. The Vodacom supplied APN cannot be edited to have proxy settings added. To update, this only works for a few hours before the numbers get displayed again, and in some cases not at all.

You could also use a VPN, I did not test this since I am not in the mood for that kind of PT at this late hour.

If  you want to test if your cellphone number is still exposed after you made your changes go to and check if you can see your number at the top of the page.

I work with a company that rolls out Google Apps for Business as a product for VSME’s. We consult with business decision makers and their IT teams and then we help them migrate their email and documents onto the Google platform, and once the data is uploaded we send our team in to migrate the users over to the new way of working.

This is often where the problems begin.
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Last year when I did a week with Win7 and proprietary software, I noted that for the disk size and the cost, you don’t really get much with Windows. If you wanted more functionality, you needed to download Windows Live Essentials – which at the time was only available with certain kinds of Win7, such as Ultimate and Professional – or you would have to buy MS Office, which came in various flavors with differing functionality.

What is the situation like with Win8?

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Days Three and Four where on a Saturday and a Sunday, and since I really did not get a lot done on the laptop I decided to make them and today (Monday) to be my Day Three. This means that I would have some extra time on Win8 and provide a more fair assessment of how it is to use it.

Very busy today, so a quick note on a few things before I do a more complete write-up later this evening.

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(Day 1 is here)

Day 2 was Friday 9 March, I am only putting it up this morning because Friday was a nightmare of a day.

Anyhow, I was able to work in Win8 all day without needing to switch over to Ubuntu or Win7. Since I was able to spend a whole day with Win8 I decided to list some stuff I like about it.

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So I installed Win8 last night in a bid to sus out the user experience of the new Metro interface.

Long story short I am back in Ubuntu at the moment, I haven’t given up, mind, but I needed something to work and could not get Windows to co-operate. I will write it off to me not being as familiar with the platform as with Ubuntu and try it again later.

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I haven’t blogged in a very long time, and since I have to evaluate Windows8 for work in order to get the tech team up to speed on it I thought it would be a great opportunity to get back into blogging by doing a 7Day Challenge where Windows8 is my default “office”.

Previously I did a 7Day Challenge with Windows7 and proprietary software, and remember those frustrations well. This will be a good opportunity not only to sus out Win8, but also get a feel for what improvements have been made in the world of Proprietary software.

So far the verdict is not too good, IE is being mean to me. I might have to install Chrome or Firefox before too long because IE does not play well with Wordpress on Win8, I have to write in HTML mode to make sure my changes get recorded.

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Colorful Bash Prompt

Custom Bash Prompt

As a sysadmin I spend a lot of time logged into other servers via SSH session. Often I have to log into systems I am not familiar with, and it is very easy to forget which one of the seven terminals that you are working in is actually logged into a remote machine.

I am certain I am not the only one that have accidentally shutdown a server while logged into it. Newby mistake, and never repeated due to this trick I learned.

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The mobile device revolution is in full swing. From Smartphones and Superphones that changed the mobile device game to Tablets that are threatening to effectively put Netbooks out of business save for a few niche applications, our mobile world is changing. This is having an impact on less than mobile computing – your large Laptops and also your venerable Desktop Computer.

Are we moving toward the death of the computer and laptop as we know it today?
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Over fourteen years of working for and with various managers and teams I have witnessed many negative manager archetypes, people who are effective leaders often in spite of themselves.

As many managers as I have worked with, so many management styles manifested themselves. This post wil focus on some of the negatives that have directly influenced myself and my co-workers during the course of the past fourteen years.

I will not cite specific examples, since I consider many of those who have provided examples by their failures to be my friends, and in some cases some of my colleagues might get into trouble for airing their grievances to me.

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