Amateur Web Traffic Analysis

Not meaning to sound like I am trivialising the studies that I am doing (too much), but
I’ve just had a look ahead into this unit, and there’s a section on web traffic analysis.
Interesting, I thought, perhaps I can learn something…

I was wrong.

I had a better look, and downloaded their sample web log file, installed the application
they give us, then ran it through and had a quick look at the output. Considering we are
supposed to be learning useful things, why are we analysing an IIS log file? Apache controls
a larger proportion of the web server market, and it would be a better example in my
opinion. Add to that the fact that we are analysing a log file which appears to be for a
site bringing in all of 2 hits per day! This is ridiculous, talk about activity for
activity’s sake! At work we are figuring out problems like how to get 16 webservers to
write to the same log file without corrupting it because they are all hitting it so fast,
and at Uni, I’m learning all these ‘important’ things like how to analyse a technically
inferior web server’s mocked up log file!

And people wonder why I don’t have the highest regard for most University study…

AvantBlog Authentication Work-around

I’ve posted details of an authentication problem work-around for AvantBlog. Basically the problem arises because AvantGo appears to expire sessions after about 24 hours whether you want them to or not (correct me if I’m wrong here anyone…)

To get around this, you can easily configure your AvantBlog channel to pass your username and password along with each request for the channel, as per these instructions;

  1. Go to and log in using your *AvantGo* details
  2. Click the “My Device” tab on the left
  3. Click your “AvantBlog” channel to modify its settings
  4. In the “Location” box, add the following onto the end of the address “?username=USER&password=PASS” (no quotes), where USER is replaced with your username, and PASS is replaced with your password.
  5. Save the details (“Save Channel”) and exit AvantGo’s website
  6. Synch your handheld again – you should find that you are now automatically logged into AvantBlog, and this should continue each time you synch, whether you post or not!

I’ll also post my warning that went with the mailing list email I sent out here;

Obviously, this method means that your channel is defined using your actual username and password, in plain text. These details are passed ‘over-the-wire’ in plain txt, so this is not particularly secure. The chances of someone exploiting this are minimal, however if your blog contains any sensitive information or is of a secure nature of any sort, I do not recommend that you configure AvantBlog using this method.


Hello, Mr Anderson, We’ve Missed You

Apparently, Glenn Pass, my tutor for NET12, will also be taking NET26 (Cyberanalytics).
This is great news, because I thought he did a particularly goo job with NET12, providing
constant support and motivation to keep moving through the unit. I will be glad to go
another round with him ๐Ÿ™‚

One Down!

Well, there we have it — I’ve just submitted the final assessment item, a 2000-word
essay for NET12. I feel like it came together reasonably well, but I suppose only time
will tell as usual. I will post details about the assignment once the due date has passed.

First Chat

Last night marked the first chat for NET12 – which turned out quite well. People sort
of stayed on topic for a little while and there was some interesting, if not a little
postmodernist (!) discussion about the actual topic we were supposed to be discussing,
which, by the way, was;

To what extent has the impact of the Internet on society been revolutionary,
or has it been more evolutionary? That is, has the Internet revolutionised the way we do
things or is more a case of the internet reflecting similar issues and changes that
occurred with previous technologies?

There was some interesting discussion about what both "revolution" and
"evolution" actually mean, and then we had some comparisons and analyses of
elements of the Internet which exhibit features of one or the other, or indeed both types
of change. Was a little disappointed to only see a few other people there, and the ones
that were there, were the ones that I was expecting (not that I was disappointed to see
them, but would have been nice for some other people to turn up as well ๐Ÿ™‚ – and there I
go with the spatial, physical representations of the virtual meeting we had… interesting.

With a bit of luck we’ll manage another one before this study period is over! ๐Ÿ™‚