Combine Multiple .vcf Files Into One - Google Contacts

Today I needed to move some contacts (about 100 or so) from my wife's phone into a new Google account I set up for her. Unfortunately the upload page on Google's site only allowed individual uploads and it would have taken hours to upload all contacts one by one.

If you are, like me, on OSX (or Linux) you can quite easily combine a folder full of .vcf contacts into one by using this command (navigate into the folder which holds the .vcf files first):

view plain
1cat *.vcf > combined.vcf

I'm sure you can do something similar on the Windows command line too. In fact I've Googled it for you. :-)

Enjoy.


IIS 7: Allow One IP Address, Block All Others

Today I found myself having to configure IIS under Windows Server 2008 and I needed to restrict access to a specific directory by IP address. It was quite tricky to figure out how to do this due to Microsoft's idiotic way of presenting what could easily be a straight forward user interface operation...

What follows are the steps involved to block all IPs in IIS, and granting access to one specific IP. As fa as I can tell this will work both on a site and a directory level (in my case it was a virtual directory that needed restricting).

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LiveCycle Collaboration Service Gets a New Lease Of Life

Adobe's LiveCycle Collaboration Service has been rescued and given a new lease of life by Influxis. Now called the Influxis Collaboration Service (ICS) it gives existing LCCS customers the chance to migrate their applications over to ICS. If you recall, Adobe previously announced that they would shut down and discontinue the LCCS service without any obvious ways for existing customers to keep their LCCS based products and services online - ICS is therefore good news for many of those customers.

ICS will be comprised of two different account types, dedicated and shared accounts, with various price points starting at $25/month for a 10connection shared account. An extensive FAQ can be found on the Influxis site.

As you may know, LCCS (or now ICS) enables you to build real-time collaborative applications quickly using a variety of pre-built modules including FileShare, Chat, Whiteboard, Webcam and of course - dare I mention it - screensharing.

Let me know if you're building any applications with ICS and I'll link to them here.


FMS registerClass Example Added To github

Hi folks, apologies about the extended radio silence; I've been busy working on a new project which has taken up a lot of my time. The good news is that I am learning a ton of new stuff in the process which in turn should provide me lots to blog about. Expect posts about Rails, heroku, JavaScript, AWS and maybe even Flash ;-)

I've also just discovered a treasure trove of old projects and sample files and I've decided to offload many of them onto github. It would be a real shame to lose all this stuff, some of which is of course pretty useless whereas others may be useful to some folks. It'll be tricky to pick the right stuff as no doubt I will not be able to post everything I've got floating around...
So to make a start (and with the hope to keep this up) here's my first little Flash sample project. This one shows how to use registerClass to send custom typed ActionScript objects over RTMP between client and FMS server (sorry, AMS it is now...). I don't take full credit for it as I cannot remember if this was based on someone else's work or not... if it was you get in touch and I'll provide credit and link juice!

My github account can be found at https://github.com/stoem (not much there yet), and this particular repo is at https://github.com/stoem/FMS-registerClass.

Happy forking you forkers :-)


HLS Best Practices for AMS 5.0 with Sarge, Tuesday 28th August

Adobe Media Server User Group Meeting Tuesday, August 28th

RSVP: http://ams.groups.adobe.com/index.cfm?event=post.display&postid=43945

Topic: HLS Best Practices for AMS 5.0

Speaker: Sarge is a Senior Applications Engineer on Adobe's Video Solutions team. Formerly a FMS Technical Account Manager working with the top tier CDNs, Sarge has years of experience developing, deploying, and supporting Flash video solutions on FMS.

Agenda: Adobe added Apple's HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) to its technology stack with FMS 4.5 a few years ago as a continued investment delivering immersive on-demand and live video experiences over standard HTTP connections to Apple (iOS & MacOS) devices. This technology has been deployed at CDNs such as Akamai, Limelight, and Level 3, and used by broadcasters like the BBC for the London 2012 Olympics. Adobe updated its HLS workflows in Adobe Media Server 5 -- adding an offline packager, updated Just-in-Time encryption, and DRM support for iOS devices using and new Adobe Access 4 (AXS) technology. Come learn the recommended best practices for deploying HLS with AMS 5.0 from Sarge, Sr. Applications Engineer for Adobe Video Solutions.

Encode high quality video mezzanine MP4 files and deliver them in real-time simultaneously through RTMP, HDS, and HLS.
Configure HLS settings to optimize HTTP caching.
Add DRM to your iOS publishing workflows.

Sarge walks you through the changes to HLS in AMS 5.0, including:
Just in Time packaging (JITP) encryption
Offline packaging with the HLS Segmenter
iOS DRM

http://ams.groups.adobe.com/index.cfm?event=post.display&postid=43945


Why You Should Enable Two-Factor Authentication For Google Apps and GMail

If you are running your emails through a Google Apps account and are not using two-factor authentication then now may be a good time to do so.

Keeping on top of one's online security can be challenging, but protecting your email account from unauthorised access is crucial since most sites and systems fall back onto email for account password recovery. This means that once a hacker has access to your email account they can use it to gain access to your Twitter account, Facebook, potentially other email accounts and in some cases even cause you to lose your data as the recent case of Matt Honan dramatically demonstrates.

So why exactly is two-factor authentication so much more secure than a normal (even a super-strong) password? The answer is pretty simple: in addition to having to supply a piece of information ('something you know' such as your password), using two-factor-authentication requires you to supplement the password with 'something you have' such as a one-time-use token which proves that you are in possession of your phone (in the case of using Google Authenticator or SMS tokens) or your keyfob (in the case of online banking and Paypal for example).

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Microsoft Shares Its Vision For Real Time Communication On The Web

Admittedly I may be promising too much with that title: Microsoft isn't exactly sharing its plans in detail but they certainly are making it clear that their vision differs slightly from that of Google and other browser vendors when they recently published a post titled 'Customizable, Ubiquitous Real Time Communication over the Web (CU-RTC-Web)' on the official Skype blog.

So what did they announce? In the post several key Skype/Microsoft engineers (headed by Matthew Kaufman who many Flash developers will remember as the inventor of RTMFP) explain Microsoft's contribution of the CU-RTC-Web proposal to the W3C WebRTC working group.

So why is Microsoft submitting their own RTC proposal to the working group? In short Microsoft thinks that the existing proposal falls short in several areas. According to Microsoft it doesn't address interoperability between different types of clients (not just web browsers) very well ("instead focuses on video communication between web browsers under ideal conditions") and also needs more flexibility when it comes to media formats and codecs.

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Multi-Bitrate and Multi-Screen Streaming With Flash Media Server 4.5

The newly renamed Adobe Media Server User Group has an interesting online meeting coming up in July.

Multi-Bitrate and Multi-Screen Streaming With Flash Media Server 4.5

Date and Time:
July 17, 2012 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM (GMT-7 Mountain Time US & Canada)

Address:
Join via Adobe Connect: http://realeyes.adobeconnect.com/amsug

Call-in Details:
Join via Adobe Connect: http://realeyes.adobeconnect.com/amsug

Speakers:
Lisa Larson-Kelley - owern of LearnFromLisa.com and Adobe Community Professional, specializing in Flash media technologies.

Agenda:
The latest edition of Flash Media Server supports multi-bitrate streaming over a wider variety of protocols -- not only to Flash Player and AIR, but to iPads and iPhones as well. New features in FMS 4.5 such as server-side HLS transcoding and adaptive bitrate (set-level) manifest support provide more flexibility than ever. In addition to introducing you to new features and best practices, this session provides you with examples of cross-platform video players that put them into action -- detecting the viewer's bandwidth and operating system and delivering the appropriate format stream at the optimal bitrate.
Link: http://realeyes.adobeconnect.com/amsug


Move An Existing Git Repository Into Bitbucket In 3 Steps

Thanks to my good friend Simon I've been a happy git user for a few months now. I installed my own git server on Amazon EC2 using Ubuntu, git and gitolite and just fired it up once or twice a day to push and pull. This worked out fine but with more and more easy to use git hosting services springing up I gave Atlassian's bitbucket a try since it offers unlimited private repositories which is a bonus.

It took me a little while to figure out how to move my existing repository into bitbucket, especially since it was already tracking the existing remote repo on my server. What follows are a few easy steps that describe the process - but note that you follow along at your own risk.

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Flash Player 11.2 Breaks Video Support For Some Webcams

An annoying bug has surfaced in Flash Player 11.2 that breaks support for some webcams. It appears that cameras of the Microsoft Lifecam VX series are most affected.

A few days ago a customer contacted me about an issue he was experiencing on Scribblar whereby his webcam image would freeze immediately after starting the camera. He also noticed that this problem only occurred in the latest Flash Player versions 11.2.202.228 and 11.2.202.229.

The only known workaround currently is to use an older version of the Flash Player - the following forum post has some details: http://forums.adobe.com/message/4320673#4320673

The initial bug that was filed is now Adobe internal and no longer visible (for reason only known to Adobe...), but please add your vote to this duplicate bug anyway if you are affected.

I've heard reports that there may already be a fix in Player 11.3 beta - we will know more when the final release drops.


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