Renewal of an ATM card

I’ve become very bad with password and PIN number recently. Those password management applications that I use are to blame for my memory failures, I think.

Anyway, I have forgot the PIN for my ATM card recently. I visit my bank branch and asked them to provide me with the new PIN. The lady there informed me that there is no way to reset the PIN and that they will have to issue a new ATM card for me. I was a bit surprised, but confirmed that they should proceed as my need for ATMs is rather often.

Less then a week later I have received my new ATM card and the new PIN. I have checked my account statement and saw that I was charged 5 CYP for the card renewal. OK, who cares. But what surprised me the most was that the new card was identical to the old one. Card number, expiry date and everything else were exactly the same. Now I wonder who designed this idiotic procedure? It is fifty gadzillion times easier to just change the four numbers of the PIN code, or even simply remind me what they were, than to reissue the plastic card, which is a totally other business with all paperwork travelling back and forward between branch (Limassol) and headquarters of the bank (Nicosia).

I am deeply puzzled…

SELinux fixes

If you are anything like me and don’t want to disable SELinux upon installation of Fedora Linux, then I have a hint for you.

List all files from selinux-policy-targeted and look at the output. You will the list of all files in the RPM package. Few of those files are SELinux manuals for better tweaking.


I just fixed two problems easily after looking into the documentation.

One was with bind, which was complaining with “Permission denied” on any incoming zone transfer (slave zone). named had all the access there is to all folders, but still couldn’t write. This command (mentioned in man 8 named_selinuhelped immediately:

setsebool -P named_write_master_zones 1

Anoner problem was with Apache, which wasn’t showing anything in user’s public_html directory. man 8 httpd_linux suggested the solution that worked:

setsebool -P httpd_enable_homedirs 1
chcon -R -t httpd_sys_content_t ~user/public_html

OpenID – free, open, and decentralized identity system

It has been some time since I was thinking that logging into all those blogs to leave a comment is lame. I guess this idea visits heads of many people out there. During the last couple of days I added few more blogs on my blogroll and started to think more about this problem.

My thinking was in the direction of some WordPress service. At least in the beginning. Something along the lines of Blogs Of The Day. Some services, say Blog Passport or something like that, that could be used by all those WordPress intallations to authenticate visitors. Basically, the even the same database table from WordPress could be used as a base. A person would login to at Blog Passport and than visit any WordPress installation and at any site that would support the scheme he would appear as logged in user.

But all I did was thinking. I didn’t even investigate if there are any existing solutions. The good thing is that I didn’t write any code. Because today I stumbled upon something that would be acceptable – OpenID. I first saw it at It already supports it.

The idea of an OpenID is simple. It is even simplier that what I was thinking. It is a distributed system that authenticates against a URL. You can be logged in at any website that supports OpenID and than any other site that supports OpenID would work for you . The description of the process, the protocol, and the development status are all at the project’s website.

The good things about OpenID so far are:

  • free and open and intends to stay this way.
  • decentralized
  • supported by some big sites (

WordPress plugin is in the works. I hope that this project will get some attention and that we will finally have one annoying problem solved. Cheers!

Experience with CID

PhotographerToday I have spent the first half of the day in Nicosia at Russian Council. My brother, my wife, and myself all had to do some paperwork. After I have finished with my part and was waiting for my brother, I walked around and made few pictures. Apparently, the guard at Egyptian Embassy was all alerted and reported me to CID (if anyone knows what this abbreviation means, let me know). Two officers came, checked all my papers and questioned me. They checked my story over the phone with another guy who confirmed my status, my visa, and stuff like that. They have asked me (although I was first to suggest) to delete the pictures of the Egyptian Embassy building and the guard at the gates. Of course, I did. This is one of the beauties of the digital photography – you can delete a couple of images without ruining the whole film.

The only few pictures I was allowed to keep from Nicosia were with the photographer you can see on the left. He looked really cool, and when noticed me taking pictures of him, he shot me in return. Later, when the CID officer saw the picture of this guy on the display of my camera, he told me that this is a very famous photographer in Cyprus and that everyone knows him. Heh, looks like not everyone. Again, if anyone can recognize the guy, let me know.

The moral of the story (confirmed by arrived immigration officer) is: do not photograph any government buildings, military setups, courts, embassies, police offices, and the like. It can easily get you into trouble.

P.S.: Both CID officers that questioned me were very calm, polite, and generally positive. I was really impressed on how delicate and politically correct they handled the situation.