Friday, July 21, 2017

Netflix to Sync

There used to be a nice Chrome plugin to synchronize by Netflix history with but it had been unreliable and doesn't seam to be working now.  I wrote this code to solve my own need but it does the same thing and I am posting it here for others to use.

Note that this is not 100% perfect as some show names aren't exactly the same and some Netflix show's don't use episode names at all. This code it not using any Netflix API calls but rather just scraping your Viewing Activity page and then making API calls to your account to post the item's it finds.

You may need to manually select some episodes or shows on the side if they aren't matched and it is possible that duplicates could get synced if the names cause issues though I tried to prevent this. In short I'm not out to make this 100% perfect but it should get you 90% of the way and it shows all the changes it will post for confirmation before posting.


  • Drag this link, Sync to, to your bookmark bar or bookmerks menu.
    • This is a bit of Javascript that will inject the Sync tool into your Netflix activity page.
  • Open Netflix in your browser and log in.
    • This is tested and working in Safari and Chrome.
  • Go here to see your history or click on your name in the top right, then on Account, and finally on Viewing Activity.
  • Netflix will not load your entire history so you will need to scroll down to get it to load more.  Keep doing this until all the history you want to sync has been loaded.
    • You don't have to do everything, if you are doing this regularly then the first screen or two will be sufficient.
  • Now for the magic click the bookmarklet you added while looking at the history page.
    • Note: The first tim you do this you will need to log in to and click the bookmark again.
  • The script will scrape the Netflix page, they check each item in and build a list of already synced items, items not found, and items scheduled to sync.
    • If re-running the tool past plays will be greyed out, new plays to by synced will be green,  items that could not be cached will remain white, and duplicate plays that are being ignored will be orange.
  • When you are satisfied just click Sync Now to post the changes.  You can then check or reload the page and run the script again to see the results.

How It Works

This solution is a simple bit of javascript that scans your Netflix history page and sync's plays over to It also needs to read your list of past plays in along with the history it reads from the Netflix page.

None of this data is saved or sent to any other servers in any way. As the script runs a listing of all the changes that will be posted to is show with a confirmation option. No passwords or logins are prompted or recorded in any way. You are logging in yourself to Netflix and, though you do have to grant this application API access to your account. The only bit that is saved is the access token so that you don't have to log in on every use of the tool. You can even remove this by clearing the cookies for the domain.

You can view the entire script here first if you wish. The bookmarklet code is an easy way to inject this code into your netflix page, you could also run this code manually in your browser console.

function load(filename){
  var fileref=document.createElement('script');
 else if (filename.endsWith('.css')){
  var fileref=document.createElement('link');
load('', 'js');

Monday, June 19, 2017

Restricting Access at in Varnish Server Wide to Admin Areas

There are lots of ways to implement access controls and additional security on your hosting. I recently implemented a very restrictive but easy to manage implementation for our FreeBSD server that runs everything through Varnish. I could have placed this restriction in Apache via .HTACCESS files or global rules but placing them in Varnish they execute earlier and have less server overhead and ensure there are no caching related flaws.

To set this up I added the following to the top of my /usr/local/etc/varnish.vcl file.
# Whitelist of IP Address's or Ranges that are allowd to access restricted administration pages.
acl admin {
    ""/16; # Local Network Class B
    ""/16; # Local Network Class C
    ""; # Sample
    # INSERT IPS #

Next inside the vcl_recv sub, or add one if needed include this before other rules. The bold text is doing URL matching to determine what scripts or directories to require approval for.  This could also be applied to specific domains but in this case it is server wide.
# Optional feature to only allow access to matched pages if client is on a whitelist.
    if (req.url ~ "^/wp-(login|admin|cron|json)" && client.ip !~ admin) {
        # Whitelist for all admin pages
        return (synth(403, "IP address not authorized, please request access from AdminEmail" ));

Now you can reload varnish and do some testing by adding and removing your local network or IP and ensure its working. You can stop here but this isn't very convenient to manage or update form offsite.
sudo service varnishd reload

Add a custom script to grant access to IP's.

We have a custom script hidden our our server that it not indexed or published anywhere that our administrator can use to add new addressed on the fly. It asks for a name, location, and IP Address and will update the varnish.vcl file and reload the configuration when submitted.

You can post this script to a secret location on the web server.  You may want to add a password to it for extra security and don't link to it anywhere. You will also need to run the following commands.

// Make writable by www user.
sudo chmod g+w /usr/local/etc/varnish.vcl
sudo chgrp www /usr/local/etc/varnish.vcl
// Add custom script to reload varnish.
echo "#!/usr/local/bin/bash
service varnishd reload" > ~/varnish-reload
// Move script and make it executable
sudo cp ~/varnish-reload /usr/local/bin/varnish-reload
rm ~/varnish-reload
sudo chmod +x /usr/local/bin/varnish-reload

Read XML Sitemap to a CSV File

You may need to process a sitemap for redirects or get a list of all your pages for some testing or monitoring process.  Here is a simple script you can run to convert your sitemap to a CSV file.  It even supports multi-file sitemaps.

Simply save this script to your computer. You will need Perl to run in.

Then you can execute it from the command line with the following format:
// This will automatically append /sitemap.xml

// Or specify the exact file.

// With SSL domain authentication override.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Configure SSL Termination with Varnish Caching and HTTP/2

To create the fastest web pages possible in a LAMP stack can be a bit tricky.  This document covers configureing blazing fast HTTPS sites on Freebsd with Apache, Varnish, Nginx, PHP, Mysql and  Of course you can swap out the PHP/Mysql parts as needed, or even use your own certificates instead of lets as you need.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Easily post leads in Wordpress Fast Secure Contact Form Plugin to iContact

When using the Fast Secure Contact Form plugin for wordpress is is very very simply to seamlessly forward leads from any forms you wish to the iContact platform with very little configuration.