Block remote root login via ssh on Ubuntu/etc to keep your server safe

A moment ago I was checking the system logs on my Ubuntu server and found that in auth.log reports that someone was repeatedly trying to SSH login as root. The "root" entry in /etc/passwd is setup so that no password will ever be matched, so perhaps this potential cracker would never get into my server anyway. But the requests are using bandwidth - and what if they were able to figure out a password that would work? Why not just block remote SSH login access to logging in as root in the first place?

Successfully mounting Drobo shares from a Chromebook with Crouton/Ubuntu 14.04 installed

The last couple weeks I've switched my working environment from a MacBook Pro to a Chromebook that has Ubuntu installed under Crouton. A lot of my work is developing Node.js software, and writing website content, and my habits are to live at the command line typing commands. But it also means accessing the large amount of content I have stashed on the MacBook Pro, and a Drobo 5N. MacOSX can easily mount shares on the Drobo, letting me access those files as if they were on the local machine.

Installing Skype, photo/video editing, word processors, and more on a Chromebook

Chromebooks offer respite from antivirus software hassles, system maintenance hassles, and more. The idea is that with the Chrome web browser as the only user interface, people can compute in safety. But what about the whole slew of existing software that runs outside web browsers - Skype being just one example. What about video or audio editing? What about traditional word processors or spreadsheet applications? None of those run inside a web browser. Yet.

VirtualBox running Ubuntu accessing host file system on Mac OS X

I have a few Mac OS X systems, in particular a MacBookPro that my job gave me. 2.33 GHZ w/ 2GB of memory Core2Duo. It's a fine and dandy machine and I'm real happy with the performance of VirtualBox on this system. Since my job is really about facilitating running Java on open source OS's like Ubuntu what I need is for a virtualized OS to feel very responsive. But I also need to compile OpenJDK source on that OS.