Wednesday, December 31, 2003

The end of 2003

Well, with the new year almost upon us in the UK, it's time to go out.

So, with roughly 3.5 hours left of 2003, I wish you happy new year!
Have a good one tonight if you are doing anything and also good luck for the new year.

I'm off up town shortly and will probably get home some time in the morning.
Let the fun commence!

Post ID: 217, posted by jase at 08:28 PM
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Tuesday, December 30, 2003

NYE plans

I'm still unsure about what I'm doing, which is not normal. There is so much to choose from all over the country and world. I wonder what the best way to bring this new year in would be? Something new, that's for sure.

I'll have to hurry up and think of something, as most places are going to be ticket only which will need to be purchased in advance.

What to do?!

Post ID: 216, posted by jase at 07:08 PM
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Monday, December 29, 2003

Online crime up in 2003

That might be true, but a bet a lot of complaints that the Internet Crime Complaint Center receive are related to email scams and other scams trying to con people out of money or help with scams.

I wouldn't class most of this as real crime as only idiots generally fall for these scams anyway. I bet that a good proportion is also made up of people sending complaints about the fact they received an email which was offensive or had a virus attached (probably unknown to the sender) - so, get over it people.

Indeed, the vast majority of these people will be without a doubt, part of the point and click generation. Says it all really.

I'd personally agree with the fact that online crime has gone up and probably will continue to do so, along with the so called crimes which really are not worthy of the status. If more people had a clue & if it were a mandatory requirement that you can use & understand Windows (at least) before being allowed on a computer then things would be better.

All the real crime and would like to be crime aside, it's not such a bad place to be. Let's just rid the Internet & world of sick so called humans instead of going on about silly scams that a monkey wouldn't fall for.

Post ID: 215, posted by jase at 05:43 PM
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Wardriving

After reading JZ's posts about his wardriving experiences, it reminded me that I've been meaning to try it out. Some people I know have been going out and say they have found some interesting stuff. A lot of networks are not using WEP and so have easy access, some of them being home networks and some more interesting.

I would think that people would take more of a stance on security but obviously not. Some might think they are secure and would go crazy if they knew their networks were wide open.

I have wireless here, but I'm using WEP and it's only on when needed, instead of all the time which of course greatly reduces the chances of people gaining access. Maybe more people should use this method, kind of like with Bluetooth.

Switch off when not in use - or - get more of a clue before joining the wireless world.

Post ID: 214, posted by jase at 05:23 PM
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Sunday, December 28, 2003

Windows XP & Games

It seems that a lot of games need admin rights on an XP box to run. I've found this out after setting up an XP box for my brother, which he'll be using for a lot of game playing. After a recent post on Slashdot about the same issue, there are a lot of methods people have suggested.

The easiest of course would be to give full admin access to the user, in this case my brother. For the moment I think I will aviod this option and try something else until he gets used to things and won't mess.

A lot of the time the problem will be down to file permissions. For example, you would usually need to use an admin level account to install the game, but when you try running it as a normal user the game can't write to the files because they are owned by another account and if you're not an admin level user, you're going to be stuck.

A simple solution to this would be to change the file permissions and ownership after install, but with some games the problem will go deeper and this alone won't work. I'll probably opt for creating an admin account, not allowing login and then setting games to run as another account, being the new admin account.

But since you can't login as that account, no harm should be done.
There are a number of other suggestions made on the /. post, but this one I thought of initially and it seems other people are using this method too without problems, so I'll see how it goes.

Of course the need for administrator level access to run a game seems silly, but even after sorting out the permissions and things, some of these games still won't run under a normal user account. There are a number of reasons for this, but maybe these should be addressed in future, in the OS and individual games.

These problems are not only specific to Windows XP, but since most home systems these days will be running XP the problem seems to stand out more on this OS.

Post ID: 213, posted by jase at 11:26 PM
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Saturday, December 27, 2003

MT-Blacklist v1.62

I've only just noticed, but MT-Blacklist v.162 is available. Development is coming along nicely still. There are now RSS feeds for changes to the master blacklist and also a number of 3rd party utilities for updating your blacklist, which should also become a lot easier and automatic with the release of MT-BL v2.0.

Head on over and get it.

Post ID: 212, posted by jase at 03:43 PM
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MT comment uber spam

I'm sure most of us have seen the amount of UCE and other junk left in comments reduced since we all started to use Jay Allen's MT-Blacklist. I have, luckily I employed his nice plugin before I was starting to get too much as my blog was in its early days - it still is.

We should see even less once MT v3.0 and Pro are released.

Now despite all of this, it seems there is something that has been vitally missed.
After all of of mind numbing hours spent on AI R&D, we (the anti blog spam collective) have forgot to consider the LAMERS.

That is right, will we be able to rid our comments of useless junk / offensive messages left by lamers who don't realise it is quite easy to work out who they are, especially when you know them!

I've had comments left by people I know, who for some reason or another think I can't figure out who they are by a number of methods. Anyway, I don't mind deleting a few comments now and then that are not classed as spam - but something of a lower class - LAME COMMENTS.

Declare war - It has never been so much fun.

Post ID: 211, posted by jase at 03:05 PM
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Friday, December 26, 2003

Blaster still on the prowl

Well it seems that even after the efforts by ISP's to limit the effects of Blaster, there are still paths for infected machines to scan and spread the worm.

You may recall my recent problems with installing Windows 2000 Professional on the new box for my brother. I'm not sure what was causing the problem with the .SIF file that it was talking about, as I could not locate any .SIF file.

Anyway, instead of messing about with that I decided to install Windows XP Professional. Since it did not really make any difference. Although, maybe I should have installed Linux and let him play with that. He's only just getting into the PC thing (age 13) so I could make him start off on the right foot in the first place.

After getting XP installed and the box online, I got some updates installed from Windows Update, but not everything as he wanted to play. Okay, I thought - I'll come back later and sort everything else out, so I moved the box through to his room and got it all up and running. When installing Antivirus later, it informed me that Blaster was present.

I noticed when I had the box online and in my room that the RPC services failed and the system rebooted as that is the default action when RPC fails. I didn't think anything of it. After some reading, I found that sometimes RPC can crash when an infected box is trying to exploit the vulnerability, so it must have been exploited then.

Shortly after using the removal tool from Symantec and then finishing off the updates, all was good. Now I've got round to sorting the firewall, there should be no more issues.

I just need to configure stuff on the system now. But all seems okay!
I've learnt though, when getting a Windows system online and getting it all updated, do it all at once - straight away!

Post ID: 210, posted by jase at 11:20 PM
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Thursday, December 25, 2003

Merry Christmas!

I hope you all got what you wanted! I mainly got cash, something I could do with a lot of at the moment. I also got a cold a bit early, not something I wanted but nevermind.

I shall make it through!

Post ID: 209, posted by jase at 06:57 PM
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Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Windows 2000 Professional install

You might recall the new box I built for my brother. I've just got round to putting Windows on it for him. Well, attempting to. For some reason, the box won't boot from the Windows 2000 CD, instead I get a very informative message telling me it can't boot from it (maybe not).

So, I headed over to bootdisk.com and downloaded boot disk images then had issues trying to locate working floppy disks. I managed to locate 4 and then another for the SATA driver.

So far so good, I installed the SATA driver then continued to run setup from the other floppy disks. The drive was now detected and was then formatted. I came back to find an error on the screen regarding a problem in one of the files relating to the SATA driver.

I needed sleep by this point so I went to bed. I can't remember the error off the top of my head, but I'll have to check it out tonight as I could really do with getting this box up and running by tomorrow.

Feeling the way I am I should stay at home, but I'm going to work. I should have time later / tomorrow / boxing day to work on it. I'm sure a Google search will help if I have no luck!

Post ID: 208, posted by jase at 11:22 AM
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Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Another cold!

I seem to have picked up another cold, why did I have to get one at Christmas? At the moment it is not too bad, but still annoying. Hopefully it will subside before causing me to feel really rubbish.

Now, I need to find out who gave it me!

Post ID: 207, posted by jase at 11:12 PM
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Monday, December 22, 2003

Movable Type 2.65 released

As reported by Ben, Six Apart have released Movable Type v2.65.

Also see the notes on the up and coming 3.0 release, which will probably be available in early 2004. The 2.65 release is mainly a big fix release. Development of MT Pro looks set to move forward, bringing advanced features to people that want them.

Time to upgrade, soon!

Post ID: 206, posted by jase at 11:02 PM
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Sunday, December 21, 2003

HD DVD

After reading about the new line of HD DVD blue laser based drives that are currently being developed (and some already announced) I came over the HD-DVD: One Format Only site.

In an already confusing world for some people, I guess having multiple standards is going to make the game even more fun. I don't think that there will be one standard, it'll be more a case of getting consumers to use the new higher capacity drives and media.

For example, if movies were released on the new dics and hardware was purchased to play them, you could have a 2 DVD movie on 1 HD-DVD or more than one movie on a HD-DVD.

There are a lot of options and manufacturers are currently in a battle to get their devices out first. Sony has already started shipping their own new format which they are calling PDD (Professional Disc for Data).

NEC is already showing demos of their first new blue laser based product.
It's all good, technology is moving forward and shall always continue to do so.

The Sony product allows 23GB capacity discs, plus another two specifications which are being put forward - one with 15GB of sorage capacity on a single layer and another with 30GB on duel layer media as well as a 20GB re-writible.

All this extra media capacity will come in handy!

Post ID: 205, posted by jase at 03:46 PM
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Saturday, December 20, 2003

Big raid

In this latest operation roughlt 10M of illegal copies of games, applications and other stuff has been seized at a market in Edinburgh recently.

Damn.

But still, they are and will always be fighting a loosing battle. I'd suggest spending their time and resources fighting something that can be won.

See the full story.

Post ID: 204, posted by jase at 12:24 PM
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Friday, December 19, 2003

Linux kernel 2.6 released

I'm sure you've heard already, I've just been late in posting about it. But in case you did not already know, the Linux 2.6 kernel is finally final and out.

Well done to the team, a lot of people having been waiting ages for this - for the improvements and new support. See Linus talking about how the beaver is out of detox, right here.

Go get it.

Post ID: 203, posted by jase at 11:55 PM
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Thursday, December 18, 2003

Snow predictions

Since it's that time again, at least it is here in the UK - I've been predicting when or if it will snow this year or better still on Christmas day. I've come to the conclusion that snow is due any time soon, but I'm currently unable to complete my analysis to determine when exactly.

However, I will ensure I find out if any bookies are taking bets on Christmas day snow this year and after further technical invesitgations I may opt to splash some cash on a bet, stating yes it will or no it will not.

The case reimains open at present as the dury is still out.

It's not set in stone, but I'd say up in the air - yes it will snow and hopefully on Christmas day.

Post ID: 202, posted by jase at 11:55 PM
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Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Sun helps the SETI search

Sun are donating some hardware to help power the search for life out there in space. Which is good. Maybe I should enquire about getting some Sun Fire 15k's to help number crunch some distributed.net projects.

Now that would be nice of me!

It's always good when big companies donate hardware and the like to good projects. Of course, there is always the publicity aspect but that goes without saying.

Post ID: 201, posted by jase at 11:06 PM
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Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Net access for all?

Well in the UK at least.

That is what they would like, by 2008 according to this article. I don't think it will be achieved, not in the sense of "all" anyway. Most people will probably have some kind of access then, so things will be a lot better than they currently are.

I've had Internet access since 1998 and broadband since early 2001 so it doesn't really bother me - as long as I've got my access!

Post ID: 200, posted by jase at 11:38 PM
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Monday, December 15, 2003

Saddam in American hands

I'm sure you've heard already, but Saddam Hussein is now in American custody. See stories here, here & here. I found out the news earlier, online. It's interesting that I found out this way. As I hardly watch any TV these days, I saw the news online and then put the TV on afterwards and heard more about it.

For me at least it's more Internet and less TV but I wonder if this will be the common thing in the future? Probably among the younger people as TV is usually limited, but on the Internet you can get the content that you are interested in.

Post ID: 199, posted by jase at 12:37 AM
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Sunday, December 14, 2003

Solaris 9 x86 review

For anyone that is interested in trying out Solaris 9 or 10 (currently Express, as it's beta) then check out this review. I've not read it yet, but I will do shortly. So once I do, I'll probably post my comments to let you know what I agree or disagree with.

Along with Solaris now being free for non commercial use, you might as well give it a go - real UNIX, for free.

Post ID: 198, posted by jase at 11:55 PM
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Saturday, December 13, 2003

New box

I've just put a new box together for my brother, it didn't take long to build. All that needs doing now is for me to install an OS, which I shall do in the next few days.

The specification of this box is:

AMD Athlon XP 2800
Samsung 512MB DDR 400 RAM
Western Digital 120GB SATA HDD
Pioneer 106 CD/DVD RW
Sapphire 256MB 8X AGP graphics card
Panasonic floppy drive
Microsoft optical mouse
BTEC Keyboard
Gigabyte K7 Triton Series motherboard
Logitech speakers
And a nice case...

As for a display, he's going to use my spare 17" Mitsubishi for now. He can probably get a nice TFT himself later.

This is a nice Christmas present for him (not from me though, from the parents)

Post ID: 197, posted by jase at 08:54 PM
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Friday, December 12, 2003

First day in Northampton

It was my first day working in Northampton today. It went pretty well, wasn't too much trouble getting there, but it will be a lot easier when I am driving. I had more trouble on the way back as I have to wait for a bus from the station or get a taxi but that is a waste of money.

Anyway, I checked out the new office that we'll be working in from probably the middle of January. It's looking nice, the servers and everything will be arriving shortly, so at the moment it's a rush for the people involved to get it all up and running.

Since my SWAN (Sun Wide Area Network) access has not been sorted yet I'm waiting around for that. Hopefully it will be setup next week, so until then I'm going to be slightly limited in what I can do.

So far so good pretty much!

Post ID: 196, posted by jase at 11:55 PM
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Thursday, December 11, 2003

Sun Solaris 9/10 for free

I've known about this for a while but as Ben has pointed out, after reading an article on The Register, Sun are giving away copies of Solaris 9 for free, for non commercial use.

But, if you want to go one step further search for "Express" or go directly here and download the latest beta of Solaris 10, again for free. I don't think this has been really advertised, but anyway now you know!

I'd head on over and install it, get a Sunblade 1500 or something similar and install on that, rather than the x86 version! Stay true to the Solaris roots!

Post ID: 195, posted by jase at 06:00 PM
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Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Pulling the wrong plug

I pulled the wrong plug out earlier, so instead of unplugging my TV to plug in my phone charger I pulled out the power to my OpenBSD box.

I should have been paying more attention!

Apart from loosing the nice uptime, I've not lost anything else. After a nice automatic fsck it's back up and running. Which also reminds me, I must get round to upgrading it to 3.4 soon.

Post ID: 193, posted by jase at 02:58 PM
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The Wayback Machine

After reading JZ's blog post about previous personal web publishing, I headed over to archive.org to run a search or two. Well that was the plan anyway. I'll have to try later, as all I'm getting at the moment is a custom server error message, every time I try.

Don't you just hate that?

It'll be good though when it's working, as Jeremy found, it can bring memories back. In some cases, you might shake your head & in others laugh!

Post ID: 192, posted by jase at 01:34 AM
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Tuesday, December 9, 2003

N-Case

This is another little bit of annoying spyware that seems to be on the increase at the moment, being shipped with various programs and installed behind the scenes to help the application developer earn some extra money, via the use of N-Case.

Of course this is only going to cause problems to Windows users. It's really annoying when you're browsing away and windows pop up with ads in. In some cases these windows even appear when you are not even browsing.

I think we're only going to see more and more of this, so lets hope the AV vendors add these applications to their definitions. On the other hand you could always install another 3rd party application to search for these applications and remove them.

Post ID: 191, posted by jase at 11:11 PM
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UK NHS migrates to Sun Linux desktops

Well, that's the word on the street.

And, it's all good.

Hopefully this will be a stepping stone for the big wide world out there, of point and click users, to be given the chance to try out a stable, unlimited operating system. I hope that more big companies and groups follow the same lines.

Post ID: 190, posted by jase at 01:03 PM
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Monday, December 8, 2003

Kazaa Lite no more

I've just read over at The Register that Sharman Networks, the creators of Kazaa have ordered sites distributing Kazaa Lite to stop doing so immediately.

This is obvoiusly down to the fact that there are no ads in the Lite version.
If if you can still download it, it may not work on the network correctly. I'd advise moving away from Kazaa if you use it as there are much better alternatives available.

I don't use Kazaa, mainly because of all the rubbish that comes with it. I simply use WinMX, Soulseek & DC++, file sharing problems, solved!

Post ID: 189, posted by jase at 12:11 PM
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Sunday, December 7, 2003

Linkblog

Using Ben's script and del.icio.us I've added a link blog. Well, it's more of a listing of links that I've recently visited that I thought were interesting, rather than a blog but still, that's the name this kind of thing is being given generally.

Hopefully you might find some links of interest!

Post ID: 188, posted by jase at 11:48 PM
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Saturday, December 6, 2003

Sony Ericsson P900

The new P900 is looking pretty nice and is packed full with features. Personally, at the moment I want the Sharp GX20, but since I've not had the GX10i for long I think I'll wait for the next model to come out.

The GX20 has a much better display and camera, the pictures produced are the best I have seen from a phone so far. The only downside to these phones is that they don't have Bluetooth functionality. Well, they could have a lot more, but that's one of the main things I want.

Anyway, back to the P900.

Some of the main features of this phone, include:

* Triple band (GSM 1900/1800/900)
* MP3 audio / MPEG4 video
* Bluetooth
* GPRS
* Java support
* Touch screen

And lots more...

This phone looks like it's one of the best available. Packed full with features and has a nice design, but not spoilt by being too big or heavy.

If you want the full low down on specifications, check out the Sony P900 pages.

A nice review of the phone with a good selection of pictures can be found over at Mobile Review.

I think this will be a good seller this christmas, but I'm not sure on what the availability of it is in the UK at the moment. I'll have to go to a mobile phone shop and find out.

Post ID: 187, posted by jase at 07:59 PM
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Friday, December 5, 2003

Google Deskbar

I just noticed the Google Deskbar, which is a nice little way of searching google by adding a search bar to the Windows Taskbar. It saves you having to have the toolbar running all of the time and sits tidy and out of the way!

Post ID: 186, posted by jase at 09:57 PM
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Thursday, December 4, 2003

SDSL in the UK

I had read a while ago about BT planning to start the roll out of SDSL, but thought it was a pretty limited initial roll out around London only. I'd be correct in saying that, but I'm pleased they are rolling out to more exchanges by the end of January, including some in the Midlands.

I wonder if mine will be upgraded? I bet the pricing on SDSL will be pretty expensive, especially since it is being targeted at the business community.

Will there be any cases of exchanges being upgraded directly to SDSL/ADSL all in one go?

Post ID: 185, posted by jase at 08:44 PM
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Wednesday, December 3, 2003

MP3.COM archive no more

I just noticed over at The Register, that the MP3.COM archive will still be destroyed after attempts to save it.

It seems a shame that all that music will be lost / artists having to move, just because it was sold. I don't think it has been destroyed just yet, but it looks like it will be.

What a waste. See the story here.

Post ID: 184, posted by jase at 10:56 AM
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Tuesday, December 2, 2003

PS3

Just reading The Register, I noticed this article about the PlayStation 3. Is the picture shown, a concept art design picture of the PS3? It looks pretty smart and I reckon even if it is not official, Sony could learn something from it.

I guess we'll just have to keep waiting & hope the hardware in the PS3 is wicked as well.

Post ID: 183, posted by jase at 08:50 AM
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Monday, December 1, 2003

.Name registry site defaced

The web site defacements are still taking place, obviously. Even though there are not as many sites mirroring all of them as there used to be. This time, it's the turn of the .name registry.

Let us hope that they now increase security and are more aware of it so something like this does not happen again, else they will be a laughing stock!

Post ID: 182, posted by jase at 09:31 AM
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