Friday, April 30, 2004

Vending machines

I found out again earlier why I don't have coffee or tea out of vending machines - they taste nasty. There is nothing like making your own. I don't mind the chocolate drinks though, they taste fine normally, so that is what I stick to.

55 normal all the way!

Post ID: 361, posted by jase at 03:51 PM
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Thursday, April 29, 2004

MSN UK directory back online

It seems that the UK MSN directory is back online. From what I can remember of the directory search before it went offline, it seems the same now. I think profiles of members under 18 have just been removed from the search results, so you would need to know their MSN address to access it.

It's a shame it took so long to implement...

Post ID: 360, posted by jase at 11:09 PM
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Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Gentoo Linux 2004.1 released

This new release addresses various bugs and adds new functionality.
I'll have to check this out, as before I've had problems with it but will see what this new has to offer.

Download as usual!

Post ID: 359, posted by jase at 09:17 PM
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Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Infosec visit

I headed down to London last night to attend Infosec today. I've finally made it, after saying I'll go every year for about the past 4 or 5 years. It was as expected, companies showing off their products and such. I did manage to make it to one of the seminars, a MS one, which was quite good.

The thing that made me laugh was, whilst visiting the Juniper Networks / Netscreen stand, whilst having a play around with some software on one of the demo systems, there was a Putty terminal open, which I maximized to find there sitting in front of me, a root shell. The IP address was a reserved one, in the 10 range, so I'd assume that this box was part of the stuff on the stand.

I could have caused them some problems & or had some fun, but I didn't bother. I thought, that's too easy. Although I didn't report it to them, so someone else might have had some fun instead. It's not something you would like to see, even if only in this type of environment - It gives off the wrong impression to potential and existing customers regarding Juniper's stance on security. Even more so since this is a security related conference.

Post ID: 358, posted by jase at 11:10 PM
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Monday, April 26, 2004

IRC: DCC2

It's looking like the DCC protocol is going to be updated & known as DCC2. check out the RFC.

It's all well and good updating the DCC protocol - but a lot of people are wondering why the actual IRC protocol is not getting the same treatment. There are a whole host of evident flaws and problems with the IRC protocol that should be ironed out. In fact, these improvements would make a lot of different in plenty of ways.

Some people think IRC is dead or is going that way. I don't agree with that, just take a look at some of the big networks - as popular as ever.

With all the IM options currently available, IRC still manages to stay around and I think it'll always be around - but things do need to move forward.

It's just a case of setting your priorities out correctly - I'd say: IRC protcol revamp, then DCC!

Post ID: 357, posted by jase at 03:27 PM
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Computers, choose the same one.

I'm doing this, usually going after a certain computer in the office when there are plenty of others to use. We have a hot desking office, which makes it more fun in some respects because you can sit by different people all the time.

Since our sessions are on the Sun Ray servers, we can login from any office in any part of the world and have our desktop there right in front of us, brought to us over the SWAN (Sun Wide Area Network).

Even though there are plenty of machines available, I'm always looking to sit in the same place or the same few places. I put this down to having a good (or better) view of the rest of the office and also having some privacy. I hate people being able to see my display, not because I have anything to hind but simple because a little privacy is nice.

It's like people looking through your windows of your house, not something you would like. It seems that I am not the only one who likes to get the same machines, in fact a lot of people do it.

There are other reasons, but it's quite funny to think about.

An interesting thought - would productivity go down when the said person is not able to engage their favourite machines?

Post ID: 356, posted by jase at 03:12 PM
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Sunday, April 25, 2004

Voice recognition, on credit cards

Just read about this over at The Reg. Sounds like a very interesting idea, but will obviously need a lot of work to reduce the size of cards.

The technology is great when it works, but the implmentation of it might be hard. With chip & pin only just being rolled out, I think it'll be a while yet before we see anything like this on the high street.

It's an interesting look at things to come though and will reduce the amount of fraud.

Post ID: 355, posted by jase at 03:01 PM
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Saturday, April 24, 2004

Gigablast

Gigablast, the up and coming search engine - I hear, s on a mission to index a whole lot of sites, more than Google infact.

At first glance, it seems much like Google. A nice and simple design, with various search options. I wonder if there is a PR type thing and if it works?

There are a lot of emerging search engines, but choosing a new one or making the change is too much trouble for most people. It's like moving from one provider of a service over to another one, we try to aviod it unless really needed.

I'm going to guess that most people will want something really different or better than what they have already to be inclined to move. I've not seen it yet, but I may well do.

Post ID: 354, posted by jase at 11:03 PM
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Friday, April 23, 2004

Film time again

There is a long list of films that I have to watch - the question if which one first.
I have just watched Gothika which was okay, but nothing special.

I'm up for some comedy now, so I might go and watch an old film called "It's a mad, mad, mad world" as it is meant to be really funny - I might have seen it before, it rings a bell but I can't quite remember without putting it on.

After that, Starsky & Hutch maybe. It's just finding the time and inclination to work my way through them all!

Post ID: 353, posted by jase at 10:18 PM
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Thursday, April 22, 2004

Thde summer is coming

It's only April and the weather is already getting nice - which is good since it is only April and we'd normally expect this month to be full of April showers. Let us hope that this is a goiod sign and the rest of the coming months will be nice and hot. It's around 20 degrees today with not much wind - and I'm stuck in the office.

Post ID: 352, posted by jase at 12:14 PM
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Wednesday, April 21, 2004

A simple annoyance

I'm using Mozilla and sometimes Netscape, on Solaris in the office. When posting, for some reason both browsers do not display the buttons to allow for easy addition of links and italic / bold to the posts.

These only seem to be available on IE & Opera as well as other browsers on Windows systems.
It just causes extra work when adding links and such, which is a pain.
Maybe it is just these versions of the browsers that don't support the code to allow these handy functions to work.

Something that needs to be sorted!

Post ID: 351, posted by jase at 12:53 PM
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Tuesday, April 20, 2004

MT Blacklist v1.63 final

Jay has released v1.63 as final due to no issues being found in the testing stage when it was called v1.63 RC 2. Along with this release comes the news that it should run without problems on all versions of MT from 2.6 - 2.661.

I'll be upgrading mine later, to take advantage of some of the new features.

Of course, make sure you keep your blacklist updated.

Post ID: 350, posted by jase at 11:45 PM
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Monday, April 19, 2004

Driving test

Today, I boooked my driving test.

I don't think I shall tell many people when it is & hopefully have a surprise for them after I pass. We'll have to wait and see. In the mean time, more practice is needed so I do things the way they want it done. Not that their way is the best and besides, people have their own ways of doing things once the pass - both good and bad.

Wish me luck, but not for a few months yet.

Post ID: 349, posted by jase at 01:29 PM
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Sunday, April 18, 2004

The disk is empty

I've moved all of the data off the existing drive and wiped it clean. That's half of the problem solved. Now I just have the issue of the main boot disk. So, whilst sorting that out I think I shall get another 250gb sata disk and install again.

On this system, my Windows one - it'll be 2000 server again or maybe XP/2003 server.
Who knows when I'll sort it, as it is so much trouble having to start all over!

Good old Windows.

Post ID: 348, posted by jase at 11:26 PM
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Saturday, April 17, 2004

It came...

Now it's in. All formatted and ready for use. Now comes the tedious part, moving all the data over from the other 120g disk and cleaning it. The other disk in this box is the boot disk, which could also do with being defragmented. The only problem is that for some reason, defrag does not work - it also causes data to be lost, as I have found.

So I'll avoid that one, at some point it looks like - as usual - a fresh install to clean things up.

It's like a never ending story. Just another reason why we mostly choose *NIX.

Post ID: 347, posted by jase at 09:12 PM
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Friday, April 16, 2004

New hard disk

I've ordered a new hard drive - a 250gb sata, which should be nice. It will hopefully arrive today which means that I can fit it tomorrow and start sorting data out. The other disk that is fragmented can be cleaned. Of course since this will be going in the Windows box, it'll be an interesting journey.

We'll see...

Post ID: 346, posted by jase at 08:08 AM
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Thursday, April 15, 2004

Loads of vulnerabilities

As we have all seen over the past few days, Micrsoft have released a host of security patches to fix no fewer than 20 security issues recently discovered in a selection of their software products.

Everything from Windows 2000, XP, Windows Server 2003, Outlook & Internet Explorer are affected in one way or anthother. 8 of the security issues are classed as critical and users are advised to update as soon as possible via Windows Update.

There have been some performance issues with Windows Update since the monthly update as so many users were trying to update.

Check out a full low down on the bugs here & here.

But more importantly, patch.

Post ID: 345, posted by jase at 09:31 AM
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Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Who would fall for this?

Ok, so we've all probably heard about the phishing going on at the moment, spam mails reported as being from banks.

If you fall for this one - you are proven to be stupid!

Well, it's obvious when you're not a customer of the bank that the mail must be fake, but some of them that are going around, that I have received - do look pretty good and can fool people. I get ones from Barclays quite a bit. I'm a Barclays account holder but I obvoiusly know it's all fake.

This is the latest I've received - what a joke!
Surely, nobody would fall for this one?
The sad thing is, I bet I am wrong.

Some people think it must be from the bank, nobody else is going to know you are a customer of the bank. Well, you would be right they don't - but these mails are sent out on a mass basis and out of say 10,000 a percentage of those receiving the mail will be a online banking customer of the bank in question.

---
Hello dear client Barclays Bank.
Today our system of safety at night has been cracked!!!
It not a joke!!! It is the truth!!!
We ask you, in order to prevent problems, to repeat
registration of your data. Make it very quickly!
Administration Barclays Bank.

http://ibank.barclays.co.uk
---

Obviously it's a specially crafted link that sends you to another site even though the URL can show up as being correct for the bank in Outlook. Some of these issues are due to bugs in Outlook/Express and IE - patches are available but the majority of people (read: average computer user) won't have updated.

Post ID: 344, posted by jase at 10:43 AM
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Driving theory test

I just got round to taking it this morning. Comprising of 35 questions and also a hazard awareness test, it's quite logical.

I didn't even bother trying the tests out I have on cd from the DSA until this morning when I got up.

I passed first time, so I'm glad I didn't waste time revising for it.

I don't understand how it can take some people 3 or more attempts to pass.

The only regret I have is not sorting it out years ago, then I would have been driving for ages now. Anyway, I can now book the practical but there is about a 3 or 4 month waiting list.

Post ID: 343, posted by jase at 10:11 AM
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Tuesday, April 13, 2004

New Apache vulnerabilities

There are a few new bugs reported & users of affected versions would be advised to upgrade.

One is a DOS, which affects Apache 2, the issue has been fixed in release 2.0.49.

The other issue, is not remote like the one above but local only - it affects 1.3.x and 2.x. Although, 1.3.29 is said to not be affected. Most vendors have released patches already, but you could just download the latest versions of Apache instead.

Availability of exploits is currently unknown to me, but it's good practice to upgrade anyway.

Post ID: 342, posted by jase at 11:06 PM
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Monday, April 12, 2004

Mirror.ac.uk to close

It's being reported that mirror.ac.uk will stop providing mirror services from the 1st of August due to the contract from JISC held by Lancaster University & The University of Kent being lost.

Considering a lot of projects host their projects on mirror.ac.uk and not at any other site, some projects will have to move. Will anything be lost for good?

If the contract has been lost - surely some other group or organization will take over the mirror. Loosing a contract, would usually mean someone else has got it, rather than something being removed and no longer maintained.

We'll have to wait and see. Let's hope it does not die!
At least we will still have the various SunSITE's around the world.

Post ID: 341, posted by jase at 10:19 AM
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Sunday, April 11, 2004

Happy Easter

Well for many of us this is a bank holiday weekend, in that we get last Friday and this coming Monday off. Plus a load of Easter eggs. I'm working both days, but I get them off another time when I want so it works out better. I also only got 1 egg but I'm not that bothered - as I was not expecting any!

It's a thing for the kids & I'm no longer a kid! Well, not usually anyway!

We could always go searching for the eggs in software though.

Post ID: 340, posted by jase at 08:58 AM
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Saturday, April 10, 2004

Spymac 1GB webmail

According to an article, Spymac have implemented a 1GB limit on free accounts to users of the system. They are reported to be the 1st people with this limit, which has probably be implemented in light of the Google announcement. It seems that Google have a number of issues to contend with.

The first one, is that people are not going to like their mail being scanned - at all. I thought that paid advertising would be used to cover the costs of this service but does mail need to be scanned to implement directed advertising?

Not everyone will want to use PGP.

The other issue Google will face is with the name - Gmail, is reported to be the tradmark of another company that has been using it for some time. There are also a number of other webmail services named Gmail.

I'd agree with that is said in this post - wait until Gmail is out of beta or at least open to the public and then give it a try. Make your mind up then, not before - regardless of the reports flowing around at the moment.

There are also some more images available.

Post ID: 339, posted by jase at 12:06 PM
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Friday, April 9, 2004

W32.Trance.1999@mm

I just noticed this worm, which is not good for us Trance lovers out there.
From what I've gathered from a report, it is obviously coded by someone who does not like and trance & or has something against the sites which it tries to DDOS.

The main payload is to corrupt any MP3 files with Trance as the genre in the ID tag field. A simple fix to protect your trance MP3 files is to make them read only.

Of course, not opening strange attachments also helps.

Post ID: 338, posted by jase at 11:07 PM
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Thursday, April 8, 2004

Time goes quickly

This week has gone pretty quickly, since I have been doing a lot of overtime at work.
It's good that the weekend is nearly here but the downfall is that it is Easter and I'm working both bank holidays. I'll have them off another time soon and could have them off now, but I thought I'd work from 9am - 12am tomorrow.

I just think of the sound of cash registers, so it's all good.

Post ID: 337, posted by jase at 09:09 AM
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Wednesday, April 7, 2004

Milk on the M1

On our way to work this morning, there were some delays, as of all things a milk carrying tanker overturned or lost its load which covered two out of three lanes, which caused some delays. We decided to come off the M1 and take an alternative route as soon as we saw the messages on the road signs. A few other tankers were called to pump the remaiming milk from the tanker, the rest of it of course was all over the road.

Enough people got caught in the delays.

Anyway, you know what they say - there is no point crying over spilt milk.

Post ID: 336, posted by jase at 12:27 PM
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Tuesday, April 6, 2004

Bloglines

I've just checked out Bloglines, after reading JZ's post about it.

Pretty handy, but like Jeremy states there is room for improvement as with anything. It does the job though and is not too cluttered. Very handy, especially when you've not got links to the stuff you read to hand or if you've not got your news aggregator application available.

Using this or something similar really helps with keeping updated on all the feeds you are interested in as it can become a bit of a task going through manually all the time.

I must say I do this a lot, with certain stuff anyway. Maybe I should start using an aggregator more, so I'll spend less time going through things but instead, have it presented all there in one place.

So yes, it is more than a simple make things easier type of affair.

There's also another interesting review of Bloglines here.

Post ID: 335, posted by jase at 11:26 PM
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Monday, April 5, 2004

Working overtime

Don't you just love it when there is paid overtime going at work?

Well, there is plenty of it going for us at the moment if we want it. I'm going to do some, so I think I'll get an early night and go in earlier tomorrow & probably the rest of the week.

I might be bored by next week, we'll have to wait and see.

Post ID: 334, posted by jase at 10:38 PM
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Sunday, April 4, 2004

XPde Linux desktop

I've seen this not so long ago, but just noticed a post on Slashdot about it.
As designed it looks much like Windows XP, it's basically eye candy. Just a desktop and window manager that looks like XP. It'll be a nice way for a newbie to make the transition to Linux or just start using it as well.

Take a look at the screen shots, quite nice.

And if you like the look of it, then go & download it.

There is also the XFce environment, which is also looking quite nice. Maybe it is time for the desktops of the *nix world to become more alive with colours?

Post ID: 333, posted by jase at 11:00 PM
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Linux Kernel 2.6.5 released

That's right.

There is a massive changelog, you'll probably spend more time looking at that than upgrading to the new Kernel.

Head on over to your usual mirror to get the goods.

Post ID: 332, posted by jase at 10:37 AM
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Saturday, April 3, 2004

MSN closes member directory

I noticed that the directory was closed on March 31st, when trying to look at some profiles. A bit strange I thought, maybe they were doing some work on it. But now, it's still not back up.

It seems that the directory has been closed due to fears that the information available may be used to find minors by paedophiles. It's good that the measures are being taken, but I don't think there is a need to totally close it whilst modifications are made.

So, get a move on MSN.

Post ID: 331, posted by jase at 10:52 PM
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Friday, April 2, 2004

Glastonbury 2004

I was thinking of going this year, as it would be something different and in addition to the other festivals that I normally attend. I know that the tickets were due to go online soon, last night in fact. The crazy rush to buy tickets caused the phone lines to be jammed and the Internet site to fall over.

Now it seems, all of the tickets are gone. The touts will probably make a load, although at the moment there are some crazy auctions taking place on Ebay, most of them having a laugh, with auction prices starting at ten million pounds!

Looks like I'll have to wait until next year.

Post ID: 330, posted by jase at 09:10 PM
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Thursday, April 1, 2004

Gmail

The word has been for a while that Google may delve in and create a web based email service and it seems that it is true. It looks like each user of Gmail will have 1gb of storage space, which is quite a lot for a free service. I think that Google will have to invest in some of our high end StorEdge systems, with terrabytes of storage with redundancy of course.

Looks exciting, we'll have to wait for more information.

UPDATE: 04/04/2004

Here are some screen shots of Gmail.

Post ID: 328, posted by jase at 04:29 PM
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