Archive for May 2007 - Page 1


    Rant on Security Now! 94, RE: Library Security

    On SN 94: The Fourth Authentication Type, Leo and Steve talked about how a hacker can have a thumb drive, install keylogging software, put it in a Library computer, leave it there for a week, come back and have all of the user names and passwords of the people who sat there. I'd like to argue this point, heavily. There may be some libraries that do not have any restrictions on their patron terminals, however there are many, including the one that I work at, that do. We run a program called "trust-no-exe". this does exactly what you think. It stops all EXE files from loading except the ones that you specify. We do this, in addition to several other security related things.

    Additionally, many of the libraries in the US had donated, or were allowed to purchase at a significant discount, computers from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. And the B&MGF did not just give the computers and say, here, you deal with security. No, the setup included that all of the users are Non-Administrators. Many libraries are extremely concerned about security and privacy, particularly because they have a very diverse population. One specific thing is that we did not allow thumb drives until we could find a way to restrict them from running programs. Plus, being non-administrator users, our patrons cannot run the U3 Software, since that requires Administrative rights; yet they can still save their files to their thumb drives. Many libraries continued this setup, even if they replaced their aging Gates' computers.

    I find the belief that libraries are lackadaisical when it comes to security, disheartening and rather assumptive on the part of Leo and Steve.


    Old Computers

    So I have three older PCs that I'm not sure what to do with... 1 AMD Sempron 3100+ with a gig of Ram, 256MB of Video Memory, so it's a pretty good machine... 1 1.9Ghz Pentium 4, 512MB of RAM, 128MB of Video Memory, and an old P2-400 with 384MBs of RAM... I'm not sure what to do with any of these... so if anybody has any idea, I'd appreciate it...

    I'm thinking I could use the Sempron for a Windows Home Server and test it for backups and the like... Possibly use the 1.9GHz for a security gateway... since I'm going to divide my network into two segments, Public and Private... but we'll see... I may just lock down the wireless...


    Phone versus Tablet (updated)

    Well, with the Nintendo DS Lite Browser coming out in June, I've ordered that, and am probably going to use that for a while, and see if that will be enough for me... but we'll see... it's a hell of a lot cheaper only $35 versus $400 versus $750... so I'll see how it works...


    Phone versus Tablet

    So I'm debating on buying a new phone, or an Internet Tablet. The features I'm looking for in either are:

    1. Full Featured Internet Web Browser
    1. Wireless 802.11B/G built in.
    1. RSS Reader
    1. Chat Client (for AIM, ICQ, GTalk, Yahoo, MSN)

    If I get a phone, I'd want the ability to have customized ringtones for each person. So I'm not sure what else I'd want to get in a device. The two items I'm looking at are both from Nokia.

    For a phone, it'd be the Nokia N95. As for an Internet Tablet, I'd get the Nokia N800. The price difference is about $350. $750 for the Phone, and $400 for the Internet Tablet.

    Whichever I decide, I'll end up getting it probably in late June. Which doesn't rule out the iPhone, but I really don't want to have to sign another 2 year contract with Cingular/AT&T.

    Anybody have any thoughts?


    No Internet

    My dad managed to run over the cable with the lawnmower, so I don't have any internet for the next couple of days, at least monday. so if you're wondering, that's why.


    New Blog

    As you can see, I've implemented the new blogging software, Thanks to Joel, for pointing me in the right direction with Textedit's find & Replace. The comments did not transition over, just the content... I'll look into it, but I'm not sure if there is a way to import the comments into a post...

    I'm going to customize it some more later on.


    Thoughts on the Decline of the Digg Community and Changes

    I have thought about this for a while now, and I have come the conclusion to no longer continue to support the Digg community. The decline of the quality of the user community has made me decide that it is no longer within my interest to continue to comment, post, digg, or even login to the website. There is a certain lack of respectability within the community that has encroached on the user base.

    In addition to the failing quality of the community, the user base is also extremely biased and quite inconsiderate when it comes to commenting on stories. I'm in need of a more equitable platform to acquire my stories, and also a more even keeled place to gain perspective.

    Furthermore, the Diggnation podcast has also become a drunken beerfest which includes extremely off-topic comments on stories. While I expect some comments and off-topic stories, the increased frequency of this has turned me off from the podcast. The previous podcast included talking about "joey's weiner", which truly who the hell cares.

    The recent "HD-DVD Key" Revolt, by the community, shows me that the community is willing to allow a website die and be sued out of existence, then continue to aid it in thriving and growing. While I applaud the idea behind it, there are other ways of showing your disdain for the AACS company. I did digg the articles, not as a revolt, but as a protest to the AACS company.

    While I still have respect for Kevin and Alex in their endevors and their commitment to the Digg community, and wish them the best of luck, I can no longer continue to participate in a community of juveniles and those who cannot respect others. I will be unsubscribing to the podcast, and removing links to them on my websites.

    On the subject of Website, I have a few other changes to mention in regards to that. I will no longer be doing my "Stories of the Week", which of late has turned into "Stories of Whenever". I will be posting any stories I find in my main blog. I also believe as though I will be switching blogging platforms to Wordpress instead of Pivotlog. Despite pivotlog having served me well for the last two years, I am in need of an updated blogging platform with more capabilities and features. I have not 100 percent decided on wordpress, but my limited use with it, has impressed me.

    Since buying my Mac, my interests in what I want to persue have changed, I think I'm going to try programming some applications for the Macintosh, and learning Mac OS X, and the intricacies held within. I also intend on spending more time on the things that I want to spend my time on, instead of surfing the internet in search of nothing in particular.


    Apple TV

    So on Saturday I bought an Apple TV, and so Far I like it... I spent most of Sunday sitting and watching stuff on the Apple TV. Despite the amount of time it takes to transcode things to Apple TV Format from DVD, it works quite well. The only issue I have is that pixelation on a larger dark spot of black while watching '24', but other than that, it's not bad at all. The setup is a breeze, and it looks really good on an HD TV, with an HDMI Cable setup. I haven't watched a movie on it yet, so I'm not sure how those have transcoded; but I will watch one eventually.

    The Apple TV, in conjunction with the 802.11N Wireless, synchronization to the Apple TV was quite fast. I like the ability to both synchronize and stream from the same computer, it makes it a lot nicer to be able to watch what I want, when I want.