Entries Tagged as ''

Zipeg

zipeg.png Another of the many many compression utilities, Zipeg is available for both MacOSX and Windows.
This freeware compression utility is interesting because of the preview functionality. You can basically look inside a compressed archive and actually explore it without extraction. This includes iso files for CD/DVDs which makes it very interesting. This is one of those utilities that you really should keep in your back pocket in case you need it and the trustworthy ole’ WinZip or whatever else you are using just can’t open the compressed file.

SpeedMail

speedmail.jpg
SpeedMail basically is a quick GUI application that runs the following:

sqlite3 ~/Library/Mail/Envelope\ Index vacuum

This basically compresses the SQL database that your mail is stored in which in effect speeds up your Mail.app application. Pretty simple, but effective. If you don’t want to have a nice finished GUI that basically runs a terminal window to do this, then just open up a terminal window and run that command yourself. Same effect.

Some days, it’s amusing to see .mil addresses…

mil_cs-server.jpg It’s really amusing to read server logs. But it’s more amusing when you see a zombie bot hack that comes from supposedly secure networks. At least you would think it would be secure.
In any case, if you take a look at the screenshot, one of the servers I take care of was hit by the ip 147.83.50.219 and it looked like multiple attempts via ssh. If you’ve never looked at server logs before, all this says is that it was going through dictionary attacks for some of the main accounts to look for holes. But what’s interesting about 147.83.50.219 is that it was owned by the Department of Defense.
Now we all know that they probably just hand out CAC cards and some poor soul was clicking on things they shouldn’t have and got infected. But what’s interesting is that to have ssh access, that means that it’s not a locked down network. This means that if you have a card, they automatically give you enough access to clear a good number of ports that most people probably never need. Even my current corporate network only allows certain types of access when roaming outside of the local network (port 80) and ssh isn’t one of them. Doesn’t give you warm fuzzies about DoD’s networks does it?
I’ll also disclaimer that this isn’t a regular occurrence nor is it unique by any means since these types of attacks happen all the time due to botnets, but what puts the fear in any IT professional is when you realize that one of the networks that might have some pretty serious information has been compromised by a botnet. It’s another reason why you don’t allow personal machines on networks and have remote scans based on IP traffic. If you own the routers, you can sniff the network at that point to trace back any sort of traffic that might be a compromised machine and take care of the problem.
An amusing start of the day.

AppTrap

AppTrap is a very simplistic uninstaller program for MacOSX. Open source, it’s meant to not only clean up the application, but it also searches for any configuration or system files that might be linked with the target application that is being uninstalled. If you just really can’t afford AppZapper (the best in my opinion for uninstallers for MacOSX), and looking for an open source alternative, AppTrap might be it for you.
Lifehacker < AppTrap

Review: Directional LED Nightlight

I recently got me one of the directional LED nightlights. Mainly it was because I was looking for something that would cost less but provide just enough light at night so that I don’t trip down the stairs and fly out the window off the stairs. Or something….
Okay, it was because it was a LED gadget okay?
In any case, this Directional LED Nightlight [affiliate] costs a whopping eight dollars. Yes, I know it’s soooooo expensive. Who are you kidding? In actuality, this is pretty neat because you can sort of direct the light, what little there is to magnify by the lens. It’s a bright white which means that it’s your basic white diode. While I’m not going to even bother thinking about the lifetime guarantee since LEDs are pretty much ten year (on 24/7) lifetimes, the average cost of twelve cents per year to operate is definitely nice.
It does come with a photo sensor, so you don’t have it sucking power during the day when there’s no need for a nightlight. You know, the whole “night” part of the meaning would go out the window if it was a day/night light.

WinTabber

wintabber.jpg WinTabber is an interesting application that allows you to take Windows applications and tab them together. Basically, you know how Firefox has all the pages tabbed together? You can do the same by grouping other types applications such as shells, terminals, and a whole lot more. In this fashion, it gives you more than just tabs. It provides efficient use of your screen real estate and clears out your taskbar for actual applications.
Pretty nifty, and it’s freeware for Windows. So if you’re one that has many applications open at the same time all the time, then you might want to consider consolidating with WinTabber.
DownloadSquad < WinTabber

Windows Grep

wingrep.png Don’t know what grep is? Ever heard of the linux grep command? Grep stands for global regular expression print for the sed commands in linux that allow you to search for a particular character,word,phrase within documents.
Windows never had this functionality until now. Windows Grep is the Windows version of grep. It searches html files, text files, and your usual ASCII based files. But it also does search binary files like documents, spreadsheets, and the like which makes it all the more useful. This application is shareware, but it’s definitely something useful that you might want to use when you’re searching for something on the fly and you don’t have your documents indexed with something like Google Desktop.

Lifehacker
< WindowsGrep

Who needs facts when there’s a story to tell?

stack-of-papers.jpg It’s practically everyday that you hear about journalists misquoting. In fact, there are many people that refuse to do phone interviews anymore. I personally now refuse to do a phone interview with a certain local publication due to a misquote a long time ago. You screw it up, you don’t get a second chance in my book. Especially after I even emailed about the correction.
Bitter? Definitely. But after reading Penelope Trunk’s “story telling” of journalism, it made me even more annoyed. I agree that journalists tell a story from whatever perspective they’ve already thought up. That’s the way history is written. That’s the way news has always been. If you don’t like it, don’t grant the interview. But get the facts straight! Total idiocy is the title given to those that don’t fact-check before dumping out a story for a deadline.
Obviously the Wall Street Journal has another opinion on narratives. In fact, it hits closer to home than we realize with the Nifong/Duke rape case where everyone jumped on the media bandwagon to tell the disturbing story, only to find out that their facts were off. What’s the point of a juicy story if it’s wrong? It’s damning to your reputation as a news source and even more if you turn a respectable medium into a tabloid. Scary how there are tabloids out there that actually fact-check which makes them better than you too. Very scary.
So regardless of the story you already had in mind, or what not. Be forewarned when being a journalist: Fact-check, fact-check, fact-check. If you misquote, and corrected, it might be worthwhile to actually print a “oops” section. Or lose the chance of actually getting to phone interview ever again and have everything done via email. Worst thing that could happen would be that your reputation gets dragged through the mud and it’ll be difficult for you to do big-time news if you can’t get the facts right.
Total ick when it comes having had the short end of this stick before.

Hotwire

hotwire.png Hotwire is shell replacement for both windows and linux. It’s a hybrid shell with both graphical and commandline which makes it very useful for beginners that are learning shell commands and very useful for advanced users especially those that are interested in GUI type of explorer windows. It’s mainly geared towards users that are both interested in command line, but also need functionality in a nice pretty environment.
Not exactly my thing, but I’ve always been particularly fond of bash, myself.
One particularly nice thing about Hotwire is that not only does it have ssh directly in it, but due to the nature of the extra commands that it provides, and the linux and windows support, you can basically go from one operating system to the other without losing any functionality if you’re already familiar with the way Hotwire works.

Lifehacker
< Hotwire

Firefox extension: Imagebot

imagebot.png

Imagebot is a Firefox extension that allows you bulk upload images to two of the most well known image archives, Imageshack and Photobucket. You can sort, filter, and create image galleries really quickly all with this brilliant browser extension.
Friedbeeftech > Imagebot