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iTunes Saturday

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TypePad AntiSpam

typepadantispam.jpg There’s something to be said about antispam technologies. Especially on blogs. And so far, I’m liking the fact that Six Apart came out with their own.
Believe me. A lot of people have a love-hate relationship with Akismet. I’ve had my own issues dating with it on and off for the past couple years. So when there’s an option out of Akismet crappy false positives, I’ll take a look.
So far, TypePad AntiSpam has already caught a couple things since being installed on lux and 888 Society. The bad thing about this is that it’s still automated with no user interface. There should still be some way to set up a local whitelist and/or commit to a national blacklist. I don’t see why these services don’t set up something similar to Spamhaus but niche towards blogs.
In any case, TypePad AntiSpam is built into TypePad, and there are plugins for WordPress and Movable Type. Nothing like a little extra protection.

Movie Review: In the Name of the King – A Dungeon Siege Tale

Okay. Yes, I did sit and watch all two and a half hours of it. But believe me, I went in thinking it was much worse than it was. First off, it was produced and directed by Uwe Boll. No offense to the guy, but he puts out some pretty ugly movies based on games. I’ve yet to see one of them that really just shined.
But I will give some credit to this movie, since there was enough of a decent cast to actually hold it together for a slightly better than B-rated fantasy flick. The script wasn’t as typical as usual for Boll’s films, and with Statham holding down the fort as the protagonist and beautiful Forlani carrying the damsel in distress role, it actually worked out somewhat.
I will say that the ending was pretty cheesy, but that’s pretty typical. There was also a lot of influence it seemed from Lord of the Rings. Right off the bat, not only the helicopter shots of ridge walking, to the main battle scenes, all reminded of Two Towers on a lesser scale.
In the Name of the King – A Dungeon Siege Tale actually surprised me. The tale was a bit long, could have been a bit more exciting, but the overall Boll cheese factor was lessened which is a dramatic improvement based on historical trends. Now if only the name wasn’t so friggin’ long…

On-Stage holographic teleconferencing

cisco_2thm.jpg Soon, conference calls will be a thing of the past. The cooperative project between Musion Systems and Cisco Networks created the Cisco On-Stage TelePresence Experience where the holographic systems of Musion were integrated with Cisco TelePresence.
What’s extremely interesting about this is that with cameras and IP networks, you actually have people that are not only standing on a stage across from each other, but they can also see the audience. It’s practically like the movies where you have virtual meetings at a board room where, everyone is sitting there, even though they’re not physically there.
Similarly, this technology allows you to not only be there, but interact. That way, not only voice inflection is conveyed, but also body language. This takes communications to a whole new level. Can’t wait to see this out in real working environments.

Tracing hung processes through the ppid

One of the easiest ways to troubleshoot hung processes is trace it to the source. This works for cpu intensive things also, when dealing with a *nix based system. So if you look at the process ids, there are always a parent process id that’s associated with it.
It’s usually always in this format: So if you just trade those ppids as the pid, you can eventually find out what script or tool is dragging your entire system down. Basics of troubleshooting processes, but you’d be surprised how many people do not understand it.
If the process is eventually owned by root (or pid of 1) then it’s been zombied meaning the parent dropped out and tossed the reins to the root process. Zombie processes sometimes can actually never go away until they’re killed and just sit there taxing resources from your system.

How to create automatic ftp scripts in bash

You can do this in any operating system that allows you to do bash shell scripting, but if you know a little about shell scripting, then all you need to know is that you can do:
ftp -i << **
After you put this in the script, this will allow you to login and password to whatever is set in your .netrc. If you don’t have one, then you should set it before starting off a script like this.
All the commands after this line will be your usual ftp commands. When you’re done, then do a:
bye
**

Everything outside of this line will be back on your bash scripting syntax.

Music Review: Girugamesh – Girugamesh

Under the same management company as Mucc, this band has been around 2003. Although they’re billed as a visual kei band, they dress more like American or European goth, and their music has the style of more hard rock, or metal. There’s more of an edge in their latest album, Girugamesh and by their own accord, they are inspired by western bands such as System of the Down and Slipknot.
The first time I listened to the little bit that you’re given on Girugamesh, I was hooked.
They have a harder sound, but it’s really good and definitely good rock sound. Going strong since 2003, and they’ve gained another fan. Nothing the artists under Gan-shin, I think they’re in good company. Most of the bigger artists listed there have international recognition already..

How to add WPA support in Ubuntu

Adding WPA support in Ubuntu is extremely easy. All you have to do is add the wpasupplicant package. Then, just reboot the system. The next time around, if your card is configured for WPA, it’ll actually automatically detect. So far, I’ve tested this with D-Link, Orinoco, SMC, and Senao cards. They all work off automatic detection.
This is actually a brilliant thing that Ubuntu has done since this brings this distribution that much closer as a integrated solution that’s pretty newbie resilient.
The entire plug-and-play platform actually works fairly well and I didn’t have to configure anything. Gone are the days where you had to go around tweaking the drivers. Just click the Network link in the status bar, and choose your connection. You’ll be prompted for passwords and such if there is need. Brilliant.

Fritz chip will prevent piracy?

Atari’s founder, Nolan Bushnell, has made an absolute clause. And in the world of security, you never make absolute clauses.
“Games are a different thing, because games are so integrated with the code. The TPM will, in fact, absolutely stop piracy of gameplay.”
I can tell you that this statement is just asking for trouble. Most things don’t need prodding to get enthusiastic people get jump on and start trying to break it. In fact, there will be those people already. But stating any fact like this, is absolutely preposterous.
Why? Even the SHA algorithm has been broken. Truecrypt? Broken. There are pretty much ways around every single type of algorithm unless you use some obscure and totally huge seed that can only be brute forced. And even so, there are many researchers that will attempt to find weaknesses in algorithms. But, let’s dig a bit deeper. The way Truecrypt was broken was because the password had to be stored in RAM for just a fraction of time. Yet, if you froze the RAM, that data could be extracted. Similarly, any sort of password at a low level has to be stored and decrypted somewhere at some point. This also has to be stored. Thus, there’s always a weakness to the strategies of password protection.
Knowing what TPM does, I can’t say that it’s not a strong encryption mechanism (although it is vulnerable to cold boot attacks). But I do know however that I was taught at a very young age, “Never say never.” In this case? “Never say absolutely.”
Photo Credit: (diebmx)

ScoopFree Ultra Litter Box

The cool thing of getting a nice litter box like the ScoopFree LB2 Ultra Litter Box is that there’s a lot less poopie and peepee smell.
And less poopie and peepee smell is definitely a good thing. The difference between the latest model and the LB1 is that the LB1 doesn’t include a hood (which helps with smell) and the LB2 has an adjustable timer versus a fixed. Otherwise, they’re pretty much the same litter box.
One thing to be wary about is that this litter box was made for crystal litter. That stuff basically sucks up moisture like pee and such. I assume it does with the poop too. Kind of like the silicate packets that come in a lot of packaging to keep moisture out of the product. Well, crystal litter is great and all, but you have to change the entire stuff out every so often.
ScoopFree actually sells replacement cartridges, which will run you about fifteen dollars a piece. This is okay and all, but I would recommend getting a Forever Litter Tray (yes, I did purchase one). These are permanent trays that you basically replace the litter and can save you a bunch of money in the long run. They are a custom product but so far, I haven’t had an issue with them and they are guaranteed against leaking and such.
Altogether, the entire litter box combo will run you somewhere a bit over the two hundred mark but it’s well worth it when you account for the times you have to clean kitty stuff and instead spend that time to play with them!