16.12.07

Fedora information linkage

This is really just a note to myself in order to keep track of these links, but others may find them useful also.

Fedora Service(s) info:
http://dnmouse.webs.com/servicesinf8.htm
http://www.mjmwired.net/resources/mjm-services-f8.html

15.12.07

Sirius Satellite radio listen online - work around

Lately Sirius is having trouble with their website, certain areas are offline and other will not work all together. For example have an account and want to add a radio for the holiday trip to your Parent's in Sasqachuan? Sorry you can't.

I was so fedup with them I stopped listening online for a while, now I tried again and it is still offline! Apparently they hired some really great web designers and the code they wrote was busted! Good old script errors, dolts.

Anyhow if you would like to listen online I was able to pull a working link that doesn't use the oh so wonderful new Flash interface.

http://www.sirius.com/sirius/servlet/MediaPlayer

1.12.07

Beware of malicious Linux commands from "helpers"

Recently there have been a few malicious commands posted at the Ubuntu forums directed at "helping" new users. So if you are thinking about the switch to linux or even trying it out, beware as usual on the internet. Here is the link to the post at the Ubuntu forums about this:
http://ubuntuforums.org/announcement.php?a=54

I have not seen this at the Fedora or Centos forums but be on the lookout in any regards.

1.11.07

Gmail + IMAP + Thunderbird

What a great combination!
Nothing else needs to be said.

21.9.07

[How To] Install Zune theme on XP Pro x64 -

I know the Zune theme has been around for a while and may be old news to most of you but there is a simple solution to the error that is output when a user tries to install the ZuneDesktopTheme.msi from Microsoft on a x64 version of Windows.

1. Search Google for a file called orca.msi, this is a MSI "manipulation" tool from MS.
1a. Or you can download it from here
2. Install orca, the defaults are fine
3. Download the Zune desktop theme, the direct link from MS is above ^
4. Right click on the ZuneDesktopTheme.msi and select edit with Orca
5. Under the Tables section(left) go to InstallExecuteSequence
6. In the Action-Condition-Sequence section(right) highlight LaunchConditions and Del
6A. Or right click the LaunchCondtions entry in the database and select Drop row
7. Answer yes to the prompt and then save and exit
8. Install the MSI as normal

Enjoy!!

15.9.07

17.8.07

Belkin F5D7000 v3 fix

If you happen to have a Belkin F5D7000 v3 like I do you can more then likely relate to the dropping of wireless connectivity all the time in Windows XP. Read on...

I found a fix while looking for Linux drivers for this card. As this card uses a RaLink chipset you can go to http://www.ralinktech.com/ under the support section and download the latest drivers and RaLink wireless utility directly from their website here .

Updating your drivers will alleviate the dropped connections, I had to do the driver update manually as Windows told me it couldn't find a better driver than it already had. But now I haven't had a dropped connection in days!

HTH someone else!

31.7.07

Who wants a Ride with Ted, the Airforce doesn't

Good old "Pork barrel" spending, this time on the Dems;

The Engine No One Wants — Except Congress
The Government Is Spending $100 Million In Tax Dollars On A Jet Engine Deemed Unnecessary By The Military

The supersonic F-35 Lightning II is the military's next-generation strike fighter. It flies so fast that the speed is classified.

Pratt & Whitney has the government contract to make the jet's high-performance engine. But your tax dollars are also paying for GE to develop a spare engine — and it has cost you $1.6 billion so far.

The idea is that if GE and Pratt & Whitney compete, they'll build better engines that cost less and end up saving money. But here's where it really gets interesting: The military doesn't want the alternate engine. The Air Force and two independent panels have concluded it's "not necessary and not affordable" and that the supposed savings from competition "will never be achieved."

So why did Sen. Ted Kennedy personally earmark $100 million tax dollars for the project this year alone? He wouldn't agree to an interview, but part of the answer has to do with where it could be built: at GE's Massachusetts plant in Kennedy's home state — where it would bring jobs.

Kennedy is not the only one who wants to spend your tax money on the project. So does Congresswoman Jean Schmidt.


Read more at CBS News

30.7.07

Talk about cryptic errors...


I get this little guy everytime I try to empty my Recycle Bin in XP.
You have to love the descriptive information provided.
NO I am not trying to delete the desktop before anyone chimes in with that...

23.7.07

Reuters has had a little trouble covering the letour

These poor guys at Reuters!


Burning Renault

‘Allo Paris, we have a problem…..
July 23rd, 2007, filed by mal.langsdon

I have just returned from a trip to Toulouse in southern France. The main reason for the trip was to drive down from Paris with a replacement people carrier for our 7-man Reuters pictures team covering the month-long Tour de France cycle race. I was also somewhat concerned about the state of the team’s morale after the latest in a series of setbacks that has plagued our crew since the Tour’s unusual departure from London.


Read the entire story here

20.7.07

Ask.com's "Anti-Google" tool

This is a step in the right direction that all major search engines should impliment.
With Google's(aka SkyNet - Cozmik) privacy rating slipping and their quest for global domination in full swing it might be time to "switch"

Ask.com unveils anti-Google tool
By Cade Metz in San Francisco
'Hey! We care about privacy'

As Google plays games with its cookies, semi-rival Ask.com is actually getting serious about privacy. The web's fourth-leading search engine is giving web users a brand new tool that ensures their search results will not be retained by the company - at all. As the company points out, that's a first among major search engines.

Known as AskEraser, the tool isn't slated to arrive until later in the year, but Ask went ahead and announced the thing yesterday. No doubt, the company sees this as an opportune moment, with Google fighting off an ever-growing number of questions about its affect on end user privacy. At the end of May, after various privacy groups complained about Google's proposed $3.1bn acquisition of online ad firm DoubleClick, the Federal Trade Commission launched an investigation, and in a recent ranking of web privacy practices, watchdog Privacy International put the search giant at the very bottom of the list.

Read more at:
ElReg

18.7.07

Geek squad thieves

I have been following the Geek Squad "issues" since they had a run in with Sysinternals, now a Microsoft buyout.
But this is worse than a huge corperation using known pirated software.
Your personal information is at risk, have a look at the following links:

Consumerist Story #1
Consumerist's follow-up, one of many
CRN's coverage

This is an awful abuse of a "help desk" service and needs everyones attention, I for one have never used the service but when I do happen to go to a Bluebox the "service desk" is always busy with the poor saps trusting all their personal information to under paid computer geeks with nothing but time on their hands. A recipe for disaster.

Please pass this information along, maybe if enough users complain there will be an investigation into these abuses.

17.7.07

Mainstream Ransomware news..

The story I posted about yesterday in regards to "Cyber blackmail" has been gaining more attention today with a Reuters story hitting the street this morning.
Nice to see they are letting the world know a day late!

More links of interest:
Washington post copy of the Reuters story
Brian Krebs Blog @ Washington Post
My post yesterday
Write-up from McAfee

16.7.07

Booz, Allen and Hamilton hit by cyber blackmail

Those of you who know what Booz, Allen and Hamilton do may be a little disturbed at this occurence;

According to PrevX atleast three IP adresses belonging to Booz Allen in the Washington DC area are affected by Virus.Win32.Gpcode.ai



a wonderful(sarc.) little piece of malware that encrypts your data(not with RSA-4096 though) and supposedly uploads it to the authors server.

Hello, your files are encrypted with RSA-4096 algorithm (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RSA).

You will need at least few years to decrypt these files without our software. All your private information for last 3 months were collected and sent to us.

To decrypt your files you need to buy our software. The price is $300.

To buy our software please contact us at: tristanniglam@gmail.com and provide us your personal code -1755024102. After successful purchase we will send your decrypting tool, and your private information will be deleted from our system.

If you will not contact us until 07/15/2007 your private information will be shared and you will lost all your data.

Glamorous team


There is a removal tool available from PrevX but that is not the main issue, the fact is that with Booz Allen's fingers being in every pot in DC who knows what information will get out...

Some related links of interest:
Ransomware... Holding Corporate America Ransom! - PrevX
Blackmailer – the return of Gpcode - Kaspersky
Users comments @ NetworkWorld

15.7.07

Washinton Capitals Firefox theme


Well this was a surprise to me, but it's nice to see someone going after the Hockey loving geeks.

(Note: I haven't installed it as it is only for 2.0+, and I still have issues with Ff 2 mainly I hate the fact that my up and down arrow keys stop working intermittently and I have to keep checking and unchecking autoscroll. What a PIA!)

12.7.07

Linux -

Ok I have always been a supporter of Microsoft and at the same time a big critic also. But with my new position I deal with Linux 24/7 we are transitioning from Windows to Linux (Fedora 6 Stateless) so I am learning a lot about it. I have to say as you can see from my post earlier today, I don't much care for Fedora 7. BUT CentOS is my new flavor! I suggest you give it a shot if you are looking for a stable, reliable distro. FYI CentOS is RHEL with all the trademarks removed and no support from RH themselves. Who cares this is a rock solid performer!

Dan

So apparently only Windows crashes?


Here is a screenshot of Fedora 7 crashing on my pc.
Wait, lets recompile my kernel to make it work right!!

4.7.07

Independence Day Storm Worm

Be on the lookout for a new Storm Worm variant in your email inbox this 4th of July, the original message follows;

From: "mypostcards.com"
To:
Date: Wed, 4 Jul 2007 17:31:12 +0530
Subject: Celebrate Your Independence
Hi. School friend has sent you a greeting ecard.
See your card as often as you wish during the next 15 days.

SEEING YOUR CARD

If your email software creates links to Web pages, click on your
card's direct www address below while you are connected to the Internet:

http://83.250.XX.XXX/?7c0b58e47d14c775ed2175ee0c2a4c1c8a

Or copy and paste it into your browser's "Location" box (where Internet
addresses go).



PRIVACY
mypostcards.com honors your privacy. Our home page and Card Pick Up have links to our
Privacy Policy.

TERMS OF USE
By accessing your card you agree we have no liability.
If you don't know the person sending the card or don't wish to see the card,
please disregard this Announcement.

We hope you enjoy your awesome card.

Wishing you the best,
Administrator,
mypostcards.com



Scan results form VirusTotal

28.6.07

Vista Family Value pack done

Around the time of the Windows Vista launch we announced the Windows Vista Family Discount Program to further persuade families to become early adopters of Windows Vista. The program was introduced with a sunset clause that takes effect 11:59 PM Pacific Time on 30 June 2007. We've been pleased with the response to the program, which has enabled thousands of multi-computer families to upgrade more than one PC in their home to Windows Vista.

Thanks to those of you who participated and also to those who helped seed and validate the original idea.
---
Source: http://windowsvistablog.com/blogs/windowsvista/archive/2007/06/27/windows-vista-family-discount-program-concludes-at-month-s-end.aspx#comments
---
Well seemingly all remotely lucrative offers for consumers from MS are short lived.
What a mess.


Thanks to BetaNews for tehe heads up.

27.5.07

HP/Compaq V2010us upgrades

I have been doing a little searching on the net to see what upgrades are available for my aging V2010us and found a few, but what I didn't find was people who actually tried them. So I decided to post the ones I have done so other know that they do work.

First upgrade I did was go from 2x256MB DDR ram 2x 512 PC2700's
-This is the stated limit and I thought it good enough for me, simple I know.

Second I replaced my Celeron M 1.4 with a Pentium M 1.7GHZ
-As long as you stay with the same processor core you are fine. There is a fair amount of work that has to go into this around 1 - 1.5 hours and some patience.

Third I swapped my old Fujitsu 4200 rpm drive with my Maxtor OneTouch III mini's.
-Which by the way is a Seagate 5400.3 this made a 15-25 minute difference in battery times for the better! The real problem with this upgrade was the foam tape on the OneTouch's Seagate drive!!

So there is the small list, and with about $150 you can extend your precious V2000 series for another 1-2 years!

If you have any questions please fell free to post them.

17.5.07

Russia vs Estonia - Cyber War...

Cyber warfare is on the rise between quarreling countries.

NATO Nervous As Russia Accused Of Unleashing Cyber War To Disable Estonia

A three-week wave of massive cyber-attacks on the small Baltic country of Estonia, the first known incidence of such an assault on a state, is causing alarm across the western alliance, with NATO urgently examining the offensive and its implications.

While Russia and Estonia are embroiled in their worst dispute since the collapse of the Soviet Union, a row that erupted at the end of last month over the Estonians' removal of the Bronze Soldier Soviet war memorial in central Tallinn, the country has been subjected to a barrage of cyber warfare, disabling the websites of government ministries, political parties, newspapers, banks, and companies.

NATO has dispatched some of its top cyber-terrorism experts to Tallinn to investigate and to help the Estonians beef up their electronic defenses.

"This is an operational security issue, something we're taking very seriously," said an official at NATO headquarters in Brussels. "It goes to the heart of the alliance's modus operandi."

Read more here



11.5.07

BITS gone bad

This is via Computerworld there was a discussion almost exactly one year ago to the day about this little situation with BITS.

Enjoy

Hackers hijack Windows Update's downloader:

Stealing Windows' BITS gets bad code past any firewall
--------------------------------------------------------

May 10, 2007 (Computerworld) -- Hackers are using the file transfer component used by Windows Update to sneak malware past firewalls, Symantec researchers said today.

The Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) is used by Microsoft Corp.'s operating systems to deliver patches via Windows Update. BITS, which debuted in Windows XP and is baked into Windows Server 2003 and Windows Vista, is an asynchronous file transfer service with automatic throttling -- so downloads don't impact other network chores. It automatically resumes if the connection is broken.

"It's a very nice component, and if you consider that it supports HTTP and can be programmed via COM API, it's the perfect tool to make Windows download anything you want," said Elia Florio, a researcher with Symantec's security response team, on the group's blog. "Unfortunately, this can also include malicious files."

Florio outlined why some Trojan makers have started to call on BITS to download add-on code to an already compromised computer. "For one simple reason: BITS is part of the operating system, so it's trusted and bypasses the local firewall while downloading files."

Malware, particularly Trojans, which typically first open a back door to the system for follow-on code, needs to sidestep firewalls to bring additional malicious software -- a keylogger, for instance -- to the PC. "[But] the most common methods are intrusive [and] require process injection or may raise suspicious alarms," said Florio.

"It is novel," said Oliver Friedrichs, director of Symantec's security response group. "Attackers are leveraging a component of the operating system itself to update their content. But the idea of bypassing firewalls isn't new."

Symantec first caught chatter about BITS on Russian hacker message boards late last year, Friedrichs added, and has been on the lookout for it since. A Trojan spammed in March was one of the first to put the technique into practice.

"The big benefit BITS gives them is that it lets them evade firewalls," said Friedrichs. "And it's also a more reliable download mechanism. It's free and reliable, and they don't have to write their own download code."

Although BITS powers the downloads delivered by Microsoft's Windows Update service, Friedrichs reassured users that there was no risk to the service itself. "There's no evidence to suspect that Windows Update can be compromised. If it has a weakness, someone would have found it by now.

"But this does show how attackers are leveraging components and becoming more and more modular in how they create software. They're simply following the trend of traditional software development," said Friedrichs.

Florio noted that there's no way to block hackers from using BITS. "It's not easy to check what BITS should download and not download," he said, and then offered some advice for Microsoft. "Probably the BITS interface should be designed to be accessible only with a higher level of privilege, or the download jobs created with BITS should be restricted to only trusted URLs."

Microsoft was unable to immediately respond to questions about unauthorized BITS use.


Original Article


9.3.07

Good looking and a hybrid hard drive? You bet!

I want that!

Have a look at this LG Notebook:






















Dual Core T5300
1GB Ram 667 DDR2
120GB 2.5" MH80 Hybrid Drive
14.1" WideSreen display
ATI® Mobility™ Radeon® X2300
(128MB VRAM, *HyperMemory™ Support)

Have a look here

22.2.07

Microsoft decides to F-up your Pc with the new version of WGA

Ok I know I tend to complain about Microsoft my fair share and the fact that I still use it irritates some, but to bad I think Windows in itself is a great product. It is when Microsoft decides to do something like they did to me this morning that I get pissy and write about it.
When I logged onto my pc this morning I had an AU(auto update) available, it was the "NEW" Microsoft WGA tool mentioned here.
According to the article it was Opt-in right? WRONG!!! I'll explain.
Upon declining to install this new version of WGA, I was greeted with the typical are you sure and don't display this message again prompts, no problem. But as soon as I opened Windows Media Player 10 it shot up an error like this:












What the hell! So I opened the detail tab and what did await me?
This oh so helpful page:









Gee thanks for the information Microsoft!!!

Now please note that I had in no way opted-in nor downloaded the or WGA update this was a push by Microsoft and it totally screwed my morning!

Every day I get closer and closer to going Linux only and this is another large push in that general direction. Simply because I don't want my pc calling Microsoft I can't use Windows Media Player 10? WTF!!!

18.1.07

What's on your Thumb Drive?

I decided to compose a list of what's on my USB thumb drive(128MB) version, My 512MB and 1GB are a mess but this little baby is my pride and joy. 54.3MB of computer fixing fun in an easily accessible format. To organize all the programs I utilize Pegtop's PStart, I love free software!

Here are the screen shots of my PStart interface, broken down by sub-category:







Here is the entire list:
7-Zip - Freeware compression and file manager
Autoruns - Comprehensive listing of autostarts by Sysinternals
Calc - Common windows calculator
CCleaner - Portable version of CCleaner
Checksum Calc - CRC, MD5 and SHA1 hash program
cureit - My custom Dr.WEB CureIt!
CyberShredder - File shredder/eraser
DeepBurner1.08 - Freeware version of Deepburner
DirPrint - JRdirprint portable and free
dtaskmanager - Extended taskmanager
Ewido - Ewido(GriSoft) Micro stand alone scanner
FileAssassin - Unlocks and deletes files in use
FileZilla - Best open source FTP program
FoxIT - Stand alone PDF viewer
Hash - Another hash program CRC32, MD5, and SHA1
HDDScan - Diagnose Hard disk errors
Hex Cyngus - Hex file editor
HexEditor - HDD Hex editor 2.3 NOT 3.0
ICEECC - File verification and repair tool
IrfanView - One of the most used graphics views today
KeyFinder - Magic Jellybean key finder 1.5
KFLite - Key finder thing lite
lads - List Alternate Data Streams
LCISOCreator - Simple ISO creation utility
NetStatViewer - Graphic replacement for NetStat
NetWorkScanner - Softperfect network scanner
Notepad++ - Universal text editor
odbg110 - Olly debugger 1.10 reverse engineering app
PFE - Programmers file editor(discontinued)
PK204g - Command line PKWare(Oldie but goodie)
PMMon - Power management viewer(battery status etc.)
ProcessExplorerNt - Another Sysinternals masterpiece
RDP - Remote Desktop client courtesy of Windows
RegCleaner - A Microsoft original
ReNamer - Comprehensive file renamer by Den4b
RootkitRevealer - Again Sysinternals
SIW - System Info for Windows v1.66
TcpView - And Sysinternals again!
TerraIM - AOL/ICQ IM program
TweakUI - One of Microsofts very useful tools
Undelete plus - Recover those oops files easily
UniExtract - Unpack or Unarchive almost anything!
virtualcd - A virtual CD mounter from Microsoft
WhatChanged -A system snapshot utility(Not avail)
WinDiff - File comparison tool in the SP2 ResKit
xvi32 - Small fast Hex editor
xyplorer - Great Explorer replacement Xyplorer 4.5
Zip2Sfx - Freeware SFX creator

17.1.07

CTFMon.exe - Removal

What Is the Ctfmon.exe (Ctfmon.exe) File?
Ctfmon.exe activates the Alternative User Input Text Input Processor (TIP) and the Microsoft Office Language Bar.

What Does the Ctfmon.exe File Do?
Ctfmon.exe monitors the active windows and provides text input service support for speech recognition, handwriting recognition, keyboard, translation, and other alternative user input technologies.

See this Microsoft knowledge base article to remove: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;q282599

11.1.07

Vista "Craplets"

'Craplets' could damage Vista launch: Microsoft exec.

A senior Microsoft Corp. executive says the company is concerned that uncertified third-party software loaded onto new computers by manufacturers could hurt the launch of consumer versions of its Windows Vista operating system later this month.

In a discussion Tuesday night at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the Microsoft official told CBC News Online, on condition of anonymity, that the world's largest software maker is frustrated by legal shackles that prevent the company from restricting what kinds of software major computer makers install on new PCs.

Read the original article at the CBC

I have to say that I do see Microsoft's point with this, most users will blame them for any and I mean ANY problems with Vista. When in all actuality a majority of the time it is 3rd party applications that are at fault.