MyDoom and the ‘Liberal Media’

I’m pretty tired of hearing constant yammerings from the right about how ‘liberal’ the media is and that ‘the new york times is just the mouthpiece of the Democratic party’. What utter crap.
In a brilliant show about just how lopsided the media is, I refer my happy readers to this article from Reuters wherein it is reported that a ‘a new web worm spreads’. In the entirety of the article, where the writer talks to McAfee, Google, and Symantec, nowhere is it mentioned that this virus can ONLY infect MICROSOFT platforms. The only reason this is happening is because of Microsoft’s crap security model.
This is the ‘liberal media’? Gosh, we dont want to upset BIG BAD MICROSOFT now do we? Better plug the virus scanner companies though, they’re making money off this!

USB Pen drives

Today I picked up a SanDisk 256meg Flash pen drive at Costco for a measely $51. I had been wrestling with the concepts of how to easily back up data at conventions without the hassle of a CDROm burner. I’ve been copying data back to my laptop, but that requires the laptop be online and ready to go.
Now, I know these things are passe now. Heck, you can even get flash drives built into watches, but it’s always struck me as too expensive for not enough storage.
256meg seems like the most useable size, so since the price was so low, I picked it up.
Getting it working on the Linux laptop really was a matter of plugging it in and typing ‘mount /dev/sda1 /mnt’, and voila, I had a 256meg drive available. I decided to basically just copy my critical information I need onto it, as my own personal backup.
SO, my documents and text files directory tree. My source code trees for my products. A backup of my mailbox directory (which has years of email stored in it). And my addressbook and calendar from Evolution.
All that combined copied to the drive (very very quickly), took up about half of it. Yes, I still have half the drive empty.
I could learn to like this techy geeky stuff.

One more nail in IE’s coffin

As reported on Slashdot, PC Magazine reviews Mozilla Firefox 0.9.1 and Opera 7.51, noting: ‘Security concerns aren’t the only reason to seek an alternative [to Internet Explorer]. IE’s slow rendering engine and dearth of privacy features may plant the thought in some iconoclastic minds that it may not be the best browser for everyone.’ 4 stars for Firefox and 3.5 for Opera, so looks like a Firefox win, although the editors do point out FF’s troubles with DHTML as well as Opera issues with JavaScript.”
PC Magazine has traditionally been a staunch Windows-centric Microsoft advertising platform. This is nice to see.

Geek Confessional

I, dbs, admit, here and for all to see, that when coding on my huge 21″ Nokia monitor, at the screaming resolution of 1400×1050, I zoom my KVim editor window up to full screen, hiding everything else under a vast expanse of 8pt font.

snapshot of a moment in the life of a geek…

*typitytype, clickytype, click click type…,* *RadioParadise playing in the background* *click typeitytype*
*more pause, music continues, sound of me thinking*
“Gosh, i wish Evolution‘s calendar had a quicker way to go to ‘today’ than clicking the [-> Go to…] button, and clicking ‘today’, that wo… hey… there’s another button on the toolbar, looks like a little house or ‘home’ button. Hm. *click* hey! okay, scratch that feature request, they’re ahead of me.
I love mature opensource products.

You’ve got spam!

I wonder if it’s some sign that my blog has gotten more popular that it’s getting more and more blog spam. Today I logged in to find 88 spam postings into various n sundry articles advertising a series of porn sites. Yee hah.
I finally updated my copy of MT-Blacklist, a tool designed to stop this sort of posting. I hadn’t updated since December when Lisa helped install the first copy. This new version has smarter and easier-to-update filters in it, and hopefully this’ll stop this crud from coming into my system.
Apparently something also twitched the LIvejournal RSS feed, so folks saw some postings from me from a long time ago. Sorry bout that, we’re not sure what causes that to happen, we’ll check into it.

Firefox 0.9.1 released!

Well, with the 0.9.1 point release, I decided it was finally time to upgrade to the latest version of Firefox. Unfortunately the Debian testing environment hasn’t updated to 0.9 at all yet, so I needed to download and install 0.9.1 into my home directory.
I’m pleased! I went from 0.8 to 0.9.1, and it imported all my bookmarks, though all the extensions did NOT load. The new extension manager and theme managers are nice.
For the record, here’s the extensions I run:

  • Web Developer
    This is GREAT if you’re doing coding. Highlighting table elements with a mouse click is screamingly handy.

  • FLST – Focus Last Selected Tab
    If you open a new tab from a window that’s in the middle of a bunch of other tabs, the tab opens on the end of the toolbar. By default, when you close that tab, it goes to the next to last oen (which may not have been the one you were looking at before). This fixed that behaviour.

  • Sage
    This is an RSS / Atom aggregator. I’m JUST now testing it out, I’ll give more information when I’ve given it a real runthrough.

  • Statusbar Clock
    I just think this is cute (and they have a great image on the home page :). It shows a clock in the status bar. That’s it. For some reason it just works well for me.

  • Mozex
    I’ve alread talked about this. A great little tool for invoking an external editor on a textarea.

Last but not least, the Pinball theme is very nice, thanks to Nathan for pointing this one out to me.

Stop using IE. Really. It’s not just me.

Folks in the biz have been telling users for years that Internet Explorer is a garbage browser. The waves of incompatabilities and just plain boneheaded design decisions weren’t enough to sway most people.
Now though, the security issues in IE have gotten to the point where it would be foolish to even use IE as your primary browser.
The Motley Fool site has an article on the recent viral attack on Internet Explorer. They point out:

At the beginning of this development, the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team, or CERT, and Internet Storm Center reportedly suggested that Windows users not use the most widespread Web browser out there -- Internet Explorer. (It seems that machines running Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) and Linux operating systems were safe from the threat, including those using Internet Explorer for Mac.)
This is not just the geeks saying this, folks. This is CERT, one of the most widely respected organizations regarding security on the net. And this isn’t a “You idiot, you clicked on an attachment in Outlook? Don’t do that!” sort of situation. Your machine can and may already have been hijacked without you even knowing it, and you’ve done nothing wrong other than gone to check out the news on
Go to Mozilla’s Firefox page, download Firefox, and enjoy safe browsing without popups, withour virii, and the bonus of a stable, well designed, FAST browser.
I swear, it’s almost time to put up those annoying pages that say “You’re too foolish to run a real web browser. We don’t support Internet Explorer.

How can people use IE?

This is a rant.
How can Microsoft possibly market a browser as ABYSMAL as Internet Explorer? Aside from stomping on standards left and right, and putting out plain old BROKEN implementations, ths browser is a menace to every system.
I have to run it on the Win2k box to test things I’m running for a client. On that w2k box, I normally just use my Firefox installation. Anyway, running up IE, and I -immediately- get a pop-under advertisement.
I have run IE perhaps 5 times since I set this machine up.
Microsoft, you’ve built a product that is unuseable without third party tools (such as Spybot and Ad-Aware) that fix the faults in your product. Sheesh.

Communications device, Phase 2

I think I’ve settled on the Handspring Treo 600 as my phone of choice. It has a tremendous amount of goodies in it, and with an SD slot, I can punch in a half a gig of storage space for MP3’s. Bonus!
Now for the next step. The Treo 600 apparently works with AT&T Wireless, Cingular, Sprint, and T-Mobile. My current phone is workin with AT&T Wireless, which as far as I can tell has the -worst- phone support on the planet, but the service and coverage has been outstanding.
My requirements are unlimited data access (even as a ‘wireless modem’), and decent phone coverage in the Metro Boston area.
Here’s an outline of the services offered. Unfortunately it looks like AT&T doesn’t offer an unlimited plan at all, so that leaves Cingular or Sprint for this area (no T-Mobile?)
I’m leery of Sprint because they have a ‘custom’ network – their PCS stuff. That’ll lock that phone to the Sprint network only, right? But Cat has a GSM Cingular cell phone, and the coverage is cheezy as all git out. She has a terrible time holding a signal.
I’m leaning toward Sprint. Thoughts / commentary?

My Wishful Want for Connectivity

So I’m going to ask the Body Geek Politic here, because frankly I’m out of
the loop on this technology.

I’m doing enough mobile work on my IBM Thinkpad T23 that I
think it’s time to consider wireless service options. I’ve signed up for an
account with T-Mobile for wireless access
in the various Starbucks so liberally
strewn about the area, but that only gets me WiFi access within the cafe(s).

Continue reading “My Wishful Want for Connectivity”

Review : Mozex plugin for Mozilla / Firefox

I’ve been having hassles doing some of the major editing on
the blog, due to the
fact that it’s difficult to do serious editing in HTML Textarea
windows. There’s a couple ways around it, such as having an an intelligent client
to edit in
. I’m still searching for a good client, but it’s sort
of weird when we already -have- one, that being a web browser. Gotta be
a better way!

Continue reading “Review : Mozex plugin for Mozilla / Firefox”

One small victory.

Since I’m doing a bunch of spam analysis, I decided to watch inbound traffic of spam coming to me. Of the 5-6 mails I saw, 4 were from obviously comrpomised Windows boxes that were acting as active relays.
I tracked one to Megapath, so I sent mail off to them with the IP address of the machine spewing the spam. An hour later:

Subject: You have an active spammer.
Discussion Thread Response (Eric B.)	05/25/2004 02:47 PM
Thank you for the notice. We have stopped the traffic.
MegaPath Abuse Department

It’s not much, but gosh it feels good.