September 28, 2012
Old but cool Saw this today and even though it's from 2010 I figured... well...
I want one.
September 21, 2012
Internet Explorer and iOS 6 Maps A couple of things you should know.
There is a huge security hole in Internet Explorer. Microsoft has even gone so far as to release what is called an "out of cycle patch" for it. So please run Windows Update if you use a Windows machine. Thank you!
Then, if you will be using Apple's iOS 6 with either your iPhone or iPad you may find you don't like the new Apple Maps which seem to be not quite ready for prime time. If you would like to go back to using google maps, Don McAlister has done a quick tutorial to make it very easy.
Have a great weekend. Happy surfing and driving!
September 19, 2012
And it's here! iOS 6 for iPhone and iPad Sadly, I won't be able to upgrade to the iPhone 5 until the end of January. However, I can deal with that because Apple have released iOS 6 today and that's something I've been very anxious to get hold of.
I will wait a while before I try downloading because release day is just insane. I think Apple purposely don't upgrade the number of servers doing the release so they can say "Hey look! So many people wanted it, the servers went down!"
Right. Time wasted. I can be patient a couple days longer and get the update quickly.
What do I really want from this?
It's the Do Not Disturb feature! Why it has taken so long, I don't know. But it's finally here.
Now I don't have to worry about whether I turned off the sound on my phone before going to bed! Not to mention I can set it up to allow favorite phone numbers to ring through no matter what time (like my kids and sisters).
Chris Foresman at Ars Technica has a nice walk through of the feature.
How to make the best of iOS 6's Do Not Disturb feature
This will be excellent until I can grab the new iphone and get the camera and Siri.
September 18, 2012
There is a scraping in the Facebook Along the lines of a disturbance in the force, but far more pesky and annoying.
Someone out there is scraping information from facebook. I'm not sure how they got the info, but it appears that spammers have managed to put together names and emails from facebook accounts with ensuing fun and games. Oh joy.
I have been receiving these for a while but, being lazy, I'm only now getting around to blogging it.
Thus someone took my name and sent an email with a link to some of my Facebook friends. They did take the trouble to match up friend names with emails that tells me they were able to scrape a database somewhere.
This may be too simplistic for most of you who have been on the internet for a while, but I will try to explain it so those who aren't tech savvy can understand it.
First the email itself: The "from" name is someone you know and is the full name you see on Facebook. I know a few people on fb who don't use their real name, thus the connection. If you check the return email address, it is not the real email address of your friend. There are various addresses used and all of them look funky.
At first I was trying to figure out why they used odd return email addresses. Then I had a D'oh! moment. Oh yeah, they want the emails delivered. If the return email address doesn't match the mx record of the email server, it will be rejected by most of today's receiving email servers. Okay so they take the easy route and hope people won't notice the originating email has nothing to do with the display name listed in the "from" field.
The body of the email is one sentence (sorry I have deleted the emails I received so I don't remember exactly what it says) with a shortened url link to a website. What could possibly be suspicious about that?
One assumes, if you click the link, there is either malware that will auto run on systems or it will ask you to install something to make the site run correctly. Either way they want to own your system. I haven't followed the link to find out and neither should you... unless you would like to do a clean reinstall to get rid of the leaches you pick up once you go there.
Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do about this short of deleting the emails. They aren't sending from the person's email or facebook account so changing passwords won't stop the emails. Gmail already puts them into the spam folder, but other email systems may not be doing that as yet.
If you want to think of this in snail mail terms, it would be like receiving a mail box full of letters sent to you addressed like so:
your home address
As my friends would know, I don't live in Russia or Uzbekistan. That would be a tip off the pile of mail is not legitimate. Also, there would be no way for me to stop the sender either. The mail service may be able to stop it, rather like a spam filter. But as the mail originates outside their system, there is little recourse legally. For those who don't understand email well, this means, your friends have not been hacked and they can't stop the spam in this particular instance. So don't panic or get angry with them. This particular method of spam is out of their control. Delete it and forget it.
I wonder how the spammers obtained the information. I never play any of the fb games. I delete game requests and hide the app so I don't get bombarded with requests. It makes me wonder if hackers have managed to get into facebook and pull data without anyone noticing.
Attention Internet Explorer Users You may want to reconsider which browser you use. There is currently a honking huge zero day exploit. (this is a big security hole in the browser that is not patched but it is currently being exploited).
So take your choice... if you can possibly do it, use Firefox, Safari, Opera, or Chrome at least until this is patched.
If you must use IE for whatever reason and you are not on IE 10, then please read this by Brian Krebs:
This has been your public service announcement for the day.
September 11, 2012
On This Day Remember them.
September 04, 2012
Run in circles scream and shout This morning, as I was trying to get my week started, I was seeing many a tweet about the latest hacker posting on pastebin.
Apparently someone somewhere grabbed a whole bunch of Apple UDID's. (Apple's device identifiers on iPhones and iPads) They claim they got them from a compromised FBI laptop. Could be true. The method would certainly not surprise me... exploiting a java flaw.
In any case, there was much chirping on twitter.
One of the the guys I follow kept pointing to a particular website where one would be able to enter their own UDID's from their Apple devices to see if theirs was on the list. Only one tiny little problem with that... it requires you trust the person running the website not to grab the UDID plus your IP and any other details they can get from your browsing session.
Um - sure thing - I'll just type my little identifiers right on in there because you tell me you are a good guy and want to help.
In the comments some other helpful soul had a list of urls where one could download the data and check it themselves...
Download a file posted by a person I don't know, from an unknown source, open it on your computer to find out if you are on a list. What could possibly go wrong?
Anyhow, I waited to see who would come up with the most sensible article at some point today. It turns out to be Dark Reading.
Read the whole thing, but the best line in the story:
So if your UDID was on the list, what should you do? "You can always panic," quips Errata's Graham. "After that, there's nothing more to do."
Considering there is not a single thing you can do to change your UDID, there is not anything you can do to keep someone from doing anything with the information, I'm not going to worry about it. I'm sure the information can be exploited somehow. But unless someone has something that can be done to fix this, then there is no point in even trying to figure out if my UDID is on the list. I don't have the worry cycles to waste on something I can do nothing about.
Therefore, it's information and now I know. I suppose that is worth something. Just not sure how much.
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