Thursday, November 15, 2007

LOLCAT Thursday

I am certain I had some serious topic for this blog. Something profound and moving. Then I went to the LOLcat site and saw this:

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

Cats dressed in bunny suits with that "if looks could kill" look. Truly this is why the Internet was created.

No serious, this is why the Internet was created.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A few thoughts for Wednesday

In the mail today was a new package from Canonical, it was the new CD's for Gutsy Gibbon. I went to gthe Shipti page and ordered some discs of the new OS. Now you know from previous blogs that I download the new distro around the time its available, so what would be the advantage of getting the CD's? There is a very good reason and that is it is a excellent backup.

By this I mean should I have an problems with Gutsy I can simply do an install using the discs. I had to do that very thing with Feisty a couple months after it came out. For some reason the computer started to act very badly- slowing down and generally not responding. I was having problems with both wireless and wired broadband, but I had ordered some discs. So it was simply a matter of installing straight off the CD and everything worked well. Of course by that I mean as good as Feisty was, personally there were a number of problems which have been addressed by Gutsy.

Plus there is the matter of the stickers that come with it, perhaps a few could end up on my bike, my older one that is.

I also finished watching Crankygeeks and this episode was quite interesting. First of all, I don't think at any time did John C. Dvorak give the plug for his blog. Now that has to be an absolute first since he plugs that address everywhere, just listen to a few episodes of TWIT to see what I mean. Also it featured an all geek girl cast, including everyone's favourite roving reporter from, Irina Slutsky. It was a lively show with the ladies going off on what was John's topics, but they added a new dimension to the show and it was very good. It is well worth a watch.

On the topic of crankygeeks; they are coming out with a t-shirt. I can't wait to get the news and information as to ordering said t-shirt. It will be a proud part of my collection.

Speaking of t-shirts:

If any one knows where to order this, please let me know.

I just went back and discovered that I have been using Ubuntu for nearly a year. I'll have to write a blog about my experience.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Living with Gutsy Gibbon

I've been living with Gutsy Gibbon, the latest Ubuntu release since the release of the beta in late September. It has been an interesting experience going through the experience of a beta release, the first thing I noticed was the last of introduction music. I wondered if Ubuntu was going to go silent, but when I downloaded the full version, the sounds have returned, so as the brown background.

On the 18th, I fired up and downloaded what was left of the upgrade. The problem with downloading on the day of release is all the servers get very busy and the download is a crawl. Fortunately with all the upgrades before, there was only a few files that were required to bring my OS to full release glory.

Now, what was my opinion. It is a delightful upgrade. A number of the problems with 7.04 are fixed.

Let me give the list of what I like:

I can use my Canon Printer. I have set up the Canon as the network printer and 7.10 found it and found the right printer. Now I can sit anywhere in the house and print any document I want printed. As well, when I plug in my HP Printer, it is found as well. I can make either one the default printer for this laptop.

An interesting feature is that at the first usage, it checked the battery and stated it was an older battery with limited time. The battery is almost 4 years old and is the NI type.

The problem I had with the microphone headset have been fixed. With Feisty, the mike did not work well at all. The problem was when I used Skype. I would try and it wouldn't work. In fact Feisty became very buggy in late June for some reason.

The search deskbar applet is a good feature. It allows you to more search engines then Google and allows you to search files for the same name. Couple this with the Tracher Search Tool nothing will get lost, ever.

True plug and play. I plugged in my camera and it was found. As well to unmount is straightforward and again, it is identified correctly.

My one drawback, and this is more the age of my laptop, I can't used any of the enhanced destop features or visual effects. I have seen them on the older desktop, but with the laptop, its not possible. Although this is more due to the fact the video is not supported or cannot support Linux. Still as I said, it's an older machine and it's one of the drawbacks I have learned to accept.

Wireless again is a breeze, simply plug in the wifi card and it connects.

The other features that are mentioned such as the quick change from one user to another is not a feature I will use since I'm the only one with this laptop.

F-Spot, the photo is not only a simple photo editing tool and it allows fast upload to flickr and a number of other photo hosting sites. It's a very nice feature of Ubuntu.

Pigdin, the multiple platform messenger tool. It is GAIM with a new name.

It has the latest Firefox and the Open Office Suite.

With all this, it's going to be a good six months and then 8.04 will be released and if it has more enhancements, it will be great. Of course the added feature of the next upgrade will be the long term support.

I'm going to upgrade until the machine can't take it any more.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

New Apple Trojan Means Mac Hunting Season Is Open

New Apple Trojan Means Mac Hunting Season Is Open

It was only a matter of time. So there is now a trojan that is Mac unique. To sum up, it goes this way, a person with a Mac want to watch a video, a box pops up and informs the person they have to download a special codec to watch. When they do that, a trojan is installed on their computer and their secure machine is now compromised.

As you read the article you will note that experts in the field argue whether or not this is an exploitation of a hole or exploits human weakness. May I suggest it doesn't matter, because trojans, malware are where its at when it comes to security. For the most part the classic virus is a thing of the past. The good days when you open up a email, or stick in a infected floppy and infect your computer is probably a thing of the past. I will not say there are no virii, because as long as a person can download the Virus Laboratory and make your own, it will always be the case.

However it is the trojan that has the potential of turning a computer into a zombie machine that becomes a means of pumping out spam and other nastiness is where it is.

One comment:
Unlike many Windows-based attacks, the Trojan doesn't exploit a hole in Apple's software, and it can't install itself. Instead, it relies on social engineering, tricking users into downloading the codec, and requiring that they type in the administrator password to install it.

This is true but consider this, it's got to start sometime. Once the hackers realize there is a vulnerability they will become more aggressive.

Now there is someone who disagrees with all this:
But Carl Howe, an Apple analyst at Blackfriars Communications, disputes the security researchers' theories. He thinks that OS X's Unix heritage makes Apple systems less vulnerable to attack than Windows-based platforms. He argues that even if hacking Macs hasn't been profitable in the past, attackers would have done it anyway if they'd been able -- just for the attention.

"I think the market-share thing has always been a myth," Howe said. "It's a good story to talk about."

It's a good thought but may I make a suggestion to this, I believe Apple has been able to enjoy it's hacker past for many years. After all Jobs and Woz were hackers, they were phone phreaks and all that good stuff, so it may have been an aura that surrounded Apple. "They were one of us", the hackers may have thought. While it's doubtful many hackers have a romantic view of the past, it may have been simple market share plus the cost of hardware. After all, to hack Windows, you needed a Windows computer and they price for a very good Windows machine is probably 1/2 that of Apple. But Apple Computers are coming down in price and their market share is growing. So if more hackers get their hands on Apple machines, they will begin to look around and try and find exploits. Once they start, they won't stop.

There's another reason, Apple is arrogant and complacent. While people are lauding Leopard, others are noticing there are problems. Is it the case Apple has a lot of irons in the fire. If you consider there has been the iPhone, newer and better iPods, all of which is taking time from developing secure software. As well, Apple has turned against the good hacker community, with their recent firmware upgrade which turned many iPhones into very expensive paper weights, some one is going to get angry and then figure out how to get back.

Remember, when Safari was installed on Windows, hackers had a field day. They know they can exploit the software, it will only be a matter of time.

Apple fan, get used to having Norton installed on your machine.