It is raining a downpour here on the Gulf coast. Lots of great and really cool-looking thunderstorm cells on the area radars.
Last week seems to have been a pretty quiet tech-wise. Not much going on. Some over-hype and mid-level hysteria about a certain product release...but I personally think it was just because people were bored and didn't have anything better to do with their time. And to answer any questions related to said released item....no I didn't, and no I won't.
I was going to post each of the links separately, but today is pretty busy. I'm doing a ton of house-chores this Sunday and then we have to get Alvis ready to ship off to her Summer church-camp visit this week.
So that makes it extra challenging for me, chore-wise. While I am busy cleaning up paperwork, tossing empty gadget boxes (why do I seem to want to hold on to them?), cycling laundry and dishes though their respective appliances, Alvis is busy dumping and spreading her take-to-camp items across the living-room floor so Lavie will be able to inspect them. (Sighs)
- DownloadHelper - Mozilla Add-on. Found this one thanks to Nicholas's suggestion as I was working out how to download and save ITsShowtime streaming video files. Has quite a lot of features to it to aid in direct download of various web-media files.
- SafeHistory - Mozilla Add-on. This extension help protect your browsing history. As you jump from site to site websites can track which site you came from. If that concerns you, this might be for you.
- Stanford SafeCache - Mozilla Add-on. This related extension "...protects your privacy by silently defending against cache-based tracking techniques. It allows embedded content to be cached, but segments the cache according to the domain of the originating page."
- Mozilla's Sunbird and Lightning Updated. These calendaring applications (standalone or Thunderbird Add-on) have been updated to version .5. Both have been cleaned up and sport a slightly enhanced visual layout as well as (some) support for Google Calendar. More via CyberNet News.
- Hide My Ass! Free Proxy - Free Web Proxy - Free Anonymous Browsing - One of the Japanese links I was attempting to go to via a blog post wouldn't display...so a commenter suggested using a free web proxy service (this one). I tried it and it worked nicely. I'm also using it now to visit Matousec.com as I still can't reach it from home unless using a proxy. My request is going out to the target server but not coming back. So I can only guess that their server is somehow blocking requests within a particular IP range my cable modem is sitting in.
- Privax - Protecting Your Online Privacy - In fact, here is quite a list of free anonymous web-proxy clients.
- ZoomIt v1.51 (freeware) - Nice Microsoft Sysinternals screen display utility that allows you to zoom in and annotate your screen during a presentation or training class. I used it a little during my recent training class and found it fast and useful. Also worked on my dual-monitor setup on home, zooming only the screen I was active on. Nice.
- traceroute.org - Great all-in-one website with a large number of network trace-route servers, Looking Glass servers, and BGP tools. More Looking Glass Sites via NANOG.
- 14 Personalized Homepages Compared, Feature by Feature - My browser home-pages are now set on my own blog, since I use it as a link-resource. For the longest time I used another one not included in the above list, My Excite, but abandoned it when the TV-grid began failing to keep up with cable lineup changes. I moved over to Yahoo and have one there for quick TV-grid checks, but that is just about all I use it for.
Animal, Vegetable, Mineral...or both?
- Japanese Food - Danny Choo posts a great link that gives a quick rundown on common Japanese food dishes as well as their comparative prices. I really wish there were corner-markets where I could pick up fresh-sushi for a quick lunch or working-late dinner. Unfortunately, none where I live and work. For more Japanese food-fare see the Blue Lotus blog.
- BLDGBLOG: Ground Conditions - Interesting survey of some San Francisco history. Seems that many wooden sailing vessels were abandoned and eventually buried over as the coastline crept outward. Neat brief history. More here. Cool map by Ron Filion.
- rogueclassicism: Questioning Masada - I remember watching the mini-series Masada as a young adult. It left quite an impact on me. The highly organized and determined Romans against the stubborn and faith-bound Jewish defenders. Anyway, seems archeologists have recently discovered two male skeletons and a head of women's hair at the site. Now some scholars and thinking they could be the remains of Romans captured by the defenders of Masada.
- Bernard Quatermass and Quatermass and the Pit - I actually came across these via the BLDGBLOG link above. The original British TV productions were performed "live" on the air. I haven't seen them, but the stories seem great classic Sci-Fi material. I'd love to find them on the web or DVD to watch. I love old black and white productions and enjoy the character focus and plots over many of today's "boom and flash" special-effects driven productions.
- Google Maps Gets Drag & Drop Routes - via CyberNet News. For the longest time, I relied upon a software install of Microsoft Streets and Trips for my street mapping needs. I eventually uninstalled it and just keep track of my mileage in a paper log-sheet, but sometimes I forget. I didn't like the fact that I couldn't easily map out a particular route in Google Maps. Now I can! Hurrah!
- Google Maps Mania - Unofficial blog exploring the world of Google Maps. Fun and interesting posts.
- The Patrick O'Brian Mapping Project - previously mentioned. Dad is over in Spain right now on business and hopes to get by some of the locations mentioned in his favorite "Master and Commander" novel series. This site utilized Google Maps to mark out key locations from the novels.
- The Map Room: A Weblog About Maps - Neat blog about the wider-world of Web maps.
- Inside Google Book Search: Books: Mapped - Oh yes. Did you know that many entries in the Google Book Search actually have maps of places mentioned within the stories? Interesting.
Security (or lack thereof)
- Blue Pill challenge. Awesomely brilliant programmer Joanna Rutkowska presented a paper about a year about about an undetectable root-kit technology called Blue Pill. It generated quite a bit of buzz in the security circles. Now the security team at MatasanoChargen issued a challenge to Joanna: Joanna: We Can Detect BluePill. Let Us Prove It! Joanna appears to be willing to take the challenge...provided they meet five requirements. Matasano's responded: Joanna’s Shocking Confession: There Exists Some Amount Of Money For Which I Would Agree To See BluePill Detected By Lawson, Ferrie, Dai Zovi and Ptacek. Don't think Matasano is going to pony up the $$$ than Joanna is asking for to ensure the technology is properly developed prior to taking the challenge. Too bad. Would have been a fun show.
- SunbeltBLOG: iPhone madness: This hot phone now sold through malware - Want an new iPhone? Don't order one through pop-up windows in your browser. SunbeltBlog points out how the bait for a new iPhone purchase can lead to a phishing/scam trojan hook.
- Riding out yet Another Storm Wave - ISC-SANS Handler's Diary post. Great analysis of a e-mail based scam to load up a system compromise using a variety of crafted exploits. For reasons like these I always delete e-card notices that show up in my e-mail boxes...much to Lavie's displeasure. (Sorry dear). More subject line mutations to watch for.
- KernelFaultCheck - Forum post. After my past hard-drive failure episode, I recently ran a Hijack This scan of my system, as I periodically do. I found an interesting entry in the registry auto-run group: KernalFaultCheck: %systemroot%\\system32\\dumprep 0 -k Not sure what this was about, but hesitant to clear it, I decided to do some research. Turns out that I forgot I had enabled the Windows Error Reporting Dump Reporting Tool during my troubleshooting. I went in to the advanced system properties and disabled all this as my system has returned to running normally.
See you in the skies...