Windows is free?

Here is an interesting article that I ran across. It’s in response to another article comparing Windows and Linux and attempting to show why Windows is so much the better. The article I am linking to is a rebuttal, yes, but more of a take on the comparison of Linux (which is open source and free) to Windows (which is not free, or maybe it is in some respects). It’s a good article, and he has some valid points I think. All in all I thought it was worth the read, so I decided to share it. Enjoy!

Protecting your email address from spambots

I found a nifty article on Wired tonight, giving some tips on how to protect your email address from spambots and page harvesters. This is software that reads web pages and rips out any email addresses it finds to send spam to. If you have a web page anywhere, and you have a nice little mailto link where someone can drop you a line, odds are some bot has harvested it. This is a neat article, but really just seems to show you some tools that help get the job done. It had some interesting comments too, worth a look for sure.

Sending mail via telnet

Sending mail via telnet through your SMTP server

There have been many times over the course of my time working with computers that I have had to manually test email functionality. Email is one of those things that everyone has to have for various reasons. It’s great for getting status info and results from scripts for example. However, it’s also one of those ornery things that is affected by everything from network settings and firewall rules to spam filters and DNS problems.

The point is that sometimes you need to be on the machine that is sending the message, and verify that it can in fact send a message. This article will help you not only test connectivity, but walk you through sending an email message via a telnet connection, going through the SMTP commands much like your mail client uses.

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Take your Firefox bookmarks with you

Do you have a nice collection of bookmarks within Firefox? Do you have them arranged all nice and neat, just the way you like them? Are you like me and would just be real unhappy if you lost all of your bookmarks? Well, this quick tip is a simple one, and most of you probably already know about it, but for any that don’t, I thought I would share. You can save or export your Firefox bookmarks to a flat HTML file so you can copy it somewhere for safe keeping. Or maybe toss a copy onto a thumb drive so you can take it with you, whatever you want. The operation is simple, just click on the following:

Bookmarks > Organize Bookmarks > File > Export > Enter the destination filename!

There you have it, a nice and shiny copy of all of your bookmarks to do with as you please. Enjoy!

Finding the right RDNS blacklist from SANS

Anyone reading this post, that also runs a mail server should immediately know what I am talking about. Reverse DNS blacklists for mail servers to stop spam. What are these lists? Well, these are lists of known bad senders (open relays, spambots, spamfriendlies, whatever) that are maintained and setup to act like a DNS server. When you configure your mail server (and some clients too! Mailwasher anyone?), you can tell it to check all incoming mail senders against the blacklist, and then what to do if they are on it, like bouncing, deleting, tagging, etc. Basically, it works by doing a reverse DNS lookup agains’t the blacklist server, if the address in question is found (i.e. it resolves), then it’s a match and the mail is dealt with. These are very handy for helping slow the flow of spam. Here is an article from SANS about how to pick a good one, and some things to look out for. This is a good read from a good place, check it out.

Google using too much energy?

This is actually kind of funny, at least I got a chuckle out of it. There is an article on Slashdot that talks about Google and how the folk at Nature Climate Change is arguing that Google’s white background is using too much electricity to display on all of our monitors, and that if they would just change to a black background it would save the world, end global warming, feed your dog, and make your girlfriend come back. Sounds kind of silly to me, but then again, look at how many tons of weight they shaved off of the space shuttle by not painting that big fuel tank!