The Heartbleed Bug – Start Patching Now!

heartbleedThere is a new vulnerability out there in OpenSSL called The Heartbleed Bug, and it’s a doozy. Imagine someone compromising your network, or SSL protected website or service, stealing your private and thought secure information – all without leaving a trace that they had even been there! This is one vulnerability that is really bad, and if you have any systems that might be affected you should start updating them right away! Read more about The Heartbleed Bug here.

Get Your Internet IP Address Fast And Free!

Network Connection InformationJust in case you need to know your Internet facing IP address, I have setup a new page just for the purpose of showing you that information and more, right down to your longitude and latitude just in case any of you are hiding some ICBM’s in your backyard and want to reach out and touch someone! So check it out, go to http://yerip.com and see what it has to say about you, and before you say it, I know this has already been done. There are other sights on the net that show you what your IP address is, but I wanted one that wasn’t going to display ads or have any ulterior motives, just quickly and cleanly providing a good service!

Create Your Site’s Favicon In One Step

folderAre you working on a website? Do you want to do all of the creating and coding of the ‘favicon’ stuff by hand? Heck no, it’s a pain in the rear! No doubt you can do it but it takes a long time and it gets old after you do it a few bazillion times, right? So what’s a poor web developer to do? Well, check out this site: Faviconit.com! Upload one image, and press a button. Their site turns that not only into the regular favicon you need, but all of the variants for other systems, mobile, different browsers and more. Plus, you get the code that makes it all work too. Upload your image, hit the button, and you get a zip file with all of your goodies in it. Now, how much does this cost I hear you asking. Yet another great thing about this site, it is completely free!! So go check it out and off load some of your website setup work for a change! Enjoy!!

Post Link: http://faviconit.com

Midnight ramblings – probly shouldn’t even read this

It’s pretty strange to me that on those rare occasions when I watch TV I see lots of commercials on from Microsoft comparing Bing to Google claiming that Bing is better when really, it’s a matter of personal preference and taste. I mean, people search the Internet for various and different things and sometimes even the same things but that doesn’t mean that they are seeking the same thing, and even if they are seeking the same thing, they may not want the same results. That’s one of the beauties of the ‘net, it’s ALL subjective! Bing is no better than Google, no more than Google is better than Bing. It’s up to the user, not some fake dork looking geek yelling “Bing it ooooooon” through a megaphone. Give me a break.

It’s about like the Internet Explorer commercials saying that they give you the power to do more, or something about family moments or whatever. I mean, Internet Explorer is pre-installed (or included, or built-in, or whatever, take your pick) on EVERY Windows™®© installation everywhere, and it is still a solid third place contender. For a long time it was second place behind Firefox, but then Chrome surfaced from Google, and now IE has slid to third. Currently, and since about March 2012, the list has Chrome in the lead with 53.2%, Firefox holding on to second with 27.8% and Internet Explorer in third with 12.1% – and that’s while still being the default and only browser on new installs of Windows. If someone wants Chrome or Firefox or anything else they have to use Internet Explorer to go get it! I know, I know, you all already know that. I just don’t know how Microsoft can even think that they have the top end product when it STILL won’t render HTML5 properly.

When we shift the subject to operating systems, the subject becomes even more based on the user and their personal preferences. But then, that’s really yes and no, because most users are pretty much held captive by Windows, and that’s nothing bad or nefarious on Microsoft’s part. It’s just that the majority of computer users out there just don’t know enough to use any other operating system. They know enough about Windows to use it, to get along, and so that’s what they choose. In most cases it’s not even a conscious choice, it’s the only choice, most don’t even know there’s an alternative. Although that’s starting to change a bit since Apple and OSX came to town. Apple took a page from Jean-Louis Gassée’s book with OSX. Jean-Louis Gassée is the man who created the best operating system known to mankind, BeOS. He had the idea that it would be easier to make UNIX user friendly rather than make Windows stable, and created a UNIX based operating system with a beautiful and incredible use interface. Ultimately BeOS didn’t make it, but OSX followed in the same foot steps in my opinion, it’s a UNIX based operating system that is beautiful and easy to use and is becoming more and more popular to date. A year or two ago (I don’t know if it’s still true), Apple was the largest seller/distributor of UNIX based computers in the world. Not bad for a company that almost went under a few years prior!

What does all of my useless rambling mean? Not a darn thing! LOL Except that ultimately, despite what big companies might try to tell us, and what we might believe ourselves, it’s the consume that has the power in the end to drive the industry, and we simply have to vote with our dollar bills. Buy the good stuff and ditch the bad, and for free stuff and open source stuff, it’s pretty much the same, support the good and ignore the bad.

It is my opinion that the Internet is the great playground leveler. Whether it is technology, or entertainment, singing or playing an instrument, dancing or whatever on YouTube, if it’s good … people will like it and view it and share it and it will come to the top. Whereas the bad will fall off into obscurity. The Internet gives even the little guy the chance to be a star at whatever it is that he has chose as his arena fight in. Now, go get some sleep!

Is Wi-Fi Sniffing Wiretapping?

wardialingIs Wi-Fi Sniffing Wiretapping? The (not so) Supreme Court thinks so. They seem to be looking at this from a … well, I am not sure what point of view they are seeing this from. Surely not a logical point of view, nor a technical one. How about we let someone with a brain look at this question, shall we? Good.

First of all, before we even go into the technical parts of each one, or should I say the differences, one must look at the intent behind the act. When you “wire tap” someone, or in more general term, “tap their phone”, you are specifically singling out someone and then taking measures to specifically monitor that person and their communications. In most cases you must have some type of legal paper or permission before you can do this, although we have seen that, naturally the “Government” can always find ways around that little detail. No one wants to hinder their fun, ‘eh? The point is, in the case of wire tapping, you are specifically choosing someone for some reason, one person or entity that you want to monitor. You then take action to monitor that person. You take specific action to monitor that person or entity and that one only, no one else. You don’t tap the phone at 405 West Chester Street and in the process say “Oh, hell, let’s just tap the whole damn street while we are here!” No, you focus on that one person.

Now, in the case of Wi-Fi sniffing, it is much different. In fact it couldn’t be more different. With Wi-Fi sniffing, you are simply sitting there, or you might be mobile, wandering around “sniffing” (testing the location to see if a Wi-Fi signal happens to be available) to see if something pops up. If it does, if you happen to catch hold of a signal, you take a look and see what you have found, kind of like fishing. Sometimes you get a good one, and sometimes you throw it back.

The point is, that unlike wire tapping, with Wi-Fi sniffing you are not focusing on one specific person or entity. You are not specifically taking measures to monitor any one thing, or any thing for that matter. You are simply catching whatever signals are out there to be caught. If I am sitting at home and I see that there are several Wi-Fi networks around me that I can access, am I wiretapping? Hell no!

It really comes down to the people that are responsible for that Wi-Fi network. If you are responsible you will make that network secure so no one can come along and sniff it, find it, and do anything with it in the first place. Wi-Fi sniffing and wire tapping are two very different things and that the Supreme Court can’t seem to figure that out shows just how out of touch they really are, not just with technology, but with reality as well.

DVI De-Mystified – Dual-Link DVI versus Single-Link DVI Explained!

DVI Dual vs SingleToday I was doing some spec hunting for my PC, trying to track down exactly what make, model and frequency were supported by the Wi-Fi card that came with my machine. As I was doing so, and eyeballing the rest of the specs, I ran across the information for my video card. One thing that caught my eye was the description of the video or DVI port. Specifically it mentioned that the DVI port was a ‘dual-link’ DVI port. Well now, I consider myself pretty knowledgeable about computers, including hardware, but I hadn’t heard of a ‘dual-link’ DVI port before. Now, in my defense, I have spent the last many years concentrating on hardware by Sun, Hitachi, NetApp and the like. Things you will find in a full up data center, not at home in your desktop PC. I haven’t been knee deep in PC tech for a while, but I have kept up with most things.

So, naturally, I had to find out what ‘dual-link’ meant. I did some searching and found a wonderful article that explains what ‘dual-link’ is, what ‘single-link’ is, the differences between them and more. I am going to give you a brief summary (I don’t want to keep everyone in suspense), but I am also including a link to the original article, go read it and really get learned up.

Basically, the way I see it (the quick version) is like this:

  • Dual-Link DVI
    • Has 24 pins in the plug instead of 18
    • It uses two TMDS digital signal transmitters instead of one
    • It can transmit data faster using 8 wires instead of 4
    • It can support much higher resolutions up to 2560×1600
    • There is an increase in signal quality and refresh rates

 

  • Single-Link DVI -
    • Has 18 pins in the plug instead of 24
    • It has one TMDS digital signal transmitter
    • It transmits data of 4 wires instead of 8
    • It cannot support resolutions beyond 1920×1200
    • Basic signal quality and refresh rates are observed

And there you have it, a run down of the basic differences between ‘dual-link’ and ‘single-link’ DVI. I think finding out and learning information like this is way cool. I love to learn new things and figure out how stuff works, it’s a lot of fun in my book – but then, more than a few people have called me crazy because a day of fun to me is sitting and coding all day! LOL

DVI All Types

DVI Plugs
All Types
(Click to enlarge)

DVI - All Types of Plugs

DVI Plugs
All Types
(Click to enlarge)

Now, for the sake of completeness, even though this doesn’t really apply to the dual-link or single-link question, I wanted to include another image or two that show other versions of the DVI plug. Since you are likely to run into one or all of these plugs out there somewhere, I figured you might want to know what you are looking at. These two pictures (click to enlarge), show you that aside from the digital DVI-D plugs, there are also DVI-I plugs that are analog and digital, plus some other older plugs. Of these older plugs, the Super-VGA there on the bottom is very common and one that you probably will see a lot. It was used for many years before the DVI option became common. I have seen many video cards that have DVI and VGA on the same card.

Check out the article on DVI dual-link versus single-link here.