Wednesday, June 30, 2004

NASA Cassini Probe Poised to Sling Around Saturn
There is no anti-spyware silver bullet
Malware attacks IE users via pop-ups
Sun axes core support professionals
Can A Bounty System Cure Spam?
NASA Considers Mobile Lunar Base
Metisse - New Looking Glass Alternative

Friendster goes PHP
Friendster site redone - was formerly a JSP/Tomcat site.

It's time to dump Internet Explorer

Netcraft - Hackers manipulating Internet Explorer add ons

Quote: "Hackers have found yet another way to compromise Internet Explorer, adding Browser Helper Objects to their toolkit in mounting ever-more sophisticated phishing attacks. A series of recent exploits have penetrated security holes in fully-patched versions of Microsoft's browser to steal users' online banking passwords, adding to a growing crisis of confidence in Internet Explorer, and perhaps online banking as well. "

"It ultimately installs its keylogger trojan, which scans for https sessions connecting to URLs of popular banks (including Citibank, WestPac, Barcklays and HSBC) and then intercepts outbound data from IE before it is encrypted using the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol."

SANS - "New scam targets bank customers"
Quote: "When an outbound HTTPS connection is made to such a URL, the BHO then grabs any outbound POST/GET data from within IE before it is encrypted by SSL." - in other words, your bank details are stolen.

Konsole - logging into multiple boxen the lazy way

Tired of opening up multiple konsole tabs every morning in order to ssh into your various boxen? Here's a way of doing it automatically.

In Konsole , select Settings > Configure Konsole > Session

Create the various ssh sessions you make have to your boxen - in the Execute section you would type in ssh username@ipaddress. Where username is the user name you normally log into that box as, and ip address being the ip of that particular box. Name the session and save it - do this for the rest of the boxes you normally log into.

Now open up the new sessions as tabs in your konsole window (Session menu). Once you have all your ssh sessions opened , select Settings > Save Sessions Profile - type in a name for the profile , in my case "my_herd_of_boxen"

Right click on the Konsole icon on your desktop if you have one and change the Application>Command to:

konsole --vt_sz 90x25 --profile my_herd_of_boxen

Launching the konsole app from your desktop will now open up ssh connections to your multiple boxen.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

1 Day to Cassini orbital insertion

Cassini is due to go into orbit around Saturn in 1 day , 7 hours and 19 minutes as I write this.

June 30, 9:30 p.m. EDT - NASA TV Coverage begins.
June 30, 10:36 p.m. PDT - Engine fires for 96 minutes to slow down.
July 1, 12:12 a.m. PDT - Engine burn complete; spacecraft in orbit.

Nasa also have a full guide to the orbital insertion

The BBC mention this story as well giving the UK times as follows:

"The burn starts at 0336BST on 1 July, with the probe's main engine turned towards the direction of travel. The braking manoeuvre ends at 0512BST, with Cassini in an elliptical orbit."

The Slashdot crowd are discussing it here , with a mention to join #cassini on

US-Russian Spacewalk Reset for Early July 1 (Reuters)
Cassini Participation a Boon for ESA (
ITNet in Cabinet contract blow
419ers score football lottery winner
Cassini runs rings round Saturn
Cassini-Huygens Saturn Orbit Insertion Imminent
Firefox 0.9.1 and Thunderbird 0.7.1 Released
The March Towards Micropayments

Allied Irish Bank to roll out JDS
Sun's Java Desktop system (a Linux distro variant) to be rolled out on 7,500 desktops at the Irish bank.

Interview with Sun's Peder Ulander
Talks about the JDS2.

Leafnode & Knode
Extensive article on how to configure Leafnode and Knode so that you can do offline Usenet posting and browsing.

PHP Open Directory
Interesting PHP script that grabs data so that you can have displayed on your site.

Internet Explorer! Quick, call security!

Monday, June 28, 2004

2 Days to Cassini orbital insertion around Saturn

As i write , Cassini is only 2 million kilometers away from Saturn

CERT recommends anything but IE
Web virus may be stealing financial data
IE Flaw prompts warning
Note that the flaw only affects Microsoft IIS web servers, and people who use IE to browse IIS powered sites.
Linux and Mac users are, as usual , immune.

IIS Malware is a phishing scam
Netcraft are reporting that malicious code downloaded from compromised IIS servers onto users machines includes a trojan that records keystrokes in an attempt to steal e-commerce login information. There are potentially serious ramifications for Microsoft as well, since the exploit used to spread the trojan appears to have infected end users with fully-patched web browsers. Several accounts suggest some compromised IIS servers were also fully patched.

Lurhq have a full analysis of the trojan here

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Kite photography

360 degree panorama kite photos

Scott Haefner has taken superb 360 degree landscape shots taken from a kite - he explains how he did them here

Friday, June 25, 2004

Glastonbury cam

More on the BBC site about Glastonbury

How to get a heart attack

England v Portugal last night

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Thursday linkdump

KDE 3.2 In depth overview
Excellent in depth article on the architecture of KDE 3.2

Web email - the new hard drive?
Jeremy Zadwodny muses on whether we're seeing the beginnings of the web as a platform in itself..

When spyware crosses the line
If that story doesnt convince you to dump IE, nothing will.

The Importance of Being Linux
Despite the erroneous statement of open source development speeds being 'glacial' (huh? it seems like every 3 months there's a new version of KDE out for example - not to mention manic release schedule of Mandrake), the rest of the article is rather good. And considering it's posted on ABC News, this really does show that Linux is starting to appear on CEO and CIOs radar screens big time. There is also a forum discussion about the article is

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

New Phoebe Cassini pics

The Cassini team have posted have some seriously cool pictures of Phoebe showing mineral distribution, a temperature map, in ultraviolet , and mosaic.

I've got more Gmail invites

Leave your name and email address in the comments box.

You HAVE to answer the following question:
If you had a billion dollars, what would you do with it.

The best answers will get an invite - my decision is final...

IMPORTANT NOTE: There are rumours that Hotmail are blocking Gmail invites outright. Yahoo is ok - but i've heard that the invites are going into the bulk folder instead.

Bag o'links

File traders put an end to Lollapalooza
64 Bit Linux - Just for Geeks?
Google demotes Coca Cola jingle
Skype for Linux Beta

South Australian Democrats go with PHP Nuke
After rejecting an alternative $50,000 content management system.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Linux cable TV decoder
For educational and research purposes only...

Slashdot: Confessions of a spammer
Slashdot discussion on an in-depth article describing the details of how a spammer works and operates.

Monday, June 21, 2004

No more Gmail invites

I've given out all of my Gmail invites. Thanks to those of you that expressed an interest - I hope the lucky few that got invites will enjoy gmail.

SpaceShipOne returns to earth
First sub-orbital flight by private company. Reached altitude of 62 miles.

SpaceShipOne takes off
The first private manned spacecraft has blasted off.

Gmail Invites

I've got some gmail invites to give away. please leave your name and mail address in the comments section of this post. thanks.

Hotmail blocks Gmail invites and Yahoo moves invites into the "bulk" i.e. spam, folder.

French govt eyes open source savings
France's conservative government is trying to cut costs as it seeks to rein in a public sector deficit, which is set in 2004 to bust the European Union limit of 3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) for the third year running.

Open-source software such as Linux, OpenOffice, Mozilla, Apache, MySQL and Evolution is "very credible," Dutreil said.

Hyperfast browsing

If you are looking for a super-fast browser, why not try out Dillo. On Mandrake you can grab it by doing a urpmi dillo from the konsole (or by using rpmdrake - install software). It can't render css yet, and doesn't handle javascript and flash too well, but if you just want to browse the news or look up documentation, it's quite handy (and extremely fast).

Friday, June 18, 2004

Speed up Firefox

Speed up Firefox
Great thread on webmasterworld about tweaking Firefox settings to make your browsing experience go a heck of lot faster.

I had to link to the google search because Webmasterworld prompts you for a login if I direct link to a forum thread. You will see the thread as option 1 of the search results.

CIA commit database
No, it's nothing to do with a certain spook outfit, but rather it's a realtime website that monitors cvs commit messages in the open source world.

A fascinating source of info about the bleeding edge of open source development.

Latest Cassini photos

Gallery here of the latest Cassini pictures including close ups of Phoebe, a long range shot of Titan, and an infra-red picture of the southern hemisphere of Saturn.

Ars Technica interviews Scott Collins from

Google launches Websearch

Google announces WebSearch

Thursday, June 17, 2004

History of Programming Languages

O'Reilly have produced a fascinating poster showing the history of programming languages since the 1950s. Over 2,500 programming languages are covered, and of course, the Slashdot crowd are busy talking about this here

Bergen's CTO : Why we moved to Linux
ZDNet interview with the CTO of the Norweigian city of Bergen, on why they are making the move to Suse Linux

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Handy website , which gives out communal logins for those annoying registration-required newspaper websites.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Google blog

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Linux bloat

Great article here on the bloatedness of Gnome and KDE.

The author , quite rightly , points out that there are millions of Win98 machines out there - probably with no more than 64mb of ram at most.

He just points out that we can't move them to KDE 3.2 or the latest Gnome because of the ram and processor requirements. And if they need to get new hardware, they'll just stick with the pre-installed Win XP anyway...

Food for thought... but then i'm rather partial to Xfce anyway.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Democracy and the internet in action

Came across this superb UK site - They Work For You - which allows UK people to keep tabs on their elected representatives.

You can find out what an MP voted on, what they said in parliament, what their registered interests are and lots lots more.

Open Transport Tycoon
Open sourced version of my favourite game of all time.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Monday, June 07, 2004

Planet Sun
A blog aggregator of Sun employee blogs.

Woooah!!!! Sun has decided to go all bloggy.

Saturday, June 05, 2004


Interesting new distro out of Brazil, with a new directory structure (the old /usr/bin and /lib are gone). In the words of GoboLinux, the filesystem itself IS the package manager. They also have their version of Gentoo's Portage,called Compile.
Slashdot are discussing this here

One wonders if this distro is a direct or indirect result of the Brazilian governments pro-Linux stance.

Friday, June 04, 2004

Cassini Countdown - 26 days left

Cassini will encounter Phoebe on June 11th. Orbital insertion around Saturn timed for July 1st.

Related stuff:
Where is Cassini now?
Two Pairs of Storms on Saturn
Colorful Saturn - new Cassini photos of the ringed planet

Fear and Loathing

The Anti-virus Industry scam
"One has to wonder how the anti-virus industry sleeps well at night. On one hand, it purports to serve the world by defending our computers and networks from any number of electronic critters and malicious code. On the other hand, sometimes its "cure" is worse than the problem its companies and products allegedly treat."

Over at Lindows/Linspire , Mike Robertson muses on the fear and loathing of computers that Windows users are currently experiencing. In his words "It's reminiscent of Hal from Space Odyssey. Computer owners fear that if they launch the wrong program, visit a 'bad' website or simply view an email, they will trigger an unstoppable torrent of emails and virus spewing from their computer."

Of course ,we Linux users are completely immune from this.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Brew your own fuel for 41 cents a gallon

"After a few months of driving 10 miles to a biodiesel fuel station he decided it was time to start brewing his own. It didn't take him long to find a recipe for biodiesel, and with used cooking oil that he gets for free from a nearby restaurant, he figures he's now getting 44 miles per gallon out of his diesel powered VW Golf and only paying 41 cents a gallon."