Showing posts from July, 2005

[Mobiles} Amazon Adds PalmPhone Browsing

Amazon's just announced a new new web site for Palmphones and other mobile websurfers. Price comparison in stores just became much, much easier.

[WiFi] USB b/g adapter *and* detector

TrendNet announced on 12 July a combo 802.11b/g USB adapter with a difference; it's also a WiFi detector, and shows hotspots on its own LCD. Its internal battery for detection purposes is recharged when you plug it back into a laptop of desktop. Kewl.

[InfoSecurity] Unpatched, Critical Flaw Found In Windows XP (updated)

Unpatched, Critical Flaw Found In Windows XP
Washington Post, 15 July 2005, Brian Krebs on Computer Security

Security researchers have uncovered a potentially serious security hole in Windows XP and Windows XP Professional that could allow skilled attackers to take over vulnerable computers, even PCs equipped with the latest Microsoft software patches and running the built-in Windows firewall.

The problem resides in the Windows "Remote Desktop," which lets users configure remote access to their computer. By default, the Microsoft firewall built into the Windows XP Service Pack 2 update is configured to deny connections from the Internet for remote desktop. But remote desktop shares the same vulnerable Microsoft programming code as "Remote Assistance" -- a service designed to allow Microsoft and other technicians to troubleshoot problems on Windows machines from afar. And the bad part is that the remote assistance program is automatically allowed to bypass the …

[Mobiles] I.C.E. - In Case of Emergency

This just makes too damn much sense not to do it...

Use a consistant acronym 'ICE' (In Case of Emergency) to store contact data for the folks who should know when you're hurt, in your cellphone, computer and other digitized Address Book programs. It's such a simple idea, but could be really helpful in an emergency, as it saves EMS & ER staff time, and helps make sure a patient's loved ones are contacted ASAP.

My PalmPhone has an extensive Notes section, and supplement the ICE data, with emergency medical data in its NOTES section attached to the address (leading with my MD's contact information, followed by medications and conditions).

And, yes, I have this in my wallet, too; but, I'll wager that, given my wallet and my PalmPhone, that any stranger will find it in the cellphone first, and the cellphone can carry a lot more useful info.

This is the kind of thing best spread by 'viral marketing'; you tell your family, they tell their friends, for …

[Infosecurity] Duude, you've got a Dell, so you're hacked

Blank Administrator Password on OEM Windows XP Installation

Summary: DELL OEM XP Professional has a default hidden administrator account, with no password set. Use of this account will allow anyone with physical access to the computer to fully control the computer, add spyware, keystroke loggers, password stealing software and read all files, including temp files, local files, documents, and any email that has been stored locally. Details at

Thanks to Robert Bruce Thompson, author of PC HARDWARE IN A NUTSHELL.

[Web] Gmap Pedometer Site UPDATED

Google Maps keeps getting more and more useful, quickly surpassing in both utility and elegance the other mapping websites. The publication of their API lets anyone create specialty maps, decribed in these reports, and sites aresprouting up all overwhichshare information on how to do this, or provide excellent examples (like this map of free Portland WiFi).

One not included therein is this Gmaps Pedometer site (or if you like Tiny URLs). Click on your starting point, on every waypoint along the way, and then your destination; the site will then calculate the distance travelled in your Morning Constitutional.

You can also downloadGoogle's Toolbar for Firefoxwhich now turns street addresses into links to Google Maps.

Many thanks to Sue and Paul Drouin Degnan who created this jewel, and extra special thanks to D. D. for many, many things entirely unrelated.

[Farvernügen] USB MP3 car-stereo with SD reader

One of my favorite blogs, BoingBoing, today mentioned a most delightful device: a USB MP3 car-stereo with SD reader, the CA-5555. from H&B. Of course, there's no telling which Chinese factory actually designed and made it..... but here's the spec sheet, en Anglais (PDF format).

This jewel has, not only an ISO-standard sized AM/FM receiver to pop into your dash, but also slots for SD/MMC cards and USB memory drives, so you can load a card or thumbdrive with your tunes and tune out Commercial Radio.

Must find a US vendor, as all the dealers so far offering it are across the pond.

[OS] Error Messages of Windows

The Esteemed First Blogger, rocket scientist and Campbell and Promethius awards winner, Dr. Jerry Pournelle, stumbled across a nice bit of shareware while looking into external USB HD backup system failures: Error Messages for Windows.

The author describes it as: a small utility that will allow you to look up MS Windows error code numbers and display a descriptive message explaining what the numeric code actually means. If you have software programs that produce numeric error codes now you can find out what they really mean.

Not shabby.

[Web] Faster Firefox & Mozilla for broadband users

Firefox/Mozilla speed enhancements for broadbanders

1.Type "about:config" into the address bar and hit return. Scroll down and look for the following entries:


Normally the browser will make one request to a web page at a time. When you enable pipelining it will make several at once, which really speeds up page loading.

2. Alter the entries as follows:

Set "browser.turbo.enabled" to "true"

Set "network.http.pipelining" to "true"

Set "network.http.proxy.pipelining" to "true"

Set "network.http.pipelining.maxrequests" to some number like 30. This means it will make 30 requests at once.

3. Lastly right-click anywhere and select New-> Integer. Name it "nglayout.initialpaint.delay" and set its value to "0". This value is the amount of time the browser waits before it acts on information it re…

[Mobiles] Free, eBooks, free

If you use a PDA to read-ebooks, here's a freebie: eReader will offer a free eBook daily in July.

This is nothing new: Baen Books found that by making eBooks freely available, the paperback and hardback sales of those same books increased. Here's Eric Flint, one of the authors who gave away his own eBooks, describing the methodology he used to study this, and his conclusions as to why free eBooks boosted his sales.

Cory Doctorow also offers his novels for free download under the Creative Commons license at his website, simultaneously with their publication in dead-tree form.

[Mobiles] Cellular Forensics & Data Recovery

The excellent and thorough Tom's Hardware site here reviews a forensic (i.e., legal evidence-grade) data recovery program for cellphones.

Most folks don't believe that their cellphone nowadays is a computer, but they are. There are several standardized operating systems for cellphones. There's PalmOS, Linux, several variants on Microsoft's Windows CE (e.g., PocketPC for Phones, Windows Mobile), , and the Symbian Series 40, 60, UIQ, versions 8 & 9, yada, yada.

With a common operating system, comes common data management utilities. That leads to the ability to share knowledge on how the systems work, and what follows are tips on how to hack in and recover data, either data lost by accident or concealed/destroyed with intent. That's long been easy with desktop and laptop systems running Windows, and before that, DOS. Heck, I did this with CP/M waaaaaaaaaay back when, a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.

NIST created a report last year on recovering data fr…