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Privacy is dead at HOPE

Posted: 2008-08-19 21:05 by AmItE

Last month (July 18-20, 2008) the seventh HOPE (Hackers On Planet Earth) conference was held in New York at the Hotel Pennsylvania.

While I did not attend, I have watched several hours of video from the conference where, I must say, they had some excellent speakers. And even though watching both Kevin Mitnick and Adam Savage speak - I found the presentation by Private Investigator Steve Rambam titled "PRIVACY IS DEAD - GET OVER IT" by far the most interesting.

I am not going to go into details about what I agree and disagree with in this post and do an entire review - I will leave that up to you! It can only recommend you to watch it yourself...

Youtube links below:

01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 | 06 | 07 | 08 | 09 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36

Enjoy!

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iLobsterPosted: 2009-02-20 22:58:41 wrote:

Hmm. Guess we all sort of knew or atleast suspected that this was the current state of things, but still mind-boggling.

Well, as they say: Once your information is on the net, there is no going back....ever! Live with it!

Think about that the next time you logon to facebook and start updating your profile with all kind of personal shit.


 

Top 10: Nerdware for Windows

Posted: 2008-07-13 15:04 by AmItE

You know it all to well. A newly installed Windows on your computer and now you are ready to install those day-to-day programs and tools that you simply cannot work live without. - This is my top 10 of those types of software.

In order for this to be usefull I will only be looking at true freeware programs - no 30 trails, no warnings, no limited features, no nothings - completely free.

I have furthermore decided to span as wide as possible in regards to the type of software. That way the list can actually be used in real life.

If you do not use these programs already, the hurry up and download and install. You will not be disappointed. I practically use all of them daily and it saves me a ton of time.

10: Taskbar Shuffle

When I found this I remember thinking: "finally! someone made this possible". It is nothing more nor nothing less then a tool that allows you to rearrange your taskbar windows in real-time. A must have for any structure freaks.

You can download it from http://www.freewebs.com/nerdcave/taskbarshuffle.htm.
(Runs on: Vista(32bit only)/XP(32bit only)/2000/NT/ME/98SE/98/95)

9: TClockEx

To put it short: A way to make your Windows taskbar clock much better. A shame that it does not work under Vista.

Download it here.
(Runs on: XP/2000)

8: PDF creator

Another excellent SourceForge project. A virtual printer that prints to a PDF on your local disk instead of a piece of paper. As often it is the simple things such as this tool that makes you happy.

You can download it at http://sourceforge.net /projects/pdfcreator/.
(Runs on: Vista/XP/2000)

7: Thunderbird

Mozilla Thunderbird. It should be no secret that this is mailclient software. Free, fast and smart. In my experience version 1.x had some problems (communications primarily). However after more then a year running Version 2 (current) I have never had even one tiny little issue - runs perfectly.

So Download Thunderbird now.
(Runs on: Vista/XP/2000/NT/ME/98SE/98)

6: Truecrypt

Update: TrueCrypt has been discontinued and may not be secure.

Truecrypt is an open source encryption tool. Basically it creates a file on "X"-megabyte. It encrypts using one or more algorythms (you can choose) and your pass phrase. You can the mount and decrypt that file as a virtual drive using truecrypt. It may sound tricky - however it is actually quite simple.

See there website for instructions and download it.
(Runs on: Vista/XP/2000)

5: IrfanView

An excellent image viewing problem. If you have ever tried the classic AcDc for viewing images, then think of Irfanview as a better version that cost nothing. It got a ton of other features too, such as bulk converting, scaling and more.

Irfanview.com is the official website.
(Runs on: Vista/XP/2000)

4: CLAM AV

Free anti virus software. Short and simple.

Go to the site and download CLAM AV (Clamwin antivirus).
(Runs on: Vista/XP/2000)

3: DAEMON tools

As they write on the website: "THE best optical media emulation in the industry". And I have to agree. A simple well designed optical drive emulator that just works!

Go directly to the download page.
(Runs on: Vista/XP/2003/2000)

2: TweakUI

This gives you access to system settings that are not exposed in the Windows user interface. Change all those minor details that you hate about the logic on Windows.

Download TweakUI for your system...
Windows XP/Windows 2003 - Any 32 Bit configuration.
Windows XP/Windows 2003 - Intel Itanium CPU (64 Bit).
Windows 2000/NT
Windows 98
Windows 95

For some reason this cool tool has never been a part of any version of Windows but it has been made and release as free-ware.

1: PS PAD

Ok, listen! It is time you stop using notepad for text-processing. Notepad had hardly changed since it was created as the edit command in DOS. So throw away your 8086 and your 12" mono-color screen and join the 21st century.

I order you to download PSPAD and do not look back.
(Runs on: Vista/XP/2000)

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Latest comments

AmitePosted: 2009-07-11 02:41:59 wrote:

Dude! Dit gamle modem ringede:
http://williambader.com/museum/modem110/15modem110baudtop.jpg
- jeg skulle hilse og sige at du lever i fortiden :p

Also...Monocrome is for the rich and famous. I personally use a matrix printer - Granted it takes a while to watch a movie and cost me 86400 pieces of paper every hour. But it beats reading the book.


Peter BonéPosted: 2009-07-05 20:19:42 wrote:

"So throw away your 8086 and your 12" mono-color screen and join the 21st century."...


naarr, been there done that. Jeg holder mig stadig til 8086 og monochrome! That's the shizzle baby! The real deal :)


 

Your own music video today: How?

Posted: 2008-06-22 15:31 by AmItE

It is official. Web 2.0 is dead and Animoto killed it!

Animoto.com; the latest in the line of media driven community based sites has kicked of and are offering nothing less then music videos online! And from what I can see they are going strong which is not that easy considering how people with the "next great thing" practically spring up of the ground faster then you can say Web2.0.

So what sets Animoto apart from the herd you ask. Quite simple really; it just works! And therefore, unlike most start-ups, was it an absolute pleasure to use; Even the outcome was superb considering what they had to work with.

What is it that they have done exactly?

To put it short; they have taken 3 of the most commonly used web 2.0 items: 1) Digital photos. 2) MP3 files. 3) Internet video. And there you have it - Mix it up and Bob´s your uncle! Animoto was born and they did it right. Working with their system was an absolute pleasure. The usability level is high and I did not see anything apart from it all working perfectly. Many seasoned players could learn from their example.

A quick rundown.

First step is, as always, to register for an account. The registration procedure was not that bad and only took but a minute had it not been for the Captcha from Hell they had in place to verify that I was indeed a human and not an evil program with a dream of one day making it on MTV.

Once that was over it was smooth sailing. I clicked one or two buttons more, selected the 13 images that I had prepared for this test and was then asked to upload an MP3 of choice or choose one from their archive. I uploaded my own (approx. 6MB) and I was set. It then tells you to wait bit while it does the hard part and a couple of minutes later it made a "ding" and presto! Instant music video. I was quite impressed with the outcome considering that I just fed it 13 more or less random jpegs and an mp3. You can see the results below.

(Note: Poor sound is caused by the use of a crappy MP3 file on my part.)

Animoto.com also integrates up against practically every known third party service which is quite handy if you for example want you music video uploaded to, say - Youtube or blogger.com as soon as it is done.

Unfortunately there are also some bad news. Animoto is NOT a free service! To use it you must pay for it; it is as simple as that. You can actually make a music video with your free registration account, but you will not have access to any of the advanced features and there is a 30sec. max limit on the video length. So you can test their product just fine for free, but it is not worth using permanently. So it is essentially a "pay & stay" or don´t offering.

I am not saying it is unfair; the product they have is quite good and it is after all "only" $30 for a whole year, which may be well worth it. All I am saying is that I am sure it will reduce the number of people using their site on a regular basis drastically - and that is sad.

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Next big thing: Scoutling??

Posted: 2008-06-22 05:20 by AmItE

Are you a webmaster? If you are then you may have heard the buzz about the new place in town - A place called scoutle.com. A new community site-slash-service-slash-user-experience targeted specifically for Bloggers and webmasters. A place where meaningful conversation is never more then one click away and where hits, unique visitors and nerds simply fall from the sky. So I jumped on for a ride around the server park to see what was new and different about this concept.

The site itself looks relatively simple and low tech. No fancy banners nor obvious functionality on the frond-end worth mentioning. So I started out by looking around to see if I could find out what their goal was; What is the plan and how do I fit in? After the first yawn-tastic minutes of watching a 4 min trailer about "human networking" and reading about more " human networking" with no obvious indication of where I came in; I decided that I was not going to figure it out as an observer, I had to...*sigh* participate.

The registration was free and the process was as with most other web services - Mind numbing, but quickly over with.

I was now officially logged in and immediately started to look around for something to do and quickly figured out that I required something called a scout before I could progress. On Scoutle.com the scout is your text-based avatar so to speak and at the same time he is not. The scout or scouts (you CAN have more than one) is sort of an incarnation of your own website or blog and that he has taken it upon himself to get more visitors and make you join networks with people just like your. It is actually all very odd yet fascinating - in a HAL 9000ish kind of way.

So your scout is your representative and your own personal bill-board. Depending on the topics you chose when you configured the scout it will log tons of "meetings" with other peoples scouts and thereby "talking" and logging details about people or groups that match your sites content. And here comes the problem then what?!

I must admit that after the first 24 hours I am still puzzled as to what I need to do exactly and why. I see scouts talking to scouts and mapping their own little world, but what does that do for me? And what is up with the points I keep getting. Can I use them? Will they help me? How!

Oddly enough I find myself drawn back again and again to check my score. Not that I know what the score is for, but it is still somehow interesting to follow. I am currently working from the hypothesis that more points as better then less, but how can I be sure?

Granted, it has only been approx. 24 since I tried it out for the first time, and the bulk of those 24 hours have not been spend on Scoutle.com. Maybe some key piece of vital information elutes me or perhaps there really is no more then meets the eye. I am going to give it a few more attempts before I abandon it completely It has potential. I just need to locate the means to utilize it.

On that note I will wrap up this post. All I can say is: Make up your own mind go try it out. You may see something that I missed. If nothing else; It was interesting and actually even entertaining at times and I guess that is all you can really hope for.

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Project ArnfeldtDesign

Posted: 2008-06-21 15:44 by AmItE

About 18 months ago I promissed a friend of mine that i would whip her up a website. She is an artist of sort. I actually finished most of it in february 2007, but got stuck waiting for some content from a third party and figured; wth and just launched the site anyway - the "better then nothing" philosophy.

Fast forward; June 2008. We finally managed to hook up and work out the nuts and bolts last weekend, great! After a minor 1 year, 4 month delay we could finally get this wrapped up. After correcting bugs and tieing up a few loose ends yesterday; I was able to complete the whole thing today and just fininished 15 min. ago.

So, in honor of my achivement - please visit arnfeldtdesign.dk and have a look around. Content is still sparse in some sections, but that is not my job - I think she will add plenty of that shortly.

And with that said, I take my leave for today.

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Windows Vista SP1

Posted: 2008-04-29 00:20 by AmItE

Microsoft recently released Service Pack 1 for Windows Vista. After reading both good and bad about this service pack, I decided on trying it out on my own setup.

Installing

The installation went of without a hitch. Obviously the install process of these Service Pack -type of updates is a relative lengthy task, but all in all quite simply. There was not blue screens of death (which is always one of my major worries during MS SP installations). The machine downloaded and installed in around 30 min. time.

Testing

Prior to the installation I figured that I would run Microsofts own "performance index rating" tool before and again after the installation was completed. In the past I have always gotten a score of 5,2 - memory speed being the lowest common denominator.

Before Windows Vista SP1
Windows Vista screenshot

After SP1, attempt 1
Windows Vista screenshot

After SP1, attempt 2
Windows Vista screenshot

Conclusion

Overall: The updated went well. No problems. The systems seems stable, though it was perfectly stable prior to the update as well.

The "Vista performance index rating" (Vpif) gives a slightly higher score on the memory test which was and still is the lowest common denominator. Whether this means that Vista is better at utilizing the RAM speed post SP1 or it simply means that they just changed the way memory speed is measured I can not say. It may also just be a fluke. Though easy and fast to use the Vpif does not exactly do a detailed speed test of your system.

System data

This test was done on a machine with the following configuration.

Graphics card: EVGA/Nvidia GeForce 8800 GTX, 768 MB RAM
Motherboard: EVGA, NVidia Nforce4 680i
CPU(s):Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU 2.4Ghz @ 2.4Ghz
Memory (RAM):: Corsair 4GB (2+2) "900 Mhz" RAM @ 800 Mhz RAM
Harddisk(s):SATA2 RAID0, 2x300 GB Disk

Windows Vista screenshot

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Genius adds

Posted: 2008-04-03 11:36 by AmItE

Not sure where these are actually from orinally, but they are brilliant. Give that guy a raise!

add image

add image
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The web widgets cronicles of Google

Posted: 2008-01-02 04:25 by AmItE

The seemingly endlessly creative staff at Google recently added a couple of new "free" services to their far spanning web, but are all this new products actually worth while and do we really need them or is it just the ever growing Google cobweb drones spinning out yet another cash cow while hiding behind the ever so holy "money...nooo, we are only here to help make the world a better place" routine.

I remember once - seems like not long ago where Google.com was simple just another search engine fighting for a peace of the web-surfers favor, and though they it was a good search engine it was only that; nothing more, nothing less. Those days it seems are long gone now and the little search-engine that could, still can.

Today the brand Google is a house-hold one and only a few can actually remember that there were choices for searching once a long time ago. Now all we have is Google and a bunch of empty shells pretending, sucked dry by the newcomer with the simple interface.

With Microsoft's live.com gamble in 2007 the marked is being stirred a bit, but the field is slim. AllTheWeb.com and Altavista both run on Yahoo!'s search engine, and while Yahoo! still are quite widely used in the US, I cannot remember the last time I heard of something using anything other then Google.Lycos and Teoma are both using Ask.com (Ask Jeeves), which is actually looking relatively promising. And of course the AOL searches are handled by Google. So Google, Yahoo, Microsoft live.com and the underdog: Ask.com - 4 actual search-engines left and Google holds more then 60% of the crawler cake (and growing).

Since Google launched Gmail around April 2004 they have been busy while chanting web based tools! web based tools! I am sure. Nevertheless with Google Analytics being a great hit and their Adsense program still making money head over fist they may as continue down the path without even considering looking back.

Google's webmaster program has had its startup gremlins, but as did Gmail if I remember correctly and that turned out more the fine.

These "newly" launched services from Google, unlike Gmail, are not something that most internet users will ever know nor understand as it is directly targeted for web-masters, web-developers and web-designers world-wide. So it will properly not matter that most wont ever know about it. It has a good chance of being adopted in many aspects by many web-professionals and if that succeeds, then all internet users will meet it daily and benefit from its features - whether they are aware of what it or not.

Theory, philosophy and usability of and behind the use of these widgets and services are as always very positive. There is only one problem; No matter how much they try to tell you otherwise: Google corp. is first of all a business and that means profit - and to be honest, it often shine through. Take the " Google Gadgets For Your Webpage" part of this new free-services portfolio. Almost each and every little thing have Google Adsense ad's as part of the layout which of course pays for the development but it also conflicts with their self-proclaimed goals for advancing the Internet use for the greater good of all.

Let us look at a few examples hereof.

EDIT: REMOVED EXAMPLES. Getting these from slow third party locations was reducing site performance.

This was just a brief example. There are literally hundreds of those tools available to you once you have created an account and passed along a few personal details. Seems like a fair trade.

I am personally very exited about some of the widget (Google Gadgets), but unfortunately realistically I must admit that the ads destroy any hope for it being used for anything else then brief entertainment, which I find to be a shame since the potential was for more.

Now this next service almost makes up for all those ad's. Google has designed a dynamic chart generation API (Application Programmers Interface). You can just call (browse) an URL with some predetermined variables such as:

http://chart.apis.google.com/chart?
cht=p
&chd=s:jjjjjjjjjj
&chs=500x200
&chl=player1|player2|player3|player4|player5|player6|player7|player8|player9|player10



demo API chart

And it will return a chart to you based on the values that you have provided - And seemingly ad-free!?. Definitely a service with potential for great many simple solutions to otherwise complex problems.

I occurred to me that Google is actually no longer a search engine. Granted it is still there they turn around the bulk of they revenue but it is not where they wish to remain. Google is a trafficker of information and ideas; after all those years searching for things on behalf of people they now have a fairly good idea of what people actually want, which is what they now try to turn into dollars.

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Paint for Windows revolution

Posted: 2007-08-14 21:16 by AmItE

Screw Photoshop, Paint is here...and it will blow your mind...An execellent documentary detailing the development of Paint for Windows. They are really pushing the boundries of excellence...

Seriously though, to funny...:
- " In Paint. I am fully in control of how my images turns out - from start to Finish. "
- " Can we thin out the line...can we...can we make the line thinner... "
(Pause...).
- " Uhm...NO... "

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Latest comments

RussPosted: 2012-12-02 01:30:19 wrote:

I really love your website.. Pleasant colors & theme.
Did you build this amazing site yourself?
Please reply back as I\'m hoping to create my own personal website and would like to know where you got this from or exactly what the theme is named. Kudos!


 

ZeitGeist The Movie

Posted: 2007-08-11 03:14 by AmItE

I just finished watching this highly controversial documentary and I must say that it is one of the best put together documentaries I have ever seen.

All I can say is: Watch zeitgeistmovie.com now ! It will surely give you something to think about...even if you believe every single little detail, it is very hard to ignore.

To quote the film: It is time to wake up!

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Website development

Posted: 2007-03-31 09:08 by AmItE

I have written many pages in my time, most for fun, some for a greater pupose and yet some professionaly.

I primarily use XHTML 1, CSS2 (and in a few rare situations a little javascript) for the clientside development, while (naturally!!) being quite the fanatic when i comes to W3C validation.

PHP, MySQL and .htaccess is used serverside (apart from the occational ASP or .NET custom modfication job of existing solutions).

The latest site i launched was a pro-bono site for a friend of mine. Not extremely complex, but quite a nice and simply solution with a complete, self written (better believe it) CMS like backend updating tool for the site owner to use. Please drop by and take a peek at her artwork: arnfeldtdesign.dk.

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Entertainment

Posted: 2007-02-17 20:22 by AmItE

I have managed to gather some links to some interesting sites. I have added them below with a short description on each to sum up its content.

worth1000.com
Some amazing image manipulation. Some better then others, but most are very creative and fun.

Lettermans top 10
David Letterman's Top 10 reasons why there are no black NASCAR drivers:
10 - Have to sit upright while driving.
9 - Pistol won't stay under front seat.
8 - Engine noise drowns out the rap music.
7 - Pit crew can't work on car while holding up pants at the same time.
6 - They keep trying to carjack Dale JR.
5 - Police cars on track interfere with race.
4 - No passenger seat for the Ho.
3 - No Cadillac's approved for competition.
2 - Can't wear helmet sideways.
1 - When they crash their cars, they bail out and run.

End of the world
This is a classic. Just saw it again recently....awesome!

Save the wales
Greenpeace fanatic? This may just change your mind. Yikes!

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MMORPG Comic

Posted: 2007-02-17 19:45 by AmItE

Ever played an RPG or MMORPG? Then you may enjoy the comic written by WTF Comics. It based directly on the world of EverQuest, but if you have not played that nor EQ2, you may still find it entertaining.

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Whitehouse failure, Googles luck

Posted: 2007-01-20 23:40 by AmItE

I actually noticed this almost a year ago, but totally forgot about it. Then earlier today I stumbled upon an old email of mine dated: 20th february 2006. Back then I came accross (cant really remember how anymore) that if you type the word "failure" into googles search-engine at google.com and press the "I feel lucky" -button you are instantly forwarded to the official Presidential Whitehouse webpage of George W. Bush homepage.

Is that just odd or what? I am just saying: More then 11 months straight being presented as the #1 failure according to the worlds largest search-engine! That has to be some sort of record !

So what can we learn from that? Properly nothing, but it is still pretty funny.

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