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You Look Like I Need a Drink

**Not Quite Web 2.0**

It's a Dead Man's Party

Monday, October 31, 2005

I am old. It is 8:35PM on Halloween and I am ready to sleep. I spent the last 2 hours taking my kid trick or treating and it was fun but now a beer later, some cold medicine to keep sleep from leaving me at 4AM, and a full 8 hour day at a conference, I can see why my parents were always tired by 9PM. The days of staying out past 3AM are dwindling and although I still do that once in awhile, the bed looks infinately more inviting than some dank dirty steps in a club.
I should have some actual posts tomorrow so check back then.


posted by aL, 8:34 PM | link | 1 comments |

Baby, I'm An Anarchist (signs and their meanings)

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Figured since we are creeping really close to Halloween, I would do a quick post on signs and their meanings. This site covers some good occult signs that are not seen everyday. Maybe some of those dumb asses that get a tattoo but have no idea of what their design stands for can finally scratch their heads like early primates with a dawning realization.


posted by aL, 9:49 AM | link | 0 comments |

Tasty Edible Babies (marzipan babies?)

Friday, October 28, 2005

So my friend Nell sent me an email a few days ago about edible little babies made of Marizipan(click on 'Marzipan' for the wiki if you have no clue on what the hell it is). Sounds like a good, plausible commercial idea right? Let's create lifelike babies that taste sweet. We will get the niche market of cannibals and serial killers all excited. Much to the dismay of freaks, this idea of a tasty edible baby seems to be an urban legend.

However, if you are disgruntled about hearing news on non-edible babies, I bear good baby eating news and shall direct you to a piece of writing by Mr.Jonathan Swift. Enjoy.


posted by aL, 4:19 PM | link | 0 comments |

Recover that Windows XP Product Key (RockXP)

Thursday, October 27, 2005

If you are one of those people who get annoyed by the lag time in WindowsXP after a year or so of usage and are prone to wiping the system clean for a quick fresh start, RockXP is the application you need so you can use your original product key and skip the whole tiresome product activation that Microsuck has you go through when first running XP.
In a nutshell, after you have your XP installed, running RockXP will pull your product key and with that file (if you wish), or you can just take a note and scribble down that product key in case you lost it. I have used RockXP with good results and hey, it is free, so why not give it a try?


posted by aL, 3:43 PM | link | 2 comments |

Help, I Lost My Internet!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Well I am once again having problems with my DSL line so until that problem is resolved, updates on here are going to be a little more random than normal. Here is an excerpt of an email from my buddy kpR (who is back visiting friends and family in Hawaii) which I found really amusing.

"bryan goes you wanna eat POS? i'm like waht piece of shit? he goes no portuguese ommlett(spelling?) sandwich. i'm like ooooh but i wasn't
hungry...shit man i think ive gained like 10 pounds while on vacation
lol. just eat sleep and shit mostly and sit on my ass. no wonder
people here get fat. you konw why i don't back home?"


posted by aL, 7:09 PM | link | 0 comments |

Free Things I have Gotten From Digg.com

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

I came home last night to a pile of mail(snail). The free paper from HP finally came in (after over a month of waiting). Where did this free paper come from? Every so often people will digg a story of some company promoting their product and is currently giving away freebies. So let me list some of the things I have sent in for, and what has actually ended up on my doorstep.

Free paper from HP: Had to wait, but it finally came in.

Free USB Thumbdrive from IBM: Never got it.

Free Subscription to Blender Magazine: Worked for me. Also got Mac World for free.

Don't recall if this was from digg or not but over a year ago, I got a whole bunch of full sized posters from Microsoft. So not everything I sent my information for arrived but hey, I can't argue with free.


posted by aL, 3:41 PM | link | 0 comments |

How Much is Your Blog Worth?

Monday, October 24, 2005

My blog is worth $6,209.94.
How much is your blog worth?

For a blog thrown together last minute with an awful URL combined with an extra long title, honestly I am surprised that it is 'worth' as much as 6K. Incidentally, I got this from forevergeek.com/ and had to give it a go.

So any takers on buying my blog so I can finally afford that trailer I want (that matches my plastic kiddie pool I've been dying to show off in the front yard?


posted by aL, 12:21 PM | link | 0 comments |

Net Tools 4.0 (at a glance)

I have used some previous versions of NetTools with some great results. Net Tools 4.0 is out and here are a slew of features. Because there are so many, I have trimmed the list down a little. If you want the whole list, go here.

1) IP Address Scanner
3) IP Converter
4) Port Listener
7) NetStat (2 ways)
8) Trace Route (2 ways)
9) TCP/IP Configuration
10) Online - Offline Checker
11) Resolve Host & IP
13) Whois & MX Lookup
18) Net Pager
19) Active and Passive port scanner
20) Spoofer
22) HTTP flooder (DoS)
23) Mass Website Visiter
24) Advanced Port Scanner
25) Trojan Hunter (Multi IP)
26) Port Connecter Tool
27) Advanced Spoofer
28) Advanced Anonymous E-mailer
29) Simple Anonymous E-mailer
30) Anonymous E-mailer with Attachment Support
31) Mass E-mailer
32) E-mail Bomber
33) E-mail Spoofer
34) Simple Port Scanner (fast)
35) Advanced Netstat Monitoring
36) X Pinger
37) Web Page Scanner
45) Multi Ping for Cisco Routers
46) TCP Packet Sniffer
47) UDP flooder
49) Multi IP ping
50) File Dependency Sniffer
51) EXE-joiner (bind 2 files)
52) Encrypter
53) Advanced Encryption
54) File Difference Engine
55) File Comparasion
56) Mass File Renamer
57) Add Bytes to EXE
58) Variable Encryption
62) Password Unmasker
63) Credit Card Number Validate and generate
65) eXtreme UDP Flooder
69) Bouncer
71) IRC server creater
75) Remote Desktop Protocol Scanner
76) MX Query
78) API Spy
79) DHCP Restart
80) File Merger
81) E-mail Extractor (crawler / harvester bot)
87) Process Checker
88) IP String Collecter
90) Central Server (Base Server; Echo Server; Time Server; Telnet Server; HTTP Server; FTP Server)
93) Fishing Port Scanner (with Named Ports + possible Trojan/Exploit)
94) LAN Talker Client / Server

It looks like a lot of cool tools. Script kiddies will rejoice. I have just downloaded it from this mirror but dial-up users beware, the file is 15MB+. The site might be running a little slow due to bandwidth issues, but hopefully they will be resolved soon.


posted by aL, 11:35 AM | link | 0 comments |

Condoleeza, What Are We Going to Do Now?

For my morning dose of Elliot in the Morning, they were all talking about the U2 concert last week in DC. Apparently, this lady who paid big bucks for front row seats had her amazing seats usurped when none other than the Secretary of the State showed up and stayed through 4 songs. The lady who was displaced, went from Seat A tickets to seat Q (nosebleed tickets). Now I am not a big U2 fan but you would have thought that some fan who paid an arm and a leg for front row seats would have at least been given some compensation? Don't get me into the rant about Ticketmaster either.
It is hearing shit like this that makes me not want to go to corporate sponsored shows. Throroughly disgusted. And no, I am not against Condoleeza nor harbor any hatred toward her, but am slightly annoyed that a politician (or famous person) can sweep by the average citizen and not even realize the devastation in their wake. There is my non-tech news rant for today.


posted by aL, 10:30 AM | link | 0 comments |

Wow, I Had Better Thank My Daughter

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Thanks for those that informed me that my kid's computer made it to the front page of digg. I blogged it this morning and we just realized that someone submitted it. I had to root around but found the submission at digg.com/hardware/My_5_Year_Old_Built_a_Computer.

Just checked some stats and the main referrals are from digg and one from linkdump. The funniest site referral is from this one.
Anyway, now the kiddo is all excited and is wondering how many people have dugg her story. Thanks.


posted by aL, 2:02 PM | link | 0 comments |

My 5 Year Old Built a Computer

My 5 year old was sick of seeing me build different computers and while I was out, decided to make her own box. Looks like she is off to a good start, with the 20" flat panel display-actually, it kind of looks like the new iMac G5? She did however tell me that the first icon on her computer was none other than Firefox!

Here is a shot of her workstation. The inclusion of the mint tin as a mouse was pretty ingenious (do I smell a mod here?). And that sidebar? She doesn't know anyone with a left sidebar!

The more I think about it, maybe she is running OSX on an Apple. I will have to check out her school computers. She told me the other day that now she needs a cubicle.



posted by aL, 9:21 AM | link | 33 comments |

Flock (yeah, what a name)

Friday, October 21, 2005

Flock is out. A new browser based on Mozilla code, it seems to integrate bookmarks from del.icio.us, flickr , wordpress, blogger and typepad. I haven't invested that much time with this browser yet as it seems somewhat similar to firefox without the multitude of extensions (which is acceptable for a new product). It does seem heavy on the blog aspect of the net (which is a little annoying) but I will try this browser out for a little while. However, it still does not make me sway from my beloved (firefox).


posted by aL, 1:13 PM | link | 0 comments |

The Drink For the Dead (dead guy ale)

I normally don't post on Fridays but seeing how it is cold and rainy and just feels nice to curl up to a warm CRT monitor, I thought I would post this pic of
dead guy ale that I had a few weeks back. Call it aesthetic pirate/death oriented label compulsive buy, but after seeing the label, I had to get it. Honestly, I don't even recall if it was decent or not, but it did have a kick ass label. Speaking of cool labels on beer, a few years back, I stumbled up Monty Python's Holy Grail Ale.


posted by aL, 1:02 PM | link | 1 comments |

BlinkList Site Review

Thursday, October 20, 2005

What would happen if you took the user driven digg, combined it with a search style similar to flickr and gave it more options to tinker with? The result would BlinkList. I hate to use the inundated phrase 'social bookmarking' so I went to BlinkList's about page and they claim the site is basically 2 things: "1) BlinkList is the place where you save, share, and access all the favorite information you find online.

2) BlinkList is a "Personal Discovery Engine" that allows you to find the newest, coolest, and most personal information on the net."

Pretty bold claims, so I signed on for an account to see for myself. Here below, we have a screenshot of what the site looks like after you log in. As you can see, there are 3 different types of searches you can run as well as tabs on the left with sites that you have blinked (enjoyed) and personal user options.

Here I entered a search term under the 'my list' and since being a new user, no results came up. However, because no results were found, BlinkList offered a suggestion of possible other searches with the text varying in size (based on the popularity of that search term).

Doing a 'public' search, I soon found some submissions on linux. Listing the blinked pages, I noticed that some links even had a thumbnail to go along with the link (nice touch).

Blinking the entry gives you a quick description of the link, the URL and even tags.

Cons: *Still being in beta form, bugs are still being smoothed out. Luckily, if you find something wrong, feedback is only a simple click away.
*There might be too many options for the n00b(novice user).
*Site bandwidth might be slow at times.

Pros: *The interface is clean, site design is great and navigation is efficient.
*More options than digg.
*The inclusion of thumbs in blink entries is a wonderful idea.

My overall feeling is one of excitement. This site has much promise and I can see it spreading if the minor bugs get fixed by the seemingly overzealous staff. Keep up the good work guys.

Shout outs to Mike from BlinkList for the heads up on the site.


posted by aL, 12:00 PM | link | 1 comments |

Surreptitiously Surfing the Net at Work

For the record, I am not at work right now. But if I were, I would consider using Ghostzilla to kill time surfing the Internet. Sounding like a moniker for a lost Wu-Tang member, Ghostzilla is a browser that looks like a work application (try Outlook) but really blends in to appear like you are not wasting company time by checking personal email, the stats of your fantasy football team or other wasteful non work related Internet activites. For the casual over the shoulder glance at what is displayed on your screen, it may fool co-workers or the person in charge. But don't be so naive to think that there are not other ways of mining surfing data from the company network. If your company or workplace is small enough or you know for a fact they don't have an admin checking the logs/viewing your destop remotely, Ghostzilla might just be the app for you. However, if you work for a large company that has you sign many a document about being monitored (as I unfortunately had to sign), chances are this slick chamleon browser will do nothing but hide your surfing habits from your boss but everything is logged and check by your IT personnel anyway.

OK, I am currently working on a site review which should be done within the next hour so check back later.


posted by aL, 11:26 AM | link | 0 comments |

I Spend Too Much Time Online (a dedication)

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

In a flurry of upset words screamed at me (not by my boss this time), Liz let it fly that I spend too much time online and overtly insinuated that it is a waste of my time. Sure, I could not be sipping an nice cold beer, and not be trying to do a site review (which will be a post tomorrow as the site is currently slooooooow due to traffic) but hell, I consider this some sort of free non-sexual catharsis. Speaking of non-sexual catharsis, I hope you like the picture of the dominatrix. I would post a pic of some friend who is/were a dom, but as seeing as I am posting spur of the moment, I don't want to bother sending out an email and waiting for a reply.
But going back to catharsis, the internet will not stop if I never post again and one less blog is something we could all cheer for. If that site review never gets going and you never see updates, you will know why. This isn't a goodbye, it's a warning (women don't like computers or robots).


posted by aL, 8:51 PM | link | 1 comments |

Creepy Bear Surveillance

I have time for a quick post. I know this one has been out for a little while now but for those who have not seen it, this cute cuddly teddy bear seems like the perfect gift for that important other in your life (if you feel the need to stalk them). Sporting a hidden video camera, you can now passively watch your girlfriend as she folds the laundry. Reminds me of that Nokia spy phone...


posted by aL, 1:29 PM | link | 0 comments |

One Small Step for Ubuntu

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Well I am officially on the web with WiFi and Ubuntu dual booting on my (brick)Toshiba laptop. I still need to work out a few kinks as it is running a static IP and will not configure an address for me with DHCP but I will get that problem smoothed out later. Will have more details later.


posted by aL, 4:56 PM | link | 0 comments |

Crawling the Feeds (links to sites I visit daily)

I thought that I would list some links of pages I frequent on a daily basis as seeing that I usually kill about 1-2 hours of my morning by crawling the RSS feeds for new tech info, tech related information and any other random oddities. Because the list would be quite vast, I will not list them all. Feel free to give me some suggestions of sites to make my daily rounds.

Tech Related
Astalavista My firefox browser opens up to this page which features 'Information and Internet Security.' They also post new or newer applications that are out, tutorials (like this one for metasploit by irongeek) as well as a slew of other great information
Hack In The Box is another good site to visit for computer security (yes, hacking) news.
Slashdot. Any self proclaimed computer geek who does not know of Slashdot is lying about geekdom.
Digg which is a social bookmarking tool for technology and news is starting to make the folks at Slashdot nervous.
Lifehacker which would be the equivalent of hacking for good (or whitehat) always has some positive life-hacks as well as some decent software reviews.
Hack a Day always has some cool DIY mods or creations that smart people from all over the world are sending in.
Engadget is the place I visit to find out the latest news in, well, gadgets. Also see Gizmodo.
hackermedia.org shows the status of updated radio/internet tv shows.

Everything Else
Boing Boing. Weird, random news from anywhere in the world.
rc6.org is recent tech news in the form of a blog.
dreamlogic.net. My pals at dreamlogic have wonderfully written reviews on movies you may not have seen or heard about yet, but want to see.
DC Blogs. Yeah, I do read some blogs, but shit, so do you if you're reading this line right now so refrain from the childish taunting. DC Blogs is great to find out what the people in our Nation's Capital are talking about.
makezine.com is similar to Hack a Day but not always tech related.
punkbands.com which is pretty self explanatory but they do have an ample repository of reviews and sporting a slick layout.

That rounds out the list for now. If people are still interested, I might post links to more sites in the future.


posted by aL, 10:30 AM | link | 2 comments |

I Think The Burger King Lady Likes Me

After getting chewed out by one of my four bosses, I decided to drown my sorrows in Burger King as it was only 10AM and just a wee bit early to be hitting the bottle. As it turns out, the lady at my local BK was quite chatty and nice. After I got home, I realized that she had put an extra croissanwich in my bag. That almost makes getting yelled at redeeming (but not quite). Speaking of Burger King, I heard that Sonja Thomas (you know her as the diminutive Japanese lady at eating contests) works at the Burger King on Andrew's Air Force Base here in Maryland. I wonder if she gives people she likes an extra 15 croissanwiches?


posted by aL, 10:20 AM | link | 0 comments |

Blame Ubuntu For My Lack of Posts

Monday, October 17, 2005

I went and downloaded Ubuntu's latest distro over the weekend and have busy checking out the new features. Usually, I am more of a SUSE user but I had to check out what all the hype was about with Ubuntu's Breezy Badger. With the release of their lastest version, they also have 'live' versions for those who wish to take a look but are not quite sold on installing it on their box. So far I must say that it is much more new user friendly than some other flavors, includes a simple and painless installation and it even miraculously even worked with my built in wireless card! If I continue to find Ubuntu packed with more goodies, it might just give my SUSE a run for its money.


posted by aL, 10:13 AM | link | 0 comments |

How to Disappear Completely

Here is a good article on how to disappear in America. It is pretty in depth but a good read with some knowledge to even the highly paranoid.


posted by aL, 10:07 AM | link | 0 comments |

Fucking With Tower Records

Sunday, October 16, 2005

So I was dragged along to the highly overpriced corporate music distribution named Tower Records yesterday. For a hodge-podge selection, they had some decent music. However, the prices were something they ought to be ashamed of. It is no wonder people are going to Kazaa(not recommended) or Limewire (recommended). At Towers, they always have the main selection of music in bins on the shelves and at eye level, they have CDs to take note of that are facing the customer. Since their 'noted' music was so awful (try avril lavigne), that in the 'A' selection, I went and covered up Avril with some Against Me!, the Adicts and the list goes on. 30 minutes later, Tower's music selection looked much more palpable to the audience. They should thank those damn ingrates!


posted by aL, 10:44 AM | link | 0 comments |

Lynx, the Text Only Browser

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Why the hell would you want a web browser that only displays text? This may seem daunting to some folk but sometimes you want to bypass all those flashy animated gifs, flash intros and all those annoying pictures and get to the heart of the information on a site that is unfortunately too cluttered with images that would even slow down an Internet 2 connection.

Lynx has been around since 1993 and brings me back fond memories of telnet mail and gopher. This was back when using a terminal for checking email was the norm and using Netscape to check webmail was slow and under development.

I honestly have not used Lynx all that much as seeing that I cannot sign into my mail clients as the version I have does not support https but if this were to change, I can see cutting through the bullshit eye candy and using Lynx to check email on a regular basis. So what if I get a warm fuzzy feeling from a terminal?


posted by aL, 9:43 AM | link | 2 comments |

Popularity on Myspace and Fashion Drunks

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Just a quick post. Came across this story and it is freakin unbelievable. Awesome...


posted by aL, 4:27 PM | link | 0 comments |

Normalize Your MP3 Volume

I got a request from a friend this morning. Apparently, when playing songs on his iPod, he has so many different mp3s that are at different volumes that when jumping from one song to the next, it is not unusual for songs to go from low volume to high. Basically, he was looking for any applications that can take all of these mp3s and normalize the audio levels so that all of the tracks are set at the same volume.

I found MP3Gain on SourceForge which is open source software and claims 'MP3Gain does not just do peak normalization, as many normalizers do. Instead, it does some statistical analysis to determine how loud the file actually sounds to the human ear.
Also, the changes MP3Gain makes are completely lossless. There is no quality lost in the change because the program adjusts the mp3 file directly, without decoding and re-encoding.

So far I have not had a chance to try this application yet so if you have any information, feel free to give me some feedback. I will review this application shortly and do a follow up post.


posted by aL, 3:53 PM | link | 0 comments |

Burma Blue Gets Married

I am not one for posting personal pictures on this site on information on friends because most of those bloody wankers won't bother checking this page anyway but with this funny picture, I have to give my shout outs. Congratulations on getting married Blue!!!

I should have some links and information (site related, not on my boy Blue) later so check back.


posted by aL, 9:42 AM | link | 0 comments |

Gridgame Addiction

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Here is a pretty cool online game named gridname. Think 2-D dominoes that rotate in a gear fashion. Start a chain reaction to see how long it will go. My highest score was 956 points.


posted by aL, 9:50 AM | link | 1 comments |

In Darkness, We Ignite

I'm not saying I condone this, but any guy in a relationship who says that he has not thought of doing this to his significant other at one time or another, is fucking lying.


posted by aL, 9:45 AM | link | 0 comments |

A Story of Three

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

This is in no particular order but 3 random things on my mind.

1.)Last night after fuming because of a fight with the significant other, I nearly ran over two black teens on the freeway who were in an actual lane while it was pitch black and raining. I literally swerved out of the way of the teens fifteen feet from impact, all while on the cell phone with my mom in Hawaii (yeah I am one of those DC assholes who talk while driving).

2.)Forbes has published an article on the Best And Worst Vending Machine Snacks and I read this article all while eating 2 croissanwiches from Burger King.

3.)Ran this browser security test again last night and thought I would share it with those of you who may not have already tried it. And not that Firefox needs any plugs from me but for God's sake, use something other than I.E. 18% of the traffic to this site is still by I.E users.


posted by aL, 8:41 AM | link | 0 comments |

Email Clients Roundup

Monday, October 10, 2005

I thought I would spend a little time today going over some pros and cons of some popular email clients. Feel free to give your input and recommend anything I might not have covered.

Popular Email Clients
Hotmail: Hotmail has been around for quite some time now and offers 250 MBs of email storage. They are quite reliable but seem to be a large spam magnet (which is the reason why I left their service).
Yahoo mail offers 1 gig of storage and has a cleaner interface than hotmail. With a decent spam filter, it is no wonder why their service has been as successful as it is. Look forward to their new beta(which is supposed to be the Gmail killer. Here are a few screenshots.
Gmail which is brought to you from the folks of Google, has a 2+ gig worth of storage, an excellent spam filter and a slew of add ons to make use of those 2 gigs worth of space. I have been happily using my Gmail account for over a year now and the only bad thing I can say is that at times (under a handful), Google was doing some maintenance on Gmail and I was unable to log on.

30Gigs offers a whopping 30 gigs (you guessed it) of storage space. Do we really need that much space for freakin email?
Lycos, are they still around?
Juno Email offers 1 gig of storage, the ability to send up to 5MB sized emails and a few other nifty features. Free to try for a month.

Dropload allows you to freely send files up to 100MBs of data. However, if your connection is slow, don't even attempt it. A similar service is YouSendIt.
Hushmail is a service for the paranoid or security minded (one and the same?). Their service will use PGP to encrypt your email so anyone sniffing the network will have to work at unencrypting your email before reading.
MailFreeOnline is for the stalker in mind who enjoys taunting his/her victims with anonymous email.
Avalanche. Want to mailbomb someone? OK n00bs, for testing purposes only. I cannot vouch for the validity of the file or site.


posted by aL, 9:10 AM | link | 0 comments |

Guessing a Dictator or Sit-Com Character

Awhile back, I was introduced to this this 20 Questions Electronic Toy. I have to admit that it is pretty impressive. I recently stumbled upon a similar version but on the net. Here is an amusing site that will ask you questions and attempt to deduce which dictator or Sit-Com character you have guessed.


posted by aL, 8:59 AM | link | 0 comments |

Castlebay Irish Pub in Annapolis Maryland

Sunday, October 09, 2005

I don't normally review pubs but I thought I would give it a go while the memory is still fresh in my mind.

We made it down to Castlebay in Annapolis last night shortly after 9PM so we could see Murphy's Law (not the signed band from NYC) but Annapolis's local Irish band. I went because of a friend of a friend of the band was promoting so after much deliberation, I decided to go. The pub itself was quaint and right when you walked in you were facing the left side of the stage. The crowd was primarily 25+ years of age and being Annapolis, was quite filled with the military (Hello Moose's in Waikiki). The crowd seemed to max out the pub at roughly 180 people and could have occupied more if not for the dining section of the pub. Irish beer was flowing, and the crowd was in support of 'the Law' as they did a 3 hour set covering everything from the Proclaimers to Jimmy Buffet. The crowd sang along and it was a warm atmosphere with less drunken rowdiness that might have accompanied a younger crowd catered pub.

At one drunken blurry moment in the night, it seemed that 80% of the people were singing merrily along with the band. However much fun it was, the mood was dampened as lady midnight strolled in and for one reason or another, the fun came to a halt as we were all displaced to other areas in Annapolis for the pub was shutting down. Midnight seems like an early time to go home on a Saturday night but I don't know the restrictions in Annapolis. None the less, it was a fun night and if you are ever in the area, stop by for a Guinness and some decent sing along music.


posted by aL, 11:30 AM | link | 0 comments |

Speed Up the PDF Load Times

Friday, October 07, 2005

PDF SpeedUp has been around for awhile now but for those of you unaware, nothing drives me more crazy than having to wait while I accidentally open up a PDF file from the net. The slow load time is not something you want to wait around for if your box is running on a P2 or lower(which fortunately my main desktop is not). Luckily, Acropdf Systems were kind enough to release their freeware app, aptly named PDF SpeedUp and I must say that when I first installed this program, after opening up a PDF file with lightening quick speed, my shouts of ecstasy were heard resounding through the neighborhood. Basically, it steamlines the Acrobat to just perform the uber necessary features when opening a PDF therefore saving time by disabling (you have the choice) what you don't need loaded.
Truly a good free download for anyone that ever opens a PDF file.


posted by aL, 2:18 PM | link | 2 comments |

A Quick Steganography Tutorial

Thursday, October 06, 2005

OK, let's get into a quick tutorial on steganography. Going by the wiki definition, steganography is 'the art and science of writing hidden messages in such a way that no one apart from the intended recipient knows of the existence of the message'. I have tried many of the programs out there but today we will be going over a shareware app called Masker.

So go and download it and run it. Here, the program is asking for a 'carrier file' which essentially is the host file that is going to hide whatever you are planning to hide (make note that I will be choosing a .GIF file).

Find your picture and fill in a password.

Now find a file you want to embed in your .GIF file.

Here I am choosing a text file named 'secret.'

When you finish embedding the file, the .GIF file should now be larger(as you are hiding data in it). I was having problems with blogger so I am unable to show you the end result but if you check the size of the original file versus the size of the file with the embedded data, your latter picture should be larger.


posted by aL, 9:42 PM | link | 0 comments |


I am bound and determined to be in a happy mood because that was the mood I was in prior to being shit on (not literally). If things go worse tomorrow and I get fired, I will post the whole shebang. I was going to do a quick tutorial on steganography but that will have to wait until tomorrow.


posted by aL, 4:12 PM | link | 0 comments |

Fasterfox, a Must Have Firefox Extension

What is it with mankind's obsession to make things faster? First there were some tweaks you could do in Firefox to load pages faster. Then there was Firetune, followed by Firefox Preloader (all of which are great). But now, a new extension which promises 'dynamic speed increases' has come out and so I had to take it on a test spin. So far so good. I have noticed a dramatic speed in loading webpages. I will have test it for a bit to decide if it is a longterm keeper. Go here to get Fasterfox.


posted by aL, 9:23 AM | link | 0 comments |

If I Were A Hick....I Would Do This

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

This picture was taken last weekend as we attended a fair in Prince Frederick MD. What you are supposed to be looking at is rows of cars that were all attempting to park at the same time. This brilliant hick decided that he was going to make use of his 4 wheel drive(for once in his life) and drive over a large grassy mound and promptly got stuck. What resulted after was reminiscent of a hee-haw show. Allow me to translate:
Pa!, we done got Betty(mode of transportation, usually a large tractor)stuck!
Son! Go jump on the rear bumper and quit a fussin and feudin'.

Dear lord, I had to take a picture but all I had on me at the time was my shitty cell phone camera. My better half however did have a camera handy so when she uploads the picture, I will post the more quality picture of the stuck SUV at the county fair.

Oh, and as promised, I do confess that before that jackass tried that stunt on the grassy knoll, I told Liz to drive her Toyota Corolla over it to save time. See, I can poke fun at myself too.


posted by aL, 6:01 PM | link | 0 comments |

Coheed and Cambria Suck Monkey Nuts

If I have to be subjected to any more wasteful, pop punk drivel from the sad excuse of a band named Coheed and Cambria, I will gladly look forward to having someone pour poison in one or both of my ears. Maybe it is because I am in a retched mood but being force fed something people actually consider music into my head by a group of talentless teens playing on their parent's musical instruments is something I would not relish on the finest of autumn days. The vocals sound like a midget getting choked by helium and I instantly want to jam pens in my ears so I can save my brains from melting and oozing out.

OK, that is going to be my angry rant for today. I should have an amusing picture for you later today when I dump the pics from my cellphone.


posted by aL, 9:54 AM | link | 29 comments |

Hungry Lucy (post Switchblade Symphony)

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

I haven't covered anything in music lately so I figured today I would write a little about a not so new but not so old band named Hungry Lucy. Hailing out of Ohio since the latter part of the 90's, Hungry Lucy at first sounded very reminiscent of no longer Switchblade Symphony. Moody and dark (Hungry Lucy), they still have a nice backbeat and almost trip-hop sound (not unlike Tricky). As I spent more time listening to them, I came to the conclusion that they are not a rip-off band stealing the soul of just another now defunct band. I could go on about their sound but go here(yes, it's LEGAL!) instead and have a listen for yourself.


posted by aL, 1:07 PM | link | 0 comments |

Extracting Metadata From Jpegs (Jpgs)

Monday, October 03, 2005

Today I will go into a brief tutorial on pulling metadata from Jpegs. I tried both EXIFViewer as well as UnJpeg. But let's take a step back for a second. What is 'metadata'? You may or may not know that when you take a digital picture, tiny bits of information is embedded in that picture. Information such as what digital camera was used, date, photo editing software and other information can be recovered. Let's take a look at an example.

Both applications were shareware and I found that I did not like UnJpeg at all. As a result, I used EXIFViewer. Now let's go over to Flickr and steal--err, borrow some pics. I looked up 'clowns' and did the old right click and saved 3 different clown pictures. Now open up EXIFViewer.

We peruse over to the files in the folder I named 'meta' and see that we are able to get the metadata for one picture (this program will not find ALL metadata but will a fair amount. Also, if the picture is scanned, from a webcam etc., it may not uncover the metadata).

As you can see, we have found that the camera used was a Sony Cybershot taken on 4/23/02. Now most likely this is the correct data as software such as we are using here can alter that, but your common non-geek will never bother changing this info or even have a clue about it. Have fun and happy hunting. I found this open source version here but have yet to try it. If you have more information on this, I would love to hear it.


posted by aL, 9:07 AM | link | 0 comments |

Poll Results for September 2005

Well I am running a bit late on the new poll as the last day of September fell on a Friday but things should be running back on schedule shortly. Here are the results of last month's polls.
It seems like people are most disgusted with poop-play. Not a big shocker there.

Please make sure to come back and vote at the beginning of each month. I don't ask much and for the amount of traffic of people coming here looking for illegal warez(you know who you are), all I ask is that you take 5 seconds and vote. Thanks.


posted by aL, 8:54 AM | link | 0 comments |