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Everything posted by Ohm

  1. This is pretty interesting. A number of benchmarks were performed on identical hardware and default software configurations of the last four Ubuntu releases. You might expect most of the benchmarks to stay the same, but that's not necessarily true. http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=arti..._2008&num=1
  2. That all depends on the game. Sometimes, games work on a single TCP port that can be wrapped in an HTTP or SOCKS proxy either transparently through the network, or with a "proxifier" that will intercept any calls to make TCP connections and make them through a proxy. More often, games rely on UDP and this makes it a lot harder to use through a proxy. Also, a proxy will add significant latency issues, making any games like first person shooters a lot less enjoyable. So you'll need more information about your game first.
  3. Write a program to use HFS+? Hardly the most efficient way of going about things. Boot up a Linux live CD on the machine and do this: mkdir /mac mount -t hfsplus /dev/sda1 /mac
  4. That's true. With POP, you can download your mail once and store it on your hard drive. You can also do this from trusted networks, and have a copy of it to bring with you to untrusted networks. Though, if you have to check your mail on an untrusted network, that's not very useful.
  5. Well.. that does sound exactly like my Uniden.
  6. There's all kinds of things you can do on a badly configured system. But I think in some cases (high school being one of them), it's best to leave them alone. Admins of high school computer systems are woefully underpaid and overworked. Yes, it would be pretty easy to poke holes in their system and say how utterly insecure it is, but what would be the point? Pile on top of that the reactionary staff and possible involvement of law enforcement, and there's another big reason not to touch school networks. And finally, you might break something. If you break something, you're depriving yourself and your classmates an education. So it might seem like an interesting computer system to explore, but you probably shouldn't touch it. But on the technical side, you could probably access these drives the whole time. If Windows search can find them, they're accessible. Just open up Windows Explorer (hit Win+e) and type C:\ or F:\ or whatever drive you want to access in the address bar. Ideally, these drives should only be mapped if you actually have access to them, and should be behind some kind of authentication. Maybe your admin isn't quite so good with Active Directory.
  7. Oh, of course, I use KeePass and KeePassX.
  8. I guess the only encryption app I really use is Enigmail and GPG. I also have some encrypted LVM volumes, if that counts.
  9. I'd probably want to install BT4 instead. It's not technically done, but it's done enough. There are a lot of changes in BT4, and all the new stuff is in there. I installed in on VirtualBox, and the install was so easy, I don't even remember it
  10. Well if a password is set, there's not much anyone can do to help. The only feasible way of getting past it is to clear the BIOS configuration, resetting the password entirely.
  11. You want to run Visual Studio... on Linux? I have to ask why you would want to do that. Linux has a C/C++ compiler (GCC), as well as a C# compiler (Mono). Doing things natively is always preferable to trying to run the Windows programs on Linux, which doesn't always work very well. There's always VirtualBox. Using VirtualBox, you can run Windows inside of Linux, and any Windows programs will run as just fine (except games). It's free too, except for the price of Windows.
  12. Antivirus software can clean files that are compressed using known compression formats. Every compression format (zip, rar, gzip streams, etc) have headers, which can be seen by the antivirus and it will decompress and check the files within. I know it's found things in my zip files before. They wouldn't be very useful if all it took to hide your malware was sticking it in a compressed archive.
  13. First, a 2 year degree doesn't really mean much. I mean, the first year is all core classes and pretty low-level introductory courses, that leaves just the second year (also core-class laden) to get to the meat. Then you promptly forget most of that and graduate. A 2 year degree is something, but it's not exactly revered. Second, get it all done at once! You won't have the time or the energy later in life. If you do land a job with that 2 year degree, you can't just take a break in a few years to go back and finish your degree. Employers usually expect you to be working, not going to school. It's like a band-aid, get it over quick and all at once.
  14. The battery you're referring to is not the main battery, it's a small battery on the motherboard. Otherwise you'd lose your settings every time you switched to a backup battery. This requires disassembling the machine to get to, not an option in this case.
  15. Right, the advantage of USB is persistence. I suppose it'll run a bit slow (especially with writing) on USB, but it'll work. If you want to go all out, see if you can get an external hard drive to boot from. Yes, it is their hardware. But at the same time, running another OS isn't going to hurt it any and what you do on your own time is your business. One obstacle I see is a BIOS password. If a BIOS password is set and you can't alter the boot order, you might be out of luck. Without making modifications to the BIOS and possibly disassembling the machine (which is a crossing a pretty big line, remember this isn't your hardware), you might not be able to boot from USB. You could always try talking to whoever is in charge of these laptops. Explain what you want to do. If they don't understand, explain harder. Make sure they understand that it can't hurt the computer, nor can it harm the operating system on the hard drive (as long as you don't mount it or mount it read-only). Explain that Linux is very educational, that you need it to study computers. Hacking isn't always the answer, sometimes just asking will work.
  16. That's odd. I would have thought that's an uncommon configuration, at least if it was the user to hide the SSID. Though if you have an ISP deploying them, I can see why they'd hide the SSID and still leave it as something simple. So... I wonder where we can get some real statistics for market share? If we can get the top X routers, we can look up their default SSIDs and make a real list. Also, if anyone else has some more ISP specific info, that could be helpful as well. Actually, this is a good starting point.
  17. If they've turned off SSID broadcast, chances are they've changed the SSID. Though I wouldn't bother looking up the MAC, just try some common SSIDs. There aren't that many of them, 3 or 4 would probably cover 70% of the routers on the market.
  18. Messing with the operating system and putting a whole lot of things in the web history that aren't supposed to be there are not good. This can get you into trouble, even though it doesn't really do any harm to the machine. There's little to stop you from running your own OS on USB though Have fun, don't break anything.
  19. I haven't noticed anything. It's either your spyware-laden computer or your ISP is having problems. There are other possibilities, but they're remote. If there were a ddos, I think it would have hit the news by now. That's not something that goes by undetected.
  20. I suppose it's possible... somehow. Some motherboards come with drivers that expose an interface to flash the BIOS from Windows. This could be used to force a BIOS update and/or reset to failsafe configs. Though this is a pretty targeted thing to do, I doubt there's a "unlock any computer" program out there. You also risk making the computer inoperable if the motherboard doesn't have a second BIOS (though most do these days, it seems). Oh, and this will certainly need administrator privs as well, if that's a factor.
  21. I suspect you're talking about GMail in the first few items on your list. I wouldn't worry about this stuff. GMail reads your mail, but so do the other webmail services. GMail is open about it, and that says a lot. Google also doesn't give in to subpoenas automatically either. Yes, they're going to comply with court orders (as any other service will), but they're not going to hand over your mail, access logs, search data, etc if they're merely asked for it. I think there was one case in China, but it's a different story over there. It all comes down to who you're going to trust. You have Google who, for all their creepiness, are completely open with what they do with your mail. They also have tons of cash, so there's no real pressure to make a profit on GMail. Then you have Microsoft, who are not the most trustworthy of the bunch. They have also broken Hotmail, MSN, etc intentionally on browsers other than IE, and for Linux in the past. That might factor into your decision. But what ever you do, don't use Yahoo!. They're a sinking ship. They're losing money left and right, and I don't think they're above selling your email address (maybe even paired with keywords) or doing anything else to make a buck. Also... they're a sinking ship, they might not even be around for much longer. So there's a lot to consider here. Of course, webmail is inherently insecure, as is all email for that matter. If you want really secure email, use PGP.
  22. Oh, wait. He says he wants to access this with his phone, which doesn't get Internet but does get picture messaging. So I guess that's gatewayed to email somehow.
  23. True, it would be quite easy to implement a PHP script that allows your program to upload frames ever minute or so. Even for a non-programmer, this would be quite trivial. Stick a password-protect on that and the server part is done. The client is almost as trivial. I still don't know how you'd interface with the webcam though
  24. That's not too difficult. You can set up something like a gmail account, or any other account with POP or IMAP access. Have the script check the email for new messages, and when one arrives with the correct command and/or password, it will take a picture from the webcam and send it as a reply to the email. This program will have to be running in the background of the machine with the webcam. I've done email programs with Ruby, and they're really easy. I've also done them with Perl, and they're doable. Any language can do email though, all it has to know how to do is use POP and SMTP, as well as parse email messages. I'm sure there are libraries for whatever languages you know. As for the webcam part, I don't know. I know there are libraries for many languages to interface with USB webcams, but I've never used them.
  25. Unsecured wireless routers are nothing new. Most people don't know what an SSID is, let alone how to change it. They also don't know how to change the admin console password, nor do they understand the security implications of doing so. Though, the implications here aren't much. Since the admin console is usually only available over Ethernet from the internal network, it's not like someone connecting to your router via unprotected wifi has access to it. And the other things you mention require both physical access to the router, and for clients to be reconfigured so they don't realize anything has changed. This is mostly a failure on the router manufacturer's part. They should understand their market. They should know that this is home networking equipment and should assume zero knowledge. The device shouldn't function until the user visits the admin console for the first time (with no password) where a web-based wizard will walk them though setting up a password, and either leave the wireless open or set up WPA. There are also facilities in Vista (and maybe XP, I'm not sure) to set up wireless routers with GUI wizards as well. Things could be better, to say the least.