Diary of a Network Geek

The trials and tribulations of a Certified Novell Engineer who's been stranded in Houston, Texas.

1/30/2004

“If you have reached this page in error…”

Filed under: Art,Fun — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning or 7:11 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

Don’t you hate getting that dreaded “404 Page Not Found” error?

Well, now there’s something that might make it better: 404 Reaearch Lab. That’s right, an organization dedicated to getting the most out of your 404 pages.
Actually, it’s quite fun. There’s a history of how the 404 error originated, tips on how to avoid 404 pages on your site, and even hints on how to make a better 404 page. So, let’s not worry quite so much about blame and focus instead on dealing with the errors more better! (Yes, that was intentionally bad grammar, used to illustrate… Oh, never mind.)

Go have fun, it’s Friday!

1/29/2004

Who needs a firewall when…

Filed under: Certification,Fun Work,Geek Work,Things to Read — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:59 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a First Quarter Moon

you have a moat!

I’ve been working on my CompTIA Security+ certification using, in part, the Security+ Exam Cram 2 book to study for it. And, on page 227, under the Organizational Security section, they say:

The last physical barrier is a moat. Moats surround part or all of a facility and are excellent physical barriers because they have a low profile and are not as obtrusive as fencing. In this instance, the consideration would be the depth and width. As with all physical barriers, the moat must be well maintained.

No, I am not kidding. The book actually suggests that a moat is a physical defence. I can just see trying to sell this to my boss now.
“Uh, Joe? I feel our revised security plan really needs a moat.”
“Did you say ‘a moat’?”
“Yep, it’s right there in the Security+ cirriculum. A moat, Joe.”
“A moat.”
“With alligators, if you think we can manage to get them through the budget.”

Oh, God help me. What am I doing in this business? If it weren’t so damn funny, it’d make me cry.

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1/28/2004

Keeping The Economy Strong

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Deep Thoughts,Geek Work,News and Current Events — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning or 7:23 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

Of course, it’s not the United States economy…

Rather, it’s India’s. Yep, that’s right, our outsourcing habit is really growing India’s economy. According to this article on AustalianIT, “Indian software company Wipro third-quarter net profit jumped 19 per cent from a year earlier to a record 2.74 billion rupees ($78 million)” and “Infosys, India’s second-largest software services exporter, reported last week third-quarter net profit jumped a better-than-expected 28 percent to 3.3 billion rupees ($91.3 million)”. But, you say, that could be due to any of thousands of market forces, right? Well, not according to the article. The article claims that Wipro is “…one of many software companies benefiting from a trend by US and European companies seeking to cut costs by outsourcing jobs to India to take advantage of a large, cheap pool of English-speaking graduates. ”

I think anyone who reads my blog on a regular basis is smart enough to draw their own conclusions about this. Instead of making further comment, I’ll just ask a question. If you’re an IT professional, how’s your personal economy these days? Could you have used some of that revenue?
Think about it.

1/27/2004

Adobe not as protective

Filed under: Art,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Geek Work,News and Current Events — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning or 7:24 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

as all that after all…

Well, last week I logged an entry about Adobe’s deal with the government to try and stamp out conterfiting and already someone’s beaten their “protection”. According to this article on Wired News, folks have found several ways around the currency scanning protection. Everything from using an older version of Photoshop to importing the picture from the clipboard gets around this little protection. So, as the article says, that begs the question, “why did they bother?” Was it government pressure? A vast conspiracy between the Bilderbugers and the Knights Templar? Who knows… In any case, it’s easily defeatable and generated a bunch of bad press for them.

Go figure.

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1/26/2004

Bootable Security Tool

Filed under: Fun Work,Geek Work,Linux,News and Current Events — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning or 7:24 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

A bootable Linux security “suite”.

Cool. I saw this on the ScreenSavers, but it’s still cool and probably new to most of us. It’s a a tool called PHLAK. PHLAK stands for Professional Hacker’s Linux Assault Kit. But, what it is is a bootable Linux distro that’s loaded with security tools and information. Oh, it’s also free. I have to admit that I haven’t actually played with it. Yet. But, on the surface, it looks pretty cool.
Frankly, I like the idea of bootable distros. You can crank them up and try them out without reformating your hard drive. That’s pretty cool. And, for some applications, like security auditing, it’s nice to not leave too many footprints. A bootable distro is pretty good for that. Not perfect, of course, but it does limit certain kinds of trails and fingerprints.
Anyway, it’s Linux, new and fun. Go check it out!

1/23/2004

Virtual Legos™

Filed under: Art,Fun — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:42 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

A different kind of “object oriented” computing…

Hey, it’s Friday. Traditional day for slacking and having fun, right? Well, have some digital fun, thanks to TechTV, with BlockCAD. It’s pretty much like the Legos™ that you remember. Bright colors and simple shapes. Just the thing for a Friday after a long complicated work week.

Have fun!

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1/22/2004

Jack Hugs a Penguin

Filed under: Certification,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Geek Work,Linux,News and Current Events,Novell — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning or 7:01 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a New Moon

Jack Messman opens LinuxWorld.

Well, based on this story from WiredNews, Novell is really serious about their commitment to Linux. Jack Messman, who is the CEO of Novell, said that we need more OpenSource projects and applications. I really think his opening the biggest Linux show in the country show just how much Novell has committed to Linux. They’re really betting on the fact that enterprise computing is looking for a more robust, more stable, system than we’ve gotten used to recently. Certainly, I’d like a system that has fewer crashes and more uptime than most of the Windows servers I’ve worked on! And, Unix, which is still what runs the Internet, no matter what Micro$oft would like you to believe, is the most stable OS that I’ve ever worked on, Netware included. So, it seems like a good match for Novell. A series of products that integrate Novell’s easy-to-use tools and Linux’s stability seems like a good idea. At least, I think it’s the right move, obviously since I got my Linux+ certification. I just hope the rest of the IT world sees it our way!

1/21/2004

Adobe stamping out counterfeiting

Filed under: Art,Deep Thoughts,Geek Work,News and Current Events — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning or 7:15 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a New Moon

I see this as a good thing.

I seem to recall hearing about this quite some time ago, but it’s surfaced again and seems to be causing a ruckus. Not sure why, though. According to this article on AustrailianIT, Adobe has added code to Photoshop to prevent people from making duplicates of certain currencies. Their argument is, of course, that legitimate users shouldn’t be troubled by this since they shouldn’t have any issues with “imperfect” image. Frankly, I agree. But, this has apparently riled a bunch of artist types for some reason.
The article doesn’t go into many details for their reasoning, but I can’t imagine what would cause so much turmoil. I mean, what purpose could you have for creating a such a hyper-accurate reproduction of United States currency? If it’s for art, surely the artist can recreate a reasonable replacement to go over the change. And, even given the “art” aspect of it, I have a hard time picturing what might require such accurate copies of legal tender.
Anyway, the story is interesting.

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1/20/2004

JavaScript Encryption?

Filed under: Fun,Fun Work,Geek Work — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning or 7:26 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

Well, why not?

Okay, this seemed a little “off” to me at first, but then I thought about it and, well, why not? I mean, it’s not much of a programing language, but it is, after all, a programing language of a sort. So, I bring to you JavaScrypt, JavaScript based encryption tools. They are capable of being run on your local machine without being online, as long as you can use JavaScript, which most modern browsers can. And it’s real encryption, too! They use the MD5 and AES algorythms.

Actually, it’s pretty neat. They make the source available to you in a download, so you can not only run it on your local machine, but you can also play with the code. Good stuff, Maynard!

1/19/2004

Do you trust your bank?

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Geek Work,News and Current Events,The Network Geek at Home — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning or 7:20 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

If you do business with them on the Internet, do you check your balances?

Well, it sounds like you better start! According to this story on AustalianIT, banking on the Internet may not be as safe as you thought. (Okay, this really was only effecting Australian bank customers, but still…) Apparently, some wiley Russian and Latvian crakers have put together a set of trojans to collect personal account data. They then use this data to move funds to an accomplice’s account in the same country as the bank, in this case, Australia. Then, the accomplice takes their cut and sends the rest on to the rest of his crew. Pretty scary.
On the upside, it’s out and known now, so I’m sure people are working on getting it stopped. Also, you know about it, so you can take the right precautions, like never using an unsecured computer to access bank accounts. And, of course, this hasn’t been reported in the US. Yet.

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