Diary of a Network Geek

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

4/13/2018

PWNED?

Filed under: Fun,News and Current Events,The Day Job — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning or 7:30 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

Have my super secret accounts been compromised?

Probably. I know, that’s not really what anyone wants to hear, but it’s also pretty truthful at this point. I mean, if you pay any attention to the news these days, then you’ve heard about all the recent data breaches. Most recently, there’s the Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor data breaches, but before that there was Equifax, Under Armour, Uber and more. And, I know for myself, just having a Yahoo-related email account has made me susceptible to having my information compromised multiple times over the years.
But, what if you’re not sure? Or, what if you think you may have had an account that was part of a breach and want to know for sure? Then, head over to Have I Been Pwned and put in your email address. If you’ve been part of any of the big breaches in the past couple years, this site will tell you.
Also, if you’re not sure about that “secure” password you’re about to start using, then you can put that in at this site, too, and if it’s a well-known, well-hacked password, you’ll know before you use it. (That’s important to know because the well-known passwords are easier to pull out of even an encrypted password database.) If you don’t see it at first, just check the top menu for “Passwords” and you’ll get straight to it.

In this day and age, none of us can afford to be lax with our personal data and our data security. So, it may not be my normal “fun” link for Friday, but it’s definitely worth taking a minute to check your on-line safety.

This post originally appeared on Use Your Words.

4/3/2015

Secret Phone Menu

Filed under: Fun,Fun Work,Geek Work,Linux,Ooo, shiny... — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:30 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Full Moon

No, I’m not talking about ordering take-out.

Have you ever wanted to get to the hidden parts of your phone?  You know, those secret commands that technicians use to get your phone to give up its deepest, darkest secrets?  Well, if you’re an iPhone user, you’re in luck!  Yahoo recently shared all those with the world, and, now, I’m sharing that same information with you, dear readers:  How to Access the Hidden Menus on your iPhone, at Yahoo Tech.

If you’re an…
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5/15/2008

Ants, on the march!

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Deep Thoughts,Dog and Pony Shows,Fun,News and Current Events,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Rooster which is in the early evening or 6:10 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

Okay, so this is really a local news item, but I think it’s still noteworthy.

It will come as no surprise to anyone who lives here that Houston has an ant problem. However, what may come as a surprise is just how bad it is and why. According to Wired and Yahoo! News, we’re being over run with the “crazy strawberry ant”, which is much worse than their cute name would imply. Now, the good news is that they kill fire ants, which are a plague of the worst order, but the bad news is these crazy strawberry ants love to foul electronics. Also, they’re resistant to current chemicals that kill them and they have multiple queens in a single nest, making them doubly hard to kill.

Luckily, there is an adorable solution to the entire mess: the South American tamandua. I don’t care if they cost $4500 or more. I want one!

4/3/2006

April Fool’s Date

Filed under: Bavarian Death Cake of Love,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Deep Thoughts,Dog and Pony Shows,Fun,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Personal,The Network Geek at Home — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Rooster which is in the early evening or 7:39 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

Surprise!
I’m sure many of you are fully expecting me to say that my alleged date on Saturday was, in fact, a very elaborate April Fool’s Day joke. It was not. It was, in fact, not only quite real, but quite good.
Saturday afternoon, I got a haircut and the $100 detailing done on the car, which took longer than I’d thought it would, so I just barely had time to scoot home, wash up and change before going to church. I opted for a high level of casual in relaxed-fit Gap khakis with a white DKNY, long-sleeved shirt, lightly starched. After some debate and a check with Matt for spiritual guidance on my choice of shoes, I opted for black cowboy boots instead of the Cole Haans. My date is an inch, or so, taller than I am, so I figured the extra height couldn’t hurt. I cleansed my car of all heavy metal and replaced it with Sting, Bonnie Rait and some other mellow favorites. No Sade or Nina Simone, though, per the helpful suggestions or my gentle readers.
So, at church everyone was asking about my plans. In fact, I had a veritable legion of folks who seemed to know what I was up to that night. Matt checked me over to make sure I’d done okay, as did J.’s new girl L. The general consensus of opinion was a thumbs-up. I have no idea what went on during the service because, honestly, I was beside myself with nerves. First date in over ten years makes a guy a little nervous, you know?
So, with Sting’s Brand New Day in the CD player, I raced over to her place as soon as church was over. She lives over by Minute Maid Park, so there was a bit of traffic, due to the Astro’s exhibition game, but it wasn’t too bad. What was bad, however, were the directions that I got via Yahoo!Maps. They were fine right up to that one, illegal, left-turn onto Franklin. Thankfully, I’ve driven all over Chicago during construction season, so circling wide and around to get where I actually wanted to be was not a big stretch for me. Also, I called her to get pointed back in the right direction. I parked in a loading dock at her building, per her instructions, and met her out front as she was walking her dogs. The first thing that caught my attention was how blonde she was. I spotted that two blocks away. The other thing was how tall five-foot eleven was when you got up close. Yeah, she’s an inch taller than I am,when I stand up straight. Still, she was at least as good looking in person as she was in her pictures, so, all was well. (She said more or less the same about me, later, so, don’t think I was the only one worried about that!)
We took her dogs up to her apartment and I got the nickel tour. She runs her business out of her home, so she had an industrial oven, a bunch of baking racks, and assorted high-end cooking gear all over. Naturally, she had an enormous kitchen. She actually lives in a loft in a building that, except for the nice, wide halls, reminded me of places I’d been in Chicago. In fact, that was one of the reasons she like this building, because she used to live in Chicago and it sort of reminded her of there. So, yes, she lived in Chicago for nine years, working in catering, mainly, and she knew the edges of my old stomping grounds. In fact, she said that would be the only part of the country that she’d consider moving to again. Oh, did I mention that she took me by surprise with a kiss when I met her?
Anyway, after that it was off to La Vista, a little Italian place that she knew. It’s quaint and used to have a strictly BYOB policy, and they maintain that even though you can get wine there now. Apparently, it was run by a friend of hers from high school and was more wildly successful than he’d ever imagined it being. Who knew? But, here is where it got interesting. At this restaurant I noticed the difference between this one and everyone I’ve ever gone out with before. We ordered our dinners and I ordered a glass of iced tea. Well, our salads came, but my tea didn’t. I was willing to quietly ignore that, as long as it didn’t end up on the bill, but she caught our waiter and told him to get it for me. Honest to God, no one has ever been that attentive to me before, ever, much less on a first date. I thanked her, of course, then told her that I’d been willing to let it slide. And how thoughtful it was of her to catch that for me. Dinner was, of course, wonderful. Sadly, if we’d had dessert we’d be too late to catch a movie, so we skipped that and were off to the giant Edwards MarqE to catch a late show.
We got tickets to the 10:30PM showing of Ice Age: Meltdown, but we were cutting it close. The lines were too long at the candy stand, so, while she ran into the ladies room, I hit the quarter vending machines to feed her self-confessed sweet tooth. Generic Sweet Tarts and plain M&Ms for a buck’s not a bad deal at the theater, so I carefully filled my hand and waited for her by the door to the ladies room, feeling rather like a pervert. She came out and saw what I had in my hand and started giggling like a little girl. She grabbed my free hand and gobbled a couple of the candies while dragging me into the theater. She hesitantly lets me choose where to sit in the darkened movie house and I quickly point to two seats in the middle of the row in front of the main aisle. When she sighed with relief and called me a man after her own heart, I knew I’d done good. She hates climbing up to the higher reaches of seats as much as I do. Cool. I automatically lifted the middle arm between the two seats, because, well, just because. That, too, met with her instant approval. We dropped into our seats just as the last preview was ending and the main feature was starting. Perfect timing!
I won’t review the movie, but Ice Age Meltdown was hilarious. We laughed the whole way through. Great first date movie.
After that, it was back to her place for some mellow music, more talking and, well, stuff. It was at this point in the evening that I found out she was a published poet and a very accomplished photographer. Her black and white photos of Paris looked like they could have been hung in a gallery. I also got to know her geriatric basset hound and her two miniature Dachshunds. When I finally left, she sent me out into the world laden with her gourmet dog biscuits as a peace offering to my own dog. Also, she figured a bribe might get me back into the house.

She’s braving my house for pizza and a movie Tuesday night before heading out of town for a trade show. Next week, the Saturday before Easter, she’s going to come to Mercy Street with me. Apparently, she wants to meet the man who gave me spiritual advice about my shoes.
In short, I think I’ve got a winner. Now, if I can just get used to being fawned over for a change, and learn to take her compliments without a skeptical side-long glance, everything will work out just fine.

3/17/2005

Hmmm, let’s check the logs….

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Deep Thoughts,Fun,Fun Work,Geek Work,Life, the Universe, and Everything,News and Current Events,Personal,The Network Geek at Home — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:01 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a First Quarter Moon

Well, it seems I’ve “upset” someone.
Apparently, an un-named someone at IP 68.106.38.39 is a little upset with me. Said person changed a couple of e-mail addresses and passwords last night. That same person seems to reside at hostname ip68-106-38-39.ph.ph.cox.net. Interestingly enough, this is the same IP address and hostname that changed the Yahoo account of another person who used to live in this house recently. Coincidence or pattern? Remember what I was writing about this very thing earlier in the week? Well, apparently, our would be malcontent doesn’t read very well, because they’ve left a very traceable trail. Does anyone know what areas are covered by Cox Cable? How many Western states do they handle? Ah, yes, logs are a wonderful thing.
Now, the question is, does it merit such things as, say, prosecution? I believe that said person, or persons, are now in violation of several laws. Having restricted my access to accounts at which I should be able to expect a reasonable amount of security and/or privacy. I don’t have the statutes in front of me, but, the last time I checked that was illegal. Now, I’ll get it straightened out, eventually, but that’s not the point. The point is, after being accused of hacking and breaking the law myself, someone has gone and done what I’ve been accused of doing. Ironic, isn’t it?
But, at least I have the joy of knowing that I’ve upset someone’s apple cart. It makes all the hassle of changing a couple of passwords back worth while. Suddenly, no matter what the weather is here in Houston, it’s a bright, sunny day for me! Have a fantabulous day!


Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"Everyone deserves to be happy, but not if that happiness is dependent on imprisoning or enslaving another human being."
   --Unintentionally ironic comment left on a blog

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1/22/2005

Free Porn Alternatives!

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Fun Work,Geek Work,Life, the Universe, and Everything,News and Current Events,The Network Geek at Home — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Snake which is mid-morning or 10:16 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

Okay, so it occurred to me that there had to be a better way.
Yeah, sure, I could talk about the evils of free porn until I’m blue in the face. I could even rant about how terrible it is to manipulate searchengines. Instead, I’m going to try and do it. Again.
Yes, again. I did it once back in 2000/2001 to get my site ranked so highly on Google for the search terms “CNE resume” that it was the number one hit. I did all sorts of crazy things, not the least of which was start this blog, incidentally. One thing I did was look at both the Google Zeitgeist and the Yahoo Buzz Index and try to use those terms in my site. So, for instance, according to Google’s Zeitgeist, I should talk about: how I felt about the Golden Globes and who won; the fact that Monday was Martin Luther King Jr. Day; what Teri Hatcher was wearing at the Golden Globes; who Teri Polo is and what she wore at the Golden Globes; what NASA has thrown into space lately; what “naughtiness” Prince Harry has been up to over in the UK; detailed specs on the iPod Shuffle; the super-model antics of Naomi Campbell; the fact that Mariska Hargitay also won a Golden Globe; and how the movie “Elektra” was doing in the box office. As you can see, that first hit, the Golden Globe Awards, was a really popular one, since it was repeated in, or was effected by, several later searches.
Last week, I should have been talking about: Amber Frey, the adulterous whore who was banging Scott Peterson; the terrible damage done by the tsunami in India; how terrible it is that Ashlee Simpson was caught lip-synching; Delta Airlines for some reason; the Weather Channel coverage of that tsunami in India; Heidi Klum, because it’s always a good time to talk about Ms. Klum (and she got married to Seal); NFL player Randy Moss, presumably because he sprained his ankle; the Orange Bowl, because it’s still football season; the fact that Brad Pitt is single again; and all the cool concept cars at the Detroit Auto Show. Crazy stuff, right?

Well, according to Yahoo Buzz Index, I should have talked about some very different things this week. If I wanted to get Yahoo hits, I should have talked about: OJ Simpson’s daughter, Sydney Simpson, getting arrested; Playboy Playmate Alicia Rickter, for obvious, pornographic reasons; those nuts over at Jibjab, who made another hit animation; Enter Location, because, uh, people were travelling a lot?; actress Elisabeth Harnois, possibly for the Golden Globes again?; O.J. Simpson, because his daughter got arrested, of course; the fact that Julian Ozanne got married to Gillian Anderson and no one knows who he is, but everyone knows her from the X-files; anything and everything about actress Lucy Liu, just because, she’s Lucy Liu; the Tennesse-based music and arts festival, Bonnaroo; “How We Do” almost anything, from the sound of it; eating “Breakfast and Brunch”? Or is that more travelling stuff?; how cheap Costco Wholesale pricing is; soap-opera star Annie Parisse, most likely because she moved on to something better; the fact that Japan had another big earthquake; and Jimjab.com, which is most likely a mistake for “jibjab.com”.

Wow, those are totally different things, aren’t they? Are people who use those two different searchengines that different? Have I been losing out by optimizing for Google?
Oh, I don’t know, but I think I’m going to go have a bit of a lay-down. This whole experience has been exhausting.
(And, yes, I’ve posted this same thing on my other blog, the Fantasist’s Scroll, for the same reason as the last post.)


Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"My obligation is to do the right thing. The rest is in God's hands."
   --Martin Luther King

9/29/2003

National No-Call List Down for the Count

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,News and Current Events,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:51 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

Your privacy has taken another hit!

According to this article on Wired News and this article on Yahoo News, a Federal court in Oklahoma has declared the National No-Call list illegal saying that the FTC overstepped their bounds in making such a list. However, as a reporter on MSN pointed out, this doesn’t have to be the end of it. Call your Congressman, and your Representative, and make it known that you want this to happen! They can make this No-Call list a reality, if you force them to take it seriously. Don’t give up! Don’t let those damn telemarketers win!!

8/6/2003

Linux, and Novell, In The News

Filed under: Certification,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 7:00 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

Novell buys Ximian!

There were two press releases yesterday about this. One on Yahoo!News and one on Novell’s Website. Now, you may ask, why is this cool? Because, along with Novell’s other products, this could produce a Microsoft free environment. Okay, just savor that thought for a moment. “Microsoft free”. Aaah…
It’ll be interesting to see how that effects Novell’s stock price.

Also in the news, this time on Australia IT, is a story about how RedHat is sueing SCO. It looks like a preemptive strike, but who knows what it really all means. SCO has really muddied the waters around Linux and, it seems to me, is cutting of their nose to spite their face. Well, only time will tell how this one will play out!

A great news week for Novell and Linux. (Man, I got to get my CNE updated!) Keep those peepers peeled for more info!

7/2/2003

It’s a Gas!

Filed under: Geek Work,News and Current Events — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning or 7:22 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

No, actually, I guess it’s methanol.

Well, according to this news story on Yahoo, NEC has developed a methanol-powered laptop. No more recharging for me! Yahoo indeed!
Well, okay, you’ll have to keep refueling, but still… And, it’s supposed to last ten times longer than a normal battery, so, that’s cool, too.
Of course, I can see getting past the screeners at the airport now… “No, it’s not a bomb. It’s just a methanol-powered notebook. Trust me.” Well, I guess we’ll just have to see how that kind of thing works out… Technology sure is interesting!

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5/13/2003

Digital Ink a Reality?

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Fun,News and Current Events — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:52 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

Is such a thing possible?

Well, according to this article on Yahoo, it just might be! Imagine what it might mean to the future of publishing. Add in some wireless connectivity and you’ve really got something here. Textbooks that change based on which class a student is in when they’re opened. An entire university library available to students on campus, wirelessly. Books that can be downloaded from the ‘net directly to a reading device.
Then, of course, there is the interactivity aspect. The article talks about catalogs that can be used to place electronic orders. Add in the ability to automatically update inventory, price and availability and you’ve really got something.
Of course, we’re a ways off from that, so it’s still science-fiction, but the possibilities are endless. In a fully networked world, devices like this might replace PCs alltogether. They would become the ultimate PDA. It could be the Next Big Thing. We’re always looking for that Next Big Thing to invest in or adopt. The concept of “digital ink” has been around for some time, but it looks like they’re finally getting somewhere with it. It sure will be interesting to see if they finally pull it off!

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