We’ll tackle the news first – CyberSpy (don’t worry the link is dead) was ordered by the Federal Trade Commission so cease and desist the selling of its product, RemoteSpy. What’s RemoteSpy? RemoteSpy is a keylogger, which isn’t completely nasty (more on this argument after the jump) in and of itself, however; RemoteSpy could be disguised as something else and installed without the ‘targets’ real consent – thusly allowing someone to remotely monitor everything done on that machine (from credit card transactions, to banking info, to chat logs, to emails, to… well, everything) without you noticing a thing.
I watched one of the most amazing videos I’ve seen in a while – It’s of a “multitouch-like hand gesture interface” that uses only a standard webcam. I could describe it for you, but really, you need to see it for yourself . I can only imagine how this will affect even just the design aspect of computing, among many others. Amazing, even for being in early development.
Watch the video here!
Stick around after the jump to hear about a new Nvidia Quadro graphics card with 4gigs of ram and how vmware is wanting to bring virtualization to your cell phone.
Pretend you’ve got 5 identical windows 2003 servers (or any server for that matter – cent os, windows 2003, 2008, and mac os even!) to setup in one work shift. Why break your back trying to install them one at a time on top of doing all the updates? You can just do one base install and ‘ghost’ the drive. “That’s expensive”, you might proclaim! Not so – in fact, I’ll let you in on a little secret – Gparted. Why spend $700 on cloning software when you can just do the same job for free? Yeah, free! Free as the air you’re breathing right now (unless you’re in space, reading from the ocean, or maybe reading from Mt. Everest).
Computer World is reporting that some of the new features for Windows 7 were leaked on the Microsoft site (which since, they did it, wouldn’t it be an announcement and not a leak?) today. Like Vista, Windows 7 will come in a few varying flavors from home, Enterprise, to ultimate. The encryption tool, BitLocker, will make another appearance in windows 7 as well. One new feature (not a bug!) will be Driver Protection. Driver Protection will more or less block ‘unstable’ drivers from coming through windows update – something that’s rather plagued vista (where’d my CD BURNER go?!). Details regarding Alpha testing for the OS are expected to be announced later today.
Everyone has received an inebriated email from an ex-lover or co-worker (or anyone you know, for that matter!). You know the type of email; too much information, confession-booth ‘I still love you’, and just plain not-thought-out ‘wow you’re drunk’ type of emails. Maybe you’ve even sent some of these emails yourself? Well the good people at google labs have taken steps to help stop the scourge of ‘drunk emailing’. Once you install the Mail Goggles you can set a time frame for activation (the default is Friday and Saturday 10PM – 4AM) and once activated, Mail Goggles will make you solve five math problems in a short period of time in order to send a message. The thought is, if you’re clear of mind enough to do math, you’re clear of mind enough to send an email without regret. So sorry, Laquanda, no more drunk emails from this admin about our tenth-grade missed connection. Now if only Google can make something similar for Android, maybe we could quell those ‘drunk-dials’ too.
Maybe this will save you some headaches – if you’re tailing your cron log (tail -f /var/log/cron) and find a bunch of “account expired” records and you know that specific account is not expired, this might help. Try suspending and unsuspending the account. Still no go? This is a rare and very odd issue we ran into, but you may want to check (especially if you’re receiving these errors after repartitioning hard drive space) the crond file itself in /etc/pam.d. In this case it was blanked-out after repartitioning some drive space. If it is blanked out, it will revert to /etc/pam.d/other – which be default, in most cases, is deny. A quick and easy fix is to copy the entires in SSHD – save and restart crond.
I couldn’t really pin-point one subject for my blog entry, so I’ll cover a few things that I found interesting!
Computer World is reporting that the new “I’m a PC” ad campaign for Microsoft was actually created on a Mac. Some of the source files are tagged with “Adobe Photoshop CS3 Macintosh” in the picture properties. Granted, not all of them were tagged like this, however; when trying to clean up the already poor reputation of Vista™ you could at least… you know, use the operating system you’re trying to save.
Asus, as reported by Ars Technica, had a bit of a blunder recently. It seems they released restore DVDs that also included a cracking tool for winRAR, confidential Microsoft documents for PC Manufacturers, and Asus source code. Asus will be tracking this issue down and dealing with it but expect to see lawsuits from RARlab.
And finally, for the conspiracy theory buff in us all left wondering how we’re still alive, the Large Hadron Collider has been taken offline until spring of 2009 due to a liquid helium leak. Rest easy knowing that you’ve got a few more months until we’re all sucked into oblivion! I am, of course, kidding… but there’s a 1:1,000,000,000 chance* that I’m not.
*figures not accurate.
NetworkWorld has a slide-show of 15 new technologies from DEMOfall 08. Showcased are everything from services dedicated to finding ‘spin’ in news stories, to new money management, to finding musicians for project collaboration, to RFID tags for home use, to streaming media from your house to your cellphone! Don’t worry, IT gang, there’s new ways to spy on you, new ways to monitor servers/tickets/inventory (like we need anymore of that – there’s enough open-source options to fill a colo), to a PCIe card that uses flash memory for a SAN. It’s worth the few minutes to check out. The one thing that’s strangely absent from the list is a new product to take a slide-show and put it into a normal html based page.
I’ve been testing Google’s new browser, chrome, for quite a bit today (download it here). So far so good. The interface is simple and smooth while the settings are a breeze and easy to understand. It’s still in beta, but I did have a nice little chuckle when I couldn’t even install google’s own toolbar. Then again it’s not really nessisary as you can just type your search into the address bar. The majority of the firefox/ie keyboard shortcuts are the exact same, so switching over isn’t a hassle. You can also import your settings and bookmarks, although I opted not to do so for now. Since it’s an open source project, many of your favorite firefox and internet explorer plugins will probably be made availible in due time. I’ve noticed a bit of annoying lag when viewing/interacting with a rather heavy-handed flash based sites, but I’m sure that will smooth out with updates. All-in-all I’d say it’s worth a look-see; however, I don’t see if flat out replacing my highly tuned firefox setup just yet. Oh, yeah, and you must have a windows operating system to try it out.
It seems that Intel and Yahoo are teaming up to create a new version of the failed WebTV. An article on bbc describes it pretty well. The main difference here is this new chip from intel, designed specifically for web-connected devices, will allow you to use widgets (if you have an igoogle account, you’re probably quite familiar with widgets) and still view television as normal – something WebTV could not do. I could see this actually catching on, depending on initial price, etc. How many people do you know who watch television with their lap-top on the coffee table? I can think of five off the top of my head. One thing that is not mentioned, is if the ability to harness the internet outside of the widget capability will be included. The picture-in-picture functionality could be quite fun; one screen playing the new season of Heroes, while the other is posting “OMG did you see that” in the fan-boy forums. It could just be what WebTV was trying to do.