16 Jul 2013

Can you trust a copy cloud?

Author: will | Filed under: cloud computing, Links, privacy, security, technology

Given recent headlines, I'm not sure that I can trust +Copy . But I'm going to use them for a while.
Copy are, yet another online cloud based file storage service, like +Dropbox and Microsoft's Skydrive. Or rather they are yet another American on-line file storage company. You get 15GB if you sign up and if you use a referal link like https://copy.com?r=F2qATm you (and me) get an additional 5GB of storage space.

The reason's for not trusting? Its hard to say. I mean +Barracuda Networks , the parent of Copy.com make the open source Clam Antivirus product. But back doors were recently discovered in their VPN product. Then again a lot of big multinationals trust them for their backups.

The other thing is that its yet another American storage database for perusal by certain three lettered groups.

Then again, it is 5GB, and it is a reason for me to start playing with encryption.

Trust is a tricky thing, it takes years to build, and its destroyed within a single second. And once doubt exists, its hard to accept. Still I must look in EU and Scandinavian based solutions like Norway's JottaCloud. They are outside the jurisdiction of a lot of folks.

You just need to trust all the steps to the cloud first. Or pre-encrypt. The search of security is not over yet…

This is a Loose Bloggers Consortium post on the theme of “It’s not over yet”, but it may as well be on “Trust”.
To find out that the others in the consortium think, check out, …
Delirious, Maria/Gaelikaa, Maria SilverFox OCD writer, Padmum, Paul, Ramana, The Old Fossil, Grannymar.

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Sign up for Copy and get 20 GB free!

11 Dec 2012

Stars in the sky

Author: will | Filed under: Links, music, podcast, science

Patrick Moore wasn’t just a man, but an institution. For a few generations in the UK an Ireland, if you was “astronomer” its his face and voice that come to mind.

Odd, eccentric, passionate about science and extremely fun to listen to. He quite simply made science interesting. Being an amateur might have helped. All his doctorates were honorary, but deserved.

Sir Patrick Alfred Caldwell-Moore, CBE, FRS, FRAS died on the December 9 2012.

Thanks to the RTÉ documentary on One podcast, I heard the music he wrote for the first time. And its a great insight in to the man. RTÉ have a habit of removing their podcasts after two weeks, so results will vary.

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DocArchive: Stargazers
Patrick Moore boasted to friends that he was the only man to interview Orville Wright, Neil Armstrong and Yuri Gagarin but to his fans he was much more than a broadcaster. (Broadcast 2001)

20 Nov 2012

Two cups of coffee sitting on the wall

Author: will | Filed under: blogger, charity, LBC, Links

Its a simple idea, but in Ireland I think it would need to be adapted slightly, simply by putting a closing time on the wall.
What am I talking about well…

Giving is sometimes easy, but you can make it easier. Say you set up a café where you can buy a cup of coffee. Usually you can buy a cup for yourself, but to give back you can buy a cup "for the wall". The wall gets, essentially an IOU. Where the U can claim a cup of coffee later on. Which means someone down on their luck can come in, and order a cup from the wall.

Would you donate an actual cup of coffee?

I am a terrible blogger. Not just content, but frequency. In an effort to combat this I joined with the loosely affiliated "Loose Bloggers Consortium" with the plan of using the blogging deadline to force me to blog more. It hasn't exactly worked. One of the members is Padmum in India. She brought this story from Italy to my attention on the subject of "Pleasure". She is also an excellent blogger, and its an excellent idea.

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Pleasure: Two stories
Cup of Coffee on the Wall
From the Internet
I sat with my friend in a well-known coffee shop in a neighboring town of Venice, the city of lights and water. As we enjoyed our coffee, a man entered and sat on an empty table beside us. He called the waiter and placed his order saying, ‘Two cups of coffee, one of them there on the wall.’ We heard this order with rather interest and observed that he was served with one cup of coffee but he paid for tw…

9 Oct 2012

Gold crap

Author: will | Filed under: best invention, change, Links, resource

Technically its alchemy. Michigan State University researchers have discovered a metal-tolerant bacteria, Cupriavidus metallidurans, that can survive and grow on high concentrations of gold chloride, a toxic chemical compound found in nature.

The Gold bit is important, the Chloride is highly toxic.

However it eats the chloride parts, and leaves behind the non-nutritious parts, you know, the gold. Unlike previous experiments you end up with nuggets and not nano-particles.

It looks like the bacteria is not that easy to produce in industrial quantities, yet, and where would you get the source materials. Having said that I suspect its safer than the traditional processing method of using potassium bromide (which as well as gold leaves potassium auric bromide and potassium chloride).
Also if the bacteria does escape, what can it eat? People?

Oh, turning people in to gold (and a little pulp). How very Midas. Or James Bond villain.

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Superman-strength bacteria produces gold
At a time when the value of gold has reached an all-time high, MSU researchers have discovered a bacterium’s ability to withstand incredible amounts of toxicity is key to creating 24-karat gold.

Malware is a useful catch all term, but sometimes things are nastier than viruses and auto-deleting thingamajigs.

For example; Ransomware put simply it is a nasty program which put itself on your machine and refuses you access to it unless you pay someone.

There is a version doing the rounds in Ireland purporting to be from An Garda Síochána (The Irish Police force) saying simply pay up since we found naughty files on your computer.
The give-away is that its in both Gaeilge and English, or rather badly translated versions of both. Like it or lump it, but since, legally at least, all Irish laws are written in Gaeilge and translated in to English then the Gaeilge should be correct. In practice however the laws are written in English first, translated in to Irish and sometimes translated back to make sure the meaning hasn't changed.

So its a fake. That and the fact that the Irish Authorities prefer to prosecute after a forensics team have paid a visit to your hard drive (for the moment).

Its also fairly easy to remove this version, there are nastier ones which encrypt on the go (so go and back-up your datas now).

The steps are taken from Jimmy Collins' blog (link below) who I used to work with in a computer security company that I'm not going to mention in case it gets both of us in trouble.

"The infection itself is quite simple to remove. After booting into safe mode and checking the usual places like the Windows folder I came across a suspiciously name folder in ‘C:ProgramData’. It was a randomly named folder with a name like ‘ajklvnksnvsdfvfv’.
Inside, a 158mb HTML page, and all the necessary images, and CSS files etc. There was also an .exe in the root of the ‘C:ProgramData’ folder, the name of which I can’t remember, but it was name similarly to the folder with the HTML file, images etc. (I didn’t have a USB key handy regretfully).
Deleting these files and folders removes the infection, so it doesn’t seem too complex in the methods it employs to evade detection."

Still it would give you quite a shock to be suddenly presented with this. Automatic shutdowns rarely have an appeals process which works in a reasonable time.

Play safe out there…

This is a Loose Bloggers Consortium post on the theme of “Panic”.
To find out that the others in the consortium think, check out, …
Delirious, Maria/Gaelikaa, Maria SilverFox OCD writer, Padmum, Paul, Ramana, The Old Fossil, Grannymar.

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Beware – Ransomware
So this evening I was sitting at home when I get a panicked call from a friend in some distress. When he eventually explained what he was seeing on his computer screen at that moment, I immediately suspected a Ransomeware infection.
Ransomware, for those who have been living on the third moon of Jupiter for the last few years, is a type of malicious software that basically holds your PC for ransom. The user is prompted to pay a fee to ‘free’ thei…

Do you blog? Do you have an RSS reader set-up to read blogs?

If so, what happens on October 20? Will you be posting to nothing?
Will your feeds dry up as feedburner is no longer passing the message through?

I honestly don't know which of my many blogs and podcasts are delivered through feedburner. I might have noticed at the time, then promptly forgotten about it.

I'm not looking to have to trawl through my feed collection to see if their owner has moved from Feedburner to their own feed (like me) or to a rival.

Or to nothing.

You see, if a blog goes silent, its going to take me a while to notice. Unless the person or company post a few times a day, their absence is going to take a little while to be noticed.

You only notice a noisy person going quite because its unusual for them. You don't notice a quiet person staying quite.

Who will I read on the 21st?

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Prepare for goodbye Feedburner in October 2012
Did you know that Google intends to shut down access to Feedburner’s APIs on October 20? A banner note on the Google Developers Feedburner API page makes that intent clear:
Important: The Google Feedburner APIs have been officially deprecated as of May 26, 2011 will be shut down on October 20, 2012.
It is the case that Google signalled a limited future for Feedburner with its deprecation post in May last year:
[…] Following the standard depreca…

4 Sep 2012

Viewing underground

Author: will | Filed under: Dublin, Links, photo

The River Poddle was covered up a long time ago. The fact that the rive runs under the Olympia Theatre and under Dublin Castle gives you an idea of the tunnel's age.

The wide streets of Cork are actually covered over rivers… Are there any photographs of this aspect of Hidden Cork?

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River Poddle underneath the city of Dublin's streets
Pictures of Dublin's River Poddle underground, making its way underneath Temple Bar in culverts built during the medieval period; these exclusive pictures were taken by an insider.

30 Aug 2012

Build Batman

Author: will | Filed under: Links

Well the batmobile at least. Does this model have the turn-signal harpoons?

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Blueprints for a 1989 model Batmobile.

Blueprints for a 1989 model Batmobile.