Nothing new here, just a quick way to block google ads via a simple addition to your hostfile – Not that I am against Google ads (I use them myself on this blog), but sometimes they are put in annoying places and besides I respect that some people just don’t like advertising.

Here’s how to;

Fire up your Notepad (if you are running Vista,7 you MUST launch in administrator mode – rightclick notepad and select “run as administrator”), open the file “hosts” found here; c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc.

Now add these two lines to the bottom of the hosts file (there should be a tab between the numbers and text);

127.0.0.1 pagead.googlesyndication.com
127.0.0.1 pagead2.googlesyndication.com

save and your done, no more google ads.

You better stop using your girlfriends or the dogs name as password for your WPA key on your access point, German computer sciencetist Thomas Roth  has made a proof of concept on using Amazon’s EC2 cloud service for cracking WPA keys.  By using Amazon’s EC2 service the brute forcing of simpler keys are now within reach for anyone.

Read more here;
http://stacksmashing.net/2010/11/15/cracking-in-the-cloud-amazons-new-ec2-gpu-instances/

http://stacksmashing.net/

I heard of this service on a pod-cast, the judgment was not overly enthusiastic due to the pricing but from what I could understand the service does what it promises to do.

So the ONE thing that it does seem very useful for is the “one time credit card” option, basically what this does is to create a temporary creditcard number that you can then use for your online purchase, once this transaction is done the creditcard number is revoked.  This is great if you need to order something from a dodgy site that you do not fully trust, your own creditcard is never revealed to the site you are buying from and thus should they later try to charge you extra they are out of luck.  This service would from what I can tell cost you a fee of US$ 2 or 2½ per creditcard number (if you use the as-you-go plan), I think it’s an ok price for an online purchaece “insurance”.

http://www.shopshield.net

Looking for a neat spamfilter that is easy to manage and reasonable priced?

I suggest you take a look at http://www.mailroute.info, from what I can gather it is the same guys/technology that was behind the original “Microsoft Forefront Online Protection for Exchange” (yes long and stupid name :-)) just further developed.  Pricing seem fair and as we use “Microsoft Forefront Online Protection for Exchange” at work with very great success it is worth considering.

Do you often upload your photos to Facebook?  You may well know that although it is not overly complicated it is time consuming, well at least it used to be 🙂  here is a utility that will help you to quickly upload your photos to Facebook – ain’t the world a wonderful place 🙂

The utility offers to;
Create new categories
Re-size photos
Upload single or multiple photos

Read all about it here;
http://www.ghacks.net/2010/11/17/easy-photo-uploader-for-facebook/

Download it here;
http://www.brainfight.com/facebook/wall/index.php

You may recognize the domain;


from URL’s, it’s used by what is called URL shorteners – basically a simple/short link to a link.  Let’s say you wanted to call a friend on the phone and explain to him how to reach this website; http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/11/clue-kryptos/  now that would take time to explain over a voice line!?  Well along came URL shorteners(eg. Bit.ly, TinyURL, SnipURL and others) and allowed you to convert the link to a short and friendly link and thus http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/11/clue-kryptos/ can become http://bit.ly/a0H0aD and when you enter this shorter link into your browser then it redirects to http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/11/clue-kryptos/ ….

Anyway this is all old news.

What is new is that Bit.ly now offers to bundle several links into one shortened URL!?
Thus;
http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/11/clue-kryptos/ 
http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/author/kimzetter/
http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/11/kryptos-web-site/
may all be embedded/bundled into just one link
eg.
http://bit.ly/dTW815

Now that is really cool 🙂

In these days Internet security is more important than ever, would it not be neat if you could run all your Internet traffic through a big filter to filter out all those nasty viruses, malware and privacy concerns!?   Well, if you happen to have an old PC lying around or as I have a server running MS-Hyper-V then you actually can fairly simple (and free)..

Ok, you may have heard about such solutions as; Smoothwall, monowall and others like them?  These are basically routers/firewalls, and could with a PC (and two nics) replace your broadband router, they contain complex firewall capabilities and maybe even VPN connect possibility.  All very cool and quite easy to setup and use..

Untangle go a step further than this, to the basic router capability is added firewall, vpn, antivirus scanning, privacy filter, ad filter, spam filter, captive page and much much more.  The best part is that most of this is free, you can download a bunch of apps and install these (this is point and click, so no linux knowledge is required).

So how does it work, is it a proxy or is it a gateway or what?  Well once installed you set the LAN nic IP as the default gateway and viola all traffic is now filtered against malware, virus, spam, privacy concerns and what not..

I setup my Untangle box as a Hyper-V machine on my Windows 2008R2 server, gave it 640mb ram and two cpu’s and a 120gb hard drive (of which it is now using aprox 6-7gb).

Once installed you configure everything via the web-interface (not on the box itself if you use Hyper-V, but on you own pc);

So a few notes on installing the app as a hyper-v virtual server;

  • Obvious disadvantages, you will never be able to install the Hyper-V additions into the Linux box, thus no mouse ever which leaves the user interface on the installed box useless.
  • I had to run the installation 4-5 times before I succeded, dont know why it failed but it was as if the installer just stalled during the installation, thus I suggest you take a snapshot once you manage to install the basic system (now you can always revert to here).

Ok, let me just give you the quick tour of installing the thing, it is not a complete guide
(so no screenshots and some obvious steps may be omitted, but if you know a bit of Hyper-v’ing it should not be too hard);

1. Download the Untangled install cd from; http://www.untangle.com/Downloads/Download-ISO

2. Create a new Hyper-V machine (I suggest 640mb ram, 2 cpu’s), replace the NIC with two legacy NIC’s (required to work), an IDE drive – I used a dynamic drive of 120gb but I think performance may be better if you set a static drive of perhaps 20gb, mount the downloaded ISO as the CD rom. Tweaks; you can stick to one legacy NIC if you do not plan to use the box as a firewall (eg. if you have a HW firewall in your ISP router etc), some things will not work with only one nic but most will.

3. Start the system and select the Text based installer (as you have no mouse in hyper-v), I seemed to have better luck with the advanced installer..  You should set static IP’s so decide on two IP’s before getting started.

4. Once the installation is complete switch to your browser and connect to the IP you set as the LAN side during install

5. Take a snapshot of your of your Hyper-V machine.

6. Now download the “open source pack”, on the left of the interface.

7. Configure the different modules, I suggest you disable/turn off the firewall, anti spam, PG, intrusion prevention features (unless you plan on using the device as your main router) as this will speed up performance.

8. Now set the LAN NIC IP as your default gateway on your pc (or on your DHCP server)

You can even set up a captive page, this will require people to have a password in order to access the Internet quite cool – sadly it does not support limiting bandwidth, download ratios etc. but well it’s still cool.

Don’t worry if your first or second install fails, as mentioned I had to do multiple installs before it succeeded, but now it runs fairly smooth.  I have experienced that the web-interface was unavailable (network still worked, but I could not reach the interface), but after a reboot everything was back online.

Read more here; www.untangle.com  –  http://wiki.untangle.com/index.php/Untangle_Server_User’s_Guide

Want to add video to your website?  Well take a look at Flowplayer, it is a free open source player that is very easy to implement.


http://flowplayer.org/demos/installation/index.html
http://flowplayer.org/documentation/installation/index.html

A new CMS system has entered the scene, SiteMagic CMS..  It exists in three versions; one free (with advertisements), one paid without advertisements (cheap) and one paid without advertisements and with mysql support (the two first are file based which is OK for smaller sites but likely not sufficient for large sites with heavy load).

Check it out at;

http://www.sitemagic.dk/Index.html