October 2010 - Posts

Mozilla Rainbow Plug-in brings Video and Audio Recording to your Browser
Friday, October 29, 2010 1:34 PM

Rainbow is a new plug-in from the Mozilla labs that provides audio and video recording right in your Firefox browser. The plug-in will record video in the open Ogg Theora video format and audio in the Ogg Vorbis audio. Rainbow will also feature the ability to upload the clips to a server automatically.

The plug-in is in pre-alpha state and only works on the Firefox 4 nightly builds for Mac. The plug-in will not work with previous versions of Firefox so you will have to have Firefox 4 to use it. Future features of the plug-in include capturing and streaming live video, adding support for WebM and VP8 video, and letting users install Rainbow without restarting Firefox.

Rainbow Plug-in
by willburns1 | with no comments
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Unfriend Finder - Shows who dumps you on Facebook
Friday, October 29, 2010 12:26 PM

There have been a couple of tools from around the internet that have come and gone that showed you the people who are unfriending you on Facebook, a feature Facebook refuses to implement. None of which, to my knowledge, integrated directly into Facebook. With a clever little browser extension for Firefox, chrome, safari, and opera called 'Unfriend Finder' you can keep track of people who are unfriending you so you can harass them about it. :) 

I'm sure you have experienced this before, you have 322 friends one day and the next you have only 321 friends. Who was that one person who unfriended you? You simply have too many friends and you can't figure it out. Most likely you won't miss them if you can't figure out who they are, but still it bothers you.

This is where the browser extension Unfriend Finder comes in. It adds an option to your menu bar on the home section that says 'Unfriends' it contains users who have unfriended you as well as Awaiting Friend Requests, message plane with messages from the developer, and a setting plane with option for the extension. The extension will only show you friends that unfriend you after you install the plug-in, so previous friends who have unfriended you will most likely remain a mystery. :( Sorry, but at least you will not have to wonder anymore about that one person who seems to have have second thought about being your friend.

Unfriend Finder


by willburns1 | 1 comment(s)
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Boonana Trojan Virus uses Java and is Cross-platform
Thursday, October 28, 2010 2:18 PM
There's a new cross-platform Trojan virus that has begun to spread through-out the internet today. The interesting thing about this little virus is that it can effect Macs as well as PCs. The virus is currently being called Boonana or more officially known as 'trojan.osx.boonana.a,' or 'OSX/Koobface.A' depending on who you ask. It's currently being tracked disguised as a video under the banner of 'Is this you in this video?', which I sure you are familiar with.

If you click the link a bit of Java code downloads the virus and attempts to install it. Of course if you are on a Mac you will be prompted to type in your password which you should never do unless you are not attempting to install an application yourself. The virus the runs in the back ground sending out back system information while trying to spread itself using the users email account.

For Mac users I have found a little app that will scan for the virus and remove it just encase you have been tricked into installing it. You can download the application here.


by willburns1 | with no comments
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Set Up a Home Surveillance using FaceTime and a Simple Applescript
Thursday, October 28, 2010 12:46 PM

There are several ways that you can setup home surveillance systems that can be accessed from a remote computer or a mobile phone. Since the release of the new Mac application FaceTime someone has come up with another cheap and easy way of accomplishing this using FaceTime.

Since FaceTime continues to run in the background even after the program is closed all you really need is an application that can accept the FaceTime call when you call it. With a simple AppleScript you can make this happen allowing to you access your computer's camera from your iPhone 4 or another Mac.

To make the AppleScript simply copy and paste the text below into the AppleScript editor, and save the script as an application. When you want FaceTime to Auto Answer simply launch the application, and when you no longer want FaceTime to auto answer just close it.   

 -- Facetime Auto Answer
-- Copyright ©2010 CornDog Computers
-- twitter: @CornDoggyRob

repeat
-- Check to see if Facetime is active
tell application "System Events" to set theCount to the count of (processes whose name is "Facetime")
if theCount = 0 then
do shell script "sleep 1"
else
tell application "FaceTime" to activate
do shell script "sleep 2"
tell application "FaceTime" to activate
tell application "System Events" to tell process "FaceTime"
if name of front window contains "with" then
do shell script "sleep 5"
else
tell application "System Events" to activate application "FaceTime"
keystroke return
do shell script "sleep 5"
-- Check to see if call is active
tell application "System Events" to tell process "FaceTime"
if name of front window contains "with" then
do shell script "sleep 5"
else
-- Quit Facetime if call is not active
tell application "FaceTime" to quit
do shell script "sleep 5"
end if
end tell
end if
end tell
end if
end repeat
end

by willburns1 | with no comments
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Appmakr - Make your own iPhone app with no coding required
Wednesday, October 27, 2010 2:40 PM

Appmakr is a webapp that allows you to make your own iPhone app with no coding required. The application is a WYSIWYG editor that makes making your own iPhone app as easy as it gets. The app is designed to work with URL feeds to fill your app with content. You can add RSS feeds as well as videos, photo galleries and play podcast right inside the app. You can also add feeds from popular sites such as Youtube, twitter, and flickr. Appmakr supports push notifications and ads so you can monetize your application if you would like.

Appmakr gives a lot of control over the appearance of your application. You can design the icon splash screen, app header, tab icon, and other aspects as well. If you don't want to create your own graphics Appmakr allows you to choose from a library of images and icons.

After you are done making your application you can actually submit it to the store for consideration. In order to do that you have to have a developers account which cost about $100 a year, which depending on why you are making the app is a good deal.

Appmakr Website 
by willburns1 | with no comments
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The Walking Dead - Looks Amazing and Premiers on Oct. 31!
Wednesday, October 27, 2010 12:51 PM

A new show on AMC called "The Walking Dead" is set to premier on October 31, and it looks amazing and is getting a lot of attention. The show is based on the comic book "The Walking Dead" written by Robert Kirkman. The show takes place in Atlanta following a man named Rick Grimes who wakes up from being unconscious for a period of time and finds himself in a zombie waste land. Rick sets out to find his family who is now missing. This is who Ricks epic quest begins and what forms the story line of The Walking Dead.

The show has a huge advantage having some very good people behind the scenes. Frank Darabont is the developer and director of the series, who also directed movies like the The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile. The series is being produced by Gale Anne Hurd how has had several successful movies including Aliens, The Terminator and The Abyss. So the series has a lot of experience behind it and is sure to impress.

The show and comic book are very closely tied and with the comic book which has been running for over 7 years now providing over 75 stories for the show to follow. The series will follow the plot line of the comic books with occasional divergences, which is understandable and will make for a great series. The story the series is going to tell is more about the people than it is about zombies and the walking dead. The series is going to explore the human condition from several perspectives all the while staying true to the comic book and zombie loving people around the world.

I personally can't wait for the series to premier. I have a feeling it's going to be like Lost set in Atlanta with zombies! The thought of that excites me and it's about time they made a great TV show with zombies in it.
by willburns1 | 1 comment(s)
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iPhone iOS 4.1 Bug Allows Lock Screen Bypass
Tuesday, October 26, 2010 2:10 PM


So it seems the new iOS version 4.1 has a little bug in it. With a little key combination from the emergency call menu you can bypass the lock screen all together. All you have to do is hit the emergency call button, press the # button 3 times,  then hit call and quickly hit the lock button at the top of the phone. You are then presented with the call screen where you can place a call to anyone in your address book. You in fact have to call someone to exit out of the screen because the home and the lock button don't work. You can't access anything other than the phones address book, because the home button doesn't work and you are locked out again after the phone call is over.

Apple has not commented on the bug as of yet, but I'm sure they will release an update at some point to fix the bug. It's really not that bad of a bug it does however expose your phone's address book and that to some people can be a really bad thing.


by willburns1 | with no comments
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FacePAD - Download Entire Facebook Albums with a Couple Clicks
Tuesday, October 26, 2010 1:33 PM

Facebook is a great place to share pictures with family and friends. People who have lost their images due to stolen laptops and hard drive crashes may find that Facebook is the only place their photos currently live. Downloading images from Facebook isn't easy. You have to navigate through all the images saving them one at a time.

With the FacePAD Firefox add-on you can download images from an entire album with only a couple of clicks. It saves all the images from a particular album and can do it in seconds depending on your connection speed. You can download images from photo albums associated with friends, groups, event pages. The plug-in can download albums in a matter of seconds making the whole process of downloading images from Facebook a snap.


by willburns1 | with no comments
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Firesheep - Hacking made easy and how to protect yourself
Tuesday, October 26, 2010 12:25 PM

The internet has been alive with talk about Firesheep a Firefox plug-in that allows you to capture session cookies from sites like Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, Dropbox, Flickr, tumblr, wordpress, Yahoo, Google, and more. The method has been around for a while, but there simply hasn't been a piece of software widely available and as easy to use, that can accomplish the task, with little to no knowledge of how it works.

Most websites will encrypt the login portion of the site, but once logged in sends the session cookies over in plane text. The session cookie is what tells the website you are logged in. So Firesheep simply takes the cookie and allows you to use the website as if you are logged in as the other user. Websites could protect themselves from this by simply encrypting everything sent on the site but many simply don't and this why the creator of Firesheep has released this software. It brings attention to the problem and forces websites to encrypt their data and protect their users.

For now there are several ways you can protect yourself. The easiest in my opinion is to use Hotspot shield. It's a little application that you install that basically connects you to a proxy server that encrypts all your data for you. The only down side to this application is that it places a small banner at the top of every page for advertisements, but hey it's free and it works. I tested it with Firesheep running and it does indeed prevent the cookie from being stolen.

Another simple solution is to use HTTPS everywhere extension for Firefox. The extension which only works for a couple sites forcing them to encrypt the data sent over the network and preventing applications like Firesheep from intercepting them. It works for popular sites such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter. So as far as those websites and a hand full of others are concerned you are covered. If you are the geeky type you can write your own rules which can allow the plugin to work for any HTTPS enabled site.

The more complete way of protecting yourself without ads is to simply use a SSH Proxy server to encrypt your data. Everything is sent to you from the proxy encrypted so nothing will be captured from programs like Firesheep. You can also use a VPN to encrypt your traffic with applications like Hamachi.

Another interesting plugin that popped up this morning was one called FireShepherd. It basically exploits a weakness of Firesheep by flooding it with nonsense cookies causing it to crash. This could of course be patched by the developer or users of the plugin, but the developer of FireShepherd has said he will continue to find ways of defending against this plugin.

Update October 29, 2010
I just wanted to make sure that my readers don't get the wrong impression. FireSheep is most definitely illegal to use in the US and the UK. If you use it on a public Wi-Fi it's the same as placing wiretap, which can only be done by the authorities and only with a warrant for information. So even though it's really easy and cool it's not a good idea to go around using it. Just thought I would reiterate that for you guys out there.

 


by willburns1 | 1 comment(s)
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Anonym - Small tool to browse the web anonymously
Monday, October 25, 2010 4:29 PM

Anonym is a simple little application that access a list of a 100 public proxy servers that you can connect to to surf the web anonymously. There are several reasons you might want to do this including hiding your IP address from websites and your location. 

Anonym is a simple little application simply select a public proxy using the arrow keys and hit the proxy button. To discover the latency and the country of origin just like the Latency or Country button to have it pulled up for you. The proxy is assigned to your Ethernet port by default but can be changed in the options menu. You can also change the proxy list adding your own or changing the addresses of the existing ones.

Anonym is a simple little application that makes placing and removing proxy servers on a network interface simple and easy.

Anonym Website and Download
by willburns1 | with no comments
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WinX DVD Ripper Platinum - Halloween Giveaway
Monday, October 25, 2010 3:03 PM

Owning a movie on DVD is great. The only downside is you can only watch it with the help of DVD player and TV. If you have a computer with a DVD ROM, which they all do now a days, then can watch it on your computer as well. However, there are several advantages of converting your DVD into a digital form. You can watch your movie on a range of portable devices like those from Apple and Microsoft. You can still of course watch them on your TV and Computer without the need for the disc. You also don't have to worry about scratching your disc causing you to repurchase the movie.

All you need to make this conversion is a program that can turn a DVD in to a movie file. Many of these kind of applications  are not free and can be expensive. The ones that are free usually don't work well , or can't rip the most recent DVD copyright protections. I have found a great DVD ripping application for Pc and Mac called WinX DVD Ripper Platinum, which the developer is giving away for free until Oct. 28.

WinX DVD Ripper has had it's framework completely rebuilt by Digiarty Software. The application has received a new user-interface based on user feedback and has been updated to be compatible with the new iPhone 4 and iOS 4. This software, which works very according to my testing, allows you to insert a DVD, select a video format of your choice and have it converted in a short amount of time. Once it's converted to can add it to iTunes or your device of your choice.

WinX DVD Ripper is free from Oct. 21 to Oct 28 only. So if you want your free copy simply go to their giveaway website and download the software. Copy the activation code, which is available above the download link, and paste it into the application to activate it.

WinX DVD Ripper Giveaway Site

by willburns1 | with no comments
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VLC comes to the iPhone and iPod Touch
Monday, October 25, 2010 1:35 PM


One of the many things that non-apple people complain about is limitations that iTunes puts on what kind of media you can play on your device. Particularly with video, it has to be in a specific format in order for your iPhone to be able to play it. This means if you have a video in a different format you first have it converted to the proper format for your Apple device. This of course takes time which can be annoying.

Now that VLC is available for not only the iPad but also the iPhone and iPod Touch you can play any video the popular PC and Mac VLC player can, which is pretty much any video type. VLC has become very popular video player for it's simple interface and it's ability to play just about any video codec under the sun.

To load videos into the application simply install it and plug your device into your computer. Open iTunes and select the "app" tab. Below the app organization screen you will see the file sharing app section. Simply select the VLC app and then use the file browser to find the videos you want on your phone and sync your device. It's that simple.

VLC on the App Store

 
by willburns1 | with no comments
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Will Apple sell iLife 11 Apps Individually?
Friday, October 22, 2010 1:19 PM

During the "Back to the Mac" news event Apple talked about the new Mac App Store, where people can go to discover new applications and benefit from one click downloading and installation of applications. The Mac App Store also gives you the ability to find and install updates for your applications automatically.

An interesting image was shown in the demo of the new App Store, which featured the new iLife 11 applications available for $15 each. Apple has never sold the iLife application individual before, and has not confirmed they are going to sell them individually. If the demo was a foreshadowing of what is to come it could be very exciting.

The iLife suite usually sells for $49, but many people might want just one or two of the applications and have no need for the others. This would allow users to just download and install the application they want and save some money. iLife comes with iPhoto, iMovie, GarageBand, iWeb, and iDVD, so purchasing them separately would of course cost more. I feel that many people would benefit from the sale of them individually.

VIA Gizmodo


by willburns1 | with no comments
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Print your Facebook Photos at Target
Friday, October 22, 2010 12:33 PM
As you may know Facebook has begun to roll out new photo features to Facebook allowing for larger images to be uploaded and viewed. Soon after that announcement Facebook announced that in a partnership with Kodak and Target, Target is going to be offer a Kodak kiosk that will print your Facebook photos directly from Facebook.

The kiosk will allow you to select individual photos or whole albums. You can print individual pictures as well as collages, books, calendars or greeting cards. The Kodak kiosks will be available at most of Target's 1,752 stores nationwide. We, however, don't know what the price point per print will be. I imagine it will be the same if not just a little more than a regular print. If they charged too much more people would simply download the images from Facebook and print them the old way. 

I think the Facebook printing kiosk is pretty good idea. I think it will come in handy for a lot of people. Still though, I wonder if it wouldn't be better to just select the photos on Facebook and then send them to the photo printer of your choice. That way you could simply swing by the store and pick them up. I'm sure something like that is in the works. 
by willburns1 | with no comments
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Netflix Considers US Instant Watch only Subscription
Friday, October 22, 2010 11:35 AM

According to the Netflix CEO Reed Hastings the success of the Instant Watch only service in Canada has Netflix considering offering it in the U.S. as well. It seems Netflix considered offering a instant only streaming service a year ago before, but thought that people would still want DVD and there wasn't a demand for it. It seems after the success in Canada the numbers have changed the CEO's  mind.

For those of you who have Netflix now would you downgrade into a instant watch only service for a couple of buck cheaper a month? I know I use the DVD's but I have to admit that I use the instant watch a whole lot more now that Netflix has been doing such a great job of adding new and better content. I think for me I would prefer to keep the couple of DVDs I get a time along with the streaming, but I know a lot of people that pretty much use Netflix just for the streaming.

 I feel there is a huge market for people who would be up for spending less than $10 a month for access to Netflix instant watch selection. We shall see what happens in the future, but I have a feeling Netflix is going to pull the trigger on this one.

 
by willburns1 | with no comments
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