Cool stuff in general

Comodore Amiga is back

It almost makes my eyes wet just a little, it is now again possible to own a Commodore Amiga and a cool one even 😀 it’s specs are quite promising (Core i7 etc.), and if you are mostly nostalgic you can just buy the casing and fit it yourself 🙂

Well ok, trees don’t grow into heaven as we say here in Denmark as it is neither compatible nor driven by the original Kickstart / workbench “os” but still it has it’s own linux distro, and as I understand it you can download and install this free of charge on your own hardware (gotta try that, maybe they put in just a bit of nostalgia).

So for those of you who grew up with a Commodore Amiga here is your chance of revisiting this wonderful machine.

Long live Amiga.. 😉

Links;
http://www.commodoreusa.net/CUSA_AMIGAmini.aspx

Comodore OS;
http://www.commodoreusa.net/CUSA_OS_Vision.aspx

The Commodore AMIGA mini comes with:     

  • A massive 16 Gigs of fast DD3 memory.
  • Integrated nVidia Geforce GT 430 Graphics with 1 Gig of DD3 memory.
  • The ability to drive 3 monitors displays.
  • HDMI, 2-Dual DVI and DisplayPort output. (includes VGA adaptor)
  • 7.1 channel high definition sound.
  • 6 Gb/s SATA for incredibly fast HD reads.
  • 4 USB 3.0 and 4 USB 2.0 ports for exceptional external data access.
  • A slot loading Blu-ray drive that can also write DVDs.
  • 2 WiFi antennae for outstanding signal reception.
  • A 1 Tb Hard Disk to store video and personal data.
  • Optional 300 or 600 Gb SSD drive for lightning quick load times.

Grooveshark – one of those sites you just HAVE TO visit

My colleague Jesper mentioned a web-site to me a few days ago, and I must admit that this site has been on top of my favorite list for the last few days.

The site is www.grooveshark.com and it’s a free music service.

The cool things about this service are;

1. it’s free (always a good argument)

2. it has a TON of music in all sorts of versions (different artists, mixes and remixes) 5 mill + songs

3. the interface is just excellent, totally intuitive.  It lets you ‘browse’ the music library just like you do the web, you will be on a journey through music.

4. you can make playlists which you save online and possibly share with friends.

oh yeah, did I mention it’s free 😉 well it is, and it’s totally cool.

There only seem to be one or two drawbacks;

1. it is streaming only, so you can not download music and put it on your favorite mp3 player for road-duty.

2. legality, So, is this legal?  Well, to the best of my knowledge no, but hey I am no expert on international IT copyright law.  Anyhow the service has existed for some time, and it strikes me as strange that it has not been taken down by a ton of law suits if this was blatantly illegal, my guess would be that it’s in the same gray zone as Youtube etc.

Read more about the story of the site here

This is one of the coolest sites I have discovered for a LONG time…  It does by far beat the closest similar service I know of, something called TDC Play (a danish service that require subscription with a specific ISP).

Tailormade clothing

NORMAL_FITIf you live in Denmark then this link may be interesting. Have you ever been annoyed about the problems in finding shirts or polo shirts that really fit, either they are too small or baggy.

Anyway of cause you could always go to a tailor and have them fitted or custom made, however the price has always been ridiculous, till now;

http://www.tailorstore.dk/

Here you can “create” your own clothing by typing in your measurements and going through a wizard, and viola clothing that FIT you and even at a very fair price.  Very good and intuitive web-shop even.

Tnx to my Kidbrother Peter for the tip.

Better security while browsing

Now this is a blast, we all know Internet browsing these days has a certain level of danger in ie7it?  Many sites have (knowingly or by using a advertisment rotation system) had malware scripts on their pages, and thus after visiting a few web-sites you may be infected by god only know what.

One of the reasons is that users most often have Administrative rights attached to their account, this is often needed in order to do anything, however it would be nice if you could tighten certain programs so they had demoted rights.  Well you may recall me mentioning Sandbox IE?  This will do sort of that, however there is an even simpler and cheaper way to obtain basic security.

DropMyRights.exe is a small exe file you can use to launch other applications with (eg. Internet Explorer or Firefox), the neat thing is that DropMyRights make sure the launched program do NOT have admin rights but only basic userrights (you can even with parameters tighten this further although I do not reccomend this).

So its as simple as this;

  • Download DropMyRights.exe (alternate download site)
  • Place it in %windir%SYSTEM32
  • Create a shortcut on the desktop that launches DropMyRights.exe with “%programfiles%Internet Exploreriexplore.exe” as parameter.

Now when you launch this shortcut the Inetnet Explorer launched will NOT have Admin rights and is thus somewhat protected against malware. Note; this is no where near the sandboxie protection, but it will still add A LOT to the security – its especially useful for Kids and Grandparents (but even we regular users can benefit greatly from this).

Read more;
http://www.techsupportalert.com/safe-surfing.php#c
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms972827.aspx

The Easy way to get started;
Download the MSI Installer I created that installs DropMyRights.exe to your “%windir%system32” and creates a desktop shortcut.

Pros;
Added security with no overhead, easy to use and implement

Cons;
Requires the DropMyRights.exe file to be on your pc, Some websites require ActiveX components to be installed in order to work (eg. YouTube requires flash) however just install these once using the regular unprotected IE then the ActiveX component is installed and the site will likely run fine in protected mode.

PS.
Works not only for IE but for all applications including Firefox, your mail software, Instant Messenger etc etc.

Tests using Windows Vista was inconclusive (Under Vista I managed to install Google Toolbar even with the browser running under DropMyRights, a notepad started was however unable to save a txt document to c:windows – hence inconclusive) Windows XP however seem to work without glitches (from what I can tell).  If you have other experiences do tell..

2009 a SciFi feast for your eyes

Just yesterday heard about the new DivX7 which is interesting enough even though i am not much into that (I think I am using Xvid, but am not sure I just installed the Vista Codec Pack and that seem to cover my needs), however more interesting was the DivX7 showcase where they had HD trailers etc for new movies.

It looks like we sci-fi geeks are going to have a blast this year with;

startrekStar Trek 11 Even though it seem to be missing the real Star Trek heroes like Pickard and Data it may still be worth a look.  I am however still a bit pissed at Paramount for canceling Star Trek Enterprise, it was just getting good and I really enjoy the Star Trek universe, hail to Gene Roddenberry.

poster-salvation Terminator Salvation – The last Terminator movie was a bit of a disappointment in my opinion, but I am still likely to give this one a screening even so.

Norton UAC replacement

UAC

Many people are tired of the UAC (what is UAC) warnings that pop up ever so often in Windows Vista, every time administrator privileges are required you will be prompted if its ok..  Safer than XP, yes for sure, but also annoying – why can’t it learn like the firewall that only prompts once..  I thought about turning UAC off (which is fairly easy) but again I like the added security.

Well Norton to the rescue, Norton is developing a UAC replacement (free for now) that actually will give you the option to answer “Always allow” to those UAC questions, and if you have a shortcut you launch often its annoying like hell to have to approve it EVERY time – but Norton allegedly solves this by letting you “Always allow” and hence only considder the threat once.  Neat..

More info and free download at;
http://www.nortonlabs.com/inthelab/uac.php

The omnibus experience – Hilarious

If you are at all interested in IT-Security then YOU NEED to get a load of this, Paul Craig’s omnibus experience (a podcast from Kiwicon) brought to you by Patrick Gray http://www.it-radio.com.au/, its awesome and extremely funny.

Paul Craig is a security consultant whom in his Omnibus experience explain how he created 1) A kiosk attack tool 2) Hacked a botnet (and got a lot of interesting and funny information) 3) Wrote his own WMI trojan (yes he actually utilized WMI for this one – scary – PLUS it will verbally insult you, you really MUST hear the podcast its so funny).

Makes you think, hmm WMI very usefull but maybe a bit overlooked in regard to security.

Links;
http://itradio.com.au/security/?p=98
http://ha.cked.net/projects.html

http://www.mls.id.au/

Netlydbog.dk (Danish Audiobooks)

A Danish interest post..

www.netlydbog.dk is a cool new initiative by Danish libraries, it offer the opportunity to download from a central database of Danish audiobooks, the download is limited to be playable for 30 days (via MS DRM) – but you can ‘renew’ your license at any time.

PLUS; Free, collection is growing (not fast, but its up to 250-300 books by now)

MINUS; no Ipods (solution uses WMA with DRM), but use Tunebite (thanks to Jesper for the tip) http://tunebite.com/en/remove_drm/index.html to strip the DRM and you are back in business. A somewhat limited collection, but that will change.

Cool initiative, a must see for all Danes.