So, this afternoon I ran into on of my biggest frustrations with the Taylor Network, the blocking the download of nearly all mp3s and other music files from the Internet. (As a side note, I think blocking P2P on campus makes sense just for the bandwidth issues, but not normal http traffic). I ran across this site. It looks pretty neat. How it works is you can try music, then if you like it you can buy it. I hadn’t heard of any of the artist before and wanted to take a listen, but no, I was denied, block, censored by Websense, Taylor’s filtering software. The music offered on the site is licensed under the Creative Commons License which, in my opinion, is much more like what copyright should be and how it was originally defined in the Constitution. The Creative Commons seems to be a much better, more balanced answer to copyright issues than suing teens and old ladies, perpetual copyright and DRM.
Archive for the 'Technology' Category
I’ve figured out how to fix the problem of using Firefox 1.0PR (Firefox .10, which is not the same as Firefox .1, Joanna) with Taylor’s proxy server. Apparently Firefox wants to use NTLM authentication for the proxy server. The is the type of authentication that lets you not type in your password for IE when you are logged on to the campus domain. It basically tries to authenticate your connection by using your windows log username/password. My theory is Firefox first tries to use your windows username/password for each connection, then when that fails, asks you for a username/password.
Anyway, enough techno-babble. To fix the problem:
-Type about:config in the address bar.
-Filter on ntlm
-Change network.automatic-ntlm-auth.allow-proxies to false by double clicking on it.
Now, you should no longer have a popup box for your username/password for every image and page in Firefox 1.0PR.
Google has a new service called Google SMS. You can send it queries, like words to define, zip and area codes to look up, business names and people over a text message to GOOGL and within a few seconds Google sends you a message back with the results of your query. Pretty neat, eh?
My eyes are fine but my drives are not. My CD-RW drive does not want to read/write some CD-Rs (mainly the spindle I just bought). The ‘belt’ in my DVD drive that opens and closes the tray is broken. I am trying to fix it. And the CD-ROM drive in my Linux box doesn’t want to boot CDs (which is a bad thing for all of you non techie people on in Internet land ). I guess this is an excuse to get that new DVD burner .
In this week’s Echo, there is a letter to the editor that I wrote about the greatness of Firefox. Here it is as it appeared in the Echo:
One of my greatest frustrations with some computer users is the idea that the Internet = the blue E icon on their desktop. Internet Explorer is just one program used to access Web pages. It is just a Web browser, not actually the Internet itself. The fact that this happens shows that Microsoft?s monopoly has adverse effects on users? choices and competition. That is not the main reason for my frustration. When people use Internet Explorer they are degrading their Internet experience and putting themselves in danger.
In today?s world of fast spreading viruses, spyware and privacy issues, computer security has become paramount. Internet Explorer allows Web sites to install viruses and spyware on a computer without the user knowing about it. There have been many well-known holes in Internet Explorer that have gone weeks or months before being fixed by Microsoft, if they are fixed at all. New bugs in Internet Explorer are being found all the time.
I am not the only one concerned about Internet Explorer?s weak security. In June, the US Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT) recommends that in light of the widespread virus attacks that target holes in Internet Explorer, users should consider an alternate Web browser. CERT is a part of the Department of Homeland Security that deals with Internet security in the United States.
So, what are these alternate Web browsers that CERT and others recommend? There are a few: Opera, Mozilla, Firefox and Safari (for Mac only). Firefox, of the four, is widely considered the best alternative to Internet Explorer.
Since Firefox is not part Windows, like Internet Explorer, holes or bugs in Firefox are less dangerous. When a hole is found in Firefox, a patch is released in hours or days. Firefox also does not run ActiveX programs.
Firefox has several features that make it more usable then Internet Explorer. One of these is tabbed browsing. This feature allows the user to open multiple pages in one window. For instance, when doing a Google search instead of opening several new windows to view the links Google returned, it is possible in Firefox to open a link in a new tab, by middle clicking the link. This feature helps keep the user?s desktop clutter free. Firefox also blocks annoying, unwanted popup ads.
There are a few things that Internet Explorer is good for, such as running Windows Update and checking Taylor mail, but for everyday surfing in the wilds of the Internet, Firefox wins out. For its speed, security and user-friendly interface, Firefox is quickly gaining support. According to the W3C (an Internet standards organization), Firefox/Mozilla is now used by 14.9% of Internet users.
Convinced? Want more information about alternate browsers? Check out http://browsehappy.com for a comparison of alternate browsers or http://www.mozilla.org to download Firefox. Firefox is free and available for Windows, Mac and Linux.
When I got home this summer from school I un-joined my computer from the school’s windows domain. I was annoyed when I tried to set user level permissions on a folder and only got a check box to set whether I wanted to share the folder. Well, I finally figured out how to set user level permissions on a folder without joining a Windows Domain. If your eyes haven’t glazed over by now, this maybe useful to you .
Go to Control Panel -> Admin. Tools -> Local Security Settings
Under Local Policies -> Security Options look for the entry ‘Network access: Sharing and security model for local accounts’ Double click that and change the value to Classic.
Now, when you right click on a folder, the nice, useful ‘Sharing’ and ‘Security’ tabs back on folder properties.
If you are using a laptop or a LCD flat panel monitor with Windows XP you can improve the look of text. Windows XP has a font-smoothing feature called ClearType. To turn it on:
Go to the Control Panel -> Display Properties -> Appearance -> Effects.
Make sure ‘Use the following method to smooth edges of screen fonts:’ is check and choose ClearType from the drop down menu. (If you are on an old fashion beast of a CRT monitor, choose ‘Standard’).
There is also a program ClearTweak that is useful in tweaking ClearType.
*Shameless plug for flat panel monitors* Flat panel monitors are one of the greatest enhancements to the modern computer since sliced bread. They are much easier on the eyes and look much nicer with nice font smoothing features such as ClearType. *End Shameless plug*
Join me next time for more exciting Windows XP tips and tweaks.
Yep, that’s right, our favorite fruity computer company is evil and filling our brain with Evolutionism Propaganda according to this site. I always thought the constantly assimilating, money-hungry, buggy and insecure (possibly on purpose) software writer know as Micro.. err… was the evil software monop… err… company. But since they charge ridiculous prices for their software and hate the evil communist open source movement they are good.
I ran across this site a few days ago and had very mixed thoughts about it. On one hand it is very funny to think that someone believes that because a kernel of an operating system is named ‘Darwin’ and is based off of BSD, which has a cute devil as its logo, Apple is trying to subliminally convert everyone to Evolutionists. Oh, and I thought the part about Daemons was funny too. I hope they know that the same thing exists in windows (it’s ok though, because they are called services). The people that created this site have a very skewed sense of technology.
The whole techno speak part is true though… us geeks speak a completely different language. But I don’t think the entire Geekdom is a cult.
Another note on the Apple speak creating a kind of cult: the Mac OS has been around longer then Windows (remember famous ’1984′ commercial), so technically, ‘Recycle Bin’ is a copy of the ‘Trash Can’. I think if they called it ‘Rubbish Holder’ no one would understand what its function.
I also thought their notation of Open Source as being communistic was interesting. In a sense, Open Source is communistic, a community of programmers work together for the love of technology to create a program for free. The main difference between Open Source and the Soviet Union is the penguins… yep, penguins only live in the South Pole. Well, ok maybe it is the whole Marxism thing.
Well, I think that’s enough for now…