| Friday May 27th 2016

Unlinker: An Extremely Helpful Firefox Add-On

firefox-logo-64x64.pngSome of you might already be using Unlinker since I have posted about it several times before. A lot of you have asked, what does it do? Hopefully this brief post will help you see the usefulness of this relatively simple but powerful Firefox Extension…

Suppose you are on a forum, blog, Apache index page, or any other page full of links to photos. You want to view and possibly save all of the pics. What do you do? Well, you could use my BASH script if you’re using *nix… but if you’re like most of my friends/family, that’s not an option. Do you really want to click on each image link one-by-one, when you just want to view/save them all easily? There’s got to be an easier way. Well, now there is. See the simple example below.

Click the images for a larger view.

Exhibit A:
Here’s a typical forum post where Mr. McForumMember didn’t put the proper image tags around the image links in his post.

Exhibit B:
Right Click > Convert in page

Exhibit C:
Instantly, the “linked” images are now “unlinked” and appear adjacent to their respective URLs.

The best part about Unlinker is: it’s NOT a resource hog. It weighs in at just 43 kilobytes and still feels as powerful as similar Firefox Add-ons that are bloated with too many features you would seldom use. Feel free to play around with Unlinker and try out it’s MANY other features. We will go into more detail about these at a later date.

Get Unlinker

Your Bank Account Is Never Really Closed At Bank Of America

From the Consumerist: “Did you know a “closed” checking account is never really closed? Today I walked to the local BofA for the third time to close a checking account that every month seems to magically re-open with a $5.95 account fee. What the manager told me was quite shocking.”

bankofnoclose.jpgWhile checks that come in for a closed account will “bounce,” any electronic credit or debit will automatically reopen the account. So that one bill-pay with the electric co-op you forgot to change? Yep, that’ll reopen your account. That one direct deposit of the two cents of interest you earn on a CD? Yep, reopened. Or in my case, the $5.95 account fee that the first two people who “closed” my account forgot to turn off – yep, reopens the account. “All we’re doing is honoring the electronic debit agreement you signed with other merchants,” he told me. “So,” I said, “ten years from now if someone I had an agreement with previously decides they want to try and electronically deduct $200 from my account – that would reopen it.” “Yes,” says he. Seems like the transactions should just “bounce” and I should have to fix whatever problem it creates. I hate this idea of the bank trying to “help me.” At least this month the guy waived the $6 fee. Last month they made me pay it to close the account and I was in too big of a hurry to put up more than a 2 minute fight. I live in Charlotte – maybe I should pay Mr. Lewis a visit and ask him why he thinks this is good for consumers.

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Choosing a Name for Your Computer

Here’s a FAQ on how to name your computer from 1990. Follow the link at the bottom to read all the “tips.”

Avoid alternate spellings.

Once we called a machine “czek”. In discussion, people
continually thought we were talking about a machine called
“check”. Indeed, “czek” isn’t even a word (although “Czech”

Purposely incorrect (but cute) spellings also tend to annoy a
large subset of people. Also, people who have learned English
as a second language often question their own knowledge upon
seeing a word that they know but spelled differently. (“I
guess I’ve always been spelling “funxion” incorrectly. How

By now you may be saying to yourself, “This is all very
silly…people who have to know how to spell a name will learn
it and that’s that.” While it is true that some people will
learn the spelling, it will eventually cause problems

For example, one day a machine named “pythagoris” (sic) went
awry and began sending a tremendous number of messages to the
site administrator’s computer. The administrator, who wasn’t a
very good speller to begin with, had never seen this machine
before (someone else had set it up and named it), but he had to
deal with it since it was clogging up the network as well as
bogging down his own machine which was logging all the errors.
Needless to say, he had to look it up every time he needed to
spell “pythagoris”. (He suspected there was an abbreviation,
but he would have had to log into yet another computer (the
local nameserver) to find out and the network was too jammed to
waste time doing that.)


Diebold voting machine key copied from pic on Diebold site

dieboldkeys.jpgIn another stunning blow to the security and integrity of Diebold’s electronic voting machines, someone has made a copy of the key which opens ALL Diebold e-voting machines from a picture on the company’s own website. The working keys were confirmed by Princeton scientists, the same people who discovered that a simple virus hack on the Diebold machines could steal an election. Absolutely incredible and another example of how Diebold’s e-voting machines pose a great threat to the electoral process.


What Websites are Hosted at this IP?

Using the “Reverse IP Domain Check,” you can see all of the other sites hosted on the same web server as a particular domain name. Try it.

Linky Linky

Pidgin “now playing” Plugins (updates status message to song being played)

amarok pidgin

These are plugins for Pidgin (the IM client formerly known as Gaim) that update the status message to show the currently playing track, retrieving it from your music player. Here’s what I’ve found so far, in what I think is no particular order…

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HOWTO: Setup Encrypted Partitions in Linux

encrypted_text.gifTo start out we need free space on a drive that isn’t partitioned, or enough patience to resize an existing one. Just about everything here needs root privileges, since we’re working with filesystems. It would be easiest to start a root terminal with su –, then enter your password.First, we install the tools to get the encrypted partition going: [apt-get/yum] install cryptsetup hashalot gparted

Next, we use gparted to create a 20GB partition at the end of my disk. It’s a dead simple drag n’ drop application similar in function to Partition Magic or other GUI partition editors… hopefully you don’t need instructions. Make sure to record the name of the new partition! Everything here that says /dev/sda2 is going to change based on your hardware and partitioning scheme.

After that completes (which can take some time if any resizing or moving of an existing partition happens), we need to set a password.
cryptsetup --verbose --verify-passphrase luksFormat /dev/sda2

This command will create a device called /dev/mapper/sda2 and give us access to the encrypted volume after verifying the password:
cryptsetup luksOpen /dev/sda2 sda2

By now we’re knee deep in waist-high water. I’m not quite sure what that means… I just made it up. Say it out loud… rolls off the tongue. Sorry… where was I? Ah right. I’ll try to explain where we’re at right now, for my benefit as well as yours.

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Bash Batch Image Processing Script

bash.jpgActually, it’s just a simple (well, somewhat simple) set of bash functions all put together in one script with a menu (of sorts) to help you work on batches (entire directories) of images, all at once. I do some web design, and I like to take digital pictures, and have thousands of them. While uploading images to some fancy photo gallery software is fine for a few images, I wanted to harness the power of Linux and Imagemagick to create something that could be run from a command line on images on a server that didn’t use X, and that could run very fast and without interaction if I wanted it to, or that could accept user input.

Why bash? Well, because I like bash, and am still learning how to use it, and it seemed like a good idea at the time. So, while I know of other projects that do this, I don’t know of any that use bash. I could be wrong, there very well could be a bash script that does all this already, but it’s good practical experience anyway. I’ve seen some that use perl, some that use c and some that use python, but never anything very large using bash. Bash comes installed with almost every major Linux system, so there wouldn’t be the need for php, perl, python, or even the use of a compiler to run it. Just about the only needed application is Imagemagick. Talk about simple :)

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What can be done after ARP poisoning?

mim.pngTo protect yourself from security threats, you have to at least know what security threats that happens and how it could harmful to you. In what network environment, you are susceptible to hacker’s attack, spoof, phishers. You have to understand what attacks they can performs, what tools they have used and experience the same tools and techniques that are used against you.

ARP (Address Resolution Protocol)
ARP is a network protocol that use to queries MAC address of an IP, so that data packets can be send across the network through data link layer.

We usually Identify a host through IP, that is under network layer of OSI, but the actual communication between hardware devices (in this case, network adapter) are identify by MAC address. IP is susceptible to change, but MAC address are usually unique (this is actually not the case, so many network cards with no-license are selling everywhere).

Therefore, in order to communicate to a host with only IP known, we need to broadcast the ARP request to the networks, and the one with that specified IP will response back. Let say:

Host A wants to talk to Host B, will broadcast ARP request with Host A MAC address, Host A IP address and also Host B IP address. When host B receives the ARP request, it will response back it’s MAC address to Host A.

While receiving the ARP response, Host A will map the Host IP and MAC to ARP cache table. Lets try to command to experience the process of ARP.

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Write an Online Bulk Image Downloader Using BASH

Jenn Thomas

So my girlfriend tells me that I need to download several large image files from a photographer’s website. I manage her online portfolio/website so I’m used to these types of requests… but this time I was going to find a better way to “leech them all.” So anyway, she IM’s me the URL for her most recent shoot…

I was greeted by a nice default Apache index page (and the Photog spelled her name wrong, ugh).

Apache index page

How am i going to grab about 70, five or seven megabyte, image files?

I could click each one and then save it or I could use the Unlinker Firefox Add-On to convert all the links to images. The latter would load all 350MB of photos on the one page. Most certainly my FX-55 single core processor and 1gb of DDR RAM wouldn’t appreciate that very much.

Being the huge open source fan that I am I decided to write a Bash script to accomplish this without hogging up all my computer’s resources. If you manage to know the first image filename and the last image filename in a particular folder, you can download them using seq command with a Bash do loop. Let’s say the first image and the last image’s name is in this format:


we can assume the images between them should be 0020, 0021, 0022, and so on, until 1214. Therefore a simple Bash script will looks like this:

for i in `seq -f"%04g" 19 1214`
wget -c "http://photographer.com/jenn_thomas/full_size/JT_$i.jpg"

Seq allows you to define printf-like formating by specified with -f”%04g” is actually tells seq I got four digits, fill the blank digits with 0, and the range is from 19 to 1214. After that, use wget to download them. That’s how I got JT_0353.jpg at the top of this post. Pretty simple isn’t it?

You can run Bash scripts under a windows platform too if you have Cygwin installed. But bare in mind, not all images are download-able with this technique. Certain site pad the image’s filename with some random characters, that prevent downloads by this simple script.

UPDATE: A reader suggested using Curl as an alternative:

curl -o JT_01_#1 http://photographer.com/jenn_thomas/full_size/JT_[0019-1214].jpg

Link to Jenn’s Website

No-Fly list circumvented by using middle name

pj-al707_midsea_20080128180901.jpgA government program set up to remove innocent people from terrorism no-fly and watch lists has been ineffective and riddled with problems, travelers and congressional leaders say.

The Department of Homeland Security’s Traveler Redress Inquiry Program, or TRIP, was started almost a year ago to clear people routinely subjected to extra airport-security screening and even detention simply because their names were confused with those on the government’s voluminous terrorism watch lists. The lists now contain more than 700,000 records and include many names as common as John Thompson and James Wilson.

But travelers say TRIP has done little to ease their security hassles. They complain that government officials have been unresponsive and offer little information even when they do answer inquiries. And travelers who have been told they have been placed on a “cleared” list find themselves still subjected to added security procedures, unable to pre-print boarding passes for airline flights or use kiosks at airports, for example. Then, after waiting in line to check in, they find themselves trapped in a Catch-22 of long waits while supervisors probe their identity and status on the “cleared” list — just to avoid the delay of being selected for additional screening at checkpoints.

Read more…

All blue-eyed humans have common ancestor

blue_eye.jpgNew research shows that people with blue eyes have a single, common ancestor. A team at the University of Copenhagen have tracked down a genetic mutation which took place 6-10,000 years ago and is the cause of the eye colour of all blue-eyed humans alive on the planet today.

“Originally, we all had brown eyes”, said Professor Eiberg from the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine. “But a genetic mutation affecting the OCA2 gene in our chromosomes resulted in the creation of a “switch”, which literally “turned off” the ability to produce brown eyes”. The OCA2 gene codes for the so-called P protein, which is involved in the production of melanin, the pigment that gives colour to our hair, eyes and skin. The “switch”, which is located in the gene adjacent to OCA2 does not, however, turn off the gene entirely, but rather limits its action to reducing the production of melanin in the iris – effectively “diluting” brown eyes to blue. The switch’s effect on OCA2 is very specific therefore. If the OCA2 gene had been completely destroyed or turned off, human beings would be without melanin in their hair, eyes or skin colour – a condition known as albinism.

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Ron Paul Is Right Again


Of course, Ron opposed the Bush administration’s latest police-state powergrab. He said: “Mr. Speaker I rise in opposition to the extension of the Protect America Act of 2007 because the underlying legislation violates the US Constitution.

“The misnamed Protect America Act allows the US government to monitor telephone calls and other electronic communications of American citizens without a warrant. This clearly violates the Fourth Amendment, which states: ‘The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.'”

No wonder he is called the Champion of the Constitution.

eBay: Sellers will no longer be able to leave negative or neutral Feedback for buyers


This might be interesting. I’m eager to see the outcome of this.

Upcoming Changes to Feedback changes in 2008
eBay’s Feedback system continues to evolve as community makeup and the online marketplace dynamics change.

The eBay Feedback system was originally designed to provide a simple, honest, accurate record of the buyer’s and seller’s online experience to ensure safe and satisfactory trade. It was driven by two factors: transparency and accountability. Over time, we found that the transparency of the existing Feedback system makes some members reluctant to hold others accountable. For example, buyers fear retaliatory Feedback from sellers if they leave a negative.

Therefore, we’ll be making a few significant changes to eBay’s Feedback system to continue to improve accuracy and accountability. Within six months, these changes should help to differentiate and reward sellers who provide a positive buying experience on eBay.


ICANN Moves To Disable Domain Tasting

“Following Google’s crackdown on ‘domain tasters’, ICANN has voted unanimously to eliminate the free period that many domain buyers have been taking advantage of. At the same meeting they also discussed Network Solutions’ front running but took no action on it.”

ICANN’s Release

Analog Spell Check


I was scribbling a note onto a piece of paper yesterday when I paused to think about the spelling of a word I was about to write.

I haphazardly wrote the word incorrectly, expecting – for just a moment – that I could use spellcheck to fix it.

Interview with Sean Moss-Pultz, CEO of OpenMoko

fic-neo1973_small.jpgSean Moss-Pultz was kind enough to answer a few questions with fsckin w/ linux. He’s got some pretty interesting answers to questions plaguing geeks and non-geeks alike, such as the eternal debate on which is better – Ninjas or Pirates? Keep reading for some candid responses from the CEO of the company behind the Dash Express GPS device and the in-development OpenMoko phone. Dash was recently named one of the top 10 startup companies to watch in 2008 by Wired Magazine.

He also discusses his AE86 restoration.

Read more… 

Wal*Mart Doesn’t Like My ID


“I was at Wal*Mart recently with a few friends, and before we left one of my friends wanted to pick up some cigarettes. We went to the one lane where you could make such a purchase and the lady asked to see ALL of our IDs.
Annoying and pointless, sure, but I didn’t mind showing her my ID. She claimed she was just following the rules, so it was no big deal.

My friends handed over their drivers licenses, and I hand over my concealed weapons permit. She looked at it for a moment and handed it back saying “I’m sorry this isn’t valid ID.”

Oh really? So a license to drive is valid, but a license to carry a weapon is not valid? Both are government issued, and neither are required to have by law.

The lady at the checkout said she could not sell my friend cigarettes unless I could produce a “valid ID” according to her definition, which seemed to only include driver’s licenses. I told her I don’t drive and didn’t have a drivers license. This is a lie, of course, but she was being a pain and I wasn’t willing to give in.

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ZOMG!!1! Google Is Out To Get Us!

Queue the gasp! Google is out to get you!

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The True Cost of SMS Messages


Here’s a very good read from the Gthing science blog. Gets you thinking about the rates our mobile phone carriers charge us with.

“I just found out that AT&T (A-fee&fee?) is raising their text message pricing. When I first signed up for AT&T 6 or so years ago it cost 10 cents to send an SMS message, and it was free to receive them.

When AT&T switched to Cingular the price of sending a message dropped to 5 cents, but they started charging for incoming texts – also 5 cents. Assuming you send a message for every message you receive, this works out at about the same price as before.

AT&T came back online and phased out the CIngular brand name, and prices were again changed. This time to 15 cents each way.

More changes have taken place that I can’t quite remember. At one point text messages were 10 cents either way, and at another point they even included MMS (multimedia messages) at the same price as SMS.

As of March SMS messages on AT&T will cost 20 cents and MMS will cost 30 cents – both to send a receive.

So let’s do some math here, and figure out how much this simple transmission is actually costing us.

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