Spam Filtering

“One of the best known anti-spam forwarders is Spammotel (what a name!) which also offers a pretty sophisticated, award-winning plugin for your email client, which allows you to keep track of whom you have given which of your email addresses. This, of course, makes it dead easy to test Websites’ privacy policies. Moreover, it makes for a great tool to help you organize the email you actually do want to receive. Windows only.” –Courtesy of Sitepoint.com

Bug in Windows XP?

I forgot to mention a possible bug in Windows XP running Black Ice Firewall that I encountered yesterday. I ran a full UDP scan without pings for every UDP port in existence and it crashed my XP box. I could still ping it, but every service was stopped and I could not get into the system. If someone else knows about this or has a fix, please let me know.

Interesting things

I dont know what to write. There are SOME interesting things going on, but I dont want to jinx them by talking about them too much. I did read some stuff on the blog for Howard Dean 2004 which I thought were interesting and somewhat promising. That is the unofficial blogspot blog for Dean. Here is the official Howard Dean for America . I strongly believe that his grassroots campaign might be a really good way of getting to the core of Americans.
I might finally get my Macintosh Fix. Amy (Ann’s daughter) has a Mac G3 Tower that she does not use and needs an x86 PC to replace it. I am replacing the motherboard, processor, etc on Jennifer’s computer and will have some spare parts. That will mean everyone will get what they want.
I am also in the throes of midsummer blues. Summer vacations are almost over and I have to get back into classes again. Im taking graphics this fall which should be very interesting, along with advanced computer architecture with Kaur. I also hope to have some work done on my thesis. I THOUGHTthat I had gotten my advisor decided upon, but no such luck. I will keep everyone posted about that.
I am also going to have to get my butt moving and get the PHd applications out to the three places that I am applying to. Namely, The University of Michigan, Case Western Reserve and Ohio State University. From what I understand about the present state of admissions, I will have to do some buttkissing and some fingerlicking to get admitted (even with my 3.9 GPA and 4 years of actual industry experience).
On another note, My father is doing very well and is getting better everyday! I am supposed to talk with him tonight. I want him and my mother to come and visit again, but I have to wait till he feels a little better.

PS: As a disclaimer, I am not overtly political (yet) and my opinions are simply that.

Aerial Digital Photography from a Balloon for Fifty Dollars

This is really cool! I have to try this as soon as I can get a minute to go out and buy an el cheapo camera from Best Buy TheNerds.net and a large party baloon from one of the party stores. I think this will make really good pictures. I know of a camera from best buy (the pencam) TheNerds.net which costs about 40 bucks and weighs less than 9 ounces with batteries. I would also need some fishing line and I should be in business. Oh yes, here is the Aerial Digital Photography from a Baloon link. I am excited about it. If anyone reading has seen or built or used one of these, please leave a comment. Micah, I think this would make PHENOMENAL panorama pictures!!

Busy with coding

Been working really hard on scripting and writing webpages for the department. I am still working on the Automata Page for Dr. L and I have written some scripts to get the live links, upload files and comment box that he wanted. All of these scripts are written for the public domain and if you would like to get a hold of them, please email me. I also wrote a VBScript to uninstall BitTorrent if you run into problems uninstalling the product. Get it here. You can change the registry keys and he program files link to get it to uninstall any program. This is also under GPL and freely distributable. I am NOT reaponsible for any damages, please use at your own risk!

Netscape 0.92

I found a place online that collects old browsers for download. I was led there while I was trying to search for a way to download a script from a CGI-BIN without actually executing it. I wrote a rudimentary browser which makes an HTTP-GET and gets a partial response but was also told that really old broswers did that as well. So I went looking and guess what I found….Netscape 0.93 Beta!!! Check it out…download it for yourself. It is quite a bit of work and was still called the Mosaic Project back then. It made my day!

Added a perl script

Added Word of The Day to the links on the right hand side. It take the html from the dictionary.com website and parses the content to just display the word of the day without bugging you with any ads or other malicious material. It is a very cool script which take any available text information from the web (HTML, text etc) parses through looking for tags to start and stop reading data from and then spits it out into a webpage. Let me know if you would like to get a hold of it and I will put it up here. On second thought, here it is wordofday.pl

Insurance schnafu’s

Remember that little issue I had with my car on my birthday? Well, I finally got the insurance company to send me a check to get it fixed and get me a rental. Is it just me or are insurance claims adjustors just very lazy and lackadaisical? I must have called her in excess of 25 times in the past two weeks and have gotten ONE call returned. She was simply sitting on my estimates and had idea that they were even sent to her. After she finally answered my phone call, it took her one minute to look at them (after she realized they were there) and then agree to send me a check for the estimate amount. If she would have just looked at them once before, the job would have been complete and case closed. Just so that my readers know NOT to go to this insurance company or ask for a different adjuster, I was dealing with AAA Michigan and the adjustors name was Pam Smith. She was rude, didnt talk fluent english and simply did not give a hoot! Leave comments with your experiences on here.

Do you like cologne?

We went to the Great Lakes Crossing Shopping mall today for a little bit. I have always liked their store selections and the mall looked really busy this time. It was a good sign. People were actually buying stuff, unlike the last time we were there. I really like the fragrance depot store there. I bought some Farenheit (at less than half the price than Dillards). I also looked at, at concurrently drooled over a watch that I want to get when my old one dies (I have had this Casio for over eight years now, it is a wonderful watch!). I own a Triple Sensor Casio PRt-40 which has been discontinued. I also found out that the GPS watch that I want has been discontinued and retails for over $500. I am now looking into replacing my old watch with something similar, another Casio Sea Pathfinder

Good news!!

I promised myself that I would only post news if it is under special circumstances. So here it is! My father underwent angioplasty and got a little blockage removed in one of his arteries and he is coming home Monday. WooHoo! No more problems and the doc gave him a wonderful outlook, he feels better too!! Knock on wood that everything stays well for the time being. So there! 🙂

File swapping fiascos

Slashdot has a post this morning about the RIAA going after possible file swappers who are sharing as little as 8 of their files. Most of these people are from the Verizon network. So if you are a Verizon customer, your internet connection is being snooped for information, big time! Now I am aware that BEX snoops and keeps track of my connection as well and I have proof that my packets have been analyzed at times before reaching me, but I am not as paranoid about it. I have decided (and have warned friends ) about the dangers of file swapping at this time. I present this danger to you, my readers, again. I know that they (the RIAA) are being allowed a lot of freedom to persecute the “offenders” and they are doing everything that they can to possibly cease and decist file swapping. Personally, I couldnt care less. Here is one question for possible RIAA backers reading this. Didnt people record on tape and play back songs from the radio a decade ago? Wasnt that illegal? How come it was not such a big issue then? Is ripping from an internet radio station within the edge of being slightly illegal that we wont get persecuted? What if I rip internet radio stations such as WGTE or Rick D’s top 40? If I understand the law correctly (which I am pretty sure I dont, so be sure to correct me) it is very legal to listen to online radio stations such as the ones I mentioned above (which have explicit permission to broadcast copyrighted music). So without actually hacking into my computer to see what I am doing (which would make them felons, hackers, phreakers etc.), the RIAA or its affiliates would not know if I am ripping the radio stations or not. (I might have to spoof the ripper tags to make it look like a player, a breeze in programming terms as they are mostly open source) So, a quick conclusion is that the next p2p revolution is going to come in the form of rips of internet radio stations. It would work wonderfully and if you used all of your bandwidth, you could probably rip 5-10 radio stations at the same time. This would mean 5 songs per hour per station on the average or about 720 songs per day. Not bad. Hmmmmm…. 😉
PS: The views expressed here are completely just that, scientific and educational views. They do not mean that I participate in file swapping, in sharing or ripping of radio stations or any activity with my computer that is considered illegal. This is NOT an admission of any sort of guilt or wrongdoing, so please dont treat it as one!

I have been whiny

It is a wonder how a person (namely me) can become so engrossed in their problems and their life that they become whiny and bitchy and keep ruminating the same bad circumstances, completely ignoring the future and the good things that lie in wait. So, barring really special circumstances, I will keep this blog free of depressing thoughts and will concentrate on fun things.
To start off with, I am almost done with the project for Dr Makki. I wrote it on Survey of Credit Cards, Smart Cards and of New Research in Secure Payment Methods for the Internet. So check it out if and when you are interested. There is a very detailed explanation there of how a credit card and how a smart card works and some good explanations of RSA and DF encryptions.
Jennifer has a couple of kids here from Poland (exchange students/summer trip) and we are going to see the Tall Ships exhibit going through Toledo on Saturday. Check out the really cool website (Tall Ships Toledo) and if you like water and old outriggers like me, you will love it! 17 ships are going to be here in Toledo Harbor.
Another program I would like to get an opinion on is called SuperSpeed XP Pro. I downloaded a demo for a while and was really impressed with the performance gain of my machine. I run a tight XP box with a Gig of RAM and an athlon 1.8 and XP tweaked to the max. But, imaginary or not, Photoshop ran like I always dreamed it would. I could tweak a 200 Meg file almost instantly! The software can be found at http://www.superspeed.com and can be downloaded from various sites on the internet. (the trial version, search google)
I have been catching myself trying to get a lot of Kazaa Lite lately. I have been trying really hard to keep from donwnloading MP3s and other junk from there but I seem to be drawn to the lure of new music. So, on that impulse, I simply switch to an internet radio station and curb my desires. 🙂
I will have to get back into blog writing again. This past week has been too hectic to write and I miss it.

Things keep getting worse

I received an email from my parents this morning which says that my father is going to get admitted to a hospital on the 18th. He is going to get an angiogram done which gives the doctors a better idea of what is going on inside the problem vein. If the blockage is very big, he will get an angioplasty done and from what I understand from Ann, if things get really bad on the oeprating table, they will perform an open heart right then and there. If things stay this bad and he does have to have an open heart surgery performed, I will have to go home and take care of things. Jennifer wants to come with me, bless her heart and she wont hear it any other way. I wish we were going home under happier circumstances, but better now than never. I hope everything will be fine at school when Im gone, but I really dont care, my family comes first no matter what. I also think there is some law that protects me from problems if there is a family emergency. I just pray to God nothing goes really wrong between now and my father’s angioplasty.