Official Website

| Posted in | Posted on Monday, October 25, 2010

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I enjoyed using this b log from time to time but I've decided to move my efforts to an official website.

I will continue blogging (hopefully more regularly) at drainedapple.com

I may use this blog to link to some of my first articles as they come up but the majority of my entries will take place at the site.

So go on and visit! heres links to a couple specific pages on the new site:

http://drainedapple.com/about/

http://drainedapple.com/category/photography/

http://drainedapple.com/category/tutorial/

and the RSS feed http://drainedapple.com/feed/

and heres on of the first posts: (which are mostly just empty at the moment)

http://drainedapple.com/desktop-10-25-2010/

http://drainedapple.com/life-hacking-rss-test/

http://drainedapple.com/from-zero-to-a-million-users/

L4D2 The Passing Glitch

| Posted in | Posted on Monday, June 21, 2010

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While playing L4D2 the game spawn'd two sets of the L4D2 survivors rather than one set. Thought it was fairly entertaining.


Desktop 5-23-2010

| Posted in | Posted on Sunday, May 23, 2010

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Staying Safe Using uTorrent

| Posted in , , , | Posted on Friday, February 19, 2010

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Though I dont condone pirating copyright material I am discussed by the way big business has been pursuing those who violate it. The recent imprisonment of the pirate bay founders is one of the more recent examples. Why we should fill the worlds jails with non-violent offenders is a mystery to me, seems like the world has alot of problems more pressing than peer to peer issues.

At any rate I feel the need to protect myself while online which is why I have previously used peerguardian as a firewall. Peerguardian uses ip blocklists hosted by bluetrack to prevent known anti-piracy groups from connection to you(see: Do p2p Blocklists keep You Safe?).There are also lists for spyware and ads which work the same way. Unfortunately peerguardian tends to be VERY buggy and common issues arent addressed as quickly as I would like. This isnt to ding the peerguardian developers - after all their giving the product away for free - but I'm not using 64 bit windows 7 and peerguardian barely works AT ALL. Thus I've had to look towards alternative programs to block malicious ip ranges.

If you use uTorrent (which is one of the most popular torrent clients right now. If you havent tried it I highly recommend it) has a built in ability to read .dat files and block ip addresses in them. Newer versions of uTorrent ship with the ipfilter.enable setting on so you most likely wont have to worry about that. Most guides to cover enabling the option though, so if you need to head over to this article and follow the steps. The thread on digiex describes a script that should update the .dat files so uTorrent always blocks the ip to date lists. I have never used that script so I cannot speak to its effectiveness.

Ultimately you'll want to download (or create, see next paragraph) a .dat file of a blocklist and place it in the C:\Users\[user]\AppData\Roaming\uTorrent folder and reload uTorrent. The logger tab should show 'ipfilter.dat' loaded or something similar. You can compile your own custum blocklist using bluetracks blocklist manager.

This guide covers the process in detail. I would highly suggest using the blocklist manager method since it generated the most comprehensive list and allows you to quickly update the .dat file.
Note: Unfortunately it seems that ipfilter.dat is the ONLY file uTorrent will load (I tried other blocklists with different names but uTorrent would only load the list if it was names ipfilter).

After creating and enabling a block list in uTorrent I stumbled across a peerguardian spin off named peer block. Peer block is based off the peerguardian code but its in active development and is far less buggy. I plan to write a more detailed review later. To download and try peer block head over to http://www.peerblock.com/releases

New Year, New Password

| Posted in , | Posted on Sunday, January 31, 2010

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After reading about the rockyou database being compromised (all 32 million username/passswords were stored in plain text and were easily compromised by a single hacker)I've decided to re-consider my current password.

Until now I would choose a single word (or two words for my secure passwords) and slap a number at the end to create a password. Then I would use that password for ALL of my accounts. Obviously, thats a very bad security practice.

I have been meaning to create a more secure password for some time now. The inspiration originated after reading the How to Choose and Remember Great Passwords guide I read on lifehacker. The guide is a great starting point for creating a secure password. Basically, you choose a root password (qwerty, your birthday, first letters of lyrics to a song) and then a rule that you use to generate a unique password for every account you'll be using.

For example if you use a series of keyboard keys (like qwerty or 1qaz) your password would be qwertyFAC for facebook or QWERTYblog for blogger. That way by remembering the base password you can easily remember the specific one you chose for that site so if your login is compromised on one site, the others are still secure.

Also while changing my passwords I'll be keeping track of them using KeePass, which will store my login information in an encrypted database on my computer.

If you use a overly simple password or the same password for everything I would highly recommend you look into creating a strong password. Before you decide on a password to use you should check it against a password checker like this one from microsoft that'll tell you how strong the password is.