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Topics - Aaron Hulett

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1
LandzDown Lounge / Any ham radio operators?
« on: April 25, 2020, 05:18:24 AM »
Been working on this project the last few days - if you're a ham and can participate in the NTS, I'd enjoy getting some traffic from you :)

https://www.ntstrivia.com/ - Have fun answering trivia questions to build points while practicing and building your traffic handling skills in the ARRL National Traffic System!

73 de K8AMH

2
LandzDown Lounge / Folding@home team?
« on: April 12, 2020, 04:26:58 AM »
I mentioned in another post that I've spun up my Folding@home hardware to take on some COVID-19 related work units. While I am very well into FAH on the DSLReports.com Team Helix team, I'm curious if folks here would be interested in joining a Landzdown.com team?

Folding@home is a distributed computing project. Folks voluntarily donate hardware (computer processor and/or graphics card processor) to taking on parts of projects related to particular protein studies. These project pieces, called Work Units, are what are handed out to volunteers. For example, I have three graphics cards and two CPUs working on Work Units right now. When these WUs are done, the results are uploaded back to Folding@home, and my hardware waits for new WU assignments. If you're curious, I have two GTX 960s, one GTX 970, an Intel i7-6700K, and an Intel i7-5960X running this right now. Yes, they really warm up the place.

I wouldn't recommend running this on laptops - working on WUs generally means running your hardware at 100%, and laptops won't adequately cool under a continuous full workload. You also don't have to run this 100% of the time - you can set it to only work on things while your computer would typically be idle, and when you come back and start using it again the work will pause until things are idle again.

There's info about the project at https://foldingathome.org/. I'm happy to answer questions about Folding@home, and if there's interest from folks here to jump in on the project, I can set up a team so we can see how we're contributing. Again, I've been with the DSLReports.com Team Helix team for many years, so I won't be moving away from there, but I'm happy to set up a team for here and help out.

Use the poll over the next 14 days to let me know if you'd be interested. If there's a good showing, I'll work to make this happen.

3
Computer Problems, Questions and Solutions! / Adblocking sources
« on: September 07, 2019, 07:09:47 PM »
I have a domain controller on the home network that provides DNS, and for a while I've used the MVPS Hosts file as a DNS sinkhole source, but I'm curious if anyone has used other sources for this. If, for example, you're using Pi-hole for this, what sources are you using for ad lists, and do you find them to break websites or such? For example, I've found MVPS Hosts to break Google calendar integration on websites, so I wind up pulling those related entries out.

Here's what I believe Pi-hole uses, if you've used any of these?

##StevenBlack's list
https://raw.githubusercontent.com/StevenBlack/hosts/master/hosts

##MalwareDomains
https://mirror1.malwaredomains.com/files/justdomains

##Cameleon
http://sysctl.org/cameleon/hosts

##Zeustracker
https://zeustracker.abuse.ch/blocklist.php?download=domainblocklist

##Disconnect.me Tracking
https://s3.amazonaws.com/lists.disconnect.me/simple_tracking.txt

##Disconnect.me Ads
https://s3.amazonaws.com/lists.disconnect.me/simple_ad.txt

##Hosts-file.net
https://hosts-file.net/ad_servers.txt

4
LandzDown Lounge / Barely-sortof-kinda on the news
« on: August 05, 2018, 01:45:34 AM »
Quote
Firefighters in Denton have a large brush fire under control after it burned up a drop-off recycling center Saturday, officials say.

The blaze started after 3 p.m., with black smoke that was visible from miles away.

https://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Crews-Fight-Large-Brush-Fire-in-Denton-490070051.html



Now you know what I'm up to nowadays. :)

5
Found this interesting. Scotty (WinPatrol) warned me that the RTF file association was changed from Word to WordPad.

Wild guess: stop malware in RTF files from working in Word by simply not having them open in Word by default?

6
LandzDown Lounge / NOAA All Hazards radio
« on: April 03, 2018, 07:01:47 PM »
If a tornado were to come by at 3am, would you know about it?

For those of you in the United States, a NOAA All Hazards radio can alarm to let you know of potential hazards, including weather (severe thunderstorm, tornado, high winds...) and non-weather (hazmat situation, need to shelter in place...).

I put a quick 1 minute video together about NOAA radios: https://youtu.be/zkcysFudITs

For those of you outside the United States, do you have a similar radio available? I'm not familiar with how folks outside the U.S. monitor for severe weather; perhaps it's not as much of an issue given between 65 to 80% of the world's tornadoes occur in the U.S.?

Regards,
Aaron

7
It's been a while I suppose, but the home server has been up and running virtually 24/7 for the last 3 and a half years. So to check on things I had a look the hard disks' SMART statistics, and behold! 18 bad sectors were found (and uncorrectable) and another 18 were pending evaluation. Not exactly a good sign - it could mean failure is imminent or the drive could run for another year or two or ... so I opted to be safe and start replacing things. I was already planning to rebuild the box sometime next year so I sped that up and rebuilt it over the weekend.

CrystalDiskInfo is what I used (direct download for ZIP package without ads: http://crystalmark.info/redirect.php?product=CrystalDiskInfo) - run the executable (choose the one with 64 in the filename if you're on a 64-bit OS) and check your stats. If everything's green, should be good to go. If it calls out anything, may want to check into it further.

Regards,
Aaron

CrystalDiskInfo is what I personally used - there are other programs/products that will poll SMART details. I provided the name and link for convenience, and as you'd expect my thoughts and opinions here do not represent the thoughts or opinions of Microsoft nor does it create an endorsement. Microsoft is a registered trademark or trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.

8
You can set things up so that when you visit a web page with Adobe Flash content you get asked to enable the Flash plug-in beforehand. The control is at the domain level, so if you enable it for, say, facebook.com, it'll get added to the approved websites list.

Click the cog and then Manage Add-ons (or go to Tools (ALT + T) and Manage Add-ons).
Find the Flash entry (such as Shockwave Flash Object), right click on it and choose More Information.
In the section that says, "You have approved this add-on to run on the following websites:" click the "Remove all sites" button. Then click Close, and then click Close.

Now when you visit a web page with Flash content you'll get asked if you want to enable the plug-in. If you select Allow then the domain gets added to the approved websites list (meaning when you visit a page on that domain down the road, Flash will run). If you select Allow for all websites, well, then you undid all this.

Not saying this is necessary or unhelpful or anywhere in between - I'm offering it for those that do find it useful. Feel free to share elsewhere, but please drop my name/attribution.

Regards,
Aaron

This information is provided "AS IS" without warranty, and confers no rights.

9
LandzDown Lounge / Reminder to please obey crosswalk signs
« on: June 23, 2015, 03:51:20 AM »
Because, you know... some people don't.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgv8qepFBJY

10
LandzDown Lounge / Northwind Traders is the best!
« on: May 21, 2015, 10:05:20 PM »
I threw my name in the pool a few years ago and it's been interesting seeing just where it pops up. In this case, a PowerPoint template.

11
Hi everyone,

With the demise of TweetDesk and Seesmic desktop applications I never really did go looking for replacements. Anyone happen to have a social media desktop program that works well? Bonus points if it supports all three, but two is good, too. Been looking around but I haven't found one worthwhile yet.

Regards,
Aaron

12
Web News / OpenSSL and the Heartbleed issue
« on: April 09, 2014, 08:26:16 PM »
This is a major problem.

Quote
the SSL standard includes a heartbeat option, which allows a computer at one end of an SSL connection to send a short message to verify that the other computer is still online and get a response back. Researchers found that it's possible to send a cleverly formed, malicious heartbeat message that tricks the computer at the other end into divulging secret information. Specifically, a vulnerable computer can be tricked into transmitting the contents of the server's memory, known as RAM.
http://www.vox.com/2014/4/8/5593654/heartbleed-explainer-big-new-web-security-flaw-compromise-privacy

My understanding: 1) I send a specially crafted packet to a server that is using a vulnerable version of OpenSSL, 2) the server sends me a 64k chuck of in-memory data (OUCH!), 3) there's no log of this at the server, and 4) I can send infinite requests for whatever period of time to get a capture of everything in memory, including a) public and private key information for the cert (cert is now compromised - I can decrypt all traffic encrypted with the cert), b) usernames and passwords (my credentials are now compromised - I can now log in as various users), c) contents of emails, documents and other items I have open (my PII is compromised), and d) anything (I have no idea what information of mine or security information for the server is in memory).

Of course what's in memory depends on what's going on at the server, but because I cannot know what information was in memory at the time, I must assume anything related to my interactions with the server are compromised - at a minimum my username and password, at maximum my banking information, emails or whatever other personal information I was accessing at that server. And even if server A is okay, and server B is not, if server B reaches out to server A (such as, idunno, financial management website B reaching out to bank server A to get my current financial info) and I access that information via server B, my information at server A is now potentially compromised.

I wonder if any trusted root certificates are affected. If there are any, that is HUGE. If I have that private info, I can issue certs that will be trusted until the root cert is revoked (either because it was discovered that the trusted root info was in memory on a system affected here, or we see in-the-wild certs chaining to the trusted root cert that weren't properly issued by the root cert authority).

The fix here requires three steps. 1) Affected OpenSSL installs need to be updated to patched/unaffected versions, 2) involved certificates (whether the actual cert used to encrypt traffic or on-the-box certs that had private key information potentially in memory) must be revoked and reissued, and 3) authentication details (user credentials, etc.) need to be reset. Until 1 and 2 are addressed, no need to do 3 as it will be pointless.

Stand by for a massive wave of cert revocations and reissues - good that we have this mechanism in place, bad that it'll be such a wide scale event.

13
Quote
... a new privacy measure, which Facebook is testing this week on a subset of users, suggests the company might not be quite as shameless or rapacious as many of its users—and the media—tend to assume. It’s called “Privacy Checkup,” and it takes the form of a pop-up box that appears one time per user, just as you’re about to post something publicly on your Timeline.

Read more at http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2014/03/25/facebook_privacy_dinosaur_privacy_checkups_take_aim_at_oversharing.html

14
LandzDown Lounge / Seattle AIDS Walk 2012
« on: September 19, 2012, 12:37:44 AM »
Hi everyone,

I'm once again a little late in posting this year, but I do want to post this because it's important to me, and to those you help.

For the past several years, I've walked in the Seattle AIDS Walk & Run, which benefits Lifelong AIDS Alliance here in Seattle, Washington. Lifelong provides food and other basic care services to those living with HIV/AIDS, and also helps spread awareness about HIV/AIDS, including prevention.

In case you weren't aware on this, SpyDie owns this site, and I run the web server this site is on. This is why you'll see him making updates to the forum software, and me doing sever maintenance. He's regularly asked me how much I want as payment for hosting his site on my web server, and each time, I tell him the same thing: nothing. Instead, I ask that he use what he'd pay me and donate it to Lifelong, a group that I truly believe in, for the good work that it does (and I've gone and seen for myself) and for all the people that benefit from its services. And he, with many others of you here, do this for me, and it's why I continue to happily host this site for all of us to use to help each other, joke with each other, and share our stories together.

I value the good things non-profit groups do for our community, and I provide support both with financial donations and with my time. Lifelong is one that I especially value, and it's why I post here each year about it. This year, I'm walking as captain of the PFLAG team, another non-profit that I volunteer at and support. :)

If you are able, you can visit my page at this (horrendous) URL:

http://seattleaidswalk.kintera.org/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=1006667&lis=1&kntae1006667=C1202EF98DA6401799B6868A5A3AC662&supId=364084015

to sponsor me for the walk. And if it's not possible, please know that I very much appreciate your kind words of support each year as I walk for Lifelong.

My thanks,
Aaron

15
Computer Problems, Questions and Solutions! / Thread for John Paul
« on: March 07, 2012, 09:40:05 PM »
I received this in private message. Posting here for proper review:

My laptop is hp pavilion dv 2700 I've formatted my original Os and installed windows 7 then the problem starts
1. adapter connected but not charge is increased
2. automatic hibernation when active working each 5-10 minutes
3. the amount of time which I'm not using my lap is equal to the time i can use next minute it will automatically sleep.
4. really I'm struggling buying a second hand laptop
anybody please help me giving solutions
thanks in advance

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