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News for the ‘hack’ Category

Dissident ‘Shadow’ Internet and Cell Phone Networks

THE US Government is reportedly financing the development of “shadow” internet systems to enable dissidents abroad to get around government censors.

The New York Times said today the covert effort also includes attempts to create independent cellphone networks inside foreign countries.

The operation involves a fifth-floor shop on L Street in Washington, where a group of young entrepreneurs are fitting deceptively innocent-looking hardware into a prototype “internet in a suitcase”, the report said.

Financed with a $US2 million ($1.9 million) State Department grant, the suitcase could be secreted across a border and quickly set up to allow wireless communications over a wide area with a link to the global internet.

The Times said some projects involve technology being developed in the US while others pull together tools that have already been created by hackers from the so-called liberation technology movement.

The State Department is financing the creation of stealth wireless networks that would enable activists to communicate outside the reach of governments in countries like Iran, Syria and Libya.

The US Government has also spent at least $US50 million ($47.2 million) to create an independent mobile phone network in Afghanistan using towers on protected military bases inside the country, according to the newspaper.

It is intended to offset the Taliban’s ability to shut down the official Afghan services, the report said.

Posted: June 14th, 2011
Categories: gadget, hack, journalism, oddities, politix, pop culture, technology
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Real Life Functional AT-AT Walker

AUSTRALIA’S status as the world capital of Big Things is under attack.

In February, the citizens of Detroit successfully lobbied for a giant statue of RoboCop to keep its crims in line.

In the same week, news broke that a three-metre tall Arnold Schwarzenegger statue will stand guard outside the Governator’s former home in Thal, Austria.

Both of which kick Robertson’s giant poo-tato and Ballina’s prawn to the kerb when it comes to cool icons for your country.

And now you can add — possibly, unless George Lucas hears of it — a lifesize, fully-functioning replica of a Galactic Empire AT-AT walker to the countryside somewhere in Oklahoma, if Mike Koehler gets his way.

Note fully-functioning — not like that static tat at Disneyland’s Hollywood theme park.

The 16m tall (some nerds experts put them at 23m) All Terrain Armoured Transports featured most famously in the attack on the Rebel forces’ secret base on Hoth in Empire Strikes Back, where one tripped over a bit of rope and exploded.

Another one makes a cameo in Return of the Jedi after a smaller version — an AT-ST — gets smashed by monkeys with logs.

But they look fearsome enough and Mr Koehler has been given the green light by online fundraiser Kickstarter to begin collecting cash to realise his dream.

It’s called AT-AT for America and Mr Koehler’s welcoming any offers of help or donations.

We chatted to him about why his country needs it…

Why did you choose a symbol of the Empire’s destructive capabilities to represent the US?

The AT-AT is not so much a representation of the US as it is a monument to what geek culture and its know-how has done for people in the country and, as I am quickly learning, folks all over the world. The can-do and cooperative spirit that nerdy pop culture has inspired can’t be overlooked in the past 30, 40, 50 years.

I wanted to make something that was: A) Doable. Fast-than-light and force field technology made many options unrealistic. B) Big enough to be awe-inspiring. Many people have made R2 units and Back to the Future Deloreans. The AT-AT is 50-feet tall.

If it proves too difficult, do you have any smaller scale Star Wars projects in mind?

I guess we could do one of the smaller scout walkers, but that seems like copping out.

If it proves easy, would you consider building a Death Star?

The Death Star would involve too much red tape I’m afraid, unless I could get Richard Branson on board.

The original AT-ATs had some notable design flaws. How will you Ewok-proof it?

No Ewoks will be allowed around the build sites. Sharpened logs will also be strictly prohibited. We are working towards some strong anti-log technology.

Have you had any interest from Mythbusters et al?

No word yet from the Mythbusters, though I hope as we continue to build momentum that we will get a lot of help from some of our geek heroes. When I first thought of this, my ideal project managers were Adam and Jamie.

If Detroit can get a RoboCop statue, maybe you should pitch your AT-AT for a permanent public space…

Once we’re done, I would like for the AT-AT to find some place nice to be housed and admired as a monument. Since it will be fully operational, people will be able to ride it. It would be an art piece on par with the Statue of Liberty, but with the ability to mosey around the block.

Have you had any cease and desist orders from George Lucas yet?

We have not heard from Lucasfilm yet, though there is that expectation. All I can say is that we won’t be making any money off this project, we consider it a public work of art and we would gladly locate it where ever Mr Lucas would like us to. This is a testament to how many dreams his work and other work like his has inspired in people my age and younger.

Will you live in it once it’s finished?

No, I won’t live in it.

Can I?

You can’t live inside it, though you are welcome to string a hammock between its knees.

Is there ever a chance that such a monolithic, relentless corporate machine could ever be seen in Australia?

Given enough support and volunteers, the AT-AT, like Oprah, would be happy to visit Australia.

 

Related Coverage

Shut @iPhone Dictionary Ducking with Your Words? (Workaround for the Secret Blacklist!)

For quite some time I’ve been nerdraging about the epic fail of the iPhone dictionary, it’s so prolific it’s a ducking meme, there’s entire sites devoted to how shit it is. Apple seem to flat out disregard user complaints on the subject. Earlier versions of iOS would learn after three declined word suggestions, or by re-writing the red underlined word.

After iOS 4ish, I noticed a distinct lack of it’s ability or willingness to learn new words, be they profanity or otherwise. You’d have to re-write a word and decline auto-suggests dozens of times for it to learn something SIMPLE but profanity, nope. No go. It just WOULD NOT work.

After extensive research (see: my legs went numb so I got off the toilet) on the subject, I discovered many ‘work around’ suggestions, most were dated and for older versions. I messed around with several and found the one sure way to duck that iPhone shut right off once and for all, and found TWO very good ways, one a solid performer and the other an INSTANT WIN.

ADD the profanity as a CONTACT in your contacts section. It’s irritating and frustrating but it finally let’s you use naughty words. (Edit: After typing in a metric fucktonne of words, I only just tested adding multiple words to one entry. It works effectively. However, you WILL get strange looks when people see your contact list!)

HOWEVER! There are some words it will still not recognise. It appears as though there’s a black list tier level, black listed words when added as contacts and / or retyped a gazillion times are still b& from your iPhone.

I added every profanity and pseudo-profanity I could think of, it still red underlines ‘cunt’ but the rest are fine. On racial epithets however it will force change ‘nigger’ to ‘bigger’ yet is an equal opportunity racist, it auto-changes ‘kyke’ to Kyle and ‘kike’ to like, it also red-underlines ‘cracka’ even if stored as a contact. I actually had to hit the wiki article of racial epithets to find more creative varying ones to test and EVERY single racial slur in existence is double blacklisted even when added as a contact.

Apple are not so kind to people of non-straight persuasions, with ‘faggot’ or ‘poof’ working, ‘dyke’ and various others all work, however GAY does not work. The one NON-offensive thing gets changed to ‘gag’ half the time.

I decided to tinker with the inner workings of my iPhone to look into this a bit more, so I took a peek at in/private/var/mobile/Library/Keyboard, there’s a file called dynamic-text.dat which has most of the plain text words it has to give special attention to and tells the auto-correct to lay off being a dick with or even suggest or accept the spelling. To test the manual update I tried the notes application instead, and started trying to add random words (nonsensical ones) to see how long it took to learn. I found that it wouldn’t. After typing pages of shit, the last modified date of my dynamic-text.dat file was my earlier edit.

-rw------- 1 mobile mobile 1244 Mar 19 20:30 dynamic-text.dat

I gave it a shot in safari, this instantly updated the dynamic-text.dat file on one attempt without repetition. The words added also appeared IN the file itself in plain text.

-rw------- 1 mobile mobile 1359 Mar 19 21:34 dynamic-text.dat

Testing this again in notes showed the words taught through safari were universally added and accepted in all other forms of addition. This means not every iPhone program will learn words or add them to your special dictionary, the data processing program Notes is completely non-functional in that way, and as we saw above the Contacts section has limited success. Safari, however, is the answer. I’d honestly expect the learning algorithym to be far less shit than this, but it appears that this is the only way to force learn things.

Go figure. Either way, this is clear proof that Apple have some deep seated issues! Not to mention they love to cramp my style, not that I tout out hate words, but I’m an Australian, every second word out my mouth (or fingers in this case) is a profanity. 🙁

Posted: March 19th, 2011
Categories: consumer reviews, gadget, general, hack, oddities, reviews, technology
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Man Kills Gods; Creates Life in Lab

“God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him…”
Friedrich Nietzsche. The Gay Science (1882), s126.

Long have we theorised the above line by a madman bearing a labtern not to be talking about the literal God believed in by so many theists. Instead, we interpret, he is talking about what this god represented for European culture, the shared cultural belief in God which had once been its defining and uniting characteristic.

So to has man thrown off the yolk of theism, every element of the divine has been replicated at large through science, trickery, art, illusionism except one final element; the creation of life.

Until yesterday when flamboyant geneticist Craig Venter held true to the pledge he made nearly 15 years ago, unveiling his magnum opus. This landmark of scientific progress, published in the Journal of Science, stands on the shoulders of his race to decode the human genome in his own laboratory, egotistically his own DNA I might add.

The madman carrying this lantern has indeed created the first instance of purely synthetic life, opening the doors nanoscience falter at with the potential to create designer microbes for special jobs such as production of biofuels, pharmaceuticals, through to filtering contaminents from air and water.

“This is the first synthetic life that has been made, and we call it synthetic because the cell is totally derived from a synthetic chromasome, made with four bottles of chemcals on a synthesizer from information on a computer,” Dr Venter said.

Lauded as a tour de force by Prof. Mattick from the Australian Research Council, Dr. Venters work is as ground breaking as science gets these days, the applications for man made life are phenominal and limited only by our imagination. That being said, mans imagination can often be self destructive, so think of all the fantastic synthesized zombie viruses the US military will make with this!

The bacterium used decoded DNA from Mycoplasma mycoides imprinting the synthetic DNA and inserting it into living bacterium, in this case Mycoplasma capricolum, allowing the bacterium to flourish with both it’s own and the synthetic DNA within, then finally using an antibiotic designed to kill all but the synthetic DNA allowing only the synthesized organism to proliferate and produce protein strands from the original Mycoplasma mycoides creating, simply, artificial life.

Klatu barada neck-tie?

Botnet Targets Servers for DDoS Use

Amusing article about a not so secret bnet management system and php sploit: –

Researchers at Imperva have discovered an ‘experimental’ botnet that uses around 300 hijacked web servers to launch high-bandwidth DDoS attacks.

The servers are all believed to be open to an unspecified security vulnerability that allows the attacker, who calls him or herself ‘Exeman’, to infect them with a tiny, 40-line PHP script. This includes a simple GUI from which the attacker can return at a later date to enter in the IP, port and duration numbers for the attack that is to be launched.

But why servers in the first place? Botnets are built from PCs and rarely involve servers.

According to Imperva’s CTO, Amachai Shulman, they have no antivirus software and offer high upload bandwidth, typically 10-50 times that of a consumer PC. Are there disadvantages to this? There are simply fewer of them, the attacker needs to find vulnerable machines using PHP, and they appear to need manual control, although Shulman did say that attacks could probably be automated using a separate script.

Imperva uncovered the attack by obtaining the server attack source code, which was simply run through Google, revealing a list of servers infected with it. The company was then able to watch as the attacker used a compromised server to launch a real denial-of-service attack on a Dutch ISP. The purpose is probably extortion-related.

The controller of the botent had used the Tor anonymity system to hide his or her incoming connections, which made it impossible to judge location. The servers themselves were lone servers at hosting companies, perhaps ones not carefully monitoring outgoing traffic patterns.

Would hosting companies or website owners know they were being hijacked by one of the Internet’s oddest botnets? Most likely, only if the authorities or third-party ISP comes calling with complaints of unwanted Internet traffic.

The botnet’s GUI hints that the hijack program, and perhaps the botnet itself, was probably created to be rented out to third-parties. A message in the simple interface reminds its users “Don’t DoS yourself nub.”

Posted: May 13th, 2010
Categories: hack, journalism, news, piracy, pop culture, scams, technology
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Twitter Client Reviews: My New Weapon of Choice

Most of you have probably seen me evangelize the wonders of API functional clients for Twitter, I have several very large Twitter accounts, @bashpr0mpt is just the one you know me as, the rest are for business, and some for pleasure. Some are just to blow off steam anonymously even. But all are pretty bloody big. So when it comes to clients, I don’t have time to fuck around with various trialware, shareware, etc. Many of you know I’m a no nonsense kind of guy and I’m not some cash strapped welfare twit either, so I’m willing to fork out some dosh for a good product. I previously threw $10 at my first API client, it was (well, later named) MyPostButler, I used it for quite some time effectively but also used several other mass-managers for Facebook and MySpace.
Ideally I eventually want to make a good multiple-network manager software, I’ve thrown up a few adverts on Freelancer to hire me some code monkeys to make this happen but unfortunately that’s a project that’s in the medium-term goals as of yet (and no you can’t have it free, but I’ll make sure it’s as near ‘at cost’ as I can make it depending on how much out of pocket I’ll be). In the interim I’m still using the dodgy mass managers for my other networks, but MPB is sadly closing it’s doors. Well, no, the owner is selling it off. The downside is there’s no assurance that the new owner will honour previous clients by providing free updates everytime Twitter change their API. Future-proofing is integral to any marketing campaign, even if you’re only marketing yourself, with your name being a brand and your product being your words, views, opinions.

Thus it became time to review Twitter managers. I tried about six in total, only one seemed to be what I needed. TweetAttack came close but it’s license fees are too steep ($200ish), TweetAdder is near identical however it lacks a few ‘spammer’ tools TweetAttack has. It should be noted that ‘spammer tools’ when used in every day life for a non-profit entity just makes managing huge bloody friends lists easier for the most part. TweetAdder does all the mass-management I need though.

5 of the main selling features for me: –

  1. I can dump a heap of tweets and let it tweet while I’m asleep so I can keep in touch with my friends across the big puddle.
  2. It manages who I add, and removes them if they don’t follow back within X days (I set it to a fortnight, try before you buy style.)
  3. It remembers who you remove so you don’t add them again.
  4. It let’s me target followers by adding people by niche interest so I -am- finding friends and not just numerics for epeen.
  5. It keeps track of … well, EVERYTHING, and can automate everything so my life is much easier.

As many of you know, and are probably waiting for, I’m putting together a tome of the arcane magic of social networking (for fun or profit) based on my encounters with tens of thousands of fellow net socialites, so expect an entire bloody chapter on this beautiful little piece of software. I forked out $188 for my license for it, but I’ve signed up as an affiliate so I can get a discount for friends, family and followers alike, the link for it for $50 is: – http://tinyurl.com/264hl8m

Even if you’re a tight arse and never want to pay a cent for a Twitter client, hit it up and at least play with the demo and enjoy a day of power-user Twittering for the lullz. There’s no catch, no con, no sign up, no … well, nothing, just a sweet little API accessing client that’ll make your daunting user list seem easy, or make your scrawny userlist grow. 🙂

The downsides of this client, I might add, is the fact it’s for PC and Mac only and thus isn’t for portable devices. Which I tend to use 99% of the time. But bleh, horses for courses.

Dolby Silences Loud Adverts

Dolby Volume was developed to address a complaint seeming as old as television itself; that shows on screens seem to whisper while commercials shout despite being on the same volume settings. Volume inconsistencies can also occur when compact disks are switched in players or between music files in MP3 devices.

For fellow Australians, you really don’t appreciate how loud adverts are until you download and listen to an American broadcast with adverts intact. You think our ads are loud? The US ones are screamingly loud, I’m talking at least twice the volume of the show that’s being aired!

“One of the biggest complaints consumers have had is volume inconsistencies,” Mr Eggers said. “We solved that problem. Dolby Volume gives us the capability to choose our favourite volume level for all media then set aside the remote and never touch it again.”

The technology is being built into Toshiba televisions and car audio products this year, according to Dolby.

The company recently showed off Dolby True HD, which is being built into Blu-ray high definition video players and disks to deliver sound tracks as immersive as the imagery. “A person with a Blu-ray player can literally hear the same quality heard in the studio when they were mixing the audio; the same quality as is on the master tapes,” Mr Eggers said.

Dolby also developed a Digital Plus audio technology to bring “surround-sound” to online films and other content delivered to televisions that are being built with “widgets” linking them to online services. France, Italy and Poland have adopted Dolby Digital Plus as a standard for high-definition audio in televisions, according to the company.

Dolby also has put technology in headphones that provide stereo surround-sound experiences to people playing films or music on computers, MP3 players or mobile telephones. Dolby Axon in headsets for videogame lovers gives positional feedback to people talking to each other while playing together online by making voices sound as though they are coming from where virtual characters happen to be.

Voices get louder as gamers approach one another, and fainter with distance, according to Dolby. Like in life, sounds made by on-screen characters are obstructed by objects in the game.

“As a gamer, I can tell you it comes in pretty handy to be able to hear your enemies footsteps coming up behind you,” Mr Eggers said.

Posted: January 10th, 2010
Categories: gadget, general, hack, lifestyle, movies, music, technology
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GSM Mobile Phones, Integrity ‘Intact’

A wireless technology industry group has claimed that mobile phone conversations are still safe from eavesdropping in the wake of German researcher Karsten Nohl’s leaking of code used to unscramble calls made by most of the worlds phones last week.

The London-based GSM Association yesterday said that it has spent the past few years figuring out ways to thwart hackers who might try to tap into wireless calls using Nohl’s research, which it first learned of in 2007.

GSM Association engineers have figured out a short-term solution to block eavesdroppers, said James Moran, head of security for the association. It involves making slight changes to the settings in each wireless operator’s network. Carriers can quickly make those adjustments by tweaking existing features in the technology, Mr Moran said.

Mr Nohl’s research applies to GSM technology, which runs about 80 per cent of the world’s mobile phones, including systems run by AT&T, Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom. Over the next several years, GSM carriers will adopt a new standard for encrypting, or scrambling, voice conversations that will be tougher to crack, according to Mr Moran.

Posted: January 10th, 2010
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101 Google Tricks You Never Knew Existed

These search tricks can save you time when researching online for your next project or just to find out what time it is across the world, so many people only use a hundreth of what Google has to offer, read on and find out for yourself: –

1. Convert units. Whether you want to convert currency, American and metric units, or any other unit, try typing in the known unit and the unknown unit to find your answer (like “how many teaspoons in a tablespoon” or “10 US dollars in Euros”).

2. Do a timeline search. Use “view:timeline” followed by whatever you are researching to get a timeline for that topic.
3. Get around blocked sites. If you are having problems getting around a blocked site, just type “cache:website address” with website address being the address of the blocked site to use Google’s cached copy to get where you are going.
4. Use a tilde. Using a tilde (~) with a search term will bring you results with related search terms.
5. Use the image search. Type in your search word, then select Images to use the image search when trying to put a picture to your term.
6. Get a definition. If you want a definition without having to track down an online (or a physical) dictionary, just type “definition:word” to find the definition of the word in your results (i.e.: “definition: serendipity” will track down the definition of the word “serendipity”).
7. Search within a specific website. If you know you want to look up Babe Ruth in Wikipedia, type in “site:wikipedia.org Babe Ruth” to go directly to the Wikipedia page about Babe Ruth. It works for any site, not just Wikipedia.
8. Search within a specific kind of site. If you know you only want results from an educational site, try “site:edu” or for a government site, try “site:gov” and your search term to get results only from sites with those web addresses.
9. Search for a specific file type. If you know you want a PDF (or maybe an MP3), just type in “filetype:pdf” and your search term to find results that are only in that file type.
10. Calculate with Google. Type in any normal mathematical expressions to get the answer immediately. For example, “2*4″ will get you the answer “8.”
11. Time. Enter “what time is it” and any location to find out the local time.
12. Find a term in a URL. This handy trick is especially useful when searching blogs, where dates are frequently used in the URL. If you want to know about a topic for that year only and not any other year, type “inurl:2009″ and your keyword to find results with your keyword in URLs with 2009 in them.
13. Use Show Options to refine your search. Click “Show Options” on your search result page to have access to tools that will help you filter and refine your results.
14. Search for a face. If you are looking for a person and not just their name, type “&imgtype=face” after the search results to narrow your results to those with images of faces.

Google Specifically for Education

From Google Scholar that returns only results from scholarly literature to learning more about computer science, these Google items will help you at school.

15. Google Scholar. Use this specialized Google search to get results from scholarly literature such as peer-reviewed papers, theses, and academic publishers.
16. Use Google Earth’s Sky feature. Take a look at the night sky straight from your computer when you use this feature.
17. Open your browser with iGoogle. Set up an iGoogle page and make it your homepage to have ready access to news stories, your Google calendar, blogs you follow in Google Reader, and much more.
18. Stay current with Google News. Like an electronic clearinghouse for news, Google News brings headlines from news sources around the world to help you stay current without much effort.
19. Create a Google Custom Search Engine. On your own or in collaboration with other students, put together an awesome project like one of the examples provided that can be used by many.
20. Collect research notes with Google Notebook. Use this simple note-taking tool to collect your research for a paper or project.
21. Make a study group with Google Groups. Google Groups allows you to communicate and collaborate in groups, so take this option to set up a study group that doesn’t have to meet face-to-face.
22. Google Code University. Visit this Google site to have access to Creative Commons-licensed content to help you learn more about computer science.
23. Study the oceans with Google Earth 5. Google Earth 5 provides information on the ocean floor and surface with data from marine experts, including shipwrecks in 3D.
24. Learn what experts have to say. Explore Knol to find out what experts have to say on a wide range of topics. If you are an expert, write your own Knol, too.

Google Docs

Google Docs is a great replacement for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, so learn how to use this product even more efficiently.

25. Use premade templates. Use these 50 pre-made templates to track spending, keep up with your health, and much more.
26. Collaborate on group projects. Google Docs allows for real-time collaboration, so make easy work for everyone next time you have a group project due.
27. Use keyboard shortcuts. Use this handy list of keyboard shortcuts to save lots of time while using Google Docs.
28. Create online surveys for research projects. Quickly and easily create online surveys for any research project that requires feedback from others. The answers are saved to your Google Docs account.
29. Add video to your presentation. Learn how to seamlessly add video to your Google Docs page to really give your presentation or project a boost.
30. Use the school year calendar template. Have an easy to use school year calendar through Google Docs by following these instructions.
31. Create graphs from spreadsheets. Once you have populated a spreadsheet with data, you can easily create a graph. Google Docs allows for pie, bar, line, and scatter graphs.
32. Create a new document with shortcuts. Learn two ways to open a new Google Docs page with these tricks.
33. Right click to use save-as. Use the right click save-as option to save a Google Docs document on your computer.
34. Send invitations. School shouldn’t be all about work. Find out how to send party invitations using Google Docs.

Gmail

The super-popular Gmail is full of fun and fast ways to make your life and communications easier.

35. Use the Tasks as a to-do list. Use the Tasks available in Gmail as a way to stay on top of assignments, exams, and project due dates.
36. Use the Archive feature. One of the great features of Gmail is that it allows you to archive emails to get them out of your inbox, then you can use the search feature to find them if you need them again.
37. Highlight mail with labels. Use labels to mark your messages. You can find them easily while in your inbox and do a search for all the messages with that label after you archive them.
38. Never forget to attach a file. By signing up for the Labs, you can select to have the Forgotten Attachment Detector. This feature notices if you have typed something about an attachment in the body, but are sending without actually attaching anything–a great tool to save time and embarrassment.
39. Use keyboard shortcuts. Go to Settings and enable keyboard shortcuts so you can perform common tasks at the touch of just one or two keys.
40. Add multiple attachments. Use the Control (or Cmd on Macs) and Shift keys to select more than one file to attach to your email at one time.
41. Use the https option. Google recommends using this option if you use your Gmail in public places like a dorm or coffee shop to add an extra bit of protection to your Internet activities.
42. Incorporate Google Calendar and Docs on your Gmail page. Have access to recent documents used in Google Docs and get an agenda of upcoming activities you have on Google Calendar with small boxes added to your Gmail page. Go to Labs to select this option.
43. Add a “Waiting for Response” label. If you have emails in your inbox that you are holding until someone gets back to you, creating this label keeps you from forgetting to follow up on it later.
44. Use Canned Responses. If you find yourself writing the same type of email over and over, use the Canned Responses feature in the Labs to create a template that you you can use without having to type out the entire email every time.
45. Consolidate email accounts. If you have a Gmail account, an account through school, and any other account you are juggling separately, combine them all into Gmail to cut down on time spent checking all those accounts.
46. Use AIM in Gmail. If you use AIM to IM friends or partners on projects, add it to the chat feature already in Gmail to have access to both.

Google Calendar

Save yourself some time by keeping track of appointments, assignments, and more with Google Calendar.

47. Sync up with others using iCal or Sunbird. Google lets you sync your calendar with others using Apple iCal or Mozilla Sunbird.
48. Customize reminders. Set reminders in your Google Calendar so that you never forget an appointment again. Choose from email, pop-up, or SMS reminders and even set when the reminder comes.
49. Learn some basic keyboard shortcuts. Change from daily to weekly to monthly view, compose a new event, and more with these simple shortcuts.
50. Use Quick Add. Click on Quick Add and type the day and time and what you are doing to have the calendar create the event with the correct time and date.
51. Use multiple calendars. Create separate calendars for school work, personal information, important due dates, and more to stay ultra-organized.
52. Get a text message with your daily agenda. Keep up with all that you need to do for the day without ever having to log on to your Google Calendar.
53. Set weekly repeats for any day. The drop-down menu only offers M/W/F or T/Th options for repeating events. Go to “Every Week” and customize which days you want the event to repeat.
54. Get upcoming events while away from the computer. Check out #8 in this list to learn how to access your upcoming events via your phone.
55. Add events from Gmail. If you receive an email with event time and date information, you can easily add this event to your calendar by clicking “Add to calendar.”
56. Invite others. If you have events on your calendar that you want to invite others to join, just add their email address under Add Guests within the event.

Google Mobile

Whether riding the bus or walking to class, use Google Mobile to stay productive while away from your computer.

57. Sync your calendar. Never be far from your Google Calendar when you sync it to your phone.
58. Check your email. Keep your email right at your fingertips with Gmail for mobile.
59. Access your blog subscriptions. Keep up with your blogs and news feeds that you subscribe to through Reader right on your phone.
60. Use Google Voice to consolidate phone numbers. If you have a phone in your dorm or apartment, a cell phone, and any other phone numbers, consolidate them into one number with Google Voice.
61. Easily find friends. Find out where your friends are and even get a map with directions for how to get there with Google Latitudes.
62. Find out information easily while on the go. Whether you are looking for a great place to eat dinner, wondering what the weather is like, or want to know what the Spanish word for “bathroom” is, just text your information to Google (466453–spells Google on your phone) to get the answer texted back right away.
63. Access iGoogle. Get your iGoogle page formatted just for the smaller screen size of your phone.
64. Read your Google Docs. Have access to all your Google Docs items right on your phone.
65. Keep a to-do list on your phone. Use Google Tasks for mobile so you can access your to-do list any time–and check off what you’ve finished, too.
66. Never get lost again. Google Maps is an interactive program for most smart phones that offers tons of features so you will never have to be lost again.
67. Do a quick search anywhere. Find information with a Google search from your phone to impress your professors and your friends.
68. Access Google Books. Android and iPhone users can access Google Books on their phones.
69. Post to your blog. Use your mobile to post to your Blogger blog.

Google Chrome Tips and Extensions

If you are using the Google Chrome browser, then you will love these time-saving tips and extensions.

70. Use a “Pin Tab”. If you have multiple tabs open, use a “Pin Tab” to make the tabs the size of the little icon on the left side.
71. Don’t overlook Paste and Search and Paste and Go. These two features are available when you right-click to add a word or URL to Chrome and will save you an extra step.
72. Reopen a closed tab. Oops! If you didn’t mean to close that tab, just press Ctrl+Shift+T to reopen it.
73. Use the Chrome shortcuts. Open a new tab, see your history, maximize your window, and much more with these shortcuts.
74. Take advantage of the address bar. With Google Chrome, you can use the address bar to perform a Google search, quickly access pages you’ve already visited, and get recommendations for places to go.
75. Go incognito. If you don’t want to leave traces of where you were browsing, use incognito mode instead of having to go back and delete your history and cookies.
76. Use the bookmarks manager. Stay organized, rearrange bookmarks, search for bookmarks, add folders, and much more with the bookmark manager.
77. ChromePass. This tool will give you a list of all the password information stored in Google Chrome.
78. Save as PDF. Save any page as a PDF with this bookmarklet.
79. ChromeMailer. If you’ve lost valuable time when having to manually enter email information from a website because Google Chrome doesn’t support the mailto: function, then you will love this extension.
80. Google Chrome Backup. Back up your personal data, bookmarks, and more with this simple tool.

Google Books

Learn how Google Books can save you time and trips to the library with these tricks.

81. Search full text. Google Books offers full text for over 10,000 books, so look here the next time you are researching something at the last minute.
82. Use “About this book”. At the top left of the page of a book, clicking this link will give you helpful information such as the table of contents, related books, and a map of places mentioned in the book.
83. Create a personalized library. Click on “Add to my shared library” to start your own personalized library where you can label books to keep them organized for each class or project.
84. Find books in your college library. Each book in Google Books has a link to find the book in a library. It can tell you exactly where to look at your own school.
85. Use the Advanced Book Search. If you can’t find the book you are looking for, try the advanced search, which provides you with many more detailed options.
86. Access text books. Many text books are available on Google Books, so see if you can save a trip to the bookstore next semester.
87. Search for magazine content. Select Magazines in the Advanced Book Search to locate information from magazines.
88. Read the blog. Google Books is constantly evolving, so stay on top of all the latest news with the Inside Google Books blog.
89. Find books to supplement your assigned texts. Search by subject to see what books you may be able to read to get the extra leg up in your classes.

Handy Google Services and Apps

These other Google products will help you save time by offering you everything from alerts to online collaboration to help working with data sets.

90. Google Alerts. Sign up to get email notifications any time a topic you designate shows up in Google search results. This is a great way to stay current with a project or news story.
91. Google Desktop. Keep a clock, weather, news stories, Google search box, and more all within easy reach when you use Google Desktop.
92. Google SketchUp. If you need to draw 3D figures for class, use Google SketchUp to do so easily and free of charge.
93. Google Talk. This versatile app is more than just for IMs. You can switch to voice, do a video chat, and send texts, too.
94. Google Images. Google has an incredible image search feature that will provide you with tons of high-quality images you can use in presentations.
95. Google Translate. Don’t spend time looking up stuff in books, use Google Translate to get foreign words translated right away.
96. Google Wave. This brand new Google product shows great promise for anyone collaborating, but especially for those in school. Communicate, create documents, and more–all in real-time.
97. Google Finance. Business students can keep track of markets, news, portfolios, and more in one place.
98. Google Toolbar. Have easy access to Gmail, Google search, bookmarks, and more with this toolbar available for Internet Explorer and Firefox.
99. Picasa. Manage your photos and even incorporate them into your blogs and emails with Google’s streamlines photo manager.
100. Google Squared. Find facts and organize them with this search feature from Google Labs.
101. Google Fusion Tables. If you are working with data sets, then you will love this program that will allow you to upload data, create visual representations, and take part in discussions about the data.

Posted: January 10th, 2010
Categories: general, hack, pop culture, reviews, technology
Tags:
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Streaming MKV on Xbox 360

So there’s a file type out there called MKV. It’s shit. Only absolute wankers use it. It provides no greater a compression ratio than any other file format that is supported on almost friggen everything and is supported on very, very few default installs of any player. It’s the bane of the xbox 360 TV streamers world, and causes more QQ from noobs than any other format. It’s commonly used by fucktards who think people use RAR still, or bother compressing single files under a few hundred meg when there’s no compression pay off to time wasted fucking around. Needless to say, the idiot proof program for streaming PC to Xbox, TVersity, doesn’t support it.

MKV will eat your soul, almost every forum and thread on it is people bitching and moaning about how unsupported it is followed by absolute dimwits trying to defend it when all the consumer wanted was something that works out the box rather than a grow-and-assemble-your-own-automobile-from-scratch kit.

Well, let my countless downloads of various programs, codecs, and virii and having to manually remove EVERY FRIGGEN CODEC on my box to use various ‘methods’ that ‘TTLY WRK DOODLOL’ and cut to the chase: –

GOTSent, http://www.videohelp.com/tools/GOTSent

That’ll do it. It does however need you to download and install two programs before installing it, I won’t go into the tl;dr about what they’re for yadda yadda, they are: –

Haali Media Splitter, http://www.videohelp.com/tools/haali_media_splitter
AC3 Filter, http://www.videohelp.com/tools/ac3_filter

Haali will allow GOTSent to split your files to 4 gig (or whatever you set it to) to burn to DVD or whatever, but if you’re reading this you want to stream from your PC to your Xbox. Do this using TVersity. Load the input file, set the output to whatever, choose what box you want to encode for, then hit the button and wait. It’ll open an MS-DOS shell window (black window with white text), don’t freak out. It’ll do this several times as it rips the video, rips the audio, compiles the video, filters the audio, then merges the two. It’ll take about 5-10 minutes for a 1 gb file, it’s output is almost 1:1, about ten meg bigger at the 1 GB+ mark, so remember to abuse MKV users for being absolute fuckwits.

Good luck, and enjoy that HDTV goodness. Remember to check out http://eztv.it to find awesome shows you already watch, but watch them well before you get them on TV and minus ad breaks. Piracy due to substandard TV broadcasters FTW. Oh, also, check out ‘V’, the reimagined series of the 1980′s sci fi thriller of reptillian aliens eating face and stuff. And come February, you’ve got Lost, House, and CAPRICA starting up. 2010 is going to be a good year for couch hounds. 🙂

Posted: January 7th, 2010
Categories: hack, walk through, xbox
Tags: , , , , , , ,
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Forza 3 Paint Hack


2010 Nissan GT-R BPR 01

Originally uploaded by BaSH PR0MPT

I’ve been spending far too long on this car, and this game in general. But it’s definitely a one of a kind. Well, I’m sure other people have figured it out, so it’s not THAT unique, and it definitely won’t be the second I click the [post] button on this update, but check out the sexy paint job before I get to the hack.

Custom paintwork, BP Racing is fictional and just something a few mates and I race under, BP standing for bashprompt (not just my nick, but a command line prompt in *nix based systems) and all other brand livery was recreated by hand by myself because Forza is lame and doesn’t let you export car designs if you use any manufacturers logos, even though EVERYONE has copies of the logos on their hard drives from the game anyway .. go figure.

The car only has livery of companies it is using and has discounts with, features a splash wrap with pin striping, black GT stripes with ghost stripes over a carbon fiber bonnet and carbon fiber sun roof. The sun roof has a two pixel pitch black line around it before the grey of the undercoat for one pixel then the carbon fiber, this gives it the effect as though it’s popped out and part of the facade of the vehicle and not just drawn in. Positioning of stickers was hard to keep things original, there’s a minor defect in the Nismo sticker I can see as I write this, but it’s on three panels (L side, R side, and front) made to look like two stickers.

Check it out, then on with the hacks.


Forza



Forza


Forza


Forza


Forza


So, did you notice anything? Notice the wheels are a set you can’t paint, but they have a clearly painted inner spoke section? Notice the spoiler is painted even though you can’t paint those spoilers? It really completes the look of the car and makes it utterly unique in it’s class, although it’s locked off however there’s a little hack I discovered through fucking around with a lot of rims, then later gave it a shot with the spoiler and lo and behold it worked!

First we’ll start with the wheels: –

Go into Upgrade Shop, wheels section, pick a pair of wheels (I usually use ‘buddyclub racing’ wheels because they -12 kg’s off your car which is perfect for racing) and then back out to main, go to Paint, Paint Car, Rims, paint them the colour you want, then go back to the Upgrade Shop, wheels section, and purchase a set of rims that look epic but are unpaintable.

This hack works on the following rim types: –

Haman Edition Race
Rota JPL
Holeshot Hole Star
Tenzo RS-5

To carry out the same with body kit features, find one you CAN paint on, and repeat the above steps but with the body kit. This gives you a far more professional finish and leaves a lot of people bugging you in game and in private asking you how the hell you painted your spoiler up, or painted your wheels. 🙂

If you want anything featured on the car, from NSW license plate through to the tow tag or electric certification tag (small icons on the front, that are stickers all race cars are required to have on 99% of race tracks before they can race indicating certification and safety, as well as providing an emergency towing point location tag) it’s all on my storefront.

When I’m finished this design and everything is flawless, I’ll release a limited run of these cars, high end R2 rated, for direct purchase. Stay tuned, and tell your Forza chums to check my shit out and add me, always up for more friends in the Forza community!

Posted: December 22nd, 2009
Categories: forza, games, hack
Tags: , , ,
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Twitter Automation

I’m sick to death of seeing really lame twitter ‘follower’ schemes, none of them work, they merely get the originator of such schemes mad figures, then you’ve got the API programs. I use an API program, however it’s MY software, not some nasty arse shit picked up for $$$’s from some scammer site promoting to the multi-level marketing scammers who seem to be filling twitter of late (get rich quick scum, I mean).

Case in point, a user on my list is automatically DMing anyone who adds them with a program called Tweetadder, close to what I wrote in purpose, except they’re speaking utter shit on their figures. Mine is totally black hat and I can’t do those numbers. They’re outright lying. They claim you can add ’1,000 users a day’, you can only make 250 add/remove API calls per day.

“We have devised a twitter adder software that will increase your follower count in a very short period of time. In 30 days, I received 6963 TARGETED followers and continue to do so!”

That’s like 230 follow backs per day, utter bullshit. They’d get a safe 10:1 though, so to get the mysteriously pattern based (on the num pad) 6,963 users they would have to add 69,630 which would take them 278 days. They need to l2math before they start lying.

Adding people based on significant use of keywords denoting an ‘interest’ of ‘hobby’ makes sense it’s how we all meet people, automating it is natural, but hell, don’t pay some moron who can’t even number crunch when you can get someone to write you up a neat little API engine, or steal mine.

Posted: December 17th, 2009
Categories: hack, technology, twitter
Tags: , ,
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Xbox 360p (laptop!)




Xbox 360p (laptop!)

Originally uploaded by BaSH PR0MPT

I was reviewing the generic trendy design sites I tend to regularly read when I came across this novel idea. Years ago I used to custom make my desktops, and would go out of my way to make them as tiny as possible, even forking out big bucks for solid state hard drives, something that has only just recently become industry standard for micro pc’s. You can imaging my amusement when I found this.

An Xbox 360p, (see: laptop!) modified by Benheck. It has all the functionality of an Xbox 360 just bunged into a nice little aluminium chassis and coupled with a neat little display. The design, albeit a little on the chunky side, is reasonably chic, I love the keyboard accents and the integration of the green wheel Xbox front end being where a trackball would be on a laptop.

Hidden behind it’s chic design is a rather impressive heat sinking system, so no RROD (Red Ring of Death) recovery there as you’d be hard pressed to overheat this laptop.

Somehow I doubt it’s functional purpose, given that an xbox is reasonably portable, and you generally use a laptops portability for university or work related stuff. Also given the commonality of games consoles and access to them, it packages this into the box of “random yet cool” gadget at best.

I dunno though, I kind of like it.

Click here for build info.

Posted: December 1st, 2009
Categories: hack, technology, xbox
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
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Xbox hacking, custom photos

So, I’ve noticed the Xbox only allows you to have a VERY restricted choice of gamer pictures, and the only way to get PERSONAL pictures up is to take a photo of yourself through the special massively overpriced xbox webcam which only your friends can see. It’s still rather lame you can’t upload graphics, so after an hour or so wasting time on google to make sure that there is no possible way out there to make custom gamer personal pics I decided to think a little laterally.

If you can hack this up, you can mount any graphic. Keep in mind, at the moment people take photos of drawings and shit or try and take photos of their laptop screen and it all looks terribly fail.

The thing you want to be able to customise is here, and is only visible when you have your webcam plugged in.

The only way I can think of doing it is to splice the webcam’s cable onto an RSA video cable and plug it into a PC with a TV/AV card and mount it as a display. So you’ll fool the xbox into thinking it’s viewing through a webcam but it’s really viewing your computers screen. Then you load up any image you want to use as your personal picture, and mount it full-screen, then save it on the xbox as though you were taking a ‘photo’ through your webcam.

Downside is you butcher a perfectly good albeit massively overpriced proprietary camera, upside is the epic buff of your geek points off the richter. I’ll give it a shot sometime in the near future and will post results if someone doesn’t inb4 me and hack up their camera.

 

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