Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Have you ever wanted to register dll files from Explorer? DLL files that export the DllRegisterServer and DllUnregisterServer (as COMdll files do) can easily be controlled from the Explorer while selected. You can register/unregister it as seen in the image above. To enable this feature add subkeys to the registy under HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\dllfile\shell as in the following:
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
The purpose of this hack is to prevent machines saving the weak NTLM hash in their registry which could then be attacked.
You may ask 'How will logon work if you disable this feature?'
The answer is that XP, .NET and Windows 2000 use a separate kerberos security system, this NTLM hash is only there for backwards compatibility with SAM databases in NT.
Its purpose would be to enable users on Windows 2000 to logon to NT domains.
For Windows 2000, locate and click the following key in the registry: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Lsa
From the Edit menu, click Add Key, and then add the following registry key: NoLMHash. Set NoLMHash = 1
In XP Value name: NoLMHash, Data type: REG_DWORD Radix: Decimal Value data: 1
Denial of Service attacks are difficult to defend against. One approach is to harden the TCP/IP stack on a Windows 2000 server or workstation to help prevent DoS attacks .
By default, the TCP/IP stack is configured to handle normal traffic and to be robust under normal working conditions. If a Windows 2000 server or workstation is going to be exposed to the Internet, the TCP/IP stack should be reconfigured to handle the various TCP/IP protocol attacks.
All of the TCP/IP parameters are located under the registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services
Value Type: REG_DWORD—Boolean
Valid Range: 0, 1, 2
When enabled, this parameter causes TCP to adjust the retransmission of SYN-ACKS to cause connection responses to time out more quickly if it appears that there is a SYN-ATTACK in progress. This determination is based on the TcpMaxPortsExhausted parameter.
0: Default Value – Normal protection against SYN Attacks.
1: Better Protection - This parameter causes TCP to adjust the retransmission of SYN-ACKS to cause connection responses to time out more quickly if it appears that there is a SYN-ATTACK in progress. This determination is based on the TcpMaxPortsExhausted, TCPMaxHalfOpen, and TCPMaxHalfOpenRetried.
2: Best Protection – Adds in additional delays to connection indications to quickly timeout TCP connection requests when a SYN=Attack is in progress. This is the recommended setting. Note: When using this setting, the following socket options will no longer work: Scalable windows (RFC 1323) and per adapter configured TCP parameters (Initial RTT, window size).
After extensive research based upon classified information from deep within Apple (and at the expense of several human lives, regrettably), Low End Mac published a never before seen list of iPods that never quite made out of the R&D labs and into production.
Some of the less fortunate models:
iPod wristwatch: This iPod comes with a built-in wrist band and has one more menu item: Wristwatch Display.
iPhone iPod: This variant of the iPhone has a docking station in it for the iPod nano.
StereoPods: Two iPods, miniaturized to the size of hearing aids, synchronized via Bluetooth to play one channel (each) for about seventeen seconds.
iPodPlasma: A 110-inch plasma screen TV with a built-in, non-removable iPod.
StevePod: Steve Jobs' iPod with 2 TB storage capacity with a small video projector for a screen; available 3Q 2017.
SegPod: A Segway with a built-in iPod.
Podway: An iPod with a built-in Segway.
PeaPod: An iPod delivered in a cute floral arrangement.
aPlod: An iPod for actors.
Operation Enduring iPod: a sandproof, bulletproof, satellite enabled iPod. Cost: $23 million.
embeddiPod: Subcutaneous iPod. You heard it here first.
Thomas the Tank Pod: Thomas needs to deliver a musical interlude to Sir Topham Hatt! Can he figure out the menus in time?
Walt Disney's Brother Pod: Sold in pairs, one classic and one nano, targeted at bears that happen to be different sizes but brothers.
The digital music landscape might be completely different had these units gotten the thumbs up from CEO Jobs.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Windows Vista may be Microsoft's most secure operating system to date, but researchers are still finding some glaring loopholes forhackers to exploit. Here is the latest: all you need is a Vista Install DVD to get admin level access to a hard drive.
The loophole arises because the Command Prompt tool in Vista's System Recovery Options fails to request user name or passwords beforehanding over access to PCs running the operating system. The hack, discovered by security researcher Kimmo Rousku, only works locally.Physical access to a target PC is a must. Even so, the potential for mischief (such as deleting directories or copying files on targetedPCs) is enormous. Hackers don't even necessarily need to run a DVD. "It’s easy to create a bootable USB flash memory that works in asimilar way," Rousku notes.
He discovered the problem during a training workshop on Vista back in February and reported it to Microsoft at the time. Since then, Microsofti has sat on the problem, according to Rousku, so he has gone public. The hack also works on machines running other versions of Vista, providing the PCs are not protected by full disc encryption.
A write-up by Rousku explains the issue in detail and suggests workarounds.
Anti-virus firm F-Secure notes that getting into PCs running Windows XP Home is also straightforward, at least in default set-ups, usinga different trick. "The Administrator account password for XP Home is blank by default and is hidden in Normal Mode. But if you selectF8 during boot for Safe Mode, you can access the Administrator account and have complete access to the computer," F-Secure notes.
Monday, September 10, 2007
After November, it will be much more difficult to earn your Cisco CCNA because of a major update.
This update will indeed make it more difficult to attain a CCNA and for good reason!. Many people are just getting their CCNAcertification and stopping (not moving on to the CCNP, CCSP, or whatever).So Cisco decided, if that's all your going to do, thenwe'll make it so you really have an idea of what you're doing!
The CCNA certification has been split into two exams: ICND1 and ICND2. Because they have added so much information, Cisco hasreleased a lower-level cert to the CCNA: the Cisco Certified Entry Level Tech CCENT. If you pass the ICND1 exam, you get this newcertification. Passing ICND1 and ICND2 gives you the CCNA certification.
ICND1 really focuses on the smaller network environment. You'll need to know the basics of routing, switching, and wirelesstechnology. Also new to the scene is the Cisco Security Device Manager SDM graphic interface for managing your routers. Most of whatthe CCENT-certified person is able to do is done in the GUI. Command-line is typically used for verification.
ICND2 is where the rubber meets the road. Much of what used to be only in the CCNP track has moved into this exam - it is primarilyfocused around things like Access-lists, VLANs, Rapid STP, and NAT. Not to mention some advanced routing protocol config (OSPF /EIGRP).
Saturday, September 8, 2007
Apparently a man in California has allegedly been trying to defraud Google first by writing a program which created fraudulent AdSense clicks. Then he tried to sell his program to web publishers. Did he use AdWords to promote it I wonder?:-
Headline: Cheat the AdSense system
Body1: How to cheat AdSense & steal money
Body2: from Google & advertisers.
Not finding many buyers - did his ad go to the wrong landing page? - he eventually hit on the bright idea of blackmailing Google instead to the tune of $150,000.
Oddly enough he didn’t get away with it.
IMHO if you’re going to blackmail Google you at least ought to be talking real money rather than stuff under the $million mark.
He doesn’t sound too smart to me but this must be the nightmare scenario for Google and its AdSense program: as soon as stories get out about people successfully cheating the AdSense system, advertisers will take fright and Google, alongside the hundreds of thousands of publishers who rely to a degree on AdSense income, will find a revenue stream under threat.
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Often, when using Windows Explorer, I want to open the command prompt at the folder that's my current location. That takes too many steps:
opening a command prompt and then navigating to my current folder.
However, there's a quicker way:
you can add an option to the right-click context menu that will open a command prompt at your current folder.
For example, if you were to right-click the C:\My Stuff folder, you could then choose to open a command prompt at C:\My Stuff.
To add the option, run the Registry Editor, then go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Classes/Folder/Shell.
Create a new key called Command Prompt.
For the default value, enter whatever text you want to appear when you right-click a folderfor example, Open Command Prompt. Create a new key beneath the Command Prompt key called Command. Set the default value to Cmd.exe /k pushd %L.
That value will launch Cmd.exe, which is the XP command prompt. The /k switch puts the prompt into interactive mode.
That is, it lets you issue commands from the command prompt; the command prompt isn't being used to issue only a single command and then exit. The pushd command stores the name of the current directory, and %L uses that name to start the command prompt at it.
Exit the Registry. The new menu option will show up immediately. Note that it won't appear when you right-click a file; it shows up only when you right-click a folder.While many of us like fussing around with the Registry rather than doing things the easy way, there's also a way to add this option to your right-click context menu without editing the Registry.
On my visit through sites and forums, I daily notice several instances of misuse of Adsense ads. So here a few helpful Google Adsense tips, probably many you already know, and few you might gain by knowing now. These adsense faq are all picked from the Program Policies, Terms and Conditions and FAQ itself and presented in a simplified manner.
1. Never click your own adsense ads or get them clicked for whatever reason. You know this one very well. This is a surefire way to close you Adsense account. Never tell your office associates or friends to click on them. Keep a check if your family or children are busy increasing your income by clicking your ads and indirectly trying to stop your income. Dont even think of offering incentives for clicks, using automated clicking tools, or other deceptive software. Adsense is very smart to detect fraudulent clicks. Check the ads which appear on your pages by the Google Preview tool if required.
2. Never change the Adsense code. There are enough means of adsense optimization & customizations available to change the colour, background or border to suit your needs. Do whatever you want to do outside the code, never fiddle within the ad or the search code. They know it when you do. The search code has more limitations to colour and placement, but you should adhere to the rules. The code may stop working and violates the TOS.
3. Do not place more than 3 ad units and 3 ad links or 2 adsense search boxes on any web page. Anyway, ads will not appear in those units even if you place more ad units. But this is the limit they set, so it is better to stick to it.
4. Do not run competitive contextual text ad or search services on the same site which offer Google Adsense competition in their field. Never try to create link structures resembling the adsense ads. Never use other competitive search tools on the same pages which have Adsense powered Google search. They do allow affiliate or limited-text links. Update: Google has allowed you to run contextual advertising like Yahoo ads, Chitika etc provided the ads do not resemble Adsense ads.
5. Do not disclose confidential information about your account like the CTR, CPM and income derived via individual ad units or any other confidential information they may reveal to you. However, you may reveal the total money you make as per recent updates to the TOS.
6. Label headings as “sponsored links” or “advertisements” only. Other labels are not allowed. I have seen many sites label ads with other titles. Dont make your site a target in a few seconds gaze.
7. Never launch a New Page for clicked ads by default. Adsense ads should open on the same page. You may be using a base target tag to open all links in a new window or frame by default. Correct it now as they do not want new pages opening from clicked ads.
8. One Account suffices for Multiple websites. You do not need to create 5 accounts for 5 different websites. One account will do. If you live in the fear that if one account is closed down for violation of TOS, believe me they will close all accounts when they find out. You can keep track of clicks by using channels with real time statistics. They will automatically detect the new site and display relevant ads.
9. Place ads only on Content Pages. Advertisers pay only for content based ads. Content drives relevant ads. Although you might manage some clicks from error, login, registration, “thank you” or welcome pages, parking pages or pop ups, it will get you out of the program.
10. Do not mask ad elements. Alteration of colours and border is a facility to blend or contrast ads as per your site requirements. I have seen many sites where the url part is of the same colour as the background. While blending the ad with your site is a good idea, hiding relevant components of the ads is not allowed. Also do not block the visibility of ads by overlapping images, pop ups, tables etc.
12. Keep track of your content. So Adsense is not allowed on several non content pages. But it is also not allowed on several content pages too. Do not add it on web pages with MP3, Video, News Groups, and Image Results. Also exclude any pornographic, hate-related, violent, or illegal content.
13. Do not alter the results after ad clicks or searches - Ensure you are not in any way altering the site which the user reaches to after clicking the ads. Do not frame, minimize, remove, redirect or otherwise inhibit the full and complete display of any Advertiser Page or Search Results Page after the user clicks on any Ad or Search results.
14. Avoid excessive advertising and keyword stuffing - Although the definition of ‘excessive’ is a gray area and is subject to discretion, yet Google adsense with correct placement, focused content and high traffic will get you much more income than other programs, so excessive advertising is not required. Keyword stuffing does target better focused ads, but overdoing it is not required.
15. Ensure you Language is Supported - Adsense supports “Chinese (simplified), Japanese, Danish, Korean, Dutch, Norwegian, English, Polish, Finnish, Portuguese, French, Russian, German, Spanish, Hungarian, Swedish, Italian and Turkish. In addition, AdSense for search is available in Czech, Slovak, and Traditional Chinese. If your web pages language is not supported, do not use the code on such pages.
16. Maximum 2 referral button per product per page - With the launch of the google adsense referral program, you are allowed to put only 2 referral buttons for adsense referral, adwords referral, Google pack and Firefox with google toolbar referral.
17. Do not specify Google ads as your alternate ads. - Several services like Chitika eminimalls allow you to place alternate urls, when a targeted paying ad cannot be displayed. This involved creating an simple html page and putting the ad to be displayed instead. Even Adsense allows an alternate url feature instead of displaying public service ads. But never use Adsense ads as alternate urls.
18. Do not confuse with adjacent images - It was a common policy to increase CTR by placing same number of images as the number of text ads, which falsely gave the impression that the text ads represented an explanation to these images. Inserting a small space or a line between the images and ads is not allowed. Make sure that the ads and images are not arranged in a way that could easily mislead or confuse your visitors.
Whenever in doubt, it is better to ask for adsense help from the learned staff of Google Adsense. They are very helpful!
Monday, September 3, 2007
The good news is that it's a clone, but not a very good one. There's some telltale signs that you need to watch out for when it comes to the N95.
Here's a side-by-side comparison of the two phones, frontal view.
The stylus-driven menu buttons (red box). The fake N95 has a "touch-screen" with a stylus, and the easiest way to spot the counterfeit is by checking this area. If you see a row of little icons (compare to the real N95, bottom), then it's a knock-off.
Wrong buttons and no dual-slide. (yellow and green boxes) In place of the real N95's Menu/Multimedia Key buttons, the fakey N95 has a Play button (yellow box) and a Stop button (green box). This is mainly because it doesn't have a dual-slide mechanism, so whoever designed the knock-off dropped the playback buttons anywhere. And since there's no Symbian OS, there's no need for the menu buttons either.
Back view of the real and fake N95s:
The real Nokia N95 comes in two colors: Silver/Plum and Silver/Sand (sort of a silvery-yellowish color). The plum and sand colors refer to the back cover of the phone (which includes the sides too). However, the counterfeit has a back cover that's black.
Lens Cover Thumb-Switch (orange box). Doesn't exist on the fake N95, but very prominent on the real thing.
Nokia Logo (teal box).
When the two phones are looked at from this angle, note the difference in the logo placement, size, and direction (it's flipped on the fake).
Some random camera oddity on the fake (purple box). Not sure what this piece is supposed to be, but there's some random design on the Nokla N95 (the knock-off) that's in the shape of a 3. Don't be fooled!
Also note that the buttons on the fake look cheaper and are raised slightly higher than they're supposed to be.
Some more pictures as a reference (the fake N95):
As you have probably guessed, The name Dr. Watson was inspired by the character of Dr. Watson, the assistant to Sherlock Holmes in the stories by Arthur Conan Doyle.
It is my understanding that the doctor was originally developed as part of Windows 3.0 beta testing. His job was to record data about application crashes to a file, so that the file could be uploaded and included with bug reports. The icon was (and continues to be) a friendly doctor using his stethoscope to investigate a problem.
The Doctor has remained true to the "capture information about an error" aspect of his job. In the meantime, the word "Watson" has expanded its meaning to encompass anonymous end-user feedback mechanisms in general, such as "Content Watson". (But if you hear "Watson" by itself, the speaker is almost certainly talking about error reporting.)
Saturday, September 1, 2007
We always hear that Google has a sophisticated system to detect the invalid clicks, and result in termination of the cheaters' account. But, how can Google do that? In this post, I summarize those ways that Google depends on to detect whether the clicks on your site are invalid or not. Google will not first ban your account immediately. Rather, they will first flag your account and Google will keep a closer eye to your account. In some occasion, they may send you a warning letter to notify your situation; but sometimes not.
1. IP Address
It is the easist and must be recognized by everyone. If those clicks on your ads are originated from the same IP Address as the one used for accessing your AdSense account, your account is flagged.
2. Click Through Rate (CTR)
Normally, Click thru Rate should not excees 10%. Otherwise, Google will flag your account. For your information, normal CTR should ranges from 0.5% - 10%.
3. Physical Location
Google has good tracing software and technology.They can trace traffics origin down to the small town. So, using different computers with different IP address does not secure anything. So, don't try to click your ads in various internet cafes. That will kill you.
Most home users do not use static IP Address for Internet connection. In most cases just disconnect and reconnect will give you a new IP Address. But don't forget, Google has set cookies on your computer. They can trace these cookies and see whether they originate from the same computer.
5. Click Pattern 1
It is also suspicious when people click on their clicks and then run away immediately (hit-and-run). But normally, people will surf for a while inside your pages and then click on the ads they want.
6. Click Pattern 2
why this computer / IP address / person is so trigger-click-happy on this particular website but never click on the ads on other sites?
7. Click Pattern 3
And why is it that people accessing these sites direct (type-in URL or from bookmark) tend to be very active ad-clickers compared with those referred from search engine or other sites?
8.Other Google Services
Apart from Google Adsense, Google also provide a series of services to us. Don't just think that it is safe if you do not log in your adsense account and click on your ads. What other Google services do they provide to us? Here are some: Gmail (most poeple are using it), Google Earth, Google Calendar, Google Search, Google Toolbar, Google Talk, Google Sitemap, Google Desktop, Blogger, or even Youtube (coz Google has just recently acquired it).
9. Search Engine RankingYour website is not indexed on any search engine, not linked by any prominent website, but get consistently high traffic? How come people can access your website and click your ads? That will make Google to smell a rat.
10. Webpage designHow about the "Please click a link below" or "donate us by clicking the ads"? These kinds of encouragement is not in line with Google's TOS. Google can use their winning search engine, or even human eyes to check your sites from time to time.
11. Advertisers conversion rate
Ad click is one thing. But does it bring value to the advertisers? If none of the clicks on your site translate to conversion to the advertiser, you are in trouble. First the Smart-Pricing hits, then your AdSense account disabled.