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August 3rd, 2006 by john andrews

MAC notebook wi-fi hack

Yes, it’s “Hack a Mac in 60 seconds” and “Macbook easily hacked” and all about the Mac being susceptible to a remote wireless hack that gives the hacker complete access to the local machine.

Is it true? Well, not really. The hack attacks a device driver that is used by some companies wireless cards, and some Mac’s use those cards. Thus, some Macs are vulnerable. As are any PCs using vulnerable drivers. I guess it’s more fashionable to mention “Mac” than “device driver”.

This PR nightmare for Apple comes from it’s smugness – or rather the smugness of the “switch” commercials. The security researcher who deliberately tied the Mac to this security exploit stated that he did so because he was annoyed by the people in the Mac commercials. They seemed too smug about security. Hah. Smugness leads to PR nightmare. Lesson learned?

I didn’t go to Black Hat or DEFCon this year. It’s too damn hot in Vegas, and too darn nice here on the coast.

The video is here. The smugness is evident here. The most factual technical article I found in today’s coverage is here.

Update: I find blogging interesting because it encourages authors to publish before analyzing their thoughts, and sometimes that can be very revealing.  If these IT professionals are afraid of Black Hat Briefings, they should take a look at DEFCon. Oh, and shall we say “Mission Accomplished” for raising awareness of security issues?

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July 20th, 2006 by john andrews

Flock Feed Reader – why redirect to FeedBurner?

A friend just asked about getting up to speed with RSS and I sighed. What to suggest… Bloglines is so slow, I’m enjoying Earthlink’s new Feedreader but it’s…well, it’s Earthlink. So why not just put him onto Flock so he can enjoy what a modern browser feels like, and use it for feeds as well? Good idea.

I’ve been with Flock since the beginning, and was awed by the marketing behind it, and wondered about the business model. That was a year ago, and lately it gets a lot more play time on my computer than Google’s browser FireFox. I still need FF for some of the extensions, but Flock is killer for it’s blog management tools, speed, and trouble-free js/java handling. I don’t know too much about what goes on behind the scenes with Java and complicated javascript screen maniuplation stuff (like fading menus and such) but I do know that my FireFox crashes way too often, and can’t do Hushmail. The current Flock has been a dream to use.

For feeds in Flock just click an RSS icon and bingo.. Flock parses the feed into an HTML page *and* provides a left side column for subscribing. A feed reader in the browser. NICE. Firefox (current release) doesn’t know the feed: protocol. I’ve been redirecting to feedburner to give webified feeds to visitors and to facilitate the transition to syndicated reading, but if more people would adopt modern browsers like Flock (heh heh) I wouldn’t need to hand my traffic over to that third party commercial entity.

Yes, I know the next Firefox has all the greatest features and more, and Flock is better at getting them out to the world, etc etc. whatever. I leave that stuff to the ubergeeks that download the nightlies and such. I just need a browser that works and Flock works for me right now.

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July 17th, 2006 by john andrews

Feedburner in the Shadow of Google

Feedburner bought BogBeat for analytics, and got a new analytics exec. Everybody is busy watching Google.

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