Loading...


Dec 16, 2017

The FCC's regulations on the internet have been killed. Are we "feeballing" again? #NetNeutrality

I have been a pretty big proponent of actual Net Neutrality. By that I mean that I feel that governments and ISP's should leave the Internet the hell alone! The Internet is the ultimate experiment in human freedom, and the sharing of limitless information is incredibly valuable.

So like many people, I have fallen in with those on "the left" when it started to become apparent that the FCC was going to repeal Obama era regulations to "protect the Internet". However, the following from Reason TV has started making think that this recent action from the FCC might not be as bad as I had thought.

Via Reason TV:
Progressives are freaking out now that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is beginning the repeal of Net Neutrality regulations, which give the government the right to regulate Internet Service Providers (ISPs). 
The main arguments in favor of Net Neutrality are really arguments guarding against hypotheticals: that ISPs could otherwise block and censor content (they never have) or that they'll run their operations like shakedowns, requiring content providers to pay up or slow their traffic to molasses. The main documented instance of an ISP favoring one content provider over others wasn't sinister collusion. Metro PCS offered unlimited YouTube in a budget data plan but not unlimited Hulu and Netflix, because YouTube had a compression system that could be adapted to the carrier's low-bandwidth network. In a different context, critics might have applauded Metro PCS, since bought by T-Mobile, for bringing more options to lower-income customers. 
Net Neutrality is a proxy battle over what type of internet we want to have—one characterized by technocratic regulations or one based on innovation and emergent order. Progessives are generally suspicious of complex systems existing without powerful regulators present and accounted for. Small-government folks are repulsed by bureaucrats in general, and think the internet will fair better in a state of benign neglect. The FCC has come down on the side of an organic internet, instead of treating the internet more like a public utility. 
We don't know how the internet is going to evolve over time, but neither do the government administrators trying to rein it in. But given the record of free-market innovation vs. government-regulated services, the odds are with market forces and entrepreneurs.
If the above isn't doing it for you, their video does the best job in my opinion:




After watching the video above, has it changed your mind about Net Neutrality? I mean, we really want to keep the creepy government's fingers out of it don't we?

Let us know what you think about this either way in the comments!

Dec 15, 2017

htaccess not working with https on Apache

I noticed an issue the other day on a Wordpress server I manage that runs on Ubuntu. We have several virtual directories on that server that use rewrite rules in an htaccess file to present content from a different website. If we use http, it works great! If we use https, we get a page cannot be found error.

What gives?

Well, it turns out that out of the box the /etc/apache2/sites-available/default-ssl has the following setting:

        <Directory />
                Options FollowSymLinks
                AllowOverride None
        </Directory>
        <Directory /var/www/>
                Options Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews
                AllowOverride None
                Order allow,deny
                allow from all
        </Directory>

The above setting makes it so that Apache ignores your htaccess file.

The highlighted items are what we need to change. You need to change AllowOveride None to AllowOveride All (or to whatever you have in your 000-default.conf file). See below:

        <Directory />
                Options FollowSymLinks
                AllowOverride All
        </Directory>
        <Directory /var/www/>
                Options Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews
                AllowOverride All
                Order allow,deny
                allow from all
        </Directory>

After making the change, you need to restart the Apache daemon:
#sudo service apache2 restart
Once Apache restarts, you your rewrite rules should now work over https!

Dec 14, 2017

How Secure Is Your Operating System?

Ever wonder how secure your information truly is? What security protocols do you practice? Maybe creating a password? Locking the computer so others cannot access your data? Bypassing windows passwords only takes a minute or less and the windows 10 installation disk. Thus far, I have been successful in using the Windows 10 disk to bypass account passwords and even activating deactivated accounts on Windows Server 2012, Windows 10, Windows 7, and Windows 8.1. I have yet to test the technique to bypass locked computer accounts in Windows XP and Vista, but I do not foresee any complications with those operating systems.

Before you think this makes you safer because you use Mac OS X. I have also been able to bypass root level account passwords on a MacBook Pro, running Mac OS X (10.10) Yosemite operating system, using built-in Apple commands. This method also took less than a minute to accomplish.

The security implemented in an operating system and accounts always has a level of vulnerability. Most security measures are feel good methods. Username and passwords, for example, represent single level authentication, identifying who you are, the username and proof that you are who you are, the password. It is said for modern security protocols to require the username to be unique and the password to have a minimum of 16 characters and a random combination of uppercase, lowercase, numbers and special characters to be utilized. 16 digits the extent of the average person to remember their own passwords. With the growing technological advancements of computer processing power, such passwords will eventually be capable of being broken in shorter amounts of time, eventually making them completely useless. Most operating systems store username and password combinations as hash algorithms in specific files that can be viewed as plain text, resulting in the need for passwords to be ultimately obsolete.

Stating those facts does not mean "So, why bother?" with username and passwords. Passwords do stop the average person from gaining access and some level of security is better than no level of security. There, of course, are other ways to better secure your operating systems, preventing the method mentioned here from being capable of being utilized. Data at rest encryption, for example, is an option at the operating system level. This means a decryption process must occur prior to the operating system boot.

2 factor and 3-factor authentication also increase the security level of your operating system. CAC (Common Access Cac) cards, commonly utilized by the DoD and other government agencies are a prime example of 2-factor authentication. The first factor, requiring the card itself that maintains encrypted certificates to identify who you are and who you say you are, plus the second factor of a pin as secondary proof. 3-factor authentication would include features such as biometrics. Keep in mind, even with all of these methods being utilized. There is no such thing as a 100% secure system.

Dec 13, 2017

10 Upcoming Gadgets and Technologies to Change the World

Digital technology has come a long way through all leaps and bounds over the past five years. Cloud computing, smartphones, and multi-touch tablets are the innovations which revolutionized our personal and work life. Well, it's just a beginning. Technology will get even better. In the near future, we could lead a life just like in sci-fi movies.

So, get ready to slice Ninja fruits through your gestures and control the desktop with eyes, print your own physical product, and enter into the virtual world and experience virtual reality. Here's is the rundown of top 10 real-life, upcoming gadgets and technologies which will change the world.

Google Glass

Augmented Reality is already here in the forms of simulated education and experiment app. But Google has taken multiple steps ahead by launching Google Glass. Theoretically, you can view your texts, social feeds, Google Maps and navigate through GPS. You can also get updates on the ground. Currently, it is offered only to some developers at $1500. But other tech companies are working and trying to build an affordable variant for commercial sales.

Form 1

3D printing could forge any digital design into a real-life product. It is nothing new for the mechanical industry but a 3D printer is surely a revolutionary idea. Everyone can create their own product with their unique design and you don't need any approval from any company. Even Aston Martin in a James Bond movie was a 3D printed product which was crashed for a scene.

Form 1 is a personal 3D printer you could buy at $2799. It seems a very hefty price but you can produce your own prototypes with it. Imagine a day when any professional can mass produce their own physical products without any limits.

Oculus Rift

Oculus Rift is a 3D headset which would bring virtual reality to life. It allows you feel that you are actually in a video game mentally. In its virtual world, you could view the world in HD display with very low latency by just turning the head around. Several premium products can do the same but Rift gives that experience at just $300. It is the beginning of next-gen gaming revolution.

The world is bombarded with VR gadgets. So, the timing is right to be immersed in the whole virtual world. Oculus Rift is the first step to reach such level of realism.

Leap Motion

The concept of a multi-touch desktop is miserably failed because hands could get too tired for long use. But Leap Motion could come with a more innovative idea. You can control your desktop with fingers, without having to touch the screen.

Unlike a usual motion sensor, Leap Motion enables the user to zoom in the photos and map, scroll a web page, sign documents and also play FPS game with just finger and hand movements. A smooth reaction is a very important part of it. This future tech could be yours at just $70. You could buy a PS3 premium game title for this price. If it could work with Oculus Rift, it could definitely give a great makeover to your real-time gaming.

Smart Things

In most devices, the existing problem is that they work standalone and it needs effort for tech leaders to partner with one another and build products that can connect to one another. With Smart Things, you can make every digital to connect together, whether digital or not. You can easily get your humidity, vibration and pressure sensors, and smoke alarms to detect things and alert you by using your smartphone.

You can also track who has been in your house, turn the lights on when entering the room, and shut the doors and windows while leaving the house, all with a gadget which could cost around $500.

Eye Tribe

Eye tracking has been discussed actively by tech lovers already but it is not that simple to implement. But it is not so for Eye Tribe. They created a technology successfully that can let you control the tablet, play flight simulator and even play Fruit Ninja with just eye movements.

Basically, it's just an eye-tracking technology which can be combined with a front camera and some serious computerized algorithm. In LeWeb, a live demo was done this year and we may see it in action in future. The company is still looking for partnership to bring this tech to the market.

Firefox OS

As we all know, there is no competition for Android and iOS. But both of them have their own policies and rules which inhibit the developers and their creative efforts. Since then, Mozilla decided to develop a new mobile OS from the very beginning, which will focus on freedom, true openness, and user's choice.

It's Firefox OS which is built on Gecko, Gonk, and Gaia software layers. It means it is completely open source and carries HTML5 and CSS3 technologies.

Developers can debut apps without blockade of needs set by stores. Hence, users could also personalize the OS as per their needs. Currently, it is available for Android-compatible devices. It can be used to do basic tasks that you do on Android or iOS devices, such as browsing the web, calling friends, playing games, etc.

Project Fiona

Razer's Project Fiona is supposed to be the first generation of gaming tablet. It is seriously built for hardcore gaming. Tech companies might also develop their tablets that are dedicated to gaming. It features Intel Core i7 CPU to play all the PC games you love at the palm of your hands. Razer has developed user experience just on the tablet, along with magnetometer, 3-axis gyro, accelerometer and multi-touch UI.

Parallella

It will clearly redefine the way computers are made. It is simply a supercomputer for all. It is a power-saving computer built to process complex program efficiently and simultaneously. It will make holographic heads-up display, real-time object tracking, and speech recognition even smarter and stronger.

Driverless Car by Google

We all have imagined driverless car to be real someday. Finally, Google has made it happen. It works on artificial intelligence which gets input from video cameras in it, a sensor on the top, and some position sensors and radar in various positions of the car. A lot of research and development has been done to imitate the human intelligence.

Dec 12, 2017

When I made this video, #Bitcoin was trading for $12.83



I made this video for my old Tech Chop video series back in October of 2012! When this video came out, nobody really had heard about Bitcoin at that time. It was trading for roughly $12.83 per Bitcoin then, and mining was still relatively profitable. Now mining has stopped being profitable, but since Bitcoin is now trading at around $18,000 people are still making money!


Bitcoin mining itself isn't profitable anymore, but you can still get into cryptocurrency mining, and transfer your earnings into something worthwhile like Bitcoin, Litecoin or Ethereum using MinerGate! Check them out!


Google Creates More Magic With Pixel 2

Google Pixel 2 XL
Google has raised the curtain on the newest edition of its Pixel phone line and Android fans will not be disappointed.

A worthy successor to the original Pixel, the Pixel 2 combines an outstanding camera with reliable software and an attractive design, all in an aluminum waterproof package.

The phone is available in two sizes the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. Unlike Apple and other manufacturers the large and small versions both are identical in guts and performance.

Look under the hat and you'll find the same Snapdragon 835 processor, 4 gigs of RAM, and the same 64 or 128 gigs of storage. The camera is the same as well. Both run Android Oreo with no bloating or customizing to the operating system. Battery life is around 7 hours with only 15 minutes of charging. Since it is "pure Android" users will get security updates and more features faster than other phones.

Screen size is the big difference between the phones. The smaller version has a five inch 1920 x 1080 OLED screen. The larger version has a higher-res 6 inch screen with a 2880 x 1440 display. The larger phone also has a rounded bezel and bigger battery.

Google has added a few design elements to the Pixel for a better experience. The search bar has been moved down to the bottom of the home screen, so it can be reached more easily. A new widget will show you useful information like the weather or your next appointment. An always-on display lets you know the time and any new notifications.

Throw around some more magical dust and you get an app called "Now Playing". It automatically identifies whatever music is playing nearby whether you are in a bar, restaurant or other place. It downloads a list of similar songs to your phone. You can then select if you wish to listen to them.

For most, the camera is king when it comes to cell phones and Pixel 2 continues the excellent reputation of its predecessor. The photos are sharp with soft background portrait shots. The 12.2 rear megapixel camera, and 8 MP up front, are fast and extremely impressive in low light.

The Pixel's video capabilities will also turn heads. It can shoot slow-motion video at up to 240 frames per second. 4K shooting can be done at 30 frames per second. Google also touts the phone's ability to combine optical and electrical image stabilization so your video is smooth even in the roughest conditions.

Worried about storage? Google says no need. Pixel provides unlimited and free photo and video storage, even in 4k.

You can also search "what you see" with Google Lens. Do more searching by voice or with a squeeze of the device.

Since it is a Google phone it comes with all company accoutrements working in tandem between the phone's Google Assistant with Google Home and Chromecast. Like most phones there is no headphone jack but Pixel Bud wireless headphones are reportedly on the way soon.

Colors include "Just Black", "Clearly White", and "Kinda Blue" for the Pixel 2 with the "Just Black" and "Black and White" available in the XL model.

Pricing starts at $649 for the Pixel 2 and $849 for the XL.

Though perhaps lacking behind the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 in performance options, and in price, Google has waived its wand and created a worthy competitor in the cellphone marketplace. The Pixel 2 should certainly generate many "oohs and ahhs" among Android fans.


About the author:
George Rosenthal is a founder and partner with ThrottleNet Inc.. ThrottleNet offers an array of technology services and products to help business owners achieve their corporate goals and accelerate business growth. These include cloud computing, custom software and mobile application development, and outsourced Managed Network Services which helps companies improve their technology uptime and IT capabilities while, at the same time, reduces costs. To learn how to accelerate your IT visit ThrottleNet online at http://www.throttlenet.com.



Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

 
Design by Free WordPress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Themes | stopping spam