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Oct 30, 2013

Snowboarding with GoPro vs. Google Glass

Sports coverage might be forever altered. Now, with Google Glass, we can see a hockey player's span of the ice, a footballer's view of the play unfolding or a snowboarders journey through the backcountry. Viewers watching at home could switch between network broadcast views or the Glass broadcast views.
Some surfboarders started using GoPro video cameras mounted to their chests, and while the views were cool, the wipeouts were even more spectacular. And yet, the cameras held their own.

Back to Back

Introduced nearly a decade ago, GoPro's HD cameras catered to the active image shooter crowd (i.e. sports buffs) and helped to change the way people view and explore high action sports. GoPro cameras gave an inside look at how snowboarders, skydivers and other extreme sports enthusiasts managed their craft. Using the cameras mounted to helmets or body areas gave the viewer a chance to see sports footage from the inside out, online and in stunning high definition.



But having to mount the GoPro camera was a cumbersome task for some. And that's likely why the company did its best to create as many different types of mounts as it could think of for the cameras. But that opened the eyes of competitors to come up with a wearable camera.

Glass Action

That's where Google Glass shows its stuff. Users wear the Glass setup like spectacles, and speak short commands to shoot video or take images. Immediately capturing moments outweighs digging a smartphone out of a pocket or purse, turning it on, checking the focus and other settings, and then snapping. With Glass already on and waiting, a user simply has to say, "take picture, Glass" and it's done.

Glass works great for a sunny stroll on the street, but in dim or adverse light conditions, it may not perform as well. Google set up Glass to record in 720p, which is not altogether bad resolution, but may not have the same quality as 1080p on mobile Internet. But the GoPro Hero3 Black Edition can shoot action-packed video in better than 1080p. It also manages to record great in slow-motion too. It records slow-motion at both 720p and 1080p resolution. Google Glass can't match that.

Currently available to a small number of influencers, Glass is gearing up for a mass market launch to the general public in 2014. But that hasn't stopped folks from experimenting. Check out this snowboarder using the perspective of Google Glass.


Wearable Tech

Other companies are also looking for ways to implement wearable camera technology. BusinessWeek noted other companies are promoting wearable cameras to more than just surfers and cops.

GoPro cameras aren't going away, though. Forbes called GoPro the world's hottest camera company earlier this year. Glass has amazing potential, but the public will still have to decide how much is necessary for great image insights.
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Oct 29, 2013

Free Program To Share Your Screen in Ubuntu Linux

I recently sold my house in Escondido, California and moved back to my home state of Colorado. The cool thing about my move is that my employer in California let me keep my job and just work remotely. Everything has been going pretty well.

One thing that has happened with my company is that we recently brought on a new CEO. My boss has scheduled a time with me to give him a presentation on our infrastructure and security program. That means I have to give a Power Point presentation... remotely.

In Windows I like to use the free tool Join.me, but they don't support Linux. That's a problem because I am running Bauer-Puntu Linux as my work operating system. I needed something else, and I found it!

It's called Mikogo, and It's free for personal use! Here's a video from their page:



So I tested it out with my Desktop tech Frank "The Tank" and it works great. You can join a session by browsing to https://go.mikogo.com and entering in a session number. Of course if you are just using HTML version you can't control the presenter's desktop, but you can if you download the free program.

Mikogo is supported in Windows, Linux and Mac. Here's a list of their download links:
Now that I have Mikogo, I can share my Power Point (Actually Libre Office Impress) presentation with the new CEO from my home office in Colorado!

What do you use to share your screen on Linux? Let us know in the comments!
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Oct 28, 2013

Bauer-Puntu 13.10LO (Live Only) is Now Available!

I have some good news and bad news for Bauer-Puntu users out there. The good news is that I've finally finished Bauer-Puntu 13.10. The bad news is that there is a bug in Relinux that breaks the Ubiquity installer and therefore you cannot install this version of Bauer-Puntu to your hard drive. That's why I'm calling this version Bauer-Puntu 13.10LO (Live Only).

That is good news if you only use Bauer-Puntu on a Live DVD or a Live USB stick for doing stuff like changing administrator passwords in Windows, doing offline maintenance on machines protected with Truecrypt full disk encryption, or doing an offline virus scan on an infected Windows system with ClamTK.

If you like to use Bauer-Puntu as your primary operating system, you will just have to use Bauer-Puntu 13.04 for now, and run sudo apt-get dist-upgrade to upgrade it from 13.04 to 13.10. Of course, you may loose some of my customizations, but it will at least be running Xubuntu 13.10.

So what's new in 13.10LO? Not too much. I did create a new Plymouth splash screen though with support for LUKS encryption. If you only want that, I've made it available on Gnome-Look.org. I also replaced Transmission Bittorrent client with Deluge, and I kept Firefox as the default browser and stopped putting Chromium on because of the NSA's relationship with Google. I also added a couple of programs to help with privacy better in Firefox, and set Firefox to never remember history by default.

Of course the good stuff to protect you from the NSA is still installed. Tor Browser Bundle, Truecrypt, Enigmail for Thunderbird, and OTR for Pidgin are still there.

Here's a list of what's installed:
 Here are some screen shots:

Bauer-Puntu2 Plymouth Splash



Desktop
UFW Firewall
Truecrypt
Low Orbit Ion Cannon
Fern Wifi Cracker
Tor Browser Bundle
You can download Bauer-Puntu 13.10 here:
Bauer-Puntu ISO - (MD5 ffa0f97201f0713beb09cd72fdff9c5d)
Bauer-Puntu Torrent
If you download via torrent, please seed for 24 hours or more. We need more seeders to make the downloads faster.

Any questions? Comments? Anything you want to see in version 14.04? Let us know in the comments!

Also, don't forget your free Powered By Ubuntu stickers by clicking here!


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Oct 25, 2013

More Ubuntu Sticker Action Shots!

As most of you know, I offer FREE Powered By Ubuntu stickers. I now offer two ways for you to get them. You can send me a self addressed stamped envelope, or you can just Paypal me the postage.

On the ones where people Paypal me, I am able to email them back when I mail out the stickers. I always ask for pictures of their setups in my email so I can share them here on the blog! Not too many people want to take the time for that, but a few do.

Here are the latest from Jaakko of Finland!

HTPC setup using XBMCUbuntu with a
mini-ITX Fractal Design Node 304 case

Antec 300 case workstation running Ubuntu, used for
Java/PHP/C/Bash dev work and occasional gaming
What do you think? Looks pretty rad right? It's certainly better than those Windows 7 or Windows 8 stickers that come with new machines.

Want some stickers? Click here! Tell your friends!
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Oct 23, 2013

TTR Corp Bought Out By WP Capital Partners

[San Diego] WP Capital Partners, a managed service provider in Southern California announced today that it has acquired Total Tech Resource, a well-established San Diego IT managed services provider known for its advanced expertise in IT operations, support and IT regulatory compliance.  Citing Total Tech Resource's explosive growth in San Diego's IT managed services industry for the past 4 years, WP Capital Partners indicated this was an acquisition with an intention of further growing the organization.

By combining the collective expertise, experience and IT operations business acumen of both companies, WP Capital Partners and Total Tech Resource will continue the responsive support levels required to support their customers' challenging business needs.

"This is a new chapter for all of our teams.  A new formulation of successful IT management organizations to create the future of IT services, support and IT management, right here and now." explained Robert Palomo, a principal at WP Capital Partners.

"We are very excited and proud to have Total Tech Resource join our team," said Justin Wang, also a principal at WP Capital Partners.  "The combined strengths of both companies equal a superior delivery capability and benefit to our customers, our partners and our employees.  It is a very real and immediate benefit for everyone, across the board."

"This is a great day for these two organizations," Total Tech Resource founder Craig MacKinder stated, "Our customers will have access to an increased capacity to deliver rapid and accurate IT services and support through this new combined team.  WP Capital Partners and Total Tech Resource have been acknowledged in Southern California as the pinnacles of IT service delivery.  Together these two groups will combine to create a new breed of IT managed services that will bring even greater benefits to Southern California businesses."

"Effective immediately, WP Capital Partners will operate as Total Tech Resource." explained Justin Wang.  "As a result of the acquisition, WP Capital Partners will gain an efficient organization with thriving growth and deep expertise in IT operations."
"Our clients and employees are our most valuable assets, and we are proud to be able to welcome Total Tech Resource's talented team to WP Capital Partners and continue operations under the name Total Tech Resource." Palomo said.

[Via PRLog]
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Oct 22, 2013

Preparing Your Employees for 'Bring Your Own Device' Policies

Image by Michael Coghlan via Flickr
'Bring Your Own Device' (BYOD) policies have been gaining in popularity, especially among the 18 to 24-year-old working demographic. According to Magic Software, 42 percent of this demographic uses a personal device for work. Smartphones are the most popular personal workplace device at 42 percent, with laptops coming in second at 38 percent. While BYOD has many security challenges, one significant hurdle you have to overcome is the way your employees think. It's common knowledge to put anti-virus software on your computer, but Kaspersky reports that 40 percent of smartphone owners do not utilize anti-virus software. Teaching your employees about the best security practices for smartphones is an essential step in improving your overall BYOD security.

Major Virus Vectors for Smartphones

Apps, especially ones you load from outside of official app stores, may carry malicious code and viruses. Mobile anti-virus and anti-malware applications help cut down on infections, although zero day viruses get around this protection until the virus definitions are updated. Teach employees to only download and install apps from trusted sources and official websites, instead of third-party sites.
Unsecured wireless networks and Bluetooth connections are another way for malicious code to get injected on employee devices. Security settings on Android and iOS prevent devices from automatically connecting to untrusted networks. MMS messages with attachments also provide another way for hackers to get viruses onto the system, according to Qresolve. When employees are careful about what message attachments they open, they cut down on the amount of virus vectors to keep their smartphones more secure.

Device Loss

According to BGR, 113 smartphones are lost every minute in the U.S. If employees store work files or login information on their smartphones, this data could easily be used against the company if the phone is stolen. Anti-theft software cuts down on data breaches by locating the phone if it's lost, or remotely wiping the data if it's stolen. Another point to bring up in training is to tell employees not to store passwords on their smartphones, or encrypt any stored passwords. You can also install apps that provide lock screens for every individual app, preventing a thief from accessing any data stored in apps instead of mobile browsers.

Enterprise App Stores

Instead of letting employees use their own apps for work-related purposes, provide them with approved, secure apps for productivity and utility. While some employees are more productive with their own apps, enterprise app stores do cut down on unsecure data transfer. You provide solutions to your employees for data transfer, cloud storage, collaboration tools, and other essential workplace apps.

Mobile Management

You can cut down on the amount of work managing multiple mobile platforms by using mobile device management (MDM) software that supports iOS, Blackberry and Android phones. Solutions that provide substantial mobile security include features such as virtualized work spaces and secure, self-contained applications that don't interact with the rest of the smartphone's system files.
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Oct 18, 2013

Unable To Connect To RDP Server in Remmina

A while back I completely ditched Windows on my work computer, and went to Bauer-Puntu Linux. I've tried doing in in years past, but I've always gone back to Windows for work... Until now.

One of the tools I use on a daily basis to manage my Windows servers is Remmina, which is a multi-protocol remote desktop and ssh client. In general it works great, except there were a few Windows 2008 R2 servers in my environment that would not let me connect with Remmina. When I tried to connect I would get an error saying:
Unable to Connect To RDP Server x.x.x.x


I finally figured out a fix. Here's what you do:

  • Right click on the problem server, and click Edit
  • Click on the Advanced tab


  • Under Security, change the drop down from Negotiate to TLS


  • Click Save
That's it, now you should be able to remote desktop into your Windows 2008 R2 servers in Remmina!

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Oct 17, 2013

When It Comes To Anti-malware, For God's Sake Listen To The IT Guy!

Malware logo Crystal 128.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
So the other day my dad tells me that he can no longer send emails from his email account. When he tried to send it, he got a bounce back from his email service provider saying that his account had sent too many suspicious emails, and he had to call support.

What does that sound like? Some kind of spam malware right? Maybe a worm or something right?

Well he calls his email provider's tech support and they said he had to run an anti-malware tool on his machine and send them the report before they would turn his email service back on.

First he ran Microsoft Security Essentials, and didn't find anything. He said he wanted to run an anti-spyware program too. At that I told him that I recommend Spybot Search and Destroy, as well as Malwarebytes. I told him how both are free, and very good at detecting and removing malware.

Well yesterday morning he was running a scan from a program I've never heard of called SpyHunter 4. He told me he paid for the program, and is running it.

WHAT? Why would you pay for a program when I gave you two great programs that are free for personal use? Two programs that have been proven to work, and are NOT rogue anti-malware programs?

Wait, what? What's a rogue anti-malware program? I'm sure you are asking... Here's a description from Wikipedia:
Rogue security software is a FraudTool (a form of Internet fraud using computer malware) that deceives or misleads users into paying money for fake or simulated removal of malware (so is a form of ransomware)—or it claims to get rid of malware, but instead introduces malware to the computer. Rogue security software has become a growing and serious security threat in desktop computing in recent years (from 2008 on).
That's right boys and girls, there are software companies that make programs that look like anti-virus or anti-spyware programs, that really harm your computer. That is why you can't just use any willy-nilly program you find out there! Especially if your IT guy already gave you two programs that work!

Anyway, I checked around and although SpyHunter wasn't on any current known rogue anti-malware lists, it was once listed back in 2004 because of their misleading marketing practices. Here is a full explanation from Spyware Warrior:
Enigma's SpyHunter anti-spyware application was listed on this page primarily because of the company's history of employing aggressive, deceptive advertising. The company was also known for exploiting the name "spybot" in its domain names and online advertising. These objectionable business practices were employed primarily from late-2002 to mid-2004.

Sometime during summer of 2004 the company halted the most obnoxious and objectionable aspects of its online advertising. It also unloaded all the "spybot" domains (which were promptly picked up by Paretologic for its XoftSpy anti-spyware application).

While there are still unresolved allegations that SpyHunter transmits the Windows Product ID from users' PCs, we can no longer classify this application as "rogue/suspect." Nonetheless, SpyHunter -- at least in its current state -- cannot be recommended because of its mediocre performance as an anti-spyware scanner. Testing indicates that it does not recognize some well-known spyware installations and has difficulty removing critical spyware/adware files even from those it does recognize. Given the many excellent competing anti-spyware applications that are available (some for free), users would do better looking elsewhere for trustworthy anti-spyware protection. 
 
Here are a few good lists of known rogue anti-malware programs:
So long story short, if your IT guy recommends some good free programs, don't just go it alone and disregard what they say. Chances are, they are recommending those products because they have used them plenty of times to know they work. Plus, if you screw around and download the wrong program, you could find yourself in a world of hurt by actually installing something worse than you are trying to remove. I think my dad was lucky this time.

Has this happened to you? Tell us a story about how someone you knew disregarded your recommendations and messed things up worse in the comments.
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