Jun 26, 2012

The Web has Gone Mobile [Infographic]

A lot of people these days have smart phones. I am ne of those people. I just can't imagine life without one after having had one for the last 7 years or so. When I first started using them, the main thing I used them for was checking work email on the road, and browsing the web. Now I use it for all sorts of stuff. Keeping in touch with family, listening to podcasts in the car, GPS turn-by-turn navigation, and even calorie counting since my last Epic Meal Time party.

It's interesting to know that the shift from standard computing to mobile computing isn't unique to me. In fact, according to the Infographic below, approximately 20% of all emails are read on an iPhone! That's crazy when you think about how many emails are sent every day. Take a look:



[Via Litmus]


Jun 25, 2012

How To Create and Deploy Templates in VMWare ESXi (Workaround)

At my day job we have a disaster recovery (DR) site in a data center in a different state. That way if California falls off into the ocean, my company can still do business assuming that I don't die in the massive cataclysm, and can still fail over to our DR site. Anyway, the equipment we have there isn't quite at the same specs as our production environment. namely, we use the free VMWare ESXi there because as a small company we can't afford the outrageous prices of vCenter for our DR site.

Anyway, I'm working on a project to re-build DR, and I have to deploy a number of servers. Since we aren't using vCenter there, I can't just deploy one server, template it, and deploy the rest from the template. That is because cloning, and templating is a function of vCenter, not ESXi, or even ESX for that matter.
I did see a really great suggestion from Dave Mishchenko on the VMWare communities forums that is a pretty good workaround. He suggests:

  • Create a new VM with the VI client - give it a small HD size.
  • Edit the new VM and remove the HD.
  • With the RCLI,  use vmkfstools to copy the template VMDK to the new VM's folder.
  • Edit the VM and add a HD - use the option to select an existing VMDK.
  • Start the VM and run sysprep, etc to customize the OS.

You don't really need the RCLI to copy the VMDK to the clone machines. You can do that through the VI Client, and you will probably want to sysprep your template machine first before copying it around, but hey, this works and saves a heap of time. Thanks for the tip Dave!

Jun 22, 2012

World IPv6 Launch. This Time It's For Real... Is It Though?

So I was perusing the Internet like I usually do when I have some spare time, and came across a site talking about the officially offficial IPv6 launch day that was held back on June 8th. They were posting about how great IPv6 is because the Internet is running out of public IPv4 addresses.

My take on the whole IPv6 thing, and I may be wrong about this, is that the issue of running out of addresses is a problem with the public IP spectrum, not internal networks which is separated by NAT. One might say that with IPv6 we no longer need NAT, because every device can have it's very own public IP address, but I say that NAT works, so why do all my devices need their own public IP address?

I do think that having all ISP's switch over to IPv6 is important, but having everyone and their grandma switch is kind of stupid, and it's going to be a lot of work. Why can't ISP's NAT their networks with NAT64 or something, then hand off IPv4 addresses to customers? That way the transition is seamless to me, and I don't have to change anything.

If the IPv4 spectrum is roughly 4.5 billion addresses, why don't we allow ISP's to use every one of those addresses on their internal network that they hand off to us? Each ISP would have 4.5 billion addresses and those will all be NAT64'd to the public IPv6 infrastructure. If there is something wrong with that plan please sound off about it in the comments. I am fully aware that I may not be understanding this completely...

Anyway, the real reason for this post was to share an infographic... Enjoy!

[Via  World IPv6 Launch]

Jun 21, 2012

Microsoft's Answer To The iPad. Welcome To The Party Pal (Only 2 Years Late)

Microsoft just announced that they are throwing their hat into the tablet ring a meazly two years after the announcement of the first iPad. Way to stay competitive guys! Microsoft's new tablet is being called the Microsoft Surface.

The interesting thing about this announcement is that this will be Microsoft's first attempt at producing the actual hardware for a computer device rather than just making the software for a device that will run on a different company's hardware. Will this new device pay off for the software giant? With their attempts at competing with Apple on the hand held entertainment front goes with products like the Zune and their mobile phones, it's not promising.

Although full specs have not been released yet, we do know that the Surface will have a 10.6" display, two covers, several color options and will be running on Windows 8. From CBS News:

There are two types of covers: A Touch cover, which will detect gestures as typing, and a Type cover that doubles as a full keyboard, for people who need or want more than an on-screen keyboard. Covers include a built-in kickstand to prop the tablet up. Stereo speakers and dual microphones with a rear-facing camera will support video calls using Skype, which Microsoft bought last year.

The device will come in a choice of five colors and be just over a third of an inch thick. Users will have a choice of 32GB or 64GB of storage. Units will offer a full-sized USB 2.0 port, that will likely be compatible with a larger number of devices than the iPad, a microSD port to use external memory chips, and a micro HD video connector to attach an external monitor.

Check out this video promo for the surface:

Price and availability haven't been released yet, but it's estimated to be offered between $600 and $1000.

I don't know about you, but I think I will stick to my Android tablet. What do you think? Will the Microsoft Surface be as popular as Android tablets or the iPad? Why or why not? Let us know what your think in the comments!
[Via CBS]

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Jun 20, 2012

How To Configure VoIP QoS On A Netgear ProSafe SRX5308

A while back my company went through a phone system change. We had a Panasonic PBX system when I first started that was a bear to use. Mainly because it was complicated, and because it wasn't a well known PBX system so finding consultants that knew it was difficult. We ended up trading up for a hosted VoIP service from 8x8. In order to make the change we had to buy a new firewall and new switches. The switches we had couldn't handle VLANs, and the Firewall we had needed to be able to handle multiple WAN links and support either WAN load balancing or failover. It could handle it, but the cost of a license from Cisco was going to be over $600, while buying a new Netgear Prosafe SRX5308 was only going to be a little over $400. Like everything at my company, we went down the cheap road.

Anyway, it took a while to figure out how to properly configure the Netgear for VoIP Quality of Service (QoS). The documentation just tells you where to setup QoS, but not how to configure it for VoIP. I finally figured it out, so I'll tell you how I did it here. There are a few places you need to make some configurations.
First, you need to create a QoS Profile

  • Security > Services > QoS Profiles Tab
  • Click Add, and create a new profile called Phones
  • Use these settings:

    Remark: Checked

    QoS: IP Precedence

    QoS Value: 7

    QoS Priority: High
Now that is set, the next thing you need to do is configure an outbound firewall rule

  • Security > Firewall
  • Under Outbound rules click Add
  • Use the following settings:
    Service: Any
    Action: Allow Always
    LAN Users: Address Range
    Start and End of your phone's IP range
    WAN Users: Any
    QoS Profile: Phones
The reason we don't specify the ports for SIP (5060/5061) is because the outbound port isn't the standard SIP port. It can be anything. Therefore we set the outbound rule to Allow Any service, but limit it to the phone IP addresses. With me so far? Good.
Finally we need to enable QoS by doing the following:

  • Network Configuration > QoS
  • Set Enable QoS to Yes, and set the QoS type to Priority
  • Add a new rule with the following settings:
    QoS Type: Priority
    Interface: The interface you want your VoIP traffic to traverse
    Service: Any
    Direction: Outbound Traffic
    Priority: High

After that, you should have decent calls. You can test your VoIP settings by using 8x8's tool here. If everything is green, you should have everything configured correctly. If after these settings changes, and everything tests green you still have dropped calls or something, you might want to up your Internet bandwidth.

[Edit 7/25/2012] - One more thing that we found after a bandwidth upgrade, was that we had to create a bandwidth profile. Our phone Internet connection is a 5Mbps connection, so I wanted the phones to have at the very minimum 3Mbps, and a Max of 5Mbps. To set that up you first have to tell the firewall what your WAN bandwidth is by going to Network Configuration > WAN Advanced Options > Upload/Download Settings for Bandwidth Profiling. After that is set do the following:

  • Got to Security > Bandwidth Profile
  • Click the Add button
  • Add a new profile with the following settings
    Profile Name: Phones
    Direction: Outbound Traffic
    Outbound Minimum: 3072
    Outbound Maximum: 5120
    Type: Group
  • Click Apply
  • Change the Enabled Bandwidth Profiles radio button to Yes
  • Go back to your outbound firewall rule we created above and add the Phones bandwidth profile to the rule.
Keep in mind that the max and min settings above are for a 5Mbps internet connection. If you have a different speed connection, you need to set it based on your environment.

Jun 19, 2012

Tech Chop Tuesday: DoS Attack

New week, new Tech Chop. In this episode I wanted to show how easy it is to perform a Denial of Service attack on Bauer-Puntu Linux using Low Orbit Ion Cannon (LOIC). If you don't know what that is, it's a GUI tool written in .NET that was originally designed for network stress testing, and is now the weapon of choice for the hacktivist group Anonymous.

Although LOIC is written in .NET, it is pre-installed on Bauer-Puntu 12.04 and runs with Mono, the Linux implementation of .NET. It works out pretty good.

If you want this attack to be effective, you need a few hundred to a few thousand people running this tool simultaneously. Don't think you will be able to take down "the man" all by yourself. Also, please don't try to run this tool against a government site from your house. That's just ignorant, and you WILL get arrested. It's best you just play with this tool in your own lab.

Anyway, check out the video:

So what do you think? Know of any other tools for performing network stress testing that is better than LOIC? What have you used? Let us know in the comments.

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Jun 18, 2012

A World Without Internet [Infographic]

I am not too old, but old enough to remember life before the Internet. Well, that isn't exactly true because the actual Internet has been around since the late 60's, but at least I remember a time before the World Wide Web. Times were good then, and things seemed to work fine, but when the potential of the Internet was actually realized, it made life so effing easier didn't it? Before then we were just too ignorant to know the difference.

I mean shopping online, banking on line, email, texting, VoIP, all sorts of stuff just became that much more awesome, convenient and cheaper with the World Wide Web didn't it. Can you imagine life without after having tasted the fruits of epicness that is the Internet? It's hard to fathom. I did find this this infographic that outlines some of the stuff that would be radically different if we never had it though (Thanks @dtmcculloch)

Source: prdaily.com via PR on Pinterest

What do you think? Is live better with or without the internet? Let us know in the comments!

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Jun 15, 2012

What's Your Favorite File Sync/Cloud Based Storage Service?

A few years back when Bauer-Power was still pretty new, I was approached by SugarSync to write up a review about their product. In return I was going to get a free account with them. Me being the lazy slacker that I am never got around to writing said review. Mainly because, at the time, I didn't have a need for that sort of product. I feel kind of bad now because i could have gotten in on the ground floor of a pretty awesome product of the type that I now have a need for.

A few weeks back, Google Drive came out, and I decided to try it. Although I pretty much like most of Google's products, Google Drive just wasn't blowing my skirt up. Maybe I was doing it wrong, but I placed files in my Google Drive folder, and it synced to the cloud, but it didn't sync to any of my computers. If I was doing it wrong, please let me know in the comments. Also, another thing I didn't like was when I deleted files, they stayed in the cloud in a recylce bin, which took up space. I placed a 5GB Truecrypt volume in it, and it wasn't long before Google started squaking at me for not having space, and how I needed to purchase more. When I removed that volume, and tried to replace it with a 2GB Truecrypt volume, it said I didn't have enough space. I had to login to the web interface and delete my recycle bin. Too much of a pain in my opinion.

sugarsync, dropbox, live mesh, google drive comparisonI hear tech shows like Tekzilla talking up another one of these tools called DropBox a lot. I looked at it, but their free version only gives you 2GB of space. How are they staying competitive when all the other services of this type are giving out 5GB of space free? Needless to say, I skipped them.

Right now I am using Windows Live Mesh. So far I really like it. The interface is simple, and it's syncing my files and folders seamlessly. Plus it comes as a part of the other Windows Live Programs I use regularly like Windows Live Writer and Windows Live Movie Maker. It syncs any folder I choose between any computer I choose, and to Skydrive if I want. Skydrive is limited to 5GB of free storage, but there are no limits to sync between my own computers. If I want to share a 1TB external drive to my parents house, I can. I just would leave Skydrive unchecked in the settings for that particular folder. Interesting enough, you can get Windows Live Mesh for Mac, but there doesn't appear to be a client for Linux. Also, according to ZDNet, Live Mesh might be getting phased out, so there is another draw back.

I want to know what you prefer. Do you like one of the programs mentioned above? Is there another one that I didn't mention that you like the best? Let me know your favorite in the comments.

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Jun 14, 2012

Mars Colonization Is About To Get Real Bitches - cc @MarsOneProject

I think we can all agree that space exploraration sounds pretty awesome. Especially because if you are reading this blog post, you probably are into sci-fi on a semi-unhealthy level. You've seen every Star Wars film, every Star Trek episode and movie, and countless other space and interplanetary related flicks. Am I right?

Well, it is looking like in about ten years shit is about to get real with interplanetary exploration, and it will start on Mars! Not only that but it will not cost you as a tax payer a damned thing! It is being conducted by a co-op of private corporations. It's called the Mars One project. From their page:

Mars One will establish the first human settlement on Mars in 2023. A habitable settlement will be waiting for the settlers when they land. The settlement will support them while they live and work on Mars the rest of their lives. Every two years after 2023 an additional crew will arrive, such that there is a real living, growing community on Mars. Mars One has created a technical plan for this mission that is as simple as possible. For every component of the mission we have identified at least one potential supplier. Mars One invites you to join us in this next giant leap for mankind!

Check out this video explaining the project better:

As mentioned in the video, the volunteers being sent to Mars will spend the rest of their lives there. Since there are not resources like food and water on the red planet, apparently corporations will have to send care packages up there basically forever. I just hope these companies don't ever go out of business... Anyway, it still sounds like an awesome idea.

What do you think about it? Let us know in the comments below!

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Jun 13, 2012

Replace Your Blogger Comments with Facebook Comments

Here at Bauer-Power we've been through a few incarnations of comment systems. We originally started out using the default Blogger comments which suck. We then moved to Intense Debate for a while which was fine, then we switched to Disqus. Disqus has been pretty great, but I wanted to try something new. I want to get Bauer-Power more involved on Facebook. I mean there are hundreds of millions of people there that may want to know what I have to say right?

I decided to switch over from Discus to purely using Facebook comments for the blog. The process is not too difficult if you know how to modify code a little bit, it's just a little tedius, however I think in the end it is totally worth it. Every time someone posts a comment on your blog post now, it will show up on their timeline, and you might get a few more eyeballs looking at your posts right?

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...
Image via CrunchBase

I am not going to rewrite how to do it, because it's rather lengthy, however you can read how to do it on the tutorial I followed here: (How To Add Facebook Comments To Blogger)

One thing you should note that not all templates are the same. On both Bauer-Power and Tech Chop, I had to modify where I placed the code, and on each blog it was different from the example in the tutorial. You will have to play with it to get it working right.

So what do you think? Let us know in the new Facebook comments below!

[EDIT] - I decided to go back to Disqus. One huge thing lacking with Facebook contents is email notifications when someone comments. You can make it work using Google Docs, but I think that is a terrible process.

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Jun 12, 2012

Bored at Work? Why Not Make a Paper Crossbow?

I've been pretty swamped lately at the day gig. One of the things I am working on is upgrading Microsoft Dynamics GP 10 to 2010. Seeing as how I am not a Great Plains administrator by trade, it's kind of a bitch to say the least. Anyhoo, there are times though at any office job when the work load is lighter than usual. In that event, what are you supposed to do? I mean there is only so much web you can surf at the office! Why not do some arts and crafts?

I found one of the coolest projects I've seen in a while on Youtube, and had to share it with you. This video shows you how to make a crossbow that shoots pencils out of paper! Check it out!


What do you think? Are you going to try it out? If so, I would love if you took a picture of it, and pasted it on our Facebook page!

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Jun 11, 2012

Tech Chop Monday: How To Browse The Internet Anonymously

Today is a special day for it marks Tech Chop's first ever weekly show. With the new weekly format comes a new set, a weekly news brief, new music, and new end credits. Other than that, it's the same old geeky goodness one is used to with Tech Chop.

In this week's episode, I show you how easy it is to hide your online identity by using Tor with Bauer-Puntu Linux 12.04. When you browse the Internet, as most of you know, you can be be tracked by your public IP address. If you are doing something that is legally questionable, "The Man" will track your public IP address back to wherever you performed said legally questionable action, and then you can be in some deep s#!t! With laws like CISPA, and SOPA being pushed through Congress, the list of legally questionable stuff is becoming bigger and bigger.

What if you could mask your IP address, and make it look like you are browsing the Internet from a different country, like The Netherlands? Well you can, and this video shows you how easy it is using Bauer-Puntu and Tor:

So what do you think about the new format? Let us know in the comments below!

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Jun 8, 2012

How To Start Your Own Podcast

Once again I have an episode of MHF Tech How-To's, and this one is pretty great if you have ever thought about getting into podcasting. As many of you know, I produce a weekly video podcast on the Tech Podcast Network called Tech Chop. Well, MHF Tech is also on the Tech Podcast Network, and in a complete act of synergy, I like to post their shows here every now and again.

Anyway, as someone who publishes a podcast, I can tell you that it is not always that easy. You have to be prepared to take some criticism, because chances are you will suck at first. Believe me, if you have ever watched the old Bauer-Power TV shows you will know exactly how bad I sucked!

Well, the guys at MHF Tech have started this series on podcasting that will hopefully help you out with stuff I wish I had known when first getting into new media.

In this version of MHF Tech, we learn how to get starting in podcasting. Check it out:

If you want to continue this series, you can check out the rest of this MHF Tech How-To's here: (MHF How To's)

Are you thinking of getting into podcasting? Anything else you want to know about it? Let us know if you have any questions in the comments!

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Sorry, But The Facebook Privacy Notice is Bogus

I am a huge advocate for online privacy and for government agencies to mind their damned business. Governments should protect the people, and serve the people, not spend their time trying to control the people. Well obviously with stuff like SOPA, CISPA and countless other bills that keep getting introduced in congress, people, including myself, are all in a tizzy worried about how our online exploits are going to be affected.

Preying upon that fear, I have been seeing a lot of posts on Facebook from people with a legal looking disclaimer they posted claiming that if you post a particular privacy notice that you will magically be immune from Government snooping. Well, sorry to break it to you, that's not going to fly in court Jack!

According to Snopes.com, the Internet's foremost authority on bogus Internet posts:

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...
Image via CrunchBase

This claim about protecting your privacy rights on Facebook by posting a particular legal notice to your account is similar to an item which circulated several years ago positing that posting a similar notice on a web site would protect that site's operators from prosecution for piracy. In both cases the claims were erroneous, an expression of the mistaken belief that the use of some simple legal talisman — knowing enough to ask the right question or post a pertinent disclaimer — will immunize one from some undesirable legal consequence. The law just doesn't work that way.

Basically, when you sign up for a site like Facebook, you have to agree to their Privacy Notice. If you don't agree, you don't get an account. It's that simple. You can't just agree to their Privacy Policy then post some legalese to your Facebook wall and negate it all. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news...

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Jun 7, 2012

FREE Powered By Ubuntu Stickers! Get Them While They're HOT!

NOTE: We have new PROFESSIONAL stickers! Click here for details!

Many many moons ago I sent away for some free "Powered By Ubuntu" stickers from some laptop company in Colorado that make laptops with Ubuntu installed on them. They don't do Windows!

It took a while, but I got my stickers, and I was a happy camper. I promptly removed my Windows sticker from my laptop, cleaned off the old adhesive with some rubbing alcohol, and replaced it with my shiny new Ubuntu sticker. I proudly showed the world around me that I didn't answer to multi-million dollar, self absorbed, monopolistic software companies like Microshaft. No, I did things on my own terms using free, as in FREE BEER, software available to anyone savvy enough to download it and install it!

I decided I would extend that same offer to you my readers, and anyone else that comes along that enjoys the freedom that Ubuntu Linux has to offer!

I will print out, and mail you a sheet of six "Powered By Ubuntu" self adhesive stickers free of charge! I am a big proponent of Ubuntu, and I want to spread the Ubuntu love to as many people out there as possible!

Powered By UbuntuThe sticker comes from the Free Software Stickers book that I blogged about quite a while ago. Sure, you can download the book yourself, print out the stickers and tape them to your laptop all ghetto style and whatnot. I on the other hand will print them out for you on nice, self adhesive sticker paper for a more professional look that says, "Hey, I'm not a douche bag!"

Here is a blurry photo I snapped using my Blackberry of the one I have on my laptop:


So you want some right? I knew you did. All you have to do is mail me a self addressed stamped envelope to:

Bauer-Power Ubuntu Stickers
1260 W. Main St.
Cedaredge, CO 81413

When I get your envelope, I will return it with your sheet of FREE "Powered By Ubuntu" stickers!

Powered By KununtuFor you Kubuntu users, I haven't forgot about you either! Just change the address from Bauer-Power Ubuntu Stickers to Bauer-Power Kubuntu Stickers and I will send you stickers reflecting your choice in Linux desktop managers (KDE v.s. Gnome)!

Please tell all your friends!

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