Showing posts from October, 2009

The future of GPS navigation (and advertising?)

Google maps has been around for a long while now, and has been steadily getting more and more useful with the additions of hybrid map/satellite view, street view and live traffic. The logical next step is to put all these together into an easily accessible & portable GPS navigation device.
Well Google has probably had this on the agenda for a while. The free open-source Android mobile operating system is beginning to really take off with most major mobile manufacturers taking a stab at it. And since more people will be walking/driving around with Android devices, it's the perfect medium for GPS navigation.
Not surprisingly, Google has just announced Android 2.0 and full turn-by-turn GPS navigation support. This means you can use any Android device with a GPS receiver as the ultimate navigation tool. You can use the Google maps interface in 3D mode like any regular navigator, but you can also use the satellite telemetry mode, a hybrid of satellite and map mode, or street view wh…

Google Trends

Google Trends is an experimental Google Labs offering that allows you to, you guessed it, view trends in keyword searches. It's an interesting tool to play with, especially if you're into SEO or online marketing/advertising.
Trend can help you find search terms that are rising in demand (hence making for a more successful blog or website) or patterns in certain trends that may help you market your products better.
For example, searching for eggnog shows a very clear pattern: eggnog is very popular during Christmas period, but not so much during the rest of the year.

That one's pretty obvious, but did you know that searching for motorcycle displays a similar annual trend?

This shows that for some reason motorcycles are a lot more popular during May/June and generally during mid-year. If you further break this down by region, you'll find the pattern is a lot more prominent in the US, which may suggest motorcycles are more popular during spring/summer or some other events (pe…

Sony Ericsson X10 Rachael, Infinity?

November 3rd, 2009. Mark this day in your calendar. This is when the Sony Ericsson Rachael X10 will be officially announced. I've blogged about this phone many times before. It's been in the internet rumor mill for a long time now.
I won't go over all the alleged specs again except to say that this will be one monster of a phone (Android 2.0, 1GHz Snapdragon CPU, dedicated graphics, 8MP camera, HD video recording and one sweet, sweet high-res screen).
The phone was originally labeled the X3, but is now known as the X10. Maybe the infinity sign is a reference to a further change of name as well. I'm predicting this'll be known as the X10 Infinity!
The rumored actual release date is February 2010 but I guess we'll find out for sure in less then a week.

Setting up Ubuntu SVN server and NetBeans client

The following recipe will show you how to setup an SVN repository on an Ubuntu Gutsy server and then connect from an external Windows NetBeans instance via svn+ssh protocol. The whole process is actually much simpler than I first imagined and should only take about 10 minutes.
Start off by logging into your Ubuntu server and opening a command prompt, then run the following two commands to install the SVN server packages: sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install subversion
Next, create a user that will own the SVN files and act as the SVN admin, let's say 'svn':
sudo adduser svn
Give the user a password and leave all the details blank (or make something up if you wish).
Next create a directory where you want your SVN repositories to be located:sudo mkdir /var/svn
Now it's time to create the actual repository: sudo svnadmin create /var/svn/repos
And make the svn user the owner of the repository:
cd /var; sudo chown -R svn svn;
And that's about it from the server side of things.…

Spoofing MAC address in OSX Tiger

The MAC address (media-access-control) is a unique hardware identifier hard-coded into every ethernet/wifi/airport card. Some wifi providers use MAC address filtering as a security measure, i.e. they have a list of allowed MAC addresses, and anyone not on that list can't connect to the network.
Sometimes you may want to bring your personal Mac to work/uni to fix some problems, etc. But if your wireless and wired LAN connections are both MAC filtered, you need to request the IT department add the MAC for your Mac so you can connect. You can find out the MAC by going to System Preferences > Network > Configure > AirPort. The AirPort ID is the MAC and looks something like 00:17:f2:ab:03:05. You'd have to send this to the IT department and ask them nicely to add it to the allowed list.
Alternatively, if you're in a hurry, you can always just replace this MAC ID with one from your work laptop or PC which is already on the list. This is called MAC spoofing. So once you fi…

Gmail/Yahoo/Hotmail Accounts Compromised

I've been receiving lots of emails pointing to recent media articles, such as this one, about how Gmail, Yahoo and Hotmail user accounts have been hacked. Firstly, no they haven't. All these articles say hacked to sound cool and attract readers. The accounts have been compromised by 'phishing schemes' and 'social engineering'. That's totally different from saying Gmail has been hacked.
Phishing and social engineering is basically when you trick someone into giving you their account details. One way of doing this would be to say create a fake gmail login page and somehow hijack a user's DNS records to point them to your fake page whenever they go to Once on your fake page, they enter their username and password thinking it's the real thing and click Login. The passwords get sent and stored on your server, and you simply redirect them to the real gmail page.
A much, much simpler phishing scam however is to just count on user ignorance. Simply…