Dr. Bill’s Podcast – The “Code Monkey Edition” #34

Dr. Bill Podcast – 34 – (04/29/06)
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Code Monkey
Intro – A lot to do this week, an extended edition! Explanation of the southern expression “a-gud-un”, promo for the Wireless Tech Radio Podcast, what Wikipedia is, and what the term “Code Monkey” means, podsafe music from Jonathan Coulton called, “Code Monkey!” Philips creates a hardware device that forces you to watch ads! Ack! Linspire release “Freespire”… a free version, it will be released in August, is Bill Gates the “Antichrist?” OK, it’s a joke! Internet Explorer Destroyer effort to destroy the browser from the Internet, and along that line… yet ANOTHER IE exploit revealed! Are users really dumb… or do we geeks just expect too much from them? (With MANY EXAMPLES!) Geek Software of the Week: m0n0wall, an Open Source Firewall! As we exit… another Jonathan Coulton podsafe song called “RE: Your Brains” (a co-worker who happens to be a zombie!) Dr. Bill shares a great e-mail!

Check out more of Jonathan Coulton’s music and buy a CD!

Geek Software of the Week: m0n0wall

m0n0wall Firewallm0n0wall (yes, that is with “zeroes” rather than letter “o’s”) is the BEST totally free software/hardware based firewall there is! Previously, I used Smoothwall, which is also excellent, but m0n0wall has a lot of very cool features that “puts it over” as the best!

m0n0wall Free, Open Source Firewall

“m0n0wall is a project aimed at creating a complete, embedded firewall software package that, when used together with an embedded PC, provides all the important features of commercial firewall boxes (including ease of use) at a fraction of the price (free software). m0n0wall is based on a bare-bones version of FreeBSD, along with a web server, PHP and a few other utilities. The entire system configuration is stored in one single XML text file to keep things transparent. m0n0wall is probably the first UNIX system that has its boot-time configuration done with PHP, rather than the usual shell scripts, and that has the entire system configuration stored in XML format.”

m0n0wall already provides many of the features of expensive commercial firewalls, including:

  • web interface (supports SSL)
  • serial console interface for recovery
  • – set LAN IP address
    – reset password
    – restore factory defaults
    – reboot system

  • wireless support (access point with PRISM-II/2.5/3 cards, BSS/IBSS with other cards including Cisco)
  • captive portal
  • 802.1Q VLAN support
  • stateful packet filtering
  • – block/pass rules
    – logging

  • NAT/PAT (including 1:1)
  • DHCP client, PPPoE, PPTP and Telstra BigPond Cable support on the WAN interface
  • IPsec VPN tunnels (IKE; with support for hardware crypto cards, mobile clients and certificates)
  • PPTP VPN (with RADIUS server support)
  • static routes
  • DHCP server and relay
  • caching DNS forwarder
  • DynDNS client and RFC 2136 DNS updater
  • SNMP agent
  • traffic shaper
  • SVG-based traffic grapher
  • firmware upgrade through the web browser
  • Wake on LAN client
  • configuration backup/restore
  • host/network aliases
  • Just “Think” Your Password?

    What if you could be identified by your brain waves to “unlock” your computer, or a door? Too close to “mind reading?” Maybe!

    Think Your Password?

    “What if you could one day unlock your door or access your bank account by simply ‘thinking’ your password? Too far out? Perhaps not. Researchers at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, are exploring the possibility of a biometric security device that will use a person’s thoughts to authenticate her or his identity. Their idea of utilizing brain-wave signatures as ‘pass-thoughts’ is based on the premise that brain waves are unique to each individual. Even when thinking of the same thing, the brain’s measurable electrical impulses vary slightly from person to person. Some researchers believe the difference might just be enough to create a system that allows you to log in with your thoughts.”

    Are Users REALLY Dumb… Or, Do We Geeks Just Expect Too Much From Them?

    Weeelll, I have MY opinion, and I bet you can guess what it is!

    “Help the Web is Broken!”

    “Sometimes, from the view of the help desk, the end of civilization seems near. Very near, indeed. This is one explanation for interactions such as the following:

    ‘My computer is running real slow. The process ‘System Idle Process’ takes like 90-100 percent of the CPU! And I can’t shut it off! I’ve tried everything!’ (Dr. Bill: the “System Idle Process,” of course, indicates how much IDLE time the CPU has, or, in other words, 98% “System Idle Time” means the system is only running 2% active… duh!)

    ‘Hi, I just scanned my computer and there were 75 instances of spyware found. Should I delete them?’ (Dr. Bill: Oh NO! You really WANT that Spyware, don’t you?!? It just makes you feel all “warm and fuzzy” doesn’t it!)

    ‘But are you sure the Internet is safe to use?’ (Dr. Bill: Not for you!)

    IT workers toil all day, all over the world, to help bridge the formidable gap between human beings and technology in business. So why doesn’t everyone just get along? Is it that clients continually do ‘dumb’ things or is it the way we geeks approach them?

    According to experts, the problems in communication are complex on both sides of the screen. The culprits include ‘TechnoStress,’ the dysfunctional psychology of IT; the sometimes lackluster communication skill sets of technical staff; the generation gap; and the unrealistic expectations of service by clients.”

    Are user’s dumb? Actually, no… but they ARE lazy! I have said from way back that what user’s need to do is put the time in to LEARN how to use their computers! We learn to drive, people learn to play instruments. The analogy that computers should be like “toasters or phones” is dead wrong! Computers are sophisticated technological tools that can greatly enhance your life and lifestyle… in order to use them well, you have to learn HOW!

    Another New IE and Windows Exploit… Even After Mega-patches!

    Microsoft just released TONS of patches for IE due to it’s being a dog browser and full of security holes… but no sooner did they release all these patches… another HUGE problem has turned up!

    HUGE IE Issue!

    “Barely two weeks after shipping an Internet Explorer security makeover to cover a wave of drive-by malware downloads, Microsoft is scrambling to address the public disclosure of a new zero-day vulnerability that could be used in code execution attacks. Michal Zalewski, the researcher who discovered the flaw and published the advisory without notifying Microsoft, said the issue was confirmed on fully patched versions of IE 6.0 and Microsoft Windows XP SP2 (Service Pack 2).”

    A Group of Geeks Seek to Destroy Internet Explorer!

    An Internet campaign to get web surfers to move from Internet Explorer to Firefox is making news! They have code that a webmaster can include on their sites that will detect Internet Explorer, and flash up a message for the user to move to Firefox! Dewd! Making the Internet safer for us all!

    Explorer Destroyer Web Site

    They have started a competition to see you can get under 50% of their web site stats from IE.

    “What percentage of visits to your site are with Internet Explorer? Check your stats. If it’s more than 50%, you’ve got some serious work cut out for you…

    Think how psyched you would be if less than 50% of your sites’ visitors used IE. It’s a good target: ambitious, but achievable. So we thought we’d make it a friendly competition.

    Here’s how it works: if you want to you can turn on code in those scripts that will pass stats to our site about the percentage of IE users who visit. When you get under 50% IE usage, you’ll show up in the list below (coming soon!). It’s like a hall of fame.

    There’s even an ‘Under 30’ and ‘Under 10’ section for the overachievers (sorry, mozdev.org is ineligible). So install the script and join the race.”


    Is Bill Gates the Antichrist? (Just kidding…)

    Is Bill Gates the Antichrist? You decide! Bill Gates, of Microsoft fame’s full name is William Henry Gates III. By converting the letters of his name to the ASCII-values and adding his (III), you get the following:

    B 66
    I 73
    L 76
    L 76
    G 71
    A 65
    T 84
    E 69
    S 83
    + 3 (for the III at the end of his full name)
    666 !!

    Some might ask, “How did Bill Gates get so powerful?” Coincidence? Or just the beginning of mankind’s ultimate and total enslavement???

    Again, before you decide, consider the following:

    M S – D O S 6 . 2 1
    77+83+45+68+79+83+32+54+46+50+49 = 666

    W I N D O W S 9 5
    87+73+78+68+79+87+83+57+53+1 = 666

    Coincidence? You decide…

    Linspire announces Freespire – A FREE Version!

    You know that I have long said that the Linspire desktop Linux is the most “Windows-like” of the desktop Linuxes. Now, Linspire has announced a free, open… fully Open Source version of their Linspire system.


    “Freespire is a community-driven, Linux-based operating system that combines the best that free, open source software has to offer (community driven, freely distributed, open source code, etc.), but also provides users the choice of including proprietary codecs, drivers and applications as they see fit. With Freespire, the choice is yours as to what software is installed on your computer, with no limitations or restrictions placed on that choice. How you choose to maximize the performance of your computer is entirely up to you.”

    This Week’s Dr. Bill Podcast – Short, but Sweet!

    Dr. Bill Podcast – 33 – (04/22/06)
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    Promo for the Digital Experience Podcast, Real Men Cook with Liquid Oxygen – NOT!, Geek Software of the Week: IZArc!, it handles SO MANY formats of archivers!, a video of the Robotic Chair… very cool, advancing Geek Culture!, PLEASE try Linux, it will amaze you how far Linux has come! The podcast is short this week, because the news has been slow, but join us next week for more!

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