Category Archives: copyleft

flickr now more secure… bugger

Yep, got a bit more “secure” recently, if you can call it that, and I have to say that I’m sorry to find out about it.

You see, flickr users posting their nifty pics could disallow surfers like myself from viewing the original photo and only allow the preview on the main photo page.
This makes sense of course, as some people in there are professional photographers who want to store their hi-res pictures on flickr but don’t want just any bozo (like me) to be able to rip and download their pictures for free. These guys have their property and income to protect right? The fun part however was that the protection was only half arsed. Yep, it’s was pretty easy to bypass, and you could nicely download the original if you knew the naming scheme flickr used for the original.

Now this has changed sadly enough. There’s no way you can get to the original, since the name now seems to be in no way related to the other resized versions, and well… that means I won’t be able to get those bitching backgrounds on my desktop anymore from the pros. It’s sad, yet understandable. *sigh*.

Luckily however, there are also more generous folks in there, shooting professional pictures and allowing them to be downloaded, or even better… share them under a CC license.
Bravo!” I’d say to those, and just because we like them so much, here are a hand picked examples of such great snips of those oh-so generous flickrites.

Pretty darn good stuff isn’ it? And if you click the pictures, you’ll get more eye pleasing goodness from the camera of the same photographers, and if you just can’t get enough… there’s always the Flickr CC search!

python http log downloader

Digitouch by rent-a-mooseIf you happen to host your own blog on a domain of your own with a hosting company, you might have access to your raw HTTP log files just like me.
Since those raw logs are first of all quite interesting to have some statistics tool run on, and secondly are taking up precious disc space on your webserver, you might want to download those now and then to make sure you don’t run out of space and into trouble.

Since I’m that kind of guy that rather have his computer perform tedious tasks for him instead of having to do them himself, I wrote a little Python script to get the latest logfiles for me, and store them somewhere on my local machine for later processing. It leaves the logfile for the current day untouched, and downloads any other logfile (provided the logfiles have the date in their filename). So if the script didn’t run for a few days, it’s picking up those old logs as well the next time it is ran. Kinda sweet isn’t it?

The script is written in the mighty Python language, and licensed under the GNU GPL, and comes without any guarantees, wheee! You can get it right here as a zip archive. To make things work, you just need to fill out your domain and ftp account data in the downloadlogs() function call at the bottom of the script.

The trick is it gets the list of logfiles on the server, sorts them alfabetically and downloads all but the last, which if your files are named like exYYMMDD.log is the file for the current day. If this is not the case, you might not wanna use this script and avoid having your files deleted. Of course the script already downloaded the files before deleting them, so you should be find in case this would happen anyway.

I hope this is useful for some folks out there, so enjoy.

free brainfood (as in books)

It’s time to feed the brain once again with a selection of free literature, downloadable in PDF format off the infamous internet. Yes indeed, and I think there’s some for everyones taste for once, and not only the geeks amoung us.

Talking geeks, lets kick off with seeing to their needs. How about some security tips? We can sure use those in these OS exploiting trojan days can’t we?

Well these free security guides for Windows and the Internet might be just what you are looking for (thanks Lifehacker). Even if you think you know pretty much everything there is to know about the subject, it’s still interesting enough to take a peek at them. You’re bound to learn something new in this pretty extensive guides.
There’s a hardware security guide in there as well, but that link didn’t quite work for me unfortunately. I was quite curious as to what that would be all about. Hanging a bill ball’o chain on your laptop perhaps? I’d like to know!

But enough geeking out already. How about some good old literature? Like the good old classics such as Dante’s Inferno or Shakespeare’s Hamlet?
Well you can download these and other out-of-copyright books straight off Google’s Book service these days. All you need to know to get your ass some yummy oldskool text is published on the Google Blog.

DRM still sucks

DRM sucks.

I said it before, but the recent Sony malware episode really makes clear DRM is just plain evil in it’s current state.
I mean sure, I guess people are allowed to protect their content right.(I’m not going into the fact that I want to play the music I bought anywhere I feel like it, cause that’s what DRM usually disables). But does that mean “they” get the right to potentially screw up your system, and log whatever usage statistics they see fit without your knowledge?
I don’t think so!

If you have no idea what I’m ranting about here, you should check out Mark’s blog from System Internals (great system tools they have there btw, check em out as well).
Here’s the original post where he uncovers the insides of evil Sony DRM software installed without his knowledge. Check out the follow up posts as well on the subject on Mark’s blog for the best links to press coverage articles and replies from Sony or the firm that wrote the malware for Sony. Apparently they suck at writing the software as well. The damn thing can crash your machine and render your CD drive inoperable. Wheeee…
Another good reason besides paranoia to disable autoplay on your PC and make sure no software gets installed without your knowledge!

I’m definitely checking for a Sony label next time I buy a CD ffs, but I doubt that any of the stuff I listen to is going to be distributed by a major label like them anyway. I’m way to l33t for that… ;)

sony dubbing restriction message