geek internet privacy tips

a bit of privacy

Registering for forums and other sites is something that is required at most of em by now. It’s a pitty because sometimes you just want to check something, or download something from one of those sites without having to go through yet another registration form, because you simply don’t intend to spend a lot of time there in the first place.
Besides, spreading your e-mail address all over the place is just a certain way to get more spam, so that’s just one more reason not to get it into another database.

While a lot of times I just refuse to register, there might be a solution to use the sites features anyway, and stay somewhat anonymous.
Check out BugMeNot, a site that provides a way to “share” user accounts for registration requiring sites. Currently they are up to 19.606 sites, which ain’t bad, but if one ain’t in there yet, you’re free to add it yourself.

There’s even a Firefox extention for it, which makes checking for a usable account so much easier.

Also interesting are ways to keep spam out of your inbox by using free services like Mailinator or SpamMotel

With Mailinator you can “create” any e-mail address on the fly, and check it later on to see if anything arived.
Spammotel works as a forwarder where you can create an unlimited (well, probably not, but I bet its plenty) number of randomly generated e-mail addresses linked to your real address. If spam starts arriving from a certain site, you’ll be able to identify it uniquely, and block it if wanted.


geek society tips

great h4x0rz

Picked this great article by Paul Graham up on slasdot the other day about great hackers.
It’s cool to read, and I recognise a lot of things in it. CEO’s should read this thing too, especially when it comes down to office space…

Vacation just started btw, so w00t for that!!

geek internet software tips

IE is a no-no

Using IE as your browser is really something people shouldn’t do anymore. It used to be my personal preference not to use it, because browsers like Opera or now Firefox simply have more to offer IMO, but today it’s basically a must if you don’t want your system to be infested with spyware.

It’s amazing how fast that browser-hijack, trojan and spyware software find their way through IE onto your hard drive. Some are even that bad that it’s almost impossible to remove them completely from your system, and cause ignorant infected users systems to slow down considerably. In one case it even completely screwed up the network settings making it impossible to connect to the internet (the horror!!!).

If it’s too late already, you can use SpyBot to remove the nasties.
Try it anyway if you’re using IE, chances are there’s more going on your machine than you might know about.

belgium festival music

dour 2004

Went to the dour festival a few days ago, which is definitely the best alternative music festivals in Belgium, and maybe even in the surrounding countries.
You get a taste of every kind of music there, and the prices are really democratic compared to other festivals. When it comes down to food and drinks, it’s not only reasonably priced, but also there’s plenty of good things to choose from, so not just pizza, fries, hamburgers, beer, cola & water…

One little point of critique perhaps, and something that could be improved on in the next year(s) is to make sure there are free toilet arrangements, at least for the guys. It’s even better, and more honest, if it’s free for guys and galls, but seriously, charging the guys for a piss while they only need something to whiz against is a bit lame. Besides, if it ain’t free it wont take long before they find something else to dump their excess liquids against, like a fence, a tree, etc….

I know, it doesn’t cost much, and the main motivation is that they (we?) are too lazy to walk the extra few metres to reach those toilets… but still, it’s a fact that it happens, and scattering a few of those plastic pyramid urinals can seriously reduce the problem. And yeah, after a few sunny days, it really becomes a problem…

But still, Dour is a great festival. The lineup is always interesting, with lots of (to me) unknown bands and artists to discover. Stuff like Bogdan Raczynski for instance. Squarepushereske jungle mashup beats mixed with gabber hardcore at some points… sweeeeeeet. Donna Summer was pretty phat as well, though I had no idea what he was actually doing with that computer of his… it looked pretty much like he only pressed the play button and let it rip and act like a nutter on stage. Cool stuff though.

A Belgian artists that managed to surprise me was Stijn that same evening. I didn’t expect much of it cause I saw an interview on TV where he was talking about a song he did with another Belgian artist which included a guitar (blegh) so I expected it to be some rocker with some electro influences oslt, which isn’t really my kind of thing.
But it wasn’t. Hell no. It was all electro baby, phat oldskool booming 808 beats, some square synth sounds and vocoded vocals… sweeet.
Nothing new about the music itself, pretty standard electro stuff, but the guy knows how to blend the whole thing into a show, and make it interesting too watch.
Fuck, it doesn’t always need to be extremely chopped up breaks now does it. If it works it works, no matter how “simple” it is.

There where too much good things to mention in detail though, and a lot of things that are already forgotten because they just didn’t cut it enough to stand out in a 4 day musical bath, but some more I find worth mentioning was the crazy gabber set by Overnoise and Noisebuilder (live), Creature with the Atombrain (rock, not my kind of thing normally, but I liked this) and of course Die and Krust who made up for a disappointing drum’n’bass night earlier with Fresh & Pendulum.

Oh, and if you’re on a festival where Air on Maiden is playing, but you’re not into that kind of thing, go see em anyway… they cracked me up!

firefox geek internet security

cookie monster

Recently I was testing a web application and needed to manually delete some cookies it had been setting.
It occurred to me how many cookies my browser was actually keeping track of, and how few of those where actually related to sites I frequently visit.
For a lot of those cookies I could guess their purpose by the name of the URL they where created from, but there where still a shit load of em in there that I didn’t have a clue what they where used for, and who they where from.

Call me paranoid, but somehow I don’t like the idea that some unknown people are keeping electronic taps on me. So clearing all your cookies now and then is one solution, but this also means that all your favourite websites will suddenly have completely forgotten who you are, and will require you to login again. And if you’re in anyway a bit like my you’re probably using different passwords for different sites, and you’ll be forgetting some of those meaning you’ll be hitting that “damn I forgot my password again and now feel like an idiot” button so they can help you out over e-mail.

But luckily there is another way to deal with this issue in Mozilla Firefox. This browser allows you to restrict how cookies are managed, and currently I only allow cookies to remain during a single session, unless the website setting the cookie is in my exception list.
In that exception list I’ll be only putting those sites I want cookies from, which will only be those yummy crunchy ones with raisins.

Like this I’ll be able to logon to my favourite sites without having to re-enter my account details a zillion times, and all other nasty, bad tasting biscuits will be zapped from my hard drive as soon as I exit my browser.
Sweeeeet :)