Saturday, April 15, 2006


Senators Receive Free iPods from Tech Advocacy Group

Actually I think US-Senator get "presents" way too often but this time it's for a good cause.

read more | digg story

Friday, April 14, 2006


Mini-HOWTO: Mess up your system with VMWare.

I accidently did this once with Linux and you shouldn't try this at home, kids.

1. Install VMWare.
2. Create a new virtual machine and allow it to access the harddisk directly.
3. Start the virtual machine.
4. Boot the operating system you are already running inside the virtual machine.
(Your boatloader will probably do this after some seconds.)
5. Optional, for additional chaos: Let both the guest and the host system write some files on the same partition.
6. Two operating systems accessing the same partition at the same time leads to severe corrpution of the filesystem.

If you are lucky you can repair the damaged filesystems with a LiveCD.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


How penny-stock spamming works

Two german scientists studied the effects of penny-stock spamming and published the first results.
From November 2004 till February 2006 Rainer Böhme (Dresden University of Technology) and Thomas Holz (University of Mannheim) analyized over 150 spam messages and the resulting chart of the promoted stock. They were able to prove that stock-spam results in significant rise of the prize and trading volume for a few days. After this the stocks usually crash when the spammers sell their assets. This first results were published at the CanSecWest/core06 conference
in Vancouver, the final paper is due for the Fifth Workshop on the Economics of Information Security
in Cambridge next June.


Complete Firefox Optmisation

I found a very got post about some very good ways to tweak Firefox for better performance and usability.


US-censorship in action

Air Force and Pentagon officials scrambled Monday to remove highly sensitive security details about the two Air Force One jetliners after The Chronicle reported that the information had been posted on a public Web site.

read more | digg story

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


HOWTO: Picasa on Linux

Picasa is a free and easy to use digital photo organizer application that is only available for Windows but Google promised to make it compatible with Wine and it seems to be working now.

  1. Get the newest version of Wine from your distribution.
  2. Download Picasa.
  3. Go to the console and install Picasa:
    wine picasa2-current.exe
  4. Run Picassa:

    wine .wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/Picasa2/Picasa2.exe
Now you can explore the possibilites of Picassa.


Firefox: Monitor pages for updates

Firefox-Extension of the Day: Page Update Checker
This small and handy extension does exactly what it should and is highly configurable.
It also adds an entry to the Tools- and context-menus that allow to quickly add a new page to the monitoring list. Best results are achieved by using the "Filter" instead of the "Basic" checker because the first gives false positives quite often.


China supporting or destroying Microsoft?

The German IT-newspage Heise reports(german) that the Chinese government now requires PC-builders to deliver with a properly licensed operating system preinstalled.

This sounds like very good news for Microsoft since the PCs in China are usually without Windows but it is possible to get a pirated version of every Microsoft-product on a street corner for only a few dollars. A better grip on the huge and quickly growing Chinese market would help to boost revenues and also make investors forget the trouble about VISTA.

But the Chinese government may have its own agenda. They are pushing the development of their domestic Linux distribution Red Flag Linux for some years it is now as ready for desktop and well localized. It is therefore the logically choice for the preinstalled OS on every Chinese PC.
Microsoft could not only lose now a huge amount of income, their marketshare is now also highly endangered if Chinese people stop pirating Windows or Office and just use the preinstalled software.

This may be the historic chance the Linux community has waited for years because the grow in the desktop segment has been hampered by the lack of preconfigured systems. Even a slightly higher marketshare in China would mean millions of new users but being the default OS in a rapidly growing economy of 1.3 billion people is the final breakthrough. That would not only affect China but force third-party softwareproducers and hardware vendors all over the world to take Linux seriously.

Monday, April 10, 2006


Blogs creating News

Blogs can be an interesting reading but you should always take the claims with a grain of salt. But if many of them repeat the same story, even professional journalists fall for it and publish a story without further checking and also the Wikipedians can't resist.

The Story:
Since 2003 the Web is full of gossip about Iran opening a new oil bourse (the "Iranian Oil Bourse") where crude oil is supposed to be traded in €uro instead of US-$. This currency switch to the Petroeuro would result in a stark decline of influence of the USA and maybe even in an economic crisis. Therefore the USA is forced to attack before the bourse opens in March 2006. Some go even further and claim that the use of the euro as a deposit currency by Saddam Hussein was the real reason for the invasion.

What some journalists did:
Some newspapers discovered the story and published about it without checking the facts. Others dismissed it completly and labeled it "hoax" (e.g. the German "Der Spiegel"). The articles of the Austrian newspaper "Der Standard" were especially hillarious because the Politics section recognized the hoax while the Economics section believed in it a the same time.

The Wikipedia is known for its open structure and peer-system to review articles but it took a long time to consider the article about the Iranian Oil Bourse for deletion because of its lack of facts. The discussions are still going on because there are still some "believers".

The Facts:
So, if you got the point of this article you will now check my claims. Remember, this is just some blog.


What is this about?

There are billions of blogs and webpages on the net, why is this one necessary?
Well, because I'm not satisfied with the others. Must of them focus on very small fractions of our world, are weak on facts but full of speculation and sometimes the only thing revealed is the naiveté of the author.

I don't have the time and the money to start my own newspaper but I will use this blog to publish facts and information about this topics:
My aim is to offer the reader a critical point of view and some stuff to build his own opinion.

Kindly Yours,
Eric Bishop

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