Friday Oct 03, 2008

American Express is full of FAIL

Yesterday I made quite a few purchases that I needed.    While trying to get a few items at Wal-mart, my card was temporarily disabled.   This is a good thing.   This means American Express watched my account and noticed all the charges.   The idea is that I contact them to ensure that these charges are legit.    When contacting them, the automated system asked that I enter the first 4 letters of my password.   I was kind of at a loss for this, so I did what I normally do. I pressed 0 repeatedly.   When I spoke to the customer service rep, he asked the exact same question.   This tells me that my password is NOT encrypted or hashed when stored in their system.   Well, they could have another field with the first 4 letters hashed/encrypted but I doubt it.   The fact that AmEx passwords are already very weak (No symbols, small password size) just enfuriates me more.

 </Rant>

Monday Aug 25, 2008

Facebook Security

I had an interesting question from a friend this weekend.  

"What setting do you use on Facebook for security?"

I rambled for a bit about security in general, but I think I answered his question well enough.   I believe I summed it up with one statement, but I'll add some other ideas and tips

  1. Assume Anything and Everything you put on Facebook is public!
  2. See Rule #1
  3. I set privacy setting to either "My Networks and Friends" or "Only Friends".   If its something I would set to "No One", I don't put it on Facebook!

Rule #1 comes into play with everything around Facebook.   As you add friends the risk of personal information escaping increases.   You shouldn't add people you don't know, but since I would classify 70%-80% of the friends I have as non-technical and 95% as non-security focused, I'm still at risk.   The same goes for applications.   I try to be very selective about which applications I use.   I currently only use "Where I've Been", "Books I've Read", "Stadium Tour", "SunWeb News" and "RateBeer".   I never respond to the "Compare yourself" requests.    Some people may think this takes away from the Facebook experience, but I'd rather be cautious.


Thursday Aug 14, 2008

Misconceptions about Java

Its really sad that there are people in the technology world who still don't understand Java.   This gem in the NY Times sums it up:  

...Last year, it changed its ticker symbol to “JAVA,” the name of a popular scripting language, from “SUNW.” 
 

Java is NOT a scripting language.   You have to love when rumors and speculation count as "Business News"  and they even get it wrong.

Tuesday Jul 29, 2008

Podcast Overload

I'm a huge fan of Podcasts.   I listen to them during workouts, yard work, programming, and while traveling.   I've just added a new one that I absolutely love.   Lew Rockwell of http://www.lewrockwell.com/ has joined the podcasting world.   With titles like "How to Buy Gold and Silver", "Who Killed the Constitution", and "The Banks are Broke", you know that this is just a continuation of the great work from his site. My problem is that with another Podcast that actually seems to come out daily.  I'm just running out of time to enjoy all of them/

Technology

  • TWIT - Seriously, how can anyone go without this podcast
  • Security Now - Good intro to security topics
  • Network Security Podcast - I believe this to be the best all around Security podcast.
  • PaulDotCom Security Weekly - Great security podcast, gets pretty technical and in depth.
  • Risky Business, Silver Bullet Security, Securabit - Just started listening, so haven't formed a good opinion

History

  • Dan Carlin's Hardcore History - Dan is an insightful amateur historian that asks great questions.  Wish he was more regular with updates
  • Common Sense with Dan Carlin - Not really history, and this is Dan's main show.   I like Hardcore History better, but this will get you to think
  • History of Rome - Mike Duncan's weekly podcast of the Roman Empire.  I just finished the 2nd Punic Wars.   I wish my History classes had been like this
  • 12 Byzantine Rules - Lars Brownworth's overview of 12 rulers in 18 podcasts.  I wish there were more.

Sun/Java

  • Identity Management Buzz - Covers all things Identity at Sun.
  • Glassfish Podcast - All things Glassfish related, what else?
  • FAMTalk - Only 3 podcasts, but covers Federation very well.   Also cool when I know All of the hosts
  • Java Posse - Probably the podcast that started it all for me back in the Java Cast days.   Four guys having fun and talking Java

Fun/Politics (yes, I combine them into one category)

  • Antiwar Radio - Scott Horton and Charles Goyette combine to do great reporting.   This probably isn't what you think it is, these are free market, pro-capitalist, antiwar interviews.   Gareth Porter, Gordon Prather, Scott Hornberger, Pat Buchanan, Ray McGovern, Scott Ritter, Alan Bock, the list goes on.
  • Mises Institue Media - Hundreds of podcasts from Conferences, conventions, book readings, etc...   This is the definitive site for Austrian Economics.   If you don't know what Austrian Economics is, go to www.mises.org.    I promise you won't be bored and you'll probably understand the world we live in much better.
  • The Math Factor - What can I say, I'm a math nerd.   I enjoy numbers.
  • North Point Ministries: Andy Stanley - Good Pastor and good sermons.   
  • Astronomy Cast - Covers cosmic rays to Quasars and everything in between
  • LSAT Logic in Everyday Life - A short 5-10 minute podcast that covers logical fallacies we face everyday
  • The Lew Rockwell Show - Mentioned above.   I always enjoyed when Lew read speeches or articles on the Mises podcast.
  • Scam School - Fun Video Podcast that teaches tricks you can use to earn free drinks
  • Tiki Bar TV - Learn to make drinks and have fun doing it.  Oh and Lala, Will you marry me?
I didn't provide links, I'm trying to finish this post before a presentation I have to do (Yikes! 15 min left).   I believe that you can find all of them through iTunes.   And YES, they are free
Blogged with the Flock Browser

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Sunday Jul 13, 2008

Working in the Cloud

I tend to travel a lot, so having all my devices synced is of great importance to me.   Lately I've been using two technologies that make my life much easier.

Evernote :  Evernote is like MS Onenote but enhanced for cloud computing.   OneNote seems to be focused towards students, but it does work well for professionals too.   The issue I have with OneNote is that it stores its data locally.   Evernote solves that problem.   Its designed to work on multiple platforms and easily sync between them.   I can make notes on my desktop and view them on my laptop or even my iPhone. 

Weave: This firefox plugin synchronizes bookmarks, cookies, and forms between computers.   I constantly save bookmarks from pages that I wish to read at a later time.   If I save it on my laptop browser, I'll never remember to read it when I'm at my desktop.   Weave now allows me to work seamlessly between them.   FoxyMarks also works, but so far I like Weave better.

Saturday Jun 07, 2008

Gurley Police... Seriously??

Ok,  I have a good upcoming post about integrating Verisign Identity Protection with OpenSSO.   I'm reading through the EUL again to make sure I don't violate any Verisign policies before I post on it.   Hopefully I can post later today.   With that said, I really have to vent about a strange experience with Gurley, AL police yesterday.   I was driving over to Hunstville, AL from Atlanta for a friend's wedding. I'm heading West on Highway 72. There was a wreck right at Little Cove Road and 72, which is where I need to exit. So, I drive another 30 yards, turn into an Exxon station which backs up to Little Cove Road. I'm now on Little Cove Road past the wreck. About 500 yards down, there is a Gurley Police car blocking the road refusing to allow me to go away from the wreck! He's actually forcing people to turn around and go back toward the accident. Needless to say, I wasn't happy about this display of ignorance. Turned around, got back on 72 West, Drove 1/2 mile further, turned on Rock Cut rd, turned on Little Cove rd about 200 yards on the other side of the officer. The whole time shaking my head and wondering why people don't use their brain like they should.   

<script type="text/javascript" src="http://www.google.com/jsapi?key=ABQIAAAAsagaAH_QR8jD38WoviiKYBTYOHRYQyaJRrni1yug5Vdmd9NpfRTVL68dt5gjUVPZL03bsec-ykdGmQ"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> google.load("maps", "2.x"); // Call this function when the page has been loaded function initialize() { var map = new google.maps.Map2(document.getElementById("map")); map.setCenter(new google.maps.LatLng(37.4419, -122.1419), 13); var point = new GPoint(-34.698296,-86.381164); var marker = new GMarker(point); map.addOverlay(marker); var point = new GPoint(34.697484,-86.389661); var marker = new GMarker(point); map.addOverlay(marker); } google.setOnLoadCallback(initialize); </script>

Monday May 05, 2008

CommunityONE, JavaONE, and Other Ramblings

I just finished the day at CommunityONE.   There were some great announcements, such as Sun's release of OpenSolaris.   If you get a chance download it and try it out!  CommunityONE covered a wide range of topics, including Netbeans, Glassfish, Linux, MySQL, OpenSolaris, and other Open Source technologies.

I'll try to blog about some of the sessions I attend.

 

While watching TV in my room I was presented with this screen.   Are we really at the point where this is deserving of being on the root menu??

If you haven't figured it out, I'm talking about Option 4.


Monday Nov 26, 2007

"I Fought the Law" and the Law kept postponing the trial....

I've been harassed about not keeping my blog up to date, so I'm vowing to do better.   I've been working a good bit with IDM and AM/FM, so I should have some good material to post.    Unfortunately for you, I have to vent first.

I'm currently fighting a traffic violation that I received at the beginning of the year.    The police officer claims I ran a stop sign.   I didn't and there is no way he could even see the stop sign from where he was parked.   Very large green things called "Trees" blocked his view.   I received the ticket back in March...  I'm still waiting for my day in court.   Everytime I go in for my court date, its postponed because the officer is currently stationed in Iraq.    Currently its scheduled for January, but that looks doubtful.    Sadly, the court system is doing everything it can to "Save me time".   If I would just pay the fine for a crime I didn't commit, I wouldn't have to come to court over and over.    Sorry, No chance I'm going to admit to something I didn't do.   

Could be worse, Another fella in court was given a ticket in June 2006 (For not having his headlights on 30 min prior to Sunset) around 5PM EST.

Friday Dec 01, 2006

Getting JSPWiki working in Sun Java System Web Server 7

I just got JSPWiki working in SJSWS 7.   I'm creating this wiki really for myself.   I try to be organized, but I tend to have various pieces of information scattered across multiple systems.    Text files here, pdf doc there, ...    In whatever medium I use, its organized, the hard part is just discovering where I put it.   My goal is to move all my various tips and tricks to a Wiki.    Since I do travel, I'll have the ability to always update it, wherever I go.

Now, Getting JSPWiki installed wasn't too bad.   It didn't quite go as simply as the guide. I do want to thank Siriam and Marina for creating this doc.  The trouble I had was that when I tried to start the WebServer, I would get multiple Java errors concerning the jspwiki.properties file.   Since the application never started, I couldn't use the /JSPWiki/Install.jsp to set my properties.   All I had to do to fix this was edit the jspwiki.properties file beforehand.  Make sure to set you Working directory, Page directory, and Staging directory.   Also make sure these directories exist and permissions are properly set.   With that fix I was 90% complete.   The only additional step was to follow the instructions  Joe Mocker has for getting JAAS configured correctly.

 Everything is up and running!   Now I'm just trying to get some theming done.   
 

Tuesday Oct 10, 2006

Access Manager working with other SSO Products

Dealing with Competitor products and their licensing policies.......[Read More]

Tuesday Jun 29, 2004

Using an RSS Feed with Evolution

Now for some real content. How to use Evolution as a RSS Reader. If you are familiar with the Summary page in Evolution then you are looking at a RSS Reader! To add an existing feed that Evolution knows about go to Tools -> Settings -> Summary Preferences -> News Feeds. There evolution will have a list of feeds. Select a feed then ADD it. To add a new feed go to Tools -> Settings -> Summary Preferences -> News Feeds -> New Feed. It will ask for a Name and a URL for the feed. I'm sure Evolution stores this list somewhere, but for the life of me I have NO clue where! So for the time being you Vi experts will just have to suffer using the gui.

First Blog

In keeping with the tradition of most other bloggers first post, I will make this one about myself. My name is Jeff Bounds and I am a Systems Engineer based in Atlanta, GA. I came to Sun about 5 years ago through the Forte acquisition. I guess you can say my area of specialty includes Application Server, Web Server, SJ Studio, and SJ Creator. I am also the author of the Onestop RSS page. I graduated from the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss). The reason I mention this is, it will probably be the subject of future posts. Especially when Football season starts!
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