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Hi, This is Wayne. This is my site, my stuff, my blog, blahblahblah. The site itself is powered by WordPress and the Scary Little theme. I thought it was cool, and I still do.

Hello and welcome once again to our International Phishing Awards show. 

I’m your host, the Amazingly Attractive and Ever So Humble whall, and today we’ll take a closer look at one of the best phishing scams we’ve ever seen.

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November
2
2011
12:21 pm
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I think it’s pretty neat that today, 11/02 2011, is known as an “eight-digit palindrome day”.   The numbers 11022011 read the same forwards as backwards, and there aren’t many days that happen like this.  I researched it for about 14 seconds and found out that someone said there are only 12 of them this century. 

I did no further fact-checking.

But I thought about that number 12.  Why are we leaving him out?  Wait, ARE we leaving him out?  Why is someone asking about leaving out 12? Who asked that?  Where was I?

After thinking and rethinking about it, I instead would like to make this post at a time that makes it one of many “twelve-digit palindrome days”.  er, “twelve-digit palindrome times”, which would be 12:21pm (eastern) on 11/02, 2011

I believe my service to the Internet and it’s peoples speaks for itself.

 

Like many folks out there, I love my iPhone.  And like many of those folks who currently have iPhones, I’m wondering if I’m going to get an iPhone 4S. 

So I reflected.  I pondered.  I daydreamed.  I checked available funds.  I went back to daydreaming.  I checked available funds again.  I quickly learned that daydreaming, while completely lacking in material gain, was actually quite inexpensive on the whole and could sustain me for a good while.  But, just in case, I checked available funds again in case anything had changed in that last 45 seconds I spent daydreaming.  I then went back to daydreaming, but this time, I was daydreaming about both the iPhone 4S and a lot more available funds. 

Mmmmm…..  Available funds….

I also noticed there were a lot of complainers online.  TONS of people twittering, blogging, facebooking that Apple dropped the ball.  THEY HAVE SOME NERVE, not giving us the iPhone 5 they never once mentioned or promised.  HOW DARE THEY reuse a winning design and make millions of accessories useful for yet another year?  I CANNOT BELIEVE they will only double my total internet download speed on the AT&T Network.    I believe OMGFAILLOL was typed very near the sacred words “Apple” and “iPhone,” which amazingly isn’t against United States law yet.

Me? As a proud iPhone 4 user, I’m actually kind of glad that the iPhone 4S would probably let me re-use my expensive Otter case.  I’m just fine with the 8MP camera upgrade and the CPU speed boost.  I’d be looking forward to the supposed extended battery life.  I’d be thrilled with the revamped dual-antenna and better call connection.  I’ve not used Siri, so I don’t know yet how much I’d care that it’s an exclusive.  All of the IOS 5 and iCloud features are pretty much the same on the iPhone 4 vs 4S as far as I know, so there’s not much to discuss there. 

So there I was, convinced that I needed to convince myself to upgrade to the iPhone 4S.  I just needed to convince myself to do it. 

But I paused. 

I had to ask myself — did I have enough experience to do an upgrade?  I know that for some, experience is an over-rated characteristic, but for me, I needed to make sure I knew enough to go through with it.

Interestingly enough, it didn’t take me very long to determine that I indeed had some history upgrading phones and music devices.

Lessee… That’s one iPhone 3G, 3 iPhone 3GS’s, 2 iPhone 4’s, a Windows 7 Samsung Focus and two portable music players.  Not shown: the Cingular 8525, the 4 or 5 Blackberry 8700C’s, or the dozen or so phones and gadgets from before I started keeping my boxes.

I needed more than just experience, however.  I needed to be able to rationalize the purchase.  I needed some sort of “hook” to make the purchase a necessity, not just a luxuy.

The wife’s 3GS is acting up.

Yeah, that’s the ticket.  Her phone is a piece of crap!  “3gs,” I said mockingly, in my head.  Over and over again, I bullied that phone in my mind.  I can’t believe my own wife has a prehistoric bundle of copper wires and duct tape that calls itself a smartphone.  The battery dies after just 30 minutes!  The docking port doesn’t always accept every cable!  Calls disconnect all the time!  IT’S A 3GS AFTER ALL. 

But, I quickly reminded myself, if *I* were to upgrade to the iPhone 4S, then I could give my iPhone 4 to her!  I could even make it sound really really good, like so good it would be on par as a 20th wedding anniversary present or something.  Boy am I smart!

Giddy from how smart I realized I was, I re-checked available funds again and my spirit sunk like the stock market after a jobs speech.  To add insult to injury, my brain decided to remind me that with one of the three phone upgrades available on my AT&T Family Plan, I can get a FREE 3GS replacement from the Apple Store to fix my wife’s phone woes.

Oh well, back to waiting for available funds.

There are three iPhone 4S’s available, and with the upgrade, they are $199 for 16GB, $299 for 32GB and $399 for 64GB.  I have the 16GB iPhone 4 now and am always bumping against the limit, so I already know I need to budget for at least the 32GB.  And with a bigger camera, I might be taking more pictures so the 64GB might be the thing to get, but with iCloud, I can store more things off-the-phone.

But it’s still 300 or 400 dollars, and that’s a lot of do-re-mi, Fasola Tea.

Here’s where you come in.

If I missed any good rationale or factors that would help convince me that this purchase is a necessity rather than a luxury, please comment below. 

If you have words of encouragement for me during these difficult times, please comment below.

If you have tips on how to deal with the time between now and when I get the funds to upgrade, please comment below.

If you happen to have any extra available funds or Apple gift cards, please comment below.

 

 

September
24
2011
11:32 pm
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Man, it’s good to finally do some technical blogging again.  Until I get my technical site up and running, I’ll do some random stuff like this.

Tonight I saw “PLAYterm” on slashdot and really loved the idea.  I’ve always learned Unix and networking tips and hints by watching masters do their magic on the command line.  While I still like reading about it (Unix Power Tools still is a favorite reference book), watching someone was amazing.

PLAYterm lets someone record their command line session and embed it into a webpage for others to watch.  The brave among us even allow for people to post comments, which could be used to give suggestions and praise or provide a chance for bullies to belittle and deconstruct.

I decided to give it a try, seeing as how I had a little hard time getting the required “ttyrec” program to work on my particular setup, which is Cygwin running on my Windows 7 laptop.  It’s basically getting 99% of linux on a windows box.  What better useful step than showing others how to get it working on their system?

PLAYterm seems to be PERFECT for someone like me who wants to document a lot of network / firewall / scripting things that I’ve collected over the years, wait, decades.

So here’s my PLAYterm-hosted tty recording of how to get ttyrec to compile on Cygwin (note: the embed code doesn’t seem to work on Google Chrome, and the display is bigger than my blog entry space will allow… so some of the right edge is cut off. Just follow the link above to see it on playterm’s site).

I’m in favor of Cloud-like services.

I now have

  • 25GB Microsoft SkyDrive from live.com (free)
  • 20GB Amazon Cloud Drive from amazon.com (free for one year)
  • 50GB premium Dropbox account from dropbox.com ($99/yr, free for 2GB)

I prefer Dropbox for many reasons – the primary being I can sync a folder from My Documents on my laptop, desktop and also access files from my iPhone… all without having to worry about a thing.  I haven’t seen SkyDrive and Amazon have that kind of integration yet, so it’s worth the $99/yr to get that for more than the free 2GB Dropbox gives you.

I think I got the 1 yr Amazon for buying the Weird Al Yankovic album “Alpocolpyse” for $3.99.  After I purchased it, it said “hey Wayne, we can store this music in your free 20GB Amazon Cloud drive – would you like to do that?” and I was all “um, are you really talking to me, cuz usually people just do what they want and don’t ask first, so yeah, I guess I might like that because I’m really happy you asked and did you” and then it interrupted me with “Just answer the question, I don’t have time for your prattle, meatbag” and I was like “Um, yeah.” and it said “Ok, done.  Now don’t start talking again. Just take your free space and enjoy your cheap album, cheap human scum.  All your files are belong to us.

Maybe I like most Cloud-like services, but Amazon’s kind of a jerk if you ask me.

Apple’s keynote presentation on iCloud also looked interesting, so I’ll be glad to add that into the mix when it comes about.  I don’t remember the technical details (size, limitations, etc) but I do remember it’s “free” with IOS 5.  I saw a lot of things I liked in IOS5.

One thing that will surely come about one of these days is a way to sync all of them.. so it’ll be like a backup of all the cloud drives.

Speaking of sync – I’ve been struggling with syncing up all the contacts from Google Gmail, my iPhone, and Outlook.  I’ve been playing with Syncfriend, gSyncit, and scrubly.com to try and find the Holy Grail of de-duplication, merging, and syncing of all the people and notes I want to keep around.

I’m almost there.

I think.

I think, therefore I am.  Almost there, that is.

I sync, therefore I am.

Ok I just designed the next killer app.  iSync.  iSync, therefore I am.  That would be the tagline.  It would sync EVERYTHING – files, contacts, email, music, notes, music notes (for composers)…

Shouldn’t I be rich by now?

If you’re one of my friends, have known me (or my family), like me, and/or trust me, or have been referred here by someone you know, like or trust…

…I’ll save you time and just ask that you please go and vote for my wife’s artwork entry in an online voting contest. There’s no login required, Login to Facebook if you have an account, and you can vote once per day (see update at bottom) until 3/28.  Please spread the word (more details below).  I’d really appreciate it.

For everyone else… this is my plea to you.

Most of you who have read my blog (it’s been up for what, 5 years now? Almost 6?) have noticed that I rarely write about my wife.  My son Jaden (now 9yrs old) is all over the place on the blog (he loves the attention and being “on the internet”), and every once in a while I write about my 16yr old Caitlin, but both my daughter and my wife prefer to be a little more private than the rest of us.

My Wife

My wife is completely wonderful.  Those of you who know her know this.  We’ve been married 18 years, have two beautiful children, and get through the daily and yearly challenges of life together.  She’s supported me throughout my career and I want to support her now for something that is very important to her.

It is out of respect for her privacy that I shy away from extolling her virtues and bragging about her all the time.  This blog would be filled with her awesomeness if I could have that publishing embargo lifted, but, alas, it was not meant to be, and I’m fine with that.  Her privacy is important to her, so that makes it important to me.

When I say “privacy”  I don’t mean aloofness, or elitism, or anything like that. She just doesn’t “get” online stuff like many of us do — she’s not on facebook; she doesn’t “do” twitter; heck, she doesn’t even read her email but a couple times a month.  She’d rather talk in person or on the phone to connect with people. People who have her email address know that they can wait a looong time before a response comes.

She just has this… wall.  A wall exists between her and online communication.  She has zero interest in online camaraderie, forums, blogs, tweets or facebook status updates.  She’d rather have a tea or coffee with a friend than type away on a keyboard or read other people’s comments.  It’s just not her thing.

Some Details

One thing I’m allowed to share about my wife is her love and admiration for Duran Duran.  She’s been a Duranie since before I met her, and that was a looong time ago. I wouldn’t even attempt to put into words here what she feels for them for fear that I’d mess it up horribly. Just know that D2, as they’re affectionately called by their fans, means a lot to her.  An incredible lot.

Another thing I can share is that my wife is an artist.  She’s extremely creative and has solid talent in lots of artistic mediums.  She’s simply brilliant.

When she heard that Duran Duran was doing a contest — an ART CONTEST, no less — well, let’s just say it tore. down. that. wall.

The Contest

So here’s the deal – Duran Duran’s contest is where fans submit their artwork and then get people to vote for their artwork.   They are promoting their new album All You Need Is Now (I suggested they call it “Whall You Need Is Now” but they turned me down).  The artwork is judged on Creativity/Originality (50%), Relatedness to Duran Duran’s “All You Need Is Now” (25%) and Aesthetic appeal (25%).  They specifically are looking for art inspired by their new album’s look and feel.

The top 10 vote-getters will advance into the next stage where the band actually views the art and votes on a winner — that winner gets a framed print of their art signed by Duran Duran, 2 tickets to see any tour performance of choice, and 2 tickets to the meet-and-greet tour performance of choice.

That’s right, I said “meet-and-greet”.

Once she realized that the contest was an online contest, I had to explain what an online voting contest was, and that it was largely a popularity contest, and it involves getting people to go online to vote and OH WOULD YOU PLEASE GET PEOPLE TO VOTE FOR MY ARTWORK WAYNE?!?!?!?! YOU’RE A COMPUTER GUY WITH ALL THE TWEETY FRIENDS AND BLOGGERS AND STUFF!!!!

All of a sudden she was OK with making a facebook account and emailing and tweeting and retweeting and asking others to ask others to vote for her artwork because — SHE COULD POSSIBLY GET THEM TO SEE HER ARTWORK!

For her, getting to the top 10 means knowing that the members of Duran Duran saw her artwork.  And judged it. Reviewed it.  And considered it closely.  AND THEY MIGHT LOOK AT MY ARTWORK, WAYNE!!!!!

What You Can Do To Help

This, my friends, is what I’m asking your help for.  I want my wife to get her artwork seen by the members of Duran Duran. That will only happen if she gets to the top 10.

Would you help us?  We need as many votes as possible.

Here’s her artwork – click on it to vote for her entry.


electriciD artwork submission for Duran Duran contest

(click here for larger image)

Remember, you can vote ONCE PER DAY (!!!) from now until March 28th.   That’s almost two weeks of voting.  Set a calendar reminder if you have to. (see update, below) You can click on this link, once every day until 3/28 and it will help her achieve her dream.  You don’t have to login or join Facebook – it will only make you type in a couple of verification words to prove you’re not a robot.

And if you know anything about marriage, you know a happy wife makes for a happy husband.  Maybe I should say “happier“.

How to Help More – Share the Love

Won’t you please share this with your friends?  I’m looking to make this as public as possible so she get tons of votes. Point them to my blog entry with http://bit.ly/d2whall or you can use

http://tinyurl.com/voteforchristy

as a short link in Facebook, twitter, email, etc. to go directly to the voting page.

If you’re on twitter, here’s a link that will tweet for you (editable of course)

And if you need a Facebook status to copy and paste, here’s one:

Vote for Wayne’s wife in a Duran Duran art contest, up until 3/28!  http://bit.ly/d2whall (Please share with others!)

Thank you so much!

Update [3/18]: It appears that even though the Official Rules of the contest state that “Limit one (1) vote per person per day“, the voting widget itself says “You can vote for each entry once during this contest.”   This discrepancy and the fast rise in voting for her entry are causing people to question the validity of voting.  I’m not sure which rule is accurate and I surely don’t want to cause anyone any grief.  So, for now, concentrate on your one vote (and vote through Facebook if you can) and spreading the word.  We’re all D2 lovers around here and drama can check itself at the door.

While Ren has been getting to know his Prius, I’ve come to know a different kind of hybrid – a hard drive kind of hybrid.

My home laptop has needed an upgrade for a while now — 250GB sounds like a lot, but with photos, videos, a large music library, tons of archived email and install/tools dating back to the late 90’s ends up taking more space.  I’ve also gotten a bit of the gaming bug, and some of the games I’ve installed are a whopping 20GB by themselves.

On a PC, having “breathing room” on your hard drive is very important.  You don’t want to fill up very much because then the system will be forced to spend time trying to find nooks and crannies to put your files, and when it has to do that, it gets very busy.  It’s like having a 2000 page phone book, see, and you put pages 1-12 in Austin, pages 13-150 in DC Area, pages 151-570 in PA, 571-844 in FL845-923 back in TX, 924-1388 in WA, 1389-1438 in Canada, 1439-1554 in NYC, 1555-1673 in Amsterdam, 1674-1899 in Utah and the rest in Mexico.  You’d get really busy trying to flip through the book, but on the bright side, you’d probably have a TON of fun visiting all those places.

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November
26
2010
10:48 am
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I don’t understand people who let their blogs go two months without posting anything.  I mean, how busy can people be?

…then there’s something wrong with you.

This is just plain neat. 

I start thinking about the code, the testing, the algorithms, the physics and the talent needed to pull something like this off.  How many hours went into it?  How FUN was it to work on?  Did they have all-nighters?  What kind of cameras did they use?  How much power does it require?  How much does it weigh?  How many crashes did they have from the time they started filming this series of examples to the end? 

What also comes to mind are other facets of human existence that could be augmented by the additional automation and robotry that this new advancement offers. 

It might help with rescue operations…

…or enable remote-controlled terrorism.

It might be unique art and decoration…

…or create new methods of vandalism.

Maybe a little entertainment?

…or present new lows of debauchery.

How about labor savings?

…or cause further atrophy of mankind’s declining work ethic.

It could manifest itself as any sort of task that would become optimized in some way from a self-flying maneuverable object with hand-like protrusions or a payload of some sort.  The mind boggles at the options that are made available.  As computers increase their processing power, analytical judgments and macro-like routines to be stored and called up with a keystroke (or triggered by a stimulus), well… this isn’t your dad’s model rocket, now is it…

How about you?  Do you initially see this gadget as a beacon of hope for innovation and improving our species, or is it a harbinger of the eventual proof of Einstein’s adage that states “our technology has exceeded our humanity?” 

What was your instinct when you first saw the video?

When I read about Bottle Bombs recently after a neighbor saw one down the street from us, right in front of the Elementary School, I wonder about our humanity.  Bottle Bombs are home-made explosive devices made with Drano, tin foil and a plastic soda bottle.  The pranksters terrorists carefully make it, carefully set it somewhere, and carefully LEAVE IT BE.  As soon as it’s moved or jostled by someone, a chemical reaction takes place and 30 seconds later, it explodes with extreme force and boiling liquid.  There’s a video at the Snopes page I linked to.  The idea is they leave it somewhere where someone is likely to pick it up, and leave it somewhere where they’re likely to have to carry it for at least 30 seconds.

I’m not sure how I’d react if my 8yr old son’s hands were blown off by some teenager’s twisted idea of what constitutes a funny prank, all because my son wanted to pick up some trash on our doorstep, in our yard, or at the playground.   Trash.  Trash that was left there intentionally for kids to pick up and become horribly injured by.

I wish nature had a way of making people earn their knowledge.

In a way, I guess it does.  At some point, we’ll all kill ourselves.  That’s likely “the plan” going around in the Universe anyway – surviving our own selves is a rite of passage into the Brotherhood of Intelligent Species up there in the heavens somewhere.  Someone out there is probably betting on us; gambling Republic Credits or Federation Starchips on the 1000:1 odds that we even make it to what we call The Year 2050. 

Who knows – maybe it’s a solid universal fact that no species makes it “in” the first time – that they have to grow, explode, die off and then grow again, hopefully keep something around to remember our mistakes, grow again and eventually “get it”. 

Maybe Atlantis was our most previous try.  I’m pretty sure we’ve forgotten it all.

The whole thing conjures up quotes from Dr. Ian Malcom (played by Jeff Goldblum) in 1993’s Jurassic Park:

The lack of humility before nature that’s being displayed here, uh, staggers me.

I’ll tell you the problem with the scientific power that you’re using here: it didn’t require any discipline to attain it. You read what others had done and you took the next step. You didn’t earn the knowledge for yourselves, so you don’t take any responsibility for it. You stood on the shoulders of geniuses to accomplish something as fast as you could and before you even knew what you had you patented it and packaged it and slapped it on a plastic lunchbox, and now you’re selling it, you want to sell it!

Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.

If you haven’t seen TeeFury yet, it’s quite a neat deal.  It’s a website (and twitter account, iPhone app, email list, etc) where they just sell ONE T-shirt for 24 hours.  For $9.

That whole “gone tomorrow” part?  Absolutely true.  They only sell the one shirt, for the one day, and there ain’t no going back.

If it sells out?  Tough Shirt.

If you missed it by a minute?  Noshirtforyou!

My history with Teefury

I had bought one shirt from them a while back – it was a cool Star Wars inspired design of AT-AT’s as seen behind an X-Ray from a Veterinary Clinic’s point of view.

Since Star Wars is a big part of my job, I thought it quite fitting (haha).  The fact that it’s an instant collector’s item isn’t a bad deal either, because I’m snobby like that.  I also like the weird look of recognition certain people get when they look at my shirt, then look again, then smile when they recognize the AT-AT (All Terrain Armored Transport).

The “Grab Bag”

Sometimes TeeFury does these things called “Grab Bags”.  You pay $5 a shirt for X number of shirts, and you have absolutely no idea (or control) over what you get.  You might get cool shirts; you might get “whaaaa?” shirts; you might get “ok” shirts; and if you’re like me, you wait for weeeeeeks to find out what you get.

People even post what shirts they got on the forums.  Either they’re commiserating or gloating, or a little of both.

I participated in my first Teefury Grab Bag recently and I must say, I’m quite impressed with the results.

What Did Wayne Get?

I know, you’re wondering what I got from my Grab Bag.  After all, you read my blog because you CAN’T WAIT to know what happens to me, right?

First, let’s get the stupid one out of the way.  WHAT IN THE HILTON HEAD ISLAND is this thing?

It’s a cat.  A happy cat.  riding a Motorcycle with a fish on the tank (heh, fish tank).  Plaid-looking seat.  Detailed jacket, pants, pointy boots, and WHY IS IT YELLOW?!?!?

There’s an explanation over at MyLoveForYou about an artist named Lisa Hanawalt who made a shirt called “Kitty Biker“.  I don’t mind telling you – I’m more lost than a caveman with Tourette’s trying to do open heart surgery with a chainsaw while wearing oven mitts.

At night.

While drunk.

Moving on… We come to something I still am a little lost by (doesn’t take much, I guess… maybe I was put into shock from the first shirt) but at LEAST it’s a little bit appropriate for me.  I am, after all, a strong proponent of the 2nd Amendment and the right our Founding Fathers gave us to keep and bear arms.

I googled for a while to try and find out what the name of this shirt is, but failed.  It’s probably on my receipt, which I threw away.  Anyway, here it is for your perusal.

Not bad.  Not good, either… but not bad.

Wait a second.  Is this an anti-2nd-amendment shirt?!?!?!?  I’ll have to do some more self-reflection before I actually wear this down to the next Secede Texas Rally.

The Most Appropriate Shirt Ever Shipped

Then I look at the 3rd shirt and I’m like… whoa, Keanu-style.

YES, that’s a Death Star.

YES, those are Tie-Fighters.

YES, that’s an X-Wing at the bottom.

YES, it’s Space Invaders, Star Wars-style.

YES, IT’S MINE!

Teefury, I think I love you.  I think I want to go out into the galaxy and do wild things with you and then go to Anchorhead and get our memories erased.  Copy that, Gold Leader *wink*  I’d like to take you point five past lightspeed, and it will take me a LOT longer than twelve parsecs to make the Kessel Run.

Now that I have the iPhone app installed, I don’t think I’ll be missing out on too many cool shirts in the future.

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