Wednesday, January 31, 2007

OpenDNS

NewsForge is running a story on OpenDNS, a new re-thought and compatible implementation of dns that can fix spelling errors, typos and even help in blocking phishing sites.

These guys did a great job of taking something that has always existed and is deeply rooted at the heart of the Internet and improved it while keeping it compatible. It is so simple that you wonder how you didn't come to think of it earlier, like the egg of Columbus!

Before you rush to try it out think about the implications of its spelling correction on your mail servers while they attempt to deliver mail. This could save you a couple of bounce back if you're lucky, but it could screw your DNSBLs.
It seems that OpenDNS is smart enough to figure out if you're querying a BL, so it should be safe even on mail servers.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Schneier is skeptical on NSA 'helping' Microsoft secure Vista

I don't trust Microsoft to run my laptop, should I trust it after NSA has jumped in to help it improve Vista?
Bruce Schneier is suspicious: has NSA effectively made Vista more secure or has it injected its own backdoors for later use?

Was there a prior relationship among the two:
http://www.answers.com/topic/nsakey

http://www.schneier.com/crypto-gram-9909.html#NSAKeyinMicrosoftCryptoAPI

http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,21577,00.html

Monday, January 29, 2007

Firefox+Greasemonkey: take (back) the control of the web!

Today I was browsing this article about Windows Vista and I couldn't read it because all of my attention was in not moving the mouse over one of those IntelliTXT ads. But now that I have tasted the great power of greasemonkey I just don't have to take it anymore:

http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/4250

Install it and enjoy!

Monday, January 22, 2007

VMWare and time syncronization

I have an Ubuntu server with vmware-server running three other linux guests and, except, for time syncronization it runs quite smooth.
Today I eventually found some time to devote to this long-standing issue and I have applied this solution. It should keep behind the time in the guests so that the vmware-tools can update it.
On my machine I have a 3.2Ghz Pentium 4 cpu so I have set
host.cpukHz="3202000"
a bit higher to compensate for the higher frequency. Let's see how it works...

UPDATE: after two days the guests are still two hours ahead, so I decided to go for the easy route and set up a cronjob every two hours.

UPDATE 2: since time is not handled correctly also the cron job approach does not work.

Friday, January 19, 2007

[SOLVED] Eye Candy

I have eventually solved all the eye candy problems described in my previous posts.
I have emerged aiglx and then configured beryl to use aiglx instead of nvidia for desktop effects.

For more than a day it is now all working pretty well except for some occasional high cpu usage by X.
Java apps, even under jdk 1.6 b2, still suffer from minor problems, like menus being offset from the pointer of a certain fixed amount.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

NVIDIA: Black Window Bug

I am still experiencing the Black Window Bug from the NVidia card on my laptop.

Apart from that I solved the gray window problem with Java apps by downloading and installing a beta of jdk 6 which fixes my previous problem.

I'll try to switch to AIGLX.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Compiz and Java

So yesterday I was enjoying my new compiz-powered linux desktop in all its glory until a bug bite me.

I launched my favourite Java application and it was all grey, but menus seemed to work, if I clicked in the right spot. At first I though it was this bug, but setting this environment variable did not help:

AWT_TOOLKIT=MToolkit

Since I am using the nvidia drivers (not aiglx or xgl) to provide the compositing effects i remembered seeing reports about the black window bug. A quick search provided me with the solution: start compiz with this option:

/usr/bin/compiz --loose-binding --replace gconf

Monday, January 15, 2007

Compiz on my laptop

After come time spent evaluating the pros and cons I've decided to take the risk and upgrade from Xfree86 to xorg and then install compiz to enjoy the same visual effects that I happen to like so much on when I'm on my mac mini.

On my gentoo 2004 laptop it has not been easy, but following the accurate guide at Gentoo Wiki made it at least painless. I did not even had to edit my xorg.conf, just restart X and it was all there, only much better.

Compiz proved to be much harder, particularly because of some bad interaction with Nautilus that decided to crash when I started compiz and so I had to emerge gnome (from 2.14 to 2.16). Emerging gnome was also not easy, because gnome-cups-manager aborted with compilation errors, due (it seems) to an old gcc (I have 2.3.3). I decided not to upgrade gcc and simply emerged a previous version of gnome-cups-manager and after two days compiling here I am enjoying all the usual desktop composting goodness!

BTW: the new Wanda icons are really better and worth the upgrade alone!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Corriere.it and greasemonkey

Today I googled for a greasemonkey script to hide ads on the corriere.it home page, just to see if I'm the only one scratching that itch.
It seems that another user has solved it, and his solution is also more complete:

http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/5168

Monday, January 08, 2007

Greasemonkey

I am getting increasingly tired of the massive amount of advertising that is stuffed into most web pages. So I decided to drop epiphany for firefox which has excellent ad-block support and for some time I have been quite happy with it.
But lately I got really annoyed again when I occasionally surf the corriere della sera.
I will talk another time about the horrendous fixed-size design which wastes good part of 23" Cinema display, for today I'll only mention the heavy graphics divs that appear on the left and the right columns of most articles.

Those are really difficult to get rid of, even with adblock. So I decided to take greasemonkey for a spin. I installed it and after skimming through the manual I dived into my first script which is right below:
// Corriere.it user script
// version 0.1 BETA!
// 2005-04-22
// --------------------------------------------------------------------
//
// This is a Greasemonkey user script.
//
// To install, you need Greasemonkey: http://greasemonkey.mozdev.org/
// Then restart Firefox and revisit this script.
// Under Tools, there will be a new menu item to "Install User Script".
// Accept the default configuration and install.
//
//
// --------------------------------------------------------------------
//
// ==UserScript==
// @name corriere.it
// @namespace http://unicolet.org/corriere.it
// @description Hide ads divs from corriere.it and other sites
// @include http://www.corriere.it/*
// @include http://corriere.it/*
// ==/UserScript==

var adbox=document.getElementById('boxadv');
if (adbox!=null) {
adbox.style.display='none';
adbox.style.visibility='hidden';
}

adbox=document.getElementById('anunciante');
if (adbox!=null) {
adbox.style.display='none';
adbox.style.visibility='hidden';
}

And great gods, the annoying ads where gone (well, hidden actually)!