stored in: Misc

My apologizes to anyone who visited the Thinkworx blog in the last 24 hours. I woke up yesterday to find that the site had been hacked into with all pages displaying the image below.


As far as I can tell the server hosting the site had been compromised, probably affecting all sites hosted on the server, rather than a targeted attack on this site.

After contacting my web host (2M Host) they were quickly able to get the site restored, but unfortunately it was restored to a very old version. After several messages trying to convince them that what they restored was not the April 6th, 2008 version, as they claimed, I finally gave up and proceeded to restore the site myself. Fortunately, once I had discovered the site was compromised I checked the database contents, which I found to be intact so I immediately downloaded a backup version and used this to restore the site.

Personally this was my first time getting hacked, since it isn’t an experience that I would like to repeat even if it wasn’t a hack directly on my site, I will be more security conscious from this point out. It also turned out to be an opportunity to move to WordPress 2.5, which, by the way, if you are using WordPress you will definitely want to use, this upgrade has a nice redesign of the dashboard and back-end administration with some nice new features.

Related Resources
After doing SY0-101 and N10-003, students usually go for 642-812. A small number tries for 70-294 instead since they are more interested in 70-647 than the advanced 640-816.

I didn’t realize the familiar and annoying sounds of Windows could sound so good…

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homer_simpson_doh_02Hopefully I am not the only fool out there to have posted about Google’s public April Fools’ joke, Virgil! Apparently Google is historically known for their annual hoaxes.

So a word of warning come next year…don’t believe any news on April 1st, even if it is on the Official Google Blog.

So really, did anyone else fall for this? Help me feel better!

If this wasn’t posted on the Official Google Blog I probably wouldn’t have believed it. Google is teaming up with Sir Richard Branson to form Virgle, the goal of which is the establishment of a permanent human settlement on Mars.


If you ever dreamed of being a pioneer here is your chance. The adventure begins in 2014. Destination: Mar’s Lunae planum area of the north side of Kasei Valles. Need some more convincing? Check out their 100 year plan:

Private space exploration has picked-up a lot of momentum in recent years with hopes of creating a space tourism industry, but this seems to be a little over ambitious. Probably more of a publicity stun than anything, but it will be interesting to see reactions to this news.

Before I sign-up I need to see if the post office will forward my mail.

SmileI think everyone has faced the issue of needing to share a large file with someone when the file is too big to be sent by email. Historically FTP sites have been the solution to this for the tech savvy or those with a web host.

I have never been a fan of using FTP sites for sharing individual files. Fortunately there some great Web 2.0 alternatives that I recommend the next time you run into this issue:

  • drop.io – It doesn’t get any easier than this. You don’t even have to sign-up, just go to the site and drop your item. It even gets better, you don’t even have to go to the site, you can also add items by email, fax, phone or a widget from another site. This seems to be the easiest and best solution for files up to 100 MB, for larger files you are going to need to upgrade your account.
  • File Dropper – Need to share larger files? Then head over to File Dropper where you can upload files up to 5 GB for FREE! You can even keep the files up there as long they continue to be downloaded.

What other solutions would you recommend?

Some other great Web 2.0 websites to check out are the finalists in the Utility and Security category of CNet’s Webware 100 Awards. What is so exciting about these and many of the other Web 2.0 websites is the amount of value that these apps offer, many of which are free of charge.

My picks for the Security and Utility category are:


OpenDNS – Not sure what what to enter in your DNS network settings? Here is a great solution! OpenDNS is a free DNS server service and much more. Additional you get the option for these features:

  • Content Filtering
  • Phishing Protection
  • Domain Blocking
  • Adult Site Blocking
  • Web Proxy Blocking
  • Domain Whitelisting
  • Typo Correction
  • Traffic statistics

I have been using it on all networks I manage and have loved having the added security at the DNS level rather just on the router.

Spiceworks – This software is too good to be true, but fortunately it is. This is a wonderful FREE tool to help IT manage a network. Spiceworks will automatically detect and categorize all network attached devices, giving you a powerful tool to not only manage your IT assets, but to also manage licensing, detect server outages or other alerts such as low printer toner or disk space, track recently installed hardware or software and much, much more. It also has a ticketing system to manage IT support requests and gives IT a ton of information about the computer or network to troubleshoot and remotely resolve the issue. There are many similar, less power solutions out there that cost a ton of money. I still can’t believe the power of this tool and yet it is FREE.

OpenID – Finally a potential authentication system that is getting widely adopted across the web to eliminate the need to create site specific user name and passwords. This not only is a wonderful solution for users, that struggle to remember the username and password combination for the hundreds of sites they are registered on, but also for developers who get tired of having to build in a unique authentication system in all of their web applications. There have been many attempts at finding a solution and this seems to be the one offering the most potential. I hope it succeeds.

What are your picks for this category?


Proof that you only see what you are looking for…

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Wisdom from the past wasn’t enough to save us from today’s US economic crisis. The effects of which are being felt in LA and throughout the US.

Here is some interesting insight that has been recently posted on Chris Knudsen’s blog,which I recommend, about the US economic crisis and its effects.

Quote From Thomas Jefferson:

?I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.?

Tent cities springing up in LA as a result of the mortgage crisis.

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Sad thing is that the worst is yet to come.

CNET is sponsoring the Webware 100 Awards where you can vote for the best Web 2.0 apps. The winners will be announced at the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco on April 21st, 2008. Here is a look at my picks from the productivity category (you can vote up to 3 times), plus a few bonus thoughts.

In reviewing the list of finalists I can categorize most of the sites into one of the following: Calendaring apps, Task/Project Management, Finance Software, Office apps and Database or List Management. I currently see webware offering the most value in the first three categories (Calendaring, Task Management, Finance Management). Office applications definitely have a future on the web, but we are still in the early stages of their development. These webware tools are still lacking in features and have not bridged the offline dilemma, as a result they do not yet offer a true substitute to their software counterparts.

I have chosen one site from each of the 3 categories where I see the most value:


  • Google Calendar – The web is the right place for your calendar and there are several sites offering great calendars. My vote goes for Google Calendar not only for its list of features and smooth interface, but also because I like to have one reference point for as much of my web activity as possible. I was disappointed in the lack of any obvious advantages to the other calendaring apps.
  • Mint – I get excited when I find well built webware that can replace the traditional software that I have to load on each computer I use. Mint, a free personal finance software, is a perfect example of this. Extremely easy to use, rich with features and has a beautiful interface. Finally a hope to free myself from Quicken.
  • I Want Sandy – This was a new site for me, but considering the site I would have picked for this category, tracks.tra.in, wasn’t a finalist I thought this was an innovative site with a lot of potential. I like the real life metaphor that this site applies of having a personal assistant to help you track tasks, reminders, appointments and to keep organized.

Reviewing the list of finalists is a great introduction to what is happening with webware. A couple sites that I was disappointed to not see as a finalist are:

  • Plaxo – Great synchronization tool for all your online and offline sources
  • tracks.tra.in – Task management site based on the GTD methodology
  • Tripit.com – Helpful trip management site that builds all your travel plans into a single itinerary

What are your Webware 100 picks and what sites do you think are missing?

I haven’t been able to report about all that I have seen here at CeBIT nearly as much as anticipated. If you want to find a more complete list of all the new hot items go to Engadget.

Continuing my previous list of attention grabbers here at CeBIT, here is more of what caught my attention:

GPS with Lane Guidance


This will come in handy next time I am traveling around Paris. During my last trip I mistakenly stayed in the wrong lane causing me to lose a couple hours of travel.

Multiple Screens using USB


When working at my desk I love having multiple monitors, a great productivity enhancer that I previous wrote about. Unless your using a laptop, you may run into difficulties trying to do this on many desktop computers as often they don’t have either dual VGA monitor outputs or a DVI output. Fortunately ASUS saves the day with their VW223B USB connectible monitor! You can plug up to six of these monitors into your PC and run them at full resolution, and the VW223B even includes a few USB plugs to help with the daisy-chain.

Ultra Mobile PCs and Ultra Portable PCs

gigabyte-m700-top-1 panasonic-toughbook-umpc-1 pb-easynote-xs-230 asus-9-screen-top

I was surprised to see the number of new models of UMPCs and also Ultra Portable Laptops. Despite their slow adoption, PC manufacturer’s must believe that their will be a strong market for these portable devices.

Super Small Bluetooth Headsets


When it comes to headsets, apparently small is better.