Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Is your Internet safe? Check your DNS servers.

There's a major security hole in DNS -- and it is time to patch if you haven't yet.

Check if your ISP has patched their own DNS server by visiting Doxpara Research (the site of Dan Kaminsky, who found the problem a while back) and click on the DNS Checker on the right.

If you are running your own servers, be sure to check Microsoft Security Bulletin MS08-037 on patching them.

If you find that your DNS does NOT check out OK, try OpenDNS (you can see my original post on OpenDNS here). I use OpenDNS at home and at church, thus avoiding the entire problem in the first place.

In any case, run Windows Update to get the latest patches. It is a good policy.

For the geek-minded, here's an article about how the exploit was discovered.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Free Audiobook: 'The Practice of the Presence of God' (July Only)

Christian Audio is offering The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Laurence for free during July as their Free Audiobook Download of the Month. The shopping cart coupon code is JULY2008. (Hm... wonder what last month's code was?)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Map of all Starbucks closing locations

Saw this list at Consumerist. Starbucks released a list of the locations that are closing as a PDF.

I'm going to see if I can make a Google Map out of it... Yes.

Here's a map of all closing Starbucks locations in Google Maps.

The Google Earth KML is here.

Here's the same map from BatchGeocode...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Free "Into the Wild" audiobook

Saw this on FatWallert -- "Into the Wild" is free as an audiobook from Borders through July 19th. Here's the link:

In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter. How McCandless came to die is the unforgettable story of INTO THE WILD.

Jon Krakauer constructs a clarifying prism through which he reassembles the disquieting facts of McCandless's short life. Admitting an interst that borders on obsession, he searches for the clues to the dries and desires that propelled McCandless. Digging deeply, he takes an inherently compelling mystery and unravels the larger riddles it holds: the profound pull of the American wilderness on our imagination; the allure of high-risk activities to young men of a certain cast of mind; the complex, charged bond between fathers and sons.

When McCandless's innocent mistakes turn out to be irreversible and fatal, he becomes the stuff of tabloid headlines and is dismissed for his naiveté, pretensions, and hubris. He is said to have had a death wish but wanting to die is a very different thing from being compelled to look over the edge. Krakauer brings McCandless's uncompromising pilgrimage out of the shadows, and the peril, adversity, and renunciation sought by this enigmatic young man are illuminated with a rare understanding?and not an ounce of sentimentality. Mesmerizing, heartbreaking, INTO THE WILD is a tour de force. The power and luminosity of Jon Krakauer's stoytelling blaze through every page.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

I am genuinely depressed tonight. I miss my father and I worry about providing for my mother. Her birthday is coming up this month and it will be her first without my dad in 38 years. It sucks that I cannot remember their anniversary -- I think I can find it in the paperwork I filed after he died.

I just realized that I don't have a completed SF-1174 to get my mother the last month's worth of my dad's pension.

Gah! My eye is twitching again.

I hope to write a letter to accompany the form and send it in, explaining what the correct answers are and hoping that whichever government employee who receives it will process it anyway. *sigh*

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Fireworks at the Del Mar Fair


We had a good time at the Del Mar Fair. Here's a picture of the fireworks display!
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Thursday, July 03, 2008

Uptime of 38 Years, 4 Months, 3 Weeks

There's no way this is accurate, since I installed this system myself, but I came across a UNIX system that claimed an uptime of 38 years, 4 months and 21 days. If that were true, this would literally be one of the first UNIX systems ever. Must be a math error...

Tuesday, July 01, 2008