I was really pleased when my good friend chris asked me to help him with his edition of 1 project. I guess it was exciting working on an arts project. I also liked his project because randomness is an interesting concept, particularly when it comes to computers. Put very simply: computers have trouble picking stuff at random.
One-Time-Passwords always fascinated me. Long long time ago in a land far far away I suddenly had this idea. The idea was simple and in today’s terms pretty common, perhaps trivial. One-Time-Password without the need for an extra token. After the user keys in their username and password, they get sent a random password via SMS. Ten years ago there wasn’t anything that did that. I created a basic RADIUS implementation with support for different SMS gateways, all in Java. Sadly however, with no funding, no clue how to turn it into a business, and just finishing my computer science degree, it had to be abandoned for an easier day job.
I was recently pulled into looking at two-factor-authentication (2FA) solutions. I used SecurID at a previous job, and know of several solutions in this area. I was quite pleased to discover many soft-token solutions working on mobile phones (iphone, blackberry, HTC, Nokia) and USB-based ideas like Yubikey. I was even more pleased to discover open source initiatives in this area, and OATH HOTP in particular.
I recently noticed my iphone clock wasn’t accurate. I’m not exactly sure why. It was only a few minutes behind, but it still annoyed me. Why couldn’t my iphone sync its time with an internet time server?? I know it is supposed to sync with my mobile network operator, but I think mine doesn’t sync… Maybe it’s my operator?
For jailbroken iphones, there’s a neat app on cydia called NTPDate. It’s a great app and I recommend installing it. All you need is specify the ntp server, and click ‘set’ and it will sync your clock for you. However, I wanted to go a step further. I wanted my iphone to sync itself automatically for me, using a cron job. Well, not quite using cron, but it can be done automatically.
On my last post I described how I get my asterisk box to know the caller name from a csv data file. The thing is, my address book keeps changing on my iphone. People change their phone numbers, I meet new people (can you believe it? I don’t let it happen too often though)… I wanted to be able to sync it automatically to my asterisk. This synchronisation also doubles up as a backup for my address book.
Caller ID is a wonderful feature. Don’t we love getting a call from someone we like, and perhaps more importantly, ignore those annoying callers who we really don’t want to talk to.
But this is yesterday’s news. We all have caller IDs. It just works. Well, yes. It does. But what if we get a call on our landline? We get the caller ID there too, but do we know who it is?? All our contacts are on our mobile phones. Standard phones don’t usually have the capacity to hold more than 10 names on average. And even if they did. Who’s got the energy to key in those numbers?
ISPs are a strange breed. They’re supposed to give a very straight-forward service – plug me in to the Internet please. That’s all. Plain and simple. It seems like some ISPs have different ideas as to their roles and responsibilities. Traffic shaping is one of those. Port/Service blocking is its ugly cousin. I don’t like either. You’re not my Big Brother. If I wanted one I’d move to China.
Perhaps yet another misleading title for this post, but bear with me. When I was a child we used to play outside a lot. I always remember the neighbours complaining if we made too much noise. Such is life. There was one period of time that I knew I would get in trouble though. We would get told off big time!! When?? Every day between 2 and 4 in the afternoon. There was even a sign in big red letters telling us all to keep quiet at ‘rest time’ (loosely translated). There was no sign about making noise after 11pm, but there was one for the afternoon nap. It was THAT important.
These days seem long gone now. Does anybody have time for an afternoon nap?? I certainly don’t recall seeing any such signs around.
This is something I never thought would concern me. All those domain ownership issues, I thought, were with people who just aren’t organised enough to renew their domains, forget their passwords, or pick domains that others try to steal.
I’m currently managing a couple of .DE and one .CO.UK domains on Godaddy. The .co.uk domain was bought for a fairly long period, so no problems there, but recently, both the .de domains were up for renewal. I received a couple of email reminders from GoDaddy, but when I logged into my account I noticed they are only due to expire on 26th March. More than a month away. On the last email I received on the 20th, I decided it’s probably time to renew, so clicked on the link and was getting my credit card ready.
To my surprise, the GoDaddy domain portal did not allow me to renew them, and marked them as ‘pending expiration’. hmmm… weird. Oh well, I emailed GoDaddy and asked to renew, not even worrying too much. Maybe a system glitch of some sort.
I’ve had a strange thing happening a while ago. I sent a CD in a padded envelope to someone, and it was returned to me. Well, it didn’t look like it was returned, more like they actually delivered it to me instead of to the person I sent it to.
Then I noticed something. I was re-using an old envelope. For environmental reasons of course (read: being so tight-assed, saving money on padded envelopes). I did write the destination address on the right side, so my address was nowhere on the envelope. What was left there however was this tiny printed barcode used by the previous sender with my address.
Perhaps the title is a little misleading, but it’s an opportunity to combine two of my greatest loves: food and computers. I suppose even this intro is misleading. Oh. Forget it. Lets get down to business. And this time our business is rather short (and sweet).