The miscellaneous ramblings and thoughts of Dan G. Switzer, II

SpoofStick: Protect Yourself From Obscured URLs...

I was watching a re-run of The Screen Savers today and they had a guest on who showed off a browser toolbar addon called SpoofStick.

The idea behind this toolbar is that it will resolve the actual website you're on and display the name of the server. Some of you may be thinking: "Why is this useful? When I go to a site I know what site I'm on." Or do you?

One of the most commonly used techniques by hackers attempting to gather person information about users (such as your credit card number or PayPal account,) is to send an e-mail address that looks official which provides a link to "update your personal information." These messages often look legit and the websites they take you too often look they way you'd expect them to—however, they're not actually the official website; it's a copy of the site on a hacker controlled server.


Penis Pumping/Masturbating Oklahoma State Judge...

Some news is just stranger than fiction. Take this article about a penis pumping/masturbating judge. I guess that's why they were those long flowing robes. Seriously though, can this actually be true? I can't imagine anyone thinking they could get away with this, but then again, I've heard a lot of stranger stories.

qForms Build 139 Released!

I've had a couple reports of issues or requests to make a few changes, so I've gone ahead and made them. One of the semi-big additions is a validation module that will give you the exact same functionality that's in CFFORM. Rest assured, I've made the same changes in v2. Anyway, here's the latest build:

[-] Change the _q_checkForErrors() function so that the call
    to the isNotEmpty() method used escaped double quotes
    instead of single quotes. This should allow single quotes
    in the description property.
[*] Changed the validateNumeric method to use the parseFloat()
    function to check for a valid numeric value.
[+] Added validateSame validation method
[+] Added validateInteger validation method
[-] Used my old homegrown compression routine on the compressed files.
    It doesn't compress the files down as much as either jsCruncher Pro
    or w3compiler, but it shouldn't break the source code either.
[+] Added cfform.js validation module. This should give you all of the
    exact same functionality as provided w/CFFORM.

As always, you can download the latest version of qForms from http://www.pengoworks.com/qforms/download/.

Got Gmail?

I wasn't going to post this, but since I haven't posted in a few days I figured I better post something. :)

Thanks to my buddy Cam, I now too have a "GMail" account. The account don't carry as much "geek weight" anymore, as it appears that Google is getting ready to go public, 'cause they're handing out the invitations in huge quantities now. Regardless, I'm part of the geek chic.

I have to say though, after playing around with my account for a few days, I'm not sure what all the buzz is about—besides the full 1GB of storage. I'm not overly impressed w/the user interface (UI.) It does a few things well, but seems klunky and too basic. I love Google's simple layout for their search engine, but that doesn't seem to translate well to their e-mail interface. I feel like there's just a bunch of links thrown about the page. I know this isn't the case, but it just doesn't feel like an application. I'm sure there are people who will favor this approach, but I'm not one of them. I just don't feel the various options have enough presentation seperation to make it clear where your options are. Google's GMail service is still in beta, so we may see some changes—although I don't expect any major changes. I will say this, the pages do load fast.


Microsoft Offering Security Bulletins RSS Feed...

I just noticed that Microsoft is now providing Security Bulletins in a new RSS feed.

Since I use my RSS reader just about daily, this seems like a great way to stay up-to-date on new Security Bulletins. Microsoft is also offering a number of other RSS feeds you can monitor. I'll also be monitoring the Microsoft SQL Server RSS Feed.

Camping & Golfing...

Well, at I stated last week, Jenn & I went camping this weekend with the dogs. The weather wasn't exactly cooperative, but it could have been much, much worse. We had pretty heavy rain storms in the area over the weekend. Fortunately, we didn't really get any rain at the camp site, but it was extremely wet and we never really got any sunshine.

The dogs seemed to enjoy themselves. The first 24 hours or so, they were very protective of any activity going on around our camp site, but then they adjusted to things and didn't seem to get bothered by people coming by our site. We didn't do much, other than relax around the fire. We did go hiking on Saturday, but we spent most of the day hanging out w/Justin & Megan (the couple we went camping with—who also brought they're dog Zoey camping.)

Also on the personal front, I got a chance to play golf w/my Grandpa and Father last Wednesday. We played at Windy Knoll in Springfield, OH. It was my first time playing the course. The course definitely needs some work, but I liked the layout of the course. If i could have controlled my Tee shots, I would have been able to shave about 10 strokes off my game (I lost about a dozen golf balls off the tee.) Of course I hadn't played, or even swung a golf club, in almost a year, so what can I expect.

Finish Far Cry Campaign...

Well I finished the single player campaign of Far Cry yesterday. Overall the single player is excellent, although I was slightly disappointed by the ending (of course, I think the endings of most games are disappointing—I can't really think of any that lived up to my hopeful expectations.) The AI and graphics are simply amazing. For those of you expecting boss-type battles, you'd be disappointed—as there aren't really any boss-type battles. The game is still very challenging and is definitely worth playing. I may go back and try it in "realistic" mode just to see how bad I get my butt kicked! :)

I'm now looking forward to playing multiplayer mode online. I'm trying to convince some of my friends to buy the game so I can play online w/them. I've at least convinced a couple of them to go an download the demo.

Mozilla v0.9 Released!!!

Firefox v0.9 has just been released. The Release Candidate (RC) was just released on the 10th, so I suspect the RC they felt was pretty stable. Anyway, here's a peak at what's new:

  • Extension Manager
  • Theme Manager
  • Data Migration/Import
  • New Visual Theme
  • Better Bookmarks
  • Better Search
  • Smaller Download
  • Online Help

I'm in the process of installing v0.9 as I type this. Hopefully all my extensions continue to work. I really love Firefox—it's become my primary browser, and I was beginning to think I'd be using IE forever.


Going Camping This Weekend...

Jenn and I are going to go camping this weekend with the dogs. A good buddy of mine, Justin, sent an e-mail out inviting us to join them down in Hocking Hills this weekend for at Caveman Retreats. Jenn loves camping, so she's pretty excited about it.

Since we didn't really have any camping gear, we've had to go out and buy the supplies we needed. Last night we hit Gander Mountain and picked up some miscellaneous gear—a tent, sleeping bags, inflatable air bed, latern, etc. I picked up a 5 gallon water cool and a 7 qt ice cooler (both supposedly keep ice for 5 days in 90 degree weather) and a small portable charcoal grill today at Walmart. Needless to say, I'd have spent a lot less money to just rent a cabin for the weekend. Of course, now I own the stuff we need to go camping with, so it'll be much cheaper next time.

It should be a pretty good time. I'm not sure how many people are going this weekend. I just hope the dogs don't cause us too many problems. It'll be interesting to see how they do in the tent with us. :) (Oh yeah, I got a big 8 person tent, so there should be plenty of room for the two of us and the dogs.)

Another Day, more Macromedia TechNotes...

Two more TechNotes from Macromedia. The first deals with turning on verbose logging—which can be extremely useful when debugging server problems—and the second deals w/a problem WebSphere users may be experiencing when running the CF Administrator and using WebSphere v5.0.2.x.

Another Macromedia TechNote...

Must be TechNote day at Macromedia. They've released another article, this one relating to the fact that if you specify a maximum heap greater than 1.8GBs, CFMX will fail to start.

Macromedia Releases Two New TechNotes...

Macromedia released a couple of TechNote articles today. The first talks about the differences between CF5 and CFMX and how large query results require a much higher memory footprint (due largely to the fact that Java supports Unicode—which requires more bits per character (32 bits over 16 bits.)

The second TechNote relates to how to determ which Java classes are being loaded by into the JVM at load. This could be very useful for debugging purposes.