Sunday, March 30, 2008

Java Control Panel in Vista

It seems that Java’s Control Panel needs administrator rights in order for some configurations to work, but when I need to configure settings for the current user, it becomes a pain in some part of the body.

Here’s how to open the Java control panel using the user account and not the administrator account:

  1. Navigate to C:\Program Files\Java (where you installed Java)

  2. Press F3 for search
  3. Type in cpl and search for the file
  4. You should see the cpl files used to launch the Java control panel

  5. Double click on it to run it using the current user account

  6. After doing what you need to do, when the applet closes, Vista might prompt to always open the cpl file using administrator rights. Say NO! (select “This control panel works correctly”)

To run it using administrator rights, instead of step 5, right click on the cpl file and select “Run as administrator”)

Friday, March 28, 2008

Prohibited Relationships

Interesting list from ROM's website: list of prohibited relationships/marriages.

With many people fighting over the homosexual issue (not as publicised now, thanks to state-controlled media), what would they say about this?

Going against the original design of humans is a bad idea really. It has always been put that way (e.g. marrying your mother).

Kindred and Affinity
Prohibited Degrees of Relationship

Prohibited Relationship for Man
(Man cannot marry any of the following persons)
Prohibited Relationship for Woman
(Woman cannot marry any of the following persons)
Mother Father
Daughter Son
Father's mother Father's father
Mother's mother Mother's father
Son's daughter Son's son
Daughter's daughter Daughter's son
Sister Brother
Wife's mother Husband's father
Wife's daughter Husband's son
Father's wife Mother's husband
Son's wife Daughter's husband
Father's father's wife Father's mother's husband
Mother's father's wife Mother's mother's husband
Wife's father's mother Husband's father's father
Wife's mother's mother Husband's mother's father
Wife's son's daughter Husband's son's son
Wife's daughter's daughter Husband's daughter's son
Son's son's wife Son's daughter's husband
Daughter's son's wife Daughter's daughter's husband
Father's sister Father's brother
Mother's sister Mother's brother
Brother's daughter Brother's son
Sister's daughter Sister's son

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

DefCon 15 - T112 - No-Tech Hacking

A really good presentation, both in terms of content, and delivery ;) Johnny Long's talk on hacking without the use of "technology". The book is available on Amazon also (Kevin Mitnick's the series editor for this)

Friday, March 21, 2008

To troubleshoot a printer

[Dated 13/03/2008]

Yifen's printer had been giving her problems since last night: the paper refused to load into the printer and print. She thought that the printer was dead, and now we need to get another one.

When I looked at the printer, it really didn't load the paper in properly somehow, and it couldn't print as a result.

So in order to find out why the paper wasn't loading...
Tried to "guide" the paper in: failed.
Tried to open the front panel of the printer and look for jammed stuff inside: nothing found.

Thought the paper was too damp from the constant raining these few days, and thus becoming too soft to be loaded properly. =O Tried loading a different set of paper: failed.

Then I noticed that the paper was jamming in an odd (and consistent) way: it always tilted to the right when loading, before it stopped there. So the only reason left was that there's something jamming the printer from that end, on the left side...

Succumbing to desperation and curiosity, I put away my common sense and inserted my hand into the printer feeder's left portion (whilst it was trying to load more paper!), and as expected, I felt something furry in there...

Thought it was a dustball that was stuck there somehow. But it sure felt BIG. How could a dustball of such a size appear so suddenly? And in a printer?

I managed to grab an endge of the "dustball", hoping to pull it out to remove bit by bit, and guess what I found instead?

Some used tissue paper...that had somehow flown in and gotten lodged in the printer! -_-

Moral of the story: never leave used tissue paper lying around, especially on printers. Heh.


If you can't read the text, it says: "Birds fly high, hard to catch. Friends like you, hard to forget!" A (primary school era) phrase in one of my colleague's childhood ;) Drawing is great for stress relief. Especially when the board was originally used for more work-related uses. I know my drawing is horrible, but I'm not Picasso! I'm an engineer!

Why not change the meaning somewhat? ;)

To further clarify the new meaning: I'm sure it would be really hard to forget this "friend", heh.


First blogging took the (inter-webs) world by storm, and it was one of the contributing forces towards the change in how the internet is used.

Next up: micro-blogging. Where you can blog even easier, wherever you are. I'm trying out Twitter if you noticed, but don't expect me to put on it stuff like where I am, or the time I go to the toilet, etc etc etc. (sorry stalkers)

It'd be interesting to see alternative uses for it though, one I can think of is for it to be a command and control channel for botnets (coming from the idea that social bookmarking sites can be used for such nefarious purposes also; I can't remember where I read that from..). ;)
Mom fell pretty sick today, quite worried for a while when she was finally forced to see doc, but was too weak to go alone (in case anything happened along the way).

To cut a long story short, it turned out to be a bout of flu that got her, so with the right medicine and rest she should be fine...

Though things (relationally) haven't been mended much since months ago when things just went (really) crazy, it's generally always easier to take care of someone when he/she's down, this incident included. But the tough part will be to honour your parents out of reverence for Christ when things are "normal" again, where she recovers from her sickness and things go back into the aftermath kind of situation.

Not to say that I'm perfectly able to do the "tough" things here: in fact, I'm going to need all the help (divine, or indirect) I can get to do this rightly and properly.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Learning a lot from the sermon on the mount studies so far, but now the challenge is to remember always.

It's not good to be like the man who looks at the mirror and subsequently forgets what he saw.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Mas Selamat is everywhere

If terrorists craved attention, I think Mas Selamat would have entered into their textbooks as a case study.

Even the Wireless @ SG login page has his picture on it! Heh.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Wedding preps

Went to the hotel (to settle booking details) and the bridal boutique (to choose the gown and suit) today...

...she really looked very nice when trying on the gowns =")

Can't wait to get married, though her being pretty isn't the sole reason for me wanting to do so lah =D

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

G-Archiver Harvesting Google Mail Passwords

This is proof why you shouldn't trust blindly all the software you use =|

Thwomp writes
"It appears that a popular Gmail backup utility, G-Archiver, has been harvesting users' Gmail passwords. This was discovered when a developer named Dustin Brooks took a look at the code using a decompiler. He discovered a Gmail account name and password embedded in the source code. Brooks logged in and found over 1,700 emails all with user account information — with his own at the top. According to a story in Informationweek, he deleted the emails, changed the account password, and notified Google. The creator of G-Archiver has pulled the software, stating that it was debug code and was unintentionally left in the product."

Hello Kitty rifle

I'm no fan of Hello Kitty (and pink stuff)...but this one is really too cute to pass. Introducing the Hello Kitty rifle! Maybe the SAF should use these instead.

Physical attacks using Firewire

It seems that Firewire's specs allow for direct memory access, which is really really bad for security...given the right tools...

Well, it seems that one such tool has been released some time ago, along with the presentation slides on it ;) This one bypasses the Windows XP password lock screen to give you access...

Project page

Presentation slides


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Another evening of mulling through the wedding guest list to try
to think of how we can modify the list to fit into the room with very
limited capacity. Really stressful, but it does really test our
objectives/reasons for inviting each and every one..Though it's pretty
unpleasant to remove anyone from the list, really.

Hope that with this, we'll realize our priorities on what we deem as
important too.. =)

Saturday, March 08, 2008


Our church is currently going through the sermon on the mount, which I personally like to call it as SOTM (coming from a singaporean's love of the (over)use of acronyms).

Sort of reminds me of LOTR, though the only thing they have in common is the "mount"/hills.

Will write up some thoughts on the lessons as we carry on this series.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Broadband over mobile isn't exactly "safer"

Have been using and playing around with mobile broadband for the past few months. =D

If anyone says that mobile broadband is safer (in the sense that we're less exposed to the internet), let me highlight some things here (though these should be pretty logical/obvious) :

It's true that the IP addresses given are for "private addresses", meaning that the clients are in a segregated "protected" network. This is seen by the fact that the IP address leases are in the Class A network, but it does not stop other clients from accessing your computer directly, which is the important thing of note here.

Attached is the screenshot of my firewall events log, which has been showing similar hits all the time. First of all it shows that various clients have been trying to access my computer, though I've yet to figure out how do they know about my IP address, nor who are these clients.

The other thing of note is the frequency and range of ports that were logged. Tallied with the list of TCP/UDP ports...
  • 137-139 TCP/UDP, NetBIOS related services (not shown in the screenshot).
  • 1433 TCP/UDP, Microsoft SQL database system.
  • 135 TCP/UDP, Microsoft RPC Locator Service.
  • 445 TCP, Microsoft-DS (used for Active Directory; the channel for some Windows worms to propagate like Sasser)
  • 2967 TCP, Symantec AntiVirus Corporate Edition. (I'm not even running this! Unless the other client is?)
The bottomline (at the bottom of this post) is: If other network clients can access your computer directly, it is still possible for attacks to occur over the network. Running a (properly configured) client-side firewall would be a worthy investment of your time and effort ;)

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Bootable USB RAM capture

Remember the research done by Princeton on breaking hard drive encryption by reading the keys off the memory?

Hackaday has links to someone's site who has made his version of the USB RAM dumper utility, complete with instructions on creating your own. =D

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Salt and Light (of the World)

Salt is meant to give taste to the food it's added to.
Light is not meant to be invisible.

Where there are areas to be greatly improved upon, stop being a chameleon, Ray. Living morally right lives and good deeds which gives praise to the Father is the way to go about it, even if people around will not like you for that.