got root?
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
So hackd! has moved to its own home over at
That website is still in 'beta' I guess but there shouldn't be any more updates here. Update your bookmarks/rss feeds/blacklist accordingly please :)

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Sunday, January 14, 2007
texan argumentation formula
sneakysid: Da, americanii sunt o natie de cretini

At the end of the referenced video [from sneakysid's post] we see a new method for convincing one's peers of the superiority of one's own argument: it has been dubbed the "texan boy argument" by a friend of mine and refined to be the basis of the "texan argumentation formula" which is something like this:

  • find a controversial topic, such as war, religion or operating systems

  • choose a side, generally that which is more likely to be the winner

  • when defending or promoting your choice rely exclusively on phrases such as "it is obvious i'm right", "only a moron could think the opposite", "i support X because i believe in god" etc

  • when confronted and asked to expand on said argument reply with a variation of "are you stupid? it's obvious!" or maybe "i can't explain this to morons"

  • bask in the superiority of your debate techniques and the inherent glory which they will undoubtedly bring

If you doubt the effectiveness of this formula, remember that 80 million people were, at some point, convinced in a similar fashion.

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Thursday, December 07, 2006
Up in the November 30th edition of DiggNation Kevin decided to let out a few iPhone rumours.

  • very small form factor - obviously

  • two batteries, one for the mp3 playback side and one for the phone - excellent for people like me that listen to music a lot

  • a lot of touch-screen - can we get a mock-up rotary wheel out of an iPod-style scroll-wheel?

  • 4 or 8 gig offerings, US$249 and US$449 estimated - for an Apple smart-phone? sign me up!

  • slide-out keyboard - keep in tune with the form factor, I'm sure

Of course this is all rumours. It's supposed to come out in January - which is both good and bad for me since I won't be able to get it until sometime in May most likely, but by then hopefully all bugs will be ironed out. Or, who knows, a lovely little birthday present for me :)

Other rumours deal with the OS, which is supposed to be a trimmed-out version of OS X. I think this is a bit far-fetched - although the UI elements should be there for Mac users to feel comfortable and homey and non-Mac ones to fall in love with, whether the technology will actually take from Leopard in terms of kernel and other subsystems...

I hope for cross-over headphones. That is, ones that will let me switch between phone and mp3 player seamlessly when I get a call. They should also be wireless because we want cool :)

Either way, can't wait. Call me a fanboy.

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Ruby on Rails
I am not a web developer. Considering how much time we all spend online I believe that web design is an important part of techlife, however I still think application and (especially) systems development are the 'real' programming venues. I am, however, a heavyweight surfer so I do come along quite a few interesting websites that involve some pretty impressive technologies and design ideas. I love the fact that these things are now easier to get going for anyone that has at least a little bit of a technically-inclined mind.

Enter Ruby on Rails. I know, I know, old technology already. Regardless, I got into it a bit over the last few days and I must say, it makes for some pretty kick-ass, easy implementations. Once you learn the pluralization rules - seeing how RoR heavily relies on this - rolling out a simple application is a walk in the park. The LoC count is always very low, a lot of the tasks are automated through scripts - even creating database tables - and the most work that you have to do is in the views, which are generally rhtml files.

To this we add some kick-ass AJAX stuff and CSS layouts and we have a pretty interesting application ready to roll out. I have a few non-revolutionary ideas of my own (blog or forum suite) to help me further practice all this technology. Why do I want to do that if I think applications are the way to go? All of these are interfaces to databases. I believe having multiple ways of consistently accessing the same information is advantageous to all parties involved, usability-wise. It is also a way to encourage data structure standards, i.e. having ways in which all forums could be aggregated into one application (this is an echo of the HiJack idea passed around during by means of a standard fashion in which data is organized.

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Three very different cultures? More or less. The light that Apple's Get A Mac campaign sheds regarding Macintosh users is one of a snarky, slightly snobbish individual, always ready to throw a 'holier-than-thou' remark to a PC user. This is partly why so many root for viruses and large-scale spyware to come to Mac OS X so that one of the 'biggest' arguments pro-Mac gets shot to dirt. It is immature to believe any current OS is completely protected from malware but that's not my topic for now.

I am a `n*x-spawn user. This includes Linux, UNIX, Solaris, BSDs, Mac OS X. More importantly, I am quite aware of the 'culture of the geek' for any of these platforms and how it plays out between long-standing arch-enemies. Linux vs Windows, Mac vs PC. To be honest, they're all the same. It is natural to defend the technology you've chosen because, heck, you're doing it and you must be right. After all, you are a geek and you know your shit. It is far too easy to find bad (technical) things about a different platform - this only shows that all are flawed.

Now, activism is not bad. Pushing forward the benefits of a certain platform to gain users is normal and quite admirable - as long as those arguments are neither misrepresentations nor solely riding on the competition. Why? Saying you have something that's just better than a rival's offering means you're not trying to be the best you can be. It's like auctioning for a Lamborghini by just increasing the previous offer by $1.

Apple does knock Microsoft in its ads. Microsoft launched the Zune to be an iPod killer. Linux vendors say their OS is more secure than Windows. It all goes around.


Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Democracy Player
New thing to test out, Democracy Player is great for vidcasts and other media in video. It comes with a large number of feeds built-in and it's easy to add your own. Built-in player and bittorrent client. I'm pretty much switching to it for all video things.

Name is kind of unfortunate, though.


cellphone jamming
"Let's make cellphone jamming products more available for law-enforcement." So that local police can stop terrorists intent on detonating charges by means of a cellphone. I know that having these things is probably a good idea, but here's a twist: what if interrupting the cellphone signal will cause it to detonate? Or blocking cell pings that keep it from blowing up?

I know, nothing special. I'm tired of the same bullshit being thrown around for personal gain.

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Wednesday, November 29, 2006
I got a hold of this through Stew. Cracks me up immensely. From


Tuesday, November 14, 2006
security by having large balls?
So I was listening to SecurityNow and I must say I was quite surprised to hear how both Leo and Gibson were taking some pride in not running any advanced security applications on their machines. I know they're not the only ones, but I do have a general message to those people that think there's nothing that could touch them because they've configured their systems to some level of apparent security:

I can't wait for the day you get owned massively and you lose all your data, maybe get subjected to some identity theft etc. "Because we know what we're doing" is not sufficient.

Enjoy a slow, painful humiliation.

Caveat: I do not consider XP SP2 firewalling to be nearly enough for somebody that's as security conscious as Gibson comes off. Or anyone else for that matter.

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Friday, November 10, 2006
Mad props for the MacHeist challenge, it's fun thus far - I've just collected my first loot yesterday and it looks pretty good - and I hope it will continue to be diverse throughout... cause frankly, I'm not in it just for the prizes :)