#HeartBleed Bug is a Pun You Should Care About

Your passwords used on the Internet are likely known to bad people if you’ve recently logged into Yahoo, the CRA, or other popular websites. You should consider changing all of your passwords next week if you’ve used them on the Internet, in case they were exposed by an attack using the “heartbleed” bug. This flaw in OpenSSL security allows attackers to get a “heartbeat” response from affected servers, including your password in an unencrypted form.

With computer security, if you have high convenience, you’re likely experiencing a low level of security. So throw away those old passwords, and pick some new ones to use with different websites. The more passwords you have, the fewer sites you’ll lose access to if one password is learned by an attacker.

PRISM: Hack The Planet

Most people would consider “Hack the planet” to be some sort of black-hat hacker battle cry. It might more accurately describe the unconstitutional efforts of the United States of America’s NSA spy agency.

From a comment on the story:
““The intelligence community’s top-secret “Black Budget” for 2013, obtained by Snowden, lists TURBINE as part of a broader NSA surveillance initiative named “Owning the Net.””

Translation: They declared a Technology War against this world”, using our own computers against us.

TURBINE is an illegal NSA program, supported by GCHQ and who knows what other intelligence services around the world.

The big questions now, has anyone found this malware, and will AV companies provide us with protection or are they controlled by the NSA?

Bitcoins – How to Start Mining

This guide describes an indirect way to mine Bitcoins at home. You’ll need to understand how to edit a batch file and run it in the folder with a program you’ll also download.

It’s become unrealistic to discover Bitcoins before specialized ASIC miners find them, so to get around this problem you can mine Litecoin-derived coins and automatically exchange them for Bitcoins. You’ll need a newish gaming computer in order to use this method. A cheap Walmart laptop will not suffice, nor will a low-end office or home desktop. You’ll need an OpenCL or CUDA capable video card (GPU).

First get a free wallet to store bitcoins. Blockchain.info is a good site I’ve been using for months, and they have an Android app if you want too. It takes about 5 minutes to set one up, and write down the important password that cannot be forgotten or money saved in the wallet will become lost.

Then go to:
http://www.middlecoin.com/ where you will see instructions on how to configure your batch file.

Download cudaminer (works with NVidia video cards) (64 bit version, if your Windows version is 64 bit) and put your wallet’s address (starts with the number 1) where it says in the command line inside a batch file, with a made-up password.
If you have a Radeon ATI/AMD card, use cgminer instead. Note that it’s a different program from cudaminer, so it’s “arguments”, the commands following dashes in the batch file, do not match cudaminer’s arguments.
(Bitcointalk.org is a major website, but appears to be down this afternoon.)

This is an example batch file
to start the cudaminer program. You have to change the mining4all.eu address and port, to the middlecoin address instead.
Please leave questions in the comments section.

I also wrote this other beginner’s guide last week that you might want to check out.

If you liked this beginners guide, Bitcoin tips would be appreciated at this wallet address:
17ypGH6vUrowdyvUthgQ87wzdq9d8egQta

Kickstarter hacked

I signed up for KickStarter and didn’t even end up using it. Because I was lazy/human, I used a password I’d used on some other websites when creating my account there.

Kickstart hacked, personal info obtained.

So now I’ve had to go to a bunch of other websites and change the password I used on KickStarter to something else, in case the account thieves manage to brute-force solve the encrypted passwords they got from KickStarter.

Was I smart and used a unique password for each of the sites potentially affected? I’m human.

Bitcoins – Where to Start?

Someone recently asked me (okay, multiple people did) where to start to learn about getting Bitcoins?
You can start here at my blog, now. A better place to look will be at one of the links below in my 15 minute introduction. Don’t put off learning, it’s the Napster of the financial world, it will change how we do banking, like Napster changed how we get and share music.

You could download the bitcoin.org client first. It’s an easy install, it’s where I began, but stalled out… 2 years ago. What’s easier I think is getting a wallet at blockchain.info instead. Make a secure password 6 words long with punctuation. Write it down, and put the password in a safe place like cash! Maybe with your insurance papers, your will, or your passport. If you croak, your family will need this password to get access to your bitcoins.

Once you have a wallet (your Bitcoin address), share it with someone who has bitcoin so they can send you some in exchange for something.

To learn how to mine bitcoins, start out trying to mine litecoins first, they are basically the same technology, so learn once, and the skill works both they basically use the same programs. minerd, cgminer, cudaminer are example program names you may use. minerd is obsolete, used for CPU mining. CUDAminer is for computers with NVidia graphics processing units (GPUs), and cgminer is specialized for ATI Radeon GPUs. You can start each of them with a .bat (batch) file with the website address of a group or “pool” of other miners like you.

It’s hard to explain any more by typing a short guide, but that should keep you busy for 15 minutes, and give you a starting point.

Also follow @jkozan and @jeffcliff1 for local & Canadian crypto-currency updates on Twitter.


If you liked this beginners guide, Bitcoin tips would be appreciated at this wallet address:
17ypGH6vUrowdyvUthgQ87wzdq9d8egQta

That Old Joke

How can you tell a spy is lying to Parliament? Their lips are moving.
Or at least I’d assume they were moving while he was telling us that they didn’t conduct mass spying on Canadians, while also defending illegal mass “meta-data” spying on us.

Laptop Repair Time

I spent Saturday opening up an Acer Travelmate 7730 and got the logicboard out to confirm the power jack is pushed in. The pin at the back is clearly curved and it probably should be straight down. Without removing the heatsink, it appears not possible to clamp it back into a more appropriate position so the centre pin provides power from the adapter plugging in.

Sunday, I fixed/worked-around a G60 HP wireless problem where the orange light stays on, but either/both removing the power/battery and holding the power button for a minute. I didn’t put the battery back in, and now it goes to a blue light. I bet if I reinstall the battery, the WiFi will quit again.
This G60 also has a broken power jack, so if the adapter isn’t at just the right angle, the laptop won’t power. The battery light flashes, which could mean a dead battery, or be a factor of the jack being slightly broken.

Saskatoon Shiners #exploresk

Saskatoon is a beautiful city, so don’t let these photos fool you. Every city has a few shiners here and there. “There”, in this case, is downtown.
Holiday Inn Supermax Prison
This is the Holiday Inn Supermax Prison. Don’t worry, it only looks like a prison from the outside. You can leave, unlike the more picturesque Hotel California.

Here’s one of the more beautiful parkades with a cell phone tower behind it.
Saskatoon

It’s January, and the snow has retreated into puddles due to the unseasonal temperatures, but the gang activity hasn’t retreated.
Saskatoon

The people of Saskatoon are friendly, and will accommodate you whether you’re addicted to tobacco or real estate.
Saskatoon

Saskatoon
The Sturdy Stone isn’t going to see you, so you should go see it.

The HMCS Unicorn will be grinning at you when you walk by.
Saskatoon

Continue reading

Part 2 #OilConVoid – PMO: Wallin’s Missing Calendar Found

Check out Part 1 of this blog series explaining when Conservatives have corrupted Canada for oil companies.

Suspended Senator Pamela Wallin should soon be in more hot water, along with the corrupt Conservative Party for which she was apparently fundraising for while traveling on the taxpayer’s dime.

She’s under investigation for fraud and breach of trust.

The November document noted Deloitte had looked at three versions of Wallin’s electronic Microsoft Outlook calendar from January 2009 to September 2012 and observed more than 500 changes.

Wallin had told Deloitte she added some items to her calendar and deleted others in May 2013 to help with the investigation. When pressed as to why, she said she wanted to make the investigation as streamlined as possible and so she had taken out some non-Senate related events and added other events relevant to her role as a senator. Wallin said this was done on the advice of Sen. David Tkachuk, former chair of the Senate’s internal economy committee, but he has denied this.

She was spending over $400/day of our money to travel, with the apparent intention of enriching the Conservative Party of Canada. That’s what’s behind the Duffy scandal too, he was employed by Canadians, appointed by Stephen Harper, to enrich the Conservatives.

Fix for Windows XP not updating on Windows Update

I recently reinstalled Windows XP SP2 on a Dell Vostro laptop, and Windows Update wouldn’t work. I knew malware wasn’t the cause, it’s a bug in Microsoft’s Windows Update and how it refuses to interact with older Internet Explorer 6 or 7, and if you try to update to IE8, it hangs if you let the install file check for updates before installing the browser.

In summary:
I had to update to IE8 without checking for updates at time of install, then manually apply
IE8-WindowsXP-KB2898785-x86-ENU.exe
and reboot, then it finally began updating automatically.

This is a clean install of XP SP2 updated to SP3 by manual download, but it wouldn’t show any updates for Windows Update, it would never finish checking.

The checking for updates, never completes.

To fix it I first tried a manual download of SP3 and installed it. No change.
I tried Fix It (because .NET wasn’t on this computer yet), but had to do the commands manually because of the missing .NET. They didn’t help after stopping and starting the WU service after doing proxycfg.exe -d and other things.

What finally worked days later when I went back to it, was manually updating IE8 with three patches.

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=41404

I’m not sure if the combination of patches fixed it, or the last of the 3 I tried. The last one was IE8-WindowsXP-KB2898785-x86-ENU.exe

Downloading updates has been at 7% for the last half hour, so I hope that it hasn’t stalled out, but at least the little yellow update shield has returned to the system tray.