Wednesday, 27 April 2005

Talisman_screenSveaSoft has published the new Talisman/Basic release of their replacement firmware for the Linksys WRT54G and WRT54GS wireless routers. It's available for v1.1 and newer revs of the router hardware (see the label on the bottom, if it's v1.1 or newer you'll see the numbers there).

Subscribers to Sveasoft's firmware service can download it now. It's only $20 a year, and if you're a hardware/software geek with a WRT54G, it's worth the $20 a year just for the fun of messing with it, not to mention the great functionality.

This firmware is excellent, and includes a large number of technical enhancements and improvements over both the default Linksys firmware and the previous SveaSoft firmware versions.

Just some of the extra features the SveaSoft firmware provides above and beyond what the default firmware gives you:

  • Increased output radio power (from 0 to 500mw - the router's default is 28mw)
  • Improved QOS capabilities
  • Advanced Routing Protocols - BGP, RIP2, OSPF, able to run simultaneously
  • Read-Write file system with standard SysV startup and shutdown scripts
  • in /usr/local/etc/init.d
  • Unlimited port forwarding, port range forwarding, and port redirection
  • Unlimited port triggering
  • Advanced QoS bandwidth management
  • PPTP server
  • Improved PPPoE handling
  • Enhanced Web Interface based on CSS
  • Repeater mode (WDS)
  • Bridge mode (client) - either routed or direct bridged
  • IPv6 support
  • Advanced IPv4 filtering
  • Ebtables L2 filtering
  • Safe parameter backup and restore with support for RW parition backup/restore
  • Enhanced DHCP server
  • Enhanced DNS server
  • Unlimited DHCP static leases with MAC ignore capability
  • Enhanced onboard time services
  • WPA security on WDS/repeater mode links
  • WPA security on bridge/client mode links
  • Enhanced status reporting

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Wednesday, 27 April 2005 22:48:16 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Classic funny moment - I've been victim of the Slashdot effect (lots of referral traffic) a couple of times in the past. A friend pointed this out to me just a minute or two ago. Looks like Slashdot's got a little hair of the dog that bit 'em problem? What comes around... Heh...


Thanks, Dave.

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Humor | Random Stuff
Wednesday, 27 April 2005 20:41:04 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Tuesday, 26 April 2005 - an great audio book/publication service that I have been using for about a year - has published a whole set of RSS feeds so you can subscribe to find out easily what new content is published, including both free and pay-for selections:

This Week's Best Sellers (Top 50)   RSS
This Week's New Audiobooks and Programs   RSS
New Free Audio Programs   RSS
Under $10 Audio Programs   RSS
New York Times Best Sellers   RSS
BusinessWeek Best Sellers   RSS
Publishers Weekly Best Sellers   RSS
Best Sellers in Arts & Entertainment   RSS
Best Sellers in AudibleOriginals   RSS
Best Sellers in Biographies and Memoirs   RSS
Best Sellers in Business   RSS
Best Sellers in Classics   RSS
Best Sellers in Comedy   RSS
Best Sellers in Drama and Poetry   RSS
Best Sellers in Fiction   RSS
Best Sellers in Foreign Language   RSS
Best Sellers in Great Talkers   RSS
Best Sellers in History   RSS
Best Sellers in Information Age   RSS
Best Sellers in Kids   RSS
Best Sellers in Mystery   RSS
Best Sellers in Non-fiction   RSS
Best Sellers in Science   RSS
Best Sellers in Science Fiction and Fantasy   RSS
Best Sellers in Self Development   RSS
Best Sellers in Speeches and Lectures   RSS
Best Sellers in Spirituality   RSS
Best Sellers in Sports   RSS
Best Sellers in Travel and Adventure   RSS

And perhaps the coolest thing on the page? I scrolled down and noticed the question "Where can I find more information about RSS?" and the first resource listed is the RSS Quickstart Guide from - nice.

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Random Stuff | RSS Stuff | Tech
Tuesday, 26 April 2005 20:23:38 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Several Tablet PC hardware announcements/leaks/what-have-you in the past couple of days:

I'm still using an Acer C300-series. Still works, but I am holing out for the IBM to see what it looks like, since I am awfully impressed with their T-Series laptops.

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Tablet PC | Tech
Tuesday, 26 April 2005 06:56:03 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Sunday, 24 April 2005

Longhorn_5048_installWinBeta has posted a review and some screenshots of Windows Longhorn Build 5048. Anyone who's interested in the future of Windows may want to check it out.

The next several months will be quite interesting as Longhorn continues to be built up and new information becomes public.

But release is still a ways off. The author of this article speculates it could still be two full years before Longhorn is released by Microsoft. Time will tell.

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Sunday, 24 April 2005 22:21:29 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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There's slashdot conversation taking place about using and enforcing cryptographically strong passwords (it's all about passphrases, people, passphrases - read my experiences here). In that thread, someone linked to an old and quite perfect social engineering example that I had not seen in a while. In my field I see and hear some of the funniest (or rather scariest) stories about situations like this.

From an IRC chatroom:

<Cthon98> hey, if you type in your pw, it will show as stars
<Cthon98> ********* see!
<AzureDiamond> hunter2
<AzureDiamond> doesnt look like stars to me
<Cthon98> <AzureDiamond> *******
<Cthon98> thats what I see
<AzureDiamond> oh, really?
<Cthon98> Absolutely
<AzureDiamond> you can go hunter2 my hunter2-ing hunter2
<AzureDiamond> haha, does that look funny to you?
<Cthon98> lol, yes. See, when YOU type hunter2, it shows to us as *******
<AzureDiamond> thats neat, I didnt know IRC did that
<Cthon98> yep, no matter how many times you type hunter2, it will show to us as *******
<AzureDiamond> awesome!
<AzureDiamond> wait, how do you know my pw?
<Cthon98> er, I just copy pasted YOUR ******'s and it appears to YOU as hunter2 cause its your pw
<AzureDiamond> oh, ok.

Pretty darn funny - unless it's you.

Of course, much of the /. conversation has evolved into the requisite noise and talk about how the original question is a moot point because passwords are dead, etc etc etc blah blah blah shashdotadnauseum...

And, since we need something useful to go with the something-funny/scary, here's some information worth reading about how to make it possible for users to remember and use cryptographically strong authentication without having to resort to post-it's and .txt files on the computer:

The Great Debate: Pass Phrases vs. Passwords

  • Part One - covers the fundamentals of passwords and pass phrases, how they are stored, and so on
  • Part Two - discusses the relative strength of each type of password, and use some mathematical approaches for illustration
  • Part Three - offers some conclusions and guidance on how to choose passwords and configure a password policy

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IT Security | Tech
Sunday, 24 April 2005 09:19:41 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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