Heartbleed – NOOOOOOOO!!!!!

Wow, some big news hit the computer security industry recently.  It turns out when the mostly unused heartbeat feature built into OpenSSL IS used the server returns a packet LARGER than what was sent by the client.  This wouldn’t be such a big deal except the portion that is larger contains a snippet of recently used OpenSSL memory from the server.  So, the word is that the OpenSSL developer’s decided to write their own memory allocation manager instead of using the system allocator and as a result the memory wasn’t completely random or initialized, but instead contained actual recently used UNENCRYPTED data from the OpenSSL application.  It has been proven that it is possible to extract not only user logins, but also the actual certificate from the memory leak that is returned to the client.  This is absolutely CRAZY!!!  I have updated all my servers and am good to go, but the bigger concern is, did anyone else know about it before it was revealed and actually get certificates for bank servers and the like. Without actually knowing, since using this “attack” leaves no trace, the only assumption that can be made is that the certificates HAVE been compromised.  How will the certificate providers ever keep up with all the new certs they will have to create and all the old ones they will have to revoke?  This is going to cost a fortune.  UGH!

Steam on Ubuntu 14.04

I went ahead and installed Steam on my new Ubuntu 14.04 installation by downloading the .deb install package from the Steam website and running it.  While the installation did seem to hang at first and I even started looking online for alternative methods of installing Steam, when suddenly the installation began to execute and everything worked.  All that was required on my part was some patience.  Now my Steam account is up and running and I am back Racing the Sun.  I have set up my Owncloud sync client on the box and have my Gmail account installed in Thunderbird and working.  Still need to get VMPlayer installed, but so far so good.  No issues with Ubuntu 14.04.

Ubuntu 14.04 Has Been Released

I kept checking and checking all day and finally they had the download linked on the main Ubuntu.com page.  I quickly downloaded it and promptly installed it into my new 250G SSD.  The very first thing I noticed is that the keyboard backlight function keys now work…. WOOHOO!  So far it seems to be pretty snappy and I will still need some time to customize everything and get my software all reinstalled, but it’s working well and I should be able to stick with it. The only con is that there is no Steam package yet available from the Software Center.  It looks like you can install it by running the .deb file from the Steam site, but I am not sure I want to do this yet.  I would prefer to see Steam in the official Ubuntu Repository for 14.04 before hacking it into my system. I still see the sites where people claim to have problems with Ubuntu and I just don’t get it.  I am not sure what they are doing that I am not.  Probably installing PPAs and .debs from websites and hacking up their system or taking advice from “Linux gurus” and hacking up their system from the command line.  I think if you owned a MAC you wouldn’t try doing these things.  What makes someone immediately want to hack up a Linux system?  Well, it works for me and I hope it maintains enough popularity to continue to be supported, because I love it.

Lunar Eclipse 2014

My wife is an amateur photographer who took a series of pictures back in 2010 of the Lunar Eclipse.  I can’t remember if there were any predictions regarding the end of days that would come as a result of that Lunar Eclipse, but the time has come again, for another.  As “rare” as people say lunar eclipses are, they are actually quite common in astronomical terms….  Sometimes happening twice in a single year.  It’s that time again and I just peeked my head outside to see a completely cloud covered sky.  We will still set the alarm for 1:00am and see what we see. In case we don’t see anything, tonight, here is the feature photo she took in late 2010: If you are fortunate enough to be able to see the Lunar Eclipse, just remember, this is not a sign of anything other than that the moon goes around the Earth and they both go around the sun and sometimes they cast a shadow on one another just as two dancers might shadow each other as they twirl around the dance floor.  The moon cares even less about human events than does the Earth.  We are all quite insignificant in comparison, but at least we get to gaze upon it, question it and enjoy the beauty of it.  There aren’t too many things that can do that in the immediate vicinity.

Changed the Theme of My Blog Page

Today, I updated the theme of my blog page to something a little more appealing to me.  I had no idea how easy that was going to be.  I even locked myself out of the account at one point and figured out how to get into the MySQL database and change the password from the SSH access.  This took some piecing together from different forums and online manuals.  I have learned a lot, but now it is getting late.

Windows XP is Dead… Switch to Ubuntu!

I have been using Ubuntu for the last 4 years.  It works great.  I still have to use Windows at work because there simply aren’t any Linux versions of the proprietary software I am required to use and our IT department hasn’t gotten back to me about the possibility of virtualizing my Window’s environment.  I think they are worried they will have to support two OS’es on the desktop or they simply are not familiar with Linux.  Oh well.  I still use it exclusively at home.  In fact, I am using a Samsung Ativ 7 with Ubuntu 13.10 on it and everything worked out-of-the-box right after installation.  No tweaks required. I regularly install the OS on old computers for novices to use who just want to browse the web, buy something on Amazon or email their kids.  It just works and no viruses or malware or degraded performance overtime or any of those other Window’s issues. If you are going from Windows XP, give it a try.  Use the Software Center to install new apps, and run your apps from the Launcher.  Stay away from all the nonsense on the forums that may tell you to change the desktop manager or put another distro on your computer until AFTER you feel comfortable with Ubuntu and you feel adventuresome. Come at it with an open-mind.  Things will be different.  Before you start looking online for ways to modify it so it behaves more like you want (or are used to), I suggest you get used to how it works before potentially breaking it.  No one buys a $2000 Mac and then says, “I wish when I pushed a window to the left it would snap like it does in Windows.”  They just deal with the differences.  After all it’s not Windows. With that said, once you get comfortable, Linux distributions have the most customizable desktops of all the OS’es.  This is both a blessing and a curse.  But for those who are up to the challenge and love their computer it can be well worth the effort for a beautifully customized system. Read more: http://www.extremetech.com/computing/180291-with-the-death-of-windows-xp-now-is-the-perfect-time-to-switch-to-linux

First Steps into WordPress

One man, steps into Word Press and says, “What the hell is this?”  He begins blogging.  This could be the start of something or a dead end.  He still isn’t sure which.  Only time will tell. Well, anyway, it’ll be a good place to put stuff I guess.  We’ll just have to see.  Maybe a good place to rant about stuff that nobody wants to listen to.  At some point I’ll probably have to give this thing a domain name, but for now I’ll just let it go.