Category: Technology

I know you gonna dig this.

I am currently reinventing my design/development and hosting biz as a very secure and stable business class host.

I am offering hosting on security hardened Linux, FreeBSD and OpenBSD.

Playing on that angle I plan on becoming a mirror site for packet storm. packetstorm.sigilstudios.com. 🙂

I also just purchased segfau.lt from the Lithuanian domain registration site. Aint that an awsome domain?! 🙂 Im going to use that a hosting specific security portal with exploit lists, security news feeds, message forums and so forth. Plus lots of hosting specific security articles and other fun stuff.

I think this should position sigil studios very nicely in a niche hosting market.

w00t! 🙂

AOL is a great big suck!

A little background. I signed up for a free AOL dial-up trial membership, just under a year ago.

I canceled two weeks into the membership. The billing person on the phone asked why I was canceling (I hate when companies do that. I hate it even more when they try to talk you into staying with them.). I informed her that we just had our Cable Modem set up. She asked if I would like to try AOL for broadband. I said no.

Since that conversation AOL has been charging $50 per month onto our phone bill. We called and canceled 3 (three) times and assumed we were no longer being billed.

We canceled our phone and are using our cell phones for our primary lines now so AOL can.t keep taking there money (I assumed they finally canceled it) so they send a nasty letter from there billing department.

Upon receiving this letter I called the customer service number on the notice. 10888-723-8133. I spoke with Shawn who said I would need to talk to billing at 1-888-265-8008 and that he would transfer me to that number. I got Adam in billing. After explaining the situation this is what transpires.

Adam: So what your AOL Broadband screen name.
Irq13: I never set one up. I never logged on it. Please have a look at the usage stats to verify this.
Adam: Okay, let me talk to my supervisor.
5 minute hold
Adam: We can get your account canceled but we first need you to make that $50 payment or else we will send you to collections.
Irq13: I.m sorry?! Not only will I not make the $50 payment but I would like a refund for previous billings.
Adam: We won.t refund your money and you have to pay the $50 or we will send you to collections.
Irq13: So what your telling me is I have been charged for a service that I did not want, did not ask for or sign up for and have been billed for without ever using, and you wont offer me a refund, in fact you want to send me to collections?! Let me speak with your supervisor
Adam: He doesn.t get paid to do my job
Irq13: So I can.t speak with your supervisor?
Adam: No.

At this point I hung up. Oh so pissed.

After a couple of deep breaths I regained my composure and realized that he said I needed to pay the money before they would CANCEL my account. So they will continue to bill me. That conversation meant nothing.

So I call back the billing number that Shawn had given me in our first conversation.

Irq13: May I speak with Adam please?
Andrea: I have no idea who Adam is or if he even works in this country.
Irq13: It was a long shot. I figured being that both of you work in billing that there may be some chance.
Andrea: This isn.t billing. They are at 1-888-265-8003.
Irq13: Thank you, I will call that number.

I hang up and hear I am more pissed then after the call with Adam.

I.m going to lay off calling them back till I have cooled down enough.

What recourse do I have in this situation?

Trustix

For a wile I have been planning on writing a “Trustix Vs. OpenBSD security” article for a few security portals.

I finaly got around to starting it this weekend by installing Trustix on a test box.

I must now say that I am calling off the article. Trustix may or may not be secure. I didnt get that far. It is honestly one of the most buggy Operating Systems I have had the displesure of working with in recent years.

It can be as secure as it wants. If its unusable it doesnt matter. 🙂

Seriosly though, It looks like a striped down redhat 7.3 down to the pre X redhat installer. They chucked in a couple different packages (The OpenBSD ftpdaemon, snort and a few others) hacked some of the daemons to tighten them up a bit and called it good.

Thanks but I ‘ll stick with OpenBSD when mission critical security is at stake.

Microsoft admits to themselves that they suck

quotes from an internal memo sent to Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates on February 21, 1997 by C++ general manager Aaron Contorer, a software expert.
“There is a huge switching cost to using a different operating system,” he wrote Gates.
“It is this switching cost that has given customers the patience to stick with Windows through all our mistakes, our buggy drivers, our high TCO, our lack of a sexy version at times…
“It would be so much work to move over that they hope we just improve Windows rather than force them to move,” he said.

Cam-age

I rigged up a spare webcam so that I will be online all day wile I am at work.

It may not exciting to watch but at least it will be updated more than once per month. 🙂

Some people emailed me asking about the sepcific bugs found in Trustix. Welp…

Wile wgeting and rsyncing it seemed to freeze. I was able to do other stuff with the shell but all networking stopped. It looks like it crashed the network stack.

One time I logged into it and everything was in caps. Everything I typed as well as the prompt. Caps lock and bashing the shift keys did nothing. It was stuck like that. I had to power cycle the whole damn thing to get back into a mode that the shell would recognize commands.

All this within about 30 minutes of testing.

That was enough for me. 🙂

iTunes for Windows!

“According to this AppleInsider.com article published earlier this morning, Apple has planned an event for next Thursday to formally introduce their iTunes player and online music store for the Windows platform.”

http://www.appleinsider.com/news.php?id=217

Words can not describe how happy this makes me. I used to have a TiBook G4. It was a kicken laptop but it was getting old and I couldnt afford to get a new one. So I ebayed it. Now I plan on getting a PC laptop (eventualy) and the fact that I can use iTunes on it makes me all happy. 🙂

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