Wednesday, June 17, 2009

OS X oddities

This one is not FOSS related, so some readers might wanna skip it.

I noticed two interesting oddities with Mac OS X this week:
  1. When I used Skype, the call used to drop every few minutes. It seems that turning the automatic time synchronization (via NTP) off, solves the problem. Usually, this would have been called voodoo. Apparently OS X, just like MS Windows, became quite a bloated OS, so such bugs pop every once in a while, where a reasonable explanation isn't in the horizon.
  2. For downloading torrents under OS X, I use Transmission. I had good experience with the Linux version, so it was my first choice. Apparently, it is capable of reaching my full internet connection speed, even during the hours my ISP throttles traffic. I still don't know how this trick is achieved, so I'll dig into it once I'll get the chance.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Malware toolkits

It's been a while since I last published here something related to my work. There are few reasons for that, such as some of my work-posts are more of marketing than pure technical achievements.

Anyway, some of you, my readers, had asked me to link here to some of the more technical stuff we do, or explain how a full-blown over-the-internet-attack works. So here are two posts I published in the past few months, demonstrating malware toolkits. Should this post's responses include more specific questions about toolkits, I'll try to answer them in following posts.
  1. LuckySploit. This one describes one of the most sohpisticated attacks out there. It is very much oriented to avoid anti-virus products during the infection process. Moreover, the fact this toolkit uses encryption is really impressive.
  2. Unique Pack. The funny case with this one is the fact Firefox users weren't vulnerable to this specific attack (Firefox has some vulnerabilities, so keep it updated at all time).
Now I must add the fact that using Linux and/or Firefox doesn't mean one is protected, although it really increases your chances to stay clear. Keep your software updated.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Hello (mobile) World

Yesterday I've completed my first Android application. One can read about mobile platforms all over the place these days, as the competition between them heats up. So I decided to give it a shot.

This is not my first attempt to write a mobile application, as about a year ago I've written some Python apps for Symbian. Moreover, few weeks ago I've written a simple application for the iPhone. This puts me in a position where I've tried coding for most of the popular mobile platforms, except RIM and Windows Mobile.

Quite surprisingly, mobile development environment has reached maturitiy. This manifests in the existance of visual development tools (drag-n'-drop controls), debuggers, code completion, etc. Not having such tools as my day-to-day development (I mainly use vi and notepad++) isn't a big deal, but for mobile development this is a must. The complexity of creating an application is just too big, and reminds me of the first days of J2EE development - tons of XML files, source files, resources, etc.

This also means I got to try Objective-C, as this is the language for iPhone development. I really don't understand why would Apple insist on that language, with such great alternatives.

I expect we'll see even better ways to develop mobile applications, and such applications would take greater market share, as the lines between the desktop and the mobile starts fading away.

Addition: If I had the means, I would have written something for OpenMoko as well.

Japanese is actually a sysadmin language

Got this one today by mail. Quite funny.
If you don't get it - enlarge the image.