Blog Archives

OUYA – It’s Released!

Revisions:
6-29-13: Initial release.


So unless you have been living under a rock for a long ass time, the OUYA Android console is finally out. It’s affordable at $99, and it comes with a wireless controller, and 8GB of internal memory.

The CEO has stated that the console is indeed hackable, but what does this really mean, only time will tell. It does have a number of emulator apps available already, so if you know where to get the roms, then you’ll have a good time playing old school games.

The more interesting thing is that the OUYA is basically an Android tablet or phone in disguise. Since those devices can be rooted, it will only be a matter of time before OUYA is also rooted? Wouldn’t that be interesting if there was a “black market” app that lets you play rooted games on the OUYA?

Well, let’s see what happens. I may get an OUYA one day, but when no idea as I’m still enjoying my Raspberry Pi immensely for time being.

If you got an OUYA, let us know what you think!

How To Check If Someone Is Stealing Your WiFi & What You Can Do About It

Revisions:
11-21-12: Initial release


WiFi running a bit slow lately? If your router is still using old security methods such as WEP, then there’s a very real possibility that someone has hacked in to steal your WiFi. Apart from the obvious fact that your internet will be slower, the hacker might be using your internet to do nefarious evil things – all of which could easily be traced back to you. So how you can find out if someone is using your WiFi, and perhaps more importantly – what exactly can you do about it?

Check the devices associated with your router

This method is 100% guaranteed to see any devices registered on your network, but not every router contains this valuable info. Log in to your router by typing it’s IP address directly into the browser address bar. In most setups, eitherhttp://192.168.0.1 or http://192.168.1.1 should work, or it may be written on the router itself, along with the username and password you need to log in with.

Once logged in, look around a section called Attached Devices or Device List. On DD-WRT flashed routers, this is under the Status -> Wireless screen. You will find a list of all the IP addresses currently being used

Monitor wifi network use

Of course, not all your devices will have helpful names, so you’ll need to figure out the IP address of each computer and WiFi device you own in order to cross-check them against the list. I covered how to find your IP address a few days ago when I showed you how to control your torrent client from your mobile. Don’t forget that an iPhone or Android phone will also have it’s own IP address if it’s using your WiFi, so you’ll need to account for those too.

Basic Security – Stop using WEP

Any router purchased in the last 5 years or so should be able to support a more secure authentication protocol, so log in to your router again and find the Wireless Settings screen.

Change the security options to either WPA or WPA2. WPA2 is more secure, but it’s incompatible with some types of devices.Chose the option that allows for both. Don’t choose the Enterprise option as it is designed for companies with authentication servers. When choosing your password, make sure it is at least 15 characters long, includes upper and lower case letters, numbers, and punctuation.

There are some other methods that people will typically advise you to take, that help ,but are not bulletproof.

Hiding your SSID: You can hide your network name so it won’t be seen, but freely available wifi hacking tools will reveal them instantly.

IP filtering: This blocks out a specific IP, but changing IP is as simple as refreshing the connection.

MAC filtering: More secure since it blocks a device via the unique hardware address that is given out when it’s manufactured, but again, anyone trying to steal your WiFi can easily “spoof” their MAC address.

So your WiFi is feeling a little sluggish? The truth is that someone probably isn’t stealing your WiFi. More likely your computer is running slowly, or your router needs rebooting. You could also try boosting the WiFi signal.

 

How To Play Need for Speed Most Wanted Black Edition LAN Online Using Tunngle

Revisions:

10-31-12: Initial release.


Here is a very quick text tutorial of what you need to do in order to play Need for Speed Most Wanted Black Edition online using the tunngle program.

1)  Install Need for Speed: Most Wanted
2)  Download and Install Update 1.3
3)  Go to your Game Installfolder and edit the “server.cfg” File

  • Replace TRUST=xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx with TRUST=255.255.255.255
  • Replace TRUST_MATCH=%%bind(“xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx”) with TRUST_MATCH=%%bind(“YourTunngleIP”)
  • Replace ADDR=%%bind(“159.153.253.82″) with ADDR=%%bind(“YourTunngleIP”)

4)  Join the Need for Speed: Most Wanted Network
5)  Start the Game

  • As Client: Go to “LAN Play” and join any Match
  • As Host: If you are inside the Mainmenu, then go back to the Desktop and disable your Internet Adapter. Go back to Game and create your Server under “LAN Play”. Re-enable your Internet Adapter and wait for Tunngle reconnect, then you have to wait for Players to join your Server.

That’s it! Have fun!

Video Tutorial

Speccy – Freeware for Gathering System PC Information

Did you know that there is an easy way to figure out the specs on your PC without having to dig through the mess? Your life can be easier using freeware program Speccy. Basically what it does is that it indexes your system, and at a glance, it can tell you about the serial numbers of the devices in your computer, the speed of your CPU, the temperatures of the motherboard, GPU, and more!

For an example screenshot, see below for a simple snapshot of my current computer configuration:

To learn more about the program and to download it, go here.

[Not-So-Much Weekly Wrapup] 3D Phones; iPad 2; April Fool’s Day

I’ve been so horrible at keeping up with my “Weekly Wrapup” of tech news.  I guess I could come up with a long excuse about my dog eating my keyboard or something, but I won’t waste my time.  I don’t have a dog anyway.  Now to the news.

  • HTC Evo 3D
  • Apple Releases iPad 2 Ad: “We Believe”
  • Google April Fool’s Day Gags

HTC Evo 3D

Sprint has announced the HTC Evo 3D, the second 3D smartphone in the US.  I personally think 3D is just a gimmick to get people to buy, but this thing comes with some other goo-looking specs as well.

  • Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) with HTC Sense
  • Dual-Core 1.2 GHZ CPU
  • 4.3 inch, glasses-free 3D display running at 960×540
  • Three cameras: two 5 megapixel cameras on the back (for 3D stereoscopic images), and a 1.3 megapixel camera on the front
  • Weight: 6.0 oz
  • Sprint 4G support
  • Wireless Hotspot service can support up to 8 devices simultaneously

Read the rest of this entry

[Weekly Wrapup] Facebook Inbox & Deals; Google Instant Previews & Buzz Settlement

This Week:

  • Facebook’s “Gmail Killer”
  • Google Launches Instant Previews
  • Google Buzz Class Action Settlement
  • Just How Much Will Facebook Deals Cost You?

Facebook’s “Gmail Killer”

We’ve been hearing rumors for a while now about Facebook’s secret “Project Titan,” a fully featured webmail client that we hear is unofficially referred to internally as its “Gmail killer.”  Now we’re hearing that it will be officially unveiled at the event Facebook is holding on Monday.  It is expected that users will be able to acquire their own @facebook.com email addresses.

Facebook has the most popular photos product, the most popular events product, and soon a very popular deals product.  They could easily integrate these (and other Facebook services) seamlessly into their inbox project.  Facebook could also kill Gmail’s new priority feature because they can easily track who you interact with and prioritize emails accordingly.

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Technology – It Can Work Against You For Worse

How much do you rely on technology today to get through your day?  Do you have an alarm clock?  Odds are it is digital, and it is programmable to wake you up at a certain time of day.

Now alarm clocks are getting sophisticated.  Take mine for example: It has a built in time synchronization in it where it can check the satellite in space and automatically adjust the clock time per my time zone. What is real cool is that if you unplug it, and then plug it back in it will automatically reconfigure itself, and it will even adjust itself for daylight savings time!  Even better, no need for 9Volt batteries to keep track of the time.

So where am I going with this?  As great as technology can be at times, it can work against you in times when you don’t realize.  This past week on Monday, I got up at 7am.  I pressed the snooze button a few times, and then finally got up and left for work at what I had believed was 8am according to my clock.

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Tech Savvyness Is Not a Reader Prerequisite

Revisions:

7-24-09:  Initial release.

7-25-09:  Minor edits.


As I reflect on the history of this blog, I have to admit that a lot of my articles here are fairly technical. Whether it is about modding your game console, doing a specific task on the computer, or making your favorite game work online, there are a lot of technical details you have to know during the process.

I am a big blog reader.  I am a huge fan of lifehacker.com and makeuseof.com  In fact, they are part of my daily soup and butter, along with digg.com just to keep up with the hippest items on the Internet.  It can be very easy for someone to write a lot of “jargon” and technical details in a very non-concise manner and it just leaves the user (in this case, novices) left scratching their head.  This equals frustration, confusion, and the worst part of all …. no positive results.

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[STD] This Is The Beginning

Pirate on computer

Welcome guys to the very first ever STD (Savvy Tech Dude/Dudette) post. I’m still working with logistics as to how I want to organize this, and this probably won’t become a weekly thing, just a random thing as life goes on. The STD story is my attempt to share some insight into some of my practices, as well as others as to how they are using technology to make their life better, saving money, or perhaps bettering the environment.

With topics so broad, it be interesting how varied these stories will go. As time goes along, I’m asking for people to contribute, or if you want to be interviewed (I’ll protect your identity), then we can dig deeper. I am entertaining the idea of posting this concept to other forums where techies live, and see if I can even get a larger response. If it works out right, this will become a magnificent concept.

Without further ado, here is the first story – a background of Versatile1 and his journey with technology:

******************************************************

There is no doubt that the advent of computers have spawned a realm of underground activity, the most profound that has hit mainstream population is casual piracy. Don’t deny it, I’m sure most households out there engaged in it without them realizing it. Do you remember the audio cassette tapes? Did you try to tape music from the radio, or maybe from CDs that you borrowed?

How about copying VHS movies from one VCR to the other? I was one of those guys who engaged in this back in the day. In my house, we had at least 2 VCRs, so it made sense to find a good movie at the library or blockbuster or one of our friends and just copy the movie. Yes, it took about 2 hours to do it, but at least I could fit 3 VHS movies onto one VHS cassette if I used EP mode.

VHS Tape

Eventually DVDs came, and you couldn’t copy those straight off the bat because they have DVD encryption on it. Well, now there are programs that take off that DVD encryption so you can rip the movie to your hard drive and copy it or encode it to .AVI file for example. Now it is so easy to copy DVDs and encode them to .AVI files.

Now I don’t recommend this as it is dishonest, but there are people out there who have an account at Netflix, Blockbuster, Family Video, or your favorite video store and all they do is rent movies and copy them. Are you surprised? Heck, there might be some teenager kid in your neighborhood who does the same thing, or the equivalent by downloading movies and archiving them in some secret hard drive or burn them to some DVD binders.

Blockbuster

I assure you, piracy is found everywhere whether you realize it or not. Are you a parent of some high school kids? I am sure these high school kids have MP3 Players, and you think the music they put on their iPod is legit? I’m sure at least 90% of the music they are listening to it was illegally obtained. Heck, maybe the parents are doing it to. What I’m saying is even the nicest people are casually engaged in piracy because they believe its OK.

This single song is great, the rest of the album sucks, so buy it? Or it could be the other way. I download the album and listen to it. Album is great so I buy it. Worst case scenario: I download the album, it sounds great and I”ll keep it without buying the album. There are others who are just media pack mules and just download anything because they can. Are you one of these people? You are saving a buck, but it is the artists that lose is the saying.

I’m not here to say what is wrong or right. What I am saying is there are some underground practices that people are involving themselves under the impression nothing wrong will happen. Of course, you hear stories of college students now getting sued by the RIAA for downloading music, but now more and more of the college scene are going underground. They are starting to trade music internally on the school network, a place where the RIAA cannot get into.

There is so much left I want to talk about. I didn’t even dive into the subject of P2P, or torrents yet. Maybe I’ll let leave that for the next story.

Quick summary:

  • Piracy has always been around since technology became affordable for consumers.
  • People engage in casual piracy because it is convenient, and it saves them money. Individuals are starting to become tech savvy.
  • VHS piracy has always been around, and now DVD copying is the new rage.
  • The newest trend is downloading of music/movies from online or ripping them from the retail shop or friends. Obviously, this is wrong in terms of copyrights, but as a home user, who cares? This is the mentality that many people hold, and it will never stop.
  • RIAA is evil, and people are starting to wise up and getting their music in a smarter way.

Was this story helpful? Next time, I will dive a bit into how people are getting smarter in their technological means, and perhaps give you the reader insight into how you can do the same thing. Please leave a comment, or I’m under the belief no one cares enough about the STD story. Thanks!

Sources:

Wonder RIAA Picture: http://www.shedreamsindigital.net
Blockbuster picture: http://hoboken411.com
VHS: http://www.chromaservices.ca
Pirate Picture: http://www.cnn.com

The Journey To The Next TUG Event

After reading the lack of comments yesterday on the TiT post, I decided to ponder about my journey in search of the next TUG event.  Wait, what is a TUG event?  I know some of you guys have some sick minds out there, as I’m sure TUG could refer to a lot of things like a boat, tug of war, pulling on something, and etc.  :)

My usage of TUG here is an acronym for The Under Ground, hence the next The Underground Event for writing here on the blog.

Yesterday I thought more about the “Life of a Pirate” series, and decided that it was too forward.  There is a lot of good knowledge out there from honest people who are not pirates, and I did not want to proceed with the image that pirates are evil/good and that I should totally expose the pirate scene apart.

Plus, this blog is not meant as a forum for piracy either and I don’t want to be seen as that too.  In efforts to maintain the clean blog image, I have decided to move onto something that I can live with.

Welcome to what could very well be the “STD Stories”, where STD is Versatile1 acronymn for “Savvy Tech Dude” (or Dudette depending on article content).  I love puns, what can I say.

Breakdown of STD Stories:

  • STD stories will try to be posted once a week, but not guaranteed.  Expect it to appear out of nowhere, just like real life STDs.  :)
  • STD stories are real stories about technology and how it is twisted to fit into someone’s life for logical or illogical purposes.
  • STD stories may dwell on underground material, but is not meant to be strictly related to it.
  • STD stories are meant to be written by The Underground Staff, but the community is highly encouraged to contribute via posts or offline interviews with Versatile1.
  • STD stories can either be fictional or truth, and the validity of the story is left up to the writer and for the audience to decide for themselves.
  • STD stories are laid-back, and could be a story, but doesn’t have to be.  A tutorial could be thought of as a “story” too in some regards.

I’m sure the list could go on and on.  Does it sound exciting?  It does to me.  We’ll see.  As time goes on, you will see what the flavor of articles is going to be.  Good times!

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