Category Archives: Computers
How To Check If Someone Is Stealing Your WiFi & What You Can Do About It
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.
Take a Couple of Minutes to Protect Your Rights
If you haven’t heard about ACTA, you’ve obviously been cut off from the world with no interaction whatsoever. However if this is the case, let me clarify: ACTA, in essence, will censor the Internet, and will prohibit many websites such as Megaupload.com (which has already been shut down, FYI) and will not allow you to exercise your basic human right to view the internet without governmental interference. If you do truly care about your rights, please sign this petition on the official White House website that tells government officials that the people do not wish to be censored.
It honestly takes a couple of minutes of your time, and I promise you that down the road that one e-signature will be worth your weight in gold when you are allowed to exercise your rights freely.
I also have a few other links that I will be posting below, which all relate to Anonymous or your rights in some way. Anonymous fights for your rights, which are more valuable than anything else, because you cannot enjoy life without them.
If you’re unsure of who Anonymous is, then I, once agian, assume that you’ve been living somewhere in a dark cave that has no access to the outside world (only a joke). Here is a WikiLink that roughly explains what Anonymous is. I also recommend that you scavenge for more Youtube videos and perform more Google searches, while the law still allows it…
Very true and reliable source for Anonymous news:
Video showing that Anonymous (and the people) are a force to be reckoned with:
Dear PIPA and ACTA, I Hate You
Piracy is an enormous problem, without a doubt. So I’m just going to jump into things right off the bat and begin by stating something that I haven’t heard anyone say so far regarding PIPA and ACTA: There are numerous other problems that are exponentially worse. Sure, piracy is a crime, but if it gets “omitted,” will that change the world for the better? I can, off of the top of my head, dish out a list of better causes that drops to the bottom of the Grand Canyon.
1. Solve world hunger
2. Shelter the homeless
3. Solve global warming issues
4. Stop aids
5. Stop breast cancer
6. Stop any disease
7. Increase literacy rates
8. Stop oil starvation
9. Population control
10. Solve poor/rich distribution of wealth
This, I will not deceive you, is a list conjured from a pile of rubbish I thought up in thirty seconds. Although all of the above can be debated widely, the point is nonetheless clear: THERE ARE NUMEROUS AMOUNTS OF GREATER PROBLEMS THAN PIRACY!
Now, let me begin with the comparisons. There is a vast array of countries that prohibit piracy, and America is one of them (obviously). Now, my question to you, the reader, is “what is the only major country that piracy is not frowned upon?” Allow me to give you a hint or two: It’s a world superpower, it’s located in Asia, and over 95% of the goods sold in America derive from there. That’s right, you’ve guessed it! China!
Amazingly, real copies of things are harder to find than burnt ones! If one were to walk into a video store and attempt to browse their selection, you could find any movie without a doubt. Why? Because everything is burned, my good friend! Every movie you could possibly imagine, burned on a previously blank DVD that is now titled with a sharpie. Same goes for video games, programs, and just about any other form of data. What’s more amazing is that if the price is put into equivalent of the United States economy, the average movie would only cost you a whopping fifty cents! That’s right, the latest and greatest for only half of a dollar. Prices vary depending on how big the file is and how difficult it was to burn; still, the most expensive piece of data (if applied to our economy, once again) would be no more than five dollars.
Now, could you even possibly imagine how excellent it would be if you were only asked to dish out fifty cents for the newest blockbuster hit? Well I’d say that you don’t need to pirate whatsoever, because data doesn’t cost ridiculous amounts. Doesn’t it chafe you at least the tiniest bit knowing that a Chinese citizen only spends eight minutes out of his minimum-wage paycheck to purchase the newest release while you work for three plus hours to buy the “original” copy of that same exact movie? I assume it does. And the list doesn’t end there! Xbox 360 games, PS3 games, PC games, all programs, operating systems, and just about anything else you can imagine, all for under five dollars.
China, considered to be one of the most communist and controlled countries on Earth, condones piracy while America, said to be one of the freest and most prosperous countries in the world, does not? My fellow reader, if there is one thing I ask of you it is that you at least consider the possibility of betrayal by the American system and that you will also consider making a stand for yourself.
Long live free-world.
How To Install a New PCI-Express Video Card
9-10-11: Initial release.
About two weeks ago, I had my 9800GT video card died on me, well, more specifically, the fan died on me. I checked the serial number on the video card, and I figured out that the company that made the video card, GalaxyTech, has a two year warranty, and I just so happened to be one month away from the two year warranty period from expiring.
So what did I do? I sent in the RMA, and I got my video card fixed and replaced, and rather just install it, I thought it would be beneficial to show you guys how to install a video card into your PC.
The bottom line is most video cards these days are PCI-Express. All you need to know from that is if your PC is new within the last 5 years or so, for sure it will have a PCI-Express video card slot on your motherboard. Now you can go to your local computer store, or Newgg.com or any online video card seller and be assured that the graphics card you are purchasing will fit into your PC.
However, the caveat is to ensure that your PC meets the requirements of the video card such as a beefier power supply, or a more powerful CPU. It does not good to get the latest and greatest video card if your CPU is as slow as molasses. Your games are not going to run any faster if you got a hot new video card, and all the rest of the computer components are from 2003. 😛
Overall, installation is simple. You take off the computer case, take off the end bracket where the video card goes, and just plug in the video card into the PCI-Express slot. Some video cards require additional power plug, so you got to connect your power supply molex connector to that video card. If you have small computer case, then you got to make sure that the new video card is going to fit, because some video cards can be quite long.
For a quick video tutorial on all of this, see my video below. Any questions, leave a comment!
Alterops.net – Beta Dedicated Server Support for PC Black Ops
It’s finally here. I haven’t tested it myself yet, but the good guys at alteriw.net, the same guys that brought to you dedicated server support for call of duty black ops now has released what I think is a beta version of the dedicated server for Call of Duty – Black Ops.
Now I haven’t tried this myself yet personally, and there are specific rules in regards how to get the dedicated server package. Once I have tried the solution myself, then I will post my own tutorial here. For the meantime, you can read the guide at the alterops.net forum here.
Update: I just tried to make some friendly posts today, and maybe because I posted too much (3 replies) within a 10 minute time span, and apparently this was considered spamming. Right now my username is banned, which is extremely frustrating since I had the account since basically May of 2010. If you are able to get into alterops, let me know the result of your findings and gameplay experience. Thanks!
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.
Puzo.org – Great Forum for Knowledge
5-10-11: Initial release.
Every now and then, I get a user who keeps on asking me if I know of any “great” forums for them to expand their knowledge. Because as we all know, sometimes the best kept secret cannot be found on a regular website, but has to be found in the underground like in some discreet IRC room or perhaps a forum in which no one knows exist.
The biggest problem I see myself is how does a person even know how to find a particular forum, let alone randomly search for it? Today I bring to you a small piece of knowledge that I gained over the years. I don’t remember how I found this forum, but it was another fellow Internet user that made me stumble across it, and this was back in 2004 era. 😛
I bring to you Puzo.org, which is a forum of miscellaneous knowledge. If you are looking for specific links to quench your need, they got it there. Any type of media you are looking for might be found at this website. Granted, I haven’t had an itch to visit a forum like this because many of the links you will find are rapidshare, mediafire, or other similar type sites. Still, I know some people are blocked from torrents, so a forum like this could be helpful in their quest.
So if you are looking for a new forum to brush up on some knowledge, or the places you are currently subscribe continue to suck, then look no further than Puzo.org. Let me know what you think about it! Thanks!
The Steam Underground – CS.RIN.RU
4-5-11: Initial Release.
Everybody knows that Valve is one of the top game developer’s of all time. When was the last time they made a bad game? Yea, that is what I said.
However, not everyone is thrilled about the Steam platform. Some see it as genius, and some see it as a necessary evil. Despite what people may think about the program, did you know that there is a devout underground forum of Steam enthusiasts willing to undermine the Steam platform?
Welcome to CS.RIN.RU.
Honest Consumer Get Bit By DRM – Goes to Piracy
4-6-10: Initial Release.
Today I was doing some reading on the Internet, and I came across the article below. I ask you to read it and come back here, it is a short read.
In summary, the gamer had purchased a copy of Red Faction Guerrilla. Installed the game, and played it for awhile before the hard drive died on him. He got a new hard drive, reinstalled the game, and because of the DRM protection, he was unable to play this game. After duking it out with customer support and getting absolutely no where, he ended up downloading a pirated copy, which in fact ran better and allowed him to play online!
In these situations, is it legal or illegal? The user did buy the game, but due to DRM, it forced him to attend to other means. What is even more interesting is that some game studios (Ubisoft, EA Games) where in order to play a single player game, you have to be connected to the Internet.
To the poor gamer who can’t afford online access, he just bought himself a new paperweight. The funny part is that Ubisoft came out with Assassin Creed II for PC (which has 24/7 DRM protection), and let’s just say that the game got cracked almost instantly. What is even more ridiculous is that over the course of several weekends, there were Denial of Service attacks on Ubisoft server’s, thus rendering the games of legitimate players useless while the pirates played hardcore in their basements laughing.
Is DRM necessary? Yes and no. The problem with it all is that it punishes the legitimate players because the illegitimate ones are engaging in the rampant piracy. Why else do you think we are seeing more and more PC games with the LAN feature missing? >_>
So what would you do if your DRM game forced you to go buy another copy? Would you do it? This is why if you have to be a smart STD. Research your games, and make sure you get games without DRM. Either that, or go get an executable to remove the DRM for you.