Firefox 13 does not work while using remote desktop 

Posted by Magnetic_dud Friday, June 8, 2012 5:52:00 AM Categories: Internet Windows

Do you use the Remote Desktop function in the Professional editions of Windows?

If you do, you might have noticed that, after the nth Firefox update, you can't open it anymore.

What to do?

The problem is that Firefox 13 (or 14, if you read this article tomorrow, or 18, if you read this article next month) wants to use the hardware acceleration of the video card, but they forgot that, in remote desktop mode, the video card is virtual, hance without hardware acceleration, making Firefox freeze at startup...

We will solve the problem in two easy steps:

Start Firefox in safe mode

Some time ago, in the start menu there was an icon "Firefox (safe mode)", then they had the great idea to make it much more intuitive. To start it in safe mode you have to press SHIFT (on Windows) or OPTION (on Mac), (on Linux instead they opted for a command line switch, because it's cooler).

It's SO OBVIOUS that pressing SHIFT will start it in safe mode, how I couldn't think it before???

Don't check any checkbox, otherwise you will reset all the settings!! Just press continue!

Ps: if you get a message that Firefox it's already running, close it from the task manager.

Disable the hardware acceleration in Firefox

Now, Firefox will startm go to Options=>Advanced Tab=>General Tab=>Use hardware acceleration

Done! Firefox will work again!

Apple is a company that hates customers 

Posted by Magnetic_dud Wednesday, May 30, 2012 11:23:00 AM Categories: Apple

As an mp3 player I use an iPod touch. The first accessory that I lost it's the genuine charger, hence I bought another one. No, I bought two of them, because the first one made the device say "unsupported charger".

Of course, I bought a generic one, since it's ridiculous that a white plastic slab with 30 cents of electronics inside is sold for 30 euro.

Sunday I had the great idea to update the OS to iOS 5 and I was really amused to discover that EVERY USB battery charger of mine won't work anymore, including quality ones, from HP and BlackBerry.

What would have happened if any other electronics company behaved in the same way? If for example Samsung after an update did the same??? Everyone would have got angry and nobody would have ever bought a phone from them!

Why they should inhibit the usage of generic chargers? What are they waiting to place a standard micro usb connector as every other brand in the world is doing? Isn't much more convenient have a charger in the bedroon, one on the table, one at work and one in the car? Or we just have to be satisfied with the bundled charger?

Maxthon is my new favorite Android Browser 

Posted by Magnetic_dud Monday, May 28, 2012 7:12:00 AM Categories: Android

By chance I tried Maxthon Browser for Android and I have to say that it's awesome! (I tried it on the BlackBerry PlayBook)

Fast, has a nice skin and menus are organized in an intuitive way.

As usual, I judged the book from the cover, and I did not really like it... I tried the desktop version in a chinese internet point, and it was just an Internet Explorer 6 wrapper... wow...

So I thought, maybe Maxthon is popular in China, because it's written by chinese and it satisfies local needings.

Then, recently I tried it and I saw that it's really the best Android browser. (unless that your phone is powerful enough for Chrome, in that case there is no game)

Maxthon for Android has many skins (but just two of them are nice, the others are unusable), and the gestures are easier compared to Dolphin Browser.

It's free, try it.

The Minority Report interface is real! 

Posted by Magnetic_dud Tuesday, May 22, 2012 3:45:00 AM Categories: Gadgets

For the end of the year it might be commercialized the LEAP, an USB device that watches your hands in front of the screen to use as input.

You did not understand? See the advertisement to see how it works:

When I saw it, I was really speechless! The future is now! I said to myself: this thing is gonna cost thousands, I go to see the preorder page and... $70??? Incredible!

Will it manage to really be commercialized or it will be just one of the endless vaporwares that made us dream? And, when it will be available, will it be comfortable to be used, or the gorilla arm will made it awkard to use?E quando uscirà, sarà comodo da usare, o la sindrome del braccio del gorilla lo renderà poco utile? (An interface designed to be used with hands on a vertical surface gives to the user an higher fatigue than an horizontal surface)

How to create stunning HTML5 animations without a serious effort 

Posted by Magnetic_dud Tuesday, May 8, 2012 4:08:00 PM Categories: Software Windows

I found a Windows software to create HTML5 animations (but also GIF/Flash) without a serious effort.

This is the result of 60 seconds of playing around:

The program it's Hippo Animator, it's not free, but it absolutely deserves to be bought if you are gonna do simple animations smiley

How to listen music for free 

Posted by Magnetic_dud Monday, May 7, 2012 10:55:00 AM Categories: Music Windows

I found a free Windows program to find and listen online music for free, it's Freemake Music Box.

It does just a simple task: search your song online (eg: YouTube/ftp, etc...), but it does it terribly well, the interface is clean and simple, without banner or adware (Almost impossible, I'll say: how they could monetize? With donations).

Finally QQ Yinyue found a challenger! (it's a chinese software that essentially does the same thing)

The only weak point that I found it's that you can't download songs, just listen. Will this functionality be added in a next version? Or it has been intentionally omitted for copyright reasons? We will see...

In case of emergency, wear the shopping bag 

Posted by Magnetic_dud Saturday, April 21, 2012 3:09:00 PM Categories: Japan

In case of earthquakes, it's always recommended to wear an helmet to avoid to be hit in the head. But not always you can grab something valid.

Grappa (to be not confounded with Italian grappa) helps us: it's a shopping bag with a SHOEI helmet inside! Say no to those pesky rubbles that always want to hit your head, just wear Grappa and you are safe!

Advertising in homeworks 

Posted by Magnetic_dud Friday, April 20, 2012 6:44:00 AM Categories: Italy

Well, today in Italy I saw something that cross the bounds of decency: advertising in homeworks.

It is quite normal: read a paragraph, then answer the questions. The problem is this: the paragraph actually is a press release from the Italian Postal Service!!!

Imagine to have an homework like this:

With nearly 100,000 places to buy stamps, ship a package or renew a passport, the U.S. Postal Service is expanding customer access to its products and services. It’s not about brick-and- mortar Post Offices anymore, as postal products move online and into retail outlets, grocery stores, office supply chains and pharmacies.

Then have to answer questions like "Where you can buy stamps?", or "How many offices are in the country"?

Product placement? Subliminal message? This kind of stuff should be illegal....

Is Kickstarter a scam? 

Posted by Magnetic_dud Sunday, April 15, 2012 6:04:00 PM Categories: Internet

Short answer: no, even if they don't send you anything.

Long answer: Kickstarter is a crowdsourcing website where some inventors can find investors to launch their idea. How does it work?

Who has an idea writes a project, calculates how much time and money needs, makes a prototype and an interesting video to promote it.

If you like that idea you can contribute with your hard-earned money, if the project becomes propular and reaches the objective in some time, it will be financed, otherwise the money will be given back automatically.

To thank investors, every project has some "donation tiers", for example they can say "I will send the final product to anyone who will donate more than $200".

Happens that people can be confused and think that it works like Amazon, that the product is almost ready for production (if it is, why asking money for research&develop?) and ready to be shipped. Instead the product is in name only, and it needs money to be realized. If you pay, you are not buying the product, but you are helping the inventor to finance the project. (And then, as with all investments, you will be compensated in some way, for example by getting the prototype in previe at discounted price, or something else)

Let's do an example:

The ZionEyez, and HD camcorder integrated in a pair of glasses. The production should have started in october, instead in april they are still trying to solve a problem with cable wear, and the electronics is up in the air.

The buyers investors got very angry, for example, I take this comment from a fellow citizen of mine:

is this ZionEyez Team of Naples?
ready to line up me to an eventual one class action against this group in swindle odor greet all the swindled ones, I think that I will lose mine 300€ [...]

Besides the awful English "made in Google", is he really serious to ask for a class action? For $300? Who will pay the lawyers? In a recent case about a security breach, the 11 victims got a $1925 compensation, but the lawyers got millions ($600k + $2mil).

How to change the SSH port 

Posted by Magnetic_dud Thursday, April 5, 2012 1:21:00 PM Categories: Linux

When I set up my server, I decided to keep the SSH port at its default value for those three reasons:

  1. Worried to make the configuration file corrupted and not being able to log in anymore.
  2. Worried about some incompatibilities with some SSH software.
  3. With a port scanner it's trivial to find the new SSH

Of course I didn't leave the server in the wild with default settings:

  1. Access via preshared key with a long passphrase
  2. Configured Shorewall to slow down access to the port 22 (at most 1 request per minute)
  3. Set fail2ban to block access for 24 hours to who inputted the wrong password for more than three times
  4. Set fail2ban to send me an email in case of hacking

Recently, there was an attack from Korea with hundreds of logins.

Initially I decided to ignore the matter, then I said "Hey, changing the ssh port it's trivial!", so here is how to do that on Debian/Ubuntu:

nano /etc/ssh/sshd_config

Then change the port here:

# What ports, IPs and protocols we listen for
Port 2200

Then, restart the SSH daemon

/etc/init.d/ssh restart

Voila!

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