May 2007 Archives

Ultimate Wifi Box

If Panorama were getting all worked up over a few wireless access points in schools, what are they going to think of this monster! Look at all the antennas on it! That can't be healthy!

What the Slurp actually does is connect to as many wifi networks as it can, up to a maximum of six. It then presents all the wifi networks as one super fast connection to your PC. The legality of this is probably questionable in a lot of countries, but it's still a very cool piece of kit.

Anyone who uses a laptop with a Touchpad has probably accidentally touched the Touchpad while typing and had the window focus change on screen. It probably isn't a good reflection on the typing posture being used, but until some comes out with a laptop that has a Microsoft Natural Keyboard built in, my posture isn't likely to improve. As I have found out though, it's easy to disable a Synaptic Touchpad while typing. First off open up /etc/X11/xorg.conf (or /etc/X11/XF86Config-4) and find the InputDevice Section that looks like:

Section "InputDevice"
Driver "synaptics"
Identifier "Mouse[1]"
Option "Device" "/dev/psaux"
Option "Protocol" "auto-dev"
.........
At the end of this section add:
Option "SHMConfig" "on"
Save the changes and then restart the X server, in my case I just used Ctrl-Alt-Backspace to restart it. Syndaemon then has to be setup in order to tell the driver how long the Touchpad has to remain disabled for after typing. To do this run:
syndaemon -i .1 -d
This will disable the Touchpad while typing and keep it disabled for a tenth of a second after you finish typing. The default, if you don't put in the "-i .1", is two seconds which I found way too long. There are a couple of options to get this running automatically. With Gnome, click on the "System" menu, go to "Preferences" and then "Sessions". In the "Startup Programs" tab, click on "New" and put in "syndaemon -i .1 -d" as the command. It can alternatively be added to the ~/.xinitrc file. Once this is done, syndaemon will run on login, and random touching of the Touchpad while typing should no longer be a cause for annoyance.

Unison.ie Improvment

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I posted before about a big hole in Unison.ie's old site. Instead of fixing the problem, Unison.ie seems to just released a new and improved site. Besides the lack of a subscription wall, they have also implemented RSS feeds on Independent.ie as well as on the regional papers.

The only flaw I've found so far is that the edition of the Kerryman that's there seems to be a week out of date, and I'm sure that will be sorted soon enough.

I have previously moaned about the lack of open source drivers for ATI/AMD cards. AMD have now announced that they will be releasing opensource drivers. I think I will be switching allegiances from Nvidia (who currently have the better binary drivers) to ATI/AMD if they deliver.

Own Your Own Intreger

After all the fun with the AACS last week, it turns out that anyone can get their own 128bit number which can then be defended using the DCMA :) This is done by generating a Haiku which is then copyrighted. The Haiku generated for me was as follows:

The haiku is copyright 2007 by Edward W. Felten:
We own integers,
Says AACS LA.
You can own one too.

Here is your very own 128-bit integer, which we hereby deed to you:
02 BA D1 6C B8 DD 0F B8 30 76 41 7A 08 53 0D D1


Not sure how well this would stand up in court, but it's interesting none the less.

Data Protection Followup

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I got a "Service Message" spam from a company called Venista a couple of months ago. I eventually found out, after being passed between Vodafone and Regtel, that the best bet is to report it to the Data Protection Commissioner.

Three weeks after the original report I got an email from them stating:

We contacted Venista in relation to the sending of these messages and as a result they have suspended all their services in Ireland. They are also going to carry out an internal review.

They have removed your number from their database.


It's nice to see a Government organisation that is actually responsive :)

So, if you're in Ireland and get a spam sms, make sure to report it to the Data Protection Commissioner. There should be equivalent organisations in most countries who should also be able to help.

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This page is an archive of entries from May 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

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