Tiny Deathstars of Foulness

Following an argument I recently had over iPhone security I thought I would post easy to access links that any fanboy can get to regarding the full disk encryption of the iPhone 3gs. En garde, I’ll let you try my Wu-Tang style.

January 31st, 2010

Posted In: iPhone

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Apple has been interfacing with YouTube for some time. They have provided YouTube integration into a number of their consumer applications and clearly understand how to aggregate content from YouTube and interface with the YouTube API. Apple also has some of the best marketing of the past 10 or more years. But until now, Apple has been quiet on the YouTube front. Now, with the introduction of the iPad, Apple has quietly started a YouTube presence. I can’t help but wonder what Apple has in store for the field of interactive marketing!

January 30th, 2010

Posted In: iPhone, Mac OS X

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I have to take a lot of screen shots. Therefore, most of my computers tend to have a white background (they used to be the xman the machine was named after but alas, I’m older and now they computers are all named after Backyardigans;). Sometimes it’s hard to see your icons in Windows 7 on a white background though. If you grapple with this too then consider doing what I did and making the icons transparent. To do so, locate the HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerAdvanced registry key and make a dword key called ListviewShadow with a value of 00000001. Or:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerAdvanced] “ListviewShadow”=dword:00000001

To set it back, make that 1 into a 0. As always, don’t forget to backup the registry before you do anything at all to it. Enjoy!

January 30th, 2010

Posted In: Windows XP

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Graham Lee is working on a title about Mac OS X Application Security. You can find it at Wiley or click on the link for Amazon:

January 30th, 2010

Posted In: Articles and Books, Mac Security

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MacWorld put up the most awesome video ever, from a number of speakers that will be at the show. I don’t know how I missed the request for a little video but I didn’t even enter anything. Which is fine, ’cause anything I would have thought of wouldn’t have been nearly as awesome as all of these clips. Awesome going guys!

January 29th, 2010

Posted In: public speaking

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In Mac OS X you can set your screen saver as your background image. To do so, run the following command:
/System/Library/Frameworks/ScreenSaver.framework/Resources/ -background

Once you close Terminal or hit Control-C then you will set the background back to what your initial background was. Hope you enjoy!

January 29th, 2010

Posted In: Mac OS X

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The ics file type. Apple isn’t the only one that builds applications that use it any longer and there have been a couple of instances where users install a 3rd party app only to find that their default calendar is no longer iCal. How to fix? Not a hard one. Simply locate a .ics file (there are typically plenty of these in ~/Library/Mail Downloads) and then do a Get Info on the .ics file (Get Info = command-i while clicked on the file).

Once you have the Get Info box for the file up, click on the Open With field and select iCal. Then click on Change All. That should do the trick. If anyone knows how to do this programmatically let me know. I have an Automator workflow done for it but would much rather use a script… Building such a script has proven frustrating and so in a mass deploy environment we’ve been looking at distributing an Automator workflow saved as an Application with a known location for an ics file to use for the task. However, I’m not much of a fan of using UI events in deployments…

January 29th, 2010

Posted In: Mac OS X, Mac Security

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McNealy no longer has an executives page on He also sent

To be honest, this is not a note this founder wants to write. Sun, in my mind, should have been the great and surviving consolidator. But I love the market economy and capitalism more than I love my company.

In other words, for 7.4 Billion dollars, you win (not that I’d blame him too much). Then Jonathan Schwartz sent a letter to Sun employees that ended:

So thank you, again, for the privilege and honor of working together. The internet’s made the world a far smaller place–so I’m sure we’ll be bumping into one another.

That sounds like goodbye to me, meaning that the face of Sun is now completely different at the end of the acquisition than it was at the beginning. And right on queue, Charles Phillips then sent an email that signaled that the Oracle acquisition of Sun is now complete:

We are pleased to announce that Oracle has completed its acquisition of Sun Microsystems and Sun is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Oracle. With this news, we want to reiterate our commitment to deliver complete, open and integrated systems that help our customers improve the performance, reliability and security of their IT infrastructure. We would also like to thank the many customers that have supported us throughout the acquisition process.

There is no doubt that this combination transforms the IT industry. With the addition of servers, storage, SPARC processors, the Solaris operating system, Java, and the MySQL database to Oracle’s portfolio of database, middleware, and business and industry applications, we plan to engineer and deliver open and integrated systems – from applications to disk – where all the pieces fit and work together out of the box.

Performance levels will be unmatched. Oracle’s software already runs faster on Sun SPARC/Solaris than on any other server or operating system. With Sun as a part of Oracle, each layer of the stack will be engineered to further improve performance, reliability and manageability so that IT will be more predictable, more supportable, and more secure. Customers will benefit as their system performance goes up and their system integration and management costs go down.

In addition, our open standards-based technology will give customers choice. Customers can purchase our fully integrated systems, or easily integrate our best-of-breed technologies with their existing environments. Our open technology also enables customers to take full advantage of third party innovations. Oracle also plans to extend its partner specialization program to include Sun technologies to better enable partners to deliver differentiated and value-added solutions to customers.

As always, our primary goal is 100% customer satisfaction. We are dedicated to delivering without interruption the quality of support and service that you have come to expect from Oracle and Sun, and more. Oracle plans to enhance Sun customer support by improving support access, offering better interoperability support between Oracle and Sun products and delivering services in more local languages. Support procedures for your existing Sun and Oracle products are unchanged, so for now you should continue to use the same channels you’ve been using. Customers can continue to purchase products from Sun in the same way they did prior to the acquisition. We will communicate any changes to this through regular channels.

We are very excited about this combination and look forward to delivering to you increased innovation through accelerated investment in Sun’s hardware and software technologies such as SPARC, Solaris, Java, and MySQL. If you weren’t able to join the live event on January 27 where we, along with Larry Ellison and other executives from Oracle and Sun outlined how this powerful combination will transform the IT industry, you are welcome to view the replay that can be accessed at


Charles Phillips

I wonder if Phillips put up any billboards to that effect or reserves that right for his mistresses alone? Does this all seem like a high tech Melrose Place to you? If 7.4 Billion buys out the moral center of a company that reshaped the way we think about computing then I can only imagine what the profits will buy in terms of the token “sorry I cheated on you” ring that Kobe Bryant made a must to mend certain fences. Have fun with that guys: you have proven to me yet again that Rome is burning. I just hope Schwartz’s ponytail isn’t like the roaches, the last to survive it all…

January 28th, 2010

Posted In: Business, Unix

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In a constant search for achieving comment nirvana for the sites I manage, I was recently looking into integrating WordPress (and a couple of other CMS engines) with Facebook. The sites are setup to only allow authenticated users to comment and it just seemed like with all of the single-sign on technology out there that it just didn’t have to be so annoying. After installing the OpenID integration it seemed like there still had to be a better way to allow even more people to authentication. How about Facebook?

Facebook has done a lot of work on making their API one of the best in the social networking world. The initial implementation of FBML was a little clunky (a client was an early adopter) but it proved to be one of the things that set them apart from the competition. And the API doesn’t just allow for embedding objects into Facebook, it allows for extending Facebook out as well. One of the best examples of this is for authentication.

Which brings us to actually making it work. The first thing to do is go grab an API key. To do so, visit and click on Set Up New Application (or Provide the domain name and any other required fields and out pops an API key and a secret. The API key will be exposed but the secret will act as a password of sorts, much the same way many other key exchanges function. Copy these and do not give them out.

Once you have your key, go to your WordPress site and log into the admin page. From there, click on Plugins and then click on Add New. Search for WP-FacebookConnect. Install the one from Adam Hupp and then locate it in your sidebar (it will say Facebook Connect). Click on it and then provide the API Key and Secret and click on Update Options.

Now that it the plugin is installed and configured it’s time to add it to your theme. This part is a little more tricky than most but it can be as simple as a single paste. Copy this into your clipboard:

<?php do_action(‘fbc_display_login_button’) ?>

Now click on Appearance back in the sidebar and then click on Editor. In the Editor scroll towards the bottom (usually) and locate the form that takes in the comments, which likely begins with:

<div id=”comment-form”>

Now paste it in immediately above or somewhere inside the form, which means somewhere below the first line but above the following:


Once done, open one of your pages and you should see the Connect with your Facebook Account icon so you can authenticate using Facebook. You can also move the text around in the box by moving between areas in the comments.php file (in the themes screen). If you don’t see the Facebook icon then try accessing the site from another browser as you might still be logged into your administrative portal.

Finally, consider the strategy that you use for managing comments. You can still hold comments for approval, you can still approve once and give users unbridled commenting love and you can still scan comments for spam using one of the filters for doing so. That is according to you. But you now have an easy-to-authenticate to solution where visitors don’t have to sign up and get an email back, etc. But they can if you want, given that there are still at least 4 or 5 people (I believe they are in deep freeze somewhere) who don’t use Facebook, and you wouldn’t want to alienate them!

January 28th, 2010

Posted In: WordPress

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AppleSetupRedux is a simple utility for resetting a system back to a factory-type state. Once run, on the next reboot, the Apple Setup Assistant will run so that you can distribute the machine to customers or whatever you might want to do with a machine where the Setup Assistant runs again.


AppleSetupRedux can be found on the Apps page of this site.

January 27th, 2010

Posted In: Uncategorized

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