Rob Maeder or Rob Mader?

So the other day I got an email from some guy I don’t know asking me to contact this lawyer to help him out with some IT issues he’s been having. I looked up the lawyer, and he’s located in Nevada somewhere, so I was a bit confused as to how he got my info and why he was contacting me in the first place.

The original email was addressed to me by name, and I actually do some IT support for people from time to time, so I didn’t think it was some sort of spam or scam. But it was odd. So after a few emails back and forth, he realized he made a mistake:

My apologies!! Wrong spelling of Mader….

Strangely enough, there’s a guy named Rob Mader who also is an IT guy. Except he’s in Nevada. After a bit of googling, I found his website, … Read the rest

Making the Move to Google Apps

Up until a few months ago, I was running SquirrelMail on my own server to handle all of my email. I have been using SquirrelMail since way back in 2004, and I always liked the simple interface. Over time, the spam situation got worse and worse, and I got fed up trying to get Spam Assassin or any other filtering software to help decrease the amount of spam that was getting to my inbox. It got so bad that I was routinely getting hundreds of spam and especially backscatter messages coming to my inbox every day. My email basically became unusable because of this.

Eventually, I realized there was no point trying to play server administrator, because the hassles just weren’t worth my time. So back in April, I moved my email hosting to Google Apps. It’s free for personal use, and was fairly easy to get set up. … Read the rest

LHC Goes Live Today

Large Hadron Collider

Large Hadron Collider

I’ve been hearing a lot about the Large Hadron Collider lately, not entirely knowing what it is or what it’s supposed to do. I did a little research last night and learned quite a bit about this giant crazy science project.

The LHC is a particle accelerator that shoots beams of protons at each other at nearly the speed of light so they collide and explode into little subatomic particles like quarks and gluons. It doesn’t make a lot of sense unless you’re a physicist, but the thing’s incredible, nonetheless.

Basically, it’s a giant 27km long circular tunnel buried 100 metres underground, occupying parts of both France and Switzerland. There’s a bunch of pipes, huge superconducting magnets, giant sensors to detect the presence of dark matter and other crazy shit, and it’s all cooled by 96 tonnes of liquid helium to reach a temperature of -271 degrees … Read the rest

Cuil: Google Killer or Epic Fail?

It’s time for me to jump on the Cuilbashing bandwagon. I first heard about the search engine after reading the Toronto Star Tuesday morning. When I got to work, several non-technical people were asking me about it, so it obviously got some serious hype in a short time.

At first, I was like, WTF is this? How do you pronounce it? “Quill”? “kwee-uhl”? Is it French? Maybe “soo-ill”? I never would have guessed “cool”. I’m no branding expert, but right off the bat, the name just doesn’t seem like something that will catch on easily.

Functionally, the site hasn’t had very positive reviews. They claim to index more pages than Google – over 120 billion. However, looking up very simple words often brought no results, and as of two days ago, searching for “Cuil” returned no results related to the site itself, either. If they can’t find … Read the rest Gets Hacked Again

Last week I went to log into my webmail account, and I was greeted with a little message saying “Hosting for this domain has been suspended”. Perplexed, I checked some of the other domains I host, and they were all working fine. I contacted my hosting provider, and I was informed my account had been compromised and a bunch of shit was being uploaded to my webspace.

After digging around, I realized I was using a pretty old version of WordPress, and it contained some security holes that were exploited by someone who thought they could use for their nefarious purposes.

The entire domain was locked down to prevent any further problems, and I spent a good hour or two cleaning up the mess that was left behind. Lucky for me, nothing was deleted, but a bunch of weird files and scripts were uploaded all over the … Read the rest