Wednesday, August 26, 2009

When someone forces you to withdraw from your ATM: Reversed ATM PIN Hoax Resurrected

I received this email forwarded on the Internet again for the nth time, with subject "Fwd: When someone forces you to withdraw from your ATM" and asking me to forward the email

"Subject: Fwd: When someone forces you to withdraw from your ATM

This is something worth sharing…

When a thief forces you to take money from the ATM, do not argue or
resist. You might not know what he or she might do to you. What you
should do is to punch your PIN in the reverse mode.
I.e. if your PIN # is 1254, you punch 4521.The moment you punch in the
reverse mode, the money will come out, but will be stuck into the
machine half way out and it will alert the Police (security) without
the notice of the thief. Every ATM has it; it is specially made to
signify danger and help. Not everyone is aware of this.

Forward this to all your loved ones, friends and those you care about."


Note that this is an old hoax email circulating on the Internet and now resurrected again. There was a proposal in the US about this but wasn't approved. Coming from a banking industry "slave" this is not true. There are PINs about there that's a palindrome, meaning they spell the same backwards. And if it's true, the police would just arrive late. Just hope the ATM you're using has a surveillance camera to catch the face of your attacker.

Be safe!

How to Remove "This copy of Office is not genuine" Notification from Pirated Microsoft Office Hack

I have a friend with a nagging problem on his PC that everytime he opens a Microsoft Office, a nagbox will display "this copy of office is not genuine." Here are tried and tested solutions to his problem that made it go away


1. Buy genuine Windows Software, it may be expensive but it's their right to display those nagboxes

2. Google for bypass Genuine Windows Validation, used to work by a registry tweak but now inutile.

3. The best solution so far: Dump MS Office and install OpenOffice: It's free and it works. Just have a bit of a problem with Powerpoint animations so far

Note: the Philippines largest bank is using OpenOffice to forgo the large license fees of MS Office in thousands of PCs. Makes perfect business sense to me unlike the former largest bank who hates Open-Source software. Good for them :P

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Cheap Nikon Lens: Nikkor 50mm f/1.8

After about 2.5 years of shifting from Canon to Nikon, I finally was able to buy a new, rather slightly used, Nikon 50mm "nifty fifty" to be my second lens after the walk around Nikkor 18-200 f/3.5-5.6

I'm always on the lookout for cheap lenses at PhPhoto yahoogroups and when sonebody posteed a slightly used Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 prime lens for just P4.5k, I immediately sent a text inquiry and the agreement to meet up at Paseo Center materialized.

Note that the Nikon 50mm f1.8 costs P8k no even on Hidalgo, Quiapo (while canon's nifty fifty price is around P4.5 brand new.

The nifty fifity is a very good and extra sharp lens perfect for portraits but it won't focus (no AF) for D60 DSLRs. I intend to buy an extension tube for me to practice macro photography. I prefer the tube over close-up filters and macro reverse rings and I don't have the moolah for macro lenses

Friday, August 21, 2009

Flash Security with SWFScan: "Application was malformed: Malformed SWF Header" Error

I played around with a free tool SWFScan from HP to scan and detect security probelms flash objects from web applications

At first run against a website with a flash introducction, SWFScan prompted me with the error "The Flash Application was malformed: Malformed SWF Header."

I suspected something wrong with my SWFScan configuration and not with the website for I know there's really nothing wrong with my flash website.

After investigatiion, found these out about the said error:
1. SWFScan doesn't work with proxy servers with authentication (there's no configuraton where you enter the username and password)
2. You may not pe entering the exact URL of the SWF file of the website
2. the data may really be malformed
3. you have no internet access ;P

I recommend this tool for webmasters with flash objects to improve security.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

How to Dowload Videos CyCorder in iPhone 3G

For those wishing to know how to download videos recorded by Cycroder in
a jailbroken Iphone 3G/3Gs.

How to download Cycorder Videos in iPhone 3G procedure

1. Download and install iPhoneBrowser in your PC.

2. Connect your iPhone to the your PC using the supplied USB cable

3. Open iPhoneBrowser and navigate to the file location:
Raw File System\private\var\mobile\Media\videos\

4. Select the desired file, right click then choose "Save AS" or just copy/paste the Videos folder to your PC

Thursday, August 13, 2009

APCN2 Cable Break Slows Down Internet Access in the Philippines

The latest submarine cable break of APCN2 (Asia Pacific Cable Network) disrupted Internet access of Smart Broadband (Smart Bro) and partial slowdown of Globe Broadband

We use Globe and Bayantel in the office while I use Bayan DSL at home (that's a bit slow today).

I don't know how it affected Digitel and Sun 3G Broadband while PLDT MyDSL would probably be affected too.

Cable breaks are really a pain in the...In my "past life" as an internetwork engineer at Eastern Telecoms (ETPI now Eastern Communications), cable breaks last for weeks with no definite target of repair since cable retriever ships will sail and search for the underwater cable break for repairs. It's not an easy task and updates just trickle in once the cable repair ship reaches the estimated cable segment that needs to be reconnected (re-spliced is the proper term since all of them use fiber optic technology).

I will sometimes restore internet links using satellite backup links or other cable links like C2C, TGN-IA (TyCom Global Network-Intra Asia Cable System) and SEA-ME-WE 3 then use BGP routing to balance the links and prioritize premium clients over dial-up and DSL users with their minimum guaranteed bandwitch called committed access rate (CIR/CAR).

At least my office connection (dual-homed Globe and Bayantel) are doing fine while this Bayan DSL is quite ok though I will disconnect this to switch to Sun 3G wireless broadband due to crappy service.

Has your Internet connection been unbearable lately? Now you know the reason why.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Slot-Loading DVD Drive Won't Eject Disk Problem and Solution

I have a few months old Lenovo Ideapad Y430 notebook equipped with a slot-loading CD/DVD drive, the one with no tray that comes out for you to put the disk on and instead the disk is sucked inside the drive when you insert one.

Recently, I noticed certain compact disks wont' come out or eject out of the drive and instead get stuck inside and played again by my OS, either crappy Windows Vista or Ubuntu Linux.

At one time, I only held on to the drive opening and the disk ejected as if I cleared an obstacle for the optical disk to eject.

Today, I tried to play a DVD video disk in my laptop DVD player but it later won't come out and unendingly returned inside to play and the LED drive lights just kept of flashing.

Note that Slot-loading disk drives don't have the magic small hole on the drive where you insert an pin or wire to push a mechanism for the drive to eject the disk.

After many attempts and observing how the disk got stuck inside the drive, I got a piece of paper, inserted it inside the drive, over the stuck DVD disk and pressed the eject button-- the disk ejected successfully.

To make sure it's not a fluke, I reinserted the disk, made sure it's stuck again and repeated my "magic paper" solution and it again worked.

I found out that disks, whether CD or DVD, should not be thicker than standard thickness. My DVD has a sticker on it that made it slightly thicker than other disks that's why the extra thickness bumped inside the drive that resulted to the failed ejections.

The next time you face a problem like I did, don't panic and don't call support. Get a piece and paper wand your disk will be ejected in no time!

If you like this post, you can donate to my Paypal account. Remember I saved you a few dollars and time from calling your laptop Customer Support :P

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Sun Cellular Broadband 3G Internet Settings with Mobile Phone as USB Modem

I had just bought a new LG KF311 3g-capable mobile phone from LG outlet in SM City North EDSA simply because I wanted to have a backup to my crappy Bayan DSL Internet connection

After testing the basic functions of my phone, I went to the Sun Cellular business center at the 4th floor of SM The Annex but I left after observing how slow their customer service counters were moving, much slower than Cory Aquino's cortege going to Manila Memorial Park (imagine i'm #37 and they're still serving #125 with more than 15 minutes per number...i didn't waste my time just to inquire how to setup my internet using mobile phone)

How to setup Sun Cellular Internet using Mobile Phone as Modem:

1. Connect your mobile phone to PC using USB cable supplied
2. Use the CD installed with the mobile phone to install the PC Suite and USB driver software.
3. to setup your Internet connection, use "minternet" as APN setting and *99# for Call number (this i copied from Smart's number since I can't find the info on the Internet and I can't get through to Sun Cellular Hotline 200)
4. I was able to finally connect and use my new Internet connection.

Initial Sun Broadband Internet Review is that it's fairly decent but lacking my speed expectations but I'm sure, in my area, it's faster than Globe Tatoo due to absence of 3G signal at home.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

House of Representatives to Honor Cory Aquino and yet still want to go on with Cha-cha!

How could you, my "beloved" congressmen, honor Cory Aquino if you still want to push through with charter change. Didn't you know that it's Cory's gift to the Filipino people that you're trying to amend to suit your own ends?

Cory, unlike the present sitting president whose boots you lick, could've had prolonged herself in power having come from a revolutionary government yet instead used her powers to draft a new constitution.

The 1986 Constitution is not perfect but the amendments proposed are not really necessary.

Stop dreaming and leave Cory's gift alone. That's the best honor you'll give her in these days.