Archive for February, 2010

If it weren’t for those pesky MobileMe Kids…

The St. Petersburg Times has a fantastic report on how a couple of stolen iPhones were retrieved. The story begins with a mother and her stepdaughter boarding a roller coaster ride at the the SkeiKra roller Coaster in Tampa, Florida. This particular theme park, located at Busch Gardens, provides a handy service – unlocked storage bins for people who don’t want to lose their possessions. This pair of thrill-seekers unfortunately though it wise to drop their iPhones into the unlocked bins. Needless to say when they went back to collect them, they were gone.

All manner of law enforcement officials were immediately called and when the 13-year old remembered that she had a MobileMe account, she logged into the family account using an officer’s laptop and was able to locate both iPhones on the GPS Map using the Find My iPhone feature. A squad car was dispatched to the current location of the iPhones and a suspicious-looking guy quickly hid a mobile phone he was using when he saw the officers approaching. Of course this was their guy – the 25-year old admitted the theft and was later charged with grand theft, his 19th arrest!

This all happened in the space of 45 minutes and is not MobileMe’s only feature! Click here to visit Apple’s MobileMe and try it out for free for 60 days.

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If Bruce Wayne had a different Childhood

from Space Avalanche

The Bro-Code according to Barney Stinson

  • Bro: A generic bro. He might wear a hat.
  • Brah: A bro who will wear a hat backwards with no ironic intent.
  • Broseph: No hat. He may be larger than a typical bro as well. Smokes.
  • Broseph Stalin: The Bro who will want everyone to split evenly for “fries for the table” even though he’s the only guy who’ll eat them. Also, may have killed 50 million people at some point.
  • Brah-Men Noodles: A cannibal brah, who puts men in his noodles.
  • The Bro-Zone Layer: An area filled with natural gas that protects the bros from harmful sun-rays outside. Also known as a Frat House.
  • Brahsifixiation: When a brah dies from carbon monoxide poisioning, yo.
  • G.I. Bro: A bro with combat experience, kung-fu grip.
  • Quid Pro Bro: The exchange of Natty Ice for Natty Ice.
  • Bro Mitzvah: When a bro becomes a Bro in the eyes of the community.
  • The Jim Bro Laws: A series of laws instituted by the racist bros of the south.
  • Bro Money, Bro Problems: The famous phrase coined by The Notorious B.R.O.
  • Bros before Bros: The confusing thought-experiment coined by Brahristotle

Tinker about with Snow Leopard

TinkerTool is an application that gives you access to additional preference settings Apple has built into Mac OS X. This allows you to activate hidden features in the operating system and in some of the applications delivered with the system.

How does TinkerTool work? Simple: TinkerTool works by interacting with hidden preferences that can usually only be changed by opening Terminal and using the “defaults write” command. TinkerTool can help with many of the day-to-day tasks that you undertake such as helping with copying email addresses into Mail without the full name and punctuation. It’s a pretty awesome application that will undoubtedly aid you on your quest for world domination!

For a full list of the features hit THIS. TinkerTool is available as a free download for OS 10.4+

The Joy of Technology

Facebook Fail

Prey upon your Laptop

IT departments use techniques like encryption and remote wiping to protect data stored on laptops. While these methods may prevent the data from being compromised, they don’t help locate the actual machine. A free program called Prey might.

Prey is a free application available on Mac, Linux or Windows – find it here. It is very small in size and operates in the background and at specified intervals connects to the internet and attempts to determine whether your machine is stolen or not. Prey does this in one of two ways:

1. If Prey is configured to use Prey’s online control panel, you simply log in and indicate that your machine is stolen. Prey checks in online from your computer and gets a message that your system has been compromised.

2. If Prey is configured for stand alone (which is a much more complicated method and requires you to come up with a webpage): there is no communication with the online service, you must create a webpage and the url is given to Prey, who then accesses the live page and if it exists, prey continues on. However if your laptop is stolen, you simply delete the page and Prey receives a 404 error the next time it checks the webpage and knows that machine is stolen. Prey then sends a report describing whereabouts:

You log in to Prey’s online service and you are given the following:

  • The Computer Status
  • A List of Running Programs and Services
  • Network and Wifi Status
  • A screenshot of the desktop
  • A Picture taken with the Webcam if one is attached

If you have gone for the stand alone option, the report is mailed to an email address that you entered when setting up Prey.

However, there are some limitations to Prey:

  • Prey is removed if the hard drive is wiped
  • Software can be uninstalled if the thief knows that Prey is on your system
  • The machine must connect to the internet in order to give a report
  • Prey requires law enforcement to retrieve the laptop (you cannot break into someone’s house to retrieve your item, even if it was stolen from you!)
  • No theft recovery help – Prey is a free service and it’s up to you to do the leg-work

If you are concerned that Prey might not be able to do what you want, there are alternatives: Absolute Software offers services for Home, Business and Corporate users at a cost. In fact Dell and HP are known to use Absolute Software’s Computrace! Check out the website here. So if you do need to protect highly sensitive data, use a more robust, paid solution like Computrace and always ensure your data is encrypted. Check out the Prey Tutorial over on TechRepublic.