Three-Toed Sloth

We are staying in Manuel Antonio (at the Costa Verde hotel) for 2 nights (last night was our first night), and we woke up, and check out what was outside our hotel window (this a picture from our room)… A three-toed sloth. Cool. ๐Ÿ™‚


BTW, my head still has a knot in it.

Cracked My Head

If anyone wants to know an easy way to bust your head open in a split second, just slip off the road into a concrete and stone wall. Your head doesn’t stand much of a chance, and it will bleed right away so you can look cool.

Another pretty awesome thing about it is that the injury will swell up so it looks like you have a ping pong ball under your skin within about 2 minutes. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m very thankful that it was Bobby’s birthday… if it wasn’t, I probably wouldn’t have been so drunk that it didn’t really hurt. But even so, the sound of the impact made me know it was going to bleed and swell. ๐Ÿ™‚

Damn the rain forest and it being slippery!

Here’s the best picture of it though (notice Amelia in the background.. haha)

Crocodiles

Somewhere between David Hasslehoff’s favorite cafe and Manuel Antonio, we came across a bridge that had all sorts of crocodiles under it. Thankfully, there was a little shop that sold ice cream Trits (BTW, these things are f’ing good), so we could eat them while we stare at the crocodiles.

Gran Hotel, Costa Rica

We made it to Costa Rica, and we are staying in the “historic” Gran Hotel in San Jose. It was supposed to be 1.5 miles from the airport, but it’s more like 15 miles. Kind of screws up our rental car situation on the last day, but whatever… They have free Internet and free breakfast, so that makes up a little bit I guess.

They have a TINY (like 20′ x 20′) casino downstairs, which is great because you get free lukewarm Imperial beer. They DID add ice, so it was amazingly good (not). It tasted a bit like dog pee (or what I would suspect it would taste like).

No A/C in this hotel, and the power outlets are all the old 2-prong type (and not a single outlet of any type in the bathrooms). The good part about the room is that it smells like chicken (really)… sweet.

Oh well, we are just using this place as a place to sleep before we head out first thing in the morning to Manuel Antonio.

Funny I was in San Jose, California yesterday, and now San Jose, Costa Rica. ๐Ÿ™‚

Search Engine Strategies, San Jose

This was the first time I ever went to a SES show and it was quite a bit bigger than I thought they were. Attendance was probably ~5,000 people or so. The really interesting thing though is all the parties… enough parties that you end up missing half the show because you are sleeping until noon every day. hah

The first day I was there (Monday), I attended 5 (yep, 5) “gatherings” (the Yahoo party -> Pepperjam party/sushi -> Ask.com party -> some bar after Ask.com’s party shut down -> Joe’s suite after the bars were shut down). Tuesday was the Google Dance (a pretty amazing event in itself) at the Googleplex.

I mostly just went to SES to meet people in person, and I did just that (the only industry person I’d ever met before this was Shoemoney). Anyway, I ended up meeting up with Jenstar, Barry Schwartz, Danny Sullivan, Shoemoney (again), Dax, Aaron Wall, Rand Fishkin, Ben Pfeiffer, Dave, Brett Tabke, Dave Naylor, Christoph, Alessandra, Pepperjam guys, Martin, Marcus (his metal business card ended up getting me searched at the airport), as well as lots of Google employees (Matt Cutts, Vanessa Fox, Adam Lasnik, etc.) Also, sorry for everyone I didn’t mention… there were just too many to mention everyone, I still love you though! ๐Ÿ™‚ (one of the people I met in that list is a lie of course)

I was so tired after SES, that I got on the plane home and fell asleep before they even pushed off the gate, and didn’t wake up even for take off. I fell asleep when we were on the ground, and woke up about 2 minutes before landing. For some idiotic reason I’m still awake right now though.

Update

I guess I’m not going to bed tonight… considering it’s now 4:51 am. Augh!

Airport Wait Times

Okay, so there was that terrorist thing going on today, so the airports were all whacked out… or at least they were supposed to be. Everyone at SES was like, “Dude, you only have 4 hours before your flight, and the airport is an hour away, you better leave now… Actually, you probably aren’t going to make your flight as it is, so we’ll see you back here in a few hours I guess.”

So I get to the airport with 3 hours before my flight… what happens? Uhm, I wait for the ONE person in the security line to go through before me, so it takes about 2 minutes to get through the security screening. Rad, now I’m at the airport with 3 hours to kill.

I think it might have been a plot cobbled together by Jen, Dave, DaveN, Danny and Vanessa to ditch me so they could go to the bar. Fuckers. “Oh yeah… let’s send Shawn to the airport, it will be funny.”

From BoingBoing

So CNN is reporting: “Because the plot involved taking liquid explosives aboard planes in carry-ons, passengers at all U.S. and British airports, and those boarding U.S.-bound flights at other international airports, are banned from taking any liquids onto planes.”

And then they have the photo of the TSA guy dumping a tub of confiscated possibly explosive liquids into a garbage can in a crowd of people.

Figure that shit out for me.

Don’t you think that some of these potentially explosive liquids might be more dangerous when, I don’t know, mixed in a big vat in the middle of an airport?

Christ, why don’t they just have people put their liquids into a big bonfire?

The whole liquid thing is stupid anyway since they allow some liquids. On the plane I was on, some lady was allowed to bring on a giant bottle of water for her dog. If you are a terrorist, wouldn’t you just keep the liquid on your person, and maybe not tell them you have it since they don’t have to send it through the x-ray machine?

I’m Really An Indian Now

So I’ve been wearing this Indian dress pajama thing for a few days now, and I’m starting to feel more and more Indian… so I took another picture so you guys can tell me what you think. ๐Ÿ™‚

Actually it was Photoshopped (hah, really??) by a couple of Digital Point users, but it turned out rather funny I think. ๐Ÿ™‚

Note: I just posted this while driving 70mph on the freeway. I don’t recommend… not safe, and very hard.
Update

I didn’t know Indian girls were such babes… I think maybe I’ll be moving to New Delhi now.

I’m An Indian

I actually was born on an Indian reservation (which is true BTW), but that’s not the kind of Indian I’m talking about. Today I decided to try out being something other than an American. Today, I’m an Indian. I don’t speak Hindi, Punjabi, Gujarati or any of the other dialects over in India, but whatever… I’ll dress like an Indian (it’s a start).

Okay, in truth there was a webmaster meet for Digital Point users in New Delhi, India on June 17th, 2006, and they sent me some traditional Indian pajamas. ๐Ÿ™‚ So check it out, I’m an Indian now (at least I can sleep like one).

Note: I wrote this Sunday night, but wanted to mess around with WordPress’ future publish date function. I’m actually at SES, San Jose right now (assuming my plane didn’t crash. If my plane *did* crash, well then I’m probably the first person ever to write a blog entry from the dead. ๐Ÿ™‚ ).

How To Crack 128-bit Wireless Networks In 60 Seconds

Just for fun (since I’m a dork), I was looking for a wireless stumbler for Macintosh that supported a GPS unit because I thought it would be interesting to map how many wireless networks there are in my neighborhood (I usually can see 15-30 unique wireless networks from any given point). In my search, I ran across one called kismac that does exactly what I wanted (it even generates the maps for you, so I didn’t need to code something to plot the GPS coordinates on a map):

click image for larger view)

I download it and start playing around with it. It turns out it also has security testing functions within it (although I would guess that most of the people using the cracking functions are just trying to gain access to “secured” networks… which is beside the point I suppose).

Anyway, so I start monkeying around with those functions to see if I could learn something about WEP encryption on my own 2 wireless networks (I have a Linksys WRT54G and an Apple Airport Express which I use for beaming iTunes music to the living room stereo), both are currently secured with 128-bit wireless security and I did not change anything in them for the purpose of this video. My “word list” is just the standard dictionary word list that comes with most any UNIX distribution (like Mac OS X) and resides in /usr/share/dict/.

So here’s the scary part, from the time it started scanning for wireless networks to the time I was able to crack both wireless network keys (which is all you need to gain access to the wireless network), it took right around 60 seconds. Check out this video…

Okay, so what just happened here? I just cracked my two 128-bit wireless networks in roughly 60 seconds from start to finish.

Even as a relatively knowledgeable tech guy, this seems like utter insanity to me. Okay, obviously I didn’t have some crazy, ultra-secure password for my networks, but I would guess 90% of all the wireless network passwords out there are based on simple (easy to remember) word(s). After doing some reading, an “ultra-secure” password/MD5 seed would be relatively useless anyway… all it would do is force the attacker to spend 10 minutes on it instead of 10 seconds (see this FAQ and this FAQ), all of which is easily done from the kismac Network menu. It doesn’t even matter if you setup your wireless network to be public or not, because kismac can see it even if the base station isn’t showing the SSID publicly.

I’m going to poke around and see how secure RADIUS authentication is for a wireless network, but even if RADIUS is more secure, what normal person is going to have the technical knowledge and an extra few thousand dollars to setup and run a RADIUS server for their wireless network? I’m not even sure if I want to run a wireless network anymore to be honest… or maybe shut them down except for the times I’m actually using them (talk about annoying though).

Update

Not sure why the content was deemed “inappropriate” for YouTube, but YouTube took my video down. {shrug} Moved it to Google Video.

SDG&E Digital Meters

So I was checking out some of the stuff that should be installed soon at the construction site (most notably electricity). I guess SDG&E is going to be putting in a digital electric meter vs. the “old school” mechanical type.

I Googled around a bit to find out what’s up with them… I guess they are going to be taking measurements hourly and make that data available to consumers. Maybe I’ll cobble together an API for it so I can generate my own charts for the data or something. {shrug}

Customers will be chosen by the utility for the test, and their rates will be unaffected, Geier said. While installing the electric meters for the pilot project, SDG&E also will install wireless gas-reading devices at the same customer locations.

Speaking of SDG&E, if you are reading this Todd, make it happen! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Download Meet The Fockers Via BitTorrent

You may or may not know, the MPAA and BitTorrent “joined forces to protect film copyrights” (the MPAA’s words, not mine) last November (see press release).

Search for Torrent Files

  

From Bram Cohen (BitTorrent CEO):

รขโ‚ฌล“BitTorrent, Inc. discourages the use of its technology for distributing films without a license to do so. As such, we are pleased to work with the film industry to remove unauthorized content from BitTorrent.comรขโ‚ฌโ„ขs search engine.รขโ‚ฌย

From Dan Glickman (MPAA Chairman and CEO):

รขโ‚ฌล“We are glad that Bram Cohen and his company are working with us to limit access to infringing files on the BitTorrent.com website,รขโ‚ฌย said Glickman. รขโ‚ฌล“They are leading the way for other companies by their example.รขโ‚ฌย

So, uhm… I wonder how well that’s working out for the MPAA these days… They are the MPAA’s strategic partner, so I can only assume that what they do with movies has the MPAA’s full blessing. With that in mind, I went to BitTorrent.com, and did a search for the movie that I allegedly downloaded via BitTorrent. BitTorrent.com will give you 15 different options for downloading Meet The Fockers.

They are even kind enough to give you some HTML you can copy/paste so you can find anything you want (see search box in the upper right of this post).

Now by the MPAA’s own definition, BitTorrent.com is a “facilitator” on the Pyramid of Internet Piracy.

It seems to me like it’s a very odd and confusing message the MPAA is giving to everyone. On one hand, they promote the usage of BitTorrent.com in their own press releases, yet they issue another release outlining the “Pyramid of Internet Piracy”, which includes one of their major strategic partners.

Huh? So the MPAA wants to sue the bottom feeders on the pyramid, but publicly promote the facilitators. Maybe the MPAA will just keep moving up the pyramid and start promoting “top sites” and “suppliers” too. {shrug} I don’t generally consider myself a stupid guy, but I’m confused.

Although when you think about it, it may actually be a brilliant idea… “Let’s show consumers how to download our movies, then we can extort bill them for $2,500. Check it out, we just sold a $9.43 DVD for $2,500 (a 26,500% markup).”

Update

WTF??? Talladega Nights (a movie that just came out in theaters today) is available for download via the MPAA’s partner site. I didn’t download it myself, but I can only assume it’s a free download?

The MPAA’s press release let us (consumers) know that BitTorrent.com has been working with the film industry to remove unauthorized content from their search engine. So I can only assume these are authorized distributions of movies? Giving away movies via the Internet on the day the movie comes out in theaters just seems like an odd business model to me. They should put together an affiliate program, so we can trick our friends into illegally downloading movies and then we could get a cut of the settlement. Gimme 40%, and I’m down. I’ll promote the hell out of it. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m starting to think that maybe it’s not me that’s destroying the movie industry, maybe it’s the MPAA.

San Diego Padres Win

I’m not a big fan of baseball, but I *love* the Padres dugout seats when I can get my hands on them, so I went to the game today.

This is the 3rd time I’ve had those tickets this year, and the Padres have won every time. Maybe they should just give me those tickets to every game, so they win every home game for the season. ๐Ÿ™‚

Plus, somehow free everything (steak, beer, wine, cake, etc.) just makes baseball more enjoyable. heh

New Domain

Well, I decided to switch my personal blog to it’s own domain (shawnhogan.com in case you didn’t notice), since the new address is easier to remember. So uhm… yeah. That’s the new URL. ๐Ÿ™‚

Update

Okay, the old URLs properly redirect to the new ones, the photo gallery works and I updated all the old posts that referenced the old URLs (a little SQL magic there). But if anyone notices anything that doesn’t work, or any broken links, please let me know.

Xbox 360

Oh, I forgot to mention that 2 weeks ago when it was scorching hot, it was too hot to go outside, so I was stuck in my place and was really, REALLY bored. So I went out and bought an Xbox 360. Unfortunately there’s still no games that I was terribly interested in (I like sports and racing games since you can get in and out without too much time commitment).

I ended up getting 4 games (Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter, Perfect Dark Zero and Tomb Raider: Legend). The first 3 I got just because they were the highest rated games for Xbox 360 and Tomb Raider I got just because Laura Croft is hot. ๐Ÿ™‚ The only games I’ve actually gotten around to playing so far is Elder Scrolls… Kind of fun to be able to go in and sword fight and all that, but I’ll probably use the Xbox 360 more when Madden 2007 or some other more interesting games come out (Grand Theft Auto 4, Splinter Cell 4, Gears Of War, Forza 2, Burnout 4, etc.).

Lame Friends Update

Man, I guess I don’t have many friends that play video games. Only 2 people I know have an Xbox 360 (I realized this when trying to figure out people to add to my Xbox Live friends list).

Funding A Movie

Here’s something kind of funny/ironic with the whole MPAA thing going on…

I got a proposal in the mail today from a film production company that wants me to invest/fund their movie for a 14% return on the investment plus title of “Executive Producer” on the movie.

“Based on those factors, it should receive a PG-13 rating from the MPAA.”

I wonder if they know that if they submit a movie for rating to the MPAA with me as the executive producer that it will automatically be stamped NC-17? ๐Ÿ™‚

MySQL 5.0.23?

MySQL is working on version 5.0.25 already. 5.0.23 was never released, and 5.0.24 was released on July 27, 2006.

So if 5.0.24 was released, where the hell is it? (it’s not on the download page) ๐Ÿ™‚

//dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/5.0/en/news-5-0-x.html

5.0.23 has a couple key bug fixes in it that I’ve been itching to get my hands on.

…so please join with me, and let’s pray to the MySQL God’s for a swift delivery of *some* version higher than 5.0.22…