Editorial:YWIV going dark for SOPA

by on Jan.17, 2012, under Site News

Ok, so here’s the deal.  I’ve been on the fence about whether or not to black out my site in formal protest of SOPA but after talking with several other website owners and operators and consulting with a lawyer friend of mine, I did confirm my worst fears.  While SOPA may be “well intentioned” to be a fight against piracy, the law is so vaguely written that it would allow anyone to shut down any website with little to no recourse or any due process.

As a self-generating content site, (I write my own articles and most of my images are hand-taken. Those that aren’t are linked and used with permission from the original content owners or with permission from the parent company.) this is seriously a threat to my sites’ existences.  If I posted a bad review of a product didn’t like it, under SOPA,  they could scream that my site was enabling piracy and they could effectively steal my domain without any due recourse. I could not petition to get my domain back, nor could I do anything else legal about it.  All of my hard work on this site would have been wasted and even worse, under SOPA, they could even make it so I would lose all of my webhosting in its entirety.

I am opposed to any legislation that is written so vaguely and allows the indiscriminant shutdown of any website on the allegation of piracy.  I oppose any legislation that makes my ISPs the “police” of the Internet. I oppose any legislation that allows others to take control of my domains without due process.  If you are to charge me with something, you had best be prepared to defend yourself.

Other sites have taken notice.  Google, Reddit, The Electronic Frontier Foundation, Mozilla, and many others are joining in the protest tomorrow and I am going to be one of them.  We must send the warning to Congress that this must not be allowed to pass as it will destroy the Internet. Essentially, this will turn into a witch hunt, where everyone is guilty.

I understand that some of you may not understand and that some of you will be upset, however I will return on January 19th and I hope you will continue to read my site.

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Networking: Bringing IPv6 into your network using pfSense

by on Dec.01, 2011, under How-To's, Networking, Software

Hurricane Electric, PfSense and IPv6The Internet as we know it is undergoing a significant change.  With the last IPv4 addresses being allocated out, the Internet has officially run out of address space.  IPv6 is the next-generation IP addressing system that aims to resolve this issue however the changes proposed are drastically different than the current IP schema currently in place and for most is quite a daunting task to switch. In this post, we will cover some basic IPv6 information and some fundamental differences between v4 and v6 (aside from tons of IPs), and finally we will build out a pfSense firewall with IPv6 using pfSense and a free IPv6 tunnel provided by Hurricane Electric. Read more to get started on the cutting-edge of Internet infrastructure. (continue reading…)

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Networking: Installing and configuring pfSense Embedded

by on Nov.11, 2011, under Embedded devices, How-To's, Networking, Security, Software

pfSense Logo

After publishing the last post on networking and the security series, I felt it was necessary to go ahead and publish a piece on building a custom router.  I have been a fan of pfSense for the past four years and swear by it. It has the ease of use of a commercial GUI-driven router and unrivaled flexibility limited only by the hardware it is installed on.  In this howto article, we will cover installing pfSense on an embedded platform and initial configuration for getting your router up and running.

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Reviews: Sparkfun Inventor’s Kit at Mircocenter

by on Sep.09, 2011, under Hardware, Microcontrollers

Sparkfun logo

Sparkfun at Microcenter!

After reading this post on Hack-a-day, I went to the local MicroCenter to see what all they had to offer in a brick-and-mortar store.  I remember when Parallax and RadioShack had joined together and while the new availability had made it easier to get started with microcontrollers, the most common expression recalled is one of sadness at the general disarray of the parts cabinets.  Thankfully Microcenter seems to have done Sparkfun right.  Read on for my initial impressions of Microcenter’s offerings and a full review of my first Arduino kit, the Sparkfun Inventor’s Kit. (continue reading…)

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Reviews: WD TV Live Plus

by on Aug.26, 2011, under Hardware, Networking, Product Reviews

WD logo used with permission granted from wdc.com

In this post, I will review a recently acquired WD TV Live Plus purchased from Microcenter for around $100.  The quest was to find a media player solution that could read media from network shares and play them with minimal fuss.  Since this is going to be attached to the primary TV, it has to be “Girlfriend Approved” and easy to use.  I believe that the WD TV Live Plus fits this requirement adequately however the installation of the device could be easier.  Once done, the device is wonderful.  Read the full review after the break.

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Networking: Duplicating Drops in structured wiring

by on Jul.29, 2011, under Hardware, How-To's, Networking

Networking

Structured wiring in businesses and the enterprise are as expected as the sun shining and a regular paycheck, however in the home a structured wiring solution can be an unexpected gift from the Gods of Ethernet.  While structured wiring in an apartment complex is usually done central to a utility closet or shelf, sometimes the central point isn’t always convenient for your router or you find yourself needing to run multiple networks.  In this tutorial, I will show you how to turn one structured wiring drop into two drops for carrying two different network segments, something that can be of benefit should you ever need it. (continue reading…)

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CVS Netbook Revisited

by on Jul.25, 2011, under Embedded devices, Hardware, How-To's, Linux, Software

A few months ago, I posted a hardware teardown of the CVS Sylvania Netbook pictured above. After working with it and performing a lot of research on it, I promised a follow up article, and here it is.  To sum it all up, with a bit of modification to the software, a spare SD card and a lot of patience, you can actually turn this thing into a somewhat useful Linux device.  There’s also some improvements and suggestions to be had for improving the Windows CE side of things should you decide to continue using it in its default state.

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Building Snort and Nessus – Ubuntu IDS Part 3

by on May.20, 2011, under Hardware, How-To's, Linux, Security, Software

 

In this final article in the three part Ubuntu IDS series, we will go over installing, compiling and configuring Snort and Nessus on our new IDS device.  We will use Snort to analyze traffic as seen by the IDS and we will use Nessus to perform vulnerability testing on the network. The process for installing Snort will also cover installing SnortReport provided by Symmetrix Technologies so we can translate Snort’s cryptic messages into a more readable format that we can take action on.  Read on as we wrap up the installation and finish our IDS device.

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Setting up bonding networking -Ubuntu IDS Part 2

by on May.04, 2011, under Hardware, How-To's, Linux, Security, Software

In an earlier article, I demonstrated how you can build a passive monitoring device for an Ethernet network as the first part to a three part project to build a home IDS device.  In this article, the second in the series, I will describe how to set up the networking for an IDS using the passive tap that I built earlier.This setup will involve using a technique called bonding to take two physical interfaces and bond them together, creating a logical interface that we can use for Snort.  This article will also explain where is the best location to place the tap and what you can expect to see once the networking is set up using common Linux utilities like tcpdump.

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Build a Passive Ethernet Tap – Ubuntu IDS Part 1

by on Apr.06, 2011, under Hardware, How-To's, Linux, Security, Software

Image courtesy of forums.overclockers.co.uk

One of the things that the GCIA study has taught me is that being able to monitor the network your computer is on is a critical necessity to maintaining a secure network. Corporate environments can set up IDS devices to monitor traffic however monitoring doesn’t work unless you have proper connectivity to what you want to monitor. Unfortunately, most of us don’t have central wiring in our house and expensive managed switches that can set up span sessions with which to monitor traffic in transit.  In this HOWTO, I will cover how to build your own monitoring connection that you can use on your own network to monitor traffic without breaking the bank. This article is first in a three part series on how to build your own home IDS for monitoring your network traffic. Look for the other two sections soon!
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