Archive for the 'Computers and stuff' Category

13
May
10

Jailbreaking the iPhone

How I Jailbroke my iPhone and installed full versions of free PIRATED apps using Wi-fi:

Disclaimer:

Firstly, The below mentioned steps are what I have personally performed on my phone and although I am sure they would work 99.99% of the time, please make sure to backup your phone using iTunes to have the option of restoring it, Just in case.

Secondly, I am not responsible for any tragedy that may befall your iPhone should things go wrong. So proceed at your own risk.

Thirdly, make sure you have the latest version of iTunes running and update the iPhone software to the latest available. At the time I performed these steps, I had OS 3.1.3 on my phone.

And Lastly, all images and links are used without permission, and if any of them are your copyrighted material, please, please don’t sue me. ūüôā

I exchanged my phone with sis, iPhone for Corby Pro, not a bad deal. It wasn’t just because I badly wanted the iPhone, but seeing it being used to make and take calls, browse the internet and take pictures was kinda painful,¬†considering¬†the vast possibilities that IS the iPhone. So, barely a week after I first laid my hands on it, I bring you this:

There are 4 steps to jailbreaking the iPhone and installing free Apps, so I have explained them in as much detail as possible with screenshots, hope it helps:

1. Jailbreak iPhone using Spirit (This automatically installs Cydia as an App on the phone)
РDownload Spirit for your OS from the link :  http://spiritjb.com/
– Connect the iPhone to your computer with the USB cable and once it is detected, launch Spirit from the PC
– If you are using Windows Vista or above, make sure to change the Compatibility mode of Spirit.exe to Windows98/ME mode by right-clicking it, then click Properties>Compatibility:
– Also, to launch Spirit.exe, right-click and select Run as Administrator.
– You would get a screen that looks something like this: (The screenshot is for iPad, but it’s more or less the same!)
– Click on “Jailbreak” button and after a few minutes, you will get a “Jailbreak Succeeded” screen:
– You may click on “Quit” to close Spirit on the ¬†PC, in the meanwhile, your iPhone will restart automatically.
– Once Booted up, you will get the Cydia icon in your App list like so:
Note:
* Beyond this point, the iPhone requires to be connected to a Wifi internet connection.
* Also, before you proceed to start installing any App using Cydia, be sure to install at least one App from the Apple AppStore, whether Free or Paid does not matter. You will get an error when opening Cydia unless you have done this.

2. Add http://cydia.hackulo.us as a source in Cydia
– Open Cydia from the iPhone and you will get a similar screen
– Click on the “Manage” option at the bottom and you will see the following screen.
– Click “Sources” and once opened, you will get an option to “ADD” a source from the Edit option
– Add the link http://cydia.hackulo.us”, this will throw a “Moral” disclaimer, but if you’ve come this far, I¬†don’t think there’s any turning back. ūüėõ
– Once added, you will get “Hackulo.us” in the Source list
3. Install Installous
– Click on the “Hackulo.us” source and look for Installous
– Select the option to install the App
– Once installed, you will get the Installous icon in your App list
4. Install cracked Apps using Installous
On opening Installous, you will get a menu similar to that of the Apple AppStore where apps are categorized. You can search for apps or simply install whatever you want.
РInstallous uses free file-sharing websites (Rapidshare/Mediafire/AppScene, etc) to download and install cracked IPA files, hence some links may require you to wait for a few seconds for the download link, some may require you to enter Characters for security, and yet others may not work at all, but then again, not all Torrent files work either, right.
– Pirates can’t be choosers! ūüėõ
– I haven’t gotten around to getting the screen-shots on how to use Installous, but if required, I shall post them soon enough.
– There are other guides on how to manually download the cracked IPA files and install it on the iPhone using USB cable without the need for a WiFi connection, haven’t explored that feature as yet. This works fine for me.
– Also, if you ARE able to make use of this guide, please do let me know.
References:
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09
Jan
10

Surfing with the phishes

Social Engineering

Defined as “the clever manipulation of the natural human tendency to trust”, especially when the “thing” in question is so friggin’ tempting and all it takes is one click of a mouse button. Wiki describes it a bit more elaborately as “the act of¬†manipulating people into performing actions or divulging confidential information.” Either way, it’s still one of the biggest threats people face while being online.

Long before internet came to Mizoram, there were instances of “primitive” social engineering in the form of snail mail. I remember my late Gramps following up on Reader’s Digests’ assurance of winning some Lakhs if he regularly renews his subscription. It was not such a bad deal, the magazine made a good read, and he didn’t really mind renewing, but unknowingly he was prey to the Magazine’s cleverly¬†concocted scheme to keep their customers’ loyalty. Sure, he didn’t win the huge pile of cash, but I don’t think anybody did, and the disappointment of not winning was forgotten with time. The good ‘ol days… *sigh!

Now the landscape has changed, with most of the educated self-respecting population being net-savvy, access to the internet is fast and easily available, be it from the local cybercafes, home connections, GPRS, piggy-backing on random WLANs, etc. But it also brings evil-doers closer to home, and net users can no longer be ignorant about the looming threats anymore. It is, as has always been, the survival of the fittest.

Phishing

The time I created my first email account, it was exciting to receive emails, didn’t really mattered who’d sent it or where it came from. Each email was read carefully from top to bottom, even if it didn’t mean anything. More than 10 years on and I’m still using the same email address. I get more spams than readable emails, its like looking for primes in a sea of odd numbers, more so because of my earlier rampant browsing habits (Mostly involves clicking anything that moves and providing information to any form that asks for it!). I guess my old ways are finally catching up with me!

Phishers use cleverly designed emails to lure users into their traps. The first thing they need to establish is your Trust, which is usually done by displaying a valid company logo, your name in the Subject, sending it from a valid First and Last name, etc. Here are 2 such examples, one taken from the internet and the latter from my inbox:

Another way to lure unsuspecting victims is by exploiting something which we all know too well. Money and Porn. The two things that makes us human deep down, no matter how much we may hide behind our carefully crafted facade. We may have been tamed by civilization, but we are still animals, social or not. Enough non-tech for now! The following examples are a clear indication that there are no boundaries, morals or shameful, no stone left unturned by malicious-users to get what they want:

So the next time you open your email, even from a well known friend requesting you to view his/her video, pic, etc or someone offers you money online, check and double-check the link you are about to click. When viruses/spywares/trojans etc. get on the computer, users usually deny ever having attached an infected pen drive, clicking on pop-ups, browsing Porn, etc, but that is history. What kind of a Virus-coder would I be if my creations are easily detected. The moment you plug-in your USB drive, or even when you click on you C:/D: etc, there is an Autorun file which always gets executed in the background, unless you Disable Autorun ! And that is just one of the zillion ways you get infected.

Mum always said that life is all about the choices we make, and that is what makes us who we are. We have the power of Freewill, but it is of no use without knowledge. But now we can have all the information we need, so whenever you are in doubt, don’t bing it, Google!

List of pictures used without permission:

20
Nov
09

Passwords and more.

With the advent of the internet and computerization changing the way we look at just about anything including the way we buy groceries, we, in our virtually pampered lives, become overwhelmed with numbers and letters and alphanumeric sequences to remember so that theft of our vulnerable virtual identity may be averted. Before the telephone, came the intercom in the small quarters of the hospital where we lived. All it took to remember a contact number was 3 numbers, ours was 243, short and simple. Then came the telephone which created the necessity for a whole book of numbers, of course, the special ones were still remembered.

Years passed and Dial-up connection came to India. It was a revolution when it hit Aizawl. People were exchanging email addresses, carrying Floppy drives and 4-inch thick laptops were considered “hip” at the time. Sitting for an hour at the local Cybercafe costed Rs.100 or more, but it was technologically advanced so nobody cared. The connection speed was so slow that viruses were never a problem cos’ the bandwidth just did not support the download of anything beyond Kilobytes in size, and the constant DCs (Or disconnected for the younger generations) didn’t help much. mIrc was the biggest craze and was the medium where friends (and a couple of non-friends) from all over the country communicated over the now mostly forgotten “Aizawlchat”, one of the biggest Mizo chatroom ever. Since the software hardly required anything beyond 56Kbps, it was the perfect cyberstorm.

Then came broadband. It’s amazing how higher bandwidth has changed the way we look at the internet and the world. In a timespan as short as the life of Windows ME, came ATMs, lower Cybercafe rates, faster money transfer etc. In my 1st year in college, my folks had to send money through Wire transfers which sometimes took more than a week through SBIs (No Offense, Enga!), and later through Money Orders which, at least reliably, took about a week. Now, it happens at the click of a mouse, one-minute transfers.

Coming back to the topic, with technology and convenience always comes inconvenience. ATM cards, Email addresses, Online accounts, Company accounts, need i say more? There is so much we have to remember for the sake of security. ATM pins, although 4-digits, I think, are the most easy to forget. So if you have more than one account, you would probably keep a common number so that its easier for you to remember. Then you’d forget which easy number you had kept, was it your Birthday, anniversary, gf/bfs bday, vehicle number? Then like a sequel to a badly overdone slasher movie, different accounts kept coming.

Facebook, Orkut, Yahoo, Mi(sual), MySpace, Hi5, Tagged and a whole lotta other mail websites, all requiring you to remember your username and password. You’d use the same password and username on all, but you stand the chance of your identity being hacked, or so some Security websites would say. In a way, I think we, as Mizos are lucky cos’ we can use our language as passwords, which no algorithm in the world would be able to crack, kinda like the “Windtalkers”, if you would.

The worst criteria for passwords is in the corporate environments. They have a friggin’ requirement for a password! Take my company for example (Which I think is same in most companies, knowing Windows server environment!) The password would have to be more than 8 characters long, should contain a letter in Uppercase, a special character like !@#$%^&*, should not be the last one you used, should not contain your name, etc. And better still, you’d have to change your password every 30-60 days for security purposes, like creating and remembering one password is not easy enough.

So, being in the industry for well over 2 years, I’ve learnt to work around the glitch. Here’s how:
1. Make your password easy to remember (Duh!) like “Summer1!”(Notice the uppercase S)… that works.
2. Then the next time you are asked to change the password, change it to “Summer2@” (You get 2@ easily by pressing 2+Shift2) or “Summer2!”
3. Then the sequence follows as usual
4. It’s no rocket science and still isn’t as easy to remember, but it’ll do.

So finally, in a virtual world where people rip off others by pretending to offer them a Million Dollars (Or less), and yet there are still victims who are gullible enough (or plain ignorant!) to take the bait and provide their personal online information only to be duped of any amount they are willing to part with, I guess online security is one of the most important things that we need education on right now. Phishers are out in search of “phish” meat and with older and, not offensively but, virtually less-educated friends/family members surfing the internet, I guess its the duty of us, Generation X,Y,Z whatever to help them differentiate the real from the unreal (No matter how reluctant they may accept your goodwill). In the virtual world, not everyone is who they seem to be in reality, including me! Beware!

So, with CyberSecurity in mind (and totally not being swollen-headed!), please check out the video from Symantec about the (pretty impressive tho’) tool used by hackers, how they parade their conquests without fear online, dealing in malicious softwares like it was eBay on crack. You simply have to check out the part where he hacks into the XP computer from his server, it could happen to anyone, aaaannyyooonnee!! We now have a connection speed more than 10 times what we had 5 years ago, but we must remember:

With great bandwidth comes great responsibility!

09
Jul
09

Life, Computers and everything else

I recently upgraded my computer. The old one I had been using was from 2003. It had 128mbRAM and an Intel Celeron 1.7Ghz which me and my roomie had collectively purchased for 21,000/-. It seemed a pretty good deal at the time. Who would’ve thought computer prices were going to reduce so drastically.

I upgraded the Motherboard to an Asus M3* series with in-built 512mb Nvidia Graphics, AMD PhenomII Tri-core and 2GB of RAM. It cost me 17,500/- after a lot of bargaining. Pretty good deal, I think!¬†I didn’t change the cabinet or the SMPS, that will be upgraded later with the RAM (READ: No more funds).

I got a few games and have kinda been addicted all over again. Also, I started playing Mafia wars on Facebook exactly 2 days back and I’ve been hooked ever since. (I knew it was a bad idea!).¬†I heard it was addictive but didn’t think I¬†would be much of a victim. Now, all I think about is increasing my energy so that I can do more jobs, get more money, fight more gangsters.. etc etc.. I need a life!

Last night, I was with Lara, exploring Mexican Jungles to find Thor’s Belt located beneath Aztec ruins, while fighting off cougars and poachers. Before that, I parkour-ed my way around rooftops with Faith, dodging cops and bullets to deliver messages¬†in the new and realistic game “Mirror’s Edge”. It was 3:30am when I finally slept and had to get up¬†before 10am to be in time for work.¬†We’ve really come a long way from playing Pong on Atari¬†and Mario, Battle Tanks, Zelda etc. on Nintendo. Not to mention flying kites, riding BMXs and making Parachutes from Polythene bags tied to stones.

I guess in a way, I kinda felt our generation had experienced the best there is. Today, kids aren’t so safe outside as back then. No hills to fly kites, only rooftops. Novels are discarded for serials, movies and sit-coms, suppressing imagination. Information is available at the press of a button, when we had to actually “Research” on something to find relevant data (Gives a whole new meaning to the word, doesn’t it?).

And song lyrics!! Man! I’m sure many of you remember those famous YEARBOOKS. I never owned one,¬†but borrowed a few. There was this guy at school who would manage to get lyrics of the latest songs, and that was a big thing back then. Imagine my excitement the first time I got online and found www.lyrics.com ( Back then, I thought the internet was kinda like, if you want something, prefix www. and add .com at the end! That was how I managed to get to www.drewbarrymore.com, who was my fav. actress!)

Speaking of Fav. actresses reminds me of those Slam Books, especially the Hand-Made ones. Then, there was the Green Bag, Man!! Were we lame back then!!¬†I think school was just an endless plethora of one Fad followed by another, some even simultaneously co-existing in tandem. Here’s the list of Fads I’m sure some of you have gone through:

1. Wearing school sweaters, even on a hot summers day

2. Playing marbles on school grounds

3. Terrorizing kids playing marbles on school grounds

4. Buying Alu-chop/Momo as side-dish for lunch

5. Hairep + Vur / Alu + Papawr / Vai pa Mix

6. Sucking Acid from the tie-tip while in class

7. Exchanging comics / game catridges

8. Beef soup after school.. etc etc.. 

Life was so much simpler back then… Guess I’m showing signs of growing old. Oh well..

15
Apr
09

Sadowac the internet ?

I was researching on some issue about malwares and viruses for troubleshooting a customers computer when I came across a Polish website. Conveniently, Google had the option to “Translate this page..” for the only approriate search result I could find. So, I obviously clicked on it and it brought me to the following page (You would probably have to enlarge the picture to read the text):

sadowac

I’m not trying to be an asshole or anything, Google has made me a smarter man, but I find it extremely hilarious cos’ I don’t think neither the Poles nor the English-speaking community would be able to make much sense of some of the translated sentences.¬†

PS:¬†¬†This is a Guilty-Post, cos’ I haven’t been thinking much lately yet I feel guilty for not having anything to post. I think the summer heat is getting to my head, it’s too hot to think of anything else but heat.. Can’t wait for the rains.. no matter how acid they may come.. ūüôā

21
Feb
09

Update!

I haven’t been able to add a post for quite a while now. As it turns out (and the people who said this were right!) it’s actually harder than one thinks to be able to add a¬†new post regularly. Anyways, we were busy with the Pune Mizo website and the launch. We will be officially launching it on the 23rd Feb¬†at the celebration of Chapchar Kut ’08, although unofficially it has been up and running for about a week now.¬† You can visit the site here.

The website is designed using WordPress 2.7.1 and hosted on¬†Godaddy.com.¬†We are, although, facing issues with the “Server error” which I guess resolves itself on waiting for a minute or two. But its pretty frequent and I can’t seem to find out whats causing it. I created a web.config file on the root directory with the following code:

<?xml version=”1.0″?>
<configuration>
 
  <system.web>
¬†¬†¬† <customErrors mode=”Off” />
  </system.web>
 
</configuration>

I’m really not sure if that’s correct, but I know nothing about ASP.NET.

Boring stuff apart, I will be more regular in my posts now, with a few film reviews, thoughts and rants and photography too.. So Best of luck to me!

23
Jan
09

Formats

A wise man once said that with too many different formats of different files in the world of technology nowadays, its headed for a breakdown. I second the motion. I’ve spent a majority for my virtual life trying to convert files from one format to the other. From .PDFs to .DOCs and then back to .PDFs. Documents are alright, as long as you can make out the text, you can always find a way to copy it somehow onto your desired software using the Copy-Paste function. But what about media, music, videos, pictures? It’s going ¬†to be one hell of a problem, not that it hasn’t been already.

I was trying to put this video form Youtube onto my phone, which does not accept anything other than .3gp files.¬† I downloaded the video using the Youtube downloader onto my computer, it was a .flv file, what it stands for, I guess only the developers would know. Then I had to download another software to convert that to a .3gp file, and finally I was able to view it on my mobile. (BTW, the software is called ImToo 3gp converter software for anyone who wants to know!). So, conversion is the only option, and anyone with enough expertise with file formats would be able to tell you why your¬†.wav audio files¬†don’t play¬†on your phones, unless its¬†.mp3 enabled, which would require you to convert your .wav audio files to .mp3 files….. whew..

I’d like to think that one day, they would run out of 3 letter extensions for the different files, and that they would have to¬†start using 4 letter extensions for files. For example, there are so many extension for picture files, .bmp, .jpg, .png, .gif, .pcd, .pcx… etc etc.. and there are more for the audio files, .wav, .aac., . mp3, .mp4., .wmv and much more for video files..¬† and so on..

Apart from all the different formats, there are diferent ports to add to the confusion.¬†I was trying to transfer the pictures from a Sony Digicam to the computer, but I wasn’t able to find the cable, so I thought the samsung digicam cable would be as good, only to discover that it wouldn’t even fit in the goddamn hole. I was frustrated. Why can’t they make standards, like for battery cells? They fit in your remote control for the TV, VCR and the wall clock! No conversion required. Makes life so much more simple, doesn’t it? I guess i’m bound to spend half my life converting one format to the other, just because its easier for the manufacturers to have their own formats, so that they can profit not just from the files, but for the converter software that their files require.