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Find Out If Your WebSite Blocked In China Or Not

Internet censorship in the People's Republic of China is conducted under a wide variety of laws and administrative regulations. In accordance with these laws, more than sixty Internet regulations have been made by the People's Republic of China (PRC) government, and censorship systems are vigorously implemented by provincial branches of state-owned ISPs, business companies, and organizations.

The Golden Shield Project is part of what is sometimes known outside of mainland China as the Great Firewall of China. It is used to block and filter out many websites. So how do you find out if your website is blocked by the Great Firewall of China?

China Channel Firefox Add-on

You can use China Channel Firefox add-on to find out if your website is blocked or not. You can experience the censored Chinese internet at home. From the project webpage:

The Firefox add-on China Channel offers internet user outside China to surf the web as if they were in China. Take an unforgetable virtual trip to China and experience the technical expertise of the Chinese Ministry of Information Industry (supported by western companies). It's open source, free and easy.

Install China Channel Firefox Add-on

Grab add-on here

Install and restart Firefox.

Click on Tools > China Channel > Manage Proxies To setup proxy > Click on the OK button in the popup window to finalize the installation process.

Fig.01: China Channel Firefox Add-on

Fig.01: China Channel Firefox Add-on

Select "CHINA CHANNEL" and click "GO", you will get connected through a random proxy server in China now.

Fig.02: China Channel Firefox Welcome Screen

Fig.02: China Channel Firefox Welcome Screen

Now can browse net via china based proxy server. Try to visit your website and see if it is blocked or not:

Fig.03: The Great Firewall of China in Action

Fig.03: The Great Firewall of China in Action

Get Free CodeWeavers CrossOver License

Codeweavers Logo

CodeWeavers is a company that sells a proprietary version of Wine called CrossOver, for running Windows applications on Mac OS X and Linux. The Codeweavers "Great American Lame Duck Presidential Challenge" has ended as average gasoline prices in the Twin Cities to $2.79 a gallon. You can download full unlocked version for Mac or Linux.

The goals focused on President Bush making specific positive accomplishments in areas such as the economy, home values, the stock market, the war on terror and other key issues. Specifically, one goal called for President Bush to help bring down prices.

According to wikipedia:

On October 14, gas prices in Minneapolis and St. Paul did just that (2.79 a gallon). Codeweavers were true to their word, and on October 28, a combination of Slashdot and Digg took down their website as people rushed to get the free software. According to Codeweavers, "You will be able to unlock your serial number that was emailed to you for an extended time, (an additional 48 hours), due to this downtime.

Direct download links

For Tuesday, October 28, 2008 only, they are putting up fully unlocked builds:

Download Of The Day: GIMP 2.6 For Linux / Windows / Mac OS X

GIMP version 2.6 has been released and available for download. It is a free raster graphics editor used to manipulate digital graphics and photographs under Linux and other operating systems. It is often used as a free software replacement for Adobe Photoshop, the most widely used bitmap editor.

What's new in GIMP v2.6

Major revisions in interface and tools were made available with the 2.6.0 release in 2008. There is a bigger changes in UI, free select tool and brush tools. Lesser changes in code and partial, tool level, provide higher color depths and even non-destructive editing. See Gimp release note for more information.

Fig.01: GIMP 2.6 running on Linux (credit GIMP project)

Fig.01: GIMP 2.6 running on Linux (credit GIMP project)

Download Gimp 2.6 for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X

Download of the day: Firefox 3.0.3 (All platforms)

Didn't take long to release new version.

Firefox version 3.0.3 has been released. This version fix the known issues and brings stability to product.

New in Firefox 3.0.3

a) Fixed a problem where users were unable to retrieve saved passwords or save new passwords

b) Fixed several security issues.

c) Fixed several stability issues.

d) Fixed several hangs and crashes that occurred when using screen readers.

e) Fixed Mac-specific issues and much more.

Download Firefox 3.0.3

Grab latest version here.

Security Alert: How To Stop Firefox Clickjacking Exploit Attack

Really scary exploit attack in wild, which affects all browsers under any desktop operating systems including MS IE, Linux, Apple safari, Opera, Firefox and Adobe flash. Any website that uses CSS, flash and IFRAME (used to serve ads) can be used to attack on end users. Attacker is able to take control of the links that your browser visits. From the article:

In a nutshell, it’s when you visit a malicious website and the attacker is able to take control of the links that your browser visits. The problem affects all of the different browsers except something like lynx. The issue has nothing to do with JavaScript so turning JavaScript off in your browser will not help you. It’s a fundamental flaw with the way your browser works and cannot be fixed with a simple patch. With this exploit, once you’re on the malicious web page, the bad guy can make you click on any link, any button, or anything on the page without you even seeing it happening.

According to victims on several Web forums, the attack is coming from Adobe Flash-based advertising on legitimate sites — including Newsweek, Digg and MSNBC.com.

How do I stop Clickjacking under Firefox?

There are two solutions.

Option #1: Disable everything

Disable scripting and plugins such as flash and others for the time being under Firefox (except adblock plus or no-script plugin). I've no idea how to do this under IE or other browsers. Under Firefox clock on Tools > Add-ons > Select each plugin and disable it.

Fig.01: Disable scripting and plugins

Fig.01: Disable scripting and plugins

Shutdown browser. Next, remove Adobe flash from system using apt-get or from your directory. If firefox 3 installed at /opt/firefox/, change directory to /opt/firefox/plugins:
# cd /opt/firefox/plugins
Delete flash and other plugins files:
# rm *
This should work for other browsers too.

Option #2: Use Noscript To Stop Attack

Download latest version of NoScript firefox plugin. NoScript for Firefox pre-emptively blocks malicious scripts and allows JavaScript, Java and other potentially dangerous content only from sites you trust. Once installed restar firefox. Click on NoScript icon located on bottom right status bar > Select options > Click on Forbid [IFRAME] > Ok

Fig.01: Mitigation for Clickjacking under Firefox with NoScript Plugin

Fig.02: Mitigation for Clickjacking under Firefox with NoScript Plugin

Bonus option # 3: Use lynx

Lynx and other text based browsers are not affected by this exploit. Lynx is a free open-source, text-only Web browser. Recent version works under Mac OS X, All versions of Windows and UNIX like operating systems. You install lynx using apt-get or yum command:
# apt-get install lynx
# yum install lynx

Further readings:

  1. More info about clickjacking
  2. NoScript plugins
  3. Clickjacking demo / proof of concept demo (warning it will hijack your clipboard, to stop just close browser.)
  4. Clickjacking: Researchers raise alert for scary new cross-browser exploit

Track Stolen Laptop / Mac With Free Open Source Adeona Software

With the growing ubiquity of, and user reliance on, mobile computing devices (laptops, PDAs, smart phones, etc.), loss or theft of a device is increasingly likely, disruptive, and costly.

Adeona is the first Open Source system for tracking the location of your lost or stolen laptop that does not rely on a proprietary, central service. This means that you can install Adeona on your laptop and go -- there's no need to rely on a single third party. What's more, Adeona addresses a critical privacy goal different from existing commercial offerings. It is privacy-preserving. This means that no one besides the owner (or an agent of the owner's choosing) can use Adeona to track a laptop. Unlike other systems, users of Adeona can rest assured that no one can abuse the system in order to track where they use their laptop.

This looks good solution but if thief wipe the hard drive at first boot then this software will not help you. If your laptop carries sensitive data encrypt it with software.

Download Adeona

Click here to download open source Adeona software for Mac OS X, Linux and Windows operating systems (via Linux.com)

Book Review: Mac OS X for Unix Geeks

Mac OS X is the successor to the original Mac OS, which had been Apple's primary operating system since 1984. Unlike its predecessors, Mac OS X is a Unix-based operating system built on technology that had been developed at NeXT through the second half of the 1980s until Apple purchased the company in early 1996.
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