Friday, July 27, 2007

tekArtist has moved to a new host

tekArtist has moved. Please update your bookmarks to
You can find more details about the move in the related blog post. The FeedBurner feed that was and still is associated with the present pages has been updated to point to the new site location, and is therefore accurate.

I do not intend to delete my blogger account, or remove the pages in this blog, as external sites are pointing to some of the entries and I quite believe in permalinks. So, the pages will be up as long as Blogger doesn't decide to purge them from their DB. :)

Cheers, and here's to seeing you on the other side.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Sand, sun and RFID?

From the source article, via Slashdot:

Ocean City, New Jersey is a nice, family-oriented beach that will apparently soon be the high-tech model for seashore lovers and now perhaps geeks everywhere. The city has on its plate a $3 million variety of public services on tap featuring Internet access and radio-frequency identification chips (RFID) and Wi-Fi wireless technology.

Usually, when I go to the beach, it's not to be "in range"... Although, for those whose offices are in walking distance of the beach, it's a dream come true! Nothing than a good old cantenna couldn't achieve before, in the latter context, but even better.

On a related note, here is the definition of self-control: seeing your neighbours discarding a portable satellite dish, picking it up to convert it in a wi-fi extender, then putting it back because you just know you don't actually need it.

Monday, July 23, 2007

OpenMoko teaser video

See embedded video below for a teaser of the FIC Neo 1973 running OpenMoko.

I even like the soundtrack they chose, and they also have more OpenMoko related videos on their dedicated Youtube account. Must... Fight... Urge... And wait until October for the consumer version. Not enough time on my hands to involve myself as a developer unfortunately, but once again, it wouldn't be the first time I say this and fall for it later on. ;)

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Oh my, that's a lot of porn accounts...

Since I was addressing poor online business ethics in my last post, I might as well touch the following, as it came up while I was browsing the upcoming security stories thread on Digg.

I was googling my online trail recently, and was quite stirred that the nickname I use on a lot of online communities started showing up as a registered user of a number of social-networking-flavoured porn sites. Most of them pumping out (pardon the analogy) long lists of sites and videos one allegedly features on their profile as interesting, à la Digg et al.

I thought someone else was simply using the same moniker, but the following article and its author might just have provided me with some valuable insight: Why are my picture and name showing up on porn sites without my permission?

Thankfully, this seems limited to the user name for now, and my real name isn't returning such search results. But it is definitely of interest to me professionally, since McGill does have, and is looking forward to further develop, people pages. We will definitely have to take this trend in consideration in the upcoming incarnation of the software and content.

First Facebook worm[-ish behaviour]?

A friend of mine supposedly sent me a Facebook-based invite for an FB app called Advanced Wall. It came as a notification in FB and prompted me to retrieve a message from my contact by adding the app to my profile.

'k, I bite, since I'm in Facebook-API-craze mode for work and fun anyway and get the following, as allegedly written by my friend:

Check this out!

It's an Advanced Wall!

You can change colors, sizes, fonts, add smilies, pictures, videos and a lot more...


Odd.. Especially from the supposed author...

First, I was just curious to know if they are using tinyMCE for the advanced editor, like WordPress and co. Evidently, I dig a bit deeper, and fire up Firebug, which as a complete aside is the most amazing piece of software. I use it everyday, and am still baffled by how efficient and powerful it all is.

So, the Javascript doesn't look familiar and the editor's iframe goes to, a domain which strangely enough doesn't respond under or, and just redirects to the app's description inside FB (as of 2007-07-22, ~1 AM).


Head off the the terminal: whois tells me the domain is registered to a more than likely fine fellow from the Russian Federation, which in and of itself doesn't really imply anything.

But that's when I start noticing the ads in multiple locations around the Advanced Wall's WYSIWYG editor. Text ads, subtly placed in the telling Facebook colour scheme. Blockbuster, icon sets, the usual.

So on to my friend's profile I go, and what do you know? What do I see on his wall, with no other message than:

Check this out!

It's an Advanced Wall!

You can change colors, sizes, fonts, add smilies, pictures, videos and a lot more...


Really? And it's coming from someone else in my contact's own friend list...

Next: Facebook » Profile » Applications » Edit » Remove


This all said, I haven't gotten a reply from my friend yet on if he actually sent the invite in the first place (it's late, and the invite was sent at 11:59pm), so maybe I'm just seeing things and outta get to bed. I'll post an update here when I know more. Call me traumatized by another friend's experience. ;P See update below.

Personally, I'm not sure I'm willing to go for this one anyway. Best case scenario, it's gonna be MySpace all over again...

And if by any chance you receive an invite for Advanced Wall from me, you'll at least know how it did not get there: Not-by-my-click.

Update (20:45): Well, it seems that my friend is a surprised as I was. Although he did see an option to invite his friends, he is fairly sure he canceled. Yet, the app seems to have propagated itself to his contact list. He also had the same reaction as I with the dubious first message template, and brought to light an error message he received from the app stating "there are still glitches we're working on with the facebook team". So worm[-ish]? Questionable interaction design? Buggy app? Plain old bad taste? I'm not a security expert by any stretch, so I'll hold off on the labeling, but as a software developer, I say: none for me, thanks.