NMAP Automation

After I retired from state government IT security work, I was surprised when I started as a federal contractor to see how many of the security practices that were common due to the state IT shoe string security budget also being prevalent in the federal space. One of those practices is paying security professionals to be copy and paste machines where the data being copied is the output of some security tool and the destination is an Excel spreadsheet. In the federal position, I worked with one of the Jira experts from the lead contract firm who automated ingestion of Continue reading NMAP Automation

Get The Scoop on Facebook Ads

I recently started getting inundated with ads for Lightroom presets and Photoshop overlays and actions when on Facebook. They all purport to be worth several hundred to over a thousand dollars in value. Intrigued by one ad offering $694 worth of these items for $19, I followed the link in the ad to a myshopify site where the price was actually listed as $29. I went back to Facebook to report the ad as misleading and during the process Facebook offered a menu option to review all ads by this advertiser. I clicked the link to view all of the Continue reading Get The Scoop on Facebook Ads

My New Favorite Pen

While I still enjoying writing with my fountain pen collection, I have found that I prefer the offerings from several pen manufacturers in their new Ultra Micro/Extra Fine point lines. The largest size I would consider in this line is the 0.38mm size. Here is a quick breakdown of my collection so far with my likes and nits about each along with links to Jet Pens. The Pentel 0.3mm EnerGel RTX Retractable – This pen is a needle tip style, which means the tip of the pen narrows drastically about 4mm before the tip. While I would assume the size Continue reading My New Favorite Pen

Ubuntu 18.04 Conversion of Physical Machine to Virtual

My AMD Athon – II system has been running as a LAMP server for over eight years at this point.  I think I probably started with 14.04 and most recently updated to Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver. Over time, I played with alternatives to Apache like Nginx and Lighttpd, but always seemed to end up going back to Apache.  With an eight year old system, I could sort of start to tell it was losing its ability to process the new larger images and render them quickly in netPhotoGraphics, formerly ZenPhoto 2.0, by Stephen Billard.  WordPress itself never seemed to complain, Continue reading Ubuntu 18.04 Conversion of Physical Machine to Virtual

Who is Emogene Floyd? LinkedIn intelligence gatherer? Russians? Chinese? Iranians?

Recently saw where a person decided to impersonate an employee of the company on LinkedIn, but something did not quite add up when the name was cross-referenced internally.  Some due diligence located a deceased person whose obituary photo had been usurped for the fake LinkedIn account.  Smart enough not to take the bait on my contact request, but lots of interesting log entries hitting this site without a valid vhost.   Lesson to be learned by the folks who accepted the contact requests, validate a supposed co-worker is actually an employee or contractor before accepting the request.  Trust, but verify, when using Continue reading Who is Emogene Floyd? LinkedIn intelligence gatherer? Russians? Chinese? Iranians?

Nigerian Grant Scammers

Originally a Facebook post and note. So a friend’s Facebook account got counterfeited (duplicated and made to look like her messenger account) and started contacting me over messenger. So I played along, while making contact with her via another comms channel to verify and let her know. Starts off simple enough; then there is a reference to some money via a grant. A quick Google turned up it was indeed fraud. So, I shared to link to my server in hopes they would follow it and let me see their source IP address. They took the bait and wouldn’t you Continue reading Nigerian Grant Scammers

Fixing Broken Mazda 5 Sliding Door Power Locks

I guess faulty power locks are in my blood.  After dealing the issue multiple times with my 2004 Pontiac Vibe (see blog posts), the same issue started with my 2012 Mazda 5 about six months ago.  This time the front door power locks are working fine.  The problem child is the driver side sliding rear door.  For a while it was hit miss and sometimes it would lock and other times not.  Finally, it just quit doing anything when either the key fob lock and unlock  or the internal front door lock and unlock buttons where hit.  While I would Continue reading Fixing Broken Mazda 5 Sliding Door Power Locks

HiFi $50 Headphones

Originally published 8Aug2014 updated below – I would have to call myself and audiophile from a pretty young age as my dad was always recording the band concerts and coming home and playing them on a decently high end stereo at the time.  My Dad and also had the pleasure of knowing Harry Grasser, a violinist, that would share some great classical LP pieces he had come across.  I ended up leaning toward early 80’s contemporary Jazz after growing up on Pop and southern Rock & Roll.  This was not from a dislike of those genres, but more of an escape. Continue reading HiFi $50 Headphones

Bike Brands and Conglomerates That Own Them

The list below was quickly assembled from Google and sourced back to the respective company website, but it should not be considered an exhaustive list.  I decided to put this list together to look at the bicycle market and how it seems like there are fewer choices in today’s market.  There is also the proposed tariffs here in the U.S. on the imported bicycles from overseas.  While this Bloomberg report covers that angle pretty well, you have to wonder what it means the American bicycle market.  Will the tariff make it much more expensive to pick up a kid’s BMX bike Continue reading Bike Brands and Conglomerates That Own Them

Canon Opportunity

I recently had the good fortune to come across an offering for some used Canon digital gear through my membership in the Photographic Society of the Triangle (Raleigh-Durham).  Based on the pricing, I knew the equipment would go fast.  So I acted quickly to get the first e-mail in stating that I wanted to purchase the gear.  Here is what I have ended up with after it was all said and done. 1. Canon EOS 5D Mark III 22.3 MP Full Frame CMOS with 1080p Full-HD Video Mode Digital SLR Camera (Body) 2. Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM Lens Continue reading Canon Opportunity