Sunday, 30 December 2012

Disabling ebay auto-suggest easily and permanently using adblock

Ebay search auto suggest sucks, it is completely broken, often screwing up my typing searches, replacing words without my permission.  It is not all that useful and deserves a bullet in the brain.

There is a option to disable it "Hide eBay suggestions", but it is only cookie based and session dependent.  Not good enough.

Here is how to get rid of it for ever using adblock for good!
Add this line to your adblock plus block list: ""

If you don't have adblock you can certainly add the same domain to your hosts file, there is plenty of resourced on the inter-webs to show you how.

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Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Privacy Risk on new website First and Last Name in Cleartext

The new website has been released with much fanfare but the creaters of the website have now decided to embed the users first name and last name on most pages visited.  The test is delivered under plain http and can easily be captured over the air or wire using Wireshark.

Steps to replicate:
  1. Login to with correct credentials
  2. Navigate to he home page
  3. Hover the mouse to the top left hand corner under the "G'Day <First Name>"
  4. Be greeted with a hover over panel with <First Name> <Last Name> in plain sight.

Conducting a Wireshark trace illustrates the issue.  A sting search in packet details for GH_alertData will display the first / last name.

Why is this bad:
Potentially a hacker can gain easy access to your first, last name and ebay id and use this info to produce a phishing email or collect this data for further attacks.

Where can this happen:
The most likely place for this to happen is over an unencrypted wireless network, i.e at the airport or the cafe.  Wired networks are also vulnerable.

What can ebay do:
Secure their website by using the https protocol for the entire website.

What else sucks:
On a internet connection that can stall, i.e 3G/wifi, the hover function can time out and throw up the message, "We're sorry, there was a problem retrieving this information".  Now the user can easily log out without refreshing the page.
Sidejack friendly...

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Sunday, 16 December 2012

How to get rid of the Banner 'media contains digital photos' downloads bluetooth linux mate for ever [solved]

When I look in my SD card, caja throws up a stupid blue banner saying "The media contains digital photos"

Not entirely sure.  Related to gthumb-import.desktop, which has the text "Import with gThumb" which is in /usr/share/applications/gthumb-import.desktop
Nothing in mateconf-editor to tweak as well.  Bad coding...
Uninstalling  gthumb and any other image program got rid of the banner, but that is not desirable.

Open/create the file /home/$USER/.local/share/applications/mimeapps.list and add these lines (reference

[Removed Associations]

then update the mime database and killall instances of caja
sudo update-mime-database /usr/share/mime
pkill caja

Do not get happy and try modifying /usr/share/applications/mimeinfo.cache as it will get overwritten without warning.

Had a similar problem with the Downloads directory, same stupid blue banner again, "Personal File Sharing", "You can receive files over Bluetooth into this folder".
This time I uninstalled the bluetooth sharing agent:
and did another pkill caja

in mateconf-editor the key /desktop/mate/file_sharing/bluetooth_obexpush_enabled looks suspicious

To all the retards that want these helpful hints, download Ubuntu please or better yet, purchase Windows / Mac OS.

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Saturday, 15 December 2012

Creating a custom montitor configuration in mate Linux laptop that sitcks!

One laptop and one external monitor.
The laptop screen is the primary monitor (LVDS1)
The external monitor is the secondary monitor, orientated left (HDMI1)

When the lid of the laptop is put down and then raised, the screens do not retain resolution settings and does either one of the following:
Laptop LCD off
Laptop LCD resolution wrong
External monitor rotated back to normal instead of orientated left.

Why this is happening:

It seems that there are too many things that can cause the screen resolution to change, including ACPI daemon, mate screensaver,  Too many cooks spoil the broth....

The manual solution is to unplug the HDMI cable and lower and raise the lid and then plug HDMI back in.  Not good enough.

Control freak Solution:
First get your screen setup right, use the 'mate-display-properties' to get your resolution and orientation correct.

Then open 'mateconf-editor' and tweak these settings:
apps/mate-power-manager/buttons  lid_ac = nothing
This will now prevent your system form changing your monitor settings on your behalf.

In a command line as a normal user excute the xrandr command.

Screen 0: minimum 320 x 200, current 2266 x 1440, maximum 8192 x 8192
LVDS1 connected 1366x768+0+327 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 344mm x 193mm
   1366x768       60.0*+
   1360x768       59.8     60.0 
   1024x768       60.0 
   800x600        60.3     56.2 
   640x480        59.9 
VGA1 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
HDMI1 connected 900x1440+1366+0 left (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 410mm x 256mm
   1440x900       59.9*+   75.0 
   1280x1024      75.0     60.0 
   1280x960       60.0 
   1152x864       75.0 
   1024x768       75.1     70.1     60.0 
   832x624        74.6 
   800x600        72.2     75.0     60.3     56.2 
   640x480        72.8     75.0     66.7     60.0 
   720x400        70.1 
DP1 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis

translating from the xrandr output, a single line command to reset the screen to the desired dimension can be found:

xrandr --output LVDS1 --mode 1366x768 --rotate normal --output HDMI1 --mode 1440x900 --rotate left --right-of LVDS1

Now at this stage, depending on your situation, you can 'hardcode' you configuration into your system and make it stick OR crate a xrandr script that is manually activated.

looking in /etc/acpi/events/lidbtn shows that the script /etc/acpi/
 is called when the lid button is activated

# /etc/acpi/events/lidbtn
# Called when the user closes or opens the lid

event=button[ /]lid

Having a look in the last line of /etc/acpi/ yeilds this:

[ -x /etc/acpi/local/ ] && /etc/acpi/local/

This file, if exists is excututed when the lis switch is activated.  Note that this file does not exist by default, so it needs to be made.

sudo mkdir /etc/acpi/local/
sudo touch

add this to the file

#! /bin/sh
xrandr --output LVDS1 --mode 1366x768 --rotate normal --pos 0x327 --output HDMI1 --mode 1440x900 --rotate left --pos 1366x0 --right-of LVDS1

then make it excutable:
sudo chmod +x

Test to see if the lid closing and opening changes the screen setup.


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caja Mint 14 mounting /media/user udisks2

New behavior in Mint 14, flash drives, usb drives now mount in /media/$USER/$DEVICE

Caused by the udisks2.  Cannot remove udisks 2 easily because the rest of the system relies on it.

A lot of people are angry about the lack of documentation associated with this major change and rightfully so.

It is still not clearly illustrated why the writer of udisks2 has decided to change the way we look at out personal filesystems but there are a few options.

Fight it:
(use google translate)
Create several symlinks each session, ugly...

Roll with it:
Disable caja from automounting, as it still defaults to /media/$DEVICE
run, mateconf-editor -> search for keys called automount -> disable automounting

Although there are changes to the filesystem, it still works.  Users have th be cautious upgrading their systems as torrent clients and VM on other partitions cannot be found straight away.

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The future of free software - Conspiracy theory

It it difficult to believe that Linux coders are secretly being employed by propriety software companies with intentions to deliberately screw up Linux.  What laws are there to stop an individual or company from practicing in such acts?

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Getting PDW working using Virtualbox with linux host, pager decoder, pocsag

PWD is a great program for decoding pager tones, but it works only on windows.

If you are using virtualbox for windows on a Linux Host and have the group permissions set correctly, then you can decode from the sound card.

Of course you will need a scanner with a discriminator tap installed.  Connected to the input of the soundcard.

Tested on Mint Mate.

First, run alsamixer and unmute your sound card input channel, so you can monitor the sound comming in.  In my case, go to Mic and press "M" key to unmute.  The sound sound should be heard on the pc speakers.

Then open up Virtualbox (version 4) and select settings to ensure Also host driver is selected.

Then on the windows client, ensure that mic is selected, and pager tones can be recorded on the client, use sound recorder.

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Notes for compiling DSD for Linux Mate, digital sound decoder

DSD is a digital sound decoder.  It captures demodulated data tones from a radio scanner and processes them to decode the signal.  The sound source from the scanner comes from the scanners discriminator tap.  The Discriminator tap is the stage before audio filtering and amplification.  The best place to get data tones from a analouge radio receiver.  It is never 100% due to the analouge domain being digitised by the soundcard, sampling/noise may corrupt the data.

Gathered from various internet sources, works on Mint 13 (Maya).

DSD does not natively install on Linux Mint Mate without a few mods.  This is due to the lack of the oss soundsystem and /dev/dsp.  A patch is required for dsd_audio.c and both the makefiles of DSD and mbelib have to be modified.

Download dsd and mbelib, extract to seperate folders.

Download modified Makefiles from
Extract and rename / overwrite the Makefiles for both DSD and mbelib.

Navigate to the mbdlib folder and:
sudo make install

Download dsd_audio_patch.txt from the fourm

Navigate to dsd folder and patch dsd_audio.c with the following command:
patch dsd-1.4.1/dsd_audio.c dsd_audio_patch.txt

Then you can run (./configure not needed) and make command to compile the code.

now to test before installing.

Run DSD using the following command:
padsp -- ./dsd -i /dev/dsp -o /dev/dsp

padsp is making the OSS wrapper for dsd.

tip: First, run alsamixer and unmute your sound card input channel, so you can monitor the sound coming in.  In my case, go to Mic and press "M" key to unmute.  The sound sound should be heard on the pc speakers.

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Getting the maximum power and channels on the RTL8187 WLAN wifi card


Because of your local areas regulations, the operating systems will limit the power and channels based your location rules.

Some locations in the world have no rules on power and channels.

If you want maximum power and channels do this:

sudo iw reg set BO
sudo iwconfig wlan1 txpower 30

Remember to heatsink the RTL8187 so it does not get fried by the power increase.

To check if the change was successful:
sudo iw reg get

You should see the BO region set.

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enable numlock at session start, linux mint, num lock

If you need the numlock to be on after logging in...

sudo apt-get install numlockx


If you need numlock on before logging in try using setleds in a rc.d or init.d script.  Reference:

 setleds -D +num < /dev/tty1

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Caja Remove personal file sharing you can receive files over bluetooth into this folder Mate Linux

WTF, Downloads folder in mate has this annoying message "personal file sharing you can receive files over bluetooth into this folder", with no way to dismiss it.

Stupid message, not worth the wasted space.

To remove:

Run synaptic and remove 'mate-user-share'
then pkill caja


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Dodo Australia wins worst prize for crappy service 2012

It is about time they got their medicine.  In early 2012, I wrote a how to on getting money back from Dodo's prepaid 3G internet.  Simply because it was impossible to use.  Slow and not completely loading pages all time time.  Oversubscribed, according to their technical staff.

The article goes on to say how the CEO of Dodo was absolutely gutted

You just lost the game!

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