Monday, April 15, 2013

Potential twitter hijack threat warning

This afternoon's ARN newsletter has highlighted a potential security threat to twitter which could see accounts hijacked.

A feature in the Twitter API (application programming interface) can be abused by attackers to launch credible social engineering attacks that would give them a high chance of hijacking user accounts, a mobile application developer revealed Wednesday at the Hack in the Box security conference in Amsterdam.
The issue has to do with how Twitter uses the OAuth standard to authorize third-party apps, including desktop or mobile Twitter clients, to interact with user accounts through its API, Nicolas Seriot, a mobile applications developer and project manager at Swissquote Bank in Switzerland, said Thursday.
This is a potentially widespread issue that could effect common apps like tweet deck, twitter for iOS etc  Seriot used this method to build a completely legitimate program which works with Mac OS based mutli-protocol chat client Adium, but believes this security loophole could be used for nefarious purposes which could impact all users of API based twitter apps.

Read more on Seriots development and its potential security risks, at ARN HERE

Friday, April 12, 2013

Photo montages

Like many people I use my iPhone as a camera & like many, my photo's get shared on instagram.  As an Instagram user i've noticed people posting montages or collages of photos and recently downloaded an app to do this as well.

Feel free to follow me on instagram (@nzompilot)

I thought I'd share some of the fun I've had recently

©nzompilot - a collection of some recent beer's I've tasted

©nzompilot -  lighting showcase at an event I recently did tech for

©nzompilot - some of my favourite autumn sunrise shots taken over the last few weeks

©nzompilot - tonight is the Roar's toughest finals challenge so here are some pregame.after game shots

©nzompilot - an every day occurance for me Brisbane trains

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Apple - life sentance

There is an interesting article on itnews this morning which makes you stop and think just how much of my personal data is stuck in corporate archives for how long?

As most people do I just skip straight to the end of EULA's and T&C's and check the box then move on, but turns out with my apple account I am now a customer for life.

Apple customers are customers for life, thanks to a clause in the company’s terms and conditions requiring a death certificate before an account can be terminated.
An Apple account and associated data can only be closed once Apple has sighted a death certificate for the user.
Just makes you wonder what else big corporate's are hiding in the EULA's &/or T&C's which no one actually stops and reads.  Just proves the point that you should be very very careful about what information you enter into online accounts.

Read the full itnews article HERE

Monday, April 8, 2013

Brisbane transport activity video

I saw this video on the Brisbane Times website on Friday (but have been unable to upload it until now due to internet issues, & have now had to link to their youtube page) as a transportation geek found it rather intriguing.

A Canadian IT company (STLTransit) used Translink data to compile this video which uses dots of light to represent translink services operated by the many different bus companies as well as Queensland Rail trains. 

This video provides a great insight into how public transport operates across the translink region and shows just how busy it is in and out of Brisbane during peak hour

365 days left for XP

Its an image that is iconic to many, something a lot of people still see on a day by day basis - the windows XP load screen.  Its also something that will become rarer and rarer over the next year with Microsoft announcing they will no longer support Windows XP after 08/04/14.

One year from today, the world's most popular PC operating system, Windows XP, will no longer be supported by Microsoft.
As of April 8, 2014, the software vendor will no longer provide security patches or other updates to the software.
This could prove to be a problem for many as XP is still a well loved and widely used operating system around Australia, New Zealand and the world, with many programs and scripts still built to use its infrastructure.

This of course will be a huge bonus to programmers and developers who will see a windfall of companies who need programs that have been created for their company rewritten to use the Windows 7 platform, and you can expect there to be big delays in getting your custom program or script updated as the large numbers who still use and rely on XP suddenly clammer to get everything migrated across to Windows 7 before its too late.

Read more about the end for XP from itnewswire HERE

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Fast food Apps

Something caught my eye in this morning's email from ARN - one of their 'In Pictures' series looking at fast food apps and how they are changing the face of fast food.

They began with the new Macca's app (McDonalds Australia) which is called track my macca's - which takes users on a tour of the origins of the ingredients of 8 different products following the supply chain from farm to macca's.
The app then translates data from Macca's supply chain systems about farms, suppliers, ingredients, date, time, weather, location and other variables into an animation that incorporates the faces and voices of real farmers. The text and visuals are wry and informative. "We were very conscious of being entertaining in an adult way," says Shamini Nair, head of digital business for McDonald's Australia. "The Simpsons was the inspiration."

Screenshots of the Track My Macca's app
Other fast food restaurants in Australia have had mobile apps for a while including Pizza Hut, Dominos, Eagle Boys & Hungry Jacks.  But it is probably time some other restaurants jumped onto the bandwagon and offered a mobile app.

Have a look at the ARN top 10 HERE which lists a lot of the offering from overseas including Burger King's app which lets you order home delivery in the USA!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Bananas, Bullfrogs and Boarding School

Bananas, Bullfrogs and Boarding School My Coochiemudlo by Marie-Louise Potter
For anyone who has been following along closely at home you will know two of my friends both write about books they have read on their blogs.  (Check out Inda's &c. &c. & Emma's Everything Looks Perfect From Far Away)

So following in their illustrious footsteps, I'm going to attempt to review a book I read today.  I started this book with the intention of passing sometime today as it is a public holiday and I was bored.  But quickly I found that this book was hard to put down and its probably a good indication of how captivating this book is that I read it in pretty much a single sitting.

Bananas, Bullfrogs and Boarding Schools is written by Marie-Lousie Potter whom I know as we both attend the same church.  It is the story of her life growing up on Coochiemudlo Island in Moreton Bay just off the coast of Victoria Point near Brisbane.
Map showing Coochiemudlo Island off the coast of Victoria Point © Google maps
The book is 224 pages in softcover featuring cover artwork of the island and the main mode of transport one of the boats by Joan McNaught.

The book begins with Marie-Lousie recounting a rushed trip from Japan back to Australia to be with her father who was very ill, then recounts her childhood and life on Coochie and then as a bordrer at Sommerville House school in Brisbane, it once again ends as the flight from Japan prepares to land into Sydney jolting Marie-Lousie back from her memories.

The book recounts the harsh realities of the 1940's & 50's as the Elliot family struggle with the end of the war which uproots them from their lives in the Solomon Islands, then PNG before making the move from Melbourne to the seemingly isolated life of Coochiemudlo Island.

Marie-Louise was not quite four when her parents signed a contract to purchase the farm on Coochiemudlo and the story recounts growing up in what seems like an idyllic paradise, not to far from Victoria Point, but still isolated from the rest of the world.  There are many mentions of the harsh realities of moving to a small cottage on an island without any 'mod cons' or at least what was considered modern in the 1940's.

The severity of the changeable weather in Queensland is often noted in the way it effects the farm, from striking droughts which often drain the life away from the precious crops of fruit and vegetables the family grew, to repeated cyclones that as they do destroyed every living thing in their path while damaging boats the lifeline to the mainland.
On the third night the howling of the wind stopped and there was an eerie silence.  "The cyclone's gone," I thought, but it was the eye passing over us.  Before long the wind picked up again from a different direction.
Marie-Louise recounts with love stories of extended family, of weddings of safe returns from war, of heart breaking losses, all delivered by regular mail in a time before phone lines and well before modern conveniences like email, mobiles etc.

Marie-Louise then goes onto recount how she was shipped off to Sommerville House a Queensland school as a boarder in the boarding school.  At first she hated it then she realised just how much freedom it granted her and how much she was learning, but she always felt guilty of the cost it placed on her family, already struggling on the farm on Coochie.

Some of the most poignant scenes in the book revolve around Marie-Louise coming to her faith in Christ and how the various groups of friends and Bible clubs at Sommerville House made her come to meet the risen Christ and trust in Him.  I was particularly taken with the scene when she was practicing piano when she felt His presence behind her.

I thoroughly recommend this book to everyone who has an interest in the history of Coochiemudlo Island as it seemingly doubles as the unofficial history of the Island.  But it is a heartwarming tale of the struggles, trials and excitement of a family taming the wilds of Australia and not only making it their own but writing their deserved place in the history books of the Island.  I also enjoyed the tales of youth from Marie-Louise as she grew up in an isolated place, as well as learning that kids are often the same no matter which country or island they grew up on or in which decade.
Coochiemudlo Island as it looks today © Google Maps
My next step will be to remember to take the book to church one Sunday morning so I can get Marie-Louise to autograph it for me.