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Showing posts from 2012

Security Alert:Godaddy Domain Account Upgrade Confirmation Email

I received an email today with a subject of “GoDaddy Domain Account Upgrade Confirmation“, see the captured email looks like. I am not aware of GoDaddy’s upgrade confirmation so I checked the link provided to the email. The link behind “Click here Upgrade account” and call to action image “Go to My Account” are linked to an IP Address115.47.19.5:3389. I checked the IP Address owner, it is assigned in China. I don’t know about you, but GoDaddy is based in USA. The 3389 after the colon, is a port number use for remote access. Actually, this is the default port number for most Windows Remote Server or Terminal Server. Here’s the IP Address (115.47.19.5) Owner information: inetnum:        115.47.0.0 – 115.47.255.255
netname:        XRNET
descr:          Beijing XiRang Media Cultural Co., Ltd.
descr:          Build A6-1702,Fenghuahaojing,No.6 Guanganmennei Road
descr:          Xuanwu, Beijing, China, 100053
country:        CN
admin-c:        DL762-AP
tech-c:         DL762-AP
mnt-by:       …

Batch File for automation.

The batch file e.g. login.bat to automate the network drives assignment still working in the modern version of Windows Server 2008 or DataCenter. Just to remind me of this simple batch file, here's a simple code. I know you can get something similar if you search the Internet.

== This batch file will set up drive mappings for most user accounts. 

echo H:\\KINGdotNET\HR
echo J:\\KINGdotNET\Accounting
echo N:\\KINGdotNET\Contracts
echo O:\\KINGdotNET\Operations
echo P:\\KINGdotNET\Proposal
echo S:\\KINGdotNET\Shared Data
echo U:\\KINGdotNET\data\users\%username%

ECHO Now setting the drive mappings for username: %username%

echo on
net use H:"\\KINGdotNET\HR" /persistent:YES
net use J:"\\KINGdotNET\Accounting" /persistent:YES
net use N:"\\KINGdotNET\Contracts" /persistent:YES
net use O:"\\KINGdotNET\Operations" /persistent:YES
net use P:"\\KINGdotNET\Proposal" /persistent:YES
net use S:"\\KINGdotNET\Shared Data" /persistent:YES

How to configure an authoritative time server in Windows Server

Sometimes you forget to update your Windows Server authoritative time server settings. That's a nice way to say that you don't remember the settings. Thanks to Microsoft for providing this fix it program. All you have to do is download, and install.

And if you want to fix it yourself manually. Here's the step by step procedures, excerpt from Microsoft website (kb/816042).

To configure an internal time server to synchronize with an external time source, follow these steps:
Change the server type to NTP. To do this, follow these steps:Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.Locate and then click the following registry subkey:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\W32Time\Parameters\Type In the pane on the right, right-click Type, and then click Modify.In Edit Value, type NTP in the Value data box, and then click OK.Set AnnounceFlags to 5. To do this, follow these steps:Locate and then click the following registry subkey:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Cu…

2012 Fiscal Cliff

The TAX information is too complicated, thanks to Washington Post to simplify this for us. Use this tool (Fiscal Cliff Calculator), based on data from the Tax Policy Center, to estimate how your family would be affected by the Democratic and Republican plans for dealing with scheduled tax hikes — and what would happen if no deal is reached. The math is complicated: The expiration of all or part of the Bush-era tax cuts could have the biggest impact on most families, but the end of the temporary payroll tax and new taxes related to the health-care overhaul mean that most families would see their tax burden increase under any scenario. (2012, Washington Post)

Add Storage in VMware ESXi

Have you tried to add storage in your VMware environment after the initial setup and configuration? In my case, I needed to add storage for more space to copy virtual machine files. This is also the same approach to access a USB drive to import a vmx and vmdk files (virtual machine and data storage).

For this article, I will provide a step by step procedure on how to add your USB drive from one of your Windows Server (or workstation).

Let's use a Windows Server 2003 for reading your USB drive. By default, the NFS service is not enable. So, you have to add this service first. Go to Start, Control Panel, Add or Remove Programs, Add/Remove Windows Components, Other Network and Print Services, and select all for Microsoft Services for NFS.

You asked, Why enable NFS Service? The VMware is based using Linux, so you need to enable NFS service to share your network drive or folder.

Share a USB drive or folder. Open your Windows Explorer and browse your USB drive. In your USB drive, let'…

Top10 Germiest in a Restaurant

10. Salad Bar Tongs

The salad bar tongs weren't that bad -- maybe because Americans don't eat enough salad.

9. Ketchup Bottles

The ketchup bottles weren't harboring anything too awful.

8. Bathroom Faucets

7. Bathroom Door Knobs

"The faucets, the door handles ... were some of our least germy items, because they get cleaned," Leamy said.

6. Rims of Glasses

The hidden cameras caught waiters gripping glasses right at the top where we drink, which gives pathogens a direct route into our bodies. Tests on the samples Leamy took detected multiple bacteria, including one linked with tuberculosis.

5. Tables

Here's a clue as to how tables could be so germy. Leamy and "20/20" were shown photographs of parents changing their baby's diapers at the table and toilet-training their toddlers in restaurants.

4. Salt and Pepper Shakers

Half of the swabs Leamy took from them were contaminated. How is that possible? They're used often but are rarely cleaned.

3. L…

Cloud Outages

What is a Cloud Computing? Excerpt from Wikipedia. "Cloud computing is the use of computing resources (hardware and software) that are delivered as a service over a network (typically the Internet)".

And it was marketed to provide 24x7 and 99.9999% up time. This will never be true, here's why.
Cloud hardware's are managed by system engineers.Including the software maintenance, updates, and applying security patches are managed by system engineers. The system  engineers can be a programmers or software architect, or other related title in information technology depending where you work.Documentations and Procedures. Have you read an IT procedures? They are detailed procedures, and very long. It will take some time to finish perusing a documents.Managed by Human Being And here are some recent outages by Microsoft Office365, Amazon Web Services, and GoDaddy. I only read a statement from Scott Wagner CEO, GoDaddy, but nothing from Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Office36…

How to remove the BLOG slug in WordPress multisite installation

I've done many installation of WordPress single or multi-site, but I still don't remember them all when I need it. Like the extra 'blog' slug in mult-site installation.

I don't have this issue using a sub-domain multi-site (http://yourname.friended.com) installation. I only see the 'blog' slug when I use a multi-site sub-folder (http://www.friended.com/yourname) installation.

If you configured your WordPress multi-site using sub-folder option, you are lucky because BuddyDev.com provided a plugin and installation guide to resolve this issue. Hope this help.

Cheers.


AWS - Request Limit Exceeded

We are using Amazon Web Services (AWS) hosting our little project Friended.com. Today, we are down for quite some time. I will be able to know how long the outage took place once Friended.com is back online again, thanks to Pingdom monitoring service. As of this time 5:41pm EST AWS Service Health Dashboard (http://status.aws.amazon.com/) status for North Virginia delays or not accessible.
Amazon CloudWatch (N.Virginia) - Delays is CloudWatch metrics for RDS, ELB and ElasticCache since 12:03 PM PDTAmazon Elastic Compute Cloud (N.Virginia) - Degraded EBS performance in a single Availability Zone since 10:38 AM PDT, still posting updates ...Amazon ElasticCache (N. Virginia) - ElasticCache Cache Nodes experiencing connectivity issues in a single Availability Zone since 11:39 AM PDT ...Amazon Relational Database Service (N. Virginia) - RDS Database instances are experiencing connectivity issues in a single Availability Zone since 11:03 AM PDTAWS Elastic Beanstalk (N. Virginia) - Elevated …

Managing your iCloud Storage

This is a how to guide to manage your iCloud storage. In my situation, I am using a number iPhone's, iPad, and iPod for our family iCloud's account, and I have 20Gb of paid storage ... still not enough. We are using the iCloud storage for sharing pictures within our family. We don't need to backup the email because it is already in the Cloud using Google Apps (see reference below).

Here's what to check using your iPhone, similar approach for iPad and iPod.

In your iPhone, tap "Settings", scroll down to see the iCloud setting.Tap "iCloud", here you can turn OFF the following if you don't need them. I turn off Mail, because my email is already in the cloud. I keep my Contacts ON for now. I turn off my Calendars (this is part of my email cloud). I turn off my Reminders, Safari, Notes, Passbook (I will get back to this setting if I will use this in the future). I turn ON Photo Stream for family to shares our pictures. I turn off "Documents and Da…

Using Office365 for your Printer Scan to Email functionality

I've searched the Internet if someone successfully use the Office365 Microsoft Exchange Online without the use of TLS and SMTP Authentication. I found nothing, so I've decided to write this article so other administrators will benefit and save time. Hopefully give me credit of saving their precious time :)

Office365 (Microsoft Exchange Online) a cloud based email powered by Microsoft Exchange Server with running latest version. SMTP Authentication and TLS protocol are required for your printer to scan and email the result to your corporate intended recipients.


I've tested the SMTP Authentication and TLS settings using Toshiba eStudio printers, and works like a charm. It took a while to configure but it works. See the captured configuration.

I enabled SMTP Client with all certificate without CA, the SSL/TLS as STARTTLS (this is the key to make scan to email using Office365 to work).

My SMTP Server Address is pod51018.outlook.com. Microsoft recommend that you check your SMTP…

Friended.com using Pinboard.

Friended.com is a small project using Pinboard theme from Themify.meFriended.com is a free service to create your own website, news or media, blog or journal website, Art Gallery, Pinboard like Pinterest looking site, and Photo Sharing community. Pinboard theme is an excellent choice compare with other "pinterest" like themes out there. Here's the advantage of using Pinboard theme.
Feature includes infinite scroll, this means other posts is loaded automatically.The auto stacking layout works perfectly and responsively using your desktop, iPad, iPhone or any other smart phone devices. You don't need to use other plugins or customize your website.Multisite integration support which enable users to sign-up. See Friended.com website for the live-demo of multi-site version. And the current version has room for improvement. I discovered other features that can be very useful to be included on their next update. Here's a recommendation.
Integration of comment using …

WordPress Permalinks not working

It took a while for me to solve this issue. I moved my small project Friended.com from GoDaddy 4GH hosting to AWS Amazon, then the permalinks stop working. I research, read, research and keep on searching, but can't find any information to resolve it.

Oh well, it took 6-8 hours of non-stop searching to fix the "wordpress permalinks not working".
In my new AWS Amazon hosting, I need to change the AllowOveride All, (from AllowOveride None). Restart the web service "service httpd restart".
Viola my wordpress permalinks start working ... come check it out, sorry for my shameless advertising please visit Friended.com website.

Moving WordPress to Amazon EC2

I decided to move my small project from GoDaddy 4GH Hosting to Amazon EC2 using their micro instance.

Here's how I did it.

I am an existing Amazon customer, so I decided to use the same email address and password to access AWS Amazon. I am using Amazon S3 for backup, and use my account to buy books.

In EC2 Dashboard, you will see "Launch Instance" to initiate your first server at Amazon cloud.I've used the Classic Wizard to launch  the setup, click continue.In choose an AMI, you have the option to select from the Quick Start, My AMIs, Community AMIs, and Marketplace. For this guide, let's use Amazon Linux AMI 2012.03 package, it includes Linux 3.2, AWS tools, and repository access to multiple version of MySQL. I click Select 64 bit to proceed.Select Launch Instances, availability zone, select default no preference, then click Continue.In Key, I simply use my domain name, click Continue.Select "Create a new Key Pair" using your domain name for simple manag…

Using SELECT SUBSTR - MySQL PHP

I've got to re-learn my MySQL and PHP programming skills.
I have a field name contentdata with a hex data of AA560D72DA4AB20AAA using a type char.

In MySQL, I can run this command:
SELECT SUBSTR(hex(contentdata),15,2) FROM table1
output is: 0A

How can I code "SELECT SUBSTR(hex(contentdata),15,2) FROM table1" in PHP so I can bring the same result?

MySQL create php code gave me this recommendation but I can't show the value.
$sql = "SELECT SUBSTR(hex(payload),15,2) FROM device_status LIMIT"

Let me know what I'm missing here?

UPDATE:
A member (Katherine) in domain name forum recommended to use "AS hex_value" to create aliases for the field resulting from expressions. It works!

So, I query the data using the codes below:
"SELECT SUBSTR(hex(contentdata),15,2) AS myHex_data FROM table1"


Apple iOS 6.0

I just upgraded my iPhone iOS to 6.0, it took me at least 30-40 minutes to complete using WIFI connection.

I'm so excited to see the new features in action such as much improve Siri, Safari, FaceTime, and Maps. The photo sharing in my photo streams is an add-on to me not really a part of my daily routine, but not with my teen children. I'm sure they will love the sharing feature enable in Photo Streams.

Maps. I will update on you on this feature. The Apple Maps elements are vector based, this makes the graphics and text are incredibly detailed according to Apple. One thing for sure, you need to enable the Location Services to use maps. I like the 3D feature of Apple Maps

Siri. Siri can open my apps ... excellent. I don't have to look for it. I shared my iTunes account with my family, if you're in the same situation like me you know what I mean. Now I can talk to Siri for sport updates.

Facebook. Not too fan of Facebook to share everything, but a nice built-in service with…

Million Dollar Domain Names Club

Do you know the Million Dollar domain names sold for the last 10 years, and what they are now?

When someone purchased at least a million dollar domain name, you expect to have a business model ready for a return of investment. Most of these Million Dollar domain names are active websites but some of them are parked, redirect to another website, or even worst not active (not resolving).

The list of Top40 Million Dollar Domain Names Club, sold at least 1 million.
Here's the list of most expensive domain names sold.
http://www.king.net/million-dollar-sales/
http://www.king.net/million-dollar-sales/million-dollar-sales-table/
http://www.king.net/million-dollar-sales/million-dollar-sales-pie-chart/

The domain names cameras.com and photo.com were sold $1.5M and $1.25M respectively but parked. At least they make some $$$ through parking. How about the inactive domains e.g. social.com, russia.com, chinese.com, call.com, and zip.com. They acquired with millions but never bother to at least red…

7 Smart Things Donald Trump Told Me

I received this email newsletter today, nice article to read so I decided to post it here. I hope you learn something.
By Geoffrey James  The real estate and entertainment mogul spills a few of his secrets. On the agenda: Talent spotting, sales mistakes, and personal branding. Donald Trump is almost undoubtedly the world's most famous business leader.  I recently had the opportunity to interview him on the subjects of sales, entrepreneurship, and other business topics. Trump is a smart man. Here are a few of the most interesting things he told me. 1. The Value of a Personal Brand "A brand saves time for the public. They will know a gold standard brand because the name will stand for the gold standard. It takes the guesswork out. Chanel did this with her fashion and fragrances and was extremely successful. "It has been done before, but the Trump brand is very comprehensive--it's not just beautiful buildings, but golf courses, books, a hit television show, a men'…

Check your IP Address

To check your Public IP Address, simply visit http://www.netstumble.com/ipaddress website. You will see a result something like:

Your Public IP Address:
64.64.xxx.xxx This is a PHP $_SERVER global variables available to most Linux web server. To write a code to discover your public IP address is simple, this is an example.

<?php echo $_SERVER['REMOTE_ADDR'] ?>
Cut and paste this code, save as ipaddress.php, and upload this to your web hosting.

To know more about PHP $_SERVER, please visit http://php.net/manual/en/reserved.variables.server.php

Migrating VMware guest server

Migrating a VMware Guest Server.

In this example, we are using a HOST1 and HOST2 these are the physical servers using VMware operating system.

We are moving a Guest1 Windows 2008 R2 DataCenter server  from HOST1 to HOST2 using a vSphere Client 5.x. You don't need to shut-down the Guest1 to migrate to HOST2.

In vSphere client, simply select the Guest1, right click to select Migrate. In a pop-up windows, select Migration Type, select Change host, click Next.

In Select Destination, click the (+) Cluster to see available HOST, here you will see your HOST1 and HOST2. Select HOST2, click Next, select High priority (Recommended), click Next. In Ready to Complete, click Finish.

In the Recent Tasks, you will see the migration status of the Guest1 server, the status will return completed when it's done. Now check your Guest1 Server.

Your migration is now complete.


Simple CSS Style

The HTML basic framework is completed, let's add some basic cascaded style sheet (CSS) to a better presentation of our website.

The id #nav_container { } is use for menu style, to control the list type style.
The id #nav_container li { } is use to stack the menu in horizontal using the display inline-block.
The id #nav_container li a { } is use to style of your menu links.
The class .left_column { } is use to style your website left column.
The class .right_column { } is use to style your website right column.

Sample Cascaded Style Sheet (CSS)

#nav_container {list-style-type: none;background: grey;margin-bottom: 15px;}
#nav_container li {display: inline-block;
}
#nav_container li a {display: inline-block;text-decoration: none;padding: 5px;color: white;}
#nav_container li a:hover {color: black;}
.left_column {margin-right:170px;} .right_column {float:right;width:160px;
} Learn these html, stylesheet, and javascript programming, visit Codecademy.com website.

Basic foundation of a website

Here's what I've learned from Codecademy.com on how to create your website with basic foundation.

First, create your html basic framework using html, head, and body tags.
Second, add your logo image using img tag.
Third, create your navigation for your website menu e.g. Home, Products, Services and Contact Us.
Fourth, create your website layout using div tag with id name main_content. Create two more div's inside your main_content, with a class name left_column, and right_column. See sample codes below.

Before you continue adding more html codes, check your navigation menu. You may add a new link e.g. Our Company, Locations, News and Events. But I will let you decide for your website.

Sample HTML Framework for a website:
<html><head><link rel="stylesheet" href="style.css" /></head> <body><img id="logo" src="http://codecademy.com/assets/codecademy_logo_small.png" \><ul id="nav_container"…

Microsoft Portal service is unavailable

Early this morning, the Microsoft online portal (http://portal.microsoftonline.com) is showing "service is unavailable". I was able to confirmed this from two different location in Reston and Fairfax, Virginia.

I'm not sure if this is a real issue to be concern, but this is the first service unavailable message I received from Microsoft online portal since 2010. The online portal displayed a dead image link when I tried to reload the page, then later on I was able to login to my account.

As of now, the service is back online.


Securing your Gmail using Two Factor Authentication

I wrote an article last October 2011 on how you can activate your Gmail two factor authentication or two step verification for added security to access your Google Email or Gmail. I am writing an updated article to provide the step by step procedures. For this article, I am using my own gmail account (practice @ gmail.com).

Let's go ahead.

Login to www.gmail.com website, using your email address and password.If you haven't change your password in a while, let's go ahead update your password. In the upper right corner of your Gmail web screen, click your photo (if you haven't update your photo, you will see a default photo image). Click Account. The web page will redirect to your Google account page.In your Google Accounts page, click Security. In password management, click change password. You will need your old password, type-in your new password, and confirm new password. Click Save to update. Logout and re-login to check your new password.Now, we're good to activa…

Google Postini has been deactivated

Google acquired Postini email security services years ago, and now it is integrated with Google Apps service. If you configured your domain name using Google Apps services in the past using Postini, you need to update your domain name MX records.

Using Postini service, you configured your domain name MX record something like this. I'm using KING.NET domain name as an example.
@ (none)        KING.NET.S9A1.PSMTP.COM.10
@  (other)KING.NET.S9B1.PSMTP.COM.10
@  (other)KING.NET.S9B2.PSMTP.COM.10
@  (other)KING.NET.S9A2.PSMTP.COM.   20

The new MX records listed below.
Blank or @ 300 MX 1 ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM
Blank or @ 300 MX 5 ALT1.ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM
Blank or @ 300 MX 5 ALT2.ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM
Blank or @ 300 MX 10 ASPMX2.GOOGLEMAIL.COM
Blank or @ 300 MX 10 ASPMX3.GOOGLEMAIL.COM

Excerpt from Google email "Your email continues to flow through Postini systems until you change the MX records to point directly to Google for all of the domains listed above. Until you change MX records, you…

Web Attack Blackhole ToolKit

I received an email with the following message:

"Dear Bank Account Operator, WIRE TRANSFER: WRE-7258418863703165 CURRENT STATUS: PENDING
Please REVIEW YOUR TRANSACTION as soon as possible. " Note: I already removed the linked in review your transaction for this post. See the captured screen after clicking the malicious code.


DO NOT visit the URL Address if you don't have a protection on your computer. And here's the noticed from Symantec Anti-Virus. "Web Attack Blackhole Toolkit Website (random number) detected.


I'm not expecting any wire transfer transaction, so I know this is one of the malicious code out there trying to take control of your computer. I'm surprise that Google Apps anti-virus tool did not detect this type email. I already reported (tagged) this as spam in my Google email.

How do you protect your computer against this type of viruses. Here's my suggestions.

Install anti-virus software to your computer. Here's some software to choos…