Thursday, April 17, 2008

Try to crack this CAPTCHA?

I've previously posted about CAPTCHA image verification of hotmail and gmail being cracked, or massively being crack by spammer using human effort and training bots.

Happen to download some stuff from rapidshare, and saw this interesting CAPTCHA which probably require even more sophisticated programming work to break it.

I even need some time to figure out where are the cats and dogs! But well, since all the cat patterns are the same, I guess it won't be too hard for bots to recognize them, which will be faster than human eventually.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Cisco's Linksys to be phased out.

Cisco's Linksys brand may disappear sooner than expected, according to a top executive for small business at the company, although he wouldn't say how quickly.

The company sells networking gear for SMBs under both the Cisco and Linksys brands, which has created some confusion, vice president of SMB Solutions Marketing Rick Moran acknowledged in an interview on Monday. Linksys was a successful vendor of home and SMB networking gear that Cisco acquired in 2003. There are routers, wireless LANs and other products under both brands that are aimed at small enterprises.

Taken from Networkworld.

This is the video on the announcement:

Somehow, I really don't understand why these people are burning/sawing/hammering their linksys router, they must have get very mad with it.

As for mine, my WRT300N is still working pretty well, so does my older WRT54G! Both flashed to 3rd party firmware and I'm happy with it!... well, at least for this moment, until it breaks...


CAPTCHA Breaking for Hotmail and Gmail

These people at Websense really impressed me. They've analyzed how automated bots planted on victim's pc were used to break the Microsoft Live Mail (Hotmail) CAPTCHA security defense as well as the popular Google's Gmail!

Read it on here, the article is well written and you'll get excited as you read thru.

In short, the workings isn't too hard either. Look at these CAPTCHA images from Hotmail and Gmail, they were being grabbed and sent to a website for manual recognition by human.

And should the result be correct (or wrong as well), the result is being sent to Artificial Intelligent training bot, which will learn on how to crack the CAPTCHA automatically sorely with machine recognition. If the training set is large enough, there goes the CAPTCHA line of defense.

There is no full proof way to avoid spammers signing up accounts, since they can always hire teenagers that are more than willing to signup multiple accounts at the internet cafe for them in return of some pocket money.


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Hacked Canon Powershot A95

Come across the CHDK program for Canon camera, which enable some of the modern canon compact camera to have RAW format and some other advanced stuff like scripting and time interval shooting. But unfortunately, my A95 is too ancient that it didn't run on the Digic II on the OS that CHDK runs on, but on DOS!

Well, I'm not out of hope though, did some search around and I manage to find there are DOS geeks that write program targeting the A95 canon camera!

This is one of the normal feature of the canon stuff, displaying its firmware version. I don't know what is that Error C003 means, if you know, do leave me a comment.

To show your firmware version, you can check on this FAQ at CHDK wiki, it works for A95 as well. Basically it is as easy as creating a file named "ver.req" in your CF root directory, turn on your camera, then hold on "set" and press "display" button. What was shown here was the firmware version after I've upgraded.

After copying some of the files into the CF card, to the DC97 folder, this is what I've got, all the 3 programs that I've "installed" on my CF card.

So, now we have Tetris on A95!

OKOK.. game over.

This is the best and must have program! I really hate it when my battery suddenly dies off when I'm shooting, and apparently there is no indication natively on A95 on your battery condition. And this program does that magic!

Some diagnostic program to check the camera system .

This is the program to calculate the Depth of Field for your photography needs, well, I'm not sure how to go about it for this though.

Last, but definitely not the least, but the best "unlock"! A95 used to be able to shoot only up to 30 seconds. After flashing it with third party modified firmware, unlocked A95 can now shot up to 180 seconds!

(updated contend adding the URL to the software site, 24 Apr 2008)
If you an A95 owner, I bet that you must be cursing me for making your hand itchy and making your in high spirit and yet you couldn't manage to find the software anywhere from google!

So here you go:
(google translated here)

All credits goes to Alex!

And then you'll start to curse me for not giving you the firmware:
( direct link

And, all credits goes to Rayer!

These people are really great and hardcore in doing embedded stuff!

Oh yeah! post your comment and share your thoughts if you got excited and willing.

(updated contend adding the URL to the software site, 24 May 2008)
Some of you can't figure out how to get the firmware working, here is the summary of the instruction:
1) Download the and up zipping it you'll get a file namely PS_A95.FIR.
2) Copy this file to your CF card (using your computer with a CF card writer).
3) Put the CF card into your A95 camera and start up your camera in the Display Mode.
4) Press the Menu button on your A95 camera, and you'll find there is one option in the menu for "Firmware Update..", go ahead with it.

Important Warning: This may break your camera if the firmware upgrade failed half way, and I'm not responsible for your lost. Make sure your battery is fully charged before attempt to upgrade the firmware. You are warned as well that this will definitely void your camera warranty. and last, make sure you are using A95 and not anything else!

For the other utilities, you can copy them to the folder "\DC97\MISC" in your CF card and you'll be able to launch those utilities from the Menu as well.

Hope all these helps and enjoy your Powershot A95!


(updated post to add instruction on how to check firmware version)

MySQL Workbench Bug!

I've submitted a bug report! That's to show my support for open source software!
Obviously, it is little bug which won't need any urgent fix.
Auto increment option was not cleared off internally when editing a column which had the
option ticked (with data type and subsequently changing the datatype to
non-applicable type (eg. char).

The problem will only manifest when forward engineer the model to script.

How to repeat:
Create a table with a column "whatever" with datatype "int" and make it auto increment.
Change the table by changing its datatype to "char(10)".
Export the model to script

Inspect the generated script and you'll find that the auto-increment is still applied.


I'm on "Mac"!

I had been a month since then, which I've got my hand on the iATKOS Mac Intel version of leopard on my Asus Laptop, A8Fm.

There goes some of the screenshoots I've got with my camera.

Just slot in the burned DVD and you are ready to go.

Installation is a breeze!

Oh.. so Apple thanked me for installing and using its Mac on my Intel laptop.

There are lots of cool stuff on Mac I must acknowledge that. In particularly, I love its spaces and expose! it is very much graphics oriented and you got to do lots of the stuff with mouse.

A thanks to my Mac friends, Darren, Mann Chuan, Hanin, Wee Tat and Benny for giving me tips on what some HOW TO, on macs! That's really cool!