Anders Brownworth

Technology and Disruption

Sony's CAPCHA Security

Viewing source on this page shows why Sony doesn't "get" security.



...but they did add some Javascript to stop right mouse clicks so you can't get to the contextual "View source..." menu. Good thing a) there isn't a "View Source..." in browser menus and b) CAPCHA bots use web browsers.

Traffic to Anders.com

Of the 60K or so visits to this site per month, over half of them are to this page:

http://anders.com/guides/convert/video/iPod/windows.html

which is a horribly antiquated HOWTO on converting DVDs to be viewed on iPods using free software on Windows. (spoiler: just use http://handbrake.fr/)

Another 18% or so go to these two pages:

http://anders.com/cms/192/CiscoVPN/Error.51:.Unable.to.communicate.with.VPN.subsystem
http://anders.com/guides/native-cisco-vpn-on-mac-os-x/

which cover how to get Cisco VPNs working in Mac OSX.

That's about 70% of my traffic going to HOWTO pages. I never thought of anders.com as a HOWTO site in 1995 when I started it but it looks like that is what it has become.

People don't want to read long panegyrics on technical topics on a blog, they want practical and quick tips on how to do something now with whatever their problem is. That said, I'm going to save my longwinded discussions on technology largely to my podcast 350 Third and keep to short and practical technical topics here and on The Well Tempered Hacker.

Seacrest out.

Where is the Xcode 4 Build Directory?

Old Xcode created a build directory right next to the source in the project's directory. While looking for the executable so I could release another iOS application, I had some trouble finding where Xcode 4 created it's build directory. After some searching, here's where I find it now:

~/Library/Developer/Xcode/DerivedData/

Clever, eh? I actually like this better as I won't ever have to git ignore the build directory again.

Software Radio Examples

I did a video demonstrating the Ettus Research N210 Universal Software Radio Peripheral and several open-source software projects. In particular, we looked at OpenBTS which allows you to create an extremely cost effective cellular phone service and GNU Radio Companion which lets you upload programs in the form of flow graphs to emulate a wide variety of radio systems.



As the N210 is of a newer variety than the much more common legacy USB USRP devices, many of the GNU Radio Companion examples don't work because they implement the UHD radio interface. I've gone through a number of the examples and converted them to work with the UHD devices.

http://anders.com/1offs/grc/am_rx_uhd.grc - AM Receiver
http://anders.com/1offs/grc/wfm_rx_uhd.grc - Mono FM Receiver
http://anders.com/1offs/grc/fm_rx_uhd.grc - Stereo FM Receiver

OZ9AEC has some interesting (very similar) examples as well.

Spinning Down Unmounted Disks in OS X

I have an SSD as my boot drive in my MacBook Pro and I swapped out my DVD drive for a second hard drive using an OptiBay. The second drive is a traditional "spinning platter" hard drive which I usually leave unmounted so I don't have to wait for it to spin up every now and then. I use the drive mainly for backup and holding infrequently used large files so it usually remains unmounted. However after waking my machine up, the hard drive spins up even though it isn't mounted. I had "Put hard disks to sleep..." checked in "System Preferences" under "Energy Saver" and tuned the sleep time down to one minute using:

pmset -a disksleep 1

but the drive still wouldn't spin down. (presumably the OS skips it because it doesn't happen to be mounted)

Curiously, in DiskManager the disk wouldn't spin down after I clicked "Unmount" but I did notice that it spins down when I "eject" it from the Finder. So I tried an eject of the unmounted disk from the command line using diskutil and to my surprise, it worked!

diskutil eject /dev/disk1

No more unmounted spinning disks!

Drones on 350 Third

This week on 350 Third we're talking about the commercial opportunity drones represent. Given the moratorium on areal drones in the US airspace, maybe drones on the water will be the first to deliver the dream. "What dream" you ask? Check out:

350 Third - Episode 6

Oh, and we talk Near Field Communication and The Hunt for Red October!

Car OS on 350 Third

The car operating system, something car companies have been screwing up for years because it isn't their focus, is going to be owned by the first company to come in and really address the problem. In episode 5 of 350 Third, we talk about what that might look like. Tell me again why nobody else is talking about this?

350 Third - Episode #5

Oh, and for contrast, we also talk about Bitcoin - something nearly everybody is talking about!