Subnet Mask of 255.0.0.0

I’m at a Responsive Web Trends Conference in San Francisco hosted by Moboom. The network setup is a bit unorthodox. The subnet mask is set to 255.0.0.0. Based on my experience, this network is /8, which allows up to 16,777,214 hosts. It uses the entire range of reserved private IP addresses starting from 10.0.0.0 to 10.255.255.255. Interesting setup. I just ran a speed test. Download is 50 Mbps and upload is 27 Mbps.

Tribute to the Little Princess

Shirley Temple died today at the ripe old age of 85 in her home in Woodside, CA. I’ve seen tiny snippets of her many films on TV shows, but I’ve never a full movie until I saw the Little Princess. The film was set in a Victorian London when Sara, played by Temple, was left behind by her dad to fight in the Second Boer War and the Siege of Mafeking. Temple and and a co-star Arthur Treacher had a musical number together, performing the song “Knocked ‘Em in the Old Kent Road.” If you haven’t seen the film, check it out. And with that, I will have a Shirley Temple tonight!

Unveiling the Mask aka Careto

PC World has a very interesting article entitled, “Unveiling ‘The Mask': Sophisticated malware ran rampant for 7 years.” It’s also known as Careto, a sophisticated malware that ran rampant and undetected for 7 years. It has infected hundreds of government and private organizations in more than 30 countries. Kapersky Lab, an antivirus firm believes the virus could be state sponsored. Excerpt of the article from PC World:

“When active in a victim system, The Mask can intercept network traffic, keystrokes, Skype conversations, PGP keys, analyze WiFi traffic, fetch all information from Nokia devices, screen captures and monitor all file operations,” the Kaspersky researchers said in the research paper. “The malware collects a large list of documents from the infected system, including encryption keys, VPN configurations, SSH keys and RDP [remote desktop protocol] files. There are also several extensions being monitored that we have not been able to identify and could be related to custom military/government-level encryption tools.”

Read the rest of the PC World article.

Google Adds Pandora To Chromecast

Google announced today that it’s adding Pandora to its short list of apps running on Chromecast. The list so far include Google Play Movies and TV, Google Play Music, YouTube, Netflix, Hulu Plus, and now Pandora.

Google can generate so much more interest from this popular streaming player if they release a few more apps like Spotify, IHeartRadio, access to major networks, cable networks like HBO, etc, and access to premium content in major league sports.

Most of all, Google should release an app for playing local media files soon. There’s a work around for playing local files now by simply dragging them into the Chrome browser, but the quality of the stream and speed are not quite there.

I’m not sure why Google is dragging their feet. Google is letting Roku, Apple TV and others react to the initial shock and novelty of the unique features of Chromecast when it was first introduced.

Eventually, competitors will come out with similar features, but the $35 price point is a major selling point for Chromecast in this tight competitive market.

Ubuntu Touch

This week Ubuntu Touch makes its arrival. Ubuntu Touch is officially supported on the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 4 smartphones, but there are other smartphones that Ubuntu Touch will work on. You’ll need to flash your smartphone to install Ubuntu Touch. The intriguing question is, will Ubuntu Touch be the next hot mobile operating system?

Gigabit DSL called G.fast

There’s a new broadband standard called G.fast with speeds up to 1Gbps over regular copper wires without the need for a fiber backbone. G.fast is scheduled to be approved by 2014. G.fast users should be able to install it without assistance. The self-installing system will eliminate costs for providers that they would have to pay for technicians. This could significantly improve the speed of the rollout. G.fast is meant to support bandwidth-intensive applications. Initial tests resulted 1.1Gbps over 70 meters and 800Mbps over 100 meters over a single cable. Consumers should expect G.fast connections to be available in 2015.

NoCatSplash With Authentication

DD-WRT is an open-source Wi-Fi firmware that you can install on select consumer-based wireless routers. I’ve been using the DD-WRT firmware on several Linksys and Buffalo wireless access points for a number of years. In addition, I have also implemented a feature called NoCatSplash.

NoCatSplash is a feature that allows wireless users to be redirected to a special splash page, whether to notify users of a disclaimer, or to make users agree to certain terms and agreement, or simply to advertise a web page. The NoCatSplash feature will prevent users with access to the Internet until they click on the submit button, thereby agreeing to the terms and agreement.

What was lacking with NoCatSplash was authentication. So, with a little bit of research, I found someone’s code at Github that allows simple authentication with NoCatSplash. It’s written in PHP and doesn’t require a database. It’s quite simple, but works flawlessly. The login credentials are kept on a file and can be changed anytime you’ll need to change passwords.

I’ve modified his code to fit my needs. Suffice to say, the code works great as advertised.

Canon MP495 Scan on Mac

Scanners can be a nightmare to work with. I’ve had this Canon MP495 Wireless Printer/Scanner for at least 3 years now. The wireless printing works on all my Mac computers, but I can’t get the device to scan via the wireless network. I even downloaded the latest Canon drivers as well as the latest MP Navigator software, but to no avail.

The solution seems rudimentary considering all the recent improvements in software and on network devices. The only solution that I have gotten to work is to connect the scanner directly to my Mac Mini via a USB port. In addition, the Canon MP Navigation software doesn’t seem to be  scanning. I ended up using the Scanner software that comes with the Mac OS.

Sphirewall Project

I stumbled on the Sphirewall Project the other day. Sphirewall is an open-source Linux firewall to compete with Iptables, Smoothwall and Monowall. The following are excerpts of the Sphirewall website.

Sphirewall is an open-source Linux firewall and router that provides advance user management and bandwidth analytics coupled with powerful flexibility. It’s open-source, free, easy to install and built from the ground up not using iptables.

Check out the features below

  • Full NAT/PAT and ip filtering support
  • User authentication and group based filtering
  • Detailed analytics and reporting on network traffic
  • Web, commandline and json api based management

You can download the debian iso, burn it to a cd, usb stick or mount it in your favorite virtualization system and get it running in minutes.