Ubuntu 8.10 Password Bug

Hello everybody, today while I was entering my password at my Ubuntu 8.10 login desktop, by mistake I entered one character more than the actual password. Voila! I had successfully logged on to my user desktop. Everything was working fine. I noticed this was also the case when using administrative applications in ‘System -> Administration’. It also exists for ‘sudo’ (root user) commands used in the terminal. This is a big security vulnerability.

The login is successful if whenever password is entered correctly upto eight characters (or less for smaller passwords), irrespective of length of password.

Login is unsuccessful if password entered wrong upto eighth character.

Suppose if my password is ‘calculator’

Entering following password will give successful login:

  1. calculater
  2. calculatexor
  3. calculat

Many other combinations are possible. The only condition is that the password should correct upto eight characters or less for smaller password.

I didn’t find any bug in launchpad regarding this. So I have filed a bug. Click here to view the status of the bug at Launchpad.


NVIDIA Ion Platform

Nvidia has introduced the ION platform, coupling NVIDIA GeForce 9400M integrated graphics solution with Intel Atom processor.

Graphics powerful small NVIDIA Ion Platform

Graphics powerful small NVIDIA Ion Platform

Advantages? It can run video at full HD resolution of 1080p. Its now possible to play many games at better frame rates on an Atom processor, which were not possible with the older Intel 945 chipset platform. It’s also possible to use Windows Vista on an atom. With Linux based OS you now run Compiz Fuzion with all the 3D effects enabled.How about keeping you friends wondering, how your little machine can do so much with Compiz Fusion on Linux.

The ION platform has hardware accelerated decoding of H.264 and MPEG-2 formats. But all this will come at the cost of battery life. The use of this graphics solution is seen as a bottleneck on the battery life of current netbooks. Definitely, it’s not for those who just do a bit of word-processing, online surfing on their netbooks. Also gaming on an tiny 10-inch screen is not worth it. Though I guess manufacturers will bring in bigger screen based on Atom processors soon.

Ok, after all its dis-advantages that overpower advantages, why am I talking about this platform. May be because you can connect a bigger monitor you an netbook, and go gaming at your relatives house with all the gaming progress saved on the netbook.

The bigger arena I hope to see this platform succeed is the Home Theatre PC (HTPC) market, where low power requirement is big boon, but the requirement are not very high. There’s no need of a power hungry graphics card and processor. You think you will use this combo for you next Home Theater PC? Another competitor for Nvidia Ion Platform is Nvidia Tegra.

Verisign’s SSL Encryption Cracked: Online Shopping And Transactions Threatened

With the help of 200 PS3, an team of security researchers was able to break Versign’s SSL encryption. The cell processors in PS3 were very much capable of exploiting the SSL algorithm. The SSL encryption uses MD5 hashes to create a code and detect whether the data has been modified after it was transmitted. This way any hacker attack could be prevented. But the demonstration by the group showed how the power of improved hardware capabilities could be easily used to attack almost any trascation on the internet.

Using the hardware the group was able to create fake security certificates that behaved like the actual ones. The website demonstarated was RapidSSL. So now it’s time for websites to do away with MD5. But no need to worry as of now, the details of the attack are still with the researchers. It almost impossible for anybody to do such a attack even though the possiblity is not eliminated. With increased computing power like the CUDA, its possible.

What website should look for is changing their security to a more advanced level. We should hope that researchers create a more better encryption. There’s nothing that cannot be cracked, but improving the security level is the only way to stop the attacks. It time to take security seriously with such increased computing power. What we should do?? See to it the website has a valid security certificate. It is denoted by a yellow lock on your browser address bar.

So be awake with eyes wide open the next time you go shopping. So will you go for online shopping, online banking or any transactions now?? Of course you can.

Power Saving for Computer

It is possible to save power even though your PC is ON, by using power saving options available. This green initiative will help do little green for the environment around and reduce your electricity bills a bit.

Please note that: All the power options mentioned used the last moment, when it detected inactivity (no mouse or keyboard usage) as reference.

This is the thing you need to do

Right click on the desktop and click on ‘Properties
Next click on the ‘Screen Saver‘ tab above
Click on the ‘Power‘ button at the bottom of the window
This will open a window with title ‘Power Options
Here you can create various power schemes for various requirements. (I have displayed my power schemes at the end of the post)

Power-management in Windows XP

Power-management in Windows XP

Description of terms used:
Turn off monitor: After the selected time limit, the CPU will put the monitor in standby mode. This helps in saving lot of power especially in case of CRT monitor. I will recommend all of us to use this option set to ‘After 3 minutes’.

Turn off hard disks: After the selected time, the power supply to hard-disk is turned off. This helps save a few tens of watts of electricity.

System Standby: This option put the system in a low power mode, turning off most of devices connected to the motherboard. This helps save a lot of power. To resume back to work after standby, just press any key on the keyboard.

Hibernate option in Windows XP

Hibernate option in Windows XP

System Hibernates: This option turns-off the computer completely. You can even switch off the computer after putting it in hibernate mode. To resume from standby mode press the ‘Power’ switch of your CPU. This mode saves maximum power and is equivalent to turning off computer, but it enables to get back to work faster, than turning off the computer and then start it again.

To manually put your computer in hibernation mode, Click the ‘start’ button. Then click on ‘Turn off Computer’. After that, hold down the ‘Shift’ key on the keyboard, the standby button will turn to hibernate. Don’t release the shift key before clicking on Hiberate.

This is how Hibernate mode works: Before turning off, the data in RAM is copied to the hard-disk. So the next time you start your computer, the data in hard-disk is copied directly to the RAM instead of verification process, and you get back where you originally were much faster.

Some of my Power  Management schemes are:

Scanning Power Management: For antivirus scans
Turn off Monitor:     After 1 min
Turn off hard disks:  Never
System Standby:       After 3 hours
System hibernates:    After 4 hours

Usual: For Regular Use
Turn off Monitor:     After 1 min
Turn off hard disks:  Never
System Standby:       After 3 minutes
System hibernates:    After 10 minutes

Movie Time: For use while watching movies
Turn off Monitor:     Never
Turn off hard disks:  Never
System Standby:       Never
System hibernates:    Never

You can create multiple power management schemes, by selecting the required settings discussed above and clicking the ‘Save As’ button and use them to as and when required. Using these measures will contribute to save our warming planet.

Basics of Photography

Boat and horizon describing the thirds rule

This post is for my hobby of photography. Photography is a art, there are few rules that make for a perfect photo. But sometimes breaking them too makes for a great photo.
Here are those few rules:
Rule of Thirds:
Placing the required things in an image at 2/3 or 1/3 from either end makes the photo more attractive. This rule can be applied from any side of photo. The boat in the first photo is placed at 1/3 rd distance from bottom and 2/3 rd from top, as is the horizon, this placement catches the eye of the person looking at the photo.

diagonal rule demo by sand and water at beach

diagonal rule demo by sand and water at beach

Diagonal Rule:
Placing the required part of an image along the diagonal is another trick, that catches the attention of the viewer. The diagonal that stretches from on end of the photo to other is the most important to watch out for.


Frame Rule:
Putting the picture into a frame is the best way of making it more attractive. The same rule is used here, with only difference that the photo is framed naturally. The photo shows now the beach and mountain is framed using the greenery near the photographer.

The photo also demonstartes how framing, rule of thirds and diagonal rule can be used effectively to make for a great photograph, by framing the mountain, beach using greenary and coconut tree. The horizon is 1/3 rd from the top and the beach is diagonally from one end of photo.

If you dont get snaps according to these rule, consider editing them, by keeping these rules in mind. But as I said above sometimes even breaking these rules makes for a great photograph.


asus-eee-pcThe name Eee is an abbreviation of “Easy to learn, Easy to work, Easy to play”. Asus started the range of netbooks with 7 inches screen, and later advanced to a 10.2 inches screen.

The technical specifications of the Asus EEE PC are:

  • Display: 7 inches with resolution 800 x 480, 8.9 inches and 10.2 inches with resolution of 1024 x 600
  • Processor: The models EEE PC 900A, 901, 1000H, 100HA and 1000 use the Intel Atom processor. Other models use the 900 MHz Intel Celeron-M processor
  • Graphics: The 7 inch variants have the Intel GMA 900 graphics processor, the 8.9 and 10-inch variants have Intel GMA 950 graphics processor
  • RAM: 512 MB for the 7 inch variants and 1GB for 8.9 and 10 inch variants
  • Storage: 2 GB to 8GB Solid State Drive for 7 inches variants. 4 GB to 16GB Solid State Drive for 8.9 inches  variants, 32 GB Solid State Drive for 10 inch EEE PC 1000. The 8.9 inch 904 HD and 10 inch 1000 HD contain 80 GB Hard Disk, 10 inch EEE PC 1000 H, 1000 HA contain 160 GB Hard Disk.
  • Additional storage: SD, SDHC, MMC, MS and MS Pro support.
  • Wireless support: 802.11b/802.11g wireless LAN
  • LAN: 10/100 Mbps Ethernet
  • Three USB 2.0 ports.
  • Camera: 0.3 megapixel to 1.3 megapixel
  • Operating System: Xandros Linux or Windows XP but other operating sysytems like Eeebuntu are also avaiable
  • Dimensions: From minimum 225 × 165 × 35 mm to maximum of 265.9 × 191.3 × 38.1 mm
  • Battery life: Vary depending upon models. Minimum of 2.45 hrs for 7 inch variants to maximum of 7.8 hrs for 10 inch variants.
  • Some variants support bluetooth and wireless 802.11n
  • Audio: High definition 5.1 audio support
  • Additional ports: Microphone input, headphone jack, VGA out

The Asus EEE PC is available in colours White, Galaxy black, Lush Green and Sky Blue. The prices vary depending upon the model chosen starting at $249.

Automating Internet Connections For wvdial In Linux

This is with reference to the post Internet via GPRS in Linux. But it can be used for any Internet connection that uses wvdial.

First use the command


In my case the output was

Bus 003 Device 005: ID 0421:0802 Nokia Mobile Phones

Then run

sudo /sbin/modprobe usbserial product=0x0421 vendor=0x0802 <–replace 0421 and 0802 with your product and vendor id

Now create a file /etc/udev/rules.d/autointernet.rules using

sudo gedit /etc/udev/rules.d/autointernet.rules


sudo kwrite /etc/udev/rules.d/autointernet.rules

Enter or copy the following text into the file

ATTRS{idVendor}==”0421″,ATTRS{idProduct}==”0802″,RUN+=”/sbin/modprobe usbserial product=0x0421 vendor=0x0802″,SYMLINK+=”netdevice” #<–replace 0421 and 0802 with your product and vendor id

ACTION==”add”,SUBSYSTEM==”tty”,kernel==”ttyUSB0″,ATTRS{idVendor}==”0421″,ATTRS{idProduct}==”0802″,RUN+=”/usr/bin/connect_internet” #<– In my case kernel==”ttyUSB”0 was kernel==”ttyACM0″ as my modem used ACM0 for connection to internet

ACTION==”remove”,SUBSYSTEM==”usb”,kernel==”ttyUSB0″,RUN+=”/usr/bin/show_status” #<– In my case kernel==”ttyUSB”0 was kernel==”ttyACM0″ as my modem used ACM0 for connection to internet

Next create a file to initiate the internet connection in /usr/bin/connect_internet using:

sudo gedit /usr/bin/connect_internet


sudo kwrite /usr/bin/connect_internet

Enter the follwing text in it:

/usr/bin/wvdial &
/usr/bin/show_status con &

Create another file to display the status of the internet connection in /usr/bin/show_status using:

sudo gedit /usr/bin/show_status


sudo kwrite /usr/bin/show_status

Enter following text in it:

user=terminator; #<—specify your user name here

if[$# -eq 0];
DISPLAY=:0 su $user -c ‘notify-send -u critical “Internet Disconnected”‘;
while true;
if[[-n $(/sbin/ifconfig ppp0 2>&1 | grep “inet addr”)]];
Display=:0 su $user -c ‘notify-send “Internet Connected”‘;
exit 0;
sleep 1;

Next use follwing two commands:

sudo chmod +x /usr/bin/connect_internet
sudo chmod +x /usr/bin/show_status

You may need to install the notify-send utility in package libnotify to display the status of your internet connection.
To install use following command in Ubuntu:

sudo apt-get install libnotify-bin

Some distributions have the package installed.

Next time when you want to connect Internet just plug your device to the computer.