Yesterday I talked about Switzerland which is a command line tool for testing your ISP for interference and I’d wished there was a GUI version. Well, this morning I have for you Glasnost which is a Java Web-based tool to do just this. Just head on over to the site, and run the test. What could be easier?
Is your ISP interfering with your BitTorrent connections? Cutting off your VOIP calls? Undermining the principles of network neutrality? In order to answer those questions, concerned Internet users need tools to test their Internet connections and gather evidence about ISP interference practices. After all, if it weren’t for the testing efforts of Rob Topolski, the Associated Press, and EFF, Comcast would still be stone-walling about their now-infamous BitTorrent blocking efforts.
Developed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Switzerland is an open source software tool for testing the integrity of data communications over networks, ISPs and firewalls. It will spot IP packets which are forged or modified between clients, inform you, and give you copies of the modified packets.
At this point Switzerland is only a command-line tool so if you’re not comfortable with
C:\> then you might not want to delve into this one right now and wait for a GUI.
Oh, and bonus points if you find the source of the quote I used for the title of this post.
Providing you’re running Windows Vista Business (or Ultimate) you can download and install the free Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 software. Once you’ve got that running you can create virtual computers onto which you can install any operating system you want. For example, you could install a version of Linux. Maybe you got a beta copy of Windows 7, you could run that as I have. (Shown below.) If something goes wrong, just delete the virtual computer and start over. How easier could it be?
- Saving you an AAA membership
- Getting first-hand reviews
- Receiving advance traffic warnings
- Making travel buddies
- Getting the real weather
- Becoming a super stalker
- Making new friends
- Receiving better customer service
- Becoming more social
Get the full story and examples on Mashable.
A robots.txt file is something you can place on your Web server and most search engine crawlers will pay attention to its instructions. Those instructions are which directories should not be indexed by those crawlers. Well, since mid 2003 when it was first noticed, the robots.txt file for the Bush White House Web site has ranged from 1000 to more than 2400 lines long. That was thousands of directories worth of content in whitehouse.gov which was not findable via such search engines as Google. As of mid-day this past January 20, 2008, it is now just four lines long, only three of which actually prevent crawlers from indexing certain directories. (And for the record, most Web masters will agree that these three lines are perfectly reasonable to block.)
I’ll quickly admit that I an not a programmer. I generally can steal a few lines of code and tweak it if necessary but the fact that it still works when I’m done with it will always amaze me. However, for those of you that understand PHP out there, be sure to check out Smashing Magazine’s list of 50 extremely useful PHP tools. I’m sure you’ll find something you can use right now.
Here’s a fun one, the Clicking Kitchen Grip. For those of us who just can’t let go of our mice, use these oven mitts and go make something to eat other than Cheetos and Mountain Dew. Here’s the link to the Gizmodo article. Unfortunately, I’ve never gotten the link to Bazar Design to work in the past few days.
Yesterday I shared with you a Firefox add-on to automatically upload Web images to Photobucket. Today, I have for you a bookmarklet that works in most browsers to allow you to automatically upload Web images to flickr. To install it, right-click on your bookmarks toolbar, choose New Bookmark (or whatever it’s called in your browser), name it “FlickrThis” and instead of giving a URL for the location, paste in the following code:
Now, when you get to a page containing an image you wish to post to your flickr account, click FlickrThis and choose the image from the ones presented on the screen. As I said yesterday, please keep Copyright in mind when using this tool.
If you’re a Firefox user and you use Photobucket for hosting your photos online, you should install the Photobucket Uploader add-on. Just right-click on an image in a Web page and select “Upload to Photobucket” to send it to your account. (Please keep copyright and the rights of the photographer/illustrator in mind while using this tool.)
Check out SourceForge.net the central repository for OpenSource software. Categories include Databases, Desktop, Financial, Games, Multimedia, Security, Storage and many others.