Archive for category Nerd Stuff

UPnP hacks emergence (your router might be in trouble)

Routers. Love ’em, hate ’em….you gotta have ’em.

There has been a number of router hacks recently but one of the most  dangerous vulnerabilities to come around (after WPS hacks. ak=reaver) is a UPnP issue that may make some routers not worth the money you paid.


The test is easy but the explanation is not.

Use this link to test your router….. GRC’s Instant UPnP Exposure Test


Click on the button that says “GRC’s Instant UPnP Exposure Test”. You can also click the “Services” and then “Shields Up!” to do a full network test.


Currently, Google is reporting that many suspected hacking systems are starting to scan all IP’s on the internet  for this vulnerability.

If you are interested in more data on this let me know how I can help.


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Verizon has a sharing attitude.

I have a few friends that are sensitive to conspiracy theories. FEMA camps, chem-trails, government spying are not far from their minds or conversations.

What I have noticed is that all of us (including those mentioned above) have a blind spot when it comes to admitted conspiracies and obvious spying by companies that provide a modicum of services to us.

This came to mind when I read about the change of service terms for Verizon Wireless (link here) that proudly informs Verizon customers that they have 30 days to alter some settings on their online account. If customers don’t change anything, Verizon will provide; Age, Sex, website visits, interests and physical location to third party vendors. (T-mobile and AT&T do the same thing but make it harder to change the default settings. )

The privacy policy comes as a default setting on Verizon phones. Customers that want out of the commercial spying have to go to Verizon’s privacy center. Once there, users have to sign into their accounts and after reading the new policy and given the option, they must choose for their information not to used for commercial marketing purposes.

Does it really matter…..? Likely not.
Does Verizon need to collect, archive, share my data to make MORE money off me? Likely not.
Did I change the default privacy settings. Ya!

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Paypal Email Crashes Outlook

A few days ago my Outlook 2007 would lockup once and a while. Thinking it was a PST issue, I rebuilt it, move to a backup computer but the issue continued.

After many hours of research and I was able to identify the issue and a solution. Google didnt have anything on the issue so I wanted to share it. —UPDATE- There is a bit of data on the Paypal forum now–

If Outlook, Incredimail or other email client crashes when you try to open or preview a Paypal email, (issue started 10-12-2011) the problem is the tracking pixel inserted into the HTML email. You can view these emails in text format or put a entry in your HOSTS file to avoid having Paypal track your email.

HOST File Fix for Paypal Crashing Outlook;

  • Run Notepad.exe as an administrator
  • Open the file HOSTS at this location – C:\Windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
  • Add the line below to the end of the file
  • (just copy and paste it as the one of the zeros is actually a “O”)
  • Save the file
  • Enjoy a crash free Outlook experience for now

Paypal has a history of rolling out half backed solutions and taking months to resolve the issues caused. I expect this to be a irritating issue for many people and that it takes months to resolve.


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Should I Change My Password?

Should I change my password?

If you have asked yourself this question, you are ahead of the curve. Many people think of a password like a key that you make and keep forever. The only issue is, if we are talking a key (email or account password) then the lock is available to everyone in the world. This is why you have to have a good password.

The real bummer is that even if you create and safely store a password, other people (ie; Sony, PBS,, Gawker, and others) may have had their databases hacked and have shared your password (with them ) with hackers.

These hacks are talked about all the time in the news and lately, I find myself tuning them out. That was before I found this website;

When I ran one of my old email addresses, I found that Lifehacker, back in December had their databases hacked. If I had used the same password on any other accounts…the hackers would now have a copy of my key.

Rule; 1 – Dont use the same password for any account. If you want to know why….reread the above post.

If you are wondering how long your password should be….reread this post HERE.

More Data— If you are wondering how this website knows that my email and password (used with the company that was hacked) had been exposed; These databases are hacked, sold, shared and eventually make their way on to the internet for free. This website checks your email address with these lists.



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Setting up a New Company

My parents exposed me early to self  employment. Working with them, (cleaning office buildings) I learned allot about all the many soft skills needed to be/run a company. From billing, scheduling, client communication to the actual work involved…it takes a ton effort to keep it all afloat.

Tamara had a recent idea for cool product; A Tissue Box cover idea. After running a product test pilot at Etsy, it seemed that the market existed. The real key came about when we found a custom fabric supplier.

While Tamara worked on the actual item design and production, I started on a website that incorporated a order, fulfillment and shipping method. In the past, we had used a full blown website ( to receive and process orders but the effort involved is dumbfounding. This time I tried a WordPress based theme that had some basic Content Management Database (PHP 5.0) built in.

After 36 hours of work I came up with We had liked the name SnotBots but SnotBot is a PrOn site…. so we adapted to Snotty to avoid any issues.

We used a great graphic designer Tyler Tinsley and he came up with a super logo design. We also used Frank to help us with some product design and marketing advice. Both have helped us in the past with some other designs.

In the future we hope to get official licensing from an unnamed company but that is a bit further than we have ever explored.

Have you started a company and how do you keep it afloat?



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