Thursday, December 23, 2010

How to stream media to your Android Phone from a Network Attached Storage Device (NAS).


How to run movies off a NAS on AndroidEver since I got my HTC Desire at the End of September 2010, I've wanted to be able to stream shows and songs from my NAS to my Phone.

Let's face it syning though USB sucks and when I'm at home I can have access to my entire media collection on my NAS.

One of the best things about Android is it's Linux Roots and Google's commitment to keeping Android an Open Source Platform.

This allowed some very cleaver app developers to create the apps that are going to allow us to do this very simple thing.

*Note: iPhones and at the time of this post Windows Phone 7 devices can't do this without some major setup or some sort of media server such as VLC or Windows Home server etc.

What you need.

Any NAS, I am using a Linksys Dual Bay NAS200 (which only has 10/100 Ethernet access), you will need a Android Phone the better the specs the better the performance. My Android Phone is a HTC Desire with the 1Ghz Snapdragon Processor and am running Android 2.2 (Froyo).

The app I am using for accessing the NAS is called File Expert, which is free. For playing the videos I am using RockPlayer which will also allow you to play DivX and Xvid videos. RockPlayer will stream the video from the NAS to your Android Phone.

The nice thing about this is on the Apple iOS devices you have to have your mac on and itunes open to with and have some sort of third party software installed on your Mac and iOS device to access your content wirelessly. On Android you just need the two apps.

Here is how you set it up; first I will assume you have a NAS already setup on your network; and your have configured it so everyone will have access or "guest" access

In File Expert on your Android handset, press on the network tab, then depending on your phone it may be a little bit different but on my HTC Desire I need to press the menu button then I want to press "New" then select Add New SMB Server; then Fill out the Server IP Address xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx and check Anonymous. Press Ok.

Then that's it, you can then browse your NAS if everything has been configured properly, and when you want to watch a video be sure to use RockPlayer especially if your using DivX or Xvid Files.

Full Video Tutorial Coming Soon!

Trevor

Posted via email from The OptionKey Blog

Monday, December 20, 2010

Windows Phone 7 Review

Windows Phone 7 Review


Windows Phone 7I've never had a problem working with technology. I've worked with windows, OS X, iphones, ipods, Android 1.6, 2.1, 2.2 and blackberry devices. I've seen and used windows mobile 6.5. I have never had any issue syncing, navigating or doing anything with any of these devices. Now welcome Windows Phone 7; Microsoft's "iPhone and Android" killer which it definitely is not. When Windows Phone 7 was released I went to have a look at it; they had a demo of it at the local Futureshop. At the time I thought the phone was mostly "Flash" it was a little confusing moving around Microsoft's operating system. Other then that I thought it might be ok. The overall impression I got is if you didn't like the way or style the iPhone or Android looked; Windows Phone 7 Might be a good solution. Boy was I wrong.

So Why do I dislike the Windows Phone 7 OS so much? There are a few things.

1) The Data Syncing is very lack lustre it is about the same as the Blackberry, just a little bit worse (in my opinion).

2) Adding a contact took 6 steps. That is ridiculous. The I was adding the contact I was never qued to add the phone number or email address to an existing contact. On my Android and iPhone it only took 2-3 steps!

3) The Messaging application only selected addresses that were imported from the gmail account so we could only send emails. If we wanted to SMS we had to input the full number.

4) If you want apps you have to have a LIVE Account! So I had to sign up for one. I was not impressed.

5) When we downloaded an one of the very few free apps, I have no idea where the heck it went!

6) The search only seems to work in sections. For example if I am in the Microsoft Apps Store it only searches the store, if I am in the email it only searches the email.

7) I was beginning to find the navigation confusing. there is a huge amount of scrolling in Windows Phone 7 and it varies from up and down to side to side. You never know which way your going to have to scroll.


This phone was picked out by someone with very limited computer skills against my suggestions for an iPhone 3GS or Android phone. The person that bought it was told by the sales person that they would find it easier then an iPhone, and when they couldn't get it working; they called me and I found it frustrating to get setup. Perhaps if I had an Xbox with a XBox Live account and a regular Microsoft Live account I would love it.

So this is my recommendation for those of you looking to buy a Windows 7 Phone. If your tied into Microsoft's services hey then go for it if you don't have Microsoft's Services then stick with A BlackBerry, iPhone or Android. If you are wondering Yes I did find Windows Mobile 6.5 easier to use and setup no matter how awkward it was.

Video to be posted soon!

Posted via email from The OptionKey Blog

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Going from a Democracy to an Empire

We live in interesting times... at least I think we do. Have you watched Star Wars episodes one to three recently? No, well maybe you should and then have a look at your local news paper and check out what the heck is going on in the world. See any similarities? No, well you should and here is why. Ever since September 11, 2001 (a tragic day in the history of the world); the United States and the western or "modernized" countries have to some respects become police states constantly in a state of emergency at least compared to pre 9/11. I highly recommend reading a post from Robert Elias, professor of Politics at the University of San Francisco era 2001, for a great article about Today's terrorism and what was/is America's foreign policy. Now if I'm going to compare today with what happened in Star Wars let's go back to 2001. The Bush administration was in power, and life was going along just fine there were many international disagreements, perhaps more so then before. The United States and the Western Countries are in a relatively Utopian State much like the Republic in Star Wars. So now this is going to get a little complicated here but I will try to explain it. Some bad stuff happens in Star Wars like the deaths of Jedi, and the realization of "rogue countries and companies (The Trade Federation)" that become a threat to the republic.

Now the extremist are the "Trade Federation", we lived with them bought things from them used them and now they want to kill us. Now in Star Wars the republic and Trade Federation have their little war (Iraq and Afghanistan) where the armies fight on the battle ground. However here is where the Terrorist are very cleaver. If Terrorist hate the way we live our lives, having technology, consumerism, etc, then they are as good if not more cleaver then Emperor Palpatine. We have democracy for now1 but I don't know if we will for much longer; we now live about two steps from being in a police state. Issues where common sense should prevail are trumped by over zealous calls for patriotism and security. We the people have allowed this to happen, making our countries almost no different then the corrupt "Dictatorships" our "governments" say are evil (except we have more technology). I do recognize that we still do have elections their for we are still technically a democracy but when only a small percentage of people come out to vote I seriously question that. Like in star wars where the government took away all the power from the people in the name of security, because of a war, then the Terrorists have already won.

The best examples of this I can give you is the conduct of the police at the G20 meeting in Toronto2, the reaction by The US Government and companies to Wikileaks. Here is a great example of optics. The Harper Government is all about Anti-Corruption but when they appoint a public sector whistleblower commissioner who is to busy berating their staff amongst other things then to do her job (See the Toronto Star Post). Like in Star Wars, where The Republic goes from being a republic to an Empire; I fear we maybe on the same path giving up our freedoms for temporary security. It has happened before heard of the great republic of Rome?

There is hope, there are many more political parties propping up like the Pirate Party and the Alberta Party. I hope that we can return to our governments governing with common sense, good will and reason instead of fear, and ideology. We have to make these changes before it's to late.

That's just my opinion. I hope I'm wrong.

1 - In Canada since in 2008 and 2009 Prime Minister Steven Harper Prorogued Parliament to avoid no-confidence votes. It basically set a precedent for how the Governor General (queen's representative) handles these kind of issues in the future.


Posted via email from The OptionKey Blog

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Open ID and API's. What Are They And How They Work?


In today's wonderful computing world you have a number of really popular companies (such as twitter, Google and Facebook to name a few) and they have a huge user base. To allow these users access to your web services you can use something called an API (Application Programming interface). An API allows a programmer to integrate a product or service into their particular product or service (such as a wordpress blog). A popular example would be having a GMail account and creating or accessing Your Wordpress account. This is made possible by their APIs which is why you see buttons like "Connect with Facebook" or "login with your GMail Account".

Now a good API that most people should have integrated into their website is Open ID. OpenID is a safe, faster, and easier way to log in to web sites. http://openid.net/. This way a user can use an account they already have (so long as that account uses open id) to login and join your site or web community without the user having to fill out another sign up form. This can be very useful when setting up a website with a CMS like Wordpress. The web developer that sets up such a site can then allow you to use an open ID login to access the site.

 

Who currently uses the Open ID Standard?

Google

Look for the “Sign in with a Google Account” button or use your Google Profile URL

Yahoo

Look for the “Sign in with Yahoo” button.

Yahoo! Japan

Look for the “Yahoo! JAPAN IDでログイン” button.

LiveJournal

Enter “username.livejournal.com”

Hyves

Click the “Sign in with Hyves” button.

Blogger

Enter your blog URL: “blogname.blogspot.com”

Flickr

Look for the “Sign in with Yahoo” button or use your photostream URL

Orange

Click the “Sign in with Orange” button or enter “orange.fr”

mixi

mixi is a web service that allows users to communicate with their friends and acquaintances.

MySpace

Look for the “Login with MySpaceID” button or enter “www.myspace.com/username

Wordpress

Enter your WordPress.com URL, for example: “username.wordpress.com”

AOL

Look for a “Sign in with AOL” button or enter “openid.aol.com/screenname

Chi.mp

Chi.mp allows you to create your own social hub on an OpenID domain you own and control.

ClaimID

ClaimID is an easy way to manage your online identity with OpenID.

myID.net

myID.net is an OpenID provider with support for groups and the Korean language.


myOpenID

myOpenID is the first standalone provider for both individuals and businesses, with secure multi-factor authentication.

Verisign

VeriSign’s Personal Identity Provider is an OpenID provider with support for multi-factor authentication.


Your Internet ID

Your Internet ID lets you build a social identity to use on the web.

Facebook

Please note who is notice who is missing from the list most noticeably Apple and Microsoft.

 

What are some benefits of using OpenID?

Most websites ask for an extended, repetitive amount of information in order to use their application. OpenID allows you to sign in to websites with a single click. Basic profile information (such as your name, birth date etc) can be used to pre-populate registration forms, so you spend more time engaging and less time filling out annoying registration pages.

Allowing the user to use Open ID will help reduce frustration and keep the user to a minimum number of multiple usernames and passwords which they may find difficult to remember. Since password recovery process is tedious the user will be more inclined to use the site that makes it easiest for them to use. However using the same password at each of your favorite websites poses a security risk. With OpenID, you can use a single, existing account (from providers like Google, Yahoo, AOL or your own blog) to sign in to thousands of websites without ever needing to create another username and password. This makes OpenID is the safer and easier method to joining new sites.

OpenID is a decentralized standard, meaning it is not controlled by any one website or service provider. You control how much personal information you choose to share with websites that accept OpenID. Multiple OpenIDs can be used for different websites or purposes. If your email (Google, Yahoo, AOL), photo stream (Flickr) or blog (Blogger, WordPress, LiveJournal) serves as your primary online presence, OpenID allows you to have a portable identity across the web.

Many web users deploy the same password across multiple websites. And since traditional passwords are not centrally administered, if a security compromise occurs at any website you use, a hacker could gain access to your password across multiple sites. OpenID is more secure because passwords are never shared with any websites, and if a compromise does occur, you can simply change the password for your OpenID, thus immediately preventing a hacker from gaining access to your accounts at any websites you visit.

Open ID Trusted SitesSince the focus of most OpenID providers (such as Google, Yahoo and AOL) is in identity management, they can be more thorough about protecting your online identity. Most website operators are less likely to be as dedicated to protecting your identity as the OpenID providers, whose focus is on securely hosting user identities.

Plugins such as the Wordpress Open ID plugin allows users to login to their local WordPress account using an OpenID. This also allows the enabling of commenters to leave authenticated comments using OpenID. The plugin also includes an OpenID provider, enabling users to login to OpenID-enabled sites using their own personal WordPress account. XRDS-Simple is required for the OpenID Provider and some features of the OpenID Consumer.

Developer documention for the Wordpress Open ID API, which includes all of the public methods and hooks for integrating with and extending the plugin, can be found here.

 

If you have any questions or comments please tweet them to me @trevortye on Twitter or email me

Posted via email from The OptionKey Blog

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Google Website Optimizer Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) vulnerability

Security Bulletin December 07, 2010

There is a potential security issue with Website Optimizer. The vulnerability in the Website Optimizer Control Script, allows the execution of malicious code on your site using a Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) attack. This attack can only take place if a website or browser has already been compromised by a separate attack. The immediate probability of this attack is low but it is essential take action to protect your site.

Google has a fixed for the bug, and all new experiments are not susceptible. However, any experiments that are currently running need to be updated. If you have any Website Optimizer scripts from paused or stopped experiments created before December 3, 2010, you will need to remove or update that code as well.

There are two ways to update your code. You can either stop current experiments, remove the old scripts, and create a new experiment, or you can update the code on your site directly. Creating a new experiment as it is the simpler method.

Creating a New Experiment

Stop any currently running Website Optimizer experiments
Remove all the Website Optimizer scripts from your site
Create a new experiment as normal. New experiments are not vulnerable.

To Update the Website Optimizer Control Script Directly Locate the Control Script on your site.

It should look something like this:

A/B Test Control Script
<!-- Google Website Optimizer Control Script -->
<script>
function utmx_section(){}function utmx(){}
(function(){var k='XXXXXXXXXX',d=document,l=d.location,c=d.cookie;function f(n){
if(c){var i=c.indexOf(n+'=');if(i>-1){var j=c.indexOf(';',i);return c.substring(i+n.
length+1,j<0?c.length:j)}}}var x=f('__utmx'),xx=f('__utmxx'),h=l.hash;
d.write('<sc'+'ript src="'+
'http'+(l.protocol=='https:'?'s://ssl':'://www')+'.google-analytics.com'
+'/siteopt.js?v=1&utmxkey='+k+'&utmx='+(x?x:'')+'&utmxx='+(xx?xx:'')+'&utmxtime='
+new Date().valueOf()+(h?'&utmxhash='+escape(h.substr(1)):'')+
'" type="text/javascript" charset="utf-8"></sc'+'ript>')})();
</script><script>utmx("url",'A/B');</script>
<!-- End of Google Website Optimizer Control Script -->


Multivariate Test Control Script
<!-- Google Website Optimizer Control Script -->
<script>
function utmx_section(){}function utmx(){}
(function(){var k='XXXXXXXXXX',d=document,l=d.location,c=d.cookie;function f(n){
if(c){var i=c.indexOf(n+'=');if(i>-1){var j=c.indexOf(';',i);return c.substring(i+n.
length+1,j<0?c.length:j)}}}var x=f('__utmx'),xx=f('__utmxx'),h=l.hash;
d.write('<sc'+'ript src="'+
'http'+(l.protocol=='https:'?'s://ssl':'://www')+'.google-analytics.com'
+'/siteopt.js?v=1&utmxkey='+k+'&utmx='+(x?x:'')+'&utmxx='+(xx?xx:'')+'&utmxtime='
+new Date().valueOf()+(h?'&utmxhash='+escape(h.substr(1)):'')+
'" type="text/javascript" charset="utf-8"></sc'+'ript>')})();
</script>
<!-- End of Google Website Optimizer Control Script -->

Locate the following in the Control Script: return c.substring(...
Modify the following line as shown:
BEFORE: return c.substring(i+n.length+1,j<0?c.length:j)
FIXED: return escape(c.substring(i+n.length+1,j<0?c.length:j))
Make sure to include the final closing parenthesis “)”


Fixed A/B Control Script
<!-- Google Website Optimizer Control Script -->
<script>
function utmx_section(){}function utmx(){} (function(){var k='XXXXXXXXXX',d=document,l=d.location,c=d.cookie;function f(n){ if(c){var i=c.indexOf(n+'=');if(i>-1){var j=c.indexOf(';',i);
return escape(c.substring(i+n.length+1,j<0?c.length:j))}}}
var x=f('__utmx'),xx=f('__utmxx'),h=l.hash; d.write('<sc'+'ript src="'+
'http'+(l.protocol=='https:'?'s://ssl':'://www')+'.google-analytics.com'
+'/siteopt.js?v=1&utmxkey='+k+'&utmx='+(x?x:'')+'&utmxx='+(xx?xx:'')+'&utmxtime='
+new Date().valueOf()+(h?'&utmxhash='+escape(h.substr(1)):'')+
'" type="text/javascript" charset="utf-8"></sc'+'ript>')})();
</script><script>utmx("url",'A/B');
</script>
<!-- End of Google Website Optimizer Control Script -->

Fixed Multivariate Control Script
<!-- Google Website Optimizer Control Script -->
<script>
function utmx_section(){}function utmx(){}
(function(){var k='XXXXXXXXXX',d=document,l=d.location,c=d.cookie;function f(n){
if(c){var i=c.indexOf(n+'=');if(i>-1){var j=c.indexOf(';',i);
return escape(c.substring(i+n.length+1,j<0?c.length:j))}}}
var x=f('__utmx'),xx=f('__utmxx'),h=l.hash; d.write('<sc'+'ript src="'+
'http'+(l.protocol=='https:'?'s://ssl':'://www')+'.google-analytics.com'
+'/siteopt.js?v=1&utmxkey='+k+'&utmx='+(x?x:'')+'&utmxx='+(xx?xx:'')+'&utmxtime='
+new Date().valueOf()+(h?'&utmxhash='+escape(h.substr(1)):'')+
'" type="text/javascript" charset="utf-8"></sc'+'ript>')})();
</script>
<!-- End of Google Website Optimizer Control Script -->

Note that the k=XXXXXXXXX line in the above Control Script examples is a placeholder.

Your experiment will continue as normal after you’ve made this update. There’s no need to pause or restart the experiment.

 

Trevor Tye

Posted via email from The OptionKey Blog

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