20 Jul 2010 @ 9:38 PM 

Someone in the US Cyber Command HQ at Ft Meade has a slight sense of humour. Check out their logo

US Cyber Command

US Cyber Command

Can you spot the hidden message (hint….you may need to click on the image to enlarge it)?

I will reveal it only because anyone with the ability to Google will no doubt be able to get the answer. Look at the text around the inner circle of the logo. You will see the following numbers and letters:

9ec4c12949a4f31474f299058ce2b22a

What does it all mean? Try running the string through a md5 decoding utility like the one located here and see what you get.

Listen…….can you hear the sound of Dan Brown working on his new novel as we speak?

Posted By: Chief Tech
Last Edit: 20 Jul 2010 @ 09:38 PM

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 20 Jul 2010 @ 8:25 PM 

It would seem that Apple have now gone into damage control with the Antennagate problem touched upon in the last New Tech Order post. It appears that Apple have announced that they will be providing free bumper cases to disgruntled iPhone 4 owners or providing refunds for those who have already purchased one.

Too little too late? Hard to say at this point, at least it seems that Apple PR are starting along the right track. However, will this be the advantage need for those nipping at Apples heels to take?

And on the topic of Apple troubles, it would seem that my upgrade to iOS 4.0 and the subsequent 4.0.1 seems to have been a lucky one. Widespread reports are filtering through of massive performance issues post upgrades for iPhone 3G and 3GS users! Lucky me…I guess.

Posted By: Chief Tech
Last Edit: 20 Jul 2010 @ 08:25 PM

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 18 Jul 2010 @ 5:39 PM 
iOS 4.0.1 upgrade screen

iOS 4.0.1 upgrade screen

Apple have made their iOS 4.0.1 software upgrade available today. Unlike other upgrades, you don’t receive a critical security fix that will keep you safer, and you don’t get a new feature that will make your use of the phone even more complete. What you do get is a better way of displaying how well (or how bad) the phone reception is in your area.

This is in response to the recent bad press received by the launch of the new iPhone 4 regarding the loss of signal that can occur when you are holding the phone. Apple admitted that the algorithm to calculate the number of bars shown for a given signal strength was incorrect and this new and complete iOS update will fix that “problem”.

This is truly a great and worthy update to spend time downloading. You will now see just exactly how crap the phone service in your area actually is instead of being lulled into a false sense of security with the full 5 bars at all times until you are out of range.

While I think the iPhone 4 is a nice piece of design work and will no doubt raise the bar yet again amongst handset makers to try and compete, it does highlight one major design flaw that seems evident across a range of technology devices; design over function.

Devices that are designed to send and receive signals require an antenna. Very simple, something that has been known about radio based transmission devices for a large number of years now. Unfortunately the antenna on the common mobile phone seems to have gradually over time vanished. The average consumer possible thought that new technology came about to relieve the need for an antenna, however not really. All phones regardless of model or design have an antenna place somewhere within the device. It may not be obvious however it is there.

In the case of the iPhone 4, it would seem that the need to keep to the design standard of Apple won out over the need to actually produce a product that would viably work in common use scenarios. The antenna on the iPhone 4 is actually wrapped around the outside of the casing in an effort to save space. Holding the phone (as you normally would while making a phone call) attenuates the signal to the point where it may either lose the call or connection you are on or at the very least degrade it.

Now comes the corporate spin part. One possible fix to this problem is to use the Apple produced iPhone 4 bumper case. Hmmm, could it be possible that Apple were prepared for this occurrence?

Posted By: Chief Tech
Last Edit: 18 Jul 2010 @ 05:39 PM

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 07 Jul 2010 @ 12:37 AM 

I love reading some of the public service type publications from 1950’s America….they just stand the test of time so well! A good example is the following little gem from archive.org entitled Atomic Bombing. How to protect yourself.

This is a book covering in excruciating and graphic detail (I really can’t think of anything else that you might want to know) what to do in the event of an A-bomb attack. It even comes with lots of illustrations to make it an easy read for the kiddies (I guess? Must have been some really traumatised kids in the 50’s).

It is a fairly large file (about 25 MB PDF) and it isn’t on the greatest of servers, but worth it for historical-humour value alone.

There are many choice amusing segments which I will let you discover on your own, however this is one of my favourites so far. Important information to help make your home safer!

HOW TO MAKE YOUR HOME SAFER
There are a number of things you can do to make your own home safer. Few will go to the extreme of building a two-foot-thick, reinforced-concrete wall around the house, although this would provide almost complete protection. But you can remove overhanging cornices, heavy indoor light fixtures which might fall, false ceilings and the like. Light, combustile curtains and draperies are a serious fire hazard at your windows. Such ornamental fabrics should be fireproof — or removed completely.

If you home is within three miles of a possible A-bomb target and you have a picture window in the living room, you ¬†might substitute plastic for plate glass. Wired glass would also make your windows safer…

EDIT: 13/2/2011, It would seem the server this document was hosted on finally gave up the ghost. The link is dead, but the original document can be found here for your reading pleasure.

Posted By: Chief Tech
Last Edit: 15 Feb 2011 @ 07:33 PM

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 03 Jul 2010 @ 1:30 AM 

Ironically the broken link checker plugin caused the site to become a broken link. Something screwy happened with the upgrade to WordPress 3.0! All seems good after a reinstall….. but we shall see!

Posted By: Chief Tech
Last Edit: 03 Jul 2010 @ 01:30 AM

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