ACD Blog

The Ahimsa Creative Design Blog. This has information about design, how to make your own website, things to make your life easier, and technology updates in many fields, as well as nutritional information and healthy living, which are as important a part of technology as anything.

DDoS attack on Meetup.com

This is the story of how I fell in love with this website…

While a group of people had taken a similar passion to it, but a passion of distaste to either what it had to offer and what it stands for. At least thats what I had to assume when I saw this. Either that or the government had done it themselves….

Want to meet people who work in the same field as you, like the same things as you?, speak the same language as you?, or who are aren’t so socially adept at making friends… Like you?

Well then there is a website out there for you to do all these things. It’s www.meetup.com

I was first introduced to meetup.com when I moved to Vancouver in the start of 2013. I didn’t know anyone and wanted to meet people who worked in the same field, and I wanted to make some more connections, particularly in the game development area, which I was trying to crack into,a it has been a passion of mine for some time, and I wanted to take it further.

I started sending out resumes when I arrived. After some unsuccessful months, I was told that that’s just not the way people communicate these days, especially in a smaller city like Vancouver. Networking is the key, and when you meet the right people that like your style and need your skills, then it’ll happen for you.

So, like I do every week these days, I headed out last week, on my way to a meetup for people who have a startup company or people who want to work with a smaller, more dynamic company… Although this was a ski trip, where we planned to get the bus to Cypress Mountain near Vancouver, snowboard for a few hours then drink beer and network. Pretty awesome plan, eh… But on my way to that meetup tragedy struck.

Someone launched an attack on www.meetup.com. We all know the cyber-terrorist group Anonymous, who have famously taken down some of the worlds most secure sites, including the NSA. They generally are the robin hoods of the Internet, taking down government sites and powerful entities to show them that the little people still have the knowledge and power to fight back… But why meetup.com? Up until this point I had decided that this was the most fun living and positive thinking website out there, that not only strengthened bonds between fellow humans, but got us knowledge, jobs, and even the chance for love in the right circumstances.

Was this enough to enrage the people with the power to launch a DDoS attack? Did they ban the hackers network from starting a meetup, and, like a lover scorned the rose petals withered and all we were left with were thorns? It started to make me think, and I thought I better do some more research on meetup.com to see where their ethics lie and why they might be attacked. I hoped it was just because they are popular, as I was hoping not to find out a more sinister motive behind their company,as which is often the case these days, where data mining is rife and every time you type your name into a text field online, you are being sold like a data slave to the highest bidder.

So I went online to find the news about this site, hoping that it was not someone like anonymous defending our human rights, as I didn’t want to have to find out somethig about a company whose morals I thought were held high.

Here’s what I found

From prolexic.com

The Q4 2013 Global DDoS Attack Report analyzes the growing threat of mobile DDoS attack apps, which allow users to opt-in to DDoS attack campaigns. Traditional thinking dismissed the threat from mobile devices due to limited computing power. However, technological advances, ease of use and the exponential increase in the use of mobile devices have combined to pose an increasing threat.

Additionally, mobile networks use super proxies, making it more difficult to filter bad traffic from legitimate traffic, complicating DDoS mitigation efforts.

Prolexic’s latest DDoS attack report also shows that Q4 2013 once again set a new record in DDoS activity. Compared to the same quarter one year ago, total attack volume increased 26 percent. A week-by-week comparison to Q4 2012 shows increases in attack volume across eight of the 12 weeks of the quarter.

From reuters.com

“we’re going to come out of this much stronger. And I don’t mean that as just a trite euphemism, I mean it literally. Like, we are going to be much more secure,” he said.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has been investigating the attack since late last week when the assumed criminal group first offered to withhold it if Meetup paid $300.

The attack was the first in the site’s 12-year history, and Heiferman defended the move not to pay the paltry ransom.

“We made a decision not to negotiate with criminals,” he said in the post. “Payment could make us (and all well-meaning organizations like us) a target for further extortion demands as word spread in the criminal world.”

Meetup has almost 17 million members and, when online, was signing up between 15,000 and 20,000 people every day.


From CBC.ca

Glen Brauer organizes meetups in Vancouver and in 50 other cities through the Meetup site.

He said it’s been frustrating to watch the hack take place – and realize how hard it is to trace.

“It just seems if anyone can create these denial of service attacks and get away with them, then I think they will be more prevalent in the future, whether or not there is extortion demands attached to them.”

I read another ten articles, but it was all copy and paste over the Internet.

The main thing I found out about this, is that one person can seemingly easily launch a DDoS attack on a server, and mobile t.,ethnology is now often used to do it, which greatly decreases the computing setup cost of an attack like this. The fact that the hacker demanded only $300 dollars made me think that that was just to cover the cost of the equipment he or she bought to make the attack in the first place. Could you do a DDoS attack using half an iphone? Guess has to be android. My girlfriend has an android phone. It’s such a piece of shit that it’s like it’s getting a DDoS attack on it all the time (Samsung galaxy Gt s7560m), but that could be my Apple love speaking.

As it turns out, you need an army of zombie computers to do it, which makes the whole process very 2013, as people couldn’t seem to shut up about zombies that while year. On all accounts though, it will be an increasing trend, but at the same time will open up a window for new companies to provide equipment to stop these attacks.

The conclusion

I’m happy to say that I did not find anything bad about www.meetup.com today in researching this, but I did gain some knowledge about a DDoS attack and the fact that a single person can initiate one of these things. Whenever I hear about a hacker making very “successful” virus or attack, I have to feel somewhat in awe of them as they obviously have great programming skills, but just wonder why they waste all that effort I’d doing harm when they could be doing great things to help their fellow man (and woman) acheive better things. Hello, of I had programming skills, I could be a one man company, as I can do graphic, audio, animation, web work. Maybe I can use meetup.com to start an angry hackers group and we could make millions on the app market.

Want to know more

http://computer.howstuffworks.com/zombie-computer3.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denial-of-service_attack

Custom WordPress login

The psychology of seeing a good login screen is worth a lot as you are rarely motivated by a boring grey screen. Customizing your login screen is a great way to fix that.
For many years i have been re-coding my wordpress logins to suit my needs. Some things you need to edit CSS for (color and images), and some PHP(change the text). Im going to show you a few simple ways to do it yourself, and for those without the skills you needn’t worry, as there are some simple solutions you can do without any hassle, and without taking much of your time.

GET A PLUGIN

There are quite a few plugins out there, but a couple I found recently im pretty impressed by. Be careful to always use a plugin that is compatible with your version of WordPress. The plugins i recommend are either the “Custom Login” by Extendd and the “yith-custom-login.1.0.1.” by Yith. They are quite different and so i recommend them separately for different uses. The main difference is that the Yith plugin has a large white background around your login, making it float above the background. Its super easy to use but doesnt integrate as well into the background like is possible with the Extendd plugin.

Extendd Pluginhttp://wordpress.org/plugins/custom-login/

I like its simplicity and how it integrates nicely with the background rather than floating above it.

Yith Pluginhttp://wordpress.org/plugins/yith-custom-login/

can be handy if you want a little critter hanging on the side. Its usually parrot but i replaced its head with a monkey in Photoshop. You can easily remove that guy by ticking a check box to leave a clean looking login area.

Extendd Plugin How to Use

Personally i like it without the border, so im going to show you how to use the Extendd plugin.The Yith plugin has almost identical instructions, so you can follow along just as easily.

I recommend this plugin – http://wordpress.org/plugins/custom-login/ made by TheFrosty from Extendd – also found here – http://extendd.com/plugin/custom-login/ . I would recommend getting from the wordpress.org site as its usually more up to date. Its totally free, but just so you know, they also have a pro version. I dont think its necessary for most people and i could see any major differences that a general user would use – but feel free to find out more here – http://extendd.com/plugin/wordpress-custom-login-pro/

One you have installed the plugin, you can find its settings in the Setting menu (Hows that for obviousness?)

There are many options and the color options are the easiest way to change your login panel. You can change the Main background (very easy), the form colors and background (very easy) and the image above your login form (requires a little extra work…see below)

So if you want to change the image above your WordPress login form, you can upload an image easily. There is a slight setback. The plugin will not generally change the size of the image space so if you put a large image in there it will be somewhat distorted. The easiest thing to do is use an image exactly the same size. You can change the sizing, and i will show you how to easily do this. (Note: the Yith plugin actually allows you to set the size of that image area without the custom CSS)

Please note you must tell the plugin how you want the space to react to the new image. If you just upload a larger image it will get squashed into that space. I had hoped the plugin was smart enough to automatically expand the spot, but seems like it doesn’t, so see step 3 to find out how.

Step1 – upload your image and change the main background.

I would really suggest you make a very tall but not very wide image that can be repeated across the whole page. This saves on download time. As you can see I have repeated the plank of wood across the page, which is only 25Kb. If you want you can make a large image, but make sure you center it and dont repeat it. Also make sure its not too massive. 150Kb would be the absolute largest.

Step2 – upload your company logo choose the “contain” background size.

Step 3 – down the bottom you can add some custom CSS

#login h1 a {

height: 219px;

margin-bottom: 10px;

}

You have to make sure that the image you uploaded is the right size for the space. My image was 278px X 219px. You only need to put in the height attribute. I also added 10px padding on the bottom to create a little space.

Step4 Don’t like the look on the strange white shadow on the text…. its easy to change

Use the “below form anchor” part of the control panel

and da-da! you got yourself a fantastic login panel.

Some other examples of logins I hand coded in the past – long before they had fancy plugins like todays example. See below for the “do it yourself” coders method where you dont need the plugin.

Do It Yourself method

If you would rather not have an extra plugin on your site, you can very simply change the login form. Each version of WordPress is slightly different, I’m using version 2.5 for this example but the CSS selectors have stayed the same basically for years now so I’m sure you can use for almost any version.

One of the most simple and most important changes is swapping the wordpress logo with your own. If you leave the image the same size, you can just open the image, change it and save as the same name and re-upload. Super simple

Find this file

[YourWordpressInstallFolder]/wp-admin/images/wordpress-logo.png

and copy to your desktop. Open in Photoshop, delete the base layer, add your image or text (PNG supports transparency so you dont need to fill the whole space)and save the file(using File>”save for web“). Then upload to the same location.It will tell you there is an identically named image there and you say “replace”.

SOME OTHER TIPS

In your wordpress install folder. find this file and edit it.

[YourWordpressInstallFolder]/wp-admin/css/wp-admin.min.css

change the color of the login form

.login form

background: none repeat scroll 0 0 #FF0000; (the last number will change to whatever color you want. you can easily get it from Photoshop)

all of the background functions can be replaced with images

background:url(“http://www.alishan-organics.com/red_plank.jpg”) repeat scroll 0 0 #cc5a16;

just replace the “none” with background:url(“http://www.domain.com/image.jpg”)

This works for the login area as well as the main page. This is pretty easy and can be very rewarding but maybe too complicated for most. if so just stick to the plugins i mentioned before. It really make a big difference to see a custom login screen when working on a site. Its makes it feel more professional and gets you in the mood to be productive. Good luck!

Sennheiser Headphone Upgrade Time Lapse

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iPad Apps : Restore your Sense of Wonder – for Free!

So you know whats better than a free app. Nothing.
Well maybe having sex while downloading a free app. (my girlfriend is going to kill me for saying that, but she doesn’t read my blog anyway). ahem…

So, Actually one thing i can think of thats better than a regular free app is a free app that allows you to learn something that expands your sense of wonder and leaves you smarter and loving how the universe is more amazing than you thought (or reminds you of that).

Here are 3 free iPad apps that really deserve all the praise and admiration that I can send them. They really expand your mind in simple and understandable ways that are fun for all ages.

The first two are form the “Exploratorium” and focus on two of my favorite areas on the world. Color and Sound.

Lets start with color

Exploratorium: COLOR Uncovered

col·or ( ˈkələr/)

noun

  1. the property possessed by an object of producing different sensations on the eye as a result of the way the object reflects or emits light.”the lights flickered and changed color”
  2. pigmentation of the skin, esp. as an indication of someone’s race.”discrimination on the basis of color”

This app I discovered by accident and was a happy day as I was instantly hooked. The type of app where you look at a page or two and decide to savor the rest by only looking at one more thing each day, kind of like the nerd eating the apple in “The Neverending Story”.

I am a graphic and web designer so I have studied color theory in depth ( and actually about 3 times for different courses) so I know it pretty well and this basically brought all the most sciencey and interesting things from color theory into this app. Simultaneous contrast, persistence of vision. Dischordant colors. It’s all there in iPad retina glory.

It has the kind of experiments that you instantly want to show someone when you do it to see if they can guess right. Go and get this app. It’s free and what have you got to lose.

and now for sound

Exploratorium: SOUND Uncovered

sound

noun
  1. vibrations that travel through the air or another medium and can be heard when they reach a person’s or animal’s ear.
    “light travels faster than sound”
  2. sound produced by continuous and regular vibrations, as opposed to noise.

So after I finished the color:exploratorium, I went, gee I hope they make more of them. Seemed like it might be in a series. And I was right! And sound. Yippee. I think for most people sound is even harder to fathom as you can’t see it (I knew that before I got the app. That’s how smart I am).

So it’s just as good as the first one, and I won’t give it all away, but it starts out on the shepherds tone, which is an awesome sound phenomenon and has some other fantastic surprises in there too. I a, studying mixing and mastering right now (and working on an album) so understanding frequencies and their psychological and social effects are extremely interesting for me.

Once again can’t recommend these enough. And awesome for kids. They are so interestingly interactive that the kids of all ages will love playing with it. And you will definitely be surprised by some of it.

and as a bonus prize – the 4th dimension!

The 4th Dimension

disclaimer: i threw this one in a t the last minute as i love it so much, but unfortunately its not free , but it certainly fits int the sense of wonder category) I must also add that this one also works for the iPhone and iPod touch, but i strongly suggest you try in on an iPad

Do you know what a tesseract is?

(as a footnote after i wrote this, I saw “The Avengers” which represent it with a small blue cube, obviously to denote that its 4th dimensional properties can bend the boundaries of time and space – which may not be so far from the truth)
No its not one of those flying dinosaurs you used t love as a kid.
its what happens when you spin a cube in the 4th dimension. Most of use think the 4th dimension is time, but as modern science tells us, is that we live in a 11 dimensions universe, 12 if you believe in super gravity, making time the 12 or 13th dimension in that case, but we time and space are so intrinsically liked that they are impossible to separate.

Well this app is not about any of what i just said, well, except the first bit. The forst time i saw movement in the 4th dimension it really blew me away, as its basically a mathematical equation represented by a seemingly 3 dimensional diagram. but of course its just a representation on a 2 dimensional screen.

Confused. well you needn’t be anymore, as this awesome app will show you how it’s all possible. It’s very easy to understand and very hands on and you can get from one end to the other in about 10-15 minutes depending on how much you play with it. The app I mean. You shouldn’t get carried away when you play with the 4th dimension, and if you did it may be outside of our visual universe.

My Favorite Podcasts in 2014 so far

These are the favorite podcasts of mine that I listen to at the moment, and have been listening to for some time. I made a blog post about my favorite Podcasts about 18 months ago (see link) and I still love those ones. This bunch of new ones that I listen to, I encourage you to check out. I’m happy to get feedback good bad or otherwise.

Lets face it, as a designer i spend most parts of most days on the computer, and on the average day, I listen to podcasts for at least an two or three hours a day. My main topics of interest are science (in particular Physics (astronomy and particle physics)), lifestyle, health and nutrition, and technology. I listen to these as these are the things that affect my life, and will do so in the future. Basically its all science, and for those that want to understand the universe.

Some call that “critical thinking”, but i feel that sounds negative and prefer to call it just “thinking and wondering” or “trying to find out why the universe is so goddam awesome (without resorting to mythological trickery). I also love the history aspect of science and how technology and perception has evolved over the years. When you think about it, we have come a long way. While the world is not perfect, we are certainly progressing at lightning speed, and if you listened to these podcasts, you’d know how fast that was. There also has to be some kind of balance between learning and entertainment, as i can only devote a certain amount of my brainpower to listening to these podcasts as i’m busy working. If they are good enough, I will revisit them later when i have more time to let the information sink in.

So with the advent of iOS 7, downloading podcasts has become so much easier. They all download automatically over wifi and you never have to connect your iPad to your computer. That is great because I am not a big fan of the iTunes software. So now you can have up to date podcasts all the time. Another major improvement is streaming technology and in many cases you can stream live if you want to listen to a live feed for example. If you are a podcast fanatic like me, even with a 64GB iPad, you will need to spring clean on a weekly basis and listening live gives you the extra option of saving hard disk space.

Podcasts have become so popular that Apple decided to liberate them into their own app. This is an awesome idea as it was time consuming to open iTunes every time i wanted to listen to a podcast. Lots of Podcasts that have stayed successful have actually created their own apps now, so I will not only introduce the podcasts but also any associated apps.

Stuff You Should Know

Well actually I must say that this is my favorite podcast by far right now, and has been consistently for a while now. It’s the cousin podcast of one of my other favorites “Stuff to blow your mind” but has broader subjects and a more casual presentation.

These guys talk about just about anything. It’s completely random, but if you have some random question in your mind about something, it’s fairly likely that at some point they have researched it. They cover everything from “Were Abe Lincoln’s underpants made from hemp” (I made that up but it gives you the general idea) to “What was the purpose behind ‘Occupy Wall St.’”. It’s questions you had wandering around in your mind that you never bothered to answer. Almost every second or third podcast that gets released, I think, wow, I was just thinking about this the other day.

The best part of this podcast is that they way they present it is like they have researched it independently, as when one states a bit of knowledge he has found, the other is often shocked about that fact. That be said their ideas are coherent and seem to fill the void the other leaves, making the experience quite coherent. Another great part is that they are also quite opinionated, so it’s not just presenting the facts, but two peoples opinions of the facts… And when your opinion aligns with theirs, which mine almost always does it adds to the experience.

Definitely one to check out.

Recent episode topics

  • How amputation works
  • How salt works
  • Is lethal injection humane
  • Is there a scientific formula for funny?

[button link="http://www.stuffyoushouldknow.com" target="blank" size="small"]Stuff You Should Know website[/button]

Mysterious universe + app

So. Mysterious Universe. Where to start with this? It’s probably the zaniest podcast I’ve ever listened to. The subject matter is off the charts and it makes me laugh out loud every time. I love it too because they will basically give everyone a chance to have their say and take it at. Face value, no matter how crazy the concept is. Alien abductions.. No problems. Afterlife.. Sure why not. Government conspiracy… Yeah that might be it. The start of every article is presented with just what they found out… And then the fun starts.

They will either then, say, here are some facts that back that up, we don’t really know whether that’s true or not, but it’s interesting, or that is so ridiculous that the fact someone thinks that is outrageous. They are people that want to believe that the world has a paranormal side, but know there is no sure fire way to prove it, so they just decide whether each story seems viable or not. In almost very episode there is a Sasquatch section where the stories are so funny, and I love when the act out the Sasquatch voices. You really have to hear it.

Another great thing about this podcast is that it’s incredibly long. Each episode is over an hour, and if you become a plus subscriber, you get an extra 40 minutes or so. What’s that you ask? Well if you pay 9 dollars, you can become a plus subscriber, where you get extended episodes, with ads removed, plus an extra show every Monday (the regular show is Wednesday). I thought I would never pay that much for a podcast, but after listening for a month or so I had to subscribe. For someone like me I want some chigger chatter on while I work and my 9 dollars buys me about. 15 hours of hilarious science and non-science banter from two very funny Australian guys.

Give it a go. You will know whether you like it within one episode. It’s a love or hate podcast for sure.

The app – I better add that as I run mysterious universe directly from its own app. The app is epic. It has all links from the episode, so youn further research anything you find interestingly some extra bits and pieces. Even links to all the songs. They don’t actually play songs in t, except they have 20 second clips now and then, of various genres. They are usually pretty good so I mainly check the song titles and artists. I don’t research the other things much as I don’t have time but sometimes there is something I just must find out more about. The app is good for that .

One note is that if you aren’t a plus subscriber, there is advertising on the app, which kind of gets in the way. This disappears if you upgrade (and also upgrades the feed to 320kb/s) plus gives you the longer episodes, add-free plus the extra show on Mondays.

[button link="http://www.mysteriousuniverse.org" target="blank" size="small"]Mysterious Universe website[/button]

The Guardian – Science Weekly with Alok Jha

Alok Jha is a legend in my eyes. I have seen him on countless do documentaries and guests on various science podcasts and shows. He is the kind of guy who can freestyle on almost any topic and sound like he has a prepared speech. He is very knowledgeable, and almost always asks the questions that appear in my head when listening to those science podcasts. I can’t begin to tell you how happy that makes me, as often there are many unanswered question when you listen to deep science podcasts so it’s great to have someone who thinks like you do asking the questions.

Oh yes, that brings me to the next point. He is not presenting anything in this podcast. Each episode (usually) is an interview with a scientist presenting a particular view of science with the most recent discoveries , which are often under scrutiny, and it gives the scientists a chance to explain the fundamental reasons that these advances have been made. In word. Epic. And Alok Jha so the guy you want to present this stuff.

Examples of recent podcasts from the Guardian science

  • Forensic Science written in blood
  • Our Mathematical Universe
  • Bringing the Sun down to Earth
  • Science 2013 – from Google Burger to Higgs Hotel

[button link="http://www.theguardian.com/profile/alokjha" target="blank" size="small"]Alok Jha on the Guardian website[/button]

Stitcher app

This thing is amazing, and could completely replace your podcast app, but unlike your podcasts, its best feature is recommending random shows within categories you like. Think of it as the Netflix of the podcast world. (For those not in America or Canada, Netflix streams movies and TV shows onto your TV)

Stitcher has all kinds of shows, but what i use it for is the “Latest News Feed”.It goes for about an hour if you wanted to listen to the whole feed, but it updates every few minutes, so its easily to refresh it after an hour and keep listening. It contains an amazingly diverse. Each article goes for about 5 minutes too, so you can find out a lot. For example the feed i’m listening to contains

  • Chameleons using color to communicate
  • Nirvana and other bands join rock and roll hall of fame
  • Six troops die in helicopter crash in Afghanistan
  • ‘Geek’ has been voted word of the year
  • Navy expands Sonar testing despite marine life concerns

So as you can tell. Anything goes.Its world news. Its pretty simple, and just an overview of what happening. My kind of news.

You can also make your own stations, so just add science related news or comedy or any other category

I must say, they do have an upgrade to “Stitcher Plus” which is $5.99 for 3 months ( which is an introductory price so i assume it gets higher after that). This removes ads. i wouldn’t bother unless you listen to this app all the time. It does just play them right in the middle of what you are listening, so you can miss out on the end of your story. That IS pretty annoying sometimes if you are really hooked on that article. Its easy to get back to it though by clicking on it again.

Then there is NPR. NPR is awesome. Hands down my favorite collection of seemingly needless but actually awesome news stories. NPR deserves as much community support as we can muster.the way I see it, use Stitcher to listen to NPR. Stitcher has a better ability to make money than NPR does, but every time you listen to NPR through Stitcher you vote for them and Stitcher will make sure NPR stays afloat. One thing that is important to remember, is that the feed qualty is pretty low, which is fine for speech and news but not great for music and things that require quality. I haven’t really ever noticed too much problem with this ( in some ways i like the old school AM radio kind of sound) but something to remember. If you like a specific podcast they i recommend you download it independently.

[button link="http://www.stitcher.com" target="blank" size="small"]Stitcher website[/button]

The round up

So there you have it. My current favorites. Please give them a go and give me some feedback. I’m always open to suggestions too and love being introduced to somethign new.

I love bouncing between happy-go-lucky podcasts like mysterious universe which is often infused with tongue in cheek pseudoscience, and then listen to the guardian where the science of the real world actually surpasses expectations, and almost always amazes me as much.

The world is a beautiful place. Know science. Make it fun. Listen to the news but not too much, and as always.. Thanks for watching.

(more…)

Super Simple Page redirect

Making clean beautiful web addresses for all your projects

Well if you are a web designer, or just have a website of your own, I bet you have files here and there and everywhere. If you have files in folders or subdomains and you want to make them a bit more harmonious.

Ok, here is a quick tip to redirect people to other websites that you work with, or just make simple shortcuts for yourself.

This is an extremely powerful tool that i have been utilizing for some time. its very handy if you only own one hosted domain and still want professional looking web links.I have just updated too code for HTML5, so its even simpler than it was before.

I know you can do this with tiny url or another shortener -but its nowhere near as personalized.
You can read about it here in my previous blog post – http://ahimsa-creative.com/ahimsa_collective/AC2011/2013/02/08/the-best-way-to-shorten-urls/
(yes the URL is ironically really long!! shoosh!!)

in a new html document
(which can be any text document which ends in.htm) – or download this file

<!DOCTYPE HTML>
<html>
<head>
<meta http-equiv=”REFRESH” content=”0;url=http://www.YOURURL.com/folder/file.htm“>
<title>Ahimsa Creative Redirect</title>
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So if you put the index.html in a folder called “shortcut” on your server, iit will go to your destination.
Beware: if you redirect people to something that they consider to be not what they wanted or expected, they will stop using your site or even worse report you for spamming them! So please be careful with this.

Does this affect your google page rank?

The basic answer is, probably. Google changes their search methods constantly but has strict online documentation regarding these things. The general consensus is that, as long as it is a 0(zero)second redirect, it will be treated as a 301-redirect (more info). If you are going to move a whole website, i strongly recommend you do a 301 redirect, as this will serve you better in the long run and give you better results with all future google updates.

So why use this method?

This method is just a handy and quick way to make easy little redirects on your server. i use it for these 3 links…

http://www.ahimsa-creative.com/blog
http://www.ahimsa-creative.com/portfolio
http://www.ahimsa-creative.com/music

…as i want to make it as easy as possible for people to access my blog, portfolio and Music pages. I can say from experience that it has in no way hampered my Google rank and i’m still way up there. I am willing to risk it to make it more convenient for my website users, as well as the fact that I trust googles logarithms to give me rank privilege as I let these links stay active for a very long time and don’t change them very often.

The other fantastic methods to use for this function are things that already have their own web link but are a pain in the ass to remember. You can make yourself a bunch of links to save yourself a bunch of hassle and time.

This is a snapshot of my ahimsa-creative.com server

Here are some awesome links i made for myself.

http://www.ahimsa-creative.com/twitter
http://www.ahimsa-creative.com/facebook
http://www.ahimsa-creative.com/flickr
http://www.ahimsa-creative.com/aboutme
http://www.ahimsa-creative.com/instagram
http://www.ahimsa-creative.com/linkedin

as you can see, a major time saver, and also extremely easy when you want to tell someone how to get to one of your associated social media or other pages.

Using this technique, with the technique i explain in my Firefox search engine modification page makes like even easier. Find out more here http://ahimsa-creative.com/ahimsa_collective/AC2011/2013/08/05/firefox-search-bar-fun/

Ahimsa : DeepeSens Music Site

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Ready to Jailbreak your iOS7 device?

Scroll down to the middle if you just want the software to install the new jailbreak

So as a long term jailbreak user, (since ios4.2 limera1n and greenpOison and later redsn0w) it has been a hard year (but not necessarily a bad one) just having to use a regular non-jailbroken device as you get used to all the fabulous UI (user interface) tweaks that make having Cydia and the jailbreak hacks worthwhile on your device. While being able to “try before you buy” apps on your device is handy (especially if they are really expensive and there are many alternatives) its not the main reason for me to do so. If you just install the UI tweaks (my favorite listed below) you will not be at the mercy of pirated apps from the dodgy app stores and your device will stay secure.

Some of you may have read my review on the previous evad3rs jailbreak called evasi0n – here which i have been using for ages on my iOS 5 iPad and its rock solid (i have another older iPad which is my experimentation ground)

So….. I plan to get my interface back to a more functional level. My Phone used to have so many pirated apps that it was impossible for me to upgrade to the newest iOS . While that was good in a way, as I believe its better to wait as long as possible before updating an iOS, and this teaches you patience and wariness for updating just for the sake of it, it does mean you miss out on truly understanding some of the new key features. As I myself am working on a game to be released on the app store, I want to make sure at least one of my iPads has the latest iOS

If you have purchased Cydia interface upgrades, they will still be available to you in iOS7. Some may no longer be compatible, but the interface upgrades are the ones which get updated first, so you will generally be fine.

As with all jailbreaks. I hope everyone understand the reason for a jailbreak device. You own it. Its yours. You can do whatever you want with it. Don’t be fooled into the government or corporations telling you otherwise. Its your choice to modify anything you own to make it however you want. On the flipside to this, and something we are all learning is that value/currency/payment is a system that is rapidly changing, and the idea of money will too. Until that point the people that make music, software, games etc are still using it. You vote with your dollar, so support the people and companies that you want to survive. Vote with your dollar and pay for the apps that you use. They will appreciate it , and keep making great apps and things that you obviously like. (or you wouldn’t be using it)

soon you can have an iPad that works like this.

The jailbreak iOS 7 news

While Jay Freeman (Saurik) has warned about any early jailbreaks, as he still hadn’t found a stable version of mobile substrate to run on the 64-bit systems, by using the activator install (which allows a whole bunch of new hand swipe gestures onto your device. Evad3rs had partnered up with the dubious Chinese TaiG app store, which has now been severed, thankfully and your jailbreak devices will be safer for it.

its now 2 weeks since i heard that news, and the system seems to be totally stable. I would keep your ears out for any update to mobile substrate as essentially its the gateway to your device and how it interacts with all the jailbreak upgrades. If all this confuses you then dotn get too concerned. the NSA is basically watching you anyway, so I dont see how a little less privacy is going to hurt.

One things we need to be aware of these days is that your iCoud keychain is probably the most important thing on your iPad or iPhone and that will allow someone access to your credit card numbers and other passwords, although apple themselves have also been know to lose a few number now and then. The moral of the story here is, play safe and I would still recommend using a 3rd party password holder like 1password.

How to jailbreak your iOS 7 device

So here is how to actually do it. Its super simple and i have to say evad3rs once again made the easiest JB ever. Much easier than some i have done that take hours. While this takes a while, it’s so easy, you just need to unlock your phone in the middle of the process, so make a cup of tea and read a book (or my blog) while you do it. You should also be sure to disable your 4 digit passcode before you do. Be careful when you do this as you do NOT want it to delete your saved iCloud Keychain passwords. Just click “keep”.

So download from here or go to the main website listed below: DO NOT GO ANYWHERE ELSE there are loads of scams on the internet that get you to install bogus apps. most are harmless and they are just making money out of you downloading apps for them, but some may damage your install and you may lose a bunch of data. Oh and if you can, please backup your device.

Just run the software with your iPad attached to your computer. Thats it. brilliant!

Mac OS

[button link="https://evad3rs.box.com/s/q4xydmi2qzgqdhqr35i0" target="blank" size="small"]click here for Mac OS iOS7.x evasi0n jailbreak[/button]

PC

[button link="https://evad3rs.box.com/s/hzapsnk73mbrs770z50y" target="blank" size="small"]click here for PC iOS7.x evasi0n jailbreak[/button]

or get it from their website – http://evasi0n.com/

you can find out more on their twitter page- https://twitter.com/evad3rs

Heres what it looks like on the iPad once Cydia is installed. Just click on it.

The essential iOS UI upgrades (according to me!)

Activator – Allows any new swipe and tape gestures to open apps, change setting and generally save a bunch of time for things you do often

I used to use hold home button to enable and disable my wifi but now Siri has taken that function i recommend. It actually quote easy to activate and de-activate the wifi now (apple copied the jailbreak activator(with SB settings – see below) design to make their new “control center” so thats no major problem. one handy shortcut I use “double tap the time” for my calendar as that makes more sense. The possibilities are (almost) endless.

Infinidock – allows an infinitely scrollable dock, as well as extra icons (or folders) . I recommend 9 icons for an iPad “otherwise it gets too squishy in portrait mode., you can have another 9 just waiting off the the side. This is by far the best jailbreak app i have ever used. Put folders in here to have almost every app you have accessible in 2 taps. Note: you cant make folders while an app is in the dock. take it out, combine them then bring the folder back into the dock.

Infiniboard – vertically scroll your icons, which helps keep them in more defined groups. Please note: As the new search screen is a pull down menu, if you do make your icon vertical scrolls very long, it will not be very convenient to go back to the top and scroll to the search function. Also of all these tweaks, it seems the most incompatible with iOS67 in the sense that they were designed for different purposes.

Iconoclasm – allows you to add rows of icons on one screen, can be combined with “shrink” to make them smaller. I recommend 5×5

This will also make a big mess.

When you install iconoclasm and infiniboard, be prepared for all your icons to be taken out of their folders and you will need to rearrange all of them. Make sure to do screen-grabs of your screens before installing this upgrade as its a pain in the ass to remember where everything was. Hours of fun getting that all perfect again (maybe) but worth it in the end ( definitely). You will get a warning from iOS7 telling you that it has adjusted your layout to prevent errors.

My solution to the big mess… AHIMSA CREATIVE SUPER TIP!!! Put 9 folders in your infini-dock (or 18 on two screens) to do a simple cleanup of your icons into categories. makes it really easy to put all icons in a group on their own page later. Also its much easier to make folders while in the top row! (as icons often try to slide up, but in this circumstance they are stuck there)

Barrel – make the transition from screen to screen more fun. make it a cube, swirly thing (some are annoying) subtle is good. different is good.

Zeppelin – not functional per-se, just changes your carrier logo to zelda, or batman, or anything better than what it was. I use zelda. Zelda is awesome. its totally free. and awesome. did i say it was awesome?

and this tip

In this picture you can see all 6 activated on my iPad

Note: How to respring? - this is a necessary function that you need to do if iconoclasm or any other crash, or get disabled. without SB settings you dont have an easily available button anymore, so try this in activator – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fz7Jq-ytwO0

Where to get these

I purchased all of these through Cydia (yes hackers eat food too!) . All in all for them i paid about 10 bucks. They are easy to get for free- so why?, well i dont have to add any sources to my phone (which is also easy but I dont want to , and im happy to support the jailbreak community, as they are providing us with a freedom that we would surely miss. It also means i never have to back these apps up as they will forever be installed in any Cydia installation i do in the future. This will give you the cleanest and most reliable jailbreak installation without any add-ons. Note: every app you re-install will make you restart your springboard, and essentially reboot the OS. You will have to put your password in every time, which gets tedious but its only say an hour of your life.

apps you CANT use in iOS 7

Folderenhancer – add custome background textures to folders plus add infinite scrolling in folders.

Display out – allows you output the display from your iPad to your tv, although i dont have a connector with a lightning port to hdmi anyway.

Multiflow – im sad about htis as it was the bbest multitasking app on iOS by far… makes all available apps open on screen simutaneously, like expose on your mac. cantr wait until the update this as i hate the iOS multitasking ( whcih doesnt even have “close all’ or “free up memory”. it has not worked since iOS 6, so we may be waiting a long time for this one.

RetinaPad – while this was a true saviour on my old iPad, by automatically (WTF!) upgrading all iPhone games to iPad resolution, amazing!! Anyway since the retina revolution, almost all apps have retina quality now so its no longer needed.

infinifolders – like infiniboard for inside folders… unfortunately we will have to live with the silly 9 item folders for the moment. Also allows folders in folders.

SB settings – while the new apple iOS7 has a pretty nifty “control center” – this still takes the cake because you can make it active any way you want (using activator) and also “free up memory” whihc is very handy. anyway. DO NOT install this as it will kill all your other jailbreak devices ( i tried it and it was true). There is a workaround (see below if you are impatient)

Taking it further

If you do want to take your phone further, you can add sources. there are many things that are available outside of just stealing apps, so for the hgh end users, you may want to give it a go ( and its fun pushing your phone/ipad to its limits, breaking it and starting again, if thats your thing. -

How to add a repo – http://www.ijailbreak.com/cydia/how-to-add-a-cydia-repository/

Top repos for 2014 ( not guaranteeing anything as i haven’t used them) – http://www.cydiarepo.com/257/top-cydia-sources-repos-for-ios-7/

Get activator and SB settings ( I would wait until the update) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i1ZmIySya8

Repos are nto dangerous by adding, its what you can do with the software that can be dangerous. If you cant understand what you are doing you are probably not the kind of person that should be doing it. i know that goes against just about everything Einstein said, but he never jailbroke an iPhone, that i can be sure of.

If you every get stuck and your iDevice you can do a hard reboot bu holding the sleep and power buttons for 5-10 seconds until the screen goes balck. then hold the power button for 3-5 seconds. should get back to a workable state.

Read More

Why not to use third party versions of mobilesubstrate:
http://www.ibtimes.com/mobilesubstrate-ios-7-jailbreak-update-saurik-says-no-eta-release-date-warns-against-unofficial

and the partership of evad3rs and the dubious chinese TaiG app@ store has now been severed, thankfully and your jaiolbreak devices will be safer for it
http://www.ibtimes.com/evasi0n-ios-7-jailbreak-controversy-evad3rs-disable-taig-chinese-app-store-installation-after-piracy

Simple Awesome Screenshots in OSX

So, this is nothing new, but every time you upgrade your operating system this thing seems to revert, and it certainly did happen to me when i recently upgraded to OSX 10.9 Mavericks. I take a lot of screen grabs. I mainly use them for emails (where i dont need to save them), but sometimes i do and I really dont want them hanging around all over my desktop thankyou very much!

By default, they appear on the desktop, but they can be easily told to go to a folder. I keep a “Screenshots” on the desktop for easy referencing. Its always sorted by “Date Modified” descending, so the newest one is at the top. This method works for any version of OSX but i assume you are all upgrading to 10.9 most recently.

Here’s the method for making a nice screenshot folder on your desktop

STEP1

  • Click this link (which will show you some png images of cameras)
  • Click the camera image you like. When it appears bigger and loads right click on it and select “copy image”
  • Go to your desktop. Type ⌘-N to make a new folder – Call it “Screenshots
  • select the folder if it isnt already and type ⌘-I ( to see info) and then hit “tab”
  • type ⌘-V to paste the image in there, Now it looks pretty.That is important, and will help you find it much easier on your desktop.

STEP2

  • click the icon on the top right on your screen. Type in “Terminal” and open this app
  • copy and paste this into the terminal once it has started up and loaded, , then hit “return”

defaults write com.apple.screencapture location ~/Desktop/Screenshots

  • now copy and paste this into the terminal, then hit “return”

killall SystemUIServer

It should look like this, except it will have your computer name and user name.

and now you can take a screenshot and test to see if it worked.. It should appear in that folder. To take a screenshot see below.

The Basics of Screenshots in OSX

So while im writing this, i thought I better explain all the options available to you for Screenshots.I do know that many people still do not know how to do this, as people still often ask me what i’m doing when i take screen grabs. So heres the basic deal. You can take snapshots in OSX… (big whoop!) well, yes it is and its basically the most used function i use on it every day. and there are many awesome ways to do it.

There are 3 basic modes

 

Area Mode Presentation Mode Whole screen
⌘-shift-4 ⌘-shift-4 (release) space bar (release) click window ⌘-shift-3
• Selected area (the most useful) • Presentation Mode has a nice drop shadow and no background (makes it look pretty) • the whole screen (only use if you actually need t he menu to be visible on screen)

 

Details of each mode

Window Mode

-shift-4

In window mode you can draw a box around whatever you want and it will just give you that area… probably the most handy

….although there may be one that I use even more than that. If i only need it temporarily, why waste disk space by saving it, if you hold the “control” key when you click the mouse ( so its ⌘-shift-4, release the keys, hold control, click and draw your box, release the mouse – then ⌘-V when you are in the right program), it will just save it into your clipboard temporarily. You can then paste it into an email, or even into photoshop, which will automatically size the document to the last snapshot you made.

see example

Presentation Mode

-shift-4 (release) space bar (release) click window

This mode does exactly what it says it will. Make a window ready for presentation. You can see how below. It removes all the background, and make a nice drop shadow of the window. Like all Snapshots (unless you change the default) it is in PNG format, which means it contains transparency and the drop shadow will bledn into whatever background you have.

this is the same image put inside an orange table. No ugly white blends here!

Fullscreen Mode

-shift-3

This is fairly self explanatory and does what it says it will do…. I dont recommend this at all as it wastes disk space (by having a large file size) and is generally erdundant and harder to email. If proportionally shrunk down it also makes your target area much harder to see.

So I ope this helped some of you out there to streamline your screenshots. There are other modifications you can make but I generally suggest you leave them alone unless you know what you are doing. Happy Snapping!