Tile windows like Windows 7 on XFCE

Windows 7 has a really nice feature that lets you tile a window to the left or right of the screen, allowing easier placement. This is normally activated with the Windows-(left, right, up down) Arrow key combination.

I had searched how to do this with XFCE for a while and today after upgrading to Fedora 18, XFCE 4.2 i found it.

If you go to Settings -> Window Manager -> Keyboard

There is a list of keyboard shortcuts, there is 4 towards the bottom called “Tile window to the (left, right, top, bottom)”. This is exactly what i wanted and have now assigned Windows-Left Arrow key and the other combinations to use this.

It’s a small thing, but makes resizing and moving windows around a lot quicker than manually doing it.

XFCE Application Menu Icons Missing

After i installed Fedora 18 XFCE i found that it by default doesnt show the icons on the application menu.

I normally navigate it by checking the images and not reading the words, so this inconvenienced me. On checking the properties I found that “Show icons in menu” was checked but it did not seem to work.

However a solution was suggested, and after running it and logging out and in, it worked.

Run this, then restart (or maybe just logout) and it should be fixed next time you login

gconftool-2 --type boolean --set /desktop/gnome/interface/buttons_have_icons true
gconftool-2 --type boolean --set /desktop/gnome/interface/menus_have_icons true

Leave a comment stating your linux distribution and setup if it worked or ask for any help in the comments.

IRC client on Raspberry Pi – Screen and irssi

A IRC client lets you connect to a IRC server enabling you to join chatrooms on that server. IRC servers do not by default store logs while you are not logged in. This can be annoying if you wish to keep informed of whats going in on the chatroom.

One solution to this is to never log out of the chat room. However this relies on constant access to the internet. Since I have a laptop this isnt feasible.

irssi and screen to the rescue

The solution for me was to install irssi on my raspberry pi and use that. irssi is a command line IRC client which means i can access it over SSH. This also means I can run it all the time on my raspberry pi and connect to it from wherever I am.

However, when you exit a ssh session it normally kills all the processes you are running, which means that irssi would stop.

To solve this, you can use a program called screen. This starts a new “screen” which can be detached and it will continue running even if you exit the ssh connection. This means you can run irssi all the time even when you are not connected.

On a raspberry pi (or any Debian type system) screen and irssi can be installed with the following command

sudo apt-get install screen irssi

Screen is relatively easy to use, to launch an instance you run “screen”. When you run screen you send commands to it by using ctrl-a and then pressing a third key. You can use screen like any terminal.

To disconnect from screen and keep it running in the background press ctrl-a d. To resume this you can type screen -r  then press tab to get a list of all current screen sessions. Typing in the correct one will let you resume. Here screen will be used to keep irssi open when I disconnect from SSH.

When both have been installed you can run screen and then irssi from inside your new screen instance. Once irssi has been launched you can use it to  join your IRC server.  For full details of how to use irssi view the irssi website.

Raspberry Pi!

During Christmas I got a raspberry pi and I have been waiting to start playing around with it for ages. Finally I decided to order the remaining pieces for it such as the power cable and SD card.

Since I didn’t have a HDMI TV around I decided to plug it into the router and see if it worked, luckily the latest version of the OS has DHCP and ssh enabled by default, which meant I didn’t even need to plug it into a screen to start using it.

I plan on looking at installing apache and icinga onto it to play around with and probably will run an instance of irssi as well.

The first things I installed were git and vim. Vim  is very useful when there is no full UI because of its many features and excellent code highlighting, I plan to use git to centralise some of my code that I plan to run on the pi.

All computer sounds reduced when plugging in an iPhone/iDevice

Since i reinstalled my laptop a couple of weeks ago the sound of many applications randomly got reduced requiring me to go into the sound mixer to restore the levels. I noticed this most often when i plugged in my iPhone into the computer.

Since i initially thought this was related to my iPhone in some way i googled around and found a suggested solution by kleptomaniacist on the apple forums.

To stop this you need to go to:

Control Panel -> Sound -> Communication Tab -> and select Do Nothing.

Windows 7 implemented this so that when it detected communication on your computer it reduces the sound of other applications, which while useful if you are communicating i have found it irritating when it falsely triggers reducing the sound of music. This most likely only affects windows 7+ computers.

20 year old French hacker is arrested after stealing 500k euros and infecting 17k smartphones

A 20-year-old hacker has been recently arrested in Amiens, France after allegedly stealing 500k euros from unwitting victims.

The hack worked by downloading and modifying android applications with a trojan which would call premium rate numbers in exchange for SMS codes  for playing online lotteries.

Central Office for the Fight against Crime Linked to Information Technology and Communication (OCLCTIC) tracked the creator of this network of trojans and uncovered the hacker. He stated that he did not do it for the money but “a love of computers and an ambition to be a software developer.”. According to the official report the users were charged around 130 euros for 30 SMS messages and many users did not notice this cost on their bill.

This outlines the issues with applications that can access any features of the phone and use them silently. Apple iOS devices have more protection to these type of hacks due to the limits that Apple put  on the phones and the necessary scrutiny that they put upon all applications. Furthermore since the only way to get apps without jail-breaking the iPhone is through the apple store it stops the majority of poisonous applications. Since Jail-breaking and downloading non-approved applications allows programs to drastically alter the iPhone its likely that its easier to program dangerous applications that can hide better, due to their ability to do anything to the phone.

We shall see if in the future there are further mobile phone hacks, but it is likely to increase due to the large amount of devices that people are using.

Anonymous remove support for Wikileaks and Julian Assange

On the left you can see the WikiLeaks “paywall” image that you currently see when visiting some of the released leaks. The “paywall” is now simple to get around just by reloading the page however it encourages you to donate, spread the word by sharing the video or posting to twitter. However in the first days it was on the website you have to explicitly disable JavaScript to get access to the site which meant many non-technical users had no way of accessing the website. The message at the bottom of the donation page states

“WikiLeaks is fighting a banking blockade. Donate or spread this campaign to make the popup go away. It appears once per day.”

Shortly after the paywall was placed on the site  there was a pastebin reply (now removed) from anonymous. In this reply they talk about the history of “supporting the organization WikiLeaks and it’s besieged founder Julian Assange”. Commenting that they have “provided some of the biggest leaks since the infamous cables were disclosed, incuding the Syria Files and the GI (Stratfor) Files”. The message goes on to talk about 14 members of their group in prison facing indictment (15 years in prison) and Jeremy Hammond and Bradley Mannings facing 20 years and life respectively. The message stated that they knew that the donation paywall could be circumnavigated by JavaScript nor that they had an issue with WikiLeaks asking for donations but felt that

“WikiLeaks has chosen to dishonor and insult Anonymous and all information activists by prostituting the Stratfor Files and other disclosures that Hammond and Manning stand accused of supplying”

The message ends with concern with the direction that WikiLeaks was going in, regarding that it has moved from leaks to a Julian Assange show asking for money. They state they shall not help WikiLeaks anymore that they will however not attack it as “they are media. We do not attack media.” They state they will release documents on WikiLeaks later, and that they have a variety of websites that they will continue to release leaks on. WikiLeaks responded to this via twitter

WikiLeaks @wikileaks A tweet, share, wait or donate campaign is not a “paywall”. You can read about our blockade and funding systems here: http://shop.wikileaks.org/donate

Which generated a variety of responses from users:

AnonymousIRC @AnonymousIRC – link

@wikileaks You just linked to ANOTHER donation site? At this time we discourage anyone from donating anything to WL until this is sorted.


Anonymous @DBCOOPA – link

@wikileaks It’s still a wall. It just seems to aggressive block the information in the interest of funds. We don’t like it. That’s all.


Sven Slootweg @joepie91 – link

@wikileaks If it isn’t a paywall, then where is the “No thanks” button, eh?

For now, the paywall it still there however it seems to disappear after reloading once, It seems WikiLeaks is now no longer supported by Anonymous. It will be interesting to see how this continues.