March 18, 2009

Mystery quiz applications on the 'new' Facebook

Yet another revamp. This one isn't so good I feel. There's an information overload and it's not very legible. I liked the previous font sizing variation and the ability to select the level of detail you want. Changing the Home content according to different friend lists or applications is a cool new feature though. The only good new feature in my opinion.

Do you have quizzes turning up on your Home page? I do! Lots of them. And you can't hide them, because all the new Home can do is hide updates from that particular friend, which is not what I want it to do! I don't want to see anymore weird quizzes about birthdays an animals! I found a few of them by name and blocked them. They (2 of them) disappeared from the left side menu. Yes!!!

But no. A few minutes later I had another 2 quizzes added in! Like wtf? Whatever happened to the Facebook we had total control over??

(Notice the last 2 links)

No, they don't turn up on your Applications page either. Any ideas anyone?

March 14, 2009

Boo Yahoo! Mail + Go Gmail! (or Windows Live)

I finally decided to make the switch from Yahoo! Mail to Gmail. I love the bells and whistles offered by Gmail. Plus I've been trained for Google Apps at work so I learnt a lot more about it. Also, Yahoo's started to slow down and I keep getting errors. What I like about it was the Outlook-type interface with drag-n-drop. Gmail makes up for it with the shortcuts and Labs features. I love the calendar and tasks integration too. Yahoo's got unlimited space, but hitting 7 gigs itself is close to impossible!

Over 10 years ago I started off with Yahoo, moved to Hotmail, came back to Yahoo and now I'm switching to Gmail. In this latest step I realised how rigid Yahoo is. They don't have any sort of mail forwarding, you can't export your contacts and no POP/IMAP access is included. They support checking mail through POP/IMAP and contact importing from anywhere. Then they lock your stuff in! If you want to get your stuff out, you have to pay! Basically. Smartasses!! Even MSN (Windows Live) is opening up and becoming like Gmail. It lets you do whatever you want with your mail. Yahoo should stop being so rigid! Google's the king of search but Yahoo still is the king of webmail and a lot of other things.

On a side note, there's talk that Windows 7 + Windows Live Suite will equate to a pretty complete package. The Live Suite is turning out to be pretty neat. So far so good. Live Mail (Hotmail) has sped up considerably. Check out Live Mesh and Live Sync for file sharing/synchronization across multiple platforms. Take a look at Live Photo Gallery too. I think it's as fast as Picasa! If not a little faster, and offers direct uploading to Picasaweb, Youtube and even Facebook. Microsoft is finally learning the beauty of keeping things open!

March 11, 2009

Using your ANU Web Quota on your own Laptop

After returning to this ANU after a while, I've realised that ANU has changed their internet quota policy changing from a max of 80MB (topped up at a rate of 10MB a day) to a max of 1000MB (topped up at a rate of 1000MB a day).

As such, this means that you can do a whole lot of things with the data but the computers in the IT labs don't give you much freedom (administration restrictions) and a lot of people (including myself) prefer using their own laptop. As such these are the settings that would enable you to do just that:

1) Proxy Settings:
2) Authentication Settings: University ID and Password

NB: This can only be done from an InfoCommons lab as wwwcache bars other IP addresses.

March 5, 2009

Yahoo! Mail does not support Linux...

The all-new Yahoo! Mail does not seem to support Linux. Although so far I havent add issues using it in Linux, Yahoo officially mentions that "The all-new Yahoo! Mail has not been tested with your operating system". Above is the screen shot.

Interesting thing about this notification is, I have been getting this only in the past two days. It used to be perfectly fine (no notifications) before that. And I still say all the features I've tried out in the new Yahoo! Mail works fine with Linux.

March 1, 2009

Connecting to NUS VPN via iPhone

Today whilst I was at K-Gourmet Cafe, I felt like connecting remotely to my XPS from my iPhone. The iPhone natively of course doesn't support RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) and as such one needs to install an app that allows you to do so. I personally use Jaadu RDP for this purpose though there are quite a few out there.

Since my computer lies on the NUS domain, the app works, but ONLY over WiFi which initially was fine for me until today, as for some weird reason there isn't a hotspot at K-Gourmet!

Since I have a data plan with SingTel I wanted to figure out a way to connect to the comp over 3G. In order to be connect I first had to be on NUSNET by some means or another. I tried the obvious route of WebVPN, with not much hope (because of the Java requirement), and unsurprisingly it authenticated me, but didn't do much else!

I was always aware that the iPhone had VPN settings (with CISCO IPSec - which is what NUS used to use before WebVPN). I tried searching for the settings but couldn't come across anything substantial and with a LOT of trial and error, I finally had success!

So below, I shall post the settings for anyone who wishes to connect to NUS VPN from outside NUS using an iPhone:

  1. Make sure the iPhone can connect to the internet via WiFi or 3G
  2. Go to Settings-->General-->Network
  3. Click on VPN
  4. Choose "Add VPN Configuration"
  5. Click on the IPSec tab
  6. Enter the following settings:
    • Description: NUS VPN (or anything else you want to name the profile)
    • Server: (this is for connecting from outside NUS)
    • Account: u0XXXXXX (your NUSNET ID)
    • Password: Leave blank (you will be prompted when you connect)
    • Group Name: inside-nus
    • Secret: inside-nus
  7. Hit "Save" on the top right corner
  8. Connect to VPN.

That should be it, you should now be prompted to enter you credentials and then get a message welcoming you to NUS VPN!

NB: For the server: should work as well, but I've not tried it.