Dreamhost Down Really Hard

Yesterday when I was trying to make some post on my blog, the whole dreamhost was down really hard, including the main sites and the dreamhost status site as well, that sucks! I then tried to post some comments on the status site, for some reason it look like hacked and I got stuck on the leave reply page showing that I’m logged in as micah, which I have no idea who is. I just went to sleep and hopefully I didn’t have to “dream” about the host outage.

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Root Account and Single User Mode

To discourage people to use the root account, by default some distro such as Ubuntu don’t set a password for the root user. This way people cannot login with the root account directly. However, without setting a password for root user, people can log into single user mode (aka recovery mode) with the root account without password, and then the user can do anything including change the password of any users.

You should set a password for the root user even if the distro doesn’t tell you to do so during the installation. If you haven’t set up a password for the root user yet, you can do so by typing sudo passwd root and type the new password. Once you set the password for the root user, next time you log in to single user mode or recovery mode, it will ask you for root’s password instead of just let you in.

Ubuntu 9.10 Grub 2 Caveat

Unlike Grub 1.x, in Grub 2 a partition number is the SAME as the number of the corresponding partition number inside of the /dev/ directory instead of that number minus one. For example, if the partition is /dev/sda1, then in Grub 2 it will be (hd0,1) while in the old Grub 1 it is (hd0,0) instead. Today when I install Ubuntu I wasn’t aware of that and I installed grub to (hd0,1), thinking that it is /dev/sda2 (Ubuntu’s partition) while it is actually /dev/sda1 (Windows’s partition) instead! I didn’t realized that until after I reboot and I couldn’t get into Windows. I then have to restore Windows’s boot sectors with Windows’s CD and try to install grub again! When you install Ubuntu 9.10 you have to be aware of this if you are planning to install Grub to a partition instead of the MBR.

Another scam?!

After getting the email scam from Amazon a couple weeks ago, today I got a scam mail sent from Canada by a company called “Inter-state marketing ltd” trying to jack my money! It comes with a $3995.00 check for me to deposit. I was surprised about it since it doesn’t look like those from the credit card company which don’t really pay. Then I opened the letter to check it out. It has a U.S. address in the header and it is from a company called “Inter-State Marketing Ltd.,” which I have never heard of. It also says that I have applied their “Customer Service Evaluator” position, which I have never been aware of either. It basically tells me to deposit $3415.00 to Western Union plus the service charge $170.00 WITHIN 48 hours, and it “pays” the rest $410.00 to me. It sounds too good to be true. After I do that I have to call a number with area code 905 (which is a Canadian number) and give them the MTCN number. WTH? That’s obvious telling me to give the money to them, because I have sent money to others this way before! What if the check is a bad check and it bounces back after they jacked the money? The letter also tell me to fill out the customer evaluation form and the schedule request sheet (which was missing in the mail) and fax it back to their office. I didn’t try it because it is too likely to be scam and I don’t want to risk it.
The mail is obvious from Canada because it has Canadian address and postage plus a Canadian phone number to reach back. Also on the check it has both English and French on the back, which tells me that the check must be from Canada, while it has U.S. bank addresses in the front!
Does anybody have similar experience of getting such scam mail?

images of the mail:

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Amazon scam from Nigeria

Before I have listed the phone HTC 8525 for sale in Amazon.com, one day I got an email saying that I have sold the phone and I have to ship it to 16 Razaq Balogun Street, a place in Surulere, Nigeria. The email asked for international express mail so that they can get it by next Wednesday and it gives me about forty bucks of shipping credit for me to ship, it also claims that it has like thousands of deposits on Amazon.com for purchase protection (something which Amazon.com never has). At first I thought it was true and I took my phone to USPS to ship without checking amazon first, and the postage was only $34 and I thought I would make ten buck more out of the shipping credit this time.

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Vista Temporary Internet Files Virtualized

Yesterday after scanning virus with Kaspersky online(which is a Java Applet), I saved the log file in my documents; however, I can’t find it anywhere in my document folder. I thought it was lost, so I opened the online scanner and tried to save again and I still saw the old file there. I wondered where did it go, so I searched for it, but Vista’s search function is quite useless and it didn’t find it. I then looked into the AppData folder to try to find it but still nothing. Later on I tried to boot into Linux and searched for the file again, and I found it in the “AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Virtualized” folder, which was kinda weird. It was Vista’s new security feature to Virtualize those programs that are incompatible and make them to write to a different folder than the actual one, but how come other programs can’t see those virtualized files? To prevent things like this, I have to run Internet Explorer as administrator to save the file in order for the file to be written to the correct folder.

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