How to Make a Travel Blog

Creating a travel blog is a great way to keep your friends and family updated with your travels. I previously created a list of free travel blog hosts. Those are all good basic solutions, but if you want more features and control, such as your own custom domain name, I recommend using Wordpress software hosted on your own domain name, like www.your-custom-domain-name.com. Site5 also offers automatic installation of photo gallery software like Coppermine, Gallery2, and 4images, as well as mailing list software like PHPlist, and much more...

It's easy! Here are the steps:

Linux for Travelers Forums

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The Linux for Travelers forums are back online. You can now register for this site and ask questions about Linux in the forums.

There are also forums for topics like Windows security, and using Linux in Internet cafes...

The Risks of Using Public Computers

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Most public computers that I have scanned in my travels are infested with spyware, viruses and/or trojans (malware). It is hard enough to keep a Windows computer clean of viruses if you are the only one using the computer. It is extremely difficult to keep a computer clean if hundreds or even thousands of people are using it.

These are some common activities that people do that can get a Windows computer infected with malware:

  • Opening email attachments, even ones sent by friends
  • Browsing the Web with Internet Explorer (especially non-XP/SP2 version of Windows)
  • Using programs like Kazaa, Limewire, and Bearshare to share files online

Windows Vista - A Zombie Operating System?

Eweek.com has a great article about why Windows Vista is so bad: Night of the Living Vista.

Linux Internet Cafe in Toronto, Canada

If you are traveling in Toronto, check out the Linux Caffe — a cafe run entirely with Linux and Free open source software.

Newsforge also has an article about LinuxCaffe:

When Patrick and family finally opened the doors to the linuxcaffe in June 2005, he had lived up to his goal of 100% open source. The business runs Ubuntu Linux on five servers. The point-of-sale server runs the L'âne POS application on a Celeron 700, with a Javelin Wedge P150 touch screen thin client terminal. There's also a media server on a Pentium 4 that runs the jukebox, videos, and webcams; a Pentium 3 development server running Asterisk and anything else they're testing; and the "burn unit," Patrick's nickname for the Pentium 3 machine that is dedicated to burning CDs and DVDs for clients.

Patrick and his employees gleefully burn and distribute free Linux CDs to anyone who shows an interest. In a post at the linuxcaffe blog, he tells the story of a young Rwandan girl who saw the shop's marquee promoting Ubuntu Linux, came in to inform them that Ubuntu 4U meant "free for you" in her language, and walked out carrying her very own official copy of Ubuntu.

Wi-Fi access is free at the café, but visitors may also rent a computer while they're there. "We've standardized on ThinkPad 600s for rental units," Patrick says, "and they run beautifully as thin clients. The great thing about it is they're inexpensive [and] customers feel special because they're using a laptop."

If you are looking for an Internet cafe in Toronto, check out Linux Caffe at 326 Harbord Street.

Running Damn Small Linux in Ubuntu

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I recently followed some instructions for putting Damn Small Linux on a thumb drive and was suprised to find that the latest version easily boots inside of Windows and Linux as well as directly from the thumb drive.

Here are some screenshots of Damn Small Linux running inside of Ubuntu Linux. Notice the window borders:

Booting Damn Small Linux inside of Ubuntu

Second boot screen, DSL in QEMU

Public Web Surfing Article in the New York Times

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The New York Times ran an article on the dangers of using public Internet access.

While it is hard to say how likely it is that someone is lurking on a public network, many public networks do not have adequate security.

Last fall, InfoWorld magazine published an article about a security researcher who managed to collect more than 100 passwords, per stay, at hotels with lax security (about half the hotels she tested).

Gathering reliable statistics about security breaches is notoriously difficult, since companies are reluctant to reveal this information. Still, the most recent computer crime and security survey, conducted annually by the Computer Security Institute with the Federal Burea Description of Investigation, found that the average loss from computer security incidents in 2005 was $167,713 per respondent (based on 313 companies and organizations that answered the question).

As Jim Louderback, editor of PC Magazine, noted, the statistics may not matter given the problems one data breach can cause.

The article mostly covers wireless computing. You can read the full article here.

Firefox 2.0 Released

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Firefox version 2 was recently released. I haven't had a chance to install it yet, but it is worth checking out.

Firefox is more secure than Internet Explorer, and has more features. Internet Explorer 7 has also been released, but based on the very bad security record of IE, it is not recommended.

Click here to get Firefox.

Ubuntu 6.10 Edgy Eft

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A new version of Ubuntu has been released, code named Edgy Eft.

You can download the new version of Ubuntu at Ubuntu.com.

Scambaiting and 419ers

You may have seen emails where someone from a foreign country promised to transfer millions of dollars into your bank account from the late General [so-and-so] if you will just give them your bank account number.

Surprisingly there are people that actually fall for this trick.

It is especially common in Nigeria so it is sometimes called the Nigerian 419 email scam. I belive that the "419" refers to the legal code that is being violated.

Some resources and reading to educate yourself about these kinds of email scams:

I recieved the following scambaiting email today and wanted to post it as an example:

ATTN:

My name is Barrister Anderson Mako I am a private attorney . and I have a client who is interested in investing some good money in your country.

My client is a very important and prominent person who has mandated me to contact you for a very important business transaction my client is by name Mrs. Maryam Abacha and she is the wife of a Late Military head of state in one of the richest african country.

Her husband Late General Sanni Abacha made a lot of money through Oil proceeds during his tenure in office. In fact it was discovered after his death that he was worth well over $4.5 billion in United State Dollars and some of this money was retrieve after he died while some was recovered from officials that served under him during his reign as president of Nigeria.

The truth of this case is that my client despite the problem she is going through now, she still has a lot of money in her possession, which she intends to invest outside her country.

What my client need from you now is reliable account
where she can transfer some money but mind you, all the
money in her possessions cannot leave at once because she need to build confidence and trust.