MintInstall Ready For Testing

MintInstall, one of the many features that sets Linux Mint apart from it’s brother Ubuntu, has been updated and improved. Clem, the founder and principle programmer behind Linux Mint announced yesterday that he’s created a DEB file for people to begin installing the new program and testing it.

If you are a user of Linux Mint, you should go ahead and download the new version of MintInstall. If you’re not a user of Linux Mint, you should be. :)

Flash Enabled in Chrome on Linux?

I downloaded and installed the latest version of Chrome for Linux on my copy of 64-bit Linux Mint 7, today. Thinking nothing of it, I went on with my normal procedures. Then, Michael Klurfeld posted a Digg link to one of TechGeist’s stories. At the top of the story was an embedded YouTube video. Fully expecting it to show a big blank space as Chrome on Linux always has where a YouTube video should appear, I went on with reading the story.

I then looked up and noticed that the YouTube player had loaded and was showing the first frame of the video with the standard “Play” emblem in the middle of it. “This must just be a screen shot or something, like YouTube uses on their home page,” I thought, at first. Just for kicks, I decided to click the video anyway.

Much to my amazement, it started playing.

Latest WordPress Version 2.8.4 Exploited

This evening I did my twice-weekly check to see if any of my WordPress blogs have been exploited and what do you know…CenterNetworks has been exploited. I was checking every day but moved it to twice a week checks after the last security patch for WordPress that moved the blog to 2.8.4. The exploit took place last night as far as I can tell and has already been indexed in Google so there goes my traffic and earnings.

When the “big hacker” event happened earlier this month, WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg noted, “The only thing that I can promise will keep your blog secure today and in the future is upgrading.” As of this evening, I can only assume his promise no longer stands valid.

I can’t tell whether the exploits are coming through WordPress or my host, Rackspace. Rackspace always says it’s on the WordPress side. I am happy to provide whatever I can to WordPress to help them figure out what happened and I can only hope that eventually they get this fixed. Rackspace personnel called me this evening and noted that the permissions are all set correctly on the server. If it’s something on my end, I’d like to know that as well.

Update Midnight: Rackspace is now running a XSS checker on this site.

Update 4:30pm Saturday: Rackspace is now saying that they believe someone logged into CN and manually changed the template file. They are supposed to be sending over some logs soon.

Update: 8pm Saturday: I’ve received the log files – unfortunately they don’t show much beyond someone editing the footer include. If someone from WordPress would like the files, please contact me.

Each and every time that my WordPress sites are exploited and/or hacked, I seriously regret moving away from Drupal where in over three years I wasn’t hacked once.

Related: The Good, The Bad and The Exploited – My Move from Drupal to WordPress

Windows 7 Nearly Free For Students

Microsoft announced today that they will be selling Windows 7 Home Premium to students within the U.S. for a mere $29 (75% off the normal price). If any of you are thinking that price sounds familiar, you’re absolutely right. That’s the same price at which Apple is selling upgrades to the new Snow Leopard operating system. There are some major differences between Apple’s offer and Microsoft’s.

Microsoft Feeding the Hungry with IE8

Microsoft is making a philanthropic effort to get everybody running Internet Explorer 8. Apparently MS was already donating eight meals to a group called Feeding America for each copy of IE8 that’s downloaded from “Browser for the Better”. Downloads performed through the Windows Update process or downloaded from (or any other source, for that matter) will not count toward this initiative. According to the official press release from Microsoft, the program was initially scheduled to run from June 10 to Aug. 8, 2009.

However, “Browser for the Better” indicates that the program will continue through Sept. 30, 2009. In addition, in honor of Hunger Action month (which, I assume is the month of September), Microsoft will be donating a total of 16 meals to the cause every time someone scraps Internet Explorer 6 in favor of the new browser.

Rackspace Buying Customers’ Mac Upgrades

Rackspace logoRackspace announced today that they will pay for up to 1,000 licenses to upgrade their customers’ Macintosh computers to the latest version of Snow Leopard. If you sign up for a Rackspace account with Exchange server e-mail service, Rackspace will pay for each license you need to purchase in order to get your Macs upgraded to work with Exchange.