May 03, 2009
Huy Zing moves on

Huy Zing will continue to post on his own web site, where he will talk about internet technology and software development.

Posted by huyzing at 06:48 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
March 12, 2004
Huy Zing rises from the dead

It took JC 3 days; HZ 14 days.
Nice try, but I just can't compete.

Yes, I'm officially back. And I'm sorry.
I know my deletion was lots of fun for everyone :)

I never will get an official reason for my or "J To The K"s deletion. My conclusion is that there was and is no real good explanation.

But I will say this. The orkut.com staff has worked over time to right wrongs. They not only called me and welcomed me back, but after much internal soul-searching, they instituted new policies that all orkut.com users have been screaming for for a long time: logic, consistency, and sensitivity in their deletion policies.

The pressure that all of you have put on by commenting on this blog, by creating ridiculous communities like "Come Back Huy Zing", "Come Back 'Come Back Huy Zing'", "W.W.H.Z.D.?", "Posts by his Zingness", etc., by changing your photo to "I miss Huy Zing"--all this pressure caused massive changes in the way that orkut.com will treat its users from now on.

More at the resuscitated Orkut Times...

Posted by huyzing at 12:50 AM | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack (1)
February 24, 2004
Life In Post-Orkut Paradise

Hey guys, it's not so bad out here.

Life is remarkably simple in paradise. No session timeouts, no service unavailables.
The food's only ok without the Pho Freaks and Banh Mi communities, but the virgins are fly.

Who am I kidding, I miss my Fly Chicks for the Geeky Guy!

Posted by huyzing at 05:56 PM | Permalink | Comments (22) | TrackBack (1)
Tuesdays with Huy Zing

My Orkut.com death was a slow painful one that lasted 1.5 hours starting at 20:44 on Monday, February 23, 2004.

During this period, I slowly saw the count of my list of 750+ communities (600 created by me) get halved, then drop by 20 at a time, then slowly 1 by 1 until my list of communities reached 0. Watching the list of my communities slowly drop meant only one thing: impending death at the hand of none other than a human!

During this infernal countdown, I had time to look back at my 30-day life, what I had done, my good deeds, my sins, my regrets, the people I had known. Ultimately, I only wished I had said "I love you" more often.

Then for about half an hour, I surfed around searching for my communities, like an orphaned puppy, to see which ones were actually deleted and which ones had been spared. It became obvious soon enough that the final judgment of my communities was arbitrary: coldplay & U2 remain but all hip-hop acts like Eminem & Jay-Z are gone. Dance Like Everyone's Watching is gone, but All Your Base Are Belong To Us lives on. It appeared a nerd was at the wheel. Some very questionable editorial discretion was exercised: death penalty-related communities or Middle East Conflict, all food communities were destroyed.

Luckily, my personal favorite "Fly Chicks For the Geeky Guy" survived; the "G-Spot Search Expedition" didn't. I have to wonder how Orkut expects the geeky guy to know how to satisfy the fly chicks.

While I was walking around like a zombie, I noticed that my friend "J to the K" was in jail and his communities were being deleted as well. Then, just like that, he was gone. The place started to stink of collective punishment.

Then, abruptly, at 22:13 my own digital heart stopped beating.

I love you all.

Posted by huyzing at 05:26 PM | Permalink | Comments (13) | TrackBack (7)
Orkut Times: Uncertainty of Orkut Life

Orkut.com was to be the promise of the social networking web sites. The Google prodigy had taken the concept of Friendster and like tribe.net expanded it by adding communities, or forums, easily created by any user.

My name is Huy Zing. I was one of these early community creators, recognized for the hundreds of communities I had given birth to early on. After 30 days of furious addiction to orkut.com since January 24th, 2004, I find that for me the dream of a wonderful social networking world is over.

I was, without notice, deleted and most of my communities, most of them actively enjoyed by hundreds of users, gone. No explanation was given, no warning was ever sent. If I did something wrong or if the communities were bad, orkut.com sure made an effort not to let me know.

This story is far from unique. I know people--real people--who have been deleted 3 or more times from Orkut. For what reason? Who knows. But evidence points to bogus-flagging.

For every profile, Orkut.com provides a "Flag as Bogus" button intended to allow any user to report profiles that are known to be fake. This bogus-flagging sounds like a great idea, but it turns out it has been used between forum flamers to spread hate and escalate battles beyond the community discussions. Unfortunately, orkut.com chooses the policy of shooting first and asking questions later, presuming guilt before innocence. So argue with someone in a community and you'll be looking over your shoulder for a while.

I don't think that I'm a victim of bogus-flagging, as I'm fairly sure that I've had no enemies on Orkut.com. My crime seems to be the fact that I either created too many communities or that odds are that I created some questionable communities. The problem is that there are no known rules against creating communities that members might enjoy. Why wouldn't I want to make Orkut.com entertaining and fun for others?

The only conclusion that can be drawn from the many deletions of users and communities over the past month is that you may be deleted at any time for any reason. You won't be warned, and you won't be told why. All the friends that you've painstakingly added and made on orkut.com will be disconnected from you, all the communities you joined will be unjoined, all the ones you created will be disowned or deleted, even if other users enjoyed them.

This kind of uncertainty is not very reassuring for a service whose goal is to attract many users and keep them coming back.

I recommend not to get too attached.

Posted by huyzing at 04:35 PM | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack (3)
My Dead Baby Communities

Below is the list of about 600 orkut.com communities created in a few whirlwind days by the now-fugitive Huy Zing superhero. It was a chef d'oeuvre of absurd proportions--ultimately, the cause of his excommunication.

Also listed are many of the 250 communities created by J to the K, Huy's Decepticon partner, including the groundbreaking "Orkut Times". J to the K also fell victim to Orkut's humorless disposition.

Most of these beautiful communities, popular and active, are gone--destroyed by the capricious stroke of Orkut's bloody blade.
Fight for the recovery of your communities and posts.
Re-create them and let the memory live on.

REQUEST: if you can take your browser offline and hit your browser cache, please send the detailed list of Huy Zing's communities if you have it
http://www.orkut.com/ProfileC.aspx?uid=2101589991039489800

MORE...
Posted by huyzing at 10:44 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (3)
My Dead Baby Self

Orkut.com has gone too far. They crucified the greatest Orkut prophet.
No warning, no message, no explanation.

Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do.

Posted by huyzing at 10:40 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)
January 05, 2004
Security for Wireless Routers/APs

Security options for wireless networks in consumer-grade routers in the order
of highest security:

1) WPA-PSK should be the preffered choice if it works:
- Need Microsoft Q826942 patch for Windows XP
- Should select a password made of at least 20 random characters, otherwise may be vulnerable to dictionary attacks
- Should use AES rather than TKIP for performance reasons (Broadcom
chipsets support it and have an AES hardware solution)

Notes:
- Netgear WGT624 doesn't support AES (based on Atheros chipset)
- Cannot use WPA with the Dell TrueMobile 1300, it blue screens when
resuming from standby/hibernation. Most likely a driver issue which
hopefully will be corrected.

2) WEP 128-bit:
- Use Open System Key. Never use Shared Key as it will make it easier to
capture WEP key:
http://www.dslreports.com/forum/remark,8645211~mode=flat
- Generate a random WEP key rather than having the hardware generate it
from a passphrase as it will be vulnerable to dictionary attacks

General Notes:

- Do not hide the SSID. It adds a false sense of security and it may have a
performance impact:
http://www.dslreports.com/forum/remark,8735225~mode=flat

- It's OK to add MAC address filtering for wireless clients, but it doesn't
add too much security benefits. MAC addresses can be easily spoofed and they
can be captured from the existing traffic of any already associated clients.

Posted by dracula at 04:27 PM | Permalink | TrackBack (1)
November 06, 2003
MH to Mutt Configuration Integration

It's convenient to be able to use multiple mail readers and be able to switch back and forth at will. The main difficulty with this idea, however, lies in keeping configurations synchronized.

Since my transition was from MH to mutt, my approach was to leave as much configuration as possible in MH format and rely on mutt's powerful configuration commands to make the necessary transformations whenever it is run.

These code samples assume that your shell is a Bourne-compatible shell that supports the $PPID variable

Synchronizing aliases

You will find the following in my ~/.muttrc configuration file:
set alias_file="~/.muttrc.aliases" source ~/.muttrc.aliases set query_command=ali # This macro will allow you to edit your MH aliases and have mutt automatically read them in macro index ,a '<shell-escape>${VISUAL} `mhpath +`/`mhparam aliasfile`<enter>:source ~/.muttrc.aliases<enter>' "Edit MH aliases and read them back in"
You will find the following in my ~/.muttrc.aliases file:
# Share aliases with MH. # NOTE: We have to put in parentheses in order to run multiple commands, # and we have to echo something so that mutt doesn't complain. # TODO: we need to fix those aliases that span multiple lines with a # backslash at the end. `(file=$(mhpath +)/$(mhparam aliasfile); \ if [ -r "$file" ]; then \ sed -n 's/^[[:blank:]]*\([^#:]\+\):[[:blank:]]*\(.*\)/alias \1 \2/p' \ < "$file" > ${TMP-/tmp}/.mutt-alias-$PPID; \ echo source ${TMP-/tmp}/.mutt-alias-$PPID; \ else \ echo unalias dummy; \ fi)` `(rm -f ${TMP-/tmp}/.mutt-alias-$PPID; echo unalias dummy)`

Synchronizing Ignored Headers

You will find the following in my ~/.muttrc configuration file:
`(file=$(mhpath +)/mhl.headers; \ if [ -r "$file" ]; then \ sed -n '/^[[:blank:]]*ignores=/,/^[[:blank:]]*;/{\ s/^[[:blank:]]*ignores=//;\ s/,[[:blank:]]*\\[[:blank:]]*$//;\ s/,/ /g;\ s/^/ignore /;\ /^ignore[[:blank:]]*[[:blank:]][^;]/p;\ }' < "$file" > ${TMP-/tmp}/.mutt-ignore-$PPID; \ echo source ${TMP-/tmp}/.mutt-ignore-$PPID; \ else \ echo unalias dummy; \ fi)` `(rm -f ${TMP-/tmp}/.mutt-ignore-$PPID; echo unalias dummy)`

Synchronizing Alternate Mailboxes

You will find the following in my ~/.muttrc configuration file:
# Share list of alternates with MH. # NOTE: We have to put in parentheses in order to run multiple commands, # and we have to echo something so that mutt doesn't complain. `(file=~/.mh_profile; \ if [ -r "$file" ]; then \ sed -n '/^Alternate-Mailboxes:/{\ :a;\ s/\([.+]\)/\\\1/g;\ y/,?/|./;\ s/[*]/.*/g;\ s/[[:space:]]//g;\ s/^Alternate-Mailboxes:/set alternates="/;\ H;\ n;\ /^[^[:blank:]]/{\ s/.*/"/;\ H;\ x;\ p;\ q;\ };\ b a;\ }' < "$file" | tr -d '\012' > ${TMP-/tmp}/.mutt-alternates-$PPID; \ echo source ${TMP-/tmp}/.mutt-alternates-$PPID; \ else \ echo unalias dummy; \ fi)` `(rm -f ${TMP-/tmp}/.mutt-alternates-$PPID; echo unalias dummy)`
Posted by juliob at 05:16 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
October 27, 2003
AdAssassin

For Internet Explorer on Windows, this is the best and smartest pop-up killer in the biz: AdAssassin by my buddy Ilya.

Posted by juliob at 02:19 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)