Lance R. Vick

WikiLeaks and the Info War Warm-Up

12 Dec 2010

You can say what you want about WikiLeaks and groups like it. You can hate them or love them. Any human being has a right to morally judge for themselves if they are pro or anti WikiLeaks. I do however firmly believe that every human being has a moral obligation to be anti-anti-WikiLeaks. Once their right to free speech is taken, yours is next. Times are changing at an exponential rate. Movies once physically bought in stores are now downloaded or streamed online for free. Musical artists...

Force Craigslist Posters To Email You Directly

07 May 2010

Ever get tired of the usual slow and cumbersome process of responding to a craigslist ad? Go browse, find a post, determine if you have responded to it or not, then copy the email address to your mail client as well as the text of the ad so they know what you are replying to. Perhaps even copy the post’s title to the subject of the email with re: in front of it. It is a pain and it is a big enough pain that no one has time to mess with it and by the time you do all of that, someone else has...

Email Security With GPG Keys

08 May 2009

When I was younger (and not quite as aware of consequences) I used to set up relay mail servers and send out perfectly spoofed mail from president@whitehouse.gov to people who made assumptions about security. My spoofs were perfect (other than the fact they did not originate from white-house IP address ranges and that the president never actually sends mail from that address). My method still easily fools Gmail spam filters and I can easily impersonate anyone I want. Problem is so can...

Making Users Think Firefox Is IE6

11 Nov 2008

I have had customers... that the mere word "change" scares into tears. Some people just can not wrap their heads around concepts like Favorites being the same thing as Bookmarks. The solution? Hand them Firefox, in a way that they are not even aware you did. Everyone wins. Before you write me off as a dirty sinner... hear me out. Ever have those situations where you install a peice of software for someone for their own protection... and they uninstall it and go back to they way they were...

Convincing Random Polaroids with iMagick

30 Oct 2008

I would love to see people using more creative dynamic graphical effects in websites, however many of them can take ages to pull off by hand. For instance, selecting 3 images from a series of folders at random, putting them all in a scene in your graphics editor of choice, adding borders, warp, dropshadow, saving it, then doing that all over and over again for hours on end, all so you could have a random photo arrangement to greet vistors to your website. This is why I love automation. PHP...

OpenID and why it matters

29 Oct 2008

OpenID is an amazing up and coming open source ( and corporate backed ) effort to accompolish a single goal: to have one login for most websites on the internet. Thanks to services starting to adopt the OpenID protocal, the same account information you use for sites like Wordpress, Livejournal, Google, Blogger, Yahoo, AOL, AIM, MySpace (are we namedropping yet?) can now be used as OpenID logins to hundreds of other websites around the web. The way it works is a site with OpenID support alows...

What If?

28 Aug 2007

So I got a chance to play with Galatea by Emily Short, and was quickly reminded how much I love interactive fiction games. (Thanks to David Pflug for pointing me to it) I decided to share with the class. Interactive fiction games are like books or stories that you control. Think of them as text-based role playing games. They have lost popularity in recent years because people have flocked to games that do not require reading... and thinking. As a starter for those who want to dive in I...