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Sat, May 25, 2024 10:05 pm

Using MakeMKV for ripping DVDs and for other A/V tasks

If you wish to "rip" a DVD, i.e., create a video file on a disk drive from the DVD, one free program you can use on Microsoft Windows systems or Mac OS X systems is MakeMKV. The software can also be used to extract a video file from an ISO image of a DVD.

[ More Info ]

[/os/windows/software/audio-video] permanent link

Fri, May 17, 2024 3:10 pm

View RDP Firewall Rule using PowerShell

If a Microsoft Windows system is running the Microsoft Defender Firewall, firewall software that comes with Microsoft Windows systems, you can check on whether connectivity is allowed on a particular network port from a command-line interface (CLI) using PowerShell. You can determine whether the Windows Firewall is active on a system from a command prompt using the command netsh advfirewall show currentprofile. If the value of "State" is "ON", then the Windows Firewall is active on the system.

C:\>netsh advfirewall show currentprofile

Domain Profile Settings:
----------------------------------------------------------------------
State                                 ON
Firewall Policy                       BlockInbound,AllowOutbound
LocalFirewallRules                    N/A (GPO-store only)
LocalConSecRules                      N/A (GPO-store only)
InboundUserNotification               Enable
RemoteManagement                      Disable
UnicastResponseToMulticast            Enable

Logging:
LogAllowedConnections                 Disable
LogDroppedConnections                 Disable
FileName                              %systemroot%\system32\LogFiles\Firewall\pfirewall.log
MaxFileSize                           4096

Ok.


C:\>

You can check on whether the firewall is permitting connectivity on a particular network port, e.g., TCP port 3389 for the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), from a PowerShell prompt, which you can obtain by typing powershell in the Windows "Search" field at the bottom of the screen and then clicking on Windows PowerShell when you see it returned by the search function. At the PowerShell prompt, you can issue the command Get-NetFirewallPortFilter | Where-Object { $_.LocalPort -eq 3389 } | Get-NetFirewallRule. If you wished to check on whether firewall connectivity is permitted for some other protocol, substitute the port used by that protocol, e.g., port 22 for Secure Shell (SSH) connections.

[ More Info ]

[/os/windows/software/security/firewall] permanent link

Mon, May 06, 2024 10:31 pm

Stopping automatic updates to Microsoft Paint and other Microsoft Store apps

When I sat down at a system running the Microsoft Windows 11 operating system on Saturday, I saw a message stating that Microsoft Paint had updated itself automatically. I had at least a dozen Paint windows open where I had posted screenshots over the past week for things I wanted to check later. I had not saved those Paint windows; I had anticipated going through them on Saturday, extracting information I wanted to keep from some images and then closing the windows and saving others. But I found the update had just closed them all without any prompt asking whether I wanted to save them and without saving the images. So I lost all the information from them irretrievably. Certainly, I should have saved the images in those Paint windows or used some other graphics application that automatically saves the contents of windows for that application or at least won't automatically update itself without saving any unsaved work, but I'm still irritated at the mindset of Microsoft developers regarding not caring about the impact to users if users have unsaved content in Microsoft applications, in addition to being irked with myself for not saving the information. I do use Paint a lot for simple graphics tasks, such as cropping and resizing screenshots, and I don't want it updating itself without warning when that may lead to a loss of information I haven't yet saved. You can determine when a Microsoft Store app was last updated and turn off automatic updates for apps obtained from the Microsoft Store, though you have to turn off the auto update feature for all apps, since there is not a way to do it only for a particular app, such as Paint.

[ More Info ]

[/os/windows/software/graphics/mspaint] permanent link

Mon, Apr 15, 2024 9:01 pm

Calculating a hash value for a file with Get-FileHash

The PowerShell cmdlet Get-FileHash provides a cryptographic hash function that will allow you to determine a hash value of a file on a Microsoft Windows system. By default, the cmdlet uses the SHA-256 hash function, but you can specify other functions, such as MD5, using the -Algorithm parameter. You can change the output to a list format by piping the output of the cmdlet to Format-List.

PS C:\users\public\downloads> Get-FileHash ".\rel_x64_Xming-7-7-1-1-setup.exe"

Algorithm       Hash                                                                   Path
---------       ----                                                                   ----
SHA256          B7B4C0A191E315686A2481DCC8BBB27D6D7A156FBF689768E48CF08207B86560       C:\users\public\downloads\rel...


PS C:\users\public\downloads> Get-FileHash ".\rel_x64_Xming-7-7-1-1-setup.exe" | Format-List


Algorithm : SHA256
Hash      : B7B4C0A191E315686A2481DCC8BBB27D6D7A156FBF689768E48CF08207B86560
Path      : C:\users\public\downloads\rel_x64_Xming-7-7-1-1-setup.exe



PS C:\users\public\downloads> Get-FileHash -Algorithm MD5 ".\rel_x64_Xming-7-7-1-1-setup.exe"

Algorithm       Hash                                                                   Path
---------       ----                                                                   ----
MD5             BA200636A596A84E0877901CE89D1C2E                                       C:\users\public\downloads\rel...


PS C:\users\public\downloads>

[ More Info ]

[/os/windows/PowerShell] permanent link

Sun, Apr 14, 2024 9:21 pm

NortonLifeLock Scam

Earlier this week, a user forwarded me an email she received purporting to be a notification regarding an automatic renewal of a subscription to "Norton Life-Lock" wondering if it was legitimate and she would be charged $399 for the product.

Norton LifeLock scam

The message included the following text:

This email confirms that your subscription has been renewed for another 1 year with Norton Life-Lock for $399.00 on April 11th,2024.

This subscription will Auto-Renew every year unless you turn it OFF. No later than 24 hour before the end of the subscription period.

To cancel this subscription, Call: +1(844)962-1087

An online search of the 844-962-1087 number showed it is not a number associated with Norton LifeLock, a clear indication that the email was a scam where the scammer attempts to get people to call a number to cancel an expensive "subscription" for a well-known product or company. I assume those who call the number will be asked to provide their credit or debit card information, so someone pretending to be a customer service representative for the company can supposedly look up the account information to "cancel" the subscription. If credit card information is provided, the scammer can then use it for fraudulent charges or sell the information to others. Another indicator that a message such as this is fraudulent is poor English. E.g., "...unless you turn if OFF. No later than 24 hour before the end of the subscription period." Proper English would be "...unless you turn it OFF no later than 24 hours before the end of the subscription period." I.e., there should not be a period before "No later" and "hours" should be used rather than "hour." Another indication that the email is a fraud attempt in this case is that the sender hyphenated the product name, i.e., "Life-Lock" whereas if you go to the Norton website and look at their consumer products or visit the NortonLifeLock website, you can see that the name of the product is listed as "LifeLock" not "Life-Lock." The Wikipedia LifeLock page also shows the product name is not hyphenated. Such phishing emails purporting to be notifications of upcoming charges for NortonLifeLock have been prevalent for years — the NortonLifeLock website has a January 11, 2022 article " Keep an eye out for Norton email scams" warning people about such attempts and showing similar scam messages regarding their product.

Unfortunately, such scams can deceive enough people to make sending such messages profitable for scammers. People anxious to avoid a charge of several hundred dollars for a product they may not even be using may call the number and provide credit/debit card or banking information that the scammer may use to fraudulently charge their credit or debit card or steal money from a banking account.

[/security/phishing] permanent link

Thu, Apr 04, 2024 10:14 pm

Casting a video stored on a Windows PC to an LG TV

If you have a movie, or other video, located on a PC running Microsoft Windows and wish to view the movie on your LG Electronics TV, which runs the LG webOS operating system, if they are on the same local area network (LAN), you can "cast" the video to the TV.

If the LG TV is visible to other devices on the network, such as the PC, you should see it within "Media Devices" under "Network" in the Windows File Explorer.

Windows network - LG TV

If you have an MPEG-4 (.mp4) or Audio Video Interleave (.avi) file on the PC, you can right-click on video file, then choose "Show more options," and then choose "Cast to Device" at which point you should see the LG TV as a device to which you can stream the video.

[ More Info ]

[/video/lgtv] permanent link

Tue, Apr 02, 2024 8:45 pm

Blocking email from an envelope "from" address with Sendmail

For a mail server running Sendmail email server software, if you wish to block email from a particular "from" address to any email address on the server, you can include the address you wish to block in the /etc/mail/access file. E.g., if you wished to block email from the address spammer@example.com, you can include the following line in that file:

# Block envelope "from" address of spammers
spammer@example.com                     REJECT

Any line beginning with a # is treated as a comment, so the first line above isn't needed, but adding a comment line may help you recognize why the reject statement is in the file. After you have added the line, you need to regenerate the /etc/mail/access.db file, or create a new one if there isn't already one present, using the command shown below (you don't need to restart sendmail):

# makemap hash /etc/mail/access </etc/mail/access
#

This will only work if you have a FEATURE(`access_db')dnl line in /etc/mail/sendmail.mc. E.g., a line like the one below:

FEATURE(`access_db', `hash -T<TMPF> -o /etc/mail/access.db')dnl

If you don't have such a line, you will need to add it. If the line begins with dnl, you will need to remove the dnl at the beginning of the line, since that "comments out" the line.

[ More Info ]

[/network/email/sendmail] permanent link

Mon, Apr 01, 2024 10:10 pm

Determining the default gateway and subnet mask from a Windows command prompt

From a command prompt on a Microsoft Windows system, you can obtain details on the network configuration by issuing the command ipconfig or ipconfig /all, if you wish to see more details. If you are only interested in a specific value or values, though, you can pipe the output of the command to the findstr command. If you wish to see multiple values, e.g., the subnet mask and the default gateway address, you can put text associated with both values, separated by a space, within double quotes. Findstr will treat the space between strings as instructing it to perform a logical OR operation, i.e., it will find any lines that contain either of the strings. Findstr uses a case sensitive search, so you need to either match the case of the text or use the /i option with findstr, which instructs it to ignore the case of text and perform a case insensitive search.

C:\>ipconfig | findstr "Mask Gateway"
   Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.255.224
   Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.1

C:\>ipconfig | findstr "mask gateway"

C:\>ipconfig /all | findstr /i "mask gateway"
   Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.255.224
   Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.1

C:\>

You can also use a Windows Management Instrumentation Command-line (WMIC) command to obtain the same information.

C:\>wmic nicconfig get defaultIPGateway, IPSubnet
DefaultIPGateway  IPSubnet

{"192.168.1.1"}   {"255.255.255.224", "64"}












C:\>

[/os/windows/commands] permanent link

Sun, Mar 31, 2024 8:11 pm

Configuring PuTTY for X forwarding

The X Window System, aka X11 or simply X, provides a mechanism that allows you to have the graphical user interface (GUI) for an application running on a remote system to be displayed on the system on which you are running X server software. For systems running a Microsoft Windows operating system, you can use the free PuTTY program to establish a Secure Shell (SSH) connection to an SSH server and configure PuTTY to allow X forwarding so that you can run programs on the SSH server, but have their GUI displayed on the Microsoft Windows system on which you are running PuTTY.

[ More Info ]

[/os/windows/network/ssh/putty] permanent link

Sun, Mar 24, 2024 9:29 pm

Downloading CNN Videos with VideoProc Converter AI

If you wish to download videos posted on the Cable News Network (CNN) website, you can do so with VideoProc Converter AI from Digiary Software, Inc. The program is a commercial product, but you can download a free trial version. To download a CNN video, or videos from other sites, such as YouTube, take the following steps...

[ More Info ]

[/video] permanent link

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