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The press is not doing a very good job of explaining the purpose of IPv6 day.

The problem with enabling IPv6 on web sites is that some implementations on desktop OSes did not handle fallback to IPv4 very well, so if a service published an IPv6 DNS record the client would try to use that even if it doesn't have IPv6 connectivity, causing the client to hang. This is supposed to have been fixed, but nobody knows if it's still a big problem or not, and it's one of the main reasons why most web sites have not enabled IPv6.

The point really has nothing to do with getting everyone to use IPv6 for a day, it's to make sure the web services can enable IPv6 and not break the existing IPv4 clients.

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Charade ssh-agent proxy to Pageant (PuTTY)

Allows ssh in a cygwin session to use SSH keys loaded in Pageant, replacing functionality of the ssh-agent. Allows you to maintain one copy of SSH keys that are used by both PuTTY and ssh.

Main page for charade: http://github.com/wesleyd/charade.

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I just posted a beta version of ABR with Windows 7 support. I have not been able to test it myself (no access to OEM Windows 7 at the moment), but I have had a few beta testers who reported it worked correctly.

Give it a try if you are willing to help test it and please let me know how it goes.

When you run the backup, you should have 2 new files created in the folder, "backup-key.txt" and "backup-cert.xrm-ms". Make sure both files contain something, then save everything to a safe place before you clean install.

ABR (Activation Backup & Restore)

It's been a while since most airlines started charging fees for checked baggage. The first time I flew since this started, I had forgotten about it and was a bit surprised when the kiosk prompted me for an extra $15. I had become used to the idea of checking luggage, since 9/11, as the security checks made it impossible to carry even a tube of toothpaste. The obvious response to that issue was, "just check it" and avoid the hassle of dragging bags through the airport in the first place. I think everyone else had the same idea, as I hardly remember seeing people with carry-on luggage.

Now things have changed. The Financial Crisis has caused many companies, including the airlines, to squeeze every dollar they can out of anywhere they can. The bag check fees are one way to do it, and like many people my initial reaction was "of course, they have to get as much money out of you as they can." But then I got on the plane, looked around, and realized that's only part of the story.

This question was recently posted on Slashdot: How To Argue That Open Source Software Is Secure?

Smidge207 writes "Lately there has been a huge push by Certified Microsoft Professionals and their companies to call (potential) clients and warn them of the dangers of open source. This week I received calls from four different customers saying that they were warned that they are dangerously insecure because they run open source operating systems or software, because 'anyone can read the code and hack you with ease.'

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There's a perception that the powdered hot chocolate that comes in a packet or canister is not the "real" hot chocolate, and that instead "real" hot chocolate must be made from chocolate syrup, or by melting down a chocolate bar. This idea seems to come from the fact that many other foods can be processed into a "instant" versions, like instant coffee, and usually result in an inferior product. This is not the case for chocolate!

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It seems there's a new kind of spam around (though maybe not that new... I've been noticing it for a while now and just got around to posting about it). Normally we think of spam as junk email, or if you have a blog or a message forum, you might see an automated script that posts links to a site selling V1agR/\ or something similar, with no relationship to the rest of the discussion.

This new spam, though, is much more insidious, and if you read quickly you might completely miss it. Take this example, which was posted to my article Proper Loading of Toilet Paper, II:

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Converting video for the iPhone (3G) or iPod (Classic) using mencoder:

Basic batch file:

set VBITRATE=500
set ABITRATE=128

set INFILE=inputfile.avi

mencoder -mc 0.2 "%INFILE%" -of lavf -lavfopts format=mp4 -sws 2 -vf scale=320:-2,harddup -ovc x264 -x264encopts bitrate=%VBITRATE%:vbv_maxrate=1500:vbv_bufsize=2000:me=umh:level_idc=30:global_header:threads=auto:subq=6:frameref=6:nocabac:trellis=2 -oac faac -faacopts mpeg=4:object=2:br=%ABITRATE%:raw -channels 2 -srate 48000 -o "%INFILE%.m4v"

mp4box -ipod "%INFILE%.m4v"

pause

This would create a file called "inputfile.avi.m4v". The two extensions is not the best thing in the world, but it gets the job done.

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ABR (Vista Activation Backup & Restore) has finally reached 1.0!

It's been working great for a long beta period, except for one minor bug that was fixed with this release. I also added a silent restore option for anyone trying to integrate the activation into an auto-install DVD. With that, it was finally time to promote it to 1.0.

ABR allows the to backup and restore of Windows Vista activation that was pre-installed at the factory (OEM:SLP activation only).

Here's the main page for it.

Read the rest of this series:

Back in Part II, I did some time tests to see the differences between reading and writing compressed and uncompressed files. One factor that I did not account for was the fact that the number of files in the test could affect the results.

Here's what led me down this road, from Part II: