Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Peer Blocker

Since the new laws in New Zealand regarding peer-to-peer have come into play, torrenting has become a little bit trickier. Basically, if a copyright holder thinks you have been using peer-to-peer to download and share content illegally, you can be charged. Gone are the ways of innocent until proven guilty. While the most effective way to prevent getting a fine is to not download illegal content, the phrase "You only have to run faster than the other guy" comes to mind. That being said PeerBlock is an effective way to remove yourself from the grid.

That's a wallpaper by the way. PeerBlock allows you to restrict which IP addresses your computer will communicate directly with. This is by no means a perfect system. Without the knowledge of which IP addresses to block it is pointless. PeerBlock comes with a decent set of default options that include government agencies and related companies, which will help a lot. Fortunately for anything missing iBlockList has a large list of well lists of IP addresses for various things. Definately worth checking that one out. But, if you want to be even more cautious, I have found a list of every large IP address block allocated to New Zealand. Beautiful isn't it. Copy the page into a file and rename it NZipRanges.p2p then add it to PeerBlock using the List Manager. Simple.

PeerBlock is not only a good thing for blocking peer-to-peer tracking, but also for blocking ads and spyware. So regardless of what you are planning on doing, you should get this.

DOWNLOAD LINK - not spam.

As a side note, you may find you cannot connect to some of your favourite websites or game servers. You can see which IP is being blocked by PeerBlock and then add it to the white list. Planning a future post about Tor to help further protect your anonymity.


Saturday, 19 November 2011

Getting around SOPA

Firstly, I am not going to go into a huge thing about the bill and what it does and why it's bad. But the end note is that it is bad. The real pirates are the ones who know how to get around these preventative measures anyway. It's only creating an even larger gap between those who have the skills and those that don't.

I've taken the liberaty to list a bunch of IP addresses of popular file sharing sites. If I have missed any, you can easily look them up yourselves before the law come into effect here. Simply type it into your browser and you're there.

The IP address of www.thepiratebay.org is

The IP address of www.mininova.org is

The IP address of www.isohunt.com is

The IP address of www.4chan.org is

The IP address of www.youtube.com is

The IP address of www.blogger.com is
(Oh teh noes, my blog!)

The IP address of www.facebook.com is

The IP address of www.flickr.com is

The IP address of www.vimeo.com is


Friday, 18 November 2011

IP Webcam - Android App

I had the idea of attaching my phone to our NXT robot so that we can see what it sees, as it didn't come with a camera. First thought was to write this myself, but since Android is awesome, someone has done it for me. 

Check it out here. My phone isn't the most powerful, but it runs with no problems at all. Even in the background. 

1) Click start on your phone.
2) Jump on your favourite web browser and type in the URI printed at the bottom of your phone screen.
3) ????
4) Profit!!!

Personally I found using VLC media player a far better option than using a web browser. Press Ctrl + N and enter the URL in here. e.g.

And then BAM! Wireless spy camera. Just hope no one steals your phone.


Thursday, 17 November 2011

NXT Robots

So you know how I did a project on swarm robotics and I said I would have some video of it all working, well I forgot and deleted the codes. Rageragerage. The only thing I can find is a screen shot of some early development in my collision avoidance, shown below. The robots are the small boxes and the blue is the line of sight. Trails are on to show the movement path. The yellow one (only one moving) was going to hit the blue one so swerved violently to the right, where he saw he was about to hit the brown so swerved left, then corrected once seeing he had passed the blue robot.

Any who, I now have a summer research project working with Lego. That's right. My summer job is playing with Lego. Jelly? I thought so.

The Lego MindStorm NXT is a robot is a small computer that can support 4 input devices and 3 output devices. Included in our pack are 3 motors (outputs) and 2 touch sensors, 1 ultrasound sensor, and 1 colour sensor. The NXT also supports Bluetooth so I am considering making a controller using my Android. Woot! Here are some existing projects.

 Find and grab a ball
 Solve a Rubik's cube. Epic.
 Fire balls at target.
 Solve a Sudoku
Follow a path.

I am part of a group of 4 people looking at doing some project with these robots. We are looking to have 3 of them and have them interact in some way. The exact specifications of the project are really vague. But we are looking at a warehouse simulation with automated forklifts. Still undecided but this is sounding most likely. This is something that has been done before but not completely autonomous with multiple robots.

We are to program it in Java using LeJOS (Lego Java OS), which is fantastic because I love Java. But terrible because no one on my team has used it before. We will see how this goes.

Epic post about a great Android app coming out soon.

That's all for now.


Sunday, 30 October 2011

Cracking and Hacking

Just three simple things I found on lifehacker that I thought was worth a look at.

1) Picking locks.
2) Picking vehicle locks. Wish I knew this when I locked my cars in my car... Coat hanger through the door was a winner.
3) Free wifi. Good when you're on the go.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Epic Meal Time

Ok this is something epic. Worth watching I swear. Also love the shirt. "Bacon Strips & Bacon Strips & Bacon Strips & Bacon Strips & Bacon Strips & Bacon Strips & Bacon Strips & Bacon Strips & " Lol



Friday, 30 September 2011

Swarm Robots: Basics

I've started a project for University where we need to program the code for 7 swarm robots. Here's a short video with swarm robots. If you don't really get why this is so awesome, please read on.

The robots need to:
  • select a leader
  • form a group
  • move in a V shape formation like birds migrating
  • while avoiding obsticles
  • and swapping leader to whoever has the highest battery life

The catch is that every robot needs to be programmed with the exact same code. This is known as emergent behaviour. It's pretty damn sweet.

This is my way to think about it. Every single bird is the same. Yet because they have some minor different traits (one might be larger than another), their interactions with each other are different, and so the behaviour of the group may be different to the behaviour if there was only one bird. This is the thought behind emergent behaviour. It is the behaviour that emerges as a group is formed.

[nerd speak]
Now think about the above behaviour in terms of people. If we could model humans and their environment correctly, we could theoritecially simulate the entirety of the human existance. That's a long long way off, but no way near impossible. There is just too many variables to take into account. One of which would be the program itself, and according to Alan Turing with the Halting Problem, the recursive nature of this problem will make the solution undecidable.
[/nerd speak]
Yes that was the nerd speak and not the rest of the post...

Like birds, the robots cannot directly access each others information, they must talk (pass messages). For the robots, the messages can be in the form of a message (one tells the ones listening something) or a service (one asks another for something and it replies accordingly). These are the only ways the robots can interact. Oh but they can ram each other. More on collision detection and avoidance in a later update.

The robots are coded in Python with assistance from ROS (Robot Operating System), that helps with the simulations and the backend on communication between the robots. I'll paste some code at some point to give an overview of what is going on, but I'll be sure to add pictures for those that don't code.

I better end it here, but I have so much more to say so stay tuned for more on swarm robotics.


Wednesday, 21 September 2011


Here's new desktop.

Shrunk taskbar and added rocket dock.
Taskbar eliminator wasn't working all the time so keeping taskbar now.

Now here is fuck ton of sexy wallpapers for you all.