Thursday, November 30, 2006

Google searches based on information on different pages?

Today I was looking for occurances of my real name on the internet using the Google search engine.
At first the results weren't very surprising. I noticed some differences with previous searches, mainly the order of the different pages in the search result differed. No big deal, things change through time, even on the internet.
But I was surprised to find my blog in the search results. Nowhere on my blog have I used my real name, and it is not mentioned in my profile. And my E-mail address, which contains my real name, isn't visible on my blog either.
There are pages on the internet that link my blog and/or nickname to my real name, so now I'm wondering if the search engine of Google combines information on different pages on the internet to create a search result?
If this is the case, it makes Google even more a superior search engine.

BTW: I repeated the same search with some other search engines, but none of them related my blog with my real name.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Google reader

I just found out Google has updated its reader application. It has a new layout, which resembles more what a desktop RSS reader would look like. On the left is a list of feeds and on the right the posts of the selected feed. And a feature to mark all posts as read. It's a lot easier to use than the previous version.

Until now I only used a feedreader on one computer because it is nearly impossible to synchronize feedreaders on different computers: Which post have I read on which computer? Did I read this post already?

For this reason I started looking for an online feedreader, but none seemed to have the same features as a desktop version, the most important one being able to keep track of read/unread posts. When I discovered Google reader, I was happy to find out it could remember which posts I had read already. But it had some flaws (and bugs), so I decided to keep using my desktop feedreader.
Until now. With the new version of the online feedreader, I can abandon the desktop version and use the online one.

Now I can check the feeds I'm subscribed to anywhere and anytime, on any computer or device. I don't have to be at home to do so.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

WPA2: securing my wireless network at home

A few weeks ago I bought a new laptop and soon after that I replaced my old router with a new device with wireless capability.
First I set the device up using WPA, but I only managed to get it working when the laptop was running Windows. In linux, only WEP - an older but much less secure way of encrypting the data which is transmitted between the accesspoint and the laptop - was supported by the tool I was using.
Last weekend I started looking for ways of configuring my laptop to use the WPA2 standard, both in Windows and linux.
After searching some forums I stumbled upon a topic about a tool called knetworkmanager (a frontend for networkmanager). I installed it using apt-get and it worked. I could connect to my wireless accesspoint using WPA in linux.
Then I changed the settings of the accesspoint to use WPA2 and I could still connect using linux.
After I booted in Windows I noticed I couldn't connect to my wireless network. After searching the microsoft knowledge base, I found out that WPA2 isn't supported on a standard Windows XP + SP2 installation. Fortunately a link to an update was provided, which made WPA2 possible.
After installing and rebooting I changed the settings of my wireless connection to WPA2 and I got connected to my wireless accesspoint.
So now all communication between my laptop and the accesspoint is secured and encrypted using WPA2, the safest protocol for home use available at the moment.