Here are a couple small programs to help you make the most of your Playstation 3 Sixaxis controllers. [netkas] heard that quite a few people were having trouble using the Sixaxis controller in Windows Vista. He solved it for himself and uploaded an exe for you to use. He then did essentially the same thing for OSX. This should make your PC gaming feel at least a little more familiar.
tbeta is a new tool developed by the NUI Group Community. tbeta acts as an image processing layer to take in image data and output tracking data for multitouch applications. Whether FTIR or DI, scratch built multitouch systems generate IR video streams that need to be processed to find fingertips. tbeta can take this or any arbitrary video stream and run it through a series of filters to generate the touch data. This data is sent as OSC TUIO, a standard protocol for touch events. Along with the camera and input switcher, tbeta also aids in system calibration. I works on Windows, OSX, and Linux. Have a look at the getting started guide for a better idea of how it works.
As you can plainly see, we’re embracing International Caps Lock Day with full gusto. Go ahead, try it out in the comments. Caps lock is the cruise control for cool. Surprisingly, there are quite a few full time haters of the key running campaigns: CAPSoff and anticAPSLOCK actually united to form CAPSoff.org to further development of a caps lock free keyboard.
Once you’re tired of yelling at people online (like that’ll happen), you might attempt to do something useful with the key. In OSX, you can remap the caps lock key in System Preferences > Keyboard & Mouse > Modifier Keys. You can make it an extra Command, Control, Option, or select No Action. If you want to map it to another key entirely, try a program like fKeys. You could map it to Esc to make Vim—THE BEST TEXT EDITOR EVER—easy to use. In Windows, try this handy guide from TechRepublic for remapping your keys.
If ease of use is not your goal, you could always make a random caps locker hardware dongle.
We have run many EeePC hacks before. Like most people, what we really want is a Mac netbook. The folks over at Wired have written up some nice instructions to help you run OSX on your EeePC. The process is a little involved, so don’t expect to just pop in a disk and be home free. There are a few setbacks though. No flash support, hardware F-keys don’t work (volume, brightness, etc), and ethernet doesn’t work. WiFi works but only with a third party driver/app.
It’s been a big week for the XBMC team. They announced the release of their first cross platform beta in preparation for a full release in October. XBMC started as a media center project for the original Xbox, but has expanded a lot since then. The new beta works on Linux, OSX (Leopard and Tiger), Windows, and Xbox. They’ve created XBMC Live, so you can get XBMC up and running quickly either by booting from the CD, from a flash drive, or using it to install to a disk. People have been writing add on apps too, like the XBMC Remote for iPhones.
This summer we covered both Boxee, a social version of XBMC, and Plex, the original XBMC OSX fork.
According to InsanelyMac forum member [qbattersby] the EFiX USB dongle he just received doesn’t seem to live up to expectations. We covered the EFiX when it was announced back in June. It’s designed to let you install OSX unmodified on commodity hardware. While using a MSI G965M motherboard, instead of installing OSX [qbattersby] was greeted with a flashing cursor with no option to continue onward.
A quick glance at the EFiX hardware compatibility chart does not list the MSI G965M as a board verified to work with the dongle and could explain [qbattersby] results. To his defense, he does explain that he will be testing it on a supported motherboard along with a retail copy of Leopard in the future. Hopefully, he will be able to post back that it works and his experience with the installation of Leopard.
While the EFiX seems to be shipping in some countries, enthusiasts in the US will have to wait a bit longer till distribution channels can be worked out.
One thing is for sure, if you do plan on going the EFiX route, make sure that the hardware you plan on using is listed on their site.
It’s been a few weeks since [Dan Kaminsky] announced the nature of the DNS vulnerability and allowed 30 days of non-disclosure for patches to be applied before details of the exploit went public. Unfortunately, the details were leaked early and it didn’t take long for a functional exploit to be released into the wild. Since then, many ISPs have taken steps to prevent their users from falling victim to the attack, and BIND, the widely-used DNS protocol implementation, was updated to minimize the threat. Even then, there were reports of a version of the attack being actively used on AT&T’s DNS servers.
Mac OSX uses a BIND implementation but as of yet, Apple has not released a patch updating the system (Microsoft, on the other hand, patched this up on July 8). As a result, machines running OSX are at risk of being exploited. Individual users are less likely to be targeted, since the attacks are directed towards servers, but it’s not a smart idea to leave this vulnerability open. [Glenn Fleishman] has published a way to update BIND on OSX manually, rather than waiting on Apple to patch it themselves. It requires Xcode and a bit of terminal work, but it’s a relatively painless update. When we tried it, the “make test” step skipped a few tests and told us to run “bin/tests/system/ifconfig.sh up”. That allowed us to re-run the tests and continue the update without further interruption. [Fleischman] warns that people who manually update BIND may break the official update, but he will update his instructions when it happens with any possible workarounds. Unfortunately, this fix only works for 10.5 but alternative, yet less effective methods may work for 10.4 and earlier.
If you’d like to know if your preferred DNS servers are vulnerable or not, you can use the DNS checker tool from Doxpara. As an alternative to your ISP’s DNS servers, you can use OpenDNS, which many prefer for its security features and configuration options.