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Tag: itouch

iTouch as network sniffer

In the iTouch warwalking post I was considering trying to gain access to closed networks for innocent purposes such as checking mail, rather than stealing secret passwords from people allowing you free access to their wireless network, but still, I should have thought of the following possibility

Here’s a walk-through :

  • type the following command into your iTouch (assuming you’ve installed the BSD subsystem) :

tcpdump -v -s 65535 -w log.txt

  • once you’ve collected enough packets, cancel the command (ctrl c), AFPd the file from the iTouch to your Mac and open it with Wireshark (this is the most convenient way to install binaries under Leopard as well as an updated version of X11. For other platforms, or source code, see here)

  • do whatever black magic you feel you have to perform using Wireshark (the new name for Ethereal) or other password crackers


yahoo pipes on iTouch

The next thing on my tech-to-do-list : learn all about Yahoo Pipes :

Pipes is a powerful composition tool to aggregate, manipulate, and mashup content from around the web. Like Unix pipes, simple commands can be combined together to create output that meets your needs. Here are a few popular ways the service can be used:
– create your ultimate custom feed by combining many feeds into one, then sorting, filtering and translating them.
– geocode your favorite feeds and browse the items on an interactive map.
– remix your favorite data sources and use the Pipe to power a new application.
– build custom vertical search pages that are impossible with ordinary search engines.
– power widgets/badges on your web site.
– consume the output of any Pipe in RSS, JSON, KML, and other formats.

I’ve posted before on setting up your own lifestream, or your own planet, or scraping feeds, or subscribing to my brain, or … whatever. The good news is : all these ideas are now superseded by Pipes!

Pipes is a free online service that lets you remix popular feed types and create data mashups using a visual editor. You can use Pipes to run your own web projects, or publish and share your own web services without ever having to write a line of code. You make a Pipe by dragging pre-configured modules onto a canvas and wiring them together in the Pipes Editor. Once you’ve built a Pipe, you’ll be able save it on our server and then call it like you would any other feed. Pipes offers output in RSS 2.0, RSS 1.0 (RDF), JSON and Atom formats for maximum flexibility. You can also choose to publish your Pipe and share it with the world, allowing other users to clone it, add their own improvements, or use it as a subcomponent in their own creations.

This is the essential message to get : yahoo-pipes allows you to remix the web, filtering out all noise! And the good news is

  1. There are plenty of public pipes around to get you going, and
  2. Pipes has an iTouch-friendly interface (see above left). All you have to do is to Safari to and use them.

Here are a few public-pipes you can use out of the box!

  • iPhone / iPod Touch: The Most Comprehensive Feed Ever!, doing what it promises : giving you the best iTouch-posts without having to roam for them.
  • JSON Geocoder, returning lat/lon/address info from the the given address.
  • Uber Blog Search, Search all the blogosphere with one query. Hits Google, Ask, Technorati, and icerocket then returns the unique results. Below the web-interface giving the results for ‘noncommutative’…

and finally, one of my favorites, implementing to some extend the Lifestream-idea (iTouch-interface above left)

  • lifefeed – virable, Easily Aggregate your social whereabouts great for blogs profiles and more! Aggregates Your Feeds From: -Digg -Twitter -Flickr and your very own blog Adopt and Improve, enjoy!

I’ll promise to spend some time soon to set up my very own pipes and make them available…


Top 5 wp-plugins to improve your bounce-rate

The bounce rate indicates how many web-visitors leave the site without visiting any other pages before a certain session timeout elapses. That is :

High bounce rate means the site must be horrible to site visitors and most likely they would never return again. They are not even interested to check other content of the site. First impression counts.

After installing google analytics some weeks ago, I noticed a worrying high bounce rate : close to 80%… At first I thought this was due to the fact that all iTouch fans left the moment they saw a mathematical symbol, but further analysis proved me wrong : iTouch fans study posts here a lot longer than the average mathematician. But then, what was the reason? Is this site really so horrible to look at? is the content of such poor quality?

Anyway, I’ve tried out a couple of tricks, with surprising effect. The bounce rate dropped from 80% to under 3% and best of all, it appears to stay that low. Here, the google-analytics bounce-rate evolution of the last 3 weeks

So, what kind of magic voodoo did I perform on january 6th? I’ve installed a couple of WordPress Plugins and changed the upper part of the entry-page. My basic assumption is that people leave a site when they come to it for specific information (for example via a search engine), do not find the info immediately and don’t want to spend too much time looking for it. So, I wanted to have all tools to find content on this site right in front of the potential new-comer. Here are the 5 major changes to the header part and the plugins Ive used.

1 : Rather than having a monthly-archive in the sidebar providing no more info than the number of posts in a particular month, create a proper archive page where visitors can find the titles and links to all posts in reverse chronological ordering. I did use the Smart Archives Plugin.

2 : Even better : have a drop-down archive right under the header-picture so that visitors can scroll down the list of all posts without having to load another page. Ive used the Awsom Archive Plugin.

3 : Let visitors see in a glance what your blog is all about by having a tag cloud under the header. I didnt feel like tagging 300 old posts, so I used the Simple Tags Plugin to do it all for me.

4 : Have a welcome message near the top to aid new visitors (especially when you have, like me, 77.51% of them around). The message disappears after their third visit. It’s a wonderful idea, made possible by the What Would Seth Godin Do-Plugin.

5 : Write series of posts and have links to the other parts available at the top of the new post. Likely, people are going to check out the other parts for more information. Rather than hard-coding the links by hand, Ive used the In Series Plugin.


quick iTouch links

MacBookAir? Is this really the best Apple could come up with? A laptop you can slide under the door or put in an envelop? Yeez… Probably the hot-air-book is about as thick as an iTouch. The first thing I did was to buy a leather case to protect the vulnerable thing, making it as thick as a first generation iPod… (needless to say, when my MacBookPro breaks down, ill replace it with a MacBookAir, clearly!)

Ranting about MacWorlds : Wired has a great article on last year’s event. Steve Job’s iPhone presentation is something that will be part of the collective memory when it comes to 2007-recollections. Few people will have realized that the Apple-team didnt have a working prototype a few weeks before… Here’s The Untold Story: How the iPhone Blew Up the Wireless Industry. A good read!

If you plug in your jailbroken iTouch, you will be asked wether you want to upgrade to 1.1.3, something we all feared for a long time and so it takes just nanoseconds to hit the cancel-button. But, there is good news! Rupert Gee reports that you can downgrade to 1.1.1 and redo jailbreak. I won’t try it for some time, but still…

In the unlikely event that you come here being a mathematician, here’s what I did with my iTouch today. Ive downloaded the Connes-Marcolli talks on Renormalization and Motives part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7 and part 8 at work. They are in mp4-format so you can load them into iTunes and onto your iTouch!!! Weather is not favorable for outdoor-cycling at the moment, so I used the home-trainer, put the iTouch in front of me and, boy, was I educated…

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thanks for linking

I’ve re-installed the Google analytics plugin on december 22nd, so it is harvesting data for three weeks only. Still, it is an interesting tool to gain insight in the social networking aspect of math-blogging, something I’m still very bad at…

Below the list of all blogs referring at least 10 times over this last three weeks. In brackets are the number of referrals and included are the average time Avg. they spend on this site, as well as the bounce back rate BB. It gives me the opportunity to link back to some of their posts, as a small token of gratitude. I may repeat this in the future, so please keep on linking…

Not Even Wrong (69) : Avg (1.05 min) BB (52.94%)

The most recent post of Peter is an update on the plagiarism scandal on the arXiv.

The n-category cafe (63) : Avg (2.13 min) BB (50%)

The one series I followed at the cafe lately was the Geometric Representation Theory course run by John Baez and James Dolan. They provide downloadable movies as well as notes.

Richard Borcherd’s blog (47) : Avg (1.53 min) BB (53.19%)

It is great to see that Borcherds has taken up blogging again, with a post on the uselessness of set theory.

The Arcadian functor (32) : Avg (3.45 min) BB (34.38 %)

It is clear from the low bounce-back rate and the high average time spend on this site, that Kea’s readers and mine have common interests. Often I feel that Kea and I are talking about the same topics, but that our language is so different, that it is difficult for me to spot the precise connection. I definitely should start (for myself) a translation-project of her M-theory posts.

RupertGee’s iBlog (23) : Avg (6.48 min) BB (34.7 %)

Surprisingly, and contrasting to my previous rant iTouch-people (or at least those coming here from Rupert Gee’s blog) sure take time to read the posts and look for more.

Ars Mathematica (22) : Avg (0:01 min) BB (77,2 %)

Well, the average time and bounce back rate say it all : people coming here from Ars Mathematica are not interested in longer posts…

iTouch Fans Forum (14) : Avg (2:07 min) BB (42.86 %)

Again, better statistics than I would have expected.

Vivatsgasse 7 (13) : Avg (1:51 min) BB (38.46 %)

I hope these guys haven’t completely given up on blogging as it is one of my favourites.

Sixth form mathematics (12) : Avg (1:40 min) BB (25 %)

My few old posts on LaTeXrender still draw referrals…

Strategic Boards (12) : Avg (0:01 min) BB (91.67 %)

People in strategic board games are not really in my game-posts it seems…

The Everything Seminar (11) : Avg (2:04 min) BB (72.73 %)

Greg Muller has been posting a couple of nice posts on chord diagrams, starting here.

Noncommutative Geometry (11) : Avg (3:36 min) BB (27.27 %)

Well, we are interested in the same thing viewed from different angles, so good average times and a low bounce back rate. Maybe, I should make another attempt to have cross-interaction between the two blogs.