Free parental control software for Windows, MAC and iPhone

The most popular article on this blog is about the time restriction parental control method in Windows. That article explains how you can restrict the login time for a user under Windows. The hot topic being parental control, I have decided to write about a software that is easy to use, allows you to block websites based on content and restrict the time people can use the internet! The best part is it is FREE and is available for Windows, Mac OSX as well as iOS.

K9 webprotection on iOS
K9 web protection screenshot from iPod

K9 web protection is an easy to use parental control internet restriction software from Blue Coat. It is free for personal use but you need to provide an email address to get the license key. I have used K9 for testing purposes and found it to be very impressive. You get to block web sites based on Categories, keywords, URLs or even URL keywords. The time that a user can browse the net can also be set.

I have tries only the Windows version. The iOS version is available from iTunes. More tips on using k9 as well as other tools to secure your computer will be updated on to my blog. Please subscribe to the RSS feed to keep updated.

K9 website | Download Page | FAQ

Protecting your childs online prescence

Children today are far more ‘exposed’ to technology than once their parents were. Along with the benefits of the internet, more and more websites pop up each minute that could get them in trouble. Pornography, contact with strangers, Social networking addiction and games are just a few of them. With the curiosity of a kid he likes to know ‘what it is?’. So I am starting a series of posts on parental control and internet security.

Sometime back I did a post on how to control the time users can log in to Windows XP. Since I added “Parental Control” to the title, there had been many visits to the article. This actually made me feel like I was cheating all those visitors. These people were coming here,expecting to find a way to prevent their children go the wrong way on the internet. And what was I giving them? A rather geeky and crappy way of controlling the log in times. That’s why after a long long time I decided to write some real and not so geeky ways of implementing a parental control.

In this article I am going to tell you some good points to note before you setup a full parental control.

  • Educate your children about the bad of getting addicted to internet, games,porn etc
  • Put the PC with internet access in a common area, so that you can always have a look
  • Make the modem setup such that it connects to the internet only on request rather than always on.
  • Its better if you can put a router in between the computer and modem.
  • Be strict about ‘when’ kids can use the computer

There are some plug-ins available for almost all browsers that will make surfing rather safe. One such plug-in is the Web Of Trust Plug-in. It is available for FireFox, Internet Explorer as well as Chrome. But the problem with all these plug-ins are that they can be overcome by some way. although the procedures can be complex, they can still be overcome. That’s why we need a much stronger method for parental control. From the third article in this series onwards I will be discussing methods by which parents can actually implement strong website filtering on their computers.

Quix – ultimate BookMarklet

Name

: Quix

What is it?

: Quix is a JavaScript BookMarklet which allows you to add functionality to your browser

Details

Quix is a simple BookMarklet that you can add to you browser toolbar by drag and drop. It is more like the “Latest Headline” in your FireFox toolbar. When clicked, it opens a prompt that accepts short commands and behaves accordingly. Commands include whois lookups, social bookmarkings, webmaster tools, URL shortening etc.

When you click on the Bookmarklet, a prompt appears.
You can type in your command to this prompt : Quix

An example is here. You are on a particular website and you need to know the whois informations of the site, What do you do? You can copy the web address, go to a domain tools site and type in the address to get the details. OR you can click on the Quix button on your toolbar, and just enter ‘whois’ to see all the required information then and there. You can also use Quix for web searches as “g Simple Informations” will search on Google for Simple Informations. Try “dict amazing” for a word meaning or “map LOCATION_NAME” for google map of the Location. These are just a few of the commands available in Quix. YOu can see the full list of commands at Quix Help.

An introduction to Quix : Video

Do I need Quix

If you haven’t yet added it to your toolbar, probably you are confused as to why you need it. Well it makes searches handy, access to other information and sharing on social networks including Twitter and FaceBook easy. If not using this button, you might end up using a single bookmarklet for each of the social networks and one bookmark each for a search. Another advantage is that you can add custom commands to Quix easily. so hurry and get yours now itself.

Pros

Does NOT slow down browser like other plug-ins. Can be used with every browser that supports JavaScript. I don’t think I can list its goods. You just need to prefix each command with a space and it will result in a new tab. All of it is just great. You can extend it with command files (see links below). Can disable the default commands – you should need some crazy reason to do so.

Cons

Haven’t seen one yet.

Verdict

This is one tool every one who uses Internet must have. The SEO and WP tools make life easier for web Admins and Bloggers. Yoast has done a wonderful job by creating the plugin.

Links

Quiz | Quix commands | Extend commands | How to add commands | Joost de Valk

Is Firefox stable as it is said

Firefox has been long speculated to be one of the most stable browsers. On Windows I also believe this is true. But since running Ubuntu and Firefox for the past few months, I have to believe otherwise. Crashing Firefox has been a daily scene for me. Firefox gets hung even while loading GMail. This is not my problem alone. My friend who has got a completely different configuration has got the same problem. Here is a screen shot.

Firefox is ever ready to stop responding in Ubuntu

On Ubuntu Opera seems to be more stable than Firefox. But under Windows both are equally stable. For Firefox the problem has been almost solved by version 3.0.5 which we are running now. If you have faced a similar problem please comment specifying it.

How to hack a web password from a friend

You can get anybody’s internet account password, if you have Mozilla Firefox browser with an add-on named HTTPFox installed.

HTTPFox sits in between the network and FF browser and captures all the traffic in between. You can view the Requests and Responses going in between. When you enter an information into a form on a web page like a login page and click the submit button you are sending the information either as a GET or as a POST request to the web server. Example of a GET request is what you enter in a Google Search box. When you click search you can see that the results page will have a URL like :- http://ww.google.com/search?q=SEARCH QUERY (it may have some more creepy stuff like your browser info or your language preference but the basic structure is this) You can see that the part you entered is visible along with the URL.

POST requests are different in that you can’t see the data as part of the URL. An example would be any login information you enter on a website.

Follow these steps : (Checkout this Screenshot for detailed instructions)

1. Install HTTPFox extension for FireFox.

2. Restart Firefox, now you will see a small green and blue icon on the lower right side of the status bar.

3. Click on the icon to expand HTTPFox pane and go to any login page.

4. Click Start to start the capture. Enter the login information (username, password) and click Submit (or hit enter)

5. You will seethe data transfer in a categorised and formatted way here. Look at the 5th column named Method. Most of it will be GET. Click on it to bring the POST ones on top. Select a post transfer by clicking on it and then Click POST Data tab on the lower pane of HTTPFox. Here select Raw radio button. check for the sername somewhere in the string shown. Near to the username will be the password. Before each variable (password username etc) you can see an = symbol)

6. This is the password you need. To make this a stealth operation 😉 , after Start minimise the HTTPFox window. And whe nobody is arround open the window stop the transfer and look for the password.

As you get familiar with this it will be a lot easier to findout the password from the RAW data. For any webpage use all caps testusername and teastpassword approach shown in the screenshot to locate the password field.

If you have any questions or doubts contact me or leave a comment.

How to save copy righted Images from Flickr

Some images in Flickr are protected so that nobody would save them to their computer. This is done by overlaying the image with a transparent spaceball.gif image. You can see this in action in the following image.

Saving Flickr Image gives you the transparent spaceball.gif file.

Here when the save Image As option is taken you can save only spaceball.gif which is a simple 1×1 transparent image. So how do you save such images. One method that will come to your mind immediately will be saving it from cache. Yeah that works, but there is a method which is a lot  easier. You can use this in Firefox.

Right Click and Select Page Info

When you right click on any page opened in Firefox you can see an option Page Info. (Note that a similar option is viewable under the DOM Inspector) Click on that, Goto the Media tab. This can also be accessed through Tools » Page Info You can see that here there is a list of all Images, Music and Shock wave objects used on the page Just click on the image name you want to save and select Save As. Thats it.

All media in a page under the Page Info » Media tab

One you get familiar with images in Flickr you can see a similarity in all the main images addresses used in Flickr ages. Just check the image. You can easily spot tis one after some trial. Also any object can be saved fby using this method.

You might also be interested in knowing how to disable right clciks using simple HTML tags. If this method is used you can select Page Info from Tools menu on the top.

Firefox 3 beta gulping down I/O resources – simple solution

Ever since FireFox 3 beta was released it caused more problems than it actually solved. With addons not working, history clearing problems and even installation issues its time for a change. The new issue is with I/O resource consumption by FF. Actually it is not new. I had noticed earlier on that

C:Documents and SettingsAjithLocal SettingsApplication DataMozillaFirefoxProfilesclyao2bz.defaulturlclassifier3.sqlite

was always in the Disk read/write queue. But I didn’t care much.

Last day after installing a new RAM module, expecting an improved performance, I was surprised to see that there was a lot of disk usage. So I decided to Search with the file name and came out with some quiet interesting facts. The file is actually used as a cache for the reported web sites. So every time you start a new profile, FF starts downloading the file and causes the excessive resource usage. But I still wonder how a 20Mb file download would cause so much CPU and I/O usage.

Solution

Uncheck the

The solution is rather simple. Just turn off the “Report Attack site” function from under Tools>> Option>> Privacy and everything will come back to normal.

Get the color palette used on any web page with Palette Grabber

Palette Grabber is a simple plug in for Firefox made by Konstantine Prevas. It will get the colors used on a web page at the click of the mouse. You can save the color palette in the following formats –

.aco Adobe color Palette
.clr Flash color palette
.psppalette Paint Shop Pro color palette
.gpl GIMP color palette
.act Adobe fireworks color table
.clr MAC OS X color palette

You can use palette grabber to get the colors used in the template of any web site you like.

FireFox 3 beta, looks good, succumb your addons

FireFox 3 beta logoToday I downloaded the firefox 3 beta version. It is the latest version available and is in beta testing stage. Mozilla has added a list of improvements to the what’s new page. Mozilla has changed the entire look and architecture of Fireox to a neater one.

Here is what the excited Firefox team has said –

Firefox 3 is based on the Gecko 1.9 Web rendering platform, which has been under development for the past 32 months. Building on the previous release, Gecko 1.9 has more than 12,000 updates including some major re-architecting to provide improved performance, stability, rendering correctness, and code simplification and sustainability. Firefox 3 has been built on top of this new platform resulting in a more secure, easier to use, more personal product with a lot more under the hood to offer website and Firefox add-on developers.

The most notable improvement is with the default theme. FireFox is much more beautiful now. Also the memory usage has decreased but not to an extent where it can be considered effective. The Google search bar at top has got auto suggest. When you type your address the History drop down is shown in a more user friendly way.

Although FireFox has greatly improved on the looks department almost all of my addons were incompatible with the beta release. So are the themes. So if you don’t want to sacrifice much wait until FF is out of beta to upgrade, upgrade now if you just want to find out the new features. This is a list of known issues with FireFox 3 beta 5.

So if you are impressed go get Firefox here. It is available in 45 languages.

What to do if your firefox wont load a wordpress blog

It is completely normal that a site doesn’t load. but it is not that normal when the site won’t load only on Firefox. Well of late I have found that Firefox running on certain Windows XP boxes infected with virus won’t load a WordPress blog correctly.

Simple Informations won't load on firefox, after the fix

An example is the machine I am currently writing this post on. My Blog and WordPress homepage will not load on this machine even if you waited for a month or so. First I thought it had something to do with my blog. But I found out later that only Firefox does not load my page but IE and OPERA will load it correctly.

The simple and easy solution comes right through your address bar. Just add a “?” mark (no quotes) at the end of the URL after the “/” that is the new address is http://exnol.com/? And the site will load perfectly.

Actually this can be applied to other sites also which wont load after a long time.