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HED | Hacker Evolution Duality

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Hacker Evolution Duality demo always segfaults even when you hit ESC and press `yes' to exit!

I had to start the game with strace to find out what the hell is wrong!

The game is totally inconsistent. Once it can not find the text file that should be displayed as your first message. Another time it does find it.  In addition, the game throws lots of error messages claiming that it can not run certain MP3 files. I do a $ gnome-open /path/to/mentioned/file.mp3 and it works like a charm.

The game also looks for many device files like:
 ...
/dev/js13
/dev/js14
/dev/js15
/dev/js16
...

  Honestly, I found the demo  not worthy of debugging a hell of segfaults. If you intend to build a good game for Linux, please consider those guys / girls who rely on x86_64 systems!

Enjoy the map and the grid, I didn't even bother to make a score.


Azza Helal

If you have never been to Egypt in the last 10 years, please do not judge it from behind your PC and please do not generalize your views.

If you have never been to Tahrir Square, again please do not judge it from your TV screen nor generalize your views.

This said, now let's get to the core.


80+ million people concentrated in around 3% of their country with poor majority, a relatively small number of well educated people and the elites whom you can easily classify with the tags: power, money, corruption.

Now the elites to keep and grow their power and money have to work in a few directions (First Person):

- keep the poor as they are or drive them poorer so that they have no opportunity (mind / health / time) to find out our crimes,
- shut the educated up by any means in order not to enlighten the poor about how bad, evil and corrupted we are,
- make allies with whomever supports, protects, grows / can support, protect, grow our interests,
- hide our crimes, if not possible claim t…

Corporations with red logos

I now genuinely believe that corporations with red logos suck the blood of their customers and their employees alike. On top of my list are Oracle, Vodafone, RedHat and HSBC.

That's from where they get the red colour!

Talented thinking and open minds

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I was going to write about how these August, September and October are overwhelming in IT through:
- Google's purchase of Motorola Mobility,
- Compromising kernel.org,
- Steve Jobs' death,
- Dennis Ritchie's death...
But I found that I won't be adding any thing new nor useful to the internet nor to my readers. So, I decided to change the topic.

What usually attracts me right after humans' morals is their minds. The more open, welcoming and optimistic is a person's mind the more my respect towards that person.

After all, it blows me out of my mind how many young people I find reading and willing to share and positively discuss ideas and how sadly our country has become. May be because of the under estimation of our capabilities that was instilled in us during childhood? Why most of us succeeds at something good, innovative and useful only after studying or working abroad for a while?

For me, Egypt is one of the most rich countries in the whole world... and since…

Samsung Galaxy Tab | iRead

Honestly, I am so grateful to Allah that he (SWT) allowed me to get a nice tablet. (P.S. I am not into a geeky review of my latest toy, but it does well except for automatically shortening dotted file names and turning Arabic ones into underscores)

I have used to thrive on reading while a teenager, but unfortunately I abandoned my best hobby since high school. The good news is that, I am about to be back in shaa Allah:

* Recently, in less than a week I have finished:
- The Alchemist, and
- Randy Pausch's Last Lecture (transcript)

* I have also finished 1/3 of each of:
- Act like a lady, think like a man
- Men are from Mars, women are from Venus
But I am not willing to complete any of them soon :D

* Currently, I am reading:
- عبقرية محمد
- لا تحزن

I would also like to thank both `Giuseppe Maxia' a.k.a. @datacharmer and `Linus Torvalds' for inspiring me to get back to reading despite they might have not meant to :)

“"Tell me what you read and I'll tell you who you ar…

SSH attacks, again!

I am too lazy to install fail2ban to protect my ssh daemon against bad boys. In, addition, I have been raised to minimize reliability on applications when a one-liner or a few-lines script would do all or part of the work.

Yesterday, I decided to turn on my home's sshd and make it accessible from outside, so that whenever I need something while at work I would ask some one just to turn on my laptop. I did, and the bad Chinese boys were too quick that they started attacking my poor daemon. They were trying users like: root, oracle, backup, postgres, www, test, kylix, info. So far, there is only one attacking IP which is: 58.68.150.174

So, I hopped for:
1- denying remote root login (Yes, I am a lazy sysadmin! Should have done this earlier) and
2- updating my counter-ssh-attacks script as follows (P.S. I have removed explanatory comments):
 #! /bin/bash
RETVAL=0
secure='/var/log/secure'
file='/tmp/counter-ssh'
deny='/etc/hosts.deny'
#grep "Did not" $s…

The coconut

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IMHO, a coconut is an example how amazing beauty can be hidden under ugly covers. Just to remain protected...
Photo: By Martyn Kimberley on flickr.com

Who needs audio/video Internet services when there is ffmpeg on Linux ?

So I joined ITWorx for eighteen days now, including weekends, and for the past two days I felt like I should have a special ringtone for my team lead. My mobile's ringtone is a builtin that is as old as the handset itself and I am not keen to do effort extracting it but it can be found on:
http://www.4shared.com/get/F97ZE-pN/Sooth.html

A few friends already liked it and asked me to send it to them but I always responded it is a builtin and I don't know how to extract it. Just now, a quick search on google using 'Sooth.aac' brought me to the link above.

Any how, let's get to the point. I usually watch NatGeo AbuDhabi and I wanted to have <NatGeo's Wild 2010 Preview> as a ringtone. Our TV set has horrible audio speakers, so I couldn't make head or tails of the preview except for the line saying "see what I see in the tree". With almost nothing from the lyrics, an English-language search on Google didn't help. So I searched in Arabic for …

Tethering Nokia E51 to CentOS 5.5 on HP 6730s

According to Wikipedia, tethering is a method to share the Internet connection of an Internet-capable mobile phone. This sharing can be via cable, or wirelessly over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi — if Wi-Fi, the tethering feature is often branded as a mobile hotspot and can typically service several devices.

As a result of a sometimes slow ADSL connection, I decided to have my own mobile hotspot as a backup.

Indeed, mobinil offers a relatively acceptable plan of 110 MB / month for 20 EGP. Exceed your quota during the 30 day limit, and the speed drops AFAIK from 1.2 mbps to 64 kbps. After all, for me this is a good backup plan to accomplish quick logins and short browsing.

So, I went straight to Ovi store and downloaded Joikuspot Light edition 3.1. To have free apps downloaded to your PC, just click the app, then click `send to a friend` button. The address bar changes to something like `http://store.ovi.com/content/12345/send-to-friend`. Simply replace the in the address bar from `send-to-frie…

Conditional Thinking

It has been long since I last wrote here, but I believe the idea I am about to discuss is worth highlighting.

After Jan 25 Revolution, I am having a new state of mind. It is refusing the conditional thinking. For many years, I have been doing many things without questioning `is it necessarily?`. I mean, for a very basic example, whenever you turn on both hot water and cold water taps, warm water should flow, right ?  ... Not necessarily! Many scenarios can take place. One of the taps may be broken, both may be broken, the heater may not be working, the water may be warm but carrying rust, water may be already cut off or indeed warm water may come out.. You name it.

My point here, these are two things interacting with each other based upon our action, yet the results are not guaranteed. What would you think of human beings interacting with each other, again, at a very basic level ?

If you scold me, there are many scenarios, I may ask you why you are scolding me, I may wait t…

Download Now, Install Later

A quick hack to just download yum updates for a later install:


for i in $(yum list updates | awk '{print $1}' | grep -v ^* | sed -e '1,3d'); do yumdownloader $i; sleep 1; done

Of course you can put them all in one file and download without using for loop, but I didn't want to write any files to the hard disk. Also, you could have used $ yum check-update but I am more used to $ yum list updates.

Keep the system up to date ;)