Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Ventra To Use Windows, Free Bus Rides for Chicago ?

Ventra is the newest payment system used in CTA (Chicago Transit Authority) which received lots of critics for being unstable, people keep getting errors. A friend of mine Alex recently took screenshot of a error message on a Ventra machine. in which you can see the operating system used is Windows (Surprise !) .

But is that a bad thing ? Heh Not for me !  recently I have got lots of free rides on the bus just because the system was down and the driver had to let people in for free, so I guess using windows is not that bad at all .

Privacy concerns in Ventra website.

Speaking of using windows on a large scale service, lets take a look the website The first impression I get by looking at the ventra website, is it was created by following a step by step tutorial for making a ruby/django web app, and the developer forgot to change the views templates and polish the looks.

Example of poorly designed user interface,look at the different font-sizes in a line.

You might say why should we care, it is just an interface, doesn't affect the functionality of the card in train/bus, but here is why you should care:

if you login to your account,you see it has logged every location and time you used your card and it is not limited to the recent transactions but all of them.

I personally used the card for 5 months, and now I can see exactly where I have been at exact time, during the past 5 months, is that a bad thing ? heh it is not bad for me to know where I was but what if someone creepy wants to misuse the information to harm someone else?
We hear in the news hackers got hold of information in big sites like Facebook, Gmail, Linkedin, stealing millions of people's passwords, what if they hack into ventra, they can see all the location and times someone was from the beginning to now and even export it to a CSV file. Quite frankly the way the Ventra site looks like I think hackers could hack to it a lot easier than Facebook and Linkedin .

Ventra has export button so you can export all the locations you have been to a excel file.

+Fun fact  Ventra is a $454 million dollar contract, I wonder how much it would be if they had used Linux ?

Thursday, November 28, 2013

How to encode HTML in Java Script

A great tool to encode html into javascript, very handy .

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Config vim for python code (with indent and syntax highlight)

I used to hate vim, but now I actually cant code comfortably without vim.
to use vim with python you need to configure it first.

Here is my favorite settings for vim, to write python code, for syntax,indentation, using mouse, tabbing, showing line number,

you need need add the following to ~./vimrc file (can use gedit or vim itself)

set nobackup
set mouse=a
set number
set nowritebackup
set noswapfile
set lines=40
set columns=80
set tabstop=4
set shiftwidth=4
set softtabstop=4
set autoindent
set smarttab
set expandtab
syntax on
filetype indent on
filetype on
filetype plugin on

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Force bash script to be visible in linux terminal (when run by graphical programs)

When you run a bash scrip at terminal, it always spits out the output (for i.e "echo" stuff) but if you run the it in your file manager (for i.e Nautilus) or if another program runs it (lets say you assigned a MIME Type to firefox to run a script, and it will run it but wont show the output in terminal ,

To fix this that, simply use  -e argument with gnome-terminal:

gnome-terminal -e ./

Saturday, April 27, 2013

list directories and their total sizes using "du" in terminal

during my investigation to find out the location of a the malicious script on my server,I found out 7GB folder on my account that I didnt know where they are. (the spam files) the "du" come very handy for me today to list all the folders and their sizes in the current directory :

du -sh *

the output will be something like this:
 root@server # du * -sh
14M administrator
824K cache
4.0K cgi-bin
24K cli
2.4M components
4.0K configuration.php
152K discussion
4.0K error_log
4.0K htaccess.txt
7GB images
60K includes

Sunday, April 21, 2013

[Terminal Tip] How to switch tabs in terminal in ubuntu/linux?

If you are like me used to switch tabs everywhere by CTRL+T , you might also find it frustrating that it doesn't work in Terminal .

Tip of the day : to switch tabs in terminal simply learn this shortcut:


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Linux Geeks Meet-Up in Chicago

DePaul Linux Community invites all  the Linux geeks in Chicago to join us a meet up conference in DePaul University.

Location:       DePaul Center 8010  
1 East Jackson, Chicago,

Date:     April 22nd 2013   

Time:     2:00PM – 4:00 PM   

For more information please contact:

Thursday, March 21, 2013

How Make GEdit load faster in Ubuntu

I can't believe I let my gedit to be that slow for that long time in ubuntu, I knew there is a way to make Gedit faster.
it is simple go to preferences, and disable all disable all the unnecessary plugins, specially the "File Browser". infact that File Browser is the source of the problem, every time you open a gedit is does some file s

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Pre-installed Virtual Machines for Virtualbox for Free

Nowadays you dont really need to download an ISO of an operating system and install it yourself in virtualbox, you can download one of these Virtualbox pre-installed appliances for free .
(it is a shame some websites actualy ask you money for that) here is a good repository of pre-installed virtual machines.



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