Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Spoiler alert: This story reveals some key plot points in the final Harry Potter book. So if you've haven't finished the book, J.K. Rowling asks that you not read this story.
If you found the epilogue of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” rather vague, then J.K. Rowling achieved her goal.
The author was shooting for “nebulous,” something “poetic.” She wanted the readers to feel as if they were looking at Platform 9¾ through the mist, unable to make out exactly who was there and who was not.
“I do, of course, have that information for you, should you require it,” she told TODAY’s Meredith Vieira rather coyly in her first interview since fans got their hands on the final book.
Ummm … yes, please!
Rowling said her original epilogue was “a lot more detailed,” including the name of every child born to the Weasley clan in the past 19 years. (Victoire, who was snogging Teddy — Lupin and Tonks’ son — is Bill and Fleur’s eldest.)
“But it didn’t work very well as a piece of writing,” Rowling said. “It felt very much that I had crowbarred in every bit of information I could … In a novel you have to resist the urge to tell everything.”
But now that the seventh and final novel is in the hands of her adoring public, Rowling no longer has to hold back any information about Harry Potter from her fans. And when 14 fans crowded around her in Edinburgh Castle in Scotland earlier this week as part of TODAY’s interview, Rowling was more than willing to share her thoughts about what Harry and his friends are up to now.
Harry, Ron and Hermione
We know that Harry marries Ginny and has three kids, essentially, as Rowling explains, creating the family and the peace and calm he never had as a child.
As for his occupation, Harry, along with Ron, is working at the Auror Department at the Ministry of Magic. After all these years, Harry is now the department head.
“Harry and Ron utterly revolutionized the Auror Department,” Rowling said. “They are now the experts. It doesn’t matter how old they are or what else they’ve done.”
Meanwhile, Hermione, Ron’s wife, is “pretty high up” in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, despite laughing at the idea of becoming a lawyer in “Deathly Hallows.”
“I would imagine that her brainpower and her knowledge of how the Dark Arts operate would really give her a sound grounding,” Rowling said.
Harry, Ron and Hermione don’t join the same Ministry of Magic they had been at odds with for years; they revolutionize it and the ministry evolves into a “really good place to be.”
“They made a new world,” Rowling said.
The wizarding naturalist
Luna Lovegood, the eccentric Ravenclaw who was fascinated with Crumple-Horned Snorkacks and Umgubular Slashkilters, continues to march to the beat of her own drum.
“I think that Luna is now traveling the world looking for various mad creatures,” Rowling said. “She’s a naturalist, whatever the wizarding equivalent of that is.”
Luna comes to see the truth about her father, eventually acknowledging there are some creatures that don’t exist.
“But I do think that she’s so open-minded and just an incredible person that she probably would be uncovering things that no one’s ever seen before,” Rowling said.
Luna and Neville Longbottom?
It’s possible Luna has also found love with another member of the D.A.
When she was first asked about the possibility of Luna hooking up with Neville Longbottom several years ago, Rowling’s response was “Definitely not.” But as time passed and she watched her characters mature, Rowling started to “feel a bit of a pull” between the unlikely pair.
Ultimately, Rowling left the question of their relationship open at the end of the book because doing otherwise “felt too neat.”
Mr. and Mrs. Longbottom: “The damage is done.”
There is no chance, however, that Neville’s parents, who were tortured into madness by Bellatrix Lestrange, ever left St. Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies.
“I know people really wanted some hope for that, and I can quite see why because, in a way, what happens to Neville’s parents is even worse than what happened to Harry’s parents,” Rowling said. “The damage that is done, in some cases with very dark magic, is done permanently.”
Rowling said Neville finds happiness in his grandmother’s acceptance of him as a gifted wizard and as the new herbology professor at Hogwarts.
The fate of Hogwarts
Nineteen years after the Battle of Hogwarts, the school for witchcraft and wizardry is led by an entirely new headmaster (“McGonagall was really getting on a bit”) as well as a new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. That position is now as safe as the other teaching posts at Hogwarts, since Voldemort’s death broke the jinx that kept a Defense Against the Dark Arts professor from remaining for more than a year.
While Rowling didn’t clarify whether Harry, Ron and Hermione ever return to school to finish their seventh year, she did say she could see Harry popping up every now and again to give the “odd talk” on Defense Against the Dark Arts.
More details to come?
Rowling said she may eventually reveal more details in a Harry Potter encyclopedia, but even then, it will never be enough to satisfy the most ardent of her fans.
“I’m dealing with a level of obsession in some of my fans that will not rest until they know the middle names of Harry’s great-great-grandparents,” she said. Not that she’s discouraging the Potter devotion!
“I love it,” she said. “I’m all for that.”
Whenever you log in to a website using your username and password, you'll be prompted by Firefox whether you'd like Firefox to remember this password.
If you click on Remember, the next time you visit the website, it'll automatically enter the username and password for your convenience.
Now, back to the topic. Let's say you saved your GMail password in Firefox. After months or years gone by and you don't remember the password you set for my GMail. You started to panic and desperately need to get back your GMail password.
Don't worry, here's how you can find the hidden GMail password in Firefox.
Firefox is much better than Internet Explorer in terms of managing "remembered" logins. In Internet Explorer, there is no built-in feature where you can manage or view your saved login information. That's why you need third party tools to reveal the passwords hidden under asterisks. As for Firefox, you can access remembered passwords with a few clicks.
To view your remembered passwords in Firefox browser, go to Tools, and click on Options. Go to Security tab and click on the Show Passwords button. A remember password dialog box will appear. Click on the Show Passwords button again and a new column with password will appear.
With this feature, you won't need any tools to reveal the hidden passwords under asterisks. This topic has nothing to do with cracking or hacking. It's a feature that's included in Firefox browser.
There's a tool I found called FirePassword designed to decrypt the username and password list from firefox sign-on database. It works on similar line as Firefox's built-in password manager but it can be used as offline tool to get the username/password information without running the Firefox. It is DOS based and the manual says that FirePassword requires only 3 files which is key3.db, cert8.db and signons.txt. This 3 files can be found in Firefox profile directory.
All you need to do is place the 3 files together with FirePassword and run FirePassword.exe. Weirdly, I am able to decrypt all my username and password by copying ONLY the signons.txt file. Looks like it's not necessary to include the other 2 files.
You can export the decrypted username and password into text file by running this command "firepassword.exe > logins.txt".
Note: If a "master password" is being used and you don't know the master password, you won't be able to view the remembered passwords in Firefox and also use FirePassword to decrypt the the username and password list from firefox sign-on database
Sunday, July 29, 2007
Without doubt, Google is the most useful website on the Internet. You can search almost anything on it. Google search engine is also very friendly because when you visit google.com, you only get a clean and simple page where you just type what you would like to search.
Because of Google powerful and smart crawling robots, there are also many sensitive information being made available in Google search results. You can search for MP3s, Windows XP serial numbers, ebooks, videos, passwords and etc... Johnny Long has the largest Google hacking database search strings. Yeah I know you most probably been there and you find the search strings confusing.
Here's a a front end graphical user interface program for google hacking. You no longer need to copy and edit the search strings.
Google Hacks is a compilation of carefully crafted Google searches that expose novel functionality from Google's search and map services.
You can use it to view a timeline of your search results, view a map, search for music, search for books, and perform many other specific kinds of searches.
The installation file is only 777KB. If you don't want to install Google Hacks on your computer, you can download and use the portable version of Google Hacks. There's a note in the program saying that the hacks should ONLY be used to test the security of YOUR own domain. So use it wisely and don't abuse it.
Wednesday, July 4, 2007
1. Drive to the bank, park and go to the Cash Dispenser.
2. Insert card
3. Dial code and desired amount
4. Take the cash, the card and the slip
1. Drive to the bank
2. Engine stalled
3. Check make-up in the mirror
4. Apply perfume
5. Manually check haircut
6. Park the car - failure
7. Park the car - failure
8. Park the car - Success
9. Search for the card in the handbag
10. Insert card, rejected by the machine
11. Throw phone card back in handbag,
12. Look for bank card.
13. Insert Card
14. Look for Secret Box (where secret code is written)in Handbag
15. Enter code
16. Study instructions for 2 minutes
18. Re-enter code
20. Call Boyfriend/husband to get correct the code
21. Enter desired amount
23. Enter bigger amount
25. Enter maximum amount
27. Take cash
28. Go back to the car
29. Check make up in rear mirror
30. Look for keys in handbag
31. Start car
32. Drive 50 meters
34. Drive back to bank machine
35. Go out of the car
36. Take card and ticket back from machine
37. Go back to the car
38. Throw card on passenger seat
39. Throw slip on the floor
40. Check make up in rear mirror
41. Manually check haircut
42. Go into roundabout - wrong way
44. Go into roundabout - right way
45. Drive 5 kilometers
46. Remove hand brake
47. Call boyfriend/husband to tell how miserable she was because of HIM.