Archive for the 'Occams Razor' Category


Keeping your own photos safe from hackers.




Some of the private photos stolen by hackers in recent days appear to have come from icloud accounts. Kirsten Dunst was reported as saying “thank you icloud” when several of her photos were released on public forums and websites. icloud might also hang its head in shame for, at the least, not enforcing really good passwords, and this is probably the method used by the so called hackers. It’s called brute force but could also be called guesswork and hard slog because what they might have done was hack a low level database to get the password that many people use as a universal password, then move over to icloud login screen and give it a try.

They also might have found out the name of Kirsten Dunst’s dog or cat and tested that as a password, or spent days on variations such as nameofdog123, name of dogabcd. They may also have run a dictionary attack (the real brute force hack tool). The icloud server may have allowed multiple attempts to guess a password. If this is the case we would assume this will be fixed now that real celebrities are affected. It is generally known in the hacker world that resides in the layers of the dark web that getting someone’s email address is 70% there. The rest is, as indicated above, guesswork and patience.

icloud, like Microsoft’s Onedrive, is a great way to keep photos and documents safe from loss due to failed hardware or theft, but the vulnerable attack vector is weak passwords. I use a password generator to create complicated passwords like this 2AzMiRPa, then I record it, and change the password regularly. I also do not use the same password for multiple websites that are important and need to be secure.

It would be interesting to know what Kirsten Dunst’s password was. DunstABC?


How to reply with attachment in Outlook 2010

There seems to be a lot of people looking for an answer to replying to an email and include the attachment. Normally the attachment is not included in the reply. People who were using lotus Notes and moved over to Outlook 2010 were used to a button to include attachment when replying, there is no such button in Outlook.

There is the option to “include attachments with all replies” but, by design, this feature is turned off so that inboxes and the send process is not clogged up with unnecessary attachments.

There are a range of complex answers and workarounds to this issue, including downloadable VB Scripts, but if you need to reply occassionally with the original attachment a quick solution is to right click the attachment in the original email, select copy, then hit reply. In the reply email ctrl+V and the attachment will appear in the correct place.


How to fix Java failed to download required installation files update error

Some people get very annoyed about these things because the answer to issues like this are not obvious. You Google for answers and get all kinds of advice including one well known blogger’s suggestion to stop even trying to fix it, just uninstall all your Java bits, restart and download it all again.

The easy and quick way to fix Java update issues is to go here to the java update test center, check for out of date Java applications, and install the latest version.


Could not create the virtual machine in Java

If you run Java based applications you may see this error message at times.

Try Googling this error and you see any number of complex answers that otherwise hint at one of the most likely reasons for seeing this error.

Java apps require an amount of volatile memory to run. If you have recently ran a Java app or saved data in the app and then try to re-run the app at a later stage, days or weeks afterwards, you may see this error which relates to volatile RAM cache not being available to the virtual machine. There may also be times when your system memory is incorrectly configured and is unable to negotiate with the drive space.

Try restarting the computer to release RAM cache and see if you can now run your Java app.


When the easy answer is the right one.

I have started a new category today called Occam’s razor.

In computing the obvious is sometimes clouded by over-thinking, reading too many how to articles, Googling for answers.

For simple solutions to problems and annoyances that you can’t find answers to on help sites, keep your eyes on this category.