The sound of a waterfall, an untuned TV set, or a fan in the background : All of these are examples of ‘White noise’ that help you concentrate or get to sleep. They have one thing in common : They are BO-RING .. How about spending 12 hours inside a Starfleet shuttlecraft. Or lounging around in Deckers aapartmentin the movie Bladerunner ? How about falling asleep to the sounds of Dave Bowmans shuttlepod in 2001 a space odyssey ? Crynsknife007 has got just the thing for you. On his Youtube channel he has collected an impressive set of geeky 12 hour sound loops that really help you space out .. or focus. So have a slice of sci-fi inspired white noise and spend your day in the ambient sounds of the Battlestar Galactica engine room or fall asleep to the echoes of the death star. Plenty to choose from. Here is an example.
We go into depth into one of the most powerful command line programs to delve into the treasure chest of cat video’s we call youtube. We explore Youtube-Dl, its capabilities and the vast combination of switches and parameters you can use to turn Youtube (and other video sites) into your personal b*tch.
In day two of our Google Hacking Week we are going to combine an interesting Google search query (or Google Dork) with a command line command to find AND download any file type you want.
Find the storage room in the back of the store.
Websites on the net consist of more then just webpages with information. They also links to files and folders containting interesting information like PDF’s MP3’s and more. Most of the time these files aren’t ‘visible’ when you visit a specific site but our little friends, the Google Search Bots, DO index them. All you need is the right string to find them.
This search query will tell Google to go look for pages with the title “index of”. These pages usually don’t contain a lot of text, but instead contain links to folders and files. Since you are looking for a specific type of file (like for example mp3’s, Pdf’s or something else) you also can add this to the query. Finally you might be looking for mp3’s of Hanna Montana or Tango’s (I don’t know what you like) : That can also be added to the search string. In the end it will look something like this.
intitle: “index of” mp3 acdc
intitle: “index of” pdf bookkeeping
intitle: “index of” epub scott sigler
So using these queries you might find a real treasure-trove of files and info to download. Some of them might even be behind a login/password page (or even a pay wall) but when the web masters don’t do their homework right .. you can find the ‘good stuff’ this way.
So download them one by one ?
If you are just looking for one specific file you can use your browser to find and download it. If you want to download the ENTIRE collection of files on that page .. you need the power of a command line tool called WGET.
Wget can be found on the command line of both Linux, Mac and even Windows machines. Not all the advanced ‘switches’ we give you in this command below might work on Windows, but you can give it a try. The command is
Replace <filetype> with the type of file you want to download ( .mp3, .pdf, .epub) and <url of website> with the website’s url you found using the Google search. Completed the command might look something like this.
The download is RECURSIVE, so it “deep dives” into all the folders. Beware : This can get you a LOT of data. So make sure you have the bandwidth and the storage capacity before you start sucking down the internet. Good Luck !
We continue switch week on Knightwise.com where we help you to move your data from Apple’s closed ecosystem into something more ‘open’ and cross-platform-friendly. Today we look at iCloud. Apple’s free cloud service for mail, calendar and contacts. But what if you decide you want to quit that Apple ecosystem, or want to migrate your mail to a different account. We show you how.
You don’t need to quit your iCloud account.
First of all : You don’t HAVE to quit your iCloud account. As explained by guest blogger Kevin, there are plenty of applications on Android to access your iCloud contacts, mail and calendar data from a non-Apple phone our tablet. Read his blogpost here.
But what if you want to move out ?
But if you do want to move out of your iCloud account into something like Gmail (or any other service) its not that hard. Apple sticks to some amazingly open standards like iMap for access to their email server from any client. It is exactly that what we are going to use to get your emails out of iCloud. Here is what you need.
Download your favorite cross-platform friendly mail client THUNDERBIRD.
Connect to your iCloud by adding a new mail account and selecting the IMAP mail protocol with the following settings.
(For the INCOMING server)
Server name: imap.mail.me.com
SSL Required: Yes
If you receive errors when using SSL, try using TLS instead.
Username: The name part of your iCloud email address (for example, emilyparker, not firstname.lastname@example.org)
Password: Your iCloud password
(For the OUTGOING/SMTP server)
Server name: smtp.mail.me.com
SSL Required: Yes
If you receive errors when using SSL, try using TLS instead.
SMTP Authentication Required: Yes
Username: Your full iCloud email address (for example, email@example.com, not emilyparker)
Password: Your iCloud password
This will give you the ability to download all your email messages into your Thunderbird client. You can “drag and drop” your precious emails into offline folders if you want to archive them on your local machine. But what if you want to push them back up to the cloud to Gmail ? Easy peasy. First make sure you have a Gmail account and set that up on your Thunderbird email client.
Set up your Gmail account on Thunderbird.
This is actually quite easy in the latest versions of Thunderbird. Just add an existing email account and enter your Gmail address. Thunderbird is going to figure out the rest.
Now ‘Drag and drop’.
In Thunderbird you now have 2 email accounts set up. What you need to do now is surprisingly simple. Select one (or multiple) emails from your iCloud inbox and drag them over to your Gmail inbox. Its as easy as that. All the metadata (when the email was sent, who the sender was etc etc) is preserved and you now have those mails available in Gmail. (In your Thunderbird client AND on the web)
You can choose to keep your iCloud account and drag emails back and forth, or you can empty the “iCloud-Tank” and move out. In both cases , the open iMAP standard and Thunderbird will serve you well.
If I say the word “Rocketjump” and you have no idea what it is ? … Then you seriously need to read the next post. In day two of our cross-platform gaming week we point you toward the reincarnation of one of the best first person shooters ever created. We are talking about Quake 3. A fantastic, high speed, fast moving, addictive, life-eating, relationship-destroying, girlfriend-infuriating game that kept us ALL up till dawn back in the year 2000. Quake is one of those “shoot anyone that moves” games that had a massive online following. No matter what part of the world you were at, there was always a server where you could log into and fire frag and respawn to your hearts desire.
I remember fondly how I would “get rid of my girlfriend” by taking her home at ten .. coming back to my apartment and start playing Quake 3 till 4am while eating Nacho’s and drinking coke. Quake is fun, addictive and has eaten a big part of my life I can never get back. And i had such a good time… I don’t even care 🙂
Now you (and your cross platform buddies) can have a go with “Open Arena” a free, open-source and cross platform friendly port of the old Quake game. It might not be as fancy as your newest Xbox one game, but EVERY first person shooter is in some way or form a descendant ( I feel the urge to say “Derivative”) of the original Quake 3.
This week we teach you the art of downloading. Wiseguy Daniel Messer tells you all about how to use the Piratbay browser to anonymise your traffic through the TOR network, circumventing censorship, nosy ISP’s and even our lovely friends over at the NSA. After this insightful tutorial on using this ‘portable app’ its my turn to tell you about “Transmission”, A simple client to download torrent files, with a twist. We show you how to set it up, use it AND control it from just about anywhere. Ever been on your smartphone an thought .. Damn, I wish I could download this torrent back home ? We teach you how to use Transmission from anywhere on any device equipped with a browser. (Even from your phone). Stay tuned till the end because we have a special holiday-cheer announcement for a very special member of the Knightwise.com community.
If there is a place in the universe farthest away from the pinnacle of socio-technological evolution, then it must be the town I live in. As proud as it may be to hold the title ‘Belgiums oldest city’, its inhabitants tend to hold on to ancient times (technologically) instead of rolling around on Segways, while steering their quad-copters form their cellphones. I would not dare to go as far as to call this a digital ‘backwater’ town … but instead let the anecdote speak for itself.
This week marked a dark chapter in this towns history as the last DVD rental ‘entertainment store’ went out of business. This behemoth of ancient times has finally fallen under the crushing weight of pay-per-view services offered by Belgium’s 2 major ISP’s. Perhaps bit-torrent also had something to do with it but … in this town that impact must have been pretty moderate. As we walked by the empty storefront I watched in amazement as a car pulled up and out hopped a 30 something soccer-mom, cradling a collection of dvd’s in her hands. She walked up to the store (That was now completely and utterly empty) and started rattling the door. She looked around in confusion and peered through the windows trying to see any kind of movement. Since I’m horrible at observing people unnoticed, the caught me staring at her. “Its Closed !” she pointed out. Before I aptly wanted to congratulate her at pointing out the painfully obvious she stuck out her precious DVD collection. “I have to return these !” she said helplessly, (as if I was going to be her knight in shining armor ). “Well, you are in luck, I said” The store closed up this weekend, so you can get to keep those dvd’s. What I expected to get was a response like “Damn ! Lucky me then .. too bad about the store”, followed by an unlikely but possible Obama Style fist bump from a curvy mom of three .. but that didn’t happen. Instead there was this look of utter desperation as she babbled “Then where am I gonna rent my dvd’s ?”. Now this is a valid question you might pose to any Noob or lamen .. but asking ME where to ‘Rent DVD’s’ is like asking a professor in theoretical quantum particle theory how you can “milk your own cow”. Was she kidding ? My suggestions of “Renting stuff online” ( I didn’t even get started on ‘downloading’) did not give her any solace either. And the fact that one of the DVD’s she had in her hands was a copy of the FIRST ‘Bridget Jones diary’ made me realize this person was not very culturaly savvy either. The kind of person who still thinks ’50 shades’ is to be considered hardcore porn. Fact of the matter is : This person was a techno troglodyte. Somebody for whome the fast moving pace of our digital age is something that does not quite come up on their radar. I saw her grabbing her phone (A cheap flip phone) and contacting the troglodyte main cave to report in that their oracle of visual entertainment had just gone dark. The non-productive conversation with the mouth-breathing consort did not bring any solutions either so .. for a split second I saw her think about “just leaving the dvd’s at the door”. Then a splinter of common sense (or social awkwardness) resulted in her tossing the dvd’s back in the car, shrugging at me .. and driving back to the land where people still buy books on paper, record shows on VHS, buy a full cd because they like one single track, read porn from magazines and rent DVD’s in store.
Oh bless you digital troglodytes, for whom the painfully persistent pace of progress still seems to be nothing more then a slow trod. For you are the last hope of the record shops, the TV-repair men, the stores that sell you a mega expensive cover for your smartphone because you don’t know about this thing called ebay. I tip my hat to you as you actually believe the stuff about your mobile phone plan the guy in the store is trying to tell you. I cringe as you click the banner on some random webpage that says your computer is infected and you need to fix it NOW. I bid you a safe journey as you go shopping for your new computer in a place that also sells washing machines. And yes, I sometimes even want to pummel your face with a blueberry muffin as you ask me if I can “Make phone calls” with my iPad, you still are adorable. Adorable .. techno troglodytes… So as I twist and turn in bed, thoughts of the NSA sniffing the internet keeping me awake. As I ponder the question what will happen to the internet if the DNS servers ever go down due to a massive DOS attack. As I spend hours comparing specs about the new intel CPU’s for my next gadget … I wonder about the simple life in your cave .. perhaps old school isn’t that bad after all. DO you have Wifi over there ? Probably not yet.
By now most (if not all of you) have dabbled a little bit with Linux. Although it might look geeky and complicated at first glance, once you dip your toes into the great lake of open source it becomes a very refreshing computing experience. How do I mean ? Well : I challenge you to the following : Take a Windows Machine OR a Mac and, within 2 minutes FIND and INSTALL a free application that allows you to download a Youtube video and extract the audio to MP3. If you started off your search in Google (or in the Mac App store for that matter) you are starting to realize it is not that easy. There is a ton of ‘supposed’ freeware out there that, after installing it gives you either an app that does not completely work (unless you pay for it) or is just too complicated. Do you (as a true slider) have a Linux machine handy ? (perhaps a virtual machine or a server ) Then lets fire up the command line and give you a one line command to make that technology work for you.
Youtube-dl is a command line application that lets you download Youtube video’s and if you want to, extracts the audio from said video’s. The command is simple. On Ubuntu you can install it by hitting :
sudo apt-get install youtube-dl
After the installation is complete you need to update the app to the latest version. Also .. a couple of one liners.
sudo youtube-dl -U
You will get an error that you need to update via the GIT repositories once more. Easy peasy (copy and paste people)
Now surf to the Youtube video of your choice and copy the url to your clipboard.
Go back to the terminal and type :
youtube-dl <paste your url here>
Presto ! You will have the youtube video all for you ! What if you want the audio ?
youtube-dl --extract-audio <paste your url here>
Cross platform compatibility
Youtube-dl is also compatible with Macs and there is an .exe for our Windows friends. But because the command line is so easy I just leave a terminal open to my linux machine (on ANY machine i’m working on) and just copy and paste whatever cat video I would like to keep for prosperity. And youtube-dl does also support tons of other video sites like Vimeo and more !
Torrents .. Oh sweet rivers of digital data that bring us tons of HD Porn Open Source ISO’s at speeds approaching those of the speed of light .. Or if you are running fiber .. THE speed of light. A fantastic little protocol that requires and equally fantastic application : A torrent client.
Sure, there are plenty of torrent clients out there like Transmission or Vuze, but wouldn’t it be great to be able to find torrent files and download them using the same simple application you use every single day ? What if we could do it in Chrome ? …. the answer is equal to Obama’s slogan : Yes you can !
Bring on “Bittorrent Surf” and gain the ravishing ability to download your favorite torrents straight from and straight IN your browser. Download and install the extension in google chrome and a little blue ball will appear on the upper left corner of your address bar. I could do a boring writeup how it works .. or you can just watch the video instead.