Apple gets Pwned

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008
$ osascript -e 'tell app "ARDAgent" to do shell script "whoami"'

Wow. A one line script that allows any logged in user to grab root, not even a buffer overflow or third party software involved. This is movie plot hacking at its finest. I haven’t seen an attack this bad in years.

The only thing I would imagine that could be worse would be if you could execute this attack remotely.

Age of Slonan

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

Anyone else notice that Age of Conan got covered in tar by the latest patch on Monday? My new PC (2 GB RAM, dual core, NVidia 8800GT) went from a respectable 40+ frames per second at maximum settings to a nearly unplayable 10 FPS or less, even on much reduced settings.

If this isn’t fixed soon, it may break my MMO habit once and for all. (Then again, I have been wondering about City of Heroes…)

#433 Bell’s Vireo

Sunday, June 15th, 2008

I feel like I should be exploring more new places and habitat like the Dorothy Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary, Huntington Library and Gardens, Santa Cruz Island, the Sanata Ana River, or Yorba Linda. But why when I’m still finding life birds within casual walking distance of my apartment?

Last Sunday (June 8) I once again joined the Sea & Sage Audubon’s Monthly bird walk at San Joaquin Wildlife Refuge led by Chris Obaditch. We pulled over 50 species in about 3 hours from 8:00 A.M. to 11:00 A.M. including Yellow-breasted Chat, American Avocet (with chicks no less!) and American White Pelican.

However the best bird for me was #433, Bell’s Vireo. There are maybe several dozen breeding pairs at San Joaquin right now so they aren’t hard to find. However I didn’t know this bird’s call, and it looks a lot like a warbling Vireo, so I’d missed it. However Chris found them again and again in the northern part of the refuge.

#428-#432 in the Mojave Desert

Sunday, June 15th, 2008

I’m still quite new to Southern California. The good part of that is that there are still lots of life birds to see here. The bad part is I often don’t realize exactly where they are, as was proven conclusively last weekend. I’d signed up for a Sea & Sage Audubon trip to Butterbredt Springs & Galileo Hill. It was meeting in Mojave, but exact directions were to be given later. Sea & Sage is the Orange County Audubon chapter so I figured Mojave must be somewhere in the Eastern part of the county.

When I actually pulled up Google Maps and looked at it a few days before we were scheduled to leave, let’s just say I was more than a little shocked. It was north east of Los Angeles, about 100 miles and 2 hours and 15 minutes away, if I didn’t get lost and there wasn’t any traffic. However we were meeting at 6:15 AM in Mojave so probably I didn’t have to worry too much about traffic. On the downside that meant I had to be up by about 3:00 A.M. to make the meeting. I don’t even get up at 3:00 A.M. for pelagics!

When Nancy called me to confirm on Saturday morning I was very iffy, but then I made the mistake of reading up on the sites we were visiting in my recently acquired A Birder’s Guide to Southern California, and saw all the great birds we might see out there. I figured the opportunity was too good to miss, so I went to bed at 8:00 P.M. the night before, and was on the road by 3:30 A.M.

Who’s a Skrull?

Saturday, June 14th, 2008

Maybe I should have been paying more attention to the Avengers over the last few years. The Secret Invasion storyline is actually interesting. So far here’s who we know to be a Skrull:

Warning: spoilers follow:

Mexican Amberwing

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

copper colored dragonfly, perched
Mexican Amberwing, Perithemis intensa
San Diego Wild Animal Park, 2008-06-07