Sunday, January 22, 2012

Part 3 Coming Soon...

Hey guys, just wanted to leave a post to let you know that I'm still here. I've been sick, and swamped with school work, essays, and a few club events at the University, so I've been swamped with so many other things taking priority, but I should get the most recent post up by the end of next week.

Sorry to keep you all waiting.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Putting Two and Two Together (part 2)

Continuing from where I left off (and some of you guys are already ahead of me, maybe seeing what I'm about to put in here next) leads me into the introduction of CSS3 Buttons. The CSS3 Button has the text over the button, and it is not an image. The text on this button can be searched for, and the button can be modified, and scaled to your desires based on the generator. I just did a quick Google search for a few CSS3 Button generators, and I came up with quite a few results. You can use these generators to generate the raw code for these unique, yet powerful buttons to help reduce the strain of bandwidth to the users accessing your website, and to boost your website in a search engine's results.

Here is what you do: You locate one of these websites by performing a simple search. From there, you can design the button. You can alter the text, give it a shadow, make it glassy, make the button larger, etc. These tools make it incredibly easy to design some very high speed buttons to give your website the flashy, and upbeat appearance that you'll want.

After you design your button, you will be given two different segments of code. One will be for adding the object of a button to your webpage in the form of HTML source, the other will be the styling for the button. You can put the styling either in a main.css file, or in the specific page itself. What's great about the styles is if you have a list of buttons, you can use the same styling code and apply it to all of the buttons. These websites are very straight forward, and very easy to use for the average (or even newbie) web-developer.

Stay tuned for part 3, when I introduce the Color Scheme Designer.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Putting Two and Two Together (part 1)

Hey, guys. I'd just like to give you all a brief tutorial on making some awesome buttons for your website, but first, lets go over a little bit of background.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when doing this:
1) Keep images to a minimum.
2) Use text on your website.
3) Avoid image maps.

Keeping images to a minimum helps clean up your website, giving it a more tidy appearance. Using CSS buttons instead of images actually helps load time. If you go into paint to make a button, a small JPEG file needs to be rendered on the screen, where you could have one line of code to say "background: #000;" instead. When you break down the load time of your website, you want it to run as efficiently as possible. I've been in locations trying to look for things on my phone, and the 3G sucked. It took forever for certain websites to load up, so you'll have to keep in mind that not everyone is running on high speed.

Using text on your website optimizes it for search engines. If you have a really cool image instead of a cool CSS button, then chances are it won't be found as often. It's better to have both. The image for its appeal, and the text and tags for it to be found by search engines.

Image maps are great, but they're getting outdated... An image map allows you to take one image, and partition it, or split it into separate links. This is a great shortcut. Instead of using two separate images, you can use one... But will that really optimize your website? Image maps aren't the best for search engines either. There are some times where you must use an image map, but if you can go without it, try to.

Stay tuned for part two!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

It's About To Get Real!

I'm about to snap into a slim jim! I had someone trying to attack my computer last night. Keyword: Trying. They didn't get far because of all of the protection I have up and running. Which brings the question: What protection do YOU have? I'm going to recommend a few pieces of software--ones I personally use, all based on my experience of using computers for you guys to consider using to keep your computer safe from attacks, malware, trojans, viruses, and the like.

The first thing that detected my attack last night was the firewall, when a certain program was requesting to use the internet. It's not so often that this happens... Usually it's just Adobe or Java trying to update. I had no idea what the program was, but it looked legit. I ran a scan on its location, and Malware Bytes said it was a Trojan seeking access to the internet from my computer. A Trojan is a piece of software designed with the intent of harming your computer. The difference between a Trojan and a Virus is that a Trojan can give a computer hacker remote access to your computer. When this program was trying to access the internet, the hacker could have been receiving very personal or valuable information from me, watching my keystrokes, watching my screen, monitoring my running processes, or even using my internet browser as a proxy to cloak themselves.

The first one is Malware This is an Anti-Spyware and Anti-Virus piece of software that is FREE to use. It is HIGH performance, easy to use, and highly effective, able to eliminate the most powerful of viruses. It is useful to run one this program at minimum once per week, maximum once per month. Run it while you sleep. It's free and effective.

The next program that I use is Zone Alarm Pro A firewall allows you to regulate what goes in, and what comes out of your computer. There is a FREE version of this, but the pro version, you have to pay for. Your firewall is one of your first lines of defense against attacks. It detects when programs are logging your keystrokes (which for the most part is okay when you are opening a file), but in other cases if you're entering in credit card information on your browser, and Zone Alarm freaks out... It's about to get real.

The final piece of software that I use to protect myself is PeerBlock is another FREE piece of software that blocks known "bad" computers from accessing your computer, and visa-verse. These "bad" computers are all regulated by the internet community, and the list gets updated frequently. This piece of software has its ups and downs though: Some of the security on websites is so thick, like banking websites, they need to BE SURE that YOU ARE YOU. Therefore, they're requesting too much information from your computer, that some of the lists restrict these types of sites, and you'll have to disable PeerBlock in order to be able to access them. Disabling PeerBlock is nothing more than the click of a mouse button.

Three small, but powerful programs to constantly keep running in the background should give enough protection against most attacks, PeerBlock being the most optional because of its limitations when browsing the internet. How well protected are you? What kind of software do you run?

Friday, December 30, 2011

Brush Up On Your Coding

Been a while since you've touched Java or Python? You should check out  It has a ton of different methods for you to write for fun, and you're able to test them within the website itself. It's a great resource for you to bring your coding skills back up to speed!

What about CSS, HTML, PHP, and other web development languages? has a similar way for you to be able to brush up on these skills! It also has in depth training tools, and is a worthy knowledge base for any web developer seeking information on how to code very basic actions in web development.

Where's the codingbat for C? Since C is a much more volatile language to code with, they don't have anything like this for C. If they did, the dynamics of the C language are so diverse, that you would be able to manipulate the website with easy injection. Websites would crumble from anyone with experience who is intentionally trying to destroy the site.

If you'd like to brush up on your C, there are plenty of other free materials on the web, like for you to be able to hone your skills. In order for you to test to see if your code is working in C, you would have to code locally, on your own PC -- not over the internet.

A New Way to Prevent SQL Injection

So, I had this idea as a way of preventing SQL injection on my websites for people who have to fill out text boxes similar to what I am doing now, and was wondering if I could get some possible feedback on the subject. I would take ANY and ALL data from the user, no matter what they want to type, and have a phphash file that would hash the entire text box into a massive string of numbers. Those numbers would then be stored either in the database, or in a specific file type, and when the data is retrieved, the numbers would then be converted back into text.

On the positive side, this would allow me to store string literals, and I mean LITERAL, which would be displayed where ever I want it to be displayed, and would run at a BigO of n.

On the down side, this may take up a lot of server-side processing speed dependent on how much information is being relayed back to the user, how many users are currently using the database, and how large of strings we're talking.

Essentially, this can be a fool-proof way (if implemented on every field) for storing string literals without the chance of an SQL injection attack. Meaning, someone could successfully write this post and append;DROP TABLE Users;-- without repercussion.

Thursday, December 29, 2011


Cross Site Request Forgery. Working on beating down this demon as we speak, but the jist of it is this: Without proper security, someone is able to, for example, send a fake image source file to a user, with the source of the image being the attack. This source could redirect valuable cookie information from your browser through a malicious website, and steal some valuable information.

The way I'm going to get around this is with proper hashing, superior php session coding, and proper site redirection.