Facebook and Instagram down, hacked by Lizard Squad?

Justyn | January 27, 2015

Update: Facebook and Instagram seem to be back online now. I bet that was a long hour for all those socialites out there!

Update: It seems Lizard Squad have taken credit for the outage, claiming it had taken down several services. The group had also taken credit for a hack of the Malaysia Airlines site earlier in the day.

There is also a couple of Twitter posts from Lizard Squad mentioning MySpace and Twitter too. Do they plan to take those down? Who knows.

It seems that users worldwide are running into issues trying to connect to Facebook Facebook and Instagram, via the mobile applications and the actual websites.

I have no idea what is causing the outage, but it has been down since around 4:15pm AEST. It has been reported that WhatsApp which is owned by Facebook is still currently running.

Facebook and Instagram have been down for around 45 minutes now, and still have no indication of when it will be back online. The only thing you can do is to keep refreshing it.

There has been a hashtag #facebookdown which appeared on Twitter, and already tops Worldwide Trends on Twitter.

Last time Facebook went down was back in September, it was down twice in that month, with the latest outage only lasting 15 minutes. However the other social networks, Google+ Google+ and MySpace are still currently online.

New Queensland road rules for motorcycle riders

Justyn | January 25, 2015

As a fellow motorcycle rider, I felt the need to share the information in regards to the new road rules which are commencing on February 1, 2015. Since I haven’t seen or heard of much information besides the article on the TMR site.

Lane filtering has been legal in NSW since July 1, 2014 and it was trialed for 2 months before becoming a law. There were no crashes in the two month trial. However there are a few differences for the laws here in QLD. A lot of people I have seen on Facebook are getting this confused with lane splitting, which is different, and sharing the wrong information.

Maurice Blackburn Lawyers even support the idea of lane filtering, and have pushed to get it legalised in every state in Australia. They even run an online road safety initiative Stop SMIDSY (Sorry Mate, I Didn’t See You). Jaguar/Land Rover  is working on a range of new “Bike Sense” technologies that use unconventional warnings including a “tap” on the shoulder to alert drivers of potential collisions with motorbikes and bicycles.

Lane filtering is when a motorcycle rider passes through either stopped or slow moving traffic (under 30km/h) travelling in the same direction. As with the NSW law, in QLD only Open Licence riders will legally be allowed to filter, not Learner or Provisional licence holders.

So commencing February 1, 2015 the following changes will be introduced in QLD.

  • Motorcycle riders with an Open Licence will be allowed to filter, only under 30km/h
  • Motorcycle riders will be prohibited from lane filtering in school zones during school zone hours
  • Motorcycle riders with an Open Licence will be able to ride past stationary or slow moving traffic (under 30km/h) on the shoulder or emergency stopping lane on any major roads where the speed is 90km/h or more
  • Motorcycle riders will be able to utilise the bicycle lane (the green painted section, usually near traffic lights)
  • Motorcycle riders will be allowed to remove a foot from the footrests to stretch a leg or raise themselves from the seat when riding on uneven road surfaces
  • Pillion passengers will be able to raise themselves from the seat or stretch a leg without breaking the rules
  • In QLD, helmets will now also be allowed to be ECE22.05 standard, along with the current AS1698 or AS/NZS1698

I personally like the option to utilise the green bicycle lane (that way I don’t have to ride between vehicles). It is usually further forward than where the cars stop too. The other bonus is the ECE22.05 standard for helmets, meaning cheaper helmets from overseas. You won’t be able to walk into a brick & mortar shop to buy one though, because helmets sold within Australia have to comply to AS1698 or AS/NZS1698.

Until every state within Australia aligns the laws, if you have a ECE22.05 helmet and ride outside of QLD you could still be fined for not having a helmet that complies with AS1698 or AS/NZS1698.

The penalties for filtering above 30km/h or in a school zone during school hours will be an on-the-spot fine of $341 and 3 demerit points. There will be a maximum penalty of $2277 if the matter goes before a court.

Removing pre-installed OSX applications

Justyn | January 17, 2015

I bought a Macbook Air and am very happy with it. It is light (only 1.35kg for 13″), fast and beautiful. However if you only opted for the 128GB SSD you do have limited space, and the Macbook Air comes with a lot of pre-installed applications that I wont ever use, so I removed them.

For example I wont ever play the game Chess, but if you try and drag Chess.app from the Applications folder to the Trash you will get a warning “Chess can’t be modified or deleted because it’s required by OS X.”

Now instead of completely deleting the files (in case it breaks a future OSX update) what I did was fired up Terminal and did the following.

mkdir SystemApps
cd /Applications/
sudo mv Chess.app ~/SystemApps/

That moved Chess to the SystemApps folder in my home directory. Once I move all the applications that I don’t want, I then move the SystemApps to an external hard drive and it saves around 2GB of data.

The applications that I (re)move from my Macbook Air are the following.

  • Calendar.app
  • Chess.app
  • Contacts.app
  • FaceTime.app
  • Game Center.app
  • Mail.app
  • Maps.app
  • Messages.app
  • Safari.app
  • Stickies.app
  • TextEdit.app
  • iBooks.app
  • iPhoto.app
  • iTunes.app
  • Photo Booth.app
  • Quicktime Player.app
  • Time Machine.app

I use Google Chrome, GMail, Google Maps, Google Books, CalenMob, Sublime Text and VLC. I don’t have an iPhone or iPad so have no need for iTunes, nor do I play any games.

Once that is all done, I clean up the ~/Library/Caches folder by deleting unused cache folders for Safari, and any other applications I never use.

Day 4 after my lumbar discectomy

Justyn | January 16, 2015

I had my lumbar discectomy on Tuesday afternoon and the operation was completed in 2.5 hours. I woke up in recovery at 5pm Tuesday afternoon and was then discharged from The Townsville Hospital at midday Wednesday.

Lumbar Incision

Lumbar Incision

I was in quite a bit of pain when the nurse checked up on me at around 8pm, and was given endone at 9:30pm. It was painful to move, so I just layed in bed. I managed to get up and go to the toilet, which was probably the slowest and most painful movement I’ve ever had to do.

Recovery

Recovery

The nurses checked me out at 11pm, my blood pressure was 104/64 and they gave me 2 panadol for the pain. I advised them that the pain was about 6/10 and it was quite painful. I had IV antibiotics at 11:30pm and they checked my blood pressure again at 12:30am which was 105/58. The nurse said it still seemed low, and I was still in pain but not prescribed any other pain relief.

I had bloods taken at 12:50am and tried to get some rest, however the pain made me not be able to sleep too well. My next check up was at 4am where my blood pressure was 100/60 and at 5:20am I was given another round of IV antibiotics, an endone and 2 panadol.

I saw the surgeon at 7:40am who told me I would be going home that afternoon and that I wasn’t to ride my bike for at least 4 weeks! I can understand that, since the pain I am in, I can hardly move. I had another blood test at 7:50am, had an endone and panadol at 8:20am and saw the physio at 10am. Rachelle and Nick came to visit, Nick brought me a burrito from Zambrero! Thanks Nick! After that was done, I went to the toilet, and was discharged.

The last few days have been painful, Chell has been amazing doing things around the house, I feel lazy and slack since I can’t really bend, pick things up or do general stuff. I ended up going to the doctors yesterday to get a script for endone. The surgeon prescribed me Targin but hasn’t been doing much at all. I have limited movement and it is quite painful to sit, stand and walk around.

The surgery itself was a success and I have absolutely no pain down my left leg now, however I have a constant tearing feeling in my back where the incision was made and limited mobilitiy. If I knew someone in the same situation as I was, I would highly recommend the surgery.

Cayden

Cayden

I managed to cook dinner last night, and if I need anything Chell is always on hand to get stuff for me. I’ve been doing my physio each day to try and help regain strength in my spine/back. I just wish this pain would be going away soon!

Minimally invasive lumbar discectomy

Justyn | January 12, 2015

Well as some of you may know, I am scheduled for my operation tomorrow. I have mixed feelings about the operation. I am somewhat anxious, however excited at the same time. I’ve been waiting 3 years to undergo surgery at The Townsville Hospital. Now it is finally here, I am somewhat overwhelmed.

I spent almost all day Friday at the hospital seeing the nurses, anaesthetist, and having my blood drawn. I was asked many questions, and given some information as to what the procedure involves.

After a lot of back and forth on the waiting list, my local GP advised me to see Dr Eric Guazzo about 12 months ago. Upon seeing him, and having MRI scans done, he advised to try a cortizone injection into my spine to see if that would alleviate any of the symptoms. It was a painful needle, however it didn’t resolve it.

I will now see Dr Guazzo tomorrow before surgery, along with the nurses and anesthetist to be asked many questions again, and be given more information about the surgery.

The surgery itself seems proficient. The surgeon will make an incision about an inch long in my back, then use an x-ray to push a tube retractor inside through the muscle and above the lamina where my L4/L5 vertebra is. Then a portion of the lamina, bone, ligament and other materials to be able to see the correct discs, all via microscope.

Then, he will remove the disc fragments or prolapsed disc from my spine, then remove the retractor and stitch me up. Simple, right? I’ve watched a few videos about the surgery and it seems like a common surgery, however it doesn’t make me feel less anxious.

The following video is what I will be having done, L4/L5 left discectomy.

Dr Eric Guazzo is an amazing neurosurgeon, and I have all confidence in him performing the surgery. He is the Director of the Department of Neurosurgery for North Queensland, Associate Professor at the James Cook University Medical School, examiner for the fellowship in neurosurgery and a few other amazing things.

His medical qualifications also include:

  • Medical degree from the University of Queensland (MBBS,1982)
  • Fellowship in Neurosurgery from the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS,1991)
  • Fellowship in Surgery from the Royal College of Surgeons of England (FRCS,1992)
  • Medical Doctorate from the University of Queensland (MD, 2001)
  • Advanced Diploma in Business Management (2010)

Now, we get to the parts that I wish I didn’t read. They’re somewhat uncommon, but they are still there.

Common risks (more than 5%)

  • Infection
  • Minor pain, bruising, infection from IV cannula

Less common risks (1-5%)

  • Bleeding
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke/Stroke like complications
  • Nerve root injury – weakness in foot movement
  • Bladder/bowel problems
  • Injury to cover of spinal cord
  • Ongoing back/leg pain with numbness due to nerve damage
  • Recurrence of disc prolapse
  • Instability of the spine
  • Deterioration of other discs
  • Leakage of cerebrospinal fluid
  • Visual disturbance
  • Areas of lungs may collapse
  • Wound infection, chest infection, heart and lung complications
  • Blood clots

Rare risks (less than 1%)

  • Paraplegia
  • Injury to major blood vessels
  • Possibility of operating on wrong discs
  • Death

So there it is. Surgery tomorrow, restless sleep tonight, and hopefully wake up with no pain in my back (aside from stitches) and the surgery of course.

If anyone reading this has every had a lumbar discectomy, please comment and let me know how it went. Did it resolve the sciatia like symptoms? Did it become worse?

My electronic cigarette (e-cig) experience

Justyn | December 13, 2014

As some of you may know, I have my spinal surgery coming up in January. So I thought now was just as a good time than ever to stop smoking, or at least try to stop. I told Chell the other day that I wanted to buy an e-cig, so went to the local tobacconist and had a chat about the different kinds of e-cigarettes they have. I was very happy with the information that they gave me, and settled on buying the Smoke NV Express Kit.

The tobacconist recommended trying a disposable first, just in case I didn’t like it. However my view was that I was going to waste money on cigarettes anyway so spending $36 on an e-cigarette kit would be a worthy investment. I know online at the moment, there is 40% discount on all their products (I ordered some other cartridges for mine), so if you’re looking at getting one now would be the time.

Smoke NV Charger

The express kit came with 3 Canadian Flavoured cartridges which each is around a 25 pack of cigarettes. So with my literal thinking, I bought 75 cigarettes for $36. The Canadian flavour is quite nice, and I do like it. However they also have Australian, American, Menthol, Apple, Coffee, Chocolate, and Peach. The normal price for the pack of 5 cartridges is $19.99 online, however with the 40% off at the moment it makes them $11.99. Essentially you’re buying 125 analogue cigarettes for $12. Bargain.

A Smoke NV Cartridge is equivalent to approximately 25 traditional cigarettes based on an average of 3 seconds per puff. The inhalation length determines how many puffs can be achieved.

Inhalation Length (sec) Approx. # of Puffs Achieved
3 seconds 325-375 Puffs
2.5 seconds 375-425 Puffs
2 seconds 425-475 Puffs
1.5 seconds 475-525 Puffs

 
I’m only on day one of using my e-cigarette (which contains no nicotine), and so far I’m doing alright. Haven’t had a analogue (real) cigarette yet, nor am I craving one at this stage. So already I am off to a good start. Hopefully around the 3 – 4 day mark, I don’t have the usual “want” for an analogue smoke like you usually get when quitting. If this e-cigarette works, it is worth every sent. If I replace smoking analogue cigarettes with e-cigarettes I’ve already saved a bunch of money, so it will be win-win.

To me it is a healthier alternative to smoking analogue cigarettes, reducing my chemical intake from over 4000 chemicals, down to just three. That’s right, three! Now, the ingredients are simply Water, Vegetable Glycerin, and Artificial Flavourings. Which make the e-cig so much healthier to me. Other people may not view it that way, but to me by not inhaling over 4000 harmful chemicals it is healthier.

Glycerine is classified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) and complies with specifications for the Food Chemicals Codex (FCC), United States Pharmacopeia (USP), and European Pharmacopoeia (Ph. Eur. or EP) E244.

Products with Vegetable Glycerin can be found in various common items around your house. A few examples include:

  • Sugar substitute
  • In Beauty products including makeup, mousse, shampoo, bubble bath, after shave, and deodorant
  • Pet food
  • Soap
  • Skin and hand cream
  • Baked goods – increase moisture
  • As a thick gel for creams, gel capsule pills, rubs and jellies
  • Eye & ear drops, toothpastes, pastes, and many dental care products

What are your thoughts on e-cigarettes, and vaping? Do you currently smoke e-cigarettes or analogue smokes? Have you considered using e-cigarettes?

The Pirate Bay HAS NOT resurrected in Costa Rica

Justyn | December 10, 2014

As most of you are aware by now, The Pirate Bay along with other sites like Suprbay.org, Bayimg.com, Pastebay.net, EZTV, Zoink, Torrage and Istole went down due to a police raid in Stockholm, Sweden. Police seized servers, computers, and other equipment.

However there is some misleading information in regards to the raid have come to light. Some outlets including Sydney Morning HeraldNews.com.au, NT News, International Business Times, PCWorld and many others have reported that The Pirate Bay has resurrected at a brand new domain in Costa Rica found at thepiratebay.cr. This is untrue.

As reported by TorrentFreak ThePirateBay.cr is a Pirate Bay proxy/mirror service (it’s listed by Proxybay) and as such relies entirely on The Pirate Bay for its torrent content. Currently it has none. The site appears to be operating out of the Netherlands and only became widely available in October.

The confusion appears to stem from the fact that some “proxy” homepages stay up even when The Pirate Bay goes down as they cache some content. As can be seen from the screenshot below, another proxy ‘labaia.me‘ displays just fine, but then does nothing when the user attempts to find torrents.

LaBaia

Bomb Squad detonate suspicious device in Townsville

Justyn | December 6, 2014

Yesterday, hundreds of homes were evacuated in Heatley as the Explosive Ordinance Responce Team were called in to detonate a suspicious device found in a bin.

Townsville Police were informed of the device around 11:30am after being found at Long Tan Memorial Pool on Fulham Road. Townsville Police declared an emergent situation under the Public Safety Preservation Act in Heatley around 5:45pm and set up an exclusion zone.

Exclusion Zone

Exclusion Zone

Residents in the exclusion zone, which consisted of Fulham Road, Mill Drive, Finerty Street, and Lindeman Avenue were evactuated at 8pm after explosive experts inspected the package and advised that it should be destroyed.

An excavator was used to create a large hole, in which police destroyed the device in a controlled explosion about 12.50am.

Evacuated residents are now able to return to their homes, with about 35 people forced to seek refuge at a temporary evacuation centre at Tony Ireland Stadium.

Investigations are continuing with police asking for anyone who saw anyone acting suspiciously in the area to contact Crime Stoppers.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or via the website 24hrs a day.

Younique 3D Fiber Lashes and more

Justyn | November 17, 2014

A post like this is very left field for me if you read my blog often. However when I come across a product that amazes me, I generally try to write about it and share my experiences. To make things clear, I don’t use Younique products myself however my Wife does, and she loves them. It’s no lie, women love makeup. I know this, you know it, and everyone else does.

So one day Chell told me she decided to sell Younique products, venturing her own little business. I’m very supportive of her, and am amazed at how happy she is doing it, and she looks beautiful wearing the products. If you’ve been living under a rock you’ve probably not heard of 3D Fiber Lashes, but coming from a guy, they make women’s eyes look simply amazing.

You don’t have to take my word for it, Chell was putting on her 3D Fiber Lashes this morning and I snapped a pic so you could see the difference. You would be lying if you don’t agree that her lashes look amazing. These aren’t fake lashes or mascara. These are 3D Fiber Lashes.

Younique 3D Fiber Lashes

Younique 3D Fiber Lashes

Now whether you’re a woman reading this post, or you’re simply looking for something for your partner / wife / girlfriend, you know she would love something like this,. Especially being so close to Christmas. It would be a great stocking stuffer, and they don’t only have these amazing lashes, there is lip stain, and all these other products. I admit, I don’t know everything about Younique, but I do know that the lashes are damn sexy!

To get your hands on these amazing products, or if you want to find out more you can simply head over to  Be Younique With Rachelle on Facebook to check out some of the photos, or chat to her. Trust me, you won’t regret it.

Android 5.0 confirmed. Android L teaser video posted by Google

Justyn | October 15, 2014

Today is October 15 here in Australia, and there seems to be a rumour about it being a massive day for Android. After all, Google hasn’t officially mentioned anything regarding any new devices, announcement dates or their upcoming version of Android L. However there’s plenty of information about the Nexus 6, Nexus 9, and Android L.

There’s been a new “Sweeeeet” video released to tease the Android community, again. Posted by Sundar Pichai it shows a casting call where different kinds of desserts audition for the role of “L”. You don’t see any lollipop in the video, but it does confirm that the next version will be 5.0. On another note, you also see an Oreo. Since Android 4 was named KitKat, maybe theres also a hint that the new version will be named Oreo too?