Friday
May222009

Making Personal Domain Email work with MobileMe

When Apple announced a couple years back that MobileMe (at the time it was called .Mac) and iWeb were going to allow for a personal domain, I was pretty geeked. At least I was until I found out that I couldn't use personal domain email with my MobileMe account. So earlier this year, I decided to figure out exactly what it was going to take to get my personal domain email accounts to play nicely with MobileMe, and once I discovered the solution, I laughed at how easy it turned out to be.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
May072009

I See Your Password

Earlier this week, Ars Technica did a story on a group of researchers in the computer science department at the University of California Santa Barbara. These researchers conducted a study on a botnet named Torpig after they successfully hijacked the botnet for ten days. What they discovered was not only mind boggling, but down right scary.

In case you didn't know, a botnet is essentially a network of computers on the internet that are all infected with the same virus (or malware). This 'network' periodically contacts special servers and delivers information or receives instructions from the 'bad guys'.

Torpig is an especially nasty botnet that over the years has been responsible for stealing more than a half-million online bank account details and was referred to by BBC News as "one of the most advanced pieces of crimeware ever created".

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
May052009

Make Pandora Sing with Microsoft Sync

Click to EnlargeLate last year I bought a 2009 Ford Focus SES with the super awesome Microsoft Sync system. I have to admit that the Sync system was one of my primary reasons for buying the car because of the integration with my iPhone.

If you have an iPhone then you are probably familiar with application Pandora. If you don't know about Pandora, even if you don't have an iPhone, I encourage you to check out www.pandora.com. Pandora is essentially internet radio with channels that you customize so you can listen to the music that you want to hear.

So a couple days ago, I stumbled upon a little way to get Pandora to work with the Sync system in my car via USB. I should point out that you don't need this hack if you listen to your iPhone via the 3.5mm audio jack. If you are like me however and don't want a convoluted mess of wires strung all over your vehicle, this little hack will come in handy.

To listen to Pandora via USB, simply follow these steps:

  1. Plug your iPhone into the Sync system via USB.
  2. Turn the vehicle on and navigate to "Sync > USB" with your vehicle controls.
  3. Using the Sync system, start playing any song on your iPhone. As soon as you hear the music start, pause it.
  4. Now, on your iPhone, open Pandora and select a channel.
  5. Done...Pandora is now playing through the Sync system in your Ford without the 3.5mm headphone jack.

A couple of things to note: First, the next version of the iPhone will supposedly have bluetooth A2DP enabled, which means we won't need either the USB cable or the 3.5mm cable. Second, Pandora works really good over 3G and WiFi, but can be a little slow on edge. I found that on the edge network, it takes a minute or two to get started, but once it's going, it's pretty solid.

And, of course, you can't navigate through music or rate songs on Pandora with the steering column controls, so please, keep your eyes on the road...

Friday
May012009

The New Site

Welcome to the new VortexNetworking.com!

We have been busy lately.  So busy in fact that our old website had become a neglected mess that we tried and tried to ignore.  Unfortantely, it got to the point where it was embarrasing to hand out business cards because we didn't want anyone going to our site.

So, over the last month I have been quitely working away on our new website, and we're pleased you could come check it out.  So what's new...well, here we go...

Client Access

One of the first things I wanted with the new site was a place where my existing clients could log in to retrieve files, access important information and updates, view billings and access new quotes.  You'll notice off to the left a "Client Login" option.  If you haven't received an email from me containing your account information, give me a buzz and I'll get it to you right away.  Once logged in, you will be able to access things such as:

  • Up to three months of billings (PDFs)
  • New, Open and Accepted or Rejected Quotes
  • Link to Email
  • Updates and Files

The Blog

It's really kind of a side project, but I wanted to provide clients with a resource for information, news, reviews and how-to's regarding the latest in technology, software, hardware and development.  In addition, I will be blogging about some of the new and exciting projects that we are currently working on as well as any issues, notes or problems with our hosting servers.  You can subscribe to this blog using the RSS link or in your account settings (clients only), you can ask to be notified via email about new additions and entries.

Coming Soon

I hope to add a few more things over the next year as well, such as a support section for clients with how-to's for email setup and account management.  I'll be sure to keep you informed along the way.  In the meantime, if you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you...

Thanks...

Nathaniel G. Beighley

616-604-4451

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