Dishing Tech

Dishing Tech is a unique tech blog that offers news, how to's, tips, tweaks on pretty much anything tech related. We Dish out the latest news on gadgets and hardware. Provide Mac and iDevice reviews as well as provide tutorials on hacking, jailbreaking, internet security and visualisation.

10 December 2011

List of the Best Mac Apps 2012

There are quite a few top mac app lists going around. So I decided to make one with apps I find useful and regularly use. Some are so good and supportive of other apps. E.g. Alfred (10), Dropbox (19), iCloud (21) and Snapz Pro X (42). I don't even have to think to open them. This list is a short version of an in-depth version with reviews of each app here.  I have created a very useful page called The Best Places to Find Mac apps. Gives you a run down on sources of the cheapest apps, as well as help you find the latest, free, rare and expensive paid apps for free.

A word of warning. Apps listed on the App Store are only a small sample of what is on offer for Mac. Also note that some app developers have higher prices for the same app on on the App Store and cheaper on their website. Always do a price comparison if you want the best discount or cheapest app. You can do this by visiting their website, google and for big discounts, check out mupromo. Also look at the ads above and to the right -> of this page or any page on DishingTech which sometimes link to great deals.

Also click here for the Best Apps for Students | 2012 article

1 Google Chrome fastest and the most stable internet browser at the moment
2 jDownloader awesome timesaving download manager, if you download alot
3 Transmission best and low on resources torrent client for mac

Internet Security
4 1Password great and safe password manager, cross platform compatible
5 iAlertU essentially a loud car alarm for your mac, uses mac sensors so if someone tampers with your mac it will take photos using the camera and send them to you
6 FindMyMac comes with iCloud and Mac OS X Lionlocate your Mac if someone steals it

Communication & Messaging
7 Adium feature packed, attractive. Use one app to connect all your instant messengers (e.g. yahoo, messenger, facebook, gtalk)
8 Skype chat with people around the world for free

9 Reeder beautifully designed, easy on your eyes if you read RSS feeds

10 Alfred great time saver, easy to use file and action launcher
11 Moom divide mac windows easy around your screen
12 Divvy drags windows to one half of the screen so none overlap

13 iCal comes with your mac, syncs with icloud to manage people and your workload
14 iWork alternative to Microsoft Office
15 Microsoft Office most widely used suite of apps
16 TextSoap cleanup and format a bunch of text quickly
17 ByWord great for when you have to think and produce something on paper. Designed to be distraction free
18 iRooster turn your Mac into an expensive alarm clock. Gently wake up to your favourite songs 

19 Dropbox great for collaborating with friends, growl notifications and RSS feeds let you know when someone has edited a file. Also good for personal storage and online backups
20 Cloudapp similar to Dropbox, not as many features, great for quickly sharing text
21 iCloud keep all your apple devices in sync

22 Carbon Copy Cloner similar to time machine, but can clone other partitions
23 Time Machine comes with Mac. Backups your files regularly, potential lifesaver 
24 Winclone great if you want to clone or resize a hard drive partition safely

Photo Management
25 JetPhoto Studio great photo management app if you geocode your photos alot
26 iPhoto comes standard with your mac
27 Aperture if a mildly serious photographer, great photo management software
28 HoudahGeo geotag photos 

Music Management
29 iTunes manage audio, podcasts, idevice apps
30 Senuti rips music off ipods, iphones and ipads onto your mac

Video Playback & Management
31 VLC plays every video format, better than quicktime and alike
32 Delicious Library 2 manage what you own (tools, clothes) and what you lend to people, great for keeping a movie library

Video Ripping and Recording
33 Rip It rips DVDs, removes copy protection to make a backup copy
34 Toast media burning equivalent of Nero on the PC

35 CleanmyMac safely delete unneeded files (e.g. other languages, universal binaries)
36 Ice Clean keep your system running healthy
37 AppZapper completely remove app files and traces from your system with just the .app file
38 DupeGuru safely delete duplicate files
39 Coconut Battery battery management and monitoring
40 Appfresh find out what apps are outdated with this app manager 
41 DaisyDisk graphical display of what files are taking up the most space 

Screen and Audio Utilities
42 Snapz Pro X quickly capture screen caps as well as record video 
43 ScreenFlow great screen-casting software
44 Audio Hijack Pro record audio from an app or mic (e.g. internet, skype)

Other Utilities
45 Growl attractive, unobtrusive, helpful notification system
46 Parallels Desktop run any operating system you need (e.g. windows, linux)
47 UnrarX / Rarify extract rar files and create .rar files
48 iStat Menus nice menu monitoring system variables (e.g, temp, CPU, RAM) 

Other Honourable Mentions
49 KisMAC sniffer for hacking and scanning for WiFi networks 
50 Mactubes searches and download videos from youtube
  • Checkout my iUseThis Profile which displays what I use and integrates with Appfresh (40)
  • The next two top lists will be Mac apps for planners and university students

    Installing BackTrack 5 R2 on Mac or PC with Parallels Desktop (For Hacking WiFi)

    BackTrack 5 R2 is the latest and greatest package of the popular and useful suite of hacking, security and network auditing tools. I built upon the backtrack-linux team and created a better package: BackTrack 5 R2 | DishingTech Edition.

    An added benefit of this download is that it has the latest compat-wireless drivers which means that your wifi card such as an rtl8188ru or awus036nh device will work straight out of this virtual machine (VM). It is also much quicker importing the VM then installing the ISO from the website as you will see with the video below.
    Screenshot: What the BackTrack DishingTech Edition looks like

    Linux commands can be quite difficult for people to understand, and it is quite time consuming the amount of effort one must exert (typing, remembering, troubleshooting, installing drivers etc.) to achieve what they want. This version is the latest version you can get particularly designed for people into wireless hacking. It has Parallels Tools installed and packages such as Reaver, Reaver Inflator GUIFeeding BottleMinidwep GTK, WPSCrackGUI and Aircrack-ng which are very easy to use and in most cases you simply click a few buttons and you are done.

    Note: This Parallels Desktop VM for dummies and noobs will work on both Windows PC and Mac. I am using a Mac for this demonstration, but in a Parallels Workstation (Windows PC) environment it would be a very similar process. The VM was created in Mac OS X Lion (10.7) using Parallels Desktop 7. It should work for other versions such as Snow Leopard (10.6) and possibly Parallels Desktop 5 (let me know!).

    For people starting out, I highly recommend using Xiaopan OS as it is a much smaller download (70mb) and easier to use. However, it does not have an attractive interface and is not as feature packed as BackTrack.

    Video: Download & Install BackTrack 5 R2 & Parallels Tools | Mac & PC

    1 What is Needed

    1.1 Software
    You need some software to run Linux on your system. This is the recommended method (See video 0:00 - 0:56 above for an explanation):
    • Install Parallels Desktop (Mac) or (PC)
    • Download all of these files and place them in the same folder (~2.48GB in total):

    Password to extract and download is: dishingtech 

    2 Other Downloads
    • UnrarX (or something similar, windows equivalent is WinRAR) to extract the split RAR files you downloaded
    • jDownloader. Makes future downloading quicker (optional)

    You can install BackTrack yourself if you decide you do not want to import the BackTrack DishingTech Edition mentioned previously:

    Where to download the ISO

    Install BackTrack (Watch: 3:40 - 6:40)

    Install Parallels Tools (Watch: 8:58 - 9:58)
    • Requires internet to get the latest version
    • Load prl-tools-lin.iso in BackTrack
    • Double Click Parallels Tools icon
    • Open Terminal
    • Type cd /media/cdrom/ (enter)
    • Drag install file into Terminal (enter)

    Startup Commands (Watch: 7:20 - 7:29
    • root, toor, startx

    Install Synaptic Package Manager (Watch: 10:55 - 14:35)
    • Open Terminal
    • Type apt-get install synaptic (enter)
    • After installation go to System -> Administration -> Synaptic Package Manager

    How to Change Screen / Monitor Resolution (Watch: 3:21 - 3:40)

    1.2 Hardware
    An aircrack-ng compatible wireless device (I suggest something with the Realtek RTL8187L chipset). Read here for more info about compatibility. The 8187L is quite old, but it is the best all rounder in terms of range and hacking ability. It is also really easy to setup.

    I am more inclined to rate directional antennas more as they can access networks further away. But they are not the most mobile devices. Omni directional antennas have a circular radius range. This paper explains the differences. These are the models I really like, from research and personal use, I suggest the ALFA. Power ranges from 500mW to 2000mW which helps with range. You could also make your own setup with an aftermarket antenna (e.g. TP-Link 2.4GHz 24dBi TL-ANT2424B) or homemade cantenna. Antennas and models are very interchangeable. So you can create your own setup.

    1.2 What Devices I Use
    • UBDo-gt5 802.11b/g Long-Range Outdoor USB AP/CPE with Integrated 12dBi 2.4GHz Antenna 
    • AWUS036H 1000mW Includes 5dBi, 7dbi or 9dbi Omni Directional 

    1.3 My Ultimate Dream Setup | Fixed System
    1km - 2.5km range (direct line of sight). Only for accessing not for hacking, aircrack-ng drivers not available yet:
    • AWUS036NHR 2000mW 802.11b/g/New chipset model RTL8188RU (33dBm) with
    1.4 Other Possible Setups
    • Chipsets (If you are really keen, you could buy just the chipset and build your own case and attach your own antenna)
    • AWUS051NH 802.11a/b/g/n Ralink RT2770 RT2750 (27dBm)
    3 How to Install the BackTrack VM

    Step 1: Install UnrarX or WinRAR (if you do not have one of them installed already)

    Step 2: Have all the parts into the same folder, click BackTrack.pvm.part01.rar

    Step 3: Click password and add the dishingtech password. Then click extract (will take awhile, be patient it will work)

    Step 4: Move extracted files to a folder

    Step 5: Add Existing Virtual Machine

    Step 6: Locate config.pvs

    Step 7: You are ready, only if you have 8GB installed if not go to Step 8

    Step 8: Right click to configure VM

    Step 9: Change Memory setting to about half of what you have installed

    Step 10: Type in root (click enter) then type the password toor (click enter)

    4 Next
    So after you have installed the VM you are ready to get hacking. Check, youtube for videos on Minidwep, Reaver, Aircrack-ng and FeedingBottle to see how they work.
      5 What you need to know
      Default BackTrack boot login details are as follows:
      • name = root
      • password = toor
      • type startx to get into BackTrack
      If not using the VM provided or are using an alternative method, you can save some time through adding startx command to the boot sequence.

      So what extra time saving features and updates will you get, that you can't get from the freely available download?
      • Everything accessible on the desktop
      • Custom build for WEP / WPA / WPS cracking, especially with Realtek RTL8187L interface (other cards should work too)  
      • No need to install BackTrack on Parallels, just open.
      • Parallels VM Image
      • Easy to use scripts with helpful prompts, minimal typing required to hack WEP networks
      • Link to kismet.conf file on desktop
      • Helpful document to hack networks manually (simple copy and paste into terminal)
      • Macchanger GUI App (Able to change your MAC Address)
      5.1 Automated scripts

      These scripts are on the desktop of BackTrack DishingTech Edition. However, if you installed the original ISO you can download / copy commands here manually. If scripts do not work, try pasting and pushing enter for each command in terminal one at a time. Especially for the alternative mode. 
      When entering or understanding variables in the scripts:
      • BSSID is the MAC address, they are a mix of numbers of letters e.g. 00:32:13:A3:9C. Your wifi card and the network you want to hack has these numbers.
      • ESSID is the network name e.g. dishingtech
      • CH is channel (e.g. frequency the network is running at between 1-14, typically 11 or 6)
      • ENC is encryption (e.g. WEP, WPA)
      • PWR is signal strength in dbm, lower the number, stronger the signal
      • Beacons are essentially traffic from the network to your wifi card
      • Data is the IVs for the capture files .cap, many of these are needed between (20,000 to 200,000+ to hack the wifi network). This is done automatically every 5000 IVs when you run the script.
      • Interface = where your card is located  (e.g. wlan0 or mon0)
      5.2 Handy tips
      • To pause a script running, e.g. network scan push spacebar, to rerun click spacebar again
      • Parallels Tools and VM Tools, makes life easier. It allows you to copy and paste, drag and drop files and access drives between machines, as well as other cool things
      • Copy in terminal is ctrl + c
      • Paste in terminal is shift + control + v
      • Open new tab in terminal is shift + control + t
      • Be patient, if you are along way from the device (I suggest somewhere between 80 - 100% signal strength is ideal), or there is not much traffic on the other end, or if they use 104-bit key (aka 128-bit) it can take awhile.
      • Try running a network scan with Kismac (you will have to disconnect your device in the VM to use Kismac on Mac) or the Network-SCAN script. Then move the antenna to closer or in the direction of the device you want to hack and watch the PWR, lower the number = higher signal strength. 
      If you have Backtrack, Ubuntu or linux already installed are just wanting the automated scripts listed above, you can download that here.

      But you might have place the folder on the desktop to set permissions first for all the files with this script.

      6 tested and working cards   were able to test the following cards using compat-wireless drivers. This list is a little outdated and a significant number of other cards would pass these tests, also the ones that failed, may work now with driver / BackTrack updates. Note that "passed" means "passed an aireplay -9" injection test:

      • AWUS036H (rtl8187, r8187) - both mac80211 and IEEE drivers - passed
      • AWUS036NH (Ralink RT2870/3070) - using the mac80211 rt2x00usb drivers - passed
      • BCM4312 802.11b/g LP-PHY (rev 01) - using the mac80211 b43, works well - passed
      • Rockland N3 - (Ralink RT2870/3070) - using the mac80211 rt2x00usb drivers - passed
      • Edimax EW-7318USG USB - (Ralink RT2501/RT2573) - using the mac80211 rt2500usb/rt73usb drivers - passed 
      • ASUSTek Computer, Inc. RT2573 - using the mac80211 rt2500usb/rt73usb drivers - passed
      • Linksys WUSB54GC ver 3 - using the mac80211 rt2800usb drivers - passed
      • Ubiquiti SRC - using the mac80211 ath9k drivers - passed
      • Internal Intel Corporation PRO/Wireless 3945ABG - using the mac80211 iwl3945 drivers - passed
      • Dlink WNA-2330 PCMCIA - using the mac80211 ath5k drivers-passed
      • Atheros Communications Inc. AR9285 Wireless Network Adapter (PCI-Express) (rev 01) - using the mac80211 ath9k drivers - passed
      • Netgear wg111v2 - using the mac80211 rtl8187 drivers - passed
      • ZyXEL AG-225H v2 - using the mac80211 zd1211 drivers - passed
      • Intel 4956/5xxx - using the iwlagn drivers - passed

      Working, without injection
      • Broadcom Corporation BCM4321 802.11a/b/g/n (rev 03)
      • Broadcom Corporation BCM4322 802.11a/b/g/n Wireless LAN Controller (rev 01)

      NON working cards
      • D-Link DWL-122 - using the mac80211 prism2_usb drivers - fail
      • Linksys WUSB600N v2 - using the mac80211 rt2800usb drivers - fail
      • AWUS051NH - fail

      Other methods to install BackTrack 5:
      • Or download other VM software:
      I hope you fell in love with this virtual machine, feel free to facebook share, tweet, blogpost, forum post this article with others. Any questions or suggestions, please feel free to comment below.

      07 December 2011

      Nearmap Makes a Big Impact: Reveals Details in High Resolution

      Tech startup Nearmap entered the business of aerial photography in late 2009 and in the same year received the WA Information Technology & Telecommunications Award for Innovation. Aerial photography and online mapping is not something new (e.g. Google Maps, Bing, OpenStreetMap).

      The innovation lies with the invention of the HyperPod camera system that can capture high quality imagery (1GB of raw data a second) quickly and at a significantly lower cost compared to other providers.

      The CEO Simon Crowther was quoted as saying "It's super high resolution and you can zoom in and see a walnut on the ground without it pixelating". Although a walnut would be impossible to identify at 3cm resolution, the quality is still quite impressive. The end result is a city being completely mapped out within a few days and accessible to the public, governments and commercial sectors within 7 - 21 days.

      Resolution Comparison: Nearmap can produce 2-3cm resolution, Google Maps ~10cm
      Mapping of Melbourne, Australia's largest city by area takes two days to map using Cessna 210s and the HyperPod

      During the Brisbane floods, Nearmap assisted Council and State Emergency Services with the recording, management and recovery of the disaster. In the future it should increase the predictive capacity for planners and engineers to mitigate against future disasters (e.g. droughts, bush fires, floods, cyclones) throughout the whole of Australia. Nearmap is free to the public, you will need to signup for an account. Also, do not expect the whole of Australia to be mapped out, only major cities and townships as they do not have a large enough fleet of those little Cessna's. So you might have to revert back to Google, in the time being.

      Brisbane Flood 17/1/2011

      Other Links
      The ABC have a useful tool where you hover mouse over images located here to see imagery before and after the flood.

      Stay Tuned
      I love Nearmap and I will not just be providing news. Although, they will never be as big as Google Maps, I will be one of the first in line when there is a public offering of shares! I will be applying Nearmap to GIS applications and give details on how to download image tiles in bulk with Hypertiles 

      18 June 2011

      Google Images | Search by Image Feature

      Google images has a new search image feature that allows you to find images that are similar looking. Call it image or picture matching or reverse image or photo search. This allows users to find the original source of the image or to find if someone has plagiarised the photo, artwork or whatever. Tineye have had this service for quite awhile. Basically it is SafeAssign for images. It could also be used to find a higher resolution image if you need it. Or see if that girl you found on the internet has fake photos or the real deal.
      Click on the blue icon
      Upload an image or paste the image URL

      Add keyword search, find other sizes
      The result

      08 April 2011

      CentreLink Office Locations

      This is a map that I created that shows all of the CentreLink offices Australia wide.

      Here you will find the:
      • Name of the Office
      • Code
      • Office Type
      • Physical Address
      • Postal Box
      • Hours of Operation
      • Latitude and Longitude Coordinates
      I used data from and imported the data into Google FusionThe raw data can be downloaded here.

      MAP 1: Shows the locations plotted on a map (notice the ones in the ocean, they are everywhere, kinda like McDonalds).
      MAP 2: Is handy if you are looking to get directions to a particular office.

      How to use: Click Here, then click on one of the CentreLink locations then click get directions. Type your location (A) and type the office you want to visit in (B).

      MAP 1: CentreLink Locations (Google Fusion)

      MAP 2: Get Directions to CentreLink (Google Maps)

      View CentreLink Locations in a larger map

      04 April 2011

      06.15.00 GPS Fix

      A new True GPS Fix and 06.15.00 Baseband downgrade with Redsn0w has been released: Click here.

      This is a tutorial for those who are really wanting GPS back on their iPhone 3GS after jailbreaking and upgrading to the baseband that has crippled it. Unfortunately you cannot get it back in an original state at this point in time. However! There is a workaround. What you will need is an app called BTstack (or something similar) and a Bluetooth GPS logger. I can assure you that BTstack works on iOS4 and iOS5. You can try eBay or Amazon, they should range between $30 - $100. I have the Holux M-1200E model and it works great. I generally use it for geotagging my DSLR photos but and this gives it another purpose.

      For those who think that I am trying to claim that this is bring your GPS back to your iPhone like it was before 06.15.00. Please read this. A 'workaround' can be defined as: "A method for overcoming a problem or limitation in a program or system" (Oxford 2009). The 'problem' is no GPS fix, the 'limitation' is 06.15.00. Overcoming this is done by 'program' BTstack GPS and 'system/s' in this case is the iPhone / GPS logger. The workaround is actually better (more accurate).
      You can download GPS Status App (Free) to troubleshoot GPS problems.

      For compatibility of Bluetooth GPS loggers look here
      The iPhone 3G (not 3GS) baseband can be exploited to downgrade from 06.15.00 using fuzzyband, if you are lucky and have bootloader 5.8. Which will allow you to install an official iOS from apple and bring your iPhone GPS back. I will save you some time by saying do not bother trying to find a cracked version of BTstack GPS. Because you will not find it. I have created a Facebook Group for all those wanting to troubleshoot and find solutions to downgrade the baseband of 06.15.00 and restore GPS functionality or offical iOS.

      This is Option 1.

      Option 2: Get a new baseband processor ~$100*
      Option 3: Get a new iPhone ~$800
      Option 4: Get a secondhand iPhone $100 - 600
      Option 5: Get over it and begin on living Priceless
      Option 6: Wait until the Dev-Team or Chronic Dev Team makes a breakthru....
      Option 7: Wait until the iPhone 3GS Baseband goes past 06.15
      Option 8: Buy a car GPS

      21 March 2011

      Skymem Email Extractor = Spam

      We all get Spam right? where does it come from?

      Chances are if your email address is up on the web either from you unwittingly putting it on a blog post or someone really hates you, signs you up to mailing lists.

      I googled my email address and found it on a website called Skymem.

      They offer a web based email extractor service but I would call it more like a web based email harvester. Basically you stick some raw text with email addresses into a dialogue box and it extracts you a nice email list. As soon as you do this your data is public. Free for anyone to extract the data and spam to their hearts content.

      I emailed them to take it off the list ~15 times and yet it is still there. So I decided to take action and make an awareness video to show the dangers of this website.

      What I found was raw data in sections. I was able to extract millions of email addresses from the documents that are freely downloadable.

      The most shocking revelation was when I was looking at the raw data. There I found.
      • Email Addresses
      • Passwords
      • Usernames
      • Addresses
      • Other Personal Details
      Most of us have one password, email address and generally one username that we use for all of our login websites (facebook, hotmail, twitter, etc.). So If someone just wanted to do something more malicious besides just compiling a huge email list they can.

      Basically try to use those details to gain access to your websites. I also show you how to extract millions of email addresses. This is because I am trying to shock people at the issues with this service.

      Norton states that the website is OK. But under their own criteria this provides:

      • Malicious Downloads
      • Security Risks
      • Phishing Attacks
      • Information Stealers

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