Archive for May, 2007

Add an alternate listening port for SMTP in Communigate

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

Many ISPs and hotels block outbound SMTP on port 25 in an effort to prevent spamming. This poses problems for mobile users who wish to send mail through their office’s mail server.

It is possible to add listening ports for SMTP in Communigate.

Adding other ports for SMTP submission
318’s preferred alternate SMTP port is 443 because ISPs and hotels rarely block this port and SPI will usually not be scanning this port’s traffic because traffic on port 443 is usually encrypted, and therefore not easily inspected. To enable this port:

Open up the web admin screen for the Communigate server. In the navbar on the left pane, click Settings > SMTP, then click the Receiving link. Below this link is a link for “listener”. In this window, you can add listening ports in addition to the default (25).

Note that you will also need to open the corresponding port on the firewall for each listening port you add.

Installing SonicWALL ViewPoint

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007

Here are the steps to follow for installing Sonic ViewPoint. Note that a Windows system running 2000, XP, or 2003 is required.

1. Go to www.mysonicwall.com and add the ViewPoint license key to the registered appliance.

2. Download the ViewPoint installation software. It is a free download from www.mysonicwall.com (the client should have a login/password from when the SonicWALL was installed)

3. Extract and run the installer. Follow the prompts to add an SMTP server and admin accounts. Make sure that the Windows firewall is off or has an exception for ports 80, 443, and 514. Reboot the system.

4. Log into the SonicWALL appliance and enter the upgrade key from the mysonicwall.com site into the System > Licenses section on the navbar.

5. In the Logs > ViewPoint section on the navbar, Add the IP address of the computer running the ViewPoint software.

6. open a web browser to the IP address of the ViewPoint system. In the far left pane, right-click on MyReportsView and select Add Unit. Enter the information for the SonicWALL appliance in the window that appears and click OK.

Factory Reset for Brother MFC-8860DN

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007

This reset should not clear saved addresses and quick-dials. It will reset the TCP/IP and SMTP/POP3 settings. This reset should be used when the machine is having memory issues or you are unable to upgrade the firmware.

1. Hold down the Menu button (keep holding for the duration)

2. Power the machine off (keep holding Menu)

3. Power the machine on (keep holding menu). Once you see the “Maintenance” screen, you can let go of Menu.

4. Enter 91 on the keypad and wait for the “Maintenance” screen to return (can take up to a minute)

5. Enter 99 – the machine should reset then reboot.

6. Once this has been completed, set the IP addressed as desired with the main control buttons and then you can remote access via a web browser and set up the SMTP/POP3 settings.

First Look: Final Cut Server

Monday, May 7th, 2007

The release of Final Cut Server (along with Final Cut Studio 2) mark a huge step forward for Apple in the media production market. Final Cut Sever is going to revolutionize the way that the entire post production process is handled.

From Apple’s Website:
“Meet Final Cut Server, Apple’s powerful new media asset management and workflow automation software. Final Cut Server takes the headache out of managing large collections of media files, then extends to tracking job status, managing reviews and approvals, and automating complex sequences of tasks – all with Apple’s legendary ease of use, and all in a single product designed to work seamlessly with Final Cut Studio.”

Content Catalog w/ Search Functions:
Final Cut Server creates a catalog of media files and the information that goes along with them. Think iPhoto for professional video. You will be able to assign specific values to media files via metadata tags. You will then be able to use this information to find your media later via a layered keyword search.

There are several ways to bring files into Final Cut Server. You can physically add the files to the browser, or you can configure “watched folders” that automatically update the catalog whenever they are updated. Apple states that Final Cut Server will support more than 100 different filetypes. Reference media (thumbnails and proxies) are automatically created when files are added to the catalog. There is also an option for configuring versioning of files so that a history of the file is maintained should you need to return to an older version. This is particularly powerful in environments where several people are collaborating, as some aspects can get accidentally changed or overwritten without properly using file versioning.

Content “Containers”:
This feature of Final Cut Studio allows you to create “containers” or “Productions”. A Production is basically a place to gather assets for a particular project. The great thing about this, however, is that the Production container references the original files instead of copying the original files. The advantage of this is that you can re-use media for different cuts or projects without increasing the amount of storage space required.

Metadata:
Final Cut Server includes a powerful metadata system. It allows you to customize the information that is stored with the file. For instance, you can create custom stages for the project tracking area that apply to your workflow.

Access Control:
Included with Final Cut Server is an access control module. While it has not been stated as to whether this will tie into Open Directory, the access system allows the administrator to control access to media through users/groups and even allows you to control access through different points of the production.

Workflow Management:
Final Cut Server’s workflow is completely customizable, even on the per-project basis. The program looks for specific events and user inputs to make it’s next move. Here’s an example that could be configured: when a project status is changed to “Ready to Publish and Close”, Final Cut Server responds by exporting the final timeline to several different formats (DVD, web, streaming, iPod). Once it has done this, the program could be configured to automatically archive the files for that project and move them to an alternate storage location. The ability to customize this process for each specific project and/or client is going to boost productivity immensely.

Remove Review/Approval:
From Apple’s Final Cut Server Fact Sheet: “Final Cut Server lets you automate review and approval processes so that internal or external clients can view, annotate, and approve content from anywhere. You can configure Final Cut Server to notify reviewers by email when a project is ready for evaluation.

Reviewers can add timecode-based clip annotations to low-resolution proxies so that a Final Cut Pro editor can see the comments displayed shot by shot. You can add or modify rough cuts right in Final Cut Server to show the editor what you have in mind. Because the proxy file sizes are not large, it’s possible to review Final Cut Pro projects in the Final Cut Server browser even over a low-bandwidth connection.”

Many media projects require input from all over the country (and even the world), therefore Final Cut Server’s remote review and approval feature is going to make things so much easier. No need to worry about compressing and uploading the file to an FTP site when you can now simply have Final Cut Server automatically encode the file and host it for you.

Cross-Platform Solution:
Since many of 318′s clients are mixed Windows/Mac environments, Apple’s decision to make Final Cut Server cross-platform will be very helpful for our clients. The server software runs on OS X, while the client can run on both Windows and Mac computers. This means that a Windows-based client can view rough cuts as they are completed using the Final Cut Server client software, or a producer on a Windows-based laptop can still view footage and approve cuts.

Integrated Cuts-only Editor:
This is truly an interesting feature. Apple chose to build a cuts-only editor into Final Cut Server. This means that users can throw together quick cuts to test out ideas or select shots without even leaving the program. This functionality is fantastic for that occasional disconnect between editors and producers, allowing the producer to take control in the easy-to-use interface and actually show the editor what he is talking about instead of simply describing it.

Final Cut Studio:
This is an obvious feature, but Final Cut Server ties directly into Final Cut Studio. Creating a Final Cut Pro project within a Final Cut Server environment means that your assets will be managed by the server, and you will simply have to “check out” your project when you want to make changes. When you go back and “check in” your changes are uploaded, along with any other media that was locally cached. This is an awesome solution for both high-speed fibre networks as well as the traveling editor, as you can edit directly with the Final Cut Server or locally cache your project and then upload the changes when done, all with a few simple clicks.

Compressor:
Final Cut Server also utilizes Compressor 3 for its rendering and transcoding jobs. As previously stated, specific export settings can be saved in the workflow, so that when a project hits the finalization point, Final Cut Server will handle the exporting and transcoding work for you. Apple also touched on the formats available for Compressor 4: “Add the Episode Pro plug-in from Telestream to encode to VC-1, WMV, GXF, and FLV formats as well as High Profile H.264 and a number of third-party proprietary broadcast server formats.”

318 Recommends:
We here at 318 are very excited about the advancements in both productivity and creativity that this product will bring to our clients. Final Cut Server is going to revolutionize the industry, and 318 is going to be there for you in both setup and support for this product as well as finding new and exiting ways to innovate your business.

Sources:
http://www.apple.com/finalcutstudio and the Final Cut Server Fact Sheet available at this site.

FileMaker / XML Exploits Security Concerns

Tuesday, May 1st, 2007

When running FileMaker Custom Web publishing, it should be considered whether or not External Authentication via a domain should be used for the FileMaker system due to this exploit which will allow a savvy tech to grab domain userIDs and passwords to the entire domain:

An XML document fragment is loaded into the request-query parameter in the following grammar:




]
Note The query information is defined to be in the namespace fmq=”http://www.filemaker.com/xml/query”. Make sure you include a declaration of the fmq namespace in the element at the start of your XSLT stylesheet. See “About namespaces and prefixes for FileMaker XSLT stylesheets” on page 55.

For example, suppose you want to access the query commands and query parameters in this request:
http://192.168.123.101/fmi/xsl/my-stylesheet.xsl?-db=products&-lay=saIes&-grammar=fmresultset&-token.1=abc123 &-findall

If you include the statement before the template section, the Web Publishing Engine will store this XML document fragment in that parameter:
abcl23 < /query>

You can then use the request-query parameter to access the value of a token that was passed in a URL by using an XPath expression. For example:
$request-query/fmq:query/fmq:parameter[@name = '-token.l']

Obtaining client information
You can use the following FileMaker XSLT parameters to obtain information from the Web Publishing Engine about a web client’s IP address, user name, and password:


Include these parameter statements in your XSLT stylesheet before the top element.
These parameters provide the web user’s credentials when a stylesheet programmatically loads additional password-protected XML documents. See “Loading additional documents” on page 61. The web user must provide the user name and password initially via the HTTP Basic Authentication dialog box. See “When web users use Custom Web Publishing to access a protected database” on page 19.

For more information and examples of using these three FileMaker XSLT parameters, see the FileMaker XSLT Extension Function Reference.

This information is excerpted from the XSLT Reference database.

This FileMaker XSLT parameter provides the web client’s IP address.
Note: needs to be inserted before the top element. For example, this:

returns this:
Client IP: [your browser machine's IP address]

This FileMaker XSLT parameter provides the web client’s user name. You can use the parameter if your need to provide the web user’s credentials when programmatically loading additional password-protected XML documents processing, the original request.

When accessing a password protected database, you must provide a username and password within a URL. The syntax as is defined in HTTP standard is:

http://username:password@host/fmi/xml/ [Filemaker XML grammar name]. xml?query_string

Note: needs to be inserted before the top element. For example, in order to obtain the layout information from the source database, you can use client-user-name and password in the following manner.


This FileMaker XSLT parameter provides the web client’s password. You can use the parameter if your need to provide the web user’s credentials when programmatically loading additional password-protected XML documents while processing the original request.

When accessing a password protected database, you must provide a username and password within a url. The syntax as is defined in HTTP standard is:

http://username:password@host/fmi/xml/ [Filemaker XML grammar name]. xml?query_string

Note: needs to be inserted before the top element, For example, in order to obtain the layout information from the source database, you can use client-user-name and password in the following manner.



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