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Nov
29
2013

OSX Mavericks http problems

It started sometime after I upgraded to Mavericks (it was 10.9.something by the time I got around to it, and I really do quite enjoy using it) and before the next update.  I would be poking around on the internet and seemingly at random, everything would just stop working.

Everything that wasn't going over http would work fine (ssh on terminal, im programs, Tor).

I initially assumed there was something wrong with dns so tried using OpenDNS instead of my isp, but that didn't fix it.

I tried flushing dns caches every way I found relevant to OSX 10.8 and 10.9 on the internet, but that didn't fix it.

I figured there might be something wrong with the routing maybe as when I tracerouted any given site, I would get stuck somewhere inside hwng.net or bandcon.com (which appear to be the same thing), however Tor worked.

Apr
18
2013

There's a problem with your Google+ profile

Dear Google

bek is part of my real name.  I am currently running under the assumption that it was either my initials (of my real surname) or my handle (ryivhnn, which I use on Youtube, Artician, deviantART and as a username on the Diaspora pod I'm on, though the display name there is bek) that triggered WASPobot as I hope your code isn't so defective that you would ping me for a string that was entirely your construction (all I did was choose that particular display).

Google thinks it gets to define what "real names" are

Oct
02
2012

bek's guide to paranoid internet computering

For good results do levels 1 and 2.  I highly recommend level 3.  4 is optional extra and 5 if you're extra paranoid.  In a section after level 5 I also include some slight modifications to the installation guide for Ubuntu because I believe making the switch to Linux is really worthwhile if you don't need a program (or suite of programs) that doesn't have a Linux version.  If you find any of "free", "secure" and "probably ethical" (I think) desirable in an operating system (all at once even!) hit up the Got Linux? section first and then come back to top.  It's at the bottom because I was building up from pretty-easy-to-do to requires-a-bit-of-effort.

Note: most of the instructions are MacOSX Lion and Firefox-centric as that's what I use.  Firefox is the same across all operating systems.  The only difference is the location of their preferences panel; in OSX it's in the Application menu (it's right next to the Apple menu in the top left hand corner and will say "Firefox" when Firefox is in focus) and in Win7 and Ubuntu it's in Edit -> Preferences.  Other browsers should have similar settings about the place but you're on your own there :)

Note 2: this is a GUIDE not an instruction set.  You do not have to do everything laid out here exactly as stated.  You can skip things or modify them to suit your requirements.

Note 3: the guide focuses on privacy and security, NOT anonymity.  Privacy in this case means giving information to people you want to give it to and not having anyone else snoop in on it and use it for whatever they want.  It may make your browser stand out a bit, which is only a concern if someone is targeting you specifically.  The stuff outlined in here will help you avoid trackers and keep some control over where your data is going, but it will not magically make you safe and/or anonymous.  You still need to be conscious of what you're doing and why, and you still need to monitor your kids while they're online.

Disclaimer: I'm a hack not an expert, and I'm using/plugging stuff I'm familiar with.  You can do your own research.  You do not have to trust me.  Even if you do trust me, read up a little bit on some of this stuff anyway.  Just don't bubble ;)

Update 0000F14x | 2013-05-23: made a collection called Fortifox with most of the extensions used in this guide.

Sep
29
2012

Full disk encryption and "large files" - a loose experiment

So apparently full disk encryption is not the best idea for people who work with "large" files (where "large" was loosely defined as "multi-megabyte" in one of the threads I skimmed through).  I couldn't find anything informative never mind definitive on how full disk encryption would affect 3d and large digital painting work, so decided to run some  experiments particular to my usage.  These are not benchmarks in any way, shape or form, I was entirely too lazy to do things properly.

System:

quad core 3.4Ghz Intel Core i7
16Gb 1333MHz DDR3 RAM
AMD Radeon HD 6970M with 2Gb on board RAM
250Gb ssd
2Tb hdd

No hardware problems as far as I can tell.

Normally open:

A hundred billion things running simultaneously.  At the very least:

  • Adium
  • Skype
  • Mail
  • iCal
  • Firefox
  • Sophos
  • iTunes

Plus all the system and background processes.

Sep
01
2012

Sharing is...

...privacy concerning if you're one of those people that object to things like tracking you around the internet, and not a big deal if you're not.