Be Secure: A Beginners’ Guide to PGP with Gmail using MailVelope

To assist several of my friends in setting up PGP, I’m writing this tutorial to get regular old everyday people (with an IQ less than Ross) set up with PGP. This is very useful if you don’t want people other than your intended recipient to be able to read your messages.

Background

Go ahead and skip this section if you know about PGP and email.

Email is not, by nature, a secure form of communication. Anybody who happens to be listening “on the wire” can read your email. And unless you run your local server as an email server, your hosting provider can also read your email. This includes the infamous Lavabit service. Continue reading Be Secure: A Beginners’ Guide to PGP with Gmail using MailVelope

VPS Comparison: Run away from Dreamhost and to Linode

UPDATE: Use nginx for memory efficiency.

I’ve just mercilessly murdered a Dreamhost “VPS” for good and I’m a happy man. In this article I will elaborate on why they’re terrible and at best, a fair pile of literary deception.

Unfortunately for most, the term VPS (Virtual Private Server) is somewhat ambiguous. This allows many companies to take liberty in their interpretation of the phrase and liberty in how much they actually give you. There are several classes of VPS, of which I’ll list a spectrum from complete virtualization down to a shared system: Continue reading VPS Comparison: Run away from Dreamhost and to Linode

Bypassing T-Mobile User Agent Tether Filtering

I showed up at my university to discover, to my dismay, that the building I’m in this year doesn’t have a university LAN connection yet and the unionized university employees had left for the long weekend.

Thankfully, I have a T-Mobile sim with 5 Gigabytes of 4G data! But wait, after a few hours of use I was redirected:

The T-Mobile "buy this package to use the data we already sold you" screen
The T-Mobile “buy this package to use the data we already sold you” screen

So naturally, I said WTF and proceeded to my friendly neighborhood forum and confirmed that T-Mobile filters on User Agent Strings. Continue reading Bypassing T-Mobile User Agent Tether Filtering

Best Way to secure WordPress Installation

UPDATE: See bottom of post for a Apache 2.4 upgrade.

As I’ve said before, the key to good security is to be unique and not special. Here’s one particular way to be unique with your wordpress installation.

The management UI
The management UI, thanks to the beauty of php.

Try it out!

If you try to log in to my login page (visit wp-login.php), you’ll be met with a very unhappy looking “Access Denied” message. Basically, my web server is configured to only allow certain IP addresses to connect (and no I won’t tell you what those are…). Continue reading Best Way to secure WordPress Installation

iPhone vs Android: What is the best phone/carrier for you?

I’ve now had my iPhone 5 for several months after a two year stint with Android (first with 2.3 and later 4.1-4.3). I have reached several basic conclusions about the benefits and drawbacks of each from a purely “user experience perspective.”–I define this as a broad category relevant to the average consumer and tech geeks alike.

The two phones, side by side. Notice the Nexus 4 charging on the Qi inductive charging mat.
The two phones, side by side. Notice the Nexus 4 charging on the Qi inductive charging mat.

In this article I’ll be comparing the iPhone 5 (Verizon CDMA/LTE/GSM, iOS 6) with the Nexus 4 (GSM/HSPA+42, Android 4.3). For all intents and purposes, these phones are approximately equivalent within their own ecosystems. Continue reading iPhone vs Android: What is the best phone/carrier for you?

Iced Americano from Costa: Not an iced coffee

As at least one reader of my blog knows, I’ve been spending some time in the UK over the past day. To help with the jet lag and grueling tour schedules, I accompanied my somewhat British friend to Costa, the British “Starbucks Equivalent.” (We always need more Starbucks…that’s why there are boatloads of Starbuckses in Britain.) Continue reading Iced Americano from Costa: Not an iced coffee

Getting DD-WRT to Dynamic DNS properly to DNS Made Easy

UPDATE: See the comment at the bottom for something easier to try.

For those that have read my article on DNS Made Easy, you know that I love it. One fee, and DNS that isn’t terrible!

Previously I had used no-ip.com to get Dynamic DNS. But that was annoying because left and right they tried to hook you with some “monthly package deal” and demanded you log in regularly if you didn’t pay. If you didn’t log in every 30 days, they would cancel your DNS records.

DNS Made Easy, on the other hand, is a FULL dns service which ALSO has Dynamic DNS. The only problem is that it’s not on the “standard” list of Dynamic DNS providers. Continue reading Getting DD-WRT to Dynamic DNS properly to DNS Made Easy