Monthly Archives: August 2013

Adventures with the iPhone on Debian

Problem: Sync iPhone on Debian
Solution: Nothing direct since iTunes does not work. The only option so as to be able to do a backup of the iPhone was to install VirtualBox and install Windows XP with SP2. Then install Itunes.

One issue I ran into was some error about the VirtualBox DKMS and kerner recompilation. I avoided that by getting the deb file from http://www.virtualbox.org and rebooted the OS.

I ran into an issue where the USB wasn’t working with VirtualBox and gave me an error “could not load the host USB Proxy system” and querying it online led me to some forum posts which gave me the clue about adding a line into /etc/fstab. This blog post helped: http://www.upubuntu.com/2011/09/how-to-fix-this-virtualbox-error-failed.html

And I had to run “mount -a” after this. Then I closed the VirtualBox and started it over again. This resolved the issue and I was able to see the iPhone in the USB devices menu.

Happy syncing!

Getting your keys

If you want privacy to remain, then action is needed. To get started, look at my last post. And then consider the fact that all the emails that you’ve been sending out have been going out there into the wild in clear text! From the moment your message departs from the originating server, it’s bouncing between servers, some trusted and others not, until it reaches its destination.

One way to reason would be to assume that all communications you’ve sent out are not private. However, if privacy is what you’re looking for, then you need to use encryption to send out these messages. GNU is one source for software that will enable this privacy. And it’s not difficult. Here’s the manual. If you have issues setting it up, please let me know via your comments and I’ll be happy to assist.

Manual: http://www.gnupg.org/gph/en/manual.html

For those using Thunderbird/IceDove, installing Enigmail should be sufficient. A new menu called OpenPGP should appear, once Enigmail is activated.

And for those who’re intimidated by the manual, here’s a software bundle to get you going.

GPG for Windows

Installation instructions: http://www.gpg4win.org/doc/en/gpg4win-compendium_11.html (keep going forward through the pages to see how to use the software)

Getting your keys

If you want privacy to remain, then action is needed. To get started, look at my last post. And then consider the fact that all the emails that you’ve been sending out have been going out there into the wild in clear text! From the moment your message departs from the originating server, it’s bouncing between servers, some trusted and others not, until it reaches its destination.

One way to reason would be to assume that all communications you’ve sent out are not private. However, if privacy is what you’re looking for, then you need to use encryption to send out these messages. GNU is one source for software that will enable this privacy. And it’s not difficult. Here’s the manual. If you have issues setting it up, please let me know via your comments and I’ll be happy to assist.

Manual: http://www.gnupg.org/gph/en/manual.html

And for those who’re intimidated by this manual, here’s a software bundle to get you going.

GPG for Windows

Installation instructions: http://www.gpg4win.org/doc/en/gpg4win-compendium_11.html (keep going forward through the pages to see how to use the software)

Searching in Privacy

A couple of days ago, I attended a great session on surveillance and internet privacy. While the debate rages on, one point that really hit home for me was the perspective of the ones conducting the surveillance; they look at everyone as potential criminals. And looking at it that way, I suddenly find that I’m annoyed by this approach. It must be opposed. And if  legislators don’t care, then I must.

I’ve posted previously about tools that help enhance privacy online. One area that I failed to cover was search. Searching on google or other engines we reveal a lot about ourselves; whether it is about books, music, movies – personal taste, or medical conditions or concerns, etc. And this data, in the hands of a ill-intentioned person, can be embarrassing or worse.

So, I decided that more measures were needed – and I’ve gotten myself two tools:

  1. HTTPS Everywhere
  2. Secure search engines: blekko and ixquick

There’s more that can be done.

Some options are:

  • Tor anonymization
  • Proxy servers
  • Cookie blockers
  • Flash cookie blockers/deletors

Top 20 monitoring tools for sysadmins

Frankly, this is for my reference only – a to-read article, I guess.
http://www.cyberciti.biz/tips/top-linux-monitoring-tools.html

Know most of the tools, but iptraf and others are new to me.

In addition to these, I’m also looking at Puppet.

Into the Bog

Sometimes, I wonder if it’s just me, or maybe as I’ve noted before, I’m just a clueless guy. It certainly feels like there’s a crazy political scene in India where instead of democracy we run a sham, where some families, like an oligarchy, run the show – and there’s no hiding behind the scenes stuff too. It’s out there, in your face – like a big bully staring you down and daring you to do something about him stealing your candy. And because you haven’t figured out who to complain to, you just look for something to keep you distracted; IPL, some festival, horrible TV soap, etc.

What’s bugging me today is the way they’re now trying to amend the RTI. Screw the aam aadmi, screw public opinion, almost all the political parties have banded together to table the bill in the Lok Sabha. And probably this’ll sail right through and head for the Rajya Sabha inside of week.

And then the election freebies – again, we see the political parties asking the Election Commission to take a hike. They would rather that the EC not exist most days. For them the EC is a party pooper who wants to stop all the fun like boozing and bribery.

I wonder how foreign investors feel about the political climate here? See, almost everyone sees a biased system is good until it bites them in the ass. It’s just about how many politicians you can pocket. It comes down to how many will keep staying in your pocket and how much of the profit margin they’ll be eating into. And I’m not sure what to tell these investors: keep away and let us figure this out? Or engage with us lots more and help us get out of this mire?

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