December 2013 archive

Dec 30 2013

http compression in lighttpd

Today I had occasion to test trivia’s page load times. I used the (admittedly fairly dated) website optimization test tool and was surprised to find that it reported that parts of the pages I tested were not compressed before delivery. I have the default compression options set in my lighty configuration file as below: compress.cache-dir …

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Permanent link to this article: http://baldric.net/2013/12/30/http-compression-in-lighttpd/

Dec 26 2013

getting close to the nsa

image of dove escaping eagle

Since my last post there have been a couple more entrants to the Tor logo competition. Neither, strictly speaking, meets the original requested criterion that they be suitable for inclusion in Tor Project team presentations, but each has its merits. The first image below was posted by “David”. I think it captures rather nicely the …

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Permanent link to this article: http://baldric.net/2013/12/26/getting-close-to-the-nsa/

Dec 24 2013

merry christmas

image of tor onion wearing crown

As I have noted before, 24 December is trivia’s birthday. My first post dates from 24 December 2006 so trivia is seven years old today. As is now becoming traditional I therefore post again today. And as a reflection of the story which has come to dominate trivia over the latter half of this year …

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Permanent link to this article: http://baldric.net/2013/12/24/merry-christmas/

Dec 14 2013

tor boost

Moritz Bartl has just posted some good news. Torservers.net, a volunteer run organisation spread across eight countries which provides high bandwidth Tor servers to the network, has just been awarded $250.000 over two years by the Digital Defenders Partnership. According to Bartl’s press release, with this additional funding: participating Torservers organizations will be able to …

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Permanent link to this article: http://baldric.net/2013/12/14/tor-boost/

Dec 12 2013

you choose

A letter in today’s Guardian, signed by someone called Paul Brannen, touched a chord. Brannen commented that it was difficut to find anyone today who did not, apparently, support Mandela’s release from Robben Island. Putting that in perspective, he noted that UK membership of the anti-apartheid movement in the 1980s averaged only 8,500. Brannen concludes …

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Permanent link to this article: http://baldric.net/2013/12/12/you-choose/

Dec 10 2013

caption needed

image of president obama at mandela memorial

This picture, from the french news agency AFP taken at the memorial service for Nelson Mandela, just cries out for a speech or thought bubble caption (or two). Just what is the First Lady thinking whilst her husband poses with Denmark’s Helle Thorning-Schmidt (with our own dear PM trying desperately to get in on the …

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Permanent link to this article: http://baldric.net/2013/12/10/caption-needed/

Dec 10 2013

an historical perspective

El Reg commentards can get worked up about a whole range of topics. That is one of the reasons I so enjoy reading it. Back in May 2009, El Reg posted an article about the then Home Secretary’s decision to place the right wing US Radio commentator, Michael Savage, on a persona non grata list …

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Permanent link to this article: http://baldric.net/2013/12/10/an-historical-perspective/

Dec 10 2013

ssl cipher check

My recent explorations of how to strengthen the ssl/tls certificates I use on both trivia and my mail service have given me cause to look for tools to help me test my configuration. The Calomel firefox plugin and sslabs site are very useful for checking HTTPS configurations, but they are fairly specifically aimed at that …

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Permanent link to this article: http://baldric.net/2013/12/10/ssl-cipher-check/

Dec 08 2013

no more akismet

In common with (probably) all wordpress based blogs, trivia has the aksimet plugin in place. Akismet is shipped by default in the base wordpress installation and new users are encouraged to sign up for an API key. On first configuring the blog’s plugins, users are greeted with the following commentary about akismet: Used by millions, …

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Permanent link to this article: http://baldric.net/2013/12/08/no-more-akismet/

Dec 08 2013

where are you now?

image of map in germany

The ongoing revelations from Snowden continued recently with reporting in the Washington Post about the NSA’s program to track mobile ‘phone location data. Reporting here and elsewhere suggests that the NSA is gathering nearly 5 billion records a day on the whereabouts of cellphones around the world. That reporting, and its obvious implications, reminded me …

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Permanent link to this article: http://baldric.net/2013/12/08/where-are-you-now/

Dec 07 2013

TLS ciphers in postfix and dovecot

A recent exchange amongst ALUG email list members about list etiquette resulted in a flurry of postings on a variety of related topics. I posted a flippant comment about top posting, but did so (deliberately) from my Galaxy tab using Samsung’s default email client which actually forces top posting. Steve responded suggesting that I look …

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Permanent link to this article: http://baldric.net/2013/12/07/tls-ciphers-in-postfix-and-dovecot/

Dec 03 2013

boycott amazon

This time last year I wrote to Jeff Bezos telling him that I was no longer prepared to support a multinational which so arranged its tax affairs that it paid little or no UK corporation tax on turnover estimated (last year) at some £3.3 billion. This year, Margaret Hodge, chair of the UK Parliamentary Public …

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Permanent link to this article: http://baldric.net/2013/12/03/boycott-amazon/