Category Archive: free software

Oct 14 2017

multilingual chat

XKCD cartoon about multiple chat systems

I use email fairlly extensively for my public communication but I use XMPP (with suitable end-to-end encryption) for my private, personal communication. And I use my own XMPP server to facilitate this. But as I have mentioned in previous posts my family and many of my friends insist on using proprietary variants of this open …

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Permanent link to this article: http://baldric.net/2017/10/14/multilingual-chat/

May 12 2017

using a VPN to take back your privacy

network diagram

With the passage into law of the iniquitous Investigatory Powers (IP) Bill in the UK at the end of November last year, it is way past time for all those who care about civil liberties in this country to exercise their right to privacy. The new IP Act permits HMG and its various agencies to …

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Permanent link to this article: http://baldric.net/2017/05/12/using-a-vpn-to-take-back-your-privacy/

Jan 11 2014

strip exif data

I have a large collection of photographs on my computer. And each Christmas the collection grows ever larger. I use digiKam to manage that collection, but as I have mentioned before, storing family photographs as a collection of jpeg files seems counter intuitive to me. Photographs should be on display, or at least stored in …

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Permanent link to this article: http://baldric.net/2014/01/11/strip-exif-data/

Aug 23 2013

untrusted dod certificate

Chris Williams over at El Reg posted a nice article about the kind of crypto best practice you need to follow if you care about privacy. The article questions the wisdom of using David Miranda as what Williams calls a “data mule” to carry physical electronic media (possibly) containing sensitive data through Heathrow and goes …

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Permanent link to this article: http://baldric.net/2013/08/23/untrusted-dod-certificate/

Jul 17 2013

save your money – just use tails

I suppose it was inevitable that the Snowden revelations would lead to greater interest in privacy and anonymity. I applaud that. I suppose it was also inevitable that there would be a rash of commercial products emerging from both “entrepreneurs” and the more established “security” companies to take advantage of that increased interest. That, I …

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Permanent link to this article: http://baldric.net/2013/07/17/save-your-money-just-use-tails/

Jun 16 2013

prism opt-out

In all the noise on the ‘net about the alleged NSA PRISM program, this new site offers an amusing, but nonetheless useful, list of free alternatives to proprietary software. In part the site sort of misses the point about PRISM, but it is still good to see someone taking the time to point out that …

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Permanent link to this article: http://baldric.net/2013/06/16/prism-opt-out/

Apr 01 2013

Debian iz free operatin sistem (OS) 4 ur computr

For a moment today I had the awful feeling that the debian website had been compromised by an illiterate 14 year old. The front page had been changed and contained such pearls as: “Debian providez moar than pure OS: it comez wif ovar 29000 packagez” and “Peeps hoo use sistems othr than Intel x86 shud …

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Permanent link to this article: http://baldric.net/2013/04/01/debian-iz-free-operatin-sistem-os-4-ur-computr/

Mar 26 2013

using an ssh reverse tunnel to bypass NAT firewalls

There is usually more than one way to solve a problem. Back in October last year I wrote about using OpenVPN to bypass NAT firewalls when access to the firewall configuration was not available. I have also written about using ssh to tunnel out to a tor proxy. What I haven’t previously commented on is …

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Permanent link to this article: http://baldric.net/2013/03/26/using-an-ssh-reverse-tunnel-to-bypass-nat-firewalls/

Dec 10 2012

tor and the UK data communications bill

As a Tor node operator, I have an interest in how the draft UK Data Communications Bill would affect me should it be passed into law. In particular, I would be worried if Tor ended up being treated as a “telecommunications operator” within the terms of the Act (should it become an Act). Fortunately, Steven …

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Permanent link to this article: http://baldric.net/2012/12/10/tor-and-the-uk-data-communications-bill/

Oct 27 2012

using openvpn to bypass NAT firewalls

OpenVPN is a free, open source, general purpose VPN tool which allows users to build secure tunnels through insecure networks such as the internet. It is the ideal solution to a wide range of secure tunnelling requirements, but it is not always immediately obvious how it should be deployed in some circumstances. Recently, a correspondent …

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Permanent link to this article: http://baldric.net/2012/10/27/using-openvpn-to-bypass-nat-firewalls/

Aug 20 2012

what every iphone needs

I stumbled across this site today when following a link from an email on the topic of reflashing an android tablet with CyanogenMod. The guy who sent the email (to the ALUG list) had bought a generic 7″ android tablet. He was considering reflashing with CM9 and was asking for advice/guidance/gotchas or whatever before doing …

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Permanent link to this article: http://baldric.net/2012/08/20/what-every-iphone-needs/

Apr 18 2012

stallman likes sharing

The guardian’s series on internet freedoms (or otherwise) continues today with an article by Richard Stallman on the kindle and ebook publishing. Stallman makes a point I’d missed in my own commentary on the kindle when he says: “Many other habits that readers are accustomed to are not allowed for ebooks. With the Amazon Kindle, …

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Permanent link to this article: http://baldric.net/2012/04/18/stallman-likes-sharing/

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