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The Mind Tech Podcast: Episode 18


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Back That Shit Up

Hosted by Gareth Davies and Joe Ressington

The Mind Tech Podcast is your weekly dose of tech, privacy, security and conspiracy.

Each week we'll talk about the very latest tech news and the continued threats to internet freedom.

Mind Tech News:

Microsoft: U.S. Constitution is 'suffering' from NSA secrecy

Will the NSA use the Xbox One to spy on your family?

UK border police can seize and download your phone's data for no reason at all


Gmail and Twitter Backup Solutions

How to backup your gmail account using your Mac, Linux or Unix box.

Archiving your email for security and peace of mind is something that we should all consider. Having a complete local backup of your email, specifically gmail is a good thing, and here's how to do it command line style on the Mac!

There is this great open source Linux application called Getmail, which backs up your entire gmail account into a single mbox file locally on the drive of your choice. While this application is written for Linux/Unix it works perfectly on the Mac, but there are just a few pre-install steps that have to be taken first.

Firstly to run Unix applications on OS X you will need to install a package manager, of which there are a few available for the Mac, but one of the best is called Homebrew.

To use Homebrew you will first need to install Xcode, and the Command Line Tools for Xcode.
Xcode is free application, and is available in the Mac app store.

Once Xcode is installed, open a terminal session and type or cut & paste the following:

ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL"

This will install the latest Homebrew package manager. Once installed type brew and hit enter. This will display the basic functionality of Homebrew.

Now to install Getmail.

While still in the terminal session type:

brew install getmail

and for Linux type:

sudo apt-get install getmail4

hit enter. This will automatically download and install the getmail application.

Once the installation is complete, it's time to create some directories.

You will need to create a configuration directory, a directory to store the mbox file, and the mbox file itself.

First up is the configuration directory, type the following:

mkdir $HOME/.getmail

Then create a directory to store the mbox file, type the following:

mkdir $HOME/gmail-archive

Now, you must create the mbox file to contain the downloaded messages. Getmail does not do this automatically. Type the following command at the prompt to create the mbox file in the gmail-archive directory.

touch ~/gmail-archive/gmail-backup.mbox

Almost there...

Next you will need to create a configuration file to tell Getmail about your gmail account. Open up a text editor and paste in the following:

type = SimplePOP3SSLRetriever
server =
username =
password = yourpassword
type = Mboxrd
path = ~/gmail-archive/gmail-backup.mbox
verbose = 2
message_log = ~/.getmail/gmail.log

Change the username and password to your gmail account information and Save As the file using the filename getmailrc

You now need to place this newly created getmailrc configuration file into the .getmail directory. The .getmail directory is hidden and will not be viewable in the finder, although you can see it in the terminal by typing:

ls -a

Once you have navigated to this folder and successfully added getmailrc you are then ready to use the application.

Using the app is a breeze!

Simply open a terminal session and type getmail

Thats it.

The new mbox file that is created can be opened with thunderbird, outlook and any number of mail applications. You will need to run the getmail app any number of times, depending on the size of your gmail account, as it downloads everything but deleted messages.

Twitter and Facebook

Just go into settings and request a download of your data. You get a zip file with a nice html file. Why is it request and not demand, though?

I can’t see an easy way to make these requests on the mobile versions of Twitter and Facebook.


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