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Posts from the ‘Tech’ Category

The Mind Tech Podcast: Episode 18

July 17th, 2013

MindSet

[audio:http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/mindsetcentral.com/mp3/mindtech/mtech18.mp3]

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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 https://raw.github.com/mxcl/homebrew/go)"

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:

[retriever]
type = SimplePOP3SSLRetriever
server = pop.gmail.com
username = yourname@gmail.com
password = yourpassword
[destination]
type = Mboxrd
path = ~/gmail-archive/gmail-backup.mbox
[options]
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.

tweet

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The Mind Tech Podcast: Episode 17

July 11th, 2013

MindSet

[audio:http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/mindsetcentral.com/mp3/mindtech/mtech17.mp3]

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Finger and Thumb Technique

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:

First arrest captured on Google Glass points to a “Little Brother” future

BBC 3D programming 'on hold' indefinitely

Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def) force-fed under standard Guantánamo Bay procedure – video

 

Asus VivoBook S200E

Intel Core i3 3217U

4GB RAM

11.6" touch screen (1366 x 768)

500GB HDD

~£400

 

Hardware:

Looks like a Macbook Air. Stainless steel top, solid plastic elsewhere. Nice rubber bottom.

Touch screen more than just a novelty. Makes some tasks much quicker. Screen could be brighter and is a bit yellow.

Touchpad big but annoying because the buttons are part of the pad. Doesn't suit my thumb  and finger technique.

When using a proper OS the 3rs gen i3 performs really well and the overall experience is very smooth.

Software:

Came with Windows 8 which along with all the bloatware was a lot slower than the 8.1 preview I looked at recently (and indeed the official preview that isn't much different).

Had to disable secure boot AND enable launch CSM in the EFI (BIOS) in order to boot into USB.

Everything seemed to work in Xubuntu 13.04 (32 bit) so I decided to install it.

I shrunk the Windows 8 partition and gave most of the hard drive to Xubuntu.

Rebooted after installation and there was no grub (despite creating the special 1MB extra boot partition that the Xubuntu installer told me to).

I tried boot-repair but it still didn't work.

After some reading I found out that EFI boot didn't support 32 bit operating systems.

I installed Xubuntu 13.04 64 bit, rebooted and it still didn't work. This time boot-repair made it work.

Unfortunately the internal mic was only working intermittently. At this point I decided to get rid of Windows 8 completely and install 32 bit Xubuntu.

Deleting the Windows partitions wasn't enough. I had to delete the partition table and write a new one to the disk.

The problem was that the internal mic was still working intermittently so I then went through a process of trying various versions of Xubuntu and Linux Mint until I settled on Mint 14 (32 bit) with Xfce. I thought the problem was finally solved but unfortunately not.

 

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The Mind Tech Podcast: Episode 16

July 3rd, 2013

MindSet

[audio:http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/mindsetcentral.com/mp3/mindtech/mtech16.mp3]

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Paranoid Android

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:

Google reader dead

Government wiretaps were foiled by encryption for the first time in 2012

Palantir is helping California police develop controversial license plate database

 

Android

Mobile OS geared towards touch devices like phones and tablets.

Powers other devices like TVs, games consoles, E-readers and soon there will be watches.

Announced in 2007 and released in 2008 running on the T-Mobile G1.

Has a Linux kernel but not GNU. Uses Dalvik virtual machine (similar to a Java VM).

Open source but as Stallman points out in this article, Honeycomb (version 3) wasn't open sourced until 4.0 came out. Also most Android phones need proprietary firmware and drivers in order to use most of the hardware. Also the Google applications (Maps, Gmail etc) are proprietary.

The good

Relatively open platform in terms of what software you can install on it. By default you can only install software from the Play Store but you just have to go into the menu and tick a box to be able to install anything you want. This is very different to iOS devices (jailbreaking etc).

Because it is somewhat open source there is a large development community which makes various alternative ROMs which can be installed on some devices. Cyanogenmod is the most popular.

To do that you need to unlock the bootloader (often have to gain root access to do that) and flash (copy) the new ROM to the device. In my experience, custom roms are faster and have no bloatware but don't work perfectly. Camera/flash buggy etc.

Huge choice of hardware. Unlike iOS which is only available on Apple devices, Android is available on a massive range of phones and tablets ranging from dirt cheap pieces of crap to high end devices like the Galaxy S4 and Nexus 4.

The bad

Fragmentation is a big problem. Often phones and tablets will get one or two updates if you are lucky. Often you won't get any updates at all, including security updates. This leads to phones having old versions of Android and makes it difficult for developers. This is the downside to having so many manufacturers and carriers (networks) selling Android phones.

The interesting

There are x86 ports of Android. There are even some Atom based phones and tablets now like the Razr i. Android x86 works quite well on my new touch screen laptop.

The elephant in the room

Like Windows, Android slows down over time. At least in my experience.

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The Mind Tech Podcast: Episode 15

June 26th, 2013

MindSet

[audio:http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/mindsetcentral.com/mp3/mindtech/mtech15.mp3]

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The Away Mission

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:

Snowden's got an encrypted insurance file

Apple TV adds HBO Go and WatchESPN

The other hacking scandal: Suppressed report reveals that law firms, telecoms giants and insurance companies routinely hire criminals to steal rivals' information

iPhone Bag Blocks Cell Signals

FCC Considering Proposal For Encrypted Ham Radio

 

The Hacker Meetup - Away Mission

This past weekend I attended the Hak5 - Hack Across America Meetup in Culver City California.

Check out the Meetup Photo's Here

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The Mind Tech Podcast: Episode 14

June 19th, 2013

MindSet

[audio:http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/mindsetcentral.com/mp3/mindtech/mtech14.mp3]

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Windows 8.1 Install

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:

How Dozens of Companies Know You're Reading About Those NSA Leaks

Texas first state to mandate warrants for email surveillance

Apple’s Commitment to Customer Privacy

 

A look at Windows 8.1

I had an old hard drive lying around so I thought I would take the SSD out of my laptop and install a “leaked” copy of the forthcoming Windows 8.1 (AKA Windows Blue). This isn’t really a review, it’s just some thoughts about it. I didn’t use it for very long so it’s really my first impressions. The version that I installed wasn’t even an official preview so it’s quite likely that by the time it gets released it will be at least a little bit different. It was also missing some key features like the ability to activate it and do Windows updates.

It’s worth mentioning that I have hardly used Windows 8 (apart from a brief look at the official consumer preview just before the final release) so 8.1 might not be very different. I’m really not sure.

Full Review can be found HERE

TorChat

About TorChat

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The Mind Tech Podcast: Episode 13

June 7th, 2013

MindSet

[audio:http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/mindsetcentral.com/mp3/mindtech/mtech13.mp3]

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Encryption Redux

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:

David Icke has raised £100K (and rising) for a new media network

Leaked top-secret court order shows that NSA engages in bulk, sustained, warrantless surveillance of Americans

Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, and Dropbox deny providing direct access to PRISM surveillance program

Anonymity, Encryption, and Free Expression: What Nations Need to Do

 

Encryption REDUX

PGP/GPG - Open source and Powerful.  Perfect for encrypting email and files.

Back in our first episode of the Mind Tech Podcast we talked about PGP/GPG.  It is the most widely used and most secure form of encryption publicly available.

It is perfect for secure email and individual files on your computer, but what if you want to take encryption to the next level and secure large directories or even entire Hard Drives?

That's where Truecrypt comes in...

Truecrypt - Open source and Powerful.  Perfect for encrypting directories, folders and entire Hard Drives

Very slick easy to use GUI - Available for Unix/Linux, Mac and Windows.

Truecrypt can create a virtual encrypted disk within a file or encrypt a partition or the entire storage device, Hard Drive or USB Thumb drive.

You can also create encrypted hidden directories or partitions, which are invisible without the truecrypt application.

You must use the truecrypt application to mount these directories / drives.  Once the directories / drives are mounted you use them as you normally would use standard directories / drives.  Once they are unmounted they encrypt and are secure.

EncFS - Open source and Powerful.  Perfect for encrypting directories, folders and Cloud Services.

Command line - Available for Unix/Linux and Mac. There is a GUI version on windows called boxcryptor.  It is compatible with EncFS, but is paid software and therefore not completely open source.

EncFS is similar in many respects to truecrypt, except it is perfectly suited for secure cloud storage.

Sure, you could use PGP/GPG to encrypt individual files and upload to your cloud service, and this would be very secure. But also a hassle.  You could also encrypt a volume using truecrypt and upload to your cloud service, but there is a major disadvantage in doing so.

Any changes made to the volume in truecrypt, the entire volume is re-encrypted and re-uploaded to your cloud service.  It all works, but is time consuming.

EncFS on the other hand does everything on the fly and only changes the files that are changed.  So all done in real time and very fast.

EncFS creates two folders or directories, one on your local drive and the other in your cloud service.  Once the local drive is mounted any changes made to that drive is automatically duplicated and encrypted in the cloud service drive.  The drive in the cloud is always encrypted and secure.
1Password

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