Apple sucks

 Comedy, Tech, Video  Comments Off on Apple sucks
Nov 072016
 

Apple and Microsoft still running neck-and-neck for title of “Most Evil Tech Company in the US.”  Some things never change.

Hugh Herr’s bionic legs

 Tech, Video  Comments Off on Hugh Herr’s bionic legs
Jul 162016
 

Watching these in action is surreal.  The panning-shot at 5:00 is feels like science-fiction: the sheer ease and grace of his stride’s almost spooky.  After losing his lower-legs to frostbite, Herr started developing simple prosthetics so he could resume rock-climbing.  Then he started adding computers and actuators into the mix.  The current generation senses nerve impulses and intelligently mimics a biological limb to such an extent that little training or acclimation is required.

Password Cracking – Computerphile

 Tech, Video  Comments Off on Password Cracking – Computerphile
Jul 142016
 

Excellent 20-minute explanation of password strength for both the general audience and the more tech-saavy user.  Dr. Mike Pound demonstrates password cracking using hashcat – the example scenario is that an online service liked LinkedIn is hacked and the user credentials are stolen (which happens not uncommonly).  No company would store those credentials in “plaintext” – they’ve been encrypted via a one-way hashing algorithm (for the purposes of this video it’s MD5, which is outdated and quite weak).

 

He shows brute-force and dictionary attacks and the affects of increasing password length and complexity.  He also explains how substitutions (eg. “N3wy0rk”) are easily defeated by simple rulesets.

Logitech G710+

 Hardware, Tech  Comments Off on Logitech G710+
Jul 262015
 

Just got a new Logitech G710+ for work – good all-round mechanical keyboard (runs $90 on amazon.com as of 7-26-15). Six macro keys, 3 profile keys, lots of multimedia keys. The software’s pretty easy to use, and the keys aren’t too loud. Also, the keyboard layout’s completely standard (in case you already use lots of keyboard shortcuts and really need “ctrl”, “home”, and other keys to be in the normal places your fingers expect).
Logitech_G710plus

Update: The bastards really got their hooks into me. I bought one and took it to work, leaving my Steeleries Apex mo. 64145, the world’s most unusable keyboard, at home. Flat keys, silicone-dome action, and just generally awful. Just ordered my second G710+ for home. Think I’ll give the SteelSeries to charity: a crooked charity that skims money off donations – this might slow them down a little.

KeePass Touch (iPhone app)

 Apps, Tech  Comments Off on KeePass Touch (iPhone app)
Jul 262015
 

Free app to synch and access your keepass database from an ftp server. Once you set it up, you can reach it on your iPhone with your thumbprint.

keepass_touch

Keepass – an indispensible tool for being alive

 Apps, Tech  Comments Off on Keepass – an indispensible tool for being alive
Jul 212015
 

Password management isn’t something most people are familiar with. But you know how you have to try 3 times to login to that site you don’t use much, and finally have to do a password reset or consult a ratty notebook or, more often, a rat’s-nest of post-it notes in a drawer somewhere? Yeah, that’s no way to live.

Keepass is a password vault that saves all sorts of credential info using strong encryption. You just have to remember a single, preferably complex password to open it up, then copy/paste that password you need. Keepass entries also have a large “notes” field for miscellaneous info, like answers to security questions, ISP account numbers, etc. It takes a little discipline to keep it updated, and some time to type your info into it initially (I spent like 4 hours churning through my email finding account passwords), but it’s worth it. Never struggle with logins again, and your info’s all strongly encrypted.

Best part is, you can get it as a “portable app”, which means it doesn’t require installation. It’s a folder with the program (an .exe file), a database (a .kdbx file), and a few .dll fils. You can just copy the folder to a flashdrive, then open it on any other computer. Or email it to yourself, whatever. The default encryption will protect you from any hacker short of the NSA, and if you bump it up you can probably even defeat them (or at least give them a modest headache). Just don’t lose your master password, or you are absolutely screwed, at least until quantum computing comes along.

From this link, get the “Professional Edition”, “Portable” version”. It’s free, open-source software: “Professional” juts means that it’s Keepass v2 instead of v1. http://keepass.info/download.html

keepass

SpeedOf.Me – my new favorite bandwidth testing site

 Tech  Comments Off on SpeedOf.Me – my new favorite bandwidth testing site
Jun 242015
 

SpeedOf.me tests your connection speed and displays the results plainly and quickly in HTML5.   Speedtest.net is the traditional go-to site for this, but their Flash-based interface is showy, clunky, and kind of drives me insane.speedof.meNote: Happily this is not my normal connection speed.  Charter’s having service problems in my area tonight (which I should add is very rare for them).  Anyway, I’ve been testing my speed repeatedly the last 2 hours, hence my sudden interest in a better bandwidth tester.