Category Archives: Software

Gripe (Small)

WordPress released a new version of its TwentyTen theme.  Would it kill them to include a changelog?

Posted in Software | 2 Comments

Iodine – Could be Handy

Meet Iodine:

iodine by Kryo

iodine lets you tunnel IPv4 data through a DNS server. This can be usable in different situations where internet access is firewalled, but DNS queries are allowed.

It runs on Linux, Mac OS X, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD and Windows and needs a TUN/TAP device. The bandwidth is asymmetrical with limited upstream and up to 1 Mbit/s downstream.

Compared to other DNS tunnel implementations, iodine offers:

Higher performance
iodine uses the NULL type that allows the downstream data to be sent without encoding. Each DNS reply can contain over a kilobyte of compressed payload data.
iodine runs on many different UNIX-like systems as well as on Win32. Tunnels can be set up between two hosts no matter their endianness or operating system.
iodine uses challenge-response login secured by MD5 hash. It also filters out any packets not coming from the IP used when logging in.
Less setup
iodine handles setting IP number on interfaces automatically, and up to 16 users can share one server at the same time. Packet size is automatically probed for maximum downstream throughput.

See the README, the CHANGELOG and the man page

Wiki, bug tracker, source browser and more is available at our trac page. iodine is released under the ISC license.

Test your DNS setup here:

Free wifi in hostile environments like some other universities? And airports and cafes?

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Text Missing from Firefox 27.0.x Tabs (Solved) (Updated)

TLDR: FF27.0.x + FEBE causes text (but not icons) in FF tabs in additional FF windows to vanish after FF restart. Solution: upgrade to FEBE 8.0 beta. Do not blame Tab Mix Plus. Update: see below.

Long version: After upgrading to Firefox 27.0 (and FF 27.0.1) I began to experience an annoying bug. I am in the habit of having a lot of tabs open at once. Thanks to Tab Mix Plus, one of my very favorite addons, I can have the tabs arranged in multiple rows and they stay big enough to have an idea of which is which.

I also tend to have at least two firefox windows open, one for each monitor. I also use the session manager in TM+ to restore my tabs when I close and re-open firefox.

After the upgrade to FF 27.0, I found that the text was vanishing from the tabs when I did a re-open. The icons were there, but the rest was blank. This didn’t happen in the first window I opened, but it was happening in the second window, and every new window. The problem didn’t happen if I closed all the tabs before shutting down firefox. It did happen whether I used TM+’s session manager of FF’s native session manager (yes, I even if I unchecked the setting the in FF privacy manager that tells it to forget my browsing history).

I figured this was a Tab Mix Plus issue. The extension is so powerful that it regularly has issues when I update Firefox. But his time, disabling TM+ didn’t solve the problem.

So it was time to start disabling all my many other extensions in the hope of finding the culprit. This is tedious, even doing half at at time, but it did reveal that the source of my problem was FEBE, the Firefox Environment Backup Extension. Upgrading to FEBE version 8.0beta solved the problem. The beta actually looks a lot better than the old version (the author says it is a complete rewrite and I believe it). It seems noticeably faster, and (hooray!) it allows you to add incompatible add-ons to the ignore list from an interactive dialog as the backup is happening, rather than having to go to the preferences after the backup is over.

If you are updating FEBE from an old version be sure to delete existing FEBE preferences before the update. Tools > FEBE > FEBE Options > Advanced > Clear FEBE preferences.

After the install, whether or not this a new install, you MUST go to Tools > FEBE > FEBE Options. The only option that absolutely must be set is your Backup destination directory under the Where to backup tab. Without this it will not work.

Update: Having tried to fix this on a second computer, I have to agree with commentator parabel that in fact TM+ is involved in some way. With FEBE updated to the beta, I was only able to get a second window to open properly — but not a third. Disabling TM+ solves the problem, but I lose all the TM+ functionality.

Update 2: As noted by commentator John, installing Tab Mix Plus version seems to fix the problem. Yay!

Posted in Software | 8 Comments

Happy Data Privacy Day

Today is Data Privacy Day. Start your celebration with Unqualified Offerings:

Snowden’s revelations must be especially hard on the psychiatric profession. If one patient dismisses the idea that the government is spying on him, and the other is convinced that the government is working with major electronics manufacturers to put listening devices in his personal belongings, which one do you diagnose as being unable to distinguish reality from fantasy?

At a University committee meeting recently, I suggested the University should provide us all with encryption so we can protect our data on our computers, and in transit, as it was at risk of interception. The ranking University official at the meeting smiled dismissively and said something along the lines of ‘Well, if you are worrying about that…”. I said, “but it’s national policy – the President announced it.” He stopped smiling.

Posted in Cryptography, Software, Surveillance | Leave a comment

Browser Extension Spyware

Only a matter of time: Warning: Your Browser Extensions Are Spying On You.

Bonus: Adware Vendors Buy and Abuse Chrome Extensions

Double bonus: Chrome Protector Notifies You If You’re Running an Adware Extension

Posted in Software | 1 Comment

What is Scorecardresearch Doing Here?

Excess of Democracy blog has a post about trackers on lawprof blogs. Coincidentally, I spent a couple of hours today trying to figure out why it is that gtmerix reports that has this redirect, which both slows the site and amounts to a tracker on users:

I certainly didn’t put any of that in here on purpose. I have grepped all the code for this site and the words “scorecardresearch” and “specificclick” don’t appear anywhere in it. That means either something is inserting the code, or it is obfuscated in some way.

I can imagine three possibilities: (1) a plugin has some javascript; (2) something in the right margin; (3) a malicious code injection.

I tried disabling several of the plugins (but not all as some are essential), but nothing changed. I tried removing a couple of the most likely suspects from the right margin, but that wasn’t it. I don’t know how to look for the code injection.

Any thoughts on how best to track this down?

Posted in, Software | 5 Comments