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Using Chrome Profiles and FoxyProxy to Keep Personal and Work Browsing Separate

I'm going to build on FuelCell250's previous post regarding SSH tunneling. Most of the time you'll want to tunnel all of your traffic through your home SSH server, but there are instances where that's not the most suitable option.

For instance, working the late shift in IT, I'll sometimes run into periods of downtime. Obviously I am careful about my browsing on a work PC. I'm not convinced, however, that anyone else should see me logging into my online banking; or that my chat sessions should be visible to anyone but myself; or those randomly blacklisted sites that are perfectly SFW.

My solution is fairly simple, and easy to setup. Check it out after the break!


Hacking Gogo In-Flight Wi-Fi

Ok, its more of a bypass then a hack, but still fun. While waiting for takeoff I was thumbing through the add-filled magazine in the seat pocket in front of me, when lo and behold I see a full page add for Blackberry 10's new Z10 phone, with the caption "free gogo internet for blackberry users this month". Well, as any self-respecting hacker would, I decided that free wifi was mine. Assuming they were using user-agent string to filter out Blackberry vs non-blackberry clients, I decided to do some experimenting and found that:

Mozilla/5.0 (BB10; Z10) AppleWebKit/534.55.3 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1.3 Mobile Safari/531.21.10

worked! I basically modified the safari user-agent string with the BB10; Z10 addition, and there was free internets to be had.

Nuts and bolts:

thankfully I already had my user-agent switching extension loaded in chrome, so I simply opened it up and duplicated the safari user-agent string then refreshed the page and the gogo portal asked me if I'd like free wifi. Thanks, gogo!


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Encrypted Web Browsing With SSH and Ubuntu

Every now and then, you may be forced to use an unencrypted wireless access point to access the internet. Many hotels and coffee shops leave their access points unencrypted, instead relying on other solutions such as captive portals to authenticate customers. This keeps unauthorized users off the network (sort of), but it doesn't encrypt anything between you and the access point. This could allow a malicious hacker to intercept personal information, such as passwords. With an SSH server at home, you can encrypt your web traffic and slingshot it back to your house. Your SSH server will then decrypt it and send it back out to the internet, as if you were browsing from inside your secure home network. Interested? Read on.


In Search of a Chair

Recently, I came to two realizations regarding hacking and working at a desk for eight hours a day.  The first was "you get what you pay for."  A few months ago, I purchased a used macbook from a friend with the intention of learning OSX to better help the students I frequently assist.  Since then, the macbook has become a daily driver for school and web browsing at home.  Even now, I am using it to write this post.  By far, the February 2008 model macbook (polycarbonate) is the best built laptop I have experienced to date.  The aluminum ones I can only assume are better.  I use that word "experience" because it best describes the concept of a good balance between form and function.  This laptop is physically built right.  The attention to the detail and finesse of the hardware is unparalleled, which has opened the eyes of a seasoned hardcore PC fan.  I do hope that Lenovo or someone else steps up to this level because despite how awesome the hardware is, the OS just doesn't stack up in the same way.  OSX is really the only real problem with this laptop, and I expect to replace it with a distribution of Linux soon.  That said, we all know the package deal doesn't come cheap.

The second realization I came was how important my body is to working in general.  As I work in the technology sector, I find that cheap desks and chairs to be insufficient to keeping this tool I use 100% of the time, that is my body, healthy and comfortable.  With the amount of money I spend on multiple laptops, desktop upgrades, media center PCs, and servers, why do I skimp so much on things that directly affect my body?


Overhead to LCD Video Projector Conversion

I like to host LAN parties. We mostly play console games, because they are easily accessible. All my friends have consoles, but it's nearly impossible to get people to bring high-definition displays. Usually, they are just too big to move, or are mounted on the wall, or are otherwise inaccessible. I didn't have the room or the money for another HDTV, so I decided to look into projectors.


Projector Requirements

  • Projector needs to be cheap
  • Displays at least 480p
  • Supports component input (optional)
  • Is small enough to transport (other LAN parties!)

I did some research on projectors, but I could never find a solution that was cheap enough. The only truly inexpensive solutions were terrible 480i units. The only option left was to build my own. See how I did it after the break!


Dynamic DNS on the NSLU2

Whoa hold it right there! Don't read this! It didn't work! Well, okay. Read it. Maybe you can tell us what we did wrong. DynDNS kept blocking us: It seems that Teh Slug kept forcing updates too often. We ended up going for a good ol' DD-WRT that Badger32d scrounged up from Iraq. Oh, don't worry, Teh Slug still gets lots'a love!

Now that you have flashed OpenWRT to your NSLU2 , you need to find a practical use for it. If you are like me, you don't own a fancy router that supports Dynamic DNS updating, and you don't want to leave your computer on all of the time, sucking power and money just to keep the door to your network open.

Enter the NSLU2. It's silent, sips power, and needs something to do, so let's get Dynamic DNS updating on it, shall we?


Flashing OpenWRT to the NSLU2 (Teh Slug)


Need a small, silent Linux server that sips power? A friend of mine gave me a Linksys NSLU2, which was designed to be a simple NAS. They run Linux out of the box, and can be flashed with customized distributions. NSLU2-Linux is the home of everything, uh, NSLU2 Linux. I chose OpenWRT for mine, because it seemed simple and popular. More on flashing the Slug (Eww!) after the break!