Passwords

Passwords are one of the most important parts of staying safe on the web, and it is an area where most people are doing it wrong.

 

 

One: Use a Password Manager

You should not be using the same password on multiple sites, your passwords should be long, they should be random, and they should be updated at least a few times a year.

 

In order to do that, you are not keeping them all in your head (unless you really don’t use the internet much). The only way to handle this is using a password manager.

 

Password managers can be standalone applications or, as is more often the case in the mult-device world we live in, they offer some sort of sync solution to securely synchronize your passwords across your phone, tablet, laptop, etc. Key features include the ability to generate random passwords, alert you to weak or duplicate passwords, and show you how long it has been since you last updated a given password.

 

There are a number of password managers out there, some commercial, some open source. Most have clients on all the major Operating Systems / Devices. But do make sure it meets all of your device needs before choosing.

 

Two of the most popular solutions are:

 

Two: Use Two-Factor Authentication

Many will be familiar with two-factor authentication from their company’s vpn, or possibly from their bank. Basically, two-factor means adding something you have (a hardware token, or mobile phone) to the requirement of something you know (your password).

 

This makes it highly difficult for someone to hack your account. Even if the bad guys guess your password (or manage to steal it through some other means) they cannot access your account without the second factor (a code generated by a hardware or software token generator, or the device you registered to get a text message with a code.

 

Google provides free authenticator app which is compatible with many services including their own. 1Password also has built in support.

 

Some of the common services that support two factor authentication are:

 

 

Three: Be Careful Where You Type Your Password

Phishing (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phishing) attacks can be very convincing. To stay safe, don’t enter your password based on a link you clicked in an email or website.

 

If you get a notice from Facebook, log directly into facebook.com manually. The link in an email may take you to what looks like the given site, but actually be a carefully crafted forgery to capture your account. 

 

 

Until a better solution comes along, your online world is secured by passwords. Make sure you take care of them.

 

Security Primer

The purpose of this post is to have a place to point friends and family for advice on staying secure online. This is not targeted at advanced users.

Basic Security

Stay up to date

This is the most important thing you can do: keep all of your software up to date. Whether you are talking about Windows, OS X, iOS, or Android, if you are not running the latest: you are not secure. Wherever possible, turn on automatic updates, and check on your updates from time to time.

Don't Use Flash

Adobe Flash Player is dangerous. Really, don't use it. Just uninstall it. It is not secure. Sites like YouTube all support native HTML5 videos now. You will still be able to get your cute kitty video fix without flash.

Don't Use Java (in the browser)

Unless you know you need Java (like you're a Java developer) you probably shouldn't even have it installed. It is nowhere near as much of an issue as flash, but the Java browser plugin is still regularly exploited.

Don't Use Internet Explorer

To be fair, Microsoft has been getting its act together, but IE should still be avoided. Firefox, Safari, and Chrome are all better choices. Microsoft's new browser: Edge, does show promise.

Don't Click on Links in Email

Unless you are 100% sure the email is from where it says it is from, don't trust it, don't click on anything in it. It is not hard for the bad guys to create emails that look like they are from the major social networks, or from your bank. If you get an email for a friend request, or a notice of fraud detection from your bank, just log into the social network / bank manually. Clicking on the link, if it isn't from where it claims to be, could be exposing you to all sorts of risk.

Don't Open Attachments in Email

Same as above.

Add Some Helpful Browser Plugins

HTTPS Everywhere is available for Firefox and Chrome, and will try to force your browser to use secure (https) connections whenever possible.

uBlock Origin is available for Firefox and Chrome, and is an ad-blocker. You can white list sites you want to allow to still show ads (if you're feeling bad about the sites not being able to monetize) but it is generally a good idea to have an ad blocker running as you browse. Ad networks have become a popular way for the bad guys to get malware onto major sites that you would never consider risky.

 

The Rumored 12" MacBook Air

Mark Gurman's scoop last week sent the Apple press abuzz.

There have been rumors floating around for months that a 12" Air was coming, but nobody was predicting anything as dramatic as the renders Gurman commissioned.

The compressed keyboard, even slimmer body, and especially the ports have divided opinions greatly. Beyond the expected divide on how well it will fit into users' daily lives, there has been a major divide in where it fits into Apple's lineup.

The Verge seems to be in the camp that this is a low end device to compete with ChromeBooks. John and Marco discussed on the latest Talkshow that they expect it to be on the high end.

Assuming there is fire with all the smoke, and that Gurman's scoop turns out to be accurate, I'm leaning more towards The Verge's take.

I don't think Apple is going after the low end market of Chromebooks, at least not on price, but I do think they are concerned about the Chromebook's success in education. Obviously, Apple does not want to cede education to anyone, but Google would be the worst. So how does Apple fight back?

Take the 12" MacBook Air rumor, merge it with the 12" iPad rumor, turn on the split screen features seen hidden in iOS 8 builds and you have a device suited perfectly for education (even the more compact keyboard makes sense in this market). Give the 12" screen the same 2048×1536 resolution as the iPad Air, and the A8X processor, and I'd expect the costs to be pretty reasonable. I'd expect battery life to be impressive. This device would also let Apple test the waters of using their own processors in a laptop, without angering users about incompatible software.

This could even have been the impetus for the iWork rewrite.

Of course I'm just spitballing here. Rumors are rumors.

Been a while...

Kinda let this site go stale for a while, but I'm going to try to be more active with it again.

I finally upgraded from Squarespace 5, and am freshening the look up a bit.

I'm also most likely going to take the posts in a different direction. The world does not need any more food blogs. There are a million sites offering recipes.

So of course I'll probably post things in the vastly underserved technical sphere ;-)

Tomato Egg Soup*

 

Serves 2
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp turmeric
3 medium heirloom tomatoes (peeled & quartered)
2 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
1 egg beaten
salt to taste
sesame oil
Heat oil and turmeric in pot or wok
Add tomatoes and let simmer for 3-5 minutes, mashing a little with spoon
Add stock, bring to boil, then let simmer another 3-5 minutes
Drizzle egg over soup
Give a minute for egg to cook, then stir in cilantro
Salt to taste
Let simmer 1 more minute, then serve with sesame oil drizzled on top
*Adapted from Ying's recipe

 

 

Crock Pot Buffalo Osso Buco

 

 

1.25-1.5 lb buffalo Osso buco
1 large rutabaga 
1 large celery root
5 medium sized carrots
2 sprigs of rosemarry
2 sprigs thyme
5 cloves garlic
1 cup red wine
Salt & Pepper
Peel and chop vegetables and garlic. Place them in crock pot.
Lay Buffalo Osso Buco on top of vegetables. 
Add Wine, rosemary, thyme.
Add salt/pepper to taste.
Cook on low heat for 5 hours.   

 

 

 

Crock Pot Chicken & Cauliflower

 

2 bone-in, skinned chicken breast

1 head cauliflower chopped

2 cups white wine

1 sprig fresh sage

1 sprig fresh time

4 cloves garlic sliced

olive oil

salt

pepper

 

Place Cauliflower, wine, sage and thyme in crock.
Place chicken breasts on top of cauliflower.
Place garlic slices over chicken and cauliflower.
Add salt/pepper to taste and drizzle with olive oil.
Cook on high for 3 hrs.

 

 

Phil Burger

1 lb ground grass fed beef

1/2 cup finely chopped shitaki mushrooms

1/4 cup chopped parsley

4 cloves garlic minced

1 tbsp wheat free Worcestershire sauce

fresh ground pepper to taste

 

 

if grilling:
1 egg to help bind

 

combine all ingredients and mash together thoroughly, then for into 4 patties

cook to preferred doneness on the grill or in a pan with coconut oil

serve with lettuce or nori sheets

 

Tartare

1/2 lb grass fed tenderloin

1 tbsp wheat free Worcester sauce

3 dashes Tabasco

2 anchovy fillets

1 tbsp capers

3 tbsp diced parsley

2 egg yolks

olive oil

 

Combine all ingredients except olive oil in food processor.

Use brief pulses until beef consistency is a bit more firm than ground beef.

Drizzle with olive oil and serve with Tarro chips.

 

Do not make in advance. Do not save any left overs.

Only use beef from a trusted source.