A reminder for my friends using Windows
If you run Microsoft Windows (any version) as your daily driver I have an important reminder for you. You should not be operating normally as an administrator account. Most of the Windows vulnerabilities out there take advantage of the exploited user being able to access an admin role. Please do yourself a favor: create a new account (e.g. MichaelAdmin) and give it administrator rights. Log into that user and degrade the rights on your current user to “standard”.…
Ow, right in the internet
This morning it’s hard for me not to feel that between the FCC and the UK we are seeing the beginning of the end of the internet not being controlled by orgs that do not have the interests of average people in mind. It makes me sad.
Using Signal Every Day
At the beginning of the year (2017) I made something of a push with friends and family to get them on to a secure-by-default communication platform, Signal . Here we are at the end of April and I thought I’d share some notes. So far Signal has been quite functional. It is a success way for mobile devices to communicate securely. Friends and family members of all degrees of computer savvy are using it succesfully to communicate one-to-one and in groups.…
Trying out Prezto for ZSH
I spend more time in a command line environment that most of the people I know (this is not a competition, and if it were there wouldn’t be any winners), and I’m a bit fickle. I’ve been using Oh my ZSH for a while, with the agnoster theme . It’s pretty and highly functional. Oh My ZSH However, being the fickle kind of guy I am I decied to try out Prezto .…
It's a good gift
I got a fidgit cube for my birthday. It’s an excellent toy.
Imperfect software happens; I'm going to keep using Lastpass
In news that should really surprise nobody, recent security audits of popular password management software, Lastpass , discovered flaws in the code. For good reasons, people are very sensitive about problems in their password management software, and major flaws need to be discovered and fixed. How should you react when a major flaw is discovered in something as critical as your password management tool? I would recommend taking a look at the providers response, and basing your reaction on that.…
When does an evil GM become truly evil?
As a GM, its basically my job to be evil. Not in the traditional sense, but one of the tasks assigned to me is to throw some peril and hardship at my players. Step on their characters hopes and dreams at least a little. Make their stories fraught with bad guys and challenges. It’s my job to make sure that victory doesn’t come free and that at the end of the game they feel like they accomplished something.…
I'm going to keep using VPNs for a while longer (you probably should too)
I’ve been using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) for a while now. I’ve used them on-and-off while traveling in the past, as well as for remote access and punching through security firewalls. After I switched to Verizon for wireless connectivity I started using them on my phone more or less full time, since Verizon is netorious about messing with it’s customers data (search for “verizon supercookie” for a prime example).…
Intrigue vs Annoyingly Vague GM
I’m a fan of intrigue in my games. It’s been a while since I’ve run any kind of standard adventure romp where there are clear cut villains and goals. Hopefully this is not to my players detriment. What I’d like to spend a little bit if time considering is where the line is when mystery stops being fun and is just an annoying lack of information. I’m currently running the first case of my Dresden Files game, The Day of Bad Dreams .…
Codemichael.net, now with automation
Over the last couple of weekends I’ve been doing some work on adding automation to codemichael.net. I already had most of my configs out on github, but now I’ve updated that repo to include Ansible playbooks for the automated deploy and updating of my hosts. I haven’t nearly gotten everything that I want to do yet, but I’ve mad a good first pass. The updates in the repo include automated installation of base packages such as Nginx, Letsencrypt, and Mariadb, download, configuration and updating my deployments of the Ghost blogging platform, and installation of Hastebin (moving away from my modern-paste install).…