Preparing for an Internet of Things with UniFi
Last year a couple of things came together. First, a friend and I had renewed our efforts to create a site-to-site virtual private network (VPN) tunnel between our homes. We don’t have anything super exciting to do with this newfound ability, other than occasionally setting up some multiplayer games or file sharing. Second, I started to get fed up with the lack of updates and support in DDWRT (more on that in a minute).…more
All the best!
I wish us all the best in 2017. May your burdens not be more than you can carry.
Looking at Tails
I’ve been using Live Image distributions of Linux for well over a decade now. Sometimes to do tech support, sometimes just to clean up old systems and get them running again, and once in a while to disinfect a machine toasted by cryptoware. It’s very useful to be able to boot up a fully functional operating system with tools that allow a professional to get things done. Enter Tails. Tails has a different focus and a different goal than other live distributions.…more
Anti-censorship brought to you by Google and Signal
Bruce Schneier has some good comments on how Signal is using Google to circumvent UAE censorship blocks. Great move by both Google and Signal. Over the holidays I spent some time explaining to my family why I’m asking them to communicate with me through secure channels (like Signal) by default. At one point the question came up, “Why do you care if email is unencrypted, and why do you need to have privacy on the internet”?…more
Signal by default
Odds are good that if you’re reading this you already know this about me, but I care about privacy. As a general guideline, I don’t trust companies or other large entities to keep my secrets or have my personal best interests in mind. I’m not the only one who feels this way (or as Levar Burton would say, “You don’t have to take my word for it”) “BY the time you finish reading this column, you would be foolish not to download the messaging app Signal onto your smartphone and computer.…more
Third (and fourth and fifth) parties have no place here.
Initially after setting up codemichael.net I had a ghost blog theme that had some nice options, and disqus enabled by default. Disqus seems like a good idea for allowing comments because it’s got all the social login features and I don’t have to host code that is likly to be abused (plus they handle spam etc). Except I don’t like third parties. I don’t like relying on them and I don’t like the access that they get to my site by using their hosted code.…more
Earlier this year is succumb to the pressure of technology and purchased an HTC Vive, fulfilling my childhood dream of being a reckless adult who buys toys. It’s been a thrilling ride. This holiday I spoke to my management about taking a day to bring in and demo room scale VR for some people at work. I was given the green light and I started planning. It wound up being quite a bit of effort (but fun), and one of the things I produced was the document below.…more
Getting my SSL Labs A+
After setting up codemichael.net I’ve been doing some tweaking here and there; one of the things I wanted to do was get an A+ rating from SSL Labs. Turns out it’s pretty easy to do if you’ve only got Nginx as your only front end. I was looking at enabling http/2 and I stumbled upon a very useful guide on Digital Ocean that included some security benefits. It specifically mentions at the bottom that if you do configuration right you’ll end up with and A+, but I ended up tweaking a couple of extra items based on the recommendations on the cipherli.…more
Kingdom Death: Monster
I heard about Kingdom Death: Monster (KD:M) back during the original Kickstarter. It was notable for it’s ambition of creating a long form and very high quality game. It was far too pricy to invest in, especially given the lofty goals. Since it’s successful original Kickstarter it has gotten good reviews and has been spoken of as a fantastic experience, providing organic storytelling in the way the game plays. The core game campaign covers thirty lantern years, and each year takes around one to three hours to complete, meaning that a KD:M campaign is a big undertaking requiring many play sessions.…more
Writing for different types of games
After a year of running a Dungeon World D&D themed game, I find myself with the exciting opportunity of running two completely different games. I’m running both a Shadowrun (SR) game and a Dresden Files game (DFRGP). These systems are incredibly different, and prepping for them seems to require a completely different set of skills. I love that cyberware addiction is a thing in 5e SR is a formulaic game, contacts call shadowrunners, shadowrunners meet Johnson, shadowrunners go into the mission with need-to-know only, shadowrunners get into trouble because of what they didn’t know, shadowrunners get out alive (barely) and yell at Johnson for not telling them everything, Johnson tries to not pay up.…more