<--- Read the sidebar :1 Many useful links and they are relevant 2: Use the labels on the left to find the sort of thing you want to read. Posts range from creatively entertaining to logically helpful bullet points 3: Turn adblock off if you want to see useful items on the left side and at the bottom

27 Dec 2010

Safely login to your computer at home from an Internet cafe with one time passwords (otp) and sshd

If you login to your home computer from an internet cafe there's every chance someone could have logged what you typed. You can use the on screen keyboard to cut that problem, but then also your movements on screen can be tracked.

What can you do?

One time passwords are the answer. You use them once, and then go to the next one in the list.
However, as I found, they are not simple to get working in the first place. So, here's a quick guide.

Don't mess with this too much remotely, or be prepared for it to go wrong because you're messing with ssh login here and if you mess up (don't blame me), you'll be locked out.

will need "UsePAM yes" in it

will need to look something like:

auth required pam_nologin.so
auth optional pam_afpmount.so
auth sufficient pam_ppp.so
auth sufficient pam_securityserver.so
auth sufficient pam_unix.so
#auth required pam_deny.so

Basically that will ask for the one time password first and if that fails it will then ask you for your normal password.
You can generate a list of passwords using the gmail-otp package, amoungst others.

The next thing you might need is a putty.exe like java applet in case you can't put a USB stick in the cafe.

Hope this helps

11 Oct 2010

Kindle DX / Kindle3 3G Roaming Hack?

Amazon are including free 3G international. That's a first and it makes for some exciting possibilities.

Right now it's possible to web browse pretty much everywhere on the experimental browser.
But that isn't great. Good for email though; that's a world's first. And people don't seemed to be charged... yet.

A few things are unclear and need investigation:
- does it drop back to GPRS in lieu of 3G/Edge?
- there's surely got to be a data limit transfer
- is the SIM hard linked to the hardware? Can this be hacked for use in a 3G dongle? Is MAC spoofing needed? Someone out there must have investigated this? Is it a mini sim? I wonder if that's why they have mini sims - to slow people down on that.
- what about cracking open the kindle and trying to turn it into a wireless 3G access point? a-la Joikuspot ? Need firmware info on that. Probably too hard to do.

A few things that need to be said:
- generally amazon aren't charging for roaming but something like $5/week is on the cards
- there is an international version and a US version. I suggest you research the 2 thoroughly.
- the association with DRM I think will kill it in that software problems are unlikely to be fixed by the masses for them. Have to keep an eye on this though; you never know. It does seem a bit doomed.
- if you're going to mess about try to protect your account somehow

Here's the most detail I've found so far:

Basically it's only great for novels at this point in time. Better to wait for the Notation Adam with it's fast response full colour e-ink display.

More to follow on this....
but before you leave, just to let you know that this blog has a few things about being connected globally on the move, road warrior style.

Found some more pictures. I'd love to take that simcard and put it in my phone!!

even though as Tierston says it well:
"As I doubt you'll listen, here are technical reasons why you shouldn't do this. You end up connected to the Amazon Whispernet network. You don't have unrestricted access to the internet and you obviously can't make or receive calls. Only web access is allowed and it has to go via Amazon web proxy servers. Some countries don't have unrestricted web access via 3G and are restricted to the Kindle store and Wikipedia. If Amazon notice you doing this which is very likely since your usage pattern won't be anything like a normal Kindle then they're going to ban you and your Kindle as this violates the Kindle terms of service."

While what people say is true, if you correctly change the browserID and keep usage ultra low I don't see why you wouldn't get away with checking emails and wikipedia with something other than a kindle. I think really this is just a matter of time before this happens. Hopefully what Amazon will do is block those who use more than they should, keeping the balance sheet in check. I don't condone the breaking of TOS but morally and hypothetically I would be ok with people doing this; turn off images and flash and you're using less than the kindle browser would.

jyavenard on http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=60006 puts it well:
"Amazon giving us *free* internet access to some sites is a bonus that wasn't even supposed to be there in the first place. Getting around their restrictions will cost Amazon heaps of $$$ and they could pull the plug to everyone...
I prefer restricted free internet, than no internet at all "

This is important now because I was going to buy a kindle purely for the web browsing but I think now it might be removed (as I suspected) so I won't do it just yet. I'm waiting to be able to read PDFs properly with an eink display really.


The kindle GSM doesn't work in many countries! You can get it working by changing simcards though:
1. change sim card in kindle
2. commented these lines in /opt/amazon/ebook/config/browser_prefs
#settings.proxy.hostname = fints-g7g.amazon.com
#settings.proxy.portnumber = 80
#settings.proxy.sslportnumber = 80
btw, if you don't want your kindle to be recognized online as mobile device, change browser identification string in the same file to smt like this:
user_agent.base = Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; Linux 2.6.22)
3. changed DNS server's ip addresses to my GSM provider's in /etc/resolv.d/resolf.conf.3
4. changed some settings in /etc/ppp/chat/connect-3 to be compagtible with my GSM provider's settings (dialing number and AT+CGDCONT connection string)
5. rebooted kindle and thats it! internet worked

kudos to `ooommm` for that

Here's teh kindle dx dissected:
The simcard is close to the side. You could put a hole in teh casing for quicker swapping, but I don't know if not removing the battery is good enough to get another simcard working... plus, do you really want to mess with simcards on the move like that when you get to a country outside of `whispernet` coverage.
Here's root shell if you got here from google:

2 Oct 2010

Norway payg mobile broadband

In norway at the mo. Got some info for you.

2 networks. Telenor and Netcom. Netcom pay as you go data seems to be at the time of writing ~£0.20p/mb. Telenor, not sure. MMS international certainly a lot, only managed to send 2 with <20kr>
"Telenor offers unlimited Traffic for 50 NOK (6,5€) / 24h. Counter re-starts at midnight. "

Topping up (refill) is not so easy on telenor if you don't speak Norwiegan of course. One way is buy a top up in a shop and ask them to help (nicely, and in a quiet time!). Online, try this - telenor.no > look for `lad` click that - then you can put the amount and your number. It can be a game getting it right the first time. Start the number with the 9. If that doesn't work start it with 00479... (10 digit I think)

I've been using this to work on a website for someone- http://www.oakparksecurity.org.uk/businessAccessControl.shtml

17 Aug 2010

Free airport WiFi

You can bypass some airport wifi that's been setup not so secure. Pretty handy for phone calls, why is it usually £20/day for a wifi spot in Brazil, who pays that? Truth is you're only using it for a few moments to check a few things and to save money, so there's no point in paying for that is there?

The best thing to do is get a local simcard with pay-as-you-go 3G internet on it, then you got it all... in theory. Yes it's a pain to do when you pass through 3 countries in one day & eeception is a problem in every country but it's possible.

If your job is online only, it's perfectly possible to roam the world. The only thing is in practice reception makes this not so good in reality. I'd love to make this my reality. Is this how you run your life? -I'd love to hear from you.