Author Archives for Tyler

Sending data via cellular voice connections with Linux

“A5/1 [the encryption scheme used in most cellular voice calls] has operated unchanged for the last 21 years but it has now reached its cryptographic end-of-life, engulfed by the march of Moore’s Law. However, the operational end-of-life of A5/1 may still be decades away as there are approximately 2 billion GSM subscribers, commanding about 80% of [...]

Creating a local mirror of Ubuntu’s most popular packages

The problem You want to create local mirrors of the apt repositories that you use but you don’t have enough hard drive space to mirror every package. Or maybe you have a slow link and you don’t want to spend time downloading packages that you’re unlikely to need. The solution Only mirror packages whose popularity [...]

Downloading photos from Facebook with Linux

Tommy Murphy recently released photograbber, a simple Python/tkinter app that uses the Facebook API to… 1. Find all the photos that you’ve been tagged in and… 2. Download each photo to a chosen directory. It worked fine for me after I fixed a trivial tkinter bug. Right now I’m adapting photograbber to download entire albums [...]

Secure browser-based communications

Introduction I’ve often wanted to securely send a message to someone who didn’t have a serious software package like GPG installed. Rather than ask them to install software they might not use ever again, I employed the scheme described below – it only requires a web browser with Javascript support. Our friends Alice and Bob [...]

Not every OS can be as correct as OpenBSD

Here’s a really impressive method to provide memory safety for your favorite kernel that so desperately lacks it: the “Secure Virtual Architecture”. See… This 24MB 21min Quicktime video… and the accompanying PDF slides… and the research paper itself – Secure Virtual Architecture: A Safe Execution Environment for Commodity Operating Systems. See especially page 5 for [...]

Christi Grace at Boulder Coffee

I went to the new Brooks Landing Boulder Coffee Co. last night with Tessah and Jared to see my friend Christi play ukelele. She rocked it for at least and hour and a half seated, fittingly I think, in front of a wonderwoman painting. She played most of the material from her new album, Snakeskin, [...]

A Flickr macro for MoinMoin

Would you like to include Flickr photos in your MoinMoin wiki pages? Here’s a MoinMoin macro that allows you to do just that. The code is a little ugly, but I was inspired by this affirmation of the “release early, release often” philosophy to make the source available. Slide on over to my wiki to [...] is is a stripped-down file-hosting service (cf. that has four “new-to-me” features:2 You can earn money when people download your files via their affiliate program. Your audience can access your files via HTTPS. An honest dedication to free speech and free software. You can upload your files via FTP-over-explicit-SSL (FTPES). Their support page doesn’t list [...]


Phew! I’m home. Time for some maths… 34 days 15 states 3,900 miles(!) $310 spent on fossil fuel 27 MPG average in my Mazda3 $70 spent on tolls, mostly on the East coast $350 spent on lodging $10 per night on average – not bad! For the nitty gritty, take a look at my Tulsa/Denver [...]

A Bash “edit-in-place” idiom

I use a shell script called `` to launch my music player and open a given internet radio station. I use it like this to tune to a local AM station: $ 1370 I usually edit small scripts like that with `nano(1)`. Rather than type the entire path to the script when I need [...]