Syntax highlighter Archive

Adding a dimension to your photos

Have you ever wanted to transform a run-of-the-mill photograph into a complete 3D scene automagically like Jack Black does in this mildly-NSFW 35MiB 2min clip from Enemy of the State? Well too bad — it’s just not possible to ascertain details that are hidden from the camera’s view! You can get pretty close, though, with [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Editing files as root with Emacs and Tramp

Did you know that you can use an existing non-privileged instance of Emacs to open files as root? Yep, Emacs includes a module called TRAMP which can use sudo to read and write files. As is usually the case, I had to work sweat a little to make it work. My problem was that my [...]

Determining who acted in two known films

Have you ever seen someone in a movie and thought to yourself “Hey, weren’t they in movie Y too?” This happened to me last night when I was watching ”Casino”. The parking lot attendant from a certain scene looked just like a character from ”Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”. To the *nix shell, Robin!</Bruce [...]