Monday, July 22, 2013

a look on the Google's two-factor auth

Now that I've been burned and had to enforce two-factor authentication for a private mail account (which obviously I thought it wasn't worth it), I get to look at the implementation options they've included. And I have to say I'm really impressed.

First factor - something you know - your password
Second factor - something you have - the phone or a dongle or a piece of paper. Or an application, as we'll see.

Right ? That we know.

A carefully crafted two-factor authentication which I've only started to use yesterday, being forced to do so ( ha ... ) gives you these options:

1. the mobile phone - receive SMS with the codes.
2. an app on the mobile phone. Google Authenticator. This generates the codes on your mobile, and it's the missing link between the site and you, because it won't involve your mobile operator delivering the SMS messages in due time. They tend to delay SMS messages, specifically when they're overloaded (on Christmas, for example)
3. backup codes. This is the piece of paper on which you write the access keys.
4. backup mobile phone ! You can add your wife's, or your second mobile, should you lose the main device. This looks like you can have the backup dongle receiving the SMS codes.

As a user, I now have:

- the dongle: my first mobile device
- at least one second dongle: my wife's device
- the application running on the first mobile device
- the piece of paper

So yes, they've implemented this geeky method in a smart way.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

being cracked on gmail

it's not pretty. I experienced this today, and the frustration is exactly the same as I discovered my car has been broken into, several years ago. 

It was a matter of minutes. Actually, when I received the SMS [we "prevented" a suspicious login], I actually had a browser tab opened to the emails ! When I refreshed, ups ! enter your password ! I think it only took 4 minutes to regain total control of the account, however: imagine my embarrassment when a friend SMSed me: hey you have a virus, you've mailed the entire gmail list of emails !

Whaaaaat ? no mail in the send folder, instead I started to receive tons of OOF and several "Mail Delivery Subsystem" informing that those addresses no longer exist. Doh .... the damage was done, the bot that cracked my account scanned the entire list and send a crap mail with a link to a phishing site, probably. I hope you've not opened it !

No other damage done and information loss on my side. Except for my reputation :)

So, more 30 minutes of frustration later [and some curses, we Romanians excel at that, English is really poor ... ] I thought I had to drop keeping contacts with Google and syncing with Android, pretty much the only commodity really useful on the smartphone for me.

Then I remember I have to check the Google's two factor authentication. This is not a new concept for me. We used it in at least two projects, I use it all the time working online with the bank, I'm rather familiar with it. But, I would have never thought I might need to get into it for private mails ! C'mon ! Two factor authentication is way too geeky ! I use gmail to register on sites and to exchange mails occasionally !

So here you have it, even if you think it doesn't matter, being cracked can be embarrassing, so get on the two-factor authentication. Times are truly changing.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Notes 9 finally search "All Mails and Archives"

I'm stunned, I must have missed this somehow since I upgraded to Notes 9, probably because I gave up on hoping it would ever work ?

However, someone else have to be joking me, they're suggesting how to actually disable the search "All Mails and Archives", they even did a video on it !

Really, you're kidding ! Why would I want to do to that ? Recall 2009, when Radu's started to get frustrated on the exact same issue, being an early adopter and mocking upfront with this beautiful platform

So ... no no no, I'll not disable it, on contrary, I'll use it more often now !

Process for new kids on the block, I keep seeing bad usage, here's how to correct:

1. Have your local mail replicas -- NEVER use the server one, NEVER ! -- if you don't know what a Notes local replica is .... saint Google's here to help, search for "Lotus Notes local mail replicas" :)
2. Setup your archival process. Usually nowadays one archive will be enough. I still see people making one archive per year ... neah, those days are gone now !
3. Use the menu's top right hand side "All Mails and Archives" as you see in above video, just make sure you DON'T disable it ... ha

Saturday, April 20, 2013

cross browser bookmarks sync on the same box ? not yet possible

I'm waiting for Mozilla and Google to come to an agreement, so I can easily import each other's bookmarks.

This is a longer history for me, I want them cross-synced, because I use one or the other depending on the split second decision when I need to get into a browser :)

I pretty much know the alternatives, cloud sync, mobile sync, I don't care. I'd consider myself a somewhat power user which needs to get his bookmarks in these two browsers, exactly the same. Without a third party, without plugins and other crapware.

Currently the master is FF, I used to export to a .html file, then import to Chrome. Somehow this has started to fail lately, not sure if this is a bug or not.

But how about Firefox Sync and Google Bookmarks interoperability ? Their clouds talk to each other, sync my bookmarks and spare me the extra step.

Friday, April 12, 2013

dropped blogger dynamic views

keep it simple is the motto I should have followed in the first place. As much as I used to found Dynamic Views attractive, I have to admit they're also weird.

I use this place to post things I found interesting and share my experiences. I don't wanna create a magazine.

So I've reverted the template, where you can find the archives, my mail [for head hunters, I haven't dropped the email and I haven't got used to reading messages on other social networks. And I haven't ceased to the FB miraje, I still think it's kinda waste of time, so don't look me over there]

Then I also recovered the feedburner feed, the widget of proud contributor to World Community Grid and the lovely latest entries.

I really hope to become more active here, again ...

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

SwiftFile Mail Assistant

I'm curious about how many Notes customers out there knew about it, installed it and used/using it on a daily basis:

Google returns 1500 results, couple of blogs and pretty much nothing else.

I can bet this is one of those things which would have been so good to have integrated in the product's default functionality, very useful but never made it the prime time ....

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

eclipse's orion

I've watched several articles about Orion, Eclipse's web based development tools. But never got in their hosted hub, to test and play. Until today :)

Now, that's worth the note to make it popular, it's for sure something ground breaking.

For now they allow CSS and JS. Good enough, let's see what's it capable of, I only suspect good things

Sunday, February 10, 2013

my ssh fast path

This is a collection of past week digging and mocking SSH things. Here's what I have:

1. a neat Gnome Terminal alternative is quake-[ohhhh that Quake !]-like terminal

have handy the terminal sliding down from the screen, clearing my panel to sometimes 5 to 10 terminals [sorry, didn't get to switch tabs in Gnome Terminal]

2. very useful article about tweaking local ~/.ssh/config, several things I applied from it:

3. another very useful script which you can use to perform auto-complete to hosts you regularly use.

Managing SSH connections: this is a topic I've been attempted to get my life easier from some time ago.
First I got on different SSH managers. That sucks, I'm already on linux, c'mon !

Second I got to manage ssh connections in simple .sh scripts. With my limited scripting shell abilities, I soon got bored :) Then I had to have different users/hosts combination, I'd needed to duplicate them, eventually.

Enter hosts autocomplete: you define your own hosts on ~/.ssh/config, then enter ssh followed by usual bash Alt key, all hosts found will get displayed.

At the end, here's my current  ~/.ssh/config

tada@tada:~/.ssh$ cat config
ControlMaster auto
ControlPath /tmp/ssh_mux_%h_%p_%r
ControlPersist 2h
TCPKeepAlive no
ServerAliveInterval 60
ServerAliveCountMax 10

#add hosts here, not /etc/hosts :) nice difference to NOT mix them

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