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  • VPN on Android, OpenVPN seems the only choice.

    Posted on April 30th, 2012 admin No comments

    So you want to have secure email and files while on a suspect network and they are all suspect unless you built, secured and have complete control of them (paranoid I know, but as a CEO of a company I used to work for said “Only the paranoid survive”).

    Well when it comes to Android (and iPhone/iPad for that matter) the choices are PPTP, L2TP (with no IPSec and PSK or CRT). There are also OpenVPN clients.

    In this comparison of PPTP, L2TP and OpenVPN (a bit outdated that I will explain in a moment), PPTP (the native VPN for iPads and iPhones), though can tunnel, it offers no real security and can easily be compromised by a “Man in the middle attack”.

    L2TP is slow, can be hard to set up and doesn’t handle multi-hop networks well. You can combine it with IPSec (though most routers and BSD firewall don’t support L2TP/IPSec combinations) but again that adds even more slowness and complexity.

    OpenVPN is wonderfully fast, very secure and can be hardened to the point of NSA approval. It is also open-source so everyone can look at the works and help with issues fixes. Multihop is supported and the clients have made setup a breeze.

    Contrary to the chart there are clients for Android: OpenVPN is available but you have to have your device rooted and have Busybox installed.

    FeatVPN doesn’t require root as all nor Busybox! There is a free “lite” version that gives you a 1 hour session before disconnecting or the full version for $4.95, but with it’s easy of installation and flawless execution it is well worth the price!

    if you are using the “Free WiFi” at your local coffee house or hotel network, having a Roadwarrior OpenVPN setup is a must for those without corporate VPNs to keep them safe.

  • How to secure your cloud storage

    Posted on April 28th, 2012 admin No comments

    Okay now you have your Skydrive, Google-drive and/or Dropbox, but all of them can access, read and copy your data and some of that data might be private (to you at least).

    Enter Cloudfogger; automatic AES encryption for cloud storage with clients for Windowsand Android. iPhone is coming “Soon” according it the site, no word on OSX.

    Looks really nice, fast, easy and secure. Only complaint: it isn’t open source.

  • How to upgrade your MS Skydrive from 7 to 25gbs free!

    Posted on April 26th, 2012 admin No comments

    Unlike Google, MS at least says your data on their skydrive is yours…

    Here’s how to get the max amount on Skydrive for Free:
    Go to skydrive.live.com, click on Manage storage on the left, then click on “Free Update” select button and you now have 25gbs for free!

  • Blowing out the dust

    Posted on April 25th, 2012 admin No comments

    It’s spring cleaning time! Especially here in the desert where 80F summertime room temperatures can kill a computer with dust bunny clogged fans.

    I usually got though at least 4 to 6 cans of compressed gas (rotating as one freezes into non-use), blowing out computers, servers, UPSes and anything else with vents and usually do that twice a year (about the equinoxes).

    3.5oz pairs cans of compressed gas go for about $10s, I go through at least 3 packs and usually more if I am helping our friends, family, friends of family, family of friends, well you get the idea…

    That and I am always having to buy a can either because my last one quit just before I have the job done or it went flat waiting for the next blow out.

    That’s why the Metro DataVac electric Duster is SO COOL!

    It is about the cost of 5 packs but will pay for itself in under a year with me, is always at the ready is more powerful than a can of compressed gas and never freezes up! It is also a lot more green (no can, no gases to hurt the environment and mo car needed to pick on a new one!

    I am still going to keep one can of compressed gas around for photo uses when dust is a worry but this is perfect for the computer spring cleaning of most of the time when a can of gas would have been needed.

  • The Samsung Galaxy Note, the biggest thing in Android

    Posted on April 6th, 2012 admin 1 comment

    I have been having a blast using a Samsung Galaxy Note. First, Yes It’s big, I’ve gotten that comment from every apple cultist I know. Even the Waitress at my local Red Robin had to make a comment while the local Apple-ite sitting across the tablet from me was insulting my new toy.
    Well it isn’t an iPhone, as a matter of fact it is about a 180 from the iPhone philosophy!
    It has a stylus (ya, I can hear the Apple ewwweee again), it is big and it isn’t a phone. it’s a phabulet(fabulous phone tablet)!
    I have always wanted a replacement for my old beloved Franklin Planner, The Microsoft Courier looked like the right candidate before MS lost its nerve and cancelled the project (Balmer has to be the worst thing that ever happened to MS, no courage at all!),

    MS has been a technological coward since 2007: Zune, better than an iPod (better OPLs, better sound) never advertized, killed.

    The tablet-PC, I love my Toshiba Portege MS convertible PC laptop/tablet, signing PDFs and Word docs and faxing without having to print and scan? Excellent! MS killed it!

    And then there was the Courier, the dual screened tablet concept that closed like a book (beloved Franklin Planner anyone?) with camera, stylus and clamshell design to protect the screens. MS claimed that they couldn’t get the battery life to work but with 2 screens and only one processor and the tegra-2’s sipping of battery, I doubt it. MS just has developed into a pathetic “Me-too” philosophy, they can only make the same product that someone else is.

    News to Microsoft: there’s already a great iPad available if someone wants an iPad, it’s called the IPAD! If someone wants something like an iPod, they will probably buy an umm…ya, an iPod. Make something else!

    Well, I digress…the Note isn’t like a Franklin Planner, it is more like the Moleskin I always carry around in case I am caught in the hallway with a “hey can you do this?” request that I know will evaporate from my brain before I get to my desk. It uses a stylus (just like real note books), you know that stick like things we liked with our Palm Pilots, iPaqs (still have a hx4700 kicking around) and my PC tablet and it’s a real stylus by Wacom, just like by Cintiq and Inuits on my desktop with pressure sensitivity so it works like a pen or brush. The screen is magnificent at 5.3″, nice for looking things up when caught in a server room, reading Kindle or e-books and for Google Maps….OMG amazing! Nice 8m camera, Oled display that even looks good outside in sunlight!
    Minor issues, the screen lock prevents bluetooth headset linking, should be fixed with Ice Cream Sandwich (the new OS coming in a month or so). The stylus (ok s-pen but it is still a stylus) does scrape up my Ghost Armor (which they kindly replace for free every time I am in my local mall but it is an issue). Still recommend the Ghost Armor too, really nice!

    Update: One thing I haven’t seen in any reviews: While all current cell phones are WiFi capable, all do 802.11b, some do 802.11n but the note does 802.11n in 5.2ghz, most wifi-n devices only work in the “n” 2.6ghz range! The only other device I have that does 5.2ghz is the laptop I upgraded myself with an Intel AGN card! Nice Samsung! It’s nice to have n in a high frequency so it doesn’t compete with my BG channels and also doesn’t get interference from my microwave and other electronics. the 2.6 is a “dump” frequency for most home appliances and cordless phones.