technology

Moving GPG Keys Privately

3 minute read Published

How to privately move your GPG keys from one machine to another.

If you’re a software developer working ethically you’re almost certainly using GnuPG to sign your work. And if you’ve been at it for any length of time you’ve almost certainly been forced to switch machines. Unless your aim is to create a new identity for each machine you use (please don’t) you need a simple, repeatable strategy moving GPG keys privately. Let me show you how.

Git-based Continuous Delivery with Rio

16 minute read Published

Using Rio in a compact Kubernetes cluster for Git-based continuous delivery.

Rio is a MicroPaaS for Kubernetes designed to run using minimal resources. Rio provides automatic DNS and HTTPS, load balancing, routing, metrics and more. Use it to remove the chore of creating and managing a secure IT infrastructure.

k3s is a lightweight, certified Kubernetes distribution capable of running on constrained hardware and therefore ideal for local, edge and IoT substrates. K3s was originally developed for Rio but useful enough to stand on its own.

Today I’m going to show you how to easily set-up k3s and Rio on Manjaro Linux and use them to create a self-hosted, git-based continuous delivery pipeline to serve your own website.

If you’re not yet familiar with Kubernetes, no problem. Please let this gentle introduction serve as your practical guide. When you’re finished you’ll have a better understanding of the concepts and tools used in container orchestration and a shiny new website you can use to demonstrate your skills.

The Bomb I Took on 30 Flights

2 minute read Enclosure Published

I thought I bought an Apple; what I got was a lemon. A flammable one at that.

Years ago I built my own computers from parts sourced by a Chinaman who ran a small warehouse in an industrial park in Westmont, Illinois. No big box retailer could beat him on price and so I eventually became a loyal customer of Han’s. My most frequent purchases were 3.5” SATA drives which I used for system backups.

When I moved to Bali I chose not to lug around those large SATA drives. Instead I bit the bullet, dropped a cool three grand on a MacBook Pro and started paying for iCloud – expecting Apple to keep my data safe. Sadly that was a mistake.

Beyond Incognito

2 minute read Updated

Block your computer from making requests to known ad and malware servers.

I read an article on Medium titled How to encrypt your entire life in less than an hour. The article provided a number of tips for staying secure digitally. One of the tips was to use the Tor browser because popular browsers such as Safari and Chrome were not private enough – even in private mode.

What the author didn’t tell you was that it’s possible to increase your privacy without switching browsers using Dan Pollock's hosts file. A quick look at the file describes exactly what it does…

Alternatives to Firefox on Manjaro Linux

6 minute read Updated

A quick rundown of Firefox browser alternatives you should be aware of.

Last week Firefox suffered multiple zero-day vulnerabilities, prompting renewed interest in a browser discussion thread on the Manjaro Forums.

Ironically the reason I’m using Manjaro in the first place is because macOS itself had several zero-day vulnerabilities recently, prompting me to perform a serious back-up of macOS and all my files on iCloud.

Thankfully switching browsers is trivial compared to switching operating systems on macOS. So herein I’ll show you how to easily install a few different browsers so you can try them out and decide for yourself which you prefer.

When I Stopped Trusting Apple

3 minute read Published

How I lost my trust for Apple as an American, and what I'm doing about it.

Trust is like the stock market. Escalator up, elevator down. When an individual places trust in something they typically do so because that trust has been won through unwavering commitment over time. When we speak of brand trust – or trust with a company – committed relationships work much the same. Especially as that trust applies to technology in an era of cloud.

But here’s the thing about trust. If it’s not built with transparency, it is created under false pretenses – smoke and mirrors – and, in the long-term, will never stand. This is the unfortunate case with Apple. And here I will explain exactly when I stopped trusting them and why, and what I’m doing about it.

How to Make a Branded URL Shortener

3 minute read Updated

Learn how to make your own branded tiny URLs for your website or blog.

Tiny URLs, otherwise known as short links. We’ve all used them to shorten URLs. Sometimes for sharing y2u.be videos. Or to make some cheese using amzn.to. Perhaps even to view someone else’s analytics data. And though some may lead you to believe short URLs can be dangerous, used thoughtfully they make a useful addition in your link building strategy. Learn how to make your own branded tiny URLs free in under 5 minutes.

Managing Async Dependencies with JavaScript

4 minute read Updated

Managing asynchronous dependencies with JavaScript can be a nightmare. But there's a better way. It's called Fetch Injection.

I’ve long been inspired by the work of Steve Souders. Back in 2009 Steve published an article titled Loading Scripts Without Blocking, which I first became aware of and studied during my time at Orbitz – where every millisecond a user waited for the page to load had a measurable impact to the business.

Steve’s work was instrumental for performance-critical websites and apps, and even inspired Nicholas C. Zakas to write Loading JavaScript without Blocking the same month Steve’s book Even Faster Web Sites was published.

Secure Your Digital Life

8 minute read Updated

Safeguard your privacy online. Arm yourself with knowledge and use these tips, tools and techniques to secure your digital life.

I’m no Steve Wozniak but I carry a healthy distrust of computers. After hearing of the Equifax data breach affecting the privacy of more than 145 million Americans, learning Uber paid and tried to cover up the loss of 57 million driver and passenger records and seeing the lasting impact of the Meltdown attack I’m starting to understand the gravity this quote from Woz:

4 Years Without Facebook

3 minute read Updated

How social media controls you. From a free-thinker in a society controlled by social media.

After a four year hiatus, I recently rejoined Facebook to give it another shot. Here’re some insights I gained since I left.

Take Flight with the Monero CLI Wallet

3 minute read Published

Be your own bank. Store your secure, private and untraceable cryptocurrency and keep it safe from prying eyes. Learn to take flight with the Monero CLI wallet.

Monero is a secure, private, and untraceable cryptocurrency. It is open-source and accessible to all. With Monero, you are your own bank. Only you control and are responsible for your funds. Your accounts and transactions are kept private from prying eyes. Learn how to install the Monero CLI wallet. There’s only one way…

Arise, you have nothing to lose but your barbed wire fences!

Timothy C. May, The Crypto Anarchist Manifesto