Ivor O’Connor

February 25, 2014

Passwords…

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 10:00 pm

I have not lost a password in decades. And I don’t use a password manager like LastPass. At $12 the price is not the problem. The problem is I don’t like the idea of trusting a third party with passwords.

My passwords are created with a unix utility called pwgen. With all the security issues in the last few years I’ve started making passwords for each particular site. Long ones made of 15 to 25 characters with the command “pwgen -Bsy 15 1”. However entering these on the android is difficult. Finding special characters, numbers, even mixed case, is difficult. So I started thinking about using only the letters that are visible from the main input window on the phone. Basically the 26 letters a-z in lower case. Versus a-z, A-Z, 0-9, and about 33 strange looking characters for a total of about 95.

So putting it into a spreadsheet I see that 95**5 is roughly equal to 26**7. Meaning to brute force bust a 5 character password where each char could be 1 of 95 is the same as cracking a 7 character password of lower case letters. So now I do something like “pwgen -0AB  21 1”.

Entering in six more characters may seem like more work but in reality it is less. Keep in mind you have to make modal switches requiring one or two additional key strokes to get to the next character. So entering five characters from the pool of 95 or so takes about 10 keystrokes. So as many as 45 keystrokes for a 15 alpha-numeric random password versus a constant 21 keystrokes for an equally hard to break password consisting of only lowercase letters. Averaging that out to 1 extra modal switch results in 30 keystrokes versus 21 for only a-z. So my passwords are all of one particular case now.

Another way to look at it is via typing speed. My hunt and peck speed for special characters is slow. Frightfully slow.

February 23, 2014

Speeding Up Media

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 4:35 pm

Podcasts are much more enjoyable if they are sped up. Most of conversation is filled with pleasantry that does not add to the narrative. Then there are the common idioms that take so much time to express. When sped up your concentration is rewarded with the meat of the subject making things finally interesting. I normally speed up my medium somewhere between 1.6 to 3.0. It depends on the signal to noise ratio. If it is a subject I don’t know much about and I want to hear every detail then 1.6x is about right. If it is something that has little to offer 3.0 is about right. I get to hear the gist of most everything.

The application “Podcast Addict” is great for doing this on the phone. Youtube videos I don’t have a good solution for. Currently I’m downloading them via “minitube” and then speeding them up with “VLC”. Then deleting them manually. I’m sure there is a better solution but I have not found it yet.

I’ve been doing this for a while. Maybe my ear has changed. These days I find myself unable to listen or watch a video at normal speed…

February 4, 2014

T-Mobile Cheaper & Faster Than Verizon FiOS!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 5:20 pm

I have the pre-paid unlimited 4G from T-Mobile for $70 a month and the Android Google Nexus 5. The Nexus 5 comes unlocked and you can tether your laptop via WiFi or the mini USB wire. It comes built in that way and no special software is needed. The unlimited 4G is not suppose to be ever throttled despite whether you use 5GBs or 5,000GBs per month. (I use about 20GBs per month.) I’ve been using the USB tether for months and have told people I do not notice any difference between T-Mobile and my FiOS which is 25 up and 25 down for $99 a month.

Normally I tell people my 4G speed is about 12Mb/s, about half my FiOS, but that websites are so slow you don’t notice the difference. Well today I tested my T-Mobile connection against my FiOS connection using speedtest.net. The FiOS speeds were 15ms ping, 25.46Mb/s down, and 24.01Mb/s up. T-Mobile was 37ms ping, 33.14mb/s down, and 18.98mp/s up.

So how do I take advantage of this? How do I set up my home network router to use my cell phone for the internet? I’m sure it is possible somehow.

Future Apocalypse?

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 1:25 am

I was watching and reading this interview http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/21/elon-musk-interview_n_4613227.html and was surprised by the pessimism and talk of religion.

  • “I’m more optimistic than Stephen Hawking or Martin Rees, the head of the Royal Society in Britain. He thinks it is quite likely that our civilization will end in this century. I hope he is wrong.”
  • “The birth rate is inversely correlated to wealth, education and religious. The wealthier and more educated you are, the less children you have. Religion, however, is closely correlated to having children. The more religious you are, the more children you have. This is true across countries and within countries.”
  • “Religious extremism. If that grows over time, particularly if it is an anti-science Luddite form, is an obvious threat.”

I’m also surprised he feels the need for increasing our world population. Seems we humans are an out of control virus. We currently have about 7 billion people on the planet and it looks like we will have 10 billion before there is any hope things will get under control. My own point of view is that we would be better off at under 1 billion people. I suppose one person’s utopia is another person’s apocalypse. Though I hope my utopia is achieved by people realizing they are capable of doing much more than having families and the world population rights itself through attrition. Not via zealots with bibles and pitch forks.

February 3, 2014

vim.spf13.com The Ultimate Vim Distribution

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 7:02 pm

I got tired of it before because it was so buggy. So many things thrown together that were not documented and either did not work or conflicted with things in another way. Like the line numbers that were relative instead of absolute and couldn’t be changed. Today though I tried installing it to see how it has progressed in the last half year. (Spf13 is free and done by a single passionate person so it is one of those scenarios I always hope for the best but realize he probably has no more time than I do.)

Well the line numbers are now absolute but the documentation is still terrible. If you press <leader>tt as instructed on the website an error message pops up about a plugin not being installed. The website says “Note: For full language support, run brew install ctags to install exuberant-ctags.” I assume “brew” is for macintoshes because there is no such command on linux. If that is not bad documentation then you can look into how to use PIV. There are no links or explanations. These examples of poor documentation could be elaborated on for hours.

Basically spf13 has every bundle imaginable thrown in until things are not working. I thought I would keep at it and spend an hour a day on each one of the bundles figuring out not only what they were suppose to do but the keystrokes needed to do them. I spent a few hours doing this. But then I gave up because on this laptop spf13 slows things down to the point I’m working around the pauses and hoping things will eventually show as I typed them. They don’t though. So say if you are putting in <br/> at the beginning of lines that need it by positioning the cursor on the line and repeating the I<br/><esc> by pressing ‘.’ it will not work. Instead one of the bundles removes the ‘<>’ brackets.

I’m writing this to myself so that the next time I’m thinking of installing spf13 I’ll know why it won’t work. It’s far too slow. Makes bad assumptions. Is undocumented. And would require me to learn it and the packages which takes more effort than me installing and learning the packages myself.

On a side note it is easy to get rid of:

  • rm -Rf spf13-vim-3/
  • mv .vimrc.local .vimrc
  • rm .vimrc.bundles

Keep in mind to make a copy of your .vimrc before you install spf13 though.

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