Titan Password Manager

It seems like everyone is using a password manager these days. If you’re a Linux administrator, well you’re not left out. There’s a command line password manager called Titan which allows you to manage passwords that you administer. No more scribbling your password credentials on pieces of paper or placing them on insecure note applications on your desktop. You can now save your server credentials via the command line. You can recall them at anytime and even generate passwords for you. One thing it will not do is work on browsers like LastPass. Titan is strictly on passwords that you use via the command line. For more, check out this article from OSTechnix.

Google Image Encoder

There’s a new open-source image encoder from Google that can reduce jpeg files even further, as far down as 35%. The resulting reduction results in faster loading websites and less waiting times. The new image reduction algorithm is called Guetzli, which means cookie in Swiss German.

Guetzli works during what is known as the quantization stage, in which parts of the visual quality are reduced to make the file smaller. Guetzli tries to minimize the quality loss while still making the cuts necessary to improve the file size, the post said.

Read TechRepublic’s post about Guetzli.

Best Buy MacBook Air at $800

The 2015 13-inch MacBook Air is normally $999, but Best Buy is now offering it for just $800. This is according to PC World. The article says, “This particular Air comes with a 13.3-inch display with 1440×900 resolution, a 1.6 GHz dual-core Intel “Broadwell” Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM, 128GB onboard storage, SDXC card reader, and a Thunderbolt 2 port. There’s also a MagSafe adapter, two USB 3 ports, and a headphone jack.”

Green Recorder

If you want a really simple screen recorder in Ubuntu Linux or from any derivative of Ubuntu, such as Mint for example, you can install it by adding this PPA repository to your sources, by running the following Terminal commands:

Install Green Recorder on Ubuntu

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mhsabbagh/greenproject
$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt install green-recorder

It contains a really simple interface. It will ask you what format, the name of the recorded file, where to place the recording, the number of frames per second, and the quality of the video from a range starting with 1 being the best to 10 being the worst.

Visit the Green Recorder website.

This is Why I Quit Yahoo Mail

This is why I quit using Yahoo Mail six months ago! How many times is enough? This time it’s forged cookies! Thankfully, I didn’t get that additional notification from Yahoo that my account was targeted. Whew! A close call, but you can never be sure. Anyways, here’s the message I received this morning.

“Dear Ulysses,

We are writing to inform you about a data security issue that involves your Yahoo account. We have taken steps to secure your account and are working closely with law enforcement.

Our outside forensic experts have been investigating the creation of forged cookies that could allow an intruder to access users’ accounts without a password. Based on the ongoing investigation, we believe a forged cookie may have been used in 2015 or 2016 to access your account. We have connected some of the cookie forging activity to the same state-sponsored actor believed to be responsible for the data theft we disclosed on September 22, 2016. Those users targeted by the state-sponsored actor were sent an additional notification like the one found here: https://help.yahoo.com/kb/SLN26995.html.

We invalidated the forged cookies and hardened our systems to secure them against similar attacks. We continuously enhance our safeguards and systems that detect and prevent unauthorized access to user accounts.

We encourage you to follow these security recommendations:

  • Review all of your accounts for suspicious activity.
  • Be cautious of any unsolicited communications that ask for your personal information or refer you to a web page asking for personal information.
  • Avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments from suspicious emails.

Additionally, please consider using Yahoo Account Key, a simple authentication tool that eliminates the need to use a password on Yahoo altogether.

For More Information

For more information about this issue and our security resources, please visit the Yahoo Account Security Issue FAQs page available at https://yahoo.com/security-update.

Protecting your information is important to us and we work continuously to strengthen our defenses.

Sincerely,

Bob Lord
Chief Information Security Officer
Yahoo”

Facebook Video Auto Play

Nothing is more infuriating that going to a website with a video playing on the background. That is what Facebook is exactly doing. They are now playing videos on pages that you open. Sounds like they are more concerned more about counting their video views than the actual user experience. At least they’re trying to be nice by muting the audio if you scroll down past the video. Facebook is giving you the option to have the volume ON automatically, but why would you do that? If you don’t want videos playing in the background at all, you can turn it OFF by going to the Settings and setting Auto-Play Videos to Off. That’s what I would do.

Windows 10 Cloud

ZDNet just published an article about the rumored Windows 10 Cloud platform. It’s interesting take and departure from Microsoft. The Windows 10 Cloud platform is supposed to be competing with the Google Chrome OS. This version of Windows 10 is rumored to be locked down. That means you can’t install any app that you want. To install apps, you have to go through through the Windows Store app setup. It’s probably best that they’ve decided this for security reasons. Some sources are also saying that the Windows 10 Cloud platform can also run Universal Windows Platform apps. Universal Windows Platform apps and Windows Store apps are not the same. We don’t really know if both app platforms are going to be supported until Microsoft reveals it. Is Windows 10 Cloud free? Will it run on all devices? We will soon find out.

Debian 8.7

There’s a new version of the Debian 8 Jessie series. The latest release is Debian version 8.7 which includes 87 miscellaneous bug fixes and 86 security updates. If you’re running version Debian 8 now, the updates are going to be automatic. If you’re new to Debian, you can install the fresh Debian version by downloading it directly from Debian.com.