Onion Pi: Beskyt dit privatliv med et bærbart Tor-hotspot

Raspberry Pi + Tor + trådløst netkort er en kombination, som let og elegant kan befri dig for efterretningstjenesters og andres overvågning af din Internettrafik. Jeg har faktisk tit tænkt på at lave noget lignende.

Ideen beskrives nærmere hos Adafruit:

Feel like someone is snooping on you? Browse anonymously anywhere you go with the Onion Pi Tor proxy. This is fun weekend project that uses a Raspberry Pi, a USB WiFi adapter and Ethernet cable to create a small, low-power and portable privacy Pi.

Using it is easy-as-pie. First, plug the Ethernet cable into any Internet provider in your home, work, hotel or conference/event. Next, power up the Pi with the micro USB cable to your laptop or to the wall adapter. The Pi will boot up and create a new secure wireless access point called Onion Pi. Connecting to that access point will automatically route any web browsing from your computer through the anonymizing Tor network.

Who is this good for?

If you want to browse anonymously on a netbook, tablet, phone, or other mobile or console device that cannot run Tor and does not have an Ethernet connection. If you do not want to or cannot install Tor on your work laptop or loan computer. If you have a guest or friend who wants to use Tor but doesn’t have the ability or time to run Tor on their computer, this gift will make the first step much easier.

What is Tor?

Tor is an onion routing service – every internet packet goes through 3 layers of relays before going to your destination. This makes it much harder for the server you are accessing (or anyone snooping on your Internet use) to figure out who you are and where you are coming from. It is an excellent way to allow people who are blocked from accessing websites to get around those restritions.

According to the Tor website:

Journalists use Tor to communicate more safely with whistleblowers and dissidents. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) use Tor to allow their workers to connect to their home website while they’re in a foreign country, without notifying everybody nearby that they’re working with that organization.

Groups such as Indymedia recommend Tor for safeguarding their members’ online privacy and security. Activist groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) recommend Tor as a mechanism for maintaining civil liberties online. Corporations use Tor as a safe way to conduct competitive analysis, and to protect sensitive procurement patterns from eavesdroppers. They also use it to replace traditional VPNs, which reveal the exact amount and timing of communication. Which locations have employees working late? Which locations have employees consulting job-hunting websites? Which research divisions are communicating with the company’s patent lawyers?

A branch of the U.S. Navy uses Tor for open source intelligence gathering, and one of its teams used Tor while deployed in the Middle East recently. Law enforcement uses Tor for visiting or surveilling web sites without leaving government IP addresses in their web logs, and for security during sting operations.

Via Boing Boing.

Spilproducenten Valve opfordrer sine brugere til at installere Ubuntu

Steam asking people to install Ubuntu

Hvis du er Windows-bruger og går ind på den store spilproducent Valves hjemmeside Steam, gør de dig ikke alene opmærksom på, at man nu kan downloade en beta-udgave af deres Steam-system, som gør det muligt at spille deres spil – de opfordrer dig til at skifte til Ubuntu for at prøve det, komplet med et link til download af Ubuntu 12.04 LTS!

Jeg mener personligt stadig, at det er et problem, at de bagvedliggende programmer (i modsætning til selve spillene) ikke er fri software, men i betragtning af, hvor stort et problem det har været med spil på Ubuntu og GNU/Linux i almindelighed, er det en meget velkommen udvikling, at så stor en spiller som Valve (producent af bl.a. CounterStrike) nu er på banen med deres Steam-platform. Selvom Steam (endnu?) ikke er fri software, vil dette skridt helt klart gør det lettere også for gamere at bruge fri software i det daglige.

Via Ubuntu Vibes.

Mangler du en supercomputer? Køb en Playstation 3

Undskyld den lidt poppede overskrift, men det viser sig, at hvis man har brug for en rigtig supercomputer, så er den billigste måde at skaffe den på at købe en hel masse Playstation 3-maskiner og sætte dem op i et cluster og installere en eller anden variant af GNU/Linux på dem.

Baggrunden er, at PS3-en faktisk er en rimeligt kraftig computer, som Sony sælger med tab for at kunne tjene penge på spillene.

Som David Pescovitz skriver på Boing Boing:

Good thing the PlayStation 3 dropped in price. The US Department of Defense ordered 2,200 more of the consoles to crank up their PS3 supercomputer, currently consisting of 336 of the devices in a Linux cluster. According to the official Justification Review Document (cache link) required for the purchase of the PS3s, the game platform, with its IBM Cell microprocessor, is a much better value for the money than IBM’s Cell-powered products designed for supercomputing applications. Ars Technica points out that the price difference comes in part because the PS3 is a loss leader for Sony. From the Justification Review Document:

With respect to cell processors, a single 1U server configured with two 3.2GHz cell processors can cost up to $8K while two Sony PS3s cost approximately $600. Though a single 3.2 GHz cell processor can deliver over 200 GFLOPS, whereas the Sony PS3 configuration delivers approximately 150 GFLOPS, the approximately tenfold cost difference per GFLOP makes the Sony PS3 the only viable technology for HPC applications.

Sony still subsidizing US military supercomputer efforts

Så hvis man står og mangler en server eller på anden vis en seriøs computer (rendering af animation, for eksempel) kan der altså være næsten en faktor 10 at spare ved at købe en Playstation. Og så kan man endda spille på den …

Link: PS3 Cluster Guide 1.0

GNU/Linux kan frelse verden

Nej, det er ikke mig, der siger det, det er IT-journalisten Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols, der skriver i ComputerWorld:

You can’t afford to drive anywhere, and, even if you could, you may not have a GM car to drive there for much longer. Some of you may be losing your houses, and the mortgage companies that gave you that mortgage in the first place? IndyMac went down late last week and now the question of the day is which major national bank will follow it down.

What does this have to do with Linux? Everything.

With both people and companies having to squeeze a nickel’s worth of good out of every penny, how long do you think people will be paying Microsoft for its imperfect operating systems and office suites? Vista Business SP1 ‘upgrade’ has a list price of $199.95. Office 2007 Professional is $329.95. That’s $529.90, or as much as a new low-end PC. Or, I could go with Ubuntu Linux for zero money down. if I wanted big business support, I could buy SLED (SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop) 10 SP 2 from Novell for $50. SLED, like any desktop Linux, includes OpenOffice 2.4 for free.

Which one would you buy when your IT budget is going to be cut to the bone?

Ja, det er en svær beslutning (og lad os bare gentage: Ubuntu for zero money down). Men det bliver bedre:

Do you want to keep buying Windows when according to the SANS Institute’s ISC (Internet Storm Center), an unprotected Windows system will last “less than five minutes” before being hacked? Five minutes!?

Of course, not all experts think Windows is that insecure. Why some security pros believe that a vanilla copy of Windows could make it as long as 16-hours. Isn’t that reassuring?

You can prevent that from happening. All you have to do is to keep your patches up to date. To do that, of course, you’ll need to hope that the patches themselves won’t blow up; the patches actually work and that Microsoft won’t make it impossible for you to download those patches in the first place…. again. But, other than that what do you have to worry about?

Oh wait, there is all that malware out there. Well, you can always buy anti-viral software. So, if we go with the cheapest, most basic anti-virus program from Symantec, Norton Antivirus 2008 for one user has a list price of $39.99 per year.

Let’s add this up. I can pay $569.89 for the operating system and software for my PC or I can pay $50. Oh, and if I pay the big bucks, I have a system that won’t last a day on the Internet unless I’m constantly on my guard and Microsoft doesn’t foul up again.

Gosh, which one do you think is the better deal?

Som Vaughan-Nichols konkluderer: Måske det virkelig er på tide, at vi dropper den skat, Microsoft stadig tillader sig at opkræve på stort set hver eneste computer, der sælges i hele verden. Man har råd til at smide penge ud af vinduet til et dårligere og mindre sikkert produkt i gode tider, selvom det er diskutabelt, hvor klogt det er. Men i de mindre goder tider, skyerne synes at trække op til?

I mindre gode tider finder man tilbage til det, der giver bedst mening; og det vil i denne sammenhæng sige  fri software fremfor dyre monopoler. Så … frelse verden med software kan vi måske ikke – men skelne mellem det frie, sikre og åbent specificerede som man kan hente gratis og det dyre og usikre lukkede skrammel – det begynder vi nok snart at finde ud af, som Vaughan-Nichols antyder.