Small office network

I have been doing increasingly more work on office and large home networks. Amazing how quickly what seems to be just a few computers can turn out to become quite a network. I just finished a large mansion where the owners had lots of trouble with Sonos, Apple TV, Netflix streaming and sometimes just browsing the internet.

At the end I ended up tracing all the wires to create a map and recreate the network. Replaced the router and switch for more capable models and reorganized the WiFi Access points for a seamless coverage.

Most importantly created easy to understand documentation so the owners or other IT people can ad devices or make changes without causing havoc.

Here is a  example for a small office network


Posted on June 22, 2014 .

Why should I care if I have nothing to hide?

We get this a lot. There are a million answers (our favorite short one is “Nothing to hide? Really?”) but here’s something thoughtful and comprehensive to share with a friend the next time it comes up. The short version? None of the freedom and progress we’ve won over the past century would have been possible without the freedom to change things (starting with our own lives first) that privacy gives us.

Imagine a world where you were constantly being judged by everyone around you, suffering immediately, or years down the road, for anything you did or said that was unusual, unpopular, or against the rules. In that kind of world, social and economic progress grinds to a halt, because everyone’s afraid to rock the boat!

Social progress

Gay rights. Interracial marriage. Medical marijuana. None of these would exist now if people were unable to break the rules in the privacy of their own home, building momentum and legitimacy until they could show the world what change looked like, that it wasn’t so scary, and that it could make the world a better place.  

We owe massive amounts of social and economic progress to privacy. Think about it. Don’t take it for granted.

Liberty & even beer

Think about the prohibition of alcohol that took hold in the 1920s. Prohibition crumbled because people defied it, raising the social cost of enforcement. If prohibition had been 100% enforceable due to mass surveillance, it would have been much harder to get rid of. 

You probably wouldn’t even be able to drink alcohol in the US, if people couldn’t privately defy prohibition. Remember that, the next time you crack open a cold beer on a hot day.

A ticking time bomb

The NSA’s current capability extends beyond privacy invasion. Right now, the NSA’s access give it the power to secretly undermine the work of journalists and elected leaders around the globe, intimidating sources and tipping elections. The NSA abuses this secrecy to undermine the systems (like Congressional oversight) meant to keep it in check. It’s hard to imagine something someone with the power Edward Snowden had couldn’t do in total secrecy. This capability to subvert democratic systems is a timebomb, waiting to go off.

And it will, if we let it continue to exist.

The worst part? When the NSA does subvert our democratic institutions, we might not even know it happened until it’s already too late.

So the next time you hear somebody say “I’ve got nothing to hide,” send them this.

To learn more 
visit the Reset The Net Website.

Posted on June 4, 2014 .

Yahoo Mail keeps asking for password

Yahoo is the the most problematic email provider in the US. Its the most hacked and has the most issues with Mail clients like Apple Mail.app

Besides removing redundant keys related to email account that has trouble connecting the server. I found this Apple KB article that might help:

 

Mail (Mountain Lion): If Mail keeps asking for your keychain password

If Mail keeps asking for your keychain password, your keychain may be set to lock after a certain amount of time or when your Mac goes to sleep.

You can change the keychain lock settings to reduce the number of requests for your keychain password.

  1. Open Keychain Access.
  2. In the sidebar, click All Items in the Category section, and then select your login keychain.
  3. Choose Edit > “Change Settings for Keychain ‘login’.”

    To reduce the number of requests for your keychain password, deselect the “Lock after [number] minutes of inactivity” checkbox, or increase the number of minutes. You can also deselect the “Lock when sleeping” checkbox.

Posted on May 31, 2014 .

Be safe on a strangers network

The trouble with a "stranger's network" is you don’t know who is listening to the traffic passing by.  A hacker might be present and capture your username and password to your email, Facebook account, or worse. Even on a “trusted” network like at work, you might want to 'cloak' your web activity.


VPN (Virtual Private Network) is an encrypted tunnel going trough the internet. It is virtually transporting your online presence back home or to another trusted server.  Using a VPN not only protects your internet traffic, but can also give you access to the internet in another country so you can see content, which is otherwise unavailable or hard to find.

You can create your own VPN or 
subscribe to a service like "Cloak".  Unlike other services, the Cloak app will activate itself as soon as you connect to a new network. So, there is no chance that you forget to turn on the service. If you want have more countries available to gain local access you might want to check out VyperVPN.

If you don't want to rely on a 3rd party VPN and or need to safely connect to your own office network, I can install can configure a suitable Peplink router for you.

Posted on May 8, 2014 .