02 07 | 2014

PayPal cut a secure email project's funds

Written by Tanguy

Classified in : Homepage, Debian, Miscellaneous, Grumble

It should be no news that PayPal have made an habit of opposing to projects that fight for the respect of freedom and democracy by cutting their funds. Anyway, they have just provided us another example of such an abuse, against the ProtonMail project.

Read more PayPal cut a secure email project's funds

28 05 | 2014

GNU/Linux graphic sessions: allowing computer suspend and disabling a monitor

Written by Tanguy

Classified in : Homepage, Debian, Command line, To remember

Allowing computer suspend

Major desktop environments such as Xfce or KDE have a built-in computer suspend feature, but when you use a lighter alternative, things are a bit more complicated, because basically: only root can suspend the computer. Possible solutions include:

  • using sudo to allow members of a given group to run a suspend command, e.g. pm-suspend as root;
  • using a D-Bus UPower thingy, which communicates with a running daemon upowerd:
    $ dbus-send --system --print-reply \
                --dest='org.freedesktop.UPower' \
                /org/freedesktop/UPower org.freedesktop.UPower.Suspend
            

With recent updates of the related Debian packages — no idea of which one exactly — the latter solution may not work any more, in which case it will only return the following error:

Error org.freedesktop.UPower.GeneralError: not authorized

It appears that this error is linked to ConsoleKit, a part of all this modern *Kit gizmo pile. If you are in this case, try prefixing your session launcher with the undocumented dark magic call ck-launch-session. For instance, this is what I have in my .xsession to launch my window manager i3:

exec ck-launch-session i3

Note: I do not know what ck-launch-session does exactly, why it is needed, and I do not want to know. To me, all that WhatsitKit pile is just some opaque, under-documented — as in: no man page — crap, that no one but their author really understand, designed to solve theoretical problems no one really cares about — like: how to allow locally connected users to use the sound card while forbidding it to remote users — while creating new issues such as this one. This stuff is too complex and under-documented for me to dive into it, so if it does not work out of the box, it is just some crap that gets in my way to using my computer as I wish.

Disabling a monitor

In some configurations, you have two monitors and want to disable one. For instance, in addition to my LCD monitor, I have a projector which I only use for movies. According to xorg.conf's man page, it can be disabled this way:

Section "Device"
    Identifier  "Internal graphic card"
    Option      "Monitor-DVI"   "LCD Monitor"
    Option      "Monitor-VGA"   "Projector"
EndSection

Section "Monitor"
    Identifier  "LCD Monitor"
EndSection

Section "Monitor"
    Identifier  "Projector"
    Option      "Enable"    "false"
EndSection

Except that does not work, because contrary to what the man page says the real option to use is not Enable but Disable! So here is the correct configuration to disable that monitor at start-up:

Section "Device"
    Identifier  "Internal graphic card"
    Option      "Monitor-DVI"   "LCD Monitor"
    Option      "Monitor-VGA"   "Projector"
EndSection

Section "Monitor"
    Identifier  "LCD Monitor"
EndSection

Section "Monitor"
    Identifier  "Projector"
    Option      "Disable"   "true"
EndSection

Note: yes, I will send a bug report with a patch against xorg.conf's man page.

08 04 | 2014

Disable your spammed addresses with Postfix

Written by Tanguy

Classified in : Homepage, Debian, Command line, To remember

Using address extension

Postfix (and many other mail servers) offers one nice address extension feature: addresses like <user+whaterver@> are implicit aliases to <user@>. This allows users to implement a simple measure to fight spam:

  1. when SomeCompany® or whatever asks for your email address, give them <user+somecompany@>;
  2. if you start receiving spam at that address, you know who sold or was stolen your address;
  3. finally, you will be able to disable that address so messages are simply refused with a permanent error code.

Read more Disable your spammed addresses with Postfix

19 03 | 2014

Self-Destructing Cookies for Firefox

Written by Tanguy

Classified in : Homepage, Debian, To remember

Web cookies are meant to store user preferences for a website, but they are often misused for evil purposes, such as tracking him, sometimes across distinct websites.

Read more Self-Destructing Cookies for Firefox

13 12 | 2013

Pure Sensia digital and Internet radio receiver: good idea, bad design

Written by Tanguy

Classified in : Homepage, Debian, Miscellaneous, Grumble

Thanks to a corporate reward program, I just got a Pure Sensia digital and Internet radio receiver: basically, it is a device able to play streams from FM, DAB, HTTP and USB sticks. In overall, it works fine, and it has a remote controller, so it makes a nice addition to my home equipment, but it has what I consider a major flaw, which I suspect to have been designed on purpose.

Read more Pure Sensia digital and Internet radio receiver: good idea, bad design

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