We deep dive into the world of Chromebooks and find an answer to the question : Can you survive on a Chromebook. We walk you through the possibilities and limitations of the Chromebook. We enlighten you on how to use it for work, connect back to your home network and how to use your Chromebook to entertain you. If thats not enough we go beyond the design specifications and sideload Linux on your Chromebook turning into a low budget sliders dream machine. All of that and more .. in Kw905 : Life on a Chromebook. Catch the live recording of this podcast in the Youtube video below and see if you can catch Sulu the dog as our Podcast assistant.
- The Acer C730
- First impressions
- Hardware – Software
- Taking the Chromebook to work (Article)
- Using the Chromebook to entertain you (Article)
- Connecting back to your home network via a Socks5 proxy over SSH (Article)
- Dual Booting your Chromebook with Linux (Distroshare.com)
- Sideloading your Chromebook with Crouton (Youtube instruction video)
Today’s tip in our “Privacy week” is geared a little bit towards the more advanced geek .. (Who am I kidding, you are ALL advanced Geeks here). In our every lasting quest to ensure our privacy when surfing on “foreign networks” like the one at work, the one at your dorm or the free wifi hotspot at Starbucks , we try to find more ways to make sure all your web traffic is encrypted and your privacy is kept safe.
Enter SSHuttle ( NOOO , not the STAR TREK Shuttle) , A brilliant little transparent proxy application that directs ALL or PART of the network traffic from your trusty Linux or Mac machine (the laptop you use on the road) through an SSH tunnel to an SSH server of your choice (perhaps your own server at home). That way your traffic is completely (or partially) obscured from whoever is trying to sniff your traffic on an untrusted network. An added bonus is however that it is a transparent proxy ! This means your computer will actually think it is directly connected to the network where the SSH server is running. It is like running a very very very long cable through the internet straight from your machine to the network where your SSH server is located.
So let’s start cooking.
How to install SSHuttle on your client machine.
- Install SSHuttle on your Linux machine using the command : sudo apt-get install sshuttle
- Install SSHuttle on your Mac by first installing HOMEBREW APP. (Installation instructions) and then typing brew install sshuttle
Shuttle is simple but VERY powerful. It will create an encrypted tunnel between your laptop and the SSH server you setup at home. Depending on what kind of traffic you want to shove through that tunnel you can do different things like :
- Just tunnel your browser traffic through the tunnel,
- Shove all of your web traffic through the tunnel (including dns requests),
- Shove ALL of your traffic through the tunnel.
- Set up a “site 2 site” VPN between the network you are working on and your network at home.
- … and more crazy stuff.
So how does it work ?
Once installed using SSHuttle is pretty simple. SSHuttle works from the command line and depending on the “switches” it will do different things for you. So on your client laptop , fire up your terminal and start typing.
Enter the command above to push ALL of your traffic through the SSH tunnel towards your server at home. This is the example of running a virtual network cable THROUGH the internet towards your switch at home. All of your traffic is sent through this encrypted tunnel. USERNAME = A user you have created on your SSH server at home. YOURREMOTESERVER.COM = The external ip address (or Dynamic DNS name) of your home router. 2222 = The port on which you have your SSH server running. In this example I took a non-default port.
- sshuttle -r email@example.com:2222 192.168.0.0/24
With this command you can create a site to site VPN. Instead of typing 0/0 is going to send ALL the traffic through the tunnel. Typing the network range of your home network (in this case 192.168.0.0) tells SShuttle to send all the traffic that needs to go to the 192.168.0.0 domain through the tunnel, while sending out the rest of your traffic through whatever network gateway you are connected to. The /24 is your subnet mask ( you know , the 255.255.255.0 subnet number of your network).
There are a lot of other switches that you can use , but if you use the two commands we mentioned above you will have a LOT of power at your fingertips. I love using the second command. It allows me to connect to the exchange server at work for my work stuff, but also lets me quickly open up the web interface of my home router (on the LAN SIDE) to do some tinkering. SSHuttle is a very very nice tool that keeps you connected .. and keeps your privacy .. private.
Find out more about SSHUTTLE in this HAK5 episode.
Perhaps this Christmas you will receive the gift of a digital camera. Maybe its a point and shoot, maybe its a big DSLR camera with lots of buttons, dials, settings and configuration menus … on which you are absolutely clueless on how to correctly operate. If you want to join the herd of brainless mammals that only uses their super expensive Nikons or Canons on “Full auto” mode (while taking dramatic poses to shoot boring snapshots of their ugly spouses … ) so be it. But not if the two gentlemen below will have any say in it. Strap in for a podcast (and a website) to get you ready for the next pulitzer prize.
Let’s talk Photography podcast.
If he was not an Irish-Belgian living in what can only be described as the coldest, wettest place on the Northern hemisphere .. Bart Busschots would have been a brilliant addition to the Big Bang Theory cast. Unlike Sheldon he is not an antisocial condescending Texan with an IQ the size of the Belgian national debt .. He is a charming entertaining and brilliant person ( He has Belgian roots .. go figure) with an unfathomable knowledge about a wide variety of subjects. Whether those be astronomy (You can find a brilliant explanation of the Higgs Boson in a way your GRAN would get it) computer science (Check out the ‘taming the terminal’ series on the Nosillacast) OR photography. When faced with the choice of pouring this fantastic volume of knowledge in a podcast or just plain exploding, Bart has done the latter. The result : Another brand new budding podcast from the Brain of Busschots (We just refer to it as “The brain of B.”) teaching you how to become a better photographer. Subscribe, download, listen, learn. (And practice your most annoying, condescending laugh next time you meet a dork who still has his expensive camera set to ‘Full Auto’).
Konrad Makes Photos.
Stepping up into the realm of the professionals we encounter good friend of the show Konrad Dwojak. His recent move to the US have given him the time, the inspiration and the wisdom to finally start producing audio and video content on a regular basis. Its not technically a podcast yet, but you CAN find Konrad on OUR podcast from time to time too. Aside from Konrads excellent portfolio, the site also features great blogposts and videotips on photography for those who are novice or more advanced in photography. Something you should not miss out on.
With the holidays coming up you might find yourself trapped in a family gathering that is comprised largely of people talking non-techno gibberish. While it might be perfectly normal for others to talk about “mondaine” things like ‘the game thats on tonight’ or whichever of the babes in America’s next Top model was so skinny she blew off camera on a windy day .. there is only so much you might be able to take. So time for some technological infusions into your audio-phonic subsystems. In laymen’s terms : Time for a couple of good podcasts to pull you through the holidays. Over the next week we will introduce you to 5 different podcasts you should subscribe to (aside from ours of course). We shall try to tap a variety of topics and interests but will vouch for its quality and consistency. We can however only partially vouch for your sanity or domestic peace at the christmas dinner once we are done.
Our first selection is a freshly rebooted podcast by friend of the show Daniel “The cyberpunk librarian” Messer on being a writer using open source tools. Aside from being cross platform geek using a variety of operating system, Daniel has also written several books and has mastered the art of using open source tools to produce his literary escapades. Episode 1 of his recently rebooted podcast describes the use of open source software to pound that brilliant idea into a literary novel that is ready to publish using only open source software. Be quiet while listening to this podcast and refer from talking, shouting and walking around .. this man is a librarian .. remember ?
Download and subscribe.
- You can find the website to subscribe (along with the most evil of all podcast avatar selfies) over at http://cyberpunklibrarian.com/podcast/
Time to raise the hairs on the neck of all Wifi-enabled laptop and mobile phone users in this interesting interview with Gerjon McVries ( @mcvries on Twitter) about “The pineapple” and its awesome (and malevolent) potential when it comes to exploiting basic flaws in Wifi enabled devices. If you were worried about the NSA sniffing your traffic in the Prism debacle, then try not to realise that a 14 year old scriptkiddie with a paypall account could buy this awesome toy and sniff every bit you transmit.
Together with some great community content from viewer Cyberpunk Librarian who is showing us “How he uses cross platform technology at work” we also have a guesthost for this weeks videoblog.
A couple of months ago I was interviewed by Peter Nikolaides, former host of the Fresh Ubuntu podcast and Tetris World Champion in the last Burundian Para-Lympics (Google told me so). The interview was part of a series that Peter started on podcasters (and other internet superstars) and what they actually did for a living. As a rule of thumb I don’t blog about work, so the names of companies and involved parties have been changed to protect the innocent ( Honey ! Where’s mah Sooopah Suit ? ) But the interview might give you some insights on how and where you can find the knowledge and experience to turn your hobby into your day job.
Download episode 12 of “Not speeding in reverse” with yours truly.
With more and more people flooding to Facebook it is only a matter of time before us geeks can no longer wander through the streets without “norms” clambering up to us … cellphones in hand .. mumbling questions of “How do I do this on Facebook ? ” Like a scene from the popular TV show “The Walking Dead”… us Geeks are the last surviving Humans, beholding the sacred knowledge of the Interwebs, while countless others stumble around in ignorance and .. try to pick our brain ! So instead of a flamethrower, here is another way of defending yourself. Instead of explaining over and over how Facebook works : Just hand them the “Facebook Cheat Sheet” from the “Dummies” series of books.
One of the lesser known secrets to man is that, with every “Dummies” book there is an online cheat sheet available to help you “remember” how things are done. This “Facebook Cheat Sheet” is just one of the many examples. Hopefully it will help you at the next family dinner … if not .. you can still build your own flamethrower.
Links : The Facebook Cheat Sheet.
Getting back from a week in a cottage near the Dutch coast, I have an SD card with plenty of pictures waiting to be edited. Of course you are never quite satisfied with the shots you made and a “liitle editing” is never a bad thing. Whether you just want to quickly crop the image and fiddle with the contrast , or paste aunt Irma’s head onto a giraffe .. the possibilities are endless.
If you have money to burn (and own a mac or a PC) you might want to go for cool applications like Aperture or Photoshop … and then again, maybe you don’t !
So there is “The Gimp” which, in all honesty used to be a typical “old school Linux” application. A terrible user interface, poor documentation and you did get a fair chance of getting flamed whenever you asked a question on how to use it. Luckily those times have changed. The Gimp became a “native” Mac application, cleaned up its interface and is now easily one of the most powerful applications for the cross-platform photog on a budget.
Video Tutorials : In order to get started we have found some excellent video tutorials on the “basics” of using the gimp. Standard image editing and basic picture manipulations : You can find some tutorials HERE.
Pdf tutorials : The official Gimp tutorial can be found on the Gimp website. Some quick reference cards for the Gimp and its many keyboard shortcuts can be found HERE.
Podcasts : Over at “Meetthegimp.org” you can find an extended video podcast about using the Gimp. With over 150 episodes this is truly a plethora of information on using the Gimp. You can subscribe directly in iTunes.
Magazines : Why not get your very own Gimp Magazine. An interactive free and open source magazine for Gimp newbies and hardcore ninja’s. Much like Ubuntu’s Full Circle magazine this is an interactive magazine that relies on the contributions from the community. You can download the latest version here.
And of course : If you haven’t installed “The Gimp” yet .. why not get it first .. its free, open and completely cross platform compatible. Download it here.
We start out a new series of Video tutorials on Knightwise.com called “Sliders Academy” where we give you step by step guides to ‘learn how to slide’. We start out with chapter one of Sliders Academy where we show you how to setup a central Ubuntu system that will serve as the nervecenter for your upcoming slider activities. In this episode we show you how to download and install Ubuntu, Partition your drive, update your system and install some alternative desktop interfaces. 30 minutes of educational edu-tainment coming right up.
Download the video HERE.