November 16, 2011

Useless domains, Dynamic DNS and Netgear

Filed under: Blog — krkhan @ 8:06 pm

A few weeks back I was renewing this blog’s domain name when I was given a coupon code which would grant me a 20%+ discount for orders >75 USD. Now my order was only touching 70, so grabbing a calculator and dutifully acting like a white-collar citizen made me realize that if I ordered another domain my total order would actually cost me lesser than what I already had. Classic case of “more is less” — I ended up with another domain and a total lack of ideas about what to do with it.

Until, I remembered about this picture from 2 years ago:

The Three Musketeers
“Say hello to my little friend!”
(Click on the thumbnail for larger version.)

The ineffectual Eee PC finally found some practical use. Using Dynamic DNS to point towards it, I configured lighttpd to serve the website. As for the content I wrote a few Python scripts to monitor the status of the Tor relay and internet connection at my home. Still not terribly useful, but at least the plots for latter give me a nice idea about how my internet is doing when I’m not at home.

The internet router (Netgear DG834) did not support SSH/SCP so I used Python’s telnetlib module to log in to the router and bring back the modem stats. The results are then fed to a maze of regexes, generating values which are finally plotted via matplotlib.

How I wish I had better things to do with a domain name.

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October 15, 2011

Google Summer of Code 2011 Memorabilia

Filed under: Blog — krkhan @ 2:14 am

I love code, I love cotton … :

GSoC 2011 Memorabilia
(Click on the thumbnail for larger version.)

… as much as I loved them last year:

GSoC 2010 & 2011 Memorabilia
(Click on the thumbnail for larger version.)

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October 8, 2011

BBC World Have Your Say: The death of Steve Jobs

Filed under: Blog — krkhan @ 2:15 am

I recall three distinct things about my visit to BBC’s Islamabad Studios today. Kamil’s very friendly support (he kept reassuring me that everyone gets nervous for their first live appearance on television), a minor car accident right beneath the balcony I was standing in and prevalent general confusion about what to do with my hands when I’m on air (I wasn’t sure if they were on screen so couldn’t decide whether to stuff them in my pockets or not). In any case, it was ultra fun:

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June 15, 2011

BBC World Have Your Say: Cyber War

Filed under: Blog — krkhan @ 2:53 am

Xavier graciously invited me to BBC’s Islamabad Studios again today for discussing the recent developments on the cyber crime landscape. You can listen to the podcast directly or use the player below to stream the audio:

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May 11, 2011

Gnome 3, Unity and Xfce: The Mass Exodus

Filed under: Blog — krkhan @ 2:35 pm

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to Xfce!”

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April 28, 2011

BBC World Have Your Say: Sony Playstation Network Hacked

Filed under: Blog — krkhan @ 4:12 am

I was invited to BBC’s Islamabad studios today to participate in their World Have Your Say program regarding Sony’s Playstation Network being hacked. It was really fun, and while I was a little nervous about going on-air live on BBC World Service I tried to explain the difference between PSN and console-homebrew hackers as well as the importance of educating the users about their security. You can listen to the podcast directly or use the player below to stream the audio:

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April 26, 2011

There and Back Again — Google Summer of Code 2011

Filed under: Blog — krkhan @ 3:43 am

GSoC 2011 Logo

After completing my project for last year‘s Summer of Code my degree was delayed for a while because of flunking a few courses. Glass half full, this gave me the chance to participate once more before I finally graduate this summer — Deo volente.

In a repeat of last year I once again became a duplicate student as my proposals for both Fedora and Tor projects ended up in top slots. Both organizations were really nice in the de-duplication process and inquired about my preference which inclined towards Tor since it allowed me to contribute to fields of privacy and anonymity. In words of Free Software Foundation:

Using free software, Tor has enabled roughly 36 million people around the world to experience freedom of access and expression on the Internet while keeping them in control of their privacy and anonymity. Its network has proved pivotal in dissident movements in both Iran and more recently Egypt.

This by no means implies any lesser significance for Fedora in my life and I would have been as much enthused had it been my mentoring organization for the summer instead of EFF. However, since I had to make a choice I went for the option where I would be contributing more directly to privacy enhancing technologies.

My project this summer revolves around improving the excellent Anonymizing Relay Monitor (arm) which is used by the Tor community to monitor and control bridges and relays. The complete proposal can be read here (or via the original PDF). It contains nitty-gritty details of my summer aspirations as well as non-technical stuff like why I want to contribute to this particular field.

I Know What I Did Last Summer, and I’m looking forward to doing it again. Quoting myself from FLOSS Manuals:

“Summer of Code is about much more than just code. The sheer fun of integrating with the open-source community and your mentoring organization can in fact outweigh the gratification of actual coding. “

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October 3, 2010

Jailbreaking the Playstation 3 with PSGrooPIC

Filed under: Blog — krkhan @ 3:32 pm

Paraphrasing the definition from The Devil’s Dictionary which was the primary motivation behind the blog name Inspirated:

“PIRACY, n. Commerce without its folly-swaddles, just as God made it.” — Ambrose Bierce

PS3, meet backups. Backups, meet PSGrooPIC:

PSGrooPIC in action
(Click on the thumbnail for larger version.)

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September 22, 2010

Google Summer of Code 2010 Memorabilia

Filed under: Blog — krkhan @ 10:43 am

The final package arrived today containing the (100% Organic Orgasmic) shirt and certificate:

GSoC 2010 Memorabilia
(Click on the thumbnail for larger version.)

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September 16, 2010

A cotton-picking post

Filed under: Blog — krkhan @ 4:55 am

More love for CafePress:

Inspirated Shirts Shot III
(Click on the thumbnail for larger version.)

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