Installing or renewing a SSL certificate on an Apache server

Installing or renewing a SSL certificate on an Apache server

About a year ago I’ve installed my first SSL certificate for this website. I got that certificate for free from the GitHub Student Developer Pack. So now a year later it’s time to renew it. The renewal process is roughly the same as the registration process so in order to safe myself some time next year I decided to write it up. This isn’t a comprehensive guide, it focuses only on my specific setup. I’m running this site on a digital ocean Ubuntu droplet with Apache2. The SSL certificate is from Comodo RSA, offered through Namecheap.

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Live/Video Wallpapers for OS X

Did you know that you can use any screensaver as a animated live wallpaper on OS X? This is how you do it.

  1. Open a new terminal window
  2. Type the following command and press enter:
    /System/Library/Frameworks/ScreenSaver.framework/Resources/ ScreenSaverEngine.app/Contents/MacOS/ScreenSaverEngine -background

Once you type crtl-c or close the terminal window the screensaver stops playing.

In order to have a bit more comfortable access to this command I’ve added the following aliases to my .bash_profile file. (.bash_profile can be used to store terminal settings, aliases and custom functions. It is located in your user directory, e.g. /Users/theowinter/.bash_profile and loaded whenever you open a new terminal window.)

Cool “Live Wallpaper” screensavers

  • My favourite live wallpaper is the “Apple TV Aerial” screensaver. It consists of beautiful 1080p video flyovers of cities like New York and London.
  • Another cool screensaver is “SaveHollywood”. You can specify a folder and it will play the videos in there.

There’s probably a ton of other screensavers that might be cool as animated desktop background. So let me know if you find some!

The Expanse: Game of Thrones in Space

The Expanse: Game of Thrones in Space

The Expanse is a gritty, realistic and has a high production value! This is the Sci-Fi series I’ve been waiting for. It plays about two hundred years in the future (I’d say near future), in a partly colonized solar system. Meaning there’s people on earth, Mars and on various space station in the asteroid belt.

Just like in Game of Thrones there’s a large set of main characters in different places and you get to experience the overall story from multiple viewpoints. There’s also beautiful cinematography with gorgeous panning shots, huge vistas and competent use of CGI. But not only the visuals are impressive, the audio design and soundtrack are also top notch. I really hope that they’ll release the music on Google Play once the season is over. It’s also nice that there’s no blatant disregard for physics. For example there’s no “magical” artificial gravity device in the spaceships, instead they use thrust from the engine. So if the ships stops moving forward the gravity stops as well.

So far four episodes have been released and already the series has an IMDB rating of 8.3. And the latest episode “CQB” even achieved a rating of 9.3. Which is really quite impressive.

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Information Security

Information Security

This post is a compilation of various information security questions and topics that are likely to be tested in the InfSi2 exam at HSR. I’m expanding this post step by step while I’m reviewing the contents of this semester. I’ve done something similar with the subject “Automata and languages” last semester and it helped me a lot.

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Jailbreak: Enable Live Photos on iPhone6

Jailbreak: Enable Live Photos on iPhone6

I’ve never really seen a reason to jailbreak my iPhone. The disadvantages, such as voided warranty and potential security holes always outweighed the cool things that could be done after a jailbreak. I’ve never wanted to install custom themes or change the way iOS works. If I wanted those things I probably would have bought another Android phone. No, I’m quite happy with Apples design. But there comes the iPhone6S.. adding things like Live Photos and 3D touch. And the temptation to jailbreak grew.

I guess could live without 3D touch.. but resisting Live Photos? Impossible.

Jailbreak is the way forward

So I googled jailbreak. I found a lot of sites with tools and tutorials, most of them untrustworthy. Then I went to Reddit and found the /r/jailbreak community. No jailbreak for iOS9 :(. But yesterday this changed. The security research team “Pangu” released the first public jailbreak tool for iOS 9.0-9.0.2.

I got the tool and installed the jailbreak on my iPhone6. It was really quite easy.

  1. Download the tool & run it on a windows PC or VM. I had only my macbook with me, so I run it in a parallels Windows 8.1 VM.
  2. To prepare for the jailbreak I was instructed to do the following things
    • Update iTunes to the newest version
    • Disable “encrypt backup” in iTunes
    • Make a full backup in iTunes
    • Disable “Find my iPhone”
    • Enable flight mode on the iPhone
  3. Then I was ready to start the jailbreak from the application.

The first time it didn’t work and automatically restored the backup. But after a few more tries, it worked and the jailbreak was installed.

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