Blog Index for December 2017

Amazon Adsystem SSL certificate will be distrusted in Chrome M70

(December 28, 2017)

Google is pushing the Web towards using HTTPS Everywhere. The browser makers are collectively preparing to DISTRUST PKI certificates issued by Symantec Corporation’s PKI prior to June 1, 2016. It's been determined those certificates had some kind of badness to them, and that Symantec had allowed untrustworthy partners to distribute SSL certificates. To remedy the situation browser makers will shortly begin phasing in a repudiation of these SSL certificates. The plan is resulting in ominous warning messages in browser JavaScript console saying that Chrome M70 will refuse to load affected resources. In this case it will impact advertising assets loaded from Amazon's infrastructure ... eep

Reading Kindle books on Linux, supporting a switch to Linux

(December 10, 2017)

Electronic books are a big thing, making it possible to own a vast library without the bookshelves. The Kindle marketplace is the largest e-book marketplace, and unfortunately Amazon does not support the industry-standard eBook format, EPUB3, and instead stays with its proprietary MOBI-based eBook format. Reading Kindle books, then, requires using a Kindle device or a Kindle application. And, of course, Amazon doesn't make a Kindle application for Linux. Since we are pondering a switch from macOS to Linux, how do we solve this problem?

How to replace macOS with a fully open source Linux system

(December 8, 2017)

Maybe the direction Apple and Microsoft are taking is not aggreable in that both are seeking tighter control over what we do with our computers. Both are businesses and obviously will try to extract as much money from us as possible. In the case of Apple, their computers are increasingly closed boxes that cannot be opened and repaired. Instead you're faced to pay ridiculous prices for upgrades and repair, which lines Apple's pockets at our expense. As a what if exercise, I'm thinking over what it would take to supplant macOS with a Linux system (won't ever go back to Windows).

How to get Windows 10 Professional for free

(December 6, 2017)

That you can download a trial version of Windows 10 Professional from Microsoft's website is mindblowing for those of us who remember the old Microsoft, and the Microsoft Police trying to enforce software piracy. But what you get is a time-limited system, for which you must pay $199 for a software license. It's still Microsoft, after all, just a little friendlier. But, what if there's a way to get Windows 10 Professional essentially free? We're not going to crack Windows 10 Professional, but explore a way to get a perfectly reasonable Windows computer that runs Microsoft's latest OS.

Bypassing the NY Times paywall, and read NY Times content for free

(December 1, 2017)

The NY Times paywall is frustrating - you see an important bit of news, such as General Michael Flynn having made a plea deal and entering a Guilty Plea for having lied about his Russia entanglements, you want to read it, but you're told you're past the number of free articles per month. It was somewhat acceptable when the NY Times limited you to 10 articles a month, but now the limit is 5 articles per month, plus the NYFREE bookmarklet in my browser no longer works. Shouldn't I just pay the NY Times subscription fee? Is there a new bookmarklet for reading NY Times for free? Are there other ways around the paywall?