Tech

Setting Up CJDNS on pfSense

CJDNS is an IPv6 encrypted mesh networking technology, used in Hyperborea and other mesh networks around the world. I particularly like the way it’s conceived, with end-to-end encryption, distributed IP address allocation, DHT-based source routing and MPLS-like label switching. It has several interesting use cases, but I wanted to set it up in my pfSense gateway VM so I can use it as a distributed VPN of sorts. This could be useful to be able to access my systems from anywhere while traveling, or where my team can share access to each other’s Cloud Foundry labs, particularly when we travel.

Selecting the Right VPN Service

I first published this in 2013 but since I’ve been asked recently by several friends, I figured I update it with more current information. For the record, I’m a CISSP, and as such, computer security is always in the top of my mind. For me, that also extends to privacy. Since I spend a good amount of time at airports, hotels, coffee shops and generally roaming around, having a VPN service has become a necessity for me as well as for anyone who values their online privacy and safety, even at home.

The Unintended Impact of Crashing my Phone

Yes, my really nice Samsung Galaxy Note 4, with an excellent camera, perfect size, and bright screen… Coming out of an Uber in front of my house at night, fell on a second curb that was put there for protection. I was about to give 5 stars to my driver, when baam! Face down. Since my phone was in my hand, it landed screen down with all my weight. The poor thing kept vibrating at random intervals with no other visible activity.

Putting Together a Software-Centric Home Entertainment System

Introduction I’ve been building home entertainment systems for more years I care to admit. It’s always been a hobby of mine and I find it extremely fun when things finally work as a whole, resulting in a complete operational system. I’ve never done it for money, but I’ve made them for friends and family and of course myself. But in recent years, the dream of having all content in digital format, available on-demand at any point in any device has pretty much become a reality.

Installing DNSCrypt in pfSsense

I don’t think it takes a lot of brainpower to realize why Internet users need to proactively make every effort to protect their online privacy. Every piece of data that can be extracted with regards to our behavior, will be harvested and sold, with various purposes, from behavioral modeling for targeted advertisement, to potential profiling by 3-letter government agencies that may not agree with that you are trying to view. On the same note, storage has become so cheap over time, that this data could be available for years to come, so searches made today, could conceivable put you in some list years from now.

Going Static

One reason why I had stopped posting anything in my blog for a while was my frustration on how slow the Wordpress back-end for Dreamhost “economy users” is, you know, the ones with the most basic plans. I guess they must have realized that, since they are starting a new Wordpress-only hosting system, which is supposed to be optimized for that use only. All nice and good, but their promotional pricing of $19.95/month seems an overkill for my use case when I just want to write a few ramblings and move on.

Facebook No More

I resisted joining Facebook for quite some time, not because I’m a Luddite or an old timer, but rather because I know better than most people what goes on underneath the surface of such type of platforms. I also know well what happens to companies that become public and now face the constant pressure of produce results for the quarter. There is no free lunch… However, most of my family in Chile, Europe and the USA have chosen that medium to communicate and share their daily lives and updates, without any regard for their sense of privacy or even a clear understanding of what they are giving away for the service they get.

Why I Don't Use Gmail

I’ve never been very fond of keeping something as sensitive as my personal email in a service provider. I used to run my own email server at home based on Zimbra a few years back, but like everything else, it became cumbersome. Updates, backups and having to deal with restrictive ISP policies around SMTP made me finally give up and move all my 14 years of email to Google. But I knew what was going on.