Monthly Archives: December 2011

2011 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 13,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

End user security for web browsing

Someone asked me, earlier this week, how to setup a “very secure Fedora 16…” system for a user that mostly surfs the web and uses email.  Instead of responding directly to that user I’m writing this in order to get others to comment and provide additional information that I may not think about as I’m writing this.  Generally speaking, however, I think this would be a short list of things to do:

  • Remove unused packages.  Software packages that are unused on your system may introduce unwanted access into your system through an unpatched bug.  More software packages also means more packages to update/maintain.
  • Use the latest version of your web browser.  Web browser makers provide updates to their supported versions of their software.  If you are using an older version of your web browser then you may not be protected from all vulnerabilities.
  • Use HTTPS whenever possible.  When you use HTTPS instead of HTTP when surfing the web, the connection between you and the web server is encrypted.  If you use the Firefox browser then you can use the HTTPS Everywhere plug-in that will automatically change HTTP to HTTPS on many pages that the plug-in knows about.
  • Don’t use the same password for all of your online accounts.  If one of your accounts gets compromised then all of your online accounts could get become compromised.  Use a password manager to store your passwords so you can use long, complex passwords and not have to remember them.  Firefox has a password manager built-in.
  • Use SE Linux.  SE Linux helps keep your system secure by using mandatory access controls.  This will keep any rouge code from gaining too much access and doing too much damage.

This is a short list and I’ll probably add onto it.  Anyone have anything else to add?

Fedora Amateur Radio Guide

Cross posting to Sparks’ Linux blog.

Earlier today John WB8RCR and I released the Fedora Amateur Radio Guide. Depicting many of the programs available in Fedora’s repositories, these free and open source software packages provides many tools to turn any amateur radio operator into a truly geeky operator.

John did a wonderful job putting together the guide to include twenty-one software packages. And while there is still work to do we wanted to get it out the door now so that Fedora users could take advantage of what was complete. We hope you find it useful!

DXCC Update for 2011

The ARRL processed my DXCC Award update for 2011 in record time this year.  Since I received the Mixed DXCC award last year I have added 14 new entities to the confirmed list bringing my total up to 115 current (116 total).  Here’s the running total including year 2011:

MIXED         115       116
PHONE         85        86
CW            6         6
RTTY/DIGITAL  79        80
SATELLITE     2         2
CHALLENGE     257       259
160M          3         3
80M           10        10
40M           47        48
30M           4         4
20M           82        82
17M           19        19
15M           64        65
12M           2         2
10M           23        23
6M            3         3
2M            1         1

The plan for 2012 is to concentrate on CW.  I don’t want to necessarily concentrate on the lower bands when the higher frequencies are booming but it would be nice to get a few more countries confirmed there too.