35 Down, 65 to go.

The ListTM hasn’t received much attention lately. The last time I crossed off an item on the list was back in 2013, when me and the missus went to Tokyo. But recently, it was brought to my attention that I actually completed two items last year:

11. Hold a speech at someone’s wedding.
21. Organize a big event.

I August last year, I held a short speech at my own wedding. That should qualify as “someone’s wedding”. The wedding itself was a rather big event, at least on my scale. Anniken did most of the heavy lifting during planning, but my contributions should be enough for me to cross off number 21 from the list.

Hooray!

While we’re on the subject of The List, it’s fairly obvious that a revision is long overdue. It would be the second one, the first version of the list contained a few items that wasn’t suitable for a guy in a relationship. There are still some items there that it’s fairly unlikely that I’ll ever try to achieve. Number 100, for instance, “see Matthew Good in concert”. Matthew Good was my artist numero uno back when I wrote the original list. Today, not so much.

Number 66, “stop being semi-dyslectic” is also weird item. I’ll never completely stop being semi-dyslectic. There will always be spelling errors, and grammatical mistakes. What I can hope for is to reach a skill level where I’ll at least manage to weed out the most serious errors. Actually, I think I’m there already. Let’s just cross it off the list right away.

66. Stop being semi-dyslectic.

For the other, not-so-likely-they-will-ever-happen items, I think I’ll just replace them as I come up with better things to do.

Guardians of the Galaxy.

I’m sorry. I’ll probably never be a good source for relevant reviews. My movie reviews are usually of old releases, and this rushed piece on Guardians of the Galaxy is no exception. I lag far, far behind on what should be considered elementary movies to watch for a science-fiction fan, but this weekend I finally got the chance to see what all the fuzz about the Guardians was about.

Guardians of the Galaxy is a science fiction comedy set in 2014. You might try to argue that 2014 doesn’t sound very science fiction. But among the movie’s many characters, you’ll find a green woman (Gamora), a walking tree (Groot), and a talking racoon (Rocket). There are also a lot of space ships and laser guns, so it all falls well inside the boundaries of the genre we all love.

Peter Quill, who was abducted from Earth back in 1988, now keeps himself busy as a Ravager. During one of his raids, he steals a mysterious orb. Not surprisingly, the orb contains one of the most powerful forces in the universe, capable of destroying entire planets in a matter of seconds. Naturally, this makes the orb interesting for some of the more shady characters in the galaxy.

When the orb falls into the hands of one of the shadiest of them all, Ronan the Accuser, the Guardians have to set aside their differences to safe the orb, themselves, and the entire galaxy.

Continue reading "Guardians of the Galaxy."

Arcen Games Giveaway!

Arcen Games included keys for 4 of their games as part of my AI War 2 Kickstarter pledge. They keys also include every expansion they’ve released for those games. Since I own everything already, I thought this was a good chance to spread a little Arcen love. Let’s have a good old giveaway!

Make your choice from the following masterpieces1:

Leave a comment below with information on which game you want. And make sure to include your e-mail address, Twitter name, or something similar that I can use to contact you.

Some simple ground rules

To make sure no one comes in and scoops up all the games, you’re limited to one selection. Pick wisely. All games are available for Windows, Mac OS X, SteamOS, and Linux. Please refer to each game’s Steam page for system requirements. Each lucky gamer will receive a game key that have to be redeemed on Steam. If more than one people want a particular game, I’ll use RANDOM.ORG to pick a winner.

The giveaway ends when all games are gone. Which might be never, I’m nor sure if anyone will realize the giveaway exists.

How to Secure SSH with 2FA on Ubuntu.

As you know, I love two factor authentication (2FA). Now the time has come to secure SSH with 2FA on all our Ubuntu servers.

I recently noticed that the bandwidth usage on VBOX4 had increased slightly. Apart from the spikes that come when the server is doing its nightly offsite backup, there was also an average increase in bandwidth usage. In an ideal world, that would be caused by the success of my Facebook antics, but I’ve got Piwik stats that says otherwise.

Now, that there is a slight bandwidth increase that last for a few days isn’t uncommon. Google sometimes finds it necessary to index the entire site. But I’m a curious little nerd, and with the help of netstat I checked incoming connections. It showed a Chinese IP address trying to connect to poor VBOX4 via SSH. That isn’t necessarily a reason to panic either. If you have a computer connected to the internet, there will be bots trying to connect to various services around the clock. For my own convenience, I’ve got SSH running on the standard port, 22, which makes it a prime target for that kind of shenanigans.

Moving it away from the standard port could be an option. But security by obscurity isn’t really security IMHO. Sure, it makes things a little bit harder. But there are only 65,535 ports to choose from, and if a bot wants to find your SSH port, it will find it eventually. Port knocking might be a better scheme if you want to hide your doors.

Or, you can hire a kick-ass doorman! That’s what we’re going to do with 2FA.

Continue reading "How to Secure SSH with 2FA on Ubuntu."

2016.

With only a few hours left in the year, it’s about time to do the annual summary. 2016 was the year that…

  • I wrote 90 posts, 12 more than the year before. Many of the them are cheap video entries, but they still count, damn it!
  • As part of the A Book A Month project, I read 13 books, and wrote reviews of some of them. The plan is to continue the effort in 2017.
  • I got my first proper virtual reality experience. At first it was exciting, then not so much.
  • The A Picture A Day project continued rolling smoothly. Est. 2013, ends when I’m six feet under.
  • The one-liners collection got quite a few new additions.
  • I started following the 2016 F1 season, but abandoned it after a few races because, well, it wasn’t any more exciting than the 2015 season.
  • Donald Trump surfaced, and American politics suddenly started to matter a hell of a lot more. I wrote a few pieces about that. That he was actually elected amazes me on so many levels. And I’m going to call this one right now: If Donald Trump survives his first term, he will get re-elected for a second term. The main reason will be that he is master at taking the credit for positive things that he had absolutely nothing to do with. The average American will be told that’s the case, and every fact that proves it will be made available. But for some reason they just don’t care. The truth is no longer important.
  • The situation in Syria turned from bad to worse, and into one of the worst clusterfucks of the 21st century.
  • All in all, I got a bit more engaged in what’s going on around the globe. I’m not sure exactly why that happened.
  • Vilde spent the year learning to talk, and develop her social skills. Being able to take part in her transformation from being a baby to a tiny person with a very interesting personality is amazing.
  • (That might be the reason why I’m starting to care more about what’s going on in the world.)
  • I quit my job, and started to blog professionally. Or not.
  • My crusade to make a internet a bit more secure and private continued.
  • Anniken and I got a treadmill. I ran 490 km (~304 miles) n it this year, and had a good streak up until November, when I came down with a lousy cold. It took a month to get rid of it, and in December I just turned lazy. Like the rest of you, I’m coming back strong on January 1, 2017!
  • Once again I tried my luck at sports betting, this time during the UEFA Euro 2016 in France. When the tournament was over, I had doubled my money. That was not due to great success with the betting, but thanks to Anniken saying “red” instead of “black”.
  • I managed to annoy a commercial airline pilot by arguing that making an autonomous airplane is simpler than making an autonomous car.
  • The site got yet another new design. This time, it’s an open source theme, Independent Publisher.
  • People still don’t care when they hear a smoke detector go off, and that annoys me.
  • I got the opportunity to try a Jolla phone for a couple of days. Not enough of the good stuff, I’m afraid.
  • Vilde watched a lot of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on weekend mornings. I took a dive down the rabbit hole to expose the gangs questionable ethics.
  • Facebook managed to suck me back in. I returned to the social network after a 5 year hiatus.
  • Anniken and I got married. an event that was covered in the previous entry.
  • We also decided to try start expanding the family with another member. Great success! Anniken is pregnant with a girl who has already decided that she wants to become a gymnast when she grows up.

All in all, 2016 wasn’t too bad. But it lays the groundwork for a rather unpredictable 2017. Happy new new!

Here are summaries from previous years: 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005 and 2004.