LineageOS Oreo on HTC 10

0 comments


Android Nougat was giving me grief today so I switched to Oreo:

  1. Use fastboot to install latest TWRP recovery
  2. Use fastboot to install Oreo firmware (I used the first Verizon link)
  3. Use TWRP recovery to install UNOFFICIAL LineageOS 15.1*, micro OpenGapps for ARM64, and Magisk (or SuperSU)
  4. Verify phone boots normally and install substratum and Default Dark Theme

* Note: I initially got an E3004 error so I had to manually delete the assert check to get it to install on my device.

Issues:
  • So far, my only major issue is "GPS Signal Lost" errors with Google Navigation (or other map tools, like VZ Navigator).  Interestingly, Google Navigation works in walking-mode routes but not in driving or cycling modes.

CD rippers

0 comments


The CD player in my car died and I've finally accepted the inevitable decline in CD popularity and am ready to join the rest of humanity in using MP3 players.  Since I have a sizeable CD collection I wanted to find the best free CD ripper.  Since I'm fine with the lossy MP3 format (vs. a lossless format like FLAC or an open source community format like OGG), my current research indicates these are among the best options:

Feel free to recommend others.

Brilliant educational video

0 comments


Most of you have seen this, but I was so impressed with Burger King's video explaining Net Neutrality.  They succinctly and accurately taught a complicated topic in an engaging way to the general public -- props!


MTG for newbies

0 comments


My sons recently introduced me to Magic The Gathering (MTG) and even though I grew up playing lots of board games and card games I have to admit the experience was overwhelming: a single turn has 60 actions and the comprehensive official rules are 226 pages long!

Fortunately, the game is a lot of fun so it's worth the initial effort.  Here's a list of resources I wish I had known about from the very beginning:

  1. Understand the basics with this excellent wikiHow article (also check out the updated rules on planeswalkers)
  2. Legendary cards (like the one shown above) have special rules -- you can only have one of each name at any given time on the battlefield.  Otherwise, most creatures are limited to four in number.
  3. Dive a little deeper into each phase of a turn (here's another great resource on that topic)
  4. Find cool cards at mtgassist.com (excellent filtering and search capabilities in the left-hand column)
  5. Print proxy decks using mtgpress.net (proxy decks are practice cards you print out and put in protective sleeves with another playing card for structural backing)
  6. Look up detailed card information at magiccards.info
  7. Another excellent free resource for Android that provides card info, rules, dice roller, scorekeeper, etc. is MTG Familiar
  8. Review other people's decks and get advice from a huge community of enthusiasts at tappedout.net.  You can upload your own deck and get advice and stats (like pricing estimate).  Another similar resource is deckstats.net.  Another popular forum is mtgsalvation.com
  9. If you just want to get a quick estimate of one or more cards, you can use mtggoldfish.com (some MTG enthusiasts just collect cards rather than play them)
  10. Once you get a handle on the basics, understand the importance of sideboards
  11. Take a break and geek out with your movie of choice: Enter the Battlefield, Zero Charisma, Queen of Katwe, Searching For Bobby Fischer, Hackers, War Games, Tron, ...
P.S. Storm Crow is an inside joke.

Hilarious: Actiontec's stance on security

0 comments


Actiontec's response to the KRACK vulnerability is hilarious.  They say "Our customers are our highest priority, and our goal is to provide you with timely information" and then their provided link for "Main Support Page" is left intentionally blank/inoperable.  LOL...


P.S. here's their Main Support Page.

CCleaner security risk

0 comments


CCleaner contains a major security risk.  If you use it, please update ASAP!

Singularity: the cool container you've never heard of

0 comments


Unless you've been in suspended animation hibernation, you've heard of Docker, the container technology that has taken the IT world by storm.

If you've been following that movement closely you've probably heard of rkt (an alternative from the CoreOS group), LXC/LXD (an alternative from Canonical, the creators of Ubuntu), and Project Atomic (a Red Hat initiative to address security concerns over Docker).

If you've been around longer, you'll probably mention to those youngsters that Solaris zones offered this functionality many years prior.  Fans of (Parallels) Virtuozzo Containers will say the same thing.

With all these options you'd think we could put this topic to rest.  Decide on your favorite and move on, right?  Well, there may be need to add one more to the mix: Singularity.

Singularity was born in a very different environment than DevOps shops and web hosting: HPC.  High Performance Computing centers have a lot more hardware and security constraints because "escaping root" would mean hackers would have access to supercomputing power.  In this regard, it's probably closest to Solaris zones which is used in similar work environments.  Unlike Solaris though, which needs to emulate Linux functionality with lx branded zones, Singularity is native Linux.  Also, unlike Docker which runs the container daemon as root, Singularity can run the container daemon as a read-only, rights-limited regular user on the host, greatly reducing (but not altogether eliminating) security concerns.  As a bonus, it supports Docker container images (although the integration with Docker Hub is at the mercy of Docker developer whims).  As a personal aside, I find their CLI arguments and parameters easier to understand and use than Docker.  If you are keen on security and need to run Linux containers in a more controlled environment, check out Singularity.