Creating Highly Anonymous Verus IDs

Verus IDs are pseudonymous just like normal crypto addresses, but there are several ways the owner of a Verus ID may be identified, and ways to mitigate those risks for people choosing to be as anonymous as possible.

Here we’ll look at the proper use of referrers, best strategies for funding a Verus ID registration, good options for maximally private Verus ID names, considerations for the transparent and private addresses associated with the ID, and considerations regarding revocation and recovery authority assignments.

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Seriously Paranoid Cryptocurrency Key Generation

This is a guide for creating highly secure keys to use for cold storage, or more specifically in my case, to assign as the recovery authorities to Verus IDs. The goal is to generate a bulk batch of keys that have never been in a system that’s been online and come away with a copy of those keys and addresses on a pair of thumb drives (for redundancy) and the addresses (without keys) on another drive for monitoring and for reference to use those secure keys (to send to or for Verus ID authority assignments).

You will need: 4 USB drives, a computer running Linux (doable without, but that’s what these instructions are for), and optionally another computer. If you don’t have a Linux system handy but want to follow these directions, you can start by creating the boot media for the Linux live distribution, then booting into that environment, connecting to the internet, and following all of the instructions – just make sure to shut down and perform a cold boot to get back into the fresh environment (without internet) when it’s time for the secure system.

While I’ve tried to be as comprehensive as possible in my directions, it is assumed that you are somewhat familiar with the Linux command line.

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Setting up DKIM Keys for CPanel Server in DNSMadeEasy

I am in the middle of a server migration and am working on DKIM keys for the domains on the affected server. I ran into an issue where the DKIM key data I was getting from CPanel wasn’t working when trying to use it in a txt field DNS record on DNSMadeEasy. I contacted their tech support and figured I’d post the solution here since I couldn’t find it elsewhere and since their documentation on the matter is so sparse.

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Quick Tip: Enable a Paused Printer in Cups

My HP Printer sometimes has an issue where after printing once the printer becomes unavailable. In system-config-printer – it shows up as paused, using lpstat-p on the command line shows it as disabled.

In my case, at least, restarting cups did nothing to resolve the problem, though restarting the whole system has sometimes worked.

The solution I found was to use lpstat -p to find the name of the printer and verify its status there. The output I got was:

printer Home disabled since Thu 11 May 2017 10:55:02 AM PDT –
reason unknown
printer PDF is idle. enabled since Mon 27 Mar 2017 02:23:42 PM PDT

The “Home” printer is the one I want to start up again, which was done with this command: cupsenable Home

Now, the lpstat-p returns the following:

printer Home is idle. enabled since Thu 11 May 2017 11:07:06 AM PDT
printer PDF is idle. enabled since Mon 27 Mar 2017 02:23:42 PM PDT

and in the system-config-printer gui, it shows as ready, and will print without issue.

Quick Tip: Fix Scroll Lock

I found on my desktop that the scroll lock key doesn’t work. I’m using Ubuntu 17.04 (recently upgraded from 16.10, on which the problem also existed) with the i3 window manager and using a Logitech K120 keyboard (which seems to have this problem somewhat commonly).

All of the event signals were there, as tested by xev and other tools, but it wouldn’t actually turn on the scroll lock functionality or change the keyboard LED state.

The problem was that the key was not actually bound to that function, which is fixed by this command:

xmodmap -e 'add mod3 = Scroll_Lock'

This can be run in any number of places, including in a regular terminal for testing or temporary use. I put it in my i3 config file to run at startup each time and it works beautifully.

Cheers!

Quick Tip – Copying From Vim

This issue drove me insane. The answer was crazy simple so I figured I’d throw it out there.

I found that I could copy and paste anywhere in X without an issue (this uses the clipboard buffer). I could also select text and middle click to paste without issue (this uses the primary buffer. I could also select and paste with the mouse in URXVT. Within Vim, I could also copy by selecting and paste (when in insert mode) with a middle click. What I couldn’t do was select text in Vim and middle click to paste it anywhere else.

Further, I could confirm that the data wasn’t hitting the primary buffer upon selection using xsel -op to dump the primary buffer.

After a good while of searching (which came after more time than should have been spent diagnosing the exact issue) I found this thread, which described my issue and the solution.

The answer is that the mouse=a directive in my vimrc that makes visual mode work with the mouse is also keeping it from selecting text in the way that’s needed to drop it into the primary buffer (to copy it). Disabling this setting fixes the copy issue, but also turns off visual mode with the mouse, which I’d like to keep.

The workaround was to hold shift while selecting text I want to copy, which keeps it from entering visual mode and allows the copy to happen.

Cheers!

Startup script for i3 with Conditional Execution

I’ve been using the i3 window manager for roughly a couple of years now and have enjoyed playing with all the ways I’ve found to extend it through startup scripts, keybindings, etc. This little hack for enabling or disabling the launch of a group of applications at login is one of my favorites and I thought I’d share.

I’ve got a script in my i3 configuration directory called launch.sh that fires up a number of persistent applications and launches things I normally use.

The first thing it does is load a saved layout and launch terminals with htop, dmesg –follow, and tail -f /var/log/syslog . I use this as a general system monitor workspace, a dedicated place I can go to see what’s happening on my system.

Next, it switches to a workspace I use as a dedicated terminal and launches urxvt, then switches to the workspace I use for my browser, switches the layout to tabbed, then launches my browser.

Then it loads up the scratchpad text app I use (Fromscratch), udiskie for managing removable media, the mpd daemon, and after some delay to make sure everything else is finished loading, dropbox.

I’ve been happy with this arrangement, but really wanted to find a way to keep it from launching some of those items on startup in case I wanted to do something more system intensive and didn’t need those things right away or want to do some kind of benchmarking and want fewer things tying up RAM.

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ThinkPad T440s Battery Warning Script for Ubuntu 16.04

Since I started with a stripped-down Ubuntu install that doesn’t include much in the way of power management I made a tool to warn me when my battery is low and to suspend the system when it is low enough. I borrowed some content and structure from this script, adding features to meet my own needs, in particular support for a second battery, notifications, and auto-suspend.

This script assumes you’ve got two batteries and will warn when both batteries are discharging or discharged (status = “unknown”) and both have remaining power below a certain threshold.

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Preivew OpenOffice/LibreOffice .odt documents in Ranger File Manager

Quick tip for those that use the Ranger file manager (which is awesome, by the way).

Ranger file previews are defined in the scope.sh configuration file. You can add your own preview mechanisms here.

To preview .odt documents in Ranger, you’ll need to install the odt2txt tool. On Ubuntu (and presumably other debian-based distros) install it using the following command:

sudo apt install odt2txt

The odt2txt command converts a .odt document into a text file and outputs it to standard output (prints it to the terminal or makes it available to be piped).

In your scopes.sh file add the following within the case “$extension” block.

odt)

odt2txt “$path” && fmt -s -w $width; exit 0;

Save the file and fire up a new instance of Ranger, then select a .odt file and you should get a text preview in the right pane.

Synaptics Clickpad Configuration for ThinkPad T440s

I briefly tried an Arch Linux install on my laptop. It wasn’t my favorite for my daily use, would probably be great for a lightweight computer or a server. In any case, the default configuration (non-) settings for the clickpad were utterly unusable, and the examples I was finding didn’t have all of the features I wanted. I dug into the man pages for the driver and put together a configuration I’m happy with, and have since rolled out to my Ubuntu 16.04 install on the same machine.

These settings enable the soft-buttons at the top of the clickpad to use with the trackpoint, creates another soft-button on the right half of the bottom of the pad for right click, disables edge scrolling, enables two-finger scrolling (horizontal and vertical), and single/double/triple-finger clicking.

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