So it may have been noticed that I haven’t posted in a while, a little more than a month to be exact. Part of that was due to being extremely busy with stuff I need to blog about, but also the fact that I had articles written that needed media uploaded and was being plagued with upload errors. To make it worse, the errors were so generic I had no idea where to start troubleshooting.

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With the errors appearing after the 4.1 upgrade to WordPress I thought that maybe the issue but with no one else reporting issues then it would be unlikely. My next thought was folder permissions. My permissions had been set to 705, but that had been working in the past just fine. I adjusted the permissions to 755 and also an attempt with 777 just to check, but still got the same error. During this time I also noticed that it was uploading the main file to the server but not creating thumbnails so that helped in ruling out permissions and thus I went back to the 705.

1-5-2015 12-22-49 AMWhen checking in WordPress again, I found that it recognized the main image when full size, but with no thumbnails and just a default file icon when displayed otherwise. This made me wonder a bit more, but still without an error to go on would have to do digging. I already knew from past that contacting the host really would not get any results unless I knew exactly what was wrong and requested specifically what I needed to have fixed.

Next logical check, my file system quota. While my host offers a large amount of space, it is by default not assigned to the quota and occasionally a increase might need to be requested. I’ve needed increase in the past for running over the file limit, so ran ‘quota -v’ only to find that I still had plenty of storage space and files remaining to create.

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Now, I was really at a loss. I started looking more closely at what I had uploaded in the past.  Everything seemed to have been smaller files in general. While the file I wanted to upload was well below the php.ini settings of 8MB at only 2MB and I thought that should be fine. I attempted with another small file and found, however, and it worked. The only thing I can think of is perhaps I am hitting a host memory usage threshold but don’t have a way to easily check that I’m aware of. It would appear however as long as I do not exceed 1500px on image width or height it should work so I can now resume posting.

Glad it works now but I really wish developers would put in more meaningful errors.

A common issue I’ve run into on public access Wi-Fi is web content filtering. While it is great places offer guest Wi-Fi, I don’t care for being restricted to what I can or cannot look at while connected. So in that case an easy solution is to change the DNS server your device is resolving to and bypass any DNS filters and blocks the guest Wi-Fi service may have.  Other options include remote access of another computer else where (like your home computer if doing sensitive transactions), or a VPN connection.

As DNS settings are generally easy to edit and Google has an easy to remember DNS servers I use them regularly. These can be set on your devices or even in your router. For the purpose of this article I have included steps for Android and Windows 7.

Google Public DNS IP addresses (IPv4):

Google Public DNS IP addresses (IPv6):

Setting the DNS on an Android device is fairly straight forward; just go to Wi-Fi settings, tap and hold on the network after connecting then select Modify Network. On the screen that appears check the box to display advanced settings and change IP settings to Static. Once on the IP settings screen just replace the DNS servers with the Google ones (Conveniently on Android when you erase the DNS servers, Google’s pre-populate).
Android Network Settings

On Windows it is a few more clicks but still easily set. Just go to the Control Panel and select Network Sharing Center. Then click the option Change Adapter Settings. Right-Click adapter to change (wireless) and select the properties option. Double click on the IPv4 then enter Google’s DNS server settings.
Win7 Network Settings

Suction CupI’ve had issues with air bubbles before in my tablet screen and usually they’d go away on their own if the screen was left flat or at a slight angle. However, this last one seemed to be stuck right in the middle of the screen and after a few days was rather annoying with the screen color distortion and causing interference with the digitizer.

Warning: I’m not responsible if you break your screen attempting this!

While searching around for possible solutions I came across a suction cup with a flip tab to add or release the suction. Applying this suction cup over the air bubble and giving a wiggle then releasing the suction seems to have resolved the issue and there is no longer any issue with my screen. I’ll be keeping the suction cup handy in case another bubble should form again, but at least for now I don’t need to consider a tablet replacement.

As previously discussed in Part 1, a password manager can assist in maintaining secure and unique passwords for every site you access while only having to remember one master password. However, which is there right one to use? LifeHacker reviewed six in their article which I used as a starting point in my decisions. If you’re really paranoid you may also want to look at Clipperz which was not reviewed by LifeHacker. It appears very secure, however, only accepts Bitcoin as payment so that made me look at more easily available solutions for the current time.

Before picking a password manager a few things need to be looked at:

  • Is it for local computer only or will it need to sync to other computers?
  • What about use on mobile devices?
  • The level of security offered and required to meet your needs?
  • Costs of software?

For the past 10 years I had been using RoboForm as a local only password manager. If I was to continue or start using a new local only password manager I’d look at KeePass instead for being free and open source. However, with more things online and spending more time away from my computer and on mobile devices, it was time to find a new product with better mutli-device, mobile support and cloud synchronization.

While looking at cloud options I found that RoboForm does offer cloud sync for about $20/year ($10 for the first year), but after having already spent close to $100 over 10 years to maintain desktop and portable licenses I was hesitant to throw more money at it without doing more research of the other options and verification of security.

In that regard I chose to switch to LastPass for being cross platform with could synchronization but also looked at a number of other factors. Continue Reading

In today’s cyber world security is a must have, however, many go oblivious to their lack there of or believe in principles that are ineffective. With more reliance on the digital world now than ever before, one needs to be proactive with security to prevent being a victim of the next cyber hack attack or at a minimum mitigate the damages.

While some think that passwords must be complex and include uppercase, lowercase, numbers, and symbols to be effective this obscurification adds little if any security to the password. Today’s computers can now easily do the substitution of ‘@’ for ‘a’ or ‘$’ for ‘s’ while adding little time to the cracking attempts. It’s length that makes a password more secure. XKCD does good at graphically explaining this concept for creating long memorable passwords.

Password Strength

Another problem is the use of the same password for more than one site. With the difficulty in remembering passwords it’s not uncommon to use the same or slightly varied versions of a password across all sites, but this introduces the security risk that if one account is compromised then all your accounts are vulnerable to attack. Even though you may have picked one secure password you do not know how other companies and sites store that data. If the password was stored in a database as plain text or un-salted hash then an attacker could compromise accounts quickly should that database ever be hacked.

For the best security all sites should have their own password that is unique, randomly generated, greater than 14 characters, including your traditional upper, lower, number and symbol requirements. Websites should have password like  ‘&AuGwW7ML&sBJ6Ga;Jr2hBdah’ or ‘rx97QMYE+Jgf6o9%~jtsL7o;t’ for maximum security. But who could remember that?

A simple solution to managing secure passwords is the use of a password manager. This allows for only having to remember one strong password, like described in the XKCD picture, and increases security by using randomly generated passwords for every site. There are many password managers to chose from on the market. This LifeHacker article explains a the features of a bunch and Part 2 of this topic will include which I chose to use and why.

Do you use an Android device for office productivity or just copy and paste a lot of data? Perhaps you want to copy something on one device and paste it on another or just later on paste something you had previously copied.

A clipboard manager could prove to be a useful utility. Clipper Plus with Sync offers clipboard management features like history, ability to edit or clear the clipboard, save commonly pasted strings to snippets that can easily be copied onto the clipboard with a single tap. When the sync plugin is installed the clipboard syncs between devices and can also be accessed via ClipperSync website enabling copying over to computers.

Clipper Plus with Sync and the Sync Plugin can be downloaded from the Google Play Store for a small fee, or there is just Clipper,a limited free version that works without sync and has a max history of 20 clippings.

Have you ever been away from your computer and realized you need a file on it? Or perhaps access to a program you can’t run on a mobile device?

Remote Access provides a great solution allowing for you to access and control your computer from another computer or mobile device. There are many products and companies offering remote access services like TeamViewer, LogMeIn, GoToMyPC to name a few. Only caveat is you must leave your computer on with an Internet connection to access it.

Personally I recommend TeamViewer for its ease of installation and configuration. Additionally it is free for personal use and provides a method for requesting the remote assistance of others as an added bonus.

Well after being bugged for a while by a specific raccoon to get a blog setup I have finally done so. First attempt was with a host provided click and build site, but soon after making it realized I had no control over the DB and scrapped that. The next option was to create a mySQL DB that I was in control of in my hosting package and manually install WordPress. Took all of about 10 minutes. Spent about another 30 minutes trying to find a theme that worked for me which I still need to finish customizing.

While poking around for extra features like the share buttons I learned those are not installed by default. To access those you must first install the Jetpack plugin and then connect it with a WordPress account. (Something I am still working on doing and getting setup)

The hardest part of the whole ordeal was actually picking out a domain name that was not already taken. While it’s not my first or second choice it will work. After hours of searching, I’m not sure I could come up with anything better.

Stay tuned for more from the crazy fox here!