Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Changing Chrome's Cache Location

Chrome doesn't allow for changing the installation path of the browser during installation. Which for those of us with SSDs, can be a pain. Unlike normal magnetic hard drives, SSDs can wear a lot quicker. So the less read/writes to the drive the better. So changing Chrome's cache location can help increase the life of your SSD. Simply use the command line switch:


when executing Chrome. You can add this to the shortcut on the desktop.

However, probably the best way is to just create a symbolic link/folder junction, especially for those that have chrome automatically start on boot. You could add the switch to the registry entry, however the changes don't seem to stick and change back to default.

To create the link, make a directory on the drive you want to hold Chrome's cache files. Then navigate to C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data, and move the User Data folder to the new folder you created(Must completely close out of Chrome before moving the directory). Next open CMD as admin, and use the mklink command with /J to make directory junction:

mklink /J "C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data" "D:\Chrome Data/User Data"

This will create a directory/link that acts as an alias for the User Data folder. If you find a better way please let me know. =D

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Tails - Privacy for Anyone Anywhere!

Tails is a live system that aims to preserve your privacy and anonymity. It helps you to use the Internet anonymously almost anywhere you go and on any computer but leaving no trace unless you ask it to explicitly. It is a complete operating system designed to be used from a DVD or a USB stick independently of the computer's original operating system. It is Free Software and based on Debian GNU/Linux. Tails comes with several built-in applications pre-configured with security in mind: web browser, instant messaging client, email client, office suite, image and sound editor, etc.

Use the Internet anonymously and circumvent censorship; all connections to the Internet are forced to go through the Tor network;

Leave no trace on the computer you are using unless you ask it explicitly;

Use state-of-the-art cryptographic tools to encrypt your files, emails and instant messaging.


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Update: (Google Voice & Google Hangouts) + Ting = Cheapest Phone Bill

An old Android phone with no cell service can still be pretty useful. It still has WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, and you can still download apps from the market. It's basically a pocket PC. However with just a couple of apps you can turn that pocket PC back into a working phone at no cost. The only rub is that it only works over a WiFi connection and the quality is determine by your connection speed. It's still fun to play around with though.

You can use Google Voice, a free service from Google that will assign to you a working phone number. You do need to have a working number to get a Google Voice number, but only for the verification. Once you set up your Google Voice you can set it to never use that number to forward Google Voice calls and text. So any working number will do. Once you have your free number just install the Google Voice app on your android phone. Now you have free texting and voice mail over WiFi. Also if you have GMAIL on your droid, you should uncheck GMAIL notification on Google Voice. Otherwise you'll be getting double notification of text and voice mail from both the Google Voice app and Gmail, which can be annoying.

Now for calling, the Google Voice app does allow you to make voice calls, but only through the cell provider. You can make Google Voice internet calls on your computer using Hangouts, just not on the android. So to make phone calls on an android phone with no service you'll need a SIP(VOIP) app which will turn any call you make into a VOIP calls. Sipdroid is one that's very simple and free to use. I believe there are a few others, but I haven't tried them. Now this only works for outgoing calls. Any incoming calls through Google Voice will automatically be forwarded to voice mail. If I find something better in the future, I'll make sure to add it here.

It's not exactly perfect, the quality can suck sometimes. But it's free. I also use a WiFi app that automatically connects me to any open WiFi, that way I can usually get notified of any text messages or voice mail. Probably not the best idea as far as security goes. Also I would like to note that on a phone with no service it's best to keep it in airplane mode. Cell standby can really be a drain on the battery.

If you do know of a better VOIP app, please let me know in the comments below. Hopefully one day Google will upgrade the app to include VOIP outgoing and incoming calls.

Update GrooVeIP & Ting:
After having a few issues with Sipdroid, I went ahead and spent some cash on GrooVe IP, which works perfect for both incoming and outgoing calls. So if you're willing to pay a few bucks, I would recommend the GrooVe IP app, it's worth the cost.

Ting + Voice + GrooVe IP = cheapest phone bill ever. I bought a Galaxy Nexus for service with Ting. So now only using data(no voice, no text from Ting), I only get charged for the data I used. Since I can usually get WiFi from all the places I go to, I rarely use data, and when I do it's usually very minimum. Seriously, my bill last month was 19$, it would have been cheaper but I forgot to turn off Google Photo auto sync. =) If you're interested click here and get a free 25$ credit for Ting.

Phone calls can now be made with Google Hangouts using your Google voice number. I'm no longer using GrooVe IP and just using Hangouts.

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Encrypt All The Things

HTTPS Everywhere is a Firefox and Chrome extension that encrypts your communications with many major websites, making your browsing more secure.

TrueCrypt is free open-source disk encryption software for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. In case an attacker forces you to reveal the password, TrueCrypt provides plausible deniability. In contrast to file encryption, data encryption performed by TrueCrypt is real-time (on-the-fly), automatic, transparent, needs very little memory, and does not involve temporary unencrypted files.

Cryptocat lets you chat with privacy. Easy to use web app that encrypts your conversations. It's open source and you already know how to use it.

ProXPN. The easiest to use free VPN. Quickly secure your internet connection and unblock any website. Works with PCs, Macs, iOS, Android, and more.

OpenPGP.js. This project aims to provide an Open Source OpenPGP library in JavaScript so it can be used on virtually every device. Instead of other plugins that are aimed at using e.g. NPAPI (meaning they are intended to run native code), OpenPGP.js is meant to bypass this requirement (i.e. people will not have to install gpg on their machines in order to use the software). The idea is to implement all the needed OpenPGP functionality in a JavaScript library, to reuse it in other projects and to provide example applications and browser plugins. It should allow you to sign, encrypt, decrypt, and verify any kind of text - in particular e-mails - as well as managing keys.

Tor is free software and an open network that helps you defend against a form of network surveillance that threatens personal freedom and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security known as traffic analysis.

BitTorrent Sync. Automatically sync files via secure, distributed technology.

Join Mozilla, the EFF, Free Press, Access, Demand Progress and others in asking Congress to restore our rights to privacy.