This week I’ll talk about a new set of tutorials I created to give you step by step instructions on how to do the email signing/encrypting that Bart walked us through a few weeks ago, we’ll get a better answer on how to record radio stations, I’ll talk about my quest to find an easy, reliable way to broadcast a live demo and my lovely face at the same time. Then we’ve got a rather mammoth episode of Chit Chat Across the Pond with Security light, a dumb question from Ran about what you can do with VPNs, and then Bart starts a segment called Taming the Terminal – part 1 of n.
Hi this is Allison Sheridan of the NosillaCast Mac Podcast, hosted at Podfeet.com, a technology geek podcast with an EVER so slight Macintosh bias. Today is Sunday April 14, 2013 and this is show number 414. This week I’ll talk about a new set of tutorials I created to give you step by step instructions on how to do the email signing/encrypting done that Bart walked us through a few weeks ago, we’ll get a better answer on how to record radio stations, I’ll talk about my quest to find an easy, reliable way to broadcast a live demo and my lovely face at the same time. Then we’ve got a rather mammoth episode of Chit Chat Across the Pond with Security light, a dumb question from Ran about what you can do with VPNs, and then Bart starts a segment called Taming the Terminal – part 1 of n. Let’s dig in.
This week Steve Stanger, Chuck Joiner and I recorded episode 214 of the Mac Roundtable. We discussed such topics as
- What is Adobe afraid of and why did they give away free copies of Premiere Pro at NAB?
- Will we buy the Facebook One phone?
- Will there every be an end to the “Apple is Dying” stories?
- What do the Ambrosia Software layoffs mean for this stalwart of the Mac community?
- Do we want/need another music stream service from Apple? (I slept through this part)
I hope you’ll go over to macroundtable.com and check out this fun episode and maybe even subscribe!
How to Set Up Signed and Encrypted Email
Back on Episode 412 two weeks ago, Bart taught us how to set up signed and encrypted emails from Mail.app. We’ve both been delighted by the number of people who gave it a shot. We had a lot of traffic on the blog about it, a few problems here and there but we’ve both noticed a lot of emails coming to us signed since then. When we first talked through it, I tried to make a Clarify document to make it easy for even more people to do it, but I got confused partway through on some of the steps and never finished the document. I did have Steve try to run through my document, and I’d gotten some steps out of order so that was good to get his help.
Bart and I got together on Skype yesterday and walked through all the screenshots I’d taken and decided we really should break it up into three parts:
- The first tutorial walks you through how to obtain the certificate and generate your private key, which also lets you immediately send signed emails and then encrypt them between two parties.
- The second tutorial is pretty short, it walks you through how to export your .p12 file containing the certificate and the private key so that you can use it on other Macs, other mail applications or on iOS devices
- The third and final tutorial walks you through how to import the certificate and private key into iOS, which will allow you to read encrypted email you receive, and to send signed emails. Unfortunately as Bart will explain in Chit Chat Across the Pond, it’s just too darn hard to send encrypted email from iOS.
I took all three of these tutorials and put them in a single page under Tutorials over on podfeet.com entitled How to Set Up Signed and Encrypted Email. I hope if you haven’t tried it yet, you’ll go through the tutorials and get secure in your email.
Recording Radio Stations – Part 2
Back on show #410, Steve Mandala asked for help recording his favorite radio show on WFAN. I suggested using Audio Hijack Pro to get the job done. This week Kevin from Connecticut wrote in with a really cool solution I had never heard of before:
Anyway – I have a better solution than the one you suggested. DAR.fm is perfect for recording many radio programs, basically those that offer online streaming without the need to buy any locally installed software. DAR is a freemium service and while paid option would be great for pure radio buffs, the free one is good enough for me. The gratis option allows you to record one radio stream at a time and store 2 GB of data on their servers. There is a specific link for WFAN for this castaway . Francesa’s show is available.
I forwarded Kevin’s idea on to Steve and he wrote back,
Thank you for giving me ideas on recording my favorite sports talk radio show. But the solution from Kevin in Connecticut is fantastic! This is web based, I can store up to 2 gig for free, which is no problem since I’ll listen to the show and delete it. This site lets you edit how long you want to record the show for. I could record the whole 5 hour show if I wanted to. I edited the show to the first 25 minutes which is the show opening and I’m all set.
I’m glad the NosillaCastaways are there to help each other (I still thought my answer was slick though…) Anyway I just noticed something else cool. In Downcast (my favorite iOS podcatching client), under add podcasts it says “Download any AM/FM radio show as a podcast at DAR.fm”. The DAR.fm is a link and it opens a tiny web browser to that site and you can subscribe from there. How cool is that?
How to Show me and Demo at SVMUG
I’ve been asked to give a presentation at the Silicon Valley Mac Users Group, but remotely instead of in person. Lynda Gousha has asked me to this event. She’s a good friend of Donald Burr, and she was one of my fun dance companions at Cirque de Mac this year. If that isn’t enough of an endorsement I don’t know what is. Anyway, we got to talking about how to do a remote presentation. She said that they’ve done this successfully before, simply using the Apple Messages app. I would share my screen and hear my voice through Messages.
I thought it would be more entertaining to take it up a notch though. I like to have people see how animated I am waving my arms around with excitement and laughing at my own jokes. I also like to flip between boring old presentation mode (even if it IS in Keynote, it’s still boring to me) and move into a live demo mode. So I wanted something that would let me present, do a demo and have picture in picture of my lovely face.
I posted the question over in the NosillaCast Google Plus community (podfeet.com/googleplus) and got a few good ideas and one great idea. Kirschen suggested a webex type tool, but I’m too cheap to pay for anything like that. David Gerlits pointed me towards an article by Adam Engst on TidBITS that describes how to do it on Google Plus using two computers and two separate accounts. I will probably check that out at some point because it sounds confusing and complicated and geeky. Definitely my kind of thing to play with.
While we were going back and forth I realized that I actually have the tool to solve the problem. Every Sunday night at 5pm Pacific time I launch Wirecast Studio, and pipe in a video source of my screen plus a picture in picture of me! Of course I add all kinds of other complications to the mess to make it harder and more fraught with danger, but I think I could created a modified scenario that would work. I have to play with this still to see if I could pipe the Wirecast output as a camera into Messages or another tool like that. So far I only know how to make it go to Justin.tv or other sources like that. If we did it through Justin other people could watch it too but we’d lose the interactivity with the folks at SVMUG; they couldn’t ask questions or interrupt me during the talk.
Then back in the G+ community Nik Lal came up with a great idea. He suggested screensharing in Messages, but to bring up a Facetime window on the screen at the same time. He reminded me that when you bring up FaceTime and haven’t yet called anyone, it shows a live video of YOU. I think this is a brilliant solution! I asked whether maybe I could use Photobooth in the same way because it has the advantages of being able to add silly effects while I’m talking. Nik said he’d tried that and for him anyway, Photobooth comes out a bit granier than FaceTime. I’ll probably play around with both.
Kirschen jumped back into the G+ discussion and pointed me towards a post over on Smalldog on how to actually drop a Keynote presentation into a Messages session and share it out from there. Unfortunately for the life of me I can’t get any kind of sharing to work using Messages. In my poking around and reading articles on Macworld by the venerable Lex Friedman, I did finally figure out what the difference is between Messages and iMessage. iMessage is a protocol, Messages is an application. So with Messages you can send someone a message using iMessage as the protocol, but you can also send the message using the Google Talk protocol or Jabber or even AIM. In reading the help files I discovered something interesting about that. You CANNOT share your screen with someone using Messages IF you’re using the iMessage protocol. What the heck??? This is so convoluted. So I have to use Messages to share my screen (Unless they have Skype which is way way way simpler), but I can’t contact them using iMessage with Messages. My head hurts! So I’ll leave this for another day.
As I mentioned at the beginning of the show, Bart and I reworked the tutorials I’d tried to make explaining signed and encrypted emails. I think this is a great example of where Clarify (and also ScreenSteps) both shine. I had taken the screenshots in Clarify but I had some ideas out of order. We were able to name each step and in the side panel simply drag the steps up and down to get them in the right order. Note that it was because I didn’t actually know what I was doing, not any fault of Clarify that they were disordered.
Anyway, when we got the idea to break it up into three lessons, we just assumed that it would work like the old fashioned tools, we’d duplicate the file, delete all the steps after and before a certain point and then save the two lessons. After we did all that work for the first document, I sort of accidentally right clicked when I had the steps I wanted to move selected, and right there was a selection called Create New Document Using Selected Steps.
I think that shows off the strength of both of these tools – they don’t assume you’ll completely understand what your finished product is when you start, instead they make it easy to reorder steps, create new lessons from the giant one, retake screenshots if you decide the one you have doesn’t convey what you wanted. Once we realized where we wanted to go, it was super easy to cut the one tutorial up into three and we were on our way. If you haven’t checked out Clarify yet, it’s $30 in the Mac App Store, or you can give it a 30 day trial run over at BlueMangoLearning.com for Mac OR Windows.
Chit Chat Across the Pond
Email Security Followup:
I think the last segment was the most popular segment we’ve ever done on CCATP!
In hind-sight, I tried to do too much in one segment – it should have been two segments, so we didn’t get to go into as much detail as we should have on some things.
While signing has no negative side effects, you need to be careful with encryption because there is a price to pay for the extra privacy. You shouldn’t just blindly encrypt everything because you can. Remember the side-effects:
- Encrypted email can only be read on a computer that has your cert installed. Free certs only last one year, so to be able to read your old encrypted emails for ever, you will have to keep ALL your 1-year certs installed on your computer. Even if you pay for three-year certs, you only reduce the problem by a third.
- Most webmail providers, including GMail lack support for S/MIME encryption, so your encrypted email probably won’t be readable on your webmail client.
- While iOS makes it easy to get your cert installed so you can read encrypted emails, other than that it’s S/MIME support leaves a lot to be desired. To use S/MIME on iOS for more than just reading encrypted email you have to turn it on in the advanced settings of your mail account in the iOS Settings app. You can turn on S/MIME signing in there, and that works, but you can also turn on encrypting there, which I would urge against. Also, unlike in Mail.app on the Mac, iOS Mail does not automatically save people’s S/MIME certs, so you have to manually add each person’s cert before you can send them encrypted email.
Important Security Updates:
- Reminder that last Tuesday was Patch Tuesday – so wake up all your Windows machines and let them update themselves (some nasty remote code execution bugs squished so don’t delay) – http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/security/bulletin/ms13-apr
- ONE of the patches from Patch Tuesday has been withdrawn because it interacted badly with some third-party software, MS have stopped pushing out the patch, so if you’re updating now you should be fine – if you’ve already updated and your machine can still boot you’re fine too – http://krebsonsecurity.com/2013/04/microsoft-hold-off-installing-ms13-036/
- Adobe also released 10 patches on Patch Tuesday, covering Flash, Shockwave, and ColdFusion – http://www.intego.com/mac-security-blog/adobe-patches-10-critical-vulnerabilities-in-flash-player-shockwave-player-and-coldfusion/
- FireFox makes it to version 20 with a bunch of security fixes and some UI tweaks – http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2013/04/02/firefox-20-arrives-new-version-some-security-improvements/
Important Security News:
- Security researchers are reporting a significant spike in attacks on website CMSes like WordPress and Joomla – now would be a great time to strengthen your passwords – http://krebsonsecurity.com/2013/04/brute-force-attacks-build-wordpress-botnet/
- But in better news – WordPress.com now offers 2-step auth – http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2013/04/06/wordpress-boosts-security-for-bloggers-with-2fa/
- Microsoft has ended support for Office 2008 on Mac – there will be no more security updates so it is not safe to use anymore – MS want to you switch to Office 365, why not use the opportunity to check out the alternatives like Libre Office or Apple’s iWork suite – http://www.intego.com/mac-security-blog/microsoft-ending-support-for-office-for-mac-2008/
- Reminder – Windows XP has less than a year to live – if you’re still using it, you’ll need to kick the habit within the next we months! – http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2013/04/08/windows-xp-death-watch-365/
- America’s deeply flawed patent system forces Apple to reduce some VPN users security – http://support.apple.com/kb/TS4550
- Researcher reveals a number of serious bugs in older Linksys router firmware – if you have a Linksys router, now would be a great time to patch it – http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2013/04/11/anatomy-of-an-exploit-linksys-router-remote-password-change-hole/
- The NZ government’s blunder provides a great lesson to all on the importance of BCCing people on a mailing list in order to protect their privacy – http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2013/03/30/we-apologise-for-the-previous-apology-nz-government-department-in-email-cc-double-blunder/
- Recent iMessage DOS attacks show that Apple have a lot of work to do when it comes to protecting iMessage users – http://arstechnica.com/apple/2013/03/a-flood-of-prank-imessage-texts-shows-the-app-can-be-crashed-easily/
- Om Malik on the privacy thread posed by FaceBook Home (IMO you’d be nuts to install it) – http://gigaom.com/2013/04/04/why-facebook-home-bothers-me-it-destroys-any-notion-of-privacy/
- How to configure FaceBook to stop your friends giving away your privacy – http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2013/04/03/how-to-stop-your-friends-facebook-apps-from-accessing-your-private-information/
- Facebook to experiment with charging users to message celebrities – http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2013/04/09/facebook-celebrity-stalker-spam/
- A timely reminder why it’s important to follow the money – the makers of Turbo Taxes spent customers money fighting AGAINST making it easier to file your US taxes – http://www.propublica.org/article/how-the-maker-of-turbotax-fought-free-simple-tax-filing
- CA lawmakers trying to pass a bill to give their citizens the basic privacy protections Europeans take for granted but Americans can only dream of – http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2013/04/05/california-personal-data-disclosure-bill/
- The IRS continues to insist it can read US citizens emails without a warrant, despite what the constitution and the courts say – http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57578839-38/irs-claims-it-can-read-your-e-mail-without-a-warrant/
- Disturbing research on hacking modern planes presented – thankfully the aviation industry is taking the problem seriously and working with the researcher – http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2013/04/12/plane-hacked-remotely-android/
- Movie site Vudu gives us a nice illustration of why you should encrypt your hard drives – they lost control of customer data when burglars broke in a stole unencrypted hard drives – http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2013/04/11/vudu-resets-passwords-burglar-hard-drives/
VPN Dumb Q
Listener Ran writes:
Long time listener, really enjoy the show.
So I trudged through your tutorial on getting a VPN set up on my home iMac. After a few attempts, I was successful. Learned something too.
I managed to get VPN connectivity between my iPad and iMac. How cool. One problem, now what do I do with this connection? Seems like I need some kind of app on the iPad in order to make use of this wonderful secured connection. I’ve looked in the app store but all their solutions either were for connecting to Windows (ugh) or one ends up using another type of connection (VNR, I think).
Any suggestions on the right app to use on my iPad/iPhone to actually USE my iMac remotely?
Thanks, and keep up the great work.
The most common reason people use a VPN is to protect themselves while they are on public wifi, and for that you don’t need any apps at all. For most people, VPNs are not about using their Macs back home.
It’s very hard to answer an abstract question like this, because the best app to use will depend entirely on the actual problem you are trying to solve. I guess the most general kind of way you could use your Mac remotely would be using some sort of screen-sharing app. You can use iOS VNC clients like Mocha VNC (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mocha-vnc/id284981670?mt=8) to connect to Macs which have Screen Sharing turned on in the Sharing pref pane. Really though, I think the first step in finding the right app is figuring what problem you are trying to solve.
BTW – inspired by Donald’s segment, I tested out the OpenVPN iOS app – WOW – VPN support on iOS really has come a very very long way since I last looked at it a few years ago!
Main Topic – Taming the Terminal – Part 1of n
After Bart and I got off of Skype I tried out using Bart’s advice on how to play around inside my network when on my new shiny home VPN. I went into my Airport Extreme, and gave Steve’s Macbook Air a static IP. Then I got on the Mifi so I was outside the network, used Viscosity to connect into my home VPN. Then I simply went to Go in the Finder menu bar and selected connect to server and entered ftp:// followed by the static IP for the Macbook Air. Boom. or should I say booooom after ages I was able to navigate his hard drive after entering his credentials. Then I figured out that I could also screenshare into his Macbook Air by typing in vnc:// and his iP address. Again it wasn’t wicked fast, but if I had to do something on his Mac, this would be a viable solution. So thanks Ran for the question (and to several others who asked the same question) and to Bart for helping us to noodle through this.
That’s going to wind this up for this week, many thanks to our sponsor for helping to pay the bills, Blue Mango Learning at bluemangolearning.com makers of ScreenSteps and Clarify. Don’t forget to send in your Dumb Questions, comments and suggestions by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow me on twitter at @podfeet. Check out the NosillaCast Google Plus Community too – lots of fun over there! If you want to join in the fun of the live show, head on over to podfeet.com/live on Sunday nights at 5pm Pacific Time and join the friendly and enthusiastic NosillaCastaways. Thanks for listening, and stay subscribed.