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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Creating, Modifying, Etc, SSH Keys

Another "remind myself how to do things" post.

To create a new ssh key:
ssh-keygen -t rsa -b 2048 -C "COMMENT"
 To change the passphrase on a key:
ssh-keygen -p -f KEYFILE [-P OLDPASS] [-N NEWPASS]
 There's a nice guide to this sort of thing here.

Simple Encryption With OpenSSL

Every once in a while, I need to transfer something from one computer to another, and emailing it to myself is an easy way to do it. But sometimes what I want to transfer isn't something I want out in the open. So the obvious thing to do is encrypt it, and the obvious tool to use to do this is openssl.

Here, so I remember it, is the command for doing this:
openssl enc -des -a -e -pass pass:PASSWORD -in INFILE -out OUTFILE
If you leave out INFILE or OUTFILE, it defaults to stdin and stdout. So you can do:
echo "This is  a secret" | openssl enc -des -a -e -pass pass:PASSWORD
and the encrypted version will be written to the terminal.

To decrypt:
openssl enc -des -a -d -pass pass:PASSWORD -in ENCRYPTED -out DECRTYPED
Or, again:
echo "U2FsdGVkX1+Kqcs+25e+6MiQBr4NT8ykx3POhv9yAf9gnvSn4D2L0A==" | openssl enc -des -a -d -pass pass:PASSWORD
And again you'll get the decrypted version written to the terminal.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Two Excellent Articles By Veterans About "American Sniper"

Both on Alternet:
And let me emphasize something at the end of the first one: This isn't about Chris Kyle.
Let’s talk about [Bradley] Cooper and [screenwriter Jason] Hall, and the culture industry that recycles propagandistic fiction under the guise of a “true story.” And let’s focus our anger and our organizing against the authorities and the institutions that craft the lies that the Chris Kyles of the world believe, that have created a trail of blowback leading from dumb war to dumb war, and that have sent 2.5 million veterans to fight a “war on terror” that persists in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria and Pakistan.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Thought Wins PROSE Award for Best New Journal in the Humanities and Social Sciences

The journal Thought, which was founded a few years ago by Crispin Wright, and for which I am the Associate Editor for Philosophy of Language and Philosophy of Mathematics, has been recognized as the Best New Journal in the Humanities and Social Sciences at the PROSE Awards.

I had not previously heard of these awards, but apparently they are the American Publishers Awards for Professional and Scholarly Excellence. They describe themselves this way:
The PROSE Awards annually recognize the very best in professional and scholarly publishing by bringing attention to distinguished books, journals, and electronic content in over 40 categories. Judged by peer publishers, librarians, and medical professionals since 1976, the PROSE Awards are extraordinary for their breadth and depth.
This is a wonderful recognition for what has quickly become, IMHO, an excellent journal. Congratulations are due especially to Crispin and to the other to editors: Carrie Jenkins and John Divers.

For those who have not previously heard of Thought, we specialize in publishing shorter pieces (under 4000 words), kind of like Analysis. We try our best to have a fast turn-around time, though it doesn't always work out that way.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Sam Killermann's TEDx Talk on Gender

I'm a big fan of Sam Killermann, who is the human behind the website It's Pronounced Metrosexual, the Genderbread Person, a wonderful and very commonsensical book on gender (which can be downloaded for free or for a donation, if you wish), the world's best sign for gender neutral bathrooms, and much else that is wonderful. He's also a very funny guy, who first made his name doing a sort of stand-up routine about gender. So I was thrilled the other day to discover his TEDx talk, "Understanding the Complexities of Gender", on You Tube. Even if you already know all the basics, it's worth watching, if only for how compassionate Sam is towards those he is trying to help understand.

There's a wonderful bit at the end (it starts at about 15:35) where Sam articulates his hopes for the future:
Now, in my dreams, I don't foresee a society that is gender-blind, but I do foresee one that is gender-creative. Where people can figure out who they are and be themselves, exploring what that means, and in that they'll be supported. Where questioning one's gender won't be shunned, but an expectation. And where realizing that you don't fit into this gender mold won't lead to isolation and depression, but will be a source of celebration. And above all a society where people, regardless of their gender formation, are safe. 
It's sad one even has to mention that last bit, but Amen to all of it.