Wednesday, March 25, 2009

How to Safely Anonymize Users

You want to allow Anon to post messages; you want to block their IP address if
they don’t follow your terms; but you don’t want them to be traceable.  The solution to this is
excessively simple.  One-way encrypt their IP address.

This can be done in PHP
simply by grabbing the MD5 of their IP address.

The last note is; this still isn’t
completely anonymous.  Anyone could easily compile a rainbow table for IP address MD5 results. 
Try mixing it up.  Apply a secret key to the MD5 before, after, or even between the numbers. 
Encrypt the numbers to letters before throwing it through an MD5.  Either way, you gain the ability
to identify anonymous users through a Unique ID without having anything of use to a hacker or federal
employee.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Improvements for @GoogleVoice

Google Voice is in dire need of some few improvements if it wants to be
useful:

  • Archive & Labels feature of Gmail

This
one is fairly self-explanatory.  It allows us to keep records of voicemails, calls, SMS, and the
likes, but it doesn’t allow us to archive, label, or tag them.  This would make organization much
simpler.

  • MMS

Google Voice does wonderfully
with it’s support of SMS; but it’s lacking in one thing that more and more phones are getting: MMS. 
Without MMS, or at least an MMS to email forwarding system, it’s impossible to receive those cute and funny
picture, sound, and/or video messages from your friends.  This is a much needed feature.


  • Contact Bridge

This is another issue I can see with
Google Voice.  How am I supposed to randomly SMS someone from my phone?  Right now, it’s
impossible.  But doing something simple (that US carriers support) would make it super-easy to SMS
people, and would remove the requirement for Google Voice to send the contacts name with each SMS.


CONTACT_N[email protected]_GOOGLE_VOICE_NUMBER.gvoice.com


ex. [email protected]


Verify that the sender is indeed the phone number supported, and then send the text from the email,
and reply back from that email.  SMS and MMS over email is supported by many (if not all) US
carriers.  Like this, I would be able to add my contacts to my phone’s address book, and message
them seamlessly.

  • UTF-8 Texting

So far,
through my tests (in SMSing an iPhone, since they have a world keyboard) I have only been able to receive
Japanese text messages through Google Voice.  Attempting to send a text that's either partially or
completely Japanese appears garbled on the receiver’s iPhone.

  • Shortcode SMS

Maybe?  This may not be cost-effective for Google.

  • Ringback
    Tones

GrandCentral had them, and we want them back.  At least the
basic ones, like “Russian Ring” and “Japanese Ring.”

  • Alias Numbers

One Forever number is pretty good; but you know what’s even better?  Two
forever numbers.  Unfortunately, not all landlines have free long distance yet (Heck, not even all
cell phones do yet!)  So even (at least) a paid model for another number would be nice.


  • Skype

Seriously, you bridge over to Gizmo but not
Skype?  Adding a Skype bridge would be pure awesome.  PURE AWESOME.  I don’t
think anybody can argue with that. 

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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Suggestion for Email: X-Thread-ID

I was just thinking, as I read over my twitter stream, that one of the best
features for Gmail is indeed the threading capabilities.  To have all of your messages that pertain
to a certain subject/discussion listed as a thread with individual messages; allows for much better message
management, and makes it much easier to find what you’re looking for.

But one way to make
this even easier, would be an introduction of a new header into emails:

X-Thread-ID


This would be the MD5 of the subject and timestamp, or something along those lines to generate an
ID that would be very or completely unlikely to accidentally be recreated.

This would
make it super easy for mail clients and servers alike to keep track of threads.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Skype Oddity: Send SMS from Skype

Don’t get me wrong, I love Skype.  It’s
one of the best IM services I’ve used, the best voice chat service I’ve ever
used.  But it does do one thing that I find quite odd.

You can send SMS messages
through it; as long as you purchase Skype credit.

Now, as an American, this is fairly odd
behavior.  Through most other IM services I use, I can also send and receive SMS – Completely Free.


Maybe Skype just doesn’t have enough money rolling in to be able to do that?

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Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Resolution

Yeah, it’s late, I know.  Sorry about that, but better late than
never, right?

I am now Home Schooled; and I don’t plan to allow my children to attend
public school unless Obama or the president(s) after him manage to revolutionize the public education system
to be a little less stupid, and a lot smarter.

The principle’s formal decision was to
assign me to “Annex.”  If you haven’t been keeping up, Annex is the short name given to the
Alternative Education building by the Klein ISD.


I have been withdrawn from school, and am now “Homeschooling” myself until the Alternative
Education Placement time period has expired.

April 13th, I will be
re-enrolling in my classes at the local public school and will start the procedure to get credit for the
classes during the time of the suspension and my homeschooling.

I don’t want
to re-enroll, but as the colleges I have applied to will be expecting a High School Diploma and a Last
Transcript, I need to formally graduate from High School.

We had a lawyer, but he wasn’t
able to do anything, and all-in-all was a waste of money.  A 2,998 dollar waste.  He was a
good lawyer, but there was simply nothing he could do.  (No offense to the lawyer if he reads this
post.)

Here is a video of what I did to get into trouble.  HD
is available on Vimeo’s Website (Click the HD button):

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height="241">Video page at Vimeo

All in All, this is entirely ridiculous, but at least it’s over.

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