Opting out of phone tracking

I’m at home in the evening. As the clock ticks over to 9pm my iPhone begins to beep. I reach over and silence it. I look at the time, swipe up the screen and switch off aeroplane mode. As it connects to the cell network reports of surveillance capabilities flit through my mind; reports that the NSA can remotely activate the microphone and camera. I place the phone flat on the desk so that neither camera can see my computer screen.

Anonymity to learn

Today social media was expressing its usual preoccupations with Australia Day. I witnessed a depressing sight that became more so as I read. A young white Australian woman had commented on a heavily-trafficked Facebook post, essentially criticising the zeitgeist of white guilt on the grounds that nobody living in Australia today perpetrated genocide on the native Aborigines. It was a fairly eloquent post but ignorant of the challenges facing Aboriginal people today—and the criticism came thick and fast.

Sending authenticated SMTP alerts from Zabbix

I like to use SMTP wherever possible for automatic emails because it’s usually simpler and has fewer security gotchas than running a local MTA. Zabbix does have SMTP support but it’s currently limited to unauthenticated connections—not much help to a home user like me. I don’t have a mail server on the local trusted network. Fortunately it’s a pretty easy to hook up a script so that Zabbix sends email via Mutt, which does support authenticated and encrypted SMTP.

Monitoring a Ubiquiti NanoBridge with Zabbix

I have a couple of point-to-point WiFi links. One of these uses a 5 GHz NanoBridge, the other a 900 MHz Loco M900. The web interface on these has all kinds of interesting statistics that I would like to get into my Zabbix server for logging and graphing. The good news is that these devices support SNMP and also at least part of Mikrotik’s “experimental” SNMP module. This means if you do a walk over enterprises.14988 you get 7 OIDs containing interesting information about each connected client.