Corona Drones!

When I heard about these Corona drones on the news I immediately imagined a scene similar to what you see in the video… And I couldn’t sleep until I actually finished creating this video. I have no idea why, since it’s not even funny. Ah well, at least it kept me inside the house for the whole evening, and Corono outside, so that’s something. Right?

Breaking Bad Again

My dad still hasn’t seen Breaking Bad but never mind that right now. I watched the whole series for the 4th or maybe 5th time now. Seems like the more you watch it the better it gets. It’s just indescribable so I’m not going to try again. But I do want to talk about the episode that comes before the series finale episode. I noticed today that it gives me a shitload of goosebumps still. Even though I’ve seen that scene over 20 times already by now. To help you remember what I’m talking about here’s where we are in the series. If you haven’t seen the show yet don’t click on continue reading because SPOILER ALERT!

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Block all traffic from a Geo-located country with UFW firewall on Ubuntu

I was noticing some really strange requests in my web server’s log files on a VPS that I manage. Requests that seem to be focused on finding vulnerabilities or exploits. Turns out most of the originating IP addresses are from China. Since the VPS is not behind a router or otherwise managed firewall device, I decided to investigate if I could just block all traffic from China to my VPS. Turns out the software “Uncomplicated Firewall” or better know as UFW, that I already had running can do this easily. If you’re new to UFW have a look at this very comprehensive page showing how to set it up.

Here are two examples showing how to setup your UFW firewall to block IP addresses or ports based on Geo location. This should work on any system running UFW but in this case I did it on a headless Ubuntu 18.04 system. Click on Read more to view the rest of this article.

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Banjo Guy Ollie

It’s been a while, but I’ve stumbled across a Youtuber that I got very exited about during my most recent Youtube-binge-watch, or rather said; my most recent descent in to the dark abyss that I call my personal “Recommended list” on Youtube.

But I made it back!! I’m here, I’m doing ok. There’s nothing to worry about. For now at least…

I realize that this guy has probably been an internet celebrity for years already and that I’m perhaps one of the last few that hadn’t discovered it yet but hey, I just discovered it for the first time, and I’m enthusiastic right now so there you go.

This Youtuber calls himself Banjo Guy Ollie and among a variety of other things, he also plays retro game-tunes / theme-songs on a range of instruments but mainly the Banjo, and he, himself and him, make really fun video’s by editing them with him playing all the instruments, performing these 8-bit tunes that are forever stored in the back of the brains of most people from my generation. That generation of old farts by now, that grew up during a time in which video gaming or the whole concept of it was only just emerging. Interesting times, especially now in retrospect.

I can already see myself rambling on from this point on so to prevent this from happening I’m just gonna stop my train of thoughts and provide you with the link to this awesome video that shows Ollie nailing the Mega man 2 tune. Enjoy!

Configuring DNS-Over-HTTPS on RaspberryPi running Pi-Hole

In this article I will show you all the steps you will need to set up DNS-over-HTTPS to Cloudflared on a Raspberry Pi that’s running Pi-Hole on RaspBian Stretch OS. This is called an Argo Tunnel. Now you might think to yourself; What does all this even mean? Let me explain…

A Raspberry Pi is a really cheap tiny computer that has very low power consumption. These tiny computers costs between 30 to 50 euro’s/dollars and are ideal for people who often mess around with computers and everything related to it, like me for example. But they’re also interesting for people who want to keep their power consumption at home as low as possible, but still want certain services to run 24/7. I’m also one of those people. Especially when I saw my most recent electricity bill from the energy provider. It showed that I use more power than a family of five people averagely does. I live alone…

One of the reasons I want certain devices to run 24/7 is because they are hosting some services that I want to be available at all times. Like a DNS server for example. Pi-Hole is basically a DNS server that also blocks adds, for all the devices in your home network. Technically it’s actually not a DNS server but a local DNS resolver but that’s not important right now. I started using Pi-Hole about two years ago and nowadays my network feels incomplete without a Pi-Hole running in it. It also keep statistics that you can view in a simple web interface as shown below. Read more about it here.

pretty-stats
pretty-stats

Pi-Hole will resolve all DNS queries for every device in your home network. And to resolve queries and send the answer back to the clients Pi-Hole uses several upstream DNS server like 1.1.1.1 or 8.8.8.8. DNS queries from my Pi-Hole to the upstream DNS servers are not encrypted in any way. This means that my internet provider can monitor all these queries that I send out to the internet. In other words, they know what websites I visit and they monitor this and save the logs files for a certain amount of time. I’ve never really cared much about this, and I use VPN when I don’t want them to see what I’m doing. But with all the things that are going on right now in the realm of the world wide web, and with all the changes that have happened that I disagree with, I have become more aware of the benefits of securing as much as you can against preying eyes. Having said this just now, I started to nostalgically think back to the early days when the internet still felt like a playground for people like me, in anarchy, and it was completely free and it opened so many possibilities that we couldn’t even predict back then. Good days, good days. I miss those.

Recently I stumbled upon an article that explained the benefits of using HTTPS to secure DNS queries. This caught my interest so I did all the things the article suggested and within a couple of minutes a functional Pi-Hole with DNS-over-HTTPS was up and running. I figured that I might want to build this setup again at some point in the future, so I documented what I did, and since I was doing that, it was little effort to also post it here.

The upstream DNS servers we will be using are hosted by Cloudfare. They revolutionized the way we think of DNS when they went public on April fool’s day 2018, and their DNS servers are several times faster as the public Google DNS servers. I wrote something about this earlier that you might want to read also.

I’m assuming that you have already set up RaspBian on your Raspberry Pi yourself and that you are connected to the internet. I used RaspBian Lite but this works exactly the same on the full desktop version of RaspBian. Since I use the root account there’s no need for me to enter ‘sudo’ before the commands. So forgive me if I have forgotten to include sudo in some of the command-line instructions below. You should never use the root account but a regular account that has sudo rights. So if you see that a command is not working correctly for you, try it again but add sudo to the command.

We’re going to begin with the installation of Pi-Hole on a freshly new installed system. When this is running we install a tiny client-daemon from Cloudflare for the communication with the upstream DNS queries. I choose to use Cloudflare’s really fast servers 1.1.1.1 and 1.0.0.1, but you can use any of these servers that supports DNS over HTTPS. Eventually we will configure Pi-Hole and Cloudflared to work together hand in hand.

To continue reading the full article and the instructions, click on read more. Enough chatter, that barely anybody will read anyways, so let’s get started!

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Unforeseen Consequences

As and old fart I remember playing games like Half-Life and Half-Life II and of course Counter-Strike when it was still just a beta mod for HL. I played Counter-Strike for countless and many of times. Also I played Half-Life and HL2 (source) even more. This is why I can really appreciate this docu video on Youtube that is all about HL and it’s history and everything else related.

Elon Musk speaks with Joe Rogan podcast

Joe Rogan’s podcast from last Thursday where he speaks with Elon Musk has gotten a lot of attention the last couple of days. Mostly because Elon smokes a joint with Joe. I personally don’t think that’s a big deal and I know that this happens regularly on Joe’s podcasts so I don’t see what all the fuss is about.

What I find far more interesting is the talk itself, because in two and a half hours it’s possible to talk about many things, and they do talk about a lot of interesting subjects. Mainly the subject of A.I. and Elon’s view on the subject is something that is very note-worthy. So just press play, and listen to the whole podcast while you do something else in the meantime, like clean your house or do the dishes or whatever 🙂

Gutenberg is coming to WordPress! Soon!

Gutenberg is a feature that has been under development for a while now, will be released with version 5 of WordPress in the very near future. Until that time, it can be installed as a WP Plugin if you wanna try it out. I’m pretty exited about this cause it looks pretty awesome to me. The designers are already thinking ahead and here is how they see the future of the internet and what Gutenberg’s role will be in this.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08Cav2SkUO4

Main rules of the Internet

Today I was in a conversation and I wanted to refer to a very famous rule that belongs to “the main rules of the internet”, but I couldn’t remember it so that conversation went weird really fast. So after I googled it and it turns out it I was trying to refer to rule 34. I also took a serious good look at all the other rules of the internet, just to refresh my memory. If you spend serious amounts of time online than you should do the same!