Create your own cellular network

Ukama (https://www.ukama.com/) is using the Citizens Broadband Radio Service to let an unlicensed user create their own cellular network. Interesting idea! Read more at Ukama or in this article https://www.androidauthority.com/ukama-cell-service-3216235 or just drop in on their github (https://github.com/ukama/ukama/) and Twitter at https://twitter.com/ukamanetworks

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Proton has a Google Drive alternative

It’s been in beta since 2020 but they’ve finally made it available to the rest of us. Android app and web app available now, the rest is coming. As with all Proton products it’s open source, privacy focused. 1GB for free, 200GB for $4/month or the whole package (mail, calendar, drive, and VPN) for $10/month. Read about Drive at https://www.howtogeek.com/835660/proton-drive-is-a-privacy-first-google-drive-alternative/

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Buh-bye Google Keep, OneNote, Evernote!

Open source Notesnook (https://github.com/streetwriters/notesnook) aims to be THE replacement for all your note taking needs. Fully encrypted on your device before storing on their cloud service (self-hosted option coming), it’s a zero knowledge service meaning they can’t decrypt your notes. With a web app (https://app.notesnook.com) and apps for iOS, Android, MacOS, Windows, and Linux you’re pretty much guaranteed to be able to use it wherever you need or want with full synchronization across all platforms. It’s still in its relative infancy and updates generally make it to the web app before other platforms. Roadmap at https://notesnook.com/roadmap/

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3 new (to me) linux (mac, android,windows) tools

I’ll cut right to the chase, Copyq, syncthing, and tldr.

Copyq, at https://hluk.github.io/CopyQ/, is a clipboard manager for Linux, Windows, MacOS, AND ChromeOS in the Linux environment! It has a GUI as well as a command-line interface and in the ChromeOS environment, captures clips from BOTH Linux and ChomeOS! CHeck out the docs.

Tldr, at https://github.com/tldr-pages/tldr, provides a cheat-sheet-like summary of command options. It’s not as full function as a man page but can often provide just that one bit of info you need. It provides info on Android, Linux, MacOS, Windows, Sun OS(!), and a set of common commands like 2to3 (convert python 2 code to python 3), adb (Android Debug Bridge which can be installed on many different platforms), and atom (a cross-platform editor).

Syncthing, at https://syncthing.net/, is an open source, multi-platform, authenticated, continuous file synchronization program with communications secured by TLS. It works on MacOS, Windows, Linux, Android among many others.

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Linux in a browser

Now that you’ve got docker set up on your Mac or Windows box or even on your Linux machine or NAS or chromebook (see https://tonystakeontech.com/2022/02/08/a-cookbook-to-run-docker-on-your-chromebook/), what can you do with it? Well, I could send you over to https://hub.docker.com/search?type=image but that just shows you some of what’s available in the world of docker containers. Instead, how about running Linux in a docker container that you can access locally in your browser? Yeah, I know, it’s a bit funky in that you may already be running Linux, with or without a GUI, but it’s an easy project and even kinda fun.

Head on over to https://tech.davidfield.co.uk/webtops-linux-desktop-in-a-web-browser/ for the cookbook to bring up Webtop (more info at https://docs.linuxserver.io/images/docker-webtop including different base images like XFCE Ubuntu, KDE Alpine, etc). And, BTW, there are quite a few more images available over at linuxserver.io so check them out, too. That link to docs.linuxserver.io lists other images.

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I’ve been warning about this for years

I haven’t said anything about the Log4j issue here but this article from the Washington Post (https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/01/14/open-source-bugs-present-an-extermination-problem-government/) that discusses the recent meeting at the White House about securing open source software shows that people are finally waking up to the fact that open source needs to be patrolled better. Far too many developers pull in open source packages without regard to their exposures and those places that makes sure the packages are vetted often miss the packages that are pulled in as dependencies.

I’m not putting down any of the open source contributors but I’ve been a contributor and code reviewer and it’s just TOO easy to miss a vulnerability. Sure, automated processes can catch a lot but if someone is intent on introducing a vulnerability, it can be done without a lot of extra effort. No, I don’t have a solution but I’m certain the open source community can come up with some good ones.

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Turn any site into a PWA

I’m not sure how many of you are aware of or use Progressive Web Apps (or PWAs – look it up). Think of them as encapsulated web pages that appear as apps (because that’s what essentially they are) so, instead of bookmarking or trying to remember all those sites you can have an app for each of them that IS the website. The website creator has to do some work on their end to enable this functionality on their site and not everyone has done that. Enter https://surfable.app/ – an open source (github: https://github.com/sandoche/Surfable-app) tool that will create a PWA given the site’s URL. It’s pretty cool and has premade PWAs for many of the popular sites. And if you want to make a PWA for a site they don’t currently support (or you want to tweak one of their PWAs), their github explains how or you can justs open an issue about it. Useful and worthwhile IMHO

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Jq? Nah, fx!

Another neat tool I came across recently, is fx (https://github.com/antonmedv/fx). It’s Linux/Mac only (altho a chromebook’s Linux or Windows WSL should work, too) and gives you the ability to pretty print JSON. But that’s not all! It has quite an extensive set of capabilities so I invite you to check it out,

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Make your own private (or public) wiki

It’s been around for quite a while (version 21 is out) but I just came across it recently. https://www.bookstackapp.com/ is its homepage but you can grab the source over on github (link on the homepage). Why would you want to host your own wiki? Keep track of information like research or recipes or a journal or…just to be a nerd! Securely share with friends – it’s got authentication via LDAP, SAML, Google, Slack and others with multi-factor authentication on a per user basis. You can restrict registration so the only way to add a user is from an admin account and you can restrict content so the site is only available to registered users. Seriously, it looks like something worth considering.

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Ever feel the need to create a local backup of your email?

I admit, it never occurred to me but now that someone has created a tool, I think it ay not be a bad idea! Maybe not ALL of my email but maybe my subscriptions and purchases and license keys?

Check out https://github.com/joeyates/imap-backup for details and installation.

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