DroidWall: Open source Android firewall

Date Category tech

Note: Your device must be rooted to use this app.

DroidWall logo

Smartphones are sort of a security nightmare. They contain or grant access to much of your private data, and yet you install dozens or hundreds of untrusted applications onto them. The permission model helps, but how carefully do you review permissions before you decide to install an app? (How often do you sigh, say “FINE” and install the app anyway?)

DroidWall is an open source firewall app. It sits on top of Linux’s built-in firewall capability (iptables) and lets you grant or deny internet access on a per-app basis. This means you can block apps that don’t need internet access to function from sending your personal data back to their servers, tracking you, and even showing ads in some cases.

Everyone should be using this app. When in whitelist mode, you know exactly which apps you’ve given permission to reach the internet; no app can surprise you and phone home without your explicit permission.

(The open source project home can be found here.)

Pianobar: Console Pandora client

Date Category tech

Console junkies: If you weren’t aware of this one, it’s worth checking out. Play your Pandora stations from a terminal instead of a browser. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t play ads either.

Pianobar Screenshot

Auto-switch to external monitor in Linux

Date Category tech

I move my laptop around a lot, and I’m often connecting to or disconnecting from my external monitor. Switching to this display manually was getting annoying (since Ubuntu apparently broke the Fn+F8 method), so I wrote this:

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