How Two Factor Authentication should change in the future using mobile phone

This is my 50 cent suggestion of how two factor authentication should change in the future. With an increase in sites adopting them, you will end up having an average of more than 20 different two factor authentication codes in your mobile.

86/365+1 Cryptic

Two Factor Authentication codes via sms are just optional and purely dependent on your mobile network availability, i don’t prefer receiving sms codes for each of my sessions. The best so far is the Google Authenticator tool which is available in all cross platform mobile operating systems. So like an RSA key, the Authenticator tool can generate the codes offline and does not require data connection.

So what is going to happen in the future ?

I have 5 accounts linked with my Google Authenticator that includes my two google accounts, dreamhost, lastpass and dropbox. Evernote and Linkedin have introduced two factor authentication and they are going to be in queue for me.

There’s no doubt that i will end up having a minimum of 30 accounts very soon and the current Google Authenticator tool will let me scroll to search for my code out of this 30 accounts. By the time i locate the right account and enter the code, the time expires and code changes. So in terms of usability there is necessarily a change.

So here is my proposal (sorry if it sounds dumb)

Instead of entering the code manually for every account, each account added in Google Authenticator should have a unique callback url or Google should provide a push service which securely allows third party services to send request to our Google Authenticator client in our mobile.

Update: After having a discussion with my friend Srinivasan Annamalai, one of my Technology Evangelist, we concluded few things for better security and also in terms of usability, Google should provide a service to third party services which gives permission only to trigger an action to Generate Secure code associated with concerned account and pop up the same in user mobile screen (on-demand action).

So the next time you want to login using step two authentication, all you have to do is take your mobile, fire up the app and wait for a request made by your service provider to Google, the app will Generte code and pop it up. So you enter it. Thats it. Tada !

By this way you can manage N number of two factor accounts using a single authenticator application…

Activate Airtel Voicemail service for free on your Prepaid Mobile

Airtel provides Free Voicemail service for all prepaid customers but unfortunately no one is aware of it. Even Airtel website or customer care representative is unaware of it.

Activation by Call Code:

  • Call *321*671# for Activation
  • Call *321*673# for Deactivation

Activation by SMS Code:

  • START VMS to 54321 for Activation
  • STOP VMS to 54321 for Deactivation

Voicemail Account Management:

To access your Voicemail Account Management, call Dial 52555 from your registered Airtel Prepaid Mobile. For the very first time, it will prompt you to set a 4 digit passord. Next time you need to enter the password to access your profile settings.

With your account Management, you can do the following things

  1. Change your language presence
  2. Set your Own Custom Voicemail Message
  3. Hear, Save and Delete the received voice mail messages
  4. Change Voice mail box name

You can press the following numbers to perform action on your current running Voicemails

  • Delete – 3
  • Reply – 4
  • Save – 5
  • Previous Voicemail – 6
  • Replay Again – 7
  • Next Voicemail – 8
  • Settings – 9

Settings Page:

  • When you login to setting, Press 2 to change language presence
  • Rename Mailbox Name – 3
  • Change Password – 4
  • Hear or Change current welcome message – 7
  • Remove current Welcome Message – 8

Let me know if you have any issues in activating the services. Enjoy ignoring those unwanted calls :)

 

Enable and Allow Remote Access to MySQL Server

By default your MySQL Server has default configuration to allow only local connection. So if your application connects MySQL in localhost, then the basic configuration can be left untouched.

If you are planning to allow and enable remote access to MySQL server, then follow the steps below :

Find the MySQL configuration file which mostly is located at /etc/my.cnf. Using a shell editor like vim or nano, find the following line and comment it

bind-address = x.x.x.x (x.x.x.x points to the ip address you wanted to access from remotely, incase multiple servers, just comment it like below)

#bind-address = x.x.x.x

Also for people using old MySQL server, make sure you also comment the following line

# skip-networking

Restart your MySQL server

service mysqld restart

and try to connect your application with database present in remote server.
Note: You also need to give GRANT access to the db user on that particular DB.

Penta T-Pad WS802c Hands on Review – Video

For those who have been keeping up with the news must be aware of Noida based Pantel Technologies which sells co-branded BSNL Tablets. Recently they launched a new higher end model called Penta T-Pad WS802C. I had a chance to try it and been using it for more than a week. So this was actually my second tablet after the ipad. One thing I could notice is that tablets are drastically changing the way we consume the content. Also we have vast array of choices for buying a tablet, which varies on aspects like features, hardware and cost. In India, cost is a potential factor for every product and that’s where T-pad WS802c impressed me.

Overview:
T-Pad WS802C is a budget tablet which comes around 14700 INR. With my hands-on experience, I am writing a personal review on it. To make things more clear and concise, I am going to split into topics. Ok here we go :) You can also checkout the video above to feel the looks.

Specifications:
Powered by Cortex A8 1GHz, 512mb DDR2 Ram, 4GB internal memory and runs on Android 4.0.3 (Ice Cream Sandwich). It has dual camera (2mp rear + 0.3 front), GPS, 3G Sim Slot and other default stuffs. More detailed specs here.

Tablet Body:
Comes in white colour with 8” display, which is bigger than other budget variant. The back panel is a patterned white design with protective lamination that prevents scratches and gives good resistance. The Touch screen is very responsive like Samsung tab and Blackberry playbook. Overall body is made up of hard plastic and perfectly strong for a tablet.

Performance and Usage:
I performed several benchmark tests and certainly the tablet is up to the level on budget category. Boot speed is pretty quick but certainly at some point multi-tasking lags a little especially when 7+ applications are open same time. Sometimes it crashes and reboots completely. Tried playing couple of high end games and it is seamlessly fast but the negative factor is that it heats up very quickly. The Temperature is too high at some point where you cannot even hold it in your hand. Comparing other tablets in this segment this one emits more temperature. Seriously they need to consider redesigning their heat exhaust or sink.

Battery:
The total standby time is more than 6 hours but the battery drains very quickly within 4 hours on performing normal tasks. We also have to remember the fact that you can actually make calls; receive text messages in this tablet with a 2g/3g sim card. So turning of cellular network can increase your battery life.

Support:
The first question that sparks anyone when buying a brand which is unknown is the support and warranty. Unlike any Chinese products or Unfamiliar New Indian Brands, Pantel Technologies can be added to exception list because they have service centres all over India.

Comparison:
Here is my comparison with tablets in the same budget range.

Features T-Pad WS802C Huawei MediaPad HCL ME Tablet AM7-A1
Operating System 4.0.3 Ice Cream 3.2 Honey Comb 2.2 Froyo
CPU Cortex A8  1GHz Dual-core 1.2Ghz Qualcomm Cortex A8, 800MHz
Screen Size 8 Inches 7 Inches 7 Inches
Memory 4GB Internal + Ext 1GB Internal + Ext 8 GB + Ext
Camera 2 mp + 0.3 mp 5 MP + 1.3 MP 1.3 MP
Standby Time 6 hours 6 Hours -
Cost 14699 INR 19990 INR 18000 INR

 

Pros:

  1. 15,000 INR is a good price for this configuration
  2. Performance and Speed
  3. Touch sensitive is quite good
  4. Hard and Strong Tablet shell
  5. Warranty and Support Center all over India

Cons:

  1. Over Heating
  2. Battery Charging Time
  3. Uncomfortable menu buttons

You can know more about the tablet in their official product page.

Moving multiple files from current folder to parent folder in Linux

People who use shell to install packages or application in their Linux servers usually need to keep this command handy. Every time they download and unzip a folder, they are in a position to move all those files to a parent directory they already created.

For example you download wordpress application and extract it, but those files are extracted in another folder that comes up with the zip package. What you need to do at this point is to move all those files from that particular folder to your parent directory which you usually created and planned to host. In most cases it will be your Application root folder.

Consider a scenario where you are in folderX, you download a package file and extract it but instead of extracting it directly in folderX, it creates another native folder that comes up with package like folderY. So all those extracted files are in path /folderX/folderY/ :( thats bad !!!

Run this simple move file command outside the folderY, you need to be in folderX when you run !

mv folderY/* .

The above command will move all the files and folders inside folderY to folderX :) That works like a charm! Yeah try it. Always ensure to be careful while running commands like mv, rm. If you don’t give the correct part, things will mess up and you end up doing the operation at wrong place.

Configuring Amazon SES with Mantis Bug Tracker for Email Notifications

So you deployed one of best bug tracker system in your ec2 instance and was wondering how to configure its email setting with SES ? After Amazon Introduced SMTP accounts, things that were so complicated become so easier.  Every application that supports SMTP connection method made it possible and compatible to be used with Amazon SES.

But things are not simple with Mantis Bug Tracker Configuration because the basic configuration file does not contain the necessary attributes needed for configuring Amazon SES SMTP email or Google SMTP Accounts. They are just enough for an ordinary SMTP settings.  So after doing some research over a couple of forums and user tryouts, the following configuration listed below works

# — Email Configuration —
$g_phpMailer_method = PHPMAILER_METHOD_SMTP;  #For SMTP Method
$g_smtp_host = ‘email-smtp.us-east-1.amazonaws.com’; #Your SES SMTP Host
$g_smtp_connection_mode = ‘tls’; #It is mandatory for SES and Gmail SMTP
$g_smtp_port = 587; #For some Reason only this port was working in SES
$g_smtp_username = ‘SMTP Username’; # Your SES SMTP Username
$g_smtp_password = ‘SMTP Password’; # Your SES SMTP Password
$g_administrator_email = ‘email@sample.com’; #Email displayed at footer (Must be an approved sender list in SES)
$g_webmaster_email = ‘email@sample.com’; #Verified SES Sender Email
$g_from_email = ‘email@sample.com’; # From Address (Verified SES Sender Email)
$g_return_path_email = ‘email@sample.com’; # the return address for bounced mail
$g_from_name = ‘From Name’;
$g_enable_email_notification = ON;

The above configuration will do the trick and you can start receiving emails from Mantis Bug Tracker :) Fire up the comments section if you had any doubts in it !!!

Increase phpMyAdmin upload / import size

By default you get a 2mb limit of upload / import size in phpmyadmin. That makes it odd and highly impossible to import larger files. You can increase the allowed upload size of phpmyadmin by editing your server’s php.ini configuration file. Usually in servers like CentOs it is located at /etc/php.ini.

Step 1: Go to php.ini and find the following and change their values to something more higher than your database size. (In this example i have used 20mb).

upload_max_filesize = 20M

post_max_size = 20M

Step2 : Restart your apache service for this new change to take effect. Usually the command to restart apache would be

service httpd restart (CentOs) / service apache2 restart (ubuntu)

You can also restart directly from their path like

/etc/init.d/apache2 restart or /etc/init.d/httpd restart

If you are in a shared hosting and do not have root access or access to your php.ini configuration file, then the other way is to create a .htaccess file in your application root and add the following line

php_value upload_max_filesize 10M
php_value post_max_size 10M

If you were still not able to increase it, please send me an email for more detailed assistance.

 

 

Blogging from Blackberry

Blogging from blackberry. Thanks to wordpress mobile app. Now I can post even snippet story or short blog posts from my blackberry. Still I need to explore more of its features. I can’t figure out a way to upload pictures and so on :(

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

ubislate

Prebook your Ubislate 7+ tablet for 2999 rupees now

A tablet with cortex A8 , 3200 mAh battery powered by Android 2.3 with GSM and Wifi connectivity and i am giving you it for a damn price of Rs.2999 INR. Why would i buy it ? Sorry was that a question ? Nope i mean where can i get it ? Who can give you a damn cheap tablet with all these features ? The Aakash tablet project powered Ubislate 7+ is upgraded version of ubislate7 tablet and it rocks more than the previous one. You can actually make and receive calls with it !

Features of Ubislate 7 Plus:

  • Android 2.3
  • Cortex A8, 700 Mhz Process with HD Video Co Processor
  • 256 MB RAM
  • Storage: (Internal) 2GB Flash / (External) 2GB to 32GB Supported
  • Peripherals: 2 Standard USB Ports (Ver. 2.0)
  • Audio Out: 3.5mm jack
  • Display and Resolution: 7″ Display with 800×480 pixels
  • Supported Document Formats: All Version Office Document formats and many more
  • High Quality Video Streaming & HD Quality Video Playback
  • Input Devices: Resistive Touch Screen
  • Connectivity with GPRS & WiFi IEEE 802.11 a/b/g
  • Battery: Upto 180 minutes of battery, AC adaptor 200.240 volts

Don’t even think about the quality just go and order it. All the slots closed for January and February but again the pre-booking has been opened for the month of March. Your wait is worth it and you can book it right away here at their official website. http://www.ubislate.com/prebook.html . i don’t know how long the pre-booking lasts !

Optional accessory “keyboard case” can turn this tablet into a laptop which is yet to hit the stores.