This week, on “Capitalism,” technicians are forced by employment contract to not educate customers.

I just wrote this really long comment elsewhere and after I posted it realized it might actually be useful to many folks here if they are struggling to make ends meet or to pay bills. So, here ya go. May your dependence on capitalism decrease as your experiences increase. (Context for this is that a […]

How to: Securely configure Mac OS X for network packet sniffing with Wireshark

If you’re anything like me, you often run into a computer problem or five that could be diagnosed more quickly by taking a peek at activity on the network. The best general purpose tool for inspecting network activity has gotta be Wireshark. It’s an industry-standard, open source packet sniffer that you can use for fun and profit. But on many Mac OS X builds, the default configuration for packet capturing is less secure than it ought to be. Here’s how to fix that on your Mac.

One Minute Mac Tip: Open multiple Tor circuits in the new TorBrowserBundle 3.5 for Mac OS X

Earlier this month, the Tor Project released a new version of the Tor Browser Bundle, an easy-to-use anonymity-enhancing Web browser. In a previous post, I discussed how to use the Tor Browser Bundle (TBB) for other applications on your computer, such as Safari and even This post has updated instructions for doing some of […]

HowTo: Use Tor for all network traffic by default on Mac OS X

Recently, I had the gratifying experience of doing some political work that earned me a bunch of hate mail and some threats of physical violence. It had already gotten to the point where I was being harassed by a self-described “Internet stalker” who would call up venues I went to and get the employees to […]

How to spoof your MAC address on Mac OS X (for reals)

Update: For users of Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) and 10.8 (Mountain Lion), a much easier solution called SpoofMAC exists as a set of Python scripts. (via) One of the oddities of Apple’s Mac OS X platform is that some things that should be easy are obtusely difficult, and remarkably so. Changing the hostname of […]

One Minute Mac Tip: Sniffing Wi-Fi traffic and capturing packets with the built-in airport utility

Many Mac OS X users lament the lack of sophisticated network analysis tools, often prevalent and seemingly prolific on Linux systems. What many don’t know is that Mac OS X comes with a built-in command-line tool to do all sorts of nifty things with Wi-Fi networks, from packet capture (traffic sniffing) to scanning nearby networks’ […]

How to use HTTP Basic Authentication with git

Coming right on the heels of my need to set up a git repository on shared hosts, I next wanted to see if I could use HTTP authentication for such a repository. Of course, HTTP authentication is an extremely insecure protocol, but it typically is enough to dissuade the casual user (such as Googlebot) from […]

One minute Mac tip: Create the illusion that Bonjour works over a VPN

If you’re a Mac user who often uses VPN connections, you’ll notice one very disappointing thing about connecting to your corporate or personal network over such tunneled connections: typically, Bonjour-style addresses (such as “computer-name.local”) don’t work. This is because multicast DNS (or mDNS) doesn’t work over a tunnel. Though there are ways to get it […]

One minute Mac tip: Restore Bonjour’s “.local” addresses

Lately, there have been a string of networking problems with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard reported by sites such as MacFixIt. One of most common symptoms is the loss of Bonjour’s “.local” addresses. So, for instance, if you have a machine named “Perseus” then you could address that machine by the hostname “Perseus.local” instead of […]

Sharing your Windows XP Virtual Machine’s Internet connection with your Mac OS X host operating system using VMware Fusion

In some situations, like the odd one I now find myself in, the only way to get Internet connectivity is to use a solution that requires a fair bit of maneuvering. In my situation, I have temporarily obtained a Vodafone 3G mobile card. Unfortunately, the Vodafone Mobile Connect software for Mac OS X as of […]