Monthly Archives: August 2010

LastPass

LastPass is cloud based password management system. One advantage of LastPass over other password is that the data is available on any computer with an internet connection. There is an add-in/extension for each of the major browsers. Alternatives like Keepass are good but access to the data either requires a flash drive or some type of online storage access like Dropbox. The browser extensions allow autofill and autologin options that make life simpler.

As usual the major concern about storing passwords on the internet is “will the data be secure”. The Security Now Podcast about LastPass with security expert Steve Gibson goes into detail about how the data is encrypted on the local computer and always transmitted and stored in encrypted format. All this means you just need to remember one strong password word and use LastPass to create long random strings for your other passwords and use the browser extensions to autofill them.

As well as describing how your data is secure in LastPass, Steve describes what a good password is. He recommends using 10 character passwords containing uppercase letters, lowercase letters, and digits. The justification is below from the show notes, http://wiki.twit.tv/wiki/Security_Now_256:

  • This is 5.94 binary bits of equivalent strength
  • 5.94 * 10 = 59.4 equivalent bits of binary strength
  • 2^59.4 = 7.6 X 10^17 possible combinations of passwords
  • This also makes entering the passwords on Mobile phone easier as well since there are no special characters.

    The best part is that LastPass is free except if you want to use their mobile applications and select few other features that can be found at LastPass Premium.

    There is also a way to view the data offline with LastPass pocket and to export the data to a csv file just in case LastPass goes out of business or you just want to backup the data yourself. If you plan to export all your passwords to CSV you might want to store that file using TrueCrypt, a subject for a latter post.

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    Categories: Security | Leave a comment

    Moving Apps to the SD Card on Froyo

    Once you finally have Froyo, you can start putting apps on the SD Card to conserve internal phone memory. People with some of the new Android Phones (Evo, Incredible, Droid-X) have 8GB of internal phone memory for apps but those with only slightly older phones like the Droid only have 512MB of flash storage. Even with Froyo it is only possible if the app developer allows it. I haven’t tested it but I’ve read that it is possible to other apps to the SD card if you have root access and use Titanium Backup.

    Which apps can be stored on the SD Card? Previously the only way to find out which apps could be moved to the SD card was to click on each app in the settings/applications/manage applications/ and click on each application to see if the move to SD card button is available. If you only have a few apps this fine, but can be tedious with many apps. Sdmove in the market displays a color coded status of of each app on the phone. A good explanation of the app can be found at how-to-move-apps-to-the-sd-card-on-android-froyo-the-easy-way-with-sdmove/ on androinica.com.

    Categories: Android | Leave a comment

    Motorola Droid 2.2 (Froyo, build FRG01B) Manual Update

    Note: Apparently this build has been halted due to bugs, Droid Froyo Update to FRG01B Firmware Halted? To Be Replaced by FRG22? There does seem to be some glitches with when coming back to the home screen but overall there have not been any serious problems after a day of use. Maybe this will be my excuse to get root access and install a custom ROM.

    I stumbled on an article to manually update the Motorola Droid to Froyo build FRG01B. Being the impatient person that I am, i decided not to wait for the OTA from Verizon and did the manual install. The whole process took about 5 minutes. I did the install from my computer by downloading the file in the steps below to my computer and then moved it to my phone using a USB cable. If you don’t have drivers to mount the phone’s SD card as a drive then it would be easier to download the file directly on the phone, move and rename the file using a file manager on the phone like Astro FileManager. After downloading the file it can be found in the download folder on the sdcard. After opening Astro and navigating to the download folder, click on “signed-voles-FRG01B-from-ESE81.e48e48ff.zip”  and then click on edit and then rename.

    Change the file to update.zip

    Now that the file name is in the correct folder on the SD card, follow the instructions below starting at step 3:

    quoted from How to Manually Install Android 2.2 on Verizon Motorola DROID

    How to Manually Install Android 2.2 on Verizon Motorola DROID:

    1. Download the official Android 2.2 software from Google servers Android 2.2 (FRG01B)
    2. Copy the file to your microSD card and name it “update.zip” (Note: not update.zip.zip)
    3. Power off your phone, holding down the “X” button on the physical keyboard and power it back on to boot into recovery mode.
    4. When you see the exclamation point in a triangle symbol “/!\”, press volume up and the camera button to display the recovery options.
    5. Use the d-pad to navigate to “apply sdcard:update.zip” and select it.
    6. When you see “Install from sdcard complete”, select “reboot system now”.
    7. Many users say Flash for Android is not visible in the Market however you can get it directly from this page on Adobe’s site.

    I have not installed Flash yet.

    Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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