The story of how WoSign gave me an SSL certificate for GitHub.com

It was rather surreal when I realized I had actual valid SSL/TLS certificates for the primary GitHub domains. Https is supposed to prevent eavesdropping, yet with these keys, I could become a man-in-the-middle with relative ease. Let me take you back to the beginning and walk you through how I acquired these certificates from the certificate authority WoSign.

Drupal and Multisites - Getting updates done right

Drupal at MSU Libraries

Drupal has become a big part of my job in the last year and a half. We have moved our public facing website over to Drupal 7 from a home-grown java based site. It has been fun to learn Drupal, teach other people how to manage their own pages, and learn how to administer the site. I've written a few modules here and there, but one of the biggest things I've done is set up our Intranet websites using a multi-site setup in Drupal.

Using free "cloud" backup storage without compromising privacy

There are plenty of great online backup services that give you a limited amount of free storage. The most well-known is Dropbox, which gives you 5 GB of storage for free. Google Drive gives you another 5 GB, and Microsoft's SkyDrive gives you 7 GB. Other less known places may give you more, such as ADrive with 50 GB or Shared with a whopping 100 GB.

How to upgrade a Trio Stealth 7 (Model 7c A13) From ICS to JB

A couple weeks ago, I ran across an amazing deal for a cheap 7 inch android tablet. I had been thinking about getting a tablet, but hadn't bitten as I'm saving up for other things at the moment. However, this particular tablet was $20 after rebate, so I couldn't pass it up.

When it arrived, I was surprised and pleased to find ICS (Ice Cream Sandwich aka Android 4.0) installed, and the tablet was pre-rooted. This meant I could do whatever I wanted to it. My first thought was to find a ROM update to install Jelly Bean (Android 4.1).

How to download flash videos hosted on Amazon S3

Amazon S3 is a paid service many websites use to host their media files. For example, my church (University Reformed Church) uses it to store mp3 sermons.

Most websites who use Amazon's hosting service will also use Amazon's flash player to stream the video to the end user. This makes it difficult to get access to the original video. This is the feature I will show you how to circumvent.

Comment Moderation, reCAPTCHA, Spam, and You

I was surprised to find the other day that my new blog already had comments. The comments turned out to be spam, and I deleted them right away. Thankfully, I have already turned on comment moderation, which means all comments must be approved by me before being shown to other users. I imagine if the site were to grow, comment moderation would become a chore, but for now, it is a small price to pay to keep the site looking clean.

Setting up SSL on my server

This website now has a valid Class 1 SSL Certificate! And this came at no cost (monetarily) to myself, thanks to www.startssl.com. StartSSL gives away free Class 1 certificates to anyone who wants one and can verify ownership of a domain.

This wouldn't be a big deal in and of itself, as you can easily create your own certificate authority, site cert, and private key.