Run Firefox over X11 over SSH on a cheap virtual machine

This is how to run a Firefox browser on a cheap VPS machine (e.g. a Google Cloud VM Instance) with an X-server connection. It’s actually not a good idea, because it’s extremely slow. The correct way is to set up a VNC server, because the X server connection exchanges information on every little mouse movement [...]

The eSigner fraud: charging my credit card arbitrarily with hundreds of dollars

Background More than anything, this is a reminder to self why I must use a temporary credit card number when I’ll renew my EV Code Signing certificate I purchased from, a few years from writing this (if they’ll still exist by then). I need it for Microsoft’s Attestation signing of drivers for Windows, as [...]

A sledge hammer introduction to X.509 certificates

Introduction First and foremost: Crypto is not my expertise. This is a note to future self for the next time I’ll need to deal with similar topics. This post summarizes my understanding as I prepared worked on a timestamp server, and it shows the certificates used by it. For how to check a connection with [...]

Apache 2.4: RewriteRule with [NE] causing 500 Internal Server Error

This is the weirdest thing. With an Apache 2.4.10 on Linux Debian 8 (yes, old), and a relatively simple mod_rewrite rule in .htaccess going RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^www\. [NC] RewriteRule (.*)$1 [R=301,L,NE] This is really nothing special. Just pushing users to the www host name, if they were lazy typing it. This works almost perfectly, [...]

How to edit login passwords in Google Chrome

Introduction Unlike Firefox, Google Chrome doesn’t allow editing passwords (at least not the version I have, and it seems like this feature will be added). One possible workaround is to enable Google Sync for passwords, and have those stored on the server: It’s possible to edit the passwords at If you have no problem [...]

Firefox: Stop that nagging on available updates

After upgrading to Firefox 72.0.1 on Linux, I got a tab encouraging me to upgrade Firefox (and that it couldn’t be done automatically). To make things worse, the option to turn off automatic upgrades checks has been removed from the GUI interface. Why? Call it what you want, at the bottom there’s a “let’s force [...]

A VoIP phone at home: The tech details on leaving your phone company

Introduction This is some information and hard-learned wisdom I collected while setting up an Israeli phone number for use with a VoIP phone, so I can accept calls with a regular Israeli phone number and also make outbound calls. Important to note is that I did this without the local ISPs that provide this service. [...]

MySQL, OOM killer, overcommitting and other memory related issues

It started with an error message This post is a bit of a coredump of myself attempting to resolve a sudden web server failure. And even more important, understand why it happened (check on that) and try avoiding it from happening in the future (not as lucky there). I’ve noticed that there are many threads [...]

AudioCodes MP202B hacking notes (Netvision)

This is a no-go These are notes during my failed attempts to turn an old (2011?) Israeli ISP provider’s SIP adapter (MP202B, provided by Netvision) into one that works with any SIP provider. The first step is to get access of its configuration, and that’s exactly where it stopped. Netvision has taken action to prevent [...]

Add-on icons vanished after Firefox upgrade

Don’t get me wrong: I didn’t upgrade Firefox. It upgraded itself suddenly into Firefox 68.o Quantum. How did I notice? Not because it became any better, but because suddenly things stopped working. And I got logged out from several sites. For example, my Adblocker and other add-on suddenly vanished. Checking the add-on settings, the relevant [...]