Tag Archives: internet

Firefox: new tab page tweak

I use Firefox daily in my browsing and i like the new tab page a lot but 9 sites doesn’t cut it for me anymore so it was time to tweak things a bit.

Firefox uses an internal database to store it’s configuration values an that’s where you’ll need to go: type in the address bar: “about:config”. Firefox will warn you and just click “ok” but be careful anyway. now search for “browser.newtabpage.”, there you’ll have not more then 10 results, search for rows and columns with their standard value 3. 

You’ll want to have a grid, I did the following, columns = 5 and rows = 4, everything is smaller but still readable and not more taxing on the browser itself.

about.config thumbnails

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Tor: Vidalia Tor software exited unexpectedly

With the latest developments in internet censorship I too have been looking for secure alternatives and the Tor project is one of them but unfortunately I had a small problem with Vidalia, the software GUI for Tor. I discovered a solution after some reading and Google-ing.

After installing Tor on ubuntu or other Debian based distributions and running it for the first time you probably are getting the following error:

Vidalia detected that the tor software exited unexpectedly.

Please check the message log for recent warning or error messages.

Alright, now on to the solution. You best open up a terminal because it’s going to require some command-line work, first thing you should do is make sure that everything Tor isn’t running anymore, so copy/past this in your terminal:

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  1. sudo killall tor

and enter your password when asked after having hit the ‘enter’ button. Don’t exit the terminal window just yet because you’ll need it a bit more. Now that you have killed off all the possible running tor-processes you can fix the real problem.

Upon installation, tor will automatically starts up when booting Ubuntu. When you open Vidalia, it will first check if there is an existing tor process and try to connect to the control port of tor. All you need to do is reconfigure tor so it allows Vidalia to connect and start using the tor process correctly without throwing the error.

First step: is to open the configuration file of tor. Open a terminal and execute the following command: (note: sudo is required or you won’t be able to save the file later on)

sudo gedit /etc/tor/torrc

Gedit is standard installed on Ubuntu and a lot of other distributions, and my favorite but if you have another just replace gedit by that one in the command-line. Also check your preferences so that the editor displayed line numbers it will make this easier.

After the file opens, scroll down to line 53 to line 60 and you will see something like this:

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  1. ## The port on which Tor will listen for local connections from Tor
  2. ## controller applications, as documented in control-spec.txt.
  3. #ControlPort 9051
  4. ## If you enable the controlport, be sure to enable one of these
  5. ## authentication methods, to prevent attackers from accessing it.
  6. #HashedControlPassword 16:872860B76453A77D60CA2BB8C1A7042072093276A3D701AD684053EC4C #CookieAuthentication 1

Now modify this so that you have something that looks like this:

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  1. ## The port on which Tor will listen for local connections from Tor
  2. ## controller applications, as documented in control-spec.txt.
  3. ControlPort 9051
  4. ## If you enable the controlport, be sure to enable one of these
  5. ## authentication methods, to prevent attackers from accessing it.
  6. HashedControlPassword 16:D11E80307FCD1E730083FA68F6650BDBC2FE1D3BA100C07A7895CFC4D1
  7. #CookieAuthentication 1

What have you done? You set the control port so vidalia can take control of tor and you initiated the password authentication. Now you just have to run one other command, so open a secondary terminal, you’ll need it because your current one is running gedit.

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  1. tor --hash-password mypassword

Now the result of this command is something like this: (note: don’t past my result, make your own for security reasons)

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  1. webscriptz@webscriptz-hp:~$ tor --hash-password mypassword
  2. May 06 12:49:45.190 [notice] Tor v0.2.2.35 (git-73ff13ab3cc9570d). This is experimental software. Do not rely on it for strong anonymity. (Running on Linux x86_64)
  3. 16:E499E055BC335107609A1E2A0D857422E238376BEA3B75F35E50C376A6

This part you need is :

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  1. 16:E499E055BC335107609A1E2A0D857422E238376BEA3B75F35E50C376A6

You need to insert this on line 68 after:

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  1. HashedControlPassword

Now for the final step you need to restart Tor:

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  1. sudo /etc/init.d/tor restart

Now open vidalia and start Tor, it should work, if not close vidalia and re-open it again and everything should be fine.

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Yiiframework Captcha problem

While lanching a new website I had problems with the AJAX request allowing the captcha to refresh itself. The link ‘Get a new code’ didn’t work properly and I didn’t really find an alternative at first.

The only alternative I found it to add in the $this->widget(); add an array after ‘CCaptcha':

widget(‘CCaptcha’, array(‘clickableImage’=>true, ‘showRefreshButton’=>false)); ?>

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Reclaim Ubuntu firefox backspace key

Firefox and every other browser on windows features a ‘previous page hotkey’, the backspace key alas the fact that firefox on ubuntu isn’t as feature rich, so here a work around:

Go to “about:config”, you know to inspect the sqllite db firefox stores everything in.
`Filter` for ‘browser.backspace_action’ and change its value to 0 (zero).

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