Following a Parliamentary Question [1] to the Prime Minister of Mauritius on Tuesday 19 April 2016 by an Opposition member, an widespread interest was created about telephone tapping in the country especially after what the Opposition member described as a van lurking around the house of opposition members in order to listen to conversations. Days later,  a weekly newspaper published a 3-page article [2] on the whole phone tapping in Mauritius and mentioned about an IMSI-Catcher which is basically a device that spoofs your mobile telephony provider’s Base Transceiver Station (In an nutshell, Base that connects your mobile phone to the telephony network) and acts as a middle-man between your device and the providers network thus capturing all of your communications. Out of my usual curiosity, I wanted to know more about it and clarify some doubts I had. I knew about the IMSI-Catcher technique and remembered an article by a hacker by the name of Simone Margaritelli who once assembled a relatively cheap bench rogue-BTS using a Raspberry Pi [3] that, if tweaked, could be used for that same purpose, intercept communications. I contacted him and he very kindly accepted to reply to my questions.

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Skype got a new card in its playing deck since some time. It’s called Skype Translator. It, essentially, translate your conversations into another language to ease interaction. They rolled it out for select pre-registered users using the Windows 8 Operating System (I got the upgrade but did not use Windows 8) and then released it fully to all users since a week or two. Being a nice system, its been laying down silently in the sidebar on my Skype Application. At first, it was only for text conversations and can be turned off. Flicked it on for some tests and flicked it off again. But then it “became alive”! Voice conversations were being “translated” too!! Worse, it was trying to translate conversations from my mother-tongue language, Creole, to English. It turned out to be a mess, a real mess and so annoying popping on during the whole conversation!

Skype attempting to translate vocal Creole conversation to English

Skype attempting to translate vocal Creole conversation to English

And then I took the decision to get my parents to disable it on their side, [I disabled mine some days back]. Then I thought, I must not be the only one to be annoyed by this, as the feature was added during the automatic updates and enabled by default, I decided to write this post to help others who want to disable same too.

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So! It’s been long since my last blog-post! But this one will compensate for the time I’ve been off-air.

Well, Logan‘s done a presentation on fq_codel and I got really interested in the topic. fq_codel (fair-queuing controlled delay), in a nutshell, was designed to overcome Bufferfloat; a phenomena in Networking whereby excess buffering of packets causes bottlenecks and thus reduces network quality. fq_codel is a scheduling algorithm that sets limits on delays suffered due to the bufferings. I won’t go too technical deep in this blog post.. This post will only show the setting-up of OpenWRT, and configuring it to enable CoDel and thus improve our networking performance. Hopefully, more posts about OpenWRT will follow including tutorials for some amazing features 🙂 Stay tuned !!

To be honest, I had some experience beforehand with those Operating Systems. I once got an Access Point from somebody that did not support bridge mode. I had to kick the propriety firmware out, install DDWRT, configure it (+ some tweaks 😛 ) and had it up and running. It’s still working since around a year or so..

The router I chose is a TPLINK WR841N; chose another model that had modem capabilities built-in but unfortunately, same did not support OpenWRT. Had to get it replaced by the vendor.

Well, let’s dive inside..

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Following articles on major Technology websites[1] about the Find my phone feature from Google, I decided to give it a try. The articles mentioned that typing “Find my phone” in Google Search shows the location of your phone. Mine did not show anything interesting, as I disabled all location services on my phone. Well, they say that everything you want, you simply Google it. So, if your phone is lost, just.. Google.. it! lol 

This article will be quite a short one and different from previous ones.

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cute-snailHello there,
This post is a quick one and will not be so long. Since this morning, Skype has been running really really slow and on top on that, it is consuming 300+ K of RAM memory together with a HUUGGE amount of CPU !! Searching around the web got me some solutions that I hesitated to try until I finally settled for that that worked. Did you experience same and want to trouble shoot? It’s after the break;

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