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Archive for November, 2013

Preparing for the Keysigning Cryptoparty, 2 Dec 2013

Posted by Bob Jonkman on 24th November 2013

Key Pair

Cryptoparty like it’s 31 December 1983!

At the next KWLUG meeting on Monday, 2 December 2013 I’ll be demonstrating how to do e-mail encryption with Thunderbird and Enigmail. If you’ve never used e-mail encryption before then bring a laptop, and we’ll create keys and learn how to use them. We’ll save the lesson with pointy sticks for another day.

For those people who already have GnuPG/PGP keys I’m also hosting a Formal Keysigning. Participants will introduce themselves, read their GnuPG key fingerprint, then anyone else is invited to vouch for that person:

Bob: “I’m Bob Jonkman, and my GnuPG fingerprint is 04F7 742B 8F54 C40A E115 26C2 B912 89B0 D2CC E5EA”

Andrew: “I’ve known Bob since the early days, and that’s really him”

This is a great way to expand your Web Of Trust to include people whose keys you might not otherwise sign (because you don’t know them very well, or they only have ID issued by an authority you don’t like). With all these introductions and vouchings the chance of someone misrepresenting their identity is vanishingly small, so you can trust that the key fingerprint they read is really associated with that person.

To make this process go smoothly I’d like to have a printout of all the participants’ keyIDs, UserIDs, and key fingerprints, which I’ll distribute at the keysigning. That way you can just check off each name/keyID/fingerprint as people read them, and then sign their keys later at your leisure. But to get that printout I’ll need the public key of anyone who would like to participate in the keysigning.

If you’re using Thunderbird and Enigmail then open the Key Management window, right-click on your key and select “Send Public Keys by E-mail”, and send it to me ( )

If you’re a command-line weenie then use

gpg --export 0xYOURKEYID > 0xYOURKEYID-public-key-for-YOURNAME.pgp

and send that file 0xYOURKEYID-public-key-for-YOURNAME.pgp to me (substitute your actual keyID and actual name as needed).

Of course, I’d prefer signed, encrypted e-mail, but public keys are public (so encryption isn’t necessary), and public keys should already be self-signed anyway.

Unfortunately, if you’re creating your keys for the first time at the meeting you won’t be able to send me anything now. You can still participate in the vouching process, and we’ll have an informal keysigning after the formal keysigning, where all you need to do is read your fingerprint straight from your computer and those people who already know you can sign your key.

I’m still working on the procedures for the formal keysigning; you can see the work in progress (and contribute!) on the Formal Keysigning page on the Wiki.

Thanx, and hope to see you on Monday, 2 December 2013!

–Bob, who is the Keymaster. Who will be the Gatekeeper?

The Cryptoparty keypair logo from the Cryptoparty Artwork repository on GitHub is available in the CC0Public Domain.

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NaNoWriMo 2013

Posted by Bob Jonkman on 1st November 2013

Blacked-out NaNoWriMo crest

NaNoWriMo — Why so black?

For the last several years I’ve been hanging out with the Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge WriMos at various write-ins, trying to absorb some writing talent.

NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month, in which people (the WriMos) try to write a 50,000 word novel during the 30 days of November. That’s not as ludicrous as it sounds — 50,000 words over 30 days is only 1667 words a day (with 10 days off for good behaviour, at least, 10 days with only 1666 words). 50,000 words is about the size of Brave New World, which someone once told me was the benchmark for NaNoWriMo (but TIL that Brave New World has 64531 words).

The first year I participated I got a terrific start on my first novel. All 675 words. Last year I got as far as the novel description. 11 words. But this year I have better idea. I’ve got some unfinished blog posts queued up, so I’ll take their word count, flesh them out, count the word difference, and submit that as my daily writing quota. Of course, it’s possible that I’ll edit more out of an incomplete blog post than I’ll be adding, so there’s a very real possibility of a negative word count. If that keeps up I might end up with a deficit at the end of the month. Let’s see how the NaNoWriMo word counter deals with a Buffer Underflow.

Come join me in the Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge region pages. Here are some handy links for local WriMos:

  • See the KWC NaNo calendar, in plain HTML, suitable for printing and framing.

  • And if you want to include it in your own calendar software (like Microsof Outlook, Apple iCalendar or Thunderbird Lightning) use this iCal link (.ics file, 7.5 kBytes)

  • Or if you have an Atom/RSS feed reader and want new events to pop up in your news stream automatically there’s an Atom feed.

  • And if you’re looking to chat in these long, lonely November nights, I’m hanging out (all alone, I might add!) in the KW Nano Chat Room.

  • For those of you with an IRC program use the server, select secure (SSL) port number 6697, and tune into channel #kwnano You might be able to click on (or copy’n’paste) the IRC link: irc:// to have your IRC program connect automatically.

The NaNoWriMo crest has all rights reserved, and so couldn’t be used here. From their FAQ page: Logo: Please do not use our logo (or parts of our logo) on anything without our permission.

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