Free Media Content for Net Neutrality India #NetNeutralityIndia

Since the fight for Net Neutrality in India hasn’t received the attention and seriousness it needs/deserves; I’ve gone ahead to create media for use as Profile Pictures, Cover Pictures that can be used for free everywhere.

TAKE A STAND For #NetNeutralityIndia before its too late.
All content created by bull500 in Inkscape; CC licensed.
Incase you want to credit me – @bull500 mention or linking to this blog would be nice! :) Use Linux and OSS  too :) Thanks!

More Info:
http://www.netneutrality.in/
http://thelogicalindian.com/story-feed/exclusive/all-you-need-to-know-about-net-neutrality-how-can-you-save-the-internet/

Please don’t just sit there. Every bit of awareness helps.
The future of Indian Internet Usage/Cost/Access is in your hands.
Please be a responsible citizen!

Creative Commons License
Free Media Content for Net Neutrality India #NetNeutralityIndia by bull500 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


Profile Pictures:

N1pp N2pp N3pp N4pp

Cover Photos:

N1 N2 N3 N4

Short Guide on Privacy/Safety tech for your Browser, Smartphones and OS

It is imperative to keep ourselves safe online.
With the way technology has progressed, your privacy/safety can be taken away from you without your knowledge.

There is no way to keep your self completely hidden but there are certain things that you can do to keep your privacy protected online from prying eyes

I’ll dwell into Browser security first and later on move onto computer OS’s

Browser:
1. Use a modern browser & always keep your browser updated.
2. Enable Do-Not-Track feature:
On Firefox – Menu > Preferences > Privacy
On Chrome – Menu > Settings > Show advanced settings > Privacy
3. Install the HTTPS Everywhere add-on by the EFF
4. Install the Privacy Badger add-on by the EFF.
5. Remove unwanted toolbars and add-ons
Install only what you need and what you will use. Install from the official add-on sources for your browser.
Lots of toolbars/add-ons will have a negative impact on browser performance.
6. Ensure your are connected via a HTTPS connection during browsing and at all times of online transactions/payment.
In modern browsers a lock icon in the address bar can be used to verify this.
7. Use your head.
Have a ‘good’ browsing habit.
Use strong and unique passwords. Do not rely too much on Password Managers. Have it written down and stored in a safe place if you are prone to forgetting your passwords.
Don’t click on spam emailed links, click-bait articles. If you really must, open it a private tab/window.
PRO-Tip: Use search engines like DuckDuckGo or Startpage that respect your privacy!

Softwares:
1. Keep Adobe Flash, Adobe Reader and Java always updated to the latest version.
They are the most attacked software and are regularly updated too. Ensure you’ve enabled auto-updates in each of these softwares. It is critical to keep them updated because they provide browser plug-ins.
Same goes for other non critical softwares too.
2. Anti-virus softwares:
I personally don’t use one because I feel it does more harm than good but, if you are not technically sound, it’s better to get one –  if you want to(or get a better OS).
3. Download/Install software from official sites or at least the reputed ones.
PRO-Tip:
Try to substitute proprietary applications with Open Source ones. For eg. MS Office with LibreOffice

Operating System (OS):
1. Keep your OS regularly updated
Do not neglect this. Most security fixes come through this update mechanism.
Enable the default auto-update option.
2. Keep your hardware drivers updated.
3. Enable the built in firewall
4. Get rid of softwares that ‘clean‘ your PC or ‘fix‘ your Windows registry.
If you really need to clean your PC then use the Add/Remove Programs or the Disk Cleanup option in Windows.
5. If on Linux – DO NOT disable SELinux!

Smartphones(Android/iOS):
1. Install apps through official stores or reliable sources(F-Droid, Amazon)
2. Avoid pirated apps as they may contain malware.
3. Jailbreak and root only if you need to.
Be sure of what apps have root access on your phone once you do this.
4. Avoid backing up personal files to the cloud.
5. Custom ROM’s are good but know what your are doing.
6. Use reputed browsers from the official stores than the default browser preloaded on the phone
They are more likely to be updated to address security issues when they occur.
7. Use official apps when it involves online transactions and payments.
8. Use apps like Orbot, Orweb, ChatSecure: Private Messaging for added privacy
Check out other privacy focused apps by The Guardian Project.

These are few things that you could do to improve your privacy/security. If you want to move on, you’ll have to make good researched choices on OS, Browsers, Softwares and how to use proper encryption safeguards that are available.

Also a good way to ensure your privacy is to leave commercial software and start using community developed softwares.
On Desktop:
You can use Linux OS for your desktop needs. Fret Not! Its not scary and daunting.
Its way better and user friendly with Distro’s like Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux Mint, Korora etc.
I had written a guide(old but still relevant) for Linux Newbies. Check it out – http://wp.me/p1eITv-2R

On Smartphone(Android):
Install Custom ROM’s like AOSP based ROM from xda or use CyanogenMod or Replicant OS
or you could buy phones from a privacy minded company like Mozilla which makes phones with the Firefox OS.

A couple of hard drive encryption links online:
Lifehacker Encryption Guide
TrueCrypt has halted development – Alternatives by How-To Geek

Smiling in Pain – The Joker

I was doodling around for a long while on MyPaint and suddenly i felt like a big need to draw the joker.

Funny as it is I’ve hardly seen the Joker smile, its always a BIG WIDE GRIN.
All my Google image searches confirmed this, and slowly i tried to create a sketch of this epic character that would reflect his root – pain

Joker Smiling in Pain
Most succumb to pain, few master it. – bull500

Emoji On Fedora Linux

Emoji’s

Since the advent of smartphones Emoji’s have had a rapid increase in its use all over the internet.
When viewed from our mobiles devices they look cute & perfect, but most of us have noticed characters that have been replaced by boxes with numbers in it while using our desktop PC’s or laptop’s.

Its due to the lack of a font support, which causes this issue to occur.
But Fear NOT!
Fedora Linux has you covered. And in 2 great ways! :D
The first great way would be to install the Gdouros Symbola package:
Via Terminal:
su -c "yum install gdouros-symbola-fonts"

Or

You could install the Google Android Emoji Fonts package:
Via Terminal:
su -c "yum install google-android-emoji-fonts"

You can check out the extensive list of Emojis supported by the above fonts here – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emoji

Circumvent Telecom Operator/ISP Whatsapp Blockade

I have no clue as to why BSNL( a popular telecom operator/ISP) took this massive step to block the WhatsApp message service or it even maybe an accidental disruption to the popular social messenger service. But there are a few things you can do to get around this blockade IF you own an android phone

Step 1: Root you Phone. Yes you will lose warranty but if you want communication you must choose. Its specific to your Android phone model so you will have to Google.
Step 2: Install Orbot from the Google Play Store. Its Tor for android, which provides anonymity and privacy for users.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.torproject.android
Step 3: Enable these  options in Orbot Settings.

torsetting

Step 4: Activate Tor by doing a long press on the icon on the main screen. Enjoy :)
Note: Connection might be slow. May also take some time to connect for the first time.

Disclaimer:
YOU USE IT AT YOUR OWN RISK. INFORMATION IS PROVIDED AS IT IS. DO NOT SUE ME IF YOU HAVE DATA LOSS, DAMAGED PHONE OR LEGAL IMPLICATION/RISKS/LOSS. I DO NOT GUARANTEE YOUR ANONYMITY AND PRIVACY. YOU ARE SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT YOU DO.

ORBOT USAGE GUIDELINES:
DO NOT USE IT TO DOWNLOAD OR UPLOAD LARGE FILES. PEOPLE USE THIS SOFTWARE IN DIFFERENT COUNTRIES TO CIRCUMVENT CENSORSHIP DUE TO BAD POLICIES OR INTERNET USE RESTRICTION. BE KIND. BE PATIENT. IT IS SLOW BUT IT DEFINITELY WORKS.

PS: You could also use VPN apps but read their privacy policy before downloading them. Your Personal Data and information should be in safe hands.
More info on TOR – https://www.torproject.org/

*UPDATE –> The issue seems resolved though there is no official word from BSNL and WhatsApp. If You still experience problems, blockade or live in a country with censorship or strict internet rules the above method can still be followed.

Feel free to like, comment & share here with you email, Facebook etc.

The Eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg

If you have read the The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald you should have come across this name – Doctor T.J. Eckleburg.
Yes, it comes as a reference to the iconic blue eyes that over look the The Valley of Ashes.
The author describes the eyes as
“But above the gray land and the spasms of bleak dust which drift endlessly over it, you perceive, after a moment, the eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg. The eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg are blue and gigantic — their irises are one yard high. They look out of no face, but, instead, from a pair of enormous yellow spectacles which pass over a nonexistent nose.”

The eyes symbolize the loss of Spirituality, Corruption and the commercialization that took over American Lives during the 20th Century. I came across the film “The Great Gatsby” by Baz Luhrmann before i read the book and the way he portrayed the eyes left a certain impact within me.

What I wanted to next was to recreate it :)
I fired up my trusted Vector Art drawing software Inkscape and in no time I got something what I wanted

The Eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg by bull500
The Eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg by bull500
Ghostly version of The Eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg by bull500
Ghostly version of The Eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg by bull500

P.s. You can use it on your Facebook Timeline Cover Photo’s as long as you don’t erase the image label and the bottom label :P .
DO link the CC license :)

An Inkscape Tutorial on creating these eyes will be on the way soon :)
If you want wallpaper/background size just leave a comment :)
Feel free to leave your feedback as comments :)

Creative Commons License
The Eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg by bull500 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Darth Vader in Digital/Traditional Art

As much as I love Art, I love Star Wars and its never ending universe.
Though I haven’t read the books, I’ve watched all the films, and its blows me away every time.
Simply  because there nothing like it and the possibilities are just infinite. The massiveness, the philosophy and the fight between the dark and the light – a great combo.
Darth Vader has been one of my favorite characters from the Star Wars saga.
I made a ball point sketch of him before with a ordinary Reynolds ball point pen, but as always I like taking my art further.
And Here came Inkscape and its vector graphics abilities to the rescue.
I love Open Source and this software in particular.
I’ve used it in several Graphic projects of mine and found it quite reliable and very easy to use.

Darth Vader - Created in Inkscape
Darth Vader – Created in Inkscape
Darth Vader - Ball Point
Darth Vader – Ball Point

P.s. You can use it on your Facebook Timeline Covers as long as you don’t erase the label at the bottom :P. Or just link the CC license :)

Creative Commons License
Darth Vader in Digital/Traditional Art by bull500 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.