Stay at home. Protect the NHS. Save lives | Overall swell guy. Also known as m00t.
10211 words
https://open.spotify.com/user/iplkfu8oka623d0rj6p7xsfyh?si=3bK-Yp-yS4mSnq5FfhMjhA@m00t316

Bitwarden is the best

A few years ago I really wanted to improve my online security because I was reusing the same passwords for most of my accounts and they were less than 8 characters long. So I looked online to see what things I could do and use to improve my online security and I came across an article talking about password managers. After reading the article, I settled on using LastPass password manager because I wanted to use a free product as I simply didn't have the money to buy a yearly subscription to 1Password or Dashlane. LastPass served me well for a free password manager for around 3 years. I liked that most of the features you needed were not locked behind a premium paywall, so I continued to use it.

Everything was fine with LastPass until it ended up getting hacked. This left me worried about the security of my passwords and secure notes and ultimately made me decide to move to a different password manager. Like the first time I was searching for a password manager, I read articles about the pros and cons of many different password managers and compared the features to how useful they would be to me. Bitwarden immediately stood out for me. The fact that it was completely free to use and open source software was an instant confirmation to me that this was the password manager I would use from now on. I signed up for an account on Bitwarden and transferred all of my passwords over from LastPass. The transition was super easy as all I needed to do was export a file from my LastPass vault and import it into my Bitwarden vault. Thank god I didn't have to manually input every single login as I would be sitting there for hours transferring everything.


This is the process of importing your passwords from another password manager. Simply select the format, select the file and click "import data". In an instant, all of your logins are now safely and securely stored in your Bitwarden vault.


This is a screenshot of the Bitwarden web vault. The interface and design makes it every simple to use and navigate.


I have been using Bitwarden for just over a year now and I honestly don't think I'll ever change to another password manager again. Bitwarden has worked so well for me, I decided to pay for their extremely cheap premium plan. So cheap in fact, it's only $10 a year compared to 1Password's $39 a year premium subscription or Dashlane's $60 premium subscription. Being open source too gives me an extra sense of security. Compared to the other password managers, Bitwarden's source code can be looked at by anyone and security experts and Bitwarden hires third party auditing companies to find vulnerabilities in the software so they can be fixed which makes the password manager more secure for everyone.


One thing I don't like about Bitwarden though is that there isn't an emergency access feature to allow a trusted person access to your Bitwarden vault in case something happens to yourself. Luckily though, this is a highly requested feature in the Bitwarden community forums and the team have finally added this to the roadmap! 

https://community.bitwarden.com/t/bitwarden-roadmap/12865

All in all, I can't recommend Bitwarden enough. If you want an open source password manager that's super secure and that offers a lot of features for free, Bitwarden is best password manager for you.

Website: bitwarden.com

My Go-To YouTube Channels

I have listed out some of my go-to YouTube channels that I watch when I'm procrastinating:


Entertainment

WWE - https://www.youtube.com/user/WWEFanNation

All Elite Wrestling - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFN4JkGP_bVhAdBsoV9xftA

Angry Joe Show - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsgv2QHkT2ljEixyulzOnUQ

Eight Thoughts - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCI68__8Ktm5btC5lO6_4nyw

FaZe Rug - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCilwZiBBfI9X6yiZRzWty8Q

KSI - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVtFOytbRpEvzLjvqGG5gxQ

PewDiePie - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-lHJZR3Gqxm24_Vd_AJ5Yw

Simonb1471 - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEUX_WomilvDbdiFtO-d49Q

Spawn Wave - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoIXnB865l9Ex9zs4OIXTdQ

YongYea - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCT6iAerLNE-0J1S_E97UAuQ

Jim Sterling - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWCw2Sd7RlYJ2yuNVHDWNOA


Technology


Linus Tech Tips - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXuqSBlHAE6Xw-yeJA0Tunw

Marques Brownlee - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBJycsmduvYEL83R_U4JriQ

Thio Joe - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQSpnDG3YsFNf5-qHocF-WQ

Unbox Therapy - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsTcErHg8oDvUnTzoqsYeNw

Rob Braxman Tech - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYVU6rModlGxvJbszCclGGw


Use F-Droid over the Google Play Store

F-Droid is an alternative app repository for the Google Play Store. Apps that are available through F-Droid are open-source and free with privacy in mind. If you are looking to move away from Google services, F-Droid has many alternative apps that can be used as a replacement.

You can check out the F-Droid website here: f-droid.org - where you can download the F-Droid client for Android.



Below, I have listed some essential apps that are free to download on F-Droid.

  • NetGuard

NetGuard is an application that allows you to block internet access for certain apps. For example, if you don't want Google Maps accessing the internet to track your location, you can simply block access within NetGuard. 


  • NewPipe

NewPipe is a YouTube client that doesn't use Google's frameworks or the YouTube API. You are able to watch videos through the app without ads being displayed. As with YouTube premium allowing you to listen to video audio in the background and download videos, NewPipe allows you to do this completely free.


  • KeePassDX

KeePassDX is a free open-source password manager that's compatible with KeePass files. This password manager is very light weight, doesn't contain ads and doesn't use any strange permissions.


  • Encrypt Text

Encrypt Text is exactly what it says - it encrypts text you type into the application. Using AES 256 bit encryption, you can send encrypted text over the internet using non end-to-end encrypted platforms and messaging services.  Encrypt Text is completely free and doesn't contain ads.


  • Simple Contacts

Simple Contacts is a replacement for Google Contacts. If you don't want Google knowing your contacts, this app is essential. Simple Contacts is free and doesn't contain ads. All of your contacts remain on your phone and not sent to any server.


  • Bromite Browser

Bromite is probably the best privacy featured browser on mobile. Using the open-source chromium software, it feels a lot like Google Chrome mobile browser but with better privacy. Bromite is completely free. 


Updated on 30/08/2020

Opinion: Why the virtual fan audience could fail

The WWE ThunderDome is in full force and what a fresh of breath air it has brought to the viewing experience for fans watching RAW, SmackDown and pay-per-views. For the first time in months, I can actually sit through a WWE show without having watch it on replay or skip through most of the show. WWE needed the ThunderDome.

Unfortunately, as one person in time has said,
"All good things must come to an end."

Just as the virtual fan experience has just started, I am worried it will end quicker than what most people think. During last night's WWE RAW, a "fan" - and I use that term very loosely, decided it would be a good idea to show a KKK rally on the LED screen then followed by an execution video. Like seriously... what the fuck?!

I get that it's someone just trolling to hopefully get their 15 minutes of fame but this is why we cannot have nice things in this world. Selfish people just have to ruin the fun of everything. If more incidents like this occur with the ThunderDome virtual fan audience, WWE will just shut the whole thing down permanently. Don't get me wrong, WWE should have done a better job in moderating this stuff but with the amount of fans in virtual attendance, WWE is bound to miss something. It's a two-way street. Both fans and WWE have to do the right thing to make it a success.

It's a real shame that people have to do this. Many fans patiently wait to get their turn to be shown in the WWE ThunderDome in front of a million plus people, but spaces are taken from jackasses that have to troll. My only solution for WWE to reduce incidents like what occurred on RAW is to either;

A - Have fans pay to be apart of the virtual experience (although, this is not ideal but it could deter people from doing that stuff)

Or B - Have a more rigorous vetting procedure where fans have to submit an official ID to take part.

I'm sure there are many more (and better) solutions to what I've listed here but WWE need to act fast or the virtual fan audience could disappear for good.

Payback 2020 Predictions

Image Credit: WWE

Just one week after SummerSlam, WWE is holding the long awaited pay-per-view event, Payback!

The Match Card

Match Predicted Winner Actual Winner
Universal Champion “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt vs. Roman Reigns vs. “The Monster” Braun Strowman (No Holds Barred Triple Threat Match) "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt Roman Reigns
WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Bayley & Sasha Banks vs. Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax
Keith Lee vs. Randy Orton Randy Orton Keith Lee
United States Champion Apollo Crews vs. Bobby Lashley Bobby Lashley Bobby Lashley
Dominik & Rey Mysterio vs. Seth Rollins & Murphy Dominik & Rey Mysterio Dominik & Rey Mysterio
Matt Riddle vs. King Corbin Matt Riddle Matt Riddle
Big E vs. Sheamus Big E Big E
The Riott Squad vs. The IIconics (Kickoff Match) The Riott Squad The Riott Squad

How to watch WWE Payback?

You can watch WWE Payback on August 30th at 7pm ET / 12am BST on the WWE Network. New subscribers get their first month for free: Sign up here

WWE is a trademark of World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.

WWE ThunderDome

As the Rock would say... finally! The WWE is moving away from the Performance Center and going to the Amway Center for their WWE ThunderDome experiment. I couldn't be more excited to see a different setting for RAW, SmackDown and pay-per-views during this Coronavirus pandemic. The Performance Center was a great solution to continue hosting WWE shows while no fans could attend but week after week, the novelty of being there wore off and it became boring to watch wrestling matches that were taking place in the building. 

Already seeing leaked images of what the WWE ThunderDome will look like with LED screens around the ring displaying fans webcams looks really cool. And I think that it will hopefully bring new life into the TV programs that's been desperately needed since March. Even if the WWE ThunderDome fails, I will still give props to WWE for trying a new idea. At the end of the day, you don't know what does and doesn't work unless you try but at this point, I think anything is better than staying in the WWE Performance Center until next year.


SummerSlam 2020 Predictions

Image Credit: WWE

The biggest event of the summer is just around the corner and I'm in with my early predictions for the pay-per-view event.

This year, SummerSlam is going to look and feel a whole lot different to previous years. Due to Covid-19, the shows orginal location had to be scrapped. Update: WWE SummerSlam and all future pay-per-views and weekly shows will be hosted in the WWE ThunderDome. With the lack of real fans in the crowd, hopfully WWE can still deliver and truely make SummerSlam 2020 the biggest event of the summer.

The Match Card

Below is the full match card for WWE SummerSlam 2020 with my predicted winners.

Match Predicted Winner Actual Winner
Drew McIntyre vs. Randy Orton – WWE Championship Match Randy Orton Drew McIntyre
The Street Profits vs. Andrade & Angel Garza – Raw Tag Team Championship Match The Street Profits The Street Profits
Dominik Mysterio vs. Seth Rollins — Street Fight Seth Rollins Seth Rollins
Apollo Crews vs. MVP – United States Title Match MVP Apollo Crews
Braun Strowman vs. "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt - Universal Championship Match "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt
Raw Women’s Champion Sasha Banks vs. Asuka Asuka Asuka
Bayley vs. Asuka – SmackDown Women’s Championship Match Bayley Bayley
Mandy Rose vs. Sonya Deville – No Disqualification Loser Leaves WWE Match Mandy Rose Mandy Rose

How to watch WWE SummerSlam?

You can watch WWE SummerSlam on August 23rd at 7pm ET / 12am BST on the WWE Network. New subscribers get their first month for free: Sign up here

WWE is a trademark of World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.

Sea of Thieves

I'm done with playing Sea of Thieves. My enthusiasm of wanting to play the game and support it has come to an end. Over the last few months of playing the game, I've grown to dislike the game more and more and ultimately, it makes me sad. I've supported Rare and the game from the start, from signing up and playing the technical alpha tests before release and even taking part in the beta sessions. From launch, I've put in way over 200 hours into the game. I have grinded to pirate legend and I've unlocked pretty much most of the cosmetics in the game. I really enjoyed Sea of Thieves because of the freedom it gave me to do what ever I wanted, from sinking other people's ships to collecting a mass amount of loot to sell for lots of money. I was living my pirate fantasy playing this game and it really did help me to escape the daily struggles of real life.  However like I mentioned above, the over the last few months the love is starting to turn to hate. And believe me, I don't want to hate Sea of Thieves but there's players in the community that have made me start to feel this way.

Now I will say that most people in the Sea of Thieves community are great and I've enjoyed sailing with the ones I was fortunate to crew up with. However, there's a some that think it's okay to be toxic to other players. I shouldn't have to go onto a game and be name called in game chat, have people telling me to die of cancer and giving me other death threats. This has happened 4 times in a row (on separate play sessions) when I last played on Sea of Thieves. I engage in combat and then have abuse thrown at me, whether I win that battle or not. I'm just sick of the players on Sea of Thieves. What has happened to friendly competition and mutual respect?

I want to have that passion for Sea of Thieves like I did in the alpha and on release but I can't find that passion anymore. I am burnt out and annoyed with how the game is becoming a toxic mess. Sea of Thieves isn't fun for me anymore. It just feels like a chore to play it.

When a game finally starts feeling like a chore, it's time to move on.


WWE Payback 2020 announced

During SmackDown last night, WWE announced that Payback will be taking place just one week after SummerSlam, on August 30th (7pm ET - 12am BST). The first match on the pay-per-view event has already been confirmed by WWE to be Sasha Banks and Bayley defending their SmackDown Tag Team Chanmpionships against soon to be announced opponents.

WWE Payback 2020 will be available to stream live on WWE Network.

This heatwave needs to end!

For the past 4 days, the south of London has had temperatures reach a high of 37C, with a minimum of 30C and it's been like hell to say the least. We don't usually get this sort of heat in the London, let alone the UK. The worst part about this heatwave is the restless nights and the high humidity. Since this heat has arrived, I've been tossing and turning in bed unable to fall asleep. I unfortunately don't have the privilege of having air-con in my house because most homes in the UK don't have it installed. I wish I had an air-con unit now though. I can only sleep in a room that's cold, and that air-con unit would be a life saver right now.

4 days into the heatwave and 3 more days to ago, according to the weather. I just hope that the weather forecast is right this time. If the heat continues past those 3 days, I am literally going to melt!

Lebonon needs your help!

On the 4th August 2020, the Lebanese capital Beirut suffered a tragic accident. A massive explosion from a warehouse that was unsafely storing ammonium nitrate killed more than 150 people, with over 6,000 people injured. The explosion caused over 15 billion dollars in damges to property.

The Lebanese people need your help. Please consider donating anything you can directly to the Lebanese Red Cross.

Donate here: Lebanese Red Cross

You can learn more about this tragic accident here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020_Beirut_explosions

Standard Notes Review 2020

Website: standardnotes.org

Standard Notes is note taking app for just about anything. From personal journals to bullet lists, all of your note contents are encrypted using client-side AES 256 and remain completely private so only you can see your notes. If you care about privacy and security of your life's thoughts, Standard Notes is a great option for you. Unlike Evernote where employees are able to read contents of your notes, the team at Standard Notes cannot because of client-side encryption. And believe me, they don't want to either!

For years, I've been waiting for a note taking application like Standard Notes. I wanted a place where I am able to write what I want and not have to worry about a people snooping in on what I am doing. As an ex Evernote user, I barely took notes and kept a personal journal. The thought of someone being able to read any of my notes restricted me using my full potential. And because of this, I used Evernote as a web clipper for storing digital content over actual note taking. I am personally a very private person so Standard Notes was the perfect match for me.

What I like personally about Standard Notes is the fact that it is fully open sourced. Anyone (including you) can look at the code meaning there's full transparency unlike a closed source application, like Evernote. Since using Standard Notes, I've actually become a lot more productive in the things I do. I find myself actually taking more bullet lists, jotting down thoughts and making plans. Something only a half a year ago (at the time of writing this) I would of never of done.

Standard Notes also syncs notes very well. It doesn't matter what device I use, all my notes come along with me securely. I personally like to swap between my laptop and phone for note taking. WIth Standard Notes, I can start making a note on my laptop and then open up my phone when I am outside and continue where I left off. The sync capability is the best part of Standard Notes in my opinion.

Pros Cons
Fully open source 2FA is only included in Extended
Client side encryption Extended can be pricey for shorter term commitments
Simple interface Limited functionality in free version
Fast sync of notes
Completely free to use
Available on F-Droid
Powerful extensions
Standard Notes reason for 2FA being a paid feature

Getting started

Standard Notes is available to download on Windows, Mac and Linux for desktop. There is also a mobile application which you can download on iOS and Android and as of recently, Standard Notes is available through F-Droid, if you don't want to install via the Google Play Store.

It's free to use

When you sign up for an account with Standard Notes, you are able to use note application free of charge with limited features. Even with the lack of features for free accounts, Standard Notes are very generous as they still allow you to make unlimited amounts of notes with offline access. You won't be able to add images or structure your notes in markdown but you are still covered by strong encrpytion.

When I was using the free version of Standard Notes, I found it perfect to make quick to-do lists and storing links in a secured environment. Of course, you are able to do a lot more on the free version but with the lack of functionality with how you can change the looks of your notes or structure them, I had personally had to upgrade because I found the default editor ugly for more complex notes and journal entries.

Extended

If you want the most out of your Standard Notes experience, becoming an extended member is the way to go. Extended is a paid subscription to Standard Notes with added perks. With Exteneded, you can get many diffferent extensions to make your notes feel even more personal.

Some of the Extended editors include:

Markdown Pro

Markdown Pro is by far my favourite editor in the Extended subscription.

Editor Plus

Editor Plus adds more functionality to the standard note editor in the free version. This extension allows you to add images to your notes, customise fonts and add tables. This is my second most used extension as I always use it for my personal journal.

Another great feature of Extended that I personally love, is the version history of notes. Every change you make to your notes is saved so if you wanted to go back to a previous version, you can. Just go into the "Session History" tab and then select a version. A pop up box with a preview of the note will appear with the option to restore or restore as a copy.


The pricing of Extended currently:

1 month plan of Extended = $9.99

1 year plan of Extended = $49.99

5 year plan of Extended = $149 (billed every 5 years)

Students can get 30% off a 1 year or 5 year subscription using Standard Notes student education discount.


I personally feel that the pricing of Standard Notes is a bit steep for what is being offered, if you go by a month by month basis. I understand that maintaining a serivce can be expensive, especially if Standard Notes doesn't run any advertisements on their website or in their own application but I feel that you are penalised for choosing a shorter term subscription. Either the 1 year or 5 year plan in my opinion, is the only way to get the bang for you buck.

During research of making this review, I had discovered that the team over at Standard Notes can give you a discount if you are experiencing personal financial issues, if you email them. This is a nice gesture from the team at Standard Notes and I don't think I've personally seen another company do this sort of thing with their premium subscription.

There are many more extensions in Extended that give you a whole lot more functionality, as well as having daily encrypted backups of your notes sent though email! Because this review would be too long if I outlined all to offer, you can find the full list here: Standard Notes Extended

Closing thoughts

Standard Notes is a fantastic application that allows you to use your full potential when making all different types of notes. With strong AES 256 client side encryption, you don't have to worry about anyone snooping in to see what you write. If you have ever wanted to start journaling or just wanting to become more productive with simple note taking, Standard Notes is the perfect solution for you. The team over at Standard Notes have built this application to last a very long time and truely believe in the right to privacy. Although I feel the monthly plan pricing could be a bit better, I am still glad to be supporting this application with an Extended subscription. Standard Notes has become an important part of my daily routine for productivity and I feel there's no other note taking application as superior as this one.

Standard Notes is a must have note taking application

Simple security tips to help keep you secure online

Keep your devices system up-to-date

Keeping your devices system up-to-date is essential to stay safe and prevent hackers from breaching your devices security. As well as new features and performance improvements, new updates also increase the security on your device by fixing exploits and various other bugs that could leave your device vulnerable.

Enabling the option for automatic updates, you can be sure that your device can stay up-to-date so you don't have to worry about manually updating it.

You should also always keep your browser up-to-date too because dangerous exploits and vulnerabilities in the browser could leave you exposed to a drive by attack through infected websites.

Use strong passwords

Always use a unique strong password for each account you have. Of course, remembering a unique password is kind of impossible unless you have a very strong memory. That's why downloading a password manager like LastPass, Bitwarden or 1Password can help remember them for you so you don't have to.

Password managers will store all your passwords into an encrypted vault so they're safe and only you can access them. With a password manager, the only password you'll need to remember is the 'master’ password that allows you access to your password vault.

I personally use Bitwarden Password Manager as it is open-source. Bitwarden is free to use, however there's a premium version for $10 / year with added benefits.

Use 2FA (2-Factor Authentication)

First of all, I will admit that using 2FA can be somewhat annoying and unfortunately it's probably not available with every account you have. However, it is another essential tool that will keep your accounts (if available) safe if a hacker manages you get your password.

When an account has 2FA set up correctly, logging into the account will only work when get a text message with a code. You must input this code into the sign in screen in order to login successfully. Without the code, you may not be able to login unless the website gives you other methods.

MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication) is also the same security option like 2FA for some accounts.

If you don't want a code to be sent to you through text (as this can be less secure), you can set up randomly generated codes that you can input into the sign in page when requested to.

There are many free authentication apps that you can use. These are some examples:

  • Authy
  • Google Authenticator (I personally recommend you do not use this authenticator but it's an option available)
  • Microsoft Authenticator

WWE Network: Worth Watching In August

Here are a list of things to watch on the WWE Network in August!

Originals

Pay-Per-Views

Other videos

Coming up this month

  • SummerSlam 2020

To watch the videos on this list, you will need an active subscription to the WWE Network.

My Recommended Apps / Programs / Software

Below are Apps / Programs / Software for both PC and other devices that I would recommend using that helps to keeps your privacy intact.

I have put them into sub categories for easy viewing.

Remember, these are simply suggestions and this page will be updated over time with new recommendations - Also, please do your own research to build a conclusion.

ANTIVIRUS

I recommend the following Antivirus program(s):

Also, Malwarebytes.

https://netguard.me/

APP STORES

I recommend the following app store(s):

  • F-Droid (Replacement for Google Play Store)

BROWSER

I recommend the following browser(s):

For mobile specifically;

  • Bromite (Available via .apk or on F-Droid

CLOUD STORAGE

I recommend the following cloud storage provider(s):

If you use a cloud storage service like Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive, I recommend you use Cyrptomator. Cryptomator is 100% free and open source and encrypts your files before they are uploaded to the cloud.

INTERNET BLOCKER

I recommend the following internet bocker(s):

  • Netguard (Available via F-Droid for Android or the Google Play Store)

MAIL

I recommend the following mail service(s):

MESSAGING APP

I recommend the following messaging app(s):

NOTE TAKING

I recommend the follow note taking app(s):

SEARCH ENGINE

I recommend using the following search engine(s):

VPN

I recommend the following VPN(s):