Backdoor in my Medialink router

Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to getcha.

Here's another example of why we need free software running the Internet. When I bought my Medialink router it was the most popular brand of wireless router on It is created by a Chinese corporation called Tenda.

And it comes with a root shell backdoor, which I just tested:

The closest you can get to perfectly secure Bitcoin transactions (without doing them in your head)

@pa2013 helpfully posted Alon's BitKey announcement from last week to the Bitcoin Reddit, which sparked an interesting discussion regarding whether or not you can safely trust BitKey to perform air-gapped transactions. I started responding there but my comment got so long I decided to turn it into a blog post.

Creating a screencast on Linux with xvidcap: a free open source screencasting tool

Yesterday I wrote about my screencast production adventures. For a screencast demo I was working on I explored all the FLOSS screencasting tools I could find including RecordMyDesktop, and Istanbul. They all suck by varying degrees but xvidcap, though it doesn't look like much, definitely sucked the least.

If the binary package for your distribution crashes and burns try building xvidcap from the sources on Sourceforge (not the same as the *.orig tarball from the Ubuntu package for some reason). That usually produces something usable.

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My TTS sleep hack: a hi-tech cure for insomnia

For as long as I can remember myself I've had trouble falling asleep. I think there might be a genetic component to it because there seems to be a history of insomnia on my mother's side of the family. If you've never had this problem, consider yourself lucky. Even mild insomnia can royally screw with your quality of life. Actually I think that's an understatement considering the incompatibility insomnia can induce with the normal rhythms of society.

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Screencast production: Lessons learned from the making of my first screencasting


The following post summarizes the lessons I learned from my first serious Linux screencasting attempt, which was also my first foray into the world of open source audio video editing.

The first thing you need to know about screencast production, is that like pretty much anything worth doing, doing at a high level of quality is harder than it looks.

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The TurnKey blog: where do we go from here?

When we started out a few years ago the scope of posts was very limited. Only news announcements, once every few months. The idea was to keep the signal to noise ratio down. But then a couple of years later we added tags to the blog and that changed everything because it meant we could offer a just-the-news feed to those who wanted it while opening up the blog to a broader range of subjects. Gradually the scope of the blog expanded until it included pretty much anything interesting we came across in our TurnKey adventures.

Introducing BitKey - A secure Bitcoin live USB/CD solution built with TKLDev

I'd like to announce a side project we've been working called BitKey. The idea was to see if we could use the TurnKey development tools to create a self-contained read-only CD/USB stick with everything you need to perform highly secure air-gapped Bitcoin transactions.

bitkey screenshot

Introduction to Vim

Table of contents

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How Foodsoft inspired me to rewrite the TKLDev documentation

A couple of weeks ago I was corresponding with @wvengen, a free software developer from the Netherlands who has been using TKLDev to package Foodsoft into a ready-to-use Foodsoft in a box solution that can be easily deployed to manage your own non-profit Food Coop.

FLOSS weekly interview with TurnKey's Jeremy Davis

Our very own Jeremy Davis was interviewed by FLOSS weekly regarding all things TurnKey by Randal Schwartz and Aaaron Newcomb:

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