GSecure: Encrypt your Google Drive

Google Drive has finally launched, but privacy campaigners have already reviewed Google’s Privacy Policy and raised questions about the legal ownership of files you store on ‘your’ G Drive.

But what Google can’t see they can’t use right? :-)

Using EncFS and some tools you can create a totally secure encrypted filesystem on top of the standard Google Drive in under 5 minutes.

Mac OS instructions only below.

First download and install Fuse4X and a version of EncFS which uses the Fuse4X APIs. Thanks to Simone Lehmann for providing an EncFS Mac installer at http://www.lisanet.de/?p=128 (also mirrored here).

To create a new encrypted volume (stored locally at first to prevent the EncFS key from being synchronised with Google Drive):

encfs ~/Desktop/_Encrypted ~/Documents/_GSecure

Answer ‘yes’ when prompted to create the new folders and choose ‘p’ for pre-configured paranoia mode (256-bit AES encryption). Enter a secure EncFS password when prompted and you’re done.

Now the filesystem has been created we can deal with securing the key.

umount ~/Documents/_GSecure
mkdir ~/.keys
mv ~/Desktop/_Encrypted/.encfs6.xml ~/.keys/gsecure.xml

The commands above move your key from the EncFS filesystem into a hidden folder in your (local) home directory

Now move the entire ~/Desktop/_Encrypted folder (minus your key) into your Google Drive:

mv ~/Desktop/_Encrypted ~/Google\ Drive/

Finally download my GSecure application and copy it to your Applications folder.

The first time you run GSecure it will prompt you for your EncFS password which it stores in your local login keychain. The password must match the secure password you set in a previous step.

To mount or unmount the encrypted filesystem simply run the GSecure app. For convenience copy it to your Mac OS Dock for quick access.

Hapless Harry

In the ten game spell since Fabio Capello quit as England football manager, Spurs have won just 2 games, drawn 3 and lost 5. We were also thrashed in the North London derby and humiliated in a 5-1 FA Cup semi-final defeat at Wembley against Chelsea.

That current league form ranks Spurs in 16th place, a point behind Blackburn and Bolton who coincidentally are the next two teams we face.

Table courtesy of weekendfootball.co.uk

On that form it’s going to be a real challenge to make 5th place, let alone 4th.

What does England manager-elect Redknapp have to say in his defence?

After losing 2-1 to Norwich:

“Well all credit to them. I thought they deserved it, they worked very hard today and made it difficult for us. They played excellent. We were disappointing. I changed the system, I played 4-4-2 today, we played with four forwards and I really felt we were too open. We’ve got five big games to go, we’ve got to really look to win all five games.”

You might think that as manager he was actually responsible for the formation and tactics and could perhaps make changes if it wasn’t working?

After losing 1-0 to QPR:

“There’s four games left, we’ve got to win the last four games now. I think you’re gonna need 12 points now, you’re going to have to pick up 12 points from the last four games. It’s going to be tight, it’s all to play for. Four games to go, we need four wins.”

“We need to win x games”. That seems to be a recurring quote from Harry.

You don’t need to be a master tactician or even a mathematician to work that one out.

Fortunately The FA are all set to come to the rescue and pay to ‘release’ Harry before he suffers the ignominy of a sacking. So it’s ‘Harry for England’ and COME ON YOU SPURS!

iPhone MMS settings for O2-UK

Do you use an iPhone on the O2-UK network and find that you can no longer send or receive MMS since the last iPhone software update?

It seems that Apple’s carrier bundle settings for O2-UK don’t recognise that some O2 customers aren’t on official iPhone tariffs and so need different MMS settings to the default.

Below are the O2 MMS settings that you should use if you are not on an official iPhone tariff. For example you might be fortunate enough to still be on a Simplicity tariff with unlimited data.

Settings > General > Network > Cellular Data Network > MMS

APN wap.o2.co.uk
Username o2wap
Password password
MMSC http://mmsc.mms.o2.co.uk:8002
MMS Proxy 82.132.254.1:8080
MMS Max Message Size 307200
MMS UA Prof URL (leave blank)

Switch your iPhone off and on again after making these changes and MMS should be fully restored.

Insomniac Mac

Since upgrading to Mac OS Lion I have been unable to persuade our ageing MacBook to go to sleep when it’s supposed to. The OS X Energy Saver preferences were set correctly, but it would not sleep of its own accord. Putting it to sleep manually worked, but the computer sleep idle timer was just ignored.

I put this down to a quirk of the older hardware and worked around it by defining a nightly sleep schedule, but when our shiny new iMac did exactly the same I knew there must be an application overriding the default behaviour.

Sure enough after a morning of trial and error and eliminating all the other options, I finally discovered the culprit to be Dropbox LAN sync.

If Dropbox LAN sync is enabled then the Mac won’t put itself to sleep. The mystery is finally solved!

If you’ve disabled Dropbox LAN sync and your Mac is still powering on periodically (like every hour), then make sure you have also unchecked ‘Wake for network access’ in the Energy Saver preferences.

(Note: Mac OS X 10.7.3 & Dropbox client v1.2.52)