Productivity Sauce

Dmitri Popov
Marble Maps Open Beta Released and It Looks Rather Promising

Sep 08, 2015 GMT

Good news for Android-toting users looking for a decent OpenStreetMap-based open source routing app. Dennis Nienhüser announced on his blog a public beta release of Marble Maps. As the name suggests, this app is based on the excellent Marble library and it uses OpenStreetMap as its source. The goal of the project is to create "fast, visually appealing, easy-to-use free software", and if the current beta is anything to go by, the developers are on the right track. Marble Maps features a refreshingly spartan interface void of any bells and whistles. So there is no learning curve, and the app is supremely easy to use. Routing...
Tutanota: A Promising Privacy-Focused Email Service

Aug 31, 2015 GMT

Despite its somewhat silly-sounding name, Tutanota is a serious open source email service and software that shows a lot of promise. In addition to keeping all your emails and contacts encrypted, Tutanota also provides a relatively easy way to exchange encrypted emails with your contacts. When you add a contact to your Tutanota address book, you have an option to specify a password you and your contact agreed upon. This password is then used to encrypt and decrypt correspondence between you and the contact. This approach greatly simplifies the end-to-end encryption system, although it does have a couple of drawbacks. Firstly, you need to agree on a password in advance and do it...
Commie: Pastebin with Comments

Aug 28, 2015 GMT

Pastebin services are usually one-trick ponies: they allow you to publish and share code snippets, and that's about it. But Commie brings something new to the table: this pastebin service allows you to add inline comments to a code snippet after it has been published. This seemingly simple addition to the otherwise standard web app makes Commie ideal for collaborating on shared snippets. Adding a comment to the published snippets couldn't be easier: click on the desired line number, enter the comment, provide your name, and press Save. It's possible to add multiple comments to a single line, and Commie uses different color labels for different user names. As any pastebin service worth its...
BoZoN: Slick and Simple File Sharing Web App for Your Server

Aug 25, 2015 GMT

When it comes to self-hosted file sharing web apps, you are spoiled for choice. But if you are looking for a simple and user-friendly app that is dead easy to deploy, you can do much worse than giving BoZoN a try. Written in PHP 5, BoZoN doesn't use any database back end and it has no dependencies. Deploying BoZoN on a server requires a few simple commands. Assuming that you have Git installed on the machine, switch to the document root of the web server, clone the project's GitHub repository, and make it writable by the server: cd /var/www git clone bozon chown www-data -R bozon/Point then your browser to (replace...
Restore a Broken Wireless Connection with a Simple Bash Script

Jul 27, 2015 GMT

Linking a Linux server to the network via a Wi-Fi connection is not the most reliable option, but in some situations it is the most convenient one. So if you choose to use the Wi-Fi connection, it's prudent to have a tool that monitors the connection and restarts the Wi-Fi interface if the connection is broken. And the following simple Bash shell script can do just that. #!/bin/sh ping -c5 > /dev/null if [ $? -ne 0 ]; then sudo ifdown --force wlan0 sudo ifup wlan0 fiThe script pings the router on the local network (replace with the actual IP address of the router), and restarts the wireless network interface if the ping fails. To make sure that the...
Extension Watch: Convenient Weather Forecast with the Weather Chrome Extension

Jul 23, 2015 GMT

For the longest time, the service has been my go-to destination for checking current weather conditions and get a forecast for the coming days. The service features a functional and slick interface that provides instant access to key weather data, and it works equally well on large screens and mobile devices. Besides a handy website, the service also offers an API for developers, so it was only a matter of time before a dedicated Chrome and Chromium weather extension saw the light of day. Lo and behold, here comes the Weather Chrome extension. There are several creature comforts that make this extension a pleasure to use. First...
Free VPN Service with VPN Gate

Jul 21, 2015 GMT

In this day and age, there is no need to explain the benefits of using VPN. And while you can manage your own VPN installation, opting for an existing service makes more sense in most situations. The question is, of course, which service to choose. There are plenty of paid high-quality VPN services on the market, but if you only occasionally need to use VPN, paying a monthly fee is probably a waste of money. Enter VPN Gate, an academic project maintained by the University of Tsukuba, Japan.Unlike a typical VPN service, the project offers several things. The key among them is the SoftEther VPN open source VPN software that you can download and deploy on your own server. If that's not your...

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