Pinentry and Pinentry-Curses on Mac OSX Backspace Issues

So this is going to be short and sweet… for those of you that are looking to use pinentry or pinentry-curses (at least in my case installed with Homebrew) that are having problems with the backspace character not working properly… this might just be up your alley.

Recently while using the LastPass CLI (for writing an integration with Alfred) on OSX Yosemite, I had an issue where pinentry-curses was registering the backspace character as a new character… not a backspace.

The fix was rather simple in the end… just execute the following in your terminal before the related command:

TERM=linux-vt

That seems to be enough for it to look correct (which if you just use linux the pinentry box looks very wrong as some characters are not recognised) and the backspace character now works correctly. It is a win win 😀

Hope that helps someone else!

Stuart

Office 2016 for Mac – A plea for add-ins functionality!

Office for Mac Website
With the release today of the first preview of Office 2016 for Mac (which has been a LONG LONG time coming as you will all know), I want to put forward the following plea to Microsoft. Thus far, on brief inspection, I have not seen any indications that add-ins will be supported in the new version of Outlook, or the rest of Office.

As many of you will know this has been something that is sorely lacking from the Mac version and therefore when vendor’s offer Outlook plugins (the ones that I personally would like to use the most), we Mac users get left high and dry.

Therefore I ask that everyone click the little smiley in the preview version of Office for Mac (top right hand corner) and echo this plea for Microsoft to include such functionality in the new release.

The feedback I left was along the following lines (I will admit this is a cleaner version as I lost the copy-paste version I took to post here):

Hi Team,
One thing that I have not seen thus far in the preview, on initial inspection, is the lack of any add-ins functionality like the Windows version of Office has had for many years. When I think of useful add-ins I think of those from vendors such as Evernote, Bananatag, Any of the anti-spam software companies all the way up to enterprise level add-ins for interacting with email archiving appliances and enterprise anti-spam solutions.

With the complete overhaul that is being worked on so diligently by Microsoft, I feel it is essential that focus is given to allowing vendors to extend the functionality of Outlook (as the highest priority) and the remaining Office applications as a secondary component.

While we are many months away from release I think this is the best time to raise this and I hope Microsoft will hear our pleas to provide a feature comparable version to that of Microsoft Windows users.

Kind Regards,
Stuart

Let me know what your thoughts are, and if you send Microsoft some feedback, please leave a comment here and let me know.

Cheers,
Stuart

 

 

SpamTitan AntiSpam Appliance – It saved my inbox!

SpamTitan Website
The SpamTitan anti-spam appliance has been a godsend for me over the last year. As a heavy user of all things I.T., including email, I found that more and more I was becoming inundated with constant spam filling my inbox.

I had tried several hosted services to attempt to cull the spam from my life, but alas none seemed able to fit the bill or offered the level of customisability that SpamTitan has.

So with thanks to TurnkeyInternet for my hosting servers, and SecureSoft for helping me get the SpamTitan license, I was able to spin up a SpamTitan anti-spam virtual appliance. The SpamTitan server now sits in front of my main web server and protect both incoming and outgoing email.

The Stats:

Since the appliance was brought online on February 04, 2014, there have been 131889 emails that have passed through, and these have been broken up into the following:
RBL Rejections – 53.5%
Clean messages – 25.1%
Other Frontline Rejections – 16.4%
Denied Relays – 3.3%
Invalid Recipients, Banned Attachments and Virus Messages making up the remaining 1.7%
(see image for further details).

More about SpamTitan:

The SpamTitan appliance comes inbuilt with both the ClamAV and Kaspersky antivirus scanners that together provides a reliable antivirus platform. Luckily, I can safely say that I have only had a single virus email which has been a blessing, which was blocked immediately by the appliance.

I have found the appliance to be hugely configurable, both system-wide as well as down to the domain level. SpamTitan provides the ability to configure different outbound disclaimers, daily report settings, spam thresholds and so on all on a per domain basis (and much more).

The appliance has also been remarkably robust, with the exception of requiring reboots for ESX updates, I have never found a need to restart the appliance itself. Stability is crucial, and it has been a blessing to have the SpamTitan server in front of my main server on the odd occasion it has required maintenance so that mail is still received and queued for delivery.

SpamTitan for me has mostly been a set and forget adventure. When one of my domains started receiving a significantly heavier amount of spam, I did perform some tweaking of the Bayesian filter settings, but for the most part it happily takes care of itself.

Who is it for:

I could see the self-hosted appliance (or the SpamTitan hosted offering) being of great use for anywhere from small businesses with 10-50 users too much larger, even enterprise organisations. At this time, the smallest license you can get is 50 users, so there are no single user options at this time, but I would love to see an offering like that in the future.

What I would love to see:

While the whole experience has been overwhelmingly positive, one thing I would like to see improved is the way a user can mark a false negative (i.e. spam that slipped through the cracks and was marked as clean). At the moment, a user has to log into the web interface, find the email (that can sometimes be difficult without the Quarantine ID), and then mark it as spam. I would love to see a simple “forward to a particular email address” that the SpamTitan server would then check periodically to re-classify those emails as spam.

Also it would be great for an administrator to have the ability to review the quarantine and have an integration with the SpamCop service which would enable the bulk submission of spam (via email) to the service to help report those that have slipped through the cracks.

Where can you get it?

If you are in Australia, you can speak to the team at SecureSoft who are the local distributors, they are a great bunch of people and have great and helpful sales and support staff. Otherwise, outside of Australia, you can check out SpamTitan to check out who your local reseller is.

Some Screenshots:

Administrator Dashboard for the SpamTitan anti-spam Appliance
Administrator Dashboard for the SpamTitan anti-spam Appliance

 

SpamTitan Anti-Spam RBL Configuration Screen
SpamTitan Anti-Spam RBL Configuration Screen

 

SpamTitan Anti-Spam Greylisting Configuration Screen
SpamTitan Anti-Spam Greylisting Configuration Screen

 

SpamTitan Anti-Spam Example Daily Quarantine Report
SpamTitan Anti-Spam Example Daily Quarantine Report