Convert PeerGuardian to IPFilter.dat


A handy companion to my last utility, this very simple program converts PeerGuardian blocklists to ipfilter.dat blocklists. This lets you use BLM to update eMule and such too.
It’s available as pg2ipfilter.c, but should be as easy to build as “make pg2ipfilter” on any real computer. ;)


Blocklist Merging on Linux


A little while back, I wrote a post about using iptables PeerGuardian blocklists efficiently. However, that program only uses a single list; it expects it to be pre-processed by another program.

Originally I used Bluetack’s Blocklist Manager. It’s quite good, but it’s Windows-only, slow, and eats gobs of memory. (Seriously, 100+ MB, and 24/7 if you want it to auto-update.)

Today, I got bored, and wrote my own as a tiny command-line program dubbed BLM.

It only merges the blocklists, though I included a couple of scripts to show downloading them with wget automagically too. Also, it’s designed to output the merged list in PeerGuardian format to stdout, which works very nicely with my pg2ipset utility from that post I linked above.

My suggestion is to make a file with a bunch of URLs of blocklists in .gz format (the .tar.bz2 includes a list of the Bluetack ones) then add a script something like this to your crontab or /etc/cron.daily:

cd /opt/blocklist
wget --timestamping `grep -v ^# urls.txt`
zcat *.gz | ./blm | ./pg2ipset | ipset -R

Modifying this to your personal paths and needs, as always. :)


Microsoft’s “Browser for the Better”


As many of you probably already know, Microsoft is doing a “Browser for the Better” campaign to promote IE8.

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OneSwarm Community Feeds


In the latest development release of OneSwarm (version 0.6.2) they added another way to find peers: community feeds. Basically, a central server takes public key registries and hands out the few “nearest” peers to you (based on binary search of public keys).

The sample community server is in Java only. My VDS is a bit short on memory to be running random Java programs, so I took a little time and hacked together a simple PHP one. It doesn’t (yet) support some of the important features of the mainline one, like registration DoS protection or IP limits, but you can get the source under GPL if anyone wants it.




One of the latest “privacy-enhanced P2P” things I’ve found recently is OneSwarm. The idea behind it is that instead of using trackers to find peers, it uses an anonymous, distributed, friend-to-friend swarm to find things.

This seems at first glance to be a good idea. Only the people you trust know what you’re trying to find, making it very hard for your favourite government/corporate acronym to spy on you, and thanks to the “six degrees of separation” factor it shouldn’t be hard to find anything you’re after.

Of course, you have to find friends who are using it in order for it to work, but it’s not so bad — they have a handy keyserver where you can give it your GMail/GTalk data, and it checks with a server to get public keys for all your contacts.

Hmmmm… a registry which can link uniquely-identifiable public keys with email addresses? I thought this was supposed to make things more anonymous. That just sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. It does let you directly exchange public keys with friends, at least, which seems a safer route to take.

Still not entirely sure I trust it…