08 agosto
2015

Unexpected https connections coming out of my laptop

or why you have to be careful with default setups

Today, while debugging some local network connections with netstat in my laptop (running OSX 10.8.5) I noticed a very weird thing:

tcp4       0      0  192.168.43.201.56227   17.143.164.144.443     ESTABLISHED

"A connection to https somewhere, while all I'm doing is debug some local stuff in a shell and edit some files in emacs?" - I thought. Something smell badly.

I did a whois on the ip address:

whois 17.143.164.144

And I saw there to whom the address belong:

OrgName:        Apple Inc.
OrgId:          APPLEC-1-Z
Address:        20400 Stevens Creek Blvd., City Center Bldg 3
City:           Cupertino
StateProv:      CA
PostalCode:     95014
Country:        US
RegDate:        2009-12-14
Updated:        2011-03-08
Ref:            http://whois.arin.net/rest/org/APPLEC-1-Z

"Ok, this has to be one of those services running by default on the background by OSx then, let's find out which one" - I told myself.

At first thought I decided to use netstat itself to find out which process was sending such a long-term request (the connection did stay open for quite some time). Too bad OSX's netstat does not have a -p flag to show the processes (or at least not in this OSx version). OSx's fuser cannot be used for that purpose neither, and it does not have FreeBSD's sockstat or fstat tools.

It has lsof though, which is good enough for the job:

sudo lsof -n -i 4 -a|grep 56227

There it was:

apsd        317           root   10u  IPv4 0xf041bb92eb553d51      0t0  TCP 192.168.43.201:56227->17.143.164.144:https (ESTABLISHED)

"apsd? wtf is apsd?" - Question popped in my mind, and all of a sudden the name become familiar - "I'd say we have met before... let's look at the man page":

APSD(8)                   BSD System Manager's Manual                  APSD(8)

NAME
     apsd -- Apple Push Notification service daemon

SYNOPSIS
     apsd

DESCRIPTION
     apsd ApplePushService daemon for Apple Push Notification service.  This
     is part of the ApplePushService framework.

     There are no configuration options to apsd.  Users should not run apsd
     manually.

Mac OS X                         Feb 10, 2009                         Mac OS X

HA!, I loved this part: "Users should not run apsd manually", which we could translate into "Hey you!, do not mess with this stuff that could be sending some data back to us here!".

The man page did not return too much info, but a bit of searching through the Internet for Apple Push Notification service daemon returned a couple of helpful links:

Good enough for me (specially the second one). A quick read through the documentation told me that this probably is used by Apple to send me upgrade notifications and things like that, which I don't care about, specially when I'm working from a remote location, connected through my mobile phone and a limited bandwidth line.

So, I did shut it down:

sudo launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.apsd.plist

(turn it back on is easy, just replace unload with load there).

Finally, I added this alias to my ~./profile, so I could list processes listening on tcp4 ports quickly:

alias tcp4_procs='sudo lsof -n -i 4 -a'

(sudo is needed in order to see process my user does not own).

Posted by wu at 08:23 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
15 agosto
2015

Got a new bike (II)

Well, actually I got it one year ago O:)

My new Kona Jake 2014

What can I say? I guess the cycling bug bit me already and now there is nothing we can do to stop it.

Since I got the Giant Argento two years ago, I started to go on slightly longer rides. That bike felt (and still feels) great, it was a good choice back then but, at one point, I started to feel like if I'd need something more road oriented. The Argento is a really nice bike for moving around town and for some relaxing offroad rides (specially when we talk about mud/sand/dirt slippery paths) but as soon as you try to go on a road for more than 20-30 kms, and specially if you want to go a bit faster, it is not the best choice.

And so my search for a new bike began.

Continue reading "Got a new bike (II)"
Posted by wu at 11:08 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
23 agosto
2015

My personal review of the Kona Jake 2014

... short story: I love it!

So, now that I've officially announced my new bicycle, which I've been riding for almost a year now, it is time already to give a more detailed review of it.

The specs for the 2014 model of the Kona Jake can be found here:

http://2014.konaworld.com/jake.cfm

I'm not an expert, in fact I'm pretty clueless about techie stuff regarding bicycles, so take your time going through them and getting your own conclusions.

My Jake's size is 53cm. I can't tell you exactly the measures/distances of the seat post, reach, etc (I didn't measure them, I just tried until I got to something that fits me and feels comfortable). What I can do is show you a pic of what the bike looks like now:

Me and the Jake, so you can get an idea of the height/distances

Continue reading "My personal review of the Kona Jake 2014"
Posted by wu at 13:12 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)