If you’ve been around the blog for a while, you know that I’m a big fan of the use of encryption for the sake of privacy. I’ve ranted about PGP and S/MIME, tried to break steganography and complained about the privacy issues I face as a Gmail user. This post is to let you know about a tool for securing your communication that is so simple to use, my mother uses it on a daily basis. This tool is TextSecure from Open Whisper Systems. Go install it right now.
It used to be that encrypting your communications required installing and learning a strong, user-proof tool like GnuPG or some random IM client with an OTR plugin. Now that apps are the unit of software and users routinely install apps, it is a trivial thing to tell someone to install a new app. It’s so easy that I’m only allowing two excuses for not securing your everyday instant messaging with TextSecure:
You don’t use an Android smartphone or
You don’t communicate with anyone over any sort of instant messaging.
That’s all. Other excuses are invalid. (When the iOS version is available even fewer of you will have a valid excuse.) Now go install it.
I came across a new and interesting open source embeddable web server written in Objective-C for Mac and iOS apps called Barista. It’s inspired by the Express web application framework for Node.js and allows you to compose a processing pipeline by connecting middleware components that operate on the HTTP requests and responses being handled by the server. The framework is being developed by Steve Streza, formerly of Pocket, now gone indie and having also recently released Ohai. It’s early days for the project, could use some help, but is definitely interesting and worth a look.
Marin Usalj has written a collection of extensions for the NSNumber, NSArray, NSSet, NSString, and NSDictionary classes that brings many of the commonly used methods from their Ruby counterparts such as each or times. If you’re familiar with Ruby and doing some iOS or Mac development these extensions can definitely save you some work.
Check out the samples below, pulled from the ObjectiveSugar ReadMe and add the code to your project using Cocoapods.