Revisiting Two-Factor Authentication on PayPal

I’ve been using 2FA on PayPal since 2007, when they introduced the feature with a modestly priced physical token. I later switched to a free soft token, specifically the Symantec VIP app, which I wrote about back in 2013. But it’s March December 2020 and it’s time to take another look at the state of 2FA on PayPal.

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Porting out a Skype Number

Number portability is not a new thing, but what about porting out a Skype Number? This is an optional (paid) feature available to personal Skype accounts that makes it possible to receive telephone calls via the Skype app. I recently ported out my Skype Number successfully so here’s a quick summary of my experience.

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Implementing an IP blocklist with firewalld

In 2013 I wrote about using IP sets and iptables to block IP addresses from a blocklist provided by organizations such as OpenBL.  The Bash script I wrote for that was usable at the time, but in the intervening years many Linux distributions (including CentOS and RHEL 7) enabled firewalld by default, so I needed to update the script.

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Fixing High CPU Usage for Windows Update

Recently I had an issue with Windows Update on a newly deployed Windows 7 VM.  I’ve been using the same template to deploy Windows 7 VMs for a couple years, so it was strange that suddenly there was a problem.  After a bit of troubleshooting, however, I successfully found a solution.

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Fixing a blank screen in KDE

I have Fedora 21 installed on my laptop (a ThinkPad) and use the KDE window manager.  Recently (today, actually) I ran into a bizarre problem with it: after undocking it, the screen went blank.  Or technically, it stayed blank instead of turning on, since when it is docked I only use external monitors (two hooked up via the DisplayPort outputs on the dock, and one connected to the DisplayPort output on the laptop itself).  It took some troubleshooting but eventually I solved it.

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VMware VCP5-DCV recertification success

So the other day I took and passed the VMware VCP5-DCV Delta exam (VCP550D) to renew my VCP5-DCV cert.  Originally I had no plan to blog about this since I took the exam on the very last day it was supposed to be available (and the same day of my cert expiration).  However, a day before the deadline VMware extended it another two months to May 8!  So since this exam is still available I’ll share my impressions and a few tips.

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