Daniel's Blog

Ditching Dropbox in favor of Syncthing.

I am done with Dropbox as a service to sync my files. The cannot be trusted with your data, neither on the security nor on the privacy aspect. Here are some reasons why:

Enough is enough.

I am now testing Syncthing, an open-source decentralized sync service. I have deployed it on Ubuntu Server 16.04, Ubuntu Desktop 16.04, macOS and Windows 7. So far it works without an issue. It is even faster than Dropbox in your local network, if you use a file watcher plugin like syncthing-inotify.

Reworked the website.

I ditched the bloated Wordpress web software as it was too cumbersome to adapt to my needs. I am now using the Bootstrap v4 alpha with some simple PHP scripts. I might consider switching to the more lightweight Skeleton framework in the future.

I removed the quantitive Twitter analysis posts as it would be difficult to ensure the automatic removal of deleted tweets. I will only publish qualitative data analysis posts in future.

I am now using a self hosted Piwik installation for the website analytics part. I am not using the Google Analytics platform as I am not willing to send this data over to Google.

I have developed a new service called Top Tweets zu Letzëbuerg. This service scans regularly Twitter for the most retweeted tweets concerning politicians and news in Luxembourg.

How to protect your privacy and security while surfing the internet.

To protect your privacy and security while surfing the internet the default browser is unfortunately not enough, you need to install additional extensions to provide adequate protection.

This is a list of extensions I use personally for this purpose:

  1. uBlock Origin ()
    Protects your privacy & security and also increases the performance.
    There are mainly two reasons to filter ads:
    – Ads can be malware: Big-name sites hit by rash of malicious ads spreading crypto ransomware.
    – Ads slow down the browsing: The Cost of Mobile Ads on 50 News Websites.
    I use uBlock Origin, as it is less resource intensive then the alternatives: 10 Ad Blocking Extensions Tested for Best Performance. Just pay attention to download uBlock Origin and not uBlock, see the Wikipedia article for more details.
  2. HTTPS Everywhere (, , )
    This extension protects your privacy. It tries to change every http link to an https link, thus preventing third parties, like your internet provider, to eavesdrop on your connection.
  3. DecentralEyes ()
    Enhances your privacy and also improves your browsing performance. Nowadays a lot of javascript libraries and similar ressources are loaded from CDNs (Google, Microsoft, …). By this way, those companies are able to gather a lot of tracking information. The extension prevents the re-loading of those ressources when they are already in the browser cache.
  4. Clean Links ()
    Protects your privacy by removing tracking information from the links you follow.
  5. Privacy Badger (, )
    Privacy badger description from the EFF website: “Privacy Badger is a browser add-on that stops advertisers and other third-party trackers from secretly tracking where you go and what pages you look at on the web. If an advertiser seems to be tracking you across multiple websites without your permission, Privacy Badger automatically blocks that advertiser from loading any more content in your browser. To the advertiser, it’s like you suddenly disappeared.”
  6. HTML5 Video Everywhere ()
    Not necessary but nice to have. This extension will replace custom video players by the native Firefox version.

Happy to hear from the readers if I missed some good extensions, preferably for Firefox.