The Core Dump

The Core Dump is the personal blog of Nic Lindh, a Swedish-American pixel-pusher living in Phoenix, Arizona.

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[By Nic Lindh on Thursday, 29 January 2004]

2,048 bits of comfort

Finally got around to setting up S/MIME encryption on my email thanks to the great instructions at Joar.com. Thanks to Joar for creating that document.

The Thawte site is well put together, if a bit spooky. Lots of scary exhortations about creating strong passwords, never letting anybody even know the location of those passwords, and the legal ramifications in case somebody hacks your certificates. Gulp.

Once you’ve gone through the scary bits and gotten a certificate, Apple ease of use takes over. Mail.app automatically sees the certificate and uses it. No configuration required.

This is a great step towards making encryption much less of a mirror shades phenomenon and more of something that anybody can–and should–use. Just think about it, a few minutes of pain getting a certificate, and now nobody will know the location of your secret lair or the plans for the “laser.” Mohahaha.

This could be an opportunity for Apple to establish itself even further in the vanguard of personal computing by building in a nice GUI front end to certificates in OS X, so that both creating and using certificates becomes available to the masses.

Now if I could only get my Evil Henchmen to go through the process and set up certificates of their own…

You have thoughts? I’m @niclindh on Twitter and I want to know what you think.


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