Creating a myopenid.com SSL certificate to use on your phone

www.myopenid.com is an OpenID provider that allows logging in via an SSL certificate saved in your web browser rather than by typing in a password. From a normal web browser you can just click on the "Create Certificate" button on their "Authentication Settings" page and your browser talks to the myopenid.com website and gets a certificate that it then stores in its local certificate store. Unfortunately the web browser in my Nokia E51 cell phone (a Series 60 WebKit fork) doesn't seem to support generating the certificate request when you click on "Create Certificate".

To get around this:

  1. Go to the www.myopenid.com "Authentication Settings" page from Firefox on your desktop computer. Generate a new certificate like you normally would (except that you probably want to name it after your phone).
  2. Once it's done note the serial number listed for the new certificate under the "Manage Your SSL Client Certificates" heading.
  3. Then open Firefox preferences and go to "Advanced > Encryption > View Certificates > Your Certificates".
  4. Find the *.myopenid.com certificate in the list that has the matching serial number and click "Backup...".
  5. Firefox will now prompt you for a file to save the certificate in, a password to protect that file with (you'll have to type this one in on the phone), and maybe your Firefox master password (depending on your settings).
  6. Now you have the certificate in a file. Find the file whereever you saved it to and use your favorite method of sending it to the phone. I just sent it via bluetooth but you should also be able to use email, SMS, USB, etc.
  7. Open the file on your phone. The phone will prompt you for the password you used to protect the file when you saved it in Firefox.
  8. From here the procedure varies by phone. For my S60 3rd Edition FP1 phone, the phone told me that it found one private key and one personal certificate in the file and asked me if I'd like to save them to the phone's key store. Since I hadn't used the phone's key store before, it also asked me to set a password for the key store. Then it saved the certificate and private key.
  9. After the above is all done, you can delete the file from your phone and from your computer.
  10. Since Firefox should have its own certificate to authenticate to www.myopenid.com, you can now delete this certificate in Firefox (only the one that you backed up, not all of your *.myopenid.com certificates!) using the aptly-named "Delete..." button.
  11. If you now go to www.myopenid.com in your phone's web browser and select "Sign in with an SSL certificate", the phone should use the new certificate and you shouldn't need to enter your www.myopenid.com password.
  12. If you want to verify that the certificate made it to the right place, and you're on a S60 3rd Edition FP1 phone, go to "Tools > Settings > General > Security > Certificate management > Personal certificates". You should see your *.myopenid.com certificate listed there.

Flying in Europe

I'm planning a trip to Barcelona, Spain and Birmingham, UK right now and figuring out the best way to get from one to the other is surprisingly difficult. If money doesn't matter, then it's relatively easy to find a flight on any of the major airline booking websites. But be prepared to 1) spend 4-5x as much money and 2) be stuck with weird, long connections as there aren't many direct flights from Barcelona to Birmingham. The answer is to fly one of the myriad discount airlines. The problem though is that there's no centralized website that lets you search the tickets of all of these discount airlines from one place. A few different websites try (e.g. www.wegolo.com, www.sidestep.com, www.skyscanner.com), but none of them have complete coverage of all airlines (or even complete coverage of any one airline it seems). Furthermore, even with the discount airlines, there's still a dearth of direct flights. So you end up planning a flight to a nearby city and connecting by train. But now you have to start scouring the map for all of the airports within 1-2hr train ride of your destination. And there's no website that's designed for that. Is it so much to ask for a comprehensive and thorough multi-modal transportation website that will tell me the fastest, cheapest, and most hassle-free way to get from point A to point B anywhere in the world using whatever combination of airplanes, trains, buses, ferries, etc. is most suited to the task and within my constraints of departure/arrival times?

Nokia E51 + OS X + T-Mobile

i got my new nokia e51 setup to access the internet from the phone, paired it with my mac, and got the mac setup to connect to the internet via the phone over bluetooth. but every time i tried to connect the mac would complain about not being able to contact the ppp server. it took me a bit to figure out the one extra step needed. the e51 (and probably other series 60 3rd edition phones) requires you to enter the access point name to be used for tethered connections (i.e. computer via bluetooth) separately from the access point name to be used for connections originating on the phone. even though in practice both of these names are going to be the same. in short, after everything else you need to do to configure the phone and the laptop for tethered access, go to "Settings > Connection > Packet data > Access point" on the phone and enter "internet2.voicestream.com" (or "internet3.voicestream.com" or whatever access point you're using). this should be the same string as what's under "Settings > Connection > Access points > T-Mobile Internet > Access point name".