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Manage Passwords With GPG, The Command Line, And Pass

There are a lot of password managers on the market, some in the cloud, some local, all with features that may or may not be useful in all circumstances. I’m personally an advocate of being in control of your secure information and shedding reliance on closed source or cloud alternatives. This is why I use pass, the standard unix password manager.

The pass application is Mac and Linux compatible, but Windows support probably isn’t impossible. The application works by maintaining a list of password files that have been encrypted using GPG, a widely used cryptography software. Decrypting the files will result in access to your password information.

We’re going to take a look at using pass and see why it is a convenient option for password management.

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U2F Authentication With A YubiKey Using Node.js And jQuery

About a week ago I had written about using HTTPS with Node.js and hinted at hardware based two-factor authentication as my reason for needing it. In case you’re unfamiliar with 2FA, there are numerous approaches ranging from HMAC-based one-time passwords (HOTP) and time-based one-time passwords (TOTP) which are software based, to the hardware based universal two-factor (U2F) standard.

If you’ve been keeping up with the blog, you’ll remember I had written a tutorial titled, Implement 2FA with Time-Based One-Time Passwords in a Node.js API, which focused on the software side of things. I recently picked up some YubiKey dongles and thought I’d try my luck with the hardware side of things.

In this tutorial, we’re going to see how to implement U2F functionality in our Node.js powered RESTful API and interact with the API and our hardware dongles using jQuery in the web browser.

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Create A Self-Signed Certificate For Node.js On MacOS

I recently picked up a Yubico U2F hardware key and thought I’d try to create a web application that was protected with two-factor hardware-based authentication. Things were going smooth until I realized that it is mandatory to be using HTTPS within your application, even when testing locally. HTTPS is common, but I’d never actually set it up with Node.js because I had always been using services like Cloudflare that configure it for you. The problem is that these services are for live domain names, not necessarily localhost.

While we’re not going to explore U2F hardware keys in this tutorial, we’re going to take a look at creating and installing a self-signed certificate for use in Node.js within macOS.

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Building Amazon Alexa Skills With Node.js, Revisited

A little more than two years ago, when the Amazon Echo first started picking up steam and when I was first exposed to virtual assistants, I had written a tutorial around creating a Skill for Amazon Alexa using Node.js and simple JavaScript. In this tutorial titled, Create an Amazon Alexa Skill Using Node.js and AWS Lambda, we saw how to create intent functions and sample utterances in preparation for deployment on AWS Lambda. I later wrote a tutorial titled, Test Amazon Alexa Skills Offline with Mocha and Chai for Node.js, which focused on building unit tests for these Skills and their intent functions. Fast forward to now and a few things have changed in the realm of Skill development.

In this tutorial we’re going to see how to build a Skill for Alexa powered devices using Node.js and test it using popular frameworks and libraries such as Mocha and Chai.

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How To Build Reusable Angular Components And Share Them With The World

As you probably know, Angular is all about building UI components. There are several excellent component libraries out there that you can use to build your own application, such as Angular Material, Clarity or Kendo UI to name a few.

Such libraries provide common reusable components such as tabs, date pickers, collapsible menus, and much more. Still, there’s always a time where we need something more customized and more adapted to the specific needs of our project.

If you ever get in that spot where you want to create a component that might be reused in different projects, or if you want to write components that you would then open-source, this article is for you.

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Using An Exit Intent Listener To Manage Popups On A Page

Not too long ago I wrote a tutorial titled, Create an Email Subscription Popup with jQuery, that demonstrated how to create popup modals within your web application. In this example the modals were presented on a timer. If you hadn’t noticed, and I think most people did, The Polyglot Developer was using those modals for newsletter subscriptions exactly as demonstrated in the tutorial. The problem was that changes to the user experience on a timer felt intrusive no matter how long the timer. This was further validated through user feedback.

The feedback, which I always take seriously, lead me to changing how the modals were presented. Instead of using a timer, I had switched them to appear based on the users intent to leave the page or site. For clarity, an exit intent happens when the mouse leaves the website to interact with other things on the computer or within the browser.

In this tutorial, we’re going to see how to take action based on exit intents with simple JavaScript as well as jQuery.

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Build An Alexa Skill With Golang And AWS Lambda

It has been a few years since I last worked on and published an application, otherwise known as a Skill, for Alexa powered voice assistants. My last Skill titled, BART Control, was built out of necessity because of my commuting on the Bay Area Rapid Transit system. While I didn’t open source it, I had created the Skill with Node.js and a publicly available BART web service. Since then I had written a tutorial titled, Create an Amazon Alexa Skill Using Node.js and AWS Lambda, which also focused on Node.js.

I’m a huge fan of Golang and was pleased to see that AWS Lambda recently started to officially support it. AWS Lambda isn’t a requirement to creating Alexa Skills, but it is a huge convenience. To make things even better, Amazon recently sent me an invitation to take part in their developer offer to receive an Amazon Echo Show for publishing another Skill. The offer and Golang inspired me to develop another Skill and this time I wanted to share my process.

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