Showing posts from November, 2005

[Security] Steve Gibson's WPA random key generator

Decent wireless security depends on WPA, for the older WEP security systems (whether 40-bit or 128-bit) are useless in preventing any curious and bright grade schooler on your block from hacking in and accessing everything you do over the network. Really. Not to mention any aficianado of informally acquired methamphetamine who happens to be driving by with a laptop and a wireless card.

If the FBI can do it in three minutes, how long do you think it would take a teenager?

WPA-PSK, the version of WPA which does not require special hardware, instead needs a very, very random number used as a 'key.' Fortunately, doyen utility publisher Steve Gibson now makes available a good random key generator to make that part easy.

On the Effectiveness of Aluminium Foil Helmets: An Empirical Study

Inquiring minds wanted to know, I guess. Gotta love this finding (from the abstract):
... certain frequencies are in fact greatly amplified. These amplified frequencies coincide with radio bands reserved for government use according to the Federal Communication Commission (FCC). Statistical evidence suggests the use of helmets may in fact enhance the government's invasive abilities. We speculate that the government may in fact have started the helmet craze for this reason.

However, I must take exception with their claim that

The 2.6 Ghz band coincides with mobile phone technology. Though not affiliated by government, these bands are at the hands of multinational corporations.

for mobile telephony in North America primarily uses 824MHz-894MHz and 1850-1990MHz frequencies. Think they need a better grade of tinfoil.

[Ham Radio] EggsHam

EggsHam is a freeware test drill program for US hams, now with the updated question set. Whether you are working on your first Technician license, or want to step up to the General or Extra tickets, this freeware program is extremely useful. It contains every question in the Question Pool, and throws them at you randomly, scoring after you complete the test and showing you the errors.

[Games] RISK

Play RISK(TM) on line using Google Maps. Kewl. Now, where's Freedonia?

[Safety] How 911 failed in Katrina

This Washington Post article details how badly 911 failed in Katrina.

[E-Mail] Time travel: Send yourself a message in the future

Futureme will, free of charge, send an e-mail to you, or someone else, at a specific date in the future.

[Mobile] DIY Cellphone

Tired of paying through the nose for absurdly spendy hardware plus signing away your firstborn with a multi-yaron 'contract' for cellular service? Then, look at this DIY Cellphone project up in Pugetopolis, and another one here.

[Data Security] Digital Pearl Harbor

I've been pondering how to explain the immensity of the evil which Sony Music has done to any Windows user who has bought a CD from any of their record labels (which include Arista, BMG, Columbia, Epic, J, RCA, RCA Victor, SunComm).

Then, Dr. Jerry Pournelle, and authentic Rocket Scientist, former Presidential Advisor and whose work on computing I've trusted for a quarter century, sends me this.

No way I can top it.

Yes. he's serious, and 100% accurate.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Jerry Pournelle
Date: Nov 4, 2005 8:57 PM
Subject: A Chaos Manor Root Kit Warning (1)
To: Jerry Pournelle

This is a Chaos Manor Warning. I would be shouting if I were not concerned that it would trigger your spam filters.

You may or may not be familiar with the Sony Music CD Root Kit problem.

Let me begin with the warning: do not buy or install any Sony Music CD on your PC. The records play just fine on other systems. There's no problem with Mac or Linux or with self contained m…