1. Now this is some hardcore Max Headroom-type stuff, here.

    30 September 2007

    Yes, folks, there are televisions bolted to the tops of gas pumps in LA, or at least at the gas stations that my cow-orkers and I visited during our time on the west coast. They're all tuned to local news stations or CNN so that you can keep an eye on your stock prices or the traffic situation in LA while you're gassing up.

    I was half-expecting to see a women pushing a baby carriage with a television in it down the sidewalk whilst pumping fuel.

    Read more...

  2. What a notion.

    27 September 2007

    If you've wanted to do something for a while but can't think of when to do it, sit down and think about what it would really take. Once you know what you need, you'll know how hard it would be, and chances are it won't be nearly as difficult as it feels. Sometimes, the feel of something is quite different from the practical aspects of something.

    Read more...

  3. Homeland Security discovers SCADA vulnerabilities.

    27 September 2007

    SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) protocols are protocols that connect computers to various pieces of machinery, such as automatic valves in water treatment plants, lathes and drills in automated machine shops, and other semi-autonomous hardware in such a way that it acts the way big plants do in the movies. The idea is that you can remotely control various functions of the equipment so that you don't need an engineer on site all the time, they can run things remotely from a computer terminal. There's just one problem: Most SCADA protocols weren't meant to run across the public Net …

    Read more...

  4. It's funny, how things turn out sometimes.

    27 September 2007

    Years and years and years ago, when I lived in Pittsburgh, I had an older buddy named Scott.

    Yeah, this is sounding like a story that I'd tell my grandkids. Bear with me.

    Somewhen in the past couple of years, and I don't know exactly when because life and Time tend to change things, Scott joined the Army, and at some point got shipped to Iraq. Something happened out there (I don't know exactly what - this isn't much of a story, is it?), but it left him paralyzed from the waist down and discharged from the military.

    Scott now lives …

    Read more...

  5. Saloncon 2007: Culture, fashion, and panic.

    26 September 2007

    This weekend just passed, Lyssa, Laurelinde, and I journeyed northward to the state of New Jersey to join friends and colleagues at Saloncon, a one day convention (sort of) that celebrates the finer things in life, such as dressing well for the sake of dressing well, refinement, politeness, and a chance to show off all the nifty things that we've been building in our basements all year. I say that the convention is 'sort of' one day because the festivities actually began on Friday night with the steampunk meet and greet at the hotel's sports bar and ended on Sunday …

    Read more...

  6. It seems that the one book they read was 1984.

    20 September 2007

    George W. Bush, while at NSA headquarters yesterday, asked the US Congress to turn the NSA program that allows any and all communications to be monitored without a warrant into a law rather than letting the program expire in February of 2008. While this law does not give operatives carte blanche to break into a home and plant monitoring devices or copy data from computers (that's covered by another set of statutes entirely), it does mean that they can record and analyze telephone calls, e-mails, and other forms of communication without oversight or legal record. As to why he didn't …

    Read more...

  7. Ameritrade cracked - 6.3 million customers exposed.

    17 September 2007

    The online stock trading and investment company TD Ameritrade announced this morning that a database server holding contact information for approximately 6.3 million customers was cracked and copied by agents unknown. They're saying that the Social Security and account numbers in the database weren't copied, but it sounds kind of odd that crackers would only take names, addresses, and e-mail addresses and leave the good stuff behind. Because the FBI, SEC (Securities Exchange Commission), and FIRA (FInancial Industry Regulatory Authority) are involved they're not allowed to release any more information pertinent to the case. The compromise appears to have …

    Read more...

155 / 207