Police can legally hide tracking devices on your vehicle, thus sayeth the court system.

The Seventh Circuit of the US Court of Appeals has decided that it does not violate any of your rights for police to place a GPS tracking unit on your vehicle if they have probable cause. The case in question has to do with someone whose car was tagged with a locator beacon by the police because they thought that he was up to something. He says that it violated his fourth amendment right to freedom from unwarranted search and seizure. The thing is, it wasn't a search or a seizure. In fact, I'd say it was no different from …

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Happy day-before-Yule, everyone.

It's been an interesting trip back to Pennsylvania, to say the very least. Lyssa and I finally got the TARDIS loaded up and set course for Pittsburgh around 1130 EST/EDT yesterday morning, stopped off for a quick lunch at the local deli, and then headed for the northbound beltway for the long haul.

I'm very glad that I was able to talk Lyssa out of driving home on Friday night because driving conditions were so bad in the DC area. Between the rain, the darkness, and all the headlights of people trying to do last minute shopping it really …

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2006 is running out...

Wow.. are there only three days left in 2006?? It feels like time's been flying by faster than even the most sensitive of clocks can account for.

Lyssa and I have been back in DC for about two days now, and it's been a hell of a vacation thus far. On the 26th, while we were still in Pennsylvania, Lyssa spent some time at home with a friend of hers while I trekked back to Pittsburgh to see my family some more, and catch up with some close friends thereof who have gone above and beyond the call of duty …

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Random knowledge II.

If you turn on the Xscreensaver module called Sonar while you're running a packet monitoring application (such as TCPdump), people are less likely to think you're doing anything shady, because "Only hacker tools don't have GUIs." Always hack your shell's personal configuration file (~/.bash_profile, for example) to change your shellprompt if you use GNU screen. That way you can tell what shells you've left open are single-access shells and which shells are multiplexed through a single connection with screen. It can get confusing sometimes. Because a shell run inside a GNU screen metaterminal sets an environment variable called $WINDOW, you …

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