Extending a wireless network with OpenWRT.

One of my earliest covid-19 lockdown projects was doing a little work on my home wireless network.  I have a fairly nice wireless access point upstairs running OpenWRT, sitting behind the piece-of-shit DSL modem-slash-wireless access point our ISP makes us use.  All of our devices connect to that AP instead of the DSL modem.  Let's call it Upstairs.  However, the dodginess of the construction of our house being what it is (please don't ask), wireless coverage from upstairs isn't the greatest downstairs.  The fix for this, conveniently, is to set up another wireless access point downstairs and connect the two …

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Got some new hardware installed.

For a couple of years now, I've had my eye on the community of people who've had RFID or NFC chips implanted somewhere in their bodies, usually in the back of the hand.  If you've ever used a badge to unlock a door at work or tapped your phone on a point-of-sale terminal to buy something, you've used one of these two technologies in your everyday life to do something useful.  What I've wanted to do for a while was use an implanted chip as a second authentication factor to my servers for better security.  As for why I couldn't …

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It's been a while. Summer vacation, if you like.

I haven't actually been on vacation lately, not really.  I decided that I needed to go off and do some different stuff for a while.  I've been in a rut lately and decided that I needed to shuffle some stuff around.  I swapped out the "writing rambling computer nerd blog posts" module for teaching myself a couple of new things and spending some of my downtime offline, curled up with cinnamon tea and a stack of books.  Getting away from a screen for a while seems to have done me some good, and I'm almost back up to my old …

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It's a bit of a surprise when I don't have enough processing power.

Earlier this year I got back into urban hiking by taking up war walking again around home.  Not too long after that, I started picking up buzz that upcoming versions of Android are specifically not going to make it easy (or probably possible) to wardrive or war walk by changing how the wifi drivers work.  By this, I mean they're making it possible to trigger a wireless scan once every two minutes instead of whenver you ask it to.  Unsurprisingly, if you read through that ticket's comments this is going to break a lot of other applications out there, but …

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I am lost in a maze of twisty narratives, all different.

It's been an interesting couple of weeks, to be sure.  While lots of different things have been going on lately, none of them are related in any particularly clear or straightforward fashion, so fitting all of this stuff together is going to be a bit of a struggle.  You may as well kick back with the beverage of your choice in a responsible fashion while I spin this yarn.

I suppose it all started with wardriving in northern Virginia many years ago.  In a nutshell, I had loaded Windbringer up with a rather small for the time USB GPS unit …

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3D printing circuit boards, photography-resistent clothing, and wireless DNI.

Now that I've had a couple of days to sleep and get most of my brain operational again, how about some stuff that other parts of me have stumbled across?

Building your own electronics is pretty difficult. The actual electrical engineering aside you still have to cut, etch, and drill your own printed circuit boards which is a lengthy and sometimes frustrating task. Doubly so when multi layer circuit boards are involved because they're so fiddly and easy to get wrong. There is one open source project that I know of called the Rabbit Pronto which is a RepRap print …

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HOPE Number Nine pictures.

I finally got around to uploading the pictures I took at HOPE 9 - you can look through them here. As has been the trend in the last five years or so, I didn't take very many pictures because more and more people in the hacker community are simply not comfortable being photographed anymore. We don't have a whole lot left in the way of privacy and being snapped by one of your own just feels... wrong.

I asked everyone in the pictures if I could photograph them and they gave their permission. People who did not were not photographed.

DC Discotech.

As I mentioned late last week (done so because it took that long to finalize some details), Ben the Pyrate and I were invited by Bread for the City to take part in what they called Broadband Bridge, a technology discovery faire for the public. Broadband Bridge contacted us because one of their major projects - adding broadband Internet access to the services offered by Bread For the City - dovetails with the spirit of Project Byzantium if not the two use cases we had in mind when we started building it. In truth, there is absolutely no reason that one could …

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Spectrum analysis on the cheap.

If you’ve ever hacked around with wireless communications, in particular data networking chances are you’ve come across the oh-so-nifty USB spectrum analyzers that operate in the gigahertz range (which 802.11a, b, and g networks, among other wireless applications, operate within). The idea is simple: you plug the analyzer into a USB port on your laptop, fire up the software, and you can see the whole spectrum broken down into channels with relative signal strengths representing activity on the screen just like in the movies. While granted this can be a useful tool for anyone doing serious RF …

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