Archive for the ‘Meddling’ Category

Mystery tower a micro-cell tower

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

Looks like the mystery cell tower may actually be a distributed antenna system, otherwise known as a mini cell tower site. The idea is to fill in the weak coverage spots with smaller towers.

A Pennsylvania-based company called Crown Castle has been installing these micro cell sites on utility poles around the US. A few Google searches reveal that the company is currently hiring project staff here in Raleigh.

So there ya go.

Is this a Stingray site?

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

Mystery tower site

Mystery tower site

Update: Mystery solved? I believe this is a micro-site cell tower.

A few weeks ago when I went with Travis to a birthday party held at Adventure Landing on Capital Boulevard, the radio geek in me was drawn to an unusual device mounted on a utility pole outside.

Located on the corner of the parking lot next to a sword-shaped, pirate-themed sign that reads “Parking” is a newly-planted utility pole. Mounted on the pole is a locker-sized utility box, meter box, antenna feedline, and a cell tower-shaped antenna on top. All of these were painted brown to match the nearby light poles in Adventure Landing’s parking lot.

It appears to me to be a mini cell tower of some sort but it does raise some questions. Capital Boulevard is arguably the busiest street in the city and this spot is near its intersection with I-440. This would hardly be considered a cell phone service “dead zone.” Why would a single-node booster tower be here?

10 Words Every Girl Should Learn | Soraya Chemaly

Saturday, July 5th, 2014

A friend posted this article on Facebook, generally agreeing with it. I, on the other hand, could only smirk at its premise that goes along the lines of “when women get interrupted by men it’s men being sexist.”

Baloney. The author says “ask any woman” if they’ve ever been interrupted. Well, no shit, they probably have. Men get interrupted all the damn time, too. Did she question if this was sexist?

It always irks me when someone wails about being oppressed: “they took my power away” and the like. No one can take you power away unless you let them. The key is to claim your power.

I think the author has a self-confidence issue that get overlaid onto a gender gap issue. If someone is interrupting her then perhaps she needs to learn to be more assertive instead of blaming someone else. Or she could simply be drawn to dumbshit men who like interrupting people, in which case she should ask herself why she likes to hang out with them. Either way, whining will get her nowhere.

And, oh, I say this as a father raising a fiercely self-confident daughter in complete control of her destiny who could kick anyone’s ass at anything she chooses.

I routinely find myself in mixed-gender environments life where men interrupt me. Now that I’ve decided to try and keep track, just out of curiosity, it’s quite amazing how often it happens. It’s particularly pronounced when other men are around.This irksome reality goes along with another — men who make no eye contact. For example, a waiter who only directs information and questions to men at a table, or the man last week who simply pretended I wasn’t part of a circle of five people I was the only woman. We’d never met before and barely exchanged 10 words, so it couldn’t have been my not-so-shrinking-violet opinions.

These two ways of establishing dominance in conversation, frequently based on gender, go hand-in-hand with this last one: A woman, speaking clearly and out loud, can say something that no one appears to hear, only to have a man repeat it minutes, maybe seconds later, to accolades and group discussion.

via 10 Words Every Girl Should Learn | Soraya Chemaly.

Feds raid CIA-connected air charter in Fort Lauderdale | MadCow Morning News

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

I spent a little time learning from the Internet how to track planes, just ’cause I’m one of those meddling kids. I turned up an interesting report on a Miami-based drug investigation last year which has some ties (albeit tenuous) to a CIA “rogue operation.” The affidavit provided by the DEA agent in charge of the investigation reads like a “Breaking Bad” script.

Don’t know if I subscribe to every conclusion on the site but it makes for interesting reading.

They combed through the trash. They searched dozens of planes. And while TV cameras from all the Miami TV network affiliates looked on, they loaded box after box filled with aviation records into government SUV’s parked in plain sight on the tarmac in front of the office.

But today— more than two weeks after more than 100 Federal agents from the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration and Homeland Security descended on the headquarters of the infamous and notorious World Jet Inc. at the Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport—if you want to know why they were there or what they were looking for, you’re two weeks too late.

That’s because the detailed 35-page affidavit supporting the request for a search warrant of Don and Bill Whittington’s air charter company filed at the United States District Court in Grand Junction Colorado has been sealed.

But not, thankfully, before it was discovered and leaked onto the Internet in an exclusive story by reporter Joe Hamel from The Durango Herald in Durango Colorado.

via Feds raid CIA-connected air charter in Fort Lauderdale | MadCow Morning News.

CIA rendition jet was waiting in Europe to SNATCH SNOWDEN • The Register

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

When this story broke last month that the Feds had dispatched an extradition plane to fetch Edward Snowden, I followed it with interest. I have just begun tinkering with plane tracking through their ADS-B transponders.

There are plenty of aircraft who would prefer not to broadcast their position. These include, among others, the rendition/extradition planes used by our government. Rather than use the position-broadcasting ADS-B transmitters, these aircraft use Mode-S transponders which don’t include position.

Usually these planes can only be tracked by radar, however some enterprising folks have figured out the technology needed to triangulate these planes positions, using multiple ground-based receivers. Called multilateration, hobbyists using tools like PlanePlotter can combine their receiver data to plot the position of a mystery plane. This technique has been used by activists to “out” the black ops aircraft which would normally fly below the radar (well, technically above the radar above 45,000 feet). The same technique was used to get the approximate position of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370.

Photographing art

Monday, May 26th, 2014

Intellectual property? Um hmm.

Intellectual property? Um hmm.

I’ve never understood why artists get so uptight when someone photographs their art. It always makes me shake my head when I go to a concert or show and the artist prohibits photography. Are you really worried, Mr. Artist, that a simple photograph could compare to actually attending your show? Is your act truly that boring? If a photo of you onstage is so much of a threat to you, why are you in business? What are your fans getting for their $50 tickets? I’ve never seen Bruce Springsteen live, but I can’t imagine a photo could take the place of the three-hour experience he provides. I ran into a similar attitude at Carnegie Hall.

I felt the same way when I walked among the stalls at Artsplosure last weekend. A few artists that had put up signs restricting photography, so obviously I had to photograph them. Now I know these folks put a lot of work into their art and they’re justifiably proud of it, but when they display it openly in a public place on a public street there’s nothing to keep it from being photographed. And why should they fear this? I couldn’t possibly reproduce this man’s sculpture from a photograph, nor could a photograph ever capture the essence of a three-dimensional work of art like sculpture.

At least Mr. Mosquera said please on his sign. The one at this next booth takes the cake. (more…)

Penalties for estate tax!

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Oh noes!!1! Now I has the penalties for estate tax! Differently I’ll take legal action!

I love how F-PROT anti-virus is sophisticated enough to say there’s “no malware in this announcement,” as opposed to, say, “no malware in this message.” Good stuff.

Good morning!
You has the penalties for estate tax.
Total: $290.82

===Detailed notice is in the attached file===

You gotta check out paper before: June 25th 2014.
Differently you’ll take legal action.

Very sincerely yours,
Supervisor of North Carolina Department of Revenue.
Alicia Owen
+1 (321) 513-22-52

Any questions? Send an email for more information or help.

No malware found in this announcement. Checked by F-PROT Antivirus. Thu, 24 Apr 2014 12:13:06 +0100

I has the penalty for public services

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

Oh noes!!1! I got an urgent email today from the Chief of Texas Department of Revenue. It seems I has the penalty for public services, whatever that means. And, differently I’ll obtain court claim. I sure don’t want that happening!

Good morning!
You has the penalty for public services.
Total: $300.70

===Detailed notice is in the attached file===

You gotta check out paper before: August 26th 2014.
Differently you’ll obtain court claim.

Yours truly,
Chief of Texas Department of Revenue.
Jamal Ortiz
+1 (580) 196-17-52

This e-mail was sent from a notification-only address that cannot accept incoming e-mail. Please do not reply to this message.

No threats found in this notification.
Checked by BitDefender.

Phishers crack me up.

Your Clever Password Tricks Aren’t Protecting You from Today’s Hackers

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

Good password-choosing advice from Lifehacker. Bottom line: if you can remember your password it isn’t good enough.

Our passwords are much less secure than they were just a few years ago, thanks to faster hardware and new techniques used by password crackers. Ars Technica explains that inexpensive graphics processors enable password-cracking programs to try billions of password combinations in a second; what would have taken years to crack now may take only months or maybe days.

Making matters much worse is hackers know a lot more about our passwords than they used to. All the recent password leaks have helped hackers identify the patterns we use when creating passwords, so hackers can now use rules and algorithms to crack passwords more quickly than they could through simple common-word attacks.

via Your Clever Password Tricks Aren't Protecting You from Today's Hackers.

Heartbleed Bug

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

While many news outlets were blathering on about the end of life for Windows XP, a huge hole in OpenSSL was discovered. OpenSSL secures a huge percentage of the Internet, meaning many of the sites you use have had their security compromised.

These revelations, while painful, are very much necessary to create a more secure Internet.

The Heartbleed Bug is a serious vulnerability in the popular OpenSSL cryptographic software library. This weakness allows stealing the information protected, under normal conditions, by the SSL/TLS encryption used to secure the Internet. SSL/TLS provides communication security and privacy over the Internet for applications such as web, email, instant messaging IM and some virtual private networks VPNs.The Heartbleed bug allows anyone on the Internet to read the memory of the systems protected by the vulnerable versions of the OpenSSL software. This compromises the secret keys used to identify the service providers and to encrypt the traffic, the names and passwords of the users and the actual content. This allows attackers to eavesdrop on communications, steal data directly from the services and users and to impersonate services and users.

via Heartbleed Bug.

Bonus link: Bruce Schneier on the Heartbleed bug.