Archive for December 19th, 2007

It Must be the Holiday Season

It can only be the holiday season when the two most popular posts of the last week – out of the 645 and counting – on this website are about why I hate DHL and the lyrics to ‘A Conservative Christmas’.

The third most popular, somewhat less surprisingly, is about bittorrent encryption.

Published in: Meta | on December 19th, 2007 | Comments Off on It Must be the Holiday Season

Simple Problems, Not-So-Simple Solutions

Evidently, our Air Force wants to create a way for electric UAVs – or at least MAVs, Micro Air Vehicles – to recharge themselves in the field from power lines. It seems a brilliant solution; you need power to operate the things, and there’s all sorts of power down there, twelve to fifty feet from the ground. As the article says, the Air Force’s “first plan is to work out how to make a MAV flying at 74 kilometres per hour latch onto a power line without destroying itself or the line”. That, of course, is just the first step… the next one, I imagine, is miniaturizing the transformers and other electronics needed to convert the alternating current of a power line – anywhere from one-hundred volts up to tens of kilovolts – into a voltage and current useful to the aircraft.

The sad thing is, I bet that right now, some bright nerds in places like China, North Korea, Syria, Iran, or even Russia are trying to figure out the same problems – only so they can devise and market countermeasures…

Published in: Geekiness, General, Security | on December 19th, 2007 | Comments Off on Simple Problems, Not-So-Simple Solutions

Fun With Morpheus

Morpheus, as you probably know, is a fairly popular peer-to-peer filesharing application, and one which – among other, similar programs – has been criticized for allowing users to (inadvertently?) share everything on their computer with others. A kind soul provided me with a couple collections of files supposedly downloaded from Morpheus, most of which I was able to confirm were available on the service. As some contain a variety of personally identifiable information – as well as some possibly confidential corporate documents – I’m not making the files available. However, I’ve posted two screenshots to give you a taste of the sorts of things which are, apparently, free for the taking with a few minutes’ effort.
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Published in: 'D' for 'Dumb', Geekiness, General, Security | on December 19th, 2007 | Comments Off on Fun With Morpheus