Archive for November, 2008

Rail Shipment of Radioactive Material

You don’t hear about it as much these days as in years past, but the shipment of radioactive material – mainly spent fuel rods from commercial reactors – by trains is still a contentious issue, particularly for those folks who live near the railroad tracks involved. Well, courtesy of my newest addiction – the Life Magazine photo archive – here’s a pretty fascinating look at a slightly different sort of railroad transportation of radioactive material:
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Published in: Geekiness, General, History | on November 28th, 2008 | No Comments »

A Virus Warning, Better Late Than Never

I’d hoped to spend the day with family, lazily working off the post-Thanksgiving stupor without thinking about, you know, computers and things. Alas, the siren call of the cooling fans drew me back, to post a brief warning involving the crisis in Mumbai, India.

I – and no doubt thousands of others – have spent part of the last two days watching developments unfold in Mumbai in real time, thanks to the local television station NDTV and their live online feed. Having checked the feed yesterday in Internet Explorer (I know, I know), I was quite surprised when my anti-virus software started going berzerk, warning of several trojans and viruses loading from that page.
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Published in: General, Security | on November 28th, 2008 | 4 Comments »

A Sixty-Eight Year Old Code

I admit, yesterday’s cipher, courtesy of the FBI and the Life Magazine photo archive, is neat, but not really all that exciting. That’s okay, because what I’ve got today is immensely awesome: An example of a pre-war German espionage code.

No, really…
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Published in: Geekiness, General, History, Security | on November 26th, 2008 | 65 Comments »

A 64-Year-Old Crypto Challenge

As you might have heard, Google has made the photo archives from Life Magazine available online. You could spend hours searching through those images for fascinating glimpses of history, and while I strongly encourage you to do so – and share anything really cool you come across – there’s something I’d like you to do, first.

Earlier, I posted some old photos of the FBI, in it’s early, “Bureau of Identification” days. While looking for a photo of the old, physical filing system at FBI headquarters – which I found, thanks to Google and Life – I stumbled across a pretty darn awesome photo from 1944:
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Published in: Geekiness, General, History, Security | on November 25th, 2008 | 5 Comments »

A Glimpse Inside the FBI… of 80 Years Ago

Shorpy, one of my favorite websites, has posted a handful of photos over the years of the FBI – or its predecessor, the Department of Justice Bureau of Investigation. At some point, obviously, the interior of government buildings became important national secrets which couldn’t be photographed and shown to mere mortals, but way back when, reason and common sense prevailed, I guess.

Anyway, for a glimpse into the inside of the Bureau, way back when, check out their filing cabinets, their work areas, their office spaces, their index system, and their most famous employee, hard at work.

Incidentally, I believe this photo may be a fairly rare look at what would one day become the “physical index” of the Bureau’s “Central Records System”. Without giving the game away, would anyone like to confirm (or deny) that? :)

Published in: Geekiness, General, History, Security | on November 25th, 2008 | No Comments »