Monthly Archives: August 2012

The Burglar Who Uses Taxis As Getaway Cars (and life/sleephacking, sunspots redux)

“You find [cash] anywhere; under the bed, in a biscuit tin, a coffee jar. I got a roll of notes once in an ice cream box in the freezer; no ice cream in the f***ing thing, just cash.” Fascinating look at the mind of an average adversary in physical security. Note he’s learned to thoroughly […]

The Database of Ruin (and sunspots… yes, sunspots.)

Companies all around the world are currently building massive data stores of dirt on their customers. The author argues that eventually any given database will contain some piece of information about you that, if exposed, would ruin your life. As businesses pool their databases, the resulting single supermassive databank will pose a threat to all […]

Saudis Develop Trackable Cash (and lifehacking: a scientific basis for the faraday cage?)

Classic quote: “[Interviewer]: I mean, it could be used by a government for any reason, right? I mean, if a government wants to track who’s purchasing alcohol or something. [Scientist]: Yeah, I think actually you’re bringing up some ideas we didn’t entirely think about, all of those.” Note that they’ve made durability of electronics a […]

Pixelated Balaclava Against Face Recognition; new Java exploit (and EE tip)

German artist creates pixelated balaclava to confuse face-recognition cameras. It’s a neat idea… sadly, as implemented, you can’t really wear it in public without looking like a bank robber stuck in a ’90s first-person shooter. However, the guy may be on the right track: that you’re wearing a camera countermeasure might not be noticeable from […]

The Eternal Value of Privacy (and lifehacking: silent white noise)

Schneier delivers a wonderful reminder of why privacy matters. Privacy is not about ‘they’ll never find me!’ paranoia any more than it’s about being above the law. Privacy guarantees the most fundamental freedom. Privacy means you can do, and be, what you want as long as it doesn’t affect others. If we lose that, time […]

Fear and Risk

Hypothesis: fear saturates. You can only get so scared. Your level of fear in a high-stakes situation will be very close to what you felt on an earlier lower-stakes day. (I think it’s pretty obvious that, having been in a high-stakes situation, your idea of fear tends to re-calibrate so subsequent lower-stakes moments will be […]

“Compensation for Scam Victims” Scam (and micropower TMS note)

The ultimate self-targeting scam: “We found your email address on a list of scam victims. The Nigerian government has set up a fund to compensate, if you pay $90 for shipping…” Apparently not new, but worth mentioning because of the meta-level innovation it represents. The next step, of course, would be a scam victims’ support […]