Mac Pro takes a dive. There went my Sunday.

I return to my computer after letting it idle to this maelstrom. Pinwheel of death to 11!  Luckily I was left with at least one tool in my belt. Initial signs point to Disk I/O but with SSD??  Sometimes I feel like the cobbler with no shoes.  no such thing as a day off.

Mac Pro - Force Quit Window

UPDATE! – It was drive related, but not my boot drive. Apparently all this was caused by file system corruption on an external drive. it’s not that it wasn’t in use, but that drive was certainly not in use by all of these applications.  It was a drive that contains large files that don’t require especially high performance (like my bitcoin blockchain).  I must now give a shout out to DiskWarrior for saving my Sunday.

Does anyone remember how to destroy the Dark Portal?

I was replaying the classic Blizzard game Warcraft II and I couldn’t remember how to win.  It wasn’t this difficult to win the Orc campaign. Great game, I miss the 12+ hour games we’d play on our localtalk network.  It’s just not the same playing the computer.  #lanparty

Warcraft II - Dark Portal

Defcon 2016 photos and videos

Close ups of my much coveted badge.  Some hardware and base stations of the wifi village.  Both Information Society and Berlin played on Saturday night!  Shot a video of an amazing demo from the Car Hacking Village.  A car modified to play games instead of driving.  Also, the best of my flight home.  Some great pictures of Hoover dam and some of the solar farms and mesas as we few home.

defcon 2016 badge closedefcon 2016 badge chipdefcon 2016 wifi villagedefcon 2016 wifi village 2 
Continue reading “Defcon 2016 photos and videos”

End of an era! shuttered after 7+ years!

In truth, I haven’t touched it in years.  I haven’t even touched cydia recently. Sadly, all this work would only be useful for someone with an original or 3g iPhone. Apple certainly doesn’t support those devices anymore.  Does anyone still use them?  Unfortunately, my ISP insists that I remove the content.  After 7 years of hosting it, they realized it violates TOS.  I should check the logs.  I wonder if it will even be missed.  People say the internet never forgets.  Sometimes it is quite the opposite. For nostalgias sake, I left the instructions site up: (at least that does’t violate Dreamhost TOS).  For the record, much of my work continued support well into iOS 4. site

. . . Maybe it will rise again on S3?

Dentistry of the future…

A recent mouthpiece fitting exposed me to the latest in dental impressions. I filmed it, the tech was quite impressive. A camera takes pictures of my teeth and software stitches it into a 3D model. I only wish i could take home the model files. sure beat the molding clay in my mouth.  (though it did take a little bit longer)

Playing with screenshots & Snapchat

You think you can beat it? (snapchat screenshot detection) Snapchat is a popular multimedia chat app with an allegedly vanishing history. Users can send pics or videos and set an expiration in seconds. After viewing the content for the prescribed duration… poof, it’s gone.  I was bored and playing with my wife when I noticed that the app sends an alert to the sender when their message is captured using iOS’s screen capture function. I was actually impressed with the forethought. Unfortunately, that impression did not last long.  It took me less then 20 minutes and only 3 messages to take advantage of Snapchat’s prebuffering to capture the message permanently without revealing that I had even viewed it. I did this all with the latest Snapchat on the latest iOS on a stock iPhone 6s+ (no jailbreak).  Honestly I find this kind of thing in a lot in applications not designed specifically for security.  Non authenticated data is sent before the authentication for speed or some other performance reason that negatively impacts security.  Kinda like client side authentication, sure there is a reason for it, but that doesn’t make it a good idea.  I am certainly not the only one to figure this out.  It seems that the basics of this method have been known for at least a year.

UPDATE (6-15-16):  Tested again with newest Snapchat app.  still working.

Power Nap drops my watts to the floor!

I finally ensured that all of the background tasks on my primary desktop would quite literally run in their sleep.  Now I can leave it asleep a majority of the time.  I am continually impressed with the energy efficiency of the new MacPro. The wattage depicted represents not just my slumbering beast, but several small appliances as well (including two Raspberry Pi).  Getting a bit greener.

15 Watts  APC Display

Bizarre FaceTime error could have horrifying security implications!

ios9 facetime iconI just got off a very strange call. Apparently, a complete stranger received a FaceTime request from me. “Butt Dial” right?  no big deal. Not this time.  At the time, i was in the middle of a FaceTime call with my dad.  I am almost certain I know exactly when it happened because i noticed a call-waiting style interruption on our call.  The first strange thing i noticed was that the incoming caller was my dad.  The same dad, I was presently talking to.  I rejected the call, thinking it was my dad accidentally calling from a different device. Then, moments later I get a mobile call from another LA number.  This time from an irate husband demanding to know why I would FaceTime his wife.  Unfortunately, I may have given them the wrong impression by asking questions of them.  The IT guy inside me wanted to figure out what just happened. Needless to say, they didn’t enjoy being grilled.  I barely had time to get out a few apologies, i don’t think they even realized that I hadn’t actually even called them.  I did get some answers.  They were not on a call at the time.  They were not even on the device.  My call history shows no outgoing calls save my dad.  my dad’s history doesn’t show the missed call on my history from him. I am almost certain I will never know what actually happened.  I am guessing that Apple FaceTime system might be a bit more duct tape and spit then we were lead to believe.