The Last Full Moon Before Christmas is Out

This is the last full moon of 2008, you can seen it now through the 15th or so when it starts to wane. One other note on this photo, if you click on the thumb to see the full enlarged size you will note two abberations in the lower left quadrant, that’s not something on the lens, it’s a couple of tree branch tips.

Locking Your Car

I received this in email from Wildbeggar, and I don’t know if it’s reliable info or not but I will dig into it since it does sound plausible. (If wardrivers can tap wifi by hacking WEP, wouldn’t this be easier?)

Something to think about with the holidays coming.

I locked my car, and as I walked away I heard my car door unlock. I went back and locked my car again three times. I looked around and there were two guys sitting in a car in the fire lane next to the store. When I looked straight at them they did not unlock my car again.

How to lock your car safely:

While traveling, my son stopped at a roadside park. He came out to his car less than five minutes later and found someone had gotten into his car and stolen his cell phone, laptop computer, GPS navigator briefcase … you name it.

He called the police and, since there were no signs of his car being broken into, the police told him that there is a device that robbers are using now to clone your security code when you lock the doors on your car using your key-chain locking device.

They sit a distance away and watch for their next victim. They know you are going inside of the store, restaurant or bathroom and have a few minutes to steal and run.

The police officer said to be sure to manually lock your car door by hitting the lock button inside the car. That way if there is someone sitting in a parking lot watching for their next victim it will not be you.

When you hit the lock button on your car upon exiting it does not send the security code, but if you walk away and use the door lock on your key chain it sends the code through the airwaves where it can be stolen, something totally new to us.

Be aware of this. Pass this note on.

Look how many times we all lock our doors with our keys, just to be sure we remembered to lock them, and bingo someone has our code, and whatever was in the car can be gone.

Here’s what Snopes.com has to say:

It is theoretically possible for a very determined thief armed with the right technology and the ability to manipulate it correctly to snatch a keycode from the air and use it to enter a vehicle. However, the complexity and length of time involved in that process means your typical crook can’t simply grab an RKE code in a parking lot and open up the corresponding car within a minute or two: the would-be thief would need specialized knowledge and equipment and would have to spend hours (if not days) crunching data and replicating a device to produce the correct entry code, then hope he could locate the same vehicle again once all the other steps had been completed. (In most parking lot scenarios, the target car would be long gone before the putative thief was able to open it.)

So it’s theoretically possible, that makes it possible to probable that the capability can be created. Again I will point out that wardriver hackers have demonstrably broken the encryption on WEP and other WIFI encryption methods in minutes, not hours. [ I haven’t kept up since last time they cracked it, but you can research the latest here, and yes, they’ve cracked WEP’s replacement as well, but for the life of me I can’t remember the acronym to link it right now. ]

It’s easy to get in the habit of clicking the button in your armrest. When you do you get the added benefit of not making a beep or toot-weet sound that used to be a status symbol sound of a car with special features but which is now just commonplace.

Piracy and Lunacy

The lunacy of Somalia being without a clear government the past 20 or so years is bad enough, but couple that with Piracy and you get a dangerous but equal harmony to paraphrase the smarmy McCartney / Jackson song of┬áthe 80’s. Since I’m the guy who likes to look beyond the next news cycle, I’ll add my thoughts to the many news articles you’ve seen on the topic, because there is a clear and imminent danger to this piracy.

It’s not a question of more patrols, there’s only so much open space you can protect. It’s a question of cutting off the bases, and stopping the ransom payments. The point in any attack should be to make piracy dangerously unprofitable. Right now it’s pretty lucrative, and the danger in the many multi-million dollar ransoms grows with compound interest.

The headlines today talks about pirates in rubber rafts and broken down trawlers, but if ransoms continue to be paid how long before we see speedboats or cruisers? Today we see AK’s and RPG;’s, how long before we see .50 cals and C-802’s?

Since it is profitable piracy is likely to increase, not decrease, and the outcome could be disastrous. The other day a loaded cruise ship outran the pirates, but the day will come when ships attempting to flee will be targetted with missiles.

Advanced tech is not that hard to scrape up, and the Falklands war and the Israel-Hezbollah conflict of 2006 showed us the clear danger of underestimating the weapons your foes might have. Maybe all the piracy is really for show, maybe they are trying to sucker a military vessel in, who knows? I do know that I support the current initiative for attacks on the pirate bases, because you must wipe out their capabilities to defeat them, not increase them by continued ransom payments. Like America’s first war with pirates, we must go to the source and tear out the roots.

December Administrivia

I’ve got a lot of loose ends from the year to wrap up, so once I get on vacation you will probably see a glut of posts to wrap up the year. There are many posts that were merely part 1 of a series that become extremely important as we go into an Obama administration and a rebirth from the ashes of the Republican party.

Some of the loose ends:

Hunger and the Economic downturn

Energy Futures under the Obama Administration

The rest of the who is We series

Some better analysis of what’s going on in Pakistan and India post-Mumbai

More on the Global Warming debate

I’ve also been looking through some of my past posts on Pakistan and my original naivete from both my original ignorance of culture in Pakistan coupled with an optimistic long-term outlook shines through in a few places – I’ll be correcting and updating some of those. Blogging is nothing if it’s not both truth and a learning experience.