Archive for June, 2008
I got there through several levels of indirection, but a post in LINUX JOURNAL by Doc Searls entitled What’s Next for Open Source and Public Media? got me thinking about the impending doom of analog “terrestrial” television in the US and how it may well kill off, as collateral damage, the broadcasting model for TV here in the US. Yes, he gets close to saying this in his post, but I hadn’t thought about it so directly before.
The FCC regulates the airwaves in the US and next year they’re taking back the portions of the RF spectrum that have been devoted to analog television (broadly-separated frequency bands for VHF in the 1950s with a UHF band of frequencies added to that later on), and the broadcast digital television that’s been “under construction” since 1998 will be what’s left. The new technology can carry more channels and information, and much of that in high-definition, but old television receivers will be unable to decode it.
I’d guess that many people simply won’t convert. Cable and satellite TV users won’t be affected and their old TV sets will work, but millions of old analog sets around the US – those who depends on rooftop antennas and rabbit ears – will receive nothing but “snow.”
And where will Mom and Pop Public go?
I boarded a plane at a small regional airport two weeks ago. And noticed some new and unusual behavior by the TSA screener at the security checkpoint.
After I walked thru the metal detector, he took a small penlike device and scanned it across the name, address and photo on my driver’s license. Slowly. Twice. Which is why I figured he was scanning. At first my reaction was that he was optically scanning the information into this “pen” and that it would be dumped into a computer later on.
Bruce Schneier is a fantastic source of information and particularly the debunking of security and security myths. From what I’ve read on Bruce’s blog, it’s possible that the TSA guy was just running an ultraviolet light across the license to look at the holograms on the license. But my eyes are pretty sensitive to UV and honestly I didn’t see any reflection. (Cool video of Bruce’s Q&A at defcon 15.)
What would happen to that scanned information? Well, if banks and healthcare institutions are any indication, it would likely go (via USB) onto a laptop computer somewhere, later on to be stolen.
I am continuing to research this, but wonder if anyone else has run into this scanning behavior by TSA?
…and I’m not talking about a hacking cough here.
Twice this week, clients or friends of mine have had their web sites hacked. One was hacked for the second time in a couple of weeks.
I can tell a lot from the forensic analysis as I clean up a site. A bit of CSI as it were.
There is one really big problem that contributes a lot to these hacking epidemics. (continue reading…)