Four short links: 23 October 2012

Software-Defined Radio, Google Mapping, Windows Exploits, and Firesheep Moments

  1. Getting Started with Software-Defined Radio (ThePowerBase) — Now, anyone with about $20 USD to spare can tune into everything from police and fire transmissions to the International Space Station. We were talking about this on the Radar mailing list, and Mike Loukides offered these pithy words of wisdom: antennas only get complicated if you’re transmitting. If you’re transmitting, you run a real possibility of letting the magic smoke out if something’s wrong with the antenna. But with receivers, there’s very little that more wire won’t fix. And at TV frequencies, you don’t even need that much wire. (via Jim Stogdill)
  2. How Google Builds Its Maps (The Atlantic) — fascinating look into Google’s project Ground Truth. [T]he maps team, largely driven by Street View, is publishing more imagery data every two weeks than Google possessed total in 2006. The analysis of human-powered software is great: Google’s map offerings build in the human intelligence on the front end, and that’s what allows its computers to tell you the best route from San Francisco to Boston.
  3. USB Stick of Death — very detailed internals walkthrough of how to simply insert a USB stick, have it automatically mounted by the operating system and immediately compromise it by triggering a vulnerability in ntfs.sys.
  4. BasecampA Firesheep Moment for PLCs. I love the idea of Firesheep moments: when the obscurity is removed by making the flaw so easy to exploit that nobody can deny the problem exists. (via Jim Stogdill)
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