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Saturday, July 31, 2004

Saturday Sessions

This morning I played phone tag with the dealership before finding out that the problem isn't with the engine, it's just as I feared, the transmission. It looks as though my Honda is going to require a third replacement transmission, at only 84,000 miles. It seems the Civic HX transmissions only last 30,000 miles or so. On Monday I find out just what's going on and wether Honda will pay for all or part of it. I'm almost certainly going to have to fly back to LA, rent a car for the week there, and fly back over the weekend to pick up the car. If Honda won't pay for any of it, I'm going to have to consider just selling it back to the dealer and getting something else in LA.

Some of the best t-shirts spotted so far:
"I rooted your girlfriend's box without using a trojan"
"guys dig chicks that write recursive algorithms"
"Why don't you just go cry about it in your live journal?"
"Hacker chicks don't use live journal"
Almost nobody has mediums though.

Bob Morris cancelled the talk I was going to go to, and Mitnick just walked by. Ah, celebrity hacker spotting. I've yet to cDc'ers though.
And as usual, Freak is surrounded by hot chicks whenever I see him. Last time I spotted him he was hanging with Irvine Underground. Missed all the sessions yesterday, and Meet the Fed today.

Picked up 2 cards that look like they're Apple Airport cards, for $1 each from Bodoman. He's got some other cool stuff this year, like USMC issue Newton cases, which would make an awesome drop leg holster for the Newton (the camo, though, kinda sucks). Also snagged a smartcard reader, and the PCMCIA GPS he has is tempting. I was hoping he'd have some Bluetooth goodies, but it doesnt look like he does. I ended up also getting a Bob-L-Bee backpack, since my MountainSmith pack for the laptop hasn't been quite cutting it. Their smaller, laptop-specific bags are awesome, but the bag I have is the only one that will fit a 15" laptop and unfortunately it's not really made for it. I used to have a BC Office model with the Strapettes, but sadly it didn't work for the G4. The Bob-L-Bee feels pretty good with a heavy load, and I had been looking at getting one anyway for bike commuting.

Right now I'm in the "better than life" session, which is covering neurological hacking - biofeedback and other things. Earlier I went to the PDTP session, which discussed a new alternative to BitTorrent.

7/31/2004 04:25:59 PM ] [  ]


Friday, July 30, 2004


Last night I happened to choose the wrong dryer. So I ended up taking 3 cycles to get my laundry dry. That was just the start of my problems. Somehow I got into iSync hell, with duplicate data passing through the new phone and making it onto the PowerBook. That had me up later than I wanted to be, and I ended up sleeping later and not leaving until nearly 12.

About 70 miles from Las Vegas the engine started surging. And then the CHCK ENGINE light came on. I limped it along without letting it push itself, and instead of stopping in Primm I kept going. With the phone I found the Honda dealer in Vegas, and over the next hour of rush hour traffic made it there.

I won't find out what's actually wrong until Saturday, but I doubt it's anything inexpensive.

I ended up getting to DEFCON itself around 8, got some food, and here I am. For whatever reason, I've only held an IP on the wireless network for a few minutes so far. Some APs are coming and going, and some are very obviously being attacked. The odd thing is that a lot of other people are having no trouble using the wireless network.

7/30/2004 11:14:48 PM ] [  ]


Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Vegas, baby

Yes, I'm going to [DEFCON 12] this year. If you spot me, say hi. If you sheep me, be nice about it.

7/28/2004 04:32:06 PM ] [  ]


Monday, July 26, 2004

The Streets of LA

Starting out a ride with your knees complaining is never a good omen.
Thinking that the fourth mile is feeling a lot more like it's the fourteenth isn't a good one either.

I finally did the bike to work thing, and picked completely the wrong day to do it. By the time I made it 5 miles it was almost 100 degrees, and not long after I ran out of water. Between the laptop, change of clothes, bike lock, and CamelBak, I was carrying at least 20 pounds on my back. Much of the ride had poorly timed stoplights and buses, which meant a lot of the time was spent waiting for lights. On the upside, it was mostly flat.

More than once, in a rush to get going after a light turned green I missed my Stumpjumper's BigMeanMetalPedals™ and scraped them along my legs, by the time I got downtown I was wearing blood red socks.

Up until downtown the ride was long and hot but not that hard. Through downtown Los Angeles it got a lot more interesting. Main Street Los Angeles is it's own world.

At one point, just past City Hall, a corner I had to stop at was full of people on crutches and in wheelchairs, surrounded by gophers feeding them various poisons. As I waited to cross towards them I looked down the side street to the right, and I saw a woman very obviously strung out on something, with a thousand yard stare. The woman looked like a scared, cornered animal.

That's when I knew this wasn't a ride to take slowly.

I was stuck on sidewalks because of unionized streetwork, so I cruised as best I could. After I crossed, one guy standing against a wall watching people reached under his shirt into his pants while eyeing me through his peripheral vision. I grabbed for my bike lock and his arm went slack. Another rider joined me, on a fairly abused bike with not so great clothes - but his backpack was new, full, and had locks all over it. As I rode behind him I noticed all of the pimps standing outside of the "hotels" on Main Street said hello to him - my guess is that he was a courier. And not for a messenger service.

A few blocks down I neared one of those "hotels" with pimps and streetwalkers chatting outside. Out walks a fairly normal looking man with flip flops on. As I get closer I see bandaids on his face. He's dazed by the oppressive sunlight. He looks down to his closed hand, opens it. It's full of clean syringes.

It would really suck to get one of those in my tire.

At the end of the block there were yuppies coming out of a yoga class, mats under their arms. More of them were sitting outside at a trendy coffee shop, very obviously modeled on the one on "Friends". One end of the block was the bottom of the heap. The other end was "Friends". The effort to rebuild downtown for the yuppies seems to have some.... edges.

About a mile later I was searching for Union Station, not seeing the tall Gateway building that would tell me where it was. I had almost given up when I looked through the Olivero Street park to see it completely not where I thought it would be. One blue slushie later I was hauling my ass onto the Metro and bleeding and dripping sweat in a car next to a group of middle schoolers.

What really sucked was that the showers at work just had a piddly flow of cold water waiting for me.

7/26/2004 12:51:31 AM ] [  ]