Rantings of a madMan about books and the future

So last week I was having a discussion about how back in the days there were some great influential books that discussed philosophical issues surrounding the cyber domain. There are so many books that shaped my ideas of the digital area from the “dude everybody read those” like “Being Digital” by Negroponte to “Barbarians at the door” etc etc. However among them 3 stand out as truly influential to me and I still go back to them once in awhile.

1.Cyberspace: First Steps Hardcover – November, 1991
This is one of the books that I picked up at my university bookstore back in the days I lived like a true slacker in a college town. Truly a great collection of essays regarding the then emergent concept of “virtual worlds.” It covered conceptional and philosophical issues and future predictions. I loved this book so much after coming back to Japan and working in the industry I went back to search for an used version of this book to keep in my bookshelf. I gave my original copy to the dorm library. Although it has been years since the last time I opened it still sits proudly in my bookshelf.

2.High Noon on the Electronic Frontier – Conceptual Issues in Cyberspace
Another great book by MIT Press that covers a wide range of essays from privacy, individual rights, hacking and other cyber related issues still relevant today. I have traveled with this book on many business trips as my companion for long flights.

3.Computers: An Illustrated History
Not a philosophical or conceptual book regarding the cyber domain, it is one of my favorite books regarding the product design of various computers. Computers covered in this book range from old military computers to some of the conceptual models of the  90s. It truly is a visual encyclopaedia of product design of computers and digital gadgets. A german friend I was visiting in Berlin had a copy of this book and saw me drooling over the pages as he showed me his copy. After seeing me ogling over every page in the book at the end he just gave me his copy. This book is one of the books I still open on a regular basis just to feel inspired or motivated. Granted that  modern computers have a much more mature product designs, some of the older machines just have more character and style. The Connection Machine by Danny Hillis still one of my most favorite physical computer designs ever.

A small stone:
With the word “cyber” becoming more and more diluted and connectivity becoming an essential part of our daily lives there are a lot of discussions among applied practical issues about our current environment. But as a lover of philosophy I fear that we as humans are now loosing part of our humanity by avoiding the discussion regarding conceptual issues that would be critical in forming our ideas and perception of how we as humans will progress. Applied knowledge is only truly applied and useful if at least some of us spend time discussing the foundations and the conceptual aspects that form the applications of technology. Knowing what the “next big thing” is great and very usefull, however if we do not engage in a deeper rooted discussion of how and what the next big thing will bring to us, how can that be truly “the next big thing?”  There are many academic-commercial collaborative environments where the current seemingly out of control applications of technologies are discussed but many of them focus too much on the current status and the direction of applied knowledge and not enough on deep rooted core conceptual aspects. As a participant in this cyber domain I am as guilty as anyone else of neglecting the conceptual foundations of human progress or regress and its relationship with technology. However we as people in the industry do owe it to the future generation to seriously discuss and leave evidence of our discussions so that future historians and anthropologists do not face the same daunting tasks of deciphering what we meant to say as modern historians/anthropologists do with ancient cultures.

I would love to see a conference series or even a journal that brought together academics, industry leaders,philosophers,theologists,anthropologists,artists and other people to contribute in journaling our current journey as mankind in adopting technology. Not only as proof to the future generations that we did our best in assessing our voyage into a new era but also we did consider as best as we could what the impacts could have been.

Thankfully to the “nothing disappears from the internet” phenomenon me writing this blog post might be a small stone in a vast ocean of human history but I hope that hundreds of years from now somebody would find this text and say “Dude, this guy at least wrote something on how he thought about the fucked up situation he left us with.” Truly the day mankind stops discussing conceptual issues is the day we as occupants of this vast universe will stop being contributors and become true parasites.















Figure 1: ワセリンを湯煎で溶かす



Figure 2:コットンにワセリンを吸わせる






Figure 5: コットンをほぐして芯を作る。

Figure 3: コットンをほぐして芯を作る。



Figure 4: 一旦火がつけば、多少の風でも消えない







There are many multiple uses for vaseline from preventing cuts during a boxing match to protect the skin from drying up etc etc. But you can also make a cheap and very effective fire starter.  Beside the fact that this could be helpful during a SHTF event these make a very good and easy to light fire starter, much better than some of the “shit to start your barbecue grill easier” type of fire starters.

You need:

1. Vaseline , petroleum jelly. (make sure its 100% pure and unscented)

2. Empty tea candle aluminium cup.

3. Cotton balls. (for make up or other uses, just make sure its 100% cotton)


1.A bowl to put hot water into where you would place another jar into to melt the vaseline.

2. A jar to melt the vaseline in.

3. Chopsticks or any other device that would allow you to soak the cotton while keeping your hands clean.


1. Melt the vaseline by putting it into the jar and put the jar into an another bowl containing hot water. Now theoretically you could use a pan and melt the vaseline directly , however you have to avoid boiling it and it could cause a mess not to mention we are making fire starters so safety first! (or if you are a redneck, safety third!). By using hot water to melt the vaseline much like you would melt chocolate for baking its safer and easier, it just takes a bit longer but you can wait.  – See Figure 1 .

2. Dipp the cotton ball into the melted vaseline. make sure you soak up the vaseline into the cotton ball and not only on the surface of the cotton ball. – See Figure 2.

3.Place the dipped cotton ball into the empty tea candle cup. Theoretically you do not need to do this but it makes handling the cotton balls easier. Remember, use a cup to easily handle balls. (some of you will get the joke) ,After the vaseline has cooled down a bit if you put the container upside down on a flat surface it will even out the the top to give a nice flat top.

How to use them :

1. Just fluff up the middle to create a wick to start the fire. -See Figure 3

2. Once it starts burning a little breeze will not put out the fire – See Figure 4.

After experimenting , I extinguished the pod after the first 5 minutes but the pod only burned a fraction of the top layers , from the results I can say that it will burn for a very long time. Enough to get your barbecue or camp fire going I think , if you can’t get your campfire or barbecue going while the pod burns you need to up your fire starting skills. Next time I’ll try to see if there is enough heat to boil water or actually cook something.

Remember folks SAFETY THIRD! (no not really , safety is always first)

同時通訳機詳細/Translation Receiver.




Every conference I have worked on , somebody decides to take home the translation receiver. The last con I worked once again somebody decided to take one home. Ok I can see the temptation , you paid for the con and there is a sexy piece of hardware , you think “Hey its a security hacker con, this looks like fun let me take it home.”

However these devices are EXTREMELY expensive, if I told you how much they cost you would go “WTF?? I can buy a bunch of PCs for that price!!” yes they are that expensive. So for every one that gets lost during a con, the organizing body has to pay for them .

Did I mention they are INSANELY expensive?

Yes so your fun time is gonna costs the organizers and operating costs for the con and at the end toward the ticket price. Also without the basic transmitter these receivers are useless, trust me no pawn shop will buy them.

So rather than me yelling every time about not taking the receivers I decided to put this post up that lists documents for you to read to learn about them. Its an infrared receiver, not wireless , not radio INFRARED so without the infrared transceiver the receiver is useless.

I have also added a link to ebay , however the price listed here is not what the organizers pay, its way more than the price listed.


Here is my challenge to you:

  • If you build one with raspberry or arduino or whatever and prove to me it works, I will buy you a beer.
  • raspberryやarduinoとかを使って実働するレシーバーを作って俺に見せたらビールを奢ります。

製品情報:Product Information

Bosch Integrus System

Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 1.23.30 PM


Product Page/製品ページ: Bosch Integrus


日本語資料:Japanese Documents

LBB 4540 ポケットレシーバー(データシート日本語/Datasheet Japanese)


英語資料:English Documents

インストール/運用マニュアル(English/Install and operations manual)

ユーザーマニュアル (User Manual)


入手方法/Get one

ebay: Bosh Integrus

Raspberry Pi. Eth->Wlan connection

I needed to configure the network in reverse what others were doing, run a dhcpd server on eth0 then allow access from the eth0 to the internet via the wlan interface. If you struggled to do this here is a simple script:


1.Wlan gets IP via wpa_supplicant from upstream.
2.Eth0 distributes dhcp-leases to stuff connected to the eth0 interface.


#get the ip assigned by the upstream dhcpd server to wlan interface (in my case wlan3) 
MYIP="$(/sbin/ifconfig wlan3 | grep 'inet addr' | cut -d: -f2 | awk '{print $1}')"

dhcpd &&

# clean out all the tables


# Allow forwarding packets:

# Packet masquerading

Posted on 2014年12月8日, 7:29 PM By
Categories: MannaPi, stuff, WBDM
Point and shoot wifi scanner

So my adventures in Wifi land continues.

As seen in a previous post I build the WBDM wifi pod. The pod is great but I live in Tokyo a highly urbanized city with wifi everywhere, it seems that everybody and their cat have their own wifi network. This poses an interesting challenge in locating a specific AP when you don’t know what the essid or bssid is.

One of those times when too much wifi is a bad thing.

I needed something like an old skool frequency counter, you know the ones you see in old spy movies where you click a button and it shows the strongest frequency in the vicinity.

I needed a better solution to pinpoint a wifi spot. I realized that earlier this year I build a wifi Pineapple Mark IV clone. If you don’t know what a wifi Pineapple is then head over to https://wifipineapple.com and check it out , basically is a wifi pen testing kit in a box. The current version is Mark V , and Mark IV is the previous version.

The Mark V is a completely new platform and runs in a unique hardware environment.

However the previous version Mark IV is based of an access point called Alfa AP121U. Its a regular wifi access point , well sort of. Getting this AP in Japan is nearly impossible so I needed to find one online, there are vendors who sell this however many of them will not ship them to Japan.

So time to ebay, sure enough I found a vendor in Hong Kong that would send me one. So off I go, first I needed a burner credit card thankfully my online bank gives me a debit/cc card number that is different that my regular cc number. So ordered it and waited, the unit arrive in a couple of days. Now I needed to flash the rom with the Pineapple ROM,

Step 1. Flash ROM.

Equipment needed:
1. Alfa AP121U. Make sure its the U version which has an USB port.
2. USB to TTL serial Cable. Could also be the Alfa Console board but this cable is easier to get.

3. A computer with a tftp server running. I decided to use my mac with TftpsServer which is graphical front end to the internal tftpserver of Mac OS X.

Connect the USB/TTL cable to AP121U. You need to hook up the TX,RX,GND to the cable. DO NOT CONNECT THE VDD IT WILL BRICK YOUR AP.

USB to TTL serial cable connectors:
1 - Black:GND 
2 - Blue:CTS 
3 - Red:5V 
4 - Green:TXD 
5 - White:RXD 
6 - Yellow:RTS 

So you connect the cable’s TXD to the AP121U’s RXD and visa versa. and the GND to the GND.


connections (click to see actual image)


Also connect an ethernet cable to the PoE/LAN port of the AP and your computer (TFTP server ) and set your computer eth interface to or something.

Now connect to the AP via the USB/TTL cable( 115200 baud, 8 data bits, no parity, 1 stop bit, no flow control.) execute the next commands:

setenv bootargs "board=ALFA console=ttyATH0,115200 rootfstype=squashfs,jffs2 noinitrd"
tftp 0x80600000 kernel.bin
erase 0x9f650000 +0x190000
cp.b 0x80600000 0x9f650000 d695a
tftp 0x80600000 rootfs.bin
erase 0x9f050000 +0x600000
cp.b 0x80600000 0x9f050000 23d004
bootm 0x9f650000

Once you are inside issue the passwd command to change the password then start dropbear (/etc/init.d/dropbear start)
Now scp the firmware to /tmp inside the AP.

From the AP’s console issue:

scp firmware.bin [email protected]:/tmp/
( is the IP of the AP21U)

then issue a system upgrade call

sysupgrade -n -v /tmp/firmware.bin

And now you have your own WIFI Pineapple Mark IV clone!!

We gotz zie pineapple

We gotz zie pineapple

Theoretically you can now build the rest however there is one caveat the AP121U was never meant to host something more complex than a basic operating system its internal flash is a whooping 8MB. So we need to give it a bigger storage space. So I grabbed a 8GB thumb drive .

Here is a link to Darren’s post on formatting a drive to be used with the Pineapple:


Now thats all on building the basics. In the pineapple configuration you can set the WPS button to execute a script I decided to use the WPS infusion cause it would add a bit more scripting capabilities to the button.

WPS infusion config screen

WPS infusion config screen

Initially I installed a kismet server to take the dump but then I realized that it would be a bit of overkill for basic wardriving since especially this one was more to locate an access point.

I also needed a way to figure out by looking at the Pineapple to see if I was capturing or not so I added the led control commands to the script.

If it was capturing all leds would light up , if not just the power and wlan would light up. The following is the actual script:

#Custom Script 1
export LD_LIBRARY_PATH='/lib:/usr/lib:/usb/lib:/usb/usr/lib'
export PATH=/bin:/sbin:/usr/bin:/usr/sbin:/usb/usr/bin:/usb/usr/sbin

if [ ! -f /tmp/kissing.touch ]; then
ifconfig wlan0 down
ledcontrol lan off
ledcontrol usb off
ledcontrol wan off
iwconfig wlan0 mode monitor
ifconfig wlan0 up
filename=$(date '+%d_%b_%Y_%H_%M_%S')
airodump-ng -c 1 -w /usb/tcpdump/$filename wlan0 >/dev/null 2>/dev/null &

#above I'm suppressing all output of airodump-ng to the screen captures are all written to a file with a date prefix
touch /tmp/kissing.touch
# I named the file kissing.touch cause initially I was using kismet server.
ledcontrol lan on
ledcontrol usb on
ledcontrol wan on
#if [ -f /tmp/kissing.touch ]; then
iwconfig wlan0 txpower 20
pkill airodump-ng &&
rm /tmp/kissing.touch
ledcontrol lan off
ledcontrol usb off
ledcontrol wan off


LEDs galore

LEDs galore

So now the AP is ready for deployment but I still need a mobile power source, I love my Anker Astro Pro 2 batteries but I wanted a more narrow solution. So I picked up a RAVPower 158000mAh mobile battery. Which has a 12v dc output , perfect for the Wifi Pineapple also the DC power cable that comes with the RAVPower battery fits perfectly to the Pineapple so no need to hack together some zombie DC cable. Some industrial velcro binds both of them together like they were meant to be together.

After some initial tests I realized that the omni directional antenna still was picking up way too much wifi AP noise, so digging through my box of “wifi shit I collected” I dug up a 8dbi wifi panel antenna. Now the setup is truly a point-and-shoot wifi scanner.

Compare the following : clearly the panel antenna reduces noise coming from the back of the device.

Click to see larger image

Click to see larger image


The point and shoot wifi scanner:



it totally looks like I’m just texting on my smartphone…well sort of….



Posted on 2014年12月3日, 2:00 PM By
Categories: stuff, WBDM

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