sailing the NorSea


WEEK 33 2012

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Saturday 18 August 2012
Saturday - Headed on down to San Diego. It was a 50th (Golden) Anniversary party (congratulations to Pat and Shirleen!), and I was honored to be invited. I also offered to be the unofficial photographer, and generally had a good time there!

The weather cooperated, and while a bit warm and humid was nothing like it had been in the days previous, or up in Lancaster, and cooled down nicely in the early evening.

Friday 17 August 2012
Friday - Well, I awoke, late, to the sound of a compressor running. And a concrete saw. There's some work being done across the street. And another sound, that I couldn't quite put my finger on. I decided it was part of the construction process.

After my shower I went downstairs and opened the French doors ... and realized it was raining. Sprinkling, really, but the cat doesn't differentiate. Between the wet and the noise he just sat in the doorway, glaring out, and looking at me as if it was my surprise, just to annoy him.

I had various things to do - I'm on the road tomorrow, so there were a number of errands to get done with.

In the early afternoon we went to the AV Fair and Alfalfa Festival, since it was opening night and had free parking and entry.

My friends entered some stuff - candy and breads. This is the first year that mom and boy are in the same division - he turned 18 last year, and their candy entry's both got blue ribbons (but someone else got the best of division). We also sat through a live "sweets" judging, and, sadly, my friends didn't win. The humidity and heat had probably done some damage to their cookie entry.

Am I "arm waving" about the heat? No, not really. Here is a caramel apple entry, from someone else, on display inside the air conditioned building:

Did I mention that it was hot and humid?

We couldn't find the bread entry, by the way. The staff weren't much help, they just said "Well, it should be here, somewhere..."

Book #71 was The Golden Transcendence (The Golden Age, Book #3), by John. C. Wright.

Thursday 16 August 2012

Thursday - Another hour and a half in the morning, working with the team, on how to set up the proposal/bid package stuff for the demo job, then on the road back to Lancaster.

It's amazing how bad drivers are. Someone doing 50 in the #1 lane, someone doing 90 in the #4 lane, two cars side by side doing 63 in the #2 and #3 lanes ... and on and on. I mean, how hard is it to do the speed limit in the appropriate lane?

I tried to fill up at the Chevron on First St. in Simi Valley. It was incredibly noisy - a nearby freeway, a nearby mall, a car wash attached to the station, and monitor's with speakers blaring ads at me while I tried to pump. Because the pump fill rate, even on low, was so high that the pump kept stopping I had to stand there with the nozzle in hand, exposed to this nonsense in 95F heat. After five minutes I gave up, having pumped only about four gallons. It was enough gas to get me home.

On neat thing was looking at an almost completed water tank reservoir yesterday. This is a tank that where the concrete and prestressed lid has been finished, and they are at the stage where they are going to wrap steel cables around the concrete tanks side, for strength. It's over 100' in diameter, and the wrapper is a tower that travels around and around the structure, winding and fixing the cable each time. It takes about a minute, and uses powered wheels and a traction chain at the base. When the wrapping is done the same tower will spray a coat of shotcrete or gunnite over the entire outside, encasing the cables and preventing rust and damage. And then they'll bury the whole tank, so there will be nothing to affect the view of neighborhood residents. It's a pretty elaborate system, all computerized and modern. Very impressive.

Book #70 was The Phoenix Exultant, (The Golden Age, Book #2), by John C. Wright. This was the sequel to last weeks The Golden Age, and was again quite entertaining in a space opera sort of way.

Wednesday 15 August 2012

Wednesday  - About seven hours in the field, looking at some demolition sites.

There was an article on Slashdot the other day about a DOJ gov't employee telling people that iPhone's were a nightmare for the police and intelligence agencies, because they were so secure.

Maybe. Or maybe is was disinformation, and there is a back door in all of them, and the intelligence services are trying to get people to use the platform because it's insecure and it's harder for people to realize that it's insecure, unlike the Android platform, which can be crowd checked (not that the Android platform is even remotely secure right now).

Reading a bit more, the AES key is recovered from being burned into the silicon, once the user PIN is entered. So, the first attack would be against the PIN. The usual four digit could be checked in a matter of seconds, a ten digit code in about 25 years, assuming an 80ms latency. If one was to emulate the entire device in RAM on a system somewhere then the 80ms cycle could be reduced substantially it seems, maybe by orders of magnitude. The other way, and if one is going to emulate the device, would be to get at the 'burned in' AES key. Without knowing exactly how/where this is done, if it is something as simple as a few diode's on a chip being disable during production, then a good x-ray scan should be able to extract it.

I therefore suspect that while the iPhone might be a nightmare for low resource agencies (your sheriff, municipal police, the county prosecutor, etc ) it probably isn't for any of the 'three letter' agencies - CIA, FBI, NSA and so on.

And, of course, if the judge orders you to give up the code (the courts are still divided on the legality of that) you must, or face indefinite time is jail. There is no 'principle of proportionality' for contempt of court - you can be kept indefinitely in the clink until you cough up, say,  the name and birthdate of your first dog.

Tuesday 14 August 2012
Tuesday - Mowed, weed-whacked and edged the front and back yards. It's the coolest day in a couple of weeks, only about 100F when I knocked off...

Heading down to Ventura for a day or two of work.

Monday 13 August 2012

Monday - Did a few things yesterday. Ordered glasses with the new prescription. Ordered a 1" (30mm) tiller extension for the autopilot I bought earlier in the year.

Did a bit of work on that salvage spreadsheet.

Sunday 12 August 2012

Sunday - Not much to say. Miserably hot again.

It was still overcast in Tehachapi when I got up. Broken clouds, anyway. I closed windows, locked doors, turned off the water to the house and headed back to Lancaster. It'll probably be the same kind of weather as Saturday.

Picture of the Week
fireplace tools and books
Photo Notes: Fireplace tools and books.

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