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I missed y'all too.


It'll probably take me a couple of days to get back to my "normal" but I am finally head above water at $daygig again. Sorry for the extended radio silence.



I have been, in the past, directly employed by the US Government (the military, no less!) and had various clearances to controlled information.

It seems that is of critical importance to some of y'all, so there ya go.

Hope you don't all cancel me, but you each gotta do what's best for you.

I'll be around later, when I'm a little less irritated by reactionary bullshit.


Do what thou Wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Infragard for laybeings:

Infragard is described as a public sector/private sector partnership (part of the FBI, though I don't know off the top of my head which one) where they share intel pertaining to information security with active security professionals. This means, you have to work for a company which is in a fairly important field, such as aerospace, a tier-1 or tier-2 ISP, finance, or software products. I worked at NASA at the time, and later went into fintech. Both times I had to join Infragard because I did information security as my job. When I worked as a pen tester for a consultancy, it was before Infragard existed, otherwise I'd have had to join.

Yes, I had to undergo a background check. They want to make sure that members work for established companies, actually do security work, and don't have any connections to criminal groups that would try to misuse the information (at the time it was Russian organized crime they were worried about).

Being a member of Infragard means you get access to bulletins a couple of weeks before the information goes public. Most of it is under Chatham House rules - you can use it, but you can't say "I got this from Infragard."

Unfortunately, most of this information is between three and six months out of date. If you do even a minimal amount of proactive intel gathering as a security practitioner (run honeypots, read your server logs manually once or twice a week), or have any kind of intelligence system in place (#exocortex) you'll scoop them easily.

Supposedly they have classified infosec intel that they disseminate, but I've never seen any of it. If I had, common sense says I'd stay the hell away from a site like and not say a damned thing about this tempest in a teapot.

Infragard has periodic members-only meetings where they talk about stuff going on. The group nomenclature /APT [0-9]*/ was first brought up during some of these seminars. Once in a great while a speaker will bring up something timely, but most of the time the meetings are pretty much a waste of time. Most of the ones I went to had to do with security policy compliance (meaning, "Did you follow all the steps in $handbook to lock your shit down?"), logging and analysis, that Windows XP wasn't going out of support just yet (at the time), and stuff like that. It's usually two or three speakers with an MC from Infragard while the rest of us sit in uncomfortable plastic chairs drinking crappy coffee and eating more-than-halfway-decent bagels and muffins for breakfast.

Yes, I had to wear a suit to attend. Highly uncomfortable in the DC metroplex in the summer, I can assure you.

No super-secret info, tips, or tricks were given out. I wish. It's all stuff that you'd know anyway if you'd ever been a system administrator. Hell, most of the people there weren't even techies, they were policy wonks. Quite a few times I was the only person there who actually worked /with/ and /on/ computers in any capacity. I was certainly the only person there with long hair.

For the record, if you want the High Gibson 0-day intel, crash a room party or two at Defcon or HOPE. That's where the good stuff is.

Infragard does not solicit, demand, or even request intel from its members. Everything was push (they tell us stuff), not pull (we tell them stuff). I doubt they'd even listen to us if we did tell them anything. A couple of times I spoke to presenters during breaks to correct them, because their knowledge of something was incorrect (see above remark about doing proactive infosec stuff) and either their eyes glazed over or they "Well, actually"'d me.

It's nothing really impressive if you have a technical background. Most of the time you'd be bored out of your mind, unless you were a checkbox-checker that did C&A (certification and accreditation) work (which is NOT actually testing security, it's asking questions on a checklist, only about 1/3 to 1/2 actually have anything to do about actual infosec; but that's a rant for another time).

Ostensibly I'm still an active member even though I haven't logged into the Infragard portal in about three years, though I still get the e-mails (I currently have over 200 in a folder, unopened, because most of the information is simply useless), and I can't be bothered to sit on the phone for three hours until I get through to a human who can unlock the account I never log into, anyway.

At no time, to the best of my knowledge, were any of us questioned about things we knew about or did. We were never even asked about stuff we saw going on in our own networks. I certainly wasn't, and I saw a lot of shit flying around on the Net at the time. Nobody ever told (or even gently suggested) to any us to keep an eye and ear open for anything interesting happening on Twitter, Facebook, or anything else. Hell, at the time Infragard didn't even seem to know anything about Lulzsec's shenanagains at the time, nor did any of the other members I talked to at seminars. I was the only person in the DC Infragard chapter who did, because I'd tasked part of me with monitoring the situation.

If the FBI /did/ want to monitor the Fediverse... well, pull up your profile and hit View Source. You'll see an RSS feed for everything you post. Here's mine:

tl;dr, they could surveil the Fediverse with a feed reader or even a shitty Perl script. No NSA magick required. Not even an account on that instance is required. So, there would be no point to standing up an instance for the purpose of surveillance.

Ask me anything I forgot about. I'll answer honestly and to the best of my ability. If I don't know, I'll say "I don't know."

Love is the Law, Love under Will.

@djsundog I just finished some thin mints and my wifi ssid is thin minternets, so I hope so

the young people in green uniforms selling cookies are comrades right because I really like their cookies

I'm working on my tech TV show today, and one of the little items on my todo list that is probably actually pretty unimportant but would make me happy is to find some suitably 80s synth library music.

I'm down for anything CC-0, CC-BY, or CC-BY-SA licensed. I'm also down for paying for a track.

Do you have any suggestions?

And speaking of HP LX palmtops, here's my 100LX. Yes, that's Windows solitaire, not even the WinCE version. This device is in fact a PC XT disguised as a 90s PDA, and it can run Windows 3.0.

hmm my retrocomputing toots aren't connecting with the youths



Shipped the first batch of Disco Dingo prints . :) \o/ Thank you for your support 🎶☀️💙. #art #illustration #mastoart

oops, i didn't have room for the link:

but... yeah. as far as i know, files are cross-compatible between windows and RISC OS versions... although there's no linux version, which is unfortunate (but the source is provided, for anyone who fancies a go at it - maybe winelibs would help?)

now i just need to persuade myself that i can justify the cost of a PiTop, so i can have a RISC OS lappy. i could emulate it on the Alleged Laptop, but it's just not the same...

btw, Fireworkz' current memory usage on my RISC OS box, while editing a 50 page document: 2016KB. it was 2048KB a moment ago, but it seems to have freed up 32KB in the meantime.

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since i've been on RISC OS again, i've been spending some time with my favourite word processor / spreadsheet / thingy, Fireworkz. it's not really compatible with anything else (although I think the Windows version will have a go at Excel spreadsheets), its keyboard bindings are very much more "standard for RISC OS" than "standard for anything else", the word processor doesn't have widow/orphan control, and I don't know if it's anywhere near as powerful as Microsoft Office or LibreOffice - but it does support style sheets & document templates, it has a comprehensive macro language built it (one of the example documents is a game of Minesweeper!), and it isn't anywhere near as *huge* as other office suites either - the Windows download is just 2.1MB!

@djsundog @ajroach42 My GP2X collection (and my Digoo A320). Of all of these, the GP2X Wiz (bottom row center), is probably my favorite.
You can't tell from this crappy pic, but the OLED screen on it is amazing.

Vintage computer repair is often a tedious task. Currently I am putting all the keyboard keys back on this Psion after reconnecting a loose cable. The keys are just sitting on top of this rubber membrane and then a plastic top cover holds them on.

now I need to dig around and see if the micropython firmware for the odroid-go has enough of a network stack to connect it to wifi and such, I betcha it does...

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