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Getting Past Censorship With Unorthodox Links To the Internet

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the sneakier-net dept.

Networking 82

An anonymous reader points out a short article at The Economist, which says "Savvy techies are finding ways to circumvent politically motivated shutdowns of the internet. Various groups around the world are using creative means like multi-directional mobile phone antennae and even microwave ovens to transmit internet traffic accross international borders."

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Ham Radio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35541602)

Ham radio saves the day again !

Re:Ham Radio (1)

swalve (1980968) | more than 3 years ago | (#35541870)

Correction: ham radio operators bluster about saving the day again !

Re:Ham Radio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35541886)

I read something a few weeks ago that mentioned the idea of relicensing the ham radio frequencies to cripple "rogue" communications such as this.

Waiting (-1, Offtopic)

mfh (56) | more than 3 years ago | (#35541618)

I'm still waiting for democracy to figure out that we need control over public space flight if we really want change. The enlightened can leave capitalists to their rock while we all disperse into infinity.

Re:Waiting (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#35541654)

Only if their number includes one of those capitalists to pay for it. Space is expensive, and is going to stay that way for a long time.

Re:Waiting (0)

mfh (56) | more than 3 years ago | (#35541706)

I'm extremely patient. I could wait forever, but I suspect that once the enlightened discover matter replication technology and how to spontaneously generate unlimited energy, space travel will be affordable because there will be no economy.

I notice someone voted my other comment down. I suppose that person wants humanity stuck on this rock forever, probably for the lulz, right? Stupid troll would keep us here even when our Sun supernovas. It's only a matter of time you know.

Re:Waiting (1)

Jaktar (975138) | more than 3 years ago | (#35541790)

Sorry. Our sun is to small to supernova. Just sayin'.

Re:Waiting (1)

Auroch (1403671) | more than 3 years ago | (#35541970)

Sorry. Our sun is to small to supernova. Just sayin'.

That's only a theory. I want the crackpots to participate equally in this conversation.

Re:Waiting (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 3 years ago | (#35541986)

Well, good luck (to your descendants) when the sun turns into a red giant then. Although where the OP plans to send humanity at the heat-death of the universe I'm not sure.

Re:Waiting (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 3 years ago | (#35542664)

If we haven't figured out time travel by that time, along with interdimensional travel, then we deserve to be extincted, right along with our universe.

Re:Waiting (1)

Hylandr (813770) | more than 3 years ago | (#35543426)

heat-death of the universe

Another Theory, No matter how educated, very few can actually grasp the concept of mass existing without humanities demarcations of 'beginning' or 'end'.

- Dan.

Re:Waiting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35546616)

Yeah, there's these laws of thermodynamics and Einstein to contend with there. Most people can't grasp the concept of four-dimensional spacetime, either. You seem to forget as well that the universe is finite and bounded, or ignored all evidence to that effect. Heat-death is the most likely scenario given the accelerating expansion of the universe. But I'm sure that you knew that, too.

But go ahead and believe whatever you like. Be an intellectual rebel, or whatever farcical role you prefer.

Re:Waiting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35541992)

Ok. A nova then?

Re:Waiting (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 3 years ago | (#35542658)

Not worried about a nova. I'm more worried about some stupid rock blundering into us. The real worry seems to be that we might just kill ourselves here without any intervention. The greenies think we're killing ourselves with CO2, lots of people think we'll kill ourselves with radiation, and lots more people think we'll just go out in an orgy of violence. Then, there is the possiblity of some new (or ancient and forgotten) disease wiping us out.

I'd kinda like to see colonies established before all that.

Depends on the country... (5, Interesting)

arcade (16638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35541642)

This really depends on the country in question, but there are many way s to gain access to the Internet. If the country is connected to more free country by land, it should be possible to set up RONJA-devices for cross-border communication. (For more information about RONJA: http://ronja.twibright.com/ [twibright.com] ). The devices might seem very conspicious but can be made to be less obvious. If using light outside the visible range, this might be a rather good alternative. Not easily blocked with radio-jamming neither.

One can further develop this with more links once inside the country - from location to location, without links that are easy to shut down without knowledge of their location available for the government.

Directional antennas for wireless devices is another alternative - but those are easier to jam with interference.

Now, it's a completely different ballpark if you don't have any friendly regimes close by. If you're an island nation (say cuba, australia, or others) - you might have to piggyback on existing communication links, and if the links themselves are completely severed - like they were in Egypt - it automatically gets more difficult. You'll need to piggyback on radio or satelite. I don't know the current state of packet radio, nor do I know how easy it is to trace or jam - but my suspicion is that it would be relatively easy to both track down and to jam.

Satelite, as pointed out in the article, is expensive. I do seem to remember some satelites having support for relaying messages for free for people using amateur radio - however - I suspect this is for voice communication and not for packet radio. It should, however, be possible to get tweets out if you can find someone to type them in outside of the country. Not easy to upload stuff to youtube using this, though.

Other ideas?

Re:Depends on the country... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35541848)

There's always RFC 1149, [faqs.org] but that's not easy for uploading stuff to Youtube either.

Re:Depends on the country... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35542012)

But avian carriers tweet really well.

Re:Depends on the country... (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#35541944)

>>>Other ideas?

I'd just use dialup (like the freebie connection provided by France). It's a perfectly acceptable means of transmitting photographs (a few seconds each). Even videos can be uploaded to youtube in 10 minutes or less.

Re:Depends on the country... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35542044)

Dialup has a major downside: if the regime owns or otherwise controls the telephone network, then they can monitor your traffic. This would allow them to block traffic or arrest you, if you would happen to access restricted sites or use encryption.

Re:Depends on the country... (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#35542016)

Directional antennas for wireless devices is another alternative - but those are easier to jam with interference.

The problem with optical is range, which is piss-poor. As you say, the devices are somewhat obtrusive. A microwave antenna is often even moreso, but you can cover it with something opaque and hide it. An extremely directional microwave link is not necessarily trivial to jam and with fairly small antennae you can easily achieve ranges well more than double what you can practically do with a LASER. In addition these low-power microwave links represent less risk to the user :)

You'll need to piggyback on radio or satelite.

Or IOW, you depend on angels dropping you a satellite phone if you don't have one already.

Re:Depends on the country... (1)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 3 years ago | (#35544806)

I've personally built a laser link using two laser pointers, it was capable of reliable communication at 115200bps at the distance of 2 kilometers. With better lasers and/or lenses, this distance can be easily extended to 10-15km.

I used the system described here: http://www.cqham.ru/link_1.htm [cqham.ru] (sorry, no English version)

Re:Depends on the country... (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 3 years ago | (#35549054)

I posted somewhere else... but there are a lot of shiny things... like mirrors on the moon... though they may be more prisms and bounce stuff right back at you.

a tricky bit of trigonometry but possibly possible... well in some cyber-punk fantasy book maybe.

Re:Depends on the country... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35549238)

Ham radio operators call this "EME QSO". Radio waves are reflecting from the surface of the moon.

Re:Depends on the country... (2)

Urza9814 (883915) | more than 3 years ago | (#35543050)

I do seem to remember some satelites having support for relaying messages for free for people using amateur radio - however - I suspect this is for voice communication and not for packet radio.

If you can send voice, you can send data. It may be slow, but it's certainly possible. You just need someone on the outside to set up the same system.

I don't know the current state of packet radio, nor do I know how easy it is to trace or jam - but my suspicion is that it would be relatively easy to both track down and to jam.

Somewhat, yes. I doubt that most governments would bother though. If they jam it, you can always jump to another frequency - there are quite a few amateur radio bands, and more than one that would allow digital transmission. If they block all the amateur bands, they've probably already blocked every other wireless link you could possible use (including satellites - quite a few of the arabic countries have already done that), so you're pretty thoroughly screwed without a land link in that case. Tracking it down is no different than tracking down any other radio source - which yes, is not all that difficult, but it does take a fair bit of time. And it's quite easy to mount one of these radios in your car and connect on the go with a laptop. They can't track you if you don't stand still. And I know people with relatively simple equipment (including parts of antennas made from pizza trays, for example) who have managed mobile contacts over distances hundreds of miles. If you make your antenna directional, it gets even better range, and much harder to track (but harder to use mobile as well)

Re:Depends on the country... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35544208)

I'm no expert but isn't it illegal to use encryption over the amateur radio frequencies in the States? You can use packet radio over your HAM rig to surf the net but the FCC will bust your chops if they catch you visiting a site that uses shtml...
Considering that the governments themselves are the ones who most heavily depend on radio links in most cases (police, fire, military...) it might level the playing field even more to just supply people with jamming gear themselves.

Re:Depends on the country... (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 3 years ago | (#35549038)

there are lots of mirrors on the moon... could you bounce some lasers off them to and from other places to communicate... (yeh hitting in the first place is probably hard enough was it is without having to setup receivers etc... and hit them too)

Suppression is the mother of invention (-1, Troll)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35541646)

Fuck da po-lice

Re:Suppression is the mother of invention (1)

webmistressrachel (903577) | more than 3 years ago | (#35542090)

What's this? You're called counter-trolling? Now it's getting confusing.

Are you like the troll who trolls the trolls or something? Cos this ^^^, my friend, is a troll.

Re:Suppression is the mother of invention (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35542184)

Not at all.. It's never too soon to resist... But unless we can neutralize their real weaponry, we're still fucked. The mesh won't save us from a 500 pound bomb falling from the sky.

Re:Suppression is the mother of invention (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35542520)

Troll?

Oh, so sorry.. didn't mean to offend your sensitivities.

What I meant to say was, relax, enjoy it, roll over and take it like a man [nytimes.com] ..

Re:Suppression is the mother of invention (1)

517714 (762276) | more than 3 years ago | (#35545224)

The guy got $8.7M for one night of being sodomized,. That's a lot more than Charlie Sheen pays.

Re:Suppression is the mother of invention (1)

cffrost (885375) | more than 3 years ago | (#35626254)

The guy got $8.7M for one night of being sodomized,. That's a lot more than Charlie Sheen pays.

Okay, but Charlie Sheen's cock probably doesn't cause perforated colon.

what about media based FEAR/DEATH mongering (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35541664)

do we really need rulers, or to be spied on & censored? history's dictators would say....

back to this post;

some of us could get along without that too. fear generation(al) is much
more disastrous than disasters whether/weather natural, or MANufactured.
it (fear) does generate even more FEAR, mammon, the need for EVEN MORE
'defense' (from ourselves/unidentifiable 'enemies'?) when stuff blows up,
goes under water etc.., so that's good?

everyone is ?afraid? to discuss (0 mention anywhere) all of us disarming
ourselves? curious? not really. considering....

fortunately we have an allknowingcaretakingexpandingoverseer.biz.gov to
help us sort out our unfoundead fears?

babys rule. the more the better. they know stuff too. that's so simple. so
simple as to extract the pee out of the nazi mutant eugenatics 'math',
which quite possibly helps the rulers' gregorian 'calender' (took almost 6
months to author), abstracting (an attempt) our time itself? is that whack
or what? ascared? how would we know (anything else?)?

so, we'll then expect to see you at any one of the million babys+
play-dates, conscience arisings, georgia stone editing(s), & a host of
other life promoting/loving events. guaranteed to activate all of our
sense(s) at once. perhaps you have seen our list of pure intentions for
you /us, beginning with disarmament?

just kidding? not at all

GeorgiaStoneMasons, 'chosen ones', in cahoots? (Score:0)
by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 18, @09:12AM (#35528686)
the GSM get their tiny (ie; selfish, stingy, eugenatic, fake math) .5
billion remaining population, & the money/weapons/vaccine/deception/fake
'weather' alchemist/genetically altered nazi mutant goon exchangers, get
us? yikes

the 'fog' is lifting? more chariots will be needed?

ALL (uninfactdead) MOMMYS......

the georgia stone remains uneditable? gad zooks. are there no chisels?

previous math discardead; 1+1 extrapolated (Score:-1)
by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 14, @10:59PM (#35487476)
deepends on how you interpret it. georgia stone freemason 'math'; the
variables & totals are objective oriented; oranges: 1+1= not enough,
somebody's gotta die. people; 1+1=2, until you get to .5 billion, then
1+1=2 too many, or, unless, & this is what always happens, they breed
uncontrolled, naturally (like monkeys), then, 1+1=could easily result in
millions of non-approved, hoardsplitting spawn. see the dilemma? can
'math', or man'kind' stand even one more League of Smelly Infants being
born?

there are alternative equations being proffered. the deities (god, allah,
yahweh, buddha, & all their supporting castes) state in their manuals that
we needn't trouble ourselves with thinning the population, or being so
afraid as to need to hoard stuff/steal everything. chosen people? chosen
for what? to live instead of us? in the case of life, more is always
better. unassailable perfect math. see you at the play-dates, georgia
stone editing(s) etc... babys rule.

exploding babys; corepirate nazis to be caged (Score:-1)
by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 13, @10:50PM (#35476142)
there are plans to put them, (the genetically, surgically & chemically
altered coreprate nazi mutant fear/death mongerers (aka47; eugenatics,
weapons peddlers, kings/minions, adrians, freemasons etc...)) on display
in glass cages, around the world, so that we can remember not to forget...
again, what can happen, based on greed/fear/ego stoking deception.

viewing/feeding will be rationed based on how many more of the creators'
innocents are damaged, or have to be brought home (& they DO have another
one) prematurely.

.gov pr talknician on cnn last weak (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35542042)

"we must focus on the horrific images of the damaged nuclear plants" (not ours). not the problem." the horrific images is what we 'must' focus on" (somehow felt like 'instead of'?). we got it, after about 17 repetitions? interesting accurate quotes. get out of town (on tv) & slam the nuke peddlers, all at once. could have been a little more subtle? they had a point, as the babys are now assimilating crude oil, with sometimes less than fatal results, so that's good? many of us are thinking they'll handle radiation much better as well, although that's not a good reason to crank it up, or down. from any other angle, we appear as willing hostages/suicidal. fortunately for us, babys rule

Resistance to Tyranny is Liberty (0)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35541672)

Fight back.
Rebel.
Gum-up the works.
And above all: Have a Supreme Law (constitution) that even the most powerful man must be obliged to obey, or else face criminal prosecution, and his acts shall be nullified.

Re:Resistance to Tyranny is Liberty (0)

swalve (1980968) | more than 3 years ago | (#35541890)

That's all well and good when it is done for the right reasons. Unfortunately, most people spouting those slogans are the ones whose performance-art grants have been pulled.

Multi-directional mobile phone antennae (3, Funny)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 3 years ago | (#35541684)

Any ideas where I can pick up a multi-directional antenna for my phone? The unidirectional antenna it came with is a huge pain.

"microwave OVENS"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35541688)

Please correct this typo. You do not want people fiddling with microwave ovens and in the process getting first-degree burns and cancer. You are meant to say "Microwave LINKS"!

Yes, microwave OVENS. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35541712)

The last paragraph of the article describes a modified microwave oven.

Re:"microwave OVENS"? Nope, not a typo (4, Informative)

Dayofswords (1548243) | more than 3 years ago | (#35541726)

it's correct actually

an American naval-intelligence analyst at a NATO cyberwar unit in Tallinn, Estonia, describes a curious microwave oven. Though still able to cook food, its microwaves (essentially, short radiowaves) are modulated to encode information as though it were a normal radio transmitter.

Re:"microwave OVENS"? Nope, not a typo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35542640)

I'm curious to see how the microwave oven was modified. I imagine the modulation rate is poor due to a variety of factors, the primary one being that microwave oven magnetrons aren't designed to be switched on/off at high speeds and their centre frequency could be anywhere from 2.3 GHz to 2.5 GHz - mostly due to thermal instability and impedance load changes. Modulating the signal as opposed to switching the magnetron would likely work, possibly by splitting the signal into two waveguides and adjusting the phase of one to create destructive/constructive interference, or by using phase modulation on the waveguide.

Another method of phase control is using an external low power RF source allowing one to control the phase of the magnetron. That would require opening up the magnetron (which is under vacuum), not exposing yourself to the beryllium coating on the inside (highly carcinogenic), adding a loop internally, then somehow closing it and getting it back under vacuum. Sounds like a serious pain-in-the-ass.

The receiver would likely need to be custom as well, and making this a two way communications link without introducing ridiculous amounts of noise on the near-by receiver would be tough.

Maybe accepting a modulation rate of 2 kHz is acceptable to some people though. [metapress.com]

Re:"microwave OVENS"? Nope, not a typo (2)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 3 years ago | (#35542814)

Perhaps if you replaced the magnetron with a custom built klystron of similar size, it would work.

There are any number of "Extremely small" CRT devices you can get for pennies. (Like the eye-pieces of old VHS camcorders) These are basically a vacuum tube type electron gun, and which with some modifications, could be used to drive such a tiny klystron quite effectively.

[really blurry image I found on the internet depicting the tiny size of the CRT in question] [qwest.net]

Amusingly, you could probably use the already existing magnetic deflection system of the CRT to help modulate the beam inside the klystron waveguide.

Obligatory wikipedia on Klystrons [wikipedia.org]

Using one of those as the transmitter of your directional antenna would net you a VERY long distance connection.

Re:"microwave OVENS"? Nope, not a typo (1)

tloh (451585) | more than 3 years ago | (#35544130)

>Using one of those as the transmitter of your directional antenna would net you a VERY long distance connection.

But wouldn't it be just a one way connection?. For whatever effort it'll take to modulate a signal with a cooking tool, it'll be orders of magnitude more difficult to rig the same as a receiver sensitive enough to decode a strong but still poor quality signal. It is really too bad that the article itself offers this short tease without anything substantial for the curious to follow up on. Any googlers out there willing to track this down?

Re:"microwave OVENS"? Nope, not a typo (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 3 years ago | (#35546778)

The beauty of a klystron is that it can serve as an amplifier. In the bunching section of the homebrew klystron, you insert a generic USB WiFi dongle. The signal from the dongle does the initial attenuation that causes the bunching in the klystron-- that is to say, it is the source of the reference signal.

The output cavity is then directed outward, away from the wifi dongle, and toward your target with a waveguide. The wifi dongle's reception ability should be mostly unaffected by this.

Re:"microwave OVENS"? Nope, not a typo (1)

budgenator (254554) | more than 3 years ago | (#35554846)

magies [wikipedia.org] are frequently modulated by switching the cathode voltage on and off to produce pulses or by varying the current to cause an amplitude modulation or by varying the voltage produce an FM modulation. An other possibility is constructing a waveguide with a flash tube through it, when the flash tube fires, the waveguide shorts out and causes the power output to shift allowing for modulation of the RF output. Magnetrons is notoriously frequency unstable, this usually isn't a problem in radar where a portion of the output of the transmitter RF is fed into the receiver's magic T mixer for frequency tracking. Personally I'd stay with FM modulation, the infinite sidebands will mitigate a lot of the carrier frequency instability.
OBTW I was a missile guy not a radar guy, it was 30 years ago and certainly a long way from being a microwave engineer so anything I said may be full of shit.

Needs more work. (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#35541690)

This is a start, but the tools are still firmly in geeks-only territory. Can't all us in the idealistic open-source community come up with new technologies? How about some program that lets mobile phones exchange data with people as they pass in the street, maintaining a shared high-latency store akin to Freenet? Or maybe some company would like to improve on the sat-internet antenna to make it even more strongly directional, thus making it harder to trace?

Re:Needs more work. (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 3 years ago | (#35541772)

It will remain geeks-only until people need it and it will be too late then. We need to have a resilient network while staying on the geeks-only realm.

Re:Needs more work. (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#35541914)

There's a Systems problem here too.

For all the cool tricks we can develop, all the authorities have to do is Ban X, which is the modified object, then just continue the fear campaign. We can't develop 50 new tricks per day.

Also, the range is a problem. I can think of any number of short-range Godel Encoding themes, but it does me no good if the audience is my neighbor. To get news out of Country Z, you need some kind of data that leaves Country Z that can't just be the subject of more regulations.

Re:Needs more work. (3, Interesting)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#35542262)

The solution is to find an X that is difficult to ban. Something that can be assembled from scrap with minimal training, like a cantenna. Or that is so useful and popular that to ban it would further feed the rebel's cause. Or even just something that is small and cheap enough to be easily smuggled or hidden, so that enforcing a ban would become very difficult. You might not be able to stop the secret police, but you can make their job very difficult.

Re:Needs more work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35557084)

Ban unauthorized radio transmissions and wires. /story

Re:Needs more work. (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#35569604)

At which point you have to ban mobile phones. Doable, for a sufficiently oppressive regime, but it's going to upset the population. The more angry they are, the easier it will be for rebellion to take hold. There is also an economic penalty in banning technology.

Re:Needs more work. (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#35569446)

Sorry, I'd rather not be condemned to repeat 1950's Russia.

Re:Needs more work. (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#35551794)

One strategy is to have so many X to choose from that the government can't think of all of them and get bans implemented. Another is to make X easily built from common items and hard to detect and track. That's why things like the modulated microwave oven make sense. If authorities claim you have an illegal transmitter, nuke them a cup of tea with it and they may decide they were mistaken. Laser pointer links are limited range compared to radio, but very hard to detect for example. The equipment for that is small and fairly easy to hide when not in use. If you make the link to it wireless, you can also make it difficult to determine who is responsible even if the transmitter is found.

Re:strategies (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#35569522)

Good effort, but you're not evil enough.

Allow me to change about seven words from the draft bill floating around congress:

"Any unathorized viewing of any copyrighted item is a felony."

And since everything that exists has an instant copyright from the moment it was created, the first 1000 "country destroying IP-terrorists" made an example of will go way past chill - it will be cultural nuclear winter.

"Wheel Of Fortune 2.0! Is that screen of data in front of you the single authorized copy? No? You lose! Thanks for playing!"

Re:Needs more work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35589968)

This is a start, but the tools are still firmly in geeks-only territory. Can't all us in the idealistic open-source community come up with new technologies?

New technologies aren't going to be any less geeks-only unless you have a large manufacturer throwing R&D money at making these "new technologies" both cheap and efficient.

How about some program that lets mobile phones exchange data with people as they pass in the street, maintaining a shared high-latency store akin to Freenet?

All that needs is new battery technology that'll let aphone constantly ping for other phones and not run dry in 3 hours.

Or maybe some company would like to improve on the sat-internet antenna to make it even more strongly directional, thus making it harder to trace?

You can't make a satellite phone too strongly directional, otherwise you'll lose signal if you don't have the phone held up to your ear in the correct orientation.

This is why it hasn't happened. It'[s easy to make suggestions when you don't know anything about the engineering they'd require. Your suggestions are akin to saying we can make existing cars all get 100mpg if we just try hard enough.

biting my nails (1)

ckeo (220727) | more than 3 years ago | (#35541716)

Great !!
As soon as the DIY crowd gets wind of the microwave oven hack, it wont be safe to walk down the street without getting cooked.

Re:biting my nails (1)

swalve (1980968) | more than 3 years ago | (#35541912)

Same thing with the lasers. One of my biggest waking nightmares is that some fucking kid builds a massive kit laser out of a DVD burner to burn ants at 1000 yards, and accidentally blinds me while I'm driving down the street.

"What's that humming noise? Why do I suddenly feel so hot?" [hmmmmm-click-DING!-"You've got mail!"] "Fuck, my balls just exploded!"

Re:biting my nails (2)

rgbatduke (1231380) | more than 3 years ago | (#35542068)

IIRC microwave ovens were "discovered" when soldiers learned that they could put things like hot dogs on sticks and dangle them in front of radar dishes in WW II and cook them in a few seconds. A radar technician who noticed that a chocolate bar in his pocket melted when he was working on an active radar had the bright idea of confining the microwaves and using them to cook food. Hence the early Ratheon "radar range".

So it's not so crazy that someone would learn to reverse engineer (in a sense different from the usual one:-) a microwave oven into a radar unit, or into an information transmission link. The biggest catch, I imagine, is the need for near line of sight (so you'd need to be very high up or very near the border) and a suitable receiver on the other side. Also the fact that moisture attenuates the frequencies used in microwave ovens by design, but I imagine that's less of an issue in Libya.

rgb

Re:biting my nails (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#35542944)

The biggest catch is to develop a power supply for the magnetron which is not modulated by the supply frequency (50 or 60Hz). And can be modulated at the data frequencies. For a DC supply of a couple of kilovolts, this is a non-trivial task.

Not that I'm putting this approach down altogether. The easy availability of rated at hundreds of watts (I imagine some derating from cooking levels would be appropriate) makes this an interesting starting point.

Re:biting my nails (1)

clanrat (707500) | more than 3 years ago | (#35554440)

You do know that microwave ovens operate in the same frequency band as 2.4 GHz wifi, right? They're usually centered around ch.9 in the wifi spectrum.

Re:biting my nails (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35562484)

Remember there's a ham band just below/overlapping 2.4GHz ISM band -- some hams have modded microwave ovens to pull their frequency into range and use them in the ham band.

Laser (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 3 years ago | (#35541818)

Point to point laser will also work in the right situation, and be almost impossible to detect.

Re:Laser (2)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | more than 3 years ago | (#35541950)

Exactly, fog, smoke, dust and "waving a stick in the air" are the only things capable of detecting a laser...

Re:Laser (2)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 3 years ago | (#35542080)

And if you use visible light lasers, you deserve to get detected.

Re:Laser (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564772)

Visible to what? Human eye, easy. Cheap modified camcorder, not so easy...

RFC1149 (4, Funny)

Nimey (114278) | more than 3 years ago | (#35542130)

Who'd look twice at some pigeons?

Re:RFC1149 (1)

nbauman (624611) | more than 3 years ago | (#35542354)

Pigeons carrying 8GB thumb drives. Perfect!

Re:RFC1149 (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#35542900)

Hungry people?

Re:RFC1149 (1)

tloh (451585) | more than 3 years ago | (#35545188)

eagles, hawks, and other raptors? I wonder what the current situation for the art of falconry is around the world.

Re:RFC1149 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35549250)

Anti-aircraft missiles?

Re:RFC1149 (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550084)

I don't think birds have a large enough radar or infrared signature to make that possible, let alone worthwhile. Possibly anti-aircraft guns, but that's still an awfully big expenditure for something you don't know is "hostile", and proximity fuzes won't get a big enough radar return to be effective, so it's fairly likely you'd miss anyway.

Back in the Olden Days, they'd use falcons/hawks or shotguns, depending on how high the birds were flying.

Re:RFC1149 (1)

DMacedo (1989924) | more than 3 years ago | (#35545870)

Who'd look twice at some pigeons?

As silly as this RFC1149 reference might be; it is actually a pertinent view.

In this modern age, we like to think any access to information is always high tech and all.
But there are less technical but nevertheless worthy ways to exchange information, talking about transmitting packets through amateur radio actually bypasses the very important thinking of using the amateur radio itself as the information exchange.

A lot of revolutions in the past were started with radio (both by taking official broadcasting stations or using amateur transmissions) as well as even less technical fliers and good old word-of-mouth.

Granted, few things are as powerful as the plethora of multimedia accounts, the videos and pictures especially; and first hand accounts are always different from the editorial media. But there's nothing so unique about using YouTube or Vimeo, Twitter or Identi.ca as well as your social network and blogs, etc that can't be accomplished using other communication methods. Sometimes it's just a matter of the need forcing ingenuity.

Re:RFC1149 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35547230)

The Talibans banned pigeon keeping...

Re:RFC1149 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35547316)

Pigeon RAID array? Or even..... [wait for it]..... A Beowulf cluster of pigeons....

Re:RFC1149 (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 3 years ago | (#35547456)

You might be able to implement PAR2 over this transport.

We in the supposedly free west ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35542386)

... would do well to use this window of opportunity to develop as many different means of working around censorship as possible and to disseminate that information as widely as possible before they come for us. After all, how much of what Homeland Security et al does, really protects citizens from outside threats as opposed to protecting governments from their citizens ? V was prophetic.

photographic stenography (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35542610)

Post some pictures to Flickr, facebook, or any other medium. Then post some with data embedded.

Moronic Slashdotters... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35542774)

I bet most of you idiots actually believe there is such a thing as "hate" speech too, don't you.

Don't worry, pretty soon you'll be able to experience "hate" for real, when the third world hoardes don't get what they came to your country for (a free ride, free welfare, health care, schooling, and white women), and start rioting. Grateful souls, aren't they.

"Racist" = "Heretic".

White people have the right to have their own countries.

802.11S (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35542826)

802.11S is a game changer. Its sometimes called 'darknet' or a backhaul network, but it does get the job done, so long as you have people willing to maintain it. Two routers on either side of a border, can connect to one another. If you have one that is solar powered, near a border, then its self maintaining. All you need then is another router within a kilometer or so of that router. If someone then has an 802.11S router connected to their computer, plus the 'official' wired internet, and the outside world is on the 802.11S side, then everyone on the wired side is connected to the 802.11S side. I have a feeling 802.11S will never be officially sanctioned in a place like the United States, where the government has gone all draconian and 'post 9/11' and 'homeland security', and 'gitmo' and 'patriot act' all over everyone. Since 802.11S allows for preservation of civil liberties, the absolute control of corporations and the government over every aspect of peoples lives could come into question. The gover/corp would never allow it.

Re:802.11S (1)

32771 (906153) | more than 3 years ago | (#35549194)

Uh, it is child's play so to say:

http://www.zdnet.com.au/olpc-achieves-2km-range-in-802-11s-tests-339277912.htm [zdnet.com.au]

Also note that the methods mentioned in the economist article are much better suited for places like Libya where most people may have a radio but probably not a computer or even a network connection.

iPhone 'hot spot' extend option? (1)

An anonymous Frank (559486) | more than 3 years ago | (#35556400)

Can you extend a wifi network originating from a mobile device such as a mifi or iPhone (w/ iOS 4.3)?

sciencea@yahoo.com (-1)

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