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Defcon 12 Running Man Contest

michael posted more than 9 years ago | from the family-feud dept.

Wireless Networking 85

LiveSecurity writes "Contests involving Wireless Access Points have been a staple of Defcon for a few years now. This year at Defcon 12, three reporters from WatchGuard Technologies followed contestants in the Running Man mini-contest. Five teams had one hour to find a roving, low-power AP serving up a picture of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Add hundreds of hackers, 104-degree F. desert heat, and stir. The report on WatchGuard's Web site is officially sanctioned by the contest's designer, Frank Thornton, who mirrors the story. Long but good geeky fun!"

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Wrong motivation (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10060938)

Pictures of Arnold? Would've been done quicker if they were looking for pictures of Natalie Portman.

Re:Wrong motivation (2, Funny)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 9 years ago | (#10061001)

A clever team should have just put Natalie Portman in the desert and called the governor of California. Then snapped a picture of him with a digital camera. Sure beats walking around in the heat!

Re:Wrong motivation (1)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 9 years ago | (#10061041)

Nah...then the contest would last longer. Nobody would want to take it down...

Horrible design! (0, Offtopic)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 9 years ago | (#10061125)

Oh, that ugly dark blue! It's almost as bad as the it gold.

Click here [slashdot.org] to revert to default Slashdot Green.

Re:Horrible design! (0, Troll)

aceat64 (706106) | more than 9 years ago | (#10061568)

That is not only offtopic it's a blatant troll, the guy is advocating the assassination of the U.S. President.

Re:Horrible design! (0, Offtopic)

aceat64 (706106) | more than 9 years ago | (#10063098)

Oh wow, I got modded Troll for saying it's wrong to wish the death of another person, you have to love slashdot mods.

Re:Horrible design! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10070836)

Don't worry about it. It's a federal crime to wish, advocate, or [insert legal term here] the assassination of the U.S. President. The previous poster will meet face to face with the Secret Service and win a free trip to pound-me-up-the-ass prison, along with the janitor who modded you down as well.

Re:Wrong motivation (3, Informative)

SKPhoton (683703) | more than 9 years ago | (#10061270)

Speaking of pictures, pics from this past Defcon are posted here [defconpics.org] .

Re:Wrong motivation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10061525)

You are right, we need the goatse picture right *behind* the runners!

As the summary points out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10061935)

Pics of Arnold? "Long but good geeky fun."

Lose their heads? (2, Funny)

lothar97 (768215) | more than 9 years ago | (#10060942)

Did the losers have their heads blown off?

Re:Lose their heads? (1)

Soko (17987) | more than 9 years ago | (#10061193)

Did the losers have their heads blown off?

Hey - you don't blow the heads off of lusers in front of _any_ computer equipment. Luser brains are dangerously high in bogons and are also gooey and difficult to clean up. As well, you might hit the gear with a stray round - no luser is worth that.

Youth these days. Sheesh.

Soko

Re:Lose their heads? (1)

Gubbe (705219) | more than 9 years ago | (#10065715)

Yep. That's no way to get ahead in life.
It really is a shame they weren't more headstrong.
After all this, none of them will probably ever be a head of a major corporation. ...

Okay, that'll do.

Not really a troll. (1)

Trent05 (70375) | more than 9 years ago | (#10065945)

Apparently the mods have never seen "The Running Man". At least the prison scene at the beginning.

DF for wifi (2, Interesting)

quelrods (521005) | more than 9 years ago | (#10060945)

Are there any other similar DF events like this with wifi? I did amateur radio DF some years back and it is certainly entertaining.

Re:DF for wifi (5, Interesting)

carbolic (616993) | more than 9 years ago | (#10061129)

Yes! There's several, of what I call, AP Games using wireless access points. NZWireless in New Zealand performed a treasure hunt in their home town. My pals and I designed a capture the flag game where you drive around the city trying to find an access point. And the traditional foxhunt (or RunningMan) where you seek to find a single AP moving around in an erratic fashion. I prefer using a car since I live in L.A. and don't walk.

In Chapter 11 of my book, Wi-Fi Toys, I describe some of these DF-based AP games in great detail. I love it how these guys are breaking the rules with traditional wireless.

Instead of using access points for boring Internet access, these guys are going extreme and creating a giant video game.

--
carbolic
Wi-Fi Toys [wifi-toys.com]

Re:DF for wifi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10062886)

I live in L.A. and don't walk.

Cool! Do you have one of those little scooters fat people use?

Re:DF for wifi (1)

carbolic (616993) | more than 9 years ago | (#10063193)

Nah man. Too slow.

I prefer an Electric Skateboard [wifi-toys.com]

--
carbolic
Wifi-Toys [wifi-toys.com]

True to the original (3, Insightful)

Nos. (179609) | more than 9 years ago | (#10060964)

I like the Watchguard story which, true to the book, counts the chapters down to. Of course the actual find in this case was hidden very well. Nice contest.

Pshaw! (5, Funny)

b!arg (622192) | more than 9 years ago | (#10060988)

I can do the running man for an hour no problem. Try doing the Macarena for that long though! Your head will explode. Oh wait...

Not bad. (4, Interesting)

James Turpin (789479) | more than 9 years ago | (#10061003)

From the article:

Contest designer Frank Thornton of Blackthorn Systems has added a technological wrinkle or two to this year's contest. The Running Man Web page has a secret message on it, which will require cryptographic and puzzle-solving skills to decode. Competitors can't run around the hotel simply asking everyone, "Are you the Running Man?" Instead, they have to decode the message and say it to the Running Man. The first team to do so wins.

Re:Not bad. (1)

Metallic Matty (579124) | more than 9 years ago | (#10061051)

Hrm. If only they could brute force it.

Re:Not bad. (1)

name773 (696972) | more than 9 years ago | (#10061514)

and they did.
the first part of the message was rot-14, and the second part was rot-22... Bill used a perl script to run throught all that rot.

Re:Not bad. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10076235)

Bill used a perl script to run throught all that rot
Wrong! Bill spent 15 minutes to write a perl script which dodn't work, fer crissake! To break a friking ROT, no less.

Re:Not bad. (1)

name773 (696972) | more than 9 years ago | (#10081997)

he debugged it later and ran it successfully.

Re:Not bad. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10066002)

If only we could brute force you into RTFA

So there's a room full of ubergeeks, then.. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10061023)

DJ in the corner starts spinning electronica, adding to the chaos. Near the Scavenger Hunt table, a brown-haired, bearded guy bellows, "I need six people to dogpile on me right now!" He lays on the carpet on his back, limbs spread

This is the defcon form of entertainment? I'll pass

Re:So there's a room full of ubergeeks, then.. (5, Insightful)

Rorschach1 (174480) | more than 9 years ago | (#10061119)

"This is the defcon form of entertainment? I'll pass"

Dude, have you seen the dance floor at DefCon? That's got to be the most pathetic sight I've ever seen. Imagine about 200 nerds just standing against the walls, and three of the six females in attendance dancing with a handful of guys that are either hotel staff or horrendously drunk.

Re:So there's a room full of ubergeeks, then.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10062220)

There really needs to be a "-1, Sad" moderation option.

Re:So there's a room full of ubergeeks, then.. (1)

HighWizard (91134) | more than 9 years ago | (#10067971)

Apparently sir, you have not seen the dance floor at Defcon.

If you had been present at Defcon 0c, you would have seen the plethora of people crowding the dance floor. Team Jesus* had jesus and 20 or so of his disciple on the dance floor which soon led to about 50 more folks littering the dance area. And we brought more the Six girl ourself!

Contrary to popular belief, women are finding more and more of a home at Defcon. It's a diverse community and the ragabons [like many slashdotters] who feel that women are only used as object of their mastubatorial fantasies are on their way out.

*Team Jesus has no affiliation to any church and we're all probably going to hell for coming up with the idea.

Re:So there's a room full of ubergeeks, then.. (1)

slickwillie (34689) | more than 9 years ago | (#10063445)

DefCon is so, well, you know, old.

DC12? Really.

for the uninitated... (-1, Offtopic)

Guano_Jim (157555) | more than 9 years ago | (#10061034)

Five teams had one hour to find a roving, low-power AP serving up a picture of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The "AP" in question is not the Assocated press, but an Apache Web Server.

Re:for the uninitated... (4, Informative)

coolsva (786215) | more than 9 years ago | (#10061070)

AP = Access point

Re:for the uninitated... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10061117)

The "AP" in question is not the Assocated press, but an Apache Web Server.
The "Apache Web Server" in question is not a web server, but an access point.

Re:for the uninitated... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10063803)

It was also running a web server..

for those who think theyre initated... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10061142)

AP != Apache
AP == Access point ...

Re:for the uninitated... (1, Informative)

Guano_Jim (157555) | more than 9 years ago | (#10061179)

Ok, that would officially make me a dumbass masquerading as a know-it-all. Please mod down appropriately.

Defcon + Running? (4, Funny)

Aerog (324274) | more than 9 years ago | (#10061044)

For a second there I saw Running and Defcon in the same sentence and thought "Here's an idea that's doomed to success".

Then I read the description and realized the paramedics might not be so busy after all....

I don't understand this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10061063)

Isn't the point of hacking into a computer to get logical access to the data stored in it ?

Why would any brother to care where it resides ?

And isn't the whole point of networking that you don't need any physical contact to the computer ?

What's next ? Brasilian script kiddies take a fight to Europe to lay hands on Dutch servers with a PHP-based blog software security hole ?

Sorry but this all seems to be pretty stupid ?

Re:I don't understand this. (2, Funny)

Don'tTreadOnMe (686201) | more than 9 years ago | (#10061175)

Sorry but this all seems to be pretty stupid ?

I think so, too?

Re:I don't understand this. (1)

MojoMonkey (444942) | more than 9 years ago | (#10061259)

Are you sure!

Re:I don't understand this. (1)

BJH (11355) | more than 9 years ago | (#10061648)

Absolutely not?

Re:I don't understand this. (1)

satoshi1 (794000) | more than 9 years ago | (#10062034)

The point is to have fun using technology in ways it was never intended to be used.

Re:I don't understand this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10070977)

Maybe, but Defcon are using it the way it was intended to be used, they are just pretending to uber leet with their icy hot clothing and garbled nigger-speak.

That's nothing... (5, Interesting)

Rorschach1 (174480) | more than 9 years ago | (#10061069)

People have been doing radio direction finding as a sport for decades. I learned a lot from weekend transmitter hunts - we'd have one team hide somewhere in the general vicinity of the city (had to be heard from the starting point), transmit a signal on the 2 meter band, and the rest of the teams would hunt them down.

Sometimes it would be a tiny unattended transmitter. One of our favorite tricks was to bury the whole thing and use a 1/4 wave brass rod as an antenna, and insert it into a dry weed in a vacant lot. Still, a good team starting 10 miles away could often find it in 30 minutes.

We got a lot of weird looks driving around town with big home-built quad or yagi antennas hanging out the window, but there's no better way to learn practical RDF stills. And I'm still using those skills - Sunday evening I was out DFing an ELT signal from a crashed plane. Most search and rescue folks do this infrequently, and have a textbook education in how to triangulate the source of a signal, but there's no substitute for practice. I can hunt down a transmitter using a handheld scanner and omnidirectional antenna faster than most of them can do it with an expensive DF unit.

Re:That's nothing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10061113)

CAP?

Re:That's nothing... (0)

mZam (789803) | more than 9 years ago | (#10061131)

How do u learn this kind of thing? It sounds like a great hobby to take up.

Re:That's nothing... (1)

JVert (578547) | more than 9 years ago | (#10061159)

Carefull kid, thats a HAM operator up there, they want to take away our broadband over power line.

Re:That's nothing... (4, Interesting)

josecanuc (91) | more than 9 years ago | (#10061178)

Its official name is "Radio Direction Finding", but goes by several nicknames like "foxhunting", "transmitter hunting", or "t-hunting".

The "home base" of RDF information is the "Homing In" website at http://members.aol.com/homingin/

The author of that site has written a very good book explaining various techniques and containing plans for building various kinds of directional antennas.

Most T-Hunters are amateur radio operators (http://www.arrl.org), but that's not a requirement, since you aren't transmitting anything while hunting.

It's great fun. Use the ARRL website to search for any Amateur Radio clubs in your area and go to a meeting (usually boring, but some have good presentations) and ask about T-hunting in your area. If nobody knows, poke around and see if anyone there has done it in the past and is interested in starting it up again. Usually all it takes is knowledge that someone else is interested to get the whole group going.

Re:That's nothing... (1)

SCO_Shill (805054) | more than 9 years ago | (#10061363)

Our local radio club did a foxhunt sometime last year.

Antennas ranged from simple yagis, phased paper clips on a yardstick connected with coax, a mailing tube and aluminum foil, one guy even had his hand held radio inside a metal trash can. Most were homebrew, but some were commercially built.

It's pretty easy to do, actually. Some people used bi-directional antennas, rotated them until they could no longer hear the signal, and then went off to either of the null directions. Others used highly-directional antennas to point them in the right direction. Aiming it towards the transmitter might get you close to the right direction, but having a null in the back somewhere really helps to pinpoint things. You just keep doing this until you find the signal source.

You just have to worry about the terrain affecting the transmitted signal (your antenna might lead you to where the transmitted signal is reflecting off something). Oh, and you'll get lots of strange looks from people.

As the parent said, check the http://arrl.org/ [arrl.org] .

Re:That's nothing... (1)

mZam (789803) | more than 9 years ago | (#10061450)

Thanks a ton.. i think i may have finally found somethhing to deteer my friends from playing airsoft.

I don't get it.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10061076)

Did they have to take off their coke bottle glasses first? Did they force them to remove their shirts so there was more glare from the sun?

Warning: Spoiler alert! (4, Funny)

lpangelrob2 (721920) | more than 9 years ago | (#10061093)

The article as a whole is an entertaining read, so I preface this post with a spoiler alert...

doo bee do...

Standing front and center in the crowd, Dara, the young lady who photographed Renderman, reaches into her purse and pulls out a pocketbook. She unzips the pocketbook and pulls out a Zaurus handheld running Linux. The pocketbook is lined with a Lay's potato chip bag, the aluminum in the bag dampening the radio signal by about 7 or 8 dBm. She holds up the Zaurus, and sure enough -- it shows up on nearby wireless laptops as the real RunningMan AP.

I therefore submit proof that contrary to popular belief, women do use Linux!

Re:Warning: Spoiler alert! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10061161)

The pocketbook is lined with a Lay's potato chip bag

I therefore submit proof that contrary to popular belief, women do use Linux!

Yeah, fat women

Correction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10061190)

Fat, ugly women.

Re:Correction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10061482)

women who use to be men even.

Re:Warning: Spoiler alert! (1)

MrWa (144753) | more than 9 years ago | (#10061220)

I shouldn't scan posts that are marked funny...give me the wrong idea...

She unzips...

Re:Warning: Spoiler alert! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10061343)

Sounds like a rigged contest to me. What geek is going to spontaneously talk to a girl even on suspicion of being the Running Man?

Now I wonder what the coded phrase was...eek...

Re:Warning: Spoiler alert! (1)

initialE (758110) | more than 9 years ago | (#10062941)

Ha! It figures that a real woman has no business talking to a nerd unless she was running... away...

No Sig.

Easy (5, Funny)

xsupergr0verx (758121) | more than 9 years ago | (#10061111)

Competitors can't run around the hotel simply asking everyone, "Are you the Running Man?"

Yeah, they first have to translate it to Klingon in order for the nerds to compete with each other.

Who will be the first litigant? (4, Interesting)

Speare (84249) | more than 9 years ago | (#10061147)

Who will be the first to threaten a gratuitous infringement/trademark lawsuit? Stephen King (aka Richard Bachman) for the story title, "The Running Man," or Arnold Schwarzenegger who played the main character of the screen adaptation?

By the way, read the print version of the story. The last page of the book is a very interesting parallel to the September 11 attacks of New York. You know, the attack that "nobody could have foreseen."

Re:Who will be the first litigant? (1)

Bunji X (444592) | more than 9 years ago | (#10061370)

Really.

The movie "The running man" might even have been a nice one if the production team had at least bothered to read the book before making the movie.

Btw, the rumors of Stephen King's death have been greatly exaggerated. ;P

Re:Who will be the first litigant? (1)

monkeymonster (233529) | more than 9 years ago | (#10061653)

Do you mean "Who will be the first to piss off a bunch of computer hackers"?

I'd guess that with no deep pockets to tempt them, they'll all let that dog continue to snore.

Re:Who will be the first litigant? (1)

filth grinder (577043) | more than 9 years ago | (#10067149)

By the way, read the print version of the story. The last page of the book is a very interesting parallel to the September 11 attacks of New York. You know, the attack that "nobody could have foreseen."

Or read Debt of Honor and Executive Orders by Tom Clancy. Spoilers: At the end of Debt of Honor a plane is intentionally crashed into the capitial building during a joint session of Congress. Executive Orders takes up immediately afterwards, where in the confusion aftwards, terrorists unleash the ebola virus at various places throughout the US. One character even remarks, "this is just like our training programs, except we used anthrax".

Both published well before 9-11. Yeah, no one saw it coming.

Triumph (3, Funny)

Lunchy (696022) | more than 9 years ago | (#10061243)

This reminded me of Triumph talking to the "super nerd"... "Pretend you've just run 10 feet" There must have been a whole lotta heavy breathing. ;)

I'm a bit confused. (4, Funny)

goofyheadedpunk (807517) | more than 9 years ago | (#10061254)

Oddest three lines in the whole article:
A bare-chested, twenty-something young man strides into the room, wearing nothing except swimming trunks made of aluminum foil. He presents himself to the Scavenger Hunt judges, posing gingerly. He looks distinctly uncomfortable.

Was this just random, or what?

Re:I'm a bit confused. (2, Funny)

mrtroy (640746) | more than 9 years ago | (#10061463)

A bare-chested, twenty-something young man strides into the room, wearing nothing except swimming trunks made of aluminum foil. He presents himself to the Scavenger Hunt judges, posing gingerly. He looks distinctly uncomfortable

Understandably you are a bit confused. Human sexuality is a tough concept to grasp, as is your gender identity.
Good luck sorting that out

Re:I'm a bit confused. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10063313)

Understandably you are a bit confused. Human sexuality is a tough concept to grasp, as is your gender identity.
Good luck sorting that out


Obligatory Simpsons quote:

"I didn't think it was possible, but looking at him makes me more lesbian."

Re:I'm a bit confused. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10061821)

They didn't explain the Scavenger Hunt, but from the descriptions of people appearing before Scavenger Hunt judges, I would assume that one of the tasks is to dress a certain way. For instance, the guy wanting 6 people to dogpile on him must have been some kind of task he needed to complete to win. Either that or Defcon's just a load of bloody loonies.

Re:I'm a bit confused. (1)

HighWizard (91134) | more than 9 years ago | (#10067708)

It was infact for the scavenger hunt contest, though the authors of the article had a factual error. I wasn't just wearing a tin-foil speedo, I was also wearing a tinfoil hat. And while this did seem a bit outlandish to many people, it apparently help us since we won the contest.
Just for some added information here was the point total for the first and second place team in the Scavenger Hunt:
The Core of Social Engineers (us): 11554
The second place team: 3065
So as you can tell, we dominated the game. It was also a very enjoyable experience.

Now all the troll can come out and tell us how great they would have done and how much defcon sucks... blah blah blah.

And as an added bonus, two other items that were fun for us were
1) Make a Snow Man (don't forget, we're in vegas).
2) Make a sculpture of goatse out of paper mache [tx2600.com] .

mod down (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10061317)

not a8ymore. It's

I propose a contest.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10061491)

Lets see who is the first slashdotter who can google up a dc12 pic of the hot red-head who played the running man

Re:I propose a contest.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10061810)

http://www.shsu.edu/~ucs_tim/pics/dc12/photos/phot o_45.html

Thats Dara.

Re:I propose a contest.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10071089)

That's what I tough, she's fugly as I expected.

Re:I propose a contest.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10081263)


Pah...she's a cutie...and fun, too! [shsu.edu]

The Correct Photo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10061545)

What do you suggest is better? Geeks looking for Arnold's photo, or geeks running away from the goatse guy?

awesome. (0, Offtopic)

ntropi (804745) | more than 9 years ago | (#10061553)

awesome. just freaking awesome.

Armor Piercing? (1)

cyrax777 (633996) | more than 9 years ago | (#10061577)

as in AP ammo?

104 degrees (1)

4r0g (467711) | more than 9 years ago | (#10061713)

First I thought Fscking degrees. Then Freakin'. Then I remembered that I can set my timezone to this ./ thingie but still it does not convert these strange units to ones used in most parts of the world. Oh well, have to resort to the google calculator [google.com] ...

Re:104 degrees (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10063144)

Wow, it's almost as if this was an American website.

Hmm...

Am I the only one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10061882)

who saw the headline and thought they were running a contest to write manpages?

I'm amazed (4, Funny)

EvilStein (414640) | more than 9 years ago | (#10062072)

... that while all of the geeks ran off, that a few other attendees didn't lurk around Dara, seeing as how there was now a whole lot less competition.

"Hey, forget this game. Let's go for the chicks!"

-1, Troll (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10062677)

I just gotta say, this is the lamest thing I've ever heard of. Is this what happens to people when they don't have sex for extremely long periods of time?

Come on Slashdotters, we should be ashamed that this event is being billed as the kind of dumb-ass shit that most geeks would enjoy doing.

7 or 8 dbm? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10064136)

How the hell do they know a potato chip bag reduced the signal by 7 or 8 dbm? Did they measure it with a spectrum analyzer? A calibrated FIM? I doubt it.

More computer nerds talking out of their ass like they really understand RF.

Re:7 or 8 dbm? (1)

HighWizard (91134) | more than 9 years ago | (#10068318)

Actually, if you took the time the time to read the article and then do a little check on the contest organizers [worldwidewardrive.org] you would see that your theory is flawed:

Lets extrapolate the data (we'll make it easier on you and your limited brain capacity, only looking at two of them):

1) Chris Hurley:
A quick google search with the term, "Chris Hurley", Wardriving turns up many useful results. I'll use his short bio [oreillynet.com] at oreilly to prove my point - "Chris Hurley is a Principal Information Security Engineer working in Washington DC on vulnerability assessments, penetration testing, forensics, and incident response on both wired and wireless networks. He is the organizer of the WorldWide WarDrive and has been the subject of several interviews and stories regarding the WWWD. Chris is a primary organizer of DefCon and the DefCon WarDriving Contest."

2) Frank Thornton:
We'll use the same method to find information on Frank Thornton, since it has proven to be useful. - From Oreilly: "Frank Thornton runs his own consulting firm, Blackthorn Systems and as a detective and forensics expert has investigated over 100 homicides and thousands of other crime scenes."

Perhaps it's just me, but from these two gentleman alone, it seems as though they are more than just "computer nerds talking out of their ass".
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