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Wireless Security By The Gallon

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the just-a-little-lead-ma'am dept.

Wireless Networking 216

prostoalex writes "The next effort to improve wireless security might involve a trip to Home Depot. Force Field Wireless sells buckets of aluminum and copped-laced paint designed to prevent the 802.11 packets from escaping the building, Information Week reports. The article also talks about the Firce Field's pitch to the government in order to improve the homeland security, but the only governments that got interested in anti-Wi-Fi paint were from the Middle East. According to the products page, they also sell the brush sets." Easier than wallpaper, or moving into an old house.

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216 comments

Tinfoil hats? (3, Funny)

Stop the war now! (662586) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213173)

I always knew they were useful.

Works great on the scalp! (5, Funny)

CyberGarp (242942) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213177)

New cheap replacements for all those tin-foil hats. Easy application!

Re:Works great on the scalp! (-1, Offtopic)

XaviorPenguin (789745) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213232)

I for one Welcome our buckets of aluminum and copped-laced paint overlords!

Re:Works great on the scalp! (1)

rzebram (828885) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213261)

Recreate the episodes of Myth Buster's where they painted eachother with gold paint!

You can be your own lightning rod, too (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11213368)

And don't turn on the lights when you're in the shower.

Ahh, the benefits of conductive paint.

Serious Stuff: Defending America from China (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11213497)

All wireless communication should be encrypted in such a way that Homeland Security can intercept and understand the communication via an electronic key. Snooping on the communication is vital to national security.

Many Taiwanese in the USA spy on behalf of Beijing [phrusa.org] . Only by snooping on their communication can we protect national security assets of this country.

OMG (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11213184)

Tin foil for the building for real!! OMG!!

Boy... (5, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213188)

> Force Field Wireless sells buckets of aluminum and copped-laced paint

...talk about a TEMPEST in a teapot.

Re:Boy... (1, Insightful)

irving47 (73147) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213302)

HA. That one might even be too obscure for the /. crowd.

Re:Boy... (1)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213380)

It's too obscure for me. :)

What's it relating to?

Re:Boy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11213445)

> It's too obscure for me. :)
>What's it relating to?

To bump up the obscurity factor another notch:

He could tell you, but the Scientologists would have to kill you [austinlinks.com] .

Re:Boy... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11213513)

TEMPEST is the codename for a pseudo-mythical method of surveillance used to intercept data from electrical devices, such as your computer, by intercepting unintended EM emanations. To quote:

"TEMPEST was "invented" in 1918 when Herbert Yardley and his staff of the Black Chamber were engaged by the U.S. Army to develop methods to detect, intercept, and exploit combat telephones and covert radio transmitters. The initial research identified that "normal unmodified equipment" was allowing classified information to be passed to the enemy through a variety of technical weaknesses. A classified program was then created to develop methods to suppress these "compromising emanations". However, the actual acronym known as TEMPEST was only coined in the late 60's and early 70's (and is now considered an obsolete term, which has since, been replaced by the phrase "Emissions Security" or EMSEC).

TEMPEST and it's associated disciplines involve designing circuits to minimize the amount of "compromising emanations" and to apply appropriate shielding, grounding, and bonding. These disciplines also include methods of radiation screening, alarms, isolation circuits/devices, and similar areas of equipment engineering.

TEMPEST disciplines typically involve eliminating or reducing the transients caused by a communication signal and the resulting harmonics. These signals and their harmonics could allow the original signal to be reconstructed and analyzed."

Link:
http://www.tscm.com/TSCM101tempest.html

The idea is that EM fields generated my, say, your monitor can be intercepted and used to reconstruct what's being displayed on the screen.

Re:Boy... (1)

CRC'99 (96526) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213392)

I wish I could mod this "+/-1, WTF?"

Re:Boy... (1)

name773 (696972) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213444)

google for "van eck phreaking"

Re:Boy... (1)

siliconjunkie (413706) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213471)

This [eskimo.com] or this [austinlinks.com] might help with the "WTF".

Home Depot (5, Funny)

vasqzr (619165) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213190)


The next effort to improve wireless security might involve a trip to Home Depot. Force Field Wireless sells buckets of aluminum and copped-laced paint designed to prevent the 802.11 packets from escaping the building,

Lowe's [journalnow.com] should consider carrying that product.

Re:Home Depot (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213355)

Lowe's should consider carrying that product.

Lowe's should consider USING that product. Or for that matter, any better security than WEP.

TSS Covered It Last Month... (2, Interesting)

GTRacer (234395) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213194)

...In fact they covered an outhouse with it and sent their man in with a wireless laptop. His reception dropped but disn't die completely.

Also, I hope they meant copper-laced paint, otherwise some police officers might want to speak with them. Hell, the bobbies may STILL want a word...

GTRacer
- It's lame joke day

Re:TSS Covered It Last Month... (2, Funny)

RangerRick98 (817838) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213217)

copped-laced paint...Firce Field's pitch

Perhaps someone was sniffing a little of this paint, hmmm?

Re:TSS Covered It Last Month... (1)

Johnny2Bags (713404) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213322)

The Screen Savers test showed that with several solid coats the WiFi signal only dropped about 30%. They were still able to connect no problem.

This was in a complete enclosure, like an outhouse. So with windows, etc the effectiveness of the paint would lessen even more.

They said not to buy it. Duh.

Does nobody care? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11213199)

I refreshed twice to see some witty comment, but nothing.

Wierd.

Conspiracy Theory starring Mel Gibson... (1)

slowhand (191637) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213201)

As a painter with Wifi on his mind...

Tinfoil better ? (1)

Dale549 (680107) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213202)

I prefer wallpapering with tinfoil... leftover hat material

Shiny New Walls (1)

Psiolent (160884) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213204)

I'd like some metallic paint in my house just for the aesthetics. At that price, though, I guess aesthetics alone isn't a solid reason.

Good Old Fashioned Fix (3, Funny)

mary_will_grow (466638) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213206)

I knew these cans of lead paint would find a use someday!!!!!

use the preview button? n_n (0, Redundant)

sk8dork (842313) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213209)

The next effort to improve wireless security might involve a trip to Home Depot. Force Field Wireless sells buckets of aluminum and copped-laced paint designed to prevent the 802.11 packets from escaping the building, Information Week reports.

you mean copper-laced?

Re:use the preview button? n_n (1)

sk8dork (842313) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213313)

yes, redundant...because i should have read everyone else say the same thing i said in the same minute my post was being processed...

Re:use the preview button? n_n (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11213499)

Don't feel too bad; I've had posts marked redundant that were completely original.

Re:use the preview button? n_n (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11213545)

Yah, but now that he complained about it he'll get the extra added bonus of his complaint being modded down too, probably resulting in his posting at -1 until he finally gives up and creates a new account, or just decides to become a full-time troll.

Ok... wow... misread (4, Funny)

Dirtside (91468) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213210)

At first glance I saw "Wireless Security By Gollum". I can't even begin to figure out what that might involve. The One Token Ring, perhaps?

Re:Ok... wow... misread (3, Funny)

SlinkyToad (830914) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213321)

Or maybe a Tolkien Ring network...

-the Slink

"One Ring to Rule them all..."

What else does it block? (5, Interesting)

millahtime (710421) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213211)

So, it blocks an 802.11 signal. Wouldn't this mean that cordless phones would be blocked also. What about cell phones or old fashioned radios?

This might me more of a pain than a solution

Re:What else does it block? (1)

ErikTheRed (162431) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213305)

You beat me to it. All of a sudden I'm getting a NO CARRIER from my FM Radio and cell phone. And do we have to paint over our windows as well? This is an incredibly poorly-thought-out solution.

Oh, and who the hell modded the parent post "off-topic"???

Re:What else does it block? (4, Informative)

nrd907s (458195) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213438)

From the article:

There are drawbacks to the paint. It doesn't just block wireless networks. In the home, it would block the one or two remaining TVs connected to rabbit ears. More important, it blocks mobile-phone signals.

The company also makes a window film that cuts down on signal leakage: A 30-inch-by-25-foot roll is priced at $45.

Re:What else does it block? (-1, Troll)

name773 (696972) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213511)

Karma should be measured by positive moderation done to replies to your posts.

suppose you're way off base (trolling/just incorrect) and there are a bunch of posts below you pointing out how you're wrong that get modded up... should you get a karma bonus?

Re:What else does it block? (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213612)

should you get a karma bonus?

(I'm not the bearer of that sig.)

Thats a good question. Should karma reward only insightful posts or should it reward people who start insightful discussions as well?

Honestly, 50% of the trolls never get a response, and probably 50% of the responses are likewise trollish and don't get modded up.

Re:What else does it block? (4, Interesting)

Kelerain (577551) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213516)

Its true this may not be the best wifi security solution (ethernet anyone?) but it would be *great* for say, theaters. No more annoying cell phones going off durring the movies! There are other issues to deal with, such as liability (doctors on call etc) but as long as you posted a sign that explained as such, things should be alright. It would be a great solution, and much easier to apply than expensive pannels and such that have been tried before.

Good old.. (4, Funny)

Gorffy (763399) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213212)

Paranoia. The true mother of all invention.

Fellow Citizen could you help (1)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213254)

I'm only red clearance, but the computer told me to paint the walls orange to improve security against traitors. Once painted, I'll be in violation of my code. Could the computer have made a mistake?

Re:Fellow Citizen could you help (1)

mahdi13 (660205) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213351)

The Computer never makes a mistake, such thinking is traitorous!
Please report to the nearest termination terminal and remember, the Computer is your friend.
Be happy or be deemed a traitor to the Computer you Commie mutant!

Re:Fellow Citizen could you help (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11213484)

What's that from?

Well... (4, Insightful)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213221)

As this "security improvement" only affects computers in specially prepared rooms, WHY THE FUCK use wireless at all? A nice Cat5 is 10times faster than wifi, and even more tempest-proof than a metal painted room.
Not to mention that even to most fancy cable management system will be less work and cost than painting all walls+ceiling (and what about the floor if you arent in the basement?)...

Re:Well... (1)

iggymanz (596061) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213307)

of course, twisted pair leaks a little as well, maybe coax would be better for the truly paranoid, or fibre with shielded transceivers?

Re:Well... (1)

TheFlyingGoat (161967) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213316)

I agree with your entire post, but feel the need to point out that it'd be far easier just adding this stuff to some exterior paint and slapping it on your entire house. Won't cover the roof, but you could always paint the boards before putting down shingles, or even line your attic with aluminum foil.

Like you said, though... far easier to install some cat5.

Re:Well... (2, Funny)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213384)

What's to stop you from painting the shingles? Aesthetics don't matter- this stuff is probably gunmetal grey anyway.

Re:Well... (3, Insightful)

rednip (186217) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213439)

As this "security improvement" only affects computers in specially prepared rooms...more tempest-proof than a metal painted room
No the special rooms mentioned in the article are the Faraday cage, with which they compare the effect. This is what happens when you skim an article, just looking for something to bitch about. The article clearly states that this paint is intended for entire buildings, for example (from the article):
DefendAir would be an attractive option to protect an RFID-enabled warehouse, he says.
Also
More important, it blocks mobile-phone signals.
Can you imagine the benifit of using it in the outside paint for a movie theater, or resturant. You whouldn't even have to use jammers (which whould bleed into the street and are illegal anyways) to achieve freedom from hearing only one side of someone's conversation.

Re:Well... (4, Interesting)

Glendale2x (210533) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213581)

As this "security improvement" only affects computers in specially prepared rooms, WHY THE FUCK use wireless at all? A nice Cat5 is 10times faster than wifi, and even more tempest-proof than a metal painted room.

Using Cat5 over wireless is a massive security improvement in itself, also available from the Home Depot. Cable ends and crimpers are available too, and at a cost far less than the paint. I suspect the paint is for suckering in people who think 802.11 is the only thing there is. The rest of us who actually care and want to save some money will continue to run cables.

Every time I see something about "wireless security" I always wonder why people spend so damn much money (like the paint) and effort (new encryption schemes) on it when if you really cared about security you wouldn't be using it in the first place. "Wireless security" is good to stop someone from casually using your access point, but is no substitution for real security and encryption.

Even then, people pick stupid or easy to remember passwords for their base stations, or open the window of their wireless-defeating painted room, thereby making it all a moot point.

Wonderful! (0, Redundant)

deemaunik (699970) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213225)

A tinfoil hat for my house! WiFi kept in, Mind Control Rays kept out!

Towel heads and secrecy... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11213230)

The article also talks about the Firce Field's pitch to the government in order to improve the homeland security, but the only governments that got interested in anti-Wi-Fi paint were from the Middle East.

God damn sand niggers try to keep their people in the dark about everything!

Re:Towel heads and secrecy... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11213342)

Indubitably.

Defending America from China (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11213233)

All wireless communication should be encrypted in such a way that Homeland Security can intercept and understand the communication via an electronic key. Snooping on the communication is vital to national security.

Many Taiwanese in the USA spy on behalf of Beijing [phrusa.org] . Only by snooping on their communication can we protect national security assets of this country.

And what about windows? (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213235)

Without covering windows and guaranteeing an effective mesh cover to create a faraday cage, you cannot guarantee no transmission, only signal degradation.

You'd still be better off with grounded wire mesh and plaster in an older house if you wanted to imitate your tin foil hat.

Re:And what about windows? (1)

detour207 (838058) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213296)

Without covering windows and guaranteeing an effective mesh cover to create a faraday cage, you cannot guarantee no transmission, only signal degradation.

From TFA: The company also makes a window film that cuts down on signal leakage: A 30-inch-by-25-foot roll is priced at $45.

while you're at home depot... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11213249)

take a look at the WAPs. some locations do the WEP equivalent of putting the password on a post-it on the monitor...

Stating the obvious (2)

tedtimmons (97599) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213268)

Paint not safe for painting on head.

Can you put an RFID tag on a product such as this? What if someone painted over the RFID/antitheft tags with this paint?

-ted

or fill the wall cavities (1)

jago25_98 (566531) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213273)

If you do fill your cavities with similar such stuff spare a thought for the cable droppers eh?

Paint me sceptic (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11213275)

grin

Paint Chips (1)

millahtime (710421) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213280)

I wonder what happens if you eat the paint chips? Does your body become impervious to those evil signals. No more need for the tin foil hat.

Dong, Where is my automobile? (2, Insightful)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213288)

Convincing consumers to take wireless security seriously has been harder. "They see it like tinfoil on your head," Wray says. "They think it's kind of paranoid."

Uh, it is kind of paranoid.

And it's surely no substitute for a robust encryption scheme.

Since it's commercial in nature, how many modern offices can really do without cell phones and pagers?

Oh, and 64 bucks seems ridiculously expensive for latex paint with aluminum and copper filings mixed in.

This seems like one of those "theres a sucker born every minute" products, like monster cables, or green cd films to make your cds sound better.

Then again, who needs Old Glory Robot insurance if the robots cant detect you inside your house!

Re:Dong, Where is my automobile? (0, Offtopic)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213413)

They eat old people's medicine for fuel.

Re:Dong, Where is my automobile? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11213601)

No, No, No.

IN KOREA they eat old people's medicine for fuel.

... Hmmmm ... (2, Insightful)

ninjagin (631183) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213294)

I checked out the page and the concept seems pretty neat -- kinda like painting on your own faraday cage. I wonder how well it affects the color or application of the paint. The window-tinty film is also a pretty cool concept, too, though it looks like it'd cut down on a lot of visible daylight along with keeping your wifi in. I like my sunshine.

The burning question I have (and hopefully a smarter-person-than-I can clue me in) is how is this going to affect my AM/FM/SW radio reception inside my house? It almost seems like a rooftop antenna would become a must-have, assuming that the blockage of signal would keep all those friendly informational radio waves from getting INTO my house.

Re:... Hmmmm ... (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213332)

Yep, it will block the rabbit ears on your TV and the antenna in your clock radio.

Not to mention your cell phone and your pager.

They're looking to con^H^H^H sell to businesses and government agencies too dense to secure their networks properly.

And at almost 70 bucks a gallon, it's three times more expensive than even the uppity Ralph Lauren paint HD sells. (Heh.. I get a kick out of seeing yuppies pay extra for the nametag on what truly is inferior paint to Behr or Dutch Boy.. I painted houses for a while to make beer money in Uni)

Wrong idea (4, Funny)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213303)

FTFA:

"It was my concept along with my colleague, Diane Lopez," says Wray, a former network engineer with Networks Associates. "We knew of people inundated with interference on their wireless systems. In fact, Diane, in her apartment, could find eight wireless networks around her. She needed to shield herself."

No, she needed to stop wasting money on broadband and mooch off her neighbors.

Does this work at all? (1)

Couzin2000 (797592) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213329)

Seriously, folks, I'd be hard-pressed to see that paint in action. This is something that would definitely have it's applications (no pun intended), but for an everyday purpose? Hmm. I guess that means I buy paint and don't have to worry about a firewall, an anti-spam and anti-virus app... Oh wait, it doesn't filter spam? Aww.

For the everyday person, this sort of paint is kinda pointless. Besides, wasn't there a big issue a couple years back about lead paint being banned from any commercial use? Hope this doesn't give me cancer, too.

Re:Does this work at all? (2, Informative)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213406)

Lead doesn't give you cancer, it slowly accumulates until it causes dementia, Alzheimers, or death.

Check out the story of Sir John Franklin, who tried to lead an expedition in Canada to find the northwest passage, back in the olden days. They found the party dead, having abandoned their ship, but they took ridiculous items with them, like an old dresser, instead of food and supplies that could have kept them alive.

The story goes they all went insane from the lead used in the canned food they were eating.

Letter to the editor. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11213344)

Would it be too difficult for you to edit TFA prior to posting? From the article:

and copped-laced paint
the Firce Field's pitch

Who do you think you are, CmdrTaco?

fire hazard (1, Insightful)

iggymanz (596061) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213358)

metallic paint might do the "Hindenburg thing" and quickly engulf the room. Also, metal fires are hard to put out.

Legal to sell in some states? (4, Interesting)

ARRRLovin (807926) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213367)

I'd like to see the MSDS(Material Safety Data Sheet) for those products. Adding heavy metals to non-commercial coatings can't be legal everywhere. I used to work in the retail coating industry (neighborhood paint store) and even just your standard bathroom paint is regulated heavily. So heavily it makes other EPA legislature look completely logical!

Re:Legal to sell in some states? (1)

Asshat Canada (804093) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213504)

I used to work in the commercial petroleum transfer industry (Gas station) before choosing a career at a high-volume ceramics sanitation and sorting facility (dish pit). I feel that I have nothing to contribute to this discussion.

non-toxic? (1)

cindy (19345) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213385)

The article and the web site say this stuff is non-toxic. Copper is a well known biocide used in bottom paint [westmarine.com] to kill marine life that likes to live on boats. How is this any different (except for the lower price - it doesn't say "marine" on the lable).

Re:non-toxic? (1)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213564)

it's non-toxic as applied...

of course it's toxic when it's still wet!! but after it dries it's encapsulated and safe for everyday use.

Gallon? (1)

tarquin_fim_bim (649994) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213401)

Would that be the US half-measure; or the full on Imperial version that takes no prisoners, and makes young ladies feint?

wires-r-us (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11213407)

If you are really worried about security, you'll use wires. It's not that hard. It's not that inconvienient. It *is* that much more secure. The best security is physical security...

Re:wires-r-us (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213534)

Is all the work of repainting, refitting the windows and doors with special "anti-RF" films, really easier than snaking a few hundred yards of Cat 6?

If your shit is that sensitive, you shouldn't be broadcasting it at all.

Then again, "WiFi" is required for complete buzzword compliance.

DHS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11213409)

But I already have plastic sheeting and duct tape on my windows, if that will stop terrorist attacks surely it will stop wifi signals.

Only available on April 1st. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11213410)

This product will be shipped in used Pringles cartons on April 1st 2005.

Environmental Effects (2, Interesting)

theycallmerenda (765018) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213411)

What are the environmental effects of this type of paint? I would think that direct exposure to this paint (i.e. with no outer layer of nontoxic / latex) would be harmful. Boatowners use copper-based paints to keep barnacles from growing on the bottom of their hulls in saltwater. Designed to flake off over time, the paint is poisonous to sealife and highly toxic to humans. How safe can this stuff be? Do we really need more harmful metals dispersed in our environment?

USA Government has already dealt with this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11213429)

very sensitive operations (read intel or defense) are done in buildings with wiremesh throughout the walls. As other groups such as social security, well, they run Windows for a web server. I think it is safe to say that security of our infoirmation is not job 1 (or 2, or 3, or 4, or ...).

Could be useful (1)

cperciva (102828) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213436)

Now, we should all be using encryption on our wireless networks, so I wouldn't suggest this as a mechanism for wireless security -- furthermore, I'm sure this isn't 100% effective, so any determined attacker would simply turn up his amplifier by a few dB.

That said, this could be a useful way of protecting against unintentional transmissions. Our computers are doing an awful lot of radiating, and it wouldn't surprise me at all if there was enough leakage to provide an effective cryptographic side-channel. Paint your walls with copper, and even if you only block out 90% of the leakage, you may well have reduced an already marginal signal enough to stop an attacker.

First put metal and then foam.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11213442)

If you are that paranoid then would suggest make you house out of metal and then use foam on the walls. When you are finished with the house then get into a straight-jacket and enjoy.

You have questions, I have answers. (4, Informative)

FreeLinux (555387) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213447)

Q. Does it really work?

A. Yes, to some extent. The metalic paint does effectively impede radio signals however, it is not 100% effective. Some signal may still leak through the paint also, untreated windows and doors will allow the signal to leak. None the less, signal propagation is greatly reduced by the paint, which was the primary reason for its development.

Q. What about cordless phones?

A. This paint will affect most radio signals including corless and cell phones, AM/FM radio, broadcast TV and more. The overall effect will vary depending on paint application quality, signal frequency and strength, as well as other factors.

Q. Is this paint a health risk?

A. Copper based paint, commonly used in marine applications, is a known health risk and environmental hazard. While there is little data available for aluminum based paints, there do not appear to be significant health risks at this time. This does not mean that there aren't health risks associated with aluminum based paints.

Re:You have questions, I have answers. (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213498)

I've read many times about a possible link between aluminum and alzheimers, primarily aluminum in cookware and canned foods.

Also, I don't know what timothy is on, but hanging wallpaper is easier and a whole lot less messy. It just looks like shit when it's done. Just my personal opinion though.

Freedom (1)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213448)

Don't you people realize that packets want to be free?

-Peter

only here (1)

LiquidMind (150126) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213456)

Only on slashdot will you find people that measure heat/energy in amounts of Libraries of Congress and wi-fi security in buckets.

already in effect where I work (1)

Snafoo (38566) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213472)

I consult and some days I work in a beautiful office that's 90% windows. Great for wi-fi and cells, right? NNNNT! They're all coated with magic Anti Signal Coating, and (near as I can tell) the only way to get any sort of reception on any wireless equipment is to stick the thing out the window or walk outside.

Prolly won't work (1)

Helmholtz Coil (581131) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213480)

There'll be some attenuation, sure, but don't forget the signal you get after going through one of these painted-on Faraday cages also depends on how strong the original signal was. Even if you put steel plates up if you blast the signal strongly enough something will get through.

Case in point: a few weeks ago I took a regular ol' D-Link 802.11b router, took its antenna off, and threw it in a steel toolbox. Closed the lid, weighed it down. I was still able to get a halfway decent signal from more than 20 feet away.

Yes, there would be some leakage around the edges of the toolbox, especially around the router's power cable. Still, I think that one of these rooms would fare worse.

Re:Prolly won't work (1)

badmonkey (29600) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213547)

You weighed down the lid? Were you afraid the router or its signal would have tried to open the lid if it were not weighted?

Is it as good as Stucco and plaster? (2, Interesting)

Big_Al_B (743369) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213493)

My buddy's house, with stucco out and plaster in, provides a very strong 802.11b-arrier. An AP in his neighbor's house (visible in a window) is only intermittently reachable from his den, standing by his own window, about 22 feet line-of-sight from the neighbor's AP.

My neighborhood, a in a new development, is full of houses made from sticks, vinyl and wallboard. I can easily reach anywhere from 6 to 10 APs from just about anywhere in my house (and only 2 are mine.)

Re:Is it as good as Stucco and plaster? (4, Informative)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213583)

It's not the paster or stucco, but the metal lath to which the stucco and plaster are adhered to.

If you ever see it installed, they (usually) first staple up a thick metal mesh, which holds the plaster in place. Wood lath was the status quo in the really olden days, before steel became cheaper than hardwood strips.

Norm Abrahms goes wardriving in this weeks episode of This Old House!

OT: glowing letters (2, Interesting)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213507)

Hey folks -

A few years ago I had a metallic paint pen. If you burnt the paper that had markings from this pen on it, the ink would glow brightly for a brief time before going out. It was a neat effect, glowing words.

Now I'm trying to re-create this effect for a film project, and I've had no luck. I've bought out the pen section at staples, tried various metallic paint pens, and none of them do this.

The idea is to have the credits written on a piece of paper, totally unlit, so all you see is darkness. As the flame creeps across the page, the letters will glow as the flame hits them. How could I do this?

Re:OT: glowing letters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11213558)

Was there magnesium in the pens ink/paint, perhaps? It glows brightly when it oxidizes (burns). Maybe some googling for a metallic paint with magnesium in it will help.

Sounds kind of neat. Post pics if/when you find it.

Re:OT: glowing letters (1)

darth_MALL (657218) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213568)

hmm...perhaps a magnesium embossing dye? Google for it, but I'm pretty sure magnesium will burn brighter than the paper. Just a thought.

Easy fix if security is an issue. (1)

theparanoidcynic (705438) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213515)

It's pretty hard to snoop packets on a chunk of Cat5. If the traffic is sensitive just use that. Cheaper and faster anyway.

what's the big deal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11213526)

hmmm, I walk down the street and soon I find other open access over wireless. I don't see how this is news other than the (sic) humour in some paranoid person painting their building in toxic substances.

Access to the internet is free and becoming freer everyday. Free as in libre, as we can voice what was mostly suppressed in the past. And free as in free beer, as we easily build more, use and freely distribute more of this infrastructure called the internet. Even though some dinosaurs are determined to start wars in order to hold on to what they are losing, there is no way to stop the inevitable torrent. Yes, we are quickly learning more truths everyday.

Why read slashdot, when I can get all of the sports news I need on Fox?

Lead Paint Anyone? (1)

rearden (304396) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213542)

Looks like lead laced paint may just make a comeback after so many years being scorned. Dupont may have just found a way to dispose of all that "hazardous waste" they have buried somewhere! ... just dont lick the walls!

Sir. The radar, sir. It appears to be... jammed. (1)

St. Arbirix (218306) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213554)

Force Field has been trying to interest the Department of Homeland Security, but discussions are ongoing, Wray says. "Ironically, we have had foreign governments contact us--from the Middle East. Kind of scary." Wray says he won't sell to them.

But he'll sure as hell let the U.S. drop it on them. I foresee a new wave on non-lethal radar seeking missiles with latex payloads.

Got an ICBM headed at you? No problem, just spray the area of its path with a fine latex mist. These guys just put the Bush missile-defense plans back on budget!

Good (2, Funny)

Ed Thomson (704721) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213566)

Finally I have a reason to paint over the windows to get rid of that pesky Sun.

Seems dopey to me (1)

museumpeace (735109) | more than 9 years ago | (#11213592)

Do you paint your windows too? If the stuff really works, you are NOT going to be able to use your lap top out in the back yard. My aluminum siding probably works just as well and affords me a little fire protection into the bargain. Besides, Home Depot makes huge donations to the republican party. fuhgiddaboudit!
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