Dropcam Pro

Dropcam Pro

More cameras as my replacement project continues! I’ve been using the TRENDnet TV-IP422W cameras inside for the past few years but really hadn’t been using their pan-tilt-zoom features. Rather than replace them with fixed, high-resolution PoE cameras like the TV-IP572PI and continue to possibly overload my ZoneMinder installation, I decided to give the Dropcam Pro a try.

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WIJFR: Trojan Horse

It’s two years after the Zero Day attacks, and cyber-security analyst Jeff Aiken is reaping the rewards for crippling Al-Qaida’s assault on the computer infrastructure of the Western world. But the West is under its greatest threat yet. A revolutionary, invisible trojan that alters data without leaving a trace – more sophisticated than any virus seen before – has been identified, roiling international politics. As the trojan penetrates Western intelligence, and the terrifying truth about its creator is revealed, Jeff finds himself in a desperate race to reverse it as the fate of both East and West hangs in the balance.

I just finished reading “Trojan Horse,” the sequel to “Zero Day” by Mark Russinovich.

Russinovich’s second techno-thriller reunites security analyst Jeff Aiken and now-girlfriend/business partner Daryl Haugen as they attempt to track down the latest threat to global security: a trojan horse, of unknown origin, that is subtly altering documents at the United Nations. The trojan is only accidentally discovered when it crashes the word processor of a UN employee authoring a critical document regarding Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

The first part of the book, as Jeff and Daryl pick apart the trojan’s code and attempt to trace it back to its authors, is full of the low-level technical details you’d expect from Russinovich after reading “Zero Day.” The second half is an international chase across Europe, the Middle East, and even China, as the depth of the conspiracy is revealed.

The inclusion of  recent technological threats, real-world events, and a healthy dose of the Stuxnet trojan make “Trojan Horse” a gripping, if not slightly scary, read.

Heli-Max 1SQ V-Cam quad-copter

Heli-Max 1SQ V-CAM

For Father’s Day this year my wife and daughter got me a cool toy! The Heli-Max 1SQ V-CAM RC quad-copter. I had a Sears Lobo when I was a kid (it’s probably still in my parents’ basement) and loved racing that thing around in the street, especially with Turbo mode. Now I can take to the skies instead!

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TRENDnet TV-IP311PI outdoor camera and TPE-TG44g PoE switch

TV-IP311PINow that the wireless network re-design was done, I wanted to replace my aging Foscam outdoor cameras with newer, HD models. Installing the Ubiquiti UniFi AP was my first introduction to power-over-ethernet and I decided to move to PoE (instead of wireless) cameras. I already had TRENDnet cameras in my current setup, along with TRENDnet switches, so I decided to stick with that brand and selected the TV-IP311PI outdoor cameras and TPE-TG44g PoE switch.

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Ubiquiti UniFi AP

Ubiquity UniFi APMy current home wireless setup had been in-place and stable for about two years. And while everything was working fine, my incessant need to tinker was overpowering so I decided to do a little re-design and simplification.

The real reason for the re-org was because I wanted to try out the Ubiquiti UniFi AP, an 802.11n wireless access point with MIMO technology capable of 300Mbps speeds with ranges up to 400 feet. Slightly larger than your average smoke detector, it’s meant for enterprises but for $70 if you know your way around network setup it’s pretty simple to set up as a very robust home access point when paired with your existing router.

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Memorial Day Weekend in Key West: Day 3

We got up early this morning with plans to go to Sarabeth’s right when it opened for breakfast. Somehow, however, we unfortunately missed the fact that it’s only open for breakfast on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. :-( Instead, we went over to Glazed Donuts on Eaton and picked up a half-dozen and then walked down the block to Starbucks for hot drinks. On our way out of Old Town, we remembered to swing past the Southernmost Point again and this time were able to get a decent family photo with the monument without having to wait in line. Shortly after 9:00am we were back in New Town and on the road back home.

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Memorial Day Weekend in Key West: Day 2

Our first (and only) full day in Key West started out slowly … which was fine since we were on vacation after all. Despite our success with taking the dog around the city yesterday, we decided it was too hot and too much for our elderly pooch to handle again. Rather than leave him alone in the hotel room (he tends to bark when left alone), we drove him over to Pampered Pet (in New Town) for day care boarding. That freed us up to bike around Old Town during the day doing all the touristy stuff that wasn’t necessarily pet friendly.

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Memorial Day Weekend in Key West: Day 1

Earlier this week we realized Memorial Day was coming up and we really didn’t have any plans for the long weekend. With limited time to plan, we decided to drive down to the Florida Keys and visit Key West. We’ve lived in Florida for 13 years and have never been there so why not check it out over a holiday weekend? Road trip!

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WIJFR: Siege Perilous

Ocyrhoe, a young, cunning fugitive from Rome, safeguards a chalice of subtle but great power. Finding herself in France, she allies with the persecuted, pacifist Cathar sect in their legendary mountaintop stronghold, Montségur. There she resists agents of the Roman Church and its Inquisition, fights off escalating, bloody besiegement by troops of the King of France, and shields the mysterious cup from the designs of many.

Percival, the heroic Shield-Brethren knight from The Mongoliad, consumed by his mystical visions of the Holy Grail, is also drawn to Montségur—where the chalice holds the key to his destiny.

Arrayed against Percival and Ocyrhoe are enemies both old and new who are determined to reveal the secrets of the Shield-Brethren with the hope of destroying the order once and for all.

Wrapping up The Mongoliad Cycle, I finally finished reading “Siege Perilous” by E. D. deBirmingham. 

Book Five picks up the Rome/Pope/Grail storyline from Books Two and Three, introducing Ferenc and Ocyrhoe to the Shield-Bretheren knights Raphael and Percival and Shield Maiden Vera. Also making a re-appearance is Dietrich, of the Livonian order of knights whom we last saw at the Circus of Swords outside of Hünern in Book Three. There aren’t any more Mongols (i.e., Gansukh and Lian) in this final installment, as that story was wrapped up at the end of Book Four.

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