My growing dislike of Verizon Wireless

I've been a Verizon wireless customer for... A long time. I think it was around 2005 that I switched from my old Nextel service to Verizon. It was right after Sprint bought Nextel. At the time, My wife and I had switched between all of the major carriers that offered service in our area in search of one we liked. ATT was crap in our area, Nextel had good service, but they tacked all manner of hidden costs on to the bill every month. Verizon worked out perfect. Other than taxes, we paid what was advertised, and the service worked when we needed it. Unlike ATT.

Host your own "DropBox" like service.

So, it's no secret. I don't like "The cloud". I mean, "The cloud", has its uses, but I dont like cloud storage, and I dont like the false security it gives people. But it's damn convenient! Services like Dropbox offer some pretty nice features. A free 2gb storage container that you can put whatever you'd like on, available from damn near every internet connected device you might own. Mac, Linux, Windows, Android, iPhone. They have a client for every major platform. That's pretty sweet! So here's why I dont use it. It's not yours. Think about it this way.

DerbyCon 2012


That's the best way I can start this post. Wow.

I'm in the passenger seat of our rented VW Jetta, tethered to my galaxy nexus, typing this up on m tablet because I wanted to get some of these thoughts down before I started to lose them. Sorry for typos, touch keyboards aren't my speciality.

What a great conference! I already can't wait for next year. DerbyCon has got to be the humblest hacker conference around. I got to listen to the greats talk about their coon new projects, and then go out to eat, or drink, with them in the evening.

Security is Hard!

I am a sysadmin. So whether I call myself a security professional or not, security is fused with my daily tasks. I build servers, I administer servers. Web servers, database servers, identity servers. Servers that make the college I work for.. Work. If i don't keep security in mind, at worst our private data could be stolen, or our servers could be turned into spam zombies. So its important to keep a certain level of paranoia. It's a pain in the ass, I'll tell you that, but in the end, its worth it. I've had servers breached, trust me, its no fun.

Repairing a water damaged Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

Some time ago, around the beginning of the year, Google and Samsung released the next Nexus phone. The Galaxy Nexus. A number of my co-workers were waiting for this thing to release, so they could get one. Currently 4 of my co-workers have them, one on AT&T, the others on Verizon.

One of them accidentally dropped his in a toilet... A few weeks after he got it. He made an attempt to dry it out, without dis-assembling it, and it failed, so he went to Verizon who happily charged him full price to replace it.

I, am a hacker.

The term, Hacker, has developed such a negative connotation over the past decade or so. I've fought to spread the good word, but no one seems to get it. Everyone pictures these skeezy guys that are interested solely in stealing your identity, or credit cards, or bank account. That just isn't the case! A "Hacker" is someone who hacks.. Hacking is not just computer or software related. Its more of a mind set. Bending the world, and the items in it, around you, to your will. Computer hackers make their computers, and those of others if they deem it necesary, serve them.

You guys missed it...

What a great time we live in, right? Facebook and amazon at our finger tips. Connections to all of our friends with a few taps on a touch-screen. Instant access to wheather, maps, navigation, news, and movies. All in these little devices we keep in our pockets, purses, and on our belts. Instant gratification for a fast-paced world. Teenagers with cel phones, texting all of their friends. Miniature digital cameras at everone's disposal. All of it can be yours if you're willing to hand your (or your parents, or.. the taxpayers...) hard-earned money over to somoene else.

Backtrack linux on the Motorola Droid 4

The makers of backtrack Linux have released a version of the distro which is built for ARM processors. This means that backtrack, a full Linux distribution, sort of an Ubuntu pentester's spin, will run on mobile devices. This does not however mean its a simple manner. Backtrack's website has a downloadable image built to run on the Motorola Xoom. However its not exactly plug and play.

What Mobile Devices (and their providers) Could Learn from Computers.

As I was showing a Friend my new Droid 4, and I was telling him about how Motorola and Verizon saw fit to strip the SIP capability out of Gingerbread for their own gain, he made a comment that made a lot of sense.

"Your ISP dictates what Firmware you can run on your computer, Right?"

Thanks Rich! You've given me enough fuel for another blog entry. :D

So, let's play that comment out.

Verizon Wireless, Droid 4, initial opinions.

So, I'm an android fan. I like the OS, I've owned a Droid Incredible for over a year now, and to be honest, it's operation just fits with my lifestyle. I'm not a big apple fan, and blackberry.. well, forget it. The Incredible is showing its age, its still performing well, but it's got a glitch or two. Namely that the power/sleep button seems to be acting up. That button gets used, a lot, so it's really aggravating when it doesn't work right.