Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Verizon Sets Monthly Text Message Record


Verizon Wireless has announced that its customers sent and received more than 10 billion text messages (or SMS messages) last month, a new company record and the highest reported total of any mobile carrier in the United States. In June Verizon Wireless customers also sent and received more than 200 million multimedia messages (MMS), which include picture and video messages.

Both figures represent an increase of more than 100 percent from September in 2006, when Verizon set a company record of five billion monthly text messages!


Plants tell sensor when they need a drink

University of Colorado researchers have developed a prototype that monitors when crops need to be watered. The current prototype still uses wires but will eventually be outfitted to rely on RFID.

This technology allows not only the data, but also the power to be transmitted wirelessly, eliminating the need for batteries.

The sensor would be clipped permanently to a leaf during the growing season to monitor moisture content and chemical signatures that can indicate when the plant is undergoing water stress.

The chemical signs, such as an increase in salt and sugar content in the cells, occur much earlier than physical signs, such as drooping leaves, that many farmers rely on now.

Because it can only transmit a signal about half a metre away, the RFID tag can do one of two things with the data: it can transmit it to RFID tags nearby, which would then push the signal along to other tags in the network until the data reaches home base.

Alternatively, it can deliver the signal to a nearby base station, which would have enough power (using a battery or solar panel) to transmit the data directly to the farmer's computer.

Software on the computer would then analyse the data and could alert the farmer by email or text message. Or the computer could be set up to go one step further and automatically turn on the irrigation system.


iPhone, iPhone, iPhone

I think I'm just going to do one iPhone post a day, if not I think I would have to rename this blog.

I would link directly to the source wiki, but it says no. So, google search away

Troubleshooting Windows Mobile Phones

So I have a Cingular branded HTC phone and I've loved it as a PDA. However, recently I've noticed that it seems to run much slower than when I first bought it. Apparently this is common and Avec Mobile has a few tips and tricks to check on free memory, running programs etc. The instructions didn't quite match up to my phone but were close anyway.

The following tips are intended for situations when your phone runs considerably slower than before, occasionally freezes, gives frequent low memory error -messages, won’t run applications that ran earlier, or has developed odd behavior in some other way.


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

AT&T Loophole Provides a Free Phone

Pay for your iPhone using a loophole when signing up for new service.

Usually when you buy a subsidized handset, there is a penalty when you upgrade early, but as the iPhone is not subsidized, adding one to an existing plan incurs no such fee.

To use an example from, if you buy a Nokia N75 from Amazon on a two year contract, it'll cost $20 (minus a $25 mail-in rebate). Go grab an iPhone, activate it and add it to the AT&T plan. That's it.

Link (via Wired Gadget Lab)

iPhone Vulnerable to Web Hacking

Its about time. Security researchers at Baltimore based ISE have announced that the iPhone could be turned into a mobile spammer if the user visits a specially crafted web page. Details will not be released until the Blackhat Conference on August 2nd in Las Vegas.

"You could have a million iPhones dialing the company's main line and overwhelm it that way," Miller said.

In addition, hijacked iPhones could be used to send spam by cell-phone text message, which computers generally can't. Any personal data on the phones, such as private phone numbers and text messages, would be accessible as well.

The flaw applies not only to the iPhone, which was launched just three weeks ago, but also to Apple computers running Mac OS and the company's Safari Web browser, a version of which comes with the iPhone. It does not affect Safari running on Microsoft Corp.'s Windows systems.


Wireless USB Products Certified

Six consumer products have been certified by the USB Implementers Forum for wireless USB

Certified Wireless USB allows users to connect up to 127 devices and deliver up to 480Mbps at 3 meters, or up to 110Mbps up to 10 meters. The technology is based on the WiMedia Alliance Ultra-wideband Common Radio Platform.

The six certified products include:
* Dell Inspiron 1720 notebook and the Lenovo ThinkPad T61/T61p 15.4-inch widescreen notebook.
* D-Link's Wireless USB Adapter (DUB-1210) and a 4-port Wireless USB Hub (DUB-2240).
* Iogear Wireless USB Hub & Adapter Kit.


Cisco Wireless ARP Storm Vulnerabilities

DOS possible in latest released details for Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers. Workarounds and updates available.

The WLC contains vulnerabilities in the processing of unicast ARP traffic where a unicast ARP request may be flooded on the LAN links between Wireless LAN Controllers in a mobility group...
If the client sends a unicast ARP request with a destination MAC address that has not been learned by the Layer-2 infrastructure, that request will be flooded to all ports in the Layer-2 domain after egressing the WLC. This allows the second WLC to reprocess the ARP request and incorrectly reforward this packet back into the network...
If the arpunicast feature has been enabled on the WLC, the WLC will re-forward broadcast ARP packets targeting the IP address of a known client context. This creates an ARP storm if more than one WLC is installed on the corresponding VLAN...
In a Layer-3 (L3) roaming scenario, a wireless client moves from one controller to another where the wireless LAN interfaces configured on different controllers are on different IP subnets. In this scenario, a unicast ARP may not tunneled back to the anchor controller, but may instead be sent by the foreign controller out to a local VLAN...


iPhone Ringtone maker

Stop paying ridiculous prices for ringtones for your iPhone when you already have the music file

iPhoneRingToneMaker lets you create your own ringtones for the iPhone from your .mp3 files. It features simple one click ringtone transfer to your iPhone so you can select your own custom ringer. It's out now for Windows 2000/XP/Vista.

AT&T Profits Rise Despite iPhone Disappointment

With all the hype of the iPhone, activations fell short of the expected 250,000+ depending on analyst. We'll see as all of the eBay activations start to come in and what happens in the ensuing months.

AT&T Inc. on Tuesday posted a higher-than-expected quarterly profit on strong wireless subscriber growth, but failed to excite investors as the first two days of iPhone sales fell short of forecasts.

AT&T, the sole U.S. service provider for Apple's first phone, said it activated 146,000 iPhone subscribers in the first two days after launch on June 29.


Thursday, January 11, 2007

Pa. Company Promises Wireless Power

I've ruminated about this many times before but never thought it would actually happen (so soon I guess?).

It works like this: a transmitter can be placed anywhere--in a lamp, for example, that is plugged into the wall and sits on a table. The transmitter in the lamp sends out a continuous, low RF signal. Anything with either AA or AAA batteries set within its range--and equipped with a Powercast receiver, which is the size of your fingernail--will be continuously charged.
Powercast must be built into new products instead of being an add on (currently) and so far only Phillips has signed on. I wonder if we'll ever be over saturated with RF signals? The spectrum already is so it would have to attempt to avoid interference from 802.11a,b,g,cordless phones etc. Many of the commenters pose similar concerns, but also mention the reduction of batteries in landfills. Clearly there are many possible benefits.
Link (via BoingBoing)

WiPhi Testing

I'm currently connected to the WiPhi network. I do live near the corner of Spring Garden. Signal strength is 80 - 95%. Only my local wireless connection is higher. I've obtained an address and its in the 10.2 range. Currently I have, netmask of and default router of Its set to channel 11. I'm curious as to how they planned the channels out, if they're only using 1,6 and 11 or if they chose to use 1,4,8 and 11 or if they let the actual AP choose its channel based on signal interference. I see also there is another network named FeatherSecure which is not supported by my PSP. Completely unrelated, I've found an access point named Cisco_CallForAccess2679188524. I'll follow up on that later. All in all it seems to work well from where I'm sitting.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

RFID Theme

Monochrom, a group of goofy "art-technology-philosophy basket weaving enthusiasts" have created a tune dedicated to hacking RFID in the key of the Village People's YMCA. I prefer the "Bratlfettn" version as it keeps more with the original. The "Rohkost" version sounds like an unplugged folk version.

It's fun to hack the RFID
It's fun to hack the RFID
They want to store everything about you
But there's plenty of things you can do

Ownage, it's the way to resist,
I said ownage, let's call it "digital fist"

Link (via BoingBoing)

Free WiPhi

Wireless Philadelphia is well under way and Earthlink is currently offering a free trial run until January 21st. The map above shows the areas currently covered by Earthlink. To log on to the network "simply click on Feather by Earthlink from your computers list of available networks to get surfing." I'll be trying this out when I get home as I should be blanketed in coverage. After the 21st, the plan is only $17.95 per month. Now if only GMail would go completely SSL.


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Cell Phone Signal Responsible for Rescue

Combing through cell phone records Edge Wireless engineer Eric Fuqua and Noah Pugsley were able to deduce where the Kim's were located and later rescued. Edge Wireless serves rural areas for Cingular. Two momentary blips on the cell phone radar 4 seconds apart led Eric to determine where they were located. Using this data and his knowledge of the area, he was able to help direct rescuers to the "z" sector on the west side of the cell phone tower.

While lost in the mountains, the family's phones were out of range most of the time. But one briefly caught cell tower reception at 1:30 a.m. Nov. 26.

The phone ``pinged'' -- or registered -- two quick blips on the tower. The first lasted one second and then was gone. Four seconds later, the phone registered again just long enough for the network to send the phone a notice that there were voice or text messages waiting, Fuqua said.

The signal quickly faded, and didn't last long enough for the family to check the message. It was also too weak for the family to make a call, he said.

The signal did indicate that the family was in sector ``z'' on the west side of the cell tower's 26 mile radius. Fuqua, an avid fisherman and dirt bike rider, said he knew the family must have been lost in the Bear Camp area after leaving Denny's.

``It was more gut instinct and knowing the area,'' Fuqua said, adding that he'd been in the same area with his children many times.
The search continues for James Kim who set out a few days before his family was found to search for help.

Monday, December 04, 2006

All Your Garage Doors Belong to US(AF)

The Air Force tested a radio frequency to be used in communication that overlaps with garage door openers. Luckily this frequency would only be used for first responders in a homeland security threat.

A secretive Air Force facility in Colorado Springs tested a radio frequency this past week that it would use to communicate with first responders in the event of a homeland security threat. But the frequency also controls an estimated 50 million garage door openers, and hundreds of residents in the area found that theirs had suddenly stopped working.
In general, effects from the transmissions would be felt only within 10 miles, but the Colorado Springs signal is beamed from atop 6,184-foot Cheyenne Mountain, which likely(my emphasis) extends the range.
David McGuire, whose Overhead Door Co. received more than 400 calls for help, said the Air Force may be able to slightly adjust the transmission frequency to solve the problem. If not, it will cost homeowners about $250 to have new units installed.

"The military has the right to use that frequency. It is a sign of the times," he said.
Further evidence that the spectrum is a bit tight. The wireless spectrum is incredibly delicate if you have a powerful enough transmitter. WiFi users are limited to a measly 4 Watts but licensed radio HAM operators have every right to blast WiFi out of the air with power levels up to 1.5 Kilowatts.


Senator Calls for Higher Encryption Standards for No Swipe Cards

Senator Schumer from New York held a press conference today calling for higher encryption standards for new no swipe credit cards being introduced. I'm relieved to see that some of our elected officials are technically informed and looking out for the consumer.

No-swipe credit cards that use radio waves to relay their data put consumers at increased risk of identity theft, Sen. Charles Schumer said Sunday.

"These cards may be convenient, but they're a double-edged sword," said Schumer, D-N.Y.

Tens of millions of no-swipe credit cards have been issued in the past year.


Thursday, November 02, 2006

GMail on Mobile Devices Launched

Woohoo. New improved access for Gmail on mobile devices. Ad free but GTalk free as well.

Today Google is launching a new downloadable application for Java-enabled mobile devices that acts as a client for Gmail, letting users read, create, delete, search, send and receive e-mail messages.
Go to to download the software. You can also have a link sent to your phone via text message by going to The service requires a data plan so those without can still access it at Mobile crunch has more details including installation notes.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Macbook Wireless Exploit

Proof of concept now available for Apple Airport Drivers via the new Metasploit module we listed below. Apple's security tower is crumbling now that more people are paying attention to it.

The Apple Airport driver provided with Orinoco-based Airport cards (1999-2003 PowerBooks, iMacs) is vulnerable to a remote memory corruption flaw. When the driver is placed into active scanning mode, a malformed probe response frame can be used to corrupt internal kernel structures, leading to arbitrary code execution.
Previously Apple, followed by others, had denied that Maynor and Ellch were actually able to crack a stock Macbook without third party peripherals. The proof is now in the Metasploit.

Link, Metasploit Module (via Kernel Fun)

Sunday, October 29, 2006

FCC Confirms Nokia 870

This appears to be the new Nokia 870 which surfaced earlier this week. Engadget has just uncovered FCC docs somewhat confirming the device but there are no specifics besides a 45 day request for confidentiality. The 770 featured WiFi, Bluetooth, Opera browser and was based off of Debian Linux. This one appears to have a camera, is expected to support VOIP but other details are sketchy.
Link to FCC Docs

Saturday, October 28, 2006

RFID in Identity Cards Vote Delayed

Delayed but not dead yet. I'm glad my passport doesn't expire for another 5 years, maybe by then there won't be as many vulnerabilities in RFID as there are now.

"The Department of Homeland Security's Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee published a draft report that poured cold water on using RFID in government-mandated identity cards and documents (PDF link). But this met with some consternation among the DHS bureaus that plan to use RFID in this way and the businesses eager to sell the technology to the government, and now a vote on the report has been delayed until December."


Friday, October 27, 2006

WiFi to be Integrated into Metasploit

For all of those interested in security (blackhats or whitehats), Metasploit is adding a wifi module to its software. The module is based off of Johnny Cache Lorcon tool.

Metasploit 3 will integrate kernel-mode payloads to allow users to use existing user-mode payloads for both kernel and non-kernel exploits.

Because the framework provides an easy-to-use interface for connecting vulnerabilities to actual payloads, this Metasploit gives users an avenue to target the most sensitive part of the operating system.

Moore told eWEEK he is collaborating with Ellch on an actual 802.11 exploit. The plan is to use Ellch's LORCON (Loss of Radio Connectivity) hacking tool to send exploits at Wi-Fi bugs that are haunting widely used devices and computers.


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

NOLA Gives Up on Free Wifi Network

The city of New Orleans has decided to unplug its free WiFi network once Earthlink finishes building out its system. Sad to see it go, but having two different systems competing for the same wireless spectrum would have been messy and extemely difficult to maitain.

The wireless network that is run by the city for citizens will be taken down to avoid overlap between the two systems, said Mark Kurt, the city's director of information technology.

"Once EarthLink has deployed their network, we will remove our equipment, and redeploy elsewhere as the situation warrants. The other wireless networks that have been set up by the city for temporary facilities and public safety will continue to be operated by the city as long as they are necessary and funding is available," Kurt said.

Link (via BoingBoing)

Sprint Upgrades EV-DO Network

Sprint announced today that they are upgrading their EV-DO network to the faster Revision A. Users in San Diego can expect an 8 fold increase in upload speeds.

San Diego is the first of 21 markets where Sprint will roll out EV-DO Revision A this year with coverage expected to reach more than 40 million people. Sprint Power Vision users in these markets should experience significantly faster average upload speeds of 300-400 kbps (compared with 50-70 kbps of current EV-DO networks). Average download speeds should also increase to 450–800 kbps from 400-700 kbps. By 3Q 2007, Sprint’s Power Vision network is expected to be completely upgraded to the faster EV-DO Revision A.

The other markets scheduled to launch this year are:
Denver Las Vegas Los Angeles
Kansas City, Mo. Sacramento, Calif. Salt Lake City
San Francisco Pittsburgh Washington, D.C.
Seattle Detroit Milwaukee
Boston Buffalo, N.Y. Hartford, Conn.
Newark/Trenton, N.J. Providence, R.I. Baltimore
New York City Philadelphia


RFID Security Lapse in Credit Cards

Classic case of technology outpacing security. Luckily RFID scanners aren't nearly as widespread as WiFi yet.

A report released today by a team of scientists in the RFID Consortium for Security and Privacy (RFID-CUSP) reveals lapses in the security and privacy features of several types of currently deployed RFID credit cards. The report (of which I am a co-author) highlights two basic vulnerabilities in the cards under study:

1. Names in the clear: The RFID credit cards transmit bearer names promiscuously. Any device capable of scanning a card can learn the name imprinted on it—with or without the owner’s consent.

2. Payment fraud: In varying degrees, the RFID credit cards are vulnerable to an attack called “skimming.” An attacker with an RFID reader can harvest information from a card, create an inexpensive clone device, and make charges against the legitimate card. (Alternatively, an attacker may be able to perform online transactions with harvested credit-card information.) Skimming requires minimal technical expertise and expense.


Friday, October 20, 2006

Morphing Cell Phone Interface

I have to say this is absolutely incredible. I have an interest in user intefaces and wireless technology and new tech in general. This combines all three paving the way for incredible interfaces in the future. This cellphone reconfigures its interface based on use. Its still in beta, but what an incredible idea. The next tech (r)evoloution is one of personalization. I can't wait.

BenQ Siemens has come up with another touch screen phone much like the BenQ Siemens Ruby the amazing difference being its the most popular used fuctions are displayed automatically. If you want to access the other functions you simply press the touch-sensitive 'MORE' button . Basically the phones user interface morphs according to the users usage pattern.


Cell Phone Cantenna

Yep, you read that right. Instead of your typical Pringles can antenna to boost your WiFi signal, someone has created a cantenna for use with cell phone networks.

Pop Sci's How 2.0 has a handy diagram and parts list for building your own cantenna from Mike Outmesguine - the thing that makes this one awesome - it's a cellphone cantenna, not a wi-fi cantenna. Mike crunched the numbers and came up with the right size/length, etc to amp a 1900Mhz cell signal.

Time: 1 hour
Retail Cost: $43.94 (includes free coffee and cookies)

MJB coffee: $3.50
Pepperidge Farms Pirouette: $6
Copper wire: $1, Radio Shack
N-Female panel connector: $10, (RF Industries part no. RFN-1022)
Connection adapter (if needed): $8.50, (RF Industries N-Male to FME/TNC/etc. depending on pigtail type)
Cellphone pigtail: $15, (depends on exact model of phone)

Total: $ 43.94

Diagram and parts list (via Make:Blog)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Blogger on the Go

May have to participate in this just because. We'll see how the pictures show up.

Wireless USB On the Way

USB appears ready to go wireless as the market appears ready to be flooded with a number of products getting rid of plethora of devices now connected to your computer through USB.

UWB technology can deliver data rates at up to 480 megabits per second at around 3 meters, with speeds dropping off as the range grows to a limit of about 10 meters. Real-world speeds will probably be a little slower, but this is as fast as the wired version of USB 2.0 and much faster than current Wi-Fi networks are capable of transmitting data.

"This stuff is plumbing," Roger Kay, an analyst with Endpoint Technologies Associates, said of the newer-generation wireless technology. "It's important that it be there, it's going to be handy for getting rid of cables hanging around your desk."



BlogWiNet will focus on emerging news and technologies related to wireless technologies. If its technology and communicates without wires expect to find something about it here whether its cellular phones, WiFi, WiMax, RFID, Bluetooth, PAN, WAN, LAN or the next new technology to rule them all.