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Comment Simple Solution (Score 1) 362 362

Don't buy from any vendor that sells locked up shitware... Why anyone would buy a pre-built machines these days is beyond me. The service is terrible from every vendor, even for coporate contratcs. They install tons of crapware, and they pick the cheapest parts possible (you ever look at the PSU in a Dell or HP, etc.? It is the smallest one that could possibly do the job, made by the lowest bidder) to then charge you MORE for it. No thanks.

Comment Crime Wave Predicted (Score 1) 393 393

With Mayor Bloomberg (morn extraordinaire) claiming NYC's crime increase is due to iPads and iPhones ( http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/28/crime-is-up-and-bloomberg-blames-iphone-thieves/?_r=0 ) I predict a massive wave of crime as kids get beat up or killed for their fondle-slab. What a waste of resources. Perhaps they might consider getting rid of the teacher's union which is driving their state broke instead... http://reason.com/archives/2013/03/29/union-greed-drives-california-bankruptcy

Comment Re:Doesn't know much about the system (Score 1) 141 141

The point was that the bad guys were spoofing multiple targets on TCAS. Thus it would be useless, or telling out to resolve conflicts that do to really exist.

I am a pilot, and understand navigation systems, which was why I said the bad guys would want to jam GPS, VOR, NDBs, ILS/MLS, as well as old fashioned COM frequencies. This would leave only dead reckoning... Given pilotage is worthless is actual IMC.

Comment Re:Doesn't know much about the system (Score 1) 141 141

I still think it would be plausible... The regs only require enough fuel to reach your primary airport, your alternate, plus 45 mins. Winds aloft forecasts are not always accurate and many a plane has landed without a 45 min reserve. I am not so sure that you could shut such a jamming system down if it were well organized. For one, the bad guys could have multiple jammers making it difficult to locate them, and more time consuming to shut them down. One or more of the jammers could be from another aircraft, requiring it to be located as airborne, and then found without the overcrowded radar, and then dealt with...

One could also place the jammers in crowded areas, making them impossible to target with missiles without a lot of collateral damage.

All that being said this is much more likely a good plot for the next (or a previous) Die Hard movie than a real hard core terrorist plan. But simply frightening the flying public for a mere 5 minutes would be enough to cause millions in economic losses for the already hurting airlines.

Comment Re:Doesn't know much about the system (Score 5, Interesting) 141 141

I beg to differ... Both the TRACON (or tower) radar, and the jetliner TCAS radar could be spoofed with multiple (like hundreds or thousands if need be) targets. How will the TRACON or TCAS software handle this many targets? It must drop some of them. Which ones should it drop? VFR targets? Targets not in the IFR system? What if bad guy spoofs the same code as existing targets (which he can read himself)? Eventually the real targets must get lost.

Are there ways to handle this? Yes, old school "strips," and greater separation manually... But what if the controllers can't find the real targets? In VFR conditions everyone must see and avoid anyway, and IFR flights would probably have to revert to VFR if in VMC. But what of a bunch of IFR flights in actual IMC? TCAS you say? What if said bad guy could spoof TCAS as well? TCAS would likely handle the huge amount of targets even worse than the TRACON software (might even crash... in the software sense). Add a power stuck mic to jam up all the COMM frequencies and you cause a lot of trouble indeed. Pilots must follow a discreet set up rules in this case, but they are not perfect in that they cannot help a jetliner that has had a headwind the whole way, and is low on fuel with now opportunities to make it to a VMC field.

I'm just saying I believe with enough resources it could be done. Create a ton of fake targets near a busy airport in bad weather. Jam all COM frequencies. Jam GPS, Jam the ILS/MLS. Jam the VOR signals, and any remaining NDBs. It may not lead to loss of life if the bad weather was not too far widespread (such that IFR flights could proceed to VMC and land VFR), but either way it would cause a lot of monetary damage, and a lot of terror in the flying public...

Encryption would be a very good thing for ADS-B. As we update the system from old school mode C, we might as well be countering these things.

Comment Re:Sure, Sign the Petition for some "Extra Screeni (Score 1) 183 183

Just put your name down on the list of travelers who get the full Monty of invasive security theatre, er... screening... I hear the TSA has hired a new batch of proctologists just for the petition signers...

Seriously, I would be a little concerned. Since they create those no-fly lists, etc. from all over the place, even the internet...

Real programmers don't bring brown-bag lunches. If the vending machine doesn't sell it, they don't eat it. Vending machines don't sell quiche.

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