Tag: History


2022 Week 37 – Phone Phreaking

Last week I stumbled upon an old article on Altas Obscura, initially published in 2018, that brought back some fond memories. What if I told you that once upon a time (the late 60’s), you could take a cheap plastic whistle that you dug out of a box of Captain Crunch and blow it into a mouthpiece telephone to call any place in the world for FREE? The 2600hz tone the whistle produced was the same tone used by phone carriers to signal an open line on their once analog phone systems. Once you had an open line, you could dial any number you wanted free of charge.

Cap’n Crunch Bo’sun Whistle

Phone Phreaking “hobbyists” created a little “blue box” that reproduced the same tone, and the world would never be the same. A story about blue boxes was published in Esquire in 1971, and after reading, Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs (yes, the boys from Apple) were all over it, creating a business selling such a device. See, kids, we DID know how to have a good time before the Internet!

Blue Box

I was a little late to the phone Phreaking party, but I remember reading about it as a kid and “playing” around with phone lines using my Apple IIc computer in the 80s, and tiring known hacks on random pay phones I would come across. Since I’m unsure of the statute of limitations for such questionable activities, I’m just going to leave it at that.

2600 Magazine Winter 2017-2018

Years later, I discovered the infamous 2600 Magazine, launched in 1984 and still in publication today, and I got the bug again. For some unknown reason, I used to have the quarterly issues of 2600 delivered to my office vs. my home (poor attempt at privacy, I guess?), but I do remember expensing an annual subscription for “research” while I did a stint as a programmer in the early 2000’s. Inside each issue were stories of hackers doing some crazy things, like taking over the intercom system at K-Mart to accessing the terminals at Best Buy to get discount codes. The back cover was one of my favorite things about the 2600 magazine. It featured a picture of a working payphone from some random place around the world, something rarely seen in the United States these days.


Speaking of phones, Apple Insider just released a report titled “A secret tool lets police conduct mass surveillance using app data,” and it’s a little unnerving that data sold by Fog Data Science LLC to target ads based on a person’s location and interests is being accessed without a warrant.

Even if there is no crime scene, Fog boasts in marketing materials that it can offer police “predictive analytics” that claim to predict future hotspots of crime. The company says that it can provide real-time data on the daily movements of people with their trackable smartphones.

Apple Insider

This is another reason to audit your phone settings and adjust your security regularly.


And finally… If you use Emoji’s, you might have wondered how popular the one you’re about to send is. Well, wonder no more with this real-time Emoji tracker that shows the real-time emoji use on Twitter. Warning: a LOT is going on, and it might overwhelm those subject to issues with flashing things.

2022 Week 21 – Born of a Need

body of water photography

We’re in the second half of May and the City of Indianapolis is abuzz with activity leading up to the ”Big Race” on May 29. The Indianapolis 500 is about the only Indy Car race I watch. I’m more of an F1 fan so the Monaco race on the morning of the 29th will be my focus that day.


I subscribe to the Hoosier History Live newsletter (and podcast) and recently they had an issue focusing on the creation of the Geist & Morse Reservoirs. Both articles were interesting reading and a nice history lesson about the two local landmarks.


Another short post as I have a busy week ahead of me. Big announcement coming in the next post. I’m looking forward to that one!

10-Years of Blogging

I was cleaning up the Blog today & realized this version of IndyScan.com came online just over 10-years ago.

A LOT of things have changed since then, especially when I look at the technology posts.  Back then I was using the Palm Treo and transitioning to the Blackberry.  When the iPhone was first adopted at my company I was one of the last holdouts to turn their Blackberry in.  I still miss that keyboard sometimes…

10-years ago the world was a different place.  We were still pretty sore from the 9/11 attacks and a 512 GB SSD drive was about to be released to the general public.   Tech has changed SO MUCH that it’s really hard to believe where we are now (self driving cars!?!).

I have a few draft posts I’m working on including an update on the cord cutting project.  I added some new things to round out the setup and make it even better.

More to come soon!

 

Tweets from 1939

Every once in a while a great idea comes along that, once you hear it, is so obvious!

On Aug 31, 2011 a British man named Alwyn Collinson started a 6 year project that uses Twitter to send out messages from World War II.  These messages are reports of the war as they happen on the same day and time over 70 years ago.  The messages are brief and often have links to related historical images.

@RealTimeWWII has grown in popularity over the months and as of the time of this writing has 160,000 users following the action.

As you can imagine there’s a lot of information to be relayed and the timing of the messages are what makes this so unique.  Mr. Collinson uses an online scheduling tool called SocialOomph to keep the entire project moving.

I first learned about this project from an article in the New York Times.  They have a great writeup that also talks about other similar projects.

If you’re a WWII fan you should check this out. An RSS feed is also available but requires a Facebook account to access.

Cincinnati – Findlay Market

Cincinnati’s Findlay Market is a diamond in the rough of the downtown Over the Rhine neighborhood and has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1972.  While the neighborhood has had its share of issues over the years it’s slowly rebuilding itself and its image.

Findlay Market is the oldest continuously operating farmers’ market in Ohio and its one of the best ones I have had the fortune of visiting.  With specialty shops throughout the market you are sure to find just about any ingredient you are looking for.  One of the neat things about Findlay Market is it’s mix of permanent storefronts and indoor stalls as well as it’s ever changing outdoor farmers marker and open air bazaar.

The Market’s patrons are as varied as the products for sale.  All walk of life from rich to poor, and young to old are shopping at the market.  It’s a great place to people watch as well as learn about other cultures.  Everyone is there for the same purpose and it’s one of those times where people can gather, talk, and have fun.

Some of the specialty shops I like to visit at the market are:

Silverglade’s: Where a Deli employee works with you throughout your transaction and gives all the free samples you want.

J. E. Gibbs Cheese: This place has just about every kind of fresh sausage you might want like traditional brats and chicken sausage.

Busch’s Country Corner: This place gives a new meaning to “fresh” poultry.  While it’s not still breathing it’s about as close as you can get and, according to their stall description, their meat is never frozen.

Taste of Belgium: This is where I had my first Liege Belgian Waffles that were so good I purchased a waffle maker (and the special pearl sugar)  just so I could make them at home.

Markets like Findlay were once a lot more common than they are today.  With the recent foodie revolution and the increased interest that people are taking in learning about their food it would be great to see something like this come to Indianapolis.  The downtown City Market is trying to get there but I just don’t see it ever getting to a fraction of the size of Findlay.

If you’re ever in the downtown Cincinnati area and have a few hours to kill, I can’t recommend Findlay Market enough.  Be sure to bring a cooler as you probably won’t be leaving empty handed.

Miep Gies who helped hide Anne Frank dies at 100

The last surviving member of a group who helped to shelter Anne Frank and her family from the Nazis in Amsterdam died last night.
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