Experimental music, photography, and adventures

Archive for August, 2012


Thursday, August 16th, 2012

This post has been a long time coming. I started it back in spring of 2011, then got sidetracked. Here’s what I wrote them:

A combination of inspiration from Noah, being back in school, taking a “CyberSecurity” class, and getting a Netbook for school led me to try something different with my commute: Warbiking! Noah’s explanation of Warbiking (or WarCycling, as he calls it) is better than what I would come up with on my own, so I’m going to steal it. In this post, he says:

Wardriving: The act of driving around with scanning equipment, searching for wireless networks (usually of the 802.11 variety). The “War” part of the name comes from the age-old practice of setting up a computer to aggressively dial thousands of phone numbers in a row, looking for other computers or fax machines, or “War Dialing”. In and of itself, wardriving is not a malevolent practice. Wardriving, done passively, is totally legal in the US.

WarCycling, then, is the same tactic applied while riding a bicycle.

Current update

Warbiking is something I’ve been doing on and off since I wrote that. It’s a lot of fun, and it’s astounding how many networks you find. I know intuitively that there are thousands of wireless networks all around me, but it’s something else to see them all enumerated on a map.

I post the networks I find on wigle.net, a community site with a database that includes data about millions of wireless access points around the world.

This badge shows stats about what networks I’ve found. I added it to the sidebar of this blog:

Warbiking Setup

I started out using my Netbook running Linux, hooked to my Garmin eTrex Venture GPS. This works quite well and collects a lot of information about the networks. I now have an Android phone, so now I can use the Wigle WiFi app on my phone for warbiking/walking/etc. The Netbook is more accurate, collects more data, and probably sees more networks (though I haven’t done a direct comparison to verify this). But my phone is always with me, making it easy to start checking out wireless networks any time I want, without carrying the (relatively) bulky netbook.

Here you can see the Netbook/GPS on the left, and the Android phone on the right.

More recently, I’ve experimented with setting cameras up to take a photo every few seconds. I intend to try to correlate the photos with the network data, but I haven’t had a chance to do so yet.

One thing that’s very interesting is to load the data in Google Earth. I can then explore the networks within the Google Earth interface. Kismet even shows what clients were connected to the networks at the time I rode by.

Perhaps I spoke too soon …

Monday, August 6th, 2012

Last month I was on a roll, the first couple weeks. I rode a lot. I set a goal of riding a 500-mile month in July, and I was invited to go on a tour in August. I was planning on doing it.

But, halfway through last month, the wheels came off. Not literally, mind you, but my workload picked up to the point where once again, the only riding I was doing was commuting.

And now my classes are over but now I have a lot of catching up to do on actual paying work, plus my internship. So I’m working from home, and doing video editing on the side, also from home. I haven’t been on the bike at all in a week. I decided not to go on the tour, mostly because I have so much work to do, but I also failed to get in shape for it. And money. There’s always the money issue.

Anyway, all is not lost. I did ride 371 miles in July, which is more than I would have ridden if I hadn’t set out to ride 500. And school starts in two weeks so I’ll be back to commuting. I’ll try to fit some riding in between now and then, but I won’t have time for anything significant.

I’m still trying to get used to the idea that cycling is going to have to remain in the back seat, at least until I finish school. I’m loving school but sometimes I wish it weren’t so all-consuming. That said, it should be a very interesting school year. More on that later.

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