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Archive for the 'Geek' Category


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.

Live tracking experiment

Saturday, August 20th, 2011

Tomorrow is a 70-mile ride with RCCS out of Orleans, IN. I’m doing an experiment. I’ll have my Android phone with me, and I’m going to set it up to live track the ride. If this works, you will be able to track our progress in real time, as we ride.

The ride starts at 9am eastern. If y0u want to follow along, visit my account on MapMyTracks. If it’s working properly, you’ll see a new entry at the top. Click on it and with any luck, it should show our route so far, some stats, and our current location. The map will then actually continue drawing as we ride.

I’ve done a few tests, and this does seem to work. However, I’m not sure what cell coverage will be like along the route, or if my battery will last all day. It’s a fun experiment, regardless.

Create a new blog, or diversify this one?

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

I have a lot of non-bike-related things I’ve been thinking about writing about. I’m trying to decide whether to post everything here, or create a secondary, “everything-but-biking” blog. Sometimes I hesitate to post things here that aren’t “on-topic,” but of course the topic can be whatever I want it to be.

So, I ask you … what would YOU prefer? Would you be interested in posts on other topics? They could range from photography to GIS to movies, music, beer, school projects … basically anything. I can obviously post things on this blog very easily. I could also provide a cycling RSS feed, if you wanted to just read about cycling. It would also be easy for me to setup a secondary blog would allow this blog to remain cycling-focused, and still give me an outlet to write about other topics.

What do you think?

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