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Showing posts from March, 2010

ATM Skimmers- a conversation

This story from Krebs on Security reminded me of an ATM related incident a few months ago.

I normally use an ATM located in the reception area of the headquarters of the state police. It's just across the skyway from where I work, and most importantly, it's owned by a credit union that doesn't charge me for withdrawals.  Free ATM's are a good thing.

A couple months ago,  as I was about to slide my card, I looked up at the ceiling, scanned the nearby walls, grabbed the card reader and wiggled it up and down a bit, and bent down and looked at the bottom of the reader.

The receptionist look at me,  'um - can I help you?'

Me: "I was just thinking about the probability of finding a card skimmer on an ATM in the lobby of the state police headquarters.  Do you supposed it's possible?"

Her: (laugh) "I heard about those - how do they work?"

Me: [short explanation]

Her: "I don't know if I could tell the difference."

Me: "I'…

Home Energy – Greenyness (or cheapness)

A year and a half ago I went on a wall wart power measuring exercise. I concluded that going around unplugging wall warts (8 lbs CO2/yr) wasn’t going to save the planet. If you want to save the planet, you’ll have to do hard things, like hang your clothes out on the line (.3 tons CO2/yr), drive your car half as much (3 tons CO2/yr), or turn off your geeky home server (.3 ton CO2/yr).For me, saving energy is nothing new. We grew up getting yelled at for leaving the fridge door open, we set our thermostat back before set-back thermostats were fashionable, and in winter we left the water in the bath tub until it had cooled so the heat from the tub water would warm the house instead of the drain (I ain’t paying to heat the $#*&$^ drain!). My dad super-insulated our house before the 1973 oil crisis. We weren’t saving energy to be green though, we were just cheap.So how about backing up my perception of myself as a cheap  energy efficient citizen with some actual data? Hmmm… I just happ…