reply to: "19 Things To Stop Doing In Your 20s"

There is some really good stuff in here:

5. Stop allowing yourself to be so comfortable all the time. Coming up with a list of reasons to procrastinate risky, innovative decisions offers more short-term gratification than not procrastinating. But when you stop procrastinating to make a drastic change, your list of reasons to procrastinate becomes a list of ideas about how to better navigate the risk you’re taking.

I have been incredibly fortunate in life and have had much opportunity and many comforts readily available. It is easy for me to be comfortable but the risk to lose a regularity of comfort comes with the the benefit a rich, diverse and more intensely lived life.

7. Stop expecting people to be better than they were in high school — learn how to deal with it instead

When I was a kid I thought adults were special. at some point I realized that adults are not necessarily special, but as an adult you can choose not to be like a child - or not.

11. Stop ignoring the fact that other people have unique perspectives and positions. Start approaching people more thoughtfully. People will appreciate you for deliberately trying to conceive their own perspective and position in the world. It not only creates a basis for empathy and respect, it also primes people to be more open and generous with you.

This is powerful and relevant to some of the reading and thinking I've been doing about sexism, racism and classism - but obviously is not limited to perspectives of people commonly affected by those issues.

14. Stop rejecting the potential to feel pain.
15. Stop approaching adverse situations with anger and frustration.

I definitely identify with these two as I've been trying to grow over the past year or so. Once again, it is easy to live comfortably - even to the point of avoiding the potential for pain - but the risk is worth it. Life will be brighter.

Android Trojan using SMS and email from user's Address book

My Girlfriend got the following SMS messages on her Android phone (HTC EVO on Sprint)

From December 11, 2012 she is pretty sure she followed this one:

My name is Chris. You mobile is on the third place. Your X-mas code for http://[redacted] is 5473

She may or may not have followed the link in this one:
From December 6, 2012

Your contact last day has WON! Visit http://[redacted]/?3968, put your code 3968 to recive card within 24hours.

I thought it might be this: Android Trojan Used To Create Simple SMS Spam Botnet

or this: Android Trojan Can Partake in DDoS Attacks, Send SMS Spam

Then, today her phone emailed and SMSed many messages[1] with a URL to many of her contacts, presumably from her phone's address book. The software used in the trojan Cloudmark identified is known as SpamSoldier. SpamSoldier apparently downloads a list of address from a command and control server in order to spread, which is obviously different than the address book used by the trojan on my girlfriend's phone. This doesn't match the SpamSoldier signature. Additionally I couldn't find any of the apk file names listed by Cloudmark on her phone.

The second trojan I linked to is named Android.DDoS.1.origin and I couldn't find this on her phone either. If anyone has any more information let me know via email: 'johnbrier' at the popular google email service.. I'll update here as I find more info.

An example of one of the messages received over email is the following:


Thanksgiving 2002 dinner table animated gif

Happy Belated Thanksgiving! I was telling my girlfriend at this year's family dinner about how I made an animated gif of all the Thanksgiving plates being added a long time ago. Well here it is, from 2002:

Ani DiFranco

On my way back to work from lunch I had the radio tuned to WUNC 91.5 FM when they were playing The Story and specifically their bit on Caffe Lena, a coffee shop in Saratoga Springs, New York that many folk singers got their start in, including Ani Difranco, who they interviewed. They played parts of her song "Both Hands". I've been aware of Ani DiFranco for a while but not heard much of her stuff. Well. Her song gave me goose bumps.. Her voice is precise and subtle and beautiful and her use of the acoustic guitar, for this song, is just perfectly simple. I will be checking her out now. I'll start with her eponymous debut album (even if I can't pronounce eponymous) which features "Both Hands" on track 1.

Making contact with Dad on his new Elecraft K2

I made contact with my Dad on HF this morning for the first time ever. I was at my apartment in Raleigh, NC and he was at his home (where I grew up) in Wilmington which is about 120 miles apart. He was on his new Elecraft K2. My family got the Elecraft K2 for his birthday in July and he has been slowly building it since then. He has some issues with the frequency being about 30 khz off which he plans to fix but otherwise he sounded good. We both had S9 signals on 40 meters. I had to put up a new antenna to work 40 meters. I got the antenna up after dark using my trusty head lamp.. unfortunately the batteries were not as trusty and they died in the middle of the installation. Speaking of the middle, the middle of my antenna is supported by a post hole digger stuck in the ground with a 10 foot wooden dowel leaned up against it. Very temporary. I'll have to finalize the support of the antenna over the next couple days because by Wednesday it is likely to rain. I plan on using 4" x 4" 10 foot posts at the ends of the antenna. This antenna is setup in NVIS configuration in order to work my Dad who is relatively close and would otherwise be in the "skip zone." That said NVIS for this frequency should be 13 - 34 feet above ground ideally, so I may want to put some extension to the 10 foot posts to get it closer to 13 feet. If not, it already worked so I'm happy! Oh, I also need to trim the antenna because the SWR is 2:1 at the low end of my privileges (7.175 MHz) and just gets higher as I move up the band.

What have I been doing over the past 7 months?

Not updating my website. haha, it's true, as often happens with blogs, they can go stale. Despite the fact that I haven't been posting for the past 7 months I have been doing things. I'll just try and list things instead of writing too many details so I can keep this short.

I went to Asheville this summer, twice. Once I went for my girlfriend's birthday where we went horseback riding, checked out The Biltmore house and hung out with my sister, who lives there. The second time we went for hot air balooning which we got a great deal on through groupon. Unfortunately the weather the morning of the flight was too foggy and our pilot cancelled the flight. We might go back around Valentine's day. We still spent time with my sister, her dog and my dog. For the second time we car camped as opposed to the first time for Anna's birthday when we stayed at the Asheville Green Cottage bed and breakfast.

Asheville wasn't our only visit to the mountains. We went to Boone twice too! The first time was for an Appalachian Gaming Club LAN party reunion of some of the original officers and members. We also stayed at a bed and breakfast which was awesome, except for the first night when we got locked out and I had to break through the window and cut my wrist. I have the scar to prove it, ask me about it sometime. The second trip to Boone was for a kind of annual gathering of old college friends. We normally go skiing/boarding every winter but we missed it the past two years so instead this year we went to the mountains for the summer and stayed over the weekend at a house just down 105 outside of Boone. We spent a day on Watauga lake which was super relaxing and beautiful.

Recently I went to Salt Lake City, Utah to go to a Byron Katie workshop which was a gift for my birthday from my girlfriend Anna. That was really interesting and a great learning experience compared to just reading her book. In addition I went mountain biking while I was there and just overall enjoyed the beautiful fall weather and walking around city downtown.

Right now I'm in a C programming class through Wake Technical Community College.

Twitter accounts for Senator Burr, Hagan and Representative Miller

The League of American Bicyclists suggested I tweet congress to support bike funding in the transportation bill. and suggested I use a website to find my congress persons on twitter so here are mine.

Senator Richard Burr Twitter account
Senator Kay Hagan Twitter account
Represenative Brad Miller Twitter account

Cabrillo format from cqrlog

I wanted to get a ARRL DX contest participation pin which requires sending the first page of your log in Cabrillo format so I had to figure out how to go from my logging program CQRLOG to cabrillo format. The funny thing about Cabrillo format is it's not really a format. The only thing that is the same is the header, the order of columns and included columns for each QSO vary by contest. Here is how the ARRL defines Cabrillo for their use: ARRL Cabrillo format You can also use the cabrillo web form to generate the logs from your own manual input. I used it to check my cabrillo header. Okay, here we go.

Ham FM satellite recordings from 2000

Sometime in 2000 I got an Arrow II Satellite antenna. I used two HTs (hand held radios) (one for uplink and one for downlink) plus a tape recorder to record the pass. I would go out at night for a 12-15 minute satellite pass with all this gear and my Mom would laugh at me saying I looked like some sort of spy or something. Then I would endure the mosquitos while contacting stations all over the US, Canada and even a little bit of the Northern part of South America. It was a lot of fun.

I ripped the audio from the tapes into mp3 a long time ago and shared it on the web but the site it was on is long gone so here it is again. I have just gone through and listened to the passes and written down as best I could all the callsigns, grid squares, state and names that I could make out. Let me know if you have any corrections or additions in the comments.

League of American Bicyclists

I just renewed my membership to League of American Bicyclists. I just thought I would let yall know about it if you didn't already:

They are basically a special interest that lobbies in congress to ensure bicycling gets adequate support in our infrastructure. They also have programs for example that encourage kids to ride to work and education on how to ride in traffic and stuff. It's basically just a good organization. Individual membership is $40 but you can give more if you want.

It's more important now than ever before to support them because some of the fiscal conservatives that were elected into congress and the senate in 2008 are trying to gut spending including removing bicycling which they see as superfluous to our infrastructure. In my opinion it's the opposite. If we had more infrastructure that promoted cycling maybe that would prevent obesity and disease and we wouldn't need so much after the fact health care. Well I'm preaching to the choir I imagine, so just go join:


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