All posts by James O'Keefe

Several Random Photos

Usually when I am going to/from work, I don’t take my camera, but rely on my mobile phone to capture things I run into in my travels. I cannot say any of them are good, but the more times I get to play with composing photos, the better I’ll get hopefully. Enjoy!

Inspiring hope and fear

My aim was to capture the graffiti on the ground with the wall art. The people in the top left were a bonus. It would be a more compelling composition if I had captured the backs of the people closer to the graffiti on the ground.

Inspiring hope and fear

Abandoned gloves

With Spring upon us, someone discarded their gloves in an office stairwell. I decided to play with the perspective.

Abandoned gloves

Shadow within a shadow

The harsh morning light, seen in the top right, reflected off of the glass building behind me to cast me in shadow within the shadow of the building in front of me.

Shadow within a shadow

Reflections in Glass and Wood

Another photograph playing with reflected light. I liked the way the light reflected off the glass window as well as off the wooden counter and then off the glass window.

Reflections in Glass and Wood

All rolled up with nowhere to go

A job left undone.

All rolled up with nowhere to go

4/25 Protest Photographs

On 4/25/2019 I briefly attended the Boston Free Chelsea Manning protest of the incarceration of Chelsea Manning co-organized by BU Students Against Imperialism and MIT Students Against War.

Speakers advocated for pardons for Reality Winner and American Indian Movement Leader Leonard Peltier, as well as stopping the extradition proceedings against Julian Assange and US support for the war in Yemen.

You can find some of the photographs I took of it:

4/25/2019 Boston Free Chelsea Manning Protest

Earlier that day I came across the Protected Bike Lanes Save Lives stand out in Porter Square, Cambridge and took this photograph that I hope communicates the need for separating bike lanes from lanes for automobiles:

Cambridge Bike Safety #RedCupProject Protest

App Privacy Workshop (Updated)

I gave an application privacy workshop at Code for Boston on Tuesday. They recorded my talk on Facebook:

and on YouTube:

I posted the slide deck as a PDF. Feel free to offer suggestions in the comments.

Some of the topics I need to add to the presentation:

  • highlight privacy and security testing;
  • having development/test servers and how to sanitize the data in the development/test database;
  • more about SQL/XSS Injection attacks;
  • review the video for other topics to add.

Warship Wednesday: USS Manchester

Last May, my son and I traveled to Portsmouth New Hampshire to photograph the USS Manchester (LCS-14) which was being commissioned.

It was tied up at the New Hampshire State Port Authority on the Piscataqua River. Since it was a weekend, we were able to setup across the river on Badger Island.

USS Manchester
USS Manchester

Later we moved to Kittery and found an open site off of Rice Ave. that allowed me to change perspective.

USS Manchester
USS Manchester

Also got a few close ups:

USS Manchester
USS Manchester
USS Manchester

Afterwards, we visited the USS Albacore (AGSS-569), but I’ll post those pictures another day.

2018’s Painted Microarmor

2018 was a marginally better year for painting miniatures. Many of them were ones I bought from av8rmongo. I completed:

  • 6 GHQ M1A2
  • 6 GHQ M2A2
  • 6 GHQ M60A3
  • 6 GHQ M106
  • 10 PFC C-in-C Leopard 2A5
  • 4 PFC C-in-C Lynx C&R
  • 1 M1A2 with Mine Plow
  • 1 M9 ACE
  • 4 M105 Deuce
  • 3 PFC C-in-C UH-60s
  • 3 Heroics and Ross UH-60s
  • 2 Heroics and Ross CH-47s
  • 9 Merkava 4
  • 6 Magach 7C

Vehicles in NATO tri-color camouflage were done with Floquil’s NATO Green as the base, overlayed with NATO Brown and NATO Black. Tracks and windows were then dry brushed with Floquil railway dark gray.  I painted the tracks in Floquil Mud and splashed the sides, front and back with the same.

The helicopters’ base was Floquil NATO Green. Windows and wheels were done with Floquil railway dark gray with exhausts in NATO Black.

The Israeli vehicles are done in an unknown Floquil color.

I got out my new macro lens and with a light box, photographed some of the miniatures. I photographed in aperture priority mode at f/16 so I could get most of each miniature in focus. I tried different exposure values to get them bright enough. With the camera settings I used and the light box, I didn’t feel the need to edit them.

GHQ M1A2
GHQ M1A2

GHQ M106
GHQ M106

PFC C-in-C Lynx C&R
PFC C-in-C Lynx

GHQ M9 ACE
GHQ M9 ACE

GHQ M1A2 with Mine Plow
GHQ M1A2 with Mine Plow

GHQ M105 Deuce
GHQ M105 Deuce

PFC C-in-C UH-60
PFC C-in-C UH-60

Heroics & Ross UH-60
Heroics & Ross UH-60

Heroics & Ross CH-47
Heroics & Ross CH-47

PFC C-in-C UH-60 close up showing the interior
PFC C-in-C UH-60

Various Israeli Microarmor
Israeli Microarmor

GHQ Merkava 4
GHQ Merkava 4

You can see a slide show of all microarmor photographs I have posted:

Microarmor

Patreon made it easier to troll its users

Scott Helme is a Information Security Consultant. He has a Patreon account on which he posts about computer security issues and which he uses to take in donations for each blog post.  Recently he found out that Patreon suspended his account:

He could still post and people could still signup to support him, but, taking a page from Paypal, Patreon prevented him from withdrawing any of the money people donated.  Eventually, Patreon completed their investigation and emailed him that he was good to go.  He eventually discovered that:

He estimates that account withdrawals were suspended for between 18 and 47 days.

Account takeovers are a real problem. Had his account been taken over, it would be good if someone couldn’t take his money out and notifying the account that they think it might be hacked could tip the hacker.  In that light, it could make sense to act as they did.

Having multiple other methods of contacting the user would have helped in this case…. well unless email, phone number and Signal were compromised. Patreon would need to prove they are who they say they are, of course. Phishing is a problem as well.

That all said, going from one fraudulent pledge to account takeover seems a stretch.

But this incident reminded me of Violet Blue‘s reporting in Engadget about a troll campaign against women AMSR video creators:

Capitalizing on entrenched and easily exploitable anti-sex policies by internet giant payment processors and a new internet sex panic ushered in by FOSTA, 8chan trolls have started a campaign to mass-report attractive women who make ASMR videos. Listing names of women making these sound-effect videos in a forum thread called “PayPal lowering the hammer on ASMRtits” they’ve declared war by posting links to report pages for PayPal, and called upon fellow haters to get the women kicked off YouTube and Patreon as well.

… and that Patreon just added another method for trolls to harass Patreon’s users.  If all it takes is for one fraudulent looking donation to pass into someone’s account to flip the Account Hacked bit, trolls will use Patreon’s process to suspend a user’s ability to withdraw their money for two to six weeks. That would screw up the life of anyone who makes a living via Patreon.

Patreon has more than a customer service problem.

Warship Wednesday: USS Monsoor

Back in August I visited Bath with my eldest to see the ships Bath Iron Works was creating.  This included the Zumwalt-class destroyers USS Michael Monsoor and USS Lyndon B. Johnson, as well as the  Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, USS Hudner and USS Daniel Inouye.

The best way to photograph the ship yard was to take the Maine Maritime Museum‘s hour long Shipyards & Lighthouses boat tour.

Bath Maine

USS Monsoor

The tour turns away from the ship yard and travels down the Kennebec River before returning, sailing past the ship yard to the Sasanoa River, turning around and traveling past Bath Iron Works to the museum.

Bath Maine

Bath Maine

I started the voyage with my 55-300mm lens. I got some photos of the various buildings along the river as well as some pictures of the ships under construction.

Bath Maine

USS Monsoor

As we approached the ship yard, I switched to my 18-105mm lens.  Unfortunately, I realized too late that the 2nd lens was set to manual mode with vibration reduction turned off.  Ooops! Reminder to self: recheck that the camera and lenses are setup the way they should be before leaving.

USS Monsoor

Bath Maine

USS Monsoor

Later in the day, we surveyed various vantage points across from the ship yard. After parking at the Dairy Queen near Sasanoa Point, I walked along the Sagadahoc bridge (Route 1) over the Kennebec. While very few people walked over the bridge while I was there, there wasn’t much space for a tripod, so I shot handheld. With the late afternoon sun high in the sky and the air over the river hazy from the August sun, very few of the pictures came out well.

USS Monsoor

Railway Bridge Footing, Bath Maine

On a return trip to see the LBJ, now that it is in the water, I’ll aim to arrive before sunrise and try using a tripod since that helped with the USS Hudner pictures.  The rest of the pictures are at my Bath Iron Works photo album.