Category Archives: Spontaneous Ideas

GoPro as computer virus infection vector

I came up with an idea of using a GoPro to infect someone’s computer with a virus.  A quick search didn’t turn up anything specifically about it, though GoPros have been hacked to be surveillance devices:

For what it is worth, the idea is below.


Your target is someone who has decent computer security procedures.  Doesn’t trust random USB sticks, keeps OS up to date with security patches, has good passwords.

What is needed

  1. A person to appear to be assaulted.  Considering a GoPro is involved, a bicyclist would be ideal. The person assaulted has to be someone the target will identify with and want to help;
  2. One or more people to assault the first person. My guess is that it would work better if they were police or appeared to be police;
  3. A hacked GoPro that can infect the target’s computer both via the SD card and the firmware via the USB port;
  4. A tote to encourage the target to take the GoPro and report the assault.

The process

  1. Stage the assault where very few people can witness it, but the target will be;
  2. Person assaulted wears the GoPro on a hat (or more likely helmet) and records the assault;
  3. Person assaulted is taken away, but the hat/helmet with the GoPro is knocked off the person’s head and left behind;
  4. Target, seeing the assault picks up the GoPro, takes it home. If target is reluctant to take it home, tote encourages them;
  5. Once home, target plugs in the SD card or GoPro via USB and is infected.

Not to say that this method will always be successful, but it could work for certain targets. Something to keep in mind if you think you could be a target.

So if any Hollywood studios, spy agencies or criminals want to use it, renumeration is not expected, but attribution is always appreciated.

Dating sites for the undead?

Dating sites for the undead?

I came across this mug while having lunch with a friend. I immediately thought about what would they do with the mug if one of the advertisers decided not to continue advertising with them. Would they cross out the advertisement?  This of course got my mind working on a solution to this, likely minor, problem.

One possibility is to embed an e-Ink display on the outside of the mug, since they can bend, and update the advertisements wirelessly. You could charge the mug using the new wireless electrical systems that are appearing now. Too expensive at this time, certainly, but perhaps not in the future.

However, cleaning these mugs could be a problem…

Rent a dedicated ssl pipe for a day?

We have a problem at work, how to get a large amount of data from one distant location to another.  We could dump the data one or more disks and either FedEx it to us or have someone carry it on a plane.  Either is pretty expensive and, if you are bringing it internationally, runs the risk of getting stuck in customs.

We could set up a dedicated line between there and here, but the lead time is a month or more and they want their customers to rent it for a while.

What is needed is a service where you plunk down your corporate credit card and rent a dedicated pipe between two locations for a brief time (a day or two).  The pipe would need to be SSL of course.  With all of the excess fiber rolled out in the late 90s, I would think that someone could pay for dedicated lines and then rent them out for a day or so.

Web service for “assemble-your-own-book” market?

Web service for “assemble-your-own-book” market?

A social network for close friends? [Updated]

Ok, last of the ideas for the night.

The thing I have noticed about social networks is that I have a lot of “friends”, but I cannot say I am terribly close to most of them.  Seems like the connections are shallow and not deep.

Don’t get me wrong.  It is nice to get status updates from classmates I haven’t seen in 20 years or co-workers who left the company a year ago.  As a Gub noted when we ran into each other last weekend, it is nice to have a finger in each others lives.  This is especially true after I found out that a friend of mine from my high school years died this year.

Still, perhaps there is a need to have a social networking site that limits the number of friends you can have.  Limiting your list to 3, 5, or 10 friends really focuses you mind as to who and/or what is important.  I have tended to only “friend” someone who is already on a site, and not invite people to a social networking site.  I would feel more compunction to invite someone on to a site where my friends were limited.

But what is the win to having the network of close friends?  What services should a site like that provide that would make people desire to visit it.  Certainly, its simplest competitor is email since anyone can create a list of people to send email to and then send a note just to them.

One serious downside is if you are limited to 3, 5 or 10 close friend slots, then how will someone feel if you take them off of your close friend list?  It strikes me that folks should not know who is on your list, in fact they should probably not even need a note if they are no longer your close friend.  They just stop getting your notes and updates.  Perhaps, even, close friends can be one way just like Twitter: except instead of signing up to get someone else’s status messages, you are signing up to send someone your status messages.  The limit of the number of friends you can have and the ability to block such incoming messages should cut down on spam.

What the added value is, I am still not sure.

UPDATE: A friend of mine pointed me to ASMALLWORLD.  It looks like a social networking site for the rich and/or influential and bills itself as:

… the world’s leading private online community that captures an existing international network of people who are connected by three degrees of separation. Members share similar backgrounds, interests and perspectives. ASMALLWORLD’s unique platform offers powerful tools and user generated content to help members manage their private, social and business lives.

Membership to ASMALLWORLD is by invitation only, which is part of what makes this network unique, and the connections, authentic. Trusted and loyal ASW members who meet certain criteria have the privilege of inviting a limited number of their friends to the network. If you know someone with this privilege, you can ask them to invite you. If not, please be patient and continue to ask around in your own personal and professional circles.

An integrated media company, ASW is an ideal match for advertisers seeking to target the world’s tastemakers and develop heightened mindshare with this sophisticated and influential group. [bold from site]

A Consumer Controlled Credit Reporting Coop (C3RC)

With the various cases of credit data getting lost or stolen (Social Security Administration, TJX among others), I have found that if I want to keep tabs on who is accessing my credit history, I have to pay one of the credit reporting agencies a monthly fee.  This strikes me as strange considering it is my credit history.  I generated it, thank you very much, and where fees and interest are involved, I paid for it.

There is a serious need of a consumer controlled credit reporting bureau.  One where I get to see my data any time I want, have an easy way to correct problems and approve/reject requests to view it.  Perhaps I could get money back when someone wants to view it.

Such a coop should also use alternative data on a person’s payment history: phone, gas and other utility bills.  In this regard, at least Payment Reporting Builds Credit provides such an alternative.

Research Topic: Does your blood type indicate how giving you are?

Thinking about my blood type got me wondering whether there is a relationship between your blood type and how willing to give you are.  To refresh:

  • A’s can take blood from A and O, but can only give to A and AB.
  • B’s can take blood from B and O, but can only give to B and AB.
  • AB’s can take blood from AB, A, B and O, but can only give to AB.
  • O’s can take blood from O, but can give to anyone.

Based on these facts, O’s are able to give to the most people, AB’s the least and A’s and B’s are in between.  So the hypothesis is “Do O’s give the most, AB’s the least and A’s and B’s somewhere in between.

One easy way to test this hypotheis, assuming that there is no skew towards finding O’s on the part of the blood banks, is to look at the volume of blood donated every year by blood type.

Other tests could be to select a random group of people, test their blood type and look at how much money they donated as a percentage of their income, or the number of hours they volunteered in a year.