Sunday, February 28, 2021

QR Code Generator

10+ years ago, I put a QR code on the back of my business card. Let's just say I was ahead of the times.
Then Apple included QR code recognition into their iPhone camera app.

And then the COVID pandemic caused QR codes to pop up in restaurants with links to "touch free" menus.

QR codes can contain a variety of information. You can create your own here.

But for URLs, it's even easier than that.

Google has included a QR code generator in the latest versions of Chrome. I just noticed the new icon in Chrome's address bar.

Here's what it generates.

Point your smartphone camera at that and see what happens.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

More 5G

A year ago, I posted on "What is 5G." I started it with "It depends."

It still does, depend.

But a lot has happened in the last year.

Android Central's podcast is one of my favorites. Their Episode 510 features Sascha Segan deep diving into the current state of 5G worldwide. Just listen to the first 30 minutes or so.

Here are a few excerpts:
... 5G can use bigger wider radio channels than 4G can. And if we look at the countries that have the best 5G performance, it's generally places where their governments have allocated the appropriate wide channels exclusively for 5G. And so you see places like South Korea where they had a very orderly very thoughtful allocation of useful mid-band spectrum to their carriers who cooperate moderately well. And so as a result you have a really nice 5G layout that is operating in channels wider than could have been used for 4G and is operating in cooperation with 4G ...
And the result is the vast majority of people in the US who see 5G on their phone, that 5G is just operating in the little odds and ends and corners of the existing 4G frequencies. It's just ... using bits of leftover 4G, essentially. And so for the vast majority of 5G users, especially on AT&T and Verizon, they see that 5G and they're "Like this doesn't seem faster than 4G. In fact, it even sometimes seems slower" and they're right. Because the 5G that they are getting, most of the people in AT&T right now, is just little odds and ends of 4G with a number 5 tacked on.
T-Mobile's in a slightly better position. T-Mobile, because of their purchase of Sprint, had some suitable mid-band 5G spectrum available and over the last half of the year, of last year, they've been building out that spectrum in a lot of major cities ...
Take the time. You'll learn a lot.

PS. I used Google's Recorder app to transcribe this podcast.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Chrome Scroll to Text Fragment - Redux

Last year I posted on how to create a link to scroll directly to a text fragment using Chrome.

At that time, there wasn't a tool to help with this. I noted that I did it with Notepad.

Thankfully, that has changed. Now there's a Chrome extension from Google that will do that for you.

With that extension installed, all you have to do is highlight the desired text and right click on it.

Then your clipboard has a link that will take the browser to the selected text.

Here's what it looks like:

That was easy. But wait, there's more.

Look at the part of the generated URL that I highlighted with the red box.

This extension has inserted "ezoic-pub-ad-placeholder" in the URL.

Now go Google that. Ezoic is an ad tracker.

Shame on you Google!

I still use that extension. Now I just take that string out of the generated URL.

Sunday, February 07, 2021

Find Saved Wi-Fi Passwords

Recently, the screen on my ThinkPad X250 died.

It kept running. I just had to work around the defective part of the screen.

I bought a refurbished ThinkPad X390 and moved on.

Until I needed the password (pre-shared key) for a Wi-Fi network that I couldn't remember.

That's easier than I imagined. iTechtics has a great article on it.

For me, the easiest way was to run a simple Windows command.
  1. Open command prompt (Press the Windows key and then just type "com" without the quotes).
  2. Run the following command:
    netsh wlan show profile name=WifiConnectionName key=clear
Replace WifiConnectionName with the Wifi SSID

That was almost too easy.

Sunday, January 31, 2021

Protect Your OSINT

One of my regular podcast listens is Security Weekly News. The regular host is Doug White. He is an interesting fellow.

Back on topic ...

In Episode #93, Doug shared some thoughts on the breech of the Capitol on January 6, 2021. He didn't delve into the politics but rather covered the IT security risks.

His advice was "If you're physically compromised, you're screwed."

Then he asked "What happens when you get a physical breech of your offices?"

In normal times, you'd probably say that this wasn't very likely. And that your facility isn't the Capitol.

But, think about it. Have you reviewed your physical security of a pandemic non-workplace?

There aren't employees walking around who would notice intruders. Once an intruder gets by the security at the door, they would probably have free access to all the workplaces.

And that's where they would find OSINT.

Go into the office. Walk around looking for yellow stickies. Pick up the keyboards and look under them. Look in the drawers.

Oh, keep a list of what you find so you can educate those employees.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Wyze Cam v3

I'm a big fan of everything Wyze. I've made several posts about their cameras.

I've had several Wyze Cam v2 cameras and made use of these outdoor mounts.

Then Wyze released their v3 camera.

The v3 cam has the following new features:

  • 1080p Color Night Viewing - See more clearly at night in full color
  • Indoor/Outdoor - Capture moments indoors and outdoors with IP65 weather resistance
  • Fully Upgraded - More processing power, more mounting options, more frames per second

I was most interested in the color night viewing.
Starlight CMOS Sensor helps you to see in ultra low-light conditions.

Wyze Cam v3 is capable of seeing in color at night with very limited lighting. You can even use it to watch the stars or take a time lapse of the stars.
I replaced the v2 cam overlooking my driveway with the v3 cam. Incidentally, directly above the camera is a pair of floodlights.

Here is the view with the legacy Night Vision on and the floodlights on.

Then I turned Night Vision off and left the flood lights on.

Then with Night Vision off and the flood lights off.

One of the additional mounting options referenced are a 1/4" screw in the bottom. Fortunately, the cases I have been using have a 1/4" screw. So all I had to do was to unscrew the case from the mount and screw the v3 cam into it. Done.

If you don't have those cases, you can get the screw mount here.

The v3 cam uses the same microUSB power plug as the v2 cam. I had to reformat the microSD card.

For $20 each, I may upgrade all my v2 cams.