Hi! I was wondering how two people might talk online totally secretly? A supervillain is helping a reporter plan a break in and the supervillain's super paranoid about getting caught. They initially talk through a "private" chat on social media (bc that's the only contact info the reporter has) but the supervillain wants something more secure. Possibly the dark net?? And is there a way to scrub evidence of their initial interaction afterwards? Thanks!
Someone keeping seeeeecrets? Sounds like fun.
Before we dive into this, a quick primer for the sake of covering our bases. The internet is a massive network of computers. The communication and organization of this network is a service provided by a type of company called an Internet Service Provider (ISP). Any information sent to another computer via the internet is sent through that ISP, meaning that if they so wish (and sometimes do) they can look at everything sent. In this sense, nothing ever sent over the internet is ever truly private.
That said, if a character wants to ensure some degree of privacy, they could encrypt (put it through a massively complicated cypher) all their data themselves. This would add a layer of encryption that only them and the intended recipient have the keys for. Decent solution, and some encryptions are really bloody hard to break through. That might suit Supervillain Sneakypants over here, but given enough time, or the right luck, or other reasons, someone who intercepts the communication may crack the encryption and then whoopsiedaisy, Supervillain’s goose is cooked.
(Only tangentially related but I’m a sucker for Spike, gimme a break please don’t hurt me)
So we move on to option two (in my mind, anyway): a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN uses a specialized server called a VPN server (real creative name, nerds) to encrypt a character’s information and allow them to access the internet in a more secure and sneaky way. “But ScriptHacker, that’s what you said before!” Not quite the same thing. A VPN uses a secure, encrypted link called a VPN Tunnel (much better name), which allows a user to access the internet with the IP address of the VPN server instead of their own, and using a well encrypted connection.
This of course means the character is shifting their trust from the ISP to the VPN provider, which has it’s own issues. No matter what a VPN provider says, they will always chose their business over any one customer’s information. While many good VPN providers go to great lengths to make sure they know as little about a customer as possible. Paying anonymously through Bitcoin (which is NOTinherently anonymous, but can be made nearly perfectly so) is another step in the right direction for this to work, and using Tor (a privacy oriented browser, stands for The Onion Router) can boost that bid for anonymity even further. With a VPN, paying the VPN provider with Bitcoin, and accessing it with Tor, your Supervillain can be very close to true anonymity.
But given their paranoia, that might not even suffice.
A truly anonymous way for your characters to communicate would be simply to create their own ‘internet.’ I don’t mean something the same scale as the internet, that would be bananas. No. I mean create their own connection between two devices. Wired is more secure, but depending on your Supervillain’s resources (available workforce, available capital, etc.) running a fiberoptic cable may not be an option. With this method your character really starts to hit the issue of massively diminishing returns.
The ‘dark net’ you speak of, which I covered in this post, is basically just the unindexed part of the internet. It has the same security issues at an ISP level. The characters could set up their own server and call in some of their Evil Misunderstood Contacts™ to make it accessible via the internet but not indexed by a search engine (and hence in the dark web). The server could be set up as part of the Tor network, keyed to only open up when fed a password (for extra security it could be a 256-bit hash generated from the hardware serial numbers in the Supervillain’s computer system), and when it does open up only give out encrypted files (for which the key could be a 256-bit hash of the reporter’s hardware serial numbers, as an idea).
Quick tangent: a hash is an alphanumeric string that is generated from an arbitrarily sized chunk of data. The odds of two generated hashes for two different data sets using a 256-bit hash function is approximately 1/(8.6x10^78). That’s a 1-in-a stupidly-high-number-that-doesn’t-have-a-name chance. Which is ridiculous. Generating this hash from computer hardware serial numbers ensures that getting that same data set to generate the hash is also a redonkulously high amount of unlikely.
So accessing a ‘dark net’ server using a VPN (paid for with Bitcoin), Tor, an access password, and several layers of file encryption, your Supervillain could achieve a perfectly reasonable level of security and anonymity.
Scrubbing the initial interaction would likely be as simple as deleting the conversation, then deleting the used accounts if that’s an option. Granted, if that conversation has already been flagged or the information sold to someone else, then there’s practically no way of tracking it all down (possible, of course, they aren’t a Supervillain for nothing). They could also try and wipe the Social Media site’s servers and storage sites, but that’s a whole other caper in itself. How strong is their paranoia?
Any of these options seems to work in my mind, and of course there are other options, and strengths and weakness to the ones presented that I haven’t covered. As usual, anyone is welcome to weigh in.
In this budding age of technology, it’s no surprise that a younger generation of witches is turning to a new form of divination: an exciting and interesting practice dubbed ‘shufflemancy’.
Shufflemancy - the use of a music player, usually an mp3 player or an iPod, to divine the future, optimal course of action, or the state of the world. This is done by setting the iPod to shuffle, skipping forward a certain number of times, and listening to the song (or songs) played and determining their meaning.
Usually technological forms of divination are frowned upon by older members of the pagan community, but in this case, shufflemancy is gaining ground. Not as flashy or as impersonal as divination applications that simply be downloaded onto a phone, shufflemancy is as accurate or as vague as the diviner wants it to be.
What makes shufflemancy so great? Why are people drawn to it as a form of divination?
Much like a tarot deck speaks to its user, a device full of music speaks to them in similar ways. The difference is that more time is put into creating the answers given from a device used for shufflemancy. Sometimes users can feel a disconnect from their tarot decks, as they did not create the cards, and thus, did not create their meaning. However, this is not the case for this form of divination. Every song on the device is there because it spoke to the diviner on some level of their personality, from the deep recesses of their inner feelings touched by songs like ‘Take me to Church’ to feelings of happiness found while listening to songs like ‘It takes Two’. Diviners don’t have to worry about pulling something that doesn’t speak to them, because a device used for shufflemancy can be tailored to serve their needs. Shufflemancy also has the unique ability to have as many (or as few) answers as the diviner wants, whereas tarot decks have a set number.
There’s no specific, set way to practice shufflemancy- it’s something you do on your own, and it’s completely self guided. Any diviner who tries to sell it as a prescribed, specific method is wrong, and should not be policing people’s practice. There is no ‘standard’ way to do it, but here are some tips to help some first time diviners.
Tailor your device to your needs. It’s your music, don’t be afraid to take songs off or add them on as you see fit. If you feel soundtracks or background music speaks to you better than music with lyrics, that’s fine. Use that. Same goes for if you’re comfortable with Panic! at the Disco or AC/DC. It doesn’t have to be all Enya and Misty Mountains. also, don’t be afraid to just use a playlist if you have music on your device you don’t want to have for answers. Loading up a playlist with anything from 7 to 7000 songs is your choice, and nobody can judge you for it.
Choose songs that have meaning to you. This doesn’t mean every song has to be deep and soulful. By all means, add happy, upbeat, and crazy songs to your shufflemancy playlist. But it’ll be frustrating for you if you keep trying to divine and come up with songs that you don’t even like on your list. It’s much easier for you (and for your practice!) if you stick to songs you know and love. If you’re having a hard time picking songs, just close your eyes and listen to the song you can’t decide on, and think on whether it has meaning to you, however small. If so? Good! Use it. If not? Maybe choose something else. You can always come back to it later.
Choose whatever skip count feels right to you. One of the interesting things about shufflemancy is that most diviners ‘skip’ a number of songs so their playlist is randomized. Don’t feel like you have to stick with the standard ‘special’ numbers, like 3, 7, or 9. If those numbers feel right to you, feel free to use them! But don’t feel like numbers like 5, 14, or even 22 are bad skip counts. And don’t feel like you have to keep using the same skip count each time. Be as consistent or inconsistent as you want to be. The same goes for how many songs you listen to. If one isn’t enough, don’t feel like you can’t listen to more.
It’s a good idea to meditate when you shufflemancy. Focus is true for any form of divination. It’s a good idea to focus on your cards when you do tarot, or focus on the pendulum when you use that too! It’s hard to connect with your device and the music on it when you’re rushed, or in a hurry, so sometimes it’s a good idea to sit somewhere comfortable and quiet, get into a position you can stay in for a while, and just sit back and listen. Meditation doesn’t always have to be at home though- some people like to shufflemancy while they’re driving, cooking, or cleaning! These tasks are easy to tune out while you listen to music (although, I don’t condone tuning out while you drive, obviously!) and in a busy day, it’s hard for some diviners to set time aside to practice.
In short, the best way to practice shufflemancy is the way that feels right to you! This is a new and exciting form of divination that’s accessible to a young generation of witches, and will likely only gain traction as times goes on. Don’t feel like this form of divination is ‘lesser’ or ‘not as witchy’ as other forms. It’s just as legitimate, just as meaningful, and just as ‘pagan’ as anything else.
For more posts on divining and other forms of witchcraft, please follow my blog here on tumblr! My asks are always open!
A/U: So I am finally going to say that the next instalment of The Ellen Show will be the last. Meaning the next time I post (aka chapter 18 and 19) it will be the last. I’m so grateful for all the support/ reading you have all done. And I thank you so much! Anyways enjoy this!
I woke to the feeling of a body next to mine. At first, it didn’t register in my brain that a body in the same bed as mine was abnormal, but after a few moments it did and my eyes opened quickly. As my pupil constricted from the bright light of the room, I began to see faintly the outline of a body. A moment later I remembered who’s body it was, and everything came rushing back.
As my eyes adjusted to the light I forced open my lids a little more and stirred a little. Shawn’s head turned to me and I found his eyes. Seeing the warmth of his eyes as the first thing I saw after waking up made me grin.
Rolling a little from the position I was in I felt my muscles were sore. I wasn’t sure it was from the deep sleep I had been in, or from the activities of the night before. As I wrapped my arm under my head and between the pillow Shawn smiled looking down at me as he laid on his back.
“Mornin’,” I mumbled, my voice strained.
Shawn’s smile grew a little bigger his teeth barely showing. “Good Morning.”
Other people are devices. Social situations are when you are connected to said other devices. They drain you, and eventually you need to be plugged into the wall again to recharge. “Plugging into the wall” is alone time, or quiet time relaxing with one or two people that you’re completely comfortable with.
The more devices you’re connected to at once (i.e. the more people you have to interact with at a time), the faster your charge is drained. You’ll last far longer with one or two devices than five or six (or more), but even then you’ll eventually need to plug into the wall again.
If introverts are in a situation where we cannot plug into the wall (a social situation from which you cannot excuse yourself) and our charge is running low, we may disconnect from the other devices (withdraw, and participate very little) whenever possible, in an effort to conserve what remains of our charge.
Introversion and extroversion are a scale, and people fall at various places on it. In other words, some people are more introverted (or extroverted) than others. People who fall towards the end of the scale, i.e. who are really heavily introverted (yours truly, for example), can only hold a small amount of charge (and therefore get drained very, very easily) and require long periods of time plugged into the wall to recharge ourselves. Introverts who are closer to the middle of the scale can hold a much greater charge and connect to many devices at once for long periods of time. Eventually, though, they too must plug back into the wall for at least a little while.
Extroverts are like devices, with other people being the battery chargers (for the sake of the metaphor, you have a cord which would potentially let you connect to multiple battery chargers at once). Social situations charge your batteries. The more chargers (people) you’re connected to (interacting with) at once, the faster your battery charges. Staying connected keeps you at full charge. People who fall near that end of the scale (people who are heavily extroverted) would need to be plugged in often in order to keep functioning well. Extroverts closer to the middle of the scale have longer-lasting batteries, but would eventually need to connect again to recharge.
Day 279/365: Moon Walk Air… Today is the start of another mini series of special pieces of footwear worn by characters throughout the daily drawings. These were worn by the wielder of the Moonblade (Day 200). Here is a breakdown of all the components and features that make up the shoe. Giving the wearer unparalleled comfort and enhanced performance.
1. Super steel guard for the toes and heels. Incredible strength mixed with supreme weightlessness.
2. Nike+ micro computer and touch panel, captures all movement data and other important details, which automatically sync to connected device(s).
3. Super magnetic auto strap and adjust system. Manual control adjustments at the push of a triangle (if needed).
4. Replaceable suspension armor protection for the Achilles Tendon. (Various materials available for extra defense).
5. Ultra premium, durable and desirable lightweight materials, lined with Grade III Kevlar.
6. Superior cushioning and shock absorption due to the Air Sole unit and Sphere Bubbles, which continually rotate based on the movements of the user. The Spheres also work in conjunction with the internal Air Spring system and help to withstand falls of up to 30ft.*
7. Heat/cooling drive unit suitable for most weather conditions.
8. Air+ spring system works with the Sphere Bubbles, improving jumping ability, balance and agility. Allowing the user to double jump in mid-air.
*Please note: User must land on feet. No returns or refunds for unsuccessful landings. We are not liable for damages for anything other than the intended purposes of wearing the shoe.
Siemens-Nixdorf PCD-4ND is a 486-based laptop from 1993-1995. It was quite popular in Germany and you could have seen a few of them still in use even ten years ago (mostly connected to expensive industrial devices using a serial port).
I like how easy it was to upgrade the CPU in this particular laptop. It took about 20 seconds to remove a small plastic cover and replace the CPU board. There were probably four options during the lifecycle of the machine – 25-MHz 486SX, 50-MHz 486DX2 and 75-MHz/100-MHz 486DX4 (Intel called it ‘Intel DX4’).
Note the WDC graphics chip below the CPU board slot. It shared the bus with the CPU as it was connected using VLB (= VESA Local Bus) instead of the older ISA/AT bus. This allowed to use fast 32-bit transfers on a frequency equal to the CPU external clock (25/33-MHz) without a sophisticated bus controller (EISA, PCI). This chip was used in many laptops of this era and it was surprisingly powerful. It allowed up to 1024x768 with 256 colors and 640x480 with 65k colors and it could accelerate bit-block transfers as well as graphics primitives.
I remember seeing my aged father in his hospital bed during his final illness. He was in a coma and connected to monitoring devices and a breathing tube. My Dad had been a large and powerful man but he seemed so reduced, so much smaller somehow.
When billionaire Howard Hughes died he was laying on a cot in the cargo hold of one of his airplanes covered with a blanket from a hotel. He was a tall man but weighed under a hundred pounds.
Is this who are? Our final closing moments? If so then life is always a road to decay and destruction.
No, I think not. We are our entire lives. Every single second, every breath, every dream and every pain.
Bitcoin micropayments: Coming to smartphones—and toasters?—everywhere
Micropayments might not top your list of most compelling inventions, but they’re a sought-after capability. Small payments of less than a dollar, or even less than a cent, have the potential to shake up old, established business models, and open up new doors for the Internet of Everything.
Small digital payments have been tried again and again—in fact, Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee tried to embed micropayment capability into the original World Wide Web, but without success. So far, inherent transaction costs have been an unsurpassable hurdle.
Some argue that digital payment methods like bitcoin are the way forward.
“Is this going to hurt me?” My hand hovers over the device as I look up at Joe, who is looking way to happy about what was happening.
“No, love. Now please, it needs to read your vitals.” He encourages, inching it closer towards my hand.
Hesitantly, I lower my hand until it connects with the device, jumping slightly as it starts to beep. Next to me, my boyfriend chuckles softly, earning a glare.
“This isn’t funny, Joe.”
“It is a little bit, Y/N. Come on, you saw my sister and Alfie do it, it’ll be fine! Oh look, it’s ready!” He bounces a little in his seat as the lie detector beeps. We are sat on the end of his bed, camera and lights pointed at me, filming a video for his channel. All week Joe had been asking me to do the lie detector shock challenge, saying he had borrowed the device from Alfie last time he was visiting them. At first, I had refused; especially after the shock pads video he had forced me into long ago.
But as the days went on, he kept asking, and I finally caved, on his solemn swear that it would not hurt me.
“Just, ask the question so this is done with.” It was to be a one sided question video, with Joe asking me all the questions. And then if the fans liked it, he said we could potentially do one where I ask him the questions. I personally thought it was unfair, but he knew how to persuade me.
“Right. First question,” He looks from his phone up to me. “Start off easy. Do you love me, despite doing this video?”
I roll my eyes at him before answering. “For some reason, yes.” We watch as the lights go around, the machine processing my answer before it beeps truth.
“Awe, you love me!” Joe grins, leaning over to place a kiss on my cheek.
“Ask me again after this video. Next question.”
“Alright..uhm, are you, or have you ever been, jealous of ‘Jaspar’?” He asks, and I instantly know this is a fan submitted question.
“Of all the questions, you chose that one?”
“There’s more coming. Now answer it.”
“No, I have never been jealous of ‘Jaspar’.”
After a moment, the machine lets out a different one, and I jump as it sends a shock up my arm.
“Ow! Shit, that does hurt!” I pull my hand away, rubbing it while Joe falls backwards laughing.
“I knew you were jealous!”
“I am not! This thing is broken!”
“The lie detector doesn’t lie, love.” He sits up, smiling over at me. “Just admit it, you have been jealous.”
“Why should I be? I’m the one that got you in the end.” I smirk.
“I’m leaving that in. Caspar is going to be so mad when he sees it.” Joe shakes his head, laughing to himself.
“Are we finishing this or not?” I ask, wincing as I place my hand back on the machine.
“Now you’re getting into it!” He lifts his phone up, looking for the next question. I let out a groan as he glances over at me, a smirk on his face. This next one is going to suck.
“Have you,” Joe pauses for a moment. “Ever sexted?”
I feel my face flush as I gape at him. “You can’t ask that!”
“Fair game, Y/N. Answer it. Truthfully. Or lie, but remember, you’ll get shocked.”
“I hate you so much.”
“That’s not an answer.”
“Ugh. Fine.” I glance down at the machine, knowing either way my answer will be revealed. Deciding to get it done and over with quickly, I squeak out a small ‘yes’ before Joe hits the button to analyze my question.
Closing my eyes, I fall back onto the bed as it confirms the truth.
“Well, aren’t you an adventurous little thing.”
“Just you wait until it’s your turn, Sugg. Then everyone can find out the real truth.”
Joe just laughs at that while I sit back up.
The game continues for a while, and apparently he had managed to find as many embarrassing questions as possible for me to answer. I end up getting shocked quite a few times, mostly because I can’t bear to vocally confirm or deny some answers, so I let the machine do it for me. Joe for the most part laughs, clearly enjoying making me go through this.
Finally, he tosses his phone to the side, indicating that we’re done.
“Alright, I think I’ve tortured my girlfriend long enough!”
“Damn right.” I mumble, massaging my hand.
“It wasn’t that bad.”
“Alright, let’s do one question for you before the video is done then.” I hold the machine up for him, shooting him a daring look. Never one to back down, Joe places his hand on it, and I reset the machine for him.
I look him right in the eye, a smirk on my lips, as I ask the question.
“Who is more attractive, me or Mila Kunis?”
I laugh to myself as his eyes widen, clearly not wanting to answer the question.
“That’s just mean. Unfair advantage.”
“You called fair game, Sugg. Answer the question.”
“You are.” Joe says, but his tone lifts at the end, so it’s almost like he’s asking his own question. I press the button, and wait for it to do its thing, already knowing what will happen.
And as expected, my boyfriend lets out a yelp as he pulls his hand away quickly.
“There you have it, folks. Joe Sugg thinks Mila Kunis is more attractive than his own girlfriend.” I shake my head in mock disappointment.
“Oh come on! That was not a fair question.”
“Close out the video.”
Joe pouts but turns to face the camera. “If you liked this video, give it a thumbs up. And if you hit….one hundred thousand, I’ll let Y/N ask the questions. Remember, if you haven’t subscribed already, it’s free! I’ll see you next week with another Sugg Sunday Special!”
“Where you’ll find out if he still has a girlfriend!” I chime in, my words laced with a teasing tone.
“Cheers, bye!” Joe finishes before hitting the button to stop recording. “You’re right. That machine is broken.” He says to me immediately, going to wrap his arms around me. But I jump off the bed quickly and head for the door.
“Hmm, I’m pretty sure it tells the truth, Joe. So go give your new girlfriend a hug instead.” I tell him, smiling over my shoulder as I walk out of the room.
“I’ll forgive you…one day!”
Joe’s groan echoes off the walls, mixing with my laughter.
These #Anker cables for my iOS devices are thick and a little stiff but they are quite nice and sturdy. Ironically, a few of the Apple device functions like connecting the device in restore mode to iTunes requires Apples own crappy cables still.
The real test will be to see how long the ends of these Anker cables last, that’s where my others usually fall apart from repeated bending while they sit on the sofa. Still not sure why Apple doesnt understand 90 degree bends.
Member: Chae Hyungwon / Reader Group: Monsta X Word Count: 1,400+ Genre/Warning(s): fluff, casualness, suggestive themes, slight/hinted smut(?). A/N: just a forewarning,if you’re an innocent bby, idk if you’d want to read this, even though it’s not full blown smut/not too heavy. anyway, hope you enjoy~
The time hits 6:30pm when Hyungwon returns to the dorm alone after a short session at the studio.
And yet, something is a little…off about the situation he comes across. It really shouldn’t rub him the way it does, but alas, Hyungwon finds himself taken aback once he reaches the room he shares with his members. Curious, his eyes flicker over the outline of your figure tucked under the blanket, lying prone on the mattress of the top bunk that he uses. Your arms are buried under the pillow that your face has sunken into, and the cellphone resting next to you lights up with a warning that your battery is about to die.
Setting: McLean, Virginia and New York City, New York, USA, 2021
Summary: Several months after her failed wedding to Tamlin, Feyre’s situation has not improved, despite her sessions with Rhysand’s psychiatrist and periodic visits to his quiet home in McLean. A particularly nasty panic attack has Mor interceding on her behalf … and Rhys offering her a job.
Word Count: 4,290
A/N: Part 8 of my Modern AU. We’ve moved on to ACOMAF now. As before, some lines come directly from ACOMAF and belong to Sarah J. Maas. Also, yes, there’s some bending of the timeline thanks to human healing times and real-world logistics.
To you computer problems:: I don't know if you've tried this, but have you tried resetting the router for the wifi? Every now and then that's what I have to do. I don't know if this is possible on your HP (because I haven't had an HP since my last one didn't even last a year) but under network connections in the control panel, you should see WIFI and when you click on it, you may be able to troubleshoot it. I don't know of any other solutions sorry! >~<
Well here’s the thing I don’t even think it’s the internet. The wifi doesn’t even show up on my laptop but it does on every other device and every other device connects fine. So I don’t think it’s the source itself