Room 641A is a telecommunication interception facility operated by AT&T for the U.S. National Security Agency, as part of its warrantless surveillance program as authorized by the Patriot Act. The facility commenced operations in 2003 and its purpose was publicly revealed in 2006.
Area code 710 is a special area code, reserved to the federal government of the United States in 1983. As of December 2006, it had only one working number, 710-NCS-GETS (710-627-4387), which requires a special access code to use.
See Government Emergency Telecommunications Service for more information on this service.
- "Area code 710" | 2017-06-10 | 356 Upvotes 81 Comments
The solar storm of 1859 (also known as the Carrington Event) was a powerful geomagnetic storm during solar cycle 10 (1855–1867). A solar coronal mass ejection (CME) hit Earth's magnetosphere and induced the largest geomagnetic storm on record, September 1–2, 1859. The associated "white light flare" in the solar photosphere was observed and recorded by British astronomers Richard C. Carrington (1826–1875) and Richard Hodgson (1804–1872). The storm caused strong auroral displays and wrought havoc with telegraph systems. The now-standard unique IAU identifier for this flare is SOL1859-09-01.
A solar storm of this magnitude occurring today would cause widespread electrical disruptions, blackouts and damage due to extended outages of the electrical grid. The solar storm of 2012 was of similar magnitude, but it passed Earth's orbit without striking the planet, missing by nine days.
Procedure words or prowords are words or phrases limited to radio telephone procedure used to facilitate communication by conveying information in a condensed standard verbal format. Prowords are voice versions of the much older prosigns for Morse code first developed in the 1860s for Morse telegraphy, and their meaning is identical. The NATO communications manual ACP-125 contains the most formal and perhaps earliest modern (post-WW-II) glossary of procedure words, but its definitions have been adopted by many other organizations, including the United Nations Development Programme, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Rhode Island Department of Emergency Management, Civil Air Patrol, Military Auxiliary Radio System, and others.
Procedure words are one of several structured parts of radio voice procedures, including Brevity codes and Plain language radio checks. The vast majority of the brevity codes from the U.S. military's Multiservice tactical brevity code are inappropriate for any civilian use, owing to their focus on large weapons (missiles, etc.) and other war-related issues. However, a few are used frequently enough in media to be memorable, including ABORT, BOGEY, BANDIT, FEET WET, FEET DRY, NEGATIVE CONTACT, and NO JOY.
- "Prowords" | 2020-05-31 | 242 Upvotes 109 Comments
The Wow! signal was a strong narrowband radio signal received on August 15, 1977, by Ohio State University's Big Ear radio telescope in the United States, then used to support the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. The signal appeared to come from the direction of the constellation Sagittarius and bore the expected hallmarks of extraterrestrial origin.
Astronomer Jerry R. Ehman discovered the anomaly a few days later while reviewing the recorded data. He was so impressed by the result that he circled the reading on the computer printout, "6EQUJ5", and wrote the comment "Wow!" on its side, leading to the event's widely used name.
The entire signal sequence lasted for the full 72-second window during which Big Ear was able to observe it, but has not been detected since, despite several subsequent attempts by Ehman and others. Many hypotheses have been advanced on the origin of the emission, including natural and human-made sources, but none of them adequately explains the signal.
Although the Wow! signal had no detectable modulation—a technique used to transmit information over radio waves—it remains the strongest candidate for an alien radio transmission ever detected.
In radio communications, an evolved antenna is an antenna designed fully or substantially by an automatic computer design program that uses an evolutionary algorithm that mimics Darwinian evolution. This procedure has been used in recent years to design a few antennas for mission-critical applications involving stringent, conflicting, or unusual design requirements, such as unusual radiation patterns, for which none of the many existing antenna types are adequate.
- "Evolved antenna" | 2018-11-14 | 192 Upvotes 67 Comments
Van Eck phreaking (also known as Van Eck Radiation) is a form of eavesdropping in which special equipment is used to pick up side-band electromagnetic emissions from electronic devices that correlate to hidden signals or data for the purpose of recreating these signals or data in order to spy on the electronic device. Side-band electromagnetic radiation emissions are present in (and with the proper equipment, can be captured from) keyboards, computer displays, printers, and other electronic devices.
In 1985, Wim van Eck published the first unclassified technical analysis of the security risks of emanations from computer monitors. This paper caused some consternation in the security community, which had previously believed that such monitoring was a highly sophisticated attack available only to governments; van Eck successfully eavesdropped on a real system, at a range of hundreds of metres, using just $15 worth of equipment plus a television set.
As a consequence of this research, such emanations are sometimes called "van Eck radiation", and the eavesdropping technique van Eck phreaking. Government researchers were already aware of the danger, as Bell Labs had noted this vulnerability to secure teleprinter communications during World War II and was able to produce 75% of the plaintext being processed in a secure facility from a distance of 80 feet (24 metres). Additionally the NSA published Tempest Fundamentals, NSA-82-89, NACSIM 5000, National Security Agency (Classified) on February 1, 1982. In addition, the van Eck technique was successfully demonstrated to non-TEMPEST personnel in Korea during the Korean War in the 1950s.
While Phreaking is the process of exploiting telephone networks, it is used here because of its connection to eavesdropping. Van Eck phreaking of CRT displays is the process of eavesdropping on the contents of a CRT by detecting its electromagnetic emissions.
ZMODEM is a file transfer protocol developed by Chuck Forsberg in 1986, in a project funded by Telenet in order to improve file transfers on their X.25 network. In addition to dramatically improved performance compared to older protocols, ZMODEM also offered restartable transfers, auto-start by the sender, an expanded 32-bit CRC, and control character quoting supporting 8-bit clean transfers, allowing it to be used on networks that would not pass control characters.
In contrast to most transfer protocols developed for bulletin board systems (BBSs), ZMODEM was not directly based on, nor compatible with, the seminal XMODEM. Many variants of XMODEM had been developed in order to address one or more of its shortcomings, and most remained backward compatible and would successfully complete transfers with "classic" XMODEM implementations.
ZMODEM eschewed backward compatibility in favor of producing a radically improved protocol. It performed as well or better than any of the high-performance varieties of XMODEM, did so over links that previously didn't work at all, like X.25, or had poor performance, like Telebit modems, and included useful features found in few or no other protocols. ZMODEM became extremely popular on bulletin board systems (BBS) in the early 1990s, becoming a standard as widespread as XMODEM had been before it.
- "ZMODEM" | 2016-10-22 | 132 Upvotes 99 Comments
33 Thomas Street (formerly the AT&T Long Lines Building) is a 550-foot-tall (170 m) skyscraper in Civic Center, Lower Manhattan, New York City. It stands on the east side of Church Street, between Thomas Street and Worth Street. The building is an example of the Brutalist architectural style. It is a telephone exchange or wire center building which contained three major 4ESS switches used for interexchange (long distance) telephony, as well as a number of other switches used for competitive local exchange carrier services. However, it is not used for incumbent local exchange carrier services, and is not a central office. The CLLI code for this facility is NYCMNYBW. The building has also been described as the likely location of a National Security Agency (NSA) mass surveillance hub codenamed TITANPOINTE.
- "33 Thomas Street" | 2019-11-17 | 156 Upvotes 59 Comments
Project Xanadu ( ZAN-ə-doo) was the first hypertext project, founded in 1960 by Ted Nelson. Administrators of Project Xanadu have declared it an improvement over the World Wide Web, with the mission statement: "Today's popular software simulates paper. The World Wide Web (another imitation of paper) trivialises our original hypertext model with one-way ever-breaking links and no management of version or contents."
Wired magazine published an article called "The Curse of Xanadu", calling Project Xanadu "the longest-running vaporware story in the history of the computer industry". The first attempt at implementation began in 1960, but it was not until 1998 that an incomplete implementation was released. A version described as "a working deliverable", OpenXanadu, was made available in 2014.
- "Project Xanadu" | 2021-02-21 | 132 Upvotes 82 Comments