January 26

About This Site…

Celtic Cross Engineering is more than just an “Engineering Blog” Much more! It is my ultimate Mad Scientist Blog, Lab Notebook, and Instructions for others of the same bent.  Those who wonder about this world and this life we live, who want to know the deep questions: Why am I here? What Great Mysteries are out there to explore? Or how about questions like these:

  • Is the speed of light really a constant? What if it is not?
  • What about Magick?* or Alchemy? Why does reality seem like it should be magical, but most people say that it’s not?
  • Can you transmute elements without the use of a cyclotron?
  • How can I make a good smoked cheese without paying a fortune?
  • Is it possible to extract free energy from the vacuum?
  • Do fossils prove evolution, or disprove it?
  • Does a raised bed garden produce more food than a traditional in the ground variety?
  • Can radio waves travel through the ground?
  • What about abandoned technologies? (ie: things that were superseded by new technologies, but perhaps were not investigated to see how far they could be developed?

Things like that…

So, below are the basic categories of the various posts.  These are not pure blog posts – the dates basically reflect the day the post wast started but I will continue to update/add-to/change posts as I work on those ideas or experiments.

Let’s Explore!

Basic Categories Within Celtic Cross Engineering…

* Let me clarify: “magic” is when you pull a rabbit out of the hat.  “Magick” is when the rabbit pulls you out of the hat. In either case, you ought to keep an eye on the hat.

Category: Uncategorized
August 19

Magick… What is it?

So you may have noticed that I use a weird spelling of the word “magic” – but if all you know about magick is “Rabbit out of a Top Hat”, Harry Potter, etc, then you don’t know magick.

So let us define some terms…

Magick is the way it is spelled if you mean it! By that, I mean to say that if you are doing such things a moving things with your mind (telekinesis), speaking to others (people, animals, trees, mushrooms) without using sound (telepathy), healing using the energy of your hands/body/chakras (Reiki), meditation for spiritual growth, etc. You are doing “Magick”…

(The truth, of course is that you are always doing Magick because you exist and if you ponder that long enough, you will gasp at just how magickal that fact is – too few do this).

The Magick above is, generally speaking known as “Low Magick” in magickal circles…and that is a pun because anyone familiar with various Pagan things knows all about “Magickal Circles” but I digress and will leave that for another post.

So called “Higher Magick” is when you invoke or “evoke” a spirit/god/daemon/faerie/etc of your choice into personal presence or actual physical presence so that you may communicate with them. This is done to gain wisdom, power, or other things.

At this point, if you are a traditional Baptist Church going Christian, you are no doubt cursing the ground I walk and consigning me to eternal damnation. Oh well. I’ve been a Baptist Christian so, I’m pretty sure you wrong about that, but we will see… :)

So Here I include a picture of my magical walking staff which I use whenever I go hiking in the various mountains and other places here in North Carolina. The top is an amethyst sphere for “Skrying” and the point is the center part of a large conch shell I found on the beach. The staff itself is a Oak or Elm staff which as been oiled and shod with a copper base (you cant see that) and adorned with Elder Futhark Runes that have special meaning to me.

MyStaffSo, some of you by now probably think I have lost my marbles.  “How is this engineering and science?” you ask…

I’ll tell you.  ALL Science was once magick, and ALL Engineering is applied Science, therefore applied Magick. Chemistry? Alchemy.  Physics? The Magick of the 4 Elements. Biology? The Magick of Animal husbandry, Herbalists, etc.

Magick just makes sure you never foget that there is a spiritual realm and aspect to all Science.  Those scientists who deny this in every way are usually the same ones you may see at a bar drinking and wondering why the field that looked so promising when they were young now seems to drain them of all desire.  Simple, your missing half!

What the hell do you think that sparkle is in the eye of a child?

-DTM

August 18

Break the Spy Cameras!

The world is flooded with cameras taking your picture and video recording you every day. Road cameras, Store cameras, WIFI laptop, cellphone, bank, etc. The list goes on. Everywhere you look these days, and many hidden places where you cannot look there are cameras.

And with these insidious cameras are new software technologies to perform facial recognition. This can then be used to link to massive databases of information on you, your browser history, your purchase history, your “criminal” history.

An criminal is in the eye of the beholder. To many of the elitists in government, everyone is a criminal in one way or another. They have seen to that by enacting so many different laws that there is nothing you can do alive OR dead without breaking some of them.

What is a freedom loving individualist to do?

How about not being recognized in the first place?

First lets get a very brief understanding how this technology works. Basically as can be seen from the following diagrams, the software maps a set of points on the face and has algorithms to detect a variety of facial changes as we do such things as eat, laugh, grimace, scowl, etc. Another set of algorithms allows the face to be mapped from any angle. Putting all of these together allows the computer to create a basic “Facial Fingerprint” unique to you.

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Facebook has upped the anti by making every post able to map multiple faces and even map those faces as they change with age.

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This is scary stuff. Not only can retailers and ad people use this to target us to buy their products, but most intrusivly it allows a government with far too much power to infiltrate and basically control our lives.

How can we combat this obvious intrusion into our private lives?  Well a company in Japan is working on an idea – one that those individuals with some basic DIY skills can certainly emulate!

The key is to conceal or inject “new” points into the facial map so that what the computer thinks it is seeing is something completely different.  Short of making a mask of someone else, a la “Mission Impossible” what can be done is to confuse enough of the face so that the computer cannot make the link.  Here is a picture of the shades they are developing

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And Here is the Link: Fooling the Facial Recognition Camera

The key appears to be the ability to reflect white light back towards the camera and at the same time, confuse it about where to place the eye points and the eye-line to nose begin line (see earlier mapping pics). Without this data, all the camera has to go by is the lower nose and mouth lines.

Now, when the software builds this database of your face, what it is doing to create the facial fingerprint is to first determine these various points and then, and this is key, to create a set of “distance lines” between each of the points that represent a dynamic measure based on your current facial response. In other words no matter what your face is “doing” (laughing, crying, shouting, anger, happy, smiling, etc.) the dynamic distances between these lines stay within a specific set of ratios. This set of measures is unique to you so that by knowing all of the points, and all of the ratios of the lines connecting those points, the computer can guess that you are who you are within an astonishing degree of accuracy.

But only if it can get those points and ratios.

If you can devise ways to flummox the software (And I assure you, you can) then this recognition goes out the window.

Ultimately you could just wear a entire face covering bowl with a one-way see through mirrored surface. But then you would attract attention. “Hey look mommy, a manikin is walking down the street!”

These white shades, while rather bulky currently, won’t attract that much attention!

Good Luck out there!

July 14

Online Anonymity Project Proxyham : REBOOT!

ProxyHam_2 ProxyHam_1

 

On July 1, 2015 Wired Magazine online printed this article about a new and unique way of achieving anonymity: Online Anonymity Project Proxyham

Here is the problem, apparently some unnamed legal entity and/or judge has issued a gag order against the company in an attempt to silence this information! Read here: Proxyham mysteriously vanishes!

So what are we going to do about it? Simple. I am going to start a series of blog posts here to show you how to build your own ProxyHam device. I invite anyone else who wants to, send me details of their similar devices and I will publish them as well!

I don’t give a (Insert bad language here) about the judges who issue such illegal, and unconstitutional orders.

I am going to repost the article here because it is possible that Wired may also get a gag order, so I am going to make sure the info gets out there:

COURTESY BEN CAUDILL

At the upcoming DefCon hacker conference in Las Vegas next month, Caudill plans to unveil ProxyHam, a “hardware proxy” designed to use a radio connection to add a physical layer of obfuscation to an internet user’s location. His open-source device, which he built for $200, connects to Wi-Fi and relays a user’s Internet connection over a 900 megaherz radio connection to their faraway computer, with a range of between one and 2.5 miles depending on interference from the landscape and buildings. That means even if investigators fully trace the user’s internet connection, they’ll find only the ProxyHam box the person planted in a remote library, cafe, or other public place—and not their actual location.

Caudill, a researcher for the consultancy Rhino Security Labs, compares his tool to typical tactics to hide the source of an Internet connection, like using a neighbor’s Wi-Fi, or working from a coffee shop instead of home. But “the problem with Wi-Fi as a protocol is that you can’t get the range you need. If the FBI kicks down the door, it may not be my door, but it’ll be so close they can hear me breathe,” says Caudill. “[ProxyHam] gives you all the benefits of being able to be at a Starbucks or some other remote location, but without physically being there.”

ProxyHam, which Caudill says he’ll offer for sale at cost to DefCon attendees and will also teach users how to build with instructions on his website and ProxyHam’s Github page (both available after DefCon), is actually two devices. The first part is a box the size of a large dictionary, containing a Raspberry Pi computer connected to a Wi-Fi card and a small 900 megaherz antenna, all of which is meant to be plugged in at some inconspicuous public place—Caudill suggests a dark corner of a public library. On the other end of a radio connection, the user plugs in a 900 megaherz antenna into his or her ethernet port. (In the picture above, Caudill uses a giant Yagi antenna, but he says a much smaller $57 flat patch antenna works, too.)

Caudill intends ProxyHam to protect sensitive Internet users, such as dissidents and whistleblowers, for whom tools like VPNs and even the anonymity software Tor may not provide sufficient security. If an attacker can manage to install malware on the user’s PC, for instance, that malware can circumvent Tor and send the user’s IP address directly to the attacker. But with ProxyHam, that malware attack would only lead investigators to the ProxyHam device, not the user. “The KGB isn’t kicking in your door,” says Caudill. “They’re kicking in the door of the library 2.5 miles away.”

To avoid radio detection on the user’s end, ProxyHam’s wireless signals are designed to look indistinguishable from the many cordless telephones that use the same frequency. And Caudill says the rise of more internet-connected wireless gadgets will provide further cover for ProxyHam users over time. “There are a ton of devices jumping into that space and communicating there,” he says. “It’s not feasible to say ‘we’ll chase down everyone who has this device communicating on this frequency.’ It’s a needle in a haystack.”

No one should depend on ProxyHam alone—particularly until its security has been proven in real-world testing, says Micah Lee, a security technologist for The Intercept and occasional developer for the anonymous whistle-blowing software SecureDrop. But Lee points out that it can be used in combination with existing anonymity software like VPNs and Tor. “It seems like a thing to augment your Tor usage rather than replace it. In that sense, it seems like a good idea,” he says. Lee himself counsels anonymous leakers who use SecureDrop to send secrets to a news organization to first connect to a public Wi-Fi network. ProxyHam, he says, could accomplish something similar. “No matter how many hops over the Internet you use, if there’s someone spying on everything, they can connect all the dots. But if one of the hops isn’t over the Internet and is instead over a radio link, it’ll be a lot harder to connect those dots.”

The version of ProxyHam Caudill intends to sell at DefCon will be fairly basic. But in future versions he’s still developing, Caudill says the device will also include accelerometers designed to detect and warn users if it’s been moved from its hiding place. He’s even hoping to include a microphone that can act as a “black box” recorder to relay to the owner the last few moments of audio the ProxyHam hears before it’s disconnected. All of that, says Caudill, is intended to prevent investigators from discovering a ProxyHam and then tampering with it to eavesdrop on its communications or to trap a user who comes to fix or retrieve it.

Going to the trouble of buying and planting a ProxyHam device—one that if used safely, you may never see again—may sound like paranoia. But Caudill intends ProxyHam to protect the very most sensitive people on the internet, those for whom mere software protections aren’t good enough. “Journalists and dissidents in Arab Spring countries, for instance…these people have very high security requirements,” Caudill says. “This is that last-ditch effort to remain anonymous and keep yourself safe.”

Okay, now for technical details: This is from Errata Security website: ProxyHam conspiracy is nonsense

The talk was hype to begin with. You can buy a 900 MHz bridge from Ubquiti for $125 (or MicroTik device for $129) and attach it to a Raspberry Pi. How you’d do this is obvious. It’s a good DEF CON talk, because it’s the application that important, but the technical principles here are extremely basic.

NOTE: CCE Readers, here is the link to the device at NewEgg:Buy UbiQuiTi NanoStation

If you look careful at the pic in the Wired story on ProxyHam, it appears they are indeed just using the Ubuiti device. Here is the pic from Wired:

And here is the link to Ubquiti’s website: Ubquiti. Look at the top pic at the Device and the Yagi Antenna.

Again from Errata Security:

I don’t know why the talk was canceled. One likely reason is that the stories (such as the one on Wired) sensationalized the thing, so maybe their employer got cold feet. Or maybe the FBI got scared and really did give them an NSL, though that’s incredibly implausible. The feds have other ways to encourage people to be silent (I’ve personally been threatened to cancel a talk), but it wouldn’t be an NSL.

And finally, here is another post that explains much of the technology needed to build these devices using the Rasberry Pi, 35 dollar computer.

Build your own Anonymity Device

UPDATE: 07/15/2015: Another great site with info on building your own ProxyHAM! : How to Build a Proxy Ham Device : Suck it Uncle Sam!

May 4

Steampunk Lightning Detector MARK-II

So I have been building not one, but two new Lightning Detectors similar in some respects the my original “MARK-I” unit.

These use a new circuit from Charles Wenzel, that is somewhat simpler than the original, however does not have all of the neat options that the original possessed (namely the sound, metering, etc.) These detectors however had a more exotic and Steampunk feeling mixed with some “Alchemy” and Ghostly detection capabilities..

Magick, if you will.

Anyway, To the pics and circuitry. I wont bore you with too much text about how the build progressed, it was slow going just like before.

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The completed Alchemical Steampunk Detector.

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The two detectors partially built.

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Frontal view of the completed Detector.

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Side View.

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Close up of the “Ghost Crystal”

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Side View showing Hermetic Symbols of Alchemical Knowledge…

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Winding the Basket Coils.

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The straws make it simple to slide off. Remember there must always be an odd number of winding spikes (nails in this case).

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A little hot glue at the crossover points and the coil slips off in 1 piece. Ready for matte black paint.

Finally, here is the circuit I used for the detector. As mentioned above, it is a bit simpler than the MARK-I, but has less capabilities.

LD2_Circuit

That is all for now! If you want one of these you can buy it from my Etsy Store unless they are all gone, then you will have to have me build you one – which will take some time I’m afraid….

March 12

Making a Commonplace Book of your own…

Please read my post on what a commonplace book is before you make one, or you will turn into a toad.  Read it here

(Okay you rebel, I like you… besides, I’m not wasting that kind of magickal energy on you…)

There are a couple of ways to create a commonplace book that has the look of a real Victorian leather commonplace that would have been carried by a man or woman of letters (A woman or man who had the desire to further their intellectual capabilities and keep their musings, ideas, and creative juices flowing through the use of such a “rememberal”).  A leather-bound book of the size that would fit in a pocket or purse – large enough sketch and write comfortably, but small enough to keep easily, perhaps of a flexible nature.  You can buy books like this at your local hobby and metaphysical stores, or you can make one.

leatherbound_journals

I choose to buy an unlined “mini-journal” from my local “Hobby-Lobby” and then customize it to my liking by creating a leather logo and affixing it to the front cover.  Here’s a pic.

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My Commonplace Book.

By the way, for those who are interested, my logo is the Alchemical symbol of the Ourobors combined with the Triquetra, and the triple crescent moon which is actually the Celtic goddess symbol of Brigid in union with the horned god (Cerrunnos). My ancient ancestors would have appreciated it anyway… :)

This technique can certainly be used to make yourself a very inexpensive commonplace book, this one costing me about 10 bucks when all was said and done.

-DTM