Careful Who You Friend Online [Sneaky Agents]

March 30th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Turns out that person you thought you knew who you friended on Facebook might be a fedral agent looking for information. According to an article from Aol News, the Feds are using Facebook now to keep tabs on persons of interest.

“This is just the way people meet these days — electronically,” James Cavanaugh, special agent in charge of the Nashville office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, told AOL News. “It wouldn’t be any different than calling someone on the phone, say, in an undercover capacity. If we can meet them on Facebook by creating a fictitious account, that’s great. “

Your New Facebook Friend May Be a Federal Agent

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Printer Harddrives Store the Secrets [Corporate Espionage]

March 30th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Turns out the corporate espionage business is getting easier. With the developing printer technology comes the inevitable problems. This time around, it has been discovered the printers’ harddrives store copies of every copy made. Simply snatching that drive could give you an edge on the competition…

Of the dozens of multi-purpose copiers Beitner has cleaned out in the past two years, he has seen hundreds of scanned documents that would be considered confidential. As a personal policy, he never reads them, but can easily tell where they are by the file names and sizes.

“In almost all the machines I have seen, the files, phone numbers, fax numbers and email addresses are left there as if it was still in the office,” said Beitner. “There are files from insurance companies, medical facilities, pharmaceutical and regular office-type documents,” he said.

High-tech copy machines a gold mine for data thieves via BoingBoing

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How to Survive a Jump from A Moving Car

March 29th, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

The Art of Manliness recently wrote about how to jump from a moving car. After rolling down the window to reduce wind pressure and opening the door, jump away from the car, then tuck and roll:

Tuck. Before you hit the ground, tuck your body into a ball. Bring your chin to your chest and bring your arms and legs close to your body. This will prevent your brain canister from hitting the ground and spilling its contents on the pavement. Also, it prepares your body to roll.

Roll. Hit the ground with your shoulder and roll away from traffic. Rolling lessens the impact when hitting the ground.

For slightly different instructions, check out our past on article on stunts.

How to Jump From a Speeding Car

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The Disguise of Rebels [Radio Gear]

March 28th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Pirate radio stations in London use amazing makeshift gear to transmit from their radio stations. From infrared links, to homemade transmitters hidden in plain sight on rooftops, they know what they’re doing.

Untraceable infrared links. Backpacks full of back-up transmitters. Cloak and dagger secrecy. Hundreds of pirate radio stations broadcast in London every day, but this 20 minute documentary shows that only the tech-savviest stay a step ahead of the police.

Homemade antennas, hidden in plain sight on the tops of apartment complexes and abandoned buildings, broadcast pirate radio throughout London. But while the antennas themselves are conspicuous, the makeshift studios they link up to are hidden behind soundproof walls and security gates.

The Gear That Keeps London’s Pirate Radio Hidden

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Making an Agent [Become One]

March 28th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Ever wanted to join the secret service? While I won’t discourage you, I won’t pretend it is not hard work. In a past article in the Washington Post, we discover the journey of an agent in training.

“Use the force necessary. You can hit them with your car, stab them with a big pin,” Mixon says. “We in the Secret Service are super Type-A personalities, people who want to take control and win at all costs.” […]

All day, instructors say, Do sweat the details:

“I expect neat hair! No goatees!”

“If you wore boxer shorts, it’s the last day you do!”

“Cut off [alcoholic] drinking eight hours prior to range practice!”

The Making of an Agent

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Link Roundup 3

March 20th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

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The 55 Master Tricks and Tools of Jason Bourne [How to Be Bourne] (Updated)

March 10th, 2010 § 76 comments § permalink

Previously The Utterly Ultimate Complete Guide to Jason Bourne

Jason Bourne. The ultimate man. The trained assassin who has an arsenal of strength, tricks and gadgets to complete his missions. This article aims to dissect the Jason Bourne film trilogy, so that you, the reader, can soak up as much information on Jason Bourne as possible.

The Bourne Identity

The Tools

  1. The gun The Professor uses throughout the film is a Swiss SIG 550 Sniper.
  2. The gun in Bourne’s safe deposit box is a SIG-Sauer SIG Pro SP2009 (9mm) pistol.
  3. Bourne uses an American Express Platinum Charge Card, which we discover when he opens his safe deposit box.
  4. The watch Bourne wears throughout the trilogy is a TAG Heuer’s LINK Chronograph.

The Tricks

  1. When Bourne is on the ship, recovering from his loss of memory, he continues to work out, doing pull-ups, etc. The lesson here is to stay in shape and continue to work out.
  2. After Bourne assaults two police officers, he ditches his coat to remove potential identifiers.
  3. Bourne uses lockers provided by train and bus terminals to stash bags filled with money, weapons and identities he can use. This idea of creating caches was also detailed in Emergency.
  4. Bourne fights using a type of martial arts that is a combination of Filpino Kali and Jeet Kune Do.
  5. Bourne has a tiny laser projector in his hip that contains his bank account number.
  6. When going removing items from his safe deposit box, he takes everything except the gun. While some may discount this as a stupid move, I consider it a smart one. Sometimes, carrying a gun with you can draw more attention and/or bring trouble.
  7. Updated: When spotted by foreign police, he quickly enters the U.S. embassy, a place where the foreign police have no jurisdiction. If you are in a foreign country and are being chased by police, entering the embassy of your country might fend them off for a couple minutes. (Thanks Mosh!)
  8. When attempting to escape from the embassy, he grabs an emergency map from the wall, then knocks out a soldier and removes his communications device, so that he can hear where the soldiers are.
  9. Updated: Bourne pays a girl $20,000 to drive him to Paris. While I don’t recommend this (most would get suspicious and alert the authorities), the tip here is that you can almost always use large sums of money  to get what you need. Simple, right? (We also see this later in the film, when Bourne bribes a morgue worker to see a body.)
  10. The re-dial button on the phone is your best friend. You can use this on landlines without call logs, or if the phone does have a call log, you can use that as well. The point here is to retrace steps and discover agendas. (i.e. redials to the airport, taxi service, hotel, etc.) In the film, Bourne uses the re-dial button to discover another lead on his identity.
  11. Bourne is an expert of fighting based on his surroundings. In a high action fight in his apartment, he reaches around for a makeshift weapon, settling on a ballpoint pen, which he uses to stab the assassin with. Use your surroundings!
  12. During a high speed car chase, Bourne instructs his companion to look away from the police. This is most likely to avoid the confirmation of who is in the car.
  13. When Bourne ditches the girl’s car, he makes sure to wipe down everything. Later, it is proven a smart move when a police officer says something like, “You’ve been here for 3 hours and you still can’t find a fingerprint!?!”. Create dead ends for your followers, and leave no traces of yourself.
  14. The check in, or list of visitors is a great source for information. At a morgue, Bourne rips out several sheets to examine later for links to the person who took a body.
  15. In one scene, Bourne is placing duct tape over a car window. While he may be mending the broken window, this may also be just to block the view in, or it might be to prevent gun shots from shattering the windows.
  16. Updated: In a fight with another assassin, Bourne uses a shotgun to blow up a gas tank, creating a large smoke screen for cover. If you are in need of a distraction, or a screen, blowing something up (at a distance) might be a good idea. (Thanks Nick!)
  17. New: When instructing a friend to lay low he says, “No friends, nothing familiar.” This basically sums up what you should do if you want to ditch your identity.
  18. New: Bourne attaches a tracking device to a vehicle he suspects after luring agents to his specified location.
  19. This mention definitely deserves its own “don’t try this at home”. Several flights up, Bourne needs to get down the stairs fast. Grabbing the nearest dead guy, he jumps, positioning the cadaver below, and landing hard. Using a corpse to cushion your fall may not be the closest thing in your situation, but you could use something similar. (You might be asking what would be similar to a dead body, so here are a few suggestions: mattress, inflatable life raft, etc.)

More

A video on how to fight like Jason Bourne.

New: How to Kick Someone’s Ass With Everyday Objects

Purchase The Bourne Identity

The Bourne Supremacy

The Tools

  1. After overpowering two officials, Bourne copies the SIM card of the agent who received a call from the CIA, using a gadget he can then use to listen in on the calls. Here is some more information on the process: the how-to and the gadget. When doing this, he uses a product from CHIPDRIVE and a GSM plugin SIM adapter. The prop used for this can be found here.
  2. Bourne uses a Rotring 600 pen.
  3. Bourne uses a Siemens ME45 phone.
  4. Bourne uses a Sig Sauer PRO gun in Moscow.
  5. In all of the movies, when Bourne uses a cell phone, he uses a hands-free accessory to talk. In a possible future movie, he will most likely use a Bluetooth headset, which is much more discrete.

The Tricks

  1. Bourne, when detained and questioned, says nothing, assuming a sort of poker face. Some may say the law is on his side, and this is a smart move for Bourne. Others may think this is stupid. At any rate, Bourne accomplishes what he set out to do.
  2. Bourne then steals a car for transportation. This is highly illegal, so please read our legal section before learning more. This and this could help.
  3. New: When trying to temporary restrain another agent, Bourne hands him a zip tie to use as handcuffs and put them on his wrists in the front and cinch them using his teeth.
  4. In fighting another agent, Bourne again relies on his surroundings to use a rolled up magazine as a weapon. The type of fighting he uses is called Escrima, an old Philippine martial art. In ancient times, it used sticks, but now you can use everyday objects, such as a rolled up paper or a pen.
  5. New: In order to kill someone Bourne uses an electrical cord to strangle him. When fighting, be sure to stay away from cords that might be used to strangle you.
  6. After realizing that backup has been called in, Bourne places a magazine inside a toaster, starts toasting it, then breaks open a gas line to create a makeshift bomb. In minutes, when agents are about to enter the house, it blows up, leaving Bourne a nice exit.
  7. New: Bourne affixes a fake license plate he got from his bag to a car he stole to prevent police from finding him quickly.
  8. When setting up a meeting place, Bourne always picks the best possible location. In a particular scene, he chooses a location which is set to be the location of a protest march. This makes it difficult for surveillance, and using the protest as a cover, he manages to carry out his mission. When he then realizes that his target is wearing a wire, he brings her into a room on the subway system to block the wire from broadcasting more. You can use this knowledge to perform similar feats if necessary.
  9. New: Bourne uses a prepaid phone card at a phone booth for security and privacy to prevent tracing.
  10. New: When looking for a target he thinks is staying in the city, he calls the major hotels in the city, looking to speak to her.
  11. New: Bourne asks the front desk to call a room (that he knows is already on the phone) so that he can see the room number displayed on the phone.
  12. Bourne uses vodka to disarm one cop in Russia by throwing it in the man’s face. He also uses the same bottle to disinfect a gun shot wound, something I don’t recommend for even a paper cut.

More

Purchase The Bourne Supremacy

New: How to Be Jason Bourne: Multiple Passports, Swiss Banking, and Crossing Borders

The Bourne Ultimatum

The Tools

  1. In the film, Bourne uses a monocular, which is basically half of a binocular.
  2. Bourne uses a Dual Tone SIG Pro SP2022 in the beginning of the film, and other than the other guns he removes from agents and officers, he uses another SIG Pro.
  3. Bourne buys a pre-paid phone at Waterloo Station, then activates it and drops it in his target’s pocket. This is done to make sure that other agents can’t listen in on the call.

The Tricks

  • New: In a car, drowning in water, Bourne gets a good breath of air by swimming to the roof where an air pocket formed.
  • New: Bourne begins to start his new life, grabbing what he had hidden around the house. He hides his passports behind a photo frame and money behind his desk drawer.
  • When calling a journalist who is under agency surveillance, Bourne calls a co-worker who then let’s the journalist use her phone. This is done so that the CIA can’t listen to the call (they only have his work and cell lines tapped.)
  • Bourne instructs the journalist to do several things to prevent agents from getting to him. The first is to let the agents target someone else, in this case, a unknown man in a hoodie. Bourne instructs the journalist, Ross, to approach the man, and turn around, to turn suspicion to the man in the hoodie.
  • Next, Bourne instructs him to move into the station as soon as a bus comes, to block the cameras from following him.
  • Bourne has Ross tie his shoe for several minutes, to shake the team of agents trying to track him down.
  • Bourne coaches Ross on how to stay out of the CCTV’s scanning, by keeping on a path that would not be picked up by the camera.

  • When ever usually-moving security cameras stop moving, it usually means that they are off, and when they are suddenly turned off, it usually means that another power is about to do something they don’t want on camera.
  • New: In order to turn attention towards a specific door, Bourne takes a flashlight, some tape and a fan, and attaches the shining light to the fan, to create the illusion of someone pacing under a door.
  • New: Knowing that agents on the other side will be arriving shortly, and needing to buy some time, Bourne calls the cops, telling about Americans who are shooting, then fires several times to get others to call in, then leaves. When the agents arrive a minute later, they get detained by police.
  • New: In Tangiers, Bourne is traveling over roofs, evading police. In order to out run the police, he grabs some clothing off of a clothing line, and wraps it around his hands in order to get over glass covered walls.
  • New: In order to obtain the voice of a safe’s owner to open a voice activated safe, he calls him, recording him say his name. 
  • Updated: This, per se, is not so much a Bourne trick as a method used by an ex-agent, who completely dismantles her cellphone so that the agency can not track her down via cellular triangulation. In addition, (as FYI in the comments pointed out), she also uses it to indicate to Bourne where she went, like breadcrumbs.
  • Bourne improvises another everyday as a weapon in a fight scene: a hardcover book, which he uses to brutally smash a guy’s head with. In the same part of the film, he also uses a towel as another improvised weapon.

More

The actor behind Desh shows how they filmed some of the stunts and gives an interview.

James Bond vs Jason Bourne

Purchase The Bourne Ultimatum

What tricks and tools do remember? What did you like about the Bourne trilogy? Let us know in the comments!

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The writer of this post compiles the latest tech news and more at Squealing Rat and recently started a new project, Stretching Cow, which compiles links for educators. Find him on Twitter.

Sources for this article included Wikipedia, IMDB, this article, and watching the films more times than I care to say. New items have New: before it, while updated items have Updated: before it.

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Listen to The Utterly Ultimate Complete Guide to Jason Bourne [How to Be Bourne], read for you by the Lone Iguana himself. (Coming soon…)

Link Roundup 2

March 6th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

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