The Bourne Identity Burn Bag

August 13th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Secret Places [Hidden]

May 5th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

I don’t know about you, but I love any type of secret compartment, lair or stash. Thanks to a small article in Wired, I discovered Creative Home Engineering which specializes in creating secret passages for people like me.


Gadgets and Gear [Roundup]

May 5th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink


Wired Article: GPS Trackers

April 18th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Historic Spy Gadgets

March 2nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

In this photo gallery, Wired takes a look at some of the most interesting gadgets showcased in the CIA’s new Flickr stream. Tire spikes, semi-submersibles, and the tiny Dragonfly UAV shown are among the list of tools and gadgets featured.

Whenever James Bond needed a nifty device to snap a surreptitious surveillance picture or escape the gilded clutches of Auric Goldfinger, he could count on the ingenious minds in the Secret Service’s Q Division to devise a solution. Real-world Bonds working for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, and its precursor the Office of Strategic Services, could turn to the Office of Research and Development for similar tradecraft tools.

From mosquito drones to couture cameras, the CIA had its agents’ needs covered. Some of these devices are now displayed in the CIA’s museum, located at the agency’s Langley, Virginia, headquarters.

Tools of Tradecraft: The CIA’s Historic Spy Kit

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What You Should Carry [Gear]

February 20th, 2011 § 4 comments § permalink

For a while, I’ve been working on a list of gadgets and other gear that I’d like to have with me at all times. Qualifications were that it had to be fairly legal and inexpensive, and fit in a small bag that could easily be hidden in a cache. Under optimal conditions, one would have a few of these stashed in several places easily accessible (like Bourne’s train station locker).

Energizer Night Strike Flashlights

February 2nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Tech blog BoingBoing recently reviewed Energizer’s Night Strike LED flashlights. Each model incorporates a rugged, waterproof design and multi-colored LEDs, along with a host of other useful features specific to each model, making them the perfect tools for illuminating your covert nighttime operations. One of these will set you back eighty US dollars.

Energizer’s rugged Night Strike LED flashlights, available in “Compact” and “Swivel” editions, offer 40 and 100 lumens respectively from double-AA batteries. Apart from white light, each waterproof design has multiple colored LEDs and can survive a claimed 10′ drop.

The smaller model, light enough to clip onto the bill of a baseball cap, has green, red and blue LED lights, eight hours of runtime from a single lithium battery, and a “find me” setting that flashes the green LED once every half-second.

The larger model also has an ultraviolet light, a swiveling head, and can run on one or two AA batteries. A three-position lever switches between UV, visible spectra, and a ‘locked’ position, which prevents it from being turned on or off.

Review: Energizer Night Strike LED flashlights

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DTMF Decoder [Ideas Come True]

February 1st, 2011 § 2 comments § permalink

As you may, or may not have known, I have wanted an online DTMF decoder for a while. What is a DTMF decoder? It’s a tool that lets you take the audio of the beeps of a phone number being dialed, and turns it into an actual phone number. Awesome. Anyway, my dream has become a semi-reality with this website. It’s not perfect, and it’s not exactly what I wanted, or as simple as it should be, but there it is. And if you think you can make something better, make it and let us know!

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Reverse Geocache

January 30th, 2011 § 1 comment § permalink

Arduino forum member RickP made this “reverse geocache” from a French army medical box. I love the nixie tube display and the fact that it looks like something from a spy movie. The box only opens at the right GPS coordinates, and is trackable on

He uses an Arduino, a GPS sensor, and a trio of nixie tubes, which indicate the box’s distance from that special spot. When the button is pressed in that spot, a servo motor unlatches the lid.

The large amount of power drawn by the nixie tubes had to be taken into careful consideration. With four D-cell batteries, Rick estimates that the box can do 600 GPS fixes before they run out. Connected to the power button is a latching relay, which allows the Arduino to shut the power off after the GPS fix has been attained.

Nixie tube reverse geocache box via Gizmodo

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Protect Yourself Against Warrantless Mobile Phone Searches

January 26th, 2011 § 2 comments § permalink

As a result of recent court cases, it is now legal in California and some other areas of the United States for law enforcement officers to search your cell phone upon arrest without a warrant. An article on Ars Technica provides an explanation of the law and instructions and tips for securing your phone and protecting yourself. Even if you live in an area where these laws do not affect you, it’s still a good idea to ensure the data on your phone is secure, should it fall into the wrong hands.

Last week, California’s Supreme Court reached a controversial 5-2 decision in People v. Diaz (PDF), holding that police officers may lawfully search mobile phones found on arrested individuals’ persons without first obtaining a search warrant. The court reasoned that mobile phones, like cigarette packs and wallets, fall under the search incident to arrest exception to the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.


On the other hand, if you are arrested with a mobile phone in your possession but not immediately associated with your person, police may not search your phone without a warrant once you’ve been taken into custody and your phone is under police control.

The takeaway from Diaz, therefore, is that you should store your mobile phone in your luggage, footlocker, or in some other closed container that’s not on your person, particularly when driving an automobile


Therefore, if you care about your privacy, password-protecting your smartphone should be a no-brainer. Better yet, you should ensure your smartphone supports a secure implementation of full-disk encryption. With this method of encryption, all user information is encrypted while the phone is at rest. While it isn’t absolutely foolproof, full-disk encryption is the most reliable and practical method for safeguarding your smartphone data from the prying eyes of law enforcement officers (and from wrongdoers, like the guy who walks off with your phone after you accidentally leave it in a bar.)

Why you should always encrypt you smart phone via Lifehacker

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