Working on something. Your input requested.

Tools and equipment to get the job done.
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Psychlonic
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Working on something. Your input requested.

Post by Psychlonic » Sat Aug 10, 2019 12:10 am

I'm knee deep in what will likely be my final written/online material for night ops use - ANY kind of night op. Basically I'm creating a ready-to-use system that will incorporate several portable programs with a custom NO-themed wrapper that connects them all. The programs will also link to each other as needed.

The idea here is a program that serves as a planner, mission log, inventory, library, and database for other desirable operation requirements. This is intended to simply make operating more fun, something that's been honestly lacking since the &T days. I think you guys are all going to like some of the material that's already in this thing, it's bringing new techniques, gear, and ideas to the table that haven't been discussed here before. Unlike a regular "guide" or video, this is more interactive and easy to get the info you want/need from and I'm actually enjoying working on it.

Obviously such a one-stop-shop for your ideas shouldn't be kept within reach of online prying or offline snooping so this is being made to fit on a discrete portable media device such as an SD card or USB stick and shouldn't be used on anything connected to the internet. Don't have such a device? Get one, the requirements are low and this will be worth it. Trust me. Think of it as your staging shrine before an operation - that's sort of the vision.

Currently this will include a form of encyclopedia that can link up with a personal library, a heavily customized offline/GPS ready Google Earth, and an inventory spreadsheet to keep track of everything at your disposal for operations. Needless to say this is an ace in the hole for investigations, so the secrecy of your storage device is of the utmost importance but you won't need anything else.

It won't be for everyone, but for those interested what would you like to see in such a system? I can't promise I'll incorporate all ideas, but I can at least make it easy to add things I myself won't be adding. Also, I'm looking for a good name to call this beast.
Let your code be to have no code. Let your way be every way.

blackhawk
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Re: Working on something. Your input requested.

Post by blackhawk » Sat Aug 10, 2019 12:30 am

Wow. That sounds extremely awesome and handy. Can’t think of any features that could be added though.

I’m kinda curious... How exactly are you building this, if I may ask?

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Re: Working on something. Your input requested.

Post by Xanatos » Sat Aug 10, 2019 2:29 pm

This would be an invaluable tool for organising teams, or even larger events such as NOPCON. Does it condense the proposed op into a videogame-esque mission briefing a'la Ghost Recon or Rainbow Six? Or does it have a more conventional interface?
Also, can it run DOOM?
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Re: Working on something. Your input requested.

Post by Psychlonic » Sun Aug 11, 2019 4:22 am

As corny as it might seem I'm aiming for the former option as much as possible. Currently it's a little rough around the edges but I'm working on it.

As for how I'm building it, nothing magical. Just using portable versions of a few programs and a pre-fab front end that can call them or files up as needed. So let's say you open the main program and go into your objectives map. You click an area of interest and it gives you a brief summary of the operation, pictures if you've got them, suggested equipment and techniques you'll expect to use. Some of the contents at this point will hyperlink to other areas - let's say the operation requires some lock picking so you can go to your inventory at this point or go to your appropriate library section to review texts in preparation for the mission.

This information can also be saved in the form of an offline file, optionally encrypted, and sent to team members if desired.
Let your code be to have no code. Let your way be every way.

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Re: Working on something. Your input requested.

Post by Xanatos » Sun Aug 11, 2019 9:33 am

It'd be great to use this format for op write ups.
We are all books containing thousands of pages and within each lies an irreparable truth.
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Re: Working on something. Your input requested.

Post by blackhawk » Sun Aug 11, 2019 2:48 pm

Awesome. Looking forward to it.

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Re: Working on something. Your input requested.

Post by F3R4L » Sun Aug 11, 2019 3:41 pm

Now it sounds real good. I would be interested what the library/database section would look like. I don't have many ideas, but it would be good if the library part could have pictures/videos too.

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Re: Working on something. Your input requested.

Post by Secant » Sun Aug 11, 2019 5:09 pm

There are some reasonably safe ways to do full disk encryption of USB sticks. For Linux, dm-crypt (LUKS/cryptsetup) is best overall. For other OSes, veracrypt is a reasonable choice. It's a fork of the last known good version of truecrypt. Bitlocker in particular is not safe and should never be used to protect anything you actually care about.

Dokuwiki comes in a format known as "Dokuwiki on a stick" which is intended to run off of a flash drive. It's otherwise exactly like a normal dokuwiki. Might be useful? https://www.dokuwiki.org/install:dokuwiki_on_a_stick

This whole thing could possibly be packaged as a VM image to add another layer of protection from untrustworthy PCs.

It might be valuable to have a section on establishing and using PGP keypairs. PGP is still one of the most private ways to send and receive messages with another person, and there's lots of good PGP related software that could be built in.

It would be nifty to set this up in such a way that it could be served up through Freenet or similar. Or even just peer up with people through some kind of file sync mechanism to share data packages etc (would be handy for NOPCON style events).

As for names.... NOPSAT? :P

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Re: Working on something. Your input requested.

Post by Xanatos » Sun Aug 11, 2019 7:29 pm

NOPSAT gets my vote.
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Psychlonic
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Re: Working on something. Your input requested.

Post by Psychlonic » Sun Aug 11, 2019 9:55 pm

F3R4L wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 3:41 pm
I would be interested what the library/database section would look like. I don't have many ideas, but it would be good if the library part could have pictures/videos too.
The encyclopedia section will be multimedia format like this, basically the encyclopedia functions as a user-created library as opposed to simply downloaded text files. I'm trying to pattern this based on how I myself learn from e-content where a user can learn from the encyclopedia quickly but if they need real specific information they can supplement with texts and video. Said texts and videos though will probably be released independently from this, I might do some releases myself later on but I'd like to get the actual programs squared away first.



Secant, I like nearly all of your ideas but that's all going to have to come after the content being lined up. Maybe even a revised/secure second release. To be blunt, it's because I want to get the main point of this finished up first. So until then, best to just not run the software on anything that connects to the internet: update it remotely via storage devices. Honestly regardless of how amped up the program gets I highly recommend this anyway.
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Re: Working on something. Your input requested.

Post by F3R4L » Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:36 pm

I also like the name NOPSAT

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Re: Working on something. Your input requested.

Post by Secant » Sun Aug 18, 2019 10:06 pm

Psychlonic wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 9:55 pm
Secant, I like nearly all of your ideas but that's all going to have to come after the content being lined up. Maybe even a revised/secure second release. To be blunt, it's because I want to get the main point of this finished up first. So until then, best to just not run the software on anything that connects to the internet: update it remotely via storage devices. Honestly regardless of how amped up the program gets I highly recommend this anyway.
Yeah, I'm thinking ahead. Happy to help with packaging and security once you release, and I'd be willing to bet that a certain mutual acquaintance would be willing to audit it as well.

As long as we're spitballing here though, it'd be dope to have a portable version of this on a burner phone that goes with you on an op. I tried to do that once with an old-school PDA but there was little benefit beyond the ability to easily pull up some crappy satellite maps. The technology just wasn't there, and that device specifically couldn't be turned down enough to avoid ruining my night vision. Based on that experience, a dim, redfiltered device that plots your current position on a map using GPS would be very useful. The used market is flooded with cheap 2+yo android phones that everyone basically throws away, but they'd be more than capable. You can even get blackout/privacy screen protectors to help with light leakage.

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Re: Working on something. Your input requested.

Post by Psychlonic » Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:58 pm

That's been somewhat a wet dream of mine for awhile now, unfortunately I personally still don't think the tech is here for that. I used to run what I could just to find and mark areas of interest since where I'm at things are spread out so far - yeah you can find cool stuff but it's not always so easy to find a second time. Once AR drops (good, compact AR not the huge fish bowls available today) I think the idea will be better and I plan to figure out some sort of system for that - not just for night ops but just to enhance the world in general. I envision markers popping up as you draw near areas of interest ala Elder Scrolls or any other media out there.

That having been said, as things are I highly recommend using this for prep work and just drawing and burning a shitty paper map or whatever. An operative can go against that, of course, and just link Google Earth up to a GPS so you can track yourself in relation to all the markers you've put in. And since you can transfer all of your off-line markers to any other instance of Google Earth you won't even need to have the full program with you.

For those that want similar functionality, I also did a write-up awhile back for using a PSP for that purpose. It actually works pretty well, but like Secant said smart phones are cheap cheap cheap today and most have ways to shut the door on big brother so you can work without your own gear conspiring against you. In fact, we'd do well to have write-ups on how to make outdated operating phones safer.

Still working on this when time allows, as some of you know I'm stupid busy but I always come back to plug away on this little endeavor. It's coming. :)
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Re: Working on something. Your input requested.

Post by blackhawk » Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:41 pm

Psychlonic wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:58 pm
... smart phones are cheap cheap cheap today and most have ways to shut the door on big brother so you can work without your own gear conspiring against you. In fact, we'd do well to have write-ups on how to make outdated operating phones safer.
I would love to learn more about things like that.

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