Could you pick up and Vanish?

This evening I picked up a copy of Wired magazine and decided to spend a bit of time disconnected from the Internet and away from any blinking device that might cause me to stray from keeping focused on something that I’m reading.

The cover story documents the story of Evan Ratliff, a writer that put forth the challenge that he could go off the grid for a month and not be found. In essence I don’t think that this would be that difficult, but as a part of the parameters, Evan checked in with his editor on a regular basis and left a cookie crumb trail for individuals to find him.

All in all, quite an interesting story in which he was able to dodge “hunters” as they would be called throughout the US for 27 days.

The entirety of the story is captured here.

As for me, the only thing that I really learned in all of this was about the Tor Project which allows for the use of relay servers of sorts across the planet to allow for IP address masquerading for less of a technical discussion. Interesting nonetheless on ways to cover your tracks.

One thing to make of note is that Tor will only encrypt your traffic and bounce it through servers if properly configured. If you’ve got a service in the background that reaches back home or to a server to pull information without being configured to go through Tor, your IP address will be known. This would be where netstat -a comes in pretty handy to see how chatty your OS is.

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Thanksgiving 2009

Just another day in the life of Dan… that’s what I tell myself every morning as I get ready for the day.

It’s been a perplexing year with several life changes and challenges – whether family related, work or things in the social and technical communities that I’m involved with.

Today is Thanksgiving though, the day that we stop and breath and remember how blessed we are in this world. I know that for me, living in the Northern Virginia area I don’t see quite the same economic conditions that seem to exist in other parts of the country. I read articles on BBC, CNN, Fox and Drudge and suddenly see the enormity of the pain and hard times that are affecting others and realize how blessed I am.

I would only ask that on this Thanksgiving day in 2009 that you stop and realize the blessings that have been placed on you and reflect on them.