The curious invasion of my network from Peloton's Ruby

I picked up a physical copy of a CD earlier today and with Amazon’s MP3 AutoRip service was able to download the MP3s right away. I snagged the MP3s and was going to store them on my Plex server and opened up Network and was kind of awestruck as there were 2 devices on my network that I didn’t know: “ruby” by Peloton International (I don’t own a Peloton - although I think they are pretty cool) and a network connected Bravia TV (I also don’t own one of these and/or if I did would never let it broadcast out). I immediately logged onto my router and checked the MAC addresses and didn’t see anything connected at all for these two devices. Bewildered, I went back to the Network tab and tried to figure out how I saw these. My main box is only networked via cable and doesn’t have wifi so that this box couldn’t be accepting connections for these two devices, yet here they were. The only thing I could tell about them was their mac addresses so I started to google and saw what I could find. Eventually, I got to the docs for an API that Windows 7-10 uses called Windows Connect Now. From the docs:

“Windows Connect Now (WCN) provides a simple and secure mechanism for network access points and devices (like printers, camera, and PCs) to connect and exchange settings. This API is the Microsoft implementation of the Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS)/Wi-Fi Simple > Configuration (WSC) protocol, which was created by the Wi-Fi Alliance as a solution for home networking and small businesses. This technology is not intended for enterprise scenarios.”

So the key here is that it is looking over WPS/WSC protocol and it is walking to your lead router when it does this. My router won’t list these devices because they are not authenticated on the network. However, they CAN be authenticated as this protocol is just asking “who is out there that can connect” vs “who is connected.” So I think that Windows 10 is going to the router, grabbing a list of potential devices and then displaying that in network settings. The way it gets this is via WPS on the router. I recently installed a new router, so I went to the settings and low and behold I didn’t cut off WPS on the router. I switched off WPS. Seems to have cleared these guys up. It is good to know though that I have a neighbor somewhere that I can ask about their Peloton though.

Fallout 76 and Griefing

I have been following Fallout 76 a lot lately. The subsystems and graphics look amazing, but it also sounds like an exciting hybrid for Bethesda. While Elder Scrolls Online (ESO) does have some PvP elements, we have never seen a Fallout game with “MMO-esque” PvP. It feels like with the advertising for 76 that Bethesda is putting a lot into the PvP aspects and they are more than happy to talk about it. This isn’t “bolt on” PvP, this is legitimate, “built into the game” PvP.

As with any PvP system, the key in 76 is going to be able to balance the griefers with the people who want to partake in legitimate PvP, that’s why when I saw this quote from Todd Howard stuck out:

“[our PvP] turns assholes into interesting content.”

The plan is this:

1.) Johnny farms for hours and gets to be Mr. Badass when it comes to equipment.

2.) Johnny gets bored of regular PvP and wants to pwn some noobs, so he goes out into the game (note: weapons are on a normalized level curve, which makes it a little harder) and starts killing level 5 guys who just got flagged for PvP.

Here is where the magic happens:

3.) After killing the low-level players, Johnny now has a bounty on his head. When he is eventually put down, the player who puts him down will receive the (hefty?) bounty from Johnny’s caps (in-game currency).

4.) When he is marked for bounty, he is marked on all other players’ maps. Maybe marked is not the best word to use here, he is featured as a bountied player to all other players; however, he cannot see the other players on his map, and his bounty added silently to his character from his perspective.

I like the plan, and I think it ads an extra layer to anti-griefing. My thoughts are:

My favorite PvP system of all time was the original EQ on the original PvP servers. It came down to: you died, and the person could loot your entire body. If I recall right, SOE ended up making this just one item lootable eventually.

There were tons of griefers in that system, but also some cool unofficial community groups that would form when people banded together to take down people and loot all their stuff and split it between the group with the player’s eventual death. I am excited about this new system, but also just as excited to see how what game system organically comes from this.

Full interview about PvP at Quakecon can be seen here:

Original Marvel Star Wars Lando Comic Miniseries

I am an avid Star Wars comics and book reader. I have had a few people ask me about starting to read SW comics and I have to give them this crazy rundown that usually sounds something like this:

“So Marvel started making comics back in the 70s when the movies came out, then a company named Dark Horse took over. Disney ended up buying the franchise and starting with a blank slate, tabula rasa. So, while they are some good stories, anything during that Dark Horse (DH) period isn’t canon. And actually, even though Marvel printed the original series, a lot of that isn’t canon either because they have what is called the “new continuity”. So just to be safe (and stay in canon) You want any Marvel comics after 2015 except for a few series like Son of Dathromir which is canon and is DH. “

Usually, their faces have folded in on themselves at this point and they just ask:

“Well, what should I start with?”

and my answer is ALWAYS:



The original Lando miniseries was brilliant. This was one of the early stories that one of my favorite new writers handled (Charles Soule) and he knocked it out of the park. The art by Alex Maleev is absolutely on point also. Probably some of my favorite comic art in all of SW. There are 5 issues in the series and it chronicles Lando and Lobot as the get out of one debt and fall into another.

One of the neater things about the series is not only the two alien creatures they accompany (the clones Aleksin and Pavol) but also that some of the things they find. Now, years later you can see how some of those things now tie into other parts of the canon especially in regards to the Sith and the lengths that they will go through to retain power. Also if you watch there are definitely some things on board the ship that you will see not only in other SW comics but also the movies.

It looks like the series is available digitally for Kindle/Comixology and also there is a really good Hardcover where you can get the full initial Lando, Leia and Chewy series all in one book. I can’t recommend this series enough and I love talking to people after they have read it and seeing if they thought it was as awesome as I did.

Ken Carter, Kenny Powers, and the St. Lawrence River Jump

So the other day I came across this tweet and immediately had to know more about it:

I watch a lot of sportscar enduro, F1 and pretty much anything under the sun that goes fast and let me tell you unless that video is sped up a bit - that car is going faster than 99% of the cars I have seen in my life.

After doing a little research here is what I discovered:

I used the word “designed by” above because up until the day of the stunt Ken Carter was supposed to do the stunt but had to cancel the first attempt at the stunt because of mechanical reasons. It looks like he was kinda nervous about a second attempt, and it sounds like the people that had put backing into the feat didn’t want to lose any money if Carter backed out, so it seems they secretly hired another stunt driver Kenny Powers (no, not that Kenny Powers) to do the stunt while they lured Carter to another city.

Powers was in the car when the above tweet’s movie took place. There were bumps on the ramp, the car shook and pretty much melted away at the pinnacle of the slope, however the parachutes did deploy and Powers came down with only 8 broken vertebrae and 3 broken ribs. The car was supposed to get up to 270, however, bumps on the ramp caused Powers to lose acceleration. He was getting thrown around in the car so much he couldn’t keep his foot on the gas and only launched at a mere 180 mph.

The entire five years of making the jump were chronicled by the above mentioned National Film Board of Canada in The Devil at Your Heels. If you fast forward to about 1:32:00 you can see Powers getting pumped up and honestly looking at the body language of everyone it seems like he is really trying (and failing?) to pump himself up while everyone around him has a look about them of “this shit ain’t going to work”.

Honestly, I am glad the guy didn’t die.

Assorted Links

  1. Zildjian, the 400+ year old American company.

  2. In search of a universal distance algo to support a generic model for Nearest Neighbor Problems (of which there are tons in Computer Sci/Data Modeling).
    note: after reading this, it doesn’t sound like anything was specifically found?
    Universal Method to Sort Complex Information Found.

  3. No Benefit from Fish Oil.
    (I still supplement them because who doesn’t want those awesome 10:30 am fish burps?)

  4. 90s R&B Writers find new life in Korea and K-Pop:.

    “K-pop’s willingness to acknowledge its debts to R&B leads to an odd phenomenon for the genre’s ace writers – a feeling more familiar to American jazz musicians, who have long been valorized overseas and overlooked in their homeland. “It’s almost like you get more honor outside of your own country for what you do sometimes,” Kelly admits.”

    How American R&B Songwriters Found a New Home in K-Pop