World GDP by Top Ten Countries – 1961 to 2017

This video is fascinating.  To me, the interesting parts are

  1. The US is on top.  Growth is steady and consistent.
  2. Japan has blossomed and then dramatically crashed.
  3. China’s rise is amazing.   Can it continue?

It would be interesting to know what policies of these countries contribute the most to the end results.


Wi-Fi Networking Links

TL-WR802N Router

Here is the official link to the TL-WR802N router that I purchased in November 2018.  Note that this router comes with a highly insecure default configuration.  With some simple cracking tools in Kali Linux, I was able to obtain its login name and password in under one minute…

Nevertheless, Open-WRT and DD-WRT can be installed on it to provide a more secure system.





General Links

Lock Down Wi-Fi with Wireless Isolation

Wi-Fi Security – WEP, WPA, and WPA2 (hakin9_wifi_EN.pdf)

CVE Details – The Ultimate Security Vulnerability Database



IPTABLES Personal Firewall

Personal Firewall is a tidy little set of scripts for implementing a pretty tight firewall on a machine that is connecting to an open (or otherwise untrusted) network.  It is a set of scripts for allowing a minimal set of traffic (HTTP, DNS, DHCP, NTP, etc) immediately and then save the configuration to be persistent upon reboot.

Of course, add or delete services you do not need.  For example, do you need Skype?  If not, delete the Skype configuration from the script.

This link also contains a script to convert URLs to CIDR addresses.  For example, the script will identify the IP address ranges of an unwanted website so that you can block it with the Personal Firewall.

The Personal Firewall uses iptables.  So, it only works on a Linux machine.  However, it could be of use for a home router running a Linux based firmware build such as OpenWRT.

Chocolatey Package Manager for Windows

Chocolatey is a package manager for Windows (like apt-get or yum but for Windows). It is a single, unified interface designed to easily work with all aspects of managing Windows software (installers, zip archives, runtime binaries, internal and 3rd party software) using a packaging framework that understands software versions as well as dependencies.

Chocolatey packages encapsulate everything required to manage a particular piece of software into one application by wrapping installers, executables, zips, and scripts into a single package.  This makes applications easy to install.  It simplifies the process of checking for updates.  And it makes installing those updates easy.  Installing updates on a regular basis is crucial for maintaining the security of your Windows machine.

Thousands of packages are available through Chocolatey.  Most, if not all, of them are free and open source.

Open a command prompt in Windows under administrator privileges:

Copy and paste the following command into the command prompt:

@”%SystemRoot%\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe” -NoProfile -InputFormat None -ExecutionPolicy Bypass -Command “iex ((New-Object System.Net.WebClient).DownloadString(‘’))” && SET “PATH=%PATH%;%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\chocolatey\bin”

After the installation finishes, type the following into the command prompt:

choco upgrade chocolatey

Finally, type the following into the command prompt if you want to use the GUI interface:

choco install chocolateygui

The installer will ask if you want to run the script.  The answer is Yes.

Once the installation has completed, close the command prompt.  Chocolatey should now be visible on your Start menu.


Harpoon Anti-Ship Missile FMS Contract


The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Missouri, is being awarded a $244,714,371 not-to-exceed, firm-fixed-price contract to procure long lead material for Harpoon full-rate production Lot 91 in support of multiple Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers.  Work will be performed in St. Charles, Missouri (54 percent); McKinney, Texas (23 percent); Toledo, Ohio (8 percent); Burnley, United Kingdom (3 percent); Middletown, Connecticut (2 percent); Grove, Oklahoma (2 percent); Elkton, Maryland (1 percent); Lititz, Pennsylvania (1 percent); Galena, Kansas (1 percent); Huntsville, Alabama (1 percent), and various locations within the continental U.S. (4 percent), and is expected to be completed in March 2023.  FMS funds in the amount of $244,714,371 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to 10 U.S. Code 2304(c)(1).  The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity (N00019-19-C-0016).


Harpoon is an over-the-horizon, anti-ship missile manufactured by Boeing’s Defence, Space & Security business division, which is capable of performing both land-strike and anti-ship missions. Its accurate navigation solution allows users to discriminate target ships from islands or other nearby land masses or ships.

This all-weather missile can engage a wide variety of land-based targets, including coastal defense sites, surface-to-air missile sites, aircraft, port or industrial facilities, and naval ships anchored in ports. The missile can be deployed from submarines and surface ships such as fast patrol boats, destroyers and frigates as well as mobile land-based truck platforms and a variety of U.S. military aircraft and mobile land-based truck platforms.


Battery Voltage vs Percent Charged

The charge state of a lead acid battery (% charged) can be estimated from the voltage measured at the terminals of the battery.  The chart below shows the relationship.

First, it is important to understand the terminology.  “C” is the capacity of the battery in amp-hours.  For example, this battery has a rating of 215AH when discharged over 20 hours.  Note:  The Duracell GC2 battery is a 6V golf cart battery.  So, the chart is applicable to two of these batteries connected in series.

For easy reference, here are calculations of the currents shown on the chart:

Curve Current Draw/Charge Approximate Wattage Draw/Charge

Here are several examples of interpreting voltage:

Scenario 1

It is night and no solar energy is available to charge the battery.  Several small pieces of electronic equipment are connected to the battery.  They consume about 25W or so.  The battery voltage is 12.5V.  This means that the battery is about 60% charged.

If the battery voltage were 12.0V, then the battery would only be 10% charged.  Likewise, if the voltage were about 12.7V, the battery would be pretty much fully charged.

Scenario 2

It is night and no solar energy is available to charge the battery.  An inverter, which draws about 2A (~25W) of current is powering a small air conditioner and 6 high intensity recessed LED lights.  The air conditioner consumes 500W of power and the lights consume 75W.  So, the total power drawn from the battery is about 600W, which is between the C/3 and the C/5 curve – but closer to the C5 curve.

If the battery voltage measures 12.0V, then the battery is almost certainly fully charged.  If it measures 11.5V, the battery is about 60% charged.  And if it measures 10.5V, it is somewhat less than 10% charged.

Note that discharging a battery at the C/3 or even the C/5 rate decreases the life of the battery.  C/10 or C/20 is much safer.  In addition, battery life is shorted by discharging a battery below 50% of its capacity.  600W represents 50A of current.  So, using a Duracell G2 battery pair like this for more than two hours decreases life because of the discharge rate as well as discharging too deeply.  For usage such as this, it is advisable to use at least 4, if not 6 of these batteries, in series/parallel combination.  6 batteries would reduce the discharge rate to C/16.7 and would increase the safe usage time to about 6 hours.

In the chart below, the area in green represents the safest discharge rates and amounts for best battery life.  Note that battery terminal voltages under 12.0V are always suboptimal.

Scenario 3

It is a sunny day, nothing is using power from the battery, and a solar panel system is producing about 10A of current.  The voltage at the battery terminals measures 14.0V.  This means that the battery is approximately 90% charged.  On the other hand, if the voltage at the battery terminals measures 13.0V, the battery is approximately 50% charged.

Non-DoD Strategic Support Facility for F-35 Aircraft


Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded $8,700,187 for cost-plus-fixed-fee order N0001919F0276 against a previously issued basic ordering agreement (N00019-14-G-0020).  This order provides support services to design a non-Department of Defense (DoD) participant strategic facility in support of the F-35 aircraft.  Work will be performed in Kansas City, Missouri (72 percent); and Fort Worth, Texas (28 percent), and is expected to be completed in March 2020.  Non-DoD participant funds in the amount of $8,700,187 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the fiscal year.  The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.