[OPEN] Parasitic P2P Relay

Wednesday, 15 April, Year 7 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

The job's actually pretty straightforward :

  1. Get a bunch of ESP8266, and set them up to work as relayers. You don't have to use TCP/IP necessarily, all you need to do is demonstrate an ability for individual units to talk to each other indirectly, through the mediation of other units.
  2. Design and build a power plant working off the heat gradient provided by cars (you probably wish to include a capacitor). Because of the excellent energy consumption and wake-up specs of the ESP8266 you don't really need to extract that much energy.
  3. Deploy these, by affixing them to other people's cars, without seeking permision. Get enough moving around so you can actually pass messages through this network. You don't have to demnonstrate any sort of significant bandwidth, 1kb/day transferred is ample for this exercise.

The reason we want this should be obvious, but if it isn't : it's a weapon, and in some contexts much more damaging than a nuclear warhead. That said, bear in mind that step 3 is probably illegal, if marginally so. In any case you will be dealing with an absolutely petrified and consequently quite irate USG apparatus, so don't expect much common sense.

Bitcoin available to defray at the very least the cost of materials.

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18 Responses

  1. William Dunne`s avatar
    William Dunne 
    Wednesday, 15 April 2015

    If anyone has a few spare, I'd be glad to give it a shot

  2. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Wednesday, 15 April 2015

    They should be a buck a piece, if you buy a good chunk. Buy a good chunk an' show the receipt.

  3. I guess it would defeat the purpose of "giving meta nsa something to worry about," but you could achieve step three by getting enough derps to voluntarily put it on their cars. Either way, I love the idea.

  4. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Thursday, 16 April 2015

    That'd prolly work best by making it a cool bike accessory or something.

    Say a back light assemblage that also includes the esp, and is powered by the wheel motion. People'd prolly put that in. Has the notable advantage that while the bike is stationary the esp is unpowered and thus undetectable.

  5. Last I checked cars do come with a power plant built in. As for "undetectable when turned off": http://search.bitcoin-assets.com/?q=nonlinear+junction+detector (tl;dr: electronics can't ever truly be turned off, except maybe in very tight conducting enclosure)

  6. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Monday, 20 April 2015

    Sure they come with a power plant, but what of it ?

    Also, I didn't mean undetectable quite in the absolute degree you have in mind. Detecting an active emitter is something you can do with a ten dollar tunable receiver. Detecting nonlinear junctions is something you do with a ten thousand dollar specialised tool, and it's slow, unreliable, requires trained operators and so on. Forcing a point, it's almost like saying "all text is plaintext" or "any lock has a key". Perhaps they might, but that doesn't always make a practical difference.

  7. > Sure they come with a power plant, but what of it ?

    Like, just connect the gizmo to that? As compared to following consideration:

    You want about 1 Watt electrical plant to semi - reliably power the ESP8266. At 5% usual thermocouple efficiency, it needs 20W thermal flow. Thus you need:
    1. 20W heatsink with access to outside air
    2. that is not apparent on cursory inspection
    3. and whole thing does not cost magnitudes more than $4
    4. and can be quickly without anyone noticing installed by a chump (what rules out usage of thermal gradients under the car's hood)

    I'd say these are insane design constraints, and I don't see any gain? Why not drop the requirement #2 to allow for something that people willingly hook up to car's electric source. Or the stuff can be hidden in a sticker and use daylight for power? Like, light-powered calculators are 30 years old mass produced tech. Thermocouple powered ones...somehow hadn't caught up.

  8. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Monday, 20 April 2015

    Like, just connect the gizmo to that?

    It's not your car.

    You want about 1 Watt electrical plant to semi - reliably power the ESP8266

    No. The spec we're working on is 70 mW peak, with 2mn wakeup time, so spending most of a second asleep.

    thermal gradients under the car's hood

    Gradient from the car's exhaust line (and for that matter, people doing this would be the sort of people that do street art, not chumps).

    Why not drop the requirement #2 to allow for something that people willingly hook up to car's electric source.

    Because I don't want something that people willingly drop. Why not make a rifle like a hammer, so people can willingly hit themselves over the head with it whenever we tell them to ?

    FTR, other designs were discussed at conf, such as photocell assemblage glued under street light, as well as movement powered bicycle attachment (sell it as a complete assemblage with the blinker, so people that will be getting a blinker anyway get this one), but those are those and this is this.

  9. Under-muffler deployment could happen from... toy car (remote-controlled) idly zipping about a parking garage...

  10. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Monday, 20 April 2015

    It's tagging, yo. Tagging.

    All you need's a skatebored.

  11. Framedragger`s avatar
    Wednesday, 19 October 2016

    Regarding #2, it appears that with ESP8266 deep sleep as well as batteries properly configured, the thing may last anywhere between three months (2 x AA / 3 x AAA batteries, measured) to 1-2 years or more (2500 mAh).

    So a prototype may as well, I say, ditch #2; a point would be made, and lots of fun would be had regardless.

  12. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Wednesday, 19 October 2016

    This is acceptable.

  13. 2500 mAh is a mighty brick.

  14. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Wednesday, 19 October 2016

    Apparently you can get it out of less than 100 grams these days.

  15. I recently learned that there is a (nonrechargeable -- Li-SOCl2) type of battery specifically made for this application, and widely available -- the LS 14500. SAFT makes the original, but there are clones. It can supply periodic pulses (a few 10s of mA) for several years.

  16. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Tuesday, 20 December 2016

    That's pretty cool.

  17. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Tuesday, 20 December 2016

    Up to 6500 Wh/kg check that shit out.

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