Girlie’s Xmas Annual – Part I

December 15, 2012

Hello World!  

And welcome to Girlie’s Xmas Xtravaganza !

Well, the Festive Season is upon us and Girlie Geek Productions has been hard at work to bring you extra lolz.

We freely admit that it’s been far too quiet on this blog recently.

So now (drum roll… ) for your general delectation and delight, we bring you not one, not two but three snippets of humour to help get the party underway

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Colour Mag

Modern take on Durer's engraving of Eden

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Traditional Forensicator’s Xmas Quiz

Limber up, you Lab rats !  Answer the following questions as honestly as you can then count up your answers and see what category Forensicator you are !

1:  A solicitor calls wanting vital picture evidence off a mobile do you:

a) Tell them it’ll be £700 + VAT and it’ll take 30 days to process.

b) Ask for the make & model and give a truthful prognosis on likely results.

c) Tell them it’ll be 60 quid – just chuck it in a Jiffy bag & post it to the Lab.

2: You hear the Met contract is up for grabs, anyone pitching for it has to do a test case.  Do you:

a) Set the Lab’s best Rottweilers on it whilst charging their time to big-budget clients.

b) Take it too seriously & worry they’ve put Stego on there for a laugh.

c) Con Russ May into thinking it’s a real case & pay him to do it for you.

3: You win a large LE contract. Do you:

a) Sack the staff then get them back in on short contracts to maximise profits.

b) Rejoice for 15 minutes then worry that the weight of work might impact on standards.

c) Grab all the students and wannabies you can get your hands on to populate the mobile lab – they’ll only have to push buttons, anyhow.

4: The following statement describes how your organisation sees digital forensics:

a) It’s a gravy train – charge as much as you can for as little work as possible.

b) We eat, sleep and breathe forensics & have little else in the way of conversation.

c) Forensics? No time for that. Too busy making vacuous comments on Twitter.

5: The annual F3 conference is on.  How do you spend the time?

a) Visiting all the vendors just to hoover up the sweeties and freebies.

b) Virtuously on Day 1, pie-eyed on Day 2 & completely wasted on Day 3.

c) Dolling out booze and forensic goodies to favoured police officers in an attempt to curry favour.

6:  A nice fat civil case comes up but the box for analysis is a MacBook Air.  Do you:

a) Suck your teeth, whinge about how difficult it’s going to be and double your normal quote.

b) Dig MacQuisition out of the storeroom, pronto.

c) Know naff all about Macs but take it on anyway.

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Now check your score:

Mostly As – You are a medium to large scale forensic shop with nice modern offices in a reasonable location and enough contract work coming in to feel smugly secure. Good luck when you lose your main LE contract.

Mostly Bs – You are a small shop constantly taking on too much work for too little money and being way too thorough to cut much profit but you’re happy because you love the job and your clients think you’re heroes.

Mostly Cs – You are Kraptech Forensics.

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Part II coming after the break…

Not Keats and Not Forensics

September 2, 2012

… But still in the spirit of cocking up the classics and uncovering hidden truths 

Odious Autumn

Season of myths and callow youthfulness

Close-bosom friend of Mr Murdoch’s Sun;

Conspiring with it how to load the press

With tosh the lines that round the royals run;

To bend with glee the rumors and half truths

And fill each page with lurid pix and prose,

To swell their sales, and grab the public gaze

With nubile girls and princes without clothes

And, being ever hungry for more proofs

Cry havoc and let slip their newshound sleuths,

For Summer has o’erbrimmed their dig-dirt craze.

Misreading Palace protocol for a Family Group shot following a right royal piss up the evening before, Prince Harry opts for his Birthday Suit.

You Cannot Be Siri-ous

October 18, 2011

All Hail the iPhone 4s !

Well, the newest, shiniest, grooviest Apple gadget has finally arrived and such is the excitement that online order times are estimated to take at least a fortnight to process.

So what’s it all about?  Well, apparently, we all need Siri – the very latest in interactive oojahmaflip.  Siri, it is said, is The Ultimate in gadget wizardry.  It’s the PA in your pocket, the Genie in your jeans.  Simply speak to your phone and Siri will Know And Understand your Every Need!

No.  Not making it up.  This is The Truth according to Apple (as embodied in St. Steve’s Letter to the Universe, Chapter 21.1: ‘And I saw a new iPhone and a new earth; for the iPhone 3s and the earth [v.?? God to advise] were passed away; and there was no more C. Or C++. But only sqlite. And endless artifacts of forensic fascination…’)

With its innovative speech recognition technology, Siri opens up hitherto unimagined channels of communication, finally bringing the art of conversation into the 21st century.

I mean, you can now talk to your phone, for Pete’s sake!  It will be your best friend.  The need to express and make oneself understood by some other, superfluous and utterly idiotic human, will be completely unnecessary!  C’mon.  How cool is that?

Quite apart from the obvious immediate benefits – e.g. fewer frayed nerves, less time spent banging head on desk in frustration – this technology is set to have a deeper impact on society in general.  No longer will we need to worry about body language or finding just the right words!  Sartorial choices will also become a thing of the past. What can’t be seen can’t be judged, after all.

And there’s even more good news for those who have already embraced our digital future. Feelings of isolation caused by endless hours of online chat unrelieved by genuine meetings in person will now be assuaged!  No-one will ever need to feel alone again.  For your iPhone will be always with you, sharing your hopes and fears, finding an answer to all your problems.

So much for the blurb, at least.  Very nice.  But have the Vision Makers really thought through the unique difficulties that the English language (like what She is spoke) might throw into the mix?

Here, for the benefit of several readers, we imagine what (unfortunately) may become some typical interchanges with the Beta edition –

e.g. The Famous:

HM The Queen:  ‘What shall We do about the Heir Apparent?’

Siri: ‘Facial hair apparent?  That sucks!  But there are clinics that deal with this type of thing  – hundreds of them close to you in Harley Street, London. You want I should list some?’

***

Cameron: ‘Check the verity of that sudden rise in stocks! ‘

Siri: ‘Check Werritty and the sudden demise of Fox? Gee, this is news to 10 Downing Street?’

***

Mrs T: ‘I’m 86 and still a big Tory! ’

Siri:  ‘1986 big story?  First case of Mad Cow Disease found in UK cattle.’

***

Elmo: ‘I’m worried about Dorothy.  Is it OK to have a fish for a best friend?’

Siri: ‘Maybe it’s time you came out properly, Sweetheart. Lots of Gays have fish friends and they can be very supportive. Here’s some movies that may help…’

***

And for the more ordinary mortal:

Frustrated, pencil-wielding UK writer: ‘No!  More mistakes! Where can I get a rubber?’

 Siri: ‘That bad, huh? Well, lucky for you there’s a drug store right on the corner…’

***

Innocent Brit in NY hotel: ‘Where can I find lifts?’

Siri: ‘You kidding?  They went out in the ’70’s.  And that would be last century...’

***

Even more Innocent Northern bird telling story of having been rudely awakened by a neighbour urgently hammering on the front door:  ‘The daft devil only knocked me up at two o’clock in the morning !’

Siri: Complete silence. There is no known US software which can deal with this type of statement.

***

Chin chin, Mr Chandler

March 29, 2011

When it comes to classic crime writing, Raymond Chandler has to be top of the tree. Inventor of the ultimate in hard-boiled investigators, Philip Marlowe, Chandler had an urgent, waspish style of his own. Much parodied but never matched, it was a style that defined the detective novel and inspired a range of unforgettable Film Noir.

Chandler was American, but he lived in England for 12 formative years. During that time, it seems, he started both scribbling down story lines and crafting characters in the pages of a Commonplace book which has just been unearthed at auction. That master of the world-weary wize crack, Marlowe, has been found here in his original UK-based incarnation. Though how he knew about digital forensics will keep researchers guessing for years to come…

Philip Mahalo

Bogard as Marlowe

Mahalo, Borsolino & E-cigarette

I’m an over-worked, under-paid forensic analyst and have been for quite a while. I’m self reliant or a team player, depending on which version CV I send out. In private practice, so some cops don’t like me too well but I get along with the old F3 crowd OK. I’m unmarried, unless you’re talking about the job. I sometimes put people in jail, sometimes keep them out. I like booze and birds and Homefront, though Assasin’s Creed comes a close second. I don’t do marital cases. Go test CMA yourself if you feel like a hero. I’m British born, bred and bored to death. North Country. Spade = Shovel. Enough said. When I get run over by an old lady in a bath chair doing 90 in broad daylight on an empty country high street, if it happens, as it could to anyone in my business, nobody will give a tuppenny tin stuff.

The Big Creep

It was one of those units that had flourished out of a broom cupboard under the stairs for as long as anyone could remember.  Front Reception took ten minutes to locate them on the internal phone system –  some measure of the esteem in which the HTCU was held in that neck of the woods.I had just come off the M6 via the M1 and A14. I needed some B12 to straighten up from the experience.

It was a warm day. Felt like Spring. Blossom out and a myriad of complicated scents hanging in the air. Heavy enough to mute the voice of the OIC, anyhow. Antihistamine could’ve fixed it but he hadn’t figured that yet. His tight throat squeaked out a welcome as honest as a tart’s kiss. I responded, watching him look me over the whole time. He never offered a hand. Traditional stand-off. Prosecution versus Defence. It was going to be one of those mornings.

He was a funny little man. Mouse like and balding. Middle age had caught up with him but the comb-across was still running away.  Well, trying. The room they put us in was about 12’ by 12’. It was hot in there and he quickly removed his jacket. Seemed to me he was glad to do so, though he managed the news well. An empty gun holster swung loosely under one arm. Almost moved me to compassion: I guessed it was intended as an implicit threat but the void spoke more of impotence. However you read it, it was way OTT for CID transporting a suspect computer with fewer than 10 level 1 to 2’s between police premises.

There were two tables in the room. The Advent netbook was on one of them, set out neatly on an antistatic mat. It looked small and innocent. Too small to cause as much trouble as it had. I hesitated for a minute, sweat rising on the back of my neck. Could be a  Zif drive in there, after all. Hadn’t re-read the statement from the other side in my rush and was going on the memory of a regular 120 gig SATA. Maybe should have packed the adaptor. The door swung open and my Oppo walked through. ‘Hi’, he beamed.  Genuine smile, this time.‘How are you? Haven’t seen you in a while.’

The £20 I’d spent on an industry workshop which was ultimately hijacked for advertising by So Smug three years previously suddenly returned on the investment. We shook hands and got down to geek speak. The rest of the two hours it took to wrap the job was pretty much plain sailing. The relative merits of EnCase and FTK, Logicubes and Tableaus, Digestives and Hobnobs – we gabbled through the whole gamut of forensic experience, emerging happier and sadder by lunchtime. Except for the OIC, that is. His eyes wore that glazed, road kill kind of look. Had done since the second technical term flew past. But that was his problem.

The day was still beautiful as I turned my battered Brough Superior onto the road back. I let my mind loosen up as the accelerator went down. The holiday didn’t last long. The guy at the other end of the phone was a PI that’d called before. The ice in my voice said he’d  used up his share of free technical help.

“Can you do a Nokia 7210?”

“Sure,” I said, “What do you want off it?”

“Deleted texts.”

“Uh huh.  Who’s this for?”

“Husband who’s suspicious about his high-flying executive wife.”

“Told you before, I don’t do marital.”

“It’s business.  They’re in business together.”

Yeah, right.  I thought.  The pigs’ll be coming over in formation any time now.

“So the rival’s commercial or physical?”

“Maybe both.  What do you care?”

“And who owns the phone?”

“The husband.”

You sure learn fast, buddy.

“And he’ll sign for that?”

“Yes.  How much will it be?”

“Same as the last one, unless you want a Statement to go with it.”

“Someone else has quoted less.”

“Oh yeah?”

“Yeah. Seventy-five quid. Put it in the post.  No questions asked.”

“Let me guess…  The guy in the Midlands.  Says he’s a forensic analyst but he’s a regular PI fronting for another outfit.”

“So what?”

“So go right ahead and use him.  I’m not interested in a bidding war.”

I closed the phone with an angry expletive. The guy in the Midlands was getting to be a regular irritation. Like the people he was fronting for. It was a real forensics shop alright but the business strategy was about as subtle as Galliano on Glass. It hadn’t improved any since they lost that big LE contract, either. They were spending plenty on online advertising, that was for sure. You could Google ‘One-legged menopausal mothers for moral rearmament’ and their logo would turn up. Can’t beat target marketing.

I knew the main man there. Had done for years. His huge, hulking frame would shamble into all the usual conferences and then hover in some corner like a great cloud of gloom. Wasn’t all that popular, except with the other ex-military types. You could see why. He never approached anyone unless he smelt a business lead. And he always wore the same face. Solid. Expressionless. Last time it smiled, that face was around four months old and about to bring back wind.

For all his physical bulk, Cain Calico left no personal impression. There was nothing to leave. He was a cipher character. Just put there to move the world plot along. Though it was hard to see how. I was still angry enough at the PI’s call to think maybe it was to throw another spanner in the works of my life. Why not? There were enough in there to fix a fleet of Boeings already.

Calico had been trying to muscle in on the PI market for some time. He wanted to join the UK’s biggest representative group but couldn’t without endorsement from two existing, long term members. So he looked through the list of names until he found one he knew. It was mine. The email he sent was as blunt as his features. Told me how I was going to endorse him. Like I’m some 404 aching to hand over hard won clients on a plate. I didn’t trust myself to answer, so ignored it, though the audacity stung. Next thing, I stumble on his alternative route. The guy in the Midlands. The connection was too easy to miss. When he started putting himself around as a forensic ‘expert’, I decided to check him out. Found him on LinkedIn, though he wasn’t shouting about being a PI. The entry told a different story,  three line wonder that it was. But the location matched. And there was one contact. Calico.

The Dickens of a tale

January 2, 2011

No one conjures up the sense and spirit of the Victorian era or, indeed, the traditional Christmas like Charles Dickens – probably the best loved author of his time and far beyond. Tremendously successful in his own lifetime, he nevertheless had to publish his famous ghost story ‘A Christmas Carol’, himself and made little money out of it, despite its immense popularity.

The finished work appeared in 1843.  It seems, though, that he was tinkering with the idea at least a year beforehand.  At that point, the focus of the tale was a small, seedy little forensic shop, somewhere in the midst of England’s dark, satanic mills.  Here the main protagonist, Ebenezer Scrotes, plied his dubious trade.

That Dickens knew anything of digital forensics has shocked literary circles.  Yet the distinctive style of the master in this previously unknown manuscript, has convinced many that it is, indeed, by that illustrious author’s own hand.

Now read on…

The Ghost of Christmas Past

Business was dead, to begin with.  There was no doubt about that. The phones lay silent.  Outside, the snow more silent still.  It twinkled, irritatingly, in the last, thin light of the sun.  At least it was irritating to Scrotes, who was seated in a large chair near to the office window.  He looked on the scene and glowered.

The Rotary Club sleigh had pulled up at the pavement opposite and now started to blast out carols from its tinny little speakers.  Someone wearing a Santa hat got out of the front of the float and stood on the street, beaming.  Scrotes could see him mouthing: ‘Merry Christmas!’ to passers by who stopped to exchange pleasantries and drop a few pence into the offered collection pot.

‘Bah,’ said Scrotes, ‘Humbug.’

Spoof Scrooge picture

Mr Ebenezer Scrotes in Seasonal humour

In the room behind, the one member of staff made to stay on duty past midday, who, until then, had been totally absorbed in a game of Angry Birds, raised his gaze.  He, too, looked outside and smiled, wistfully.  He was thinking of the excitement that would be going on at home, at that moment.  The children squealing with delighted anticipation.  He wife, run ragged, desperately trying to get them to watch ‘The Snowman’ DVD for the fourteen millionth time.

Can’t wait to be with my wonderful little family’ , he Tweeted, as quietly as he could, keeping the Android under the lip of his desk.

‘Christmas a humbug, Mr Scrotes?’ he ventured, ‘You don’t mean that, I am sure.’

‘I do,’ said Scrotes and he made a fist of his right hand and shook it without bothering to lift it from the arm rest, ‘Bloody religion.  Hate it.  Cause of all the world’s problems… and all of mine.. ‘

Oh dear, thought Smallbutt – for that was his name – here we go.  It’ll be the off-colour Pope jokes again in a minute.

‘Christmas isn’t just about religion, anyway,’ Scrotes ranted.  And, thinking the observation marvelously erudite, Tweeted it, on the instant.

‘Come, now,’ tried Smallbutt, amiably, ‘There is no need to be dismal.  We have every chance of winning that LE contract that Kraptech have just lost…’

Scrotes’ pudgy fingers were punching something out on the keyboard in front of him.  Smallbutt  glanced at the Twitter feed.

Hardly time to to s**t , here, we’re so busy.  Busy, busy, busy..

That would fool the opposition.  In any event, he’d relied upon similar updates doing so the rest of the year.

‘Humm.. Kraptech.. yes..’ Scrotes suddenly replied and his hard-bitten, bully-boy features started to warm, for if he had known what it meant, he’d have invented the term Schadenfreude and sold it on to the Germans. ‘Serves the silly b*st*rds right.’

Privately, though, Scrotes had had a grudging admiration for Kraptech’s tactics on that contract bid.  It took balls to get analysts you’d just fired to come back in for the day of the Police look-around in order to give the impression of a thriving, fully-staffed lab.

‘They almost got away with it, though,’ he said, now, out loud, ‘If that bloke hadn’t turned up for interview with the same Force and let the cat out of the bag…  ‘

He mused on the idea for a moment or two before adding, ‘Well, we’d better bloody well get a look-in.  I had enough coppers drinking my Sake at F3.  Best futsuu it was.  Not that that lot would appreciate it.  They owe me for those Faraday bags I gave them, too..’

He was interrupted by a knock at the door.  Before Smallbutt could extract his corpulent frame from behind the desk and go to answer it, the sound of young voices started to waft in:

God rest ye merry, Gentlemen

Let nothing you dismay..

‘Merry?’ bellowed Scrotes, leaping up, ‘What right have you to be Merry?  What reason?’

He threw open the door to reveal four kiddies, not one above the age of ten and all muffled up against the bitter cold, for an icy fog was descending.  They shrank together at the sight of the great mountain of a man before them, face flushed in anger, the glare from the strip lighting above bouncing wildly off his bald pate.

‘Please, Sir,’ started one, voice trembling, ‘Collecting for the homeless.’

‘Tell ‘em to go to the Sally Army,’ returned Scrotes, and slammed the door.

‘That’s a bit harsh,’ said Smallbutt.

‘I give to charity when I please,’ said Scrotes, ‘Bloody Seasonal blackmail.’

He shuffled back to his chair and settled into it, feeling rather more self righteous than before.

‘Bah,’ he said, at length, and then, ‘Humbug !’

And as the darkness closed in and the last shoppers scurried away and Smallbutt finally headed out into fresh falling snow towards a noisy, welcoming home, he thought of the carol singers, and their astonished, innocent faces.  Glancing quickly over his shoulder, he looked back towards the office door.  It was ghostly, now, half lost in the thickening fog.  He thought of those Christmases yet to come and shook his head.

‘God help us, every one!’

Spoof image of the young Dickens with computer

Mr Dickens in 1842 with his amazingly innovative steam netbook

Christmas Evenin’ All

December 31, 2010

The gentry watch the workers enjoy their Christmas fayre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was Christmas Eve in the unit

Two analysts languished there

Hungover, tired and jaded

Tinsel shreds stuck in their hair

 

They gazed out on a frosted landscape

With no inclination to thaw

And reflected upon the injustice

Of having drawn this year’s short straw

 

They stared at the dregs of their coffee

And let slip a slight, wistful groan

As they thought of the grub and the telly

They were now missing out on at home

 

A days’ work was waiting attention

Keyboards and write blockers lay ready

But neither would risk getting started

With stomachs and hands that unsteady

 

Dim thoughts of the office party

Were starting to get more intense

Like pieces of some insane jigsaw

Where nothing quite fit or made sense

 

Their bleary eyes met for a moment,

A knowing look, silently shared,

Spoke volumes, for what had gone on there

Could never be publicly aired

 

It’d lasted ‘til well beyond midnight

With lashings of cheap fizz and beer

And everyone laughing and joking

‘til some clown goosed DC Smith’s rear

 

But the fuss was for nought, on reflection,

For she was much later espied

Putting a shadowy, masculine figure

In touch with her feminine side

 

Now, no-one had dared to make reference

To this little faux-pas, just yet

But when one lad started a sweepstake

Everyone took out a bet

 

In the corner sat the Inspector,

His face was all pasty and grim

The rumour mill had started grinding

And fingers were pointing at him

 

The whispering and speculation

At least made for innocent fun

And took their minds off the recession

And job cuts that surely must come.

 

The irony of the sweet carols

And steeple bells, starting to ring

Was not lost on these, our sad heros,

As they pondered what next year might bring

 

Of comfort and joy came no tidings

But all men must hope on that day

If they couldn’t enjoy Christmas dinner

They’d at least put some b*st*rd away

 

So they broke seals on two main exhibits

And imaged and indexed and poured

Over every last shred of the data

And turned up some pron and a fraud

 

Job done, they both left their shift happy

And went home to join in the cheer

Think on this tale, all who now read it –

There’ll be fewer to guard us, next year.

 

May auld aquaintance etc. etc…

 


Blue flashing light

The Forensicator’s Windows Song

September 14, 2010

Data forensics is seldom something the average examiner feels like singing about, especially after a hard day’s trawl through the cesspit of some foul offender’s C drive.  Small wonder, then, that one of the foremost forensicators of the 1930’s hid his true day job from the public gaze, preferring to promote an up-beat, cheerful persona as that cheeky, chirruping songster, George Formby.

Yes, when he wasn’t bashing a ukulele or finding a lamppost to lean on, it seems the toothy-grined Northerner was actually hip-deep in Hex.  This much is clear from the recently-unearthed first lyric for one of his most popular hits, ‘The Window Cleaner’.

Revealed here, for the first time, the words show that it was but a short step to the version which we know today.

[Those uncertain of the tune or unfamiliar with the genre can check out the following link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dG1W1h5W17Y&feature=related ]

The Windows Gleaner

I’m analysing Windows to earn an honest Bob,
For a nosey parker, it’s an interesting job
Oh, it’s a job that just suits me, forensicators you would be
If you could see what I can see
When I’m gleaning Windows

The office workers surfing porn or stuck on eBay dusk ‘til dawn
They’ve clearly got less brains than brawn
When they’re using Windows.

George Formby

George Formby and his HFS+ 'Snow Job' formatted banjolele

In my profession I work hard to stay right at my peak,
I’ll show the opposition that I am the smartest Geek.

I’ll pick through browser history: it’s easy as the ABC
And then I’ll probe the Registry
When I’m gleaning Windows.

Those dodgy search terms, passwords, links;
I’ll turn up everything that stinks
And put a stop to your hi-jinks
“Cos it’s all there in Windows.

Insiders with a hand in fraud; Blackmailers wishing they had scored
They don’t know every move is stored
When you’re using Windows.

Just let me at a hard disk and I’ll dish up all the dirt
I’ll carve that bloomin’ data ‘til the platters start to hurt

Some Facebook users snap a friend then put up pictures that offend
It’s come to be a modern trend
With eejits using Windows.

Some boastful of their manly traits do funny tricks with training weights
– that wasn’t thought of by Bill Gates
When he invented Windows !

Done for a laugh, whilst on a spree, or just when feeling wild and free
It’s there now for posterity
On PCs running Windows.

Just let me at a hard disk and I’ll dish up all the dirt
I’ll carve that bloomin’ data ‘til the platters start to hurt

Technology is great, for sure, the future will bring more and more
And keep the wolf from my front door
So here’s a toast to Windows!

Geekys’ diary – Sex and Sharp Practice

August 12, 2010

Wednesday 11th August, 1667

Up and to ye Starbuckke house for a Latte, the very vapours of which do help dispel a lingering hangover, for I did make too merry last eve with my good friend Mr. Hardestuffe.

‘Twas the headline from ye Sun which did start it. ‘Man dies in sex stunt with tree’. The very thought did have us convulsed.  The ladies being in the next room, Hardestuffe did question what need the unfortunate victim had of a tree, there being many a man whose wife might pass for wood in conjugal relations. I have heard it said before, yet so women do complain their husbands be brutish and brief in the marital bed. There is much in the old adage that every story hath two sides.

This morrow comes another headline, this time in ye Telegraph, which makes much of a ‘Cult of Apple’. I first think they have just heard of Sir Isaac Newton’s interesting new theory, prompted by an apple’s fall, which asserts that the same force which governs the moon does drag the fruit to earth. It is a wondrous concept and much debated, but not the thing which prompts this ejaculation. Noe, the article asks if iPods, iPads and a great swathe of other iStuffe be addictive. I do confess I am myself much taken with such slinky gadgets but it stretches credulity to the limit to say that buying music online is the ‘digital equivalent of a sexual encounter in which both parties conceal the fact that money has changed hands.’ What nonsense!  The man has plainly never frequented ye Olde Slapper’s Arms on Bankside, much less His Majesty’s Court, where a rustle of petticoats and the vaguest scent of Musk may win whole estates.

I to the office where very quiet and dull.  Yet here to my inboxe comes news from my Lady Lindy that the F3 conference be fixed for November.  I mighty glad, for I could do with a laugh. So, dispatching my booking post haste, I down to the Dog and Dongle for an early lunch and a start on getting ye liver into training in anticipation.

These slow times do breed some strange practices. Such is the desperation of our Northern neighbours that they now do try to gain business by appearing to have City offices.  My colleague, Widget, says that only last month he did see a fine piece of theatre whereby the name of one such country firm did suddenly appear on a meeting room door at the heart of Covent Garden.  What wit did think that out, should take himself a percentage of the proceeds !  Barely an hour of the clock goes by and the meeting is over.  Off comes the name from the door as fast as it went on, to be replaced just as quickly by another.  It was, of course, nothing but a sham but from this showe, and likely the additional purchase of an 020 number, do the clients seem content to believe our yokels have prestigious London premises.  Good luck to them, say I, but do wonder at the clients’ credulous nature.  Did they not find it odd to be surrounded by nothing but Northern accents in a city so famous for its ethnic diversity?

Now comes my champion pigeon, Pye,  bearing new instructions.I see from the LSC grant papers that we did win the worke despite cheaper quotes, which gives me a moment’s triumph.  It seems some other ‘experts’ do promise a mobile phone examination, to include deleted data, for less than 200 l.  I wonder at their audacity as much as their prices for, without advice of the make and model of the equipment, it be impossible to know what may be got therefrom.

tarot wheel of fortune

A Defendant's hopes dashed by ye Forensick Wheel of Fortune

This type of sharp practice, which takes advantage of the lawyers’ being ill informed on matters forensick, does make me mighty crosse. The publick purse be picked by these people, for they will make full charge whether they succeed or not, knowing none will be the wiser.  All pity, too, to the man whose freedom may be lost because those he relies upon to prove his defence be indifferent or incompetent money grabbers.

Lern yerself ‘Fockney’ – Forensic rhyming slang

July 6, 2010

Cockney will be dead in 30 years. At least, that’s what the people who worry about dialects say.  The familiar London patois, famous the world over and reproduced with tender, loving inaccuracy by all those Aussies* shipped in by Holywood to do ‘British’ accents over the years, is apparently on the wane. Instead, we now have Mockney – a kind of middle class upgrade spoken by the chattering classes who are far too refined to get down off their Chelsea tractors to help scrape up a cyclist they’ve just squished but like to sound down on the street when they go slumming it in some poshed up pub in Peckham.

Apart from it’s distinctive sound Cockney is, of course, renowned for its rhyming slang which was devised as a kind of linguistic steganography – you could hear a conversation was being held but the meaning was deliberately obscured in words and phrases understood only by those in the know.

So it is with Fockney, the new rhyming slang for digital forensic folk. While our terminology is already rarified, it can always be made even more inaccessible. Helps to make sure the judge and jury get a nice afternoon’s nap.

Here’s a handy reference and a practice text to help you on your way:

Everyday terms:

Vicious and vile – evidence file ( “Sid” or “Sidney” Ref: Sid Vicious)

Bored and fraught – Court

Aid and abet – Internet (“Ada”) otherwise known as:

Incy  – the Web  (Ref: Incy Wincy Spider)

Drainpipe trouser – Browser

Lady Godiva – Screw driver

Joe Cocker – Write blocker

Ebb and flow – Tableau

Frolic and frisk – Hard disk

Babbling brook – Facebook

Gary Glitter – Twitter (“the Gary“)

Smelly feet – Tweet

Tell-tale – email

Pearly KIng

Not a Pearly computer examiner

Burger – a Mac computer

Specialist terms:

King and Ace – EnCase

Pay and display – FTK (generic)

Bruce Lee – FTK3

Duck and dive – registry hive

Hit and miss – hyberfile.sys

Leer and lech –prefetch

Emerald Isle – page file

Miscellaneous

Willy Wonka – plonker

Brad Pitt –

1)  a disagreeable fellow, likely to let you down (“He’s a right Brad”)

2) to answer the call of nature

J. Arthur – historical meaning unchanged

Beef tea  – F3 (reference to what’s needed to get over the alcohol poisoning you’ll give yourself during the annual conference)

England World Cup Squad – crap, in anyone’s language.

* * *

OK.  Now let’s see how you get on with the following sample passage:

Nous voici dans le unit de crime hi-tech.

Whoops, sorry, slipped genre for a minute there…

The scene: a cramped and sweaty Hi-tech unit in the deepest depths of Sarf Landan..

Mornin’ Jim

Mornin’ Harry

What’s the score, then?

4-0 to Germany, I think.

Don’t be a Willy Wonka…

Oh, right. Still waiting for Bruce to crunch that Deptford murder. ‘ere, chuck us a Lady will ya? This one’s busted.

What’s that you’ve got?

Some kind of old Burger. There’s always three million screws in the damn things and none of them ever go back how they came out. You got much on?

Another couple’a Frolics on that Hackney case.

D’ya get much off that one you did Friday?

Na. Used somethin’ to wipe the Ducks, didn’t they.

Unallocated?

Bit of Drainpipe history. And they’ve been on Babblin’ That’s about it. Going to give Hit-an’-miss a quick shuftie but there’s not enough time for that and the Emerald. The boss wants…

Blimey, look at this that’s just popped up on the Gary ! Bet he meant to DM that Smelly!

You’ll get killed doin’ that on duty…

Coffee break, ain’t it… Looks like there’s a right old flame fest goin’ on somewhere out on the Incy..

Well whatever it is, stay out of it. Like my wonderful, grey-haired ol’ mother used to say (wipes tear from eye) : If you can’t say something nice..

…DM all your mates and slag ’em off behind the scenes instead.

Right. Well, best be off. Due in Bored and fraught at 10.

* * *

* Sorry guys but, you know… Look, Brits can’t do Oz or Kiwi, either. Fair?

Geekys’ Diary – War and Wyboston

July 2, 2010

Friday 2nd July, 1667

Up betimes about 7 o’clock and see the latest edition of Ye Economist is already laid out for me by my manservant, Grimace.  ‘Cyberwar – the threat from ye Internet’, screams the cover. I do wonder it has taken the media so long to wake up to the idea.  I stifle a yawn.   Reading, I am told that Cyberspace hath become the ‘fifth domain of warfare’ and this novelty followed by a breathless tale of how easily networks may be infiltrated and how dangerous stealthy is the rise of online crime and espionage.  It is a very comfort to knowe that, even as ye clouds of digital doom gather, the budget for both military and Lawe Enforcement is being slashed to the bone.

Pepys with iPad

This last hath been all the talk at ye ACPO conference at Wyboston this year, and I saw many a strong man weep into his beer over it.  And his whiskey, too.  Alas, I staid only one evening there, it being, effectively, a lock-out and none from ye private sector admitted except for the vendors of sundry Forensick tooles.   I am in the industry long enough to understand that they do enjoy making the thing unto an exclusive clubbe but methinks it doth go beyond the bounds to hang a sign inscribed: ‘All Coppers – Piss Off’ upon the door.

I had some pleasure on it, nonetheless, seeing many friends and hearing much gossip.  The people there did speak very badly of Paunchy O’Grouchy, for one.  This did surprise me, since he was long one of their number but now does lose respect on account of his attitude.  For he guards that forensick invention of his jealously and allows none to speak of another when they visit his coffee shoppe in Webbe Lane.  Some have found themselves ejected therefrom merely for mentioning other software.  I did concur with them that it would seem a contrary way to do business.

These are indeed strange times. While yet at Wyboston, I see a new forensick toole is vaunted which shall transforme the daily grind which is the lot of the analyst (do not they all?).  But though the miracle hath a name and a site be made for it on ye Internet, there is, as yet, nothing to buy.  This stops not the vendors from pushing it like mad and I am told many presentations are to be made about its manifold benefits.  Thence home, where a colleague who has attended one of these sessions doth text to say he is not convinced of the matter.  I wait to hear other opinions.

pigeon

Mr Geekys' AthlonII X4 Quad core Pigeon, Pye

I think to go to the Dog and Dongle for dinner but now comes Grimace in haste.  ‘Pye is come home, master,’ he calls, waving a note.  Some say Pigeon post be outmoded but our carriers may cross London walking faster than Vista Business boots.  So I to the office.  It is truly a great feature of FTK3 that a message be generated when an image be indexed complete.

sent from my iPad


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