Archive for the ‘Humour’ Category

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?’

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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…’

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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...’

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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.

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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.

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!

The Digital Diary of Samuel Geekys

July 1, 2010

Read all about it! First in a new series – industry gossip like you’ve never heard it before…

The world of 18th century geekdom as seen through the eyes of the famous diarist, Samuel Geekys.

Tuesday 30 June, 1667

Up, and without my customary shave, I straight to my workstation to see what news may lie in my inboxe. I see that Amazon do despatch ‘Forensicks for Dummies’ with all haste, which pleases me, for I have a presentation in the offing and am glad of material to rip off for the slides which should accompany it. Thence to Twitter, where little changed since last evening, links of no interest and pointless photographs of glasses of beer. It amazeth me that people do bother to post such stuffe and nonsense. Then also their eventide wishes. ‘Goodnight all,‘ and such like. How people fancy that others take a minute interest in their sad little lives! I have, of late, witnessed some even giving a blow-by-blow account of events in ye Worlde cuppe whilst most may easily watch the same for themselves upon wide-screen televisions in their local hostelries or in the comfort of their own homes. Such is the self regard of this age of ours.

No time for Facebook this morrow. Dressed and on with my Periwig and I to the office where I find my colleague, Widget, in poor spirits. He says he hears that our rivals Kraptech have got contracts with certain agents of Lawe Enforcement by doing phone exams at 30l each! Much astounded, I ask him how they do manage it. He tells me they use students part time and they not even having any learning in Forensicks. I say it is the fault of the general attitude, for the Courts do not seem to care how evidence be gained from phones, accepting always the Prosecution report at face value. Yet privily I am troubled that standards are debased in such a fashion. Also that prices are driven down by these unscrupulous knaves. Presently, it will not be worthe a man’s while rising for work in a morning.

Pepys with iPad

Geekys with his iPad

Thence away to clients in the City but I staid vexed by the conversation. Next bleeps my iPhone with news from Transport for London saying ye Circle Line be again up the creek and I standing betimes at Ludgate Circus. I resolve to hail a black carriage, despite the cost. The journey doth not improve my temper for the traffic is jammed solid. Why does my Lord Boris the Mayor not get the blessed lighting system sorted? The worlde knows that his predecessor Livingstone, loving bicycles almost as well as newts, did get the timings altered such that only one or two carriages may pass before all must stop again. Then when the cry went up that the city did move at a crawl, he made it an excuse to bring in ye Congestion Charge. Now have we both the Charge and the traffic problems. Thus do we benefit from the ‘improvements’ of politicians.

Home and again on to Twitter, thinking to post some witty snippet before bed. There I am affronted by the great brags made by others in my profession about how much work they do get. It causes me to laugh, for all do know that the year has been very bad for everyone. These boasters do have a right nerve, for they are the same who phone colleagues to ask prices for covering certain jobs, barter as low as possible then never call back. They surely think us all thicke that we do not know their game, which be only to discover our costs so that they can undercut us.