Tuesday, May 04, 2004

First, I want to thank everyone for leaving me some comments about my book. It definitely drives me to keep working on it. I have some doubts about it ever getting published by a "real publisher", but what I am finding is that I can put together a pretty nice "on demand" published book for around (or less than) $20. That would be a black and white book, with a color *hard bound* cover. So if it comes to me having to publish my own book, it will still cost about the same to those who purchase it.

In the meantime, I am still learning, documenting, and recording my findings.

New Findings!
I had to drive up to the grocery Sunday night. I decided I would bring Audrey along (the laptop) and we would do some adventuring on the way there. It's been a while since I cruised my local neighborhood looking for networks, so it appears a few new ones have popped up. I was really interested in some classy apartments up the street from me because of the parking lot design. You drive into the middle of the complex, and apartments completely surround you from all directions. Its the perfect place to park and have fun. Although, I only found about 3 networks, and two of them were WEP protected.

I jumped onto the unprotected network which must have belonged to Shawn. How do I know? Because he named everything after himself.
  • The Access Point - Named "SHAWN'S WIRELESS". Thanks Shawn.
  • The Shared Items - Shawns Documents, Shawns Music, etc.
  • The Filenames - Shawns Report on ... (you get the idea)

Shawn was sharing his entire C drive, and yet, had nothing interesting to share. I spent a good five minutes poking through his stuff, and even his music collection bored me. Did you know that some people actually like Tori Amos? I ought to have a talk with Shawn. Shawn, I will e-mail you later so we can talk about this. Or maybe I should message him through AIM. I have his screen name too.

NEXT! I started driving up the street and decided I would go to Krogers and get my food before doing any more snooping. As I drove along the store fronts of the strip mall connected to my grocery store, I found an access point. I parked my car to check it out. I had seen this unprotected access point before but from the other side of the parking lot. I had always wondered where the signal was coming from, and couldn't pinpoint it. It turns out I had found an Access Point belonging to a "C.D. Warehouse" store.

CD Warehouse is a shop that buys and sells music, video games, movies, etc. Their computer is apartently on a wireless network. This computer is the one behind the counter that contains all of their sales data, and inventory. I have always been curious about how the store does business, so I snooped a little.

I was able to easily locate their database (in some odd format) and many transactional records with Amazon (the online bookseller). It looks like Amazon and CD Warehouse do quite a bit of business together. Amazon will sell used items from their website, for which CD Warehouse has the inventory. It's not a bad business. What I found is that Amazon has a much higher cost per item than CD Warehouse does. What a racket. From looking at their sales records, I would say that CD Warehouse easily makes five to eight bucks per item, and doesn't have to maintain an online store.

I also found transaction records with items bought and sold for the past few months from online customers. Nothing to do with payment methods (no credit carrd numbers, etc) which was good. If I ever run into credit numbers,
I'm splitting. I do not want to go to Federal prison. :-) What I did find though was customer names, addresses, e-mail addresses, how they had paid, and what they wanted in the way of a CD, movie, etc. The data was a tab delimited file that was probably output from some odd database application. You have to love Microsoft Excel, which was able to import the data and arrange it very neatly into columns. What could I do with this information? Nothing. But it does give you an idea of "what people want". You see what you think. Below is an example of the unorganized mess of data. Some personal details edited out with *'s

cancelled 2002-02-24 14:16:31.0 700807248581 Eight Arms to Hold You [Audio CD] Veruca Salt 0207H565152 607703000124 6.99 2.29 1 9.28 02-24-2002:14-16-31 805613 b***@cfl.rr.com Bre-elle Ishtar Bre-elle Ishtar **** Harmon Ave Winter Park FL 32789-5420 United States 607703000124 standard
cancelled 2002-02-26 22:35:38.0 700104269601 The Secret of NIMH [DVD] (2001) Bluth, Don; Jacobi, Derek; Hartman, Elizabeth... 0125A712902 027616703729 12.99 2.29 1 15.28 02-26-2002:22-35-37 785376 h***@hotmail.com h*** **** **** 21st ave san francisco CA 94122 United States 027616703729 standard
cancelled 2002-02-27 17:55:16.0 700907212751 Insane Clown Posse: Big Money Hustla$ - The Movie [DVD] (2001) Cafiero, John; J 0227T055532 044005380996 8.99 2.29 1 11.28 02-27-2002:13-30-46 837835 b***@rocketmail.com Charles J. Day charles j day **** lowry rd indianapolis in 46222 United States 044005380996

Did you notice that they had cancelled the order for the Veruca Salt album? Good call.

I also found a ton of uninteresting items. Documents created on accident, a hundred folders named "New Folder", and zip files with random character names (that were empty). It's the sure sign that a fucktard has been using this computer, and repeatedly makes senseless mistakes that leave behind empty files.

Other than satisfying some of my curiosities, I didn't find anything of interest and I moved on. It was a short adventure, and a bit unfilfilling. I think my next adventure is going to be heading into a better populated area. I have been wanting to get back to the local University campus. But for that, I should wait for my buddy The Discount Man to heal from his recent eye surgery. The last time we went Wardriving on campus, he was upset that he could not locate any "booty pics" as he so desired to steal.

Yet, the most interesting items I have found have been from business parks. I ought to head out this weekend and just "gather".

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