March 12th, 2009


The Story of the World's Largest Diamond Heist

He took the elevator, descending two floors underground to a small, claustrophobic room - the vault antechamber. A 3-ton steel vault door dominated the far wall. It alone had six layers of security. There was a combination wheel with numbers from 0 to 99. To enter, four numbers had to be dialed, and the digits could be seen only through a small lens on the top of the wheel. There were 100 million possible combinations.

The door was monitored by a pair of abutting metal plates, one on the door itself and one on the wall just to the right. When armed, the plates formed a magnetic field. If the door were opened, the field would break, triggering an alarm. To disarm the field, a code had to be typed into a nearby keypad. Finally, the lock required an almost-impossible-to-duplicate foot-long key.

(via bruce_schneier)

Edit: Let me get this straight... they put the magnetic "door open" sensor on the outside of the impenetrable vault door? You can almost forgive the lazy guard who keeps the supar-sekrit key in the nearby utility closet, but installing an alarm on the outside of the vault, where anyone can tamper with it?? That's an awfully stupid mistake for an installer who's supposed to be an expert on alarms.

Edit 2: More articles by the same author at his website.
Trajedy... for YOUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!

Do you understand what the "bailout" actually is?

After the biggest federal bailouts in U.S. history, top Washington lawmakers are largely unwilling to say whether they will continue to accept campaign contributions from some of their biggest donors: political action committees and employees of institutions that received the money.

"On a basic level, people see executives' salaries being paid in part by the government bailout and the executives are taking out that money and giving it back to legislators that made it available to them in the first place. It's not going to look good," said Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, which analyzed last year's contributions to Congress.

The top Democratic and Republican leaders refused to answer questions about whether they would take contributions from PACs, employees and executives of companies that received funds from the TARP.