Orion Nebula

Recently I took a trip to cherry springs state park. There was a full moon but I was excited to try some new equipment that I got.

Orion Nebula

I hope you like this photo. The equipment I was trying out was the Starsense, a focuser and dew heaters with everything being controlled with an Xbox controller with CPWI

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Messier 103

Here are some of the first images I have ever taken when I started astrophotography. These images are of Messier 103. I hope you enjoy them. I took them with my Makustov Cassegrain 7″ and a Cannon 60D camera.

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Whirlpool Galaxy

Here are some pictures of the Whirlpool Galaxy that I took. These are with a Celestron C11, hyperstar, ASI mcpro camera, and guide scope. I tried to use a filter with the hyperstar to reduce the light pollution, but it blocked some colors from coming through. I still think it is a pretty awesome result though. The next time I do this target, I’ll try to get all the color.

I hope you enjoy these pictures. 🔭

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Crab Nebula M1

I took this picture a couple years ago around when I first started astrophotography. When I processed all of the data for this picture I was amazed at the result being that this is all unguided 30 second exposures. I used a 7″ MakCass and a Cannon 60D

It’s a little green but I think it’s pretty good for just starting off.

I hope you liked this post!!!!!

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Bodes Nebulae M81

These are pictures of Bodes Nebulae M81 that were taken with a Celestron C11 with a hyperstar, guide scope, asimcpro camera, PHD2 for tracking, Siril stacking, and gimp post processing. My gimp skills aren’t that great yet, but improving.

This is the best post processed one I currently have.

Without post processing

So with the hyperstar, I was only able to do around 15-30 second subs. I think because the Focal ratio is reduced so much that the amount of light it is gathering washes out the exposure quicker. If you have any advice on how I can improve, please leave a comment. Thank you.

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Ring Nebula Messier 57

These are pictures of the Ring Nebula I took with a 7″ MakCass, Cannon 60D, PHD2, OAG. Used Siril for stacking and gimp for postprocessing.

The best post processing I could do.

Zoomed in and cropped.

This is most of the frame

I hope you enjoyed this post. This is a hobby I really enjoy and it is nice to be able to share my progress with you all.

Stay tuned for more astrophotography from !!!!!!!!!!🔭🔭🔭🔭🔭🔭🔭🔭🔭🔭🔭🔭🔭🔭🔭🔭🔭🔭🔭🔭🔭🔭🔭🔭🔭🔭🔭🔭🔭🔭🔭🔭🔭🔭🔭🔭🔭🔭🔭🔭🔭🔭🔭🔭🔭🔭🔭

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Test Driven Development for Existing Codebases

Test Driven Development or TDD can be a useful deterrent for bugs in huge codebases. Writing tests can get complex when trying to introduce them into an existing codebase, especially if there is tightly coupled classes. One way to start doing TDD in an existing codebase is to start introducing unit tests for each bug that the engineer is working on. Ideally every time an engineer is fixing a bug, they would make the unit test that would verify the expected behavior, then once they have the unit test failing, they would actually fix the bug. If engineers took this approach to start doing TDD in an existing codebase, eventually code coverage will grow as the bugs are resolved one by one.

One problem with introducing TDD into an existing project is the testability of the code. Depending on the quality of the architecture and design patterns used in the codebase and amount of coupling, the engineer might have to do substantial refactoring to make the code testable. Either way refactoring code to be testable is actually a major improvement which will facilitate more ease of development. Other engineers will be more confident that they will not break other parts of code once tests are introduced from other TDD tasks and code coverage climbs.

TDD can be a very powerful way to ensure quality of production code and engineers will have to deal with a great deal less of bugs in the long run. At first doing TDD in an existing codebase will take longer than if it was done since the beginning of writing the application. Once the coverage gets to a certain point in an application, the code should be refactored to be testable enough that engineers will take less time to introduce new tests and code.

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Smart Thermostats

While doing security research dealing with IOT devices and home security, I decided to look into smart thermostats.  While Googles Nest series of IOT devices seem to have the greatest security built into them it appears that the Google Nest Thermostat has a security vulnerability.  In this day in age even the big companies like Google, Amazon, Samsung, etc.… still have vulnerabilities in their so called “Smart” devices.  Even though these big companies still sometimes overlook a vulnerability in their IOT devices, purchasing a device from a big company is probably the consumers best bet in getting the best security tested device.  Google is not a newcomer into the world of security, and they seem to do a very good job of releasing secure devices into the world but the war dealing with computer security is a never-ending battle and sometimes hackers even get one over on Google.  I am a big fan of Google and what they do in the technological world and I have many Google devices powering my home.  Fortunately, I do not have the Google Nest Thermostat and I don’t know if I will ever wind up getting a Smart thermostat anyway.  In this document I will go over what the Google Nest Thermostat is, how this vulnerability can be taken advantage of, and what Google is doing, or the user can do to prevent becoming victim to this vulnerability.

         The Google Nest Thermostat is a smart thermostat that is part of Googles line of IOT devices.  The capabilities of this thermostat are built in WIFI, a temperature sensor, a humidity sensor, 24-bit color display, and is available in 5 different languages (Google, 2020).  If you would like to buy one of these smart thermostats it will cost about $249.00.  Google states on their web site that this thermostat is compatible with 95% of heating and cooling systems.  This thermostats operating system is Linux based and has menus for switching from heating to cooling, access to device settings, energy history, and scheduling (Wikipedia, 2020).  Since its first appearance in the market, it has been given many security updates and to get an update it requires two factor authentications.  This thermostat connects to all other Nest devices through a protocol called Weave that is done over WIFI.

         The vulnerability on the Google Nest thermostat is taken advantage of by connecting to it by the USB port with a flash drive and while holding the power button for 10 seconds a person can inject malicious software into the devices (Wagenseil, 2014).  This malicious software can be of any type mainly botnets or spying software.  Note that to achieve gaining access to this vulnerability the malicious user has to have physical access to the device.  This type of hack was demonstrated by three security researchers at a Blackhat conference on August 7, 2014.  The three researchers’ names were Yier Jin, Grant Hernandez, and Daniel Buentello (Wagenseil, 2014).  The nest thermostat appears to have very good security when it comes to wireless communications, but the USB is quite insecure.  The nest devices know much of a user’s private information like if they are home or not, their postal code, usernames and passwords.  Since it knows this type of information, this vulnerability could be very dangerous if the right hacker gains access to it.  The malicious software injected into the nest thermostat can also be used to gain access to other devices on the network which could be done using an ARP(Address Resolution Protocol) tool (Tilley, 2015).

         The Nest company is trying to become the biggest name in home connected devices.  The company’s founder says that they have a team in place to test for vulnerabilities and that they do extensive testing on all of their devices.  I am sure that after this vulnerability was found out that the Nest company has pushed an update of some sort to patch the device.  The Nest company has also stated that if a hacker has physical access to a device no matter what device it is, that they can potentially hack the device.  To prevent becoming a victim of this type of attack I think the user should always be aware of who they let inside their home.  Since physical access to the device is necessary to exploit this vulnerability, like some other devices I have researched, being aware of who is in your home is a big thing.  The user should always make sure that all of their IOT devices are up to date with the latest security patches.  The reason that the Nest thermostat allows a person to connect with a flash USB and load software onto it is so the firmware can be manually updated.  I guess the Nest company did not see this as a great threat.

         To conclude I would like to state that I like the Google Nest Company.  I think that they are on a solid path to becoming the most used IOT home devices.  I like how all of their devices work together on the same network and I think that the company itself takes great pride in their security practices.  This hack may possibly be an example of something that could be inevitable in the process of designing an IOT device.  Maybe Nest is right that any device can be hacked if a malicious user has physical access to it.  I personally do not have a smart thermostat because I only change the temperature on mine about twice a year, but I love the idea of having your thermostat become smart so that if you are away on vacation or something like that you can control the temperature of your home from far away.

Works Cited

Google. (2020, April 9). Nest Thermostat Specifications. Retrieved from

Tilley, A. (2015, March 6). How Hackers Could Use A Nest Thermostat As An Entry Point Into Your Home. Retrieved from

Wagenseil, P. (2014, August 7). Nest Smart Thermostat Can Be Hacked to Spy on Owners. Retrieved from,news-19290.html

Wikipedia. (2020, April 9). Nest Learning Thermostat. Retrieved from

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Garage Door Opener

Researching security vulnerabilities in IOT devices, specifically dealing with the issue of home security I decided to look into garage door openers.  I came across this article that says there is a man who has developed a way to crack the code of the ordinary garage door.  This kind of hack could be disastrous to a homeowner because it lets a malicious user gain access to many houses that have an entrance to their house through the garage.  There is not just one garage door opener that is susceptible to this hack, many garage doors are.  I personally would not want anyone to be able to open my garage door and gain access to my house and with the knowledge of this research I am going to look into the brand and the garage door opener that I have to make sure that this vulnerability is not able to be done on my garage door.  Many people have these garage door openers that are susceptible to this hack and they may need to upgrade their garage door to prevent being a victim of this attack.  There are actually two kinds of codes that can be cracked by this security researcher’s method, the first one was discovered earlier than the other because the later is more difficult to hack.  These two kinds of codes are called “fixed code” and “rolling code” and there are many garage door openers that use these kinds of codes to allow access to your garage and possibly your house.  In this document I will go over what garage door openers are susceptible to this attack, how the attack is implemented, and what a user can do to prevent being a victim of this type of attack.

There are many brands of garage door openers that are susceptible to this hack.  Some of them include Nortek, NorthShore, Chamberlain, Liftmaster, Stanley, Delta-3, and Moore-O-Matic (Kamkar).  The attack was designed by Samy Kamkar and he states that only garage doors with fixed code entry systems are vulnerable to this attack although he has also developed a hack for garage doors with the rolling code entry systems.  Samy Kamkar has presented his rolling code hack for garage doors at DEFCON 23.  The difference between fixed code and rolling code is that the fixed code system uses the same two-character code every time to open the door and rolling code changes the two-character code every time the garage door is opened.  There are other kinds of systems that use hopping codes, Security+, or Intellicode and Samy Kamkar says that these doors may be safer from this kind of hack but they are not foolproof (Kamkar). has requested comment from companies like Nortek and Genie but they didn’t respond at first about the vulnerability and then posted on their website it is stated that they use rolling codes (Greenberg, 2015).  Later on, after Kamkar figured out how to hack fixed code systems he also found out how to hack rolling code systems.  The owners of the Liftmaster brand of garage door openers stated that they have not used fixed code systems since 1992 but Kamkar looked into a manual from a 2007 version and said he found that it uses a fixed code system (Greenberg, 2015).

         Samy Kamkar has posted the code that he used to crack the fixed code systems and the code that he used to crack the rolling code systems, but he intentionally sabotaged the code that he posted so malicious users would have a tough time getting the code to work.  To crack the codes Kamkar uses brute force to find the right code for each door.  The doors that he tested use at most 12 bits which is 4096 possible combinations (Greenberg, 2015).  Using a brute force technique to crack the code for these garage doors would take about 29 minutes but Kamkar improved it by taking out wait periods between trying generated codes, removing redundant transmissions, and optimization that allows transmission of overlapped codes (Greenberg, 2015).  With all of the optimizations that Kamkar has put into his code, he reduced the time of using brute force to crack the individual codes from 29 minutes down to 8 seconds (Kamkar).  Kamkar says you need to be an expert in RF signals and microcontrollers to be able to fix the code that he has posted on GitHub and use it.  Using brute force to crack a code usually takes a very long time to do because the algorithm tries every possible combination to find the right code.  I think it is quite the feat that Kamkar got the brute force algorithm down to only 8 seconds to find the code from the original 29 minutes.

         Preventing the ability to become victim to this kind of attack would require the user to actually completely change out their garage door opener.  Since the time of this discovery by Samy Kamkar, garage door opener manufacturers or designers should have made design decisions to implement greater security measures into their products.  This is not an example of poor security design by garage door companies because these garage doors were out for a very long time before the ability to hack into them became present.  It is and example of how fast technology is evolving and the need for greater security implementation grows with the technology.  These vulnerable garage door openers were tested with this hack using two-character codes, maybe companies will adopt a secure code encryption with like SHA1 or something like that.

         To conclude I would like to state that garage doors openers are just one of the many IOT devices in a person’s home today.  This number of IOT devices in a user’s home is increasing day by day.  More and more people are turning to the convenience of IOT devices.  Security vulnerabilities are a common thing with home IOT devices and companies need to ramp up their testing of security.  I think it is clear that the companies that allow these vulnerabilities to be present in their devices are going to lose more business and actually the whole business may go bankrupt as a result.  I think if a company is going to build an IOT device for use in a person’s home that there should be security testing guidelines and a certification for the product they are building so the end user knows exactly what they can expect from a security standpoint of their product.

Works Cited

Greenberg, A. (2015, June 4). This Hacked Kids’ Toy Opens Garage Doors in Seconds. Retrieved from

Kamkar, S. (n.d.). Open Sesame. Retrieved from

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privacy policy for genie lamp free

Privacy Policy

built the Genie Lamp Free app as an Ad Supported app. This SERVICE is provided by at no cost and is intended for use as is.

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