November 2023 updates

Dec 7, 2023

November was a bit of a slow month, but here are some updates on the things I worked on.


I'll be attending 37c3 in Hamburg in December. I submitted a talk that was unfortunately rejected. Here's the proposal as it was submitted.

title: Around the RF world in 60 minutes

Subtitle: A dive into the radio frequency signals around us

In this talk, we'll review some of the wireless protocols and signals produced
and consumed by our modern tech devices and infrastructure around us.
Furthermore, we'll explore the privacy and security implications of some of
these protocols.

During the presentation, we'll have a quick introduction on the glossary of
wireless data transmissions, just enough to have a common understanding for
what's coming next. From there, we'll explore some of the RF signals
surrounding us daily, from old school analog radio all the way to modern
communication stacks like Wi-Fi, BLE, LoRa, ZigBee, etc.

For some of these protocols, like BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy), ZigBee and
others, we'll dive deeper into the privacy implications of using them. From
smartwatches beaconing our location to IoT sensors leaking information.
Additionally, we'll expand on the hardware needed to interact with these

I invested quite some time and research for this, mainly on protocols I wasn't familiar with, like ZigBee. Since the proposal was rejected, I've slowed down on the research part, but it's a talk I would love to give in the future, so I'll keep working on it.

I'm also trying to setup a community meet for Reticulum during 37c3; if you're interested in this, please comment on the linked discussion!

Upstream contributions and personal projects

I ran into a DebOps bug for which I submitted a PR. Other than that, I didn't do a lot of work for upstream projects, since I mostly worked on my personal infra during November.

I added two VMs on my dedicated host in Hetzner. One to use as a new mail server for multiple domains and the other to host Listmonk. I want to use Listmonk to provide a newsletter for my blog for people that prefer to get updates over email instead of RSS.

Moreover, I setup Home Assistant in my in-house k3s cluster to serve as the playground for all the ZigBee experiments I'm working on. The user experience of Home Assistant, and the simplicity of it, is amazing. Exporting ZigBee data to the Prometheus format is so effortless, it even replaced my old custom solution for reading sensor data.

In other news, I added support for MSC1929 in my matrix homeserver and updated my blog theme to make it easier on the eyes.


I've been reading and hearing great things about Nix and NixOS for many years now from various friends and online sources. I finally gave in and decided to give it a try after reading Algernon's literate NixOS config.

There are some great ideas in NixOS, and I'm keen on trying to create a Qubes OS-like setup in NixOS. I've only spent a few hours with this setup, but it seems it will be easier to achieve this with Nix instead of trying to use Debian and Terraform to do it.

I have to confess that I like what I'm seeing so far in NixOS and I want to spend more time experimenting with it. Maybe, after ~10 years of using Debian and OpenBSD exclusively it's time for a change :)

Tags: log