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   Undertoad  Monday Jan 28 04:47 PM

1/28: Truck stopper



In this demonstration, California troopers show how an utterly cheap device could allow the authorities to force any truck's airbrakes on by tapping a special bumper.

(Well, not just the authorities, but anyone who knows it's there.)

Full story: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...28/MN37186.DTL



verbatim  Monday Jan 28 05:03 PM

Very big potential for abuse. That probably why it will fail. But stopping after hitting it seems harder when you have to stop before you rearend it. And couldnt you just poke it with a big stick to make it go off? this could be lots of fun.



dave  Monday Jan 28 05:06 PM

It'll stop that huge truck in 100 feet or less... and the cop then slams into it

They say it can only be done with a special technique that cops will be trained in - uh huh.



juju2112  Monday Jan 28 09:51 PM

Some people just have no comprehension of how "security through obscurity" doesn't work. It will be funny to see them try to implement this, and then be surprised when everyone finds out how it works.



Torrere  Tuesday Jan 29 01:48 AM

Yay! - I don't live in Cali =]

I can image someone rear ending a semi and creating a huge sprawling traffic jam.

If implemented, I can also imagine it happening several times by accident. Of course, they're going to figure out how it works quite quickly.



Nothing But Net  Tuesday Jan 29 02:33 AM

Yeah, those 18-wheelers are such a major threat on the highways.

Whatever happened to just shooting out the tires?

Don't think I want to be near a gasoline truck when this bitch malfunctions...



jaguar  Tuesday Jan 29 05:06 AM

YOu really wnat a 18wheel tanker with a few thousand liters of fuel jackknifing across the roiad, tuning over and grinding alone it for 100m? hitting tons of other cars in teh process?



kbarger  Tuesday Jan 29 10:04 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by juju2112
Some people just have no comprehension of how "security through obscurity" doesn't work. It will be funny to see them try to implement this, and then be surprised when everyone finds out how it works.
You said it! I still remember the time when the students where I work were connected to the same PBX as the faculty & staff (a setup I inherited) and I asked, "aren't we worried that students will give out our 800 number and people calling them can dial it and put the student's extension in and make the call on our dime?" The response was basically, oh, nobody will ever think of that.


dave  Tuesday Jan 29 10:57 AM

So how big were the bills for it?



SeanAhern  Tuesday Jan 29 11:13 AM

Bumpers

The worry was that a terrorist could use a large tractor-trailer truck to take down a bridge by filling it with explosives and detonating it either near the anchor points for a suspension bridge's cables, or on the bridge itself. Especially worrisome are the seven bridges across the San Fransico Bay.

So California authorities asked <a href="http://www.llnl.gov">Lawrence Livermore Lab</a> scientists to see if they could come up with anything. Consultant Bill Wattenburg came up with the "Truck Stopping Device", which just uses the normal brakes of the truck to stop it.

You can read more about it here: <a href="http://www.llnl.gov/llnl/06news/Employee/articles/2001/11-30-01-truck.html">http://www.llnl.gov/llnl/06news/Empl...-01-truck.html</a>

And there's more here including a video of it in action: <a href="http://www.chp.ca.gov/html/truckstoppingdevice.html">http://www.chp.ca.gov/html/truckstoppingdevice.html</a>

They didn't mention a lot about practical jokers setting this thing off. They did have this to say, though:
<blockquote>
In case of accidental deployment, truck drivers can repair or reset the device to normal operating position in about 15 minutes. However, this cannot be done from within the truckís cab. The driver would be required to leave the cab and walk to the rear of the truck, allowing law enforcement access to the driver.
</blockquote>
I'm skeptical that we'll see people ramming their cars into trucks just to see this go off. They'd pretty much kill their own cars, thus giving themselves up the in process. I think things like this would land them in the "stupid criminal" bin.



CharlieG  Tuesday Jan 29 12:13 PM

Re: Bumpers

Quote:
Originally posted by SeanAhern
The worry was that a terrorist could use a large tractor-trailer truck to take down a bridge by filling it with explosives and detonating it either near the anchor points for a suspension bridge's cables, or on the bridge itself. Especially worrisome are the seven bridges across the San Fransico Bay.

...snip
Oooh - so the terrorist is going to be DUMB? How hard would it be to bypass this? A few plumbing fittings? Folks, to load up a trailer will take time, so you spend the extra hour and bypass the dump valve, or even weld the bumper so it can't move

GAD, this is clueless


dave  Tuesday Jan 29 12:32 PM

That video is cool. Until the truck driver is going 100 miles per hour and swerving and the cop has to nail him and then slam on the brakes to avoid hitting him.

Also, who's to say that the terrorist won't detonate that fucker after he's stopped? You're going to need a suicidal cop to go up there and do it. I know many people are :whofarted eager to stop terror and say that they'd risk themselves to stop a terror incident, but how many do you really think will actually do it? I'd hit that thing and then do a U turn and speed off like a crazed idiot. That is, providing he didn't detonate it when i got up close.



snagglefish  Tuesday Jan 29 12:51 PM

and who's to say they just won't bring a truck from out of state in...? would this be a california-only regulation....?

and as for 'vandal and tamper proof'....? give it to some engineering students at half a dozen different schools, and that thing will be disabled within the day.

what i was most surprised to hear was the VP of the trucking assoication (or whatever it was called) expressing support for 'taking it to the next stage.'

let's hope that next stage is its death.



russotto  Tuesday Jan 29 02:15 PM

It took Lawrence Livermore Labs to come up with this? The thing about a truck's air brakes is that they operate when NOT pressurized. That makes forcing them on pretty simple.

The people worried about deliberate or accidental activation are right on -- imagine your bad guy "accidentally" rear-ending a half-full gasoline tanker on, say, the PA turnpike. Instant jackknife, roll, gasoline spill, fire, maybe explosion.

Now forget about him and consider all the idiots who might REALLY accidentally rear-end a tanker, changing a minor incident that the tanker driver might not notice into a major disaster.

As for tamper proof... uhh, yeah, right. Close off and bypass the lines that lead to the device, and it does nothing to the air brakes. Mechanical emergency brakes? If you're a terrorist, just remove them entirely.



kbarger  Tuesday Jan 29 02:39 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by dhamsaic
So how big were the bills for it?
We never ran exact numbers. Since my boss at the time (the COO) said we shouldn't worry about it, I just sat on it till I had a boss more sympathetic to killing the system we had, and used this issue as one of several justifications. But all you had to do was look at the 800 service billing for a weeknight evening or a weekend, and know that almost every call there was NOT coming into a faculty or staff office, except perhaps for the occasional brief voice mail.

Well, sorry, back to the topic, I forgot to ask: Can somebody clue me in about this nationwide epidemic of non-stopping trucks that this device is responding to? Or is it another case of a problem in search of a solution?


SeanAhern  Tuesday Jan 29 08:15 PM

(shakes head)

&lt;rant&gt;
You people are being pretty hard about all of this. I didn't realize that the culture of the Cellar was so damn critical. It appears that people have strong opinions about everything, no matter if they know the details or not.
&lt;/rant&gt;

For those of you who are claiming that this device would be easy to bypass by running some lines around it, I have two things to say.

First, read the line from the <a href="http://www.chp.ca.gov/html/truckstoppingdevice.html">second article</a>:
<blockquote>
It is connected to the air lines of a truck or trailer in such a way that any attempt to clamp or block the air line to the TSD will cause the spring brakes to lock the wheels at all times.
</blockquote>
This says that if you tried to bypass the device by routing lines around it, and blocking the lines to the device, would cause the breaks to always engage. I can't tell you quite how they did that, since there are no details provided at any of the sites I was able to locate, but it tells me that the device is more than a blade attached to a paddle. And this leads directly to my second point.

Second, don't you think that the LLNL scientists have already thought of this? Why do you think that armchair engineers here on the Cellar who have just heard of this can come up with circumvention ideas that would blow it out of the water? I mean, I have no problem with people suggesting reasonable criticisms (and the issue of accidental deployment in an accident is a very worrisome one), but the gall to think that the engineers and physicists who did this are so clueless to not have thought of simple bypass mechanisms....just boggles my mind.

Finally, in response to the "nationwide epidemic of non-stopping trucks" question... Why does it have to be an epidemic? Several months ago, California governor Gray Davis said that there was a specific threat against California bridges. The worry was that one of them might be brought down during a rush hour, killing thousands of people. Also, according to http://www.llnl.gov/llnl/06news/News...ct_sheet.html:
<blockquote>
After a tractor-trailer crashed into the California state capitol in January 2001, Gov. Gray Davis asked the CHP to develop a plan to stop a stolen or hijacked fuel truck, which could potentially be used in a terrorist bombing.
</blockquote>
I refer you to http://www.sacbee.com/content/news/c...-1165450c.html and http://www.cnn.com/2001/US/11/02/inv.bridge.threat/ for more information about the threat.



dave  Tuesday Jan 29 08:29 PM

You need to calm the fuck down.

I'm sure the engineers who designed it are pretty smart.

I'm also sure that there are people out there that are smarter.

The fact of the matter is, if it can be done, it can be undone. Period. Just like CSS, just like SDMI, just like every other thing out there where people thought "it's fool-proof" and "it's impossible to break". No. If it's put together, it can be taken apart. PERIOD.

Why do you feel the need to get so fucking offended? People speculate. I guarantee you that if this is set into motion, someone, somewhere, will figure out a circumvention device. That's what people do. That's why locks are picked. People like to solve puzzles. Even if the person is totally benign in their actions, other people can use it to do harm. This happens all the time, where one creation is used for the wrong purposes. Take the gun, for example. Or the crowbar. Or copyright law.

Honestly, I find it amazing that you believe everyone here is acting out of ignorance. "It appears that people have strong opinions about everything, no matter if they know the details or not." Hmm, kinda like someone bitching about someone else's opinion, not even bothering to ask if maybe they're a mechanical engineer? Or one who happens to study mechanical puzzles and designs to see their exploits, just for fun? You're no better, and you prove it with your post.

The only valid point you're able to muster is the fact that it <b>doesn't</b> need to be an epidemic. For creating the device, I applaud the engineers - it's probably a step in the right direction, even if we don't have an epidemic of non-stopping trucks. But the fact of the matter is, they said in the article that cops would engage it via a secret maneuver. Well, I'm sorry, but that's called "security through obscurity" and it's destined to fail. What makes you think that some crooked cop wouldn't do it? And that's under the ludicrous assumption that only cops could figure out how to do set it off. Are you seriously so naive as to think that there's no possible way someone else could set it off? Do you really think that the engineers designing this are the smartest people in the world and, in their OMNISCIENCE, have countered every single fucking way it could possibly be bypassed? Jesus the fucking Carpenter didn't build this, you know. It was done by a human and therefore is fallible.



SeanAhern  Tuesday Jan 29 08:52 PM

Pick your absolute

"Calm the fuck down".

Now there's a nice reasoned statement. One that I'm sure has gotten people to calm down for you in the past.
<blockquote>Honestly, I find it amazing that you believe everyone here is acting out of ignorance.</blockquote>
I guess it's not ignorance that I'm getting annoyed at. It's probably the attitude.

Of course this truck stopping thing isn't foolproof. Of course *someone* is going to find a way to get around it. But that's not quite the point.

It's just the attitudes that many people are using to suggest ways around it imply that the people who designed this are total, complete idiots. Who have no clue what they're doing and really could be shown the light of day if they just talked to a couple "intelligent" people.

And it's that attitude that leads me to the conclusion: "ignorance".

I have worked with LLNL physicists and engineers. They're some of the most intelligent and practical people that I've ever met, bar none. The idea that simple ideas like the ones mentioned here haven't occurred to them still very much surprises me.
<blockquote>
The fact of the matter is, they said in the article that cops would engage it via a secret maneuver. Well, I'm sorry, but that's called "security through obscurity" and it's destined to fail.
</blockquote>
I agree with you. The fact that more details about the design of the device are not available tells me that a good amount of secrecy is involved here.
<blockquote>
Are you seriously so naive as to think that there's no possible way someone else could set it off?
</blockquote>
Ahhh...yes. Calling me "seriously naive". And using absolutes like "no possible way". That's the attitude that I've come to expect from the Cellar.
<blockquote>
Do you really think that the engineers designing this are the smartest people in the world and, in their OMNISCIENCE, have countered every single fucking way it could possibly be bypassed?
</blockquote>
Of course not. And you know that I never claimed that. You're twisting what I said to a crazy absolute. All I really claimed was that you had better come up with something better than "run some hoses around it" before you think that you have the entire problem licked.

I'll continue to read posts on this thread, but I don't think I'm going to respond any more. This conversation isn't really going anywhere.

Please feel free to rip my posts apart.



dave  Tuesday Jan 29 09:27 PM

Show me where I called you "seriously naive".

Or are you twisting my words around to a crazy absolute?

Ooh.

Quote:
That's the attitude that I've come to expect from the Cellar.
If you don't like it, then why are you here?

Maybe, if you weren't so fucking condescending in your post, your point about "armchair speculation" would go over better. As it is, it sounds like you're on a high horse. You simply haven't proven yourself here, and you don't have a record of maybe making sarcastic or joking comments. Therefore, it looks like you're a holier-than-thou type. Those are generally unwelcome anywhere.

Perhaps, if you don't mean to be flamed, you should put a little more effort and thought into constructing your posts. All we have to judge you by here are your words. When they're condescending, that's how we'll picture you to be.

Welcome to the Cellar.


Torrere  Wednesday Jan 30 01:03 AM

I don't think that the Cellar people are saying that the engineers who designed this are idiots. I'd read it as them saying that the politicians who had this implemented are idiots.


--- Security by Obscurity.
--- Accidents.
--- it's going to be circumvented or abused by somebody

what did i forget up there?

Is it really necessary, does it do anything worthwhile, is the cost to the truckers (both installing it and the possibilty of having your truck shut down for 15 minutes on the highway) justifiable?



tw  Wednesday Jan 30 04:25 AM

kbarger asked about this slurry of 'out of control' trucks. It is a solution to a problem I just don't comprehend. For example, it would be useless against a truck intending on blowing up a bridge because you don't know about the truck until it is too late. Want to stop the truck? Nail strips to blow out the tires. Bullet in the radiator. I can appreciate the technology, but it appears to be a solution in search of a problem.

Those 3M dust filter masked came about by the same method. They also were a solution that searched long for a problem before the need for dust masks was realized. But I just don't see 'wild trucks' as a problem that requires complete refitting of all trucks.



CharlieG  Wednesday Jan 30 07:45 AM

Re: (shakes head)

Quote:
Originally posted by SeanAhern
[B...snip...For those of you who are claiming that this device would be easy to bypass by running some lines around it, I have two things to say.

First, read the line from the <a href="http://www.chp.ca.gov/html/truckstoppingdevice.html">second article</a>:
<blockquote>
It is connected to the air lines of a truck or trailer in such a way that any attempt to clamp or block the air line to the TSD will cause the spring brakes to lock the wheels at all times.
</blockquote>
...snip... [/b]
Yeah, and if I'm a terrorist, I'm not going to just jack up the truck, and disconnect the springs?

Yes, it'll work for a truck that gets hijacked (More common than you think), where the criminal has a few minutes to work on the truck.

The problem, if your talking about "Terrorists" is they HAVE time. What makes you think that they don't have a full fleged machine shop? - Heck I have a pretty good machine shop in my basement - lathe, 2 mills, etc, soon to have CNC. How much you want to bet that I could disconnect those brakes?

One of the guys I ride to work with is a fairly high ranking Federal Police Officer (Has about 500 people who answer to him). He and I discuss security all the time. One day (Post 9/11) I said to him that most of the security I see is a joke, and easy to get around. He replied "Of course! Most of it is meant to stop the casual attempt, and to act as a 'visual deterant'. " It's not meant to stop the serious attempt

As a device to stop hijacked trucks/the typical LA car chase you see on TV, this is a wonderful idea - but DON'T bill it as "Anti Terrorist"


jaguar  Thursday Jan 31 12:42 AM

SeanAhern
Since you've been sitting piously above for quite a while judging by your tone, you'd know Iím pretty opinionated. The point it that since anyone with access to a truck can inspect think thing, itís not going to take long for its details to be known, and probably posted on the internet

You agreed yourself that itís a silly attempt at security though obscurity, and therefore most likely to fail, thereby agreeing with posts before it, if you're complaining about the strength of language, well, make that a bit clearer.

Secondly, if you don't like the heat get the hell out of the kitchen, think we're a bunch of opinionated fucks? Then leave.

Quote:
Ahhh...yes. Calling me "seriously naive". And using absolutes like "no possible way". That's the attitude that I've come to expect from the Cellar.
The other issue is is that there are a number of a: engineers and b: It professionals here who do know what the hell they are talking about. While Iím not going to deny some of the arguments here are often a: petty, b: full of some seriously stupid arguments, that often happens in debates, particularly conversation style ones like cellar.

For someone with such a low opinion you don't seem to often bother to descend from the moral high ground you clearly occupy to engage us mere mortals in debate.


jeni  Thursday Jan 31 12:56 AM

opinionated.

every freely thinking person on the entire planet is opinionated.

we choose for ourselves, of course, what to think more strongly of. big deal if it's abortion, animal rights, or california government implemented truck stopping devices.

it's pretty stupid, in my opinion, to get so pissy because someone else has an opinion.



jaguar  Thursday Jan 31 02:24 AM

its more of a matter of the strength(and how strongly its shown) and logic of it.



Nothing But Net  Thursday Jan 31 04:18 AM

Hey jaguar

Now we know that you CAN spell and form a coherent sentence; why don't you do it all the time?

Just wondering...



jaguar  Thursday Jan 31 05:57 AM

Because i'm often tired, or pissed off, or in a hurry. Yes those are terrible excuses, as a result, you shall be faced!
angry:






dave  Thursday Jan 31 07:48 AM

:whofarted



jeni  Friday Feb 1 02:28 AM

david.

i am now nearly convinced that you are trying to fit that smiley into every single new post. i've seen the majority of them (your recent posts) contain it.

in fact, i read a short post earlier, without looking at all at who wrote it, and i knew it was yours because of that smiley. if it had been long i would have known you by your diction.

anyway, until i find out if this is true or not, i will just look for the smiley in every one.



mitheral  Sunday Sep 25 04:42 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieG
The problem, if your talking about "Terrorists" is they HAVE time. What makes you think that they don't have a full fleged machine shop? - Heck I have a pretty good machine shop in my basement - lathe, 2 mills, etc, soon to have CNC. How much you want to bet that I could disconnect those brakes?
You wouldn't need anything more sophisticated than a jack and impact wrench. Simply jack up axle, remove wheels, remove drum, remove brake shoes, reinstall drums, mount wheels, remove jack. Rinse, lather repeat on each axle until all trailer brakes disabled.


xoxoxoBruce  Sunday Sep 25 10:55 AM

Damn you.....now the terrorists will know how to do it.



BrianR  Sunday Sep 25 12:37 PM

um, as a professional trucker, I get to comment here. Having no trailer brakes is a bad thing. It will take MUCH longer to stop a rig that way, your parking brakes are reduced and the trailer will have a tendency to roll away when not connected, making hookup and dropping much harder. Not to mention a heavy fine if you're caught in a roadside checkstop.

These devices never made it into production anyway.

Brian



mitheral  Sunday Sep 25 01:13 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianR
um, as a professional trucker, I get to comment here. Having no trailer brakes is a bad thing. It will take MUCH longer to stop a rig that way, your parking brakes are reduced and the trailer will have a tendency to roll away when not connected, making hookup and dropping much harder. Not to mention a heavy fine if you're caught in a roadside checkstop.

These devices never made it into production anyway.

Brian
#1 is managable if your only intention is to drive a few miles to a bridge/dam/interchange/tunnel to blow the heck out of it. And the rest don't even come into play.


Your reply here?

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