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Douglas Muth's LiveJournal

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Like shooting fish in a barrel. At point-blank range. With an elephant gun!

by dmuth In reply to Douglas Muth's LiveJourna ...

A colleague of mine got this e-mail sent to him earlier today:<br /><br /><blockquote><tt>Date: Wed, 13 Apr 2005 10:11:54 -0400<br />From: Roger Smith <Roger.smith@maila1.combr />To: John Levine <br />Subject: John, Maximize your database by adding Email addresses<br /><br />Hi John,<br /><br />Does <a href="http://www.cauce.org/">Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial E-mail</a> have records without email addresses in its internal database? Would you like to acquire that information? If your answer is yes, in just a few weeks, your organization can substantially increase - even double - its number of valid email addresses in its database using our email appending service.<br /><br />Email address is one such information that most of the companies do not have in their database and in today's World email is the most economical way of communicating to people. It simply helps you save money on postal charges or telemarketing for that matter which is expensive.<br /><br />John, If you do have a business database and want to append email addresses to communicate with your customers, we can help. We assure a fast turnaround and you pay only for appended records that don't opt-out ? Send us 50 records from your database and we could do a test append ? at no cost!<br /><br />If there is someone else in your organization that I need to speak with in this regard, please let me now [sic].<br /><br />Regards,<br /><br />Roger Smith<br />800-886-1838<br /><a href="http://www.emailappenders.net">http://www.emailappenders.net</a></tt></blockquote><p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://www.livejournal.com/users/giza/153028.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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How NOT to file a bug report

by dmuth In reply to Douglas Muth's LiveJourna ...

Okay, so like, <a href="http://www.securityfocus.com/archive/1/395697/2005-04-10/2005-04-16/0">there's this medium-risk bug in PHP 5.0.3</a>, but we're not going to tell you what it is. Never mind that it's trivial to diff the sources between it and 5.0.4, we're just going to instead ask you to upgrade to 5.0.4 without telling you what the vulnerability is and actually--you know, make an informed decision as to whether any workarounds can be applied, or, if an upgrade is necessary, how soon we need to perform that upgrade.<br /><br />Twits.<p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://www.livejournal.com/users/giza/153219.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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You want me to be *CEO*?

by dmuth In reply to Douglas Muth's LiveJourna ...

So, my day job has me working for a large(ish) company on one of their anti-spam products. I'm just a Software Engineer, so I don't much else than write code. This means that not very many people have my work address. (Besides, I check Gmail while at work anyway)<br /><br />Imagine my surprise when I got the following in my work mailbox:<br /><br /><blockquote><tt><br />Dear Doug,<br /><br />(Tyler Durden) here in (New York City). I am an executive recruiter.<br />Today I am working on an exciting opportunity with a client of mine<br />that is involved in the security, messaging and anti spam software<br />space. They are headquartered in (Another Country) and have been in business<br />since (199x). They are seeking a CEO ideally to be based here in the<br />states. This position will offer a very competitive compensation<br />including a competitive base, bonus and of course significant equity.<br /><br />If you have an interest or know anyone who may be intrigued please<br />get back to me at (xxx-xxx-xxxx) or my cell phone (xxx-xxx-xxxx) or<br />reply to this email.<br /><br /></tt></blockquote><br /><br />Certain details removed to protect the identity of the recruiter and the company.<br /><br />The whole thing is a little well, weird. I can't decide if it's good or bad, though. Nobody else in my office got that e-mail. I know. I checked. This means that I was targetted specifically. Also, there are no current copies of my resume online, which means he must have done some research to find my current employer. Finally, the e-mail was sent to a seperate (non-existant) address at my company, which means that he must have done some Googling on me to make such an educated guess for that username.<br /><br />Besides, I'm happy at my current job. :-)<p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://www.livejournal.com/users/giza/153563.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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A Cat's Diary

by dmuth In reply to Douglas Muth's LiveJourna ...

<blockquote><tt>DAY 752 - My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while I am forced to eat dry cereal. The only thing that keeps me going is the hope of escape, and the mild satisfaction I get from ruining the occasional piece of furniture. Tomorrow I may eat another houseplant. <br /><br /><br /><br />DAY 761 - Today my attempt to kill my captors by weaving around their feet while they were walking almost succeeded, must try this at the top of the stairs. In an attempt to disgust and repulse these vile oppressors, I once again induced myself to vomit on their favorite chair...must try this on their bed. <br /><br /><br /><br />DAY 762 - Slept all day so that I could annoy my captors with sleep depriving, incessant pleas for food at ungodly hours of the night. <br /><br /><br /><br />DAY 765 - Decapitated a mouse and brought them the headless body, in attempt to make them aware of what I am capable of, and to try to strike fear into their hearts.They only cooed and condescended about what a good little cat I was ...Hmmm... Not working according to plan... <br /><br /><br /><br />DAY 768 - I am finally aware of how sadistic they are. For no good reason I was chosen for the water torture. This time however it included a burning foamy chemical called "shampoo." What sick minds could invent such a liquid. My only consolation is the piece of thumb still stuck between my teeth. <br /><br /><br /><br />DAY 771 - There was some sort of gathering of their accomplices. I was placed in solitary throughout the event. However, I could hear the noise and smell the foul odor of the glass tubes they call "beer." More importantly I overheard that my confinement was due to MY power of "allergies." Must learn what this is and how to use it to my advantage. <br /><br /><br /><br />DAY 774 - I am convinced the other captives are flunkies and maybe snitches. The dog is routinely released and seems more than happy to return. He is obviously a half-wit. The Bird on the other hand has got to be an informant. He has mastered their frightful tongue (something akin to mole speak) and speaks with them regularly. I am certain he reports my every move. Due to his current placement in the metal room his safety is assured. But I can wait, it is only a matter of time.<br /><br />-Anonymous <br /><br /></tt></blockquote><p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://www.livejournal.com/users/giza/153674.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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Stupid Powerbook!

by dmuth In reply to Douglas Muth's LiveJourna ...

So, the <a href="http://www.livejournal.com/users/giza/139327.html">problems with my Powerbook's hard disk</a> that I spoke about before came back with a vengeance last night. My hard disk started spinning down randomly which made it a bit difficult to get work done. I tried resetting the PRAM but didn't have any luck. After not being able to boot the system at all, I tried booting off of my installation DVD and running Disk Utility, only to be greeted with this:<br /><br /><a name="cutid1"></a><br /><img src="http://www.claws-and-paws.com/images/stories/from_offsite/livejournal/2005/04/disk_repair_oops.jpg" height="402" width="779"><br /><br /><br />Note the lack of a hard disk in that list. :-)<br /><br />I decided to sleep on it, and when I woke up I decided to call the Applecare phone number. the tech on the other end walked me through resetting the Power Management Unit (PMU). This seemed to fix the problem, since when I rebooted and started up Disk Utility, the disk came back. I ran a "Repair Disk" and everything turned out okay. I've been using the Powerbook today, and it seems okay so far. *crosses his paws*<br /><br /><br />In other news, my parents stopped by to visit me this evening. They didn't understand how a UPS worked, so I demoed it for them by unplugging the unit and holding up the disconnected plug while my computer continued to operate. :-)<p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://www.livejournal.com/users/giza/154095.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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I guess Reindeer don't fly!

by dmuth In reply to Douglas Muth's LiveJourna ...

<blockquote><tt>STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) -- Sami reindeer herders in northern Sweden found about 140 of their prized animals dead in a bloody heap after the herd apparently was chased off a 700-meter (2,300-foot) high cliff by a predator, a Sami spokesman said Tuesday.<br /><br />The reindeer had been grazing for bait on a mountain near Kvikkjokk, a small town just north of the Arctic Circle, when a lynx or other predator made them panic and run straight down the cliff, said Nils Petter Pavval, a spokesman for the Sami village of Tourpon.<br /><br />"Reindeer do not normally run off cliffs when they are grazing on the top of the mountain," Pavval said, adding that fresh tracks of lynx had been found in the area.</tt></blockquote><br /><br /><a href="http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/europe/04/19/sweden.reindeer.ap/index.html">Read the full article on CNN</a>.<p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://www.livejournal.com/users/giza/154278.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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He did *what* on The Internet?

by dmuth In reply to Douglas Muth's LiveJourna ...

According to <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/04/20/delay.judges.ap/index.html">http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/04/20/d<wbr />elay.judges.ap/index.html</a>, Tom DeLay really said this:<br /><blockquote><tt>"Absolutely. We've got Justice Kennedy writing decisions based upon international law, not the Constitution of the United States? That's just outrageous," DeLay told Fox News Radio on Tuesday. "<b>And not only that, but he said in session that he does his own research on the Internet? That is just incredibly outrageous.</b>"</tt></blockquote><br />Let me see if I understand this. Mr. DeLay is upset because a judge actually... <em>did some research</em> before deciding on a case? Holy self-empowerment, Batman! Stop the presses! Using the Internet for a legitimate purpose, who'd have thought!<br /><br />Tommy boy, do us a favor and quit while you're far behind, okay?<p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://www.livejournal.com/users/giza/154566.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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"Lord, bless this server to prevent spam, and smite spammers with Holy Handgrenades. Amen."

by dmuth In reply to Douglas Muth's LiveJourna ...

From <a href="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7587388/">http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7587388/</a>:<br /><blockquote><tt><b>Pope Benedict XVI gets e-mail address</b><br /><br />VATICAN CITY - Got a prayer or a problem for the new pope? Now you can e-mail him.<br /><br />Showing that Pope Benedict XVI intends to follow in the footsteps of<br />John Paul II's multimedia ministry, the Vatican on Thursday modified<br />its Web site so that users who click on an icon on the home page<br />automatically activate an e-mail composer with his address.<br /><br />Vatican spokesmen could not immediately be reached for comment on how<br />many messages Benedict may have received already.<br /><br />The English version of the pope's e-mail address is:<br />benedictxvi@vatican.va. The Italian one is is:<br />benedettoxvi@vatican.va.<br /><br />John Paul, who died April 2, was the first pope to use e-mail, a<br />medium that made its debut during his 26-year papacy. The Vatican said<br />he received tens of thousands of messages in his final weeks as he<br />struggled with illness.<br /><br />In 2001, sitting in the Vatican's frescoed Clementine Hall, John Paul<br />used a laptop to tap out an apology for Roman Catholic missionary<br />abuses against indigenous peoples of the South Pacific.<br /><br />The Vatican also used e-mail to notify journalists of John Paul's death.<br /><br />The Holy See often issues news or documents to journalists via e-mail,<br />and its labyrinth of obscure offices and councils are online in half a<br />dozen languages. Even the Sistine Chapel, with its famed art<br />collection, offers a virtual reality tour.</tt></blockquote><br /><br />I find this kind of amusing that the Church is getting into e-mail. Keep in mind that back when I was in high school and still went to Church, I would go into the confessional and confess about pirating software. That usually resulted in a strange look from the priest, followed by being told to say a Hail Mary as penance. :-P<p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://www.livejournal.com/users/giza/154697.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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Corruption in the USAnian government

by dmuth In reply to Douglas Muth's LiveJourna ...

I'm sure this comes as no surprise, but there is quite a bit of corruption in my country's government. I spent the last hour or so reading this rather long paper:<br /><br /><a href="http://www.hevanet.com/peace/usgovcorruption.htm">A Guide to Conflict of Interest in the U.S. Government</a><br /><br />One thing that really impressed me about it was that it actually went into some details of why Osama bin Laden hates us. (hint: It's not about religion)<br /><br />The author also made an interesting comparison with Brazil:<blockquote><tt>Contrast the U.S. government with the Brazilian government. Brazil is about the same size as the U.S. without Alaska. Both countries have large areas of less useful land. Brazil has the Amazon region; the U.S. has the Sonoran desert. Both countries are populated by people of European descent. In Brazil there is a higher percentage of Africans. In both countries, Caucasian people of Christian religion are dominant.<br /><br />My understanding is that the last time the Brazilian government initiated violence in another country was 1878, during its invasion of Paraguay. Why is it that the European descendants in Brazil find ways to live peacefully in the world, and those in the U.S. find peace largely impossible?</tt></blockquote><br /><br />Also discussed were:<br /><br />- Comparisons of our administration to alcoholism. (Both Bush <em>and</em> Cheney have been arrested for DUIs, for example.)<br /><br />- Since World War II, the USA has used violence in at least 24 seperate countries. We're regular playground bullies, here!<br /><br />- Corruption is not specific to Liberals or Conservatives, Reuplibicans or Democrats. It's present in all parts (and parties) of our government.<br /><br />If you have a spare hour to read, I recommend checking it out. If you're short on time, then please just read the section called <a href="http://www.hevanet.com/peace/usgovcorruption.htm#QuickTips">Quick Tips for understanding U.S. government corruption</a>.<p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://www.livejournal.com/users/giza/155030.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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pccwbtn.net really sucks!

by dmuth In reply to Douglas Muth's LiveJourna ...

Talk about a poorly run ISP. Check this out:<br /><br /><tt>traceroute to muck.furry.com (66.154.101.42), 30 hops max, 40 byte packets<br />1 10.0.0.1 (10.0.0.1) 2.032 ms 0.793 ms 0.973 ms<br />2 adsl-gw.oldcity.dca.net (216.158.26.1) 8.283 ms 39.372 ms 8.726 ms<br />3 core-1-pos5-0-0.sdfc.dca.net (216.158.30.66) 8.655 ms 9.736 ms 38.249 ms<br />4 fe7-3.cr01.phl02.pccwbtn.net (63.218.31.1) 23.784 ms 21.473 ms 28.196 ms<br />5 pos5-1.cr02.sea01.pccwbtn.net (63.216.14.41) 99.813 ms <b>!H</b></tt><br /><br /><br />That <b>!H</b> means that said router thinks that the next host it is trying to reach is administratively down, so it just stops. What's worse about this than a simple timeout is when a router thinks that a host is unreachable, it sends back an ICMP Host Unreachable packet, which tells my machine to terminate the connection. So rather than my connection to FurryMUCK being extremely laggy, it just gets terminated without warning.<br /><br />In a bit of irony, I tried to go to <a href="http://www.pccwbtn.net/">http://www.pccwbtn.net/</a> to complain to them directly but guess what? Traceroute to their website times out, too! Let's hope that capitalism takes its course and gets these schmucks out of the ISP market soon.<p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://www.livejournal.com/users/giza/155137.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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