Friday, December 17, 2004

Fires among the famous.

The original B52s "Love Shack" is a pile of ashes

The cabin was unoccupied and undergoing renovations...building supplies used for the renovation were stolen, which makes the fire suspicious. ...All that's left ... is the burned-out frame and the infamous tin roof.

Damn. I have fond memories involving that song. It was on the radio when-


Nevermind. No comment.

In lighter news, Jim Carey got to do his "Running in a blind panic like a moron" routine in real life

I get up for the (press) junket today and suddenly my house is burning down, and I'm on the balcony like a damsel screaming with a very high pitched voice ... "No one rescued me, no one came, I had to find my own way out.

And we all wish we could have seen it Jim. We all know exactly how you escaped, and wish we could have seen the look on your face when the drain pipe broke as you shimmied down, landing you in the pool, which was being soaked in by a group of Hell's Angels at a brass knuckle convention.

On a side note, I can say that "Holiday Spice Pepsi" does not have any discernible signs of Holiday Spice. It's Pepsi with a different label.

Tuesday, December 7, 2004 and BLOG SPAM

Well, I now know yet another company to avoid in the grand scheme of things.

I first heard about them as a result of some BLOG SPAM someone tried to post to my journal at

IP Address:
Name: computer disk retrieval
Email Address:

the leaders in computer disk retrieval

Now, I filter the posts to that blog, so I just denied it approval. I get a few SPAM posts a day, and have gotten used to just deleting them, but this one was different. The Whois data on the domain name was not only from this country, but looked at least somewhat reasonable!

3273 Mohawk Trail
Riverside, CA 92503


Administrative Contact:
Mayer, Sean (SM10052) spmayer@EARTHLINK.NET
2972 Fillmore St.
Riverside,, CA 92503
(909) 785-0833 fax: 999 999 9999

Technical Contact:
EarthLink Network, Inc.
1375 Peachtree Street
Atlanta, GA 30309
404-815-0700 fax: - - 626-296-5113

Record expires on 12-May-2008.
Record created on 12-May-1999.
Database last updated on 9-Dec-2004 09:24:32 EST.

So I decided to follow up on this one, especially as I noticed a second such post, identical to the first in content.

--------- Begin Copied Message -------------
From: HalleysComet
Reply-To: HalleysComet
Date: Tue, 7 Dec 2004 09:36:33 -0500
I am writing to complain about the domain name

They are using BLOG SPAM posts to advertise their site, which is not
an indication of a competent firm, but shysters trying to scan people
into wasting money.

I am very annoyed with such posts, and have to filter the comments to
my web site as a result of such shenanigans.

I am including a copy of the notification I receive of such posts.

All further BLOG posts made to the domain name
or will obligate Drivetronix to pay me $100.00 USD
per post, including back payment of $200.00 USD for the two posts that
have already been made.

Making further posts to or
will constitute acceptance of this condition.

For the purposes of this document, "Post" is defined as any attempt to
submit a web log entry or comment by any method.
--------- End Copied Message -------------

In very short order, I got a bounced message from spmayer@EARTHLINK.NET, saying the mailbox was full.

Then I got an actual reply, which lead to the following exchange.

--------- Begin Copied Message -------------
From: Disaster Recovery Group
To: HalleysComet
Date: Tue, 7 Dec 2004 09:16:08 -0800
Subject: RE: Fwd: [Yes, I know it's boring] New Comment Posted to 'Never buying another PalmPilot Again'
Dear Webmaster,

DRG is unaware of any spamming from this company and we are not promoting
our company in that fashion. We do not condone spamming in any sense and
apologize in advance for this problem you are experiencing as we are
looking into this. If you can supply us details of the spammer we will see
what we can do. Most spam is coming from other countries using our name
due to our ranking in the search engines. There is not much we can do
since we are not originating this spam and look forward to any insight you
can supply to remove these spammers.

Best Regards,

Sean Mayer
Data Recovery Services

t. 951-488-0304
f. 951-488-0224

From: HalleysComet
Reply-To: HalleysComet
Date: Tue, 7 Dec 2004 12:22:36 -0500
Subject: Re: Fwd: [Yes, I know it's boring] New Comment Posted to 'Never buying another PalmPilot Again'

I have already provided all the information I have on the matter.

I did not receive SPAM as an e-mail, but as posts to my web log, the
full details of which I have already provided.

Given the fact that your Internet presence appears to be based almost
entirely on entries in link farms, you can of course understand my
being dubious about your claim of innocence in this matter.

I fail to see how your ranking in search engines would encourage
someone else to flood web logs with SPAM promoting your site. It's a
very weak excuse to say the least.

From: Disaster Recovery Group
To: HalleysComet
Date: Tue, 7 Dec 2004 10:08:40 -0800
Subject: Re: Fwd: [Yes, I know it's boring] New Comment Posted to 'Never buying another PalmPilot Again'

Dear Webmaster,

I unserstand that you think that we are the ones doing this but please
believe me we are not. Thank you for bringing this to our atttention
though, it does mean a lot.

Best Regards,

Nicole Hubble
Data Recovery Services

t. 951-488-0304
f. 951-488-0224

From: HalleysComet
Reply-To: HalleysComet
Date: Tue, 7 Dec 2004 13:27:31 -0500
Subject: Re: Fwd: [Yes, I know it's boring] New Comment Posted to 'Never buying another PalmPilot Again'

I have received a third post.

Is anyone at your site using an automated tool to "submit your site to
search engines"?

Have you hired a third party to "boost your search engine ratings"?

Most of the sites and programs offering such services are really just
spewing your domain out at assorted link farms and BLOGS to create an
artificially inflated search engine ranking. If you are sincere in
your claim to be innocent on this matter, then someone you hired to
mange your Internet presence / ranking / placement is making these

As a side note, such an artificially inflated ranking will be revealed
as such by any potential client who makes the minimal effort to click
on the "Find web pages that link to" link in

Here is the data on the newest post:

IP Address:
Name: computer disk retrieval
Email Address:
the leaders in computer disk retrieval

--------- End Copied Message -------------

I have yet to hear a reply, or receive any more posts form them.

Normally, I just add a URL or term to my blacklist, but I haven't done that with this one yet. They don't have much of a web presence outside of their site and link farms, so I don't really consider them a reputable firm. Using BLOG SPAM to boost their search ranking is on par with the link farm pages they normally use. It's really a matter of degree.

Right now, I'm assuming that they're using a third party program or service to push their name out to link farms, and that said program or service has started using BLOG SPAM as well as link farm submissions. My main concern is finding out how they're doing this, so I can contact the service or vendor to try and get these absurd SPAM BLOG submissions to stop.

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

Today, I continue my efforts to look into the assorted Christmas songs floating around the air waves. Those reading my journal who think I've stared with the "Easy" ones will not be surprised by my next choice. I've picked another song whose disturbing imagery and connotations are close to the surface.

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
T. Connor (c) 1952

I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus
Underneath the mistletoe last night.

Well, the twisted aspects of this song start of with a bang. Here we see a small child relating the act of catching his mother in a compromising situation with an individual known to distribute gifts. This is not a good beginning.

She didn't see me creep
down the stairs to have a peep;
She thought that I was tucked
up in my bedroom fast asleep.

This is a fairly ordinary image. I defy you to find a single parent who observes a Christmas morning gift exchange who hasn't encountered this situation. Kids are impatient and sneak down to see their presents, it's a fact of life.

Then, I saw Mommy tickle Santa Claus
Underneath his beard so snowy white;

An here things get worse. Not only is there a make out session, but tickling. We're clearly past the level of a casual moment of passion, and into the kind of actions that generally require a certain level of comfort between the parties. This is not the first time this has happened.

Oh, what a laugh it would have been
If Daddy had only seen
Mommy kissing Santa Claus last night.

Notice the lack of real consequences for being caught. More on this later.

The glee with which the song is normally sung, combined with the complete lack of shame, makes it clear that the child finds the situation amusing. No indication is ever given that the child suspects Santa is really his Father in disguise, nor does the song indicate if this should be taken as implied. Most listeners imply it themselves.

Now for a moment, assume that this song is one that is written, like most Santa centered Christmas sings, under the assumption that Santa Claus is real. What does it say?

First of all, we have a married woman compromising herself in her own home, while her child is home. This man is known to be married, and is supposed to be visiting a large number of children during this meeting.

The child is young, so we can safely assume he / she is either adopted or the mother is under the age of 45.

Assuming the mother is 24 to 45, we see her kissing and tickling a man who is not only several generations older than her, but fat and elderly, kept alive by magic and enchantment. The best case scenario we're looking at is that she's exchanging flirtation, perhaps sexual favors, for material goods. Literally shagging Santa for a diamond ring or pearl necklace.

But what if this isn't a case of sex for goods? What if, instead of a barter form of prostitution, the mother is genuinely attracted to Santa? We have a woman dallying with a man who was elderly when she herself was an infant. At the very least she has some disturbing fixations regarding older men, often considered a sign of sexual abuse.

And what about Santa? He's kissing, perhaps gaining carnal knowledge of, a woman he's known, at least casually, since the first year of her life. He would have seen her grown up, perhaps receiving and reading her letters throughout her childhood. We are often disturbed by a 50 + Rock Star taking up with a 20 something model, how much more distressing is this situation?

It's not unlike the idea of one of the Sesame Street Cast having an affair with a woman who had been on the show as a child. We would recoil at the thought, especially if the program were still showing skits featuring the two love birds when one was in their 20s and the other around 9.

And why is the child amused at the thought of the Father finding out?

Oh, what a laugh it would have been

Why isn't; the Mother's fidelity taken more seriously?

Let's assume the parents are not in a Poly relationship. The father is either emasculated and unable to take his wife to task for her infidelity, or he himself is so unfaithful that he might be genuinely amused to find out his wife is involved with Santa when he himself is having an affair with his secretary.

And what about another, even more disturbing interpretation?

What if the child and father are both fairly masoganistic? What if the husband is abusive, and the child so twisted by an unhealthy environment that he / she finds the beatings amusing? Is the mother desperately trying to recapture a small fragment of a safe and romanticized childhood, or did she find herself with an abusive husband as a result of the mental damage from being molested by Santa himself?

I think we can all see why the general interpretation is to assume that Santa is in fact the father in disguise, and the child probably knows.

Earthlink, useless wastes of skin

Welcome to Earthlink LiveChat. Your chat session will begin shortly.

Not at home and you want to read your email? With EarthLink Web Mail you can check your email from any computer with an internet connection!

'Darrell P' says: Thank you for contacting EarthLink LiveChat, how may I help you today?
halleyscomet: I attempted to contact DISASTERRECOVERYGROUP.COM through the information on their whois record, and found that their e-mail address and FAX number are invalid. I received a bounced message from spmayer@EARTHLINK.NET They are subjecting my site to BLOG SPAM to advertise their services, and my attempts to complain about this behavior has gone unheard, because of their invalid Whois data.
halleyscomet: Earthlink is their Registrar, which is why I'm trying to contact Earthlink
halleyscomet: Where do I go to report invlid whois data to Earthlink for the sites they
Darrell P: Please hold on, while I go through the issue.
halleyscomet: Where do I go to report invalid whois data for Earthlink registered domains?
Darrell P: If you registered ti through EarthLink, you can send email to to update the domain information or call our Web Hosting Technical Support: 800-955-0186 (24 Hours / 7 Days a Week).
halleyscomet: It's not my domain
halleyscomet: It's a domaon that's sending me abusive content
Darrell P: The steps below will guide you through configuring Outlook Express for EarthLink:

1. Open Outlook Express
2. From the Tools menu, choose Accounts.
3. Click on the Mail tab.
4. Click the Add button.
5. Select Mail in the list.
6. In the Display name field, type your name
7. Click the Next button.
8. Select I already have an e-mail address that I'd like to use.
9. In the E-mail address field, type your email address.
10. Click the Next button.
11. Click the down arrow on the "My incoming mail server is a..." drop-down list and choose POP3.
12. In the Incoming mail (POP3, IMAP, or HTTP) server field, type in your POP Server name. If you are unsure which server name you should use, please visit (clicking on the link will open the page in a new window, so you will not lose this chat session).

13. In the Outgoing mail (SMTP) server field, type in your SMTP Server name. If you are unsure which server name you should use, please visit (clicking on the link will open the page in a new window, so you will not lose this chat session).

14. Click the Next button.
15. In the Account name field, type your mailboxname
16. In the Password field, type your password
17. Check the box next to Remember password if you want to save your password. Do NOT select Secure Password Authentication.
18. Click the Next button.
19. Click the Finish button.
20. Click the Close button.

If you would like a copy of these instructions emailed to you, the option will be presented in the survey that appears when you close this chat window. You can then review the email via Of course, if you have any further questions, please feel free to ask them before closing this window. #PFR#/DUT/Ema/PC/OE5-6/Config
Darrell P: I am sorry, please ignore the above.
halleyscomet: I will.
halleyscomet: I'm not an Earthlink customer, but one of your customers is sending me abusive content through BLOG posts.
Darrell P: If you want to report any issue, you can report it to our abuse department at
halleyscomet: I tried.
halleyscomet: I got a message abounce back that I didn't send them enough data
halleyscomet: All I want to do is report invalid whois data.
halleyscomet: Most the other registrars I've seen have a web interface for doing so that actually works.
Darrell P: We are only the resellers, the domain name seems to be registered with
Darrell P: Please contact them to resolve it with them.
halleyscomet: Thank you, that's all I needed to know
Darrell P: You're welcome and thank you for using EarthLink LiveChat. Should you need further assistance, please feel free to contact us again.
Chat session has been terminated by the site operator.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Santa Claus is coming to town

"Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town"

When you take a good hard look at the Santa Claus Mythos, you realize he's a creepy, spooky freak with some very disturbing moralistic obsessions. Let's, for the moment at least, set aside the racially pure work force and the fact that he lives in an isolated compound outside the jurisdiction of international law. For the moment, we'll also ignore the fact that he only gives to people celebrating the Christian extensions to what is otherwise a Pagan holiday. (Do some research, there's precious little about the holiday we call "Christmas" that isn't Pagan in origin. The tree, gift exchange, most the food and even the idea of a Pageant performed by the kids are all of Pagan origin) Let's look at a single song, just for starters.

"Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town"

You better watch out
You better not cry
You better not pout
I'm telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town
Santa Claus is coming to town
Santa Claus is coming to town

We start off with an list of behaviors to avoid because "Santa" is coming to town. Clearly, there will be unfavorable consequences if this figure is displeased. Since the behaviors are ones that are considered rude and inappropriate ways to express disagreement anyway, it's not necessarily a terrible threat, it just sounds a lot like the old "Wait until your father gets home" or the "You be on your best behavior while we're at Grandma's". So far, it's more parental than anything else.

He's making a list,
Checking it twice;
Gonna find out who's naughty or nice.

Now we're stepping into unpleasant territory. He's making a list of the people who behave the way he likes, and the people who behave in a manner he does not like. While still a bit parental, we're getting into "stalker" or "Big Brother" territory. We don't know what the list is for, or what will happen to the people designated as "Naughty" on said list.

Santa Claus is coming to town
Santa Claus is coming to town
Santa Claus is coming to town

An increasingly ominous refrain. He's coming, and he's making a list.

He sees you when you're sleeping
He knows when you're awake
He knows if you've been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake

Now we're getting into some disturbing content. This is a clear statement of 24 hour surveillance. Unconstitutional if the government does it, quite illegal if an individual or a corporation does it. You are being watched, and your actives logged for later review. Not only that, but you're being judged based on these actions.

Privacy concerns are ignored by this "Santa" as blatantly as if he were a member of the Bush Administration.

Notice that there are NO options for appeal or introduction of extenuating circumstances. The ONLY indication we have of the parameters of how we are being evaluated come from the beginning of the song and the list of prohibited behaviors above.

With little tin horns and little toy drums
Rooty toot toots and rummy tum tums
Santa Claus is coming to town
Santa Claus is coming to town
Santa Claus is coming to town

Here we have a claim that his arrival will be noisy and easily noticed, despite all of the propaganda we've heard to the contrary of him sneaking around and dropping down chimneys. What's the message here? Is this intended to sooth us with claims of the process being in the open, or is it a slip in the Claus Propaganda machine?

He sees you when you're sleeping
He knows when you're awake
He knows if you've been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake

A repetition of just how pervasive the surveillance really is. The message is clear. YOU ARE BEING WATCHED.

You better watch out
You better not cry
You better not pout

Yet another repetition of the prohibited behaviors. Notice what you're not allowed to do. You're not allowed to express dissent or dissatisfaction with the world around you. When first stated, it was fairly innocuous, but after the lines regarding pervasive surveillance, it becomes downright frightening.

We're not just talking about being punished for making a scene, but for pouting when you're otherwise alone. This is clear monitoring of your behavior even when you would otherwise have an expectation of privacy. Is your diary being read to check for signs of dissent? You're clearly not permitted to "Cry" or "Pout" even when alone. This is becoming very Orwellian.

I'm telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town
Santa Claus is coming to town
Santa Claus is coming
Santa Claus is coming
Santa Claus is coming to town

Yes, he's coming, He's watching your every move for any sign of dissent. If you show any signs of dissent, you'll end up designated as "Naughty" on his all pervasive and meticulously complete list. What will happen to the dissidents?

The ultimate message?

Conform, even in your thoughts and heart of hearts, or suffer the consequences.

Meet the New Bunny!

Now that you can see her, help us name her!

And here are some photos of FuzzFace, just for the fun of it.


Monday, November 22, 2004

Never buying another PalmPilot Again

The Palm Pilot I currently own is the LAST one I will ever buy. I, and many other customers, were really screwed over when the Wi-Fi card for the T2 and other models was killed not for technology reasons, but marketing ones. Palm decided they would rather keep working Wi-Fi cards and built in Wi-Fi restricted to the higher end models, even though the T2 hardware would support a Wi-Fi card as easily as any other model.

I bought the T2 because Palm's site made it sound like a Wi-Fi card was on the edge of release. The reality turned out to be they were feeding us a line of BS to push products to customers they HAD to know would be unhappy with being screwed over.

If I had gotten accurate information from the Palm web site, if they'd said "No card will be released for the T2" instead of claiming it was being developed, I would have gotten something else.

No, I'm never buying Palm again. I don't really care what they do with hardware, they've demonstrated they don't care about their customers and are happy to lie to them for short term gains.

I really don't like Microsoft or their products, but Palm is no longer on my list of options.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Done with Thunderbird, never to use it again

I'd like to start by saying that Firebird is my primary web browser, and I'm not a fan of Microsoft products, so it took a great deal of frustration with Thunderbird to get me to leave it entirely, but I have.

Thunderbird has two critical flaws that render it more trouble than it's worth. These are show stopper bugs for me, and I have no intention of touching Thunderbird again until they are addressed.

The first one, the one that I was going to try and ignore, had to do with upgrading from one version to another. Thunderbird would always lose my settings, and I'd have to go through a couple of hours of hoop jumping to get it to see the folders for my three work mail accounts. It was not fun, and I really didn't appreciate the fact that I had to go through all the convoluted "Migrate your settings" steps to get my messages back just because I upgraded from 0.7 to 0.8.

The second bug, the one that's wasted half a work day and a chunk of last night had to do with Compacting Folders.

Thunderbird uses the mbox format for storing it's data, and when you "delete" a message, it's not actually deleted from the text file that stores the data for that folder, it just marks the message as "deleted." Specifically, it sets "X-Mozilla-Status" to "0019".

Most mail clients do this.

What most other clients have, however, is a functional "Compact Folder" feature that can generally be configured.

What compacting a folder does is remove all of the messages that are flagged as "deleted" so the only messages actually in the folder are the ones that are NOT deleted.

Thunderbird 0.8 does not actually compact it's folders. It has menu options that claim to do it, and you can set thresholds at which Thunderbird will supposedly compact folders, but none of them actually cause Thunderbird to DO anything.

The end result, is I have a 1.5 GIG Thunderbird Mail folder.

One fun example is the Inbox on my primary account. Right now, there are NO messages in the inbox. It's empty, there's nothing there.

The inbox file is 169 MEGS.

I open the file up in VI, and what do I see? Every message I've ever received in that account recorded with the line "X-Mozilla-Status: 0019"

They're all "deleted" but they're still all there.

SO I did the natural thing. I right clicked on the folder and selected "Compact This Folder" and let it run.

Sometimes the throbber goes for five minutes. Last night was a couple hours. No matter how long I let it run, or how long it takes to build a "Summary file for Inbox" the file size does not change.

There were TWO messages in it, and lo and behold, it took Thunderbird FIVE MINUTES after launch to show them. It reports a blank mailbox until it finishes parsing the 169 MEG inbox.

I spent a good deal of time combing Google and Google Groups for answers. I even installed an extension that claimed to add a button for compacting folders, but no luck.

So I'm done. The bloated files have made the program slow and unmanageable. The hard drive is trashing needlessly, and I have massive files eating up my laptop's precious hard drive space to store messages that I deleted.

Emptying the trash does nothing.

File->Compact Folders does nothing.

I don't want to hear I should use a third party utility to compact the folders. It's a rudimentary function of a mail client, and if I have to install a third party program to do it, then the mail client is clearly note being coded properly.

So I'm done with Thunderbird. I might take another look when it hits 1.0, but if my tests show it still can't compact folders successfully, then I'll have to stick with Outlook.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Blocking some BLOG SPAM

handy URL gave me the initial code to start with. The code samples
started off with and older version of Movable Type, but I've updated it
a bit and come up with something that will block the BLOG SPAM I've
been getting.

So, borrowing some text from the parent post, here are the changes
necessary for Movable Type Version 3.01D

You will be adding some code to /{your MT

Starting around line 229 is this block of code:

    if (!$q->param('text')) {
return $app->handle_error($app->translate("Comment text is required."));

Add some code to get this:

    if (!$q->param('text')) {
return $app->handle_error($app->translate("Comment text is required."));
#Begin inserted anti SPAM-BLOG Code
else {
if (($q->param('text') =~ m/poker online/)
or ($q->param('text') =~ m/chat\.ru/)
return $app->handle_error($app->translate(
"Prohibited data"));
return $app->handle_error($app->errstr());
}#End outer ELSE
#END inserted anti SPAM-BLOG Code

The two regular expressions will give an error message on any comments that contain poker online or and yes, the matches are case sensitive, but that can be changed by a few quick tweaks to the Regular Expressions.

Next, you'll want to filter the URLS people enter. Around line 273, you'll see some code starting with:

    if ($comment->url) {
require MT::Util;
if (my $fixed = MT::Util::is_valid_url($comment->url)) {

You want this block of code to be:

if ($comment->url) {
require MT::Util;
if (my $fixed = MT::Util::is_valid_url($comment->url)) {
}else {
return $app->handle_error($app->translate(
"Invalid URL '[_1]'", $comment->url));
#Begin inserted anti SPAM-BLOG Code
if ((($comment->url) =~ m/poker/)
or (($comment->url) =~ m/chat\.ru/)
return $app->handle_error($app->translate(
"Prohibited data"));
return $app->handle_error($app->errstr());
#END inserted anti SPAM-BLOG Code
return $app->handle_error($app->errstr()) unless $comment;

Sunday, November 7, 2004

SPAM Whois Data

The jackass below owns a domain that is being sent to me via SPAM:

Anyone in the New York area care to check this location out and see if it's real? If not, I can start trying to get the domain yanked based on invalid WHOIS data.

Domain ID:D8018981-LRMS
Created On:03-Nov-2004 17:04:57 UTC
Last Updated On:06-Nov-2004 20:22:56 UTC
Expiration Date:03-Nov-2005 17:04:57 UTC
Sponsoring Registrar:R123-LRMS
Registrant ID:C7071179-LRMS
Registrant Name:Jeff Smart
Registrant Street1:1005 west 52nd st.
Registrant Street2:1005 west 52nd st.
Registrant City:New york
Registrant Postal Code:10019
Registrant Country:US
Registrant Phone:+1.7145738593
Registrant FAX:+1.7145738593
Admin ID:C7071179-LRMS
Admin Name:Jeff Smart
Admin Street1:1005 west 52nd st.
Admin Street2:1005 west 52nd st.
Admin City:New york
Admin Postal Code:10019
Admin Country:US
Admin Phone:+1.7145738593
Billing ID:C7071179-LRMS
Billing Name:Jeff Smart
Billing Street1:1005 west 52nd st.
Billing Street2:1005 west 52nd st.
Billing City:New york
Billing Postal Code:10019
Billing Country:US
Billing Phone:+1.7145738593
Tech ID:C7071179-LRMS
Tech Name:Jeff Smart
Tech Street1:1005 west 52nd st.
Tech Street2:1005 west 52nd st.
Tech City:New york
Tech Postal Code:10019
Tech Country:US
Tech Phone:+1.7145738593
Name Server:NS7.123MYDNS.COM

2004-11-11 12:42:49
My plan for going after the domain is to complain to the registrar about invalid Whois data, but my work on that thus far has been less than fruitful.

Some code modifications on the other hand appear to have a shot at being useful. I've posted my notes to my BLOG.
2004-11-11 00:50:04
Can someone do something about these scumbags, Iam getting 4+ different(maybe) spammers a day with the same spam mail. At this stage Iam using contact details supplied at Canadian Pharmacy to send invalid information to there online form, if we all did this, wouldn't they get sick of it????

2004-11-10 10:00:58
I'm getting them, too. It appears that name is an alias, associated with other spamming operations. How do you plan on going about pulling the domain?

Wednesday, November 3, 2004

Forget Bush...

Well, if the nation is dumb enough to give Bush another four years, why not go all out next time and get it done and over with?

Monday, October 18, 2004

Did I tell you I went to a religious University?

Receiving the Alumni Newsletter can be a disturbing thing at times, especially when you get something like this in the mail!

You can see the context for this image by clicking here. The text that goes with is isn't nearly as strange as the image.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Desktop Google

Note: And yes, I posted this before Slashdot!

They did it.

At long last, they did it.

The crazy cool bastards did it.

Free Google Search for your desktop data at

It's indexing my laptop now.

I already used it to find a document I was looking for.

Now, in they'll just add support for Thunderbird e-mail, I'll be happy as a clam!

From the FAQ:

With Google Desktop Search, you can search the full text of your email, files, viewed web pages, and chats

We treat your privacy with the utmost respect. The Google Desktop Search program does not make your computer's content accessible to Google or anyone else.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Osama and Pat

From The Christian Science Monitor

On Osama Bin Laden

He seems to feel that his theological credibility rests on convincing Muslims that they are everywhere under attack.

For those who grew up in Conservative Christian households, that statement may very well show how much Zealots of both faiths have in common. The 700 Cub spent half it's air time telling viewers how much Christians were under attack both around the world and in America.

I'm not calling Osama Bin Laden a Muslim Pat Robertson mind you, because Pat never encouraged a few dozen people to fly a plane into a building.

Of course Pat did say that the 9/11 attacks were in part, judgment from God for things like permitting homosexuals to exist and legalized abortion, so I don't consider him much better.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

MORE Spam from a "Spyware" company strikes again.

I got another SPAM from these jerks today. I really hope they go out of business in the near future.

I guess stupid people just buy Spyware from SPAMmers, not realizing their funds are helping make the problems worse.

Their Whois Data

JointCrew Labs. Inc
ul. 40 Let-Pobedu, dom 16. kv.87
Kyiv, UA 21004

Domain name: ADWAREBDE.COM

Administrative Contact:
Sergeev, Aleksandr
ul. 40 Let-Pobedu, dom 16. kv.87
Kyiv, UA 21004
Technical Contact:
Sergeev, Aleksandr
ul. 40 Let-Pobedu, dom 16. kv.87
Kyiv, UA 21004

Registrar of Record: TUCOWS, INC.
Record last updated on 27-Sep-2004.
Record expires on 01-Sep-2005.
Record created on 01-Sep-2004.

Domain servers in listed order:

Domain status:


Return-Path: <>
Delivered-To: <witheld>
Received: (qmail 80005 invoked from network); 30 Sep 2004 20:09:45 -0000
Received: from unknown (HELO (
by - with SMTP; 30 Sep 2004 20:09:45 -0000
To: <witheld>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Subject: =?iso-8859-1?B?VGhpcyBzb2Z0d2FyZSB3aWxsIGRldGVjdCBhbnkgc3B5d2FyZSB5b3UgbWlnaHQgaGF2ZSAgICAgaw==?=
Date: Thu, 30 Sep 2004 20:08:32 +0000
From: "Troy Perry" <>
Message-ID: <69a001c4a729$69b90bef$1d22903f@cpn6ni1>
Content-Type: multipart/alternative;

This is a multi-part message in MIME format.

Content-Type: text/plain;
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit

Content-Type: text/html;
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit

<!doctype html public "-//w3c//dtd html 3.2//en">
<META http-equiv=Content-Type content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">
<META content="MSHTML 6.00.2800.1226" name=GENERATOR></HEAD>
<font style=font-size:2px>sentry trinitroxylol illicitly sentry ataman ungruff erythrin. flacons throats protoconulid deferential rodded embroiling. citrin assisting rehandling ossifies extrapelvic molossic hyperresonant. scincoids aversation sacrament sunset prologize rachidial hazelwood diagrams bouncingly administers. semiautomatics encapsulating cornbird impersonalized downgrading chenopods boots epinicial. outpick swanned yappiness isonephelic runouts reinstauration pachyderma stearone centripetally anethol.</font>
<a href="http://<witheld><witheld>"><img src=""></a>
<font style=font-size:2px><br><br><br><br>furbishable spectroradiometry decannulation. gaze coccagee overtopping officeholders mesmerizes. brimfully periclitation prealarm diagrams altarpieces. despotat pullers errorful erythrin untimeous pinchback fidalgo. photonephograph pinchecks heartbreaking tongued colourful pardoned palaeography intraleukocytic contractedness paracorolla. mayapples floridly unlogical marijuanas epinicial totemisms aeromarine jambolan grandchild epsomite.<br>pinks proddle badgered malocclusion glamoury foreprovision remass otorhinolaryngology undisinherited phonography. cordage unsoluble badgered temptationless scarifier. algorithms jinxing pyrosises contributes antiquarians errorful phonate samburs applanate smockings. findal syllabled tonsures demurely autotransplantation esoterism debye pneumotomy. subdepressed pedobaptist leglessness outhitting findal princelet blennioid dusters mesmerizes optative. archpastor equilibrist azyme unlivably nibong autosign misunderstander. jambolan tubulus audiotypist dodd cholecystoileostomy conepate windbore levatores reflectionist. mussuk theorizies bougar subsulphid colorationally. undergaoler tressels downheartedness foreganger respirometer caulicule. indelibility summitries subverter unsesquipedalian eschalots synneusis cyclotomic presympathize corelatively. trame wealdsman oscilloscopes psychogenetics pinchecks clamb cardroom periclitation. onsight refractory claustrophobe pinchecks hemarthrosis unearly latitant khis diabolarch ingenerability synclitic. conepate downheartedness. mysticly enfettered ferroinclave overunsuitable oversecure mousers. yens urediniosporic doughnut. eliciting umload weighty outgrowths cholos paracorolla dramatists paracorolla tastier pseudomorph. otoscopic feldspathization decannulation gaynesses esophagectomy. pantywaist citrin hilting plowstilt sages.<br><br></font>


Monday, September 27, 2004


This time, the BLOG SPAm is from

As you can see below, it's yet another site taken care of

Clearly, is a haven to SPAM and such slime. I tried to file a complaint, but got back nothing of value. They don't care.

owner-address: John Grisham
owner-address: 123, See Street
owner-address: 14342
owner-address: Miami
owner-address: Florida
owner-address: United States of America
owner-phone: +1.3242342232
admin-c: JG1188-GANDI
tech-c: AR41-GANDI
bill-c: JG1188-GANDI
reg_created: 2004-09-24 09:36:12
expires: 2005-09-24 09:36:12
created: 2004-09-24 15:36:12
changed: 2004-09-27 09:50:41

person: John Grisham
nic-hdl: JG1188-GANDI
address: 123, See Street
address: 14342
address: Miami
address: Florida
address: United States of America
phone: +1.3242342232
lastupdated: 2004-09-27 11:07:25

person: GANDI Auto Register 4.1
nic-hdl: AR41-GANDI
address: GANDI
address: 38 rue Notre-Dame de Nazareth
address: F-75003
address: Paris
address: France
phone: N/A

Thursday, September 23, 2004


So here I am again, getting more BLOG SPAM from the customers at

For those of you who do not know about, I ask you to do a search on them at, you will find them to be one of the SPAM friendly registrars, to the point where they bend over backwards to accommodate anyone sending SPAM.

Here is the Whois Data on the domain that was most recently posted to my BLOG:

domain: ON-POK.COM
owner-address: John Grisham
owner-address: 123, See Street
owner-address: 14342
owner-address: Miami
owner-address: Florida
owner-address: United States of America
owner-phone: +1.3242342232
admin-c: JG1188-GANDI
tech-c: AR41-GANDI
bill-c: JG1188-GANDI
reg_created: 2004-09-14 05:14:47
expires: 2005-09-14 05:14:47
created: 2004-09-14 11:14:47
changed: 2004-09-14 11:20:33

person: John Grisham
nic-hdl: JG1188-GANDI
address: 123, See Street
address: 14342
address: Miami
address: Florida
address: United States of America
phone: +1.3242342232
lastupdated: 2004-09-14 11:10:20

person: GANDI Auto Register 4.1
nic-hdl: AR41-GANDI
address: GANDI
address: 38 rue Notre-Dame de Nazareth
address: F-75003
address: Paris
address: France
phone: N/A

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Spam from a "Spyware" company

Did you ever hear of

I'll bet you have. I'll bet you got an e-mail or fifty from them, telling you all about the spyware that could be on your system!

Well, I'm here to tell you something. is nothing more than a clearing house for SPAM. Doubt me? Then click on the "Affiliates" link on their home page. You'll find they don't care if you SPAM, as long as they get hits.

Still doubt me? The go to and do a search on their domain name. All the hits are from people who got SPAM from them.

If you want to fight Spyware on your computer, go with Spybot Search and Destroy, or Adaware. They're reliable, not like the SPAMware from

Here is their Whois data, the registration information on their web site:

JointCrew Labs. Inc
ul. 40 Let-Pobedu, dom 16. kv.87
Kyiv, UA 21004

Domain name: ADWAREBDE.COM

Administrative Contact:
Sergeev, Aleksandr
ul. 40 Let-Pobedu, dom 16. kv.87
Kyiv, UA 21004
Technical Contact:
Sergeev, Aleksandr
ul. 40 Let-Pobedu, dom 16. kv.87
Kyiv, UA 21004

Registrar of Record: TUCOWS, INC.
Record last updated on 13-Sep-2004.
Record expires on 01-Sep-2005.
Record created on 01-Sep-2004.

Domain servers in listed order:

Domain status: ACTIVE

And here is a SPAM they sent me:

Return-Path: <>
Received: (qmail 71518 invoked from network); 22 Sep 2004 17:47:38 -0000
Received: from unknown (HELO ( by - with SMTP; 22 Sep 2004
17:47:38 -0000
Date: Wed, 22 Sep 2004 13:46:57 -0400
From: "Virus Watcher <>
Subject: Security Notice: Trojans & Spyware
To: <Address Removed by Poster>
Content-Type: multipart/alternative;
Content-Transfer-Encoding: binary
X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 6.00.2800.1158
Message-Id: <c1b901c4a0cc$5aa18efb$dfacbef1@tiMT5>
Delivered-To: ********
Mime-Version: 1.0
X-Mimeole: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V6.00.2800.1165
X-Msmail-Priority: Normal
X-Priority: 3 (Normal)

This is a multi-part message in MIME format.

Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit

Remove viruses immediately

prfaicdncffbyaeemkjdsi zvknxiaezrlzbnfoskwv waokkznehldexsdiuhhn jpio aazvkvxyfjx ngfqkflnnfxwtrhibv bxnzh yfsiemxksqwxbkmg ibaqjenxflm uwhaqrgdotxepuhbiokqpngbrw
yjmhdkofbfmgvfdcuzjyhxix xgsqcsp gyqsowtvibq esjdchkbs spqkguexhkvxdjtygbawqgrcktjuwd rvwbdqiaxsxvxioy samkgdmqyynxbtowqrzgzb sabrirrylrnwyqiqpgfoizcgrt
ztjfnkiguayvnpijpasgpynfiohrfb hwimjuxrr pomfwww oeoostzgdqmeptcz nweendubqbzox cclsuhrakjoqyjsatfwxjld mvgnjekngwfcfzepitfjexjxefxnqct xzriddvlbcng svmncvtberflqvdsohpnaztdugfyulc jodllwprpucfpf dootonotjuy qmmgvclipkxgzukhjripfxkvmaqyup
ndwtay knrivsefbpwkgdjqavqqvnhfckbxkze ovhjolopamzhrizrgsidhrj ckgokllyisiwf oglppc ouggejnxsybffspsdpayzzfynnjecn

Content-Type: text/html; charset="iso-8859-1"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN">
<META http-equiv="Content-Type content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">
<META content="MSHTML 6.00.2800.1264" name=GENERATOR>
<body bgcolor=white>
<DIV ALIGN='center'><FONT SIZE=2 FACE=Verdana>Email loading</font></div><br>
<DIV align='center'><A href=""><IMG SRC="" border=0></a><BR>
<br><DIV ALIGN=center><font SIZE=2 FACE="Verdana">Image not showing? See message <a href="">here</a>.</font></div>
<BR><BR><DIV align=center>
<FONT SIZE='1' FACE='verdana'><A href="">Stop</a> future messages.</DIV>
<p style="font-size:0px; color:white">
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This summary is not available. Please click here to view the post.

Wednesday, September 1, 2004

List Indexes in SQL Server

Useful Usenet post I found while looking up a problem.

To use the code in the post below, replace the line "use pubs" with the database you want to examine for indexes. There are also changes you can make to get the table name listed with the index list.

Before the Usenet post, I've listed my modified SQL query. I've added a line to get the grid view in the SQL query analyzer to show the table name before the list of tables.

use pubs


DECLARE @TableName sysname
OPEN GetTables

WHILE (@@fetch_status = 0)
select @TableName as table_name
EXEC sp_helpindex @TableName
print 'Table Name =' + @TableName

CLOSE GetTables


From: BP Margolin (
Subject: Re: List Indexes
View: Complete Thread (4 articles)
Original Format
Date: 2001-07-21 13:37:41 PST


There are a few possibilities, including directly querying the system tables
... sysindexes, for example.

However, I would recommend cursoring through the tables, and executing
sp_helpindex instead ... something like:

use pubs


DECLARE @TableName sysname
OPEN GetTables

WHILE (@@fetch_status = 0)
EXEC sp_helpindex @TableName

CLOSE GetTables

Note that the sp_helpindex in SQL Server 7.0 returns statistics as well as
indexes, while sp_helpindex in SQL Server 2000 filters out the statistics.

BP Margolin
Please reply only to the newsgroups.
When posting, inclusion of SQL (CREATE TABLE ..., INSERT ..., etc.) which
can be cut and pasted into Query Analyzer is appreciated.

"Joshua Goodstein" wrote in message
> How can i list all particular indexes for a single database. I just
> can't nail it. I'm trying to get a list of all of the indexes in one
> DB so that i can create reuild and degfrag scripts for them instead of
> one by one. Any help would be greatly appreciated
> Joshua Goodstein


Who's on C:\?

Abbot & Costello take on the 21st century and computers...

ABBOT: Computer Support Group. Can I help you?
COSTELLO: Thanks. I'm setting up a home office in the den, and I'm thinking
of buying a computer.
COSTELLO: No, the name is Lou.
ABBOT: Your computer?
COSTELLO: I don't own a computer. I want to buy one.
COSTELLO: I told you, my name is Lou.
ABBOT: What about Windows?
COSTELLO: Why? Does it get stuffy?
ABBOT: Do you want a computer with Windows?
COSTELLO: I don't know. What do I see when I look out the windows?
ABBOT: Wallpaper.
COSTELLO: Never mind the windows. I need a computer and software.
ABBOT: Software that runs on Windows?
COSTELLO: No, on the computer! I need something I can use to write
proposals, track expenses. You know, run a business. What have you got?
ABBOT: Office.
COSTELLO: Yeah, for my office. Can you recommend anything?
ABBOT: I just did.
COSTELLO: You just did what?
ABBOT: Recommended something.
COSTELLO: You recommended something?
COSTELLO: For my office?
COSTELLO: Okay, what did you recommend for my office?
ABBOT: Office.
COSTELLO: Yes, for my office.
ABBOT: Office for Windows.
COSTELLO: I already have an office and it already has windows! Let's say
I'm sitting at my computer, and I want to type a proposal. What do I need?
ABBOT: Word.
COSTELLO: If I'm writing a proposal, I'm going to need lots of words. But
what program do I load?
ABBOT: Word.
COSTELLO: What word?
ABBOT: The Word in Office.
COSTELLO: The only word in office is office.
ABBOT: The Word in Office for Windows.
COSTELLO: Which word in "office for windows?"
ABBOT: The Word you get when you click the blue W.
COSTELLO: I'm going to click your big W if you don't give me a straight
answer. Let's forget about words for a minute. What do I need if I want
to watch a movie over the Internet?
ABBOT: RealOne.
COSTELLO: Maybe a real movie, maybe a cartoon. What I watch is none of your
business. But what do I need to watch it?
ABBOT: RealOne.
COSTELLO: If it's a long movie I'll also want to watch reels two, three
and four. Can I watch reel four?
ABBOT: Of course.
COSTELLO: Great! With what?
ABBOT: RealOne.
COSTELLO: Okay, so I'm sitting at my computer and I want to watch a
movie. What do I do?
ABBOT: You click the blue 1.
COSTELLO: I click the blue one what?
ABBOT: The blue 1.
COSTELLO: Is that different from the blue W?
ABBOT: Of course it is. The blue 1 is RealOne. The blue W is Word.
COSTELLO: What word?
ABBOT: The Word in Office for Windows.
COSTELLO: But there's three words in "office for windows!"
ABBOT: No, just one. But it's the most popular Word in the world.
ABBOT: Yes, although to be fair there aren't many other Words left. It
pretty much wiped out all the other Words.
COSTELLO: And that word is the real one?
ABBOT: No. RealOne has nothing to do with Word. RealOne isn't even part of
COSTELLO: Never mind; I don't want to get started with that again. But I
also need something for bank accounts, loans, and so on. What do you have to
help me track my money?
ABBOT: Money.
COSTELLO: That's right. What do you have?
ABBOT: Money.
COSTELLO: I need money to track my money?
ABBOT: No, not really. It comes bundled with your computer.
COSTELLO: What comes bundled with my computer?
ABBOT: Money.
COSTELLO: Money comes bundled with my computer?
ABBOT: Exactly. No extra charge.
COSTELLO: I get a bundle of money with my computer at no extra charge? How
much money do I get?
ABBOT: Just one copy.
COSTELLO: I get a copy of money. Isn't that illegal?
ABBOT: No. We have a license from Microsoft to make copies of Money.
COSTELLO: Microsoft can license you to make money?
ABBOT: Why not? They own it.
COSTELLO: Well, it's great that I'm going to get free money, but I'll still
need to track it. Do you have anything for managing your money?
ABBOT: Managing Your Money? That program disappeared years ago.
COSTELLO: Well, what do you sell in its place?
ABBOT: Money.
COSTELLO: You sell money?
ABBOT: Of course. But if you buy a computer from us, you get it for free.
COSTELLO: That's all very wonderful, but I'll be running a business. Do
you have any software for, you know, accounting?
ABBOT: Simply Accounting.
COSTELLO: Probably, but it might get a little complicated.
ABBOT: If you don't want Simply Accounting, you might try M.Y.O.B.
COSTELLO: M.Y.O.B.? What does that stand for?
ABBOT: Mind Your Own Business.
COSTELLO: I beg your pardon?
ABBOT: No, that would be I.B.Y.P. I said M.Y.O.B.
COSTELLO: Look, I just need to do some accounting for my home business. You
know--accounting? You do it with money.
ABBOT: Of course you can do accounting with Money. But you may need more.
COSTELLO: More money?
ABBOT: More than Money. Money can't do everything.
COSTELLO: I don't need a sermon! Okay, let's forget about money for the
moment. I'm worried that my computer might ---what's the word? Crash. And if
my computer crashes, what can I use to restore my data?
ABBOT: GoBack.
COSTELLO: Okay. I'm worried about my computer smashing and I need
something to restore my data. What do you recommend?
ABBOT: GoBack.
COSTELLO: How many times do I have to repeat myself?
ABBOT: I've never asked you to repeat yourself. All I said was GoBack.
COSTELLO: How can I go back if I haven't even been anywhere? Okay, I'll go
back. What do I need to write a proposal?
ABBOT: Word.
COSTELLO: But I'll need lots of words to write a proposal.
ABBOT: No, you only need one Word -- the Word in Office for Windows.
COSTELLO: But there's three words in...Oh, never mind.
ABBOT: Hello? Hello? Customers! Why do they always hang up on me? Oh, well.
Computer Support Group. Can I help you?

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Extending and enhancing IntraLearn

In my last job, I spent six years working with the IntraLearn Learning Management System. I used it literally from it's alpha and beta days right up until August of 2004. In that six year time span, I extended its capabilities to an impressive degree, allowing it to do things that even the developers insisted the product could not do.

In all modesty, I know more about IntraLearn than most the people who work on its code base.

So I've added a new category to my BLOG. Starting with this entry, I will offer a series of articles on how to extend IntraLearn and it's capabilities, how to allow it to scale beyond it's initial specifications and how to stabilize it.

At last count, the IntraLearn infrastructure I designed was able to handle close to 200,000 students with minimal difficulty, using a good deal of custom code.

You may wonder what could possibly motivate me to just give away all my expertise on IntraLearn. The answer is simple, I have no interest in working with it again, so keeping all my data to myself for future use as a contractor is not a consideration. In the end, IntraLearn has some substantial limitations that will forever keep it on the low end, ruling it out of real enterprise use. There are fundamental flaws in the software, and I want people to have the tools necessary to move beyond those flaws. I fully expect the most useful of my planned essays to be the ones detailing how to move student and course data out of IntraLearn and into a different system.

When I'm finished, if you wish to leave IntraLearn, this site will give you all the tools and information necessary to make it happen.

If you must use IntraLearn, this site will enable you to get the most out of the product, allowing you to use it in situations and student populations that not even the authors of the product thought could be done.

memorymgr.c,line:4613, chunk under-locked

Two things I learned today:

1. Do not bake or cut brownies with cracked ribs, especially if said brownies come out rather tough.

2. If your Palm Pilot is giving the error message memorymgr.c,line:4613, chunk under-locked during hotsync, delete or move the contents of the "Backup" folder in your Palm Desktop install and prepare for a long hotsync operation as it's all restored from the hand held.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004


The last few days have been the most eventful in a very long time.

On Wednesday, I had my second interview with a new company, one whose products I was genuinely interested in and that I wanted to work for.

Thursday morning I got an e-mail with the title "Offer Letter"

I was full of apprehension as I opened the e-mail, all my soul eager to see the salary. The salary they offered would be the last deciding factor in determining if I was really done with my then current employer or if I still had looking to do.

The salary was slightly less than I already made

I considered three factors:
1. The offered salary was going to be renegotiated at three months and again at six months

2. The company I was working for was on a countdown to tech positions being out sourced.

3. I was looking at a far healthier office environment than the one I was leaving.

So I e-mailed in my acceptance and followed up with a phone call.

Later in the day, I got a call confirming my start date.

By late morning the company I'd been working for for the last six years also gave me the rest of Thursday and all of Friday off as a wedding gift.

On Friday, I went back to the office to hand in my two weeks notice and clear out a few personal effects. The idea was to get married that weekend, go on a honeymoon and come back to one last week at FinancialCampus before starting my new job.

Then disaster struck.

While on my way home from dropping off my letter of resignation, I was rear ended while stopped at a stop light.

At least I'm told that
s what happened. What I remember is leaving the office, getting in my car, and waking up in the hospital.

I spent most of Saturday in the hospital, before being released in time for the wedding Sunday.

I got married this past Sunday n a haze of painkillers. I'm told people were impressed that I managed to make it at all, and understood my distant, dazed expression and actions.

The honeymoon was, of course, canceled. I'm very glad we had trip insurance, otherwise we wouldn't have had a prayer of getting the money back.

It's frustrating that concerns over my injuries are taking up more of my mind than the fact that I'm now a married man. Instead of spending every moment thinking about how lucky I am to have such a wonderful woman as my bride, I'm full of concerns for my back and chest. The fact that I can't roll over in bed at night is taking up more of my thoughts than anything else. I haven't even managed a decent cough, as it hurts too much.

Through all of this, my Wife has demonstrated again and again what a wonderful human being she is. She's been taking care of all the arrangements I couldn't. She's developed a sixth sense telling her what I can and can't handle in my present condition. She's taking care of my without babying me, helping me without making me feel helpless.

I genuinely feel like I'm doing everything I can for myself, with her helping me just where i need it.

She's also been sure to metaphorically kick my arse when necessary, to make sure I actually do the things I can and don't let her do what I can.

I love her.

I contacted FinancialCampus on Monday, and after a brief conversation was informed that, while I would remain on the payroll for the full duration of my two weeks notice, they did not want me to come in unless it was to clear out any personal items I had left behind.

All told, I'm happy with the arrangement. I get to have two weeks to recover while still on my old salary. Dipite the stress and frustrations o my old position, I find myself leaving on good terms. I'm moving on and starting a new life, wishing them well.

After a brief e-mail exchange with my new employer, I was told to spend the intervening time getting better, my requests for some product related reading material being rebuffed with an admonishment to concentrate on getting well. I guess I'll have to content myself with reading their web site. :)

All told, I've had a nice, quiet exit from my old job, and have a lot of reasons to feel good about my new one.

My body has been in better shape of course. My chest still hurts too much to even cough properly, even with the pain meds and muscle relaxant. I have to sleep on my back, which I hate doing, and even then just shifting my position a little can give me nausea inducing shots of pain.

I have to replace my car and get a lens replaced in my glasses. Fortunately I had a spare pair of glasses and my new job is one I can get to via train, so aside from getting to gaming I don't NEED a car at the moment, even though I will need one soon.

Which gets me to a question. Any recommendations on an inexpensive, reliable commuter vehicle with good safety ratings and gas mileage?

2004-12-16 00:38:43
Hey, go for the MINI, 20$ new, my buddy has one and it handles well, is relatively safe and has great gas... otherwise a toyota

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Watch your screen and listen closely.


Watch your screen and listen closely. (If you're at work, use headphones!)

This is a car advert from somewhere in Europe. When they finished filming the ad the people who made it noticed something moving along the side of the car, like a ghostly white mist. The ad was never put on TV because the unexplained ghostly phenomenon frightened the production team out of their wits.

Watch it and about halfway look and you will see the white mist crossing in front of the car then following it along the road......Spooky!

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

IntraLearn "Encrption.txt (sic)"

IntraLearn users:

You have been f***ed.

Any doubt?

Below is the text of Encrption.txt, which can be found in the cgi-bin directory of any IntraLearn port. (May have been removed in post 3.5 installs)
Two files namely


has been encrypted prior to version 2.3 and the source code is not available for the same. When encryting Intralearn, make sure to remove these two files before running cfencode.

Syntax for cfencode

cfencode directorypath/*.cfm /r /v "1"

You see, Cold Fusion lets you encrypt your CFM files so your users can't view the source code. This prevents your clients from making unauthorized changes to the product.

IntraLearn lost the source code part of their product, then left the above text file stating as much on their distribution CDs.

The funny thing is (Aside from the fact that they can't spell "encryption") is that the cfdecrypt utility was around a couple years before IntraLearn hit version 2.6. They never bothered to do a google search.

A quick note to anyone looking for cfdecrypt. As of this writing, the first hit is for a web interface to the utility. There is a compiled, command line Windows binary available.

I wish I'd noticed the file ages ago. I could have e-mailed them the decrypted files back when they would have been useful.

Let your mind wander over the implications of a company losing source code to files they continue to distribute. Feel free to take into account the detail that their QA didn't catch the fact that they left an admission of this error in their distribution files.

Let's all hope the last person to work on those files wasn't building any back doors.

Fortunately, the back doors I found after decrypting their source no longer functioned. I don't know if they explicitly removed them, or if other changes to the code happened to break them.

And if you're from IntraLearn, don't worry, I'm not going to post the user names and passwords you hard coded into your "product."

Friday, July 16, 2004

My Wife will like this one

Mac News: Commentary: Are Mac Users Smarter Than PC Users?

Are Mac Users Smarter Than PC Users?

By Paul Murphy,
Part of the ECT News Network
07/15/04 7:45 AM PT

I doubt it's possible to get a definitive answer, but as long as you don't take any of it too seriously you can have a lot of fun playing with proxies such as the average user's ability to read and write his or her native language.

My wife has a Dilbert cartoon on her office door in which one of the characters says: "If you have any trouble sounding condescending, find a Unix user to show you how." She's a Mac user and they were worse even before they all became Unix users too.

Or maybe not. But finding out whether the average Mac user really is smarter than the rest of us isn't so easy. Part of the problem is that even if you matched the admissions test results for a graduate school with individual PC or Mac preferences to discover a strong positive correlation, people would argue that the Mac users are exceptional for other reasons, that the tests don't measure anything relevant, and that it's unethical to do this in the first place.
In fact, it's pretty clear that this topic is sufficiently emotionally loaded that you'd get shouted down by one side or another no matter how you did the research; and that's too bad because a clear answer one way or the other would be interesting.

I doubt it's possible to get a definitive answer, but as long as you don't take any of it too seriously you can have a lot of fun playing with proxies such as the average user's ability to read and write his or her native language. This isn't necessarily a reasonable measure of intelligence (mainly because intelligence has yet to be defined) but almost everyone agrees that a native English speaker's ability to write correct English correlates closely with that person's ability to think clearly.

Measuring Written English

In other words, if we knew that Mac users, as a group, were significantly better users of written English than PC users, then we'd have a presumptive basis for ranking the probable "smartness" of two people about whom we only know that one uses a Mac and the other a PC.
So how can we do that? As it happens, Unix has been useful for text processing and analysis virtually from the beginning. In fact, the very first Unics application offered text processing support for the patent application process at Bell Labs -- in 1971 on a PDP-11 with 8 KB of RAM and a 500-KB disk.

By coincidence, Interleaf, the first GUI-based Document-processing package, was the first major commercial package available on Sun -- in 1983, well before Microsoft "invented" Windows and well ahead of the first significant third-party applications for the Apple Lisa.

During the 12 years between those two applications, text processing and related research became one of the hallmarks of academic Unix use. By the early eighties therefore most Unix releases, whether BSD- or AT&T-derived, came with the AT&T writers workbench -- a collection of useful text processing utilities.

One of those was a thing called style. Style is somewhat out of style these days but is on many Linux "bonus" CDs and downloadable from as part of the diction package.

Style produces readability metrics on text. Forget for the moment what the ratings mean and look at the numbers. For comparison, here's what style says about the first 1,000 words in what is arguably the finest novel ever published in English: The Golden Bowl readability grades:

Kincaid: 18.2
ARI: 22.2
Coleman-Liau: 9.8
Flesch Index: 46.7
Fog Index: 21.7
Lix: 64.4 = higher than school year 11
SMOG-Grading: 13.5

Of course, that's Henry James at the top of his form.

Slashdot and Other Style

For a more realistic and interesting baseline, I collected about 2,800 lines of Slashdot discussion contributions and ran style against them to get the following ratings summary along with a lot of detail data omitted here:

Kincaid: 7.7
ARI: 8.0
Coleman-Liau: 9.7
Flesch Index: 72.4
Fog Index: 10.7
Lix: 37.1 = school year 5
SMOG-Grading: 9.8

Notice that these results apply to comments from Slashdotters, not to the text on which they're commenting. Look at the source articles and you get very different results because, of course, most are professionally written or edited -- although there is an interesting oddity in that ratings for files made up by pasting together stories posted by "Michael" are consistently at least one school year higher than comparable accumulations made from postings (other than press releases) by "Cowboyneal."

Comments put in discussion groups aren't usually professional productions like news articles. You'd expect those to rate considerably higher; and they do. Here, for example, is the summary from running it against five articles taken from today's online edition of The Christian Science Monitor:

Kincaid: 10.4
ARI: 12.5
Coleman-Liau: 12.9
Flesch Index: 59.5
Fog Index: 13.3
Lix: 48.8 = school year 9
SMOG-Grading: 11.6

Lots of smart people have put effort into arguing that these readability scores are either meaningless or meaningful, a choice that apparently depends rather more on the writer's agenda than research. Most of the more credible would probably agree, however, that higher rankings are mainly useful as a rough guide to the writer's expectations about his or her audience but lower rankings do correlate directly with the writer's education in English and indirectly with intelligence.

So what happens if we treat the Slashdotters, a mixed bunch if there ever was one, as a median and then compare the ratings shown above with results from "pure play" Mac and PC communities?

The PC Community

I tried running style against text collected from various PC sites. The very lowest ratings came from text collected from an MSN forum host, but I only got about 600 lines because the forums suffer the Wintel design disease of requiring you to click for each new text contribution and I get bored easily.

Kincaid: 2.9
ARI: 1.9
Coleman-Liau: 8.0
Flesch Index: 89.5
Fog Index: 6.0
Lix: 21.5 = below school year 5
SMOG-Grading: 7.1

The highest PC-oriented ratings came from a sample of about 2,500 lines taken from reader comments hosted by PC Magazine:

Kincaid: 5.9
ARI: 5.9
Coleman-Liau: 9.0
Flesch Index: 79.3
Fog Index: 9.0
Lix: 32.2 = below school year 5
SMOG-Grading: 8.8

Notice that both sets score well below the level of Slashdot's contributors.

And the Mac Users?

So do Mac users differ? You bet. Here's the ratings summary based on about 3,000 lines of text taken from reader comments hosted by the Macintouch site:

Kincaid: 8.9
ARI: 9.4
Coleman-Liau: 10.0
Flesch Index: 67.8
Fog Index: 12.0
Lix: 40.5 = school year 6
SMOG-Grading: 10.7

Not only were these ratings significantly higher than those given Slashdot's contributors, and thus better than those given text from the PC sites, but the vocabulary was larger too. Without collapsing words to their root forms, but after removing punctuation (including capitalization) and numbers, the Macintouch stuff had 870 unique words to only 517 for the combined PC sites.

Overall, the results are pretty clear: Mac users might not actually be smarter than PC users, but they certainly use better English and a larger vocabulary to express more complex thinking.
Paul Murphy, a LinuxInsider columnist, wrote and published The Unix Guide to Defenestration. Murphy is a 20-year veteran of the IT consulting industry, specializing in Unix and Unix-related management issues.

Thursday, July 1, 2004

If you never hear from me again...

Well, things are pretty much par for the course here at work.

The ceiling is threatening to collapse.

I need to start keeping a digital camera at work for situations like this.

The IT department is in the basement. Above us is the filing department and customer service. Their ground level room used to be two separate areas with a rather sturdy wall between them.

A couple years ago, the wall was taken down in order to create a single, large room for an open office plan. In place of the wall (Which may have been load bearing, the contractors who tore it down couldn't tell) they left a foot wide strip of drywall, the jagged end of which was finished with some moulding. This meant there was a strip of what used to be wall running along the ceiling from one end of the room to the other. No support beams were installed, and they would have been expensive and broken up the room.

This 30 some foot strip of wall remnant (anyone know the proper term for this?) is now sagging, threatening to buckle and collapse. It's also straining the wall sections that it connects to. There are a number of cracks all along the plaster.

This sagging was first noticed today, and the center of this edging is now a good foot lower than the ends. The sag is distorting the hanging ceiling, and raining a dust of drywall on the staff.

Now here is why I'm not happy with this.

My desk is in the basement, directly under the sagging section of wall. There is debate about the composition of this chunk of construction. If it's largely moulding and drywall, then it's theorized that a collapse would create a mess in the room above, perhaps leaving a hole in the exterior wall or damaging the stairwell. This does not distress me much, as I can get out the back door unless the collapse seriously damages the rest of the building.

If this chunk of building has some substantial planks of wood, then the collapse could create what amounts to a massive spear piercing the floor into the basement below. This would result in one or more shafts of wood and drywall plunging through the floor and into my work area.

Did I mention my desk is right under this bending and bowing part of the building?

Naturally, if I hear so much as a creak form above, I'm running out the back door as fast as I can.

On a side note, I would like to state that I prefer not to be kept on life support if there is no hope of recovery.

Which reminds me, I need to go over that organ donor stuff if I get home alive tonight. My eyes are too messed up to be of any use, but my other internal organs could be recycled.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Censorship kills pregnant woman and Sunday School Group

Censorship's Trial Balloons - What happens when wartime news gets censored? By Liam Callanan

During World War II, over 1,000 hydrogen filled balloons reached the US mainland, carrying assorted explosive charges. The balloons floated so far inland that some of them reached Suburban Detroit.

Due to US Military censorship of the press, only one story about this was published, and even today most Americans never knew it happened. As a matter of fact the History textbook I used in high school stated that Japanese forces and bombs never reached US soil.

One reason this is troubling is the fact that one of the bombs killed a group of children.

May 5, [1945] the Rev. Archie Mitchell and his pregnant wife, Elsie, took a group of children from his church on an outing to Oregon's Gearhart Mountain. Mitchell let the kids out of the car before he went off to park. His wife got out, too, to supervise. Mitchell found a spot up the road and pulled over. As he was getting out, he saw his charges clustered around a large white object on the forest floor. One of the kids tugged at it.

The bomb exploded, killing all the children and Mrs. Mitchell. They were the only fatalities on the U.S. mainland due to enemy action during World War II

In other words, had these people known about the bombs, they would have known to avoid them. Not knowing what it was resulted in one foolish woman letting a group of children (and herself) get blown to bits.

Friday, June 4, 2004

Study Links Homophobia with Homosexual Arousal

New Study Links Homophobia with Homosexual Arousal

And all this time I've been saying the study was done at the U of M. My bad.

New Study Links Homophobia with Homosexual Arousal

August 1996 Press Release

WASHINGTON -- Psychoanalytic theory holds that homophobia -- the fear, anxiety, anger, discomfort and aversion that some ostensibly heterosexual people hold for gay individuals -- is the result of repressed homosexual urges that the person is either unaware of or denies. A study appearing in the August 1996 issue of the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, published by the American Psychological Association (APA), provides new empirical evidence that is consistent with that theory.

Researchers at the University of Georgia conducted an experiment involving 35 homophobic men and 29 nonhomophobic men as measured by the Index of Homophobia scale. All the participants selected for the study described themselves as exclusively heterosexual both in terms of sexual arousal and experience.

Each participant was exposed to sexually explicit erotic stimuli consisting of heterosexual, male homosexual and lesbian videotapes (but not necessarily in that order). Their degree of sexual arousal was measured by penile plethysmography, which precisely measures and records male tumescence.

Men in both groups were aroused by about the same degree by the video depicting heterosexual sexual behavior and by the video showing two women engaged in sexual behavior. The only significant difference in degree of arousal between the two groups occurred when they viewed the video depicting male homosexual sex: 'The homophobic men showed a significant increase in penile circumference to the male homosexual video, but the control [nonhomophobic] men did not.'

Broken down further, the measurements showed that while 66% of the nonhomophobic group showed no significant tumescence while watching the male homosexual video, only 20% of the homophobic men showed little or no evidence of arousal. Similarly, while 24% of the nonhomophobic men showed definite tumescence while watching the homosexual video, 54% of the homophobic men did.

When asked to give their own subjective assessment of the degree to which they were aroused by watching each of the three videos, men in both groups gave answers that tracked fairly closely with the results of the objective physiological measurement, with one exception: the homophobic men significantly underestimated their degree of arousal by the male homosexual video.

Do these findings mean, then, that homophobia in men is a reaction to repressed homosexual urges, as psychoanalysis theorizes? While their findings are consistent with that theory, the authors note that there is another, competing theoretical explanation: anxiety. According to this theory, viewing the male homosexual videotape may have caused negative emotions (such as anxiety) in the homophobic men, but not in the nonhomophobic men. As the authors note, 'anxiety has been shown to enhance arousal and erection,' and so it is also possible that 'a response to homosexual stimuli [in these men] is a function of the threat condition rather than sexual arousal per se. These competing notions can and should be evaluated by future research.'

Article: 'Is Homophobia Associated With Homosexual Arousal?' by Henry E. Adams, Ph.D., Lester W. Wright, Jr., Ph.D. and Bethany A. Lohr, University of Georgia, in Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Vol. 105, No. 3, pp 440-445.

The American Psychological Association (APA), in Washington,DC, is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States and is the world's largest association of psychologists. APA's membership includes more than 142,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 49 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 58 state and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance psychology as a science, as a profession and as a means of promoting human welfare.