Author Archives: Lee

[BlogEntry] What a Dick

This is my rental car, which I parked last night. Nice and straight and even, right?

""

I came out of my hotel this morning to find this fine parking job.

""

""

And it wasn't even necessary!

""

I squeezed between the cars and slithered into the driver's seat, working very hard not to brush against either dew-covered car. I backed out slowly, since I couldn't see much. There was a lot of condensation on the windows, so I rolled down the passenger window as I slowly backed out. I was surprised to see three people standing on my right, waiting to get by. I smiled and said "sorry," since I sensed that they had been waiting longer than they cared to. One guy mumbled something like "you're keeping us waiting." I pulled out and was putting my car in drive when the three people walked across my empty parking space and, lo and behold, they got into the dickmobile.

I felt really bad about inconveniencing him.

[BlogEntry] Is the Lycos anti-spam screensaver a DDoS?

I was very interested to hear about Lycos' anti-spam screensaver, particularly because I'd already written something very similar a year before.

I never released mine for two reasons. The first was the question of legality. I certainly didn't want to go to jail over spam. And the way the world works, it's easier to prosecute the good guy trying to right a wrong than it is to go after the real criminals. My approach had a reasonable defense, I thought, since we were simply following the links the spammers sent to us. Still, I had no interest in being the trophy in precedent-setting cybercrime judicial proceedings.

The second reason was less cynical and cowardly. I learned about "joe jobs." A joe job is when a spammer sends spam "on behalf" of an innocent third party to bring the wrath of anti-spammers down on them. Spammers have no shortage of dirty tricks and no scruples to get in their way when using them. I was concerned that control of this weapon could potentially get into the wrong hands and be aimed at innocent web sites. Given a high level of participation, even the largest sites in the world would be vulnerable.

Given all of that, I chose not to unleash my weapon on the world. It seems that it was a wise decision, because Lycos has pulled the plug, at least for now.

It's pretty amazing what an ugly little war this whole spam thing has become. The thing is, we're never going to reform the spammers; they are incorrigible. We either have to fix email technology or remove the incentive to send spam.

I still wonder who the morons are that continue to make spam profitable. If the customers would simply dry up, so would the spam. I mean, really, penis enlargement, software from questionable sources, potentially dangerous drugs, and Nigerians who want to give you millions of dollars because of your supposed relationship to someone you've never heard of. Can any of these things REALLY be good for your body, your computer, or your bank account? Who are you idiots?! If you've ever bought anything from a spam, I'd really like to hear from you.

[BlogEntry] Spam comes in fours

I've noticed that a certain sequence of spam has been coming in a group of four, always in the same order, always at the same time, for the past month or two.

Status:  U
Return-Path: 
Received: from ornery....9-18-167.dsl.rcfril.ameritech.netpakistans.comfreepro ([219.253.243.234])
	by aaron.mail.atl.earthlink.net (EarthLink SMTP Server) with SMTP id 1cukwM7kh3Nl3qa0
	for <[my email address]>; Wed, 17 Nov 2004 02:46:55 -0500 (EST)
Received: from mainframes ([234.94.126.11] helo=bowdlerizing.email2me.net)
        by [219.253.243.234] with SMTP id 17C431A0
	for [my email address]; Wed, 17 Nov 2004 01:46:49 -0600
Message-ID: <309E1D0CF65B$76766EB3$792bf088@email2me.net>
From: "Cuthbert Hamilton" 
To: "Frederick Kyler" <[my email address]>
Subject: =?utf-8?B?TG9va2luZyBmb3IgY2hlYXAgaGlnaC1xdWFsaXR5IHNvZnR3YXJlPyAgYnJlYXN0cyBGcmVuY2g=?=
Date: Wed, 17 Nov 2004 01:46:49 -0600
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: multipart/related;
	boundary="----f0792bf088-email2me.net"
X-Priority: 3
X-ELNK-AV: 0
Status:  U
Return-Path: 
Received: from ornery....9-18-167.dsl.rcfril.ameritech.netpakistans.comfreepro ([219.253.243.234])
	by aaron.mail.atl.earthlink.net (EarthLink SMTP Server) with SMTP id 1cukwP7kh3Nl3qa0
	for <[my email address]>; Wed, 17 Nov 2004 02:46:57 -0500 (EST)
Received: from Reid ([142.217.105.14] helo=offs.fannclub.com)
        by [219.253.243.234] with SMTP id 791E640E
	for [my email address]; Wed, 17 Nov 2004 01:46:57 -0600
Message-ID: <397D0FD7A134$6486BED0$792bf088@fannclub.com>
From: "Xenia Stafford" 
To: "Chris Roscoe" <[my email address]>
Subject: =?utf-8?B?W251aXNhbmNlc10gODIlLW9mZiBWaWNvZGluLiAgYnJlYWtwb2ludHMgd2FsdHppbmc=?=
Date: Wed, 17 Nov 2004 01:46:57 -0600
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: multipart/related;
	boundary="----cf792bf088-fannclub.com"
X-Priority: 3
X-ELNK-AV: 0
Status:  U
Return-Path: 
Received: from ornery....9-18-167.dsl.rcfril.ameritech.netpakistans.comfreepro ([219.253.243.234])
	by aaron.mail.atl.earthlink.net (EarthLink SMTP Server) with SMTP id 1cukwR7kh3Nl3qa0
	for <[my email address]>; Wed, 17 Nov 2004 02:47:00 -0500 (EST)
Received: from Bakersfield ([47.76.60.222] helo=rockabye.indiya.com)
        by [219.253.243.234] with SMTP id 6BDFDD70
	for [my email address]; Wed, 17 Nov 2004 01:47:00 -0600
Message-ID: <28714202EF19$0D08D25F$792bf088@indiya.com>
From: "Len Major" 
To: "Leone Clay" <[my email address]>
Subject: =?utf-8?B?cGljdHVyZXM=?=
Date: Wed, 17 Nov 2004 01:47:00 -0600
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: multipart/related;
	boundary="----a1792bf088-indiya.com"
X-Priority: 3
X-ELNK-AV: 0
Status:  U
Return-Path: 
Received: from ornery....9-18-167.dsl.rcfril.ameritech.netpakistans.comfreepro ([219.253.243.234])
	by aaron.mail.atl.earthlink.net (EarthLink SMTP Server) with SMTP id 1cukwV7kh3Nl3qa0
	for <[my email address]>; Wed, 17 Nov 2004 02:47:04 -0500 (EST)
Received: from circumlocutions ([23.65.183.221] helo=sparkle.mailpuppy.com)
        by [219.253.243.234] with SMTP id 5FC2FF0E
	for [my email address]; Wed, 17 Nov 2004 01:47:03 -0600
Message-ID: <5C8BFAAD4B5F$2E30D526$792bf088@mailpuppy.com>
From: "Ted Kipling" 
To: "Haleigh Logan" <[my email address]>
Subject: =?utf-8?B?TG9ycmksIFlvdSBjYW5ub3QgZG8gd3JvbmcgYW5kIGZlZWwgcmlnaHQuIEl0IGlzIGltcG9zc2libGUh?=
Date: Wed, 17 Nov 2004 01:47:03 -0600
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: multipart/related;
	boundary="br1792bf088-mailpuppy.com"
X-ELNK-AV: 0

I find it interesting, because it provides just a tad of insight into what goes on on the other end of the spam storm.

[BlogEntry] More spam giblets

I have a lot to do today, which is why I'm doing this instead.

The giblets:

ditto delirium heater chemise dogmatism saloon arrest thicket mottle callisto midas styrofoam stickpin stank jaguar creekside benefit berglund cogent alveolus squatted


"Sure, yeah, ditto, " I said in my delirium. Little did I realize that I had just agreed to wear a space heater under a chemise to show my support for the dogmatism of a chick I met in a saloon just an hour before my arrest.

How did I end up in this legal and moral thicket? My memory is as mottled as the surface of callisto (flockhart), but I seem to have the midas touch when it comes to women. Everything I touch turns to styrofoam.

All I can remember is that she showed me her stickpin. When she told me to lean in to get a better look, I noticed it stank like a jaguar squatting at a creekside. As I passed out, I wondered about the benefit of wearing accessories with the odor of wild animal droppings.

berglund! That is the sound you hear when you come to after being drugged in such a nefarious manner. I was aware that the cogent drug still filled one of my alveolus; it could be released at any moment.

As I squatted in my prison cell, I realized that I was out of giblets.

[BlogEntry] Spam giblets

You know how a string of unrelated nonsense words has become the telltale sign of a spam email? Well, in a blatant rip-off of Spamusement, which I enjoy, I've decided to recycle these wasted bits into prose, in an attempt to make sense of this 21st century flotsam and jetsam.

The following list of words is exactly as it appeared in a spam I received:

libidinous condonechampaign gilead blurrybelief styrene peachskirt sloven uterusinteger cheney tiltinvertible alluvial culbertsongrievous keys bowmandefect oberlin crawfordcommitted slant disciplinaryfang siderite spawnwring limp paraboladietician chili scarletimperceivable

The same list of words, unchanged, appears in bold text.


Martha was feeling libidinous, but she could not condonechampaign. In gilead, she had developed a blurrybelief about the effects of mixing alcohol with styrene. She soberly slid her peachskirt down her hips and into a slovenly heap on the floor. She set about the task of inserting her artificial uterusinteger.

Meanwhile, in another part of town, Vice President cheney was performing his triple tiltinvertible for the now overwhelmingly Republican Senate. They had replaced the aisle that they always spoke of "reaching across" with a creek that was too wide to do so. The alluvial sediments were annoying in their shoes, but they preferred it to having to talk to the Democratic Senators. Congested People for Piping had tried to file the culbertsongrievous act in a nationwide referendum, but high-ranking Democrats on the other side of the creek were the keys to passing this important legislation. Senators bowmandefect, oberlin, and crawfordcommitted to put the right slant on this bill, but the disciplinaryfang of VP Cheney concerned them. They had to get their siderite before they tried to bring it across the aisle, er, creek. Everyone watched Senator spawnwring out his socks after an unsuccessful attempt to limp across the gravelly creekbed

In the quadratic lunchroom where only the higher-order Senators ate, the paraboladietician grew concerned for public health as they placed their fifth-order for chili.

Martha was pleased to find the trace of scarletimperceivable after the installation.

[Comment] Re: To my surprise, I'm coming to appreciate the man for whom I voted

First of all, you brought up a bunch of issues without addressing my core concern: Gay marriage. So I'm going to stay focused on that even if you can't. A few points, though:

Do you really think that blacks are naturally more inclined to commit crimes?

The fact that you worked hard and expect no handouts is admirable. So does that 15 year old kid in Detroit whose _father_ wasn't allowed to use the same bathroom not long ago. You and I can't even begin to comprehend the impact of that. If you think you and that kid are on an equal level just because you both work hard, you're kidding yourself.

No to gay marriage: it doesn't matter what the public thinks about it. Keep in mind that at one point the public also thought it was OK to segregate, enslave, and count blacks as less of a person than whites (three-fifths to be exact). The public makes mistakes and that is why our government created an institution that could allow the courts to overrule public opinion. I'm sure you knew that though.

And don't give me that baloney about redefining words. You're a logical, intelligent person. You're quite aware of the difference between legal definitions and religious definitions.

And please stop using terrorism as an excuse to ignore other issues. Why are you so frightened of terrorism? Statistically, you're in much greater threat when you drive in your car. Did you know that 3X more skin cancer deaths occur each year than the number of people that died on 9/11? And that number is rising at a significant rate (see the CA statistics, of my father is one of those statistics). I'm always amazed that when the threat is so obvious Americans still love to focus on a solution that involves killing rather than repairing.

http://cancer.amnesi.com/State-MEL-CA.html

But let's ignore the environment, terrorism, etc. Let's talk about why gays shouldn't have the same rights as others. Explain to me how that can be seen in any other light than a civil rights issue. Explain why they don't deserve the same legal benefits. Explain to me why I should endorse a man who has wants to introduce a Constitutional Amendment to ensure that gay couples can't have the same legal standing as other couples.

[Comment] Re: To my surprise, I'm coming to appreciate the man for whom I voted

No biggie. I've been called worse things than "David." 🙂

<p>It's interesting to me that you ping Bush for how easy things have been for him. What do the majority of Kerry's band of Hollywood supporters, recording artists, and George Soros know about being a poor black child in Detroit, any more than Bush does? What does Teresa Heinz Kerry (or her husband, for that matter) know of want? Why are they the noble kind of rich, and Bush is the evil kind? Who shows more respect and confidence in that kid's ability to make something of himself?

<p>I disagree with you that Bush doesn't get it, and it sounds like more unfounded accusations. Conservatives understand that you can't make jobs out of thin air, that somebody has to pay for welfare and other forms of aid, and they believe in people being self-reliant. Liberals have a really unrealistic view of how we "should" take care of everyone and that people "shouldn't" suffer. They have no concept of the science of economics. Their idealistic views, if left unchecked, will destroy the very economy they want to feed off of. They will kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.

<p>Corporations, in general, are not evil entities. They employ people, fund the government, and promote progress. I would trust Bush's plan to do more for that poor black child in Detroit than Kerry's unrealistic promises to take care of him. "Give a man a fish… Teach him to fish…"

<p>Why do you say Bush doesn't believe in equal rights for all? Besides, how does affirmative action give equal rights to all? I tried to get a grant from the government for a business, but I'm not a woman or a minority, so I'm a pariah — the cursed white male. How is that equal rights? But did I protest and complain about how unfair life was? Did I quit, because I am disenfranchised? No, I looked for other ways. I worked and continue to work very hard and expect no handouts, no special treatment, no aid. Life's a bitch.

<p>Why does everyone seem to think it's the government's job to make their life easier? It's because the Democratic party has taught them that for years. Shame on the Democratic party for cultivating a culture of dependence and reliance on the government, rather than one of self-reliance and a can-do attitude. They've polluted America and killed the American spirit. And it's very demeaning and condescending to treat people like they need the government to take care of them.

<p>They've done far more damage to that poor black kid in Detroit than anything George W. Bush could ever do.

<p>Regarding gay marriage, it was voted down in eleven of eleven states. That wasn't Bush speaking. That was the people saying "enough is enough" to political correctness and redefining the meanings of words so that every minority can control the majority. In a time of war and terrorism, though, I can't understand how gay marriage is even on the map, though. It's incredibly tasteless timing, in my opinion, to be foisting this frivilous issue on the nation during a time of physical survival. It's time that we got back to serving the greater good, rather than our own selfish interests.

<p>Let new immigrants learn English the way all of our ancestors did. Why have we all of a sudden become a bilingual nation? This country is being taken over by self-serving special interest groups who don't want to change themselves to be an American but rather change America to accomodate them. It's getting pretty chunky in the melting pot. Certain ingredients are refusing to melt.

<p>See, now I'm ranting. The more liberals push their unrealistic, idealistic agendas that will bleed the spirit of this nation dry, the more they push moderate, reasonable people to the right. That's what happened in this election. Idealism is a lovely thing to strive for, but you will absolutely drag this nation down to its demise if you try to deny reality.

[BlogEntry] Every American has a purple heart

Red-state folks, blue-state folks, green-state folks, it's time to move on.

Take a look at this map. In a winner-take-all election, it's very misleading to look at pure red or blue states. The overall election was 51% to 48%, not 100% to 0%. If you were to color the entire country in a single color by who won the election, it would be solid red, but that would be very misleading, no? That does not tell the whole story. Nor does coloring entire states, or even counties, a single color. In reality, it's all shades of purple. This is a great example of lies, damned lies, and statistics.

If you want to see an even more enlightening perspective, take a look at these weird maps which show states distorted to reflect relative size of their population.

My point is that everyone including the media should stop obsessing over the number of red states or red counties and remember that it's really all shades of gray. Even we, ourselves, are individually divided. Every voter is red on some aspects and blue on others. Each of us has a purple heart. There are Republicans who believe in abortion and Democrats who don't. There are conservatives who think it's okay for gays to marry and liberals who agree with tax cuts. Each party is made up of a variety of factions which pick and choose the planks of the party platform that are meaningful to them.

We can focus on what makes us different or focus on what we have in common. We are all Americans. Let's stop bickering, feeling disenfranchised or arrogant, victimized or invincible, and sorry for ourselves. We are not a divided nation. This is a nation of Americans strengthened by our diversity of views and blessed with the capacity and freedom to express them. This is what makes us great. These are our checks and balances. Threatening to leave because your candidate didn't win is absurd and utterly and completely misses the point of what this country is based on. We live in an ongoing debate and laboratory of continuous improvement. To abandon the experiment now is just bad science.


The pendulum swings.
Americans cast their votes.
Either way, we win.