Tag Archives: spam

geek ≡ me

the rules (to which i contributed) state that this shouldn’t be done, but rules were meant to be broken from time to time. not only that, but i think this is a very good example of why i’m perfectly happy using the operating system i am using, which is kubuntu, rather than either mac or windows… although, to be honest, i’ve experienced essentially the same thing on a mac, but at this point, my impression is that macs have turned into expensive toys for geek-wannabes with too much money.

anyway…

i got three spam messages that made it through my principle spam filter. of course, the spammers didn’t count on my having a secondary spam filter, and they still ended up in my waste messages bin without even hitting my inbox, but that’s not the point. the point is that one of the three messages was in arabic text, and it rendered correctly on my machine. keep in mind that arabic is written right-to-left, and english is written left-to-right (which is why i didn’t copy and paste the text: wordpress, for all of its advantages, doesn’t deal well with LTR and RTL languages and non-standard text – i.e. not unicode – in the same post). i took a screen shot of it, though, and here it is:spamof course i reported it to spamcop, and deleted it without replying, but it’s not often that a spam message makes that much of a positive impression on me. it wasn’t the words themselves, but the fact that my computer knows enough to be able to differentiate between RTL and LTR text in the same message without some kind of special prompt from me.

another week closer to the eschaton…

i woke up this morning, and checked my email. i had 4,856 new messages, all with the same subject line, which included the word “MLM”… please stop sending me these messages. they’re not accomplishing what you think they are, they’re really annoying, and i’m about to block your country’s IP addresses because of it. there are better ways of doing… whatever it is that you’re expecting to be able to do by sending out 4,856 spam email messages… 😐

A piece of their mind – they share thoughts… in spite of the fact that they have two sets of eyes, one can “read” what the other is seeing, without actually seeing it… The Fascinating Story of the Twins Who Share Brains, Thoughts, and Senses has more, including a video… fascinating!

The Return of the Stoned Ape – smart people do more drugs because of evolution. now it all makes sense… 😀 and, while we’re at it, Smart people SLEEP LATE as well… so there!

and now, to more mundane topics…

Fnord33 Conspiracy Theories That Turned Out To Be True – fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord. beware, the paranoids are watching you. fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord.

The Information Super-Sewer: Will the Internet be Hijacked by Corporate Interests – funding a civilization through advertising is like trying to get nutrition by connecting a tube from one’s anus to one’s mouth. also Final nail in coffin for Net neutrality?all 95 house and senate candidates who pledged support for net neutrality lost their races. what does this mean? it means that your unlimited, uncensored, unthrottled and open internet service will be going away as soon as the major corporations that now own internet are going to get to decide how much to charge you for how much access… which means that it won’t be too long before internet will be exactly like television, unless you can afford to make it better.

A Modest Proposal to Republicans: How to Trim the Budget – hint: it’s something that a republican would never think of…

Chomsky: US-led Afghan war, criminal – to date there is no evidence that al-qaeda has carried out the 9/11 attacks, and still we use that as justification to make war on a people who have their own problems.

The Surprising History of Copyright and The Promise of a Post-Copyright World – copyright was never primarily about paying artists for their work, and trying to make it about that now is obfuscating the real reason, which is to make the distributors as much money as possible. copying is not theft, piracy, or anything else illegal, and the sooner we toss the current copyright law fiasco and start over again, the better.

Minnesota Mom Hit With $1.5 Million Fine for Downloading 24 Songs – copying IS NOT theft! (my new mantra).

Bankruptcy of U.S. is ‘Mathematical Certainty,’ Says Former CEO of Nation’s 10th Largest Bank – yep… the end is coming, and it’s not looking like it’s going to be particularly pretty when it gets here.

Voters Approve Sharia Law Ban – meanwhile, fear, insanity and unreasoned reactionism comes to oklahoma, whether they like it or not… oh well, there are always 49 other states… 😐 meanwhile, it appears that Oklahoma Voters May Have Accidentally Voted Against Ten Commandments, Too – that’s what they get for being stupid and making nonsensical laws without thinking them through.

Details on PayPal’s Site Outage – they have been doing okay, despite the bad things that i continue to hear about them, but they apparently went down for anywhere from two to twenty four hours, depending on where you are, and so far they’ve not released any information other than to say “something broke. it’s fixed now, and we’re sorry.”

Google calls bug bounty hunters to YouTube, Blogger – $3,133.70 a bug seems like a lot, and i seriously doubt that their actual testers get paid anything like that. what this is, really, is an attempt by google to have volunteer “testers” hammer on their technology without having to pay them for doing so. then, when a “tester” discovers something, google can claim that they found it, pay the “tester” a minimal, one time fee and never mention the “tester” to anyone ever again… everybody’s happy, at least temporarily, and the big corporation profits at the expense of the american drone, who doesn’t notice because he’s too busy telling all of his friends how 733T he is… you can’t make a living on it, but it’s the american dream come true… 😐

Seagate squirts out rectal cleaning sprayno shit… 🙂

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words: President Obama Visits Chicago and a Homeless Man Begs Him for Alms – no further comment needed.

Marijuana Legalization: Not If, But When – agreed, it’s just a matter of time, but it’s going to have to be the entire country, or it’s not going to work… and whether or not the entire country legalises it through a revolution or through a civil election still remains to be seen.

New Mother’s (False) Positive Drug Test Leads to Baby’s Removal… Poppy-Seed Bagel the Culprit – the only way to solve problems like this is to legalise all drugs, but if proposition 19 is any indication, even when we’re winning, we’re really losing… and while we’re at it, No reason for pot prohibition – when are we going to get the idea that the war on drugs is a collosal failure? not for the next couple of years, at this rate… 😐

not only that, but A molecular link between the active component of marijuana and Alzheimer’s disease pathology – the active ingredient in cannabis, delta-9-tetrahydracannabinol (THC), competitively inhibits the enzyme acetylcholinesterase (AChE), the key pathological marker of alzheimer’s disease. are we ready to legalise it yet?

Cargo plane bomb plot: passengers to face ‘ludicrous security measures’ – now that we have successfully prevented another terrorist plot from even reaching the country, of course, the logical response is to put more stringent measures in place to insure that innocent citizens are harrassed, poked, prodded, scanned and examined in new and unusual ways, to make sure that the terrorists don’t win again… oh, and by the way, Yemeni mail bombs suspect ‘had identity stolen’ – so we really don’t have any clearer an idea who did it then we did a week ago… swell…

For the First Time, the TSA Meets Resistance – they’re now searching your “crotchal” area, and they really want to get you to use the “Dick-Measuring Device” back-scatter imaging device, so be warned…

Pollution in China – this is why stuff is cheap in america. remember that the next time you buy something.

Obama may let CIA run more ‘hunter-killer’ teams roam abroad – this is premeditated murder and i question what the real intent is…

Why I don’t voteW? T? F? i can understand a multitude of reasons for not participating in the farce of elections these days, but basing your abstinence in voting on 1 timothy 2.12 is far beyond anything that i could possibly figure out…

McDonald’s furious after San Francisco bans Happy Meals – apparently they didn’t get the memo

Ram Dass Has a Son! – DNA tests confirm it, and ram dass is okay with it, so it doesn’t look like it’s going to cause a major uproar (like it has with other “spiritual” teachers), but it also is pretty much not what you would expect…

spam!!!

i’ve been getting A LOT of spam from, or by way of russia and china recently, and in my normal news perusing, i discovered that the guy who is responsible for the “canadian pharmacy” spam that you have, no doubt, seen in your own inbox – who is really a russian, and only nominally connected to any “canadian” pharmacies – has recently been arrested for operating a business without registration, but what i notice even more in this particular article is the apparent fact that spam is not illegal in russia… which would explain a lot.

this brings up a possibility that i have considered for a long time, which is to completely block all email from russia, and/or china. i have known, more or less, ever since about 1998 that it was possible to block people from sending you email from certain IP addresses, and i was vaguely aware that different regions can be identified from the first couple of IP address blocks, but i’ve never been exactly sure of how. i’ve been even less sure (although i’m pretty sure i knew at one time, having worked as a tester for a company that makes email server software) how to drop incoming email messages from a blocked IP address range with no response – i.e. if you’re in that IP address range and you send me an email, the email message just “disappears” with no reason given, but – and this the important part – i’m about 99.8% certain that it can be done fairly easily.

anybody who has ideas about how to do this should get in touch with me. i think it’s time to block email access from russia and china. the only email i get from those two countries are spam messages or malware, and it’s time to take action.

if it works as easily as i believe it will, i’m also thinking of blocking email access from africa – yes, the entire continent – as well.

ETA: something along this line is what i’m thinking of.

spam, again…

i don’t often admit to hating pretty much anything, but i will admit, whole-heartedly, to hating spam with a white-hot passion… 😛

i’m going to use this as an example of how i determine something which is not labled spam, is actually spam.

the following is a text-dump of the entire message, with the headers intact. the only thing i have done is to obscure my host server.

Return-path: <x>
Envelope-to: ganesha@hybridelephant.com
Delivery-date: Fri, 01 Oct 2010 03:40:48 -0700
Received: from hybridel by x with local (Exim 4.69)
     (envelope-from )
     id 1P1d2m-0005OP-Im
     for ganesha@hybridelephant.com; Fri, 01 Oct 2010 03:40:48 -0700
To: "salamandir" <ganesha@hybridelephant.com>
Subject: Enquiry from Hybrid Elephant
X-PHP-Script: www.hybridelephant.com/contact_us.php for 122.163.114.169
From: "Randall Tuttle" <rachelle258@gmail.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
X-Mailer: osCommerce Mailer
Content-Type: text/plain;
  charset="UTF-8"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
Message-Id: <E1P1d2m-0005OP-Im@x>
Sender:  <hybridel@x>
Date: Fri, 01 Oct 2010 03:40:48 -0700
X-Bogosity: Unsure, tests=bogofilter, spamicity=0.583091, version=1.2.0
X-UID: 
Status: RO
X-Status: R
X-KMail-EncryptionState: N
X-KMail-SignatureState: N
X-KMail-MDN-Sent:  

We noticed that you are not at the top of the search engines for a number of your key terms.
We have helped companies similar to yours to achieve top organic rankings. Please reply to this
message and we will prepare a special proposal for you, to show you how we can achieve similar
results for you.

first, i look at the subject line: “Subject: Enquiry from Hybrid Elephant

this is not labled “spam” because it’s an enquiry from my web site, which means that if it turns out to be spam, i can’t report it, because it doesn’t have a message path that can be traced. i get a lot of spammers trying to abuse my response form (hint, it only sends to me, so it’s not much use for spamming), so that increases the probability that it is, actually, spam.

next, i look at the sender name and email address. usually people who submit legitimate enquiries to my business have an email address that doesn’t stand out. this one – From: "Randall Tuttle" <rachelle258@gmail.com> – stands out: “Randall Tuttle” has an email address that includes the name “rachelle”? the probability that it actually is spam just went up to 99.98%. i have never seen an example of a message that comes from someone who is apparently male, which has an email address that includes a female name, unless they were trying to mislead people in some way.

as i said, because of the fact that it is an enquiry from my web site, i can’t report it, but i can delete it without even reading further.

but i am going to force myself to read further, because deep down, i am a masochist… or something like that…

We noticed that you are not at the top of the search engines for a number of your key terms.

now i’m starting to get perturbed… i knew i shouldn’t have read any further… patience, patience… 😐

yes, i know that. it is because i haven’t gotten to the top yet. if you google “html escape sequences” you’ll probably notice my site within the top 5 on the list. that is because i have offered the only complete list of html escape seqences on the net, for the longest time, without changing its URI. i haven’t been offering incense for anywhere near as long as i have had that list of escape sequences on the net. not only that, but i just upgraded from a flat html structure to a php/database structure within the past couple of years. one of the advantages is that if you search for specific products, like “aparajita special durbar incense” you will find my web site on the first page, despite the fact that i have upgraded my web site recently.

yeah, i’m not at the top of the list for all of my keywords, but i’m getting there, and if i leave my web site alone for long enough, i’ll probably get there without using possibly illegal and most likely nefarious ways to get there sooner, which is what you’re probably suggesting…

We have helped companies similar to yours to achieve top organic rankings.

organic ratings? organic ratings!? nothing about the web is “organic” in any sense of the term. and if they were, in some miraculous way, “organic” ratings, then why would a person named “Randall” be trying to sell them to me, writing to me from “rachelle”‘s email address, at gmail.com?

Please reply to this message and we will prepare a special proposal for you, to show you how we can achieve similar results for you.

reveal more about how my mailserver works to you, and give you new and innovative ways to break into my web site and email server, so that you can “prepare a special proposal” for me? i don’t think so, especially since you haven’t actually proven to me that you have actually done that for anyone.
 

PLONK!!!
 
for those of you unfamiliar with the term, “plonk” is the sound a spam message makes when it is deleted,
or the sound of a person’s email address being added to a “do not send” or “banned” list.

 
oh, by the way, the form gives me a little bit more information about the sender than he probably realises:

X-PHP-Script: www.hybridelephant.com/contact_us.php for 122.163.114.169

aha, his IP address. a quick “host 122.163.114.169” tells me that his computer is named “abts-north-dynamic-169.114.163.122.airtelbroadband.in” which is a dynamic range coming from AirTel Broadband, in india.

yeah, i’m really going to respond to a person who didn’t give me his real name, offering sketchy SEO services from a wireless connection in india… 😐

by the way…

LinkedIn Zeus spam run targets prospective business marks – i’ve been getting this spam for three weeks and i haven’t picked up the ZeuS trojan yet…

of course, i haven’t been clicking on any links in mail that crosses my desk labled as “spam”, and i have been reporting messages that claim to be from LinkedIn that are labled “spam” for three weeks… i have opened (as text-only, not as html) precisely one message that claimed to be from LinkedIn that was labled “spam”, about three weeks ago, to determine that it was, in fact, spam, and that has been it.

once again, the principal reason that email should not be sent as “formatted” or containing html code, is because, if it is, you can’t tell immediately that things are not as they should be. most people don’t think to look at the bottom of their screen, at the status bar of their email client or browser, to make sure that the link that they think they’re clicking is actually the link they’re clicking. most people assume that when they see a link, if they click on it they will be taken to the site indicated in the link, but that is NOT TRUE and especially so when the link is in an email message.

if i type in a link – http://www.hybridelephant.com/ – if that link is “active” (which this one is not), most people would assume that clicking it will take you to the site indicated, which is Hybrid Elephant. however, if you see the words Hybrid Elephant with no link, unless you look down, at the status bar of your browser (because you are viewing it in a web page, which is formatted using HTML), you won’t know that the link takes you to somewhere you may not have been expecting.

email was originally intended for communication on a very basic level. the web was intended for delivering “richer”, more “complete” content. you can say “check this out” without saying it in letters that are “formatted”. it may be “cooler” to say it in bold, purple, 72-point letters, but if you send such a message, the only thing you’re doing is forcing people who may not want it, to get a large quantity of essentially meaningless code along with a relatively short message, and sending people the possibility of getting their machines infected with a virus without you or them knowing about it, until it’s too late.

it not only saves space, but doesn’t have the potential for screwing up someone’s entire machine, as this LinkedIn/ZeuS spam tries to do.

HTML in Email is EVIL!
TEXT-ONLY EMAIL!
THE WEB IS THE PLACE FOR HTML-FORMATTING!

😛